Scientists release North Carolina climate change report

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) NC State University’s North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies has released the North Carolina Climate Science Report (NCCSR).

From July of 2019 to March of 2020, research was conducted to see how climate change is impacting us globally and in North Carolina.

The report was conducted by scientists from all over North Carolina, one being DR. Reide Corbett from East Carolina University.

Corbett is the dean of Integrated Coastal Programs, and specializes in coastal changes, and how climate change will impact their future.

The reports found globally, we’ve seen an average temperature increase of 1.8 degrees since 1895, due to large human activities.

A photo from the NCICS web conference, discussing the report’s findings of what’s happening globally.

Also globally, sea levels have risen nearly 8 inches since 1908, due to ice melting and expansion of water.

In North Carolina, the state saw its warmest ten years on record from 2009 to 2018. This is 6 degrees warmer than the state’s previous warmest decade from 1930 to 1939.

A look at North Carolina temperatures from 1895-2018.

2019 was North Carolina’s warmest year historically. It was also the second warmest year globally.

The study was broken into educated guesses ranging from:

  • Virtually Certain (99-100%)
  • Very Likely (90=100%)
  • Likely (66-100%)
  • Low Confidence (inconclusive)

Scientists on the study found it very likely for North Carolina temperatures in all seasons to continue rising. This was also true for an increase in temperature during nights.

During the day, scientists found it likely for North Carolina to see hotter days, and likely we’ll see less cold days.

When it comes to rainfall, 2018 saw the wettest record year for North Carolina, following Hurricane Florence.

Scientists on the report suggest North Carolina’s annual total precipitation will increase and are very certain extreme precipitation will increase in both intensity and frequency.

The study broke the state into three sections: Western Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain.

Sea levels are rising globally, and northeastern parts of North Carolina are seeing sea levels rise two times faster than the southeast coasts of the state.

Scientists are very certain we’ll see sea levels continue to rise on our coasts.

Lastly, the report found hurricane intensity is also likely to increase with stronger hurricanes becoming a yearly concern.

Globally, this is also a concern.

So what can we do to combat these issues?

Corbett and colleagues in the study are urging people to recognize the change occurring in our state.

“Governments, particularly should take this into consideration, particularly building new infrastructure,” says NCSU Professor Dr. Kenneth Kunkel.

Kathie Dello works at NC State’s Climate Office.

She also suggests talking with friends, family, and neighbors about the climate change impact.

“I think it’s really effective,” says Dello.

“I’ve heard a number of times from folks, ‘This is the first time someones talked to me about climate change, projections, or what I should expect in my town.’ So have the conversation.”

The report listed a thank you to all involved.

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