67 Global Warming News Articles
from 4th Quarter of 2015
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
340 global warming science news articles in 2015.
The global warming deniers have nothing to even remotely match this.
12-30-16 Should we solar panel the Sahara desert?
Should we solar panel the Sahara desert?
Could one solution to climate change be to harvest the power of sunlight where it shines brightest on the planet? Should we solar panel the Sahara desert? Four experts discuss the radical proposal with the BBC World Service Inquiry programme.
12-18-15 Wearing shorts
Wearing shorts, after new NASA figures showed that November was the warmest on record—1.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for the month from 1951 to 1980. In December, temperatures are running 30 degrees above normal in the eastern half of the U.S.
12-17-15 Met office says 2016 'very likely' to be warmest on record
Met office says 2016 'very likely' to be warmest on record
A new global temperature forecast from the UK's Met Office says that 2016 is likely to be even warmer than 2015. This year has already been provisionally declared the warmest on record thanks to a combination of global warming and a strong El Nino. The Met Office believes that temperatures in 2016 could be 1.1C above pre-industrial levels. Last week in Paris, countries agreed that the world should pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5C.
12-17-15 Cryosat captures Greenland's shifting shape
Cryosat captures Greenland's shifting shape
It is one of the clearest views we have yet had of the recent changes occurring across Greenland's ice sheet. Scientists using Europe's Cryosat radar spacecraft are now routinely mapping variations in height on a fine scale, both in time and in area. The UK-led team's analysis shows that Greenland is shedding ice to the ocean. heir preliminary assessment is very close to that produced from gravity satellites, which currently see losses of over 250bn tonnes of ice each year.
12-16-15 Polar bears travel further as Arctic sea-ice drifts
Polar bears travel further as Arctic sea-ice drifts
Polar bears are working harder just to stay in one place, as the Arctic sea-ice on which they hunt drifts away. US scientists have tracked the animals for nearly 30 years and find they have increased their activity levels. Their normal behaviour is to stake out holes in the ice, waiting to prey on the seals as they emerge. But the thinning pack in the warming Arctic is now drifting faster than it used to, and the bears must travel further to get back to their territory. If the drift is faster, and that prevailing drift is to the west, then in order for an Alaskan polar bear to remain an Alaskan polar bear, it must walk further or faster to the east on the 'treadmill', or it will end up being a Russian polar bear.
12-15-15 How fast can the world decarbonize?
How fast can the world decarbonize?
This weekend, international leaders managed to hammer out a deal for how to tackle climate change. And on the surface, it's not hard to see why naysayers on both the left and right are declaring it a giant nothingburger. The agreement is largely voluntary: 187 countries submit pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on what they think they can handle. Most of the structure the deal provides is a regular process to check in on progress and revise goals. If all the current pledges stick, global warming this century will likely be between 2.7 and 3.5 degrees Celsius — well above the 2 degrees Celsius threshold considered safe, and the agreement's ideal goal of 1.5 degrees. But maybe the most daunting thing is the sheer scale of the change the global economy must undergo to get warming under control. Here, for instance, is Roger Pielke, Jr.'s analysis of how much global power consumption comes from green sources now, and where it needs to go by the last quarter of the 21st century:
Proportion of Global Energy Consumption
from Carbon-Free Sources: 1965-2014
(Webmaster's comment: No way is this going to happen. 99% of mankind loses. The rich will continue to insulate themselves using whatever only they can afford to do. The rest of us will have to suffer and even die. We, the people, lost.)
12-10-15 Rising seas expected to sink islands near US capital in 50 years
Rising seas expected to sink islands near US capital in 50 years
The Tangier islands in Chesapeake Bay near Washington DC could become uninhabitable by 2063 as sea levels rise and force people away. The 700 or so people who live on the Tangier islands may be among the first climate refugees in the US when their current home disappears under water. This could happen to much of the main island – located 170 kilometres south-east of Washington DC – in as little as 50 years, unless defences are built to hold back the rising tides. “What’s amazing is that this is a short flight away from Washington DC, so it’s right in our backyard,” says David Schulte of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk District, Virginia, who led the investigation. “A lot of people, especially in America, think climate change will happen to someone else, somewhere far away,” he says.
12-9-15 Clearing up dust's effect on climate
Clearing up dust's effect on climate
Scientists are puzzling over what is described as a "missing jigsaw piece" in climate research - the role of dust in global warming. With huge plumes of particles rising into the atmosphere from deserts and farmland, the question is whether they raise temperatures or lower them. Massive dust-storms recently engulfed major cities in the Middle East. So researchers are investigating whether a warmer world will also become dustier. Prolonged drought in the US state of Oklahoma over the past few years saw a return to conditions that resembled the infamous Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
12-7-15 Is climate change behind the storm that flooded parts of the UK?
Is climate change behind the storm that flooded parts of the UK?
After record-breaking downpours fell on parts of the UK, some blame climate change, which is expected to make storms more frequent and intense. Early figures suggest there was a record-breaking downpour of rain as 340 millimetres fell in 24 hours in the Lake District, breaking a record of 316.4mm set in 2009. It’s too soon to know whether the storm can be attributed to climate change, but green groups point out it is just what the UK will expect to see more of as the planet warms. For example, the first half of the 20th century was much wetter than the second. “But the current wisdom is that storminess is increasing and therefore these types of events are likely to increase,” he says. “It is impossible to say that a particular flood event is or isn’t caused by climate change,” says Seth Westra at the University of Adelaide in Australia. “But climate change does appear to be making the heavy rainfall events that cause floods more frequent and intense, and so should be considered to be part of the story.”
12-2-15 Massive El Niño sweeping globe is now the biggest ever recorded
Massive El Niño sweeping globe is now the biggest ever recorded
The current extreme El Niño, which many blame on climate change, is the strongest on record, smashing the previous record from 1997-8. The current extreme El Niño is now the strongest ever recorded, smashing the previous record from 1997-8. Already wreaking havoc on weather around the world, the new figures mean those effects will probably get worse. Climate change could be to blame and is known to be making the extreme impacts of El Niño on weather more likely. The 1997-8 El Niño killed 20,000 people and caused almost $97 billion of damage as floods, droughts, fires, cyclones and mudslides ravaged the world.
12-2-15 World's first methane powered tractor created in Italy
World's first methane powered tractor created in Italy
Engineers in Italy have found a way to harness methane to fuel tractors. The greenhouse gas is produced naturally by animals digesting food or decomposing waste. Mass production is due to start in five years and it could be a major step in reducing carbon emissions in farming.
11-29-15 Six Charts That Explain Our Warming World
Six Charts That Explain Our Warming World
Six Graphics That Explain Climate Change. 1. What is the problem? The world is getting warmer. 2. Why is this happening? Greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide. 3. What are the effects? Arctic sea ice melt. 4. What does the future hold? Higher temperatures and more extreme weather. 5. What can be done? World’s top ten greenhouse gas emitters. 6. Limiting the damage.
11-27-15 Lakes expanding 'dangerously' in Everest glacier
Lakes expanding 'dangerously' in Everest glacier
Lakes that have been forming near Mount Everest could threaten settlements downstream if they overflow. Ponds on the surface of the Khumbu glacier in the Himalayas have expanded and joined together to form larger bodies of water. Climbers need to cross the glacier, including the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, to climb the mighty peak. The accelerated meltdown of glaciers in the region is causing concern against a backdrop of rising global temperatures. Scientists say the warning is the first of its kind for Khumbu, although other glaciers in the Himalayas have seen an increase in the number of lakes formed. Such newly formed glacial lakes can overflow causing flooding, and with it loss of life and damage downstream.
11-23-15 Five US states where climate change could be disastrous
Five US states where climate change could be disastrous
Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events around the world. One US group has given the 50 states a report card, ranking the risk of potential disasters and long-term dangerous changes. Most US states are well-prepared for current natural disasters, but across the country, states have done little to factor in how climate change will increase or change risks - from wildfire, extreme heat, inland and coastal flooding and drought. Climate Central gave five states failing grades. Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Nevada. The analysis of the changing threats is based on a projected global temperature rise if no major action is taken to limit carbon emissions. For state actions, researchers combined published policies and programmes with interviews with state employees working on these issues.
11-23-15 Moroccan solar plant to bring energy to a million people
Moroccan solar plant to bring energy to a million people
A giant plant using energy from the Sun to power a Moroccan city at night will open next month. The solar thermal plant at Ouarzazate will harness the Sun's warmth to melt salt, which will hold its heat to power a steam turbine in the evening. The first phase will generate for three hours after dark; the last stage aims to supply power 20 hours a day. It is part of Morocco's pledge to get 42% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
11-20-15 Half of all tree species in Amazon 'face extinction'
Half of all tree species in Amazon 'face extinction'
More than half of all tree species in the Amazon face extinction, warn international scientists. According to new data, up to 57% of all Amazonian trees may already fit the criteria of being globally threatened. If confirmed, the estimates would raise the number of threatened plant species on Earth by almost a quarter. Forest cover in the Amazon has been shrinking for decades, but little is known about the impact on individual plant species. The trees at risk include iconic species like the Brazil nut tree, food crops such as cacao, the source of chocolate, as well as rare trees that are almost unknown to science. (Webmaster's comment: If it's a tree kill it for any reason. If it's an animal kill it for any reason. We are well on the way to creating a sterile world.)
11-18-15 Big Antarctic ice melt scenarios 'not plausible'
Big Antarctic ice melt scenarios 'not plausible'
Scientists say the contribution of a melting Antarctica to sea-level rise this century will be significant and challenging, but that some nightmare scenarios are just not realistic. Their new study models how the polar south will react if greenhouse gases rise at a medium to high rate. The most likely outcome is an input of about 10cm to global waters by 2100. But the prospect of a 30cm-or-more contribution - claimed by some previous research - has just a one-in-20 chance.
11-18-15 Could gravity save Antarctic ice?
Could gravity save Antarctic ice?
Climate scientists know that as the world warms, sea levels will rise and coastlines will change. But those scientists may need to adjust their estimates of where and how big those changes will be. According to a new study, factors like the malleability of the Earth's crust and the gravitational pull of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are likely to have a substantial impact. The Antarctic Ice Sheet has been in the news a fair amount lately, mainly because quite a bit of it is melting away. In fact, scientists have grown adept at identifying not just how much ice is melting, but also where it's melting — and, complicating matters, where the ice is actually building up. What the scientists haven't done — at least not in much detail — is figure out where that water will go. For that, write researchers Natalya Gomez, David Pollard, and David Holland, you need to understand that our planet isn't the uniform, rigid sphere we usually imagine; its mountains compress the crust underneath and create subtle variations in the force of gravity, which researchers have been able to detect since the late 19th century.
11-16-15 Climate change and La Niña may bring severe floods to Australia
Climate change and La Niña may bring severe floods to Australia
Catastrophic floods in Queensland in 2010-11 have been linked to a combination of global warming and a La Niña event. The dynamic duo may be back next year. Queensland could face devastating floods rivalling those seen in 2010-11 in just a year’s time, as the effects of climate change and an impending La Niña weather event combine. La Niña brings warm water to the ocean around Queensland, and with it comes rain. Fresh research now shows that the effects of climate change made the flood-causing rains three times more likely that year. In 2010-11, Queensland suffered some of its worst flooding in a century. Some 35 people were killed, and so much water fell on Australia rather than in the sea that the world’s oceans dropped by about 7 millimetres. The events also caused A$2.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) of property damage, with A$30 billion wiped off the country’s GDP.
11-16-15 Society 'to be hit by climate change'
Society 'to be hit by climate change'
Human societies will soon start to experience adverse effects from manmade climate change, a prominent economist has warned. Prof Richard Tol predicts the downsides of warming will outweigh the advantages with a global warming of 1.1C - which has nearly been reached already. Prof Tol is regarded by many campaigners as a climate "sceptic". He has previously highlighted the positive effects of CO2 in fertilising crops and forests. His work is widely cited by climate contrarians. "Most people would argue that slight warming is probably beneficial for human welfare on net, if you measure it in dollars, but more pronounced warming is probably a net negative." (Webmaster's comment: Another skeptic falls. By the time the earth reaches 2 degrees Celsius they'll all be gone.)
The Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.02 degrees Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over historic norms, as carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in recent history, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The year 2015 is on track to surpass 2014 as the hottest year in human history.
11-13-15 Exxon Mobil’s slippery climate science
Exxon Mobil’s slippery climate science
Exxon knew as early as the 1970s that carbon dioxide emissions from burning oil and gas “could have dire effects on the Earth,” said Timothy Egan, also in the Times. But instead of coming clean, the company engineered a disinformation campaign “Soviet-era propagandists would be proud of.” By the time Exxon cut off funding for climate change deniers in the mid-2000s and admitted that humans were largely to blame for the Earth’s warming, the damage had been done. Republican presidential candidates in 2015, “with a far bigger megaphone than Exxon ever had,” continue to spout “the very junk science” hatched in its boardroom.
11-13-15 45% of Americans think that climate change is a serious problem, compared with 74% of Latin Americans, 61% of Africans, and 54% of Europeans. But people in the Middle East (38%) and China (18%) are less concerned about global warming than Americans. Pew Research Center
11-12-15 Unstable Greenland glacier is speeding up and draining more ice
Unstable Greenland glacier is speeding up and draining more ice
Yet another of the immense glaciers in Greenland is retreating and crumbling faster as warmer waters undermine it. Some of the immense glaciers that drain the vast Greenland ice sheet rest in deep fjords rather than on dry land. As the waters around Greenland warm, the leading edges of these glaciers are retreating inland. The ice within them is also moving towards the sea faster – so they are dumping ever more ice in the sea. This week, a study based on data provided by six space agencies reported that the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier in the north-east began to retreat in 2012 and its flow towards the sea also accelerated. “Now it’s unstable and it’s going to retreat even more,” says team member Jeremie Mouginot of the University of California, Irvine. The next glacier to the north, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, could shortly follow suit. The floating ice shelf that protects it is thinning and could soon be lost. Most of the ice shelves in the seas around Greenland have already disappeared.
11-12-15 Climate risk could undermine investments, report warns
Climate risk could undermine investments, report warns
A report has warned that investors could be hit hard amid changes in short-term market swings, triggered by climate impact concerns. University of Cambridge experts said global investment portfolios could see losses of up to 45%. No investor was "immune from the risks posed by climate change", they added. In a recent speech to the City, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said climate change would "threaten financial resilience".
11-12-15 Desertification: The people whose land is turning to dust
Desertification: The people whose land is turning to dust
The UN predicts over 50 million people will be forced to leave their homes by 2020 because their land has turned to desert. This is already happening in Senegal, writes Laeila Adjovi.
11-10-15 Pope’s call for action on climate change has shifted US views
Pope’s call for action on climate change has shifted US views
A representative survey of 900 people in the US reveals that many are more concerned about climate change since the pope issued his call to action. When the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics issued his call to action on climate change in June, observers wondered whether this would move the needle in the public debate. A survey of people in the US released late last week suggests that it has. Some 17 per cent of overall respondents and 35 per cent of Catholic respondents said they were influenced by Francis’s message that climate change is a crucial moral issue. The percentage of Catholics who said they were “very worried” about global warming more than doubled over the numbers this spring. And those who denied the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening declined 10 percentage points for Catholics and 6 points for the US population in general.
11-10-15 Growing corals bathe themselves in acid without suffering damage
Growing corals bathe themselves in acid without suffering damage
A coral reef has been seen raising the acidity in the water around it, suggesting that corals may survive ocean acidification caused by climate change. Acidic water may be a sign of healthy corals, says a new study, muddying the waters still further on our understanding of how coral reefs might react to climate change. Andreas Andersson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, and his colleagues carefully monitored a coral reef in Bermuda for five years, and found that spikes in acidity were linked to increased reef growth.
11-9-15 ExxonMobil faces inquiry on what it knew about climate change
ExxonMobil faces inquiry on what it knew about climate change
The oil giant is to be investigated over alleged suppression since the 1970s of research revealing the effect of fossil fuels on the climate. ExxonMobil is facing investigation into whether it has been suppressing research findings on climate change as far back the 1970s. On 4 November, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena for documents including financial records and emails from the Texas-based oil multinational relating to climate change research and advocacy. “What’s shaping up is like the situation with the tobacco companies,” says Bob Ward at the London School of Economics. “For many years, they knew the truth about the harm done by cigarettes. The question now is whether ExxonMobil was doing the same with its products.” The inquiry aims to find out whether the oil company was aware of the dangers of human-made climate change but chose to keep quiet and instead to promote “denial” groups challenging the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet.
11-9-15 Carbon levels hit new high and temperature rise soars to 1 °C
Carbon levels hit new high and temperature rise soars to 1 °C
Carbon dioxide levels may average above 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015, as the rise in global temperature surpasses 1 °C. Even if carbon dioxide levels stopped rising today, the world would still warm by 1.6 °C above pre-industrial levels –which is more than three-quarters of the way to the 2 °C limit the world is supposed to be aiming for. That is the implication of two sets of figures announced on Monday. Global average levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere temporarily broke the 400 parts per million level earlier this year for the first time, the World Meteorological Organization said. Meanwhile, the UK Met Office confirmed what New Scientist reported first in July – that the world has now warmed by 1 °C relative to pre-industrial times. Climate models show that even if CO2 levels stopped rising, the world would still warm by around 0.6 °C. So the latest figures mean that even if the world slashed emissions by 60 per cent immediately, which is what it would take to stabilise CO2 levels, we would still hit 1.6 °C. Climate scientist Gavin Schmidt of NASA points out that if emissions stopped altogether, CO2 levels would soon fall. “That would lead to a smaller eventual temperature rise,” he says.
11-9-15 Warming set to breach 1C threshold
Warming set to breach 1C threshold
Global temperatures are set to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels according to the UK's Met Office. Figures from January to September this year are already 1.02C above the average between 1850 and 1900. If temperatures remain as predicted, 2015 will be the first year to breach this key threshold. The world would then be half way towards 2C, the gateway to dangerous warming. "This is the first time we're set to reach the 1C marker and it's clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory."
11-5-15 The man who would be the first climate change refugee
The man who would be the first climate change refugee
Ioane Teitiota says his family's lives are in danger in Kiribati. With waves breaking at his feet, Ioane Teitiota holds his hand more than a metre above his sea wall to demonstrate how high the water gets during a king tide. The wall seems hopelessly inadequate even when it's not full of holes. When he returned to Kiribati from New Zealand, he had to fix it in three places. And he expects to trudge out after almost every high tide to patch it up again. The threat of sea-level rise was the basis of his four year battle to become the world's first recognised climate refugee. "I'm the same as people who are fleeing war. Those who are afraid of dying, it's the same as me," he says. (Webmaster's comment: It's Begun!)
11-4-15 Australia can go green and have economic growth – if it wants to
Australia can go green and have economic growth – if it wants to
Coal-free, low-emission, high growth. That could be the future of the currently resource-dependent Australia, as long as politicians take action. According to a mammoth modelling study, Australia can continue to grow its economy by relying heavily on agriculture and mining, while also slashing emissions and improving the natural environment. But smart government policies will be key. Researchers at CSIRO, Australia’s government scientific research agency, combined nine different economic and environmental models to examine 20 different possible paths to 2050. They found that strong international action on climate change would benefit the Australian economy, even ignoring the accompanying benefits of reduced climate impacts. Although such decisive action would weaken demand for its coal, the country would enjoy increased demand for its gas, uranium and agricultural produce instead – all things Australia can export in spades. Even in scenarios where Australia achieved negative emissions as early as 2040, GDP still grows strongly in the models.
11-4-15 Volkswagen says 800,000 cars may have false CO2 levels
Volkswagen says 800,000 cars may have false CO2 levels
Shares in VW have dropped after it reported "irregularities" in carbon dioxide emissions levels, which could affect about 800,000 cars in Europe. An internal investigation by the firm into diesel emissions revealed that CO2 emissions and fuel consumption were understated during standards tests. VW said it concerned mainly diesel but also some petrol models and could affect VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat cars. It comes weeks after VW was accused of cheating nitrogen oxide level tests. Cars with 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litre motors are thought to be releasing more of the greenhouse gas, CO2, than previous tests had shown. (Webmaster's comment: There should be lots of VW executives and VW employees doing lots of jail time. This breaking of the law was deliberate deceit for profit driven by greed.)
11-2-15 Here's a climate change solution that doesn't freak out every conservative
Here's a climate change solution that doesn't freak out every conservative
Is there a solution to climate change that doesn't freak out conservatives? Three cheers for the coal retirement plan!
11-2-15 The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable
The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable
The figures in a new UN report show that limiting global warming to 2 °C is now nigh on impossible. It is time to start preparing for a world more than 2 °C warmer than now. The UN’s own analysis of what countries are offering to do to limit greenhouse gas emissions shows they fall far short of what’s required. In fact, they suggest the world will have emitted enough carbon dioxide to warm the planet 2 °C by around 2036. Ahead of the meeting, 119 INDCs have been submitted, representing 147 countries and 88 per cent of current emissions. The UN has now released a synthesis report analysing what impact they will have. It concludes that even if countries stick to them, annual global emissions will hit 43 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) by 2030 – and will still be rising.
10-30-15 The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable
The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable
The figures in a new UN report show that limiting global warming to 2 °C is now nigh on impossible. It is time to start preparing for a world more than 2 °C warmer than now. The UN’s own analysis of what countries are offering to do to limit greenhouse gas emissions shows they fall far short of what’s required. In fact, they suggest the world will have emitted enough carbon dioxide to warm the planet 2 °C by around 2036. (Webmaster's comment: Through blind ignorance and greed we have let the genie out of the bottle. It won't stop at 2 °C either. 4 °C is in your children's future for sure, probably even yours.)
10-30-15 UN: Climate plans must go further to prevent dangerous warming
UN: Climate plans must go further to prevent dangerous warming
The UN has released its assessment of national plans to limit climate change, submitted by 146 countries. Carbon emissions will be "significantly dented" according to the UN, if all the plans are put into action. Officials say the submissions, in their current form, won't keep global temperatures from rising by more than the 2C danger threshold. The global total of carbon emissions will continue to grow, although more slowly than over the past two decades. (Webmaster's comment: Wanna Bet? The atmospheric CO2 charts from the Hawaii Mauna Loa Observatory will show the truth right here.)
10-29-15 Warmer oceans mean some cod stocks will never fully recover.
Warmer oceans mean some cod stocks will never fully recover.
Fishing quotas are set by models that ignore the effect of global warming on cod survival, overestimating stocks by up to five times. Failure to include changes in sea temperature in fisheries models has led fisheries managers to overestimate some stocks by two to five times, leading to overfishing. Now warmer water may make the recovery of one cod fishery to previous levels impossible.
10-27-15 Bikini islanders seek US refuge as sea levels threaten homes
Bikini islanders seek US refuge as sea levels threaten homes
About 1,000 Bikini islanders have applied to relocate to the United States as rising seas threaten their adopted home. The residents were moved from their Pacific atoll as result of atomic bomb tests in the 1940s. But their new home, on another of the Marshall Islands, is struggling against huge tides and increasing storms. The islanders have now asked Washington to change the terms of a trust fund to allow them settle in the US. In 1946 several hundred islanders were moved from Bikini Atoll by the US government, which wanted to test atomic weapons on the remote atoll. Some 23 nuclear tests were conducted including the huge Bravo hydrogen bomb, the largest weapon detonated at that time by the US. (Webmaster's comment: First we take away their homeland, then we irradiate them, and then we drown them. Thank You America!)
10-26-15 Ocean’s hidden green plankton revealed by fixing glitch in model
Ocean’s hidden green plankton revealed by fixing glitch in model
Assumptions about the green colour of microscopic organisms have led to overestimates about their decline as oceans warm. The rate at which phytoplankton are disappearing as oceans warm has been vastly overestimated by a glitch in models. That’s good news given that phytoplankton support almost all life in the oceans and are responsible for half the carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere each year – as well as up to 70 per cent of the oxygen we breathe. Phytoplankton are single-celled plants and microbes that live in the ocean and convert light and nutrients into organic material, which is then fed up through the food chain. A lot of that carbon is buried after the phytoplankton die and sink to the seabed.
10-26-15 Global warming could make Hajj impossible later this century
Global warming could make Hajj impossible later this century
Densely populated regions around the Gulf in the Middle East could get so hot that the temperatures may be fatal to people living in or visiting the area. Is the Hajj pilgrimage destined to become a victim of global warming? Parts of the Middle East, including the Gulf states and Muslim holy places around Mecca, could become uninhabitable even for the young and fit before the century is out, according to a new climate modelling study. The rituals of the Hajj, during which up to 2 million Muslims pray outdoors from dawn to dusk, would be impossible in summer. Elfatih Eltahir of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jeremy Pal of Loyala Marymount University, Los Angeles, used standard global climate models to show likely future temperatures in the Gulf, assuming global warming of 4 °C, which is possible later this century.
10-26-15 Cryosat tracks Arctic sea ice freeze-up
Cryosat tracks Arctic sea ice freeze-up
Arctic sea-ice volume during the first two weeks of October was about 6,200 cubic km. The number comes from Europe's Cryosat mission, which has just restarted its near-real-time data service. It is slightly higher than for the same period in 2010, but 1,500 cu km below the 2013 high point seen by the space sensor, now in its sixth year in orbit. A rapid data feed is aimed at those sectors that need to be aware of the position of the most robust floes.
10-24-15 Warming oceans killing coral reefs
Warming oceans killing coral reefs
Coral reefs around the world are experiencing a massive die-off that could be the worst in recorded history, a new study warns. Stoked by climate change and a powerful El Niño, record-high ocean temperatures have triggered the global event, which began last year and is expected to destroy 5 percent of the world’s coral reefs by 2016.
10-23-15 Did climate change set the scene for hurricanes like Patricia?
Did climate change set the scene for hurricanes like Patricia?
It's hard to pin the blame for a single event on climate change. But studies suggest that a warming world will experience storms more powerful and more destructive than usual. Mexico is bracing for Patricia. This morning, the Category 5 hurricane officially clocked in as the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere – and close to the theoretical maximum strength for any tropical cyclone on our planet. As with other extraordinary weather events of late, there’s a question lurking in the back of many people’s minds: is climate change to blame? In a warmer world, scientists say they expect to see storms more intense, and thus more destructive, than before. In Hurricane Patricia’s case, a confluence of events – already warm oceans, piled on with other factors that kept them that way – allowed the storm to form.
10-23-15 Snow leopards face 'new climate change threat'
Snow leopards face 'new climate change threat'
Warmer temperatures are threatening to shrink the habitat of the snow leopard and weaken their struggle against extinction, a report says. Conservation charity WWF says more than a third of the animal's mountain living areas could become uninhabitable because of climate change. It says plants and trees there are not able to survive in warmer temperatures.
10-22-15 Inside the permafrost 'time tunnel'
Inside the permafrost 'time tunnel'
Scientists are increasingly concerned about the potential for permafrost to thaw in a warming world. This permanently frozen layer of earth contains huge amounts of methane that could exacerbate climate change if the gas leaches into the atmosphere. To help study the issue, the US Army Corp of Engineers has built a tunnel into permafrost near Fairbanks, Alaska. It allows researchers to travel back in time to see how permafrost impacted the Earth over the past 40,000 years.
10-22-15 Permafrost warming in parts of Alaska 'is accelerating'
Permafrost warming in parts of Alaska 'is accelerating'
One of the world's leading experts on permafrost has told BBC News that the recent rate of warming of this frozen layer of earth is "unbelievable". Prof Vladimir Romanovsky said that he expected permafrost in parts of Alaska would start to thaw by 2070. Researchers worry that methane frozen within the permafrost will be released, exacerbating climate change. The professor said a rise in permafrost temperatures in the past four years convinced him warming was real. It was assumed it would be stable for this century but it seems that's not true any more Prof Vladimir Romanovski, University of Alaska. Permafrost is perennially frozen soil that has been below zero degrees C for at least two years. It's found underneath about 25% of the northern hemisphere, mainly around the Arctic - but also in the Antarctic and Alpine regions. It can range in depth from one metre under the ground all the way down to 1,500m.
10-22-15 Low carbon electricity better than gas, says government panel
Low carbon electricity better than gas, says government panel
Low-carbon electricity, not gas, is the cheapest way to keep lights on and meet carbon targets, says the government's climate advisory panel. The Committee on Climate Change says onshore wind and solar are already price-competitive if you factor in the cost imposed on society by carbon emissions from gas.
10-21-15 Seagrass gardens are needed to cap the carbon bomb in the oceans
Seagrass gardens are needed to cap the carbon bomb in the oceans
Millennia's worth of buried carbon is escaping from damaged seagrass meadows. The plant's natural growth rates are too slow to fix the problem without help. Stopping the underwater carbon emissions time bomb could require widespread seagrass transplantation. Seagrass is up to 35 times more efficient at sequestering carbon than rainforests, and stores it for millennia in the sediment below. But over the past century 29 per cent of global seagrass has been destroyed and as a result it has been estimated that it is releasing carbon at a rate similar to the emissions of Australia and the UK combined. Now an analysis of a seagrass disturbance shows that natural regrowth can help cap the release of ancient stored carbon, but the slow process could do with a helping hand.
10-20-15 Canada’s new government heralds freedom of speech for scientists
Canada’s new government heralds freedom of speech for scientists
The Liberal party won Canada's general elections this week and has promised to unmuzzle scientists as well as ending the country's inertia on climate change. Winds of change are blowing in Canada. The Liberal party has surged to victory in the general election, winning a majority in parliament. The result brings an end to 10 years of rule by the Conservative party, which drew criticism for its policies on science and the environment, most notably for muzzling publicly funded scientists and pulling out of the Kyoto protocol in 2011 as part of a rollback on climate action. New prime minister Justin Trudeau has promised to let scientists speak openly about their work. He plans to appoint a chief science officer to protect the independence of federal scientists and keep the discussions transparent. “Under the previous government, we saw a climate of fear where some government scientists were not allowed to talk to journalists about their research results,” says Rachael Jolley, editor of Index on Censorship magazine. “We hope that the new government will be more committed to making sure its citizens are fully informed about science and research.” Trudeau has also promised to take climate change seriously after years of inertia under the Conservatives. He has promised to establish a novel climate change framework by February 2016 that will include a plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The Liberals have committed to investing $6 billion in green infrastructure over the next four years, and $2 billion in a low-carbon economy trust that will fund projects to cut carbon emissions.
10-20-15 Climate Change: Mekong Delta heads for troubled waters
Climate Change: Mekong Delta heads for troubled waters
Lush greenery in the lower Mekong region sprawls as far as the eye can see, an illustration of just how fertile the delta is. The endless green fields scored by the river's nine tributaries, which the Vietnamese call "Nine Dragons", explain why this area is one of the world's major food baskets. It houses the richest inland fishery and accounts for more than a fifth of the world's rice exports, although looks can be deceptive. Encroaching sea water from the south, a proliferation of hydro dams in the north and large-scale sand mining are endangering the delta, officials warn. As a result, an alarming 500 hectares (5 km2) of land is being lost to soil erosion every year, they say. "The sea level rise is bringing up water so fast that our defences against it have failed," said Ky Quang Vinh, director of the Climate Change Coordination Office, a government agency in Vietnam's Can Tho, the most populous city in Mekong. "We've stopped growing mangrove trees on the coast because they only grow if the sea level rise stays below 1.6mm (0.06in) a year, and our work shows that in Vietnam it's going up by 5mm (0.2in)."
10-19-15 Carbon emissions make Earth greener but are also drying it out
Carbon emissions make Earth greener but are also drying it out
Extra CO2 in the atmosphere is boosting plant growth, which is sucking water from streams in semi-arid parts of Australia, cutting streamflow by a quarter. The carbon dioxide we’ve been pumping into the atmosphere is fertilising plants and making them grow faster – but now those plants are sucking our streams dry. Australia is already a parched country and will only become drier as the planet warms and rainfall decreases. But now it turns out that Australia has lost about a quarter of its streamflow over the past 30 years as plants given an extra boost by our carbon emissions grow faster and use more water. Global greening is happening for a number of reasons. Most obviously, plants are able to grow in places that were previously too cold, for example, in the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else. But in other parts of the world, extra CO2 is fertilising plants, making them grow faster, especially in dry regions.
10-19-15 Climate models may be wrong as fires cancel forest carbon sinks
Climate models may be wrong as fires cancel forest carbon sinks
Widely assumed to be huge carbon sinks, vast boreal forests are increasingly hit by fires so may be releasing carbon more quickly than they store it. Climate scientists may need to revise their predictions: instead of acting as carbon sinks, Earth’s northern boreal forests could start releasing carbon at a faster rate than they can capture it. Most global climate models treat these forests as storing about one-third of all terrestrial carbon in trees and, especially, in thick layers of peaty soil. Forest fires disrupt this storage temporarily, releasing carbon to the atmosphere until it can be recaptured by regrowth. The net effect of this cycle depends critically on the scale and frequency of fires. Yet we only have about a half-century of good data on boreal forest fires, so climate modellers have had to assume – knowing they were probably wrong – that past fires were like those of the present. That assumption is certainly wrong in the Yukon Flats of central Alaska, which has burned extensively in recent decades. Ryan Kelly, an ecosystem modeller at the environmental consulting firm Neptune and Company, and his colleagues had previously analysed charcoal deposited in sediments to show that the modern wildfires there are more severe than at any time since the end of the last ice age. That means the forest today is younger than it used to be, and therefore stores less carbon.
10-16-15 US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling
US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling
The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska's northern coast. It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing "disappointing" tests. The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases. The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists. (Webmaster's comment: Note that the curbs where only imposed after Royal Dutch Shell had given up drilling so there was no impact on corporate executive's wealth. Curbs no longer made any difference. If sufficient amounts of oil and gas had been found the curbs would never have been imposed.)
10-15-15 Australia approves controversial Carmichael coal mine
Australia approves controversial Carmichael coal mine
Australia's government has given its approval for one of the world's biggest coal mines to be built by India's Adani Mining in Queensland. In August, a court temporarily blocked the project because of environmental concerns. But the approval has now been granted subject to "36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history" environment minister Greg Hunt said. Critics say the decision was "grossly irresponsible". (Webmaster's comment: Coal is dirty and it'll polute the atmosphere with CO2 like crazy, but who cares, it's cheap! It's really obvious that most nations have no intention of cutting executive profits to solve global warming. People will have to die in large numbers before action of any real kind will be taken.)
10-13-15 Even drastic emissions cuts can’t save New Orleans and Miami
Even drastic emissions cuts can’t save New Orleans and Miami
Some 10 million Americans' homes will be submerged by rising seas, even under optimistic scenarios for slashing greenhouse gas emissions. If we carry on as we are, the land on which nearly 30 million Americans now live will end up below the sea’s high-tide line. Even with drastic action to slash carbon emissions – more drastic than some think possible – 10 million Americans’ homes will be submerged. That’s the conclusion of the latest study to look at how much sea level rise we are committing ourselves to over the coming centuries. “It’s hard to imagine how south Florida and New Orleans can survive in the long run,” says team member Benjamin Strauss of Princeton University. The US is set to lose a state-sized chunk of land, he says. “That should concern any American of any political stripe.”
10-12-15 Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change
Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change
Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC. The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages. Governor Bill Walker wants to "urgently" drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them. "We are in a significant fiscal challenge. We have villages that are washing away because of changes in the climate." (Webmaster's comment: A new solution for climate change. Do more of what causes it.")
10-10-15 China's green revolution
China's green revolution
The world's worst polluter is worried about climate change, and is now the biggest global investor in green technology. Here's everything you need to know. It has ramped up its solar power at a staggering rate, building sprawling solar farms in the Gobi Desert and increasing capacity this year by 18 gigawatts, an amount equal to the entire solar capacity of the U.S. China is already the world's largest producer of wind power, with thousands of turbines installed in the windy west and plans to more than double the number of turbines over the next five years. It's also the world's largest hydropower producer, home to half the world's 80,000 dams and building many more every year.
10-8-15 Donald Trump goes to Supreme Court over Menie wind farm
Donald Trump goes to Supreme Court over Menie wind farm
Donald Trump's challenge to a planned offshore wind farm is being heard at the UK's Supreme Court. He was furious when the Scottish government approved plans for the renewable energy development within sight of his multi-million pound golf development on the Menie Estate in the north-east of Scotland.
10-7-15 South Carolina floods are a ‘once in a millennium’ event
South Carolina floods are a ‘once in a millennium’ event
Twelve people have died in floods triggered by extreme rain coming in the wake of a hurricane. Such events might become more common as the atmosphere warms. Record sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic have fuelled downpours of biblical proportions in the eastern US, and the resulting floods have killed 12 people. Climate change could make such events more likely. Hurricane Joaquin moved north-east over the Atlantic last week. It missed the US east coast but warm, wet air from its outflow combined with a separate low-pressure system to create unusually wet conditions. Last week, this weather reached North and South Carolina. More than 60 centimetres of rain fell between 1 and 5 October in some parts of Charleston County. (Webmaster's comment: 60 centimeters - 2 feet - in 4 days is biblical proportions? Nonsense! Noah's flood had to be at least 360 feet per day to reach to top of Mount Ararat in 40 days.)
10-7-15 As monster El Niño looms, the world rushes to get ready
As monster El Niño looms, the world rushes to get ready
This year's El Niño looks likely to be the largest in nearly 20 years, and countries from Kenya to Peru are on high alert. The world is preparing for a massive El Niño that could be the strongest since 1998. That event led to the deaths of an estimated 20,000 people and caused almost $100 billion of damage. The economic and human cost of this year’s event is already starting to mount. El Niño emerges when winds blowing west across the Pacific weaken, and warm water spreads out east towards South America, dragging rainfall with it. As a result, chunks of Asia and Australia dry out, and rain is dumped on much of the Americas. The effects are felt further afield too, especially in Africa. El Niños are irregular, developing at intervals of two to seven years and lasting between nine months and two years.
10-5-15 Wild mammals 'have returned' to Chernobyl
Wild mammals 'have returned' to Chernobyl
Removing humans from what is now the exclusion zone around the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor has allowed wildlife to return, researchers say. They say a long-term census of mammals in the area has shown that wildlife numbers are likely to be "much higher than they were before the accident". (Webmaster's comment: Yup! You remove humans from the environment and other animals go back to doing fine, just like before humans came along.)
10-5-15 Wildlife is thriving around Chernobyl since the people left
Wildlife is thriving around Chernobyl since the people left
Largest survey yet of wildlife around the reactor shows that animals are flourishing despite lingering radiation from the 1986 explosion. The site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is now a wildlife haven. The abundance of large animals around Chernobyl, such as deer, elk and wild boar, matches that of nature reserves in the region – and wolves are seven times as common. Some 116,000 people fled the radioactive fallout from the reactor after it exploded in 1986, and another 220,000 were resettled after that, vacating a zone covering some 4200 square kilometres split equally between Belarus and Ukraine. “Whatever negative effects there are from radiation, they are not as large as the negative effects of having people there,” says Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth in the UK. “We’re not saying there weren’t radiological effects at all, but we can’t see effects on populations as a whole.” The message is clear, he says. “The everyday things we do, such as occupying an area, forestry, hunting and agriculture, are what damages the environment.”
10-5-15 Plant uses raindrops to eat ants
Plant uses raindrops to eat ants
A carnivorous pitcher plant uses power from falling raindrops to fling ants to their doom, biologists have discovered. (Webmaster's comment: The power of evolution has no equal. Even a simple plant evolves to use its environment to improve its ability to survive.)
10-5-15 Plant tricks dung beetles by making its seeds look like dung
Plant tricks dung beetles by making its seeds look like dung
Proof that plants are sometimes smarter than animals is seen with seeds that mimic antelope droppings in looks and smell, ensuring their dispersal. It’s the ultimate deception and proof that plants are sometimes smarter than animals: grass seeds mimic antelope droppings to deceive dung beetles into dispersing and burying them. The seeds of Ceratocaryum argenteum are 1 centimetre long, round and brown – just like the droppings of a small antelope called a bontebok – but also strongly scented, emitting many volatile chemicals that are found in herbivore faeces. Jeremy Midgley at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and colleagues say that the plant, which is endemic to the De Hoop Nature Reserve, is the clearest known example of plants deceiving animals to help them disperse seeds.
10-2-15 UN battle looms over finance as nations submit climate plans
UN battle looms over finance as nations submit climate plans
Divisions over money between rich and poor countries re-emerged as nations submitted their plans for tackling climate change to the UN. India, the last big emitter to publish its contribution, said it would need $2.5 trillion to meet its targets. The Philippines said that without adequate climate compensation, their cuts in emissions wouldn't happen. The UN says the plans increase the likelihood of a strong global treaty. (Webmaster's comment" I won't believe a word of it until I see the rise in atmospheric CO2 actually stop increasing at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.)
10-2-15 India's 'ambitious' pledge to slow emissions rise
India's 'ambitious' pledge to slow emissions rise
India, the world's third largest carbon emitter, has pledged to the UN to reduce the rate by which its greenhouse gas emissions increase by up to 35% by 2030, compared with 2005. But India says its emissions will grow because it needs to pursue development works as nearly 30% of its population has no access to electricity. (Webmaster's comment: And 50% have no toilets, people drink from the Ganges river which they use as a toilet and sewer and to bathe in, 1,000's of women have been hanged as witches, and gang rapes and honor killings of women are commonplace. But instead of fixing these horrible problems it invests money in rockets and satellites and atomic weapons.)