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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Climate Change News for 4 Oct 2017

 

Al Gore: 'The rich have subverted all reason'

Al Gore: The rich have subverted all reason

 

In the ballroom of a conference centre in Denver, Colorado, 972 people from 42 countries have come together to talk about climate change. It is March 2017, six weeks since Trump’s inauguration; eight weeks before Trump will announce to the world that he is withdrawing America from the Paris Climate Agreement.

These are the early dark days of the new America and yet, in the conference centre, the crowd is upbeat. They’ve all paid out of their own pockets to travel to Denver. They have taken time off work. And they are here, in the presence of their master, Al Gore. Because Al Gore is to climate change… well, what Donald Trump is to climate change denial.

It’s 10 years since the reason for this, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth,was released into cinemas. It was an improbable project on almost every level: a film about what was then practically a non-subject, starring the man best known for not winning the 2000 US election, its beating heart and the engine of its narrative drive a PowerPoint presentation.

When the filmmakers approached him, he explains to the room, “I thought they were nuts. A movie of a slideshow, delivered by Al Gore, what doesn’t scream blockbuster about it?” Except it was a blockbuster. In documentary terms, anyway. The careful accretion of facts and figures genuinely shocked people. And it’s a measure of the impact it had, and still continues to have, that Gore delivers this vignette to a rapt crowd who, over the course of three days, are learning how to be “Climate Reality Leaders”.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2g4wjg9


Source: The Guardian


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Global warming doubles growth rates of Antarctic seabed's marine fauna – study

Global warming doubles growth rates of Antarctic seabeds marine fauna – study

 

Marine life on the Antarctic seabed is likely to be far more affected by global warming than previously thought, say scientists who have conducted the most sophisticated study to date of heating impacts in the species-rich environment.

Growth rates of some fauna doubled – including colonising moss animals and undersea worms – following a 1C increase in temperature, making them more dominant, pushing out other species and reducing overall levels of biodiversity, according to the study published on Thursday in Current Biology.

The researchers who conducted the nine-month experiment in the Bellingshuan Sea say this could have alarming implications for marine life across the globe as temperatures rise over the coming decades as a result of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Gail Ashton of the British Antarctic Survey and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center said she was not expecting such a significant difference. “The loss of biodiversity is very concerning. This is an indication of what may happen elsewhere with greater warning.”


Full story at http://bit.ly/2xU4M7A


Source: The Guardian


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Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

 

Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found.

And yet this does not include this past month's three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes. Putting it in perspective, $300 billion is enough money to provide free tuition for the 13.5 million U.S. students enrolled in public colleges and universities for four years.

In the coming decade, economic losses from extreme weather combined with the health costs of air pollution spiral upward to at least $360 billion annually, potentially crippling U.S. economic growth, according to this new report, The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States, published online Thursday by the Universal Ecological Fund.

“Burning fossil fuels comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford and not sustain," said Sir Robert Watson, coauthor and director at the U.K's Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.


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


Source: National Geographic


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Tropical forests used to protect us from climate change. Now, scientists say, they’re making it worse

Tropical forests used to protect us from climate change. Now, scientists say, they’re making it worse

 

A surprising scientific study released Thursday presents troubling news about the enormous forests of the planet’s tropical midsection — suggesting that they are releasing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere, rather than storing it in the trunks of trees and other vegetation.

The results, published in the journal Science, contradict prior work in suggesting that these forests — including the Amazon rain forest but also huge tropical forests in Indonesia, Congo and elsewhere — have become another net addition to the climate change problem. However, the accounting also implies that if the current losses could be reversed, the forests could also rapidly transform into a powerful climate change solution.

“The losses due to deforestation and degradation are actually emitting more CO2 to the atmosphere, compared with how much the existing forest is able to absorb,” said Alessandro Baccini, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Woods Hole Research Center. He conducted the study with fellow scientists from Woods Hole and Boston University.


Full story at http://wapo.st/2fWBcI0


Source: Washington Post


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Do more to help poor nations cope with climate change, IMF tells rich countries

Do more to help poor nations cope with climate change, IMF tells rich countries

 

The International Monetary Fund has told rich countries they must do more to help poor nations cope with climate change or suffer from the weaker global growth and higher migration flows that will inevitably result.

In a chapter released ahead of the publication of next month’s World Economic Outlook, the Washington-based IMF said low-income countries had contributed little to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and could not afford to tackle the problem from their own meagre resources.

“Rising temperatures would have vastly unequal effects across the world, with the brunt of adverse consequences borne by those who can least afford it,” the IMF said.

“The international community will have a key role to play in fostering and coordinating financial and other types of support for affected low-income countries. With advanced and emerging market economies contributing the lion’s share to the warming that has occurred so far and is projected to continue, helping low-income countries cope with its consequences is a humanitarian imperative and sound global economic policy.”


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


Source: The Guardian


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A 'geoengineering cocktail' is the latest last-ditch proposal to reverse climate change

A geoengineering cocktail is the latest last-ditch proposal to reverse climate change

 

Earth is warming, and much of the uptick on our planetary thermostat is caused by human activity. Though many leaders persist in denying this reality, intense natural disasters and accelerated extinction rates are canaries in the coal mine for anthropogenic climate change, among many other worrisome trends.

Ideally, the response to this clear threat to civilization would be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels, which is the major culprit behind human-driven climate change. That's why world leaders convened in Paris to hash out a gameplan for capping the rise in global mean temperature rise to 2°C above the preindustrial average. But President Donald Trump's recent decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, signed in 2016, underscores a growing demand for a "plan B" to confront climate change, in case nations fail to get their act together in time to prevent catastrophic temperature increases.

One controversial solution is climate geoengineering, the notion that we could halt or reverse the warming of Earth with technological intervention. These concepts have historically fallen into two camps: solar radiation management and greenhouse gas removal.

The solar approach aims to boost Earth's albedo, or reflectivity, by introducing reflective aerosols to the stratosphere (as one example). These compounds would bounce sunlight back into space, thereby cooling the planet, almost like an Earth-scale version of painting your roof white. Greenhouse gas removal, meanwhile, would focus on scrubbing warming gases, especially carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere using a range of techniques.


Full story at http://cnet.co/2wnGTVw


Source: https://www.cnet.com


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