Spiders in N.J.: Entomological Consultant at Rutgers Explains Arachnids

Curious about those eight-legged, eight-eyed wonders quietly living in nooks and crannies of your home or weaving expansive webs outdoors?… The Daily Record met with Eugene Fuzy, entomological consultant for Rutgers University in New Brunswick, to learn more about the spiders most prevalent in New Jersey, the ones considered most dangerous based on their venomous bite, and superstitions and misperceptions about these magical and beneficial creatures… "I’ve been fascinated with spiders since I was three years old. I was asthmatic as a kid and couldn’t have furry pets, so a Colorado potato beetle was my first pet and then I moved on to spiders. As a naturalist, I love spiders because they’re so unique, visually active and create such amazing webs," said Fuzy.

Read the entire article at www.dailyrecord.com »

Study Looks at Sea-level Rise Due to Polar Ice-Sheet Loss During Past Warm Periods

Ben Horton

Ben Horton

In a study published in the journal Science, Professor of Marine and Coastal Sciences Ben Horton and an international team of scientists concluded that 125,000 years ago, when global average temperature was 1°C higher than pre-industrial levels, sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet higher than present. Sea level peaked somewhere between 20 and 40 feet above present levels during an earlier warm period about 400,000 years ago, when global average temperatures are less certain, but estimated to be about 1 to 2°C warmer than the pre-industrial average. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Climate Change and the Warming Oceans

For this month’s hourlong Climate Cast, we talk to experts to learn how different parts of the ocean handle a changing climate… Last month, University of Texas researchers published a study finding that coral reefs are adapting to warmer ocean water more quickly than expected… Ben Horton studies sea level as a professor at Rutgers University. He is currently in Singapore.

Read the entire article at www.mprnews.org »

Local Moth Night to Kick Off National Moth Week July 18 in Jamesburg Park

A sphinx moth. The Sphingidae family of moths are found throughout the world. Photo by David Moskowitz.

A sphinx moth. The Sphingidae family of moths are found throughout the world. Photo by David Moskowitz.

Nature enthusiasts of all ages are invited to grab their cameras and head over to Port Street alongside Jamesburg Park in East Brunswick, NJ at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 18, for the kickoff of National Moth Week, sponsored by the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission. National Moth Week, celebrated this year from July 18 to 26, shines a spotlight on moths, calling attention to their beauty, biodiversity and ecological importance. It was started in 2012 by the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission and quickly became an international event attracting citizen scientists in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and over 40 countries.

A Mercury vapor light and white sheet will be set up and a long sugar bait trail will be created to attract moths after dark. The Jamesburg Park Conservation Area is part of the Middlesex County Parks system. It lies within the Spotswood Outlier—the northernmost area of New Jersey Pine Barrens habitat separated from the main area of the Pine Barrens to the south by about 15 miles. This protected area is situated in East Brunswick, Helmetta, Spotswood and Monroe Township. It is rich in vegetation diversity and should be an interesting place to look for moths. [Read more…]

Disclosure of Association: Health and Changing Climate

Climate change a serious problem to human health? Simple logic would suggest the answer is yes, a point that the Obama administration is using to build support for the president’s effort to make climate change a centerpiece of his final months in office… White House report listed deepening risks. Asthma will worsen, heat-related deaths will rise, and the number and traveling range of insects carrying diseases once confined to the tropics will increase… The Asian tiger mosquito, which came to the southern United States from Japan in the 1980s, likely in a shipment of used tires, has recently spread as far north as Connecticut, an encroachment scientists have connected to rising temperatures, said Dina Fonseca, an entomology professor at Rutgers University… The science is in its infancy. Data on insects, pollen counts and diseases in developing countries is often patchy. Many studies show associations, meaning two things are happening at the same time, but it is not clear that one is causing the other. Some experts compare it to the state of science in the early days of understanding smoking’s effect on lung cancer.

Read the entire article at www.themarketbusiness.com »