Study: Sea level rise could impact Wilmington in next few decades

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Submitted: Wed, 07/31/2013 - 8:26pm
Updated: Wed, 07/31/2013 - 9:45pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Rising temperatures worldwide could soon lead to rising tides in and around the Port City.

A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences says sea level is on the rise and unless we change the way we do things today there may not be a way to stop it.

If the computer models are correct, the Wilmington riverfront could by underwater as soon as 2030.

“The evidence is in our face,” said Mike Giles of the NC Coastal Federeation. “What we’re facing here in Wilmington is the loss of homes, business, tourism, infrastructure, and it’s going to cost taxpayers money if we don’t start planning ahead.”

The National Academy of Sciences says prior carbon emissions have already locked in four feet of future sea level rise. Researchers say if global warming continues at its current rate through the year 2100, at least an additional 1,100 cities and towns, including Wilmington, will be mostly under water at high tide.

“From all of the scientific evidence all over the world, all of the data, lands that I have walked on in Alaska friends of mine say is no longer frozen the tundra is now quagmire,” Giles said. “Our elected officials, their heads are going to be in the water instead of sand if we don’t start planning ahead.”

But one politician who wants your vote says the evidence presented was a bit shallow.

Republican David Rouzer is again running for Congress. As a state senator he sponsored a bill barring state agencies from using “worst-case scenario” projections of sea-level rise when drafting coastal development policies.

“You can’t try to project the level the sea is going to rise or fall 100 years from now,” Rouzer said. “You have scientists on both sides who don’t agree. Let’s put some common sense back into this equation. We need to base our public policy on what we do know, which is sound science, not hypothesis. The earth has warmed and cooled since the beginning of time.”

The study based its findings off of four feet of sea level rise for each degree rise in global temperature.


  • Guest 1492 says:

    That reminds me of …. wait, wait it’s coming to me ….. Uhhh …. Oh, now I know!

    That reminds me of you, silly little “boris”. You are sooo funny!

  • Thomas A. Martin says:

    They really shouldn’t be emphasizing the flooding of the coasts, as that goes against the UN’s Agenda 21, now happening in much of the US, that intends to move everyone out of the heartland and to the coasts. It won’t work if the coasts are underwater.

  • Guesttre says:

    The key is in the opening… “If the computer models are correct.” So far the climate science computer models have been so wrong it’s as if they were manipulated to get a pre determined conclusion.

    Sceptic- “Empirical data shows the models to be wrong.”
    Climate scientist- “Never mind the data, it’s the model that matters.”

    I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a professor in a science class say “what does the data say?”
    I don’t think I will be selling my house on Bradley creek just yet.

  • taxpayer says:

    he’ll want to build a wall along the river now.

  • Mother Nature says:

    Rising sea levels is part of the master plan. But at least I gave man and animals the good sense to keep backing up as the water rises. When the sea level rises keep moving inland. Then when it recedes come back down. It is a pretty easy concept to understand. The ocean is dynamic and is always moving around. Go with the flow. Ain’t none of you smart folk stopped Mother Nature yet. You can keep on trying but in the end Mother Nature always has the last word. Ask Noah. By the way, the remains of Noah’s Ark are behind the Fool Lion in Wallace, NC. The same Food Lion where Elvis works.

  • Bert Cervenka says:

    If Wilmington,NC will be under water by 2030- why do they continue to build near the coast. It’s a no brainer to stay further inland and let the natural habitat for water life and the birds!!!!!!!

  • political science says:

    I agree that we should “start planning ahead”. Funds should be set aside so that if this doomsday scenario occurs, measures can be provided to combat negative consequences. If this drastic rise in water level does not occur, the money can be used to improve North Carolina’s financial situation if it is again decimated as the result of liberal policies similar to ones our state is now battling to overcome.

  • Guestmarvin says:

    We don’t listen to science or facts in this state! Listen to your politicians like David Rouzer.

    They’ll surely provide help if your home goes under water, right???

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    This is nothing more than a bunch of “make money” faux-science jibberish intended to put the public in panic! Our earth has natural heating and cooling cycles that cannot be altered.

    One would think these yay-hoos would want to distance themselves from the Al Gore theory of world collapse, especially after he “invented the internet”!

  • Boris says:

    The leftists “global warming” paranoid fantasy is all about one thing, more control over everything we buy/use/possess. Nothing else, just more control using data that is so contrived and incomplete it has no basis in reality whatsoever.

  • Monkey Junction says:

    Science has a liberal bias. Don’t pay attention to scientific studies or scientists with advanced degrees. They are trying to fool you with all of their “science” talk. Go with your gut feeling on these matters and with your predetermined political view.

  • GuestMan. says:

    When is the next meeting of Thr Flat Earth Society going to be?

  • Guestomfg says:

    Rouzer said (as he was standing on the riverwalk), “You have scientists on both sides who don’t agree. Let’s….lets…bloop..bloop bloop…bloo…oops

  • Dave Burton says:

    This represents the triumph of political science over geophysical science at the NAS. Author Ben Strauss is a fringe climate activist at the Tabloid Climatology site, Climate Central. What the actual data shows is that the rate of sea-level rise is miniscule (in some locations negative!), and the globally averaged rate hasn’t increased in over 80 years.

    The GLOSS-LTT tide gauge at Wilmington has been measuring sea level continuously since 1935. Over it’s full history, the rate of sea level rise at Wilmington has averaged a glacially slow 2 mm/year (about 8 inches per century), and there’s been no sea level rise there at all in the last 20 years.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    August 19, 2013 – 5:30pm, UNCW’s Morton Hall (Room 100)

  • Boris says:

    How did Wilmington escape NY? The liberal loon state of NY is at least 33% less liberal since Wilmington drifted out to sea on the rising global warming waters and got stuck on the coast of NC!

  • Guest22 says:

    What a Croc

  • Design says:

    To Guest22…I don’t know if your comment is geared toward the article regarding sea level rise (SLR) or Rouzer’s position, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Sea level rise is happening and is well-documented. To deny otherwise is pure stupidity. What folks can disagree on is the amount of SLR. a four-foot rise, which the article mentions, is on the extreme side within a 100 years, at least as far as I have seen. Projections mostly fall within 40cm to 100cm (approximately 1.5′ – 3′).

    Since the life cycle of most infrastructure is not 100 years (except in North Carolina where nobody wants to pay to replace it) we would have time to adjust to observed benchmarks which is already occurring. In fact, reputable engineers designing infrastructure are already factoring in storm surge and sea level rise.

    The question should be why idiots like Rouzer deny it is happening? Is it because the people who own the land which would be under water (therefore worthless) are paying him and other politicians to keep their land from being zoned as non-buildable?

    There is a lot of money at stake…you can bet the politicians who are denying SLR are getting money from somebody to say so…and the ignorant sheeple who vote for them are just that…ignorant. When wealthy folk build right on the beach, then watch as their homes are washed into the sea, they typically want taxpayers to bail them out. Land owners also don’t want the politicians to declare their land to be worth less than they think it should be.

    This is an old game. One North Carolina has been playing for the last 60 – 70 years.

  • Guest135789 says:

    I suspect that instead of a Croc, the real perpetrator is ManBearPig.

  • James Taylor says:

    Well, obviously this is false. The NC General Assembly sez so.

  • Vog46 says:

    Its cyclical.
    95% of scientists agree that earth is warming FASTER due to human intervention
    5% say humans aren’t the cause.

    Both are right.
    The world is warming and I don’t care what caused it.
    Many coastal communities, including Wilmington, will be affected. Why?
    Well, “up north” you could be a block away from the ocean and be 75 feet above sea level due to hilly terrain. Here the highest point on Pleasure Island is what, 18 feet above sea level? with most areas less than 10?

    Rouzer is down playing the situation, when in fact, the REAL argument is whether humans are making warming happen faster.
    doesn’t matter if it happens by 2030 or 100 years away – it will happen.
    Rouzer’s attempt to placate the Tea Party is making him look ignorant.


  • Dave Burton says:

    You’ve been lied to, Vog, and you swallowed it, hook, line and sinker.

    You forgot the details, though: the Official Lie is that 97%, not 95%, of scientists agree. President Obama, himself, said, “Ninety-seven percent of scientists [have] acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.”

    Here’s the basis for his claim: In a landmark survey of 10,257 Earth Scientists, 96.2% (76 scientists), out of 2.5% (79 scientists) selected from the 30.7% (3146 scientists) who responded, agreed that it’s “generally” warmer now than it was in the 1700s at the depths of the Little Ice Age.

    In other words, the 97% consensus claim is a Big Lie. Imagine polling 10,257 medical professionals about homeopathy, and then excluding everyone except 79 practicing homeopaths, and finding that a “consensus” of 97% of them believe in homeopathy.

    Claiming on the basis of such a fraudulent “survey” that 97% of medical professionals believe in homeopathy would be no worse than Obama’s claim that 97% of scientists agree that “climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

  • Terry Ball says:

    Very misleading poll,one of the answers should have been,”not concerned at all”. You folks are better than this. Terry Ball

  • beachlady says:

    Many thousands of years ago, we were in an ice age. We are now in the process of climbing out of it toward global warming and it is not manmade and it is not human caused. I saw an article a day or so ago that was faulting methane gas released by earthquakes on the ocean floor. Humans are insignificant in the global, long-term view of climate change. It is egotistical to believe otherwise. The North Carolina mountains were once under water. If you do not believe this, then do some research. Our barrier islands are just sand bars and sand bars move. To build on one is to risk loss. The Lost Colony is believed to have be where Roanoke Island used to be, where is east of where it is now. Our coastline is changing. Do not build on a barrier island unless you can accept that the barrier islands are moving west.

  • Guest45 says:

    more hocus pocus fleecing for the American Taxpayer, Al Gore will be proud, the environment has been changing since the beginning of time and will be till the end of time, this country has a lot bigger concerns than a few degree’s of temp change, which we have no control over anyway, unless you want to control population, which no one does. Without a crisis, these people can’t justify their subsidies.

  • T Bone says:

    If the water front is going to be underwater in 2030 and we have been “playing this game” for 70 years, then why isn’t Wilmington underwater yet??

  • Dewar99 says:

    Most if not all of us will be 6 feet below ground level in 100 years.

  • Guest5000 says:

    Oh my! I think I will sell my property here before it become a problem and move to the mountains. This is terrible.

  • Mr Guest says:

    Rouzer says: “We need to base our public policy on what we do know, which is sound science, not hypothesis. The earth has warmed and cooled since the beginning of time.”

    That’s right. Now try to follow along. Right now, at THIS particular time, it is getting WARMER. It may COOL again in the future, but right NOW it’s getting WARMER. And when that happens, cities like Wilmington face problems. So you PLAN for those problems and DEAL with them.

    You don’t pretend like they don’t exist.

    It’s like going to Oklahoma and saying they don’t need to prepare for tornadoes because “you can’t try to project” them and they’ve gone on “since the beginning of time.”

    You get the government you deserve, folks. Keep listening to these false preachers like Rouzer till your city is covered in flood waters. The Bible warns about that too. Are you paying attention, folks?

  • Guest123456789 says:

    These exact same ‘scientists’ were warning the next Ice Age was coming. So in 30 years, the climate has done a 180? I don’t think so.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Grab your wallet. This is what this is really about.

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