Two of the world’s leading scientific institutions have joined forces to arrive at a not very surprising conclusion: solve nature and climate together, or forget them both. If the world does not work to tackle the climate crisis and the extinction threat confronting millions of wild species together, it has little hope of solving either of them separately. So says a report published by the snappily-titled Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), each respected for their commanding knowledge in their own fields. The report, the IPBES/IPCC Workshop Report, which marks the first collaboration between the two bodies’ scientists, is not content simply to urge joint action on the intertwined problems threatening the world. It goes on to identify what it says are key options for solving them. Both biodiversity loss and climate change are driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other, the report says.
Climate New Network 11th June 2021 read more »
An ice shelf that pins one of Antarctica’s largest glaciers in place is ripping apart, prompting scientists to warn that its lifespan could be drastically shortened. Pine Island Glacier covers 68,000 square miles in the West Antarctic and comprises an estimated 180 trillion tons of ice, enough to raise the average global sea level by 50cm (20in). It flows from the land into the sea but is buttressed by an ice shelf that floats and had served as a brake. In the 1990s it helped limit the speed at which the glacier flowed to about seven metres a day. From about 2009-17 the speed was stable at about 11 metres a day, but it appears to have moved up a gear, with the further acceleration coinciding with a large part of the shelf splintering off. From 2017-20, the shelf lost a fifth of its area as vast icebergs split off. Research published yesterday by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Washington suggests that this loss has added to the glacier’s instability. Ian Joughin, the glaciologist who led the research, said: “The processes we’d been studying in this region were leading to an irreversible collapse, but at a fairly measured pace. Things could be much more abrupt if we lose the rest of that ice shelf.”
Times 12th June 2021 read more »