Commentary, News

New evidence that climate change is making North Carolina more like Florida

A lot of deniers will never be convinced, even when the water is lapping at their ankles, but for anyone interested in scientific facts, this article on the NC Coastal Review (“Climate Change Evidence All Around”) is worth a read this morning.

“Despite what you might hear, there’s strong evidence that climate change is having an impact on North Carolina: Look carefully at the fish.

That was one of the messages from Pete Peterson, a researcher and professor at the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City. He was among the scientists, TV weathermen and journalists on the boat Friday touring the marshes of the White Oak River. The boat trip was part of a workshop on climate change’s effects on coastal habitats organized by the N.C. Coastal Federation….

Peterson, whose work involves research and teaching grad students in paleoecology, invertebrate fisheries management, estuarine habitat evaluation and barrier island ecology, said that it’s fairly easy to see the effects on local waters and fish.

For example, he said, a thermometer hung for decades in the water off the bridge to Pivers Island – home of NOAA’s Beaufort Lab and the Duke Lab – clearly shows a 1.8-degree Fahrenheit rise in water temperatures in the past two decades.

At the same time, Peterson said, there’s been an equally clear shift in the composition of fish stocks in some locations. The NOAA lab, he said, has for decades sampled reef fish, and has found that over the past four decades, there’s been a marked decrease in the number of northern, temperate species, and a corresponding dramatic increase in the number of tropical species.”

In other words and in lay people’s terms, North Carolina is slowly but surely starting to look more like Florida. And anyone (i.e. the Koch-funded groups on the right) who denies this plain reality and helps stymie the efforts to address it is contributing to this potentially catastrophic problem.


  1. Robert Fraser

    October 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    1. For the past 18 years, weather satellites have not measured a global increase in temperatures although carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased over that same period. Weather satellites are the most advanced instruments for measuring global temperatures. The fact that these satellites have not detected a measureable temperature increase despite an increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere calls into question the correlation climate change alarmists preach between carbon emissions and temperature.

    2. According to the EPA’s own data, U.S. carbon emissions have decreased nine percent since 2005. These carbon reductions have occurred as a result of technological advancements and free market forces, which will continue. This raises the question of whether burdensome regulations are necessary.

    3. The natural cycle of global temperatures has resulted in both higher and lower temperatures over the past 1,000 years than exist today. These temperature fluctuations occurred before significant fossil energy use. So temperatures the Earth is experiencing now have been seen before.

    4. If implemented, the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan would reduce global temperatures by only 0.01, or one one-hundredth of a degree Celsius. President Obama’s former deputy secretary for Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy, Charles McConnell, said that the EPA’s carbon rules will have only a minor impact on global climate change. Yet regulations will cost billions of dollars and jeopardize thousands of jobs.

    5. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that there is little or no connection between extreme weather and climate change. According to a 2012 report, the IPCC stated that there is “high agreement” that long-term trends in weather disasters “have not been attributed to … climate change.” Climate change alarmists point toward hurricanes, tornadoes and other global weather disasters as a proof that man-made carbon emissions are hurting our planet. However, as the IPCC report stated, the opposite is true. There is scientific agreement that weather disasters are not caused by climate change, despite President Obama repeatedly trying to connect the two.

    6. Population growth, especially in the developing world, will account for even more global carbon emissions. Carbon emissions from developing countries are projected to increase by over 125 percent by 2040. And world population is expected to surge by over 2 billion people by 2050, an increase of more than 30 percent. Yet few climate scientists acknowledge the potential impact of population growth on carbon emissions.

    7. Carbon dioxide accounts for a very small part of the Earth’s overall atmosphere and those levels have fluctuated throughout the Earth’s history. Carbon dioxide currently accounts for only .038 percent of our planet’s atmosphere. And human-made carbon dioxide only makes up about 3 percent of that. Put another way, if all the gases in the atmosphere were represented by the length of a football field, only the last 1/10 of an inch would be carbon emissions caused by humans. It’s hard to believe that such a small amount would supposedly have such huge consequences.

    The EPA and other government agencies too often fail to present all the facts. Their agenda comes first, accuracy comes second. Climate change has many explanations — and unanswered questions. The American people need good science, not science fiction promoted by alarmists.

  2. Rob Schofield

    October 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

  3. Alex

    October 16, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Excellent points made by Mr. Fraser. When I think of all the intelligent people duped by crazy Al Gore, I break out in a big laugh every time. We are trying to draw all of these conclusions from a little thermometer hanging off a bridge. I bet we could sell that bridge to some of the crazies.

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