Whatever else the coronavirus onslaught is doing to humankind, some of the pandemic’s impacts are clear. It is making it harder for researchers to establish just what effect climate change is having on the planet. A group of United Nations and other agencies is today launching a report, United in Science 2020, (webcast at 1600 hours New York time) which it calls “a high-level compilation of the latest climate science information”. It is being launched by the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, with a virtual link to his counterpart at the World Meteorological Organisation, Petteri Taalas, in Geneva. Much of what the report says will already be familiar, but its detailed finding that the pandemic is causing long-term damage to climate change monitoring is sobering.
Climate News Network 9th Sept 2020 read more »
The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century. A new report by the World Meteorological Organisation warns this limit may be exceeded by 2024 – and the risk is growing. This first overshoot beyond 1.5℃ would be temporary, likely aided by a major climate anomaly such as an El Niño weather pattern. However, it casts new doubt on whether Earth’s climate can be permanently stabilised at 1.5℃ warming. This finding is among those just published in a report titled United in Science. We contributed to the report, which was prepared by six leading science agencies, including the Global Carbon Project.
Renew Economy 10th Sept 2020 read more »
‘This Is What a Climate Crisis Looks Like’: Fires Have Now Burned Record 2 Million Acres in California This Year. A spokesperson for CAL FIRE called the news “unnerving,” noting that “September and October are historically our worst months for fires.”
Common Dreams 8th Sept 2020 read more »
California wildfires: San Francisco sky turns apocalyptic orange. At least eight people have died and 2.5 million acres have been torched. And it’s not even California’s fire season yet.
Telegraph 10th Sept 2020 read more »
More than 1 billion people face being displaced within 30 years as the climate crisis and rapid population growth drive an increase in migration with “huge impacts” for both the developing and developed worlds, according to an analysis. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a thinktank that produces annual global terrorism and peace indexes, said 1.2 billion people lived in 31 countries that are not sufficiently resilient to withstand ecological threats. Nineteen countries facing the highest number of threats, including water and food shortages and greater exposure to natural disasters, are also among the world’s 40 least peaceful countries, the IEP’s first ecological threat register found.
Guardian 9th Sept 2020 read more »
British scientists have mapped cavities half the size of the Grand Canyon that are allowing warm ocean water to erode the vast Thwaites glacier in the Antarctic, accelerating the rise of sea levels across the world. Like decay in a tooth, the channels of warm water are melting the ice from below, threatening the stability of a glacier that is larger than Great Britain. Using an aircraft, ship and robot submarine, the British Antarctic Survey and a US team traced the seabed terrain and the bottom of the ice shelf to measure the gaps that have opened between previously grounded sections of the glacier.
Guardian 9th Sept 2020 read more »
Times 10th Sept 2020 read more »
In the hotter world of climate change, it won’t just be the glaciers that melt: national and regional economies, big business, government and even the multinationals will all pay a lethal price. If the planet becomes 4°C warmer by 2100, then many regions could see a 10% fall in economic output. They’d be the lucky ones. In the tropics, the economic losses could be double that. There are of course ways to limit losses and save lives. US researchers believe that if a quarter of all motorists in the US switched to electric vehicles, the nation could save $17bn a year in the costs of climate change and air pollution. If three fourths of drivers switched to cars fuelled by renewable electricity, savings could tip $70bn.
Climate News Network 10th Sept 2020 read more »
Climate change: This simple guide to the scientific evidence explains the urgent need for action – Dr Emily Grossman. A new, free and rigorously fact-checked book, Emergency on Planet Earth, provides an easy-to-understand guide to the science of climate change, writes Dr Emily Grossman.
Scotsman 10th Sept 2020 read more »