Explainer: Will global warming ‘stop’ as soon as net-zero emissions are reached? Media reports frequently claim that the world is facing “committed warming” in the future as a result of past emissions, meaning higher temperatures are “locked in”, “in the pipeline” or “inevitable”, regardless of the choices society takes today. The best available evidence shows that, on the contrary, warming is likely to more or less stop once carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reach zero, meaning humans have the power to choose their climate future. When scientists have pointed this out recently, it has been reported as a new scientific finding. However, the scientific community has recognised that zero CO2 emissions likely implied flat future temperatures since at least 2008. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 special report on 1.5C also included a specific focus on zero-emissions scenarios with similar findings.
Carbon Brief 29th April 2021 read more »
No generation should face a future blighted by a chaotic climate and environmental devastation, yet today’s young people do. Their parents were the beneficiaries of the Great Acceleration — a postwar explosion in human activity with few recent precedents. In the past 50 years, prosperity for millions has risen and the population has doubled. Natural resource extraction has tripled, helping to fuel an almost fivefold increase in the global economy.Young people have been left to pick up the environmental bill. They live in a world of poisoned rivers, dirty air, razed forests and acidifying oceans polluted by plastic. The UN says 1m of an estimated 8m species of plants and animals are now threatened with extinction. Greenhouse gas emissions are on course to warm temperatures enough to make today’s melting ice sheets and extreme weather look like the opening act to a climate tragedy of unthinkable proportions.All is by no means lost. Despite predictions that the coronavirus crisis would sap enthusiasm for environmental action, the reverse is happening in many parts of the world. Global investment in renewables and other clean technologies has reached record levels, as have green bonds and electric car sales. Countries and companies alike are racing to set net-zero emission targets. Investors are demanding companies clean up their acts.
FT 30th April 2021 read more »
A warming climate means many fish species swim polewards in search of cooler waters. Warming can cause birds to change migration patterns, and the growing season of plants and trees also alters as temperatures rise. The latest refugees? Now ticks flee the heat by heading higher. There’s mounting evidence that ticks – those bothersome blood-sucking creatures which take up residence on animals and humans – are changing their ways and spreading to new regions, encouraged by global warming. Nicolas De Pelsmaeker of the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) has been leading a team of researchers tracking the spread of ticks in the mountains of southern Norway. He and his colleagues have found ticks at altitudes of 1,000 metres. “Before this discovery ticks had not been found at altitudes higher than 583m above sea level,” De Pelsmaeker says in an article on the Science Nordic website.
Climate News Network 30th April 2021 read more »