While we tend to think about climate change as a far-off, far-away problem, we can feel the effects of climate change right here in New Jersey, and right now in the year 2021.
Our state is already 3.5 °F warmer than it was 100 years ago, with up to 2 °F of additional warming possible in just the next 30 years. While that may seem small, the effects are already noticeable. Heat waves are more common. Sea levels have risen. Sudden downpours and powerful hurricanes happen more often. Flooding has increased. While many storms would still exist without climate change, global warming is responsible for making them stronger and more dangerous, and deadly hurricanes like Sandy and Irene will become ever more common.
In the future, without major changes, these problems will only get worse. Higher sea levels may flood the rail and road tunnels between New Jersey and Manhattan, which many in our community use on a daily basis to commute to work. These links were flooded during hurricane Sandy, and floods of that magnitude will only become more common. As temperatures rise, heat waves will become even more frequent, increasing heat-related deaths and emergencies. Heat waves in urban areas like Northern New Jersey are even connected to increased air pollution and smog levels; an outcome which is especially dangerous to those with respiratory conditions like asthma.
Click below to learn about the environmental impacts of specific sectors and actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Or, click to read about climate change as a worldwide problem.