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97 out of 100 climate scientists agree: Humans are responsible for warming

97 out of 100 climate scientists agree: Humans are responsible for warming | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Say it again: Another exhaustive study confirms that there's virtually no disagreement among climate scientists about the cause of climate change.

An international team of scientists analyzed the abstracts of 11,944 peer-reviewed papers published between 1991 and 2011 dealing with climate change and global warming. That’s right — we’re talking about 20 years of papers, many published long before Superstorm Sandy, last year’s epic Greenland melt, or Australia’s “angry summer.”

About two-thirds of the authors of those studies refrained from stating in their abstracts whether human activity was responsible for climate change. But in those papers where a position on the claim was staked out, 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are, indeed, cooking the planet.

The scientists involved with the new study also asked the authors of the peer-reviewed papers for their personal reflections on the causes of global warming. A little more than one-third expressed no opinion. Of those who did share a view, 97.2 percent endorsed the consensus that humans are to blame. Out of the 1,189 authors who responded to the survey, just 39 rejected the idea that humans are causing global warming.

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Everything you need to know about climate change - interactive ("climate change 101; push the buttons")

Everything you need to know about climate change - interactive ("climate change 101; push the buttons") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Our one-stop guide to the facts of global warming, from the science and politics to economics and technology

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Click on the small hexagons to see the questions and answers.

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How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning ("from vulnerable to resilient")

How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning ("from vulnerable to resilient") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Cities must adopt resilient strategies to deal with climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its findings on the implications of climate change for cities: “Urban centers account for more than half of the world’s population, most of its economic activity and the majority of energy-related emissions. The role of cities in reducing emissions and protecting their inhabitants is therefore central to effective climate policies,” IPCC concluded.

Many emerging climate change risks are concentrated in urban areas, and climate change impacts on cities are increasing, IPCC continued. Key issues include rising temperatures, heat stress, water security and pollution, sea-level rise and storm surges, extreme weather events, heavy rainfall and strong winds, inland flooding, food security, and ocean acidification.

Due to the growth in urban populations, the number of people exposed to climate change risk is increasing: “Rapid urbanization in low- and middle income countries has already increased the number of highly vulnerable urban communities living in informal settlements, many of which are at high risk from extreme weather events.”

On the flip side, rapidly developing cities in industrializing countries may also have the “greatest potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.” The problem is that many rapidly developing cities “lack the financial, technological, institutional and governance capacity required for effective mitigation,” IPCC said. That’s where the notion of resilience comes in big time, because “steps that build resilience and enable sustainable development in urban areas can accelerate successful climate change adaptation globally.” Resilient cities may be the solution. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

A new team of city planners, architects, engineers, doctors, agriculturists, etc. needed to retool cities for resiliency.

"It’s no longer a matter of picking and choosing what piece of crumbling infrastructure to repair with scarce funds this year or next — the entire urban organism has to deal with rising waters, super storms, health and food security, air and surface pollution, and increasing numbers of residents.

"The stakes are even higher as populations worldwide increasingly cluster around urban areas. “The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history,” says the United Nations Population Fund. In 2008, for the first time, more than half of the world’s population lived in towns and cities."

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Tiny Spanish Island Nears Its Goal: 100 Percent Renewable Energy ("wind and water combination = 24/7")

El Hierro, the most remote of Spain's Canary Islands, used to import thousands of tons of diesel each year. Now a new power plant will let the island run entirely on renewable energy.

The plant consists of five big industrial windmills and two lakes. On windy days — and there are plenty — the windmills harness the Canary Islands' Atlantic gusts. When production exceeds demand, such as at night, excess energy is used to pump water from a sea-level lake up into a natural volcanic crater half a mile uphill.

When the wind dies down, the water is released down through a pipe connecting the two lakes. On its way, it passes through turbines, which generate hydro-power.

Everything is connected with sensors so that within five seconds of the wind dying down, the hydro portion of the plant kicks in. For island residents, the lights don't even flicker.

The technology used in both the wind and water portions of the plant is simple, but El Hierro is the first to combine the two components, says Juan Manuel Quintero, an engineer who serves on the board of the Gorona del Viento plant.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A lot of common sense used for this formula, but no rocket science.

"The wind machines, we basically ordered out of catalog; we didn't invent the technology. Same with the water turbines," Quintero says. "The innovation we made is hooking up the two systems together."

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Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country ("check out the flood scenario in your country")

Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country ("check out the flood scenario in your country") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A new analysis of sea levels and flood risk around the world offers more evidence that the brunt of climate change will not be borne equally.

These figures are the result of a new analysis of sea levels and flood risk around the world, conducted by Climate Central and based on more detailed sea-level data than has previously been available. The analysis offers country-by-country estimates for populations at risk of regular flooding, accounting for a range of potential emissions reductions and for variations of sea level sensitivity to climate change.

Globally, eight of the 10 large countries most at risk are in Asia. The Netherlands would be the most exposed, with more than 40 percent of its country at risk, but it also has the world’s most advanced levee system, which means in practice its risk is much lower.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Flooding as a worldwide disaster.

"Climate Central, a news organization and research group, has released the new analysis as the United Nations gathers this week for a summit on climate change. Climate scientists expect flooding to increase as global warming melts snow and ice and expands the volume of oceans. The analysis defines regular flooding as a flood at least once every three years."

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Judit Urquijo's curator insight, September 25, 2:04 PM

El pasado 24/09/2014, el diario El País publicaba un artículo sobre esta misma cuestión, centrando su análisis en las consecuencias que el cambio climático tendrá sobre España.


Basándose en un estudio elaborado por el Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental de Cantabria, en el caso de que no se acometan medidas drásticas tendentes orientadas a frenar o aminorar el cambio climático, el mar crecerá en la Península entre 60 y 72 cm. Aún si se adoptan acciones para paliar los efectos, el aumento va a ser irremediable, solo que el mismo se limitará a unos 40 cm.


Asimismo, se estima que los peores efectos los sufrirán los deltas del Ebro, Guadalquivir y Guadiana.


Enlace para leer la noticias de El País: http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2014/09/24/actualidad/1411585542_946724.html


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Coal Divestment and Alternate Fuels and Impacts | The Energy Collective ("urgent call to phase out")

Coal Divestment and Alternate Fuels and Impacts | The Energy Collective ("urgent call to phase out") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Recently, the high powered Global Commission on the Climate and Economy released its flagship report on global coal use and the economy: The New Climate Economy. The report pulls no punches when it comes to coal, including a call for a global coal phaseout.

The report pulls no punches when it comes to coal, including a call for a global coal phaseout involving an immediate end to investments in new unabated coal-fired power plants globally and the retirement of existing unabated coal-fired power plants in high income countries. 
Perhaps most importantly, the report calls for governments to shift the "burden of proof" away from assuming that coal is the only solution to the world's growing energy demands and instead takes into consideration the devastating social, environmental and economic costs of coal. 
In short, the Commission is demanding public policymakers move beyond coal. 

In addition to calling on high income countries to stop building new, unabated coal-fired power plants immediately and accelerate the retirement of their existing plants, the report also calls on middle income countries to limit new coal-fired power plants and begin retiring their existing fleet by 2025. Ultimately, the Commission is seeking a global phase-out of unabated fossil fuel power generation by 2050. 
And it's pretty clear why: in addition to driving dangerous climate disruption, these coal plants are having enormous effects on human health. In fact, recent reports estimate up to 100,000 people in India and 250,000 people in China die each year as a result of coal pollution. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The big guns are speaking against coal! Time to move on.


"With this cost to human life in mind, along with instability in the international coal markets and the looming threat of climate disaster, the Commission has come out with a series of recommendations to move away from coal while simultaneously supporting strong economic growth and promoting energy access for developing countries."

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Climate change is turning my sport upside down ("vanishing ice turning snow skiing an obsolete sport")

Climate change is turning my sport upside down ("vanishing ice turning snow skiing an obsolete sport") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

Freestyle skier and devoted WWF supporter, Luke McCarthy got in touch with me back in 2013 with a simple but urgent question: “I’m worried about the future of my sport. How can I help you to spread the word about climate change?”

Today, he’s channeling his energy, enthusiasm and talent into creating a film about the impacts of global warming on snow sport. This is his story…

The mountains have been a huge part of my life since learning to ski at the age of five. My love for the sport has taken me down many different routes, firstly as an international ski racer and more recently as a sponsored freestyle skier. One thing that has never changed over my many years as a skier is my love for the mountains and a passion for everyone to be able to enjoy them in all their glory. This is a passion that is under threat by ever rising global temperatures.

Skiing to me is not just a sport. It is a lifestyle – and one worth fighting to protect. Having spent much time emphasising the importance of global warming to my peers and the effects it is having on the mountains, I feel I must act. So I’m going to be using what I do best – freestyle skiing tricks – to create a film that can help reach out to the UK’s 1 million skiers about the threat of climate change.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Even skiing in the snow can become an obsolete sport because of global warming. This freestyle skier has seen the transformation of the climate and is now an advocate for climate action.

"Luke is currently editing his film for release in the autumn. Luke is a keen supporter of our ‘For the love of’ campaign which is urging politicians to take immediate action on climate change in the name of all the things we hold dear."

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Stronger Local and Trans-border Policies Needed to Tackle Air Pollution

Stronger Local and Trans-border Policies Needed to Tackle Air Pollution | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Tougher treaties that penalize polluters while also providing incentives to stop, as well as new tech solutions, are vital for improving global air quality.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently sounded the alarm about global air quality. In the 1,600 cities it monitors, only 12 percent of people breathe air that falls within its quality guidelines. In February of this year, the concentration of pollutants in the air in Beijing and Shanghai was more than 20 times WHO limits. But Delhi was the city found to have the world’s highest annual average concentration of PM2.5 – fine particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 microns, and considered the most harmful form of air pollution to human health, the WHO reported in May.

These are just the statistics we know about: The WHO recently told the Guardian some of the worst cities for air pollution “are not collecting data regularly.”

The good news is that the policies and technologies that are needed to address the two main causes of all this air pollution – heavy industry and vehicles – have been tried and tested for decades now. “Effective policies restrict the amount [of pollutants] that various polluters can emit, and then companies have options about how they choose to do it,” says Deborah Seligsohn, an environmental policy analyst specializing in China and India, based at the University of California, San Diego.

Tom Morton, director of ClimateCare, makes the point that “companies that wish to take action to improve air quality should seriously consider offsetting their carbon emissions through innovative climate and development projects, which make a measurable and immediate difference on the ground, improving air quality and saving lives.” Such projects, he says, can help to dramatically reduce air pollution at a local, household level – as in the case of ClimateCare’s Clean Cookstoves initiative, which aims to reduce the 2 million deaths caused each year by household air pollution from inefficient coal and biomass stoves.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In the 1,600 cities it monitors, only 12 percent of people breathe air that falls within its quality guidelines.

"Part of the problem with air is that we don’t see it. We breathe over 20,000 times a day, on average, but pay little attention to the steady rise and fall of our lungs – unless we are struggling to inhale, of course.

"More research is needed into the economic impacts of poor air quality on health and productivity. Meanwhile, policy-makers need to pre-empt incidents of smog, not just react to them."

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OUR OPINION: Cellulosic ethanol production holds promise for nation ("turning agri waste into fuel")

OUR OPINION: Cellulosic ethanol production holds promise for nation ("turning agri waste into fuel") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
In a ceremony fit for a king (King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was in fact, in attendance, joining city and state dignitaries), leaders of Poet, a South Dakota-based ethanol company,

The plant will produce 25 million gallons of ethanol each year from corn plant residue left in the field such as cobs, leaves, stalks and husk.

For the industry, this state and, indeed, the nation, cellulosic ethanol production represents a significant, if not historic advancement and holds substantial future promise.

"This is the very tip of the iceberg," Jeff Broin, Poet founder and chairman, said in Emmetsburg. "What we see today is a symbol of what can be accomplished through the miracle of nature, the work of the farmer and the power of human ingenuity."

The reality of cellulosic ethanol production - in the face, we might add, of skeptics like Patrick Kelly, a policy advisor at the ethanol-foe American Petroleum Institute, who called cellulosic ethanol a “phantom fuel” - provides more evidence of the need for continued federal support (including no reduction in the Renewable Fuel Standard) of what remains a young industry undergoing groundbreaking change through science. To, in effect, pull the rug from under ethanol and its potential at this key moment in its evolution not only would devastate the industry and corn states such as Iowa, but would be short-sighted and counterproductive with respect to national priorities like reduced greenhouse gas emissions and energy independence.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Without competing for food produce as feedstock, new ethanol technology goes a long way in clean energy and waste management.

"This is the very tip of the iceberg," Jeff Broin, Poet founder and chairman, said in Emmetsburg. "What we see today is a symbol of what can be accomplished through the miracle of nature, the work of the farmer and the power of human ingenuity."

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Global Warming Threatens Organic Coffee ("from coconuts to coffee, fungi infests plants worldwide")

Global Warming Threatens Organic Coffee ("from coconuts to coffee, fungi infests plants worldwide") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Global warming has created the worst outbreak of leaf-rust fungus in 30 years for organic

Farmers can use chemicals to kill the fungus, though they risk losing their organic certification if they do.

Humid conditions and erratic weather for the past two years in Chiapas, Mexico, have allowed the fungus spores to spread much faster than in the past, according to Ruben Bernabe of the Chiapas Federation of Ecologic Indigenous Coffee Producers. The fungus is expected to reduce the crop — both organic and non-organic — by 23 percent this year from 2013, according to local government data.

In Guatemala, the fungus used to only be a threat to coffee plants grown below 3,000 feet. Now the fungus is hitting crops as high as 6,000 feet.

In Colombia, leaf rust devastated crops from 2009 to 2012, which sent prices for the beans to a 14-year high in 2011.

The disease, first found in Latin America in the 1970s, is caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, which disrupts photosynthesis and prevents beans from reaching full maturity.

According to Steve Savage, a plant pathology consultant in Encinitas, Calif., farmers can kill the fungus by using a copper-based fungicide. However, the fungicide can wash off the plants in wet weather, requiring the workers to apply it every few days. This increases the amount that runs off into streams, which can endanger wildlife, and potentially poison soil.

In 2012, researchers at Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and scientists in Ethiopia warned that wild Arabica coffee could be extinct in 70 years due to rising temperatures as a result of climate change.

Bert Guevara's insight:

We may end up drinking chemically-laced coffee from our brewer.

"Global warming has created the worst outbreak of leaf-rust fungus in 30 years for organic coffee growers throughout Mexico, Central America and parts of South America, according to Bloomberg.

"Farmers can use chemicals to kill the fungus, though they risk losing their organic certification if they do. ...

"According to a report last year from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming is “unequivocal” and each of the last three decades has been warmer at the Earth’s surface than any previous decade since 1850."

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Clean coal key to combating climate change: Rio Tinto ("self-justification? - is there such a thing")

Clean coal key to combating climate change: Rio Tinto ("self-justification? - is there such a thing") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Mining giant Rio Tinto said Tuesday clean coal was key to tackling climate change and that developing the technology was a challenge greater than the first moon landing.

"The challenge now faced by the whole world is far more urgent and important," Kenyon-Slaney said.

"But it can be solved by the same methodical, determined process. The world has no choice."

Kenyon-Slaney's remarks came ahead of a World Meteorological Organization report released Tuesday that showed global concentrations of CO2, the main culprit in global warming, soaring to a new high in 2013.

The energy boss, who described emissions-driven climate change as "among the world's biggest and most pressing" problems, said he supported the development of all power-generating technologies including renewables.

But he said the abundance of coal meant it would remain the world's main source of "large-scale, reliable, affordable energy".

Advancing research and development in carbon capture storage, known as CCS, to make it commercially viable should therefore be a key goal for governments and businesses, Kenyon-Slaney said.

"(The technologies) can all help to combat climate change but breakthroughs in low-emissions coal generation will be fundamental. They could break the back of this problem," he said.

While CCS has been hailed as a solution to make fossil fuels cleaner, the technology has at this stage been too risky, costly and energy inefficient in its own right.

The technology involves trapping CO2 emissions from power plants and other large sources, liquefying them and storing them deep underground.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The coal industry wants to justify its continued use by saying that we have no choice!

Is there such a thing as "clean coal"? Isn't there another energy plan that does not emit as much carbon as coal?


"But it can be solved by the same methodical, determined process. The world has no choice." (Rio Tinto energy chief Harry Kenyon-Slaney)

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'PH can rely on renewable energy as stable power source' ("reliable and politically immuned source")

'PH can rely on renewable energy as stable power source' ("reliable and politically immuned source") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Petilla says the Philippines can rely on renewable energy in the face of fluctuating global oil prices and threats to energy security

With fluctuating fuel prices in the global market, the Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing for renewable energy (RE) to make up a significant portion of the Philippines' energy mix.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the Philippines can rely on RE for a stable source of energy whenever oil prices go up or if there is a shortage in supply in the global market.

“Because RE is indigenous, which means it is locally available, we can depend on it for energy security even if there are political issues such as war in other countries," Petilla added.

Aside from providing a secure energy source, Petilla also cited its benefit to the environment.

“In addition to contributing to our energy sources which ultimately translates to energy security, utilizing RE is needed for environmental reasons. Since it is clean energy, harnessing RE can cushion the effects of climate change,” Petilla said.

The Philippine is harnessing 30% of RE in its energy mix, which is currently dominated by coal and diesel. The country also imports 90% of its fuel needs.

Petilla acknowledged that the infrastructure needed to utilize RE is expensive, but he added that the benefits – especially to private citizens – outweigh the costs.

"The equipment only entails one-time cost, not repeated costs. Also, private citizens can actually benefit more for own-use of RE such as solar, wind and biomass in self-generation of electricity for their own use,” he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

As long as we are importing 90%+ of our fuel, we cannot be stable in our energy, specially now that global politics is shakey. Renewable energy is key to our long-term stability.

"While the cost of electricity from a coal plant can amount to P12.00 per kilowatt hour (kWh), including costs for distribution and transmission, using solar panels can run to about P9.00 per kWh for generation, with no costs for distribution or transmission."

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With falling costs, renewable energy transforms world ("economic sense can change political decisions")

With falling costs, renewable energy transforms world ("economic sense can change political decisions") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Renewable energy can cut 7m annual deaths due to air pollution

Apart from offering environmental and health benefits, renewable energy with its decreasing costs has started playing a larger positive role in socio-economic sectors. Renewable energy provides energy access to millions of people living in energy poverty, creates millions of jobs every year, and contributes significantly to the national income of many countries, they said.

“Today, renewable energy outcompetes coal in South Africa and shale gas in the world market. They [renewable energy sources] are overwhelmingly cheaper than any other energy source,” Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, said.

Renewables have become the economic choice of even some oil-exporting countries. “Here in the UAE solar PV [photovoltaic] cost was

$5 (Dh18.36) per watt in 2008; but today it costs less than $1.5 per watt,” Al Jaber said.

He said renewable energy makes good economic sense now.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The SHIFT to renewable energy now makes economic sense. So what are we waiting for?

"The emissions from solar, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric and geothermal sources of energy are, across their lifetime, 10 to 120 times less g than the cleanest fossil fuel (natural gas) and up to 250 times lower than coal.

"About the falling costs, he said solar photovoltaic costs alone fell by two-thirds between the end of 2009 and 2013: a speed of change comparable to that seen in the IT revolution. In Denmark, wind recently became the cheapest energy source of all, beating out even coal. In Germany, almost half of all renewable generation is now owned by households and farmers, marking a profound shift in control, Ameen said."

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The World Is Falling Behind In Its Goal Of Limiting Warming To 2°C, Report Finds ("not serious enough")

The World Is Falling Behind In Its Goal Of Limiting Warming To 2°C, Report Finds ("not serious enough") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
So far, progress toward keeping global warming to 2°C has been slow.

Meeting a goal of limiting warming to 2°C is becoming increasingly difficult as the world falls behind in implementing needed carbon reduction policies, according to a new report.

 The sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index, published by PwC, examined what progress different countries have made in reducing carbon intensity, or the ratio of emissions produced to GDP. Overall, the report found, progress toward keeping global warming to 2°C has been slow.

“While all governments at the UNFCCC reiterate the goal of limiting warming to 2°C, implementation has fallen short of this goal,” the report reads. “Current total annual energy-related emissions are just over 30 GtCO2 and still rising, a carbon ‘burn rate’ that would deplete the carbon budget for the entire century within the next 20 years.”

The report found that, if countries want to get on track in lowering their emissions toward a 2°C goal, the world needs to cut its carbon intensity by 6.2 percent each year from now until 2100 — more than five times the current rate for the global economy. That rate would also be “double the decarbonisation rate achieved in the UK during the rapid shift to gas-fired electricity generation in the nineties,” the report notes.


Bert Guevara's insight:

The planet's report card is failing!

“Overall, to stay within the global carbon budget, annual energy-related emissions by the G20 bloc need to fall by one-third by 2030 and just over half by 2050,” the report states. “Much of the debate in climate negotiations has centred on responsibility and how to share the burden between developed and developing countries, as defined in 1992 in the UNFCCC. Regardless of how the carbon budget is split, it is clear that both developed and emerging economies face the challenge of growing their economies whilst radically curbing emissions.”

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Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come ("1 mt sea level rise by 2100?")

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come ("1 mt sea level rise by 2100?") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A study of 120 ice sheet collapses shows that 68% went from initial change to maximum retreat within 400 years - and that once triggered, the process and the associated sea level rise kept accelerating for hundreds of years. We may face a 1m sea level rise by 2100, writes Eelco Rohling - and much more in centuries to come.

Ice sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them.

But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into the ocean the process takes centuries to reverse. Ice sheets are nature's freight trains: tough to start moving, even harder to stop.

The drivers of longer-term sea level rise, over decades or centuries, are the continental ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

On the fringes of these ice sheets are 'ice shelves' stretching far out into the ocean. Ice shelves can be hundreds of meters thick and, because 90% of ice in water floats below the surface, they remain 'grounded' on the sea floor as long as the sea is less deep than 90% of the ice shelf thickness.

Where the sea floor is deeper or the ice shelf gets thinner, there will be an area of floating land ice; here, warming ocean water can get underneath and melt the ice. Once sufficiently destabilised, an ice shelf can break up catastrophically.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A minimum 1 mt. sea level rise by 2100 is a realistic prediction and the Philippines will be in the middle of it all.

"... after 150 years of increasing (man made) warming, the ice sheets would only recently be reaching the point where they start making a noticeable contribution to sea level rise.

"But that time has come and, once ice sheets start to melt, the freight train is in motion. It will then keep moving for many centuries to come, no matter how hard we stamp on the brakes."

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DENR answer to pollution: Advance clean fuel schedule, junk old cars ("switching to fast forward mode")

DENR answer to pollution: Advance clean fuel schedule, junk old cars ("switching to fast forward mode") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Criticized for lagging behind in adopting cleaner fuel standards, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has proposed advancing the implementation of the Euro 4 fuel standards for new passenger and light duty vehicles.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje Jr. proposed to the Department of Energy the earlier implementation of the new emission limits, from the original January 2016 to June 2015, or six months ahead of schedule.

Paje stressed that there was an “urgent need to improve Metro Manila’s air quality.”

He noted that vehicle emissions were the main source of air pollution in the metropolis.

Clean-fuel advocates wanted the new vehicle emission standards implemented earlier than 2016, saying that it would take about 15 years to completely replace all the vehicles currently in use with cleaner ones.

Around 70 to 80 percent of the air pollution in Metro Manila comes from vehicle emissions, while the rest come from stationary sources such as industrial emissions and area sources like open burning, the DENR said.

As a measure of air pollution, the average recorded level of total suspended particulates (TSP) in Metro Manila last year was at 118 micrograms per cubic meter, which was higher than the acceptable or national annual guideline value of 90 micrograms per cubic meter.

Bert Guevara's insight:

“Clearly, the key to improving Metro Manila’s air quality is by addressing the biggest source of pollution, which is motor vehicles,” Paje said.

“We are therefore proposing an early implementation of the Euro 4 standards for automobile fuels and the scrapping of older high polluting vehicles,”

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To watch Jon Stewart burn House climate deniers is to fall in love all over again ("funny but serious")

To watch Jon Stewart burn House climate deniers is to fall in love all over again ("funny but serious") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Truth: Getting the GOP to act on climate as like "pushing a million pounds of idiot up a mountain."

Oh, Jon Stewart: Will you marry us? Even in the Age of Oliver and Colbert, Stewart reminded us on Monday that The Daily Show pioneered the televised art of calling out climate obstructionists and tearing them a new one with the power of ha. In this clip, he artfully bounces from shredding the mass media’s bungling coverage of the People’s Climate March to giving the climate-denying House GOP the high-school science lessons they never got. In the process, he shows us all why we need a climate march (or 12) in the first place.

Really, we could waste pixels talking all day about how Jon Stewart remains a national treasure. But just watch, seriously, and try not to fall in love all over again.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Watch the video to hear the punch lines on climate change issues.

 

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Obama makes impassioned climate plea ("the biggest climate gathering of leaders sets the tone")

Obama makes impassioned climate plea ("the biggest climate gathering of leaders sets the tone") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
US President Barack Obama tells a UN climate change meeting in New York that the problem is growing faster than the world's efforts to address it.

The world's children in the world should not be subjected to a future beyond their capacity to fix, he said.

It is the biggest high-level gathering to discuss climate change since 2009.

The aim of the meeting is to galvanise 120 member states to sign up to a comprehensive new global climate agreement at talks in Paris next year.

"There should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate," Mr Obama said.

"We recognise our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to combat it.

"We will do our part and we will help developing nations do theirs; but we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation - developed and developing alike."

His goal was to underline that carbon dioxide is damaging to humans in the same way as air pollution, and in the US it should be regulated by executive power rather than by through legislation in a very divided Congress.

The president also acknowledged the scale of opposition to his attempts to cut carbon, but said he was determined to push through. The most substantial pledge he made was an announcement that early next year he would publish a post-2020 plan to cut emissions.

Bert Guevara's insight:

US President Barack Obama has told a UN meeting in New York that the problem of climate change is growing faster than the world's efforts to address it.

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With Summer's Unequalled Warmth, 2014 is Likely to Finish as the Warmest Year on Record for the Home Planet - ImaGeo | DiscoverMagazine.com

With Summer's Unequalled Warmth, 2014 is Likely to Finish as the Warmest Year on Record for the Home Planet - ImaGeo | DiscoverMagazine.com | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
This past summer was warmer than any other since 1880. If the heat keeps up, as seems likely, then 2014 will finish as the warmest year on record.
And with a warmth-bringing El Niño probably emerging, the odds are very good that the rest of the year will be warmer than the long-term average — which means we’re likely on track for 2014 being declared the warmest year on record. This map from NOAA shows how temperatures over land and sea varied from the long-term average during the June through August period. Among other things, it suggests why Midwesterners might be scratching their heads over the news that the summer was the warmest on record — and it serves as a useful reminder that just because it may have been cool where you live doesn’t mean that people elsewhere in the world were donning sweaters in mid-July. To make this more concrete, consider that on July 10, Tromsø, Norway experienced a high temperature of 84.5° F (29.7° C) — a record breaker for this lovely city, which markets itself as the capital the Arctic. To put that temperature in perspective, also consider that during the hottest day of the year, which typically occurs in late July, the average high has been no more than 60°F. But again, YMV depending on where you live. Overall, the average surface temperature of the land and sea for the June–August period was 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F). This beat the previous record high for the period set in 1998 — a year that went down in the books as the warmest up until that point, thanks in part to a super duper El Niño.
Bert Guevara's insight:
If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record. Anything can happen, so we’ll have to wait and see. But even a weak El Niño, which is forecast to emerge starting this month, would make this a likely outcome. That’s because El Niño conditions tend to boost global average temperature.
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Climate Summit: What to Expect on Pollution Control ("besides carbon, attention needed on other GHG")

Climate Summit: What to Expect on Pollution Control ("besides carbon, attention needed on other GHG") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
At the UN Climate Summit in New York, the issue of short-lived climate pollutants will be high on the agenda.
New partnerships announced at the Summit are expected to provide valuable impetus to international climate action.
The short lived climate pollutants methane, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon (or soot) are greenhouse gases with relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere of a few days to a few decades and highly damaging to human health, agriculture and ecosystems.
Initiatives expect…
Bert Guevara's insight:

Why action on short-termed climate pollutants is important

Methane, for example from coal mines, natural gas and oil systems and landfills, has 86 times stronger global warming potential than heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

Hydrofluorocarbons – man-made greenhouse gases used in air conditioning, refrigeration, solvents, foam blowing agents, and aerosols – are also highly dangerous. If left unchecked, they could account for nearly 20 percent of climate pollution by 2050.

And black carbon or soot, produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass impacts, not only impact the climate but human health. Black soot is estimated to have caused almost 7 million premature deaths in 2010 alone.

Fast action to reduce short lived climate pollutants can immediately improve health, and slow down the average global temperature rise expected by 2050 by as much as 0.5 Celsius degrees.

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The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt | Climate Central ("findings point to timebomb")

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt | Climate Central ("findings point to timebomb") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Permafrosts are melting away. Scientists are figuring out what's happening to all the soil carbon they contain.

The team took measurements and water samples at 135 lakes and 73 rivers around the Kuparuk River basin in Alaska’s North Slope during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. The researchers wanted to know how much floating soil carbon was being oxidized into carbon dioxide by bacteria, how much was being oxidized through the effects of sunlight, and how much of the carbon was escaping both of these natural processes — and remaining in the water.

The good news from their analysis, the results of which were published last month in Science: About 45 percent of the soil carbon that’s eroding from permafrost and muddying Arctic waters was found to be remaining in the waterways.

The bad news? Looked at from another perspective, 55 percent of it is being oxidized into climate-changing carbon dioxide. The vast majority of that is caused by the effects of sunrays, which break apart chemical bonds that hold carbon molecules together, setting in motion reactions that can produce CO2.

The worrying news, no matter how you dice the de-icing permafrost findings? "There's so much carbon stored in northern permafrost soils that even if, say, 10 percent of that carbon is released through the processes we studied, it would still have a big impact," Cory said. She calculated that "conservative" scenario would raise atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by 75 to 80 parts per million — over and above the effects of continued fossil fuel burning and other causes. And that, she said, would lead to "a lot of warming." 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our knowledge of global warming impacts are only beginning to be discovered. The issue of permafrost began as a red alert flag accepted by a wait-and-see public. Now that it is real, only now can we decide whether to push the PANIC button or not.

“As the Arctic continues to warm, and the permafrost thaw gets deeper, what happens then is you’re bringing out a different kind of carbon,” she said. “It has a different chemical signature.”

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Leonardo DiCaprio named UN Messenger of Peace | Entertainment, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

Leonardo DiCaprio named UN Messenger of Peace | Entertainment, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Leonardo DiCaprio's movie roles have made him an international star, but his long and little-known commitment to preserving the global environment has led to his new role — as a U.N. Messenger of Peace.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Tuesday that the 39-year-old American actor will join 11 other prominent world figures who advocate on behalf of the U.N. as Messengers of Peace including Stevie Wonder, Michael Douglas, George Clooney, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, primatologist Jane Goodall and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

Ban told a news conference that the Dicaprio "is not just one of the world's leading actors" but he has "a longstanding commitment to environmental causes."

He said DiCaprio will focus his U.N. role on climate change issues.

"His global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge," the secretary-general told a news conference.

Ban said DiCaprio's first act as a Messenger of Peace will be to address the climate summit he is holding next Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting, which 120 world leaders are expected to attend. Ban said the aim is to promote commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions and pave the way for a global climate agreement in 2015.

Entertainment ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

DiCaprio established a foundation in 1998 with a mission to promote the Earth's last wild places and build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. According to the U.N., the foundation through grants, media projects and public campaigns and appearances by DiCaprio, has brought attention and funds to three areas — protecting biodiversity, conservation of oceans and forests, and climate change.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I'm glad he is on our side.

"I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history — it is a moment for action," he said. "How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet." 

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Video - Ozone layer 'shows signs of recovery' ("the planet is winning this battle vs CFCs")

Video - Ozone layer 'shows signs of recovery' ("the planet is winning this battle vs CFCs") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The Earth's protective ozone layer is starting to repair itself, according to a panel of United Nations scientists.

The main reason behind its recovery, they say, is the fact that certain chemicals, such as those used in aerosol cans, were phased out in the 1980s.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"The Earth's protective ozone layer is starting to repair itself, according to a panel of United Nations scientists.

"The main reason behind its recovery, they say, is the fact that certain chemicals, such as those used in aerosol cans, were phased out in the 1980s."

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World Falls Behind in Efforts to Tackle Climate Change: Report ("world on track for 3 deg C warming")

World Falls Behind in Efforts to Tackle Climate Change: Report ("world on track for 3 deg C warming") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The world's major economies are falling further behind every year in terms of meeting the rate of carbon emission reductions to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C, according to the sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index report

"The gap between what we are achieving and what we need to do is growing wider every year," PwC's Jonathan Grant said. He said governments were increasingly detached from reality in addressing the 2 degree goal.

"Current pledges really put us on track for 3 degrees. This is a long way from what governments are talking about."

Almost 200 countries agreed at United Nations climate talks to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times to limit heat waves, floods, storms and rising seas from climate change. Temperatures have already risen by about 0.85 degrees Celsius.

Carbon intensity will have to be cut by 6.2 percent a year to achieve that goal, the study said. That compares with an annual rate of 1.2 percent from 2012 to 2013.

As the manufacturing hubs of the world, the seven biggest emerging nations have emissions 1.5-times larger than those of the seven biggest developed economies and the decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions in those nations is seen as vital.

Britain, Italy and China each achieved a decarbonization rate of 4-5 percent, while five countries increased their carbon intensity: France, the United States, India, Germany and Brazil.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There has to be more political will among the participating nations in these UN Climate Conferences. It appears that pledges are not matched by action.

"United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes to gather more than 100 world leaders in New York on September 23 to reinvigorate efforts to forge a global climate deal."

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Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America's Bird Species, Study Says - New York Times

Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America's Bird Species, Study Says - New York Times | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
New York Times Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America's Bird Species, Study Says New York Times Those are some of the grim prospects outlined in a report released on Monday by the National Audubon Society, which found that climate change...

The Baltimore oriole will probably no longer live in Maryland, the common loon might leave Minnesota, and the trumpeter swan could be entirely gone.

Those are some of the grim prospects outlined in a report released on Monday by the National Audubon Society, which found that climate change is likely to so alter the bird population of North America that about half of the approximately 650 species will be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find new places to live, feed and breed over the next 65 years. If they do not — and for several dozen it will be very difficult — they could become extinct.

The four Audubon Society scientists who wrote the report projected in it that 21.4 percent of existing bird species studied will lose “more than half of the current climactic range by 2050 without the potential to make up losses by moving to other areas.” An additional 32 percent will be in the same predicament by 2080, they said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

While birds go extinct, the rest of nature will not be far behind. Are we just going to watch and wait?

“The notion that we can have a future that looks like what our grandparents experienced, with the birds they had, is unlikely,” said Gary Langham, the study’s chief author, in an interview. The impact of climate change, he said, will not just harm birds already considered endangered — it is as likely to decimate birds that have robust populations now.

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The Climate Change Defense? Citing Global Warming, DA Drops Charges Against Anti-Coal Activists - YouTube

In a surprise move, District Attorney Sam Sutter of Bristol, Massachusetts, has dropped criminal charges against two climate activists who were set to go on trial Monday for blocking a shipment of 40,000 tons of coal. In May 2013, Ken Ward and Jay O'Hara used their lobster boat to prevent a delivery of the coal to the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts. For their trial, Ward and O'Hara had planned to invoke the "necessity defense," arguing that their actions were justified by how the coal industry worsens the climate change that threatens our planet. In an unprecedented announcement, District Attorney Sutter all but adopted their reasoning and dropped the charges. "Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced," Sutter said outside the courthouse, explaining his decision. "In my humble opinion, the political leadership on this issue has been sorely lacking.” 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a legal breakthrough in climate change activism! I see this as a precedent of bigger things to come.

The District Attorney in Massachusetts cites Global Warming as a sufficient reason for dropping charges against 2 climate activists who used their small boats to block the delivery of coal by a tanker.

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