We’re currently on pace to double the carbon dioxide-equivalent (including other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere by around mid-century. Since the late 1800s scientists have been trying to answer the question, how much global warming will that cause? In 1979, top climate scientists led by Jule Charney published a report estimating that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm to 560 ppm, temperatures will warm by 3 ± 1.5°C. Four decades later, ‘climate sensitivity’ estimates remain virtually unchanged, but some climate contrarians have argued that the number is at the low end of that range, around 2°C or less. It’s an important question because if the contrarians are right, the 2°C resulting global warming would represent significantly less severe climate change consequences than if mainstream climate scientists are right and temperatures rise by 3°C. It would … [Read more...] about New study reconciles a dispute about how fast global warming will happen
How can we stop global warming
Doyle Rice USA TODAY Published 9:58 p.m. UTC Aug 6, 2018 We've been warned. Runaway global warming on our planet remains a distinct possibility in the decades and centuries ahead, scientists reported Monday in a new study, warning that a "hothouse Earth" threatens the very “habitability of the planet for human beings.” Such a hothouse Earth climate would see global average temperatures some 6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are now, with sea levels 30 to 200 feet higher than today, the paper said. In addition, even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met – meaning a rise of no more than 3.6 degrees above preindustrial levels – that still may not be enough. Scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Australian National University and other institutions made their forecast by reviewing past reports on tipping points for climate change. They also looked back at … [Read more...] about Hothouse Earth: Runaway global warming threatens ‘habitability of the planet for humans’
Europe in flames How can we fight wildfires sweeping the continent - and is it too late to end the cycle? Europe in flames How can we fight wildfires sweeping the continent - and is it too late to end the cycle? This summer uncontrolled fires have raged across the UK and Europe as never before. What, or who, sparked them? And might we discover the danger is far from over when the flames are doused? By Joe Shute and Bruno Manteigas 3 AUGUST 2018 • 12:21 PM BST They died huddled together; 26 men, women and children entwined in each other’s arms. The Greek villa where their bodies were recovered by a Red Cross rescue team was just yards from the Aegean Sea, but so fierce and fast were the wildfires sweeping through the pine forest and olive groves surrounding the resort town of Mati, they didn’t stand a chance. At least 91 were killed and hundreds injured in the wildfires that just over 10 days ago obliterated Mati, 18 miles east of … [Read more...] about Europe in flames: how can we tackle the wildfires sweeping Britain and the continent?
With the Government to be taken to court for its alleged failures on climate change, the law is now a frontline for campaigners, writes Caroline O’Doherty.Around kitchen tables and over cross-country phone calls, preparations are being made for a court case with no less an aim than saving the planet. Or at least pushing Ireland to do its full share of the job.High Court case 2017/793JR will have its hearing over four days next January when the campaign group, Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), seek to hold the Government to account for alleged failures to take the necessary action against climate change which is imperilling Earth and all in it.Specifically, they are targeting the National Mitigation Plan, published by the Government last year, which they will argue is so vague and weak that it breaches the requirements of the Climate Act 2015, the Constitution and human rights law.FIE’s small band of volunteers have been to the High Court many times before, challenging … [Read more...] about Climate change: Courts become a new battleground in the battle against global warming
1 April 2018 Humanitarianism Mass starvation is making a comeback as a weapon of war. To tackle this great evil we must stop talking about food and over-population, and engage with the politics, argues Alex de Waal What would it take to end starvation? A few years ago, this question was moot as famines appeared to have disappeared – or at least to have been confined to Stalinist anachronisms such as North Korea. But with the disturbing resurgence of famine in 2017, the issue becomes salient once more. Famine is a political phenomenon; starvation happens when some (powerful) people inflict it on other (less powerful) people. It’s manmade – and the gendered word is deliberate. It’s also a complex, compound evil – each famine is a vortex where different factors converge and combine. The most commonly proposed formulae for ending famine are destined to fail because they don’t put the politics first. Let me outline four false solutions: namely, … [Read more...] about How can famines be ended?