What is climate change?

Climate change is happening across the earth. It is impacting the resources we all depend on through long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns.

Humans are causing climate change through our actions and activities, like the burning of fossil fuels. Such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum to create electricity. Burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases wrap around the earth like a heat-trapping blanket, warming our planet. Some of the impacts of climate change are:

  • •Rising sea levels
  • •Changes in how ecosystems work
  • •Polar Ice melting at faster rates

What is happening in North Carolina?

Climate change affects everyone in North Carolina. Record-breaking temperatures, higher humidity levels, more intense and frequent storms, and flooding happen across our state. There are also regional impacts.

In the Mountain Region, there is an increased risk of landslides, flooding, erosion, and species loss. An example of these impacts is at Mt. Mitchell State Park where rising temperatures are leading to species loss and harming ecosystems in the mountains.

In the Piedmont Region, there is an increased risk of wildfires, higher humidity levels, and more intense storms. An example of these impacts is the November 2021 wildfires in Pilot Mountain State Park.

In the Coastal Region, there is sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, and beach erosion. An example of these impacts is the flooding at the Battleship North Carolina. An example of a resilience project to address this flooding is the Battleship’s “Living with Water” project.

What can we do to address climate change?

Large changes at the national level are needed to address climate change. Individual and community changes are very important too. In North Carolina, agencies across the state have committed to reducing their carbon emissions and lowering their energy use.