Climate change and uncertainty 2012 -2013

Written by  //  December 23, 2013  //  Climate Change, Natural Disasters  //  2 Comments

The science of ice storms: Why the freeze was so fierce
Although no single weather event can be attributed to climate change, researchers have projected more rain during the winter months in southern Ontario as global temperatures continue to rise. That means there will more opportunities for the kinds of conditions that led to the weekend ice storm, or the more severe ice storm of January 1998 which saw ice accumulations in the range of 7.5 centimetres and left more than 30 people dead.

Extreme Weather & Climate Events 2013
Over the past several months, the pattern for extreme events that we saw in 2012 continued into 2013. In early 2013, parts of the Southern Hemisphere witnessed record-high temperatures, with Australia experiencing its hottest month in January 2013 since record-keeping began more than a century ago. Meanwhile, the central and northeastern United States saw record snowfall and blizzard conditions. Precipitation continued to be extreme throughout the spring, with Spain seeing its wettest March on record and China experiencing its wettest May since 1973. At the same time, New Zealand saw its worst drought in three decades, and California experienced its driest year-to-date.
To illustrate this pattern, the World Resources Institute put together a timeline of extreme climate and weather events in 2013, which builds on our previous 2012 timeline. We have by no means attempted to be comprehensive in listing events, but have aimed to include some of the most significant occurrences this year.

25 November
Factbox: Main decisions at U.N. climate talks in Warsaw
(Reuters) – Around 195 countries ended a two-week meeting in Warsaw on Saturday evening to agree the outlines of a deal meant to be agreed in 2015 to combat global warming.
Last-minute deal saves fractious UN climate talks
UN climate talks in Poland have ended with delegates reaching a compromise on how to fight global warming.
After 30 hours of deadlock, they approved a pathway to a new global climate treaty in Paris in 2015.
The agreement was achieved after a series of last minute compromises often involving single words in draft texts.
Negotiators also made progress on the contentious issue of loss and damage that developing countries are expected to suffer in a warming world.
Climate envoys hopeful that agreement will be reached in Warsaw
Today is the final day of the United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw, Poland, and envoys are optimistic about achieving agreement. Poland’s Deputy Environment Minister Beata Jaczewska says that 40 out of 50 policy decisions have been made so far. “I am convinced we will reach an agreement,” she says. Bloomberg (11/22), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/21), Reuters (11/21), The Guardian (London) (11/21)
18 November
Revised global warming models needed as data gaps filled
(RCInet) A recent study using new techniques has filled in some of the information gaps in global temperatures and predictions of warming, and counters claims that warming has levelled off.
The interdisciplinary team of computational scientist Kevin Cowtan of the University of York in England, and cryosphere specialist and PhD candidate Robert Way of Canada, say that using satellites they have filled in large areas of the earth not covered by observational monitoring.
This previous “gap” in data has always resulted in skewed and underestimated reports and projections of what is really happening.
Dispatches From Warsaw: Controversial Issues Threaten To Derail Global Climate Talks
Monday marked the start of the second week of the annual Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as negotiators are slowly making progress on a developing a global agreement on climate change and contentious issues are taking up oxygen in the room
The main objective of negotiators from around the world will be to devise a work plan for completing a global climate change agreement by 2015 — the year that countries agreed an agreement should be finalized during the 2011 climate talks in South Africa. In 2011, countries also agreed to closing the gap between their pledges to reduce emissions by 2020 and the reductions experts say are required to prevent dangerous global warming impacts, known as the ambition gap. But a few controversial issues at the talks are diverting attention and progress on the 2015 agreement and closing the ambition gap. Here is a look at the stumbling blocks.
Typhoon Haiyan should spur climate change action
Responses to extreme weather events need to go beyond relief work – we need to cut emissions and adapt to a warming world
(The Guardian) But the collective response still sees these events as one-off acts of nature, fostering a silence on their likely link to climate change. Meanwhile, mounting scientific evidence suggests their connection to also acts of man. That is, the growing concentration of carbon emissions in the atmosphere is associated increasingly with weather extremes. However
Pleas but no progress at climate talks
(Deutsche Welle ) The climate conference in Warsaw began under the shadow of last week’s disaster in the Philippines. But despite passionate appeals, the conference moves into its second week without any significant progress
15 November
Jeffrey Sachs: A few more storms like Typhoon Haiyan may finally make our leaders act on climate change
By some early measures, Typhoon Haiyan — which ripped through the Philippines and claimed thousands of lives — is the strongest storm on record to make landfall. But mega-storms like Haiyan and Hurricane Sandy are just one of the many warnings that we are flying toward climate disaster.
In the past couple of years, the United States has experienced the worst East Coast flooding in decades, as well as the most intense and largest drought in decades; 2012 was the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states. Massive forest fires have blazed throughout the drought-ridden West. Globally, the number of weather-related catastrophes has roughly doubled since 1980 , according to comprehensive data collected by the insurance company Munich Re. There is more bad news to come: rising sea levels, more-acidic oceans and more climate-related disasters.
12 November
Why the strongest storms are getting stronger
(PBS) Interview with Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the government’s National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weather Underground, a commercial online weather service.
… the way these storms get so strong is they extract heat energy out of the ocean. They convert that heat to the energy of their winds. And the waters to the east of the Philippines have the largest area of deep warm waters of anyplace on the planet. … the sea temperatures are higher by over a degree Fahrenheit or so on a global basis because of global warming, because of human influences. And going along with that, the air in the atmosphere is warmer and moister. And that’s what fuels all of these storms. The environment that all of these storms are occurring in is simply different than it used to be because of human activities.
11 November
The climate talks (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Meeting of the Parties) opened in Warsaw on the 11th. (Bloomberg)  The Philippines Plight Takes Center Stage … The diplomats are discussing how to limit fossil-fuel emissions that are blamed for damaging the climate, making storms more intense and boosting sea levels.
The storm was cited as a reason to add urgency to the talks by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres in her opening comments. Delegates are trying to craft by 2015 a global deal to cut emissions. Scientists warn that rising temperatures threaten to make tropical cyclones such as Haiyan more intense.
Typhoon’s destruction cited in push for action at UN climate talks
The destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan is giving some delegates at the United Nations climate talks in Poland impetus to act on global warming. “Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action,” says Naderev “Yeb” Sano of the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission. Thomson Reuters Foundation (11/11), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (11/11), Thomson Reuters Foundation (11/11)

Will focus on risks help bring consensus at UN climate talks?
The risks from climate change include threats to economic growth, health, water supplies and crops, according to a leaked copy of a draft report by United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, writes Alister Doyle. “The increased stress on risk may make the case for cutting greenhouse gas emissions clearer both to policymakers and the public by making it sound like an insurance policy for the planet,” Doyle writes. Reuters (11/8), IRINNews.org (11/8)
7 October
Thomas Homer-Dixon and Andrew Weaver: Climate uncertainty shouldn’t mean inaction
Warming of Earth’s atmosphere has indeed slowed over the past 15 years. According to the scientific-technical assessment released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in late September, “the observed global-mean surface temperature has shown a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60 years.”
Depending on which data are used, the 1998-2012 warming trend is about one-third to one-half of the trend over the entire 1951-2012 period. Despite this slowdown, 2010 was the warmest year, 2005 was the second warmest year, and the 2000s were the warmest decade since the beginning of the instrumental record. (7 October)
Thomas Homer-Dixon is CIGI chair of global systems at the Balsillie School, University of Waterloo. Andrew Weaver is a Lansdowne Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria
27 September
George Monbiot: Climate change? Try catastrophic climate breakdown
The message from the IPCC report is familiar and shattering: it’s as bad as we thought it was
(The Guardian) Reaching agreement among hundreds of authors and reviewers ensures that only the statements which are hardest to dispute are allowed to pass. Even when the scientists have agreed, the report must be tempered in another forge, as politicians question anything they find disagreeable: the new report received 1,855 comments from 32 governments, and the arguments raged through the night before launch.
In other words, it’s perhaps the biggest and most rigorous process of peer review conducted in any scientific field, at any point in human history.

The IPCC climate-change report — It’s still our fault
(The Economist) … all the extra heat implied by higher radiative forcing has to go somewhere. It isn’t going into the air. It is possible that not all that much is going into the surface waters of the oceans, either. The report says that “it is about as likely as not that ocean heat content from 0-700 metres increased more slowly during 2003-2010 than during 1993-2002.” That only leaves one other heat sink: the deep oceans below 700 metres, where it could be locked up in the deep oceans without affecting other parts of the climate. And indeed, most of the extra heat does go into the ocean

Stefan Rahmstorf: The Known Knowns of Climate Change
An extraordinary, if underappreciated, feature of the IPCC’s reports is that, though many different scientists have worked on them over the past 23 years, the fundamental conclusions have not changed. This reflects an overwhelming consensus among scientists from around the world. Polls of climate researchers, as well as analysis of thousands of scientific publications, consistently show a 97-98% consensus that human-caused emissions are causing global warming.
(Project Syndicate) The philosopher Daniel Dennett once compared science to the construction of a huge pyramid. Its base comprises the mass of well-established knowledge – no longer controversial and seldom discussed outside academia. More recent research is piled toward the top of the pyramid, where most public debate takes place. It is an apt metaphor for climate-change research, and one worth bearing in mind with the publication of the latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
ClimateChange wg1coverThe IPCC’s fifth report, the product of several years of work by hundreds of climate scientists around the world, reviews our established understanding of climate change and explains more recent findings. The media understandably tend to focus on the latter – like the much higher sea-level rise predictions compared to the previous IPCC report of 2007. But let us step back from the news cycle to look at the solid knowledge base of our pyramid.
IPCC report: Scientists are 95% certain humans are responsible for climate change
Most comprehensive report on climate change ever leaves little doubt that greenhouse gases are causing the world to heat up
(The Independent) Scientists are more certain than they have ever been that humans are causing global warming, according to the most comprehensive report ever conducted into climate change, which predicts “with 95 per cent certainty” that people’s greenhouse gas emissions are heating the world.
This is the main finding of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report, known as AR5, which was published in Stockholm this morning.
The degree of certainty leaves little doubt that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are responsible for climate change and compares to a finding of 90 per cent certainty in the previous – fourth – assessment six years ago. This, in turn, was a significant increase on the 66 per cent certainty reached in 2001’s third assessment and just over 50 per cent in 1995.
Governments around the world are exercising extreme caution to ensure that the report doesn’t contain a significant error that could be seized upon by climate sceptics to discredit the research. The previous report in 2007 mistakenly claimed that the glaciers of the Himalayas were very likely to disappear by 2035, a point which the IPCC was forced to admit was wrong.

Thirty-seven per cent of voters believe global warming is a hoax Thirty-seven per cent of voters believe global warming is a hoax, 51 per cent do not. Republicans say global warming is a hoax by a 58-25 margin, Democrats disagree 11-77, and Independents are more split at 41-51. While 61 per cent of Romney voters believe global warming is a hoax
Last night’s discussions were largely concerned with how to present and explain the slowdown – or hiatus – in global warming over the past 15 years. This is a development which climate sceptics have used to further their case, but which the vast majority of scientists believe is only a blip in a clear long-term trend.
IPCC climate report: human impact is ‘unequivocal’
(The Guardian) UN secretary-general urges global response to clear message from scientists that climate change is human-induced
13 September
Matt Ridley: Dialing Back the Alarm on Climate Change
A forthcoming report [(IPCC) “fifth assessment report,” part of which will be published on Sept. 27.] points lowers estimates on global warming
(WSJ) Admittedly, the change is small, and because of changing definitions, it is not easy to compare the two reports, but retreat it is. It is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet.
Specifically, the draft report says that “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS)—eventual warming induced by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which takes hundreds of years to occur—is “extremely likely” to be above 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), “likely” to be above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and “very likely” to be below 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 Fahrenheit). In 2007, the IPPC said it was “likely” to be above 2 degrees Celsius and “very likely” to be above 1.5 degrees, with no upper limit. Since “extremely” and “very” have specific and different statistical meanings here, comparison is difficult.
30 August
2012stateoftheclimatecover art_3002012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally
The end of weak La Niña, unprecedented Arctic warmth influenced 2012 climate conditions
(NOOA) Worldwide, 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record according to the 2012 State of the Climate report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The peer-reviewed report, with scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., serving as lead editors, was compiled by 384 scientists from 52 countries (highlights, full report)). It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on land, sea, ice, and sky. (6 August)
Warmer weather is becoming a “new normal,” report says
The past year was among the warmest on record and trends indicate that the Earth’s climate is reaching a “new normal,” according to the 2012 State of the Climate report edited by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report says that the change is the result of factors including a rise in greenhouse gases. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Reuters (8/6)
More displacement forecast in Africa’s Sahel as climate changes
A Refugees International report argues that changing weather will mean increased displacement of people from Africa’s Sahel region. “The countries of the Sahel are already some of the poorest and most unstable in the world, and now climate displacement could create even more social and economic problems,” says RI’s Alice Thomas. Thomson Reuters Foundation (8/2), The Guardian (London)/Poverty Matters blog (8/2)

 

Environmental Alarmism, Then and Now:
The Club of Rome’s Problem — and Ours

By Bjørn Lomborg
(Foreign Affairs July/August 2012) By recommending that the world limit development in order to head off a supposed future collapse, The Limits to Growth led people to question the value of pursuing economic growth. Had its suggestions been followed over subsequent decades, there would have been no “rise of the rest”; no half a billion Chinese, Indians, and others lifted out of grinding poverty; no massive improvements in health, longevity, and quality of life for billions of people across the planet. Even though the Club of Rome’s general school of thought has mercifully gone the way of other 1970s-era relics, such as mood rings and pet rocks, the effects linger in popular and elite consciousness. People get more excited about the fate of the Kyoto Protocol than the fate of the Doha Round — even though an expansion of trade would do hundreds or thousands of times as much good as feeble limitations of emissions, and do so more cheaply, quickly, and efficiently for the very people who are most vulnerable. It is past time to acknowledge that economic growth, for lack of a better word, is good, and that what the world needs is more of it, not less.
The Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) is an independent, non-governmental committee comprised of leading international climate change thinkers, scientists, Nobel Peace Laureates, as well as former and current Heads of State, calling upon civil society and the public at large to urgently engage in the climate debate.
Roman Warm Period (Europe — Mediterranean) — Summary
(CO2 Science) Climate alarmists contend that the degree of global warmth over the latter part of the 20th century, and continuing to the present day, was greater than it was at any other time over the past one to two millennia, because this contention helps support their claim that what they call the “unprecedented” temperatures of the past few decades were CO2-induced. Hence, they cannot stomach the thought that the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand years ago could have been just as warm as, or even warmer than, it has been recently, especially since there was so much less CO2 in the air a thousand years ago than there is now. Likewise, they are equally loath to admit that temperatures of the Roman Warm Period of two thousand years ago may also have rivaled, or exceeded, those of the recent past, since atmospheric CO2 concentrations at that time were also much lower than they are today.
17-year-old Kiwi shames world leaders into action at Rio
Twenty years ago, a 12-year-old rocked the Earth Summit in Rio with a plea to world leaders to get serious about saving the planet. Her name was Severn Suzuki, and today, she hands the torch to another young’un, Brittany Trilford, 17, who will address the leaders of 140 nations as the Rio+20 Earth Summit finally gets off to its official start.

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30 August
George Monbiot: Backwards Reasoning
Could fracking prevent climate change denial?
Many of those who deny that climate change is taking place reached that position as a result of their opposition to wind farms. … we reason backwards. It’s a constant temptation, to which none of us is immune. … Accidents of history and geology have ensured that, in the UK and many other parts of the world, our backwards reasoning has made people disinclined to accept the science of man-made climate change. The problem can be summarised as follows: most of our means of generating power seldom intrude into people’s consciousness. … perhaps we should thank the fracking companies for bringing fossil fuel infrastructure to people’s doorsteps. If people’s dislike of low-carbon power production drives them to reject climate science, their dislike of high-carbon power production could drive them to accept it.
17 July
ParisCleo Paskal: ‘Europe is asking for a catastrophe’
Extreme weather caused by climate change threatens to ravage Europe’s oldest cities. Cleo Paskal, an expert on geopolitical and environmental impact, says Europe is not facing the climate realities of the 21st century.
In most of Europe – and definitely Germany – our infrastructure and locations were chosen 500, 700, even a thousand years ago, that’s how old the towns are. A lot has changed in that time but we haven’t changed the locations which we put our infrastructure in. As a result, we are increasingly vulnerable as the variability comes. And it’s not just the location but the population size. These towns were designed for 10,000 people, not 100,000 people. So, an already vulnerable location gets stressed more and more and that makes it even more vulnerable to disruption.
What conversation would you like policymakers to have?
I’d like them to have real discussions about risk, where risk isn’t discounted, distorted or diverted into other factors. If a place is too dangerous to build in, don’t back it with federal insurance. Let the market say this is too dangerous to build in and just pull out.
10 July
Global warming means more severe forest fires and more often
(RCI) Australia experienced a disastrous fire season in 2009, Russia in 2010, Texas and other states in 2011, deadly fires in Colorado in 2012, in several Canadian provinces every year including Quebec where a fire has burned about 350 000 hectares across a 100km front. and also this year just one of several brush fires in Australia burned more than 400,000 hectares
This new analysis of what is likely to happen in coming decades provides no good news. The study is called , “Global Wildland Fire Season Severity in the 21st Century”
The predictions are that as the earth warms, and with changes in climate, wildfires around the world are likely to be even more severe, occur more often, burn more area, cause greater damage and costs, and be more difficult to control.
9 July
Hurricanes And Climate Change: Storms Likely To Get Stronger And More Frequent, Study Shows
Hurricanes are Mother Nature’s largest and most destructive storms. Fed by warm ocean waters and moist atmospheric conditions, about 90 such storms — also known as tropical cyclones — form worldwide each year. With the population of coastal areas growing daily and sea level on the rise, how these monster storms may change as the climate continues to warm is an increasingly urgent question facing climate scientists, insurance companies, and public officials.
A new study by Kerry Emanuel, a prominent hurricane researcher at MIT, found that contrary to previous findings, tropical cyclones are likely to become both stronger and more frequent in the years to come, especially in the western North Pacific, where storms can devastate the heavily populated coastlines of Asian nations. … Emanuel’s study [published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences] notes that the relationship between global climate and hurricane activity is “only beginning to be understood.” For example, scientists still don’t understand why 90 tropical cyclones tend to form worldwide each year, and not, say, 125, or 50. Researchers know that tropical storms and hurricanes derive their energy from warm sea-surface temperatures as well as temperature differences between the sea and the overlying, moisture-rich tropical atmosphere, but figuring out how changing background conditions may affect storms in the future is no easy task.
8 July
Q essay: Climate change isn’t cool
The world is experiencing unprecedented, high-impact climate extremes. A recent report by the World Meteorological Organization says that in the period between 2001 and 2010, global warming broke more countries’ temperature records than ever before.
“It seems we’ve lost a little focus since Mr. Gore pointed out that little inconvenient truth back in the summer of 2006,” said Jian. “Climate change chatter isn’t cool anymore . . . and that is a problem.”
4 July

World suffered unprecedented climate extremes in past decade: WMO

(Planet Ark) The world suffered unprecedented climate extremes in the decade to 2010, from heatwaves in Europe and droughts in Australia to floods in Pakistan, against a backdrop of global warming, a United Nations report said on Wednesday.
Every year of the decade except 2008 was among the 10 warmest since records began in the 1850s, with 2010 the hottest, according to the study by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The number of daily heat records far outstripped lows.
It said many extremes could be explained by natural variations – freak storms and droughts have happened throughout history – but that rising emissions of man-made greenhouse gases also played a role.
18 June
Climate change threatens trouble in the near future, World Bank says
(WaPost) The World Bank is beginning to commit billions of dollars to flood prevention, water management and other projects to help major Asian cities avoid the expected impact of climate change, a dramatic example of how short the horizon has become to alleviate the effects of global warming.
Places such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are now considered “hot spots” that will bear the brunt of the impact as sea levels rise, tropical storms become more violent, and rainfall becomes both more sporadic and — in the rainy season — more intense.
Bank officials said this week that those effects are not considered a distant risk anymore, but rather are a near certainty “in our planning period” of the next 20 years or so.
22 May
Unreliable Sources 5: How the News Media Help the Kochs & ExxonMobil Spread Climate Disinformation
By Elliott Negin, Director of News & Commentary, Union of Concerned Scientists
This six-part series, “Unreliable Sources: How the News Media Help the Kochs and ExxonMobil Spread Climate Disinformation,” documents that the press routinely cites fossil fuel industry-backed climate contrarian think tanks without reporting their funding sources. For part 1, click here; part 2, click here; part 3, click here; and part 4, The Koch Brothers Overtake ExxonMobil as Top Contrarian Patron, click here.
16 May
Scientists Agree (Again): Climate Change Is Happening
Public opinion on the topic of climate change is notoriously fickle, changing — quite literally sometimes — with the weather. The latest bit of evidence on this: Yale’s April 2013 climate change survey, which found, among other things, that Americans’ conviction that global warming is happening had dropped by seven points, to 63 percent, over the preceding six months. The decline, the authors surmised, was most likely due to “the cold winter of 2012-13 and an unusually cold March just before the survey was conducted.”
A far smaller percentage — 49 percent — understood that human activities are contributing to the problem. … a far more troubling metric from Yale’s latest poll suggests that only 42 percent of Americans believe that scientists are in agreement on climate change.
… [However, results] published Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, were clear: of the more than 4,000 abstracts that had anything to say about human-driven climate change, 97 percent endorsed the notion. A little less than 3 percent either rejected the idea or remained undecided.
“There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception,” Cook said in a statement accompanying the study’s release. “It’s staggering given the evidence for consensus that less than half of the general public think scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. This is significant because when people understand that scientists agree on global warming, they’re more likely to support policies that take action on it.”
2 May
Low-key U.S. plan for each nation to set climate goals wins ground
(Reuters) – A U.S.-led plan to let all countries set their own goals for fighting climate change is gaining grudging support at U.N. talks, even though the current level of pledges is far too low to limit rising temperatures substantially.
27 April
An Earth Scientist Explores the Biggest Climate Threat: Fear
(NYT Dot Earth) … pushing back against apocalyptic depictions of the collision between humans and the climate system — written by Peter B. Kelemen, the Arthur D. Storke Professor and vice chair in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.
the climate that worries me most is the climate of fear, the belief that our current trajectory leads inevitably to total disaster. This belief discourages constructive action, and can result in irrational acts by people in despair, individually, or as nations, willing to do anything to derail the juggernaut we are told is carrying us, inevitably, to destruction.
26 April
Land O’ Lakes: Melting Glaciers Transform Alpine Landscape
Climate change is dramatically altering the Swiss Alps, where hundreds of bodies of water are being created by melting glaciers. Though the lakes can attract tourists and even generate electricity, local residents also fear catastrophic tidal waves.
30 March
Climate science — A sensitive matter
The climate may be heating up less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions than was once thought. But that does not mean the problem is going away
(The Economist) The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.
The mismatch might mean that—for some unexplained reason—there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.
11 March
Greenland adds nutrient to ocean in side-effect of thaw: study
(Planet Ark) A melt of Greenland’s ice is washing large amounts of the nutrient iron into the Atlantic Ocean where it might aid marine life in a rare positive side-effect of climate change, a study showed on Sunday.
Greenland’s thaw, which is raising world sea levels, is also adding about 300,000 tonnes of iron a year to the North Atlantic, based on projections from the muddy melt water of three glaciers in the southwest, it said.
That is similar to the amount of iron blown to the region in dust by winds. Scientists say that iron is a vital nutrient and that a lack of the element in parts of the oceans limits growth of everything from tiny plankton to fish and whales.
4 March
Can This Surprising Discovery Fix Climate Change?
– with video of TED talk 2013
“The solution? Put thousands of animals onto land that is threatening to turn into desert. Bunch that livestock together as a herd and move it around at speed, in a way that mimics the great herds of ages past.
What you’ll find, as [award-winning biologist and land management expert Allan] Savory has time and again, is that with all that trampling and fertilization, the grassland will bloom again, fast enough to make your head spin.” – is this possible?
Why developing nations are the key to solving climate change
A new book argues that because Western governments have failed to take meaningful action against climate change, the task falls to developing countries such as China and India, which accounted for 83% of emissions growth from 2000 to 2011. “As a first stab at analysing one of the world’s most intractable problems, it provides a wealth of analysis and fuel for thought,” writes The Economist. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (2/2)
Solving climate change from the top down and bottom up
The World Economic Forum in Davos has released multiple reports highlighting the need to address climate change. While Davos, United Nations conferences and similar events can set the agenda, they need to be complemented by “bottom up” strategies, says Richard Samans of the Global Green Growth Institute. “What I’m talking about as a bottom-up response is having specific sectors meet performance standards where it makes the most difference, like power plants. Or do things with land use that sucks carbon out of the atmosphere,” he says. Reuters (1/25), PBS/The Rundown blog (1/27), Responding to Climate Change (U.K.) (1/28)

2012

releasing-frozen-methane-615Methane: Good Gas, Bad Gas
(National Geographic | December 2012) Burn natural gas and it warms your house. But let it leak,from fracked wells or the melting Arctic, and it warms the whole planet.

UN Leak Shows More Evidence Humans Cause Global Warming

(Bloomberg) A leaked draft of the UN’s most comprehensive study ever on climate change shows increasing evidence that links human activity to global warming.
It is “extremely likely” mankind is responsible for more than half of the observed temperature rises since the 1950s, a United Nations agency said in a draft report. In the UN’s last study, in 2007, human influence on the temperature rise was deemed “very likely.” …
The IPCC said in a statement today …
“This report further confirms that there really is no doubt about the fact that the Earth is warming, and there is no reasonable doubt that greenhouse-gas emissions from human activities are the primary driver of that warming,” Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said in a phone interview. “The evidence is now more robust.”
Climate linked to Mayan fall, Genghis Khan’s rise
Research points to climate change as the likely reason for the demise of the Mayan civilization some 1,000 years ago and the campaign by Genghis Khan that conquered half of Eurasia in the early 1200s. “We might like to think that our own institutions are a bit less vulnerable to the elements than these civilizations, but then again — the climate we may be in for will likely be much more unusual,” writes Joshua Keating. ForeignPolicy.com/Passport blog (12/12), The Economist (12/8)

Kyoto Protocol extended in climate compromise

Delegates at the United Nations climate talks that ended Saturday in Doha, Qatar, agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol through 2020 and create a road map by 2015 to replace the pact. The world’s governments remained divided over who should pay the costs for helping the most vulnerable countries cope with the effects of climate change through 2020, when industrial nations are slated to contribute $100 billion annually from public and private sources. Reuters (12/9), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/8), IRINNews.org (12/9)

Factbox: Key decisions at Doha talks on climate change
(Reuters) The conference agreed to an eight-year extension to 2020 of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding U.N. pact for combating global warming.
It now obliges about 35 industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 5.2 percent below 1990 levels during the period 2008-12. Nations will pick their own targets for 2020.
But backers of Kyoto will dwindle from 2013 to a group including the European Union, Australia, Ukraine, Switzerland and Norway. Together they account for less than 15 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions.
Others of the original Kyoto group — Russia, Japan and Canada — are pulling out, saying that it is time for big emerging economies led by China and India to join in setting targets for limiting their surging emissions.
Next Time You Come to a Climate Conference, Do Your Homework Beforehand

(Scrapbook of a climate hawk) So once again the UN climate process has been saved. In an unprecedented display, the conference’s president rush-gavelled through the key decisions and overruled Russia’s procedural objection.
However, once again saving the process came at the expense of actually achieving substantive results.
7 December
Civil society breaks the silence, confronts governments at climate negotiations
(rabble.ca) This year’s relatively quiet climate negotiations turned up the volume yesterday when two members of the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) were arrested for holding up a banner. Onlookers erupted in cheers as they were escorted out. They were asking the hosts, the Qatari government, for leadership. Instead, they were immediately ejected from COP18 and instructed to leave the country.
After the cheers subsided, the mood was sombre. The process at COP18 is failing; the climate deal on the table is not an ambitious one. It is not sufficient to avert the climate catastrophe that will occur if emissions are not curbed. Civil society has been speaking loudly and clearly at COP, through the AYCM’s action and others, demanding initiative on the part of governments. But are they listening?
The silence was also broken for the first time between Canadian climate groups and Environment Minister Peter Kent. Despite asking for meetings in past years, requests have been consistently denied. In his tenure as Environment Minister, Kent has met with environmental groups four times, and on non-climate issues. He has met with representatives of the oil and gas industry 54 times, and many of these meetings focused on tar sands advocacy.
Last-minute scramble for climate deal at UN talks
Negotiations continued through the night Thursday at United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar, with envoys trying to mesh procedure with political will. A key proposal is the annual delivery of $100 billion in aid by 2020 to pay for projects to cope with the effects of global warming. The lead negotiator from the Philippines, Naderev Saño, broke down in tears in the hall, saying, “I appeal to the whole world, I appeal to leaders from all over the world, to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face. … It cannot be a way of life that we end up running always from storms.” Bloomberg Businessweek (12/7), The Washington Post/The Associated Press (12/7), The Guardian (London)/Poverty Matters blog (12/6)
Carbon offsets could point the way to climate future

Halfway through the United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said she does not see “much public interest, support, for governments to take on more ambitious and more courageous decisions” to slow global warming. One option is the Clean Development Mechanism, the global environmental currency that awards transferable credits for building green projects in developing countries. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/IHT Rendezvous blog (12/3), Fox News Latino/The Associated Press (12/1)
Tensions emerge at UN climate talks as delegates debate extending Kyoto Protocol

2012 is shaping up as among hottest years recorded

This year is in line to become one of the 10 hottest globally on record and the hottest in the lower 48 U.S. states, the World Meteorological Organization reports. Temperatures would be even higher if not for cooling La Niña weather patterns this year, according to the United Nations agency. “Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said. Bloomberg (11/28), The Guardian (London) (11/28), The Washington Post/The Associated Press (11/28)

Will UN talks spur climate action?
The two-week conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change begins today in Doha, Qatar, where leaders from nearly 200 nations will meet with environmentalists and academics in an effort to create policies to counter climate change and help poor countries adapt. Chief among the priorities is an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. A report says that financial pledges made three years ago by rich countries have gone largely fulfilled, while those that were honored have lacked transparency. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/IHT Rendezvous blog (11/26), BBC (11/25), The Guardian (London) (11/25), AlertNet/Reuters (11/25)
Meaningful action sought at UN climate talks
A week before climate negotiators from nearly 200 countries are slated to meet in Doha, Qatar, researchers are calling for a shake-up in the voting process and delegation sizes. The United Nations talks follow a World Bank report that warns of sharp temperature increases this century. While the meeting is not expected to yield breakthroughs, it is important for work toward a deal in 2015, says climate policy officer Sönke Kreft. AlertNet/Reuters (11/18), AlertNet (11/19), Reuters (11/20), Spiegel Online (Germany) (11/19)
18 November
No nation immune to climate change: World Bank
(WEN/Planet Ark) All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world’s poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank said in a report on climate change.
Under new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the global development lender has launched a more aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development.
“We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today,” Kim told reporters on a conference call on Friday.
The report, called “Turn Down the Heat,” highlights the devastating impact of a world hotter by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, a likely scenario under current policies, according to the report.
U.S. considers moving climate talks away from UN
The U.S. may try to shift substantive negotiations to reduce greenhouse gases from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the Major Economies Forum, an organization of the largest carbon producers. UN officials, however, resist the idea. “The one and only place where formal negotiations and, above all, decisions take place and where treaties are negotiated is the UNFCCC,” said Christiana Figueres, UN climate chief. The Guardian (London)/EurActiv (11/16)
11 November
Hurricane Sandy’s lessons: How America can protect its coasts
The superstorm’s devastation has awakened urgent interest in protecting populated coasts. Is it really possible?
(The Week) Climate activists say that to stop the inexorable rise of the oceans, we should adopt immediate, major restrictions on the burning of fossil fuels. But political resistance to emissions limits is strong in developed and developing countries alike, so there is almost no chance of reaching an agreement on a global reduction of even 20 percent. And it’s probably too late anyway: Due to the amount of carbon dioxide we’ve already pumped into the atmosphere, even the most draconian measures to slash carbon emissions would not reduce rising tides. “Sea-level rise cannot be stopped for at least the next several hundred years,” climate scientist Gerald Meehl concluded in an article published this summer in Nature. Curtailing emissions would only slightly slow what now appears to be inevitable.
Can we adapt to higher seas?
It can be done, but it’s an epic battle requiring ever-more-heroic means.
9 November
Are scientists too cautious to help us stop climate change?
(Foreign Policy) Conventional wisdom about climate change may have begun to gel in the aftermath of Sandy, but did global warming really cause the vicious hybrid storm that devastated much of the eastern seaboard last week? The short answer is no. Attributing Sandy or any other single event to long-term climate trends is rather like blaming El Niño for a car accident on the Santa Monica Freeway. But that’s hardly an excuse for policymakers to keep kicking the climate can down the road. Science actually doesn’t tell us much about that kind of causality, so it’s time to stop acting like it does.
At its best, climate science deals in probabilities. This means that under ideal conditions, scientists can estimate how a given climate signal alters the chances of a particular event. For example, we can now begin to estimate how global warming changes the probability of destructive hurricane landfalls. But in the case of hybrid storms like Sandy, which combine hurricane and winter storm characteristics, science hasn’t even progressed to the point of assessing probabilities.
Ban: Sandy shows climate change is “new normal”
Superstorms and extreme weather caused by climate change are “the new normal,” according to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “This may be an uncomfortable truth, but it is one we ignore at our peril. … This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy,” Ban said. Reuters (11/9)
30 October
Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy?
(Scientific American) many variables go into creating a big storm, so the size of Hurricane Sandy, or any specific storm, cannot be attributed to climate change. That’s true, and it’s based on good science. However, that statement does not mean that we cannot say that climate change is making storms bigger. It is doing just that—a statement also based on good science, and one that the insurance industry is embracing, by the way. (Huh? More on that in a moment.)
Scientists have long taken a similarly cautious stance, but more are starting to drop the caveat and link climate change directly to intense storms and other extreme weather events, such as the warm 2012 winter in the eastern U.S. and the frigid one in Europe at the same time. They are emboldened because researchers have gotten very good in the past decade at determining what affects the variables that create big storms.
Gas flares waste energy, add to carbon emissions
An estimated $50 billion in natural gas is wasted each year by the world’s top oil-producing countries through flaring, according to the World Bank. The emissions from gas flares contribute about as much to climate change as the economy of Italy. “Given the need for energy in so many countries — 1 in 5 people in the world are without electricity — we simply cannot afford to waste this gas any more,” said Rachel Kyte, the bank’s vice president for sustainable development. The Guardian (London) (10/24)
Climate change is linked to deaths, financial loss
A study is linking climate change to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people annually, with a yearly economic toll of $1.2 trillion, or 1.6% of global gross domestic product. Developing countries will continue to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change through 2030, by which time the cost to global GDP is projected to reach 3.2%, according to the study, Climate Vulnerability Monitor. The Guardian (London) (9/25), AlertNet (9/26)
Effects of climate change on Himalayas mixed
The oft-disputed effects of climate change on Himalayan glaciers are mixed, according to analyses by the U.S. National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences. While glaciers are melting faster in the eastern and central regions of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, western areas may be expanding. That means that, in the short term, the retreat of glaciers will influence regional water supplies less than factors such as population, consumption and precipitation. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Dot Earth blog (9/12), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Green blog (9/12)
4 August
Droughts show global warming is ‘scientific fact’
NASA researcher’s study ‘reframes the question,’ UVic professor says
The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare it can’t be anything but man-made global warming, a new statistical analysis says. The research by a man often called the “godfather of global warming” says that, from the 1950s through the 1980s, the likelihood of such sweltering temperatures occurring was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by James Hansen.
2 August
Jeffrey Sachs: The Dangerous New Era Of Climate Change
For many years, the risk of climate change was widely regarded as something far in the future, a risk perhaps facing our children or their children. But recent global events suggest that we have now entered a new and very dangerous era of global climate shifts, one that corporate lobbies and media propagandists are still attempting to deny
(Economy Watch) For years, climate scientists have been warning the world that the heavy use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) threatens the world with human-induced climate change. The rising atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, would warm the planet and change rainfall and storm patterns and raise sea levels. Now those changes are hitting in every direction, even as powerful corporate lobbies and media propagandists like Rupert Murdoch try to deny the truth.
Study spurs about-face among climate skeptics
Scientists once skeptical of assertions that man-made global warming is real have been changing their minds in reaction to a study indicating that temperatures have risen 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years — and reportedly almost entirely because of human emissions of greenhouse gases. “We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds,” said Richard Muller, a physicist at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. The Guardian (London) (7/29)
13 July
The Quest for a Fair Global Climate Policy
(IDN InDepth News Analysis) The Germanwatch has published ‘The Climate Change Performance Index’, which on the basis of standardised criteria, evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are together responsible for more than 90 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. 80 percent of the evaluation is based on objective indicators of emissions trend and emissions level. 20 percent of the index results are built upon national and international climate policy assessments by more than 200 experts from the respective countries.
The 2011 Index, published end of the year, shows worrying results. “The worldwide addiction to coal has not been stopped, but rather increased. 80 percent of the index is influenced by emissions trends and absolute emissions levels,” says Jan Burck, author of the Index at Germanwatch. Five out of the ten biggest emitters, namely Iran (60), China (57), Russia (56), Canada (54) and USA (52) were rated with the label ‘very poor’ performance.
“Among these countries, China is the only one with a good policy rating. Its encouraging development of renewable energies and energy efficiency targets in the 12th Five Year Plan can help China to climb up a few ranks in the future. But most countries cannot lean back either. Instead, we need a ‘coalition of the responsible’ for a better climate protection”, adds Burck. [IDN-InDepthNews – July 13, 2012]
11 July
The climate of the climate change debate is changing
Quantifying how greenhouse gases contribute to extreme weather is a crucial step in calculating the cost of human influence
(The Guardian) Tuesday marked the publication of a series of papers examining the factors behind extreme weather events in 2011. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except, if all goes well, this will be the first of a regular, annual assessment quantifying how external drivers of climate contribute to damaging weather.
Some of these drivers, like volcanoes, are things we can do nothing about. But others, like rising levels of greenhouse gases, we can. And quantifying how greenhouse gases contribute to extreme weather is a crucial step in pinning down the real cost of human influence on climate. While most people think of climate change in terms of shrinking ice-sheets and slowly rising sea levels, it is weather events that actually do harm.
The Climate Stalemate
(OpenCanada.org) Fortunately, in the face of multilateral deadlock, a different kind of response has emerged. Global networks of cities like the C40 group and ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection program – both of which had headquarters in Toronto, with David Miller heading up C40 during his time as mayor – are working to alter municipal economies, transportation systems, and energy use. Corporations, environmental NGOs, and governments are forming alliances like The Climate Group, the Connected Urban Development Program, and Climate Wise to devise ways to deliver climate-friendly technology and move towards a low-carbon economy. States, provinces, environmental organizations, and corporations are developing carbon markets in the global North and South that promise low-cost means of reducing emissions. Three Canadian provinces (Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia) are poised to join California in what is potentially one of the most ambitious of these programs in North America – the Western Climate Initiative. These kinds of innovations, or climate-governance experiments, are reshaping how individuals, communities, cities, provinces, corporations, and nations respond to climate change.
10 July
Heating Up
(NYT editorial) The recent heat wave that has fried much of the country, ruined crops and led to heat-related deaths has again raised the question of whether this and other extreme weather events can be attributed to human-induced climate change. The answer, increasingly, is a qualified yes.
8 July
Donna Laframboise Flown To Australia By Climate Science Denying Think Tank
(Desmogblog) CANADIAN blogger and climate science sceptic Donna Laframboise has flown off for a tour of Australia to tell anyone willing to listen that the world’s foremost body on climate change, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is something resembling a shambling mess.
Laframboise’s trip has been organised by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, which has a long history of promoting doubt about the science of human-caused climate change and the risks of the unmitigated burning of fossil fuels.
The blogger, who describes herself as an investigative journalist, gets to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to promote her book “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For The World’s Top Climate Expert – IPCC Expose.”
The IPA describe’s Laframboise as a “world renowned author” which is stretching credibility to breaking point. This “world renowned author” has written just two books. Her first was about feminism published in 1996. The Delinquent Teenager is her second, and is currently ranked #17952 in the book seller Amazon’s Kindle store [#41,202 in the U.S. Amazon Kindle Store.] Read on, it’s a delicious, documented, Donna debunk.
18 June
Statement by the Climate Change Task Force:
Action to Face the Urgent Realities of Climate Change (PDF)
IEA: World on brink of catastrophic climate change
If energy use continues at today’s rates, emissions of greenhouse gases could increase 33% by the end of the decade and nearly 100% by midcentury, according to Maria van der Hoeven of the International Energy Agency. “The world’s energy system is being pushed to breaking point,” Van der Hoeven writes on the eve of a meeting of key energy ministers in London. The Guardian (London) (4/24)
28 February
You can’t take the tar sands out of the climate equation
By Mark Jaccard, professor at Simon Fraser University and lead author for sustainable energy policy in the coming Global Energy Assessment
(Globe & Mail) … Their conclusion is that combustion of all the oil in the tar sands would not cause more than a 0.36 degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures – while scientists and political leaders agree that we can’t allow temperatures to increase more than two degrees.
Dr. Weaver and Mr. Swart are climate modellers. If they had consulted any of the world-leading independent energy-economy modellers at MIT, University of Maryland, Berlin, Vienna or Stanford, they would have done a different study by looking at combined sets of reductions around the world, and recognizing that all components currently or potentially in use are part of the solution.
What researchers who do this consistently find is that it’s already too late to prevent a two-degree increase because of the inertia in our global energy system, which is 85 per cent based on burning coal, oil and natural gas. We would have to blow up our factories, electricity plants and vehicles to achieve that goal.
They also show that, even if we just hope to keep the increase below four degrees, then we can’t allow any expansion of the tar sands, and certainly no new pipelines such as Keystone and Northern Gateway to support any expanded use of fossil fuels.
26 February
The Inner Workings of the Denial Machine
David Suzuki: Documents expose the Heartland Institute, a “charitable” organization, as engaged in secretive lobbying and public-relations efforts aimed at stalling measures to protect the environment.
(The Mark) Heartland is just one of many organizations dedicated to spreading doubt and confusion about legitimate science. These groups share a lack of transparency and an agenda to promote corporate interests at the expense of human health, the environment, and even the economy (if we believe the economy should function primarily in the interests of citizens rather than corporations).
24 February
This should be read very carefully and all the way through.
How environmentalists are losing the war
In winning a tactical victory over the Keystone pipeline, activists used rhetoric that blew up in their faces this week, writes Dan Gardner
23 February
John Moore: A peek into the climate denier industry
The curtain has been drawn back on the professional denier industry, and its media enablers are frantically crying “there is nothing to see here.” Leaked documents from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute expose the efforts of the conservative “research organization” to sow doubt about climate change.
22 February
Media coverage of oilsands prompts scientists’ rebuke
(iPolitics) Since the provocative paper was published on Sunday afternoon, the phones at the University of Victoria have been ringing off the hook, with calls from journalists around the world. In the blogosphere, Swart and Weaver’s paper has been embraced by some oilsands advocates as validation and endorsement of oilsands production, and poo-poo’d by others as old news. Meanwhile, some climate change activists have condemned the findings, with some even suggesting that Weaver has been bought off by “Big Oil.” Not everyone has bothered to read the paper, which takes the more nuanced view that while the oilsands add little to the world’s carbon footprint, they are a significant enabler of fossil fuel addiction.
21 February
Canada’s oil sands: Not so dirty after all
(Globe & Mail) Canada’s government, which has threatened a trade war over a proposed European rule to penalize oil-sands crude in a bid to clean up transportation fuels, has a powerful new argument in its favour, as new research shows other energy sources are far more dangerous to the climate. … The research, by University of Victoria scientists Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart, calculates the climate impact of producing the oil sands. Dr. Weaver is an internationally respected scientist who has contributed to United Nations climate-change documents. (CBC) Climate expert says coal not oilsands real threat — Burning all oilsands would cause fraction of coal’s warming effect, prof says
Leaks indicate plans of climate change skeptics
Internal documents leaked from the Heartland Institute reveal a new initiative from the Chicago-based nonprofit to stymie the teaching of global warming in U.S. public schools, providing a rare look into the operations, salaries and fundraising behind the climate skepticism that has become part of the American culture wars. Heartland has been paying experts and scientists to cast doubt on climate science, documents show. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/15), The Guardian (London) (2/15) More from The Guardian: Heartland Institute claims fraud after leak of climate change documents — Thinktank said to be undermining climate science says it was victim of theft and forgery – but identifies only one memo as fake
Investors set sights on climate change at UN conference
More than 400 representatives of large institutional investors met Thursday at the United Nations to reconsider climate change from a business perspective on the heels of 5% growth in green energy investment, to $260 billion, in 2011. “The carbon-burning economy is tomorrow’s Rust Belt. Your job, it seems to me, is to invest in the Microsofts and Googles of the green economy,” Roland Rich, head of the UN Democracy Fund, told investors, who control a collective $26 trillion worldwide. The conference was convened by the UN, the United Nations Foundation and the Ceres coalition. Reuters (1/12), The Sacramento Bee (Calif.)/McClatchy Newspapers (free registration) (1/12), The Guardian (London) (1/12)

2 Comments on "Climate change and uncertainty 2012 -2013"

  1. Ron Meisels July 13, 2012 at 9:45 am · Reply

    Dear Wednesday Night,

    In the interest of fair reporting, I believe that you should at least post a reference to some of the contrary opinions. For example. “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert” by Donna Laframboise.

    Whereas (as it is quoted above) the Heartland Institute’s article “provides a rare look into the operations, salaries and fundraising by the climate skeptics”, Ms. Laframboise’s book “provides a rare look into the operations, salaries and fundraising by the climate experts”.

    She proves, for example, that the IPCC, where the “I” stands for “INDEPENDENT”, is mostly funded by Greenpeace, the WWF, and other non-independent Foundations, etc.

    I will probably not live long enought to see the outcome of all this, but one day it will be proven that all the workings of the IPCC was a “made-to-work” project, with cushy salaries to its President, et. al.

  2. Diana Thebaud Nicholson July 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm · Reply

    In response to our good friend Ron Meisels, I must point out that the correct title of the IPCC is actually Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; it is supported financially by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and not by “Greenpeace … or other non-independent foundations.” For a review of a few of the factual errors and distortions (see SourceWatch) promulgated by Ms Laframboise, please see Donna Laframboise Flown To Australia By Climate Science Denying Think Tank to which we also link above. … all in the interest of fair reporting.

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