New York Dodges Blizzard Bullet, But Weather Models Under Scrutiny

The record snow storm that was expected to pummel the Northeast on Tuesday failed to live up to its epic billing in the New York/New Jersey region- though it did hammer much of New England- putting the weather models used to predict the blizzard into question… "There were errors in the forecast and it was significant enough that it impacted the major metropolitan area in the country — therefore, there’s going to be a lot of scrutiny," Professor David Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University, told FoxNews.com. "This is an imperfect science that is being done better than ever, but, occasionally, things aren’t going to work as accurately as forecast."

Read the entire article at www.foxnews.com »

Pollination and Farming: It’s All About Bees

Of the more than 20,000 species of bees globally, over 400 call New Jersey home. On Wednesday at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, The Nature Conservancy hosted a variety of presentations on “Farms, Forests and Rivers: Sustaining Our Way of Life. One panel of speakers focused solely on the beneficial effects pollinators, such as bees, have on agriculture production and how to combat the overall decline in bee population. "They’re basically flying dust bombs," said Dan Cariveau, a postdoctoral research associate at Rutgers University’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources.

Read the entire article at www.njherald.com »

The Oceans Are on the Verge of Mass Extinction. Here’s How to Avoid It.

We land-based creatures live in the midst of a massive extinction crisis, just the sixth one over the past half billion years. What about the oceans?… Now, as tricky as it will be to cut back on overfishing by convincing fish farmers to mend their ways and consumers to change their habits, the even bigger challenge will be to stop trashing the place all of these critters call home. Habitat degradation, according to the Science authors, is the main trigger for the extinction wave we’re now seeing on land, and is probably the biggest threat to cause a similar catastrophe at sea. "If you cranked up the aquarium heater and dumped some acid in the water, your fish would not be very happy," Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and an author of the report, told The Times’ Zimmer.

Read the entire article at www.billmoyers.com »

Winter Snow Cover Must Be Weighed Against Springtime Lack, Scientists Say

News outlets pegged it as the "historic" blizzard of 2015. Snow was supposed to reach unprecedented levels. Flights were canceled, driving bans enforced. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned his city to "prepare for the worst."… The data on snow cover, which have been produced since late 1966, come from the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, which works with the National Ice Center in Boulder, a joint collaboration with the Navy, the Coast Guard and NOAA to produce the snow maps. The maps are produced mostly with satellite images, in addition to some measurements gathered on the ground by observers, or by checking Web cameras to see where snow is, said David A. Robinson, state climatologist for New Jersey and director of the Rutgers lab.

Read the entire article at www.latimes.com »

Conspicuous Compassion

In a story Jan. 16, The Associated Press reported that the odds that nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000 are about 650 million to one… The story also reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record… An earlier version of the story quoted Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis as noting that the margin of error makes it uncertain whether 2014 was warmest, or the second, third or sixth warmest year. She said that regardless, the trend shows a "clear, consistent and incontrovertible" warming of Earth. That reference to the margin of error was dropped in later versions.

Read the entire article at www.wsj.com »