Climate Change Experts Become An Endangered Species Along the NC Coast

"Structures that are usually considered permanent have a habit of getting moved around on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Roads, for example, are often pushed westward as waves eat away at the nearby shoreline. Three-story beach homes are frequently jacked up and carried farther inland. And in 1999, even the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was placed onto a system of rails and roller dollies and pulled 2,900 feet away from a swiftly encroaching Atlantic Ocean.

Faced with the realities of a low-lying, constantly shifting shoreline, it's hard to find North Carolinians who deny the sea is rising. But for the state's coastal land-use planners, the real questions are: How quickly, and by how much?

North Carolina law dictates that in less than a year, a 15-member group of volunteer geologists and engineers assembled under the state's Coastal Resources Commission (CRC), called the Science Panel on Coastal Hazards, must provide answers to those questions.

But as March 31, 2015, approaches, some of the science panel's experts are feeling anxious. The last time they came up with a sea-level-rise projection for North Carolina, it caused such an uproar that state lawmakers came close to banning its use -- permanently."

Elizabeth Harball reports for ClimateWire April 2, 2014.

Friday, April 4, 2014