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This page includes content from the Climate Change News blog, which is maintained daily by David Landskov, and content from our old SA blog archives.

  • Is This the Only Way to Curb Global Warming?

    Climate Change News Nov 30, 2019 | 05:30 am

    Is This the Only Way to Curb Global Warming? A new report from the United Nations environment program (Unep) finds that on current pledges, the world is heading for a 3.2 degree rise.Although G20 nations collectively account for 78 percent of all emissions, only five members have committed to a long-term emissions target.Of these, the UK and France are the only two to have passed legislation confirming their commitments in law.Germany, Italy and the EU28 are currently in the process of passing laws to this effect.The UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change warned that going beyond the 1.5 degree rise agreed under the Paris Agreement in 2015 would increase the frequency and intensity of climate impacts.UN secretary-general António Guterres said: “For ten years, the Emissions Gap Report has been sounding the alarm – and for ten years, the world has only increased its emissions.“There has never been a more important time to listen to the science.  Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heatwaves, storms, and pollution.”The report calls for all nations to substantially increase their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as the Paris commitments are known, in 2020.Inger Andersen, Unep’s executive director, said: “Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions – over 7 percent each year, if we break it down evenly over the next decade.“This shows that countries simply cannot wait until the end of 2020, when new climate commitments are[…]

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  • Friday 29

    Climate Change News Nov 30, 2019 | 04:30 am

    Friday 29 <

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  • Climate Tipping Points Are Closer Than We Think, Scientists Warn

    Climate Change News Nov 29, 2019 | 06:30 am

    Climate Tipping Points Are Closer Than We Think, Scientists Warn From melting ice caps to dying forests and thawing permafrost, the risk of ‘abrupt and irreversible changes’ is much higher than thought just a few years ago.Humans are playing Russian roulette with Earth's climate by ignoring the growing risk of tipping points that, if passed, could jolt the climate system into "a new, less habitable 'hothouse' climate state," scientists are warning ahead of the annual UN climate summit. Research now shows that there is a higher risk that "abrupt and irreversible changes" to the climate system could be triggered at smaller global temperature increases than thought just a few years ago.  There are also indictations that exceeding tipping points in one system, such as the loss of Arctic sea ice or thawing of permafrost, can increase the risk of crossing tipping points in others, a group of top scientists wrote Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature. "What we're talking about is a point of no return, when we might actually lose control of this system, and there is a significant risk that we're going to do this," said Will Steffen, a climate researcher with the Australian National University and co-author of the commentary.  "It's not going to be the same conditions with just a bit more heat or a bit more rainfall.  It's a cascading process that gets out of control." Read more at Climate Tipping Points Are Closer Than We Think, Scientists Warn

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  • In Rural and Urban Communities Alike, Energy Costs Burden Low-Income FamiliesIn Rural and Urban Communities Alike, Energy Costs Burden Low-Income Families

    Climate Change News Nov 29, 2019 | 06:00 am

    In Rural and Urban Communities Alike, Energy Costs Burden Low-Income FamiliesIn Rural and Urban Communities Alike, Energy Costs Burden Low-Income Families Weatherization programs can help. As the leaves turn and the temperature drops, many people worry about the cost of home heating. Ariel Drehobl of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy says that for low-income families, it can cause stress around figuring out how to pay your bills and a tradeoff between keeping your heat on and being able to afford other necessities like food, medication, and things for your children. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy recently studied how much of their income Americans spend on energy. “We found that low-income households in urban areas experience energy burdens three times as high as non-low-income households, and we’ve seen the same story in rural areas as well,” Drehobl says.  “This shows that energy costs are not currently equitable and affordable for all households in this country.” Weatherizing a home can help, and there are utility and federal programs to help offset the costs. But to prevent disparities, Drehobl says low-income communities need to be informed about these programs.  States should also set goals and track how many low-income residents participate. “It’s really important for energy to be affordable for all families in the country in order to maintain health and economic prosperity,” she says. Read more at In Rural and Urban Communities Alike, Energy Costs Burden Low-Income Families

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  • UN report:  Pollution From Planned Fossil Fuel Production Would Overshoot Paris Climate Goals

    Climate Change News Nov 29, 2019 | 05:30 am

    UN report:  Pollution From Planned Fossil Fuel Production Would Overshoot Paris Climate Goals To protect the climate, most coal, oil, and natural gas must be left in the ground, a recent study reported. In the 2015 international Paris Climate Agreement, nearly every country agreed to try and limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and preferably closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures.  Achieving these goals will require dramatic changes, as the world has already warmed 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), and temperatures, fossil fuel consumption, and carbon pollution all are continuing to rise. To determine how far off track emissions are with respect to the Paris goals, groups like the International Energy Agency and Climate Action Tracker evaluate each country’s climate policies.  According to their analyses, were each country to follow through only with current policies, global temperatures would rise about 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures by the year 2100 – a level of warming that would result in severe and dangerous climate changes. In addition, a new report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, and a coalition of research organizations takes a different approach:  The report examines government plans for fossil fuel production and the amount of carbon pollution and global warming that would result if all these fuels were burned. “Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions”, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said in a statement releasing the report.  So[…]

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  • Wednesday 27

    Climate Change News Nov 28, 2019 | 21:51 pm

    Wednesday 27 <

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  • New Report Finds Costs of Climate Change Impacts Often Underestimated

    Climate Change News Nov 24, 2019 | 06:00 am

    New Report Finds Costs of Climate Change Impacts Often Underestimated Climate economics researchers have often underestimated – sometimes badly underestimated – the costs of damages resulting from climate change.  Those underestimates occur particularly in scenarios where Earth’s temperature warms beyond the Paris climate target of 1.5 to 2 degrees C (2.7 to 3.6 degrees F). That’s the conclusion of a new report written by a team of climate and Earth scientists and economists from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.  It’s a conclusion consistent with the findings of numerous recent climate economics studies. Once temperatures warm beyond those Paris targets, the risks of triggering unprecedented climate damages grow.  However, because the rate and magnitude of climate change has entered uncharted territory in human history, the temperature thresholds and severity of future climate impacts remain highly uncertain, and thus difficult to capture in climate economics models.  Put simply, it’s difficult to project the economic impacts resulting from circumstances which are themselves unprecedented. Read more at New Report Finds Costs of Climate Change Impacts Often Underestimated

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  • Bloomberg Is a Climate Leader.  So Why Aren’t Activists Excited About a Run for President?

    Climate Change News Nov 24, 2019 | 05:30 am

    Bloomberg Is a Climate Leader.  So Why Aren’t Activists Excited About a Run for President? Michael Bloomberg has poured his time and hundreds of millions of dollars into projects aimed at getting the world 'beyond carbon,' but can he win the presidency?One of the Trump administration's favorite environmental talking points is that the United States has reduced carbon emissions more than any other country.It's not an achievement that Trump can take any credit for. But his latest potential challenger, Michael Bloomberg, arguably can take some.As market forces and regulatory controls were driving coal from its perch as the dominant electricity fuel in the U.S., they got a big assist from the Sierra Club's multimillion-dollar Beyond Coal campaign, launched in 2012 and bankrolled by Bloomberg.Read more at Bloomberg Is a Climate Leader.  So Why Aren’t Activists Excited About a Run for President?

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  • Saturday 23

    Climate Change News Nov 24, 2019 | 04:30 am

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  • Untold Suffering Lies Ahead in Hotter World

    Climate Change News Nov 23, 2019 | 16:17 pm

    Untold Suffering Lies Ahead in Hotter World Global heating could bring “untold suffering” for humans.  It could also mean less fresh water and less rice, though tasting more of arsenic.In an unprecedented step, more than 11,000 scientists from 153 nations have united to warn the world that, without deep and lasting change, the climate emergency promises  humankind unavoidable “untold suffering”.And as if to underline that message, a US research group has predicted that – on the basis of experiments so far – global heating could reduce rice yields by 40% by the end of the century, and at the same time intensify levels of arsenic in the cereal that provides the staple food for almost half the planet.And in the same few days a second US group has forecast that changes to the world’s vegetation in an atmosphere increasingly rich in carbon dioxide could mean that – even though rainfall might increase – there could be less fresh water on tap for many of the peoples of Europe, Asia, and North America.Warnings of climate hazard that could threaten political stability and precipitate mass starvation are not new:  individuals, research groups, academies, and intergovernmental agencies have been making the same point, and with increasing urgency, for more than two decades.New AnalysisThe only argument has been about in what form, how badly, and just when the emergency will take its greatest toll.But the 11,000 signatories to the statement in the journal BioScience report that their conclusions are based on the new analysis of 40 years of data covering energy[…]

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