At a Cape May In Your Neighborhood forum on climate change in New Jersey, scientists spoke about the changes happening right in New Jersey’s backyard — things like sea levels rising. They say it’s not a projection but a fact.
“We’re rising faster than the global averages, and since 1965 we’ve actually seen, we’re at a rise rate of a foot and a half a century. That’s a pretty big number when you live in Cape May, or the big portions of New Jersey where you’re very low lying around the coastal regions. Anytime you have ice that’s on land and it melts, that adds water to the oceans,” sad Lenore Tedesco, executive director of the Wetlands Institute.
Another scientist told the forum that fresh water from bigger, more frequent rainfall lowers the salinity of the Delaware Bay. Oysters, which are very important to the ocean’s ecosystem, die when the salinity of water decreases.
But what’s the danger of climate change on humans? Experts say that warmer temperatures prevent urbanized areas from cooling off at night, preventing residents’ bodies from resting and replenishing.
“As the temperatures get hot and stay hot, people will not really be replenished and they will actually be more vulnerable to heat damage as they do their activities of daily living,” said George DiFerdinando Jr., chair of the Princeton Board of Health.
Scientists say we can do more about mitigate the impact of climate change through education and action.
NJTV’s In Your Neighborhood initiative is made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Additional funding provided by WNET’s Peril and Promise initiative, a public media initiative from WNET in New York telling the human stories of climate change.