In Brazil’s first-round election on October 7, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro outperformed what polls predicted to win 46% of the vote — less than 5 points short of an outright victory. His top rival, left-leaning Fernando Haddad, earned 29%. The two will face each other in an October 28 runoff.
For the period 2003-12, we found that the total amount of vegetation above the ground has increased by about 4 billion tonnes of carbon.
Deforestation in the tropics in South America, Southeast Asia and elsewhere “has been offset by recovering forests outside the tropics, and new growth in the drier savannas and shrublands of Africa and Australia.” Continue reading The Earth is getting greener→
The area of concern is 12 times the size of California. The Amazon overall takes up 25% of the global carbon cycle that vegetation is responsible for, so it’s a significant carbon sink. With further drying the Amazon could become a carbon source rather than a sink.
Causes are not clear, but it’s possible that rainfall patterns have moved further north with global warming.
In its formal response to the Reef 2050 long-term sustainability plan, which was drawn up by the Australian and Queensland governments, the Australian Academy of Science states the strategy is “inadequate to achieve the goal of restoring or even maintaining the diminished outstanding universal value of the reef.”
There is “no adequate recognition” in the 2050 plan of the importance of curbing greenhouse gases.
Professor Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and an academy fellow, said the plan was focused on the sustainable development of four “mega ports” adjacent to the reef, rather than conservation of the reef itself.
The Great Barrier Reef has lost around half its coral cover in the past 30 years. The question now is whether UNESCO will list the GBR as endangered.
3. Limiting global warming to 2°C is unlikely to save most coral reefs
In this recent post I mentioned that “preserving more than 10 per cent of coral reefs worldwide would require limiting warming to below +1.5°C (atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) range: 1.3–1.8°C) relative to pre-industrial levels”. Following the links, the paper by K. Frieler at al is here.
It annoys me that the dangers to reefs from temperature change and ocean acidification are almost never mentioned, even by greenies. Opposition pollies should be speaking up too! That paper has been around since 2011.
The government has cut almost half a billion dollars from research into carbon capture and storage – which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deems crucial for continued use of coal – despite the prime minister insisting coal is the “foundation of our prosperity”.
In the budget the government cut $459.3m over three years from its carbon capture and storage flagship program, leaving $191.7m to continue existing projects for the next seven years. The program had already been cut by the previous Labor government and much of the funding remained unallocated.
John Connor, the chief executive of the Climate Institute, said CCS “has to be one of the clean energy options available because all the modelling says that to avoid temperature rises of more than two degrees, we have to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere”.
Poland and a bunch of eastern Europe countries “have categorically rejected the target put forward by the world’s top climate scientists to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2100 to avoid dangerous global warming…”
You might recall that when Poland hosted the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in 2013 it was positively promoting coal.
The EU has not yet apportioned the effort between countries in planning to meet recently announced emissions reduction targets. The fun is about to begin!
Tesla is rolling out a solar supercharging network for electric vehicles throughout the world eventually. Soon they will make a beginning in Australia.
The superchargers provide half a full charge in as little as 20 minutes, and are usually located near amenities like roadside restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers. Usually they have between 4 and 10 stalls.
The $5 billion “giagfactory” to be built in Nevada will generate more than 100% of its electricity needs with wind and solar.
The big announcements keep coming from the energy storage sector, with news this week that US behind-the-meter startup, Stem, has been tapped to provide 85MW of distributed energy storage to households in the West Los Angeles Basin.
The deal, a multi-year agreement awarded to Stem by Southern California Edison (SCE), marks America’s largest distributed energy storage project to date, and the first time energy storage has competed with traditional energy sources like natural gas at this scale.
For its part of the deal, Stem will deploy its advanced, behind-the-meter energy storage technology at customer locations in the Western LA Basin to act as dispatchable capacity to enhance the local reliability of the region.
In other words, using the combination of storage and its proprietary software platform, Stem will allow customers to monitor and manage energy use, which in turn will provide additional capacity to SCE.
9. Billboard banned
You may have heard that Brisbane Airport banned a billboard suggesting to incoming G20 delegates that climate change should be on their agenda. Apparently the billboard was “too political”.
The billboard was based on the experience of South Australian grape grower David Bruer, a farmer from South Australia who lost $25,000 worth of grapes in one day when temperatures soared to 45°C last year.
1. When discussing extreme weather and climate, tornadoes should not be conflated with the other extreme weather events for which the connection is considerably more straightforward and better documented, including deluges, droughts, and heat waves.
2. Just because the tornado-warming link is more tenuous doesn’t mean that the subject of global warming should be avoided entirely when talking about tornadoes.
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.
Beware the collapse of the planet’s lungs
Amazon drought is consistent with what scientific models predict for a warmer globe.
Normally, rainforests function like great carbon sinks, absorbing a large proportion of the CO2 that human activity produces. But in 2005, thanks to deforestation, the Amazon became a net emitter of carbon dioxide. In that year, the rainforest is estimated to have emitted some 5 billion tonnes of CO2, almost as much as the entire output of the United States.