On the weekend Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg gently reminded the Coalsheviks in the LNP Coalition that they should not be flirting with the idea of coal-fired power, because
we have to factor in a “carbon-constrained future”.
He warns that they may be investing in what will become ‘stranded assets’ before they wear out.
Why doesn’t he tell them like it really is? Tell them to look out the window.
The heatwave in Europe this year has been assessed as ‘five times’ more likely because of climate change. The northern summer’s heat is being recognised as the strongest climate signal yet. Wildfires have raced through neighborhoods in the western United States, Greece and as far north as the Arctic Circle. Drought is threatening food supplies: Continue reading NEG policy disaster won’t fly
In 1988 James Hansen gave his famous testimony to the US Senate. For the short story, go to Tamino. For the longer story, Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate, plus the commentary thread is best.
Hansen told the politicians that our production of greenhouse gases, principally CO2, N2O, CH4 and CFC, were warming the climate. He said temperatures would go up in the coming years: Continue reading Hansen got it right
A new study has found that Antarctic ice loss and sea level rise rates have tripled since 2012.
This assessment involves 84 scientists from more than 40 institutions, and combines data from 24 satellite surveys. It follows in the footsteps of the first IMBIE (Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise) conducted in 2012, and paints a particularly grim picture of the years between then and 2017. Continue reading Antarctic ice loss rates have tripled since 2012
1. Climate as an existential threat
Last September I half-finished a post on this topic, with a paper by David Spratt and Ian Dunlop as the centre-piece. Their 28-page report on the state of climate science, action and politics entitled What lies beneath? The scientific understatement of climate risks is introduced as a post at Climate Code Red, but I suggest you go directly to the paper itself. Read any part of it, and I can promise you will be alarmed. Continue reading Climate clippings 223
1. Warming could soon exceed 1.5°C
The UK Met Office has warned that temperatures could break through the 1.5°C threshold within five years.
The 1.5C threshold was set at Paris as an ambitious target because scientists fear that a world warmer than that would be susceptible to ever wilder climactic events that in turn would precipitate greater drought, habitat loss, food insecurity and mass migration.
The UN Environment Program in its annual emissions gap report, published last October, said government commitments were only a third of what was needed. Continue reading Climate clippings 222
a 2015 study found there is no techno-fix to prevent a catastrophic collapse of ocean life for centuries if not millennia if we continue current CO2 emissions trends through 2050.
A study published in May 2017 tells us that oxygen is depleting in the oceans two or three times faster than expected.
From Think Progress:
by combining oxygen loss with ever-worsening ocean warming and acidification, humans are re-creating the conditions that led to the worst-ever extinction, which killed over 90 percent of marine life 252 million years ago.
Continue reading Oceans heading for mass extinction
Back in 2003 a heatwave centred in France killed over 70,000 people. Another which struck Moscow in 2010 killed 10,000. During the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria 173 people tragically lost their lives from the fire. However, health authorities believe Victoria’s record-breaking heatwave may have contributed to the deaths of about another 374 people with the state’s death toll 62% higher than at same time in the previous year.
The elderly were worst affected, but the very young and those in frail health are also typically affected in events like this. Continue reading Sizzling summers presage a global future
This is the first of several posts which will show that climate change is becoming a real and present danger.
Climate Central has a graph showing the hottest 10 years on the record: Continue reading The heat is on!
Patrick Brown of Stanford University in California, working with Ken Caldeira, has found that the planet will warm 10 to 20 per cent more than previously thought. Here is the critical graph from their research:
Continue reading Is the earth toast?
James Hansen said in his book Storms for my Grandchildren that if we burnt all the available coal, tars, and oil then the ‘Venus Syndrome’ would be a dead certainty, extinguishing life as we know it on the planet. He has now thought further and says that is not going to happen, the time-scales make it impossible. It would take 100 million years to get enough carbon into the atmosphere, and by that time much of it would be back on the sea floor.
However we are on a path to make living at low latitudes impossible, plus more than half the major cities in the world cling to the coastline and are subject to sea level rise. The world, he says, would become ungovernable.
How likely is this? The short answer is that we appear to be on a path to achieve an ungovernable world within a century. Continue reading Climate change: the end of civilisation as we know it
Not well at all, according to the scientists. Actually it is a travesty of language to call Abbott’s position “science”. In this piece I’ll highlight the kind of thinking that unfortunately cannot be dismissed as an Abbott aberration, but has the Turnbull government in it’s thrall. Let’s start with David Rowe’s amazing cartoon from the AFR:
Continue reading Abbott’s ‘Daring to doubt’ – how does the science stand up?