2019-2020 Academic Year

News and Highlights in December 2019

Carbon emissions grew to their highest level ever in 2019, reports Mashable. According to RCI affiliate Robert Kopp who spoke about this finding in a recent Global Carbon Budget Report, we must eventually fall to net zero emissions to slow climate change, which will be extremely difficult to achieve through market forces alone.

New Jersey’s Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms: Report of the 2019 Science and Technical Advisory Panel , a report conducted by Rutgers University on behalf of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) finds that rising sea level in New Jersey could be worse than previously projected and twice as severe as the rest of the globe, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY, and USA Today.  RCI affiliate Robert Kopp chaired the panel and is lead author of the report; co-authors also include RCI co-directors Anthony Broccoli and Robin Leichenko, RCI Associate Director Marjorie Kaplan, and RCI affiliates Kenneth Miller, Matt Campo, Jeanne Herb, and Lisa Auermuller.

Warming is interrupting winter recreation activities at New Jersey’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Hopatcong, reports ABC7 News. According to RCI affiliate Anthony Broccoli, New Jersey temperatures have been increasing by 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit per decade for the last 50 years, a relatively rapid rate.

A new study published in Nature Climate Change finds evidence that warm-water species are rapidly increasing and cold water species are decreasing as global temperature rises, reports Science Daily. According to co-author and RCI affiliate Malin Pinsky this is already causing disruptions to fisheries and ocean food chains.

RCI affiliate Alan Robock was one of 9 experts asked how billionaire philanthropists could most efficiently invest their wealth to combat climate change in an article on Vox. According to Robock, spending money on electing politicians who want to enact policies to enact climate change is what is needed most, as opposed to investing in any one technology.

A report from the federal Government Accountability Agency named 141 New Jersey superfund sites as at risk for flooding or fires exacerbated by climate change, reports NJ Spotlight. Flooding at many of these sites could wash toxic chemicals into rivers and streams, posing a public health hazard.