2016-2017 Academic Year

News in January 2017

RCI affiliate, Bob Kopp is co-author of the new NOAA report, Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States,” which provides both global and regional U.S. sea-level rise scenarios and tools for coastal preparedness planning and risk management as well as a review of recent scientific literature on “worst-case” global average sea-level projections and on the potential for rapid ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica. Professor Kopp notes in Rutgers Today that planning for sea-level rise is essential for risk management as  many areas have already started to flood more often and are potentially more vulnerable to permanent flooding in this century. In 2016, Professor Kopp led a Science and Technical Advisory Panel Report for sea-level rise specific to New Jersey.


The 2016 globally averaged surface temperature ended as the highest since record keeping began in 1880; the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces in 2016 was 58.69 degrees F or 1.69 degrees F above the 20th century average, surpassing the 2015 record by 0.07 degrees F. This was the third consecutive year that the annual global temperature record has been broken according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.  The New York Times describes how such temperatures have affected different areas of the world.


Rutgers Professor Ken Able and RCI affiliate Benjamin Horton and his student, Jennifer Walker are featured in this NewsWorks piece on ghost forests in New Jersey coastal marshes and their work to better understand how sea level rise is influencing coastal forest decline to better plan for the future.


NOAA has recently released state climate summaries focusing on characteristics of the physical climate and coastal issues in accordance with NOAA's mission. Read New Jersey’s report here.


National Academies Press has a recently published Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide, for which RCI affiliate Bob Kopp is a recognized committee member. Read more about the Social Cost of Carbon in this interview with Professor Kopp in this Rutgers Today article.


RCI affiliate, Malin Pinsky is cited by the New York Times on the impact that climate change has had on the demographics of certain fish species, resulting in a fishing regulations that have failed to keep up to date with fish species locations.  


Congratulations to RCI affiliates Bob Kopp and Ben Horton who were co- authors of Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era, the third most featured climate paper in the media in 2016. This paper assesses the relationship between temperature and global sea level variability over the Common Era through a statistical metaanalysis of proxy relative sea-level reconstructions and tide-gauge data. Among the findings was that the 20th century rise was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries.

Read here about RCI affiliate emerita, Professor Emeritus Bonnie McCay’s lifelong research on fisheries which has helped to better manage “The Commons”, a general term describing any system where the resources are used and perhaps owned jointly, in common.


Congratulations to RCI affiliate Daniel Van Abs who accepted a 2016 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award as a member of the steering committee member of Jersey Water Works, a coalition focused on solutions to the complex and costly problems associated with aging and inefficient water infrastructure statewide.  Read more here.

Read new Resources for the Future reports on Understanding the National Flood Insurance Program in New Jersey and Examining Flood Map Changes of New Jersey commissioned by the New Jersey Realtors Governmental Research Foundation.

The EPA released an updated State and Local guide to U.S. EPA Climate and Energy Program Resources. Click here to view the document.