Global warming is about to change the face of the frozen polar landmass, where the Arctic soils are slipping and sliding at record speed. Once-firm ground has begun to shift. Researchers who closely examined landslips and slumps on Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago have found a sixty-fold increase in ground movement in the last 30 years. In 1984, summer temperatures accounted for just 60 events of the kind glaciologists know as retrogressive thaw slumps or collapses of surface soil as the permafrost ice begins to melt. In 2014, there were more than 4,000 such slumps, including about 300 in an area protected as a natural park.
Climate News Network 9th April 2019 read more »
Two-thirds of the ice in the glaciers of the Alps is doomed to melt by the end of the century as climate change forces up temperatures, a study has found. Half of the ice in the mountain chain’s 4,000 glaciers will be gone by 2050 due to global warming already baked in by past emissions, the research shows. After that, even if carbon emissions have plummeted to zero, two-thirds of the ice will still have melted by 2100. If emissions continue to rise at the current rate, the ice tongues will have all but disappeared from Alpine valleys by the end of the century. The researchers said the loss of the glaciers would have a big impact on water availability for farming and hydroelectricity, especially during droughts, and affect nature and tourism.
Guardian 9th April 2019 read more »
Analysis: Why children must emit eight times less CO2 than their grandparents. Global emissions of CO2 need to decline precipitously over the next few decades, if the world is to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to “well below 2C” and, ideally, below 1.5C. If these goals are to be met, young people would have to live the greater part of their lives without contributing significantly to global emissions. Essentially, they would have fewer “allowable” CO2 emissions during their lifetime, compared with older generations. To determine just how much smaller their personal CO2 limits would be, Carbon Brief has combined historical data on emissions and population with projections for the future. In a world where warming is limited to 1.5C, the average person born today can emit only an eighth of the lifetime emissions of someone born in 1950. The interactive tool, below, shows the size of each person’s “carbon budget” during their lifetime – based on when and where they were born. It looks at two different scenarios: one where the world limits warming to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels by 2100; and one were warming is limited to 1.5C. It also considers two different ways of sharing future allowable emissions: one where each country tracks “optimal” pathways taken from models; and another, focused on equality, where each person can use the same portion of future emissions, no matter where they live. In all cases, younger generations will have to make do with substantially smaller lifetime carbon budgets than older generations, if the Paris limits are to be respected. This is because most of the allowable emissions have already been used up, meaning young people will not have the luxury of unmitigated emissions enjoyed by older generations.
Carbon Brief 10th April 2019 read more »