News in February 2015
Rutgers has formed a search committee for an Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Professorship and a Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Professorship as a part of the Rutgers 100 Days Initiative.
Research by RCI Affiliate Robert Kopp shows that sea levels are rising at rates faster now than ever before in human history.. Coastal regions are especially vulnerable. Projected sea-level rise in the 21st century could double average annual losses for New Jersey due to damage by coastal storms. Watch an interview with RCI Affiliate Robert Kopp here. Read his publications on sea-level here.
Resources for the Future, the New York Times, and Stanford University have collaborated to conduct a survey on American attitudes toward climate change and regulation. The Times has also published a series of articles that explore the demographic patterns in respondents' answers. One result is that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to view global warming as a problem that affects them personally. It also found that they are more likely to support policies, such as taxes and regulations on greenhouse gas pollution, aimed at curbing it. View the articles and a breakdown of the survey's questions and results here.
In a study published in IOPscience, “Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming”, RCI Affiliate Jennifer Francis links the wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic. The results of the study suggest that as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extreme weather events caused by persistent jet-stream patterns will increase. Read the study here and and article about the study here.
Participants in an NJ Spotlight Roundtable in Trenton on February 13, 2015 predicted that climate change will have an adverse affect on a wide range of sectors in New Jersey including agriculture, coastal communities, infrastructure, public health, and water resources. The roundtable was sponsored by the New Jersey Climate Adaption Alliance (NJCAA) which is facilitated by RCI Associate Director, Marjorie Kaplan and RCI Affiliate, Jeanne Herb. NJCAA recommendations on climate preparedness actions are set forth in a report released in July. Read coverage of the Roundtable event here.
As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan Virtual Climate Resilience Toolkit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of the Climate Adjustment Tool for EPA's Stormwater Management Model - a downloadable online stormwater simulation model. The tool enables users to add climate projections based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's climate change scenarios to existing simulations to determine the quality of water traveling through traditional infrastructure - a system of gutters, storm drains, pipes, channels, collection tanks and storage devices.
The NYC Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report was released in February 2015. RCI Co-director Robin Leichenko is a member of the New York City Panel on Climate Change. RCI Affiliate Jaime Madrigano contributed to the report via the NPCC2 Work Group on health. RCI Affiliates Robert Kopp and Ken Miller served as expert reviewers. Read it here.
Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions during the past 1,000 years, a new NASA study shows. The study in the journal Science Advances, found continued increases in human-produced greenhouse gas emissions drives up the risk of severe droughts in these regions. Read about it in the New York Times and on NASA’s webpage.
Qizhong Guo, RCI Affiliate, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $2.72 million over two years. The project titled Strengthening Marshes Creek Through Green and Grey Infrastructure, is being supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop and implement strategies to mitigate coastal flooding in 190 acres of saltmarsh adjacent in Marshes Creek which feeds into the Rahway River. Learn more about Professor Guo here and the project here.
RCI Affiliate Alan Robock was interviewed in an article in the Washington Post on geo-engineering. Geoengineering could mean tiny particles of sulfur dioxide being sprayed into the upper atmosphere, creating a thin haze that cools the earth. Many scientists say that is just a short term fix. Geoengineering is an especially hot topic since the National Academies have released their reports on geoengineering.
In February 2015, President Obama released The National Security Strategy (NSS) to Congress, citing climate change as among one of the 8 top strategic risks to the United States. The NSS States, “Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water.” Read more about the National Security Strategy here.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2015 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook released. Find the factbook here. Among some of factbook’s finding: since 2007, the United States overall has seen nearly $ 400 billion in clean energy investment US carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9%, and US natural gas production rose 25%. Read more about it in the Washington Post here.
The Risky Business project released its Heat in the Heartland: Climate Change and Economic Reisk in the Midwest. RCI Affiliate Robert Kopp co-led the underlying technical analysis that contributed to the Midwest Chapter of the project. Read more about it in the New York Times here.
RCI Affiliate Malin Pinsky is co-author of a recent study published in Science, “Marine defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean” comparing rates of marine extinctions to terrestrial extinctions, including spatial patterns and vulnerability. Read about the report and its findings in this New York Times article. Read about it in the Daily Targum here.
RCI Affiliate and Rutgers Climate Institute co-director Anthony Broccoli explains the differences between weather and climate change and why we may continue to see more intense storms in this frontline article.
RCI Affiliate Benjamin Horton’s research on sea-level rise appeared on a slide on the White House website during a live stream of the President Obama's State of the Union address. Read more here.