Rising Sea Waters Threaten NC's Delicate Coastline

North Carolina officials watching an ever-encroaching ocean on the state's delicate coastline are planning for a wetter future.

The Charlotte Observer reported Sunday that a North Carolina science panel is predicting the sea level will rise by 1 meter by 2100.

That means about 2,000 square miles of coastline that is a meter or less above water is at risk. On that land is some of the state's most expensive real estate that economists say is worth a total of almost $7 billion.

Some warn that higher sea levels will make coastal storms more devastating.

Ocean encroachment has already had a visible effect the coast when the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved away from the Atlantic in 1999 because of an 8-inch rise in sea levels.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Cliff Claven Location: S. Nags HEad on Jan 29, 2011 at 07:54 AM
    Everyone knows that the ocean levels are rising and the glaciers are melting, OK? These are FACTS that are real, observable, and not in dispute. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are also rising, and this is a measurable, indisputable FACT. The climate is changing. How much it will change, and whether the cause is man-made or a natural cycle may be up for debate, but it is a fact that the sea level is rising, regardless of your politics, religion, or intelligence. Also, get out a dictionary so you don't confuse the words climate and weather. Climate change doesn't necessarily mean a gradual increase in the average temperature. It may also include a change from the relatively temperate, stable and mild weather of the recent millennia to dramatic swings in temperature and precipitation. How many "100 year floods," melting glaciers, and measurable increases in ocean levels will it take before you get the message, and stop blaming Al Gore? Open your eyes; use your brain.
  • by OSOC Location: Washington on Jan 19, 2011 at 08:19 AM
    I believe this panel as much as Al Gore...can you also tell us what the weather will be like in 2020? Can you tell us what hurricanes will come through Washington NC next year. Also, please explain why the waterline of my bulkhead is lower now than it was 20 years ago? I am on the sound side...what happened to all my water and why do I see more beach now? Did the panel just stay at a holiday express and feel qualified to predict this?
  • by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2011 at 06:51 AM
    These morons were probably measuring the water levels at high time and then again at low tide.
  • by jr Location: bath on Jan 19, 2011 at 03:56 AM
    everyone knows that the banks are moving to the SW.there is absolutely no stopping this migration.now, somebody explain to me why the coldest winter we have had in many years is a product of global warming. that's what 'the view' said late last week. whoopee, bahbah wawa and the rest ought to know, hadn't they?
  • by Problem Solver on Jan 18, 2011 at 05:48 PM
    Blah,blah,blah!so what are we going to do about this ?Once again what a load of psycho babble!
  • by Rodney Location: east of I95 on Jan 17, 2011 at 04:02 PM
    There will still be a beach. It just might not be in the same place it used to be, just as it has been moving for all of history. And beach access has gotten tougher over the years as access routes and parking have been eaten by developers. But the reverse is only one big hurricane away. Especially if common sense keeps people from building on unprotected sites. But most of the builders on the NC coast have had a long run of luck for thirty years or so.
  • by Maggie Location: Goldsboro on Jan 17, 2011 at 06:52 AM
    It makes no difference if you OWN oceanfront property or not. The beach belongs to everybody, and hundreds/thousands of people visit the beaches every week, enjoy the sand, the breezes, surf fishing, and boating. Thousands of people who do not own one inch of beach property, but they are having a wonderful time using it, in front of the homes and condos that are owned by the people that are paying additional taxes and sand replinishment fees to be there. So stop bellyaching and step up to the plate and do YOUR part to make sure our state doesn't lose this valuable resource.
  • by fundimental Location: Enc on Jan 17, 2011 at 06:12 AM
    You had professionals 30 years ago telling us you dont need to medicate babies for pain in operations as the will not remember it - then tell us the people are not the cause for global warming when before were in denial for the whole thing . Its cause and effect when you over populate the earth and decimate the ground, air, and water there is a result. It is happining in part to the way man taken advantage of the environment - You can think what you want, however- Mother nature is a great equalizer. Oh if you are third row from the ocean on Topsail you may want to sell before the next 'Cane as the realy nasty ones have taken out 2 or 3 rows in one blow.
  • by Noah Location: Mt Ararat on Jan 17, 2011 at 05:26 AM
    The water is not rising! The water is NOT rising! The water is... glub, glub, glub...
  • by Howdy Location: Washington on Jan 17, 2011 at 03:51 AM
    Come on people, is this really any surprise? The only reason that this is news is because the real estate on the water is some of the most expensive. I'm tired of hearing about this when there is a hurricane or storm, or when the tide rises. Maybe all the people who spent that much money on land should have learned what most people who make their living off the water learned long ago. The water can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It is beautiful, but also dangerous. Why should my tax money go to cover people that should have known better that to build homes in these areas? We all knew this was going to happen.
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