We want this to be a live, ongoing community discussion on NC climate change and environmental mitigation efforts from the western mountain region, through the central Piedmont and triad, to the eastern beaches and Outer Banks.
To participate, please find a section below that interests you, and then use the no registration form at the bottom to send us questions, statements, and news relating to that section and we will transfer it to the appropriate sub-heading for other readers to interact with. Be sure to subscribe to replies so you get notified when someone interacts with your content.
Additionally, we hope you’ll share this document on the popular social media sites so others can learn more, get involved, get information, and stay up-to-date on the latest research and mitigation efforts happening across the state as we all deal with the effects of climate change in NC.
Climate Change In NC & Local Location Discussions
To add a sub-heading to this article, please CONTACT US and we’ll be happy to add it. Furthermore, if you’re a researcher, educator, with a state organization or university system, non-profit, or private organization who deals with environmental issues and you want to interact with this document from your official title, please contact us and ask to be verified and we’ll set you an account up on this website.
Western Mountain Region
Reserved for GENERAL discussions related to environmental impacts specific to the western mountain region of the state, and mitigation efforts in forests, lakes, streams, habitats, and ecosystems.
Central Piedmont Region
Reserved for GENERAL discussions specific to the central Piedmont region of the state, and mitigation efforts to protect freshwater fisheries from saltwater pollution, stormwater runoff toxins and pollution, and natural habitats specific to this area.
Eastern Beaches And Outer Banks Region
Reserved for GENERAL discussions specific to the eastern region beaches and Outer Banks, and mitigation efforts to protect estuarine marshlands, saltwater fisheries, maritime forests, sea turtles, and other wildlife.
Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, And Coastal Areas
If there was any doubt climate change and warming oceans is real, Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Dorian should’ve ended those doubts. In 2020, the Continental U.S. experienced it’s most busiest season on record, with a record number of major category systems striking the gulf coast.
But it’s not only frequency, we’re beginning to see tropical hurricanes impact areas of the Northeast more frequently given that waters off that coastline are getting warmer. And, there is little doubt the number of storms reaching Category 4 and Category 5 is increasing.
As with most weather related systems, these storms also have a domino effect on coastal marshlands, marine mammals, and pollution making it’s way in to waterways from stormwater runoff.
In recent years, the outcry to build living shorelines is finally reaching local municipal leaders who are beginning to favor this natural method over bulkheads and seawalls to prevent land erosion in coastal areas. Are living shorelines in use in the western part of the state?
Snowstorms, Winter Weather, And Ice
While mountain areas in western NC and the Piedmont are still seeing winter weather, ice storms, and snowfall, data is consistently showing over time that winter is getting shorter and warmer as the planet heats up.
In fact, the winter season is the fastest changing season here in the state.
This section requires more data from readers and contributors to this site.
Heavy Rain And Flooding
In coastal regions, heavy rain and flooding are quite common, especially during tropical storms and hurricanes which can wreak havoc on the environment. Not only is flooding a problem which impacts humans, higher concentrations of rain can decrease the salinity of waters in this area which can cause many species of fish and marine mammals who’s natural habitat is saltwater.
In 2021, a study was done which shows that salinity of water is inching further north along the Neuse River, Tar River, Cape Fear River, and the Chowan River which will have great impacts on aquatic animals that thrive in brackish water.
Higher temperatures over prolonged time can cause droughts which can increase the risk of wildfires and forest fires, and cause migration of wildlife away from regions they normally inhabit.
This is especially true for insects who’s migration away from drought areas can have tremendous impacts on crops in other areas.
This section requires more data from readers and contributors to this site.
The case for the exacerbation of wildfires rests solidly with increased temperatures decreasing soil moisture, creating drier conditions, and higher temperatures creating drought is the perfect condition for out of control wildfires in heavily wooded areas where land use and forestry management is a requirement.
Recent research shows that just a 1 degree change in temperature increases the risk for wildfires by 600% and is responsible for more dry materials being on the floor of forests which is the perfect fuel for fires.
While this problem is certainly a risk across the central Piedmont region and Eastern coastal region, I worry about the sprawling and large national forests in the western part of the state in the mountains. What mitigation efforts are underway to address this issue in your local area?
Erosion of Land
Public information on ways land use and erosion of land is impacting specific regions in the State of North Carolina.
The definition of stormwater runoff is rain or snowmelt that does not soak in to the ground and runs over impervious surfaces like rooftops, paved roads, driveways, parking lots, and other hard surfaces. As this runoff moves along hard surfaces, it collects trash, pollution, and toxins which can then empty in to natural habitats and kill fish, change the salinity of water, clog streams, and kill other aquatic animals.
Stormwater runoff is a serious problem for urban areas where there is increased use of concrete roads, rooftops, and parking lots, and it’s a serious problem in coastal regions where tropical systems can cause major flooding across hard surfaces.
Public information on local man-made pollution currently impacting regions within the state, and mitigation efforts to address the problem.
Living Shorelines And Marshland
The concept of living shorelines is a new approach valued over traditional ways of preventing land erosion by using concrete seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, and rocks which are actually shown to help erosion. And, they aren’t very attractive.
A living shoreline is made from planted marsh grass, oyster shells, and other natural materials which aid in preventing erosion, and also help fisheries by giving fish a natural habitat to spawn and feed. Aesthetically, natural materials have greater value over concrete.
While primarily seen is estuarine environments, we’re interested in hearing from contributors about their use in inland waters, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water.
State Lakes, Rivers, Estuaries, And Other Bodies of Water
This section is reserved for NC climate change mitigation efforts at specific state lakes, estuaries, streams, rivers, and other bodies of water in the mountains, central Piedmont, and coastlines near the Outer Banks.
This section is reserved for contributors to discuss environmental concepts as it relates to freshwater fisheries in the state, especially between the Piedmont and coastal areas where rising water is pushing more saltwater upstream and invading freshwater.
What impacts of droughts, warmer waters, and man-made pollution are currently hitting these habitats and ecosystems hard, and what local mitigation efforts are underway to stop and reverse it?
This section is reserved for specific discussions related to coastal saltwater fisheries and attempts made at the local, state, and federal level to address dwindling numbers, changes in salinity, and other concepts which impact this ecosystem.
State Habitats And Ecosystems
Discussions related to specific to state habitats and ecosystems which climate change and global warming is currently impacting.
State Forests And Other Wooded Areas
Specific discussions related to risks and threats state forests and other wooded areas in the state face from pollution, population growth, wildfires, droughts, and a warming planet.
Discussion related to threatened and vulnerable wildlife which are at risk of migrating away from their natural habits, that are seeing dwindling numbers, or wildlife that is at risk of extinction if humans do not reverse their thinking on protecting the environment.
Warming Oceans, Sea Surface Temperatures, And Rising Water
Public discussions on the threat and risks associated with warming oceans, rising sea surface temperatures, and rising water in coastal and mountain regions, along with specific threats and mitigation efforts underway to address the threats.
As it relates to NC climate change and mitigation, what’s some other information you want to talk about using the no registration form below?