2017 ‘very likely’ in top three warmest years on record

2017 ‘very likely’ in top three warmest years on record

SOURCE: BBC DATE: November 6, 2017 SNIP: The year 2017 is “very likely” to be in the top three warmest years on record, according to provisional figures from the World Meteorological Organization. The WMO says it will likely be the hottest year in the absence of the El Niño phenomenon. The scientists argue that the long-term trend of warming driven by human activities continues unabated. They say many of the “extraordinary” weather events seen this year bear the hallmarks of climate change. While the new study only covers January to September, the WMO says the average global temperature was 1.1C above the pre-industrial figure. This is getting dangerously close to the 1.5 degrees threshold that many island states feel temperatures must be kept under to ensure their...
The World Is Heating Up Fast, The Question Is How Hot Will It Get?

The World Is Heating Up Fast, The Question Is How Hot Will It Get?

SOURCE: Forbes and Nature Climate Change DATE: July 31, 2017 SNIP: An analysis of earth’s climate system, including factors like oceans’ ability to absorb carbon and the behavior of fine particles in the atmosphere, concludes that even if we could reduce our emissions to zero overnight the planet would still heat up by two more degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. The study is published in Monday’s issue of Nature Climate Change. Lead author Thorsten Mauritsen from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology says that while the data shows two degrees increase is now baked in, it could easily be three degrees if current emissions levels continue for the next 15 years. The second new paper, also published in Nature Climate Change, gives an even more dire forecast for the coming century, reaching the conclusion that there is only about a five percent chance Earth’s climate will warm by 3.5 degrees (F) or less before the end of the century. This study, led by researchers at the University of Washington, looked at statistics tied to humans’ footprint such as population growth and links between carbon emissions and economic activity. “Our analysis shows that the goal of (3.5 degrees F) is very much a best-case scenario,” said lead author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and sociology. “It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80...
Study: our Paris carbon budget may be 40% smaller than thought

Study: our Paris carbon budget may be 40% smaller than thought

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: July 24, 2017 SNIP: In the Paris climate treaty, nearly every world country agreed to try and limit global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, and preferably closer to 1.5°C. But a new study published in Nature Climate Change notes that the agreement didn’t define when “pre-industrial” begins. According to the last IPCC report, to have a 50% chance of staying below the 2°C target, when accounting for non-carbon greenhouse gases, we have a remaining budget of about 300bn tons of carbon dioxide. But that was for 2°C warming above late-1800 temperatures. If we add another 0.1°C of pre-industrial warming, the study authors estimated that the budget shrinks by 60bn tons (20%), and if there was an additional 0.2°C pre-industrial warming, the 2°C carbon budget shrinks by...
Allowable ‘carbon budget’ most likely overestimated

Allowable ‘carbon budget’ most likely overestimated

SOURCE: Phys.org DATE: July 24, 2017 SNIP: “The IPCC research community uses a definition of preindustrial that is likely underestimating the warming that has already taken place,” said Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State. “That means we have less carbon to burn than we previously thought, if we are to avert the most dangerous changes in climate.” [The researchers] found that assuming the traditional late 19th-century baseline and using the highest future emissions scenario, by the middle of this century, the temperature rise will likely be about 4 degrees C (5 degrees F). With a moderate emissions scenario, the researchers found that keeping below 2 degrees C was still unlikely. Only the most aggressive scenario for reducing carbon emissions is likely to keep the temperature rise to 2 degrees C or...
Climate scientists may have been underestimating global warming, finds study

Climate scientists may have been underestimating global warming, finds study

SOURCE: The Independent DATE: July 24, 2017 SNIP: Preventing global warming from becoming “dangerous” may have just got significantly harder after new research suggested climate scientists have been using the wrong baseline temperature. The amount of global warming is often measured relative to the late 19th century even though this is about 100 years after the start of the industrial revolution, when humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels. Now an international team of scientists has suggested that the Earth’s true “pre-industrial” temperature could be up to 0.2 degrees Celsius cooler. One of the researchers, Professor Michael Mann, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had been using a definition of pre-industrial “that is likely underestimating the warming that has already taken place”. “That means we have less carbon to burn than we previously thought, if we are to avert the most dangerous changes in climate,” he...