These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.
They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.
Cancun’s beaches are washing away
Indeed they are.
Rising sea levels and a series of unusually powerful hurricanes have aggravated the folly of building a tourist destination atop shifting sand dunes on a narrow peninsula.
Two huge dredgers are being used to pump tons of sand from offshore sandbars.
Extreme drought hits the Amazon – again
Extreme drought has again hit the Amazon in 2010:
The 2005 drought was identified as a 1-in-100 year type event, was anomalous as did not occur in a El Nino year, hit South-Western Amazonia hardest (a different pattern to El Nino related droughts), and was associated with high Atlantic sea surface temperatures (not Pacific sea surface temperatures as in El Nino years).
Now in 2010 we have an even more severe drought, with the same anomalous pattern. While two such droughts don’t make a trend, they are consistent with some model projections made well before 2005. And here’s the rub:
We ought to remember that every ecosystem has it limits, a point of where they radically change. The open question is whether such a point is being reached in some parts of the Amazon.
Indonesia eyeing $1bn climate aid to cut down forests
An area in Indonesia nearly five times the size of England – could be converted to palm oil and biofuel production in the next 20 years, according to Greenpeace.
The “degraded” land targeted for “rehabilitation” includes 50% of the country’s orangutan habitat and 80% of its carbon-rich peatland.
The result, says the environmental group in a report released in Jakarta today, would be to massively expand Indonesia’s palm, paper and biofuel industries in the name of “rehabilitating” land, while at the same time allowing its powerful forestry industry to carry on business as usual and to collect international carbon funds.
There’s also trouble in Africa.
The next IPCC report will be dramatically worse
That’s what Ban-Ki Moon and other UN leaders will tell the assembled throng in Cancun.
“As preparations are underway for the next IPCC report, just about everything that you will see in the next report will be more dramatic than the last report, because that is where all the data is pointing.”
Trouble at sea – again
Particular hotspots include the Gulf of Mexico, off Namibia in the South Atlantic, in the Bay of Bengal, in the Baltic, the Black Sea, the tropical South Pacific, off China and south-eastern Australia.
It’s partly fertilizer run-off partly changes in ocean circulation from climate change. The worry is that by 2100 all the dead zones could join up.
Royal Society special issue details ‘hellish vision’ of 4°C world
And we could get there by 2060.
Is baseload power necessary?
Now here’s some good news. Baseload power may not be necessary.
David Mills, solar energy technology developer, has developed a new model for an energy system that does away with the conventional design of massive baseload infrastructure.
Republicans axe US climate change committee
US president Barack Obama’s Republican foes in the House of Representatives say they are disbanding the chamber’s committee on battling global warming, calling it a waste of money.
That’s definitely not good news.