CRC will hear annual updates on sea level rise data and research

The Coastal Resources Commission will hear annual reports on sea level rise research from its scientific panel. Photo: File

The Coastal Resources Commission last week adopted a new task for its science panel to report any new data and research on sea level rise every year, rather than updating it every five years. its 2010 report on sea level rise.

During the panel meeting at the Beaufort Hotel in Beaufort on Thursday, Tancred Miller, chief of the policy and planning section of the Coastal Management Division, told the panel that the scientific panel held a meeting virtual meeting on February 3 to discuss the new sea level reporting directive reporting back to the commission. The scientific panel provides the commission with scientific data and recommendations related to coastal matters.

Related: CRC May Change How It Receives Sea Level Rise Updates

Panel members reviewed the charge and made some edits to clarify what they believed to be within their expertise, Miller told the commission Thursday. Essentially, the scientific panel will annually review all new data, reports, implications, recommendations and provide any necessary updates to the commission.

The commission adopted the following accusation which will be returned to the scientific panel:

The issue of sea level rise is of great importance to the State, its policymakers, and the citizens of North Carolina. Periodic updates using current data are essential to inform planning and decision-making.

The Commission therefore requests that the scientific group meet annually to determine whether new publications and/or scientific data have become available which have implications for sea level rise projections or the associated risks from flooding in national, sub-regional and local level. .

If the committee believes that sufficient new information is available to warrant a report or new analyses, it will present its findings to the Commission and the public in the form of oral presentations and/or written notes/factsheets. In this case, the committee’s review will include any key data or information gaps that should be prioritized for additional collection/study and/or funding opportunities.

Christy Simmons, the division’s public information officer, told Coastal Review on Monday that the science panel had asked the commission to determine the range of implications of sea level rise that the panel should consider. focus.

More than ten years ago, the commission asked the scientific committee to produce a report on sea level rise. The first report was published in 2010 and an updated report in 2016. The group of The experts were working on the 2020 update, but encountered some issues due to COVID-19 and were awaiting figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. During this period, the State Department of Environmental Quality issued the 2020 North Carolina Climate Science Report.

The report was updated in 2016 and work was underway on the next update when the suggestion to move from every five years to once a year was discussed at the September 2021 meeting of the commission.

Miller, during the September 2021 commission meeting, mentioned that an update on the sea level rise report was due. Since the 2016 report, Governor Roy Cooper Executive Order 80 signed in October 2018 directed the state to produce a Climate Science Report and Resilience Plan, which was released in 2020, along with new websites examining tide gauges and historical and projected reports on changes from sea level.

Due to new information available, the science panel may provide annual updates on the most recent reports and information available to identify North Carolina needs and trends in lieu of an update on the sea ​​level rise, according to the September report. minutes of meetings.

The division, which reports to the state Department of Environmental Quality, provides staffing services to the commission, enforces its rules and issues permits under the Coastal Areas Management Act, or CAMA.

Interested parties may submit comments at the meeting or by email to [email protected] Please indicate “Scientific Panel” in the subject line.

Sean N. Ayres