Carbon Dioxide Passes Symbolic Mark. For the first time in human history, atmospheric Carbon Dioxide emissions have exceeded 400 ppm. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility in Hawaii recently registered a carbon dioxide concentration 400.03 ppm which is believed to be the highest concentration in some three to five million years. Scientists say that periods with high CO2 concentrations are also strongly correlated with warmer climates, while certain environmentalists groups say that 350 ppm is the highest safe level of CO2 acceptable in order to avoid catastrophic climate consequences.
May 22, 2013
Prepare or Go Under: Rutgers University Report Warns Without Investments, Shore Homes Will Still Be Storm Targets. According to a new report from Rutgers University focusing on Ocean County's economic risks from climate change, many shore communities are likely to face similar economic consequences left behind by Hurricane Sandy in the future if improvements are not made to residential and public infrastructure. Although the costs may seem high for improvements like elevating homes, improving drainage systems and wave barriers, and restoring wetlands to act as storm buffers, the long term costs of not taking such actions are potentially much higher. The report was written by a team of Rutgers researchers led by economic geographer and CECI affiliate Robin Leichenko.
May 23, 2013
Can New Jersey Insure Against the Next Sandy? One of the many creative ideas raised at the recent climate change conference held at Rutgers University, was the prospect of the state of New Jersey, as well as its various municipalities, taking out disaster-specific insurance policies to help guard against the future costs of climate change. Doing so has the potential to defray the costs of sea level rise and extreme weather events similar to Hurricane Sandy, especially for areas along the shore. Innovative insurance policies were just one of many topics covered at the conference, “Climate Change in New Jersey: Leading Practices and Policy Priorities,” as its primary aim was to bring officials and experts together from various fields in order to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, according to Associate Director of CECI Marjorie Kaplan.
May 23, 2013
Nearly 75 Percent of N.J. Residents Concerned About Climate Change, but Few Want to Pay for Needed Changes. According to a new poll released by the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy during the recent climate change conference held at Rutgers University, nearly three quarters of New Jerseyans are now concerned about how climate change may affect the state and believe that government should take steps to fortify infrastructure against extreme weather. Despite this, there is very little public support for raising money to pay for such policy initiatives. The survey also showed that Hurricane Sandy was major reason for the high level of public concern. The poll was released at the “Climate Change in New Jersey: Leading Practices and Policy Priorities” conference which was organized by the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance. The conference hosted a variety of speakers, including Rutgers Climatologist and Director of CECI Anthony Broccoli, who described changes to New Jersey’s climate over the past 100 years, including an increase in average temperatures of two degrees Celsius, which has accelerated in recent decades.