Global warming is the increase in mean global temperature. The earth’s temperature fluctuates cyclically over time, but due to human activity, more specifically, the emittance of green house gasses, global warming has become a huge global threat. Green house gas emissions are at an all time high, because of the world’s rising population and the rising standard of living in first world countries. Many programs have been put into effect in order to combat global warning, numerous “go green” initiatives pushes for alternative energy, increases in automobile gasoline consumption standards, legislation making businesses more responsible for their emissions among other efforts. For the North East portions of the United States, global warming has been relatively mild, until now. The increases in global temperature have resulted in rises in water levels due to the melting of ice in the north and south poles, as well as more extreme winds and drastic shifts in weather. One of the most noticeable effects of global warming in the north east has been the adoption of a “hurricane season”. Last year hurricane Irene was regarded as New Jersey’s most destructive hurricane yet, but it just gets worse. Roughly two weeks ago hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. The hurricane hit New Jersey hardest, the damage was unprecedented for a hurricane in New Jersey. Many areas that were not hit as violently lost power for weeks and experienced flooding, however, our coasts were not as lucky. At one point Atlantic City was roughly 80% underwater, refugees were bused to shelters around the state, many to Rutgers University. There were opportunities for students to help those displaced by the storm, which I was able to take advantage of. Many other areas of the Jersey Shore were desecrated, notably Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant. Now we are tackling the challenge of reconstructing the Jersey Shore, preparing it for an age of increasingly violent weather.Seaside Heights: After Hurricane Sandy
Redesigning the Jersey shore for this new age of weather is obviously going to take a lot of time and effort and expertise. Obviously, being just a student, I am in no way equipped to draw up plans to redesign New Jersey’s shore line. And this job is best left for the experts, planners, developers, scientists etc. However i will offer some tools that may be used in the reconstruction of our beloved shoreline.
One of the most important tools that New Jersey is able to use in reconstructing it’s shoreline will be the observation of area’s that have been experiencing hurricane weather for centuries. One of the areas that most readily comes to mind is Florida, because, as far as hurricane-prone areas go, it is relatively wealthy, like New Jersey (as opposed to a 3rd world country).
There are two main varieties of homes that are currently being used in Florida, The CMU or concrete masonry unit and the SWS Solid-wall-system. The SWS is a relatively new development in hurricane proof housing as of 2001 and is generally regarded as more durable.