University of Cambridge: An international group of scientists, energy policy analysts, and experts in risk from finance and the military today (13 July 2015) released a new independent assessment of the risks of climate change, designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority to give to the issue.
Their report argues that the risks of climate change should be assessed in the same way as risks to national security or public health. That means focusing on understanding what is the worst that could happen, and how likely it is to occur.
PEW: In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, many publics around the world name global climate change as a top threat, according to a new Pew Research Center survey measuring perceptions of international challenges. This is particularly true in Latin America and Africa, where majorities in most countries say they are very concerned about this issue. But as the Islamic militant group ISIS maintains its hold in Iraq and Syria and intensifies its grisly public executions, Europeans and Middle Easterners most frequently cite ISIS as their main concern among international issues.
Climate News Network:
The planet’s great subterranean stores of water are running out – and nobody can be sure how much remains to supply billions of people in the future.
Satellite instruments used to measure the flow from 37 underground aquifers between 2003 and 2013 have revealed that at least one-third of them were seriously stressed – with little or almost no natural replenishment.
The research was conducted by scientists from California and the US space agency NASA, who report in the journal Water Resources Research that they used data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to calculate what is happening to aquifers.
IEA: The precipitous fall in oil prices, continued geopolitical instability and the ongoing global climate negotiations are witness to the increasingly dynamic nature of energy markets. In a time of so much uncertainty, understanding the implications of the shifting energy landscape for economic, environmental and security priorities is vital. The World Energy Outlook 2015 (WEO-2015) will present projections through 2040 based on the latest data and market developments; insights on the trajectories of fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency; and analysis on trends in CO2 emissions, fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies, and on universal access to modern energy services.
Guardian: The pontiff’s upcoming document is being hailed as a major intervention in the climate change debate. But what exactly is an encyclical? And why is this one causing such a fuss? John Hooper, long-term Vatican observer for the Guardian, has all the answers .
Read the the Encyclical : Laudato si’ – The integral text of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on care for our common home
Guardian: The G7 leading industrial nations have agreed to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has announced, in a move hailed as historic by some environmental campaigners.
Potsdam PIK: A new study analyzes the required climate policy actions and targets in order to limit future global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. This level is supported by more than 100 countries worldwide, including those most vulnerable to climate change, as a safer goal than the currently agreed international aim of 2 degrees Celsius – an aim which would already imply substantial greenhouse-gas reductions. Hence the interest for scrutinizing the very low end of greenhouse-gas stabilization scenarios.
Cranking up the planetary heat is going to ratchet down the planet’s biodiversity, and new analysis suggests global warming could directly threaten 1-in-6 species with extinction if polluting practices continue unabated — up from about 3 percent today.
Scientists triggered alarm in 2004 when they warned in the journal Nature that climate change could drive 1 million varieties of plants and animals to extinction, but that was a rough estimate. In the decade since, researchers worldwide have been probing the dangers that could face individual species as climate change causes their ideal habitats to shift around them.
Bloomberg: The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back.
The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.
WEF: In looking at global risks in terms of their potential impact, the nearly 900 experts that took part in the Global Risk Perception Survey rated water crises as the greatest risk facing the world. Other top risks alongside that and interstate conflict in terms of impact are: rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases (2), weapons of mass destruction (3) and failure of climate change adaptation (5).
Top 5 Global Risks in Terms of Likelihood
Interstate conflict with regional consequences (geopolitical risk)
Extreme weather events (environmental risk)
Failure of national governance (geopolitical risk)
State collapse or crisis (geopolitical risk)
High structural unemployment or underemployment (economic risk)
Top 5 Global Risks in Terms of Impact
Water crises (societal risk)
Rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases (societal risk)
Weapons of mass destruction (geopolitical risk)
Interstate conflict with regional consequences (geopolitical risk)
Failure of climate-change adaptation (environmental risk)
NSIDC: Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent for the year on February 25 at 14.54 million square kilometers (5.61 million square miles). This year’s maximum ice extent is the lowest in the satellite record.
NSIDC will release a full analysis of the winter season in early April, once monthly data are available for March.
To read the current analysis from NSIDC scientists, see http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews.
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.
More: New York Times
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.
More: Guardian CSIRO
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.
Yale Environment 360:
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.
More: Yale Environment 360
ClimateCentral: The new year has only just begun, but we’ve already recorded our first days with average carbon dioxide levels above 400 parts per million, potentially leading to many months in a row above this threshold, experts say.
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,
Reuters: Denmark will claim on Monday ownership of around 900,000 square kilometers of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean by filing documents to United Nations. More
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DK: Denmark and Greenland will today file a submission regarding the continental shelf north of Greenland
1: Read an executive summary of the submission
2: Learn more on the website of the Continental Shelf Project
3: Map of the Continental Shelf
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.
NOAA: Global Highlights
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.
May 2014 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map
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
Nature Climate Change (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2237
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