All posts tagged: global warming

Why even 1°C of global warming matters

The planet has already warmed 1°C from the pre-industrial period. But the question many people still ask is why does it matter? Isn’t 1 degree just small a number to be worried about? “The scales of the planet is different from the temperature scales we experience on a daily basis,” said Gavin Schmidt, director for NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, at the Congress International de Cambio Climatico (International Congress on Climate Change) held in Huelva, Spain last May 10-12. “One degree of warming matters. It is similar to one quarter of the ice age of 20,000 years ago to pre-industrial change,” Schmidt added. The difference of global temperature between the pre-industrial period and the last ice age is about 4-5 degrees celsius. However, 20,000 years ago, in the last quarter of the ice age, ice thawed because of an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which warmed the planet. This is according to a paper published in Nature. This warming caused the last deglaciation and within a few hundred years, seas have risen …

Vulnerable countries fight for climate justice, 1.5ºC limit

BONN, Germany – The last day of climate negotiations was met with protests as vulnerable countries called for climate justice and a more ambitious target of keeping global warming under a 1.5ºC limit. The 2009 Conference of Parties (COP) in Copenhagen failed to have a climate agreement, but the following COP in Cancun then resulted to a long term goal of achieving a 2ºC limit. Scientific studies, however, say that 2ºC warming is already highly dangerous. A study – led by climate scientist James Hansen, alongside 16 other scientists – said that 2 degrees of warming could cause a sea level rise that could turn most of the world’s coastal cities uninhabitable. Currently, the world has already warmed by 0.8ºC from pre-industrial levels. We have seen more catastrophic events in the past few years. Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) claimed more than 6,000 lives in the Philippines in 2013. The India heat wave earlier this year caused over 2,500 deaths. Small island states such as Marshall Islands and Tuvalu have been looking for land abroad since their …

Facing the dangers of a warmer world

CLIMATE TALKS PROTEST. Young climate activists stage a protest during the intersession at Bonn this week, a crucial negotiations before the Paris climate talks in December this year. Photo provided by Ayeen Karunungan. MANILA, Philippines – In the wake of the G7’s announcement to limit global warming to 2 degrees, UN climate negotiators from the world’s most vulnerable nations have questioned whether 2 degrees is too dangerous. Unfortunately, their call to focus efforts on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees were blocked today by some of the most powerful nations at the UN climate talks: India, China and Saudi Arabia. (READ: Crunch issues for climate negotiators) Care International’s Sven Harmeling has labelled this move “highly concerning,” especially given the human rights implications of a 2-degree target. This concern turned to protest on June 11 as young people gathered at the UN with banners of tropical storms. They then asked negotiators to “add their name here” if they believed that a 2 degree world was safe, noting that they would use their names for the “future …