Highlights from Fred Pearce and Joe Romm

Fred Pearce – notes from With Speed & Violence, references are to the Kindle page number “Concern about our raw materials casts a dark shadow over mankind,” he wrote, in an early outburst of twentieth century environmental concern. “Our descendants surely will censure us for having squandered their just birthright.” His great fear was that oil supplies would dry up, …

‘Shit Is Hitting the Fan,’ Climate Scientists Warn

By Andrea Germano The “shit is hitting is the fan,” said noted climate scientist James Hansen, countering “this narrative out there…that we have turned the corner on dealing with the climate problem.” Hansen is lead author of a new study that warns that there “is no time to delay” on climate change efforts and argues that they must go beyond just slashing emissions of CO2—”the dominant …

Inequality link to climate change

Income is may explain 30 percent of the total household carbon emissions in Europe (likely more in the US where inequality is higher).  Rising incomes are expected to increase greenhouse gas emissions because people will have greater purchasing power. “It makes sense that the richer you are, the greater your purchasing power and the environmental impacts associated with it,” she …

Allowable ‘carbon budget’ most likely overestimated

While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define “pre-industrial” to be in the late 1800’s, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, according to an international team of researchers who are concerned because it affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed …

.5 degrees C makes a lot of difference, starting with more extreme weather

By Climate Analytics, 20 June 2017 Observational records show that half a degree increase in global temperature in the recent past has resulted in substantial increases in extreme weather events, according to a commentary in Nature Climate Change, published today. Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C may provide a chance for survival of the world’s coral reefs. ©Greg Goebel CC …

CO2 rising even as emissions stabilize, and sea level rise is happening much faster than expected too. Greenland ice sheet contribution to SLR was 25% by 2014

By Justin Gillis, 25 June 2017, excerpt from the NYTimes.com  If the amount of the gas that people are putting out has stopped rising, how can the amount that stays in the air be going up faster than ever? Does it mean the natural sponges that have been absorbing carbon dioxide are now changing? “To me, it’s a warning,” said …

More killer hail coming unless we curb global warming

Carbon Brief and New Scientist, 26 June 2017   Damaging large hail “events” may become more common across the central and central-western parts of North America, concludes a new study published in Nature Climate Change.  The paper also finds that a warming climate will reduce the number of small hailstorms, as more hail melts prior to hitting the surface. However, the …

A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change. Deaths up in the UK too, study shows public is not aware

23 June 2017.  The Guardian.  Study shows risks have climbed steadily since 1980, and the number of people in danger will grow to 48% by 2100 even if emissions are drastically reduced ‘For heatwaves, our options are now between bad or terrible,’ says the lead researcher behind the new study. Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images Nearly a third of the world’s …

World-first climate and health framework from 30 health and medical groups calls for recognition of citizens’ ‘right to health’

By Michael Slezak, The Guardian, 21 June 2017 Australian health groups urge coal phase-out and strong emissions reduction: World-first climate and health framework from 30 health and medical groups calls for recognition of citizens’ ‘right to health’ To save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars, Australia should rapidly phase out coal power stations and establish strong emissions reduction targets, according …