Rutgers Professor Documents Climate Change Over Millions of Years

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Published February 26, 2020
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The Montclarion
Students listen and take notes on the sustainability seminar. Adrianna Caraballo | The Montclarion

Rutgers University professor Dr. Kenneth Miller spoke about the issue of rising sea levels impacting New Jersey and the globe at the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences on Feb. 25.

The event was part of the Sustainability Seminar Series, which invites new speakers to discuss environmental issues every Tuesday.

Miller presented his various findings from his time with the International Ocean Discovery Program, a marine research collaboration that studies Earth’s history using seafloor sediments.

“Sea level rise today, three millimeters per year, is unprecedented over the past 2,000 years,” Miller said.

Professor Kenneth Miller from Rutgers University lectures on the rising of sea levels. Adrianna Caraballo | The Montclarion

Professor Kenneth Miller from Rutgers University lectures on the rising of sea levels.
Adrianna Caraballo | The Montclarion

Miller has also witnessed evidence of sea level rising from his home in Waretown, New Jersey.

“Studying sea level is like politics, it’s all local,” Miller said. “I did have a shore house and it was underwater four times during four 100-year storms between 1991 and [Hurricane] Sandy.”

Emily Stone, a graduate student pursuing a degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and evolution, stressed the importance of paying attention to climate change in New Jersey.

“If you’re living in New Jersey you should care because things like Hurricane Sandy or other extreme events are going to be happening more frequently,” Stone said.

Nina Dicesare, a sophomore earth and environmental studies major, urged other students to pay attention to climate change and the impact it’s having on the Earth.

“We live on this earth and we should care about it because we wouldn’t have a home without it,” Dicesare said.

Students listen and take notes on the sustainability seminar. Adrianna Caraballo | The Montclarion

Students listen and take notes on the sustainability seminar.
Adrianna Caraballo | The Montclarion

Miller offered some initiatives people can take to help solve the climate crisis, such as using electric vehicles and solar energy to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“We have to mitigate and we have to adapt,” Miller said.

Miller realizes that these changes can often be difficult, but are necessary to help reverse the effect of the climate crisis.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but we do need to [do] some things that we probably don’t want to to do,” Miller said.

Miller praised former Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Phil Murphy for passing new environmental legislation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. However, he said that they may need to consider more drastic options, such as nuclear power or long-term carbon storage.

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