Local News

Study predicts dramatic beach changes

Posted June 24, 2011

— A recently published study looking at sediment in the salt marshes at the Outer Banks concluded that rising seas could wipe out land, hurt property values and ruin coastal recreation.

The researchers found that since the late 19th century — as the world became industrialized — the sea level has risen more than 2 millimeters per year, on average. That is a bit less than one-tenth of an inch, but it adds up over time.

"I think we're looking at a six-foot rise," Outer Banks resident Todd Reynolds said. 

Reynolds moved to the area 10 years ago but has been visiting the beach most of his life. 

"We'll just be fishing 50 miles inland, closer to Raleigh," Reynolds said about the future. 

Reynolds was a little skeptical about the study, saying that science is less than perfect. 

"Problem is they're all trying to calculate one variable no one knows, and that's us," he said. 

Sunset in the Outer Banks Study predicts dramatic beach changes

Dare County Manager Bobby Outten said the science "isn't there yet." He is planning on a thriving beach community for years to come.

"I've been here 31 years, and it's different today than it was then. If you're asking me if it's going to be inundated with water and not be here because of sea level rise, I'm not there. I don't believe that to be true," Outten said. 

Lead researcher Benjamin Horton, who directs the Sea Level Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, said rising temperatures are the reason behind the higher sea level.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • for the people Jun 27, 2011

    and gdaddy comes back with >>>Bost, I couldn't tell ya. I wasn't around when an asteroid hit the earth.

    you weren't, but the ice was and still is. scientists KNOW that the earth is warming faster than it ever has without a drastic natural event. there is some pretty old ice on this planet, but not for long if we keep up what we are currently doing.

  • fayncmike Jun 27, 2011

    "fancymike chimes in with what reasonable citizens already know and he puts is so simply. nice!

    It's so sad when irrefutable facts fall upon deaf ears but that's just the intellectual makeup of the "Flat Earth" people. It's been said, "To hear one has but to listen." Sadly people won't listen until it's too late to reverse man made global warming.

  • bigal02282 Jun 24, 2011

    I predict drastic Republican changes. To Democrat.

  • Ohprah Jun 24, 2011

    This isn't news. It is history.

  • balog Jun 24, 2011

    ""..the sea level has risen more than 2 millimeters per year, on average.."

    So that's 7.87 inches over 100 years?

    "I think we're looking at a six-foot rise," said Todd Reynolds.

    What? I may have gone to school in Calif, but, that does not add up."

    NO NO NO, 2mm a DAY dude. dont change the story. 2mm a DAY

  • whatelseisnew Jun 24, 2011

    "While excavating footings in eastern Wake County about 15 years ago we encountered coral and seashells 10 feet or so below previously undisturbed soils. Who's to blame for forcing the sea down to start with?"

    Obviously it had to be us. I suspect it was Rush Limbaugh or that Hannity character. It could not have been Al Gore, he had not changed from his slither form yet.

  • TheBigLC Jun 24, 2011

    Bost, I couldn't tell ya. I wasn't around when an asteroid hit the earth.

  • hi_i_am_wade Jun 24, 2011

    Read this link as to why such studies are pure science fiction.


    "If the ice caps melt, and this seems pretty likely in the coming century, there is no doubt sea levels will rise." - davido

    Take a archeological trip to Greenland to know that is pure junk. There was a period of time when the Vikings could live in Greenland and have farms. It was called the Medieval Warm Period, a period of time so damaging to the man-made global warming promoters that they ignore it and try to pretend it never existed. If you study the ice caps, you'll know that the antarctic ice has is abnormally high, another inconvenient fact. If you want to make a climate change scientist angry, ask these two important words "prove it". The reason why I know man-made global warming is a hoax is because those who promote it refuse to follow the scientific method of repeatability.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 24, 2011

    "Problem is they're all trying to calculate one variable no one knows, and that's us," he said. "

    There are a LOT MORE variables than us and those variables are a lot more significant. Just consider the huge fires that are going on now. How many of those will happen in the next century, how many volcanic eruptions, how many earthquakes, how many hurricanes and typhoons and tornadoes. How much energy will the sun pour onto the earth in the next century?
    People say the ice caps will melt? Perhaps that is why the last shift of the poles took place. I wonder how many tsunamis will happen in the next century?
    essentially we are clueless about what is going to happen.
    If the sea does rise, I hope it comes up enough to put me on the beach.

  • TheBigLC Jun 24, 2011

    OMG they actually paid someone money to study that beaches are eroding? Have you been to the outer banks and seen the houses in water? Duh, I could have saved the state alot of money.