A trio of US researchers has grim news for people worried about climate science’s worst case outcome. Forget about the other options. The worst case is already happening. Christopher Schwalm and colleagues at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they took a closer look at the evidence for climate change in terms of carbon dioxide emissions and climate models. This is the kind of research that assesses the future under a number of possible scenarios. These scenarios are based on mathematical models and global assumptions about economic growth, carbon budgets and land use changes, and they are couched in language arcane enough to make even committed followers of climate science reach for the aspirin. The most optimistic of these is one in which the world makes a determined, drastic and concerted effort to contain global heating to well below 2°C above the average for most of human history. At the other end of the scale is one notoriously called “business as usual”, in which the nations of the world carry on burning ever more fossil fuels, while sea levels rise ever higher, and the thermometer readings get ever higher. It has been intended from the start as an awful warning rather than as a guide to what is most likely to happen.
Climate News Network 10th Aug 2020 read more »
The world’s peatlands will become a large source of greenhouse gases as temperatures rise this century, say scientists. Right now, huge amounts of carbon are stored in boggy, often frozen regions stretching across northern parts of the world. But much of the permanently frozen land will thaw this century, say experts. This will release warming gases at a rate that could be 30-50% greater than previous estimates.
BBC 10th Aug 2020 read more »
The volume of water loss from Antarctica’s floating ice shelves over the past 25 years would fill the Grand Canyon, according to a new study published on Monday. The continent’s ice shelves were found to have lost nearly 4,000 gigatons since 1994 due to melting from increased heat in the ocean as a result of the climate crisis. Although there was much variation in the rate at which the ocean is melting the ice shelves, overall the ice is melting faster than it is being replaced in Antarctica.
Independent 10th Aug 2020 read more »
All the tough talk and hand wringing over the arrival of a few hundred migrants demonstrates how under-prepared the UK is to deal with the looming threat of climate change. Experts agree that rising sea levels, drought, crop failures and natural disasters will likely force hundreds of millions to flee their homes in the coming decades. “Climate change is redrawing maps of the world – where the coastline is, where rain falls, where people can grow food and where hurricanes hit,” Oli Brown from the think-tank Chatham House explained to a House of Lords committee earlier this year. “That has a tremendous impact on where people can live in the short or long term.” Most people will move internally to towns and cities in their own countries before crossing continents. But according to one 2017 study, unless climate change can be slowed the number of people claiming asylum in the EU could triple to one million people a year by 2100. More than a handful of those people will set their sights on the UK as their ultimate destination.
iNews 10th Aug 2020 read more »