What’s in Store Climate-Wise for North Carolina 

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Headshot of Rebecca Ward

Rebecca Ward, Assistant State Climatologist with the North Carolina State Climate Office.

Extension Master Gardener℠ (EMG) College 2022 gave us a lot to think about. Especially after hearing Rebecca Ward’s opening keynote address. Rebecca is the Assistant State Climatologist with the North Carolina State Climate Office. She discussed what’s in store for us climate-wise over the next five, 10, and 20+ years, the implications of these changes for plants and gardening, and actions we can take to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

We learned that in the coming years North Carolinians will experience warmer temperatures, wetter weather, and sea level rise. There will be more intense hurricanes, more severe droughts, and increased wildfire risk, among other impacts.

Slide from Rebecca's presentation

Climate change impacts North Carolinians will likely experience in the coming years.

How Can You Help?

Rebecca’s suggestions to help adapt to and mitigate climate change include building healthier soils, growing our own food, composting what isn’t consumed, using less gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment, and increasing awareness by talking to our friends and neighbors about how we can help.

Slide from Rebecca's presentation.

Actions we can take in our lawns and gardens to help mitigate climate change.

Rebecca’s work at the State Climate Office centers around delivering climate education to a variety of audiences and working with various sectors in the state to provide climate data and information to support decision making. She enjoys researching all aspects of North Carolina’s climate and connecting with North Carolinians on climate education. 

Rebecca was one of several NC State faculty members, Extension specialists, and other leading experts to speak at EMG College, a continuing education conference that offers Master Gardener volunteers and Extension staff the opportunity to learn the latest research-based information about gardening and environmental stewardship. Master Gardener volunteers take what they learn back to their communities, sharing it with community members through their volunteer work with N.C. Cooperative Extension. Connect with Master Gardener volunteers in your community.

Learn More

Here are some excellent resources from the North Carolina State Climate Office to continue learning about climate science.