GV | ONLY IN NEW JERSEY
WITH STEVE ADUBATO
Steve Adubato, PhD., is an Emmy Award–winning anchor for Thirteen/WNET (PBS) and NJTV (PBS) who regularly appears on the Today Show, Fox 5
in New York and on many New York-based radio stations. His newest book, You Are the Brand, examines the brand strategies of more than 30 individuals
and companies. For more information log on to stand-deliver.com. Find Steve on Facebook at Facebook.com/SteveAdubatoPHD.
Global warming threatens our precious
shoreline. Who will take action?
GV | ONLY IN NEW JERSEY
of tropical diseases and
the lack of resistance to
them in our region [be-
cause they are new here].
For example, with the
increase in temperature
in New Jersey, northern
migration of tropical vec-
tors, such as disease-car-
rying animals like flies, is
The potential rise in
sea level and storm activ-
ity is linked to two major
factors, Boufadel says:
Thermal expansion of the oceans (water
increases in volume when heated) and
the melting of the polar ice caps.
The major culprit in this? For Boufadel, it’s the global increase in carbon
emissions. He says we must take steps
to reduce mankind’s carbon footprint.
“We should encourage regulations and
ordinances that provide incentives for
green buildings, for buildings that use
less energy and that use renewable energy, such as solar, wind and hydropower,” he suggests. He adds that we
need “good water management.” At
NJIT, for example, researchers are developing “methods to better percolate
the rain water into the ground to minimize runoff,” he says.
“For New Jersey, I think we need a
good story of success at one location,”
Boufadel says. “Down the road, I would
think that products would be labeled
based on their carbon footprint.”
Admittedly, none of this is sexy
from a political or media perspective.
It is hard to focus the public’s atten-
tion on environmental and infrastruc-
ture issues until an emergency occurs.
However, evidence is mounting—in
many cases irrefutably—that New Jer-
sey and the country need to act with
a great sense of urgency to halt glob-
al warming before we run out of rea-
sonable options. Our elected leaders
in Trenton and Washington need to
focus on forestalling this impending
crisis. So far, their attention has been
IMAGINE 2 PERCENT OF NEW JERSEY
under water by the year 2100. That’s
the outlook based on the National Climate Assessment published in May by
the Obama administration. The assessment, the third of its kind, predicts that
global warming may well cause seas
worldwide to rise as much as 4 feet by
the start of the next century.
This change in sea level would do
more than swamp a significant part of
New Jersey’s coastline, says Dr. Michel
Boufadel, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
“About 7 percent of the land would be
directly impacted during major storms,”
We have already seen the impact of
hurricane-grade storms like Irene and
Sandy, which thrashed hundreds of
miles of Jersey coastline. Experts pre-
dict stronger and more frequent storms
as the climate continues to change. This
will mean flooded towns, roads and
rails, which will lead to massive recov-
ery costs, displaced residents and work-
ers, and increased prices for everyday
items like food and gasoline. Damage to
rail lines would push up the cost of mass
transit as well.
Boufadel points out that storms and
high water can also affect the state’s
infrastructure. Erosion, the invasion of saltwater, and settling due to
changes in soil resistance all could undermine our bridges—many of which
are already weakened by age. Climate
change will also affect the state’s flora
“Some plants cannot survive when
the temperature increases and other
type of plants would thrive,” Boufadel says. “A concern is the emergence
and a research
NJIT survey the
beach at Laurence Harbor
Sandy. Boufadel’s team
saltwater on the
table, one way
to monitor the
effect of sea-level rise.