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April

April 17, 2012

New Study Shows Americans Connecting Extreme Weather to Climate Change. Although scientists are usually hesitant to directly link individual extreme weather events to global warming, a new poll finds that a large majority of the public believes abnormal weather experienced across the nation in recent years is at least partially the result of global warming. The survey, which is the most detailed to date on the public’s response to weather extremes, suggests that direct experience with erratic weather may be convincing people that global warming is no longer a distant or vague threat. When invited to agree or disagree with the statement “global warming is affecting the weather in the United States,” 69 percent of respondents said they agreed. In 2011, droughts, floods, tornadoes and heat waves affected virtually every region of the United States. The survey was commissioned by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, along with researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

April 17, 2012

Suddenly Dry: Weather Experts Concerned as Drought Conditions Wring out New Jersey. According to state climatologist and Rutgers Department of Geography Professor Dr. Dave Robinson, New Jersey is in the early stages of a drought. In 2011, the state experienced its wettest year in history but over the first three months of 2012 precipitation levels have been over 4 inches below average and precipitation levels in April have also been significantly below average. Additionally, temperatures have been abnormally high — the state is experiencing one of the warmest starts to a year on record. The lack of rainfall is beginning to cause stream flow, soil moisture, and groundwater levels to fall below average.

April 5, 2012

North America’s Largest Rooftop Solar Power Plant Formally Completed. The largest photovoltaic rooftop solar project in North America has been formally completed in Gloucester, NJ. It was announce by U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) who presented Riverside Renewable Energy, LLC with an $11 million federal tax credit rebate for completing the $42 million project. The solar panels sit atop 1.1 million square feet of rooftop at the Gloucester Marine Terminal - enough to power more than 1,500 homes and are expected to offset more than 8,100 tons of carbon dioxide. The pioneering project, which is supported by federal and state business incentives for alternative energy, had to overcome numerous obstacles because the Terminal sits at a high-wind location along the Delaware River that also happens to be a Superfund site

April 5, 2012

L.A.: Regional Planners Shift Focus Off Freeways. The Southern California Association of Governments, which oversees transportation for most of Southern California, unanimously voted to approve a $524 billion, 25-year Regional Transportation Plan that aims to increase mobility in one of the most congested areas of the nation, as well as reduce carbon emissions. The plan calls for major investments in public transit, regional rail systems, pedestrian and bike paths, as well as policies to shift housing development towards public transit hubs. The plan is expected to reduce per capita vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions in the six-county area 9 percent by 2020 and 16 percent by 2035 relative to 2005 levels.

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