Climate

Last month, when an iceberg about a quarter the size of Wales calved from the Larsen C ice shelf, was a statistical tie with July 2016 for the warmest July in 137 years on record, Nasa says. Last month was the warmest July in the 137 years since records began, Nasa has revealed. The average global temperature was 0.83C higher than the average for July between 1951 and 1980, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York found. This was a statistical tie with the same last year, which was found to be 0.82C warmer than the average. “All previous months of July were more than a tenth of a degree cooler,” Nasa said in a statement.

Independent 17th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 August 2017

Climate/100% Renewables

Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the historic Paris climate agreement and turn his back on the other 194 countries that signed it leaves him isolated on the world stage. But Trump is also isolated from the very Americans he purports to lead, and here lies hope. Across America, families, businesses, churches, institutions and governments are busy building a clean energy future. And no president can stop that. When he announced he was pulling the US out of the Paris Accord, Trump said: “I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” And that prompted the mayor of Pittsburgh to join other American mayors – more than 100 so far – in affirming his city’s commitment to move to 100% renewable energy.

Guardian 12th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 August 2017

Climate

Scientists have responded furiously to claims about climate change made in a live BBC radio interview. Experts told BBC News that the assertions made by former Chancellor Nigel Lawson on Radio 4’s Today programme were simply untrue. Lord Lawson had claimed that global temperatures had “slightly declined” over the past 10 years. However, scientists working in the field said the records showed the complete opposite to be the case. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme defended its decision to interview Lord Lawson on Thursday morning in a segment on climate change. The BBC argued that it had a duty to inform listeners about all sides of a debate.

BBC 11th Aug 2017 read more »

Climate crusader Al Gore is coming to a screen near you. The former US vice president is in the UK to launch his latest eco-movie, An Inconvenient Sequel. It’s passionate, dramatic and controversial. And he’s hoping it will persuade you that the climate can be saved if we all try hard enough. The movie delivers a mix of extreme weather and stunningly alarming shots of the melting Arctic. These scenes are intercut with Gore’s presentations to volunteers willing to be climate ambassadors. They’re spreading the message that the planet is warming and we need much more urgency in the task of reducing greenhouse gases. Since his influential first film, An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, two extraordinary things have happened. First, the cost of renewable energy has plummeted far faster than anyone expected, making the task of stabilising the climate more feasible than before. The second big change has been the surprise success of the Paris climate summit in 2015 that drew in almost all nations in the world to agree to try harder to cut their emissions. Gore himself played a crucial role as a go-between, using his VP tag to gain access to world leaders.

BBC 11th Aug 2017 read more »

Donald Trump has failed to knock the Paris climate agreement off course despite his efforts to derail it, according to the former US vice president Al Gore. “The US will meet its commitments [on emissions] in spite of Donald Trump,” he said in London, where his new film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power was released on Friday. “Every other country has pledged [to combat climate change]. I think the psychological message is that the train has left the station. The signal sent to investors, businesses, individuals and civil society is extraordinarily powerful.” He said the US president was now isolated and unable to prevent global action on climate change, despite his announcement of the US’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris agreement. “I was very concerned at his speech – I feared that some other countries would use it as an excuse [to delay or withdraw from the Paris agreement]. I was extremely gratified that the rest of the world redoubled their commitment to Paris,” he told journalists. “I think he has isolated himself. Even today in the US, members of his own political party in the House [of Representatives] and the Senate are beginning to separate themselves from him, and why wouldn’t they?” Gore’s new film recounts much of the story of the Paris negotiations in which he took part informally in attempts to persuade governments, businesses and civil society of the need for concerted global action on the climate. It comes just over a decade after his first film, An Inconvenient Truth, which won an Oscar and helped make Gore co-winner of the Nobel peace prize in 2007 alongside the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Guardian 11th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 August 2017

Climate

A report compiled by a US government agency has confirmed that 2016 was the warmest year on record and the third year in a row of record global warmth.

BBC 10th Aug 2017 read more »

The Trump administration has released a report confirming that 2016 was the hottest year since records began. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a leading environmental agency which is part of the US federal government, found that global temperatures were warmer last year than in 137 years of recordkeeping for a third consecutive year – surpassing the previous record of 2015.

Independent 10th Aug 2017 read more »

Former US Vice President Al Gore has said the US will meet the commitments set out by the Paris climate agreement. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Gore said “state governments, local governments and businesses are moving forward with reductions in spite of Donald Trump.”

BBC 10th Aug 2017 read more »

The BBC has been criticised for inviting a climate change denier to come on air and voice his belief that global warming isn’t happening. Science broadcasters including Brian Cox and Jim al-Khalili criticised the decision to bring on famous denialist Nigel Lawson, apparently to make sure that there was a balanced debate. Both pointed out that there is very little debate about global warming – an established fact on which almost every mainstream scientist is agreed. Lord Lawson was able to make a number of claims, which went mostly unchallenged. He said, for instance, that the world had actually become colder over the last 10 years – despite the fact that 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been the hottest years on record. Environmental experts including Carbon Brief fact-checked each of the claims and found that none of them were true. But apparently because Lord Lawson had been invited on as an opposing voice in a debate – to follow an interview with Al Gore about his latest climate change film – he was mostly asked to disagree with the science on global warming and his opinions were little picked up on.

Independent 10th Aug 2017 read more »

The i Newspaper 10th Aug 2017 read more »

Factcheck: Lord Lawson’s inaccurate claims about climate change on BBC Radio 4. The Today programme, BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs breakfast show, featured a prominent five-minute interview this morning with the climate sceptic Conservative peer Lord Lawson. Lawson was asked by the presenter Justin Webb to respond to Webb’s earlier interview with Al Gore. The former US vice president is in the UK promoting his new documentary, The Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a follow-up to his Oscar-winning film released a decade ago. Lawson, who has a history of controversial appearances on the Today programme, made a number of inaccurate claims throughout his interview. It has already attracted widespread criticism from scientists. Carbon Brief has transcribed and annotated the interview to highlight and contextualise the errors.

Carbon Brief 10th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 11 August 2017

Climate

New images have been released of wildfires that continue to burn close to the Greenland ice sheet, on the country’s west coast. Fires are rare on an island where 80% of the land is covered by ice up to 3km thick in places. However, satellites have observed smoke and flames north-east of a town called Sisimiut since 31 July. Experts believe at least two fires are burning in peat that may have dried out as temperatures have risen.

BBC 9th Aug 2017 read more »

Independent 9th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 August 2017

Climate

A damning climate change report has been made public amid fear it could be hidden by the Trump administration. The study finds that the average temperature in the US has been rising quickly since 1980, and that it is now hotter than any other time in the last 1,500 years. As such, it argues that Americans are already living under the effects of climate change, and that it might already be impossible to fully mitigate against its effects. But the report is just as significant for the fact that despite being compiled by scientists from across the US government, it had to be leaked for fear that it could be stifled by the White House. Donald Trump has in the past suggested that he thinks global warming is a Chinese hoax and has appointed climate change deniers to top government positions.

Independent 8th Aug 2017 read more »

Climate scientists are concerned that massive quantities of global warming gases are being released into the atmosphere undetected. The revelation, uncovered in a BBC investigation, threatens to undermine the Paris Agreement which saw global leaders pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions to a level that kept global warming to below 2C. But air monitors in Switzerland have detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy – while the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount of the substance being emitted, the BBC found.

The i newspaper 8th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 9 August 2017

Climate

Extreme weather could kill 150,000 people each year in Europe by the end of the century, say scientists. “This is a stark warning showing why we need greater action on climate change fast,” said Friends of the Earth campaigner Donna Hume. “People across the globe are already dying due to extreme weather events and without concerted action this will get worse, including right here in Europe. “This fate can be avoided but only if governments get serious about making the switch away from dirty fossil fuels. Three quarters of existing coal, oil and gas has to remain unused if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change – so why is the UK Government intent on digging and drilling for more across the British countryside?

Independent 4th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 August 2017

Climate

Global warming has a 90 per cent chance of heating the Earth to a tipping point, after which there may be no escape from destructive climate change, a study suggests. The new prediction warns of temperatures rising 2C to 4.9C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, despite measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A rise of 2C has frequently been cited as a “tipping point” that must be avoided to prevent runaway effects leading to widespread drought, extreme weather and dangerous increases in sea level. The same analysis shows a mere 1% chance of global warming being pegged at or below 1.5C, the target set by countries signing the Paris Agreement last year.

Scotsman 31st July 2017 read more »

There is only a 5% chance that the Earth will avoid warming by at least 2C come the end of the century, according to new research that paints a sobering picture of the international effort to stem dangerous climate change. Global trends in the economy, emissions and population growth make it extremely unlikely that the planet will remain below the 2C threshold set out in the Paris climate agreement in 2015, the study states. The Paris accord, signed by 195 countries, commits to holding the average global temperature to “well below 2C” above pre-industrial levels and sets a more aspirational goal to limit warming to 1.5C. This latter target is barely plausible, the new research finds, with just a 1% chance that temperatures will rise by less than 1.5C.

Guardian 31st July 2017 read more »

The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0–4.9 °C, with median 3.2 °C and a 5% (1%) chance that it will be less than 2 °C (1.5 °C). Population growth is not a major contributing factor. Our model is not a ‘business as usual’ scenario, but rather is based on data which already show the effect of emission mitigation policies. Achieving the goal of less than 1.5 °C warming will require carbon intensity to decline much faster than in the recent past.

Nature Climate Change 31st July 2017 read more »

Posted: 1 August 2017

Climate

Scientists are “very worried” that the Greenland ice sheet might start to melt “faster and faster”, a leading scientist has said. The problem is that the warmer weather is allowing more dark algae to grow on the ice. Because ice is white, it reflects much of the sun’s energy, but dark algae absorb the heat, increasing the rate of melting. The Greenland ice sheet is up to 3km thick and would raise sea levels by seven metres if it all melted into the sea. The current rate of melting is adding about 1mm a year to the global average sea level.

Independent 25th July 2017 read more »

The UK has started bypassing Donald Trump over climate change, talking directly to city mayors and other officials committed to trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the new Climate Change Minister has revealed. Claire Perry, who was appointed to the post after the general election last month, said that British ministers had not “missed an opportunity” to tell the US President that they were disappointed he had decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the news service Bloomberg reported.

Independent 25th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 26 July 2017

Climate

Preventing global warming from becoming “dangerous” may have just got significantly harder after new research suggested climate scientists have been using the wrong baseline temperature. The amount of global warming is often measured relative to the late 19th century even though this is about 100 years after the start of the industrial revolution, when humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels. Now an international team of scientists has suggested that the Earth’s true “pre-industrial” temperature could be up to 0.2 degrees Celsius cooler. That would mean that instead of about 1C of global warming, the planet’s average temperature may have risen by up to 1.2C. According to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the world should try to limit global warming to as close to 1.5C as possible to avoid its worst effects, such as deadly heatwaves, sea level rise that threatens coastal cities and more violent storms.

Independent 24th July 2017 read more »

Fears have been raised that the UK could soon see a repeat of the sort of flooding that has hit in recent years after forecasters predicted a one-in-three chance there would be a new record set for monthly rainfall during coming winters.

Guardian 24th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 July 2017