The unanswered question is whether the goals set in the Paris accord can be reached without United States participation. To recap briefly, the accord sought to limit the rise in atmospheric temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and 1.5 degrees if possible. To that end, Mr. Obama pledged to reduce America’s greenhouse gases by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, largely through greater fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks, limits on methane emissions from oil and gas wells, and new rules governing emissions from new and old coal-fired power plants. We can hope, though, that the rest of the world will keep pulling, and that market forces and the march of technology will achieve the cleaner energy future that Mr. Trump seems unable to embrace.
New York Times 14th July2017 read more »
Published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study from Lund University, found that the incremental changes advocated by governments may represent a missed opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beneath the levels needed to prevent 2°C of climate warming. The four actions that most substantially decrease an individual’s carbon footprint are: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car-free, and having smaller families. The research analysed 39 peer reviewed papers, carbon calculators, and government reports to calculate the potential of a range of individual lifestyle choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This comprehensive analysis identifies the actions individuals could take that will have the greatest impact on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
Phys.org 11th July 2017 read more »
The Earth could become “practically ungovernable” because of sea level rise, Nasa’s former head of climate research, Professor James Hansen, has warned. Professor Hansen, who was among the first scientists to alert politicians and the public to the risks posed by climate change, told New York Magazine that he doubted the atmosphere would warm by four or five degrees Celsius by the end of this century – the upper end of current projections, which would likely end human civilisation as we know it. However he said the biggest problem would be sea level rise. Professor Hanson was an author of a scientific paper published last year which warned that continued high fossil fuel emissions could increase sea levels by “several meters over a timescale of 50 to 150 years”.
Independent 14th July 2017 read more »