Seven other Australian high school students and I made history on Thursday. We sat in the federal court in Sydney, holding hands and barely breathing, and heard Justice Mordecai Bromberg say that our federal environment minister, Sussan Ley, has a duty to take reasonable care not to cause young people injury from the harms of climate change. This is a world first. And, to be honest, I think I’m still in shock.
Guardian 28th May 2021 read more »
Richard Dixon: The last few weeks have seen several new studies yielding new insights into the role and future of ice sheets and glaciers. Last month, the seasonal sea ice in the Arctic covered almost one million square kilometres less than the long-term average, making it the sixth-lowest ice cover ever recorded. The poles are among the places feeling the heat of climate change most rapidly. In March, the world was 0.88C above the long-term average, but parts of the South Pole and all of the North Pole were between 2 and 4C warmer. Recently, locations in Alaska were officially reclassified from “sub-Arctic” to “warm summer continental”, based on the upward trend of yearly average temperatures. Last week, a study concluded that the Greenland ice sheet is already melting sufficiently to raise global sea levels by one or two metres. If it all went, sea levels would be seven metres higher. Another study found that the massive Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is melting faster than previously thought. The picture across the region is confusing because warmer seas mean the ice sheets are melting, but they also mean there is more new snow falling, replenishing the ice from the top. So, the ice sheets can be feeding tens of billions of tonnes of water into the ocean a year, while at the same time seeming to contain about the same amount of ice. Despite promises to keep the global temperature rise well below 2C and even to try for 1.5C, the world is on track for a potential 3C rise by 2100. A new study suggests that the tactic some governments are backing – to go over 2C but then come back down again – would likely create irreversible ice loss in the Antarctic, even if it worked. But ice is not only found at the poles, another study finds that mountain glaciers are melting faster even than the Antarctic ice, adding billions of tonnes of water to the oceans every year.
Scotsman 28th May 2021 read more »