Home Resources RCI News Archive 2012-2013 Academic Year August


August 27, 2012.

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to New Low in Satellite Era. According to scientists from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice cover has melted to its lowest extent in the satellite record and may continue melting in the coming weeks. Arctic sea ice cover naturally shrinks during the summer and grows during the winter, but over the last three decades satellites have observed a 13 percent decline per decade in the minimum summertime extent of the sea ice, while the thickness of the ice has also declined. Unlike during the previous record low in 2007, which was caused by an unusually warm summer in the Arctic, temperatures this summer have not been abnormally high. The persistent loss of perennial ice cover has greatly reduced the thickness of the ice, causing it to become far more vulnerable to even average summer temperatures. According Jennifer Francis, Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate, the dramatic changes represent the scientific community’s “worst fears” about climate change and its consequences.

August 3, 2012

Hay Fever Season Is About To Explode in New Jersey. According to Rutgers allergy specialist and CECI affiliate Dr. Leonard Bielory the looming hay fever season promises to be very intense as a result of extreme moisture caused by a combination of thunderstorms and high temperatures. The high moisture levels have contributed to an explosive growth in mold spores, as well as contributed to the pervasive growth of ragweed, mudwort and other allergy causing plants. Ragweed in particular affects many people and has migrated north over the last few decades, contributing to a hay fever season that starts up to 3 weeks earlier than it did 25 years ago.August 2, 2012. Farmer Believes Government at Fault for Drought’s Consequences. Approximately two thirds of all counties in the United States are in a state of severe drought, while more than half have been designated as primary disaster areas by the Department of Agriculture. Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate Jennifer Francis says the drought falls in line with what climate models have been predicting. As carbon dioxide continues to accumulate in the atmosphere and drive global climate change, conditions in the southwest and central part of the United States are expected to become drier and experience more frequent heat waves.

August 8, 2012

American Meteorological Society Information Statement on Climate Change. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has updated its 2007 statement on climate change. The AMS statement is intended to be a scientifically up-to-date and objective overview of how and why the global climate has changed over the last century and why it will continue to change in the future, is based on peer-reviewed scientific literature and  has been adopted as the official stance of the AMS towards climate change. In the statement the AMS affirms that warming of the global climate system is now unequivocal and that many of the observed changes are beyond what can be explained by natural variability. The dominant cause of the comparatively rapid change in climate over the past century has been human-induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide due to its persistence in the atmosphere. As a result, observed average temperatures on land, in the ocean, and in the lower atmosphere have all increased significantly over the last century. Such increases in average temperature will continue into the future with serious consequences such as melting glaciers, rising sea level, and disrupted weather patterns.

Victoria Nielsen - Climate Access Intern

Read more: Victoria Nielsen - Climate Access InternMeet Climate Access intern Victoria Nielsen, graduate student working towards a Master’s of Public Policy, with a concentration in Environmental and Energy Policy. To become a Climate Access Intern in the spring 2014 semester, see information here

Read more: Victoria Nielsen - Climate Access Intern

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