Climate, media and money

October 15, 2013

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New Study Predicts Year Your City’s Climate Will Change

Ben Jervey, National Geographic
In seven years, inhabitants of New Guinea could be living in an unfamiliar world, one with a wholly different climate. A new analysis published today in the journal Nature finds that by 2020, New Guinea’s climate will permanently enter a state never seen before, outside of the bounds of historical variability and short-term extremes.

To put it simply: The coldest year in New Guinea after 2020 will be warmer than the hottest year anyone there has ever experienced.

The global analysis also predicts that if greenhouse gases continue to be emitted at a "business as usual" rate, New York City and Washington, D.C., will experience radically altered climates in 2047 (plus or minus about five years for a margin of error). So in about 35 years, even the coldest monthly dips in temperature on the eastern seaboard will be warmer than any time in the past 150 years.

"We’re providing a new metric on when ongoing climate change will lead to environments like we have never seen before," lead researcher Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii told reporters, "when the coldest year of the future will be warmer than the hottest year in the past."

The study’s authors refer to this new metric as a "climate departure."

By combining data from 39 different climate models, Mora and his team built a timetable of these climate departures for any given location on Earth. Along with their study, Mora and his colleagues published an interactive map that allows users to find the year of climate departure anywhere on the globe…
(9 October 2013)
Link to report introduction at Nature Journal

STUDY: Media Sowed Doubt In Coverage Of UN Climate Report

Max Greenberg, Denise Robbins, & Shauna Theel, Media Matters
A study of coverage of the recent United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report finds that many mainstream media outlets amplified the marginal viewpoints of those who doubt the role of human activity in warming the planet, even though the report itself reflects that the climate science community is more certain than ever that humans are the major driver of climate change. The media also covered how recent temperature trends have not warmed at as fast a rate as before in nearly half of their IPCC coverage, but this trend does not undermine long-term climate change…
(10 October 2013)

Plan to use financial markets to halt climate change is ‘doomed’

Tom Baden, The Independent
A leading scientist has dismissed the United Nations’ call for governments to use the world’s financial markets as the central weapon against climate change as being “doomed to failure and a dangerous distraction”…

He urged policymakers to look at ways of using the markets to put a price on carbon emissions that was so high that producers and consumers would be forced to rely on much greener energy. “An extremely effective instrument is to put a price on carbon. It is only through the market that you can get a large enough and rapid enough response,” he said on Friday…

“I disagree strongly with Dr Pachauri’s optimism about markets and prices delivering on the international community’s 2C commitments. I hold that such a market-based approach is doomed to failure and is a dangerous distraction from a comprehensive regulatory and standard-based framework,” he said.

“I get the impression that many scientists engaged in climate change seriously misunderstand the mitigation challenge,” added Professor Anderson, who is also deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change…
(10 October 2013)

Are There Any Major World Financial Institutions That Don’t Want To Act On Climate?

Ryan Koronowski, Climate Progress
It may be difficult to sort out what the IMF, OECD, U.N., and World Bank actually are, but they do agree on one thing. Reducing carbon emissions can be good for the financial sector.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) helps stabilize currencies. The OECD is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international economic development organization. The U.N. provides an international forum to solve disputes and address problems, while the World Bank provides loans to developing countries.

On Wednesday, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría made the case that ignoring the risks posed by climate change is even more dangerous than the risks posed by a breakdown in the financial sector: “In parallel, over these same years, governments have also been grappling with how to cope with the risk of climate change. Here the time frames are much longer but, unlike the financial crisis, we do not have a ‘climate bailout option’ up our sleeves.”…
(9 October 2013)

Rate of ocean acidification due to carbon emissions is at highest for 300m years

Fiona Harvey, The Guardian
The oceans are becoming more acidic at the fastest rate in 300m years, due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and a mass extinction of key species may already be almost inevitable as a result, leading marine scientists warned on Thursday.

An international audit of the health of the oceans has found that overfishing and pollution are also contributing to the crisis, in a deadly combination of destructive forces that are imperilling marine life, on which billions of people depend for their nutrition and livelihood.

In the starkest warning yet of the threat to ocean health, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) said: "This [acidification] is unprecedented in the Earth’s known history. We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction may have already begun." It published its findings in the State of the Oceans report, collated every two years from global monitoring and other research studies…
(3 October 2013)

Change the politics image via caro2francq/flickr

Tags: finance, Media & Communications, ocean acidification, Politics