Despite global promises to act on climate change, the Earth continues to warm. The annual planetary temperature confirms that the last 10 years were on average 0.2°C warmer than the first 10 years of this century. And each decade since 1980 has been warmer than the decade that preceded it. The year 2019 was also one of the three warmest years since formal temperature records began in the 19th century. The only warmer years – in some datasets but not all – were 2016 and 2015. And all the years since 2013 have been warmer than all other years in the last 170. The link with fossil fuel combustion remains unequivocal: carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increased by 2.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2019 alone. These now stand at 409 ppm. The global average for most of human history has hovered around 285 ppm. Two more greenhouse gases – nitrous oxide and methane, both of them more short-lived – also increased measurably.
Climate News Network 17th Aug 2020 read more »
‘Canary in the coal mine’: Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return, study finds. Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests. Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting.
Reuters 14th Aug 2020 read more »
Climate News Network 18th Aug 2020 read more »
These could be disaster movie storylines, but they are also serious and increasingly plausible scenarios of epidemics unleashed by global warming, scientists say. The COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe and claimed over 760,000 lives so far almost certainly came from a wild bat, highlighting the danger of humanity’s constant encroachment on the planet’s dwindling wild spaces. But the expanding ecological footprint of our species could trigger epidemics in other ways too. Climate change—already wreaking havoc with one degree Celsius of warming—is also emerging as a driver of infectious disease, whether by expanding the footprint of malaria- and dengue-carrying mosquitos, or defrosting prehistoric pathogens from the Siberian permafrost.
Phys.org 17th Aug 2020 read more »
The draconian coronavirus lockdowns across the world have led to sharp drops in carbon emissions, but this will have “negligible” impact on the climate crisis, with global heating cut by just 0.01 degrees Celsuis by 2030, a study has found. But the analysis also shows that putting the huge sums of post-Covid-19 government funding into a green recovery and shunning fossil fuels will give the world a good chance of keeping the rise in global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The scientists said we are now at a “make or break” moment in keeping under the limit—as compared with pre-industrial levels— agreed to by the world’s governments to avoid the worst effects of global heating.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 17th Aug 2020 read more »
Climate change could already be taking its toll on more than half of the world’s oceans, scientists have discovered. Warming water temperatures and higher salt levels are key indicators that human-caused climate change is starting to impact the health of oceans. Researchers at the University of Reading used climate models and deep-sea observations to model the ‘tipping point’ at which natural variation in these indicators becomes manmade change.
iNews 17th Aug 2020 read more »
Temperatures in Death Valley, Nevada, hit a scorching 54.4 Celsius on Sunday afternoon, in what some experts believe could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth.
iNews 17th Aug 2020 read more »
Times 18th Aug 2020 read more »