The world is in the middle of what is likely to be the warmest 10 years since records began in 1850, say scientists. The Met Office is forecasting that temperatures for each of the next five years are likely to be 1C or more above pre-industrial levels. In the next five years there’s also a chance we’ll see a year in which the average global temperature rise could be greater than 1.5C. That’s seen as a critical threshold for climate change. If the data matches the forecast, then the decade from 2014-2023 will be the warmest in more than 150 years of record keeping.
BBC 6th Feb 2019 read more »
Times 7th Feb 2019 read more »
Independent 7th Feb 2019 read more »
Global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, US government scientists have confirmed, adding to a stretch of five years that are now collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began. The world in 2018 was 1.5F (0.83C) warmer than the average set between 1951 and 1980, said Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). This means 2018’s average global temperatures were the fourth warmest since 1880, placing it behind 2016, 2017 and 2015.
Guardian 6th Feb 2019 read more »
Scientists who made apocalyptic warnings that the sea level could rise more than two metres this century were probably wrong, according to a new assessment. Researchers at King’s College London found that it would be closer to one metre by 2100 because Antarctica’s towering ice cliffs were less likely to collapse than had been claimed by US scientists. The revised prediction challenges a study in 2016 by Penn State University claiming that Antarctic melting alone could contribute more than a metre to the rise in sea level. The melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, plus thermal expansion of the oceans, are expected to add about another metre, meaning that the total rise would have been more than 2m had the US study been correct.
Times 7th Feb 2019 read more »
A widely reported study in 2016 that suggested Antarctica could add more than a metre to sea levels by 2100 was likely an “overestimate”, new research says. The original study, published in Nature, grabbed headlines with the finding that Antarctic ice was at risk from “marine ice-cliff instability”, which would see towering cliffs of glacier ice collapse into the ocean under their own weight. A new Nature study revisits the theory, finding that the “jury’s definitely still out” on ice-cliff instability coming into play this century, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. A second paper, also in Nature, says that melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could have dramatic knock-on impacts for the climate. These include the potential weakening of the Atlantic current that brings warm water up to Europe from the tropics, and a positive feedback loop that reinforces melting of Antarctic ice.
Carbon Brief 6th Feb 2019 read more »
Collapsing ice sheets at the poles are powerful symbols of a warming world, but new research suggests they may also be ramping up the global impact of climate change. As the icy cliffs of Greenland and Antarctica thaw, scientists think the influx of water will trigger extreme weather and disrupt ocean currents across the globe. Conventional wisdom holds that the most worrying consequence of melting polar ice will be the contribution of these enormous water stores to worldwide sea levels. But two new research papers published in the journal Nature challenge this notion, revealing once again the complexity of environmental factors scientists must take into consideration when predicting climate change. Global temperatures are currently on track to rise about 3C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. This is expected to accelerate the melting of ice sheets and raise global sea levels, threatening coastal communities around the world and posing an existential threat to low-lying islands. But warmer meltwater entering the oceans will have more complex effects than simply changing sea levels – weakening ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream and changing air temperatures on both sides of the Atlantic.
Independent 6th Feb 2019 read more »