Rising sea levels in North Carolina are beginning to pose threats

Alyssa Atkinson

Important details you should know.

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It is no secret that climate change has already had a number of huge observable effects on the environment, especially in recent years.

Just to name a few, there has been a loss of sea ice, sea levels rising at concerning levels, and noticeable extreme temperatures.

The severe impacts of climate change on the environment is largely due to the human population. Our use of fossil fuels, excessive meat production and consumption, and other factors have polluted the environment in severe ways.

According to NASA's Global Climate Change website,

"Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century."

The point is, things are not looking great for the future of our planet, and the human population is largely to blame. All this being said, there is one particular event local to North Carolina that I wanted to discuss, which is just one such example of the negative impacts of rising sea levels. It is the highway wash up in the Outer Banks.

Here's what happened.

The gist of the matter is that the Outer Banks highway continues to disappear due to wash up and rising sea levels, and there is really no solution. Basically, Highway 12 in North Carolina is considered:

"a stark example of our battle with sea level rise and climate change. A two-lane road that runs the length of the Outer Banks, N.C. 12 is crucial to the region’s economy and is a lifeline for residents. But sections of the road are repeatedly flooded or washed away by storms that are growing more intense. The state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to save Highway 12. "

Really, the highway has become a money pit, and the human impacts on climate change have contributed immensely to rising sea levels.

There comes a point when you cannot continue to build things up higher and longer, but the issue is that the road is quite necessary for those trying to enter and leave the Outer Banks.

This news is not new. However, it was recently reported (as of yesterday), that if the severe weather continues, the North Carolina 12 could literally become a "road to nowhere". About half a billion dollars has already been dumped into the N.C. 12 since 2010, and:

"The department is tasked not only with keeping the road open now against encroaching sand and sea, but also with envisioning its future on ever-shifting barrier islands pinched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. Climate change makes both of those tasks more difficult, particularly on the Outer Banks where sea levels are rising more rapidly than in other parts of North Carolina."

This is a wake up call not only of the impacts of climate change on the current state of the world, but also a scary and sad reality for those who live in the Outer Banks area, where severe storms could cause major damage.

The negative impacts of climate change will continue to grow. The damage will become more and more severe, and the human population is not doing enough to combat these issues.

As a society, there are things our human population could be doing to promote a better environment, like switching to plant-based diets. If we do not make any changes, only time will tell how severe the impacts of climate change will be, and how they will alter our lives forever.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC
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