A total of 28 trillion tonnes of ice have disappeared from the surface of the Earth since 1994. That is stunning conclusion of UK scientists who have analysed satellite surveys of the planet’s poles, mountains and glaciers to measure how much ice coverage lost because of global heating triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists – based at Leeds and Edinburgh universities and University College London – describe the level of ice loss as “staggering” and warn that their analysis indicates that sea level rises, triggered by melting glaciers and ice sheets, could reach a metre by the end of the century. “To put that in context, every centimetre of sea level rise means about a million people will be displaced from their low-lying homelands,” said Professor Andy Shepherd, director of Leeds University’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.
Guardian 23rd Aug 2020 read more »
High temperatures saw Greenland lose enough ice to cover the US state of California in more than four feet of water in 2019 alone, a study which suggests the island lost a million tonnes of ice for every minute of the year has said. After two years in which the land masses’ summer ice melt had been negligible, satellite measurements have suggested an excessively hot 2019 saw the loss of 586 billion tons of ice melt from the island. The loss represents more than 532 trillion litres of water according to a study published in Communications Earth & Environment – equivalent to 212.8 million olympic-sized swimming pools over the course of 2019, or seven for every second of the year.
Independent 22nd Aug 2020 read more »
Thirty years ago this week, the population of Earth was given official notification that it faced a threat of unprecedented magnitude. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, spewed into the atmosphere from factories and vehicles burning fossil fuels, were pinpointed, definitively, as triggers of future climate change. Melting icecaps, rising sea levels and increasing numbers of extreme weather events would be the norm for the 21st century unless action were taken, warned the authors of the first assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The scientists had been charged by the IPCC, which had been set up two years earlier, with establishing whether climate change was a real prospect and, if it was, to look at the main drivers of that threat. They concluded, in a report released in August 1990, that the menace was real and that coal, gas and oil would be the principal causes of global heating. Unless controls were imposed on their consumption, temperature rises of 0.3C a decade would be occurring in the 21st century, bringing havoc in their wake. Three decades later, it is clear that we have recklessly ignored that warning. Fossil fuels still supply 80% of the world’s energy, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise and global temperatures are still increasing. According to Met Office statistics, there was a 0.14C increase in global temperatures in the decade that followed publication of the first assessment report. This was then followed by a 0.2C increase in each of the following two decades. The world could easily heat by 3C by the end of the century at this rate, warn scientists.
Observer 23rd Aug 2020 read more »
California wildfires among the largest in the state’s history as five die and 100,000 are evacuated.
iNews 22nd Aug 2020 read more »
Experts are calling for international collaboration to combat wildfires, which they say are an under-acknowledged component of the climate crisis. Extreme fire conditions in Siberia this summer, ongoing and devastating blazes across California and the worst start to the Amazon fire season in a decade are sparking concern from across the scientific community. “People globally should start to perceive wild land fires as part of the global climate crisis, and then, try to find where the solutions require global participation” says Anton Beneslavsky, from Greenpeace International.
Independent 22nd Aug 2020 read more »