It seems logical that if we dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions the global temperature will go down, but sadly this is not the case – at least for decades. The climate takes up to 25 years to react to changes in the composition of the atmosphere, up or down. Scientists looking to see if they might detect something cheerful as a result of the drop in carbon dioxide or other emissions because of Covid-19, found that the temperature reductions were so small they would not be measurable. Theoretically, it might have been possible to see the opposite, an increase in temperature because less sulphur dioxide was being pumped into the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations. This polluting gas reflects sunlight back into space and so cools the atmosphere, but the effect of a reduction was so slight in both cases any effects would have been lost in the natural variability of weather.
Guardian 13th July 2020 read more »
‘Teetering at the edge’: Scientists warn of rapid melting of Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday glacier’. Thwaites glacier is losing ice at an accelerating rate, threatening catastrophic sea-level rise. Many climate scientists regard Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica as one of the most vulnerable and most significant glaciers in the world in terms of future global sea-level rise. Its collapse would raise global sea levels by more than half a metre on its own, and subsequently release other major bodies of ice in West Antarctica, which together could raise sea levels by 2-3 metres. The ramifications for many countries, including most of the world’s coastal cities, would be catastrophic. For this reason, Thwaites is known as Antarctica’s “Doomsday glacier”. Earlier this year a team of scientists observed, for the first time, the presence of warm water at a vital point underneath the glacier, which helps explain the reason behind the extent of its decrease.
Independent 13th July 2020 read more »
Recent summers have demonstrated dramatically that heatwaves are not only deadly, but they are already being influenced by human-induced climate change.
Carbon Brief 13th July 2020 read more »