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?
Quiggin says, yes we can.
I can’t comment on his blog, because the Askimet software has got me marked as a pest, and my comments go straight to spam. There is no facility for telling Askimet I’m OK, so there it is, I’m as good as banned. So I’ll make my comments here, which are in any case longer than is form for comments there.
I’d have to say I agree with Fran Bailey’s comment, the analysis seems entirely too optimistic. Continue reading Can we get to 350ppm?
Coal India, the largest coal mining company in the world, has announced it will close 37 mines because they are no longer economically viable. That’s around 9 per cent of the state-run firm’s mines.
The government has announced it will not build any more coal plants after 2022 and predicts renewables will generate 57 per cent of its power by 2027 – a pledge far outstripping its commitment in the Paris climate change agreement.
Continue reading Climate clippings 208
In August last year in Climate clippings 181 (Item 5) I linked to a report by Climate Analytics examining the impacts on Australia of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C and 2°C.
For me the crux of the report is this, from a discussion piece at The Conversation:
The report predicts that half of the world’s identified tipping points – such as the collapse of polar ice sheets and the drying out of the Amazon rainforest – would be crossed under 2C warming, compared with 20% of them at 1.5℃.
If we go to 2℃, we will have a very different climate and there is a good chance we won’t be able to stabilise there. The bad news is that if we just carry on we’ll reach 1.5C by 2024, and 2C by 2036. Continue reading Science shows the need for urgent climate action