There was a “relentless” intensification of the climate crisis in 2020, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization. The coronavirus pandemic made the accelerating impacts of global heating even worse for millions of people. But the temporary dip in carbon emissions due to lockdowns had no discernible impact on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the WMO report said. Last year was ranked as the hottest on record, in a tie with 2016 and 2019, despite the cooling effect of the cyclical natural climate phenomenon, La Niña. Without this, 2020 would most likely have been the hottest year yet. The decade 2011-20 was the hottest on record.
Guardian 19th April 2021 read more »
The Pandemic Worsened Climate Misery for Millions Last Year. Covid-19 precautions made evacuations and relief efforts more difficult, even as greenhouse gas pollution continued its rise. The Covid-19 pandemic did little to slow the rise of greenhouse-gas pollution in 2020—and much to complicate responses to humanitarian disasters, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Global Climate 2020 report. The report is filled with evidence of an often-repeated projection: Climate change will deliver the greatest suffering to people who had the least to do with causing it. More than 50 million people were “doubly hit” by climate-related disasters and Covid-19 restrictions, the WMO authors write. One of the South Pacific’s most powerful storms ever, Cyclone Harold, pushed 100,000 people from their homes in island nations in April, with humanitarian response times slowed by pandemic-related delays in moving equipment and sending help. A month later, 180,000 people evacuated their homes in the Philippines before Cyclone Vongfong, an effort slowed considerably by social distancing measures that limited capacity for transportation and shelters. The numbers of displaced in some parts of the world swelled into the millions. Cyclone Amphan in May forced nearly 5 million people from their homes in eastern India and Bangladesh, with more than half them facing homelessness. Summer flooding and landslides in China forced 2.2 million people to evacuate, destroying 29,000 homes.
Bloomberg 19th April 2021 read more »
World Meteorological Organisation 19th April 2021 read more »
Researchers from Natural England have developed a picture of the impact that different UK habitats can have in taking carbon out of the atmosphere and helping us hit net zero by 2050, whilst delivering for both biodiversity and conservation. In the most comprehensive report to date on the impact of the nation’s landscape on carbon storage and sequestration, researchers found that peatlands and native woodlands are habitats which have the greatest capacity to store carbon, but that many others, including coastal and marine habitats such as saltmarsh and sea grass meadows have a significant role to play a role in helping the UK hit net zero by 2050. The report also highlights the importance of protecting traditionally managed habitats such as hedgerows, hay meadows, heathlands and old orchards as a way of preserving carbon stocks and wildlife that may have taken centuries to develop. There are also good opportunities to create new patches of habitat and hedgerows within farmed landscapes for biodiversity and carbon storage.
Natural England 20th April 2021 read more »
Business Green 20th April 2021 read more »
Independent 20th April 2021 read more »