Tag Archives: climate change impacts

Climate change is already making droughts worse

cottonwood trees
Dead cottonwood trees in the early morning light near Red Hill Marina on the south shore of the Salton Sea. Credit: Scott London/Alamy Live News

Dr Benjamin Cook is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

May 14, 2018 — Few areas of the world are completely immune to droughts and their often-devastating impacts on water resources, ecosystems and people. Continue reading Climate change is already making droughts worse

Hurricane season may be even worse in 2018 after a harrowing 2017

flooded homes
Flooded homes at Citrus Park in Bonita Springs, Florida on 16 September 2017, six days after Hurricane Irma. Photograph: Nicole Raucheisen/AP

The initial forecasts of an above-average season for hurricanes, beginning on 1 June, follow a punishing spate of storms last year

May 11, 2018 — The US may have to brace itself for another harrowing spate of hurricanes this year, with forecasts of an active 2018 season coming amid new research that shows powerful Atlantic storms are intensifying far more rapidly than they did 30 years ago. Continue reading Hurricane season may be even worse in 2018 after a harrowing 2017

Bonn climate talks: key outcomes from the May 2018 UN climate conference

bonn climate change conference
The Bonn climate change conference, 6 May 2018. Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

Over the past two weeks, more than 3,000 diplomats and observers have been in Bonn, Germany, to discuss how to bring the Paris Agreement on climate change to life when it enters force in 2020

May 11, 2018 — Each year, the Bonn “intersessional” falls midway between the annual conferences of parties (COPs), held in November or December, where ministers arrive to hammer out political disagreements. Continue reading Bonn climate talks: key outcomes from the May 2018 UN climate conference

Climate change aid to poor nations lags behind Paris pledges

rising sea levels
Rising sea levels – a direct effect of climate change through global human activity – affecting Eita village, in the Pacific Ocean republic of Kiribati. Photograph: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket/Getty Images

Donor nations’ 2020 target of $100bn annual fund for adapting economies falls short by near 50% says Oxfam

May 3, 2018 — Finance for poor countries to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and deal with climate change is lagging behind the promises of rich countries, an Oxfam report finds. Continue reading Climate change aid to poor nations lags behind Paris pledges

Climate sensitivity study suggests narrower range of potential outcomes

power plants
New calculation of greenhouse gases’ effect on temperature reduces range of possible outcomes by more than half, researchers say.
Photograph: Ryan Tong/EPA

Findings should not be seen as taking pressure off need to tackle climate change, authors warn

January 18, 2018 — Earth’s surface will almost certainly not warm up four or five degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a study which, if correct, voids worst-case UN climate change predictions. Continue reading Climate sensitivity study suggests narrower range of potential outcomes

Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Carbon-Storing Sea Grass

sea grass
Sea grass wafting in an underwater landscape. Credit: MorganLeeAlain/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

A new model predicts that as ocean temperatures rise, carbon-storing sea grass may disappear and even go extinct in some ecosystems

January 17, 2018 — Sea grasses are part of a team of coastal vegetation, including mangroves and salt marshes, that store up to 100 times more carbon than tropical forests at 12 times the speed. Vast prairies of sea grasses stretch for kilometers along the seafloor, storing enough carbon to rival the world’s forests. Continue reading Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Carbon-Storing Sea Grass

US unilateralism makes tacking climate change harder, WEF warns

donald trump
Donald Trump is accused of hampering the fight against global warming and ecological damage. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Donald Trump’s time in office has coincided with huge increase to all five eco risks surveyed

January 17, 2018 — The World Economic Forum delivered a strong warning about Donald Trump’s go-it-alone approach to tackling climate change as it highlighted the growing threat of environmental collapse in its annual assessment of the risks facing the international community. Continue reading US unilateralism makes tacking climate change harder, WEF warns

Could biodiversity destruction lead to a global tipping point

dodo skeleton
Summers Place Auctions sells first Dodo skeleton in a century for £346,300 Summers Place Auctions announces the sale of a 95% complete composite skeleton of a Dodo the first to come up for sale since the early 20th century. It was part of the fourth Evolution sale at Summers Place Auctions on Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 and the hammer went down at £280,000.
Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

We are destroying the world’s biodiversity. Yet debate has erupted over just what this means for the planet – and us

January 16, 2018 — Just over 250 million years ago, the planet suffered what may be described as its greatest holocaust: ninety-six percent of marine genera (plural of genus) and seventy percent of Continue reading Could biodiversity destruction lead to a global tipping point

Trump says US could ‘conceivably’ return to Paris climate deal

donald trump
US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the East Room of the White House January 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Trump’s comments will renew questions about whether he actually intends to withdraw or simply wants easier US emissions targets

WASHINGTON DC, USA (Jan. 10, 2018) — US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, January 10, that the United States could “conceivably” return to the Paris climate accord, although he stopped short of signaling any move in that direction. Continue reading Trump says US could ‘conceivably’ return to Paris climate deal

Learning From an Extreme El Niño

2015-2016 extreme el nino
The 2015-2016 extreme El Niño brought drought and fire to Indonesia. Smoke from extensive and uncontrollable forest fires blankets southern Borneo in October 2015. It spread westward causing severe haze over Singapore and Malaysia. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MISR instrument team

A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics describes new scientific insights on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation from analysis of the 2015-2016 extreme El Niño

January 10, 2018 — The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle is a periodic change in the ocean-atmosphere system of the tropical Pacific Ocean but which has knock-on effects on weather around
the world. In an article recently published in Reviews in Geophysics, Santoso et al. [2017] examined the 2015-2016 El Niño event which was particularly extreme. The editor asked one of the authors to explain the characteristics of that El Niño and what scientists learned from it. Continue reading Learning From an Extreme El Niño