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Coastal N.C. Counties Fighting Sea-Level Rise Prediction

from the Charlotte Observer

State lawmakers are considering a measure that would limit how North Carolina prepares for sea-level rise, which many scientists consider one of the surest results of climate change. Federal authorities say the North Carolina coast is vulnerable because of its low, flat land and thin fringe of barrier islands. A state-appointed science panel has reported that a 1-meter rise is likely by 2100.

The calculation, prepared for the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, was intended to help the state plan for rising water that could threaten 2,000 square miles. Critics say it could thwart economic development on just as large a scale.

A coastal economic development group called NC-20 attacked the report, insisting the scientific research it cited is flawed. The science panel last month confirmed its findings, recommending that they be reassessed every five years.

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