Rutgers Joins USDA Northeast Climate Hub to Address Needs of Natural Resource Managers

Wildfire in Ocean County, NJ in April, 2014. Source: NJ State Climatologist Office

Wildfire in Ocean County, NJ, in April 2014. Source: NJ State Climatologist Office

Farmers, forest landowners and other natural resource managers, whose livelihoods depend on the reliability of seasonal cycles, are on the forefront of climate change. When anticipated local conditions are disrupted, conventional practices no longer suffice and land managers have to tread new ground.

There’s assistance, however, in the Northeast region of the U.S. in the form of the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, which will deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers and forest landowners. The aim of the hub is to support decision-making related to climate change and to maintain and strengthen agricultural production, natural resource management and rural economic development under increasing climate variability. It will build capacity within USDA to deliver information and guidance on technologies and risk management practices at regional and local scales. [Read more...]

What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?

A big link between climate change and severe weather may be lurking 30,000 feet above your head. More and more scientists are interested in the links among the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream and the disappearance of ice and snow in the Arctic and other extreme weather trends…Rutgers University atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis thinks there is a clear climate change factor in the jet stream’s wobbliness: the warming of the Arctic. Temperatures are rising in the Arctic regions faster than anywhere else in the world, an effect called "Arctic amplification" that may be due to the fact that as sea ice melts it exposes darker water that absorbs more heat then the reflective ice.

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Sludge recycling beneficial for farms and society

Biosolids – treated sewage sludges – are safe, effective fertilizers and soil amendments, as demonstrated by 40 years of research…Cornell and Rutgers Extension present the most restrictive biosolids guidelines to be found in official documents anywhere in this country [Uta Krogmann, co-author].

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Rutgers participates in nation’s largest climate march

More than 150 University students joined more than 310,000 other people from more than 1,000 organizations, universities and other institutions in New York City for the largest climate march in America’s history…Among those who attended the march were Dean Judith Storch of the School of Environmental of Environmental and Biological Sciences, David Hughes, professor in the Department of Anthropology and Ban-Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.

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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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