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Faculty Committee on Global Climate Change Report UNC Wilmington 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Faculty Committee on Global Climate Change Report UNC Wilmington 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faculty Committee on Global Climate Change Report UNC Wilmington 1

2 Background On July 23, 2008, North Carolina Senator and President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight requested a report on global warming from Mr. Erskine Bowles, President of the University of North Carolina. July 2008, President Bowles asked each UNC campus to prepare a report. August 2008, UNCW Provost Dr. Brian Chapman charged a committee of UNCW faculty to prepare a report. Scope: East of I-95, years hence, considers effects of climate change (not just warming) 2

3 Broad Input Committee received input from UNCW units: Center of Marine Science Dept. Biology & Marine Biology Dept. Environmental Studies Dept. Chemistry & Biochem., Dept. Physics & Phys. Oc. Dept. Geogr. & Geology, Dept. Gerontology & Sociology Dept. Economics and Finance Watson School of Education NC Sea Grant program coastal engineers 3

4 Broad Input Committee also consulted: Int’l Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4 th Assessment Report (2007) US Global Change resear Program National Weather Service NC Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change NC Climatologist NC Sea Grant Program NOAA Southeast Regional Climate Center NC Dept Transportation NC Dept Agriculture NC Div. Marine Fisheries 4

5 Warming Temperatures IPCC 4 th Assessment Report,2007 US Global Change Research Program, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Global temperature is rising and will continue to rise. 100 yr trend ( ) °C. (Ice Age ~ 3°C difference in temp)

6 History and Forecast of North Carolina Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Source/Industry (MMtCO2e = Millions of Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Gas Equivalents) (Source: COPAG 2007) 6

7 7

8 IPCC Report -- Sea Level Rising Global average sea level rising, and at an increasing rate: 18 mm (0.7 inches) per decade ( )  31 mm (1.2 inches) per decade ( )  Current sea-level rise projections are likely conservative estimates, based on ocean warming only.  When melting ice/glaciers are included, sea level rise could accelerate. 8

9 9 IPCC Report -- Sea Level Rising

10 North Carolina Sea Level Rise Duck, NC: 1.5 feet/100 yrs, tide gauge data (45.72cm/100 yrs or 1.8 inches/ decade) [Zervas, 2004] Roanoke Island, NC: 1.6 inches/decade, based upon peat deposition [Horton et al. 2007, in press and Kemp et al., 2007]) 10

11 Because NC coastal plain is relatively flat, small increases in sea level can result in large beach losses. Impacts of sea level rise on NC beach widths. Beach width remaining (in feet). Does not include effects of wave erosion. 11 CountyBeach CarteretAtlantic Beach CarteretEmerald Isle Onslow-PenderNorth Topsail Beach82320 Onslow-PenderTopsail Beach New HanoverWrightsville Beach New HanoverCarolina Beach New HanoverKure Beach New HanoverFort Fisher BrunswickOak Island BrunswickHolden Beach90400 Bin et al., 2007

12 Source: Thieler, V., and Erika S. Hammar-Klose Coastal Vulnerability Index 12

13 More Frequent Extreme Weather Events Predicting the net effect of climate change on weather at regional – local scales remains a challenge. Extreme weather events become more frequent: heavy rain events, and extreme heat and heat waves. It is likely that future tropical storms & hurricanes will become more intense with higher wind speeds and larger waves. Less confidence about changes in tropical storm frequency. Combined with sea level rise, storm surges may exceed 100 yr coastal floods 3 or 4 times more frequently by the end of the century. 13

14 Biological/Ecological Impacts: Coastal wetlands are nursery areas for fish and seafood. Wetlands are subject to loss through sea level rise (physical and chemical effects) and from changes in storm intensity. Estuarine wetlands and barrier island marshes are threatened by sea level rise because their migration is limited. Freshwater marsh (along rivers, etc.) decomposition is accelerated by salinization that accompanies sea level rise. Increasing salinity of freshwater sediments enhances the formation of toxic and bioaccumulative methylmercury. Higher temperatures and storm frequency could negatively affect sea grass nursery communities. 14

15 15 Shifting Plant and Animal Distributions Biological/Ecological Impacts:

16 Public Health Impacts: Harmful Ocean Algae Blooms Swimming Advisories Respiratory Ailments Fish Kills Seafood Toxicity Harvest Restrictions Harmful Freshwater Algae Blooms Skin Rashes and Allergies for Swimmers Contamination of Surface Water Supplies Fish Kills 16

17 Public Health Impacts: Heat Stress Related Illness & Deaths Human Disease Mosquito- and tick-borne diseases (Malaria,Dengue fever, Lyme disease), Cholera Air Pollution (e.g., Ozone) more harmful Allergens, Fungal Spores, Mold Increased Rip Current Risk due to larger waves 17

18 Economic Impacts: Regional Impacts— UNCW/ECU/AppState Report on Econ Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal NC (2007) Impacts of sea level rise & storm intensification Four County Case Study: New Hanover, Carteret, Dare, Bertie Impacts on: coastal property, beach recreation, business interruption, agriculture, forestry, fisheries. 18

19 Economic Impacts: Inundation cm sea level rise 19

20 Economic Impacts: Coastal Property Property value at risk in just four NC counties: residential = $3.2 billion. nonresidential = $3.7 billion. Counties in Northeast NC more vulnerable. Work underway to estimate impacts for all NC coastal counties 20

21 Economic Impacts: Recreation & Tourism Impacts for southern NC beaches only Lost recreation value to local beach goers: $93 million a year by 2030 $223 million a year by 2080 Reduction in spending by non-local beach tourists: 16% decline by % decline by

22 Economic Impacts: Business Interruption Model translates lost business days to lost dollars for four case study NC counties Model allows industry mix to vary across counties Does not include agri., forestry, or comm. fisheries (considered separately) Considers ↑ in category 3 hurricane severity ONLY $34 million increase per storm by 2030 $157 million increase per storm by 2080 Cumulative impact , given no change in storm freq. $373 million assuming no pop or income growth $1.44 billion assuming projected growth in state pop and income 22 Impact of Increased Storm Strength On Business Interruption Bertha (Cat 1) Bonnie (Cat 2) Fran (Cat 3) Days of Lost Business, New Hanover Co. (Average Over all Industries)

23 Economic Impacts: Agriculture Changes in USDA Climate Zones drive changes in crop mix, irrigation, heat stress on livestock. Increases in hurricane intensity could have substantial impacts on NC agriculture: category 1 hurricane strike in NC: $30-$50 million agri damage category 2, $200 million category 3, $800 million. Agricultural lagoon spills and runoff will get worse – fertilizers, pesticides, and land-applied wastes will run off more vigorously in large rain events. 23

24 Economic Impacts: Forestry – NC Forest Service Timber Damage Assessments: Cat 2 hurricane (Isabel 2003) – $578 million statewide ($2004) Cat 3 hurricane (Fran 1996) – $1.496 billion statewide ($2004) Impacts on Storm Water Management Larger peak flows, more flooding and line breaks Impacts of Transportation Increased repair and relocation Road and Utility line wash-outs Bridge and Culvert wash-outs 24

25 Economic Impacts: Impacts on Fisheries Little information—we need a study... Fish kills--Hypoxia, Harmful algae blooms Loss of estuarine nursery areas Impacts of saltwater intrusion on groundwater supplies Increased costs of public water utilities Increased Frequency of Storm Evacuations 25

26 NC Adaptation Options: Mitigation = reducing climate change Adaptation = reducing the impacts/costs of climate change Mitigation alone is not enough--if we stop all greenhouse gas emissions today, sea level continues rising for 50 yrs. Better Planning and Coordination E.g., UNCW-led Project IMPACT Coastal Ocean Observation Systems (UNCW CORMP) Flood Monitoring and Modeling (UNCW G&G) Beach Sand Renourishment (UNCW G&G) “Living Shorelines” 26

27 Greenhouse Gas Mitigation/Reduction Options for NC: NC Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (CAPAG) (http://www.ncclimatechange.us/)http://www.ncclimatechange.us/ Without mitigation, NC emissions of greenhouse gas increase from 205 million MMT/yr in 2008 to 260 MMT/yr by 2020 With all 56 recommended mitigation options: emissions fall to about 140 MMT/yr by 2020, (equivalent to NC's annual emissions in 1990) Some measures have net financial costs, some benefits; the present value in 2008 dollars of all 56 measures is a net benefit of $5.12 billion for NC. 27

28 Relative Financial Cost or Savings of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Options for NC (Dollars per Metric Ton of Carbon Dioxide Gas Equivalents Reduced; negative values indicate savings) (Source: COPAG 2008a) 28

29 Incremental (Marginal) Cost per Metric Ton of Achieving Greenhouse Gas Reductions in North Carolina by 2020 (Source: COPAG 2008a) 29

30 NC Adaptation Options: Zoning / Development Control Avoid highly-eroding and flood-prone areas Strengthened Building Codes (UNCW Sea Grant) Reduce wind and flood damage Building and Infrastructure Relocation Insurance Reform Reduce public subsidies for insurance in risky areas Increase deductible/premium options (UNCW E&F) Tie premiums reductions to mitigation measures Promote business interruption insurance Financial Cost Hedging Options for gov’t (UNCW E&F) 30

31 31

32 Climate Change Education and Outreach at UNCW: Climate Change in the UNCW Curriculum Dept Geography and Geology Dept Physics/Physical Oceanography Dept. Biology & Marine Biology Dept Environmental Studies Dept Economics & Finance Dept Public & International Affairs Dept Chemistry & Biochemistry Promoting Climate Literacy for Future NC Teachers identifying education students’ pre- and post- knowledge and ideas about climate change before and after instruction 32

33 Action Items for UNCW: Maintain and expand current coastal weather data stations on shore; Continue to support NC coastal ocean monitoring systems offshore. Re-evaluate current coastal zone management plans in light of climate change and increasing coastal populations and property values. Develop contingency plans for vulnerable coastal industries: real estate, transport, agricultural, forestry, fisheries, water supply, and storm water mgmt. Publicize biological/ecological changes predicted with relative confidence. Monitoring for unforeseen biological/ecological changes should be implemented, especially in tidal marshes, wetlands and estuaries, including studies of methylmercury, a toxic form of mercury. Investigate potential regional public health problems caused by heat waves, mosquitoes, marine algae, allergens, fungus/mold spores. 33

34 Action Items for UNCW: Re-evaluate coastal building codes and zoning requirements in light of rising sea level and stronger storms. Assess residential and business wind and flood damage insurance options. Publicize business interruption insurance; options for small business. Investigate state/local options for using financial market instruments, in addition to reinsurance and reserve funds, to hedge storm/hurricane risk. Anticipate need for NC greenhouse gas reductions as part of national goals; identify cost-effective regional options and plan for contingencies. Support climate change courses/discussion/Learning Community in the university curriculum. Develop and expand faculty expertise related to climate change. Increase efforts to educate public about climate change; train teachers to educate NC students about climate change. 34

35 Faculty Committee on Global Climate Change Report UNC Wilmington 35


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