In the next 80 years flooding around the planet’s land masses is likely to rise by almost 50%, endangering many millions of coastal dwellers. If humans go on burning ever greater volumes of fossil fuels, while destroying ever more natural forest, then another 77 million people could be at risk of flooding, a rise of 52%. And these floods – increasingly frequent and extending over greater areas – will put at risk cities, homes, resorts and industries valued at more than $14 trillion (£10.7tn). This sum alone is worth 20% of global gross domestic product, the economist’s preferred indicator of economic health and wealth, according to a new study in the journal Scientific Reports. The researchers built their argument on historic data from 681 tide-gauge stations around the world to model the growing hazard at 10,000 coastal locations.
Climate News Network 6th Aug 2020 read more »
Why we need to declare a global climate emergency now. It is cheap insurance for future generations to match the risk with action to preserve the ecosystems we all need. Our planet is no longer stable. Old certainties about the climate are evaporating as rising greenhouse gas emissions accelerate global warming. In June, a city in the Siberian Arctic recorded a temperature of 38C — 10C higher than the seasonal average. Data show that the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Meanwhile, the South Pole is warming at three times the global rate. There is evidence that parts of Antarctica have crossed tipping points and that ice will melt irrecoverably on a vast scale. Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is diminishing its capacity to store carbon. As early as 2035 it may flip from being a repository of carbon to an emitter, making it more difficult to restabilise the climate. We can say with a high degree of certainty that the conditions on the planet over the past 10,000 years, since leaving the Ice Age, have been astoundingly clement relative to the preceding million years — not too hot, not too cold, and, critically, predictable, allowing us to develop societies as we know them today.
FT 28th July 2020 read more »
The environmental crisis is one of the most serious and pressing issues facing the world today. We are already living with impacts of human-caused global heating, and the world is not doing nearly enough yet to put us on a pathway to avoiding potentially dire impacts later in the century to both humans and the natural world. But a discourse sharply divided between doom and dismissal risks obstructing climate action, rather than motivating it.
Guardian 6th Aug 2020 read more »
Out-of-control wildfires north of the Arctic Circle have released more dangerous greenhouse gases in two months than all of the fires last year combined, scientists have said. The latest data from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service reveals the appalling extent of the fires in the Siberian Arctic, which are releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Around 600 individual fire hotspots are being detected every day, compared with 200 to 300 on average in July 2019, and images taken by the satellites show enormous plumes of thick smoke, many stretching tens of kilometres across the tundra. In total, smoke from the wildfires was covering an area of about 3.6 million sq km (1.4 million sq miles) on Wednesday – more than a third of the area of Canada.
Independent 6th Aug 2020 read more »