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NC research team wins grant to improve community resiliency to climate change

The team will be lead by researchers from NC State University and the State Climate Office
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 1:41 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 1:55 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The threat climate change is posing to coastal communities across the globe is getting worse with each passing year. Sea surface temperatures continue to climb, powering stronger storms that contain more water, increasing the flooding risk to areas those storms come into contact with. Unfortunately, our proximity to the Atlantic puts that risk at our front door. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration recently awarded a grant to a team of universities and institutions to help increase community resilience to threats brought on by climate change.

Jeremy Pickett boards the windows of a shopping store in Cape Hatteras, N.C. in preparation for...
Jeremy Pickett boards the windows of a shopping store in Cape Hatteras, N.C. in preparation for Hurricane Irene on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Evacuations began on Ocracoke Island off North Carolina as Hurricane Irene strengthened to a major Category 3 storm over the Bahamas on Wednesday with the East Coast in its sights.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)(Jose Luis Magana | AP)

The team, lead by NC State, will focus the $5 million towards frontline communities that have been traditionally neglected. “Underserved communities disproportionately feel the impacts of [extreme weather and climate] events. We need to co-develop solutions with communities to protect the health and well-being of Carolinians from climate-driven disasters,” says director of the State Climate Office Kathie Dello, who is also the team’s primary investigator. Dello will work closely with scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, Furman University, South Carolina State University and the Museum of Life and Science.

Researchers will start by asking these at risk communities what their concerns are regarding climate change. They will also implement climate-based science programs to enhance public understanding of climate change. By increasing knowledge about climate change and listening to local citizens, the scientists believe they will be able to create a model of community resiliency that can be used nationally.

Climate change is happening now, and we can see the effects. By working with individual communities to create climate resilience solutions from the bottom up, we hope to provide a transferrable, national model that will protect the most vulnerable in every community from climate-driven impacts.

Kathie Dello, Director of the State Climate Office
Two men use a boat to explore a street flooded by Hurricane Irene Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 in...
Two men use a boat to explore a street flooded by Hurricane Irene Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 in Manteo, N.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)(John Bazemore | ASSOCIATED PRESS)

For more information on this grant, you can go here.

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