Over the last century, the Earth’s climate has warmed at an unprecedented pace resulting in rising sea levels, more frequent and severe storms, and worse and more widespread flooding.
If concerted actions are not taken, these impacts have the potential to impose significant costs on the residents of North Carolina through detrimental effects on their health and well-being, their economy, and their environment.
To promote a better understanding of the range and size of these potential impacts, the RTI Center for Water Resources collaborated with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to create the report, Climate Change and North Carolina: Near-term Impacts on Society and Recommended Actions, summarizing economic ramifications and projected costs of climate change in the state.
Projecting Climate Hazards for N.C.
With climate change resulting in precipitation fluctuations, sea level rise, and other water-related impacts, our experts at RTI combine scientific research and analytical methodologies to promote improved understanding of the risks posed by climate change and to inform policies addressing climate change and strengthening climate resilience.
This climate change report utilizes and builds on findings derived from the North Carolina Climate Science Report (NCCSR) to identify and investigate the following types of climate hazards that could directly harm human health, livelihoods, and natural resources if no action is taken in the near future:
- Air temperature increases
- Precipitation changes
- Flooding, wildfires, landslides
- Water temperature & quality changes
- Air quality changes
- Insects, pathogens, & invasive plants
Measuring Impacts on North Carolina’s Residents and Economy
If no cooperative action is taken to reduce polluting emissions, there are numerous ways that the people and economy of N.C. may be affected by different climate hazards. The report identifies the hazards most likely to impact eight main sectors of the state’s economy and describes how significant these impacts are likely to be for the state’s sectors and residents.