Eventually, because of the international stink that arose over that action, the North Carolina House and Senate compromised by barring state-funded scientists from issuing any reports based on exponential calculations for next three to four years. Very clever, given that policy will be set based on the science panel's next prediction to be issued by 2016.
Two weeks after the legislators passed the changes in 2012, a new study was published showing that over the previous three decades, the sea level from Boston to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina was rising three to four times as fast as sea level in the world as a whole. If accurate, that would mean an even higher rise than the 39 inches the science panel predicted in 2010.
Differentials in sea-level rise are no surprise to scientists, but many politicians seem unable to grasp the concept. At least when money is concerned. But then, many of them refuse to grasp the whole concept of global warming, period, either out of ignorance or greed.
The coastal commission's science panel is carrying out another command of the legislation barring exponential calculations. It is preparing a new forecast to be released next March. But the panel won't try to predict sea-level rise until century's end, merely for the next 30 years. That's a clever move because the bulk of the rise will come in the later part of the 21st century, not in the next three decades.
And while the existing panel's members seem unlikely to change their minds about their 2010 prediction, the panel has some new members.
Please read below the fold for more on this subject.
One of these candidates for science-panel service is David Burton, a Cary computer consultant who posts scathing critiques of “climate-change alarmists” on his website, www. sealevel.info.At the very least, "contrarians" like Burton can be expected to add murkiness to any prediction the panel comes up with. And that can be expected to put a monkey wrench into any efforts to set policies for dealing with the coming sea-level rise, something legislators cannot stop no matter how many constraints they put on the data.
Burton sits on the board of NC-20, a coastal nonprofit that advocates for real estate and economic development interests. He has a master’s degree in computer science and says he has made a hobby out of “the study of the science of sea-level rise.”
Burton serves as a leading antagonist of the coastal commission’s science panel. He says he is more qualified than many of its members—university professors and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers professionals—to formulate a new sea-level forecast.
Frank Gorham III, an oil man who is the chairman of the coastal commission, will be picking new panel members in the next few weeks, according to the Charlotte Observer.
“I want to pick legitimate, credible people—not agenda people,” Gorham said. “I hope I pick the very best qualified. If some of those happen to have contrarian views, then I hope it’s because they were qualified, not because they were contrarian.”Given the vise of unscientific parameters that agenda-driven people in the state legislature have set for the panel, it's hard to imagine how its next forecast can escape politicization.
As we learned last week, the "unstoppable" melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet could mean that predictions of sea-level rise by 2100 will have to be revised by several feet. The North Carolina legislature already has set a precedent for how to handle future forecasts. Just as it lopped off measurements of actual, existing sea-level rise on its own beaches, it can eliminate the impacts of an entire continent.