The Impact of Global Warming on North Carolina

Uzochukwu, Godfrey A.
March 2012
Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table;2012, Vol. 2012 Issue 1, Special section p1
Academic Journal
This paper focused on the impact of global warming on North Carolina. There is a global consensus among scientists that humans are contributing to the increasing emission of greenhouse gases that pose a threat to land, humans and vegetation. The greenhouse gases are in the form of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides which are produced by burning of fossil fuels. The State of North Carolina has taken positive steps to address global warming by establishing the Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change (LCGCC), Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (CAPAG) and University Task Forces on Global Warming. The findings of the LCGCC include: * Climate change is real * Human activity is a factor in that change * Commission should move forward to address the issues faced by the State The following actions were recommended by the University task force on global warming as part of the University of North Carolina system's effort to examine global warming: * Improve research and education on global warming * Develop a plan to reduce carbon footprint * Develop a comprehensive plan to protect coastal areas in North Carolina The local effect of global warming reported in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA was an adverse effect of drought on Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens). Greensboro has experienced moderate to severe drought conditions in the past ten years. As a result, different kinds of plant species have been adversely impacted. Other effects of rising temperatures include but not limited to heat waves during the summer months which impact air quality. An increase in the number of asthma patients among children and adults has been reported. Increased health ailments due to global warming may lead to increased healthcare costs. Average summer temperatures in Charlotte, North Carolina could increase up to levels felt in Miami, Florida. Mosquito populations may increase because of warmer and wetter conditions. Warmer conditions in North Carolina may also increase the frequency algal blooms along the coast, damaging fish populations with adverse impacts both on human health and on local economies. It has been reported that winter-hardiness planting zones are changing in North Carolina. Gardeners have reported that rare palms, gingers and other brushes are thriving in the winter season. Sea levels are predicted to rise 0.9 meter per century, which could cause North Carolina to lose thirty to forty percent of its Coastal Plain leading to significant loss of land. Short-term trends indicate warming along the coast of North Carolina. The density of climate observations needed to be improved in order to trust observed trends.


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