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Newly Discovered Greenland Melting Could Accelerate Sea-Level Rise
Christa Marshall, Scientific American via Climate Wire
A large area of the Greenland ice sheet once considered stable is actually shedding massive amounts of ice, suggesting that future sea-level rise may be worse than expected, a team of scientists warned yesterday in a new study.
The research in Nature Climate Change signals that many climate models may be too conservative in their projections through this century, as they are not considering ice loss from the northeast portion of Greenland…
(17 March 2014)
The New 400ppm World: CO2 Measurements at Mauna Loa Continue to Climb
Melanie Fitzpatrick, Union of Concerned Scientists
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in May last year. That same level has been reached again in the last few days. This year we’ve hit the target in March, two months earlier, and it will stay above 400ppm for longer. At that rate, it will only be a handful of years until we are living in an atmosphere permanently above 400 ppm. While 400 ppm is a somewhat arbitrary marker, humans did not exist the last time atmospheric CO2 was at that level.
Each year, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere rises during the northern hemisphere autumn and winter, then decreases through the spring and summer as plant growth removes the CO2 from the air during the growing season. The annual peak usually occurs in May, but this season we will experience this new milestone of 400ppm CO2 for a couple of months before the annual decline occurs. Source: Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
(20 March 2014)
Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy
Tom Bawden, The Independent
Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.
The second of three publications by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken. A draft of the final version seen by The Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict…
(18 March 2014)
Why We Must Divest From Fossil Fuels: A Student’s Open Letter to Harvard President Drew Faust
Wen Stephenson, The Nation
…On campus, in Cambridge, the student-led Divest Harvard campaign (I’m involved with the alumni wing), has repeatedly invited Faust to engage in a public forum on divestment—and has repeatedly been rebuffed. So earlier this month, the students confronted Faust after a public speech, and captured the conversation on video. During the exchange, incredibly, Faust denied that the fossil-fuel industry obstructs progress on clean energy. The video made a stir—thanks to leading climate blogger Joe Romm, who demolished that assertion. Faust felt compelled to respond to the students in an e-mail, as reported by the student newspaper The Crimson. Needless to say, relations between the students and the president’s office are somewhat tense. The students—and their faculty and alumni supporters—are far from backing down or going away. If anything, they’re more resolved than ever to raise the pressure—and the stakes…
(19 March 2014)
Climate Risks as Conclusive as Link between Smoking and Lung Cancer
Douglas Fischer and The Daily Climate, Scientific American
One of the world’s largest and most knowledgeable scientific bodies wants to make one point very clear: Just as smoking causes cancer, so too are humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions causing the planet to change, with potentially unknown and unalterable impacts.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, made a rare foray into the climate debate Tuesday, releasing a report reiterating what many scientific bodies have already said: …
"The science linking human activities to climate change is analogous to the science linking smoking to lung and cardiovascular diseases. Physicians, cardiovascular scientists, public health experts and others all agree smoking causes cancer," the AAAS wrote in its report, "What We Know."…
(19 March 2014)
Link to report What We Know
Exxon agrees to disclose ‘unburnable carbon’ reserves
Ed King, RTCC
Oil and gas giant Exxon has agreed to reveal how the risks linked to climate change will affect its future business plans.
In response to a shareholder resolution the company says it will produce a Carbon Asset Risk report, examining if new climate regulations could force it to leave its reserves in the ground.
(21 March 2014)
In his series "Waiting for Climate Change," Cordal created a set of ephemeral and partially submerged installations to draw attention to rising sea level change.
(21 March 2014)
Smoking stack teaser image via shutterstock. Reproduced at Resilience.org with permission.