Extensive suite of apps will help decision makers predict and prepare for future events and conditions

New Jersey residents and planners have a new set of decision support tools to help prepare their communities for climate change, thanks to a suite of data visualization and mapping tools developed in New Jersey. Jersey Climate Change Resource Center at Rutgers University.

The tools are part of a suite of data visualization and interactive mapping applications known as NJADAPT.

“Hurricane Sandy’s impacts along the Jersey Shore have clearly demonstrated the importance of understanding coastal flood risk,” said Lucas Marxen, associate director of the Rutgers NJAES Office of Research Analytics and member of the NJADAPT team. “In the 10 years since Sandy, the NJADAPT team has worked to provide data and decision support tools to help communities prepare and become more resilient.”

Additions to NJADAPT include:

  • A climate dashboard of projected climate trends and statistics by season
  • Improved climate snapshots of people, places and assets at risk by municipality, county and state
  • NJ HazAdapt, developed with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, to assist with county and local hazard mitigation plans

Enhancements include an introduction to coastal flooding and an overview of a climate planning tool for analyzing vulnerability to coastal flooding.

“A primary function of the NJ Climate Change Resource Center is to provide usable scientific data to help New Jersey communities and decision makers plan for the cascading impacts of warmer temperatures, more intense precipitation and rising sea levels. the sea,” said Marjorie Kaplan, co-director. of the Center.

The new Climate Dashboard visualizes climate change trends and statistics for New Jersey. It compares current conditions with future projections and can be displayed as interactive maps or graphs. Projected changes are summarized in seasonal intervals for six climate measures under moderate and high emissions scenarios (continued growth in emissions by 2100).

New Jersey’s seasonal average daily maximum temperature (summer). The wide colored band shows the range of values ​​projected by the models. The narrower the band, the more strongly the models agree. The dotted line shows the average of these projections. The solid line shows actual values ​​that have already occurred. This visualization shows high emissions.

The researchers said adapting to climate change requires understanding potential hazards and exposure. Climate Snapshots provide access to information about people, places and assets at risk from climate impacts in municipalities, counties and the state of New Jersey.

Climate snapshots include reports on built infrastructure, critical assets, natural and working lands, public health, vulnerable populations, and forestry.

HazAdapt, developed with the State Office of Emergency Management, provides municipal and county risk planners with access to data and resources to help them develop risk mitigation plans. State and local users can assess the impacts of flooding on Federal Emergency Management Agency critical vital areas, socially vulnerable populations, and individual plots. The tool includes heat hazard data to understand the impacts of heat waves and the urban heat island effect.

Other tools include NJFloodMapper and NJForestAdapt, both of which have been improved and updated with new data.

Focused on flood risk in New Jersey’s 239 coastal municipalities, NJFloodMapper helps quantify and visualize the impacts that rising seas, coastal flooding, and other hazards will have on coastal communities, critical facilities, socially vulnerable populations, natural systems and other assets.

NJForestAdapt informs forest stewardship and community forest management plans, efforts to protect watersheds, resilience planning, and adaptive management in New Jersey in the face of climate change.

“We’ve worked together on issues related to sea level rise preparedness in New Jersey since before Sandy, but this seminal event pushed the effort into overdrive,” Kaplan said. “The expansion of NJADAPT gives communities more tools to use to prepare for the climate-related impacts we are already experiencing and will continue to see in the future.”

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