2022-2023 Academic Year

News and Highlights in March 2023


A recent article reported on the lack of snowfall this winter and the effect it has been having on various New Jersey ski slopes. In some parts of NJ, ski slopes have been down over 10% in yearly revenues. RCI affiliate David Robinson gave his thoughts on the issue. “We are in a warming climate,” said Robinson. “The odds of it being warmer and less snowy increase over those of being cold and more snow.”




An article published in the Washington Post covered a recent proposition to combat climate change. The proposed solution involves creating a shield of dust from the moon, which could have various negative consequences. RCI affiliate, Alan Robock, suggested an alternative solution, saying “Global climate change from human injections of greenhouse gases is a real problem, but there is a much simpler, safer, and cheaper solution: leave the fossil fuels in the ground and run the world on solar and wind power, of which there is enough to supply power for everyone.”




As climate-smart agriculture becomes more popular with NJ farmers, one article recalls information published in a 2021 report from the Rutgers Climate Change Resource Center. The report stated “The ability of natural and working lands (including forests, farmland, ranchland, grassland, wetlands and urban lands) to sequester, or store carbon can be viewed as an opportunity for mitigating climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing carbon in vegetation and soil.”



Rutgers University President, Jonathan Holloway, has recently announced a new initiative to reinforce the university’s commitment to four interdisciplinary clusters. The initiative, Strategic Diversity Cluster Hiring, focuses on Race, Racism, and Inequality; Health Equity; Advancing STEM Diversity, and Engaged Climate Action. The first phase of the initiative will take place in the upcoming three years, with 25 new positions opening.




RCI Affiliate, Malin Pinsky

The LA Times has recently published an article on a United Nations treaty to protect ocean biodiversity. The treaty will create a new effort to establish marine protected areas and conserve ocean life in the high seas. RCI Affiliate, Malin Pinsky, described the treaty as “acknowledging that the ocean is not a limitless resource, and it requires global cooperation to use the ocean sustainably.”




RCI Affiliate, Robert Laumbach

Following the derailment of a freight train in East Palestine, Ohio, questions have been raised regarding how the derailment has impacted New Jersey air quality. RCI Affiliate, Robert Laumbach, reassured readers that the derailment should not affect the NJ environment. Laumbach stated, "Plumes of smoke and other air contaminants from the release and fire rapidly disperse on wind currents with mixing and diffusion in the air, all of which dilutes the concentration of chemicals rapidly to levels that are not a concern.”




Malissa Aronczyk, an RCI Affiliate

Climate solutions are a hot topic in today's world, and an article by WHYY PBS discusses how to know which climate solutions are worth considering. “People like to come up with solutions, but to do that, they usually have to interpret the problem in a way that works for them,” says Malissa Aronczyk, an RCI Affiliate. Aronczyk warns to look for conflict of interest in which companies we are getting climate solutions from.




RCI affiliate, Robert Kopp

A White House forum on climate change was attended by several universities, including Rutgers University. The two-day forum focused on improving the understanding of climate-based work being completed at colleges and universities, and how this work can be used in collaboration with the government. RCI affiliate, Robert Kopp, stated I hope that by bringing higher education representatives – from two-year colleges to leading global research universities – together with representatives of our national leadership, we will accelerate this work.



RCI Affiliate, David Robinson

As winter is coming to an end, an article by The Washington Post discusses the lack of snowfall from this past year. In cities along the east coast, such as Boston, MA, where winter snowfall is usually quite common, nearly no snowfall has been reported. RCI Affiliate, David Robinson, explains to readers that "There's no sign of any decline in the large events. There’s beginning to be some evidence that we’re having fewer of the smaller events,” when discussing this year’s snow.




RCI Affiliate, Cymie Payne

In an article published by Nature, several scientists voice their opinions on a newly forged United Nations treaty - the High Seas Treaty. This treaty establishes regulations on the high seas, aimed to protect biodiversity and ocean life. RCI Affiliate, Cymie Payne, discusses the evaluations that will be used to assess the environmental impacts of activities on high seas. Payne notes that these evaluations will not always be necessary, but can provide very useful information on ocean activities.