A new paper explores how policy makers can work with the uncomfortable knowledge that the prospects for holding average global warming to below two degrees Celsius are rapidly decreasing. They identify for the first time key uncertainties, risks and opportunities associated with alternatives to the two degree target of international climate policy, published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Policy.
Three quarters of a billion people is a lot of people. And that's how many people, within the next 22 years, will almost certainly run low on water – a necessity of life – in just the regions whose rivers are supplied with water from the glaciers in the Himalayas. To put that in perspective, 750 million people is more than twice the current population of United States. It's about the population of all of Europe. In the year 1900 there were only 500 million people on the entire planet. Seven hundred fifty million people is a lot of people.
Many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease — are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. The report uses the word "exacerbate" repeatedly to describe warming's effect on poverty, lack of water, disease and even the causes of war.
Super-typhoon Haiyan – thought to be the strongest recorded storm ever to hit land – has barrelled through the Philippines with winds up to 195mph and waves as high as five metres. The category 5 storm, which made landfall at dawn on Friday on Samar island in the central Philippines, blew westward in a devastating streak across a number of islands, including Leyte, Cebu, Bohol and Negros, where it brought down power lines, knocked out communications, caused landslides and left streets flooded.
We told you on Monday about an open letter penned by James Hansen and three other prominent climate scientists calling on the world to ramp up development and deployment of “safer” nuclear power. The scientists argue that renewable energy isn’t enough to spare the world from the wrath of global warming, and that the power of the atom needs to be better tapped to help get us off fossil fuels.
Canada’s tar sands are emitting more greenhouse gases per barrel now than they did five years ago, according to a new environmental report card. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers found per barrel greenhouse gas emissions for tar sands and other unconventional oil sources — like oil shale — have grown by 21 percent, and total emissions have grown from 90 million metric tons in 2008 to 109 million metric tons in 2012.
In yesterday's Virginia governor's race, Terry McAuliffe's win over anti-science Republican Ken Cuccinelli is showing that being a climate-change denier is a losing political position. Certainly the election was about many issues, but climate change was the most striking difference between the two candidates. Virginia's voters clearly rejected Cuccinelli's attacks against climate scientists and his head-in-the-sand views. Ken Cuccinelli has a history of not only discounting scientists but spending taxpayers' money to actively attack them.
GENEVA - World carbon dioxide pollution levels in the atmosphere are accelerating and reached a record high in 2012, the U.N. weather agency said Wednesday. The heat-trapping gas, pumped into the air by cars and smokestacks, was measured at 393.1 parts per million last year, up 2.2 ppm from the previous year, said the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization in its annual greenhouse gas inventory. That is far beyond the 350 ppm that some scientists and environmental groups promote as the absolute upper limit for a safe level.
The only three living diplomats who have led the United Nations global warming talks said there’s little chance the next climate treaty will prevent the world from overheating. The specific goal, to hold temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), was endorsed by envoys from 190 nations in 2010. It’s considered the maximum the environment can bear before climate change becomes more dangerous. Delegates to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meet in Warsaw starting Nov. 11 to work on a treaty that could be agreed to in 2015.
It’s been a hot week for global warming. NASA released global temperature data showing that this September tied with 2005 for the warmest September on record. That’s doubly impressive since 2005 was warmed by an El Niño and accompanying warm Pacific ocean temperatures, whereas 2013 has had cooler Pacific temperatures all year. Greenhouse gases keep warming the planet to unprecedented levels with unprecedented speed. That’s the conclusion of two new studies out this week.