All posts tagged: global warming

Heatwaves in Europe, Flooding in Asia — The new normal?

The world is experiencing extreme events and it is no doubt connected to climate change. Right now Europe is enduring an extreme heatwave that experts say is contributing to the tragic wildfires in Greece where 79 people have died according to the latest from state officials. From the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle unseasonably dry weather and high temperatures are hitting home – the incidence of forest fires alone is 43% above the seasonal average for the region. Sweden is calling for international support to battle several devastating wildfires that threaten to spread out of control as even the northernmost European states experience unprecedented conflagration. In the United Kingdom and across Europe deadly heatwaves have made temperatures reach 32 degrees Celsius. According to the UK MP’s this may be the new normal for the UK, with summer temperatures regularly reach 38.5C by the 2040s. Climate scientists including Myles Allen from the University of Oxford says that this heatwave in Europe is undoubtedly due to “human influence on climate” – the impacts of burning fossil fuels are here, now. In a statement, Nicolo Wojewoda, 350.org …

GIF: Five shared socio-economic pathways scenarios

As part of my internship, I was asked to do an animation of the five IPCC pathways scenarios. An explainer by Carbon Brief on these scenarios: Over the past few years, an international team of climate scientists, economists and energy systems modellers have built a range of new “pathways” that examine how global society, demographics and economics might change over the next century. They are collectively known as the “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSPs). These SSPs are now being used as important inputs for the latest climate models, feeding into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report due to be published in 2020-21. They are also being used to explore how societal choices will affect greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, how the climate goals of the Paris Agreement could be met. The new SSPs offer five pathways that the world could take. Compared to previous scenarios, these offer a broader view of a “business as usual” world without future climate policy, with global warming in 2100 ranging from a low of 3.1C to a high of 5.1C …

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 …