Climate change, uncertainty & security 2019 –

Written by  //  July 5, 2019  //  Climate Change  //  No comments

UN Conference on climate change COP21 Paris & aftermath

Study Shows Tree Planting Can Actually Fight Climate Change, if We Start Today
(Science Alert) If we all get planting, roughly 4.4 billion hectares of our planet’s surface could be shaded by trees – enough to pull decades of carbon we’ve pumped into the atmosphere. …earlier this year, ETH Zurich researcher Thomas Crowther and his colleagues have made it their mission to determine how we might press rewind on emissions before it’s too late.
At a conference in February, he presented his team’s findings on how maximising biodiversity will help us lock away carbon in the form of wood and other organic material.
Now they’ve published details on their research, and the news is kind of bitter-sweet.
Their analysis of the planet’s potential to support lush woodlands found if we discount the parts of the globe that already have forests, not to mention cities and agriculture, there’s still space left over – just under a billion hectares we can still squeeze some trees onto.

14 June
‘High likelihood of human civilisation coming to end’ by 2050, report finds
Over-conservative climate scenarios mean we could face ‘world of outright chaos’, says analysis authored by former fossil fuel executive and backed by former head of Australia’s military
(The Independent UK) The increasingly disastrous impacts of the climate crisis, coupled with inaction to tackle it are sending our planet down a bleak path towards an increasingly chaotic world which could overwhelm societies around the globe, the report’s authors contend.
The paper, produced by the Melbourne-based think tank the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, is presented by the former chief of the Australian Defence Forces and retired Royal Australian Navy Admiral Chris Barrie.
In his introduction he says the report’s authors “have laid bare the unvarnished truth about the desperate situation humans, and our planet, are in, painting a disturbing picture of the real possibility that human life on earth may be on the way to extinction, in the most horrible way.”
The paper argues that “climate change now represents a near to mid-term existential threat to human civilisation,” and calls for a recalibration in how governments respond to estimated climate scenarios so they take worst case projections more seriously.
Temperatures leap 40 degrees above normal as the Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet see record June melting
Greenland saw temperatures soar up to 40 degrees above normal Wednesday, while open water exists in places north of Alaska where it seldom, if ever, has in recent times.
It’s “another series of extreme events consistent with the long-term trend of a warming, changing Arctic,” said Zachary Labe, a climate researcher at the University of California at Irvine.

11 June
Planet is entering ‘new climate regime’ with ‘extraordinary’ heat waves intensified by global warming, study says
A study published this week in the journal Earth’s Future concludes that this heat wave epidemic “would not have occurred without human-induced climate change.”
The alarming part? There are signs record-setting heat waves are beginning anew this summer — signaling, perhaps, that these exceptional and widespread heat spells are now the norm.
In the past few days, blistering, abnormal heat has afflicted several parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including major population centers.
New Delhi, India’s capital, soared to 118.4 degrees (48 Celsius) Monday, its highest temperature ever recorded in June. Some parts of India have seen the mercury eclipse 122 degrees (50 Celsius) in recent days, not far off the country’s all-time high.

25 May
Climate change visualized: How Earth’s temperature has changed since 1970
(Axios) 2018 was Earth’s 4th-warmest year on record, coming in behind 2016, the planet’s warmest recorded year, as well as 2015 and 2017, according to information released by NOAA, NASA and the U.K. Met Office.
Why it matters: The yearly rankings don’t tell the whole story of long-term climate change, since natural variability can still push or pull an individual year up or down the rankings. However, the overall picture is growing starker with each passing year. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record since reliable data began in 1880 have occurred since 2005. At the same time, greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels — as well as deforestation and intensive agriculture — have skyrocketed to levels not seen in more than 800,000 years.
The latest: An unusually warm April followed a top 3 hottest March, and indicates that the Earth is headed for yet another top 3 warmest year on record. In addition, Arctic sea ice extent reached a record low for April, NOAA reports. This follows recent news that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere edged past 415 parts per million for the first time in human history, likely becoming the highest level on record in at least 3 million years.
Between the lines: Global average surface temperatures are edging closer to the 1.5°C aspirational warming target contained in the Paris climate agreement, which many low-lying island nations see as key to their survival, but the world’s energy system is marching in the wrong direction for limiting global warming’s severity.

22 May
Moderate Democrats’ Delusions of ‘Prudence’ Will Kill Us All
(New York) Earlier this month, the weather report for the Arctic Circle was partly cloudy with a high of 84 degrees.
Earlier this year, a United Nations report found that “potentially devastating temperature rises of 3 to 5 [degrees Celsius] in the Arctic are now inevitable even if the world succeeds in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris agreement.” At the moment, no nation on Earth is on track to meet its emissions targets under that accord. And any temperature rise above what’s already inevitable would pose a severe risk of melting the methane-infused Arctic permafrost, thus releasing 283 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — a development that, when combined with the disappearance of heat-deflecting ice, would rapidly accelerate global warming and all but doom human civilization.
Meanwhile, the government of the world’s lone superpower remains dominated by a political party that regards climate change as something between an afterthought and a “Chinese hoax.” The GOP vigorously opposed the Paris agreement, and is in the process of repealing just about every measure the Obama administration took to uphold it. In fact, the Republican White House is so committed to a new rule that would keep economically inefficient — and ecologically ruinous — coal-fired power plants in operation, it is ignoring an EPA report that estimates such a policy would result in 1,400 additional premature deaths in the U.S. every year. For their part, Senate Republicans are so contemptuous of the notion that the climate crisis demands ambitious government action, they have turned the Green New Deal into a punching bag, and insisted that any new infrastructure package must consist largely of environmental deregulations.

20 May
Rise in global sea levels could have ‘profound consequences’
(BBC) Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica, The long-held view has been that the world’s seas would rise by a maximum of just under a metre by 2100. This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure. This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say. The question of sea-level rise was one of the most controversial issues raised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), when it published its fifth assessment report in 2013. It said the continued warming of the planet, without major reductions in emissions, would see global waters rising by between 52cm and 98cm by 2100. Many experts believe this was a very conservative estimate.

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