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...
Hot dogs: rising heat makes it too hot for Africa’s wild dogs to hunt

Hot dogs: rising heat makes it too hot for Africa’s wild dogs to hunt

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: July 20, 2017 SNIP: Rising temperatures are making it too hot for African wild dogs to hunt and the number of their pups that survive is plummeting, according to a new study. The research is among the first to show a direct impact of increased heat on wildlife that appears well adapted to high temperatures. “When people think about climate change affecting wildlife, they mostly think about polar bears,” said Prof Rosie Woodroffe, at the Zoological Society of London and who led the new research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology. “But wild dogs are adapted to the heat – surely they’d be fine? So it is shocking and surprising that even right on the equator these effects are being seen. It illustrates the global impact of climate change.” African wild dogs need large hunting ranges to survive, about 800 km squared for the average pack of nine, equivalent to the area of New York City. But the projected rises in maximum daily temperatures due to global warming are ominous, said Woodroffe: “It’s really scary. It is possible that some of these big areas will become too hot for wild dogs to...
Svalbard above freezing? ‘Shocking’ temps have huge consequences

Svalbard above freezing? ‘Shocking’ temps have huge consequences

SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor DATE: November 26, 2016 SNIP: The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard has seen such extreme warmth this year that the average annual temperature could end up above freezing for the first time on record, scientists said Friday. Ketil Isaksen of the Norwegian Meterological Institute said that the average temperature in Longyearbyen, the main settlement in Svalbard, is expected to be around 0 Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) with a little over a month left of the year. “This is a little bit shocking,” Dr. Isaksen said. “If you had asked me five or 10 years ago, I could not have imagined such numbers in...