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A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in mid 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

The 52:52:52 project, launching on this site and on social media in mid 2024, will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

This site addresses what's changing, at the personal, organisational and societal levels. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 elements of life, from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and much more besides, which will help you better prepare for related change in your own life.

What's Changing? - Climate

Climate

 

Please see below recent climate-related change, including key developments regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Climate Action.

Imagine a ship that is sinking and needs all the available power to run the pumps to drain out the rising waters. The first class passengers refuse to cooperate because they feel hot and want to use the air-conditioner and other electrical appliances. The second-class passengers spend all their time trying to be upgraded to first-class status. The boat sinks and the passengers all drown. That is where the present approach to climate change is leading - Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard

 

See also:

 

March 2024

  • The head of the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation reported that climate records had been not just broken but smashed in 2023, the hottest year on record. More than 90% of the world’s oceans suffered heatwave conditions, glaciers lost the most ice on record and the extent of Antarctic sea ice fell to by far the lowest levels ever measured. The world is now warming at a pace that scientists did not expect and, may not yet fully understand: e.g. the chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that 2023's spike in temperatures was “quicker than we all anticipated”.
  • The Arctic could see ice-free summers as soon as 2035, but unlike ice that took thousands of years to accumulate, sea ice can reportedly return if scientists figure out how to remove excess CO₂ from the air.

 

February 2024

  • The world experienced its first 12-month period (Feb. 2023 - Jan. 2024) in which average global temperatures were more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service. This, combined with 2024 witnessing the warmest January on record, had climate scientists ringing alarm bells.

 

January 2024

  • 2023 broke the record for the hottest year on record (due to all-time high emissions of carbon dioxide and El Niño). Data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a European Union climate agency, showed that 2023 was warmer by 1.48 Celsius than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial era.
  • “Cli-fi” is an increasingly popular sub-genre of science fiction that deals with the impacts of climate change and global warming. Its popularity is perhaps unsurprising given that stories are how we make sense of the world, and the reality of life on a much warmer planet is no longer a fiction but the stark reality of our near-term future.  

 

December 2023

 

November 2023

  • According to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Services (CS3), Friday 17 November 2023 was the first day on which average global temperatures were more than 2C above pre-industrial levels. Data for 17 November indicated that global surface air temperatures were 2.07C above those in 1850. This doesn’t mean that the much-discussed 2C threshold has been crossed. For that, we’d need to see a sustained elevation above 2C.
  • Climate change is costing the US economy $150 billion a year. The quadrennial National Climate Assessment now includes a new economic impact section.

 

October 2023

  • Earth had the its hottest September on record in 2023 - and by a record-breaking margin, according to the leading international datasets which are used by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for its State of the Global Climate monitoring. This continued an extended streak of land and sea-surface temperatures and is a powerful signal about the speed with which greenhouse gases are changing our climate.
  • Damage caused by extreme weather has cost an estimated US$16 million every 60 minutes for the past two decades.

 

September 2023

  • Of the 20 countries hardest hit by the climate crisis, 85% are in Africa, US climate envoy John Kerry claimed. Kenyan President William Ruto meanwhile claimed that climate change is holding back the continent’s economic growth by 5-15% annually, despite the fact that the continent accounts for less than 4% of global emissions.
  • August 2023 was the second hottest ever recorded, with global temperatures exceeding pre-industrial averages by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

 

August 2023

  • Heatwaves may decrease the world's gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.66 percentage points, Allianz Insurance claimed. One day of extreme heat can be equivalent in economic terms to half a day of strike, although the impact varies across countries. Droughts, floods and wildfires damage crops and property. In extreme heat, people often work fewer hours, or make more mistakes. When temperatures hit 32C, worker performance drops 40%, and 66% after 37C. Tax revenues could be hit by such decreased productivity, one analysis noted, and public coffers could be diminished by rebuilding costs. Allianz called on cities to adapt to climate change, such as through the use of urban greening, improved working hours and better building technologies.
  • Climate litigation has become an integral part of securing climate action and justice globally, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme, which found that climate court cases had more than doubled in five years. The report highlighted a series of landmark rulings, including a Dutch court ordering oil giant Shell to slash its emissions. It was the first time a court found a private company to have a duty under the Paris agreement.
  • Experts claimed that droughts and seawater changes associated with warmer temperatures could cut US$3.5 trillion from global growth by 2030.

 

July 2023

  • Climate change is making extreme weather events not only more likely, but also more severe. As Vox put it: “there’s no such thing as a disaster-resistant place anymore”. Insurance companies are increasingly pulling out of areas they deem high risk and divesting of reinsurance branches to reduce exposure to natural disaster.
  • July 4 2023 was the hottest day ever registered on Earth. The record broke one that was set just the day before. (All the resultant air conditioning use is only making the planet hotter.)
  • Sea surface temperatures soared in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, which scientists said partially fuelled heatwaves in Europe. The temperature of the North Atlantic began rising above historical averages in March and climbed to 1.3° C higher than the 1982-2011 mean.
  • The US broke 2,000 high temperature records in the July 2023. International scientists said that the intense heat waves hitting the Northern Hemisphere would be “virtually impossible” without human-caused climate change.

 

June 2023

 

May 2023

  • A poll suggested that while many are in favour of government and individual actions to combat the climate crisis, there is less support for measures that would impact their lifestyle. A YouGov survey gauged backing of actions in seven European countries. There was stronger support for steps that would mean no major lifestyle sacrifice. For example, 77% of UK respondents said they would grow more plants themselves or were already doing so. However, just 27% were willing to only buy secondhand clothes. Legislation banning the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars was also not popular with respondents across the different countries.

 

April 2023

  • Scientists are concerned about the recent, rapid rise in ocean temperaturesData showed that the temperature of the global sea surface hit a record high of 21.1C in early 2023. However, it's unclear to scientists as why such a rapid change is happening. Experts are especially worried as this warming is happening ahead of an anticipated strong weather event, El Niño, which heats the ocean.

 

March 2023

  • UN report said the world has less than a decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (the 2015 Paris Agreement’s target). Industrialised countries must halve greenhouse gases by 2030 and halt carbon dioxide emissions by the 2050s to avoid cataclysmic flooding, droughts, heat waves, and species extinction.
  • Good Business warned that, irrespective of whether we’re heading towards 1.5C of warming, 2C, or more, climate change is already here and we’re seeing weather events become more extreme and frequent as a result. The IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report showed the human and natural systems that are already adversely affected: the flooding in Pakistan, wildfires in California and Arctic heatwaves being just some recent examples.

 

February 2023

 

January 2023

  • "Climate quitting" means leaving a job for greener organisations, or going as far as changing career to focus on tackling the climate crisis. More than 24 million green jobs could be created globally by 2030. Closing this labour gap will require both new skills and people leaving their existing jobs for rapidly evolving industries, and it’s already underway; in 2022 more people were employed by clean energy companies than by fossil fuel companies, according to the International Energy Agency.
  • 2022 was the fifth warmest year on record. According to EU scientists, it was also the second warmest year on record for Europe.
  • Atmospheric dust might have distorted the impact of climate change. Global temperatures would have increased by an additional 0.1°F from pre-industrial levels had it not been for an increase in particles, noted Quartz.

 

November 2022

  • major paper released on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt started a countdown: at the current rate of global emissions, the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will likely be permanently out of reach by 2031, the study warned.
  • Data indicate that global warming will worsen health inequalities between rich and poor countries. Yet, there is still (some) hope: rising inflation propelled governments to cut back on fossil fuels, making the International Energy Agency optimistic that COP27 might be a “turning point” in the global transition to clean energy.

 

October 2022

  • The UN’s weather agency said greenhouse gas emissions hit record highs in 2021. The World Meteorological Organisation predicted emissions would increase by 10.6% by 2030, compared with 2010 levels. Another UN report found that countries’ climate plans aren’t sufficient.
  • To meet the the Paris Accord climate commitments, the world still needed to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030, but, according to the UN, we are actually on track to increase emissions by 10.6% during that period.
  • According to a report by Climate Action 100+ – a group of investors monitoring the 166 companies responsible for 80% of global corporate greenhouse gas emissions – the vast majority of companies with net zero targets have no strategy in place to achieve them. In fact, only 19% of companies have quantified key elements of their decarbonisation strategies.
  • The White House coordinated a five-year research plan to study ways to cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight back into space. The Office of Science and Technology Policy say the research will look at the costs and benefits of a number of plans, including a plan to spray reflective aerosols into the stratosphere.

 

September 2022

 

August 2022

  • Climate disasters tend to be expensive, and 2022 took an especially hard toll. Insured losses from natural disasters reached $35 billion in the first half of 2022, according to analysis from Swiss Re Institute. That’s 22% above the 10-year average.
  • Climate change will affect agricultural production worldwide. Average global crop yields for maize, or corn, may see a decrease of 24% by late century, if current climate change trends continue. Wheat, in contrast, may see an uptick in crop yields by about 17%. The change in yields is due to the projected increases in temperature, shifts in rainfall patterns and elevated surface carbon dioxide concentrations due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, making it more difficult to grow maize in the tropics and expanding wheat’s growing range.

 

July 2022

 

June 2022

 

May 2022

  • A paper in Nature Climate Change claimed that winter storms in the Southern Hemisphere are already at levels of intensity not predicted to occur until 2080. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science arrived at the findings by analysing data generated by the 30 leading computational climate models.

 

April 2022

  • The UN’s latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at nearly 3,000 pages, was the most comprehensive analysis yet of what can be done to ward off dangerous levels of warming since the Paris climate accord was agreed in 2015. It was designed to help to shape climate policy debates for years to come. Its message is both stark and compelling. The window for limiting global warming to 1.5C is closing fast. Global emissions should ideally peak before 2025. Greener lifestyles can help, but more sweeping structural changes are needed. Gas, oil and especially coal use must fall steeply.
  • Gender inequality and climate change are closely intertwined. Due to their different and unequal social roles and status, women, girls and people of marginalised genders are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts, also differentiated by factors such as age, race, ability and location. They are also leading innovative solutions to climate change at all levels. Yet as the Glasgow Women’s Leadership statement highlighted at COP26, there is still a lack of momentum for prioritising their knowledge, tools and leadership in climate policy and action
  • Methane, or CH4, accounts for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions and lasts in the atmosphere for a fraction of the time of CO2 (10-20 years versus hundreds of years), yet accounts for at least 30% of climate change. It is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 (30-80 times more potent). 

 

March 2022

  • The second installation of the IPCC’s sixth major overview of climate science addressed impacts and adaptation options. It makes clear that impacts escalate dramatically with every additional degree of global warming, especially for an estimated 3.6 billion people who live in areas that are especially vulnerable to drought, storms, and other impacts. Although the report included new evidence that adaptive measures - especially reforestation, ecosystem restoration, and other “nature-based” solutions - can be effective in reducing risk, these aren’t being rolled out at a large enough scale, and become more expensive and less effective the more time that passes before they are implemented.
  • The report warned that as many as 3.3 billion people are now “highly vulnerable to climate change,” warning that more people are going to die each year from extreme weather events. It said that Africa and parts of Central America, South America and South Asia are “hot spots.”
  • Climate change may be creating a vicious cycle of inflation. Products are beginning to cost more due to their increasing scarcity and difficulties in harvesting or transporting,but at the same time, trying to transition to sustainable solutions is inherently more expensive, meaning we are now entering a cycle of “greenflation” that is likely to get worse before it gets better, warned Future Today Institute.
  • In a 2018 survey from Deloitte, 77% of Gen Z respondents said it was important to work at organisations whose values aligned with theirs. Social values matter deeply to this population, and the issue of climate change particularly – in the US, Gen Z (people in their teens to mid-20s) are much more concerned about climate change than older generations. Similarly, in the UK, Bupa found in 2021 that 64% of surveyed 18-to-22-year-olds consider it important for employers to act on environmental issues, and 59% would remain longer with responsible employers. In Australia, young workers have left companies that aren’t doing enough to respond to climate change.

 

February 2022

 

January 2022

 

December 2021

  • Insurance claims from extreme weather events linked to climate change topped $100 billion in 2021. The most expensive single event was Hurricane Ida, which hit the US Northeast, causing $65 billion in damages.

 

November 2021

  • Despite COP26 promises, world temperatures will increase by 2.4°C by the end of the century. That’s the conclusion from the globe’s top climate analysis coalition, based on countries’ short-term goals.
  • As heatwaves have become an increasingly severe crisis caused by the warming planet, a study predicted that by 2100 extreme heat could contribute to the deaths of up to 97,000 people annually. Meanwhile, many cities around the globe are appointing "heat officers" to implement solutions and avoid the growing death toll from heat seen in recent times.
  • Many countries lied about their greenhouse gas emissions to the UN in the lead up to the COP26 summit, according to a Washington Post investigation. Looking at individual nations' data reports, the Post concluded that up to 2.1 billion more tons of carbon dioxide emissions are currently being released into the atmosphere than the filings showed.
  • A climate projection says 3 billion people may live with extreme heat by 2070. The research, led by scientists at Exeter University’s Global Systems Institute, said that if emissions continue to rise, 3 billion could be exposed to temperatures as high as in the hottest part of the Sahara desert today.
  • Children growing up now will experience extreme weather events at a rate two to seven times higher than their grandparents did, according to a paper published in the journal Science. The Wall Street Journal explained that if the planet continues to warm on its current trajectory, the average six-year-old will live through roughly three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents, the study finds. They will see twice as many wildfires, 1.7 times as many tropical cyclones, 3.4 times more river floods, 2.5 times more crop failures and 2.3 times as many droughts as someone born in 1960.
  • Research from Conservation International mapped the places on Earth that humanity must protect to avoid a climate catastrophe. These ecosystems contain what researchers call "irrecoverable carbon," dense stores of carbon that, if released due to human activity, could not be recovered in time for the world to prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change.  The worldwide map published in the journal Nature Sustainability, built on a landmark study that introduced the concept of irrecoverable carbon. The research found that half of Earth's irrecoverable carbon is highly concentrated on just 3.3% of land – primarily old-growth forests, peatlands and mangroves.
  • Global research firm Ipsos said that climate concern in the UK was at the highest level ever recorded. 40% of Britons said pollution and climate change were big issues for the country.

 

October 2021

  • Greenhouse gases are headed in the wrong direction, according to a United Nations report that said that the world is “way off track” as carbon dioxide levels broke records in 2020.
  • China published a long-awaited plan for how it intends to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. It touched on three big questions about China’s decarbonisation, when its emissions will peak, at what level and how fast they will fall after that.
  • Quartz noted that The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, and it produces less than 0.01% of global annual emissions, but it’s still taking steps to decarbonise - making it perhaps the only country on Earth where those steps match its contribution to the problem. Nepal, Kenya, and Ethiopia aren’t too far behind.

 

September 2021

 

August 2021

  • US government scientists announced that July 2021 was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded; modern records stretch back to 1879. The global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.9C higher than the 20th-century average of 15.8C.
  • A major climate report described as a “code red for humanity” warned that global warming has already had an “irreversible” impact on the planet including the oceans and polar ice caps. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts temperatures will be 1.5C higher than 1850-1900 levels by 2040 but says it is still possible to stay below this with significant cuts to global emissions before 2030. The report said:
    • It is “unequivocal” that humans are warming the planet and have likely caused rapid changes to the climate.
    • Stabilising the global rise in temperatures at 1.5C is possible, but will still result in increasing heatwaves, droughts and floods.
      • Global warming is already affecting weather and climate extremes around the world, and hot extremes have become more frequent since the 1950s.
    • It doesn’t rule out a 2m rise in sea levels by the end of the century.
  • The FT warned however that the lengthy IPCC writing process did not allow the authors to take full account of the latest signs that climate may be changing even faster than most models had suggested: extreme heatwaves, catastrophic floods and rapid melting of Arctic ice and permafrost.
  • We're getting close to various "tipping points" - when the planet undergoes abrupt changes in response to global warming that can't be reversed no matter what we do, like polar ice caps or coral reefs vanishing. The IPCC says that maybe, just maybe, it's not too late to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. For that to happen, though, the world must halve its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and for all countries to attain "net zero" emissions - taking as much carbon out of the atmosphere as putting into it - by 2050, noted GZERO.
  • It's worth noting too that governments don't pollute nearly as much as companies, especially those in countries with lax regulations.
  • Athens appointed a chief heat officer, becoming the first European city to do so. The move follows closely behind Miami’s CHO appointment announced in early 2021. As we experience more extreme weather, we may see other new roles created specifically to mitigate the impacts of a warming planet.
  • Climate scientists found evidence that the Gulf Stream could be collapsing. The researchers found an “almost complete loss of stability over the last century”.
  • RethinkX’s report, Rethinking Climate Change, suggested that we already have the technologies to radically transform the energy (solar, wind & batteries), transport (autonomous EVs, transport-as-a-service) and food (precision fermentation and cellular agriculture) sectors. The combination of these technologies, it claimed, could see us reduce our emissions by 90% by 2035, without economic costs and indeed with many benefits.
  • Climate Visuals’ image bank, informed by international research and based on seven principles, including depicting real people and highlighting climate effects on local surroundings, shares images designed to move climate change photography from illustrative to impactful

 

July 2021

 

June 2021

  • To stop the worst of climate change, the world is shifting the way it produces and consumes energy. As businesses and economies chip away at their carbon emissions, they’re creating new markets for more sustainable fuels, products, and even financial instruments. Every industry can be part of the solution - or part of the ongoing problem, argued Quartz.
  • A new climate feedback loop was discovered by scientists at CERN that could accelerate Arctic warming and sea ice loss. It produces more clouds at the pole which then produce more warming, and then more clouds, in an intensifying cycle.
  • After record breaking temperatures in North America, Quartz warned that what climate models predicted is coming true. Scientists forecast global warming would fuel higher temperatures, falling humidity, dwindling snowpack, and intensifying drought. So far, this is coming to pass, despite some uncertainty about how this will play out in the coming century.
  • The ground temperature in Siberia hit 118°F (48°C) in June 2021. The 118-degree-Fahrenheit temperature was measured on the ground in Verkhojansk, in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia, by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel satellites.
  • In a leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists warned that climate change is reaching a tipping point sooner than previously assumed. Specifically, the scientists are concerned that global heating is close to triggering “tipping points” in the Earth’s natural systems that will lead to possible “irrevocable disaster” unless decisive action is taken. 

 

May 2021

 

April 2021

 

March 2021

 

February 2021

 

January 2021

  • People around the world "want action" on climate change, the United Nations Development Programme said, sharing a poll that shows almost two-thirds of people in 50 countries now believe that climate change is an emergency. The poll of 1.2 million people showed younger people were more likely agree, though 58% of over 60s also said rising temperatures are an emergency. On potential policies, the conservation of forests and increased use of renewables were most popular, while switching to a plant-based diet was least.
  • The global financial system took a big step toward pricing in climate risks. Central banks in the US and EU announced they’ll begin analysing the threats climate change poses to banks and the broader financial system. Quartz explained how greater scrutiny from the regulators who oversee more than 30% of the world’s GDP, combined with voluntary efforts by banks and asset managers, is pushing the economy to brace itself for massive changes in the coming decades.
  • The coronavirus crisis demonstrated that, when confronted with a significant threat, governments across the world can take decisive action to mitigate the effects. However, despite the very visible devastations of the climate crisis, addressing it has suffered from, among other things, partisan politics and a sometimes disjointed global awareness of where responsibility lies and the extent of action needed. As countries convene in Glasgow for COP26 to update their Nationally Determined Contributions, and the US attempts to re-assert its leadership in climate circles by re-joining the Paris Agreement, Chatham House examined whether there is an opportunity in 2021 to reinvigorate international cooperation on tackling the climate crisis.
  • The glaciers of the Hindu Kush Himalayas are the main source of fresh water for around two billion people living in the region. However, by the end of this century, two-thirds of that snow and ice could be lost because of climate change. A network of data scientists and environmentalists around the world, and on the ground in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, are working to understand the extent of glacial melting in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, its effects and what can be done to minimise its impact. reported Microsoft on the Issues.
  • A 2020 project led by PIRC, NEON and 350.org explored how the public understands climate change and ways to improve communication about it. 
  • The UK launched a global climate coalition, teaming up with countries including Egypt, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands to promote measures like early storm warning systems and drought-resistant crops.
  • Devex's content series Turning the Tide took a closer look at how satellite technology can help build climate resilience. Through engaging storytelling, multimedia, and written features, Devex shares insights on national climate change resilience strategies and how these can be built on to prepare some of the world’s most vulnerable communities for the challenges ahead.

 

December 2020

 

October 2020

 

September 2020

 

August 2020

  • California may have set a new global temperature record. The August 2020 reading of 130°F (54.4°C) in Death Valley could be the hottest ever.
  • A range of experts - including professors, astronomers, authors, and historians examined what climate change looks like, how humans have already and are continuing to contribute to it, how and why it has become politicised, and what needs to happen moving forward for real progress to be made. One noted that the main goal of climate action is not to win over the sceptical minority, but to make those people who are concerned but still fundamentally complacent about the issue to be really engaged in a way that they prioritise climate change in their politics and their voting and make sure that leaders think of climate change as a first-order political priority.
  • Towns across Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East recorded temperatures over 50 degrees C every day for a week. Record highs were posted in 2020 in Baghdad, Basra, Damascus and Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, and Nasa declared June 2020 the hottest ever measured. 
  • It’s predicted that, thanks to carbon emissions, Alpine glaciers could lose half of their ice by 2050 – and the people who live there will be affected, too. Experts have warned that 500,000 cubic metres of ice is in danger of breaking off Mont Blanc’s Planpincieux glacier, prompting the evacuation of homes in the nearby town of Courmayeur in Italy.
  • Meanwhile, Greenland lost 586 billion tons of ice in 2019, surpassing the previous annual record by over 15 percent after an unusually warm year. The data confirm that the vast Arctic territory's ice sheet is melting much faster than expected as a result of climate change.

 

July 2020

  • Climate TRACE - which stands for Tracking Real-time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions -comprises organisations from the tech sector that have pioneered some of the most-powerful software-based emissions-monitoring solutions in the world, in part using AI and remote sensing. This first-of-its-kind global coalition will leverage advanced AI, satellite image processing, machine learning, and land- and sea-based sensors to do what was previously thought to be nearly impossible: monitor Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from every sector and in every part of the world. The work will be extremely granular in focus - down to specific power plants, ships, factories, and more. The goal is to actively track and verify all significant human-caused GHG emissions worldwide with unprecedented levels of detail and speed.
  • By the middle of 2020, the tundra around Khabarovsk in Siberia was on fire. The temperature in Verkhoyansk, inside the Arctic Circle, reached 38 C and an international study in World Weather Attribution said anthropogenic climate change has made all this 600 times more likely. Once-in-80,000 years events have become once-in-130 years events – but don’t expect to have to wait 130 years for the next one, warned Tortoise Media.
  • Tortoise added that there seems to be a lag of up to five years between the time methane starts seeping into the Arctic Ocean – as it does from time to time – and the arrival of microbes that eat it. This is the finding of a study of a methane seep first seen in the Ross Sea off western Antarctica in 2011. It matters because methane is 36 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2 and if it starts seeping in large volumes from the sea bed (or permafrost), global warming could accelerate out of control.
  • Tortoise Media reported that New York City’s climate has been reclassified: it’s no longer humid continental, but instead sits within the humid subtropical climate zone. In fact, the city has probably met the requirements for the past five years. And it’s only getting hotter. To nobody’s surprise the culprit is – say it with me – man-made climate change. Looking specifically at the city’s horticultural world, the NYT highlighted some of the already visible impacts ($): from early spring to the loss of native plants like birches and survival of plant-eating pests that usually die in the cold weather. Trees from Asia and South America are now thriving in NYC outside conservatories.
  • The Financial Times reported that indigenous people make up 6 per cent of the global population but manage or have tenure rights over more than a quarter of the world’s land surface. “There is simply no way to halt climate breakdown if indigenous peoples aren’t included,” says Conservation International (CI), a US-based non-profit organisation. A 2020 study by the Ecological Society of America found that 36 per cent of the world’s intact forest landscapes (forests undisturbed by human activity) lie within indigenous lands “making these areas crucial to the mitigation action needed to avoid catastrophic climate change”. 

 

June 2020

 

May 2020

  • Khatanga is an old cold war outpost in the far north of the Russian arctic, with a giant runway and a modest hotel now used mainly by sledge-haulers trying their luck with ice floes and polar bears. The average temperature there at this time of year is zero degrees C. The record high was 12 degrees, until May 2020, when the mercury reached 25.4, reported Tortoise. 

 

April 2020

  • If countries fail to meet the pledges of the Paris climate agreement, the global economy could lose out on $600 trillion by the end of the century. That’s according to a paper in the journal Nature Communications that quantified potential benefits for governments of working together on “self-preservation strategies” – and the costs of not doing so.

 

January 2020

95% of the oldest, thickest sea ice has disappeared since 1984.

? Read more: https://t.co/xxsCvprDPl pic.twitter.com/J8YUbvl8bK

— World Economic Forum (@wef) November 19, 2019

 

December 2019

  • Greenland is now shedding ice sheets at an annual rate of 254 billion tons. That's seven times faster than it did in the 1990s. The resulting rise in sea levels has put millions of people around the world in danger of seasonal floods.
  • While there’s widespread scientific consensus that the world is getting warmer, it seems some individuals still need convincing. For example, in the US, 6% of people say climate change isn’t real, and 9% don’t attribute global warming to human action, according to a survey by YouGov.
  • Climate change could shorten pregnancies. Heat stress causes women to give birth earlier, and may account for 250,000 fewer days of gestation for US babies by 2100.
  • The UN climate talks ended in disappointment. The COP25 talks in Madrid failed to produce bold pledges from major nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions more rapidly, despite the proceedings running two days longer than planned.

 

November 2019

  • Global temperatures are on track to rise around 3.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century (7 degrees Fahrenheit), which would have disastrous implications, according to a United Nations report. Increasingly acidic oceans could dissolve all coral reefs, and severe heat, already extreme in many regions, would become intolerable.
  • Italy became the first country to introduce compulsory education on climate change. From September 2020, schools are obliged to include about one hour a week in their curriculum, alongside teaching core subjects such as Physics, Maths and Geography through a sustainability lens.
  • Parts of Canada are heating up at a level more than double the global average. The province of British Columbia has around 17,000 glaciers. They're releasing 22 billion cubic meters of water each year. Some scientists even predict that they could have disappeared completely by 2030. 

 

October 2019

 

September 2019

 

August 2019

  • Richer nations tend to politicise the climate change while poorer nations more often present it as a problem of international concern, according to a study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. Researchers analysed more than 37,000 news articles from 45 countries and territories using computer algorithms and found that the strongest predictor of how a given country’s press will cover climate change is Gross Domestic Product per capita. In short: the way a country’s media reports on global warming is based on the resources available to combat it.

 

July 2019

  • Scientists tracked in 2019 an unprecedented number of fires burning north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland, Russia, Canada, and Alaska after a record summer heatwave. By one estimate, the fires released more carbon dioxide than Sweden's entire annual emissions in one month alone. This problem increases the risk that politically disruptive effects of climate change – like mass migrations or geopolitical competition for ice-free Arctic sea lanes and undersea resources – will arrive (much) more quickly than expected, noted GZEROMedia.

 

June 2019

  • Chatham House examined the increasingly urgent narrative surrounding climate change and the role of the corporate sector in helping avert the climate crisis. How, if at all, are strikes, protests and the new state of emergency reshaping consumer expectations, corporate strategy and public policy on environmental issues? What new business models and frameworks can private enterprises develop to help contribute to climate governance? And to what extent can businesses provide genuine leadership on climate change?
  • Compost may be a key part of the solution to addressing climate change, but large-scale collection of food scraps, yard trimmings, and even human bodies poses a huge logistical challenge. Cities like Seoul, South Korea, which recycles 95% of its food waste, are proving it’s possible, while sites in Sweden, California, and New York are turning egg shells and carrot tops into biogas and saving money in the process.

 

May 2019

 

March 2019

  • It may be human nature to rejoice in sunshine and balmy breezes, but when the cause is climate change, days much hotter than the seasonal average can spark anxiety, too. Quartz asked scientists and philosophers about how to deal with this cognitive dissonance, and how to channel our emotions toward action.
  • The Little Ice Age is term that often refers to a moderately cold period in the 17th and 18th centuries that hit Europe especially hard. But it may have gone as late as the 19th century and began - or was at least triggered - in the 13th century. Either way, the Little Ice Age caused famines, sparked witch hunts, altered wars, toppled dynasties, and may show us what lies ahead with climate change, according to Quartz.
  • Students around the world have gone on climate strikes. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, students in more than 100 countries have held massive school walkouts to protest climate inaction.

 

January 2019

 

December 2018

 

November 2018

 

October 2018

 

September 2018

 

August 2018

 

July 2018

 

June 2018

 

May 2018

 

April 2018

 

March 2018

 

February 2018

 

January 2018

 

Pre-2018

  • Glacier shrinkage, combined with melting of the polar ice caps, pose three main threats: raising sea levels; disrupting ocean current circulation and losing freshwater stores. The threat of the Greenland ice sheet slipping ever faster into the sea because of warmer summers was challenged in a scientific study.
  • What if William Wilberforce had said: "Could you just cut down a bit? Own one slave instead of two?"  Fair point, is the environment the biggest threat the world faces - in which case it's elected governments, not just individuals - who should be acting now - or do the less appetising aspects of our human nature - laziness, poor attention, indifference and prevarication - just mean that we can't prepare for a crisis in advance, but will just have to try and deal with it when it arrives? Do we really care that there might be a "perfect storm" in 2030?  Are we suffering from "perverse cosmic myopia" when it comes to the biggest problems - financial as as well as environmental -that we are facing?
  • An international wildlife study suggested that climate change and overharvesting are already causing species to dwindle.
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