A key threat of a warming climate is that it does not pose one single risk, but rather it presents multiple, interacting risks. In a highly connected world, climate risks – and our responses to them – can be transmitted from one system or sector to another, creating new risks and making existing ones more or less severe. For example, global warming of 2C is projected to reduce yields of staple crops by 5–20%. Yet greenhouse gas mitigation options can also increase food insecurity if bioenergy crops displace food crops, or can lead to biodiversity loss from land-use change and afforestation. Similarly, trade networks link distant food systems together and can, thus, compensate for reduced food security. However, they can also create new risks of global impacts, such as multiple-breadbasket failure, more rapid spread of disease, pests and invasive species, and new threats to local food security from changes in commodity prices caused by policy choices made elsewhere.
Carbon Brief 27th April 2021 read more »
The world’s glaciers are melting at an accelerating rate, according to a comprehensive new study. A French-led team assessed the behaviour of nearly all documented ice streams on the planet. The researchers found them to have lost almost 270 billion tonnes of ice a year over the opening two decades of the 21st Century. The meltwater produced now accounts for about a fifth of global sea-level rise, the scientists tell Nature journal. The numbers involved are quite hard to imagine, so team member Robert McNabb, from the universities of Ulster and Oslo, uses an analogy. “Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen that glaciers have lost about 267 gigatonnes (Gt) per year. So, if we take that amount of water and we divide it up across the island of Ireland, that’s enough to cover all of Ireland in 3m of water each year,” he says on this week’s edition of Science In Action on the BBC World Service.
BBC 28th April 2021 read more »
Guardian 28th April 2021 read more »
Independent 28th April 2021 read more »
Times 28th April 2021 read more »
The world’s glaciers are melting at an ever-increasing pace, with one report suggesting the rate of ice loss roughly doubles every 10 years. Scientists are saying the rapid disappearance of mountain glaciers – separate from the Greenland and Antarctic ice shields – is one of the most dramatic signs of global heating. Now, a Guardian visualisation makes these stark changes visible to the naked eye. The graphics show the outlines of glaciers from Alaska to the Andes shrinking over the course of just a few decades.
Guardian 29th April 2021 read more »
Glacier melt across the world has accelerated over the past two decades, a new study finds, with the resulting meltwater accounting for 21% of global sea level rise over the same period. The paper, published in Nature, is the first to analyse the rate of melting from almost every glacier on the planet – around 200,000 in total, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets – to show how they have lost mass and thickness between 2000 and 2019. Glaciers are currently losing more mass than either the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets, the study finds, and annual rates of glacier thinning have “nearly doubled” from 36cm in 2000 to 69cm in 2019.
Carbon Brief 28th April 2021 read more »