Recent climate change promises by major nations will bring the world a fraction closer to the prospect of a more stable climate, analysis suggests. The Climate Action Tracker group says the new targets have reduced projected warming by the end of century by 0.2C. The forecast now stands at 2.4C – a small improvement, but higher than the 1.5C threshold nations are aiming for under the Paris climate agreement. Final calculations by researchers of the emissions gap in 2030 between Paris pledges and a 1.5C pathway show it’s been narrowed by 11-14%. The biggest prospective contributors to reducing emissions are the US, EU countries, China and Japan. The researchers noted that Canada announced a new target at President Biden’s recent climate summit while South Africa is consulting on an increased target. Argentina has increased its target, and the UK has a stronger target of a 78% emissions cut by 2035.
BBC 4th May 2021 read more »
Glacial retreat − the rate at which mountain ice is turning to running water − has accelerated. In the last two decades, the world’s 220,000 glaciers have lost ice at the rate of 267 billion tonnes a year on average, and this faster glacier melting could soon imperil downstream food and water supplies. To make sense of this almost unimaginable volume, think of a country the size of Switzerland. And then submerge it six metres deep in water. And then go on doing that every year for 20 years. European scientists report in the journal Nature that, on the basis of satellite data, they assembled a global snapshot of the entire world’s stock of land-borne ice, excluding Antarctica and Greenland. And then they began to measure the impact of global heating driven by profligate fossil fuel use on the lofty, frozen beauty of the Alps, the Hindu Kush, the Andes, the Himalayas and the mountains of Alaska. They found not just loss, but a loss that was accelerating sharply. Between 2000 and 2004, the glaciers together surrendered 227 billion tons of ice a year on average. By 2015 to 2019, the annual loss had risen to 298 billion tonnes. The run-off from the retreating glaciers alone caused more than one-fifth of observed sea level rise this century.
Climate News Network 5th May 2021 read more »