1. Growing corals turn water more acidic
Scientists carefully monitored a coral reef in Bermuda for five years and what they found surprised them. According to the New Scientist, they
- discovered that the coral growth itself drove up this local acidity. To build their skeletons, it seems the corals sucked alkaline carbonate out of the water, leaving it more acidic.
- These corals didn’t seem to mind the fluctuations in local acidity that they created, which were much bigger than those we expect to see from climate change. This may mean that corals are well equipped to deal with the lower pH levels.
And it may not. Before we declare all previous science overturned and experiments which demonstrate the negative effects of increased acidity null and void, I suggest we note the results and wait.
The original article is here.
The NS article has a lovely photo:
2. Effects of El Niño around the globe
RN’s The World Today did a round up of the likely impacts of El Niño. The 97-98 El Niño dried up Indonesia, parts of the Philippines and elsewhere in SE Asia. It flooded Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina and Peru. California expects rain.
- Many other parts of the globe are bracing for similar extremes; India, Brazil, southern Africa and China can expect dry or even drought conditions, while those in other parts of the US can expect a nearly 200 per cent increase in their annual rainfall.
There’s more in the world than our little patch.
There’s more at Climate Code Red.
- Global warming also supercharged this El Niño to drive a record-breaking storm season, with 23 Category 4 and 5 storms in the Northern hemisphere, far above the old record of 18 set in 1997 and 2004.
As of the end of September, global temperature is sitting at 1.02°C above the 1850-1900 average, and is “expected to hold” for the rest of the year, according to the UK Met Office.
On this chart the year to September is marked with a cross in the top right-hand corner of the chart:
It looks like a spike, similar to what happened in 1998.
4. Grounds for optimism at Paris
Mike Steketee has an excellent round up of developments running into the Paris climate summit.
The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project report this year looks at 16 of the largest emitting countries and
- concludes that energy-related emissions for the 16 countries can be cut by 48-57 per cent below 2010 levels by 2050 despite population growth of 17 per cent and an increase in GDP of 250 per cent – an average of 3.1 per cent a year.
Steketee looks at the CSIRO’s Australian National Outlook report, which we looked at here.
Then the UK government announced this week that it would close all coal-fired power stations by 2025.
In conclusion he says:
- Paris will be a test of whether Australia is ready to get serious – as serious as other countries such as the UK, where its special representative on climate change, Sir David King argues that climate change poses a bigger threat than terrorism.
5. Paris attacks will change the Paris climate summit
Nick Rowley was working for Tony Blair when in 2005 the Gleneagles G8 meeting Blair was chairing was interrupted by the London bombing. At The Conversation he ponders how the Paris attacks could change the Paris climate summit.
Inevitably fewer people will attend and there will be less scope for protest. But the leaders themselves will spend some time on the attacks and are more likely than otherwise to seek to demonstrate their determination to act on climate.