Humans have been burning things for energy for hundreds of thousands of years. We love the fire - we could and should do without it for a long time. ... We can and must, to put it eloquently, leave the age of fire behind and usher in the age of (sun)light. To the sun to freedom, literally. For that we have to say goodbye to some dissonance-reducing, in truth absolutely irrational reinterpretations:
Smoke smells good, combustion engines sound nice, smokestacks are symbols of progress. [Spiegel Online Christian Stöcker 09.01.2022, 09.27]
Secretary-General Tells Biodiversity Summit, Urging Bold Actions towards Sustainable Future
We are losing our suicidal war against nature. Our two-century-long experiment with burning fossil fuels, destroying forests, wilderness and oceans and degrading the land has caused a biosphere catastrophe.
Humanity’s reckless interference with nature will leave a permanent record — just as today’s scientists study the traces of previous extinctions. We are well into the Anthropocene extinction. The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years — and accelerating. Over a million species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates are at risk — many within decades. [The United Nations 11 October 2021]
António Guterres lists human-inflicted wounds on natural world in stark message. [The Guardian.com 02.12.2020
Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. [BioScience 05 November 2019]
Earth’s climate history is often understood by breaking it down into constituent climatic epochs. … By contrast, we find that the warmest period of the past two millennia occurred during the twentieth century for more than 98 per cent of the globe. This provides strong evidence that anthropogenic global warming is not only unparalleled in terms of absolute temperatures 5, but also unprecedented in spatial consistency within the context of the past 2,000 years.
[Nature 571, pages550–554 (2019)]
The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation. We mapped the global potential tree coverage to show that 4.4 billion hectares of canopy cover could exist under the current climate….
[By Science 05 Jul 2019]
In the Anthropocene, in which we now live, climate change is impacting most life on Earth. Microorganisms support the existence of all higher trophic life forms. To understand how humans and other life forms on Earth (including those we are yet to discover) can withstand anthropogenic climate change, it is vital to incorporate knowledge of the microbial ‘unseen majority’.
[By Nature Reviews Microbiology (June 19 2019); Ricardo Cavicchioli, William J. Ripple, Nicole S. Webster]
Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilisation. A new approach to climate-related security risk-management is thus required, giving particular attention to the high-end and difficult-to-quantify “fat-tail” possibilities.
[By: David Spratt & Ian Dunlop Breakthrough - National Centre for Climate Restoration | breakthroughonline.org.au MAY 2019]
We find that a global total SLR exceeding 2 m by 2100 lies within the 90% uncertainty bounds for a high emission scenario. This is more than twice the upper value put forward by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the Fifth Assessment Report.
[By Jonathan L. Bamber, Michael Oppenheimer, Robert E. Kopp, Willy P. Aspinall, and Roger M. Cooke PNAS first published May 20, 2019]
Exxon's own research confirmed fossil fuels' role in global warming decades ago.
[By Lisa Song, Neela Banerjee, David Hasemyer Sep 22, 2015]
Prediction of the future from 1982 by @exxonmobil , along with data showing how it has actually evolved. Exxon's predictions were extremely accurate. #ExxonKnew @GeoffreySupran @NaomiOreskes pic.twitter.com/Syf8AR6XXJ— Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler) 14. Mai 2019
Abandon cars, reforest woodland, eat more veggies – what must humankind do immediately to stop global warming? This is what nine leading researchers told ZEIT ONLINE. Maria Mast 11. Dezember 2018, 12:29 Uhr
[By U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) ; November 23, 2018]
The message is loud, clear and undeniable: climate impacts are here and growing. The tragic Camp Fire in California serves as a stark illustration of how climate change is loading the dice for more extreme events that devastate people, homes and the economy. We should trust what we’re seeing with our own eyes: more intense wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, and heat waves. This is what climate change looks like and it will become far worse unless we rapidly shift to a low-carbon economy.
[By Dan Lashof, U.S. Director, World Resources Institute; November 23, 2018]
The world is gradually building a different kind of energy system, but cracks are visible in the key pillars:
Affordability: The costs of solar PV and wind continue to fall, but oil prices climbed above $80/barrel in 2018 for the first time in four years; and hard-earned reforms to fossil fuel consumption subsidies are under threat in some countries.
Reliability: Risks to oil and gas supply remain, as Venezuela’s downward spiral shows. One-in-eight of the world’s population has no access to electricity and new challenges are coming into focus in the power sector, from system flexibility to cyber security.
Sustainability: After three flat years, global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose by 1.6% in 2017 and the early data suggest continued growth in 2018, far from a trajectory consistent with climate goals. Energy-related air pollution continues to result in millions of premature deaths each year. [By iea International Energy Agency; 13 November 2018]
Urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCC. The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. [By Jonathan Watts Global environment editor; Mon 8 Oct 2018 © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited]
Launched on 22 August 2018, Aeolus is the first satellite mission to acquire profiles of Earth’s wind on a global scale. These near-realtime observations will improve the accuracy of numerical weather and climate prediction and advance our understanding of tropical dynamics and processes relevant to climate variability. The ADM-Aeolus mission will not only advance our understanding of atmospheric dynamics, but will also provide much-needed information to improve weather forecasts. [By ESA 22 August 2018 ]
An international study has found the Earth is at risk of entering a hothouse climate that could lead to global average temperatures of up to five degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial temperatures and long-term rises in the sea level of between 10 and 60 metres. [By Professor Will Steffen from ANU August 7, 2018]
We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. [By „Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienes“ (PNAS) August 6, 2018]
GENEVA — The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere grew at a record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for millions of years, potentially fueling a 20-meter (65-foot) rise in sea levels and adding 3 degrees to temperatures, the United Nations said Monday. [By Reuters October 30, 2017 | 8:54am]
You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned. [By Science May. 9, 2018 , 2:00 PM]
Evidence suggests that the circulation system of the North Atlantic Ocean is in a weakened state that is unprecedented in the past 1,600 years, but questions remain as to when exactly the decline commenced. [By Nature 556, 180-181 (2018)]
Global sea level rise is not cruising along at a steady 3 mm per year, it's accelerating a little every year, like a driver merging onto a highway, according to a powerful new assessment led by CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem.
[February 12, 2018, University of Colorado at Boulder]
We find that total column ozone between 60° S and 60° N appears not to have decreased ... [EGU Journals Published: 06 Feb 2018]
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NASA Global Climate Change ... If fossil-fuel burning continues at a business-as-usual rate, such that humanity exhausts the reserves over the next few centuries, CO 2 will continue to rise to levels of order of 1500 ppm. The atmosphere would then not return to pre-industrial levels even tens of thousands of years into the future.
The little-studied glacier in East Antarctica holds enough ice to raise global sea level by more than 11 feet. [By Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News, Nov 1, 2017]
Scientists are “very worried” that the Greenland ice sheet might start to melt “ faster and faster”, a leading scientist has said. [By Independent.25.07.2017 - ]
The map above can be used to show which areas would be under water if sea level rises a specific amount.