2018-2019 Academic Year

News and Highlights in March 2019

A mild and wet winter has increased the likelihood that tick populations will surge in 2019, increasing the risk of Lyme Disease, according to RCI affiliate Dina Fonseca

A new study suggests that geo-engineering to minimize climate change could be safe, reports Scientific American and The Atlantic. However, RCI affiliate and geo-engineering expert Alan Robock expresses skepticism, taking issue with their crude representation of geo-engineering, which was simulated by simply dimming of the sun, and not actually putting aerosols into the upper atmosphere. 

Increased populations of black sea bass are causing havoc for the New England lobster industry, mostly because of their aggressive appetites for young lobster. Warmer ocean temperatures as a result of climate change is responsible for the increase in black sea bass further north, noted RCI affiliate Olaf Jensen.

A recent study in Nature Geoscience which examines the potential for rapid warming if stratocumulus clouds were to disappear under CO2 concentrations of 1200 ppm has received scientific criticism, reports Gizmodo and Science Magazine. The apocalyptic events that would unfold have captured media attention, but RCI affiliate Bob Kopp notes that global warming will have significant consequences before atmospheric CO2 concentrations ever reach 1200 ppm, and focusing on these kinds of scenarios distracts from the real and present threat of climate change over the next 50 years.

The first formal tally of ticks in the Northeastern United States has been conducted by a Rutgers-led research team, identifying 11 tick species in New Jersey including 2 invasive species. According to RCI affiliate Dina Fonseca, ticks are moving north due to warmer temperatures and climate change may be having an impact.

A new study contributed to by RCI affiliate Howard Kipen links air pollution to heart disease, according to Rutgers Today. Short term exposure to pollution contributes to heart failure incidents, strokes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, according to the study, contributing to the emerging body of evidence linking air pollution to a diverse array of adverse health effects.

A new study published in Science finds that fisheries around the world are in decline due to rising temperatures from climate change, reports Science News, Courthouse News,CNN, Earth News, and USA Today. The study was led by Rutgers Christopher Free and co-authored by RCI affiliates Malin Pinsky and Olaf Jensen.

An article in Rutgers Today features RCI affiliate Jennifer Francis and her research on the connection between climate change, the Arctic, and changes to the frequency of extreme weather in the midlatitudes. What began as a theory in 2011 has become regularly reported by the New York Times as floods and droughts have made headlines, leading to Francis being asked to testify in front of Congress about climate change.

Ocean City property values have taken an enormous hit due to sea level rise, according to a new study by the First Street Foundation and Columbia University, reports WHYY. RCI affiliate Ben Horton describes it as 'a warning', and describes the situation as something that needs dire action to address.