Just when you think they can't get any worse, the Republicans once again are in the process of excluding science from the future planning for their coastline. Remind me again, please. When exactly did science become the enemy of Americans?
The North Carolina legislature is processing legislation that would force the planning committee for the development of the North Carolina coastline to rely only on 'historical data' and not to factor in any planning for climate change.
An interesting political battle is underway in North Carolina on how to plan for 21st century sea level rise, newsobserver.com reports. Sea level rise scientists commonly cite one meter (3.3 feet) as the expected global sea level rise by 2100, and more than a dozen science panels from coastal states, including a state-appointed science panel in North Carolina, agree. However, a coastal economic development group called NC-20, named for the 20 coastal counties in North Carolina, attacked the report, saying the science was flawed. NC-20 says the state should rely only on historical trends of sea level rise, and not plan for a future where sea level rise might accelerate. North Carolina should plan for only 8 inches of rise by 2100, based on the historical trend in Wilmington, NC, the group says. Republican state legislators introduced a bill that follows this logic, requiring the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission to make development plans assuming sea level rise will not accelerate. On Thursday, a state senate committee signed off on the bill, sending it to the full Senate. NC-20 also successfully made an "intense push" to get the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, which is using a $5 million federal grant to analyze the impact of rising water, to lower its worst-case sea level rise scenario from 1 meter (39 inches) to 15 inches by 2100
This all takes place as a new report is released by Climate Central that indicates the warming rates in America have tripled since 1970 compared to the rest of the last 100 years. The summary of the report is:
We looked at average daily temperatures for the continental 48 states from 1912 to the present, and also from 1970 to the present and found:
Over the past 100 years, the top 10 states on average warmed 60 times faster than the bottom 10 (0.26°F per decade vs. 0.004°F per decade), when looking at average mean temperatures. During this timeframe, 45 states showed warming trends, although 21 were not statistically significant. three states experienced a slight cooling trend.
Since 1970, warming began accelerating everywhere. The speed of warming across the lower 48 more than tripled, from 0.127F per decade over the 100-year period, to 0.435F per decade since 1970. In the last 42 years the 10 fastest-warming states heated up just twice as fast, not 60 times as fast as the 10 slowest-warming states (0.60°F vs. 0.30°F per decade). Over the past 42 years 17 states warmed more than half a degree F per decade.
The states that have warmed the most — whether you look at the past 100 years or just the past 40 —include northern-tier states from Minnesota to Maine and the Southwest, particularly Arizona and New Mexico. Places that have warmed the least include Southeast states, like Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, along with parts of the central Midwest, like Iowa and Nebraska.