“Ghost Forests” Expanding Along Northeast U.S. Coast

Why are “ghost forests” filled with dead trees expanding along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast? Higher groundwater levels linked to sea-level rise and increased flooding from storm surges and very high tides are likely the most important factors, according to a Rutgers study on the impacts of climate change that suggests how to enhance land-use planning.

Microplastic Sizes in Hudson-Raritan Estuary and Coastal Ocean Revealed

Rutgers scientists for the first time have pinpointed the sizes of microplastics from a highly urbanized estuarine and coastal system with numerous sources of fresh water, including the Hudson River and Raritan River. Their study of tiny pieces of plastic in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary in New Jersey and New York indicates that stormwater could be an important source of the plastic pollution that plagues oceans, bays, rivers and other waters and threatens aquatic and other life.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Record Year for Bald Eagles in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick ecologist Michael C. Allen is available for interviews on the record year for bald eagles in New Jersey. “The resounding return of bald eagles in North America has been especially strong…

AXA Chair at UC Santa Cruz funds efforts to build coastal resilience naturally

Global insurance company AXA has established the AXA Chair in Coastal Resilience at UC Santa Cruz to support the work of Michael Beck, a research professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences and the Department of Ocean Sciences, to advance the conservation and restoration of coastal habitats as natural defenses against storms and climate change.

Land Development in New Jersey Continues to Slow

Land development in New Jersey has slowed dramatically since the 2008 Great Recession, but it’s unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to fight societal and housing inequality will affect future trends, according to a Rutgers co-authored report. Between 2012 and 2015, 10,392 acres in the Garden State became urban land. That’s 3,464 acres a year – far lower than the 16,852 acres per year in the late 1990s and continuing the trend of decreasing urban development that began in the 2008 Great Recession.

Rutgers Experts Can Discuss Tropical Storm Isaias Threats, Record N.J. Warmth in July

New Brunswick, N.J. (Aug. 4, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson and meteorologist Steve Decker are available for interviews on the outlook for Tropical Storm Isaias in New Jersey and the record warmth in July. “Isaias has the potential…

Mangrove Trees Won’t Survive Sea-Level Rise by 2050 if Emissions Aren’t Cut

Mangrove trees – valuable coastal ecosystems found in Florida and other warm climates – won’t survive sea-level rise by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t reduced, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Science. Mangrove forests store large amounts of carbon, help protect coastlines and provide habitat for fish and other species. Using sediment data from the last 10,000 years, an international team led by Macquarie University in Australia estimated the chances of mangrove survival based on rates of sea-level rise.

Rutgers Experts Can Discuss 2020 Hurricane Season Outlook in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (May 19, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts are available for interviews on the 2020 hurricane season outlook in New Jersey, the Garden State’s vulnerability to hurricanes and tropical storms, and the state’s tropical cyclone history. Hurricane…

Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss Environmental Protection During COVID-19 Crisis

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 15, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick professors Nicole Fahrenfeld and John Reinfelder are available for interviews on environmental protection issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fahrenfeld can discuss issues including microbial water quality, sewer issues (including what…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Greenland Ice Sheet Study

New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 23, 2019) – The southern Greenland Ice Sheet may experience precipitous melting this century due to a much smaller temperature increase than scientists thought would be required, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. The global sea level…

Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss Report on Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 12, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts are available to comment on “New Jersey’s Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms: A Report of the 2019 Science and Technical Advisory Panel.” The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection commissioned…

Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land

Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land — but why? A study in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology reports the likely reasons.

Sea-Level Research Must Change So Communities Can Better Plan for the Future

New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 4, 2019) – With sea-level rise threatening hundreds of millions of people, researchers must do a better job engaging communities and other stakeholders so they can make the best-informed decisions on how to adapt in the…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss ‘New Jersey’s Rising Coastal Risk’ Report

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 29, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor  Robert E. Kopp is available to discuss “New Jersey’s Rising Coastal Risk,” a report released today on the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s devastating arrival in the Garden State. The research…

Red Algae Thrive Despite Ancestor’s Massive Loss of Genes

You’d think that losing 25 percent of your genes would be a big problem for survival. But not for red algae, including the seaweed used to wrap sushi. An ancestor of red algae lost about a quarter of its genes roughly one billion years ago, but the algae still became dominant in near-shore coastal areas around the world, according to Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Debashish Bhattacharya, who co-authored a study in the journal Nature Communications.