Many millions of people − among them some of the world’s poorest − will be exposed to potentially lethal temperatures on a routine basis. At worst, the mercury could reach 56°C by 2100. Even if the world keeps its most ambitious promise and contains global heating to no more than 1.5°C above the global average normal for most of human history, the future looks distinctly menacing. And if the world doesn’t quite get there, and annual average temperatures − already 1°C above the historic norm − rise to 2°C, then vast numbers of people in South Asia will find themselves exposed to deadly conditions at least three times as often. As the researchers make this sober warning in one journal, researchers on the same day in yet another journal make a simple prediction about the cost of ignoring such warnings altogether, to go on burning ever more fossil fuels and destroying ever more tracts of the natural world. If this happens, then people in the Middle East and North Africa will be hit by a new category of thermal menace: the arrival of super-extreme and ultra-extreme heatwaves.
Climate News Network 29th March 2021 read more »
Many developed countries are “encouraging” deforestation in poorer nations through international trade, new research shows. Agriculture and forestry are responsible for 80% of global deforestation (pdf). This is mainly driven by demand for goods – including coffee, chocolate, cattle, soy, palm oil and timber – that are often then traded and consumed in countries around the world. The new study – published in Nature Ecology and Evolution – calculates the “deforestation footprints” of individual countries, comparing their domestic deforestation to that which they “import” from abroad through their consumption of foreign-made products. The UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan “imported” more than 90% of their national deforestation footprints from abroad between 2001 and 2015, the study finds, of which between 46% and 57% was from tropical forests.
Carbon Brief 29th March 2021 read more »