We are not going to limit global warming to 1.5°C. This means we will soon be entering a much warmer and more dangerous world. The threshold of 1.5°C was the highest ambition of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. It was arrived at by a realisation that warming beyond this temperature would produce intolerable suffering to those most exposed to global warming. So what can we make of politicians who continue to argue that ‘1.5°C is still alive’? Are they misinformed or are they simply lying?
Policies in place to reduce emissions as of December 2020 would lead the planet to 3.2 degrees Celsius of warming, more than double the 1.5 degrees limit that scientists say is essential for avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis. That’s the urgent warning from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released Monday. “The jury has reached the verdict, and it is damning,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters ahead of the report’s release. “This report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world. We are on a fast track to climate disaster.
Biddeford, Maine — Duane Dennison knows more than most about the effects of hotter summers and heat lingering into the night: He lives near the Saco River in a tent community of about 20 people experiencing homelessness. As temperatures soared into the mid-90s Aug. 12, the 61-year-old painter sought relief at the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center, which offers air conditioning, snacks and a place to socialize for up to 30 people at a time. His options to cool off in the summer are the cooling shelter, swimming in the river or hanging out at the local supermarket’s meat department. “It’s harder in summer than the winter,” Dennison said of trying to stay comfortable outside. Like many other Maine cities, Biddeford is regularly experiencing temperatures far higher than surrounding suburban and rural areas.
Earth has warmed 1.09℃ since pre-industrial times and many changes such as sea-level rise and glacier melt are now virtually irreversible, according to the most sobering report yet by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report also found escape from human-caused climate change is no longer possible. Climate change is now affecting every continent, region and ocean on Earth, and every facet of the weather. The long-awaited report is the sixth assessment of its kind since the panel was formed in 1988. It will give world leaders the most timely, accurate information about climate change ahead of a crucial international summit in Glasgow, Scotland in November. The IPCC is the peak climate science body of the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization.
Earth’s rising fever hit or neared record hot temperature levels in 2020, global weather groups reported Thursday. While NASA and a couple of other measurement groups said 2020 passed or essentially tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, more agencies, including the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, said last year came in a close second or third. The differences in rankings mostly turned on how scientists accounted for data gaps in the Arctic, which is warming faster than the rest of the globe. “It’s like the film ‘Groundhog Day.’ Another year, same story — record global warmth,” said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, who wasn’t part of the measurement teams.
A major new study has been published - one that gives much more certainty on the extent of future warming we might expect. Along with many other international climate scientists, it was led by my colleague, climate scientist Steven Sherwood from the University of New South Wales in Australia. So, I asked him a few questions about it, to drill down what this means for us and the future. We know Earth's climate warms as greenhouse gas concentrations like carbon dioxide rise in the atmosphere. From the 1950s, NASA temperature data show Earth has warmed ~0.8 °C up until the latest decade.The scale of future warming remains uncertain for a variety of reasons, the biggest unknown being how much carbon pollution humanity will emit over the coming decades. That is based on political and economic systems - hardly something we can predict over the coming months - let alone the coming decades! So, scientists have developed complex earth-system models to predict the future using a variety of future carbon pollution scenarios - ranging from the 'burn all the coal reserves' option to the 'shut down all coal-fired power plants tomorrow' option. But another important element of uncertainty is how sensitive Earth's climate is to carbon dioxide.
Global warming is not waiting around for the signatories to the Paris climate accord ‘15 to go to net zero emissions 2030/50. Sorry, those bold plans are way too little way too late. Already, across the board, the planet is on a hot streak that defies all projections. It’s starting to look downright scary!
Deadly heat waves, wildfires and widespread flooding punctuated a decade of climate extremes that, by many scientific accounts, show global warming kicking into overdrive. As the year drew to a close, scientists were confidently saying 2019 was Earth's second-warmest recorded year on record, capping the warmest decade. Eight of the 10 warmest years since measurements began occurred this decade, and the other two were only a few years earlier. Arctic sea ice melted faster and took longer to form again in the fall.
The last remaining tropical glaciers between the Himalayas and the Andes will disappear in the next decade -- and possibly sooner -- due to climate change, a new study has found. The glaciers in Papua, Indonesia, are "the canaries in the coal mine" for other mountaintop glaciers around the world, said Lonnie Thompson, one of the senior authors of the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "These will be the first to disappear; the others will certainly follow," said Thompson...
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...
LONDON,19 September, 2019 − We could in the near future be experiencing much more heat than we now expect. As carbon dioxide levels rise, global warming could accelerate, rather than merely keep pace with the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is a lesson to be drawn from new computer simulations of the conditions that must have precipitated a dramatic shift in global climate 56 million years ago, when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose at least 1000 parts per million (ppm) and perhaps substantially higher.
So what is reasonable conduct in the face of the mounting climate crisis? The importance of asking this question cannot be overstated. The phrase “climate emergency” became part of the political lexicon this year. Governments at all levels made declarations of a climate emergency, as did various organisations such as the Australian Medical Association. Even the Pope joined in. But what has this meant in practical terms? Very little so far, given the continuing rise in global greenhouse gas emissions.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Although Hurricane Dorian exemplifies what climate scientists have warned about, major U.S. media outlets are failing to connect the climate crisis to the strongest Atlantic storm ever to hit land, a Public Citizen analysis shows. Scientists say that global warming makes hurricanes intensify faster, dump more rain and move more slowly. All these things have happened with Dorian; it has moved over water that is warmer than usual, intensified at an unprecedented rate, dumped 24 inches of rain on parts of the Bahamas and slowed to a crawl, moving at as little as 1 mile per hour.
Hurricane Dorian's slow, destructive track through the Bahamas fits a pattern scientists have been seeing over recent decades, and one they expect to continue as the planet warms: hurricanes stalling over coastal areas and bringing extreme rainfall. Dorian made landfall in the northern Bahamas on Sept. 1 as one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record, then battered the islands for hours on end with heavy rain, a storm surge of up to 23 feet and sustained wind speeds reaching 185 miles per hour.
There is nothing new to our story. The flagrant lies and imbecilities of the inept and corrupt leader. The inability to halt the costly, endless wars and curb the gargantuan expenditures on the military. The looting of a beleaguered populace by the rich. The destruction of the ecosystem. The decay and abandonment of a once-efficient infrastructure. The implosion of the institutions, from education to diplomacy, that sustain a functioning state. The world has seen it before.