Heatwaves can damage the sperm of insects and make them almost sterile, according to new research. Scientists exposed beetles to experimental heatwaves in the laboratory, which resulted in reduced male fertility. The effects could be passed down to the beetles’ offspring. Further work could shed light on whether climate change is a factor behind mass declines in insect populations, say researchers. Climate change is affecting biodiversity around the world, but the drivers remain poorly understood.
BBC 13th Nov 2018 read more »
Guardian 13th Nov 2018 read more »
Independent 13th Nov 2018 read more »
Glasgow and Edinburgh are among the safest cities in the world when it comes to protection against the effects of global warming, according to new research. The findings come from a new study by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft (VM), which has assessed the threat from climate change to the fastest growing urban centres worldwide over the next 30 years. The study combines the latest UN projections on annual population growth rates in more than 1,800 cities with subnational data from VM’s 2018 Climate Change Vulnerability Index. Analysis of the data shows a total of 236 cities face “extreme” dangers from rising temperatures and increasingly severe weather brought on by climate change. More than 95 per cent of these are in Africa and Asia, including capitals and key commercial hubs.
Scotsman 14th Nov 2018 read more »
Climate action is way off course in all but one of the world’s 20 biggest economies, according to a report that shows politicians are paying more heed to the fossil fuel industry than to advice from scientists. Among the G20 nations 15 reported a rise in emissions last year, according to the most comprehensive stock-take to date of progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement. The paper, by the global partnership Climate Transparency, found 82% of energy in these countries still being provided by coal, oil and gas, a factor which has relied on a doubling of subsidies over the past 10 years to compete with increasingly cheap wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. The G20 nations increased subsidies for fossil fuels from $75bn (£58bn) to $147bn (£114bn) between 2007 and 2016, although they pledged to phase them out more than 10 years ago. Governments have said they will change, but on current commitments the world is on course for a 3.2C rise in average global temperatures, more than double the lower Paris threshold of 1.5C, which scientists have said represents the last chance to save coral reefs, the Arctic ecosystem and the wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people at risk of increased drought, flooding and forest fires. Comparing the goals and policies of different countries, the paper found that only India was on course to stay below the upper limit set by the Paris agreement of 2C, while the worst offenders – Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – would take the world beyond 4C. China , the world’s biggest emitter, stabilised its releases of carbon for a couple of years by reducing dependency on coal, but this positive trend slipped last year. Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina have promised to cut deforestation but the destruction rate of forests shows no sign of reversing. Britain has made the fastest transition, with a 7.7% decline in the use of fossil fuels between 2012 and 2015, but the report warned that this could stall in the years ahead because the government had cut support for feed-in tariffs, energy efficiency and zero-carbon homes.
Guardian 14th Nov 2018 read more »