Effects of Global Warming on North Carolina

By Solomon Bililign, Yuh-Lang Lin, Robert Davis, Shamsuddin Ilias, Lyubov Kurkalova, Yaw Kyei, Yevgenii Rastigejev, Godfrey Uzochukwu and Sunyoung Bae.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
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In this paper, we identified the following potential physical impacts of climate change on North Carolina (NC): a.) An increase in sea level would have a significant negative effect on the NC coastal region leading to flooding, erosion and increased salinity; b) Potential increases in intensity and/or frequency of Atlantic hurricanes will have direct, negative impacts on NC’s coastal plain; stronger hurricanes will extend their reach to the Piedmont and mountains leading to heavy rainfall, possible flooding, and landslides in the mountains; c.) The temperature increase in NC is likely to be uneven due to the state’s complicated physical geography and influences from atmospheric motion and processes in nearby states; d.) Other effects of rising temperatures are heat waves during the summer months, which will have significant impact on agriculture, health, and air quality. The impact of global warming on NC cannot be ignored or overestimated. For example, projections for Atlantic hurricanes are highly uncertain, and could therefore be easily under/over-estimated. More research is needed to improve the weather and climate models, computing facilities, and observations, so that effects of global warming on the weather in North Carolina, with its distinct geographical areas, can be identified and more precisely predicted. Recommendations for concrete actions are given.

Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming, North Carolina, Hurricanes, Snow Storms, Floods, Drought, Agriculture, Health, Air Quality, Streams, Scientific Evidence, Technical, Political and Social Responses

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.53-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 917.171KB).

Dr. Solomon Bililign

Department of Physics, NOAA ISET Center, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Solomon Bililign is a professor of physics at North Carolina A&T State University and is the current Director for NOAA-ISETCSC. He has been active in research and education since joining North Carolina A&T State University in 1993. His area of specialization includes experimental and theoretical atomic, molecular and optical physics and chemical physics. Bililign’s current research in atmospheric chemistry focuses on overtone cavity ring down spectroscopy and negative ion proton transfer mass spectrometry and measurement of optical properties of biomass aerosols using cavity ring down spectroscopy. This work has broad impacts in two areas: air quality and climate. Climate systems are highly variable, changing in hours, days or years. His focus is on understanding the chemistry of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), key ingredients in the formation of ozone and aerosols, and how they play a significant role in determining regional air quality, and possibly the global carbon cycle.

Dr. Yuh-Lang Lin

Professor, Department of Physics, Department of Energy & Environmental Systems, NOAA ISET Center, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Yuh-Lang Lin is a Professor in Department of Physics and Department of Energy & Environmental Systems at NC A&T University and the Senior Scientist for the current NOAA-ISET Center. Dr. Lin is an atmospheric dynamicist and modeler. In the past 32 years, he has been heavily involved in theoretical studies and numerical modeling simulations of many atmospheric phenomena, such as mountain meteorology, tropical and mesoscale cyclogenesis, moist convection, gravity waves, forest fires, atmospheric turbulence, wake vortices, and Martian atmospheric circulation. He has published more than 90 research papers total in leading journals and published an advanced graduate textbook entitled “Mesoscale Dynamics” (Cambridge, 2007), conducted scientific research for several national funding agencies, and presented a large number of papers in national and international conferences and invited seminars.

Dr. Robert Davis

Department of Sociology and Social Works, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Robert Davis’s expertise focuses on the social impacts of climate change. His research has focused on assessing the Guilford Crisis Resolution Council’s efforts in responding to the needs of Hurricane Katrina’s evacuee’s (emergency and resettlement) just days after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. The information used in this assessment came from a variety of sources, including focus groups and face to face interviews, web based surveys and internet web sites.

Dr. Shamsuddin Ilias

Department of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Shamsuddin Ilias’ research interests include: membrane separations and membrane reactors; metal-ceramic composite membrane and materials; diffusion in porous media and transport modeling; computational fluid dynamics; CO2 capture and sequestration and environmental engineering. He studies many important industrial and societal problems in areas such as development of clean energy sources, advancement of life sciences, sustainable systems and responsible environmental stewardship, and discovery and production of new materials as they are related to chemical engineering. Dr. Ilias’ expertise in chemical engineering will make significant contributions to understanding of global warming through engineering thermodynamics, transport processes and chemical kinetics. In particular, Dr. Ilias’ work in membrane-based separation for recovery and purification of H2 and CO2 is a very relevant topic in global warming.

Dr. Lyubov Kurkalova

Department of Economics and Transportation/Logistics, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Lyubov A. Kurkalova’s research interests include: biomass production, decision-making under uncertainty, carbon sequestration, and economic incentives for agricultural pollution control. Her current work involves investigation of economic potential for second-generation ethanol production in North Carolina, and how vulnerable the biomass availability is to climate change and weather-related risks. Her past experience includes a research economist position with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, a public policy research center at Iowa State University. Her research has been published in a variety of economics and interdisciplinary journals including Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Economics Letters, and Climatic Change.

Dr. Yaw Kyei

Department of Mathematics, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Yaw Kyei’s background is in theoretical, computational, and numerical methods for solutions to partial differential equations. He has joined the NOAA ISET-CSC at NC A&T State University as a P.I. and is involved in the research on sea surface temperature (SST) impacts on the genesis, track and intensification of hurricanes. His expertise in this area is essential in helping understand global warming.

Dr. Yevgenii Rastigejev

Department of Mathematics, Department of Energy & Environmental Systems, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Yevgenii Rastigejev research has been in the areas of advanced multi-scale numerical analysis, applied mathematics and scientific computing with applications for modeling global atmospheric chemical transport, combustion, and tropical cyclogenesis. He has authored fourteen referred publications and made over ten presentations at different international and national conferences. Dr. Rastigeyev will also be part of the new Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology program.

Dr. Godfrey Uzochukwu

Waste Management Institute, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Godfrey Uzochukwu is a member of the North Carolina Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change (LCGCC). The 34 member commission studies issues related to global climate change and its potential impacts on the state of North Carolina. His current work includes, but not limited to, developing innovative environmental programs for college, precollege and community groups in North Carolina to enhance awareness and understanding of global climate change. He is successfully integrating information on the effects of global climate change into the sciences, engineering, technology, business, education, health, and humanities at North Carolina A&T State University. His work will assure an adequate supply of well-trained and skilled African Americans educated in environmental problems. These young scientists and engineers will conduct study research on climate change, environmental policy.

Dr. Sunyoung Bae

Department of Chemistry, Seoul Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea

Dr. Sunyoung Bae’s research activities have focused on physicochemical reactions of atmospheric particulate matters with aqueous polymer additives in the environment and the human/environmental risk assessment associated with exposure to atmospheric particulate matters. Her main role is to integrate fundamental environment chemistry into a problem-solving solution to an environmental problem. Ongoing research includes intensity enhancement of tropical cyclone by Saharan air layer, the potential of atmospheric particulates as cloud condensation nuclei, and the sorption capacity of atmospheric particulates with trace atmospheric substances and WRF-Chem simulation for atmospheric chemical composition.

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