Dave Robinson, state climatologist, NJAES
Ken Able – Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences
Serpil Guran – EcoComplex
Michael Chikindas – Department of Food Science
Peter Gillies – New Jersey Institute for Food Nutrition and Health
Don Schaffner, Department of Food Science
Peggy Policastro, Rutgers Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health; Sue Shapses, New Jersey Obesity Group
Hear that roar? It’s the great Atlantic Ocean weather engine revving up. Climate experts warn there’s a 70 percent chance it could crank out more hurricanes than originally forecast – possibly the strongest season since 2012, which spawned Sandy… In fact, satellite photos show how Hurricane Sandy grew explosively when it crossed warm Gulf currents one day before making landfall as a tropical storm in New Jersey. And with less wind shear to blow away their tops, hurricanes can grow larger. Weaker winds also keep ocean waters warm by keeping colder water out of the mix, explains Rutgers’ Olaf Jensen. “When colder water from the bottom gets pushed up to the surface by winds and cools the surface water. So that hasn’t been happening as much this year as in the past,” said Jensen.
Let’s take a quiz. In moderation, these are all considered healthy foods, right? Wrong. Not if you’re using current FDA guidelines… “The FDA’s current guidelines are based on scientific evidence that’s a little old, circa 1990, and at that time we demonized fat and said fat was the culprit. So a lot of recommendations are based on how much fat is in the item,” said Peggy Policastro, director of behavioral nutrition at Rutgers New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health… “The government certainly has some bad diet advice. You can see that through the course of many decades with respect to trans fats and margarines and things like that,” said Ian Keith, chef manager at Harvest Café at Rutgers New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health.
See a corroded old fire hydrant made almost 70 years ago? Workers for SUEZ Water pulled this up in Moonachie, discarded the old lead connectors and lowered a new fire hydrant into the ground. This repair cost $5,000. But, fixing all of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure – where water mains routinely break – carries an almost $18 billion price tag and funding sources seemed to be tapped out, political pressure, weak. That is, until Flint, Mich. But could a Flint scenario actually unfold here in New Jersey?… “I would hope we can avoid having those things come together in New Jersey, but the possibility is there,” said Rutgers University Associate Research Professor Daniel Van Abs.
“There wasn’t a lot of jobs in Newark asking for someone to survey or make maps,” Rutgers graduate Rodney Spencer said. After serving his country in the U.S. Army, Spencer couldn’t find a way to put his skills to use at home. Now he’s a graduate of Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology Solutions program – an effort to put unemployed vets in the Newark area back to work. “It’s just nice being here, seeing the community connect with a really valuable resource – the returning veterans,” Senior Program Coordinator Jan Zientek said.