Models developed to explore how the world might limit future warming to the “well below 2C” target of the Paris Agreement on climate change typically employ large amounts of “negative emissions” later in the century. The majority of these “energy system” models employ a technology called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at a massive scale. BECCS involves growing plants, absorbing CO2 in the process, then converting the resulting biomass into electricity. The carbon emissions are captured and buried underground, both removing CO2 the atmosphere and generating electricity at the same time. But the areas where large volumes of biomass can be grown and CO2 can be stored do not necessarily overlap. A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), examines the areas of the US that might fit both criteria – and whether BECCS can be implemented at the scale assumed in the energy models. The researchers find that there are enough suitable areas of the US to remove around 110m-120m tonnes (Mt) CO2 from the atmosphere by 2020 and 360-630MtCO2 by 2040. This is similar to what energy models assume will need to be deployed across the US in a world where warming is limited to well below 2C.

Carbon Brief 12th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 13 March 2018

Climate Change

Thirteen cities worldwide are projected to see “alarming” rises in temperature that could exceed 2C over the next decade or so, according to a new report. The Belgian city of Leuven faces the highest potential increase among a hundred cities that were included in the report by the Urban Climate Change Research Network, based at Columbia University. Cities that could see the steep temperature increases by the 2020s include Geneva in Switzerland (2.5C), Shenzhen in China (2.3C) and Tsukuba in Japan (2.3C), the study showed. “It’s all alarming,” William Solecki, one of the study’s editors, said on Tuesday at a United Nations-backed climate summit. All predictions included a lower limit too. Leuven, for instance, could increase by as little as 1.1C. The new data provides “foundation knowledge” for cities at the forefront of efforts to rein in the effects of global warming, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, an editor of the report and a researcher with Nasa. The new findings follow a UN draft report already causing alarm with projections that the global temperature rise is on track to exceed a 1.5C target included in the Paris pact to curb global warming. Experts say storms, floods and other extreme weather events related to climate change are hitting cities much harder than scientists predicted.

Independent 7th March 2018 read more »

Arctic has warmest winter on record as climate change fears increase.

Independent 7th March 2018 read more »

Guardian 6th March 2018 read more »

A dire warning to the world about its future, which predicts catastrophe for humanity, is continuing to gain momentum. The letter – which was first released in November – has now been signed by around 20,000 scientists. And the world seems to be listening: it is now one of the most discussed pieces of scientific research ever, and its publishers claim it is now influencing policy. The new letter was actually an update to a an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists that was backed by 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. It said that the world had changed dramatically since that warning was issued – and almost entirely for the worse. Mankind is still facing the existential threat of runaway consumption of limited resources by a rapidly growing population, they warned. And “scientists, media influencers and lay citizens” aren’t doing enough to fight against it, the letter read. If the world doesn’t act soon, there will be catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery, they wrote.

Independent 7th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 8 March 2018


I’ve now read it three times, and the first impression stands. Dr Kate Marvel’s essay, We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change, is one of the most powerful pieces you will read on climate change. It is urgent, vital, and beautiful. A review won’t do it justice, you really should just read it. It only takes five minutes, but packed into its 1,110 words are one of the most strikingly memorable explanations of the basic, unrelenting physics of our atmosphere; a hammer blow, emotional acknowledgement of the threat climate change poses to all we hold dear; and, just perhaps, the glimmer of a way forward. If you work in sustainability, have an interest in science communications, or just care about the future, you really must just read it.

Business Green 5th March 2018 read more »

We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change.

One Being 1st March 2018 read more »

New scenarios show how the world could limit warming to 1.5C in 2100. a paper in Nature Climate Change presents the results from a new modelling exercise using six different “integrated assessment models” (IAMs) to limit global temperatures in 2100 to below 1.5C. The results suggest that 1.5C is achievable if global emissions peak in the next few years and massive amounts of carbon are sucked out of the atmosphere in the second half of the century through a proposed technology known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Carbon Brief 5th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 6 March 2018


Delay in slowing rising sea levels is dangerous. Each five-year delay in limiting global carbon emissions into the atmosphere now will increase sea level rise for the next three centuries. This warning is based on computer models of global warming and sea level rise – but a second study based on very precise measurements over the last 25 years confirms that the models are reliable – and that sea level rise is already accelerating. As sea levels rise, then so does the level of storm damage to coasts and coastal cities: a recent study of the coast of South Carolina warns that financial losses caused by hurricanes could rise by 70% by 2100. And, for the doubters, a fourth piece of research delivers the ultimate in hard evidence: winter storms off the Irish coast have shifted boulders that weigh up to 620 tons (630 metric tons) and hurled smaller boulders of up to 100 tons far above the high tide mark.

Climate News Network 2nd March 2018 read more »

Posted: 3 March 2018


Global sea level to rise by up to 1.2 metres despite Paris agreement, say scientists. ‘Even if we stop emitting today, the effects of our past emissions will be felt for centuries to come and every year that we delay action has consequences for the future’ The research, compiled by climate scientists from a number of international institutions, analysed the long-term impacts of different emission levels and concluded oceans will rise by over one metre even if the world sticks to the Paris agreement. Overall, the researchers estimated a global rise of between 0.7 and 1.2 metres – adding that if emissions are not curbed as soon as possible it will be even greater.

Independent 20th Feb 2018 read more »

Every five-year delay in meeting Paris goals could ‘add 20cm’ to global sea levels.

Carbon Brief 20th February 2018 read more »

Major British towns and cities, including Glasgow, Wrexham, Aberdeen and Chester, could be much more severely affected by climate change than previously thought, according to new research. The study, by Newcastle University, analysed changes in flooding, droughts and heatwaves for every European city using all climate models. Looking at the impact by the year 2050-2100, the team produced results for three possible outcomes – low, medium and high-impact scenarios. But even the most optimistic case showed 85% of UK cities with a river, including London, would face increased flooding. In the high-impact scenario, some cities and towns in the UK and Ireland could see the amount of water per flood as much as double. The worst affected is Cork, which could see 115% more water per flooding, while Wrexham, Carlisle, Glasgow, and Chester could all see increases of more than 75%.

Guardian 21st Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 21 February 2018


The dire impact of future climate change on the US, spelt out in the federal government’s National Climate Assessment report last November, is looking even worse after the completion of further research. Scientists involved in the assessment, an exercise mandated by Congress that takes place every four years, gave an update at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Austin.

FT 19th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2018


Global sea ice hits record low for January as the annual polar melting period expanded.

Independent 17th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 February 2018


Global surface temperatures during the three years from 2014 to 2016 – each hotter than the last – boosted the total level of global warming since 1900 by 25%, according to new research. A separate study has confirmed that heat extremes, too, have outpaced the global average. Maximum temperatures during the hottest heat waves have in the last 30 years risen three times faster – especially in crowded cities that are home to more than 10 million – than average temperatures as a whole. And a third study warns that unless the world’s nations start to reduce carbon emissions, then within the next 17 or 18 years, planetary temperatures will be at least 1.5°C above the world average for most of human history. And 35 to 41 years from now, these temperatures will have climbed 2°C above the level that held before the Industrial Revolution, and the arrival of fossil fuels as a global energy source.

Climate News Network 13th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 14 February 2018

Climate Change

Earth’s sea level could be rising by a centimetre per year by the end of the century, scientists believe.

Independent 12th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 13 February 2018


Technology will not “come to the rescue” and reverse greenhouse gas emissions, experts have warned. In a new report, a group of prominent European scientists has emphasised the importance of focusing on reducing emissions in order to meet global warming targets. Technologies that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere have been singled out as a major component in the struggle to keep the global temperature rise below the 2C decided in the Paris climate agreement. However, the new report has highlighted the shortcomings of these technologies, describing expectations placed on them as “seriously over-optimistic”.

Independent 31st Jan 2018 read more »

Ways of sucking carbon dioxide from the air will not work on the vast scales needed to beat climate change, Europe’s science academies warned on Thursday. From simply planting trees to filtering CO2 out of the air, the technologies that some hope could be a “silver bullet” in halting global warming either risk huge damage to the environment themselves or are likely to be very costly. Virtually all the pathways laid out by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to reach the targets in the Paris agreement require huge deployment of so-called negative emissions technologies (NETs) in the second half of the century.

Guardian 1st Feb 2018 read more »

Global temperatures could break through the internationally agreed upper 1.5C limit within the next five years, according to a forecast by British scientists that raises fresh questions about the world’s efforts to tackle climate change. The Met Office forecasting service said that in the period from 2018 to 2022, annual global average temperatures are likely to exceed 1C above pre-industrial levels and could top the 1.5C threshold set as an aspiration by the global Paris climate change deal in 2015.

Guardian 31st Jan 2018 read more »

Negative emissions have ‘limited potential’ to help meet climate goals.

Carbon Brief 31st Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 1 February 2018