After the hullabaloo that ensued when NC's Coastal Resources Commission previously predicted dire consequences from sea level rise, causing the NCGA to pass a law making sea level rise (or at least its scientific prediction) illegal, the CRC is at it again.
This time they're going to look only 30 years into the future, rather than about 90 years into the future, because...well...when they predicted what is likely to happen in the year 2100, developers and legislators got themselves all in a lather -- because there's money to be made, dammit!
Hoping to avoid a repeat of the uproar sparked in 2010 when a state science panel warned of a possible 39-inch rise in sea level by the end of this century, the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission decreed Thursday that the next official forecast will look no farther than 30 years into the future.
Never mind that their original prediction was most likely pretty accurate, according to scientific consensus.
Many critics of the panel’s earlier forecast had attacked its premise that the recent slow rate of sea-level rise would begin a dramatic acceleration sometime later in this century. They ridiculed a “hockey stick” curve used to portray a rapid rise that would submerge much of the coast by 2100.
Well guess what? NOAA data shows precisely that the so-called "hockey stick", unprecedented in all history, has already occurred for CO2 over the last 50 years (and temperature correlates very closely to CO2, and sea level rise will follow).
The next 30 years or so, though, will most likely show moderate sea level rise, preceding the drastic acceleration as we move toward the next century. So limiting the predictions to a 30-year period gives the legislators a nice, warm (pun intended), fuzzy feeling and enables the developers to continue to make money, dammit!
“If it turns out 10 years from now there is a hockey stick starting, we’re going to see that in five or 10 years,” [CRC chairman Frank] Gorham said.
Unfortunately, further down the road after 30 years is a looming catastrophe. And it has already started. And it's unstoppable. And when -- not if -- we see the so-called "hockey stick" a few years from now, it will be way, way too late to do anything about it.
NASA says that the Coastal Resources Commission was probably right in their original estimate of a 39-inch sea level rise by the end of this century (note that 39 inches is about three feet).
Melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely unstoppable, two new papers published Monday indicate. That means the sea level rise projects by 2100 will need to be revised, closer to 3 feet of sea level rise.