A drastic plan might prevent catastrophic Antarctic ice sheet collapse
- Pumping colossal amounts of ocean water onto the West Antarctic ice sheet could stop it collapsing and causing drastic sea level rise that would threaten cities including Tokyo and New York.
- But the German and US researchers who have explored the idea admit the drastic intervention would require an “unprecedented effort for humankind in one of the harshest environments of the planet.” The fix would also be extremely expensive, incredibly hard to do and risk potentially devastating impacts for the region’s unique ecosystem.
- Five years ago, studies suggested the West Antarctic ice sheet had already started an unstoppable collapse.
- The threat is so grave, it requires an exploration and discussion of bold ideas to stop the ice sheet’s collapse, says Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute in Germany.
- Levermann and colleagues instead modelled a more direct approach that would involve pumping ocean water onto the sheet, adding it either in liquid form or as snow.
Climate Change Is Very Real. But So Much of It Is Uncertain
- (The goal of the Paris Agreement was 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels; we’re already at 1 degree.) Different teams of researchers have reached wildly diverging conclusions, from “We can emit 1,000 gigatonnes more CO2 before we reach 1.5 degrees” to “Sorry, but we’ve already spent our carbon budget for 1.5.” There is simply too much uncertainty in the models.
- But today in the journal Nature, researchers are proposing a new framework that aims to bring clarity to this kind of work, first by reconciling differences in carbon budgets and second by reducing uncertainty going forward.
- Their holistic calculation includes multiple types of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane from thawing permafrost, and incorporates the most up-to-date estimates of current warming.
- Though the planet has only warmed by one-degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, climate change's effect on earth has been anything but subtle.
Planning to carbon offset your flight? You should read this first
- GRETA THUNBERG’S recent speech to the UK parliament was memorable not just for her oratorical firepower, but for how she got there: by taking trains from Stockholm to London, not a plane.
- The climate striker isn’t alone, as Swedes have driven the flygskam (flight shame) campaign.
- About 2000 people in the UK have pledged not to fly, while academics are being urged to fly less.
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To prepare for rising temperatures, scientists map urban ‘hot spots’
- Thermometer-wielding volunteer drivers are partnering with climate researchers to create maps of urban heat islands across the United States.
- To cope with the heat, many cities are planting trees and carving out open spaces.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which funded the research, plans to expand it to help cities figure out ways to keep their cool in a warming world.
- WASHINGTON, D.C. Aug. 28, 2018 3 p.m. Shady parks and gardens “air-condition” wealthier neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park.
- Shady parks and gardens “air-condition” wealthier neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park.
- In eastern neighborhoods, industrial warehouses, rail yards, and paved expanses dot the landscape.
- People here can face high energy costs and heat-related illnesses.
Journal criticised for study claiming sun is causing global warming
- A high profile scientific journal is investigating how it came to publish a study suggesting that global warming is down to natural solar cycles.
- The study was published online on 24 June by Scientific Reports, an open access journal run by Nature Research, which also lists the prestigious Nature journal among its titles.
- A spokesperson told New Scientist that it is aware of concerns raised over the paper, which was authored by five academics based at Northumbria University, the University of Bradford, and the University of Hull in the UK, plus the Nasir al-Din al-Tusi Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory in Azerbaijan, and the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia.
- The authors suggest that the Earth’s 1°C temperature rise over the past two centuries could largely be explained by the distance between the Earth and the sun changing over time as the sun orbits around our solar system’s barycentre, its centre of mass.
'Unprecedented' Wildfires Burned Across the Arctic Circle in June
- The fires have been burning across the Arctic Circle in Siberia and Alaska for weeks.
- Though fire is a natural part of some Arctic ecosystems, scientists are calling the wildfires “unprecedented” for the month of June based on their size and carbon dioxide emissions.
- Mark Parrington, a senior scientist working on wildfire emissions at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said in an email that in June 2019 Arctic wildfires released 50 megatons of carbon dioxide.
- As the climate crisis continues to exacerbate extreme weather events and natural disasters, we've come to expect news of huge fires burning through the American West.
- June 2019 was the hottest on record, scientists announced this week, and climate change made the massive and deadly heat wave hitting Europe five-to-100 times more likely to occur.