Tag Archives: weather disaster

California, battered by global warming’s weather whiplash, is fighting to stop it

jerry brown
California Gov. Jerry Brown holds a chart showing statewide average precipitation as he speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hit by record droughts and rainfall and wildfires, California leads the way in tackling global warming

May 14, 2018 — In 1988 – the same year Nasa’s James Hansen warned Congress about the threats posed by human-caused global warming – water expert Peter Gleick wrote about the wet and dry extremes that it would create for California: Continue reading California, battered by global warming’s weather whiplash, is fighting to stop it

11 ways the Paris climate deal is working in the real world

barcelona's superblocks
Not a car in sight. Barcelona’s superblocks have created a car free space in the city centre, now other cities are copying the idea (Photo: JasonParis/Flickr)

As climate talks stall, it’s clear the UN process is no longer the major driving force of the climate transition. But does that matter?

May 15, 2018 — Like an old car that has gone as far as it can go, UN climate talks in Bonn last week stuttered, spluttered and stalled. Continue reading 11 ways the Paris climate deal is working in the real world

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

Donald Trump is hampering fight against climate change, WEF warns

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

World Economic Forum outlines huge increase in all five eco risks since the US president assumed office

January 18, 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 Donald Trump is hampering fight against climate change, WEF warns

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

2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost

global temperature map
Global temperature map, January to December 2017. Photograph: NOAA

Data shows the year was also one of the hottest three ever recorded, with scientists warning that the ‘climate tide is rising fast’

January 18, 2018 — 2017 was the hottest year since global records began that was not given an additional boost by the natural climate cycle El Niño, according to new data. Even without an El Niño, the year was still exceptionally hot, being one of the top three ever recorded. Continue reading 2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost

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

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

International dismay at Germany’s 2020 climate target lapse

angela merkel
Angela Merkel (Pic: European People’s Party/Flickr)

Reports Berlin will abandon its ambitious carbon-cutting goal with two years to go are “disheartening” and “problematic”, say observers

January 10, 2018 — Germany’s reputation as a green leader is slipping, after reports this week the putative government will give up on meeting its 2020 emissions target. Continue reading International dismay at Germany’s 2020 climate target lapse