Some North Carolina GOP legislators want to stop the use of science to plan for the future. They are circulating a bill that would force coastal counties to ignore actual observations and the best science-based projections in planning for future sea level rise.
King Canute thought he had the power to hold back the tide (in the apocryphal legend). These all-too-real lawmakers want to go one better and mandate a formula that projects a sea level rise of at most 12 inches this century, far below what the science now projects.
A state-appointed science panel reviewed the recent literature and reported that a 1-meter (39 inch) rise is likely by 2100. Many coastal studies experts think a level of 5 to 7 feet should be used, since you typically plan for the plausible worst-case scenario, especially with expensive, long-lived infrastructure.
The 2011 report by the National Academy of Science for the U.S. Navy on the national security implications of climate change concluded:
Based on recent peer-reviewed scientific literature, the Department of the Navy should expect roughly 0.4 to 2 meters global average sealevel rise by 2100, with a most likely value of about 0.8 meter. Projections of local sea-level rise could be much larger ...