Researchers say the faster Greenland ice melt affecting part of the island could mean a large area is on the verge of irreversible loss. Their new study shows that the central western region of the ice sheet is near what climate scientists call “a tipping point.” That is, once the ice starts to slide away, most of it will tip into the sea, to raise global sea levels and potentially to trigger the collapse of the great Atlantic Ocean current that enhances the climate of north-west Europe. “We have found evidence that the central western part of the Greenland ice sheet has been destabilising and is now close to a critical transition,” said Niklas Boers, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Our results suggest there will be substantially enhanced melting in the future − which is quite worrying.”
Climate News Network 24th May 2021 read more »
An ice sheet in the southwestern region of Greenland is releasing huge amounts of mercury into nearby rivers. The discovery is worrying as the toxic metal can accumulate in the marine animals that are a key dietary component for local Indigenous communities. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal found in some rocks. As glaciers slowly flow downhill, they grind up the underlying rocks, potentially releasing mercury into their meltwater.
New Scientist 24th May 2021 read more »
We know already that the human cost of climate change is immense. Now we can put a figure on it. Nine years on, New Yorkers have a clearer idea of the direct cost of human-driven climate change to them during just one stormy weekend in October 2012. They became poorer by $8.1 billion, say researchers from Princeton, New Brunswick and Hoboken in New Jersey, and Boston in Massachusetts, just because of sea level rise powered first by global heating fuelled by profligate combustion worldwide of coal, oil and gas, and then by a superstorm called Hurricane Sandy. Researchers can also number the additional people who suffered damages inflicted precisely because of human-driven climate change on that one long, painful weekend: 71,000. “This study is the first to isolate the human-contributed sea level effects during a coastal storm and put a dollar sign to the additional flooding damage,” said Philip Orton, of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, one of the authors.
Climate News Network 25th May 2021 read more »
A “mind-boggling” heat wave in the Arctic has broken temperature records in north-west Russia, meteorologists have said. Last Wednesday, the mercury rose above 30C in parts of the Arctic, significantly above the average for the time of year. Scott Duncan, a meteorologist based in the UK, described conditions as “truly exceptional for any time of the year but mind-boggling for May”.
Independent 24th May 2021 read more »
Greta Thunberg has warned humanity must shift to a plant-based diet quickly to prevent more ecological and health crises. In a video posted online, the Swedish climate activist urged people to change what they eat, warning bluntly: “If we don’t change, we’re f****d.” “The climate crisis, the ecological crisis and the health crisis – they are all interlinked,” the 18-year-old said.
Independent 25th May 2021 read more »