Study discovers why global warming will accelerate CO2 rise

Study discovers why global warming will accelerate CO2 rise

SOURCE: University of Reading DATE: November 28, 2017 SNIP: Global warming is likely to speed up as the Earth becomes increasingly more sensitive to atmospheric CO₂ concentrations, scientists from the University of Reading have warned. In a new study, published this week in the prestigious journal PNAS, the scientists explain that the influence of increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 on global warming will become more severe over time because the patterns of warming of the Earth’s surface will lead to reduced cloud cover in some sensitive regions and less heat being able to escape into space. The findings are supported by observations, suggesting that forecasts made by climate models evaluated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are...
What they don’t tell you about climate change

What they don’t tell you about climate change

SOURCE: The Economist DATE: November 16, 2017 SNIP: The Paris agreement assumes, in effect, that the world will find ways to suck CO2 out of the air. That is because, in any realistic scenario, emissions cannot be cut fast enough to keep the total stock of greenhouse gases sufficiently small to limit the rise in temperature successfully. But there is barely any public discussion of how to bring about the extra “negative emissions” needed to reduce the stock of CO2 (and even less about the more radical idea of lowering the temperature by blocking out sunlight). Unless that changes, the promise of limiting the harm of climate change is almost certain to be broken. Fully 101 of the 116 models the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change uses to chart what lies ahead assume that carbon will be taken out of the air in order for the world to have a good chance of meeting the 2°C target. The total amount of CO2 to be soaked up by 2100 could be a staggering 810bn tonnes, as much as the world’s economy produces in 20 years at today’s rate. Putting in place carbon-removal schemes of this magnitude would be an epic endeavour even if tried-and-tested techniques existed. They do not. [F]acing the shortcomings of Paris is beyond most governments. Under Mr Trump, America is not prepared to reduce the flow of emissions, let alone the stock. But the problem would not magically be solved even if America returned to the fold. Many rich countries say they are already doing their bit by cutting emissions more steeply than developing countries. In fact,...
Fossil fuel burning set to hit record high in 2017, scientists warn

Fossil fuel burning set to hit record high in 2017, scientists warn

SOURCE: The Global Carbon Project, The Guardian, Associated Press, Earth System Science Data (PDF) DATE: November 13, 2017 SNIP: The burning of fossil fuels around the world is set to hit a record high in 2017, climate scientists have warned, following three years of flat growth that raised hopes that a peak in global emissions had been reached. The expected jump in the carbon emissions that drive global warming is a “giant leap backwards for humankind”, according to some scientists. However, other experts said they were not alarmed, saying fluctuations in emissions are to be expected and that big polluters such as China are acting to cut emissions. Global emissions need to reach their peak by 2020 and then start falling quickly in order to have a realistic chance of keeping global warming below the 2C danger limit, according to leading scientists. Whether the anticipated increase in CO2 emissions in 2017 is just a blip that is followed by a falling trend, or is the start of a worrying upward trend, remains to be seen. Estimates for 2017 put it at about 40.8 billion tons (37 billion metric tons). Sixty years ago , the world spewed only 9.2 billion tons (8.3 billion metric tons). “It’s a bit staggering,” said co-author Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist, noting in an email that levels have increased fourfold since he was born in the 1950s. “We race headlong into the unknown.” The ability to monitor emissions quickly and accurately is of growing importance. The Paris agreement is based on voluntary cuts by nations, and without verification that pledges have been...
Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high

Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: October 30, 2017 SNIP: The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed last year to hit a level not seen for more than three million years, the UN has warned. The new report has raised alarm among scientists and prompted calls for nations to consider more drastic emissions reductions at the upcoming climate negotiations in Bonn. This acceleration occurred despite a slowdown – and perhaps even a plateauing – of emissions because El Niño intensified droughts and weakened the ability of vegetation to absorb carbon dioxide. As the planet warms, El Niños are expected to become more frequent. The increase of 3.3 ppm is considerably higher than both the 2.3 ppm rise of the previous 12 months and the average annual increase over the past decade of 2.08ppm. It is also well above the previous big El Niño year of 1998, when the rise was 2.7 ppm. The study, which uses monitoring ships, aircraft and stations on the land to track emissions trends since 1750, said carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now increasing 100 times faster than at the end of the last ice age due to population growth, intensive agriculture, deforestation and...
UN shipping climate talks ‘captured’ by industry lobbyists

UN shipping climate talks ‘captured’ by industry lobbyists

SOURCE: Climate Change News DATE: October 23, 2017 SNIP: The shipping industry has “captured” UN talks on a climate target for the sector, using its clout to delay and weaken emissions curbs. That is the conclusion of a report by business lobbying watchdog Influence Map on the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The study was released to coincide with a meeting of an IMO working group on greenhouse gases on Monday. Based on analysis of delegate lists, meeting submissions and outcomes, it finds business interests exert an uncommon degree of influence over decisions. This, campaigners warn, jeopardises the international climate goals adopted in Paris. “The research proves almost conclusively that the shipping industry has been lobbying aggressively in the UN against climate change regulations,” Ben Youriev, an author of the report, told Climate Home. “They have completely captured policymaking bodies at the IMO.” Shipping has a carbon footprint roughly the size of Germany. Without intervention, the IMO’s own research predicts that to grow 50-250% by 2050. The latest available data, published by the International Council on Clean Transportation last week, showed emissions increasing 2.4% between 2013 and 2015. Fuel efficiency improved for many ship classes over the period, but the gains were outweighed by increased...