Potsdam PIK: The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe. Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been weaker than ever before in the last century, or even in the last millennium. The gradual but accelerating melting of the Greenland ice-sheet, caused by man-made global warming, is a possible major contributor to the slowdown. Further weakening could impact marine ecosystems and sea level as well as weather systems in the US and Europe.
climate news network: Nature has been replaced by humans as the driving force behind changes on the planet − and we need to take urgent action if we are to avoid our own destruction.
This is the view of two scientists – including a Nobel prize winner − who support the theory that the planet has entered a new Anthropocene epoch that has succeeded the Holoscene, the current geological warm period that began at the end of the ice age 11,500 years ago.
The scientists claim that there is overwhelming evidence that what they term “man, the eroder” now transforms all Earth system processes. They offer this list in support of their argument:
* Excessively rapid climate change, so that ecosystems cannot adapt.
* The Arctic ocean ice cover is thinner by approximately 40% than it was 20-40 years ago.
*Ice loss on land is causing the rising sea levels.
*Overpopulation (a fourfold increase in the 20th century alone).
*Increasing demand for freshwater.
*Releases of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, resulting in high surface ozone layers.
*Loss of agricultural soil through erosion.
*Loss of phosphorous (dangerous depletion in agricultural regions).
*Melting supplies of phosphate reserves (leading to serious reduction in crop yield).
Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate in the Anthropocene
by Crutzen, Paul J. and Wacławek, Stanisław
IEA: Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.
“This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol, recently named to take over from Maria van der Hoeven as the next IEA Executive Director.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the preceding year. The preliminary IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought.
The IEA attributes the halt in emissions growth to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries. In China, 2014 saw greater generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and less burning of coal. In OECD economies, recent efforts to promote more sustainable growth – including greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy – are producing the desired effect of decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.
guardian: As California experiences the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts in its history, a senior Nasa scientist has warned that the state has about one year of water left.
In an LA Times editorial published last week, Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory senior water cycle scientist Jay Famiglietti called for a more “forward-looking process” to deal with the state’s dwindling water supply.
Famiglietti, who is also a professor at University of California at Irvine, said the state had about one year of water in reservoir storage and the backup supply, groundwater, was low.
“California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain,” Famiglietti wrote. “In short, we have no paddle to navigate this crisis.”
Guardian: By the time nations once again get round a table in Paris in December to discuss climate change, hunger should be on the menu. Researchers have just warned that a new and aggressive strain of yellow rust fungus is now a threat to Britain’s wheat harvest. Another team has calculated that average yields of wheat per field, which only two decades ago were rising rapidly, are now down 2.5%, and barley by 3.8%. In each case, the scientists identify climate change as a contributing factor. Global warming has barely begun but climate scientists have been warning about the consequences for food security for 30 years.
climate news network: More than 40% of the world’s great cities supplied by surface water could become vulnerable to shortages and drought by 2040, according to new research. And more than three out of 10 were already vulnerable in 2010.
Meanwhile, the vital array of satellites designed to monitor rainfall and to warn of potential flooding is reported to be coming to the end of its shelf life.
For the first time in history, more than half the world’s population is now concentrated in cities, and this proportion is predicted to increase to two-thirds. Cities grow up near plentiful water supplies − and as a population explodes, so does demand. But the flow remains much the same.
Journal: Environmental research letters
Global analysis of urban surface water supply vulnerability
Julie C Padowski and Steven M Gorelick 2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 104004
climate news network: Several important fish species that for centuries have been part of the staple diet of people in the Mediterranean region are abandoning sub-tropical seas because the water is too warm and are heading north.
Sardines, which for generations have been the most abundant commercial fish species in Portugal, are moving away. They are now established in the North Sea, and are being caught in the Baltic – a sea that until recently was normally frozen over in the winter.
Sardines, anchovies and mackerel − three fish species that are important in the diet of many southern European and North African countries − have been studied by scientists trying to discover how climate change and warming seas are affecting their distribution.
More on climate news network
Journal: Global Change Biology
Warming shelf seas drive the subtropicalization of European pelagic fish communities
Ignasi Montero-Serra, Martin Edwards and Martin J. Genner
Article first published online: 31 OCT 2014
NYT: As southeast Brazil grapples with its worst drought in nearly a century, a problem worsened by polluted rivers, deforestation and population growth, the largest reservoir system serving São Paulo is near depletion. Many residents are already enduring sporadic water cutoffs, some going days without it. Officials say that drastic rationing may be needed, with water service provided only two days a week.
ei.columbia: During the second half of the 21st century, the U.S. Southwest and Great Plains will face persistent drought worse than anything seen in times ancient or modern, with the drying conditions “driven primarily” by human-induced global warming, a new study predicts.
Guardian: California is in the midst of its worst drought in over 1,200 years, exacerbated by record hot temperatures. A new study led by Benjamin Cook at Nasa GISS examines how drought intensity in North America will change in a hotter world, and finds that things will only get worse.
Global warming intensifies drought in several ways. In increases evaporation from soil and reservoirs. In increases water demand. It makes precipitation fall more as rain and less as snow, which is problematic for regions like California that rely on snowpack melt to refill reservoirs throughout the year. It also makes the snowpack melt earlier in the year. The record heat has intensified the current California drought by about 36%, and the planet will only continue to get hotter.
climate news network: It’s like burning banknotes. Latest statistics from the World Bank (WB) indicate that the amount of gas flared each year is enough energy to supply electricity to several small countries or many millions of households.
The flaring of 140 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year releases large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and that is not only bad news for the climate, but also for human health.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.
The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:
*Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
*Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
*Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
*Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
*Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
*Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).
Guardian: Australia could be on track for a temperature rise of more than 5C by the end of the century, outstripping the rate of warming experienced by the rest of the world, unless drastic action is taken to slash greenhouse gas emissions, according to the most comprehensive analysis ever produced of the country’s future climate.
The national science agency CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have released the projections based on 40 global climate models, producing what they said was the most robust picture yet of how Australia’s climate would change.
The report stated there was “very high confidence” that temperatures would rise across Australia throughout the century, with the average annual temperature set to be up to 1.3C warmer in 2030 compared with the average experienced between 1986 and 2005.
ScienceDaily: The world’s urban areas have experienced significant increases in heat waves over the past 40 years, according to new research. These prolonged periods of extreme hot days have significantly increased in over 200 urban areas across the globe between 1973 and 2012, and have been most prominent in the most recent years on record.
NOAA: The December 2014 globally-averaged temperature across land and ocean surfaces was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F), the highest on record for December since records began in 1880, surpassing the previous record set in 2006 by 0.02°C (0.04°F). This is the 10th consecutive month (since March 2014) with a global monthly temperature ranking among the seven highest for its respective month. December also marks the sixth month of 2014 to set a new monthly high temperature record.
by fred pearce
Boom may be turning to bust for fossil fuels. Market forces are combining with the prospect of new limits on carbon emissions from major economies such as China and the United States to prick the carbon bubble. Many analysts are now suggesting that — with prices falling and production costs rising — the coming year could be the moment when investors realize the game is up for the coal and oil industries.
Guardian: In 2002, the Nobel-winning scientist Paul Crutzen was at a meeting where the chairman kept using the term “Holocene” to describe the present day. This is, technically, correct: the Holocene began at the end of the last ice age. But Crutzen, who had won his Nobel for his work on the effects of ozone-depleting compounds (and so, in being instrumental in shrinking the holes in the ozone layer, could be said to have saved the planet), blurted out that we should actually be calling the present day the Anthropocene: the epoch influenced by humanity. When word of this proposal reached the Geological Society of London, and specifically its stratigraphy committee – the people who decide such matters – they thought about it for a year, and decided: yes, Anthropocene sounds about right.
We really are that influential – and destructively so. And yet if all civilisation were to end now, then 100m years hence, everything we have built would be compressed, in the geological record, to a layer of sediment “not much thicker than a cigarette paper”, as Elizabeth Kolbert puts it.
Guardian: A recent report by the International Bar Association suggests concrete steps to getting the law right for the victims of climate change.
We are learning to see climate injustice. We see it in the distressing stories of lives destroyed, epic droughts, floods and typhoons, and families and whole peoples uprooted. Climate injustice is not at first glance a legal problem any more than climate change itself is: it is economic, political, scientific. And yet, year after year, it is to law we turn for a solution in the hope that each next round of climate talks will yield a binding international agreement.
Today, faced with the reality of the human cost of climate change, all around the world people are turning to law for help, seeking a remedy, redress, some guarantee that it won’t happen again. This is the challenge of climate justice.
So far, the law has not seemed up to the task. Indeed, as the recent report of an International Bar Association (IBA) Task Force (pdf) has shown, some of our laws, both national and international, apparently make climate action more rather than less difficult. The report, however, has plenty of suggestions for improvement. Here are five recommendations that are politically palatable and could make a big difference.
UCL: A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2°C target agreed by policy makers, according to new research by the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. – See more at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0115/070115-fossil-fuels#sthash.cNOwykz5.dpuf
climate news network: Lumberjacks are selecting different trees, US fishermen are sailing further north to catch black sea bass, desert birds are nesting later in California and Arizona, and one kind of wildflower is changing shape in the Rocky Mountains − and all in response to climate change, according to new research.
None of these responses is simple, or necessarily ominous, and global warming is not the only factor at work. But all are nevertheless examples of adaptation to − so far – very modest changes in temperature.
EU JRC: 2013 saw global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production reach a new all-time high. This was mainly due to the continuing steady increase in energy use in emerging economies over the past ten years. However, emissions increased at a notably slower rate (2%) than on average in the last ten years (3.8% per year since 2003, excluding the credit crunch years).
This slowdown, which began in 2012, signals a further decoupling of global emissions and economic growth, which reflects mainly the lower emissions growth rate of China. China, the USA and the EU remain the top-3 emitters of CO2,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DK: Denmark and Greenland will today file a submission regarding the continental shelf north of Greenland
Guardian: The discussions in Paris in 2015 will be informed by the latest climate science. In our play 2071, which recently completed its inaugural run at the Royal Court theatre in London, directed by Katie Mitchell, we explore the science, its implications and the options before us. A key aim is to leave the audience better placed to participate in the public discourse, in which we all need to play a part.
Climate change is a controversial subject that can raise strong emotions. We are all susceptible to being less open-minded and rational about it than we may appreciate. The climate system is very complex, yet its discussion is often oversimplified. There are gaps in our knowledge, and many scientific uncertainties, some of which are fundamentally unknowable. This makes it extremely difficult to predict precisely what the future holds and to determine exactly what actions, if any, to take. In addition there are economic considerations, political implications and ethical questions that further complicate the way forward.
IEA: In the central scenario of WEO-2014, world primary energy demand is 37% higher in 2040, putting more pressure on the global energy system. But this pressure would be even greater if not for efficiency measures that play a vital role in holding back global demand growth. The scenario shows that world demand for two out of the three fossil fuels – coal and oil – essentially reaches a plateau by 2040, although, for both fuels, this global outcome is a result of very different trends across countries. At the same time, renewable energy technologies gain ground rapidly, helped by falling costs and subsidies (estimated at $120 billion in 2013). By 2040, world energy supply is divided into four almost equal parts: low-carbon sources (nuclear and renewables), oil, natural gas and coal.
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for October, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F).
The global land surface temperature was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th century average of 9.3°C (48.7°F)—the fifth highest for October on record.
For the ocean, the October global sea surface temperature was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F) and the highest for October on record.
The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–October period (year-to-date) was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F). The first ten months of 2014 were the warmest such period on record.
EFI: Climate change is already altering the environment. Long-lived ecosystems such as forests are particularly vulnerable to the comparatively rapid changes in the climate system. A new international study published this week in Nature Climate Change shows that damage from wind, bark beetles, and wildfires has increased drastically in Europe’s forests in recent years. “Disturbances like windthrow and forest fires are part of the natural dynamics of forest ecosystems, and are not, therefore, a catastrophe for the ecosystem as such. However, these disturbances have intensified considerably in recent decades, which increasingly challenges the sustainable management of forest ecosystems”, says Rupert Seidl, BOKU Vienna, the principal researcher involved in the study.
CISL, together with the Cambridge Judge Business School and the support of the European Climate Foundation is summarising the latest climate science for the business community. These short, sector-specific briefings in different languages are based on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), the most comprehensive climate assessment. All documents have a Creative Commons License and are free to use.
State of the Climate in 2013: Highlights
NOAA:In 2013, the vast majority of worldwide climate indicators—greenhouse gases, sea levels, global temperatures, etc.—continued to reflect trends of a warmer planet, according to the indicators assessed in the State of the Climate in 2013 report, released online today by the American Meteorological Society.
WMO: Weather, climate and water-related disasters are on the rise worldwide, causing loss of life and setting back economic and social development by years, if not decades. From 1970 to 2012, 8 835 disasters, 1.94 million deaths, and US$ 2.4 trillion of economic losses were reported globally as a result of hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, according to a new report.
The Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2012 describes the distribution and impacts of weather, climate, and water-related disasters and highlights measures to increase resilience. It is a joint publication of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium.
SDSN: The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Achieving the 2°C limit will require that global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) approach zero by the second half of the century. In turn, this will require a profound transformation of energy systems by mid-century through steep declines in carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy, a transition we call “deep decarbonization.”
Guardian: UN issued with roadmap on how to avoid climate catastrophe
Climateprogress: On Monday, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii told Climate Central that June would be be the third month in a row where, for the entire month, average levels of carbon dioxide were above 400 parts per million (ppm). In other words, that’s the longest time in recorded history that this much carbon dioxide has been in the atmosphere.
ScieneDaily: The Malaspina Expedition, led by the Spanish National Research Council, has demonstrated that there are five large accumulations of plastic debris in the open ocean that match with the five major twists of oceanic surface water circulation. In addition to the known accumulation of plastic waste in the North Pacific, there are similar accumulations in the central North Atlantic, the South Pacific, the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.
702—PERCENT INCREASE IN U.S. SHALE GAS PRODUCTION SINCE 2007
40—PERCENT SHALE GAS SHARE OF TOTAL U.S. PRODUCTION
47—PERCENT INCREASE IN U.S. ELECTRICITY GENERATED USING NATURAL GAS SINCE 2005
15,000,000—LITERS OF WATER AND CHEMICALS PUMPED INTO A TYPICAL FRACKING WELL
JRC: If no further action is taken and global temperature increases by 3.5°C, climate damages in the EU could amount to at least €190 billion, a net welfare loss of 1.8% of its current GDP. Several weather-related extremes could roughly double their average frequency. As a consequence, heat-related deaths could reach about 200 000.
The cost of river flood damages could exceed €10 billion and 8000 km2 of forest could burn in southern Europe. The number of people affected by droughts could increase by a factor of seven and coastal damage, due to sea-level rise, could more than triple
U.S. Regions and Business Sectors Face Significant Economic Risks From Climate Change
Risky Business: The American economy could face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” summarizes findings of an independent assessment of the impact of climate change at the county, state, and regional level, and shows that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change. The findings also show that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience, and through immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming.
NOAA: The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2014 was record highest for this month, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F).
Guardian: May was hottest on Earth since records began
LANCELOT IS NOW ONLINE
Lancelot is the web application designed and produced by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on climate Change (CMCC) to provide an interactive, dynamic and integrated visualization of climate data on maps for a vast and differentiated audience. Select your indicators and explore hystorical data and climate projections provided by CMCC.
Glaciers in the high Himalayas and on the Tibetan Plateau are a vital source of water for millions of people in Asia, but scientists question what will happen to supplies if the rate of melting continues to rise due to climate-related factors.
A new study examining river basins in the Asia region suggests that amounts of water supplied to the area by glaciers and rainfall in the Himalayas will increase in the coming decades.
At first reading, that looks like good news, as an estimated 1.3 billion people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, China and elsewhere are dependent for their water supplies on rivers fed by glaciers and snowmelt.
But the less welcome news is that scientists are unsure what will happen after 2050 if the rate at which glaciers melt continues to increase as a result of climate change.
Scientists say rising temperatures and more intense rainfall patterns in the higher Himalayas are causing the retreat of the majority of glaciers in the region.
Consistent increase in High Asia’s runoff due to increasing glacier melt and precipitation
WEC: The energy sector is facing increasing pressures from climate change. All segments of the industry will be affected by the changing global climate and the policy responses to it. So says a briefing published jointly by the World Energy Council (WEC), the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), the Cambridge Judge Business School, and the European Climate Foundation.
Guardian: World’s energy systems vulnerable to climate impacts, report warns
ecoAmerica: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change chronicles the likely psychological impacts of climate change, from stress, anxiety and depression to increases in violence and aggression and loss of community identity. It discusses the pathways through which these and other impacts on human well-being will arise, why some communities will be hit harder than others, and how psychological impacts interact with physical health. The report also includes guidance to help engage the public on climate change through the lens of mental health and well-being, as well as a list of tips for preparing and strengthening communities to withstand these impacts.
This report is a joint project between ecoAmerica and the American Psychological Association
The Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the most up-to-date, comprehensive and relevant analysis of our changing climate.
Climate change intensifies existing pressures and brings new challenges to global peace and security. Societies’ responses to climate impacts may exceed the global or regional capacity to manage those responses peacefully.
This briefing reviews the ways climate change is challenging global security and the role the military can play in addressing that challenge.
The Earth Institute at Columbia University: Some 56 million years ago, a massive pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere sent global temperatures soaring. In the oceans, carbonate sediments dissolved, some organisms went extinct and others evolved.
Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification played a part in the crisis—similar to today, as manmade CO2 combines with seawater to change its chemistry. Now, for the first time, scientists have quantified the extent of surface acidification from those ancient days, and the news is not good: the oceans are on track to acidify at least as much as they did then, only at a much faster rate.
EPA: On June 2, 2014, the EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan that will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment.
By 2030, the steady and responsible steps EPA is taking will:
· Cut carbon emission from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels, which is equal to the emissions from powering more than half the homes in the United States for one year;
· Cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent as a co-benefit;
· Avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days—providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits; and
· Shrink electricity bills roughly 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.
US EPA: Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the third edition of a report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States. The report pulls together observed data on key measures of our environment, including U.S. and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others. With 30 indicators that include over 80 maps and graphs showing long-term trends, the report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting our environment and our society.
Consistent with the recently released National Climate Assessment, this report presents clear evidence that the impacts of climate change are already occurring across the United States. The report shows evidence that:
· Average temperatures have risen across the contiguous 48 states since 1901, with an increased rate of warming over the past 30 years. Seven of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998.
· Tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico has increased during the past 20 years.
· Along the U.S. coastline, sea level has risen the most along the Mid-Atlantic coast and parts of the Gulf Coast, where some stations registered increases of more than 8 inches between 1960 and 2013.
· Glaciers have been melting at an accelerated rate over the past decade. The resulting loss of ice has contributed to the observed rise in sea level.
· Every part of the Southwest experienced higher average temperatures between 2000 and 2013 than the long-term average dating back to 1895. Some areas were nearly 2°F warmer than average.
· Since 1983, the United States has had an average of 72,000 recorded wildfires per year. Of the 10 years with the largest acreage burned, nine have occurred since 2000, with many of the largest increases occurring in western states.
· Water levels in most of the Great Lakes have declined in the last few decades.
guardian: The UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants must be fast-tracked and get the go-ahead within a year, according to a report from MPs. It describes the technology, which traps the carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning and buries it, as “vital to limit climate change”.
parliament.uk: Fast track carbon capture and storage pilot projects after ‘lost decade’ of delay.
MPs have urged the Government to fast-track final funding decisions on two pilot Carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects at Peterhead and Drax by early 2015, after years of delay in the ‘competition’ launched to provide capital support for the industry.
Kebmin.dk: Det er muligt at omstille Danmark til 100 procent vedvarende energi med de teknologier vi kender i dag. Det vil kun være lidt dyrere, når vi når frem til 2050, end hvis vi fortsætter med olie, kul og gas. Det viser en scenarierapport, som Energistyrelsen har lavet. Rapporten understreger, at vi er på rette vej med energiforliget, mener klima-, energi- og bygningsminister Rasmus Helveg Petersen.
ScienceDaily: Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tons of ice each year — twice as much as when it was last surveyed. Scientists have now produced the first complete assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change.
Malcolm McMillan, Andrew Shepherd, Aud Sundal, Kate Briggs, Alan Muir, Andrew Ridout, Anna Hogg, Duncan Wingham. Increased ice losses from Antarctica detected by CryoSat-2. Geophysical Research Letters, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060111
ClimateCentral: The first measurement in excess of 400 ppm was made on May 9, 2013. This year, the level rose above that mark a full two months earlier, and has remained above 400 ppm steadily since the beginning of April. While the milestone is largely a symbolic one, it does illustrate how far emissions have risen from their preindustrial levels of 280 ppm.
NASA: A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.
The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica “have passed the point of no return,” according to glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot, of UC Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The new study has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
These glaciers already contribute significantly to sea level rise, releasing almost as much ice into the ocean annually as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. They contain enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters) and are melting faster than most scientists had expected. Rignot said these findings will require an upward revision to current predictions of sea level rise.
“This sector will be a major contributor to sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come,” Rignot said. “A conservative estimate is it could take several centuries for all of the ice to flow into the sea.”
E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi, B. Scheuchl. Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011.. Geophysical Research Letters, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060140
Guardian: Western Antarctic ice sheet collapse has already begun, scientists warn. Two separate studies confirm loss of ice sheet is inevitable, and will cause up to 4m of additional sea-level rise. More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/12/western-antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-has-already-begun-scientists-warn
University of Washington: The rapid melting of Greenland glaciers is captured in the documentary “Chasing Ice.” The retreat of the ice edge from one year to the next sends more water into the sea.
Now University of Washington atmospheric scientists have estimated that up to half of the recent warming in Greenland and surrounding areas may be due to climate variations that originate in the tropical Pacific and are not connected with the overall warming of the planet. Still, at least half the warming remains attributable to global warming caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. The paper is published May 8 in Nature.
Greenland and parts of neighboring Canada have experienced some of the most extreme warming since 1979, at a rate of about 1 degree Celsius per decade, or several times the global average.
Qinghua Ding, John M. Wallace, David S. Battisti, Eric J. Steig, Ailie J. E. Gallant, Hyung-Jin Kim, Lei Geng. Tropical forcing of the recent rapid Arctic warming in northeastern Canada and Greenland. Nature, 2014; 509 (7499): 209 DOI: 10.1038/nature13260