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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Climate Change News for 28 Sep 2017


Right-wing media could not be more wrong about the 1.5°C carbon budget paper

Right-wing media could not be more wrong about the 1.5°C carbon budget paper


Last week, Nature Geoscience published a study suggesting that we have a bigger remaining carbon budget than previously thought to keep global warming below the 1.5°C aggressive Paris climate target. Many scientists quickly commented that the paper’s conclusion was based on some questionable assumptions, and this single study shouldn’t be blindly accepted as gospel truth.

Conservative media outlets did even worse than that. They took one part of the paper’s analysis out of context and grossly distorted its conclusions to advance their anti-climate agenda.

The study used the UK Met Office and Hadley Centre’s HadCRUT4 global temperature data set to conclude that so far we’ve warmed 0.93°C from the mid-1800s to 2015, compared to the Paris target of 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures. Several climate scientists immediately noted a problem here – HadCRUT4 excludes the Arctic region, which is the fastest-warming part of the planet. Hence it’s one of the least globally-representative temperature datasets. According to more globally-complete data sets like Berkeley Earth, the warming we’ve seen is closer to 1.1°C.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2fRAcVr

Source: The Guardian

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Climate change made Lucifer heatwave far more likely, scientists find

Climate change made Lucifer heatwave far more likely, scientists find


The scorching temperatures across Europe’s Mediterranean nations this summer were made at least 10 times more likely by climate change, according to scientists.

Furthermore, without action to tackle global warming, such summer heatwaves with temperatures soaring over 40C will become normal by 2050.

The new analysis by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) group also analysed the particular “Lucifer” heatwave which struck south-east France, Italy and Croatia in early August and found it was made at least four times more likely by human-caused climate change.

The Lucifer heatwave saw temperatures fail to drop below 30C for three days and nights in the hottest spots, and was linked to a 15% surge in emergency hospital admissions in Italy. Prolonged heat is known to be very dangerous to health and a severe heatwave in Europe in 2003 was linked to 75,000 deaths by subsequent analysis.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2fS8k3O

Source: The Guardian

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Climate Change: Ministers should be 'sued' over targets

Climate Change: Ministers should be sued over targets


Ministers should tighten the UK's official climate change target - or face the courts, the government's former chief scientist has said.

Prof Sir David King is supporting a legal case forcing ministers to shrink carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

He says the current government goal - an 80% emissions cut by the same date - is too weak to protect the climate.

Ministers have promised more ambitious climate policies in their forthcoming and long-delayed Clean Growth plan.

Full story at http://bbc.in/2fS7F25

Source: BBC News

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Hurricanes, Monsoons and the Human Rights of Climate Change: TEDWomen Chats with Mary Robinson


Two years ago, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson graced the TEDWomen stage with a moving talk about why climate change is not only a threat to our environment, but also a threat to the human rights of many poor and marginalized people around the world.

Mary is an incredible person who inspires me greatly. Besides being the first woman president of Ireland, she also served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002. She now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, is a member of the Elders, a former Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and a member of the Club of Madrid.

“I came to [be concerned about] climate change not as a scientist or an environmental lawyer,” she told the TEDWomen crowd in California. “It was because of the impact on people, and the impact on their rights — their rights to food and safe water, health, education and shelter.”

She told stories of the people she met in her work with the United Nations and later on in her foundation work. When explaining the challenges they faced, she said they kept repeating the same pervasive sentence: “Oh, but things are so much worse now, things are so much worse.” She came to realize that they were talking about the same phenomenon — climate shocks and changes in the weather that were threatening their crops, their livelihood and their survival.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2fouJF5

Source: Huffington Post

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Hurricanes, floods, heatwaves: this is what climate change looks like

Hurricanes, floods, heatwaves: this is what climate change looks like


Weather in San Francisco tends to be pretty mild all year. Because of the fog that comes from the Pacific Ocean, the average high temperature in the city is only 17ºC. However, in the first weekend of September, a record-breaking heatwave—with temperatures reaching 41ºC—made its way into the Bay Area. In the meantime, Los Angeles was facing the largest wildfire in the city’s history, which forced hundreds to evacuate. Wildfires are common in the region during summer, but climate change can make them burn hotter, longer and impact larger areas.

Across the Atlantic, it was not long before Europe was going through a massive heatwave as well. With temperatures exceeding 40ºC, that caused at least two people to die, the heatwave named Lucifer was the most intense since 2003, and had authorities from 11 different countries issue warnings to their tourists and residents.

Extreme weather events are hitting hard everywhere in the world and it’s a fact that they are being worsened by climate change. The path of destruction Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria left is making news worldwide, and it is proof that climate change often hits people in vulnerable situations the hardest. Low-income families and people of color are less likely to be able to evacuate due to lack of resources, and are prone to live in areas more susceptible to flooding.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2fouPMX

Source: Greenpeace

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As Humans Fumble Climate Challenge, Interest Grows In Geoengineering

As Humans Fumble Climate Challenge, Interest Grows In Geoengineering


Scholars of geoengineering have reported increasing interest in their work this month as humans seem increasingly unlikely to avert catastrophic global warming.

Governments, universities, think tanks and international bodies are turning to the idea of tinkering with the earth by making it absorb more carbon dioxide or reflect more sunlight into space, the scholars said.

"Even a decade ago this was largely in the realm of fantasy for many, but now there’s a lot of discussion of this in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, in various government research programs, et cetera," said Wil Burns, the co-executive director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment.

Harvard researcher David Keith said in an appearance at Carnegie-Mellon University this month that Janos Pasztor's interest in geoengineering "has really changed things." Pasztor was the chief advisor on climate to former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. He has entered the once-marginalized discussion of geoengineering—which Keith said "is in some ways like the adult as entered the room." Last year Pasztor became the founding director of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Project.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2fnrSfz

Source: Forbes

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These California Cities Just Sued Five Oil Companies Over Climate Impact

These California Cities Just Sued Five Oil Companies Over Climate Impact


Two California cities have separately sued five major oil companies over their contribution to global warming, and are seeking billions to pay for projects protecting the people and property in the Bay Area against rising seas.

“Global warming is here and it is harming San Francisco now,” the city explained in its lawsuitfiled in the Superior Court of San Francisco County on September 19. The lawsuit described local flooding in low-lying areas, eroding shores, and salt water impacts on water treatment systems as a few of the impacts linked to sea level rise. Oakland outlined identical repercussions in its parallel lawsuit filed this week in the Alameda County Superior Court.

Targeting the five largest investor-owned oil companies for their climate pollution — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell — the cities have demanded compensation to pay for expensive projects, such as building a sea wall, that climate experts and city planners have identified could help respond to current and future climate impacts.

The lawsuits do not specify a compensation amount, but updating San Francisco’s seawall alone to prepare for climate impacts could cost up to $5 billion.

Full story at http://bzfd.it/2w9vcl9

Source: BuzzFeed

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Climate Change Is Already Making People Sicker

Climate Change Is Already Making People Sicker


Climate change is a central issue at this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), with multiple high-level meetings on the issue happening amid several devastating natural disasters. Hurricane Irma recently swept through the Caribbean and into Florida, only to be quickly followed by Hurricane Maria.

“Climate change casts a long shadow over the development efforts of our country,” said Darren Henfield, the minster of foreign affairs of the Bahamas, during a UNGA meeting on Hurricane Irma. “The implications of rising sea levels and atmospheric temperatures signal dire consequences for low-lying island states like the Bahamas.” Henfield said that the costs of rebuilding after Irma will be “exorbitant, in the tens of millions,” and he estimates similar damage related to Hurricane Maria.

The impact of climate change on global health is also becoming increasingly clear. At the end of last week, the United Nations released a report showing that global hunger is on the rise; 38 million more people were affected in 2016 than in 2015. Climate change and the spread of violent conflicts are responsible, the report says. Other research has linked climate change to increased respiratory problems, poor nutrition, the spread of infectious disease and even anxiety.

Full story at http://ti.me/2wa2wIO

Source: Time

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