Wednesday 31 July 2019

Moody’s Buys Climate Data Firm, Signaling New Scrutiny of Climate Risks:New York Times

Investors are taking global heating/climate change seriously.

"Moody’s Corporation has purchased a controlling stake in a firm that measures the physical risks of climate change, the latest indication that global warming can threaten the creditworthiness of governments and companies around the world.

The rating agency bought a majority share in Four Twenty Seven, a California-based company that measures a range of hazards, including extreme rainfall, hurricanes, heat stress and sea level rise, and tracks their impact on 2,000 companies and 196 countries. In the United States, the data covers 761 cities and more than 3,000 counties. 

“We are taking these risks very seriously,” said Myriam Durand, global head of assessments at Moody’s Investors Service, who said the purchase would allow its credit analysts to be more precise in their review of climate related risks. “You can’t mitigate what you don’t understand.”

The purchase is the latest in a series of moves by rating agencies to better account for the effects of climate change on the ability of governments to pay back the money they borrow by issuing bonds. Global warming can threaten that ability in a variety of ways."


Tuesday 30 July 2019

'People are dying': how the climate crisis has sparked an exodus to the US : The Guardian

"As part of the Running Dry series, the Guardian looks at how drought and famine are forcing Guatemalan families to choose between starvation and migration
by in Camotán

At sunrise, the misty fields around the village of Guior are already dotted with men, women and children sowing maize after an overnight rainstorm.

After several years of drought, the downpour brought some hope of relief to the subsistence farmers in this part of eastern Guatemala.

But as Esteban Gutiérrez, 30, takes a break from his work, he explains why he is still willing to incur crippling debts – and risk his life – to migrate to the United States.

“My children have gone to bed hungry for the past three years. Our crops failed and the coffee farms have cut wages to $4 a day,” he says, playing nervously with the white maize kernels in a plastic trough strapped to his waist."

Read The Guardian article

Related:  

Heatwave: think it’s hot in Europe? The human body is already close to thermal limits elsewhere :The Conversation

Monday 29 July 2019

How BHP's climate stance caught its fellow miners on the hop: Financial Review

" 'Society’s combustion of fossil fuels and industrial processes like steelmaking and agriculture have released greenhouse gases at rates much faster than at any other time in the geological past.'

It could be a line from any climate change rally over the past two decades.

Instead the words came straight from the mouth of BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie, who warned in a speech in London on Tuesday of an "escalation towards a crisis" and signalled the resources giant would push customers to reduce emissions."


But is this just 'greenwashing' ?

Sunday 28 July 2019

Heatwave: think it’s hot in Europe? The human body is already close to thermal limits elsewhere :The Conversation

Kolkata India
"And yes, there is a limit.

When the air temperature exceeds 35°C, the body relies on the evaporation of water – mainly through sweating – to keep core temperature at a safe level. This system works until the “wetbulb” temperature reaches 35°C. The wetbulb temperature includes the cooling effect of water evaporating from the thermometer, and so is normally much lower than the normal (“drybulb”) temperature reported in weather forecasts.

Once this wetbulb temperature threshold is crossed, the air is so full of water vapour that sweat no longer evaporates. Without the means to dissipate heat, our core temperature rises, irrespective of how much water we drink, how much shade we seek, or how much rest we take. Without respite, death follows – soonest for the very young, elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions."

Read The Conversation article

Friday 26 July 2019

Power prices would be lower under emissions trading scheme, outgoing public service head Martin Parkinson says: ABC News

The outgoing head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet says power prices would be lower now if an emissions trading scheme had been implemented over a decade ago.

"Whatever else you do, Renewable Energy Target, or anything else, they can be no cheaper than putting an explicit price on carbon," Martin Parkinson told 7.30.

"The difference is where's the cost in an emissions trading scheme (ETS)? The cost is quite visible. It's there, it's the price of the permit.

"In the case of the Renewable Energy Target or any other intervention, then often that price is hidden from the view of the consumer. But ultimately the consumer's paying because it's built into the price of power.

"At the moment what we've got is a lot of burden falling on energy prices.

"If we had an ETS it would have smeared that cost across all parts of the economy."

Read the ABC News article 

Related: Can planting trees save our climate?

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Major U.S. cities are leaking methane (Natural Gas) at twice the rate previously believed

Natural gas, long touted as a cleaner burning alternative to coal, has a leakage problem. A new study has found that leaks of methane, the main ingredient in natural gas and itself a potent greenhouse gas, are twice as big as official tallies suggest in major cities along the U.S. eastern seaboard. The study suggests many of these fugitive leaks come from homes and businesses—and could represent a far bigger problem than leaks from the industrial extraction of the fossil fuel itself.

“This is an issue that people tend to ignore when trying to estimate methane emissions,” says Kathryn McKain, an atmospheric scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, who wasn’t involved in the new research. When compared with the global amount of natural and human-driven methane emissions, she notes, “These emissions are small, but they’re preventable.”

Read the ScienceMag article

Icelandic memorial warns future: ‘Only you know if we saved glaciers’ / The Guardian

Plaque marking Okjökull, the first glacier lost to climate crisis, to be unveiled in August.

The first of Iceland’s 400 glaciers to be lost to the climate crisis will be remembered with a memorial plaque – and a sombre warning for the future – to be unveiled by scientists and local people next month.

The former Okjökull glacier, which a century ago covered 15 sq km (5.8 sq miles) of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 metres thick, has shrunk to barely 1 sq km of ice less than 15 metres deep and lost its status as a glacier.

Read The Guardian article

Sunday 21 July 2019

Solar industry fights back against surge of climate trolls on social media: RenewEconomy


Saturday 20 July 2019

Can planting trees save our climate?

In recent weeks, a new study by researchers at ETH Zurich has hit the headlines worldwide (Bastin et al. 2019). It is about trees. The researchers asked themselves the question: how much carbon could we store if we planted trees everywhere in the world where the land is not already used for agriculture or cities? Since the leaves of trees extract carbon in the form of carbon dioxide – CO2 – from the air and then release the oxygen – O2 – again, this is a great climate protection measure. The researchers estimated 200 billion tons of carbon could be stored in this way – provided we plant over a trillion trees.

The media impact of the new study was mainly based on the statement in the ETH press release that planting trees could offset two thirds of the man-made CO2 increase in the atmosphere to date. To be able to largely compensate for the consequences of more than two centuries of industrial development with such a simple and hardly controversial measure – that sounds like a dream! And it was immediately welcomed by those who still dream of climate mitigation that doesn’t hurt anyone.

Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true. 

Read the RealClimate article

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Video: Is Miami Beach Drowning?



CBC News: The National

Published on Oct 16, 2014

The Union of Concerned Scientists is warning climate change is raising sea levels and the panel predicts Miami faces being swamped.

Sunday 14 July 2019

The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial: DESMOG

EXXON & climate change
We’ve all heard the dodgy arguments: ‘the science is uncertain’, ‘climate change is natural, not down to humans’, ‘science has been hijacked by politics’… Now a new cache of documents sheds light on the origins of the disinformation.  

In another verse of a now familiar refrain, a fossil fuel industry group in the 1990s publicly promoted arguments to undermine confidence in climate science while internally acknowledging their products were driving up temperatures.  

A cache of meeting minutes, briefings, and emails uncovered by the Climate Investigations Center shows how industry group the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) used its financial clout and political connections to cast doubt on mainstream climate science until its disbandment in 2002. The GCC would for decades cast doubt on the veracity of climate science and strategically spread the message that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was a politicised body, to discourage regulatory reform that would hit coalition members’ profits. 

Friday 12 July 2019

What will an Earth that is 4 degrees hotter be like?




Earth at 2° hotter will be horrific. Now here’s what 4° will look like. | David Wallace-Wells author of The Uninhabitable Earth.

How to erase 100 years of carbon emissions? Plant trees—lots of them.

Increasing the Earth’s forests by an area the size of the United States would cut atmospheric carbon dioxide 25 percent.

 PUBLISHED


An area the size of the United States could be restored as forests with the potential of erasing nearly 100 years of carbon emissions, according to the first ever study to determine how many trees the Earth could support.
Published today in Science, "The global tree restoration potential” report found that there is enough suitable land to increase the world’s forest cover by one-third without affecting existing cities or agriculture. However, the amount of suitable land area diminishes as global temperatures rise. Even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the area available for forest restoration could be reduced by a fifth by 2050 because it would be too warm for some tropical forests.
“Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today,” said Tom Crowther, a researcher at ETH Zürich, and senior author of the study.

 

Thursday 11 July 2019

6 Glimmers of Climate Optimism for the End of a Dark Year: Medium

It was a year of frightening reports on the future of our planet. But sustainability experts are still feeling optimistic about some of the strides we’ve made this year.

The consensus among scientists, researchers, and sustainability experts following this years’ reports is that while stopping climate change will require an undoubtedly Herculean effort, the biggest hurdle is political, not technical. In other words, if all the innovations in sustainable technology and science were harnessed and directed at reducing emissions and environmental collapse, we might stand a chance at meeting the goals laid out in the reports.

Don’t get us wrong: It will take a heroic, global effort if we’re even going to come close to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius–the point after which, according to the reports, large swaths of the planet will become uninhabitable, and issues like mass starvation will become widespread. And the lack of leadership from the United States, under climate change denier Donald Trump, is making cohesive political action difficult.

But underneath all this, activists, scientists, and business leaders are
working to advance progressive climate action, and despite everything, have hung onto a sense of optimism as we move into 2019. Here are some reasons why:"


Related:

Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change: Vox

 


Wednesday 10 July 2019

Fossil fuel exports make Australia one of the worst contributors to climate crisis : The Guardian

Australia looking to become an emissions superpower, the Australian Conservation Foundation says

Australia is responsible for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and could be contributing as much as 17% by 2030 if the pollution from its fossil fuel exports is factored in, research says.

Under climate accounting rules that record carbon dioxide released within a country, Australia is responsible for about 1.4% of global emissions. The analysis by science and policy institute Climate Analytics found more than twice that, another 3.6%, are a result of Australia’s coal, oil and gas exports.

Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change: Vox



Preserve Forests
One of the technologies for tackling climate change I’m most excited about is direct air capture: using huge electric-powered scrubbing machines to filter carbon dioxide directly out of the air and either stashing it deep underground, or using it for industrial purposes.
 
Adding 2.2 billion acres of tree cover would capture two-thirds of man-made carbon emissions, a new study found.



Allowing the earth’s forests to recover could soak up a significant amount of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. 

The worldwide assessment of current and potential forestation using satellite imagery appeared Thursday in the journal Science. It estimates that letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. That’s two-thirds of the roughly 300 billion metric tons of carbon humans have put up there since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. 

“The point is that [reforestation is] so much more vastly powerful than anyone ever expected,” said Thomas Crowther, a professor of environmental systems science at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the paper. “By far, it’s the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential.”


Some climate scientists who were not involved with the study disagree with its calculations and are warning against its “silver bullet” message. Still, supporting natural systems that can soak up carbon is widely accepted as a major component of any climate change mitigation strategy — in addition to deploying clean energy, switching to electric vehicles, and curbing consumption overall.



See also:

Three Surprising Solutions To Climate Change: Forbes

Monday 8 July 2019

Climate change: what to expect and are there really two sides? | Ask Bob: Video




Published on Nov 4, 2017

Many view climate change as the most pressing issue of our time. But how, specifically, is it going to affect us and our planet? Is there still time to make a difference? And what does it mean to believe "both sides" of climate change science? CBC's Bob McDonald weighs-in.

Related:

How high will sea levels rise- ABC Science

Sunday 7 July 2019

How high will sea levels rise- ABC Science

This video was made in 2014. We now have evidence the Greenland ice shelf and Antarctic ice shelf is melting more quickly than first thought.


ABC Science

Published on Jul 18, 2014

The rising sea is the sleeping giant of climate change. Although we now know it's happening, how high will it go? In an attempt to predict what impact the rising waters will have on our world, scientists are turning to the distant past.
 

Friday 5 July 2019

Three Surprising Solutions To Climate Change: Forbes

Educating girls and empowering women has multiple positive impacts on climate



'When the analysts at Project Drawdown quantified the impact of 100 solutions to climate change, they were surprised by some of their results, the organization's executive director said in a recent appearance at Carnegie-Mellon University.

"Some solutions were a total surprise," said Jonathan Foley, an atmospheric scientist who took the helm of Project Drawdown late last year, after the list was made. "Some surprised me, and I've been working at this for a long time." .........

'"Women who have more access to education and more opportunity tend to have fewer children, and a little bit later in life," Foley said. It's the only effective way, short of coercion, to reduce human population growth, which lies at the foundation of all of the earth's environmental woes."'

Climate Cuts, Cover-ups and Censorship \\ Climate Council: Video

 

Thursday 4 July 2019

Climate Cuts, Cover-ups and Censorship \\ Climate Council: Video



Since 2013, the Australian Federal Government has covered up poor performance with misleading claims, dubious accounting and censorship - and the Climate Council has held them to account at every turn, busting myths, call out misinformation, and sorting fact from fiction. 

Subscribe here: http://goo.gl/JUPEL3 -- 

After thousands of Australians chipped in to Australia's biggest crowd-funding campaign, the abolished Climate Commission has relaunched as the new, independent Climate Council. We exist to provide independent, authoritative climate change information to the Australian public. Why? Because our response to climate change should be based on the best science available. 

We're a fast growing group of people made up of expert Councillors, staff, volunteers and supporters. 

Together we are doing everything we can to spread independent and accurate information on climate change. 

Connect with us here:
 → Website: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au 
 → Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/climatecouncil 
 → Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatecouncil

Uploaded on Apr 29, 2019
 
 

June was hottest ever recorded on Earth, European satellite agency announces: Independent

The hottest recorded June in Europe ever. Humans were non existent in last hot ages.
Independent video hottest June weather

Experts say climate change contributed to record-breaking temperatures across Europe

Last month was the hottest June ever recorded, the EU‘s satellite agency has announced.

Data provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the EU, showed that the global average temperature for June 2019 was the highest on record for the month.

The data showed European average ​temperatures were more than 2C above normal and temperatures were 6-10C above normal over most of France, Germany and northern Spain during the final days of the month, according to C3S.

The global average temperature was about 0.1C higher than during the previous warmest June in 2016.

Experts have said climate change made last week’s record-breaking European heatwave at least five times as likely to happen, according to recent analysis.

Read the full Independent article 

Related:  The Last Time The Globe Warmed: Video (EONS)



Monday 1 July 2019

Article Comments (5) NJ could need 2,700 miles of sea walls to defend against rising waters: NJ Spotlight

"New study says building defenses along Jersey Shore would cost billions and suggests the fossil-fuel industry should pay



sandy sea level rise
New Jersey would have to pay almost $25 billion to build almost 2,700 miles of seawalls to protect its coastal communities from anticipated sea-level rise by 2040, according to the latest study on the state’s vulnerability to rising ocean levels. 

The Center for Climate Integrity, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group, said New Jersey faces the sixth-biggest bill for sea-wall construction of any state, while low-lying Cumberland County would have to pay the most — $5.8 billion for 532 miles of seawalls — among New Jersey’s counties." 


June 21, 2019           Read the NJ Spotlight article 

Related: 

Climate change and sea-level rise in the Australian region

The Last Time The Globe Warmed: Video (EONS)




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Related: 

Climate change and sea-level rise in the Australian region

Climate Change Denial 101x: Video

Answering some of the common climate denial myths.



Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate?

Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial in Denial101x, a MOOC from UQx and edX. 

Denial101x isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change. 

Any research used to develop this content has been cited on a references page within the subsection for this lecture. 

Related: 

Climate change and sea-level rise in the Australian region