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Jeremy Corbyn risks climate change activist fury after easing target

<h2>Jeremy Corbyn risks climate change activist fury after watering down a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 as he unveils his general election manifesto</h2>
<ul><li><strong>Labour conference voted in September to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2030</strong></li><li><strong>But manifesto commits to making 'substantial majority' of reductions by 2030</strong></li></ul>
<p>Jeremy Corbyn today risked activist fury after watering down a commitment to tackling climate change in the Labour Party's 2019 general election manifesto.</p>
<p>The party's annual conference in September backed plans to commit Labour to working 'towards a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030'. </p>
<p>But Mr Corbyn's new blueprint for the country only commits to 'achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030'. </p>
<p>The less exacting target is unlikely to go down well with climate change campaigners but will be welcomed by some union chiefs. </p>
<img class="aligncenter" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/21/14/21294566-7711051-image-a-24_1574346776548.jpg" height="421" width="634">
<p>Jeremy Corbyn, pictured launching his general election manifesto in Birmingham today, has committed Labour to achieving the 'substantial majority' of carbon emissions reductions by 2030</p>
<p>The latter had urged the Labour leadership to water down the pledge amid fears that the original one would have forced major job losses, particularly in the energy industry. </p>
<p>The manifesto, unveiled by Mr Corbyn at an event in Birmingham this morning, states: 'Labour will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution that will create one million jobs in the UK to transform our industry, energy, transport, agriculture and our buildings, while restoring nature.</p>
<p>'Our Green New Deal aims to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030 in a way that is evidence-based, just and that delivers an economy that serves the interests of the many, not the few.'</p>
<p>Despite changing the target, the party's manifesto does have a strong focus on the environment as Mr Corbyn tries to see off an electoral threat from the Green Party. </p>
<p>The manifesto also contains ambitions to put the UK on track for a 'net zero' energy system within the 2030s and for British food production to reach net zero carbon by 2040 – which is in line with the farming sector's plans.</p>
<p>Labour's overall pledge on carbon emissions is more ambitious than the Liberal Democrats' commitment for a new legally binding target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045, or the Tories' existing 2050 target which became law in the summer.</p>
<p>Labour says it's plans will be funded through a 'green transformation fund' worth £250 billion. </p>
<p>That cash will be used to produce the shift to a green economy, funding renewable energy sources and low-carbon energy. </p>
<p>The money would also be spent on making transport more sustainable and to repair damage done to wildlife and the environment.   </p>
<p>The manifesto also contains a proposal to impose a windfall tax on oil companies to help to cover the costs of climate damage. </p>
<p>Labour is also proposing an immediate and permanent ban on fracking. </p>
<p>Meanwhile, it confirms previous pledges to upgrade almost all of the UK's 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards and to build thousands of new offshore and onshore wind turbines.   </p>
Source: <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7711051/Jeremy-Corbyn-risks-climate-change-activist-fury-watering-key-target.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Read Full Article</a>

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Jeremy Corbyn risks climate change activist fury after easing target

<h2>Jeremy Corbyn risks climate change activist fury after watering down a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 as he unveils his general election manifesto</h2>
<ul><li><strong>Labour conference voted in September to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2030</strong></li><li><strong>But manifesto commits to making 'substantial majority' of reductions by 2030</strong></li></ul>
<p>Jeremy Corbyn today risked activist fury after watering down a commitment to tackling climate change in the Labour Party's 2019 general election manifesto.</p>
<p>The party's annual conference in September backed plans to commit Labour to working 'towards a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030'. </p>
<p>But Mr Corbyn's new blueprint for the country only commits to 'achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030'. </p>
<p>The less exacting target is unlikely to go down well with climate change campaigners but will be welcomed by some union chiefs. </p>
<img class="aligncenter" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/21/14/21294566-7711051-image-a-24_1574346776548.jpg" height="421" width="634">
<p>Jeremy Corbyn, pictured launching his general election manifesto in Birmingham today, has committed Labour to achieving the 'substantial majority' of carbon emissions reductions by 2030</p>
<p>The latter had urged the Labour leadership to water down the pledge amid fears that the original one would have forced major job losses, particularly in the energy industry. </p>
<p>The manifesto, unveiled by Mr Corbyn at an event in Birmingham this morning, states: 'Labour will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution that will create one million jobs in the UK to transform our industry, energy, transport, agriculture and our buildings, while restoring nature.</p>
<p>'Our Green New Deal aims to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030 in a way that is evidence-based, just and that delivers an economy that serves the interests of the many, not the few.'</p>
<p>Despite changing the target, the party's manifesto does have a strong focus on the environment as Mr Corbyn tries to see off an electoral threat from the Green Party. </p>
<p>The manifesto also contains ambitions to put the UK on track for a 'net zero' energy system within the 2030s and for British food production to reach net zero carbon by 2040 – which is in line with the farming sector's plans.</p>
<p>Labour's overall pledge on carbon emissions is more ambitious than the Liberal Democrats' commitment for a new legally binding target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045, or the Tories' existing 2050 target which became law in the summer.</p>
<p>Labour says it's plans will be funded through a 'green transformation fund' worth £250 billion. </p>
<p>That cash will be used to produce the shift to a green economy, funding renewable energy sources and low-carbon energy. </p>
<p>The money would also be spent on making transport more sustainable and to repair damage done to wildlife and the environment.   </p>
<p>The manifesto also contains a proposal to impose a windfall tax on oil companies to help to cover the costs of climate damage. </p>
<p>Labour is also proposing an immediate and permanent ban on fracking. </p>
<p>Meanwhile, it confirms previous pledges to upgrade almost all of the UK's 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards and to build thousands of new offshore and onshore wind turbines.   </p>
Source: <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7711051/Jeremy-Corbyn-risks-climate-change-activist-fury-watering-key-target.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Read Full Article</a>

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World News

Jeremy Corbyn risks climate change activist fury after easing target

<h2>Jeremy Corbyn risks climate change activist fury after watering down a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 as he unveils his general election manifesto</h2>
<ul><li><strong>Labour conference voted in September to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2030</strong></li><li><strong>But manifesto commits to making 'substantial majority' of reductions by 2030</strong></li></ul>
<p>Jeremy Corbyn today risked activist fury after watering down a commitment to tackling climate change in the Labour Party's 2019 general election manifesto.</p>
<p>The party's annual conference in September backed plans to commit Labour to working 'towards a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030'. </p>
<p>But Mr Corbyn's new blueprint for the country only commits to 'achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030'. </p>
<p>The less exacting target is unlikely to go down well with climate change campaigners but will be welcomed by some union chiefs. </p>
<img class="aligncenter" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/21/14/21294566-7711051-image-a-24_1574346776548.jpg" height="421" width="634">
<p>Jeremy Corbyn, pictured launching his general election manifesto in Birmingham today, has committed Labour to achieving the 'substantial majority' of carbon emissions reductions by 2030</p>
<p>The latter had urged the Labour leadership to water down the pledge amid fears that the original one would have forced major job losses, particularly in the energy industry. </p>
<p>The manifesto, unveiled by Mr Corbyn at an event in Birmingham this morning, states: 'Labour will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution that will create one million jobs in the UK to transform our industry, energy, transport, agriculture and our buildings, while restoring nature.</p>
<p>'Our Green New Deal aims to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030 in a way that is evidence-based, just and that delivers an economy that serves the interests of the many, not the few.'</p>
<p>Despite changing the target, the party's manifesto does have a strong focus on the environment as Mr Corbyn tries to see off an electoral threat from the Green Party. </p>
<p>The manifesto also contains ambitions to put the UK on track for a 'net zero' energy system within the 2030s and for British food production to reach net zero carbon by 2040 – which is in line with the farming sector's plans.</p>
<p>Labour's overall pledge on carbon emissions is more ambitious than the Liberal Democrats' commitment for a new legally binding target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045, or the Tories' existing 2050 target which became law in the summer.</p>
<p>Labour says it's plans will be funded through a 'green transformation fund' worth £250 billion. </p>
<p>That cash will be used to produce the shift to a green economy, funding renewable energy sources and low-carbon energy. </p>
<p>The money would also be spent on making transport more sustainable and to repair damage done to wildlife and the environment.   </p>
<p>The manifesto also contains a proposal to impose a windfall tax on oil companies to help to cover the costs of climate damage. </p>
<p>Labour is also proposing an immediate and permanent ban on fracking. </p>
<p>Meanwhile, it confirms previous pledges to upgrade almost all of the UK's 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards and to build thousands of new offshore and onshore wind turbines.   </p>
Source: <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7711051/Jeremy-Corbyn-risks-climate-change-activist-fury-watering-key-target.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Read Full Article</a>

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The climate strike is all about indoctrination, not science

Kids in the city will be missing school today for the nationwide “Climate Strike.” They might see it as a small sacrifice: Who needs an education to prepare for tomorrow when tomorrow is a dubious proposition? Truth is, they probably have no idea just how silly are the things they’re promoting.

“We, the youth of America, are striking because the science says we have just a few years to transform our energy system, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and prevent the worst effects of climate change,” the manifesto of the Youth Climate Strike (one of the event’s sponsors) begins. That sobering sentence is followed by a set of profoundly unserious demands, beginning with 400 words on why this all-consuming threat to the very habitability of the planet is most pronounced for women and minorities.

Strikers assert that “marginalized communities,” including the impoverished, disabled, LGBT and minorities, and the economically displaced should be foremost on the minds of policymakers.

The game is further given up when the strikers endorse progressive reforms that relate to climate change only as a result of a stretch of the imagination. Among them, the creation of state-owned banks, affordable housing, “local living-wage jobs” and “fully paid quality health care” for affected populations.

All this fits with the organizer’s prime directive: the “implementation of a Green New Deal,” the bulk of which is only tangentially related to environmentalism.

It calls for the shuttering of all fossil-fuel-generating power plants, replacing the country’s energy grid, upgrading and renovating “every residential and industrial building” in America, reducing US productive agricultural capacity, retiring the combustion engine and phasing out fossil fuels entirely by 2030.

“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” confesses Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” He wasn’t kidding.

As for the strikers, clearly they seem to want it every which way. Take their insistence on halting the “creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure.” Though the proposal says we should “respect the contributions of fossil fuel workers” (if only to “reskill” them so they can be productive members of the new utopia), it also insists the country “hold polluters accountable.”

Fossil fuel “executives” will be compelled to “make reparations,” pay for “climate damages” and fund the wholesale transition to technology that doesn’t yet exist.

“All decisions made by the government,” the YCS manifesto adds, should “be tied in scientific research, including the 2018 IPCC report.” It’s fortunate that the strikers didn’t base their worldview on the IPCC’s 2001 assessment report, which predicted that milder winter temperatures would decrease the severity and frequency of snowstorms (it has not).

Nor did the organizers unwisely embrace the 2007 IPCC assessment report, which warned that by 2020 hundreds of millions of people would be affected by “increased water stress,” reducing the yield from food crops. Today, rain-fed yields from agriculture in developed and developing countries are projected to increase dramatically.

The strikers further warn that the world is on the verge of a new “mass species extinction,” also based on UN-sponsored “science.” They’d be heartened to learn how a similar 2007 projection by the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity failed to materialize. Or, at least, they would if they hadn’t suspended critical thought.

Unfortunately for students, the movement is not about education but indoctrination. One of the final demands, “comprehensive climate change education,” is to be aimed at children ages 5 through 14 because “impressionability is high during that developmental stage.”

If the climate threat eventually leads to radical national action, it will only be because the concept is drilled into youngsters “from the beginning.” Of course, it’s unclear why such a long-term strategy is necessary, given that we have only “11 years” left to avert disaster.

Judging from the bizarre, extremist, sloppily composed manifesto, the students who have the city Education Department’s blessing to attend this event clearly won’t be learning much of anything truly “science-based.” The rest of us, however, are learning quite a lot about the climate change movement, and it’s not pretty.

Noah Rothman is the associate editor of Commentary.

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg says she has ‘no’ message for Trump

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg storms Washington for global warming protest with ‘striking’ schoolchildren but says she has ‘no’ message for Trump and Congress

  • Thunberg is criss-crossing the world with a message of climate change urgency
  • But when DailyMail.com asked her in Washington if she had a message for President Donald Trump, she said, ‘No!’ 
  • The 16-year-old Swedish girl, an activist sensation, had the same curious answer to a question about a message to the U.S. Congress
  • Thunberg has attracted thousands of people to global warming protests in European cities, snarling traffic and generating attention for her cause
  • She warned London politicians in April that they ‘will not get away with’ ignoring climate change ‘any longer’ 
  • In Washington she drew a few hundred schoolchildren who were ‘striking’ from classes; she thanked them but didn’t level an ultimatum at the U.S. government 
  • President Trump is a global warming skeptic who has called it a ‘hoax’ and claimed China invented it to weaken the U.S. economy 

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl who is criss-crossing the globe to save it from global warming, said Friday that despite being the star attraction at a Washington, D.C. protest, she wasn’t trying to communicate anything to the U.S. government.

As a few hundred ‘striking’ schoolchildren assembled near the White House for a march, DailyMail.com asked Thunberg from about 10 feet away: ‘Do you have a message for President Trump?’

‘No,’ came the reply. The young activist had the same answer to an identical question about whether she had a message for the U.S. Congress.

DailyMail.com asked the question twice to be sure Thunberg, who has the developmental disorder Asperger syndrome, heard and understood it.

The Trump administration is openly skeptical about global warming, and the president has claimed the idea of man-made climate change is a ‘hoax’ instigated by China ‘in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.’

16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was in Washington, D.C. on Friday to participate in a march led by schooldren who were ‘striking’ – playing hooky – for the planet

Thunberg thanked a few hundred kids who showed up near the White House but had no ultimatum for the U.S. government

President Trump is a global warming skeptic who has called it a ‘hoax’ and claimed China invented the climate change hypothesis in order to weaken the U.S. economy

DailyMail.com asked Thunberg if she had a message for President Trump or Congress; she said, ‘No!’

Parents let a few hundred children in D.C. and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs skip school on Friday to protest, and to meet the newest celebrity on the global warming circuit

He has withdrawn the United States from the Paris climate accord, and the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate shows no sign of acting on a Democratic House bill to reverse that move.

Trump has also mocked global warming activists and their Democratic Party allies during winter months as president, gloating on Twitter every time a cold snap hits the Northeast U.S.

He softened his position during a ’60 Minutes’ interview in 2018, allowing that ‘Something’s changing’ in the global climate, but ‘it’ll change back again.’

‘I don’t think it’s a hoax,’ he added then, ‘But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this. I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t wanna lose millions and millions of jobs.’

Friday’s rally ended with a brief speech from Thunberg, who congratulated marchers for skipping school but didn’t lodge any demands for America to change.

‘I’m so incredibly grateful for every single one of you,’ she told the group, and I’m so proud of you.’

‘Never give up. We will continue,’ she said.

Climate demonstrations in Europe have generated far larger turnout when the pixieish Thunberg is scheduled to appear. And unlike her quiet approach to Washington, she has leveled ultimatums there.

‘For way too long the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything … But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer,” she said during a London rally in April.

Thousands showed up in Rome to hear her speak.

Thunberg became famous last year by organizing fellow students to skip classes as a form of protest against governmental sluggishness fighting climate change

Thunberg became a household name to activists last year after she started a school strike in Stockholm.

She is taking a sabbatical year from school in order to be a full-time activist.

She attracted mdeia coverage last month with a trans-Atlantic voyage on a ‘zero-carbon yacht’ meant to demonstrate that it was possible to travel without a carbon footprint.

It was revealed later, however, that two crew members would have to fly to New York to pilot the 60-foot yacht back to Europe. And two original crew members were expected to fly back to Europe as they rotated out.

That may have generated more carbon emissions than the boat trip saved.

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Climate change protesters converge on Biarritz for G7 summit

G7 protests turn bloody as climate change demonstrators clash with armed police as hundreds converge on Biarritz before marching from France to Spain

  • Protesters have marched holding posters showing the Earth near Biarritz, France, today ahead of G7 summit 
  • Some carried dinghy boats in reference to migrants crossing the Mediterranean during protest in Hendaye 
  • Climate change activists plan to cross into Spain from the French border village town of Hendaye later today
  • Leaders of the Group of Seven have now arrived to discuss the struggling global economy and climate change

Thousands of climate change protesters have joined a mass march across the French-Spanish border on Saturday as world leaders arrived for a summit in Biarritz just hours after activists clashed with police.

Some of the demonstrations turned bloody this afternoon with some activists being detained by police in the town of Hendaye, France.   

Several of the world’s leaders including Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have already arrived in France to discuss the environment this weekend.

From today through to Monday the politicians will talk about issues including the struggling global economy as well as the Amazon fires, which host French President Emmanuel Macron has put the top of the agenda.

This morning hundreds of protesters marched while carrying boats in a reference to migrants crossing the Mediterranean and some planned to cross into Spain from the French border village town of Hendaye. 

Thousands of climate change protesters have taken to the streets of Hendaye, near Biarritz in France, today with some of the demonstrations turning bloody. Pictured is an activist with a wound on his face being detained by police

Police officers clashed with demonstrators today. Pictured is an activist with a wound on his face being detained by police

Since Monday, anti-capitalist activists, environmentalists and other anti-globalisation groups have been flocking to southwestern France for a counter-summit which they insist will be peaceful.

Biarritz is a popular tourist destination that would normally be basking in its annual summer boom, but with US President Donald Trump and other world leaders flying in for three days of talks, the resort was on lockdown.

‘Heads of state: act now, Amazonia is burning!’ read one banner as the huge crowd rallied in the French coastal town of Hendaye, the slogan referring to the wildfires ravaging the world’s largest rainforest.

Waving thousands of flags, they marched across the Bidassoa River heading for the Spanish town of Irun, chanting slogans and playing drums. 

Some held cardboard signs with pictures of Earth, protesting against climate policies they blame on the G7 countries, while some held orange dinghies in reference to migrants.

Others were seen holding pictures of the faces of world leaders including Donald Trump, who arrived at the event at Saturday lunchtime. 

Anti-G7 activists carried rubber boats, in a reference to migrants crossing the Mediterranean, during during a protest on a road in Hendaye, France, today. Some activists are planning on crossing into Spain this afternoon

Dozens of protesters held signs and banners as they marched through the town of Hendaye, near Biarritz, as the first day of the G7 summit started 

Among the crowd were even a group dressed in traditional Basque shepherd costumes, with red, white and green Basque flags as far as the eye could see.

The rally ended shortly before 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) with no major incidents, according to an AFP reporter on the scene.

But authorities remain on high alert, with Biarritz on lockdown and police deployed en masse in the neighbouring town of Bayonne as well to keep protesters at bay.

Overnight, 17 people were arrested and four police lightly injured when clashed erupted in Urrugne near the Spanish border some 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of the resort.

‘I want to call for calm and for unity,’ French President Emmanuel Macron said in an address to the nation just hours before the official opening of the summit at which world leaders were to address the Amazon crisis along with other divisive global issues.

‘We won’t be able to face all these big challenges if we don’t act together,’ he said.

Activists from various organizations and NGOs joined in protests this morning as world leaders started to arrive in France

From today through to Monday the politicians will talk about issues including the struggling global economy as well as the Amazon fires. Pictured are activists carrying dinghy boats through the streets of Hendaye

One of the major topics of conversation at the event is set to be the current fires in the Amazon. Angela Merkel has said the G7 leaders ‘cannot be silent’ in the face of fires sweeping parts of Brazil, and will call for everything to be done to halt them. 

Mrs Merkel said in her weekly video message: ‘Emmanuel Macron is right – our house is burning, and we cannot be silent.’

She said the leaders of the world’s top economic powers are ‘shaken’ by the fires and that they will discuss ‘how we can support and help there, and send a clear call that everything must be done so that the rainforest stops burning’.

Amid a series of policy and trade disagreements, which she did not address explicitly, Mrs Merkel said that ‘talking to each other is always better than about each other – and the G7 is an excellent opportunity for that’.

Some protesters held portraits of representing G7 leaders Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Shinzo Abe and Giuseppe Conte during a march in Hendaye today

U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, pictured, arrived in Biarritz, France, for the G7 summit today

The G7 event has emptied out the town of Biarritz famed for its beach on the last week of the summer break. Pictured are signs and banners during a march in Hendaye today

Mrs Merkel also said that impeding a trade deal between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur will not help reduce the destruction of rainforest in Brazil. 

The G7 event has emptied out the town of Biarritz famed for its beach on the last week of the summer break. Mr Macron has has downplayed any expectations of a unified front from the leaders of the G7 democracies.

A sign reading ‘stop climate crime’ is seen as demonstrators take part in a march in Hendaye today

Yesterday police clashed with protesters as security was tightened in southern France in preparation for the G7 summit.    

The airport and train station at the beach resort of Biarritz were closing down Friday afternoon, with residents who are used to packed busy streets at the height of holiday season saying the streets are now empty. 

The nations in attendance include the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy. 

Police arrested anti-G7 protesters near the site of the summit, with members of the 4th Generation Protection and Intervention Section (SPI4G) and Republican Security Companies (CRS) seen patrolling off the resort’s coast. 

Authorities could be seen breaking up a makeshift barricade erected by demonstrators at a tent camp near Hendaye, France, as protesters clashed with police ahead of the summit.

French military were also seen performing a de-mining sweep in the seaside town’s beaches, and officers on motorcycles patrolled the streets.

Earlier this week divers from the CRS were seen in the waters by Biarritz.

On the French-Spanish border, officers from both countries were seen checking vehicles, and riot officers were spotted patrolling outside the Hotel du Palais – a venue for the upcoming summit.

Anti-G7 protesters were seen being detained by French National police during a march near a tent camp near Hendaye, France today. 

US protesters have set up camp on both sides of the border between France and Spain ahead of this year’s summit of the world’s major industrialized nations, where President Donald Trump will join French President Emmanuel Macron in Biarritz. 

French police officers break up a makeshift barricade erected by anti-G7 activist near a tent camp near Hendaye, France, on August 23

Pictured: An anti-G7 activist is detained by French National police during a march along a road near a tent camp near Hendaye, France, August 23

French police detain an Anti-G7 activist during a march along a road near a tent camp near Hendaye, France, August 23

The city centre is almost deserted, and the seaside around the casino where leaders will meet is under lockdown.

Cars are thoroughly checked and tourists can no longer access their usual haunts.  

The summit will mark Boris Johnson’s first as Prime Minister, and he will have to walk a tightrope of diplomacy as he tries to persuade Donald Tusk and Donald Trump to give him a Brexit boost. 

The trip to France will represent Mr Johnson’s debut foray on the world stage and his first face-to-face meeting with the US President since he took office is expected to dominate. 

The Prime Minister will be keen to cement his strong relationship with Mr Trump and seek agreement on a timetable for striking a post-Brexit trade deal when the pair sit down for talks, potentially on Sunday. 

But the premier will have to tread carefully to avoid a potential row with Mr Trump after they adopted different positions in the run up to the summit on whether Russia should be allowed back into the G7.     

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves as he arrives in Biarritz, south-west France on August 23, 2019


The summit will mark Boris Johnson ‘s first as Prime Minister, and he will have to walk a tightrope of diplomacy as he tries to persuade Donald Tusk and Donald Trump to give him a Brexit boost

Police officers keep watch on a group of anti-G-7 activists on a road near a tent camp near Hendaye, France, August 23

Mr Trump has called for Vladimir Putin to be allowed to return after Moscow was booted out of the G8 in 2014 over its illegal annexation of Crimea – but Mr Johnson is ice cold on the idea. 

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is also expected to sit down with Mr Tusk just days after the pair clashed over the PM’s demands to delete the backstop from the Brexit deal. 

Mr Tusk responded to the call by suggesting Mr Johnson was being unrealistic and dishonest in his approach. 

But Angela Merkel’s and Emmanuel Macrons’ subsequent decision to give the UK 30 days to come up with alternatives to the backstop will have raised Mr Johnson’s hopes that he will be able to persuade Mr Tusk to change his position. 

The French President said today he would put pressure on the United States to sign a charter on protecting biodiversity at the G7 summit in Biarritz this weekend.

‘We have talked about diversity. It is for the first time, at this G7, that we will sign a charter for biodiversity, we are committed to this, it will be signed by all,’ he said in an interview with news website Konbini in the garden of his Elysee palace.

Asked whether this would include the United States, Macron said: ‘That is the real question, we will see, I will put pressure. It will be signed by India, which is also very important.’

Anti-G7 activists march along a road near a tent camp near Hendaye, France, August 23

Police officers keep watch on a group of anti-G7 activists on a road near a tent camp near Hendaye, France

Macron said that climate, global warming and biodiversity would be at the heart of the G7 meeting but he also called on individual citizens to live and consume responsibly.

‘We are all co-responsible for this, in the choices we make when we buy clothing and food, in our everyday behaviour when it comes to sorting (and recycling). The G7 is one thing, but our daily life is just as important,’ he said.

In May, after meeting scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Macron said he would bring up the issue of biodiversity in talks within the G7.

He said at the time that his government would seek to increase the size of natural areas under protection and take tax and budget measures to support biodiversity. 

He added that he also wants the European Union to encourage financing of sustainable crops as part of its common agriculture policy.

IPBES – which groups 130 countries, including the United States, Russia and China – said in a report released in May that one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction due to humans’ relentless pursuit of economic growth.

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Leaked climate change report says we must change eating habits to save the world

Solving the crisis of climate change will require a shift in food production around the world according to a leaked scientific report.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently meeting in Geneva to debate issues relating to the environment. Information from a report produced for the occasion has been made public by the Guardian and states that humans need to reassess food production and land management to save the planet.

It says that we currently use 72% of the planet’s ice-free surface to feed and clothe Earth’s population. Meanwhile, agriculture, forestry and other land uses produce a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, half of all methane emissions come from cattle and rice fields.

The report says these emissions need to be curbed to stop devastating consequences.

‘Climate change exacerbates land degradation through increases in rainfall intensity, flooding, drought frequency and severity, heat stress, wind, sea-level rise and wave action,’ it states.

The report emphasises that land will need to be managed sustainably and humans should cut meat consumption to limit methane emissions.

‘The consumption of healthy and sustainable diets, such as those based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds … presents major opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,’ it states.

Information and analysis from the IPCC is used to influence policymakers when setting goals to manage emissions. The next big international gathering to focus on reducing carbon dioxide and methane emissions is scheduled to take place in 2020.

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Climate change is causing a new disaster each WEEK warns the UN

Climate change is causing a new disaster each WEEK as natural catastrophes such as heatwaves, droughts and cyclones become more common, warns the UN

  • Most catastrophes draw little global attention said disaster risk reduction expert
  • More infrastructure investments are needed now to adapt to the climate crisis
  • Developing countries in particular are unprepared for the impact of these events
  • Yet wealthier nations still face challenges such as from droughts and wildfires

Climate change is causing a new natural disaster to strike every week, but developing countries are under-prepared for the consequences, warns the UN.

Although larger catastrophes make the news across the globe, most of the smaller-scale disasters draw little notice from the international community.  

UN disaster expert Mami Mizutori told the Guardian that more focus needs to be placed on investments into resilient infrastructure, alongside emission cuts.

It comes after many regions of the world have been rocked by various natural phenomena triggered by climate change, such as cyclones, heatwaves and droughts. 

Emphasis should be given to nature based-solutions to the climate hazards — such as promoting the growth of mangrove swamps and wetlands to limit flooding.

In addition, nations need to concentrate on protecting the most vulnerable populations who live in informal settlements rather than planned cities. 

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Climate change is causing a new natural disaster to strike every week, but developing countries are under-prepared for the consequences, warns the UN. Pictured, the aftermath of tropical cyclone Kenneth on the village of Nacate, Mozambique, in April 2019

WHAT IMPACT DID TROPICAL CYCLONE KENNETH HAVE? 

Intense tropical cyclone Kenneth is the largest recorded storm to hit Mozambique.

It followed just a month after cyclone Idai had struck the country’s south.

Before hitting land, the cyclone reached winds of 130 mph (215 kph).

30,000 people were evacuated out of the storm’s path in northern Mozambique by local authorities.

The storm resulted in 52 fatalities.

90 per cent of all homes were destroyed on Ibo island. 

Damage caused as a result of the cyclone is believed to lie in excess of $100 million (£80 million)

The EU and the UN together provided around $14.7 million in emergency aid to Mozambique and Comoros.

Some natural disasters — like tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth, or the on-going drought in India — manage to secure headlines all across the globe.

However, so-called ‘lower impact events’ are occurring much more frequently than appreciated, with many going largely unnoticed despite the displacement, distress and death that they nevertheless cause, the UN has warned.

A large proportion of these smaller-scale events would be preventable if infrastructure were build up to meet the challenge, especially in developing regions. 

This might include enhanced flood defences, better severe weather warning systems, water stocks in the case of drought and more government oversight of those regions at particular risk from the changing climate.

‘This is not about the future, this is about today,’ the UN secretary-general’s special representative on disaster risk reduction, Mami Mizutori, told the Guardian.

‘People need to talk more about adaptation and resilience.’

The problem is not just a developing world issue, Mrs Mizutori warned, with the world’s more wealthy countries also facing infrastructure and risk-mitigation challenges — as Europe’s recent heatwaves and forest fires in the US have shown.

It is estimated that climate-related disasters presently cost around $520 billion (£415 billion) each year.

The cost of building infrastructure that is designed to be resistant to the effects of climate change would only increase this figure by three per cent — or a total of $2.7 trillion (£2.2 trillion) over the next 20 years. 

With regards to infrastructure spending, ‘this is not a lot of money, but investors have not been doing enough,’ Mrs Mizutori said.

‘Resilience needs to become a commodity that people will pay for.’

A move in this direction would require the creation of universal standards for newly-built infrastructure to ensure they are suitably more resilient against the effects of droughts, floods, storms and other forms of extreme weather.

The problem is not just a developing world issue, Mrs Mizutori warned, with the world’s more wealthy countries also facing infrastructure and risk-mitigation challenges — as Europe’s recent heatwaves and forest fires in the US have shown 

Any such regulations would need to apply across the board — and cover everything from housing and industrial facilities to  transport networks, power grids and water supply networks.

Enforcement would require cooperation across the different governing bodies responsible for infrastructure, public safety and emissions reductions.

To date, efforts to address the climate crisis have largely been concentrated on reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses, rather than adapting to the new climate conditions that we are facing.

The rationale behind this focus has been the fear from scientists and activists that promoting adaption might encourage people to conclude that emissions reductions were not actually necessary if we could adapt society to the changing climate.

Alongside this, adaption measures also face the challenge of being harder to quantify, unlike greenhouse gas reductions which can be clearly tracked.

‘We talk about a climate emergency and a climate crisis, but if we cannot confront this, we will not survive,’ Mrs Mizutori said.

‘We need to look at the risks of not investing in resilience.’

UN disaster expert Mami Mizutori told the Guardian that more focus needs to be placed on investments into resilient infrastructure, alongside emission cuts. Pictured, the on-going heatwave in India has caused temperatures to exceed 122°F in northern regions

For Mrs Mizutori, an emphasis should be placed on finding more ‘nature-based solutions’ to the impacts of climate change.

These might include, for example, using forests, mangrove swamps and wetlands to form natural barriers to help contain flooding.

Another vital area for focus lies in the challenge of protecting populations who live not in planned cities but informal settlements, or slums.

These are inherently more vulnerable to disasters, house higher-risk demographics like the displaced and the poor, and typically lack access to basic amenities.

‘We need to take a more holistic view of the risks,’ Mrs Mizutori concluded.

WHAT SHOULD THE EU BE DOING TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM CLIMATE CHANGE?

In 2013, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) published a report which looked at the frequency of extreme weather events. 

Since then, there has been a continued rise in how common these events occur. 

In order to cope when such adverse weather conditions strike, they made recommendations as to how the EU can better protect its citizens from climate change. 

1. Information

The report claimed that in order to best deal with the issues, it is necessary to understand them first. 

To understand how global warming will affect the extremes of weather, it is necessary to study and model them. 

2. Heat waves

Across the European continent, heatwaves can vary massively and have vastly different impacts. 

Understanding the nuances of these phenomena is key to weathering the storm. 

3. Flood defence and early warning

Good practice in flood preparedness and for flood defence across Europe should be shared, including information about different responses to flood preparedness and flood warnings.

4. Agriculture

The report stated that the agriculture sector as a whole needed to improve.

Vulnerability to extreme weather and possible measures to increase resilience should be produced.

5. Strengthen the knowledge of climate change 

The research found that it was crucial that we viewed climate change adaptation as a continuous process. 

In order to do this sustained observations, analysis and climate modelling about the Earth are integral parts of a robust and flexible climate-change adaptation strategy.

It claims knowledge dissemination, innovation and building international relationships is key.

6. Changes in policies 

Before adaptation can be achieved, there are several barriers which include  those that are physical, technical, psychological, financial, institutional and knowledge-based. 

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Climate change protesters cause disruption outside NYT

New York Police officers take into custody activists who climbed on the awning of the New York Times building to hang signs during a climate change rally, Saturday, June 22, 2019, in New York. Activists blocked traffic along 8th Avenue during a sit-in to demand coverage of climate change by the newspaper. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Climate change protesters have been arrested after they blocked traffic outside the New York Times building in Midtown Manhattan.

The protesters from the group Extinction Rebellion hung banners on the skyscraper in midtown Manhattan on Saturday and on the outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal across the street.

A journalist saw more than two dozen protesters arrested after they lay down on Eighth Avenue and blocked traffic. A police spokesman said he had no information on the number of arrests.

A spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion, Eve Mosher, says the group wants the media to report on "the climate emergency" so that "people can start pushing for more radical responses."

A Times spokeswoman said in an email that no national news organization devotes more resources to covering climate change than the Times.

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Kids

How climate anxiety is changing the face of Australian fiction

When Jennifer Mills began writing her Miles Franklin longlisted book Dyschronia in 2011, there weren't a great deal of Australian novels grappling with a post climate change world.

Fast forward several years and a large number of critically-acclaimed works have featured some sort of environmental catastrophe. Australian publishers and booksellers have even adopted a term to help classify the string of books blurring the lines between genre and literary fiction: cli-fi.

"It's an exciting time to be a novelist," Mills says. "But in some ways I wish it wasn't."

Australian author Mireille Juchau believes writers can help make the climate change debate more nuanced and empathetic. Credit:James Brickwood

Sydney-based author Mireille Juchau is another writer who explores ecological disasters. Her most recent novel, The World Without Us, won a Victorian Premier's Literary Award in 2016 and was also shortlisted for the Stella Prize. The book explores grief and family through a world in which bees are dying out as a result of climate change. It has also been optioned for television.

Juchau believes climate change novels are popular because Australians are increasingly bombarded with alarming statistics. Fiction, she believes, is uniquely placed to explore what happens when those projections become reality.

"I feel like the current political debate – not just in this country, but particularly in this country – is impoverished," she says. "Fiction can help fill those gaps by providing a much more nuanced, exciting, imaginative and profound exploration of what is happening in our current moment. Fiction has this unique ability to articulate the inner life."

James Bradley, who has featured climate breakdown in several of his books, agrees.

Jennifer Mills says she hopes fiction can help people work through their fear and anger over climate change.

"It's not a coincidence there are so many dystopias around or that we keep telling stories about zombies and the undead, or even time travel stories," he says. "They're all expressions of a larger sense of a future that's slipping out of our control."

But Victoria University professor and author of the new book The White Girl, Tony Birch, is sceptical about what kind of impact "cli-fi" books can have on people's opinions – let alone government policy.

"I've read some really great fiction dealing with climate change and I hope the genre continues," he says. "But like any other form of communication, its impact will remain limited while we are subject to the deafening shriek of denialism."

Potential outcomes aside, Mills says one thing is clear: these themes aren't going away any time soon. Frequent bushfires and rising oceans haven't been restricted to fiction, either. Flood Damages, a book by young Australian poet Eunice Andrada, recently won the prestigious Anne Elder Award.

"Having done six years of fiction editing … I've read a lot of emerging writers' submissions," Mills says. "If anything, the new  generation of writers are more passionate about this, more engaged and more aware."

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Climate change could see PALM TREES growing wild in the UK

Climate change could see PALM TREES growing wild in the UK after gardeners spot them ‘self-seeding’

  • Climate change may allow palm trees to grow wild across the British countryside
  • Chinese windmill palm has already being reported as able to survive in UK wilds
  • British gardeners say the palms have ‘self-seeded’ in their green spaces 

Forget oak trees – climate change could lead to palms growing wild across the UK, scientists have warned.

The Chinese windmill palm tops a list of ornamental plants that are escaping from greenhouses and flourishing in the wild.

British gardeners have reported that the palms are ‘self-seeding’ – reproducing without human help – and it is thought to be a matter of time before they become a familiar sight in woods and fields around the country.

Palms could start to grow wild across the UK due to climate change, scientists have warned. (Pictured) PhD student at the School of Biological Sciences, Reading University, Tomos Jones next to the Chinese Windmill palm which British gardeners say has started ‘self-seeding’

The slow growing palm is native to China and Myanmar, but has spread across the world. It can reach heights of 66ft, can tolerate high altitudes and is resistant to cold as its trunk is covered in woolly fibre.

It is a familiar sight in Torbay on the ‘Cornish Riviera’, but if predictions of milder winters and warmer summers become a reality, the palm will start popping up elsewhere in the country.

It is one of the species that scientists from Reading University are advising gardeners to keep an eye out for as they make the leap over the garden fence. And researcher Tomos Jones has created a display of ‘Future Invaders’ at the Chelsea Flower Show.

It looks at which plants have the potential to become a nuisance, crowding out native plants and trees, harming biodiversity.

Introduced plants found growing outside the garden environment are known as ‘escapees’ or ‘casual survivors’.

If there is an established population they become ‘naturalised’.Around half of the 3,000 plant species found in Britain are non-native naturalised species, Mr Jones said, but he added that not all are problematic.

‘Chinese windmill palms are a plant on the cusp of escaping,’ he said. ‘It is one of the hardiest palms we’ve got growing in gardens mainly in the south-west and south-east of England.

‘I would put money on it escaping and we will find it increasingly commonly in the wild.’

The plant was first bought to the UK from China in the 1840s by Scottish botanist Robert Fortune and its Latin name is Trachycarpus fortunei.

  • The head of the Royal Horticultural Society, Sue Biggs, says the UK should use its beautiful gardens to attract tourists and take a leaf out of Japan’s book with an annual cherry blossom festival.

Watch out for these plants, which have spread to the UK, too…

Mexican fleabane: First in the UK in 1836 – naturalised in the Channel Islands

Water lettuce: Found in the wild since 1983. On watch list as can clog rivers and ponds.

Grape hyacinth: Introduced from south-eastern Europe in 1878. Takes over gardens

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Oceans could swell nearly SEVEN FEET by 2100, study warns

Oceans could swell nearly SEVEN FEET by 2100 and wipe out the homes of almost 200 million people, new study warns

  • New study analysed effects of melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic
  • Says protection strategies should consider sea level rise will exceed 2m (6.56 ft)
  • Adaptation measures include infrastructure changes, such as ocean defenses

The oceans could swell nearly seven feet by the end of the century – destroying the homes of almost 200 million people, according to new research.

It would wipe out over a million square miles of farming and other food producing lands – having ‘profound consequences for humanity.’

This is over twice as much as previous ‘doomsday’ predictions – suggesting the world really is facing a global warming ‘apocalypse.’

The shock finding is based on a technique called structured expert judgment (SEJ) that pooled the knowledge of 22 climate change specialists.

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Forecasts remain challenging owing to uncertainties regarding the fate of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The latest analysis suggests oceans could swell nearly seven feet by the end of the century – destroying the homes of almost 200 million people

It builds a rational – rather than political – consensus by accounting for both uncertainties and diversity of opinions or perspectives.

In the first study of its kind the international team found protection strategies should consider future sea level rise (SLR) will exceed 2 metres (6.56 ft).

Lead author Professor Jonathan Bamber, of Bristol University’s School of Geographical Sciences, said: ‘Such a rise in global sea level could result in land loss of 1.79 million square kilometres (1.1 million square miles).

‘This includes critical regions of food production – and potential displacement of up to 187 million people.’

He added: ‘An SLR of this magnitude would clearly have profound consequences for humanity.’

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, analysed melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic – and the resulting sea level rise.

It provides the most accurate understanding to date of their effect – with SLR posing a threat to coastal communities and ecosystems, said the researchers.

This will help in implementing adaptation strategies that require ‘quantitative projections’ of future SLR based on numerical facts.

Such forecasts remain challenging owing to uncertainties regarding the fate of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

There are two main policy responses to climate change – mitigation and adaptation.

The former addresses the root causes by reducing greenhouse emissions while the latter seeks to lower the risks posed by the consequences.

Humans have been adapting to their environments throughout history by developing practices, cultures and livelihoods suited to local conditions.

These range from the Mediterranean siesta to the Vietnamese practice of building homes on stilts to protect against monsoonal rains.

But climate change raises the possibility existing societies will experience shifts in temperature, storm frequency and flooding on an unprecedented scale.

Adaptation measures include large-scale infrastructure changes – such as building ocean defences.

So Prof Bamber and colleagues asked the panel to provide plausible ranges for future ice accumulation, discharge and surface run-off for each of the Greenland, West Antarctic and East Antarctic ice sheets.

This was under both low and high global temperature rise scenarios.

Prof Bamber said: ‘SEJ provides a formal approach for estimating uncertain quantities based on current scientific understanding, and can be useful for estimating quantities that are difficult to model.

‘Projections of total global SLR using this method yielded a small but meaningful probability of SLR exceeding two metres by the year 2100 under the high temperature scenario.

‘This was roughly equivalent to ‘business as usual’ and well above the ‘likely’ upper limit presented in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).’

That warned of a maximum 98 cm (3.2 ft) rise by 2100. Even this which would threaten the survival of coastal cities and entire island nations.

Prof Bamber and colleagues say communities should not rule out a 21st-century SLR above two metres when developing adaptation strategies.

The study also provided an opportunity for experts to discuss their scientific rationales for the quantitative judgments they make on uncertainties relating to future ice sheet contributions to sea level.

This unique approach also served to identify some poorly understood but potentially critical processes, such as ‘marine ice cliff instability’, which may act in future as significant tipping points in ice sheet response to temperature rise.

Co-author Professor Willy Aspinall, from Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, added: ‘It’s hoped the results can provide decision-makers with greater awareness of potential high-end SLR, which is crucial for robust decision making.

‘Limiting attention to the ‘likely’ range, as was the case in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, may be misleading and will likely lead to a poor evaluation of the true risks.’

WHAT WOULD SEA LEVEL RISES MEAN FOR COASTAL CITIES?

Global sea levels could rise as much as 10ft (3 metres) if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica collapses. 

Sea level rises threaten cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives. 

In the UK, for instance, a rise of 6.7ft (2 metres) or more may cause areas such as Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of east London and the Thames Estuary at risk of becoming submerged.

The collapse of the glacier, which could begin with decades, could also submerge major cities such as New York and Sydney.

Parts of New Orleans, Houston and Miami in the south on the US would also be particularly hard hit.

A 2014 study looked by the union of concerned scientists looked at 52 sea level indicators in communities across the US.

It found tidal flooding will dramatically increase in many East and Gulf Coast locations, based on a conservative estimate of predicted sea level increases based on current data.

The results showed that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades.

By 2030, more than half of the 52 communities studied are projected to experience, on average, at least 24 tidal floods per year in exposed areas, assuming moderate sea level rise projections. Twenty of these communities could see a tripling or more in tidal flooding events.

The mid-Atlantic coast is expected to see some of the greatest increases in flood frequency. Places such as Annapolis, Maryland and Washington, DC can expect more than 150 tidal floods a year, and several locations in New Jersey could see 80 tidal floods or more.

In the UK, a two metre (6.5 ft) rise by 2040 would see large parts of Kent almost completely submerged, according to the results of a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in November 2016.

Areas on the south coast like Portsmouth, as well as Cambridge and Peterborough would also be heavily affected.

Cities and towns around the Humber estuary, such as Hull, Scunthorpe and Grimsby would also experience intense flooding. 

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Trees ‘live fast and die young’ thanks to global warming

Global warming will reduce the amount of carbon absorbed by forests because higher temperatures will mean the lifespan of trees will be shorter

  • Trees grow faster as temperatures increase and have a shorter life expectancy 
  • The overall impact means trees will soak up less atmospheric carbon dioxide  
  • Carbon that is stored in the trees is returned to the environment when they die  

Global warming will reduce the amount of carbon stored in forests, warns a new study.

Scientists say it is down to the fact that trees tend to ‘live fast and die young’ in the world’s continually warming climate. 

The research team, led by Cambridge University scientists, said that increasing temperatures boosts annual tree growth but slashes their lifespan. 

The overall result, they claim, is a reduction in the amount of carbon stored in forests as it returns to the environment when they die. 

Carbon from plants and trees enters into the carbon cycle when they die and this eventually manifests itself as carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas. 

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Cambridge University scientists found that as temperatures increase, trees grow faster – but they also tend to die younger (stock)

Warm temperatures provide ideal growing conditions for trees which, the researchers believe, doesn’t prepare the plant for adversity.

They say the lack of ‘toughening up’ often leads to the trees perishing when those grown in cooler climates would survive. 

The researchers said their findings have implications for global carbon cycle dynamics and, ultimately, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

As the Earth’s climate continues to warm, they say tree growth will continue to accelerate, but the length of time that trees store carbon – the so-called ‘carbon residence time’ – will diminish.

During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to build new cells.

The research team explained that long-living trees, such as pines from high elevations and other conifers found across the high-northern latitude forests, can store carbon for many centuries.

Study lead author Professor Ulf Büntgen, of Cambridge University’s Department of Geography, said: ‘As the planet warms, it causes plants to grow faster, so the thinking is that planting more trees will lead to more carbon getting removed from the atmosphere.

‘But that’s only half of the story. The other half is one that hasn’t been considered: that these fast-growing trees are holding carbon for shorter periods of time.’

Professor Büntgen uses the information contained in tree rings to study past climate conditions.

He explained that tree rings are as distinctive as fingerprints: the width, density and anatomy of each annual ring contains information about what the climate was like during that particular year.

By taking core samples from living trees and disc samples of dead trees, scientists are able to reconstruct how the Earth’s climate system behaved in the past and understand how ecosystems were, and are, responding to temperature variation.

As the Earth’s climate continues to warm, they say tree growth will continue to accelerate, but the length of time that trees store carbon – the so-called ‘carbon residence time’ – will diminish (stock image)

For the current study, Professor Büntgen along with colleagues from Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Russia, sampled more than 1,100 living and dead mountain pines from the Spanish Pyrenees and 660 Siberian larch samples from the Russian Altai.

Both are high-altitude forests that have been undisturbed for thousands of years.

The researchers used the samples to reconstruct the total lifespan and juvenile growth rates of trees that were growing during both industrial and pre-industrial climate conditions.

They found that harsh, cold conditions cause tree growth to slow, but they also make trees stronger, so that they can live to a great age.

But trees growing faster during their first 25 years die much sooner than their slow-growing relatives.

The negative relationship remained ‘statistically significant’ for samples from both living and dead trees in both regions, according to the findings.

The idea of a carbon residence time was first put forward by co-author Professor Christian Körner, of the University of Basel in Switzerland, but the study is the first time that it has been confirmed by data.

The link between growth rate and lifespan is comparable to the relationship between heart rate and lifespan seen in the animal kingdom, explained the researchers, as animals with quicker heart rates tend to grow faster but not live so long.

Professor Büntgen added: ‘We wanted to test the ‘live fast, die young’ hypothesis, and we’ve found that for trees in cold climates, it appears to be true.

‘We’re challenging some long-held assumptions in this area, which have implications for large-scale carbon cycle dynamics.’

The full findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

WHAT CAN TREE RINGS TELL US? 

Trees can live for hundreds—and sometimes even thousands—of years. 

Over this long lifetime, a tree can experience a variety of environmental conditions: wet years, dry years, cold years, hot years, early frosts, forest fires and more. 

Concentric rings in tree trunks tell us how old the tree is, and what the weather was like during each year of the tree’s life. 

The light-coloured rings represent wood that grew in the spring and early summer, while the dark rings represent wood that grew in the late summer and fall. One light ring plus one dark ring equals one year of the tree’s life.

Because trees are sensitive to local climate conditions, such as rain and temperature, they give scientists some information about that area’s local climate in the past.

Concentric rings in tree trunks tell us how old the tree is, and what the weather was like during each year of the tree’s life. One light ring plus one dark ring equals one year of the tree’s life

 For example, tree rings usually grow wider in warm, wet years and they are thinner in years when it is cold and dry.

 If the tree has experienced stressful conditions, such as a drought, the tree might hardly grow at all in those years.

Very old trees can offer clues about what the climate was like long before measurements were recorded. This field—the study of past climates—is called paleoclimatology.

Paleoclimatologists rely upon natural sources of climate data, such as tree rings, cores drilled from Antarctic ice and sediment collected from the bottom of lakes and oceans. These sources, called proxies, can extend our knowledge of weather and climate from hundreds to millions of years 

Combined with weather and climate information from satellites, they can help scientists model major climate events that shaped our planet in the past. 

And these models can also help us make predictions about what climate patterns to expect in the future. 

 SOURCE: NASA

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Children worried about climate change can change their parents’ minds

Children who are worried about climate change can make sceptical parents change their minds, research finds – and self-described conservative adults are most affected

  • Scientists used a curriculum aimed at influencing parents through their children
  • They found it to be effective at changing climate change perceptions in adults
  • Male and conservative parents in particular experienced the biggest changes 
  • Daughters were the most influential at passing on the message to their parents 
  • The method could be used to address the huge polarisation of attitudes towards climate change in adults in the US 

Informing parents of the risks posed by climate change may be best done through their children, a new study suggests. 

Researchers from the North Carolina State University (NCSU) designed a curriculum that was focused on raising climate change awareness in parents through middle school children.

They found this to be an effective way of creating higher levels of concern in the parents. 

Male parents and conservative parents, who began least interested in climate change effects, showed the strongest change in attitude.  

Daughters were shown to be the most influential with their parents, the study found.

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Reaching adults with messages of climate change may be best done through their children, a new report suggests. Daughters were shown to be the most influential with their parents, the study found. (stock image) 

The latest study tested the effectiveness a specially designed curriculum for 10-14-year-olds in maximising what scientists called child-to-parent ‘intergenerational transfer’ on climate change.   

The term is described by the authors of the study as ‘the transfer of knowledge, attitudes or behaviours from children to parents. 

Both the children and parents in the study were asked to rate their worry about climate change using a scale. Zero represented a neutral attitude whereas a minus score indicated no reason to worry. 

A score of one to five represented increasing concerns – with five being the highest level. 

They found that children who participated in the curriculum showed larger increases in climate change concern than students in the control group. 

They found that changes in parents’ climate change concern were strongest among the groups that were usually the most resistant to messages about the detrimental outcomes climate change.

The biggest changes in attitudes were reported in conservative fathers who began by showing low concern and high scepticism around climate change.   

Daughters were also more effective than sons in changing climate change ideology among their parents.  

Overall, the researchers found their method was a promising way for overcoming barriers to understanding climate change in adults that broke free of economic backgrounds and political beliefs. 

Researchers from the North Carolina State University (NCSU) designed a curriculum that was designed to impact climate change awareness in parents through middle school children

HOW BELIEF IN CLIMATE CHANGE VARIES ACROSS THE US  

In the study, the researchers found that people who experience more record highs than lows are more likely to believe that the planet is warming.

But, those who live in regions that have felt record cold temperatures, such as southern portions of Ohio and the Mississippi River basins, tend to doubt the validity of warming.

According to the researchers from George Washington University, many Americans believe global warming is related to the frequency of weather-related events they experience.

To make the learning more localised, the researchers used species local to both North Carolina and the southeastern United States as individuals have been shown to  engage with climate change more readily when it is framed in local contexts.  

The authors who led on the study from NCSU wrote in the latest report: ‘Because climate change perceptions in children seem less susceptible to the influence of worldview or political context, it may be possible for them to inspire adults towards higher levels of climate concern, and in turn, collective action.

‘As adolescents learn about climate change, they are less influenced by socio-ideological factors than adults are.’ 

‘Although climate change communication and education campaigns have mixed or even polarising results among adults, climate change education promotes climate change concern and mitigation behaviours among children.’

The researchers noted how children have been shown to influence their parents on a range of socially controversial topics such as sexual orientation, and may be able to make similar inroads with climate change. 

They found this to be an effective method in creating higher levels of concern in middle school parents around the topic. Male parents and conservative parents, who began least interested in climate change effects showed the strongest change in attitude (stock image)

‘Given the special relationship children have with parents, they may even be able to transcend socio-ideological barriers to climate change concern,’ the researchers added. 

In the latest paper, the research team noted that the US adult population were particularly polarised in their beliefs in climate change and much of this can be explained by socio-ideological factors.

Political ideology is consistently one of the major drivers and affects both the information received about climate change and how it is interpreted, according to the researchers.

Conservative males are more likely to show low concern and high scepticism around climate change.         

‘Our results suggest that intergenerational learning may overcome barriers to building climate concern,’ the report concluded. 

 The full study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

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Climate change activist Greta Thunberg, 16, calls for a general strike

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg, 16, calls for first general strike in almost 100 years in a bid to force leaders to act over ‘existential crisis’

  • Schoolgirl’s protest led to children around the world skipping school inn ‘strike’
  • She came to Britain last week to support Extinction Rebellion action in London
  • Now she’s called for a general strike in the UK over the threat of climate change 

The Swedish schoolgirl behind the children’s global warming school boycott is now calling for adults to join them in a general strike.

Greta Thunberg is the 16-year-old whose refusal to go to school because of climate change led to children around the world skipping classes to protest.

She came to Britain last week and spoke to the activists camping out in Marble Arch and causing chaos to London’s transport networks.

Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has called for a general strike in the UK

Today, Greta will visit the House of Commons to speak to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and environment minister Michael Gove.

Speaking at an event in London yesterday, she called on the UK to hold a general strike over climate change.

The schoolgirl then told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that there needs to be ‘a level of panic’ over climate change.

She added: ‘If your house is on fire then that does require some level of panic.

‘You don’t sit talking about insurance claims and rebuilding – you do everything you can to put out the fire.’

The Nobel Peace Prize nominee is also expected to meet the leaders at around 11.30am on Tuesday before giving a speech at a meeting in Portcullis House at around 2pm.

Greta called for a General Strike over climate change at an event in London yesterday

Six months ago, the then-unknown Miss Thunberg camped outside Sweden’s parliament next to a hand-written sign that read ‘Skolstrejk för Klimatet’ (School strike for the climate).

She skipped school every Friday to sit on the steps of the Riksdag and soon became a global success following her first TED talk – which now has more than a million views.

But questions have been raised over whether the teenager’s rise to global fame is actually a carefully laid out public relations campaign.

The school strike coincided with the launch of a book about climate change written by her mother, well known opera singer Malena Ernman, according to Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche.

Miss Thunberg denied that the book launch had anything to do with her personal school strike.

What is a General Strike and when was one last held in the UK? 

Demonstrators marching during the General Strike of 1926

A General Strike is when unions representing workers across the economy take coordinated action.

But such tactics are illegal and many left-wingers say they are counterproductive.

The last time a general strike happened was 1926, in solidarity with around a million coal miners who were in dispute with owners who wanted them to work longer hours for less money.

Large numbers of people joined the strike including bus, rail and dock workers, crippling the country and limiting food supplied.

The action came against a backdrop of post-war economic turmoil and the spread of communism.

The armed forces mobilised to escort and protect food lorries, and volunteers were used to operate buses and trains.

After nine days, the TUC called off the strike without any concessions made to the miners’ case.

Some strikers pressed on but slowed the action ebbed away.

A year later, the Tory government passed the Trades Disputes Act, which banned sympathy strikes and mass picketing.

The act was repealed under Labour in 1946, but in the 1980s the Thatcher government reintroduced the ban.

 

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Climate change has caused hundreds of walruses to plunge to death

Shocking Our Planet footage shows how climate change is causing walruses to plunge to their deaths off cliffs ‘they should never have scaled,’ as retreating sea ice pushes them further onto shore

  • Walruses have been confused by shrinking ice, compounded by poor eyesight
  • As dwindling ice pushes them to shore, they often end up on high cliffs 
  • The walruses hear others below and attempt to join them, falling to their death 

When you think of the effects climate change is having on the Arctic and its wildlife, it’s often polar bears that come to mind.

But, a shocking new segment of Netflix’s Our Planet has highlighted the gruesome fate of walruses forced increasingly onto shore as sea ice dwindles.

The David Attenborough-narrated series shows a shocking look at walruses who have become confused by a combination of shrinking ice cover and their own poor eyesight, causing them to scale cliffs and often plummet to their deaths when they attempt to return to sea.

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A shocking new segment of Netflix’s Our Planet has highlighted the gruesome fate of walruses forced increasingly onto shore as sea ice dwindles. The walruses have been climbing high onto cliffs and falling to their deaths

In the disturbing clip, walruses can be seen perched precariously on the edge of the rocky cliffs, unaware of just how high up they are.

All they know, Attenborough says, is that they need to join the other walruses and find food.

‘A walrus’ eyesight out of water is poor,’ Attenborough says.

‘But they can sense the others down below. As they get hungry, they need to return to the sea.

‘In their desperation to do so, hundreds fall from heights they should never have scaled.’

Walruses are among the top Arctic species feeling the effects of climate change as they rely heavily on sea ice to rest between hunts.

As the ice shrinks, more and more are coming onto shore, WWF explains.

In addition to unfamiliar and dangerous terrain, ’on land, they’re highly susceptible to disturbance from humans, aircraft or predators such as polar bears, which can spook them and cause crushing stampedes,’ according to WWF.

These massive marine mammals also give birth on sea ice, and turn to the ice edges to mate. 

Sea ice also provides crucial shelter from storms and predators, according to an NOAA report.

The David Attenborough-narrated series shows a shocking look at walruses who have become confused by a combination of shrinking ice cover and their own poor eyesight, causing them to scale cliffs and often plummet to their deaths when they attempt to return to sea

In the disturbing clip, walruses can be seen perched precariously on the edge of the rocky cliffs, unaware of just how high up they are. They then fall below, amid bodies and other living walruses 

While the loss of sea ice may not drive them to extinction, scientists say it will have devastating impacts on their population.

‘It is certain that land-based sites alone will not support the same number of walruses that the mixed seasonal use of sea ice and land has permitted in the past,’ scientists wrote in a 2015 study.

‘Additionally, documented declines in the northern Bering Sea among dominant clam populations that are critical prey for walruses, associated with reductions in sea ice declines, provide cause for concern; such ecosystem changes are clearly important for walruses and other animals.’

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF LOWER SEA ICE LEVELS?

The amount of Arctic sea ice peaks around March as winter comes to a close.

NASA recently announced that the maximum amount of sea ice this year was low, following three other record-low measurements taken in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

This can lead to a number of negative effects that impact climate, weather patterns, plant and animal life and indigenous human communities.

The amount of sea ice in the Arctic is declining, and this has dangerous consequences, NASA says

Additionally, the disappearing ice can alter shipping routes and affect coastal erosion and ocean circulation.

NASA researcher Claire Parkinson said: ‘The Arctic sea ice cover continues to be in a decreasing trend and this is connected to the ongoing warming of the Arctic.

‘It’s a two-way street: the warming means less ice is going to form and more ice is going to melt, but, also, because there’s less ice, less of the sun’s incident solar radiation is reflected off, and this contributes to the warming.’ 

 

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Venus may have had a climate suitable for life BILLIONS of years ago

Venus had vast oceans of liquid water billions of years ago until the sun’s gravity forced the planet to almost stop spinning and formed a toxic atmosphere of greenhouse gases

  • Temperatures on Venus can reach in excess of 450°C thanks to its atmosphere 
  • It once had vast oceans and spun at a much quicker rate than it does now 
  • Gravity from the sun pulled on the liquid water and caused it to slow down  
  • Thick clouds of greenhouse gases then formed and warmed the atmosphere  
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Venus may have been habitable billions of years ago, with vast oceans made of liquid water possibly supporting life. 

Gravity from the sun pulled on the water and slowed down the rotation of the planet until greenhouse gases formed thick clouds and heated the planet. 

It underwent rapid change and is currently one of the hottest in the solar system, with temperatures topping 450°C (840°F). 

Oceans evaporated as the planet warmed, causing it to spin progressively slower, until it reached its current lethargic pace of one rotation every 243 days.

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Venus (artist’s impression, pictured) changed rapidly after spinning rapidly and having oceans of liquid water and is currently one of the hottest in the solar system, with temperatures topping 450°C (840°F)

Venus has the longest days of any planet in the solar system but in its infancy this may have not been the case.

Experts now think it was likely similar to Earth.

Michael Way, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, led research investigating how liquid water oceans on Venus affected the planet’s spin. 

Water on any celestial body is heavily influenced by the gravitational pull of nearby planets, stars or moons.

For example, Earth’s tides are caused by the moon’s presence. 

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Venus however, had a far more significant body interfering with its tides – the sun. 

The tides of Venus would have been far stronger for this reason and the pull then was responsible for slowing down the planet’s spin. 

The researchers calculated that it could have slowed by as much as five days every million years. 


Gravity from the sun pulled on the planet’s water and slowed down the spin of the planet until greenhouse gases formed thick clouds and heated the planet and turned it into the inhospitable world it is today (artist’s impression of the surface of Venus)

Astronomers extrapolated the data and say it would have taken less than 50 million years to reach its current rate. 

The findings were presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas. 

Dr Way told New Scientist: ‘Venus stays very cool because the clouds are blocking that solar radiation.’ 

These clouds were responsible for its rapid warming as greenhouse gases trapped heat. 

This completely changes the planet, making it into a furnace and creating the hottest planet in the solar system where the existence of life is almost impossible. 

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT VENUS’ ATMOSPHERE?

Venus’ atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulphuric acid droplets. 

The thick atmosphere traps the sun’s heat, resulting in surface temperatures higher than 470°C (880°F).

The atmosphere has many layers with different temperatures. 

At the level where the clouds are, about 30 miles (50 km) up from the surface, it’s about the same temperature as on the surface of the Earth.

As Venus moves forward in its solar orbit while slowly rotating backwards on its axis, the top level of clouds zips around the planet every four Earth days.

They are driven by hurricane-force winds travelling at about 224 miles (360 km) per hour. 

Atmospheric lightning bursts light up these quick-moving clouds. 

Speeds within the clouds decrease with cloud height, and at the surface are estimated to be just a few miles (km) per hour.

On the ground, it would look like a very hazy, overcast day on Earth and the atmosphere is so heavy it would feel like you were one mile (1.6km) deep underwater.

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Climate change is shifting Spring forward in the UK

Climate change is shifting Spring forward in the UK with butterflies hatching TWO WEEKS earlier and birds laying eggs sooner than 50 years ago

  • Wildlife could get ‘out of sync’ with the life cycles of other species they rely on
  • Aphids, moths and butterflies are also now flying much earlier, experts say 
  • The shift towards is also happening in shady forests as well as more open areas
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Climate change is shifting spring forward in the UK, with insects on the wing and birds nesting earlier than they used to, a 50-year study has confirmed.

The research finds aphids, moths and butterflies are now flying and birds are laying eggs much earlier than in the mid-20th century, but how much of a shift there has been depends on where in the UK and which habitat they are in.

The researchers warned variations in how different groups of animals were shifting their behaviour means wildlife could get ‘out of sync’ with the life cycles of other species they rely on for food.


Climate change is shifting spring forward in the UK, with insects on the wing and birds nesting earlier than they used to, a 50-year study has confirmed (stock image) 

It also suggests wildlife will not be protected in habitats such as woodlands, which it had been thought might provide more stable conditions that could be a ‘buffer’ to rising temperatures.

The shift towards an earlier spring is also happening in shady forests as well as more open areas, the study into the seasonal habits of more than 250 UK species found.

Lead author Dr James Bell, who heads up the Rothamsted Insect Survey, said: ‘There was already good evidence that spring is coming earlier each year, but what we didn’t expect to find was that it was advancing as much in forests as it is in open areas such as grassland.

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‘Equally, in areas where we’d expect to see much greater acceleration, such as urban parkland, the rates of advance appear to be the same.

‘This all points to a complex picture emerging under climate change, which makes ecosystem responses hard to predict, and even harder for conservationists to prepare for.’

He added: ‘The work is important because is shows us that we cannot rely on habitat to slow down climate change impacts, even in woodlands and forests where the conditions are more stable, and which were expected to buffer against adverse changes.’

The detailed picture built up by the study, which used data that stretches back to 1960, reveals that the responses by species to climate change are not straightforward.

Moths which turn from caterpillars to adults on the wing earlier in the year seem to be more responsive to climate change that those which change later, with moths that start flying before June now doing so much earlier.

In the north of the UK, changes in the climate may have different impacts on species, as butterflies become active earlier in the warmer wetter west than the colder drier east, but the opposite is true for birds laying eggs.

And birds and butterflies that live on farmland – as well as birds that live in coastal areas – are seeing later activity, suggesting that other factors such as a decline in available food are also in play.

The research – which also involved scientists from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the British Trust for Ornithology, Butterfly Conservation, and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture – was published in the journal Global Change Biology.

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Aussie rodent becomes first ‘climate change extinction’

Rodent becomes first ‘climate change extinction’: Australia officially declares the Great Barrier Reef’s Bramble Cay melomys is no more

A Great Barrier Reef rodent has officially been declared ‘extinct’ by the Australian government today. 

The news makes the Bramble Cay melomys the first mammal believed to have been killed off as a result of man-made climate change.

The rat-like rodent, whose only known habitat was a small sandy island in far northern Australia, has not been seen in a decade.

Researchers from Queensland said the extinction was ‘almost certainly’ due to repeated ocean inundation of the cay, a low-lying island on a coral reef — over the last decade, which had resulted in dramatic habitat loss.

The Bramble Cay melomys are belved to be first mammal driven to excinction due to climate change. The rat-like rodent, whose only known habitat was a small sandy island in far northern Australia, has not been seen in a decade.


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Australia’s environment ministry on Tuesday said it had officially transferred the animal to the ‘extinct’ list.

The declaration was expected. The researchers completed a wide-ranging survey in 2014 in a bid to track down the species, but found no trace.

Available data on sea-level rise and weather events in the Torres Strait region ‘point to human-induced climate change being the root cause of the loss of the Bramble Cay melomys’, a study released in 2016 said.

The Melomys rubicola, considered the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species, was first discovered on the cay in 1845 by Europeans who shot the ‘large rats’ for sport.

The rat-like Bramble Cay melomys lived on a tiny island at the top of the Great Barrier Reef and had not been seen in a decade

 

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Ocean mixing that drives climate found in surprise location

Shocked scientists find the ‘ocean conveyor belt’ that drives the planet’s climate was NOT where they expected

  •  Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation moves water from Greenland south to beyond the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean
  • Warm, salty water near the surface moves north and mixes with cold, fresher water near Greenland 
  • Drives a slow circulation of the oceans that is critical to global climate
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One of the key drivers of the world’s climate is an area in the North Atlantic Ocean where warmer and colder water mix and swirl. 

When scientists went for their first close look at this critical underwater dynamo, they found they were looking in the wrong place.

By hundreds of miles.


In this September 2018 photo provided by researcher Isabela Le Bras, mooring for measuring equipment is recovered just offshore of Greenland in the early morning with icebergs visible in the background. Scientists were studying the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a circulation of warm and cold waters that stretches from around Greenland south to beyond the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.

The consequences are not quite yet understood, but eventually it could change forecasts of one of the worst-case global warming scenarios – still considered unlikely this century – in which the mixing stops and climate chaos ensues.

It’s called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation , and scientists describe it as a giant ocean conveyor belt that moves water from Greenland south to beyond the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.

Warm, salty water near the surface moves north and mixes with cold, fresher water near Greenland. 

As that water cools and sinks it drives a slow circulation of the oceans that is critical to global climate, affecting the location of droughts and frequency of hurricanes. It also stores heat-trapping carbon dioxide deep in the ocean. 

The faster it moves, the more warm water gets sent into the depths to cool.

The area where warm water turns over in the North Atlantic is considered to be the engine of the conveyor belt. 

Scientists thought it was in the Labrador Sea west of Greenland.

WHAT IS THE GLOBAL OCEAN CONVEYOR BELT?

When it comes to regulating global climate, the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean plays a key role.

This is due to a constantly moving system of deep-water circulation often referred to as the Global Ocean Conveyor Belt which sends warm, salty Gulf Stream water to the North Atlantic where it releases heat to the atmosphere and warms Western Europe.

The cooler water then sinks to great depths and travels all the way to Antarctica and eventually circulates back up to the Gulf Stream.


When it comes to regulating global climate, the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean plays a key role

This motion is fuelled by thermohaline currents – a combination of temperature and salt.

It takes 1,000 years for water to complete a continuous journey around the world.

Researchers believe that as the North Atlantic began to warm near the end of the Little Ice Age, freshwater disrupted the system, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

Arctic sea ice, and ice sheets and glaciers surrounding the Arctic began to melt, forming a huge natural tap of fresh water that gushed into the North Atlantic.

This huge influx of freshwater diluted the surface seawater, making it lighter and less able to sink deep, slowing down the AMOC system.

Researchers found the AMOC has been weakening more rapidly since 1950 in response to recent global warming.

But then a new international science team measured temperature, saltiness and the speed of ocean currents throughout the North Atlantic to try to better understand the conveyor belt. 

The preliminary results after hundreds of measurements in 21 months found that engine was several hundreds of miles east of where they figured, said study lead author Susan Lozier, an ocean sciences professor at Duke University. 

The study, published in Thursday’s journal Science, puts it east of Greenland, closer to Scotland.

The computer simulations that predict how the climate could change in coming years didn’t factor in exactly where the conveyor belt engine is, and now they may be able to. 

Lozier and several outside experts said this doesn’t change their trust in the models, especially because when the models are checked with what is happening in the real world, they are found to be generally accurate.

‘It doesn’t mean that the models are all wrong at all,’ said Tom Delworth, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s geophysical lab in Princeton, New Jersey.

MIT’s Carl Wunsch and other outside experts said the study was helpful, but pointed out that 21 months of study is not enough to know if this different location is temporary or permanent.

Scientists have long feared that the conveyor belt could be slowing and, in a worst-case scenario, could even stop and cause abrupt and catastrophic climate change.

It is considered a potential climate tipping point that was the premise of the scientifically inaccurate 2004 disaster movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’


In this September 2018 photo provided by researcher Isabela Le Bras, a probe which collects water samples and measures temperature, salinity and pressure is prepared for deployment on the continental shelf of Greenland. Scientists were studying the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a circulation of warm and cold waters that stretches from around Greenland south to beyond the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.

Based on computer model studies, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in an earlier study it is ‘very unlikely’ that the conveyor belt would collapse this century. But the Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel concluded it is likely to get about a third slower if greenhouse gas emissions continue at its current pace.

A study last year found that global warming is weakening the system, saying the conveyor belt was moving at its slowest speed in nearly 140 years of records.

‘Our basic understanding that the collapse is unlikely still stands,’ said Delworth, who wasn’t part of the study. 

‘Our uncertainty about that prediction is high.’

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Climate change could reach the ‘tipping point’ sooner than predicted

Scientists warn climate change could reach a ‘tipping point’ sooner than predicted as global emissions outpace Earth’s ability to soak up carbon

  • A new study investigated how changes in soil moisture affect the ‘carbon sink’
  • Researchers found variability reduces vegetation’s ability to uptake carbon
  • Study warns carbon uptake could hit its maximum, cause warming to accelerate 
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The climate change threat may be even graver than scientists have anticipated.

In 2018, global carbon emissions hit the highest levels yet and researchers now warn Earth’s ‘tipping point’ may be fast approaching.

If emissions continue at the current rates, a new study found that the planet’s vegetation may not be able to keep up – and, once plants and soil hit the maximum carbon uptake they can handle, warming could rapidly accelerate.


The climate change threat may be even graver than scientists have anticipated. In 2018, global carbon emissions hit the highest levels yet and researchers now warn Earth’s ‘tipping point’ may be fast approaching. File photo

The new study from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science investigates how the hydrological cycle ties into Earth’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide.

As warming occurs, rainfall patterns around the world are expected change – and with that, the ability of vegetation to uptake carbon.

‘It is unclear, however, whether the land can continue to uptake anthropogenic emissions at the current rates,’ says lead researcher Pierre Gentine.

‘Should the land reach a maximum carbon uptake rate, global warming could accelerate, with important consequences for people and the environment.

‘This means that we all really need to act now to avoid greater consequences of climate change.’

The researchers analyzed a factor known as net biome productivity (NBP) using data from the Global Land Atmosphere Coupling Experiment–Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (GLACE-CMIP5).

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This allowed them to define how much carbon is tored in vegetation and soil, and isolate the effects of changes in soil moisture.

‘We saw that the value of NBP, in this instance a net gain of carbon on the land surface, would actually be almost twice as high if it weren’t for these changes (variability and trend) in soil moisture,’ said lead author PhD student Julia Green.


 If emissions continue at the current rates, a new study found that the planet’s vegetation may not be able to keep up – and, once plants and soil hit the maximum carbon uptake they can handle, warming could rapidly accelerate. File photo

‘This is a big deal. If soil moisture continues to reduce NBP at the current rate, and the rate of carbon uptake by the land starts to decrease by the middle of the century – as we found in the models – we could potentially see a large increase in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and a corresponding rise in the effects of global warming and climate change,’ Green said.

WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT? 

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.

It hopes to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C (3.6ºF) ‘and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F)’.

It seems the more ambitious goal of restricting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) may be more important than ever, according to previous research which claims 25 per cent of the world could see a significant increase in drier conditions.

In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention for the US, the second largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, to withdraw from the agreement.  

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals with regards to reducing emissions:

1)  A long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels

2) To aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change

3) Goverments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries

4) To undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science

Source: European Commission 

According to the researchers, the soil-moisture variability reduces land’s ability to soak up carbon.

And, as climate change drives more extreme weather events – including droughts and heat waves – the problem could soon get much worse.

‘Essentially, if there were no droughts and heat waves, if there were not going to be any long-term drying over the next century, then the continents would be able to store almost twice as much carbon as they do now,’ Gentine said.

‘Because soil moisture plays such a large role in the carbon cycle, in the ability of the land to uptake carbon, it’s essential that processes related to its representation in models become a top research priority.’

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Will We Survive Climate Change?

Are we doomed?

If you’re an expert in climate science, you probably get this question a lot.

“I do,” said Kate Marvel, associate research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “And I’ve been hearing it more recently.”

It’s no mystery why. Reports of the threats from a warming planet have been coming fast and furiously. The latest: a startling analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting terrible food shortages, wildfires and a massive die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040, unless governments take strong action.

The Paris climate accord set a goal of keeping the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. At 2 degrees, things are bad enough: Arctic sea ice is 10 times more likely to disappear over the summer, along with most of the world’s coral reefs. As much as 37 percent of the world’s population becomes exposed to extreme heat waves, with an estimated 411 million people subject to severe urban drought and 80 million people to flooding from rising sea levels.

But if we can hold the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Arctic sea ice is far likelier to survive the summers. Coral reefs will continue to be damaged, but will not be wiped out. The percentage of people exposed to severe heat waves would plummet to about 14 percent. The number exposed to urban drought would drop by more than 60 million people.

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Still, no major industrialized nation is on track to meet the 2-degree goal, much less the 1.5-degree mark. And the Earth has already warmed by 1 degree. Even if, through huge effort and force of will, we cut our greenhouse gas emissions greatly, the effects of today’s carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be felt for centuries to come.

While that is undoubtedly grim, it’s not as bad as it could be. Reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could eventually reverse some of the most troublesome effects of warming.

The worst-case scenarios are so dire that a type of climate coverage has emerged that tends toward the apocalyptic. This year, William T. Vollmann published a two-volume work, “Carbon Ideologies,” that he purported to write for inhabitants of a calamitous and wretched future.

After describing the amount of energy that goes into making glass, he added, “I hope that you have at least inherited a few of our windowpanes. Maybe you pried them out of drowned properties and fitted them into your caves.”

To James Hansen, the scientist who warned of climate change in landmark congressional testimony 30 years ago, the apocalyptic talk gets old.

“I find the people who think we are doomed to be very tiring and unhelpful,” he said. The most catastrophic outcomes can be avoided “if we are smart, and I think we are capable of being smart.”

11 Things We’d Really Like to Know

And a few we’d rather not discuss

Dr. Marvel agreed. “It’s worth pointing out there is no scientific support for inevitable doom,” she said.

“Climate change is not pass-fail,” she added. “There is a real continuum of futures, a continuum of possibilities.”

So yes, things will be bad. And yes, we need to do more, so much more, to head off what could come. But how awful things get, and for how many people, depends on what we do.

And although humans famously avoid acting on long-term problems, the species does possess a capacity for looking ahead.

“We do think about the future,” Dr. Marvel said. “We plant trees,” and “we have children.”

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, noted that her professional peers tend to be conservative about their findings: “If they say something’s bad, you know it’s probably a lot worse than they said.”

Still, “I do find hope.” Young people are becoming climate leaders, she noted, and developing technologies already can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

“It’s expensive, but the fact that we can do it is pretty danged hopeful,” she said.

Part of getting to a better future comes down to explaining more effectively the problems of the present, Dr. Hayhoe said. A message of inevitable doom creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, she said: “The worst will happen, because we give up.”

It might feel that attacking climate change is like moving an enormous boulder “with just a few hands to push it,” she added. But “there’s millions of hands already on the boulder,” thanks to things like the economic trends favoring renewable energy.

“The world is changing,” Dr. Hayhoe said. “It just isn’t fast enough.”

There is not just one way to talk about climate change, however. As Dr. Marvel put it, “There’s nothing that’s going to work on everybody, and there’s no definition of ‘work’ that everybody agrees on.”

One message might motivate people to act, another might evoke an emotional response, and yet another might teach a concrete fact. “All of these are worthy goals. They are not the same thing,” she said.

Dr. Marvel is no fan of the message some people divined from a recent climate report — that there is “just over a decade” to correct the problem.

“I’m willing to bet you a lot of money, a million dollars, that in 12 years there will still be human beings on the planet,” she said.

That’s certainly no reason for complacency, however. “There’s no cliff,” she said, “but there’s for sure a slope,” and the world can continue to slide into greater trouble over time.

Ultimately, she said, “we really need to have as many voices as possible, coming from as many people as possible, to do this.”

After all, she noted: “There is nobody that is not going to be touched by climate change in some way.”





John Schwartz is part of the climate team. Since joining The Times in 2000, he has covered science, law, technology, the space program and more, and has written for almost every section. @jswatz Facebook

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Categories
Science

Will We Survive Climate Change?

Are we doomed?

If you’re an expert in climate science, you probably get this question a lot.

“I do,” said Kate Marvel, associate research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “And I’ve been hearing it more recently.”

It’s no mystery why. Reports of the threats from a warming planet have been coming fast and furiously. The latest: a startling analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting terrible food shortages, wildfires and a massive die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040, unless governments take strong action.

The Paris climate accord set a goal of keeping the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. At 2 degrees, things are bad enough: Arctic sea ice is 10 times more likely to disappear over the summer, along with most of the world’s coral reefs. As much as 37 percent of the world’s population becomes exposed to extreme heat waves, with an estimated 411 million people subject to severe urban drought and 80 million people to flooding from rising sea levels.

But if we can hold the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Arctic sea ice is far likelier to survive the summers. Coral reefs will continue to be damaged, but will not be wiped out. The percentage of people exposed to severe heat waves would plummet to about 14 percent. The number exposed to urban drought would drop by more than 60 million people.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Still, no major industrialized nation is on track to meet the 2-degree goal, much less the 1.5-degree mark. And the Earth has already warmed by 1 degree. Even if, through huge effort and force of will, we cut our greenhouse gas emissions greatly, the effects of today’s carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be felt for centuries to come.

While that is undoubtedly grim, it’s not as bad as it could be. Reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could eventually reverse some of the most troublesome effects of warming.

The worst-case scenarios are so dire that a type of climate coverage has emerged that tends toward the apocalyptic. This year, William T. Vollmann published a two-volume work, “Carbon Ideologies,” that he purported to write for inhabitants of a calamitous and wretched future.

After describing the amount of energy that goes into making glass, he added, “I hope that you have at least inherited a few of our windowpanes. Maybe you pried them out of drowned properties and fitted them into your caves.”

To James Hansen, the scientist who warned of climate change in landmark congressional testimony 30 years ago, the apocalyptic talk gets old.

“I find the people who think we are doomed to be very tiring and unhelpful,” he said. The most catastrophic outcomes can be avoided “if we are smart, and I think we are capable of being smart.”

11 Things We’d Really Like to Know

And a few we’d rather not discuss

Dr. Marvel agreed. “It’s worth pointing out there is no scientific support for inevitable doom,” she said.

“Climate change is not pass-fail,” she added. “There is a real continuum of futures, a continuum of possibilities.”

So yes, things will be bad. And yes, we need to do more, so much more, to head off what could come. But how awful things get, and for how many people, depends on what we do.

And although humans famously avoid acting on long-term problems, the species does possess a capacity for looking ahead.

“We do think about the future,” Dr. Marvel said. “We plant trees,” and “we have children.”

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, noted that her professional peers tend to be conservative about their findings: “If they say something’s bad, you know it’s probably a lot worse than they said.”

Still, “I do find hope.” Young people are becoming climate leaders, she noted, and developing technologies already can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

“It’s expensive, but the fact that we can do it is pretty danged hopeful,” she said.

Part of getting to a better future comes down to explaining more effectively the problems of the present, Dr. Hayhoe said. A message of inevitable doom creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, she said: “The worst will happen, because we give up.”

It might feel that attacking climate change is like moving an enormous boulder “with just a few hands to push it,” she added. But “there’s millions of hands already on the boulder,” thanks to things like the economic trends favoring renewable energy.

“The world is changing,” Dr. Hayhoe said. “It just isn’t fast enough.”

There is not just one way to talk about climate change, however. As Dr. Marvel put it, “There’s nothing that’s going to work on everybody, and there’s no definition of ‘work’ that everybody agrees on.”

One message might motivate people to act, another might evoke an emotional response, and yet another might teach a concrete fact. “All of these are worthy goals. They are not the same thing,” she said.

Dr. Marvel is no fan of the message some people divined from a recent climate report — that there is “just over a decade” to correct the problem.

“I’m willing to bet you a lot of money, a million dollars, that in 12 years there will still be human beings on the planet,” she said.

That’s certainly no reason for complacency, however. “There’s no cliff,” she said, “but there’s for sure a slope,” and the world can continue to slide into greater trouble over time.

Ultimately, she said, “we really need to have as many voices as possible, coming from as many people as possible, to do this.”

After all, she noted: “There is nobody that is not going to be touched by climate change in some way.”





John Schwartz is part of the climate team. Since joining The Times in 2000, he has covered science, law, technology, the space program and more, and has written for almost every section. @jswatz Facebook

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Climate change world's biggest threat in 1,000 years, says Sir David Attenborough

The naturalist and climate campaigner has taken the ‘People’s Seat’ at the COP24 meeting, giving a voice to the millions around the world who are already affected by global warming.

He told delegates that they must act.

“The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands,” he said.

Later, in an interview with Sky News, he said: “We have so much knowledge, skill and ingenuity.

“Of course we can do something about it. The question is how much.

“Homosapiens is a very ingenious species. It got us into this mess, true, but it knew not what it did. I believe now is the moment to use that ingenuity and that passion to get us out of it.”

Three years ago, world leaders gathered in Paris to sign a ground-breaking deal to cut carbon emissions and hold back the rise in global temperatures to two degrees.

But not all countries have honoured their commitments and in a keynote address to delegates at the conference in Poland, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres chided politicians for being so slow to act.

“Climate change is the single most important issue we face,” he said.

“It affects all our plans for sustainable development and a safe, secure and prosperous world.

“So, it is hard to comprehend why we are collectively still moving too slowly – and even in the wrong direction.”

Donald Trump is intent on withdrawing the United States from the Paris deal, saying that it damaged the American economy.

But the US is responsible for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions, the second largest polluter after China.

If it does ditch the deal it would mean the rest of the world would have to make even greater cuts.

Based on current, rising, greenhouse gas emissions the world is expected to be more than three degrees warmer at the end of the century than it was before the industrial revolution.

Under the pledges made in Paris emissions would simply level off.

But they need to be cut by 25% by 2030 to limit the temperature rise to 2C

And even steeper cuts of 55% are needed to keep the rise to 1.5C, now seen as the safe limit to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Earlier this year, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the lower limit would mean 420 million fewer people would be affected by rising sea level, famine and water shortage.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Science

Will We Survive Climate Change?

Are we doomed?

If you’re an expert in climate science, you probably get this question a lot.

“I do,” said Kate Marvel, associate research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “And I’ve been hearing it more recently.”

It’s no mystery why. Reports of the threats from a warming planet have been coming fast and furiously. The latest: a startling analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting terrible food shortages, wildfires and a massive die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040, unless governments take strong action.

The Paris climate accord set a goal of keeping the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. At 2 degrees, things are bad enough: Arctic sea ice is 10 times more likely to disappear over the summer, along with most of the world’s coral reefs. As much as 37 percent of the world’s population becomes exposed to extreme heat waves, with an estimated 411 million people subject to severe urban drought and 80 million people to flooding from rising sea levels.

But if we can hold the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Arctic sea ice is far likelier to survive the summers. Coral reefs will continue to be damaged, but will not be wiped out. The percentage of people exposed to severe heat waves would plummet to about 14 percent. The number exposed to urban drought would drop by more than 60 million people.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Still, no major industrialized nation is on track to meet the 2-degree goal, much less the 1.5-degree mark. And the Earth has already warmed by 1 degree. Even if, through huge effort and force of will, we cut our greenhouse gas emissions greatly, the effects of today’s carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be felt for centuries to come.

While that is undoubtedly grim, it’s not as bad as it could be. Reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could eventually reverse some of the most troublesome effects of warming.

The worst-case scenarios are so dire that a type of climate coverage has emerged that tends toward the apocalyptic. This year, William T. Vollmann published a two-volume work, “Carbon Ideologies,” that he purported to write for inhabitants of a calamitous and wretched future.

After describing the amount of energy that goes into making glass, he added, “I hope that you have at least inherited a few of our windowpanes. Maybe you pried them out of drowned properties and fitted them into your caves.”

To James Hansen, the scientist who warned of climate change in landmark congressional testimony 30 years ago, the apocalyptic talk gets old.

“I find the people who think we are doomed to be very tiring and unhelpful,” he said. The most catastrophic outcomes can be avoided “if we are smart, and I think we are capable of being smart.”

11 Things We’d Really Like to Know

And a few we’d rather not discuss

Dr. Marvel agreed. “It’s worth pointing out there is no scientific support for inevitable doom,” she said.

“Climate change is not pass-fail,” she added. “There is a real continuum of futures, a continuum of possibilities.”

So yes, things will be bad. And yes, we need to do more, so much more, to head off what could come. But how awful things get, and for how many people, depends on what we do.

And although humans famously avoid acting on long-term problems, the species does possess a capacity for looking ahead.

“We do think about the future,” Dr. Marvel said. “We plant trees,” and “we have children.”

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, noted that her professional peers tend to be conservative about their findings: “If they say something’s bad, you know it’s probably a lot worse than they said.”

Still, “I do find hope.” Young people are becoming climate leaders, she noted, and developing technologies already can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

“It’s expensive, but the fact that we can do it is pretty danged hopeful,” she said.

Part of getting to a better future comes down to explaining more effectively the problems of the present, Dr. Hayhoe said. A message of inevitable doom creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, she said: “The worst will happen, because we give up.”

It might feel that attacking climate change is like moving an enormous boulder “with just a few hands to push it,” she added. But “there’s millions of hands already on the boulder,” thanks to things like the economic trends favoring renewable energy.

“The world is changing,” Dr. Hayhoe said. “It just isn’t fast enough.”

There is not just one way to talk about climate change, however. As Dr. Marvel put it, “There’s nothing that’s going to work on everybody, and there’s no definition of ‘work’ that everybody agrees on.”

One message might motivate people to act, another might evoke an emotional response, and yet another might teach a concrete fact. “All of these are worthy goals. They are not the same thing,” she said.

Dr. Marvel is no fan of the message some people divined from a recent climate report — that there is “just over a decade” to correct the problem.

“I’m willing to bet you a lot of money, a million dollars, that in 12 years there will still be human beings on the planet,” she said.

That’s certainly no reason for complacency, however. “There’s no cliff,” she said, “but there’s for sure a slope,” and the world can continue to slide into greater trouble over time.

Ultimately, she said, “we really need to have as many voices as possible, coming from as many people as possible, to do this.”

After all, she noted: “There is nobody that is not going to be touched by climate change in some way.”





John Schwartz is part of the climate team. Since joining The Times in 2000, he has covered science, law, technology, the space program and more, and has written for almost every section. @jswatz Facebook

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Science

‘Climate change could hit male fertility’, research suggests

Climate change could hit male fertility as sperm can be seriously damaged by heatwaves, study claims

  • Researchers have suggested heatwaves can cause long-lasting damage
  • Male insects fertility decreases significantly when temperatures rise suddenly 
  • Change in temperatures did not impact female’s fertility, the study found

Climate change could pose a major threat to male fertility, scientists have warned, as heatwaves cause serious and long-lasting damage to sperm.

Researchers found fertility in male insects decreases significantly when temperatures rise above normal for short periods. 

After exposing beetles to five-day heatwaves, with temperatures 5C to 7C higher, the amount of sperm produced was halved, while a second heatwave almost sterilised them. Females, however, were unaffected.

Britons head to Brighton beach this summer as a heatwave hit Britain, but scientists have suggested the warm weather could be bad for male fertility

The leader of the research team behind the study has suggested it could help explain why ‘biodiversity is suffering under climate change’

Research group leader Professor Matt Gage, of the University of East Anglia, said: ‘We’ve shown that sperm function is an especially sensitive trait when the environment heats up. It could provide one explanation for why biodiversity is suffering under climate change.’

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, also show that offspring sired during heatwaves were less fertile and have lives a couple of months shorter than normal.

Kris Sales, who led the study, said: ‘Insects in nature are likely to experience multiple heatwaves, which could become a problem for population productivity if male reproduction cannot adapt or recover.’ 

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Categories
Health

Climate Change Could Impact Our Mental Health — We're Just Not Exactly Sure Why

Earlier this month, the United Nations issued a dire warning: If we do not change our behaviors and energy consumption soon, it could have a damning effect. In fact, the organization says that we have until 2030 to stop climate change; if not, temperatures could exceed a threshold level. However, more is at stake than we initially imagined. According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the increased heat could also lead to a decline in mental health.

In fact, the research reports that short-term exposure to more extreme weather — like getting increasingly hotter over time — and tropical cyclone exposure can be associated with a decline in mental health.

The study analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a self-reported mental health database of nearly 2 million randomly sampled U.S. residents, as well as meteorological data over a 10-year period (from 2002 to 2012). What researchers found was that even a moderate temperature increase could have a negative effect on one’s mental well-being.

In fact, a 1-degree C change — or a 1.8-degree F increase — could cause a 2 percent increase in mental health problems in just five years.

What’s more, the shift from average monthly temperatures between 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) and 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) greatly increased one’s likelihood of experiencing mental health difficulties.

That said, Nick Obradovich, lead author of the study and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, told CNN that the exact correlation between mental health problems and increased temperatures is unclear. 

"We don’t exactly know why we see high temperatures or increasing temperatures produce mental health problems," Obradovich told CNN. "For example, is poor sleep due to hot temperatures the thing that produces mental health problems?" But he notes, "[W]e have a lot of work to do to figure out precisely what is causing what," as those affected by the rising temperatures experienced everything from increased stress to depression, anxiety and/or other emotional issues.

Obradovich also acknowledges the elephant in the room, i.e., that this data raises other questions, like why don’t individuals living in warmer places have worse mental health than those who live in colder locales? "Warming over time associates with worsened mental health over time," Obradovich told CNN. However, "there are many other place-specific factors that may moderate the effect."

As such, he and his colleagues concluded additional research is necessary. In the meantime, take care of yourself and keep an eye on the weather.

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Categories
Lifestyle

Global Warming May Cause Hurricanes To Become Rainier And Deadlier, Say Scientists

The Carolinas and Virginia are preparing for the onslaught of Hurricane Florence later this week and one of the most life-threatening elements of the storm is the amount of rainfall predicted to hit the area, reports Vox.

The National Hurricane Center has warned that North Carolina is expected to take the brunt of the downpours, predicting rainfall of 20 to 30 inches over the course of several days, and up to 40 inches in certain regions. The storm is predicted to dump up to 10 trillion gallons of rain over the affected areas, enough to cause “catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding.”

After Hurricane Harvey dropped a record-breaking 27 trillion gallons of rain on Texas last year, scientists are predicting that an increase in moisture will be expected from these storms in our warming world. Scientists have also been getting better at making connections between the amount of rainfall dumped during a hurricane with human-induced climate change. Vox writes that researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that rainfall during Hurricane Harvey was 38 percent higher than it would have been in a world not experiencing global warming.

The study of how hurricanes are worsening, especially when it comes to rainfall, is important for coastal communities and cities that continue to be highly unprepared. The effects of torrential rain are devastating, costly, and deadly, especially in urban areas where concrete comprises the basis of most structures and makes it incredibly difficult for water to drain.

Atmospheric scientist at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction James Kossin explained to Vox why hurricanes during warmer conditions can cause so much rainfall.

“Tropical cyclones are very, very good at converging a whole lot of heat in one place at one time. Air can hold about 7 percent more water for every degree Celsius increase in temperature. That means warmer air and warmer water can lead to larger, more intense hurricanes, which in turn lead to more rainfall.”

The article points out that drawing comparisons between climate change and weather events can be tricky and requires intensive studies and data crunching. However, most scientists are in agreement that rising global temperatures had an impact on the severity of storms like Harvey, Maria, and Irma.

Sarah Kapnick, a researcher at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, spoke about the connection between warming and increased rainfall.

“In [regions] where we have known precipitation extremes, we have been able to detect an increase in precipitation extremes due to a warming climate.”

Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence is expected to bring huge risks of inland flooding. The good news is that scientists are getting better at predicting when torrential downpours will hit and residents of the Carolinas and Virginia located in the path of the storm have plenty of time to evacuate.

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Categories
World News

Churches convert to renewable power as they label climate change

Churches convert to renewable power as they label climate change as ‘one of the great moral challenges of our time’ Some 15 Anglican cathedrals are among buildings signed up to the green tariffs Leaders warn climate change is ‘one of the great moral challenges of our time’ Often the renewable energy tariff is cheaper
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Categories
World News

National Geographic says it went ‘too far’ with starving bear clip

‘We went too far’: National Geographic admits there was no evidence starving polar bear in video watched by 2.5 billion was dying due to climate change Video viewed by billions showed emaciated bear on an island in Canadian Arctic Clip put out by National Geographic said: ‘This is what climate change looks like’ But 1
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