New Climate Change Report Warns of Dire Consequences The world is not ready for the impacts of climate change, including more extreme weather and the likelihood that populated parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable, says the planet's leading body of climate scientists in a major new UN report. The 772 scientists who wrote and edited the report argue that world leaders have only a few years left to reduce carbon emissions enough to avoid catastrophic warming, which would produce significant sea level rise and large-scale shifts in temperatures that would dramatically disrupt human life and natural ecosystems. "Observed impacts of climate change are widespread and consequential," according to the report, which is from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was released Monday morning in Yokohama, Japan. The report uses stronger language around current impacts of climate change than past IPCC releases. "Crossing a Threshold" Beyond that point, "impacts will begin to be unacceptably severe," the authors wrote.
Nine maps that show how climate change is already affecting the US Climate change isn't just a problem for future generations — it's already affecting broad swaths of the United States. That's the upshot of the National Climate Assessment, a massive new US government report detailing the current and future impacts of global warming around the country. The report is particularly useful in detailing how specific regions and sectors will be affected — and outlining some possible ways we could adapt. There's a lot of information in the report, but here are nine highlights: 1) Every part of the country is getting hotter Temperature changes over the past 22 years (1991-2012) compared to the 1901-1960 average, and compared to the 1951-1980 average for Alaska and Hawai‘i. This map is the simplest way to see global warming in action. Recent decades have been even hotter: since 1991, every region in the United States has been warming, with the biggest temperature increases occurring in the winter and spring. 2) The heaviest storms are getting heavier
Business warned to prepare for catastrophic impacts | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world's largest professional services firm, is not known for scaremongering. So it is worth paying particular attention to its latest annual low carbon economy index. Behind the understated language, it points to a catastrophic future unless radical action is taken now to combat climate change. "Business leaders have been asking for clarity in political ambition on climate change," says partner Leo Johnson. The trigger for its dire warning comes from the failure of the global community to reduce carbon emissions by anywhere near the amount needed to restrict temperature rises. PwC's latest report shows the required improvement in global carbon intensity to meet a 2C warming target has risen to 5.1% every year from now to 2050. "We have passed a critical threshold – not once since the second world war has the world achieved that rate of decarbonisation, but the task now confronting us is to achieve it for 39 consecutive years," says the report.
Taking Climate Change Seriously | Jim Wallis Climate change is about people, not just science and politics -- it is an inter-generational ethics issue. The earth is the Lord's, and in Genesis, God entrusts us with caring for Creation. The earth that we leave to future generations is already being changed by climate change, and so far, our nation has done little to stop climate pollution. The Clean Power Plan, announced Monday by the EPA, is a great step forward for our country in taking climate change seriously. The policy will treat carbon the way it should be treated -- as a pollutant that's harming our health and our planet. The rule reflects some of the best values we hold dear. Congress has been unable to deal with the issue of climate change. And strong social movements need strong and powerful narratives. We should not and cannot leave our children's children with a fundamentally different planet. Climate change is not another issue to move higher up the list of our concerns. "I was hungry." "I was thirsty." "I was naked."
Obama plan to reduce pollution will allow some states to increase emissions | Environment Barack Obama's new power plant rules will still allow some states to increase their share of the carbon pollution that causes climate change, officials admitted for the first time on Wednesday. Obama and supporters cast the new rules for power plants as an historic step to fighting climate change and protecting public health. But some of the dirtiest and most coal-heavy states – such as West Virginia and Kentucky – will be allowed to maintain or even increase their emissions under the plan, according to analysts. It also hasn't stopped leaders from those same states, West Virginia and Kentucky, from trying to block the rules in Congress or through the courts. The Environmental Protection Agency, which produced the 645-page regulation, said it was possible individual states could increase their emissions while still meeting the overall target of the plan for a 30% cut in national emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. “The bottom line is pretty clear.
Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable hide captionA NASA photo shows the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctic. A new study indicates that part of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet is starting a slow and unstoppable collapse. A NASA photo shows the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctic. Scientists have long worried about climate change-induced melting of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet. That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere from 4 to 12 feet. Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, says people have been speculating that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is unstable since the 1970s. "It's what's called a marine ice sheet, which means most of it is on the ocean floor instead of on land above sea level," Joughin says. The ice sheet's weak points, such as Thwaites Glacier, have been thinning as warm ocean water eats away at it from underneath, he says. What Rignot and others found is that the threshold for a cascading melt has already been reached.
Climate Change Study Finds U.S. Is Already Widely Affected The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects. Such sweeping changes have been caused by an average warming of less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit over most land areas of the country in the past century, the scientists found. If greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane continue to escalate at a rapid pace, they said, the warming could conceivably exceed 10 degrees by the end of this century. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the scientists declared in a major new report assessing the situation in the United States. “Yes, climate change is already here,” said Richard B. The ominous findings of the report is likely to give Mr.
Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Government Resources NASA is an expert in climate and Earth science. While its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change, its purview does include providing the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change and evaluating the impact of efforts to combat it. NASA then makes this information available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world. (For more information, see NASA's role.) The following selected resources from U.S. government organizations provide information about options for responding to climate change. Data and Information Data related to climate change that can help inform and prepare America’s communities, businesses and citizens. Produced by a team of more than 300 experts and guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee, this report summarizes current and future impacts of climate change on the United States. Individual Action
What Is Global Warming? Map: Where carbon emissions are the greatest When you map carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere around the world, the result is very similar to population density — which makes sense, since human activity is the overwhelming source of fossil fuel emissions. Yet one place where this is not true is over our oceans, where carbon dioxide is spreading out via shipping lanes and trade winds. This map by Kennedy Elliott of The Washington Post uses data from the Earth System Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration to chart the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide around the world. You can see that the eastern coast of North America, much of Europe and the Middle East, and China and India are all major contributors to atmospheric carbon dioxide. But many of the world’s biggest shipping routes, especially in East Asia and between Europe and the U.S., show up as surprisingly polluted, given their location. For an interactive version of the map, look below or click here.