Kategoriarkiv: Latest News

Experts from UK, US, China and India release independent climate change risk assessment

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.

More: http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/projects/climate-change-risk-assessment/


Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat. Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners Focus on ISIS as Greatest Danger


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.

More: http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/07/14/climate-change-seen-as-top-global-threat/

Stress on water resources threatens lives and livelihoods

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.

More: http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/stress-on-water-resources-threatens-lives-and-livelihoods/?utm_source=Climate+News+Network&utm_campaign=8b4c71a3b8-Water_shortage6_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1198ea8936-8b4c71a3b8-38768389

WEO 2015 Special Report on Energy and Climate Change

iea 2015

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.

More: http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/energyclimate/#d.en.143801

Pope’s encyclical on the environment: key questions answered


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 .

More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/18/popes-encyclical-on-the-environment-key-questions-answered

Read the the Encyclical : Laudato si’ – The integral text of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on care for our common home


Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables

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.

More: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/fossil-fuels-just-lost-the-race-against-renewables

Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil’s Largest City

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

2015 the International Year of Soils

soil LOGO_IYS_en_Print

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).

More: http://www.fao.org/soils-2015/about/en/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IYS15%20OR%20%23IYS2015&src=typd

Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows

aus bush fire

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

December 2014 was warmest December on record for globe

earth noaa

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.

More: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/12

Could Global Tide Be Starting To Turn Against Fossil Fuels?

imperial college london

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

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert review – ‘kill half of what you see’

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.

More: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/13/the-sixth-extinction-by-elizabeth-kolbert-review-climate-change

Five ways to achieve climate justice

Flood guardian

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.

More: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/12/achieve-climate-justice-human-rights

Which fossil fuels must remain in the ground to limit global warming?


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

Scientists track natural responses to climate change

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.


Global CO2 emissions increase to new all-time record, but growth is slowing down

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,


Denmark to claim slice of continental shelf in Arctic Ocean

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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

More: http://um.dk/en/news/newsdisplaypage/?newsID=71574E42-6115-4D16-9C8A-4C056F8603F3

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


Climate change is fueling forest disturbances

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.

More: http://www.efi.int/portal/news___events/news/?bid=1716

Understanding climate science

cambridge 2014

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.


UN: Deep Decarbonization Pathways

UN DDPP-front-cover-small

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.”

More: http://unsdsn.org/what-we-do/deep-decarbonization-pathways/

Guardian: UN issued with roadmap on how to avoid climate catastrophe


The Amount Of Carbon Dioxide In Our Air Just Reached A New Record

carbon climateprogress

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.


All the world’s oceans have plastic debris on their surface


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.

More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630164253.htm

New study quantifies the effects of climate change in Europe

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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

More: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-study-quantifies-effects-climate-change-europe

Risky Business

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.

More: http://riskybusiness.org/blog/risky-business-report-press-release

Global Analysis – May 2014

noaa may 2014

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 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.


Flow chart unclear for glacial rivers in the high Himalayas

glacier flow hima

Climate News Network:

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.

More: http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2014/06/flow-chart-unclear-for-glacial-rivers/

Journal paper:

Consistent increase in High Asia’s runoff due to increasing glacier melt and precipitation

Nature Climate Change (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2237

Energy sector faces increasing pressures from climate change


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


Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change

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

More: http://ecoamerica.org/research/#PsychImpacts

Briefing on Climate Change: Implications for Defence



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.

More: http://gmaccc.org/ipcc-ar5-climate-change-implications-defence/

Modern Ocean Acidification Is Outpacing Ancient Upheaval

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.

More http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/3172

US Clean Power Plan

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.

More: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards

Climate Change Indicators in the United States

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.

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UK carbon capture plants must get go-ahead within year

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”.

More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/21/carbon-capture-storage-mps

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.

More: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/energy-and-climate-change-committee/news/carbon-capture-storage-substantive/

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Increased ice losses from Antarctica detected by CryoSat-2

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.

More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110200.htm

Journal Reference:

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

April Becomes 1st Month With CO2 Levels Above 400 PPM

co2 april 2014

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.

More: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/april-becomes-first-month-with-co2-levels-above-400-ppm-17367

West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable

antarctic glacier

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.”

Journal Reference:

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

Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations

greenland ice

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.

More: http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/05/07/greenland-melting-due-equally-to-global-warming-natural-variations/

Journal Reference:

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

Catastrophe Modelling & Climate Change,

Lloyds: Against a background of more frequent severe weather events, such as floods and windstorms, a new report from Lloyd’s highlights the importance of insurers ensuring that their catastrophe modelling tools keep pace with the effects of climate change.

Catastrophe Modelling & Climate Change, produced by Lloyd’s Exposure Management & Reinsurance team, explains how the insurance industry increasingly relies on computerised “probabilistic” catastrophe models from different providers to manage their catastrophe risk exposures.

More: http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/news-and-features/emerging-risk/emerging-risk-2014/keying-climate-change-into-catastrophe-models

Hotspots of climate change impacts in Africa

pik africa may 2014

Potsdam PIK: Overlapping impacts of climate change such as drought or flooding, declining crop yields or ecosystem damages create hotspots of risk in specific parts of Africa. These are for the first time identified in a study now published by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The uncertainties in assessing the impacts do not necessarily hamper but can inform development strategies, according to the scientists. Likelihood and potential severity of impacts can be weighed to decide on suitable adaptation measures.

More: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/hotspots-of-climate-change-impacts-in-africa-making-sense-of-uncertainties

Article: Müller, C., Waha, K., Bondeau, A., Heinke, J. (2014): Hotspots of climate change impacts in sub-Saharan Africa and implications for adaptation and development. Global Change Biology (online) [DOI:10.1111/gcb.12586]

Climate change is clear and present danger, says landmark US report

Guardian: Climate change has moved from distant threat to present-day danger and no American will be left unscathed, according to a landmark report due to be unveiled on Tuesday.

The National Climate Assessment, a 1,300-page report compiled by 300 leading scientists and experts, is meant to be the definitive account of the effects of climate change on the US. It will be formally released at a White House event and is expected to drive the remaining two years of Barack Obama’s environmental agenda.

More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/04/climate-change-present-us-national-assessment

Global warming not uniform around the globe: Some areas were recently cooling

ScienceDaily: New research by a team of Florida State University scientists shows the first detailed look at global land surface warming trends over the last 100 years, illustrating precisely when and where different areas of the world started to warm up or cool down.

The research indicates that the world is indeed getting warmer, but historical records show that it hasn’t happened everywhere at the same rate.

More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140504133207.htm

Journal Reference:

Fei Ji, Zhaohua Wu, Jianping Huang, Eric P. Chassignet. Evolution of land surface air temperature trend. Nature Climate Change, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2223

Offshore Wind approaching 7 GW worldwide

Fraunhofer: In the new »Wind Energy Report Germany 2013« Fraunhofer IWES researchers confirm that offshore wind energy is increasing worldwide. While the UK is leading with 50% offshore market share, more than 2 GW are under construction in Germany. Japan enters the offshore market with prototypes of floating turbines.

More: http://www.iwes.fraunhofer.de/en/press_media/overview/2014/offshore-wind-approaching-7-gw-worldwide.html

Global warming: China and US in crucial talks on cutting carbon dioxide emissions

The Telegraph: China and the United States – by far the world’s greatest emitters of carbon dioxide – have started far-reaching, if little-noticed, talks on how to cut the pollution, in what is being described as the most hopeful single development in tackling global warming for almost 20 years.

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/10804221/Global-warming-China-and-US-in-crucial-talks-on-cutting-carbon-dioxide-emissions.html

Carbon dioxide in atmosphere at record level

USA to day: For the first time in human history and likely for the first time in at least 800,000 years, the average level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere topped 400 parts per million for an entire month.


Multiple metrics of climate change reveal unappreciated impacts on biodiversity

Imperial College London: A new study has shed fresh light on how climate change will affect global biodiversity by exploring different measurements of climate change together.

Scientists use climate change metrics, such as changes in seasonality or the emergence of new climates, to predict how climate change will impact biodiversity levels. These climate change metrics are typically studied in isolation, so it is difficult to accurately predict how changes in climate might impact levels of biodiversity.

For the very first time, a study published today in the journal Science has compared climate change metrics together, instead of in isolation, on a global scale, to look at how biodiversity will be impacted.  This unique comparison reveals that when multiple dimensions of climate change are studied together, different regions emerge as threatened by different aspects of climate change. For example, this new research predicts that tropical areas are set to experience novel climates, much hotter than today’s tropical climates, that are not currently experienced by species anywhere on Earth. Such climates are projected to affect up to 62 per cent of the world’s tropical areas.

More: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_1-5-2014-17-55-24

Journal reference:

R. A. Garcia, M. Cabeza, C. Rahbek, M. B. Araujo. Multiple Dimensions of Climate Change and Their Implications for Biodiversity. Science, 2014; 344 (6183): 1247579 DOI: 10.1126/science.1247579