Machines that suck CO2 directly from the air could cut the cost of meeting global climate goals, a new study finds, but they would need as much as a quarter of global energy supplies in 2100. The research, published today in Nature Communications, is the first to explore the use of direct air capture (DAC) in multiple computer models. It shows that a “massive” and energy-intensive rollout of the technology could cut the cost of limiting warming to 1.5 or 2C above pre-industrial levels. But the study also highlights the “clear risks” of assuming that DAC will be available at scale, with global temperature goals being breached by up to 0.8C if the technology then fails to deliver.
Carbon Brief 22nd July 2019 read more »
Do you remember the good old days when we had “12 years to save the planet”? Now it seems, there’s a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. But today, observers recognise that the decisive, political steps to enable the cuts in carbon to take place will have to happen before the end of next year. The idea that 2020 is a firm deadline was eloquently addressed by one of the world’s top climate scientists, speaking back in 2017. “The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and now director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute. The sense that the end of next year is the last chance saloon for climate change is becoming clearer all the time.
BBC 24th July 2019 read more »
Vast swathes of the Arctic are suffering from “unprecedented” wildfires, new satellite images have revealed. North of the Arctic circle, the high temperatures are facilitating enormous wildfires which are wreaking ecological destruction on a colossal scale. It comes after the world’s hottest June on record which has been followed by a devastating heatwave in the US, with Europe forecast for the same treatment later this week. Satellite images reveal fires across Greenland, Siberia and Alaska, with warm dry conditions following ice melt on the enormous Greenland icesheet commencing a month earlier than average.
Independent 23rd July 2019 read more »