Nuclear War Could Ignite ‘Global Food Crisis’

I recently absorbed some alarming information on nuclear weapons and the catastrophic global impact of even a small-scale nuclear war… For starters, a very interesting article in The New Yorker focused on three Plowshares peace activists, including an 82-year-old nun, who easily broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Y-12 is the nation’s sole industrial complex where weapons-grade uranium is fabricated and stored, according to the article by Eric Schlosser… Lastly, I looked at a recent study by Lili Xia and Alan Robock of Rutgers University and several others on the potential impact of a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan… I talked with Robock, a Wall resident, meteorologist and distinguished professor in Rutgers University’s Department of Environmental Sciences, this morning. He said the researchers calculated that a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, involving 50 nuclear weapons apiece, would generate 6.5 million tons of black soot.

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Rutgers Master Gardener: Planning is Important

Planning a successful garden is a lot like launching a new business or making a wise real estate purchase, according to Stan Nathanson, Rutgers Master Gardener who said, "A successful garden depends largely on location, location, location"… Nathanson earned his garden ‘cred’ through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program offered through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station, and Rutgers University. The program is managed cooperatively with individual county governments… "Generally the time to begin planting is when the temperatures reach about 70 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night," Nathanson said… He said the Rutgers Cooperative of Morris County can run a soil test for $20 and when the test is ordered, you will need to state what you intend to grow in the soil because the pH requirements can be different.

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Pair Encouraged Autistic Man to Plunge in Icy Ocean

Battered by waves off Manasquan, in frigid water over his head, the 19-year-old autistic, diabetic Howell man struggled to make it back to shore- while two other young men laughingly taped him with a cellphone as he fought to stay alive. The men, Drake said, had egged him into accepting a dare on Feb. 25: Plunge into the icy waters of the Atlantic and stay there for a minute, in exchange for $20 and two packs of cigarettes… Drake took the dare, but it almost cost him his life. The pair took him onto a jetty and told him to jump. Once in the icy water, his insulin pump froze. Drake said he’s still not sure how he made it back to shore… The temperature in the vicinity of Manasquan at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25 was 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but it felt like 28 to 31 degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill, according to David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University. The temperature of the ocean was 30 degrees that day, he said.

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Arctic Sea Ice is at its Lowest

The spring and summer melt season is officially on for Arctic sea ice, and it’s not off to a good start. The 2015 melt season will start with a record low maximum ice extent… According to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, sea ice extent was 425,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average. That’s the equivalent of 1.6 times the size of Texas (the largest state in the Lower 48) or 411 Rhode Islands (the smallest state). No matter how you measure it, it represents a huge missing chunk of ice… This year’s record low maximum for winter sea ice in the Arctic doesn’t guarantee another record low minimum when summer rolls around in August. But it is cause for concern and provides a clear sign of how the planet is changing as the Earth warms… "The fact that we’re starting the melt season with low- maybe record low- winter extent cannot be good," Jennifer Francis, a Rutgers University Arctic researcher, said in an email right before the records came in.

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New Science Workshops from Rutgers Cooperative Extension

The Rutgets Co-operative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program is offering a series of workshops designed to give educators the chance to learn hands-on activities that give students real-life experience with engineering and science… The "Design It! Explore It" professional development workshops provide educators with everything needed to introduce activities to an afterschool program for students in grades two through eight… The workshop, developed by Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition, will help students engage with STEM topics using fun, hands-on projects… In Union County, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides many learning and volunteer opportunities for children and adults, including 4-H Clubs for students in grades 1-12, and the Master Gardener and Master Tree Stewards community service programs, the County of Union said in a release.

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