Battle to keep crippling Zika virus out of NJ

Paul Mayerowitz of Ocean Township was six days into a Mexico vacation with only one mention of mosquitoes – during an excursion into a jungle nature preserve… Zika is carried through the bite of the tropical dwelling Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito, which also carried yellow fever and Dengue fever, has been found in New Jersey but is more common in warmer states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana, said Dina Fonseca, an entomologist at Rutgers University.

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NJ Winter: El Niño fuels battle between mild, cold

Get ready for a tug-of-war this winter. There’s no question that December’s 60- and 70-degree temperatures are gone for good, at least until spring. But for the next few months, expect a battle in the east between mild air from the south and cold air from the north. And you can blame it on El Nino. We’ve entered into a period where we’re going to see more week-to-week and day-to-day fluctuations in terms of temperatures, storm threats and intervals where it’s dry," said state climatologist David Robinson. "It’ll be a lot of volatility."

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Nor’easter: 12 inches of snow possible in North Jersey

A nor’easter may dump 4 to 12 inches of snow in most of northern and central New Jersey Wednesday and trigger major East Coast travel woes, according to forecasters. "It’s just going to be nasty traveling Wednesday, Wednesday night," said David A. Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist. "Even if it’s rain, it’s going to be a wind-swept rain, and where it snows, it’s going to obviously make for even worse travel…" Robinson, a geography professor at Rutgers University, said "the forecast warrants some the real careful attention." The storm "definitely has (the) potential of having the most impact on New Jersey of any storm thus far" this season, he said.

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Boost your child’s chance of growing up healthy

A new project launched by Rutgers aims to help parents creates healthier, happier, safer homes and lifestyles. Parents have so many time and budget pressures these days, it makes it a challenge to be sure their kids have what they need to grow up healthy. "We spent thousands of hours surveying, observing, and talking to parents across New Jersey to find out what we could do to help them do an even better job raising their kids," says Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Rutgers Professor. "We used all this information to create the new HomeStyles program."

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Hurricane season quiet — but don’t relax yet

The Atlantic hurricane season is about as quiet as last year, with only five named storms so far – but it’s way too soon to relax. A devastating storm could still develop during a quiet season and coastal residents must be prepared, experts stress…As for this season, David A. Robinson, a geography professor at Rutgers University and New Jersey state climatologist, said superstorm Sandy was the "S storm" in 2012 and "there’s no way we’re going to get to S this year. Conversely, the Eastern Pacific has gone wild," he said. The hurricanes have been "powerhouses and they started the season with a couple of (Category) 4s."

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Penguins and Antarctica and climate change, oh my! Teachers CONVERGE at Rutgers with research team

Excited talk of underwater robots, food webs and climate change filled the air at a weeklong teacher workshop at Rutgers University for Project CONVERGE, a program that will bring "real science" into area classrooms…Led by chief scientists and oceanographers Josh Kohut of Rutgers and Matt Oliver of the University of Delaware, the workshop is the kickoff for a year-long collaboration. The teachers’ students will become part of the Project CONVERGE team. Through blogs, interactive online classroom sessions and video conference calls, the middle-schoolers will get to know researchers in Antarctica and their work.

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NJ torrential rainfall: telltale images

Did you encounter dangerous floodwaters last week? The torrential rains that led to flash flooding on Aug. 12-13 were quite rare in some areas of New Jersey and New York, according to experts…In New Jersey, the 8.94 inches of rain that fell at the Millville airport in Cumberland County represents a one-in-100-year event, according to a report by David A. Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University. A 100-year storm has a 1 percent chance of happening each year.

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Fear for Barnegat Bay — can it be saved?

Not so long ago, Ken Probst and his family would enjoy a leisurely summer swim in the Barnegat Bay behind their Lacey home without the fear of pain. Their neighborhood of hundreds of modest, lagoon-fronted ranch homes sits on the Forked River of Lacey, where the southern bay water is slowly pulled in to help cool the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant two miles west…Poor water quality in some areas – which leads to a lack of oxygen and the death of eelgrass beds, home to many native species like blue crabs – appears to be spreading into the central and southern bay, according to Rutgers scientists…Research professor Michael J. Kennish, who led the project, defends the work of his group, which stems from long-term monitoring of sea grass beds – the bay’s underwater meadows that shelter fish and crabs.

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Rutgers’s Researcher says Barnegat Bay in trouble [VIDEO]

Rugters’ researcher Michael Kennish says that storm run-off and overpopulation is killing the Barnegat Bay.

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Barnegat Bay degradation moving south

Two years after hearing a scientist’s dire warning on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey lawmakers heard how the bay’s degradation appears to be spreading south from Ocean County’s biggest suburbs. The northern end of the 42-mile-long estuary already has crippled water quality, a trend that has accelerated during the last 20 years, Rutgers University research professor Michael Kennish told a joint meeting of the Legislature’s environment committees. "The situation has not gotten better; it’s gotten worse in term of nutrients," said Kennish, who leads the university’s Barnegat Bay science efforts and is an author of a recently updated report on the bay’s conditions.

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