A Rutgers-led team used an autonomous minisubmarine to measure seawater conditions, reports Eos. The team released a deep-sea robot to measure seasonal changes in ocean properties crucial to understanding local carbonate chemistry, which will help researchers understand how organisms might be affected by water conditions as ocean acidity continues to rise. Co-authors of the study include RCI Affiliates Travis Miles and Grace Saba.
NJ municipalities will need to take a bigger role in climate planning, reports NJ Spotlight. Dave Rosenblatt, New Jersey chief resilience officer, said that towns and cities will receive help on science and planning from state and federal governments but should expect to protect themselves from flooding and other effects of climate change. The Department of Environmental Protection is working on a climate-strategy document that should be ready by April 22 and writing new regulations under the NJ Protecting Against Climate Threats process.
According to a new Rutgers-led study, microbes in meltwater stream sediment may help boost Greenland’s contribution to sea-level rise, reports Rutgers Today. The study reports that microbes cause sunlight-absorbing sediment to clump together and accumulate in the meltwater streams. “These streams can be seen all over Greenland and they have a brilliant blue color, which leads to further melting since they absorb more sunlight than the surrounding ice,” said read author Sasha Leidman, a graduate student in the lab of co-author and RCI Affiliate Åsa K. Rennermalm. “This is exacerbated as dark sediment accumulates in these streams, absorbing even more sunlight and causing more melting that may increase sea-level rise.”
Rutgers University, Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist announced that New Jersey had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, reports NorthJersey.com. Summer 2020 was the warmest on record of the state, and July 2020 was the hottest month on record of the state. State Climatologist and RCI Affiliate David Robinson also released the climate summary of the year.
A Rutgers-led study shows that researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, reports Rutgers Today. “This is similar to a blood test to assess human health,” said senior author and RCI Affiliate Debashish Bhattacharya. “...Coral bleaching from warming waters is an ongoing worldwide ecological disaster. Therefore, we need to develop sensitive diagnostic indicators that can be used to monitor reef health before the visible onset of bleaching to allow time for preemptive conservation efforts.”
The fourth annual Windows of Understanding public art project will begin on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 18th, 2021 and runs through February 28, 2021. WOU pairs artists with local organizations to collaborate on a piece to promote comparison and awareness around social justice issues impacting local communities. Windows across New Brunswick and Highland Park, as well as an exhibition at the Metuchen Public Library, are included as part of this social justice initiative in 2021. RCI affiliate Kristin O’BrassillO-Kulfan and Associate Director, Marjorie Kaplan have been working with the program. In addition to climate change, organizers have curated this year’s art and events around other selected issues of food insecurity, healing from trauma, and public health.
The RCI partnered exhibit can be found at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center at 11 Livingston Avenue, featuring the work of artist Jenn Cacciola. Ms. Cacciola’s piece is titled: “Djed, The Backbone, Pillar of Stability”. Ms. Cacciola’s statement about her art:
The history of climate change is more than worrying data that feels like it mounts against us. It is also, a lineage of communities throughout human history who together built structures and ideals to create a safer, more generous home. New Labor and the Rutgers Climate Institute are both part of this lineage, educating and leading the community toward more just conditions for those directly impacted by the changing climate through collaboration. By teaching one another safe work habits and organizing to protect laborers from unjust employer practices, New Labor continues the efforts that have always brought about understanding, change, and balance.
On February 16 from 3:30-4:30, RCI is also partnering with WOU to host Panel discussion for Youth ages 10+ with three young scientists from Rutgers who will illuminate different aspects of climate change as it pertains to their research and Career Paths. See Events for more information.
View the complete WOU Virtual Exhibit.
New Rutgers-led research found big differences in how coral reef fish larvae are dispersed, reports Rutgers Today. Whereas many studies measure patterns of larval dispersal in only one year, this study surveyed coral reef-dwelling clownfish over the course of seven years. “That means when we don’t account for dispersal variability, we could be overestimating the stability of coral reef fish populations,” said lead author Katrina A. Catalano, a doctoral student in the lab of senior author and RCI Affiliate Malin L. Pinsky. “If we study dispersal variability in more species over greater timescales, we will better understand what causes the variation and can better design protected areas for the conservation of species.” Catalano also notes that dispersal helps researchers understand how species might be able to keep up with climate change by shifting habitats.