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Carbon dioxide level rise could prove costly for eastern North Carolina

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:56 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study shows carbon dioxide levels in the air have increased from last year, causing global temperatures to rise.

Carbon dioxide levels are measured in parts per million. NOAA’s measurements show levels have reached 421 parts per million, a 1.8 parts per million increase from 2021.

WITN meteorologists explain the results of the increase.

“As carbon dioxide goes up and builds more and more the atmosphere heat leaving the earth cannot go through carbon dioxide so it’s a greenhouse gas to keep us warmer,” said meteorologist Phillip Williams.

Experts from NOAA explained these increased levels are the highest they’ve been dating as far back as 6,000 years prior to the industrial revolution, which can cause varying effects.

“We use models to study this problem and based on the models we think that global warming is leading to some intensification of hurricanes,” said senior scientist, Dr. Tom Knutson.

Charts from the atmospheric administration show eastern North Carolina with temperatures above -- and much above average that could have significant impacts on sea-level rise in the east.

“We are on a trajectory that’s more or less set at this point so places like eastern North Carolina can expect a foot to a foot and a quarter of sea-level rise in the next 30 years,” said NOAA oceanographer William Sweet.

" You know we’re already seeing more frequent coastal flooding events sometimes just from a full moon or northeast wind we’re seeing more coastal flooding and so that’s going to keep on happening more and more frequently as the oceans slowly rise,” said Williams.

Simply put, experts explain more heat, means more water than bargained for.

Experts with NOAA say they expect a 7% increase in rainfall rates for every 33 degrees Fahrenheit rise in sea surface temperature for hurricane rainfall.

They say lowering greenhouse gas emissions would help mitigate the impacts along the coast.

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