by Joe Tyrrell, NJ Spotlight
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 9:04AM EST
A sense of urgency pervaded the meeting rooms at the Rutgers' Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, where scientists, business executives, and former governors agreed that global warming poses pressing problems for New Jersey: rising tides, violent storms, health risks, and tougher growing conditions for some signature crops.
If the world continues its high-polluting ways, the latest projections suggest some crops suited to current conditions could be under stress sooner rather than later. And if there is one New Jersey crop that is especially vulnerable, it is the cranberry.
One of only three fruits recognized as North American natives -- along with blueberries and Concord grapes -- cranberries were among the first foodstuffs introduced to European settlers by Native Americans. New Jersey became a center of production in the 19th century, though it now trails Wisconsin and Massachusetts.
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