Glasgow, Scotland - As COP26 delegates went into overtime Friday night, shaping the language of their final climate communiques into something all 197 countries could agree on, scientists from around the world issued their latest, and perhaps starkest warning. “We, climate scientists, stress that immediate, strong, rapid, sustained and large-scale actions are necessary to hold global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C,” they wrote in a Nov. 11 letter to the conference. More than 200 scientists from every continent signed the letter to remind delegates at the conference that there’s no negotiating with science, said Sonia Seniveratne, a climate researcher with ETH Zürich and lead author of the latest climate science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The 2010s may go down in environmental history as the decade when the fingerprints of climate change became evident in extreme weather events, from heat waves to destructive storms, and climate tipping points once thought to be far off were found to be much closer. It was the decade when governments worldwide woke up to the risk and signed the Paris climate agreement, yet still failed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions at the pace and scale needed. And when climate scientists, seeing the evidence before them, cast away their reluctance to publicly advocate for action.
There’s a favorite argument among doubters of mainstream climate science: Climate models overestimate the rate at which the Earth is warming. That claim surfaces time and again and is frequently based on single examples of uncertainty or cherry-picked data. Various studies have gone back and closely examined individual climate models in recent years and have generally found that they’re working pretty well. A study released yesterday has taken the exercise to the next level. The research takes a comprehensive look at all the global climate models published from the 1970s to 2007...
Scientists have been seriously investigating the subject of human-made climate change since the late 1950s and political leaders have been discussing it for nearly as long. In 1961, Alvin Weinberg, the director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, called carbon dioxide one of the “big problems” of the world “on whose solution the entire future of the human race depends.” Fast-forward nearly 30 years and, in 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), promising “concrete action to protect the planet.”
A coalition of climate science denial groups is gearing up for a European media blitz later this month, in an apparent bid to derail efforts to set an EU-wide “net zero” emissions target, documents obtained by DeSmog show. Plans for a self-styled “European Declaration” include press conferences in Brussels, Rome and Oslo and a letter to be sent to leaders of EU and UN institutions, scheduled for mid-September. The letter claims to have “400 independent Climate Scientists and Professionals” signed up so far.
he Trump administration used the Friday after Thanksgiving to quietly release Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), which warned "Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization" and concluded that "greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the only factors that can account" for planet-threatening warming. "Climate change is spawning more extreme weather, causing irreparable harm to communities, costing billions of dollars a year, and leading to countless deaths...
While technologies are being developed that can remove carbon dioxide from the air, they aren't yet feasible on the scale needed to slow global warming, Europe's national science academies warn in a new report. A wide array of technologies—from land management to ocean fertilization to capturing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it—are in various stages of testing and use, but according to the European Academies' Science Advisory Council, climate scientists and policymakers are being "seriously over-optimistic" about how much these approaches can help deal with the global warming crisis. In recent years, climate experts have suggested that it's not enough to just decrease the amount of greenhouse gases emitted.
By Andrew Griffin for Independent - A new, dire "warning to humanity" about the dangers to all of us has been written by 15,000 scientists from around the world. The message updates an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists that was backed by 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. But the experts say the picture is far, far worse than it was in 1992, and that almost all of the problems identified then have simply been exacerbated. Mankind is still facing the existential threat of runaway consumption of limited resources by a rapidly growing population, they warn. And "scientists, media influencers and lay citizens" aren't doing enough to fight against it, according to the letter. If the world doesn't act soon, there be catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery, they warn. Only the hole in the ozone layer has improved since the first letter was written, and the letter urges humanity to use that as an example of what can happen when it acts decisively. But every single other threat has just got worse, they write, and there is not long left before those changes can never be reversed. There are some causes for hope, the letter suggests. But humanity isn't doing nearly enough to make the most of them and soon won't be able to reverse its fate. "Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out," the letter warns.
By Staff of BioScience - Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” (see supplemental file S1). These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring. The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing Earth's ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life. They described how we are fast approaching many of the limits of what the biosphere can tolerate without substantial and irreversible harm.
By Eric Holthaus in Slate - In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels. The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate.