NC-20 challenges assumptions about sea-level rise

Published 12:45 am Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NC-20, a nonprofit corporation that represents the economic development interests of the 20 Coastal Area Management Act counties, will conduct a symposium on sea-level rise from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center.

The keynote speaker will be Robert Dean, professor emeritus, civil and coastal engineering, University of Florida.

Dean and his partner, James Houston, were the pioneers of a groundbreaking study showing there is no acceleration in sea-level rise despite the fact that CO2 emissions have increased in recent years and the Earth’s temperature has also shown some evidence of increase. Various agencies in state government, including the Coastal Resources Commission, have projected acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise, equating to 39 inches by the year 2100 (the present rate is less than 1 foot per century). These projections are largely based on assumptions of manmade global warming.

NC-20 is challenging the published 39-inch sea-level rise for North Carolina because of potential constructions costs for roads, buildings and nearly all infrastructure elements.

Additional speakers will include Nicola Scafetta of Duke University and Dave Burton, NC-20’s representative on the N.C. Sea Level Rise Risk Management Study Advisory Committee. John Dorman, program director of the N.C. Floodplain Mapping Program of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, will present his assessment of the controversy surrounding sea-level rise.

The symposium is open to the public, and details may be obtained by going to the NC-20 website: The cost to attend the symposium is $35 for nonmembers. Reservations must be made, and lunch will be served.

To make reservations, call 252-946-3970 or send emails to or