LINCROFT, NJ – Two experts on rising sea levels will discuss how New Jersey -- and the entire Mid-Atlantic Region -- will be affected by continued rising water in the future. The talk is at 6:30 pm, Monday, Oct. 27 at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.
Dr. Kenneth Miller, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, will discuss the predictions of a team of Rutgers scientists on sea level rise along the NJ coast, in addition to the threat of land subsidence in Central and South Jersey. Also, Michael Oppegaard, director of Monmouth County’s Office of Emergency Management, will open the discussion by describing the key concerns of waterfront communities in Monmouth County.
The talk, open to the public, will be presented in the Twin Lights Room, Warner Student Life Center, to the BCC Environmental Club and BCC students, the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Sierra Club, and other environmental organizations. The event is part of a series of environmentally oriented talks billed as “Science Mondays” by the college.
The Rutgers researchers have taken past historical data and compared it to recent best- and worse-case global warming scenarios to determine the extent of sea rise the state can expect through 2060, the outside date of most projections. The most recent scientific studies project that by 2050 sea level rise is expected to rise between 1 foot and 2.5 feet along the Jersey Shore.
The researchers also factored in the rate of natural land subsidence in Central and South Jersey caused by the retreat of the last ice age. North Jersey, the area roughly above the Raritan River, relieved of the great weight of the glaciers of the last ice age when they melted about 12,000 years ago, is still slowly rising – but much of the rest of the state is subsiding, including coastal areas.
Since 1960, the sea level has risen, for example, about 8 inches off Atlantic City relative to the land, according to NJ FloodMapper. The rise is a combination of a 3-4 millimeter water rise per year, and land subsidence. Future rates are predicted to increase and by 2100 the sea level is projected to rise between 2.5 to upwards of 6 feet along the Jersey coast.
Scientists, who originally focused on sea rise due to Arctic ice melting, now are saying that the West Antarctic ice sheet not only is melting much faster than predicted, but the melting may be irreversible. Another factor that threatens New Jersey and, indeed, coastal areas around the world, is the expected increase in violent storms, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, due to global warming. And recently, the IPCC reported that many other impacts of global warming, such as increased droughts and forest fires in some areas and increased rain and flooding in other areas, may be occurring sooner than originally projected.
The presentation by Miller and Oppegaard is hosted by Brookdale’s Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on critical environmental issues. At the Lincroft meeting, a pizza and subs buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
To get to Brookdale’s Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) and parking lot 7, where the meeting will be in the SLC Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .