The Guardian Climate Change

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Food shortages and sea level rise US voters' top climate change concerns

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 11:00

Survey of Guardian readers appalled at lack of climate discussion in 2016 campaign finds food and water shortages viewed as most pressing consequence

Diminishing food and water security and ruinous sea level rise are the leading climate change concerns of a section of the American electorate that is aghast at the lack of discussion of global warming during the presidential debate.

Related: Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

Related: Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

We just broke the record for hottest year, 9 straight times | Dana Nuccitelli

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:00

Earth’s record hottest 12 consecutive months were set in each month ending in September 2015 through May 2016

2014 and 2015 each set the record for hottest calendar year since we began measuring surface temperatures over 150 years ago, and 2016 is almost certain to break the record once again. It will be without precedent: the first time that we’ve seen three consecutive record-breaking hot years.

But it’s just happenstance that the calendar year begins in January, and so it’s also informative to compare all yearlong periods. In doing so, it becomes clear that we’re living in astonishingly hot times.

With Apr update, 2016 still > 99% likely to be a new record (assuming historical ytd/ann patterns valid).

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Leaked TTIP energy proposal could 'sabotage' EU climate policy

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00

EU proposal on a free trade deal with the US could curb energy saving measures and a planned switch to clean energy, say MEPs

The latest draft version of the TTIP agreement could sabotage European efforts to save energy and switch to clean power, according to MEPs.

A 14th round of the troubled negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade deal between the EU and US is due to begin on Monday in Brussels.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Massive mangrove die-off on Gulf of Carpentaria worst in the world, says expert

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 04:52

Climate change and El Niño the culprits, says Norm Duke, an expert in mangrove ecology, after seeing 7,000ha of dead mangroves over 700km

Climate change and El Niño have caused the worst mangrove die-off in recorded history, stretching along 700km of Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria, an expert says.

The mass die-off coincided with the world’s worst global coral bleaching event, as well as the worst bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef, in which almost a quarter of the coral was killed – something also caused by unusually warm water.

Related: The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

How sea otters help save the planet

Sun, 07/10/2016 - 08:15
New research into the complex links of the food chain suggest that the lovable mammals play a key role in managing carbon dioxide levels

Charles Darwin once mused on the impacts that predators could have on the landscapes around them. In particular, he wondered – in On the Origin of Species – how neighbourhood cats might affect the abundance of flowers in the fields near his house at Downe in Kent. He concluded the animals’ potential to change local flora was considerable.

A robust cat population, he argued, would mean that local mouse numbers would be low and that, in turn, would mean there would high numbers of bumble bees – because mice destroy bee combs and nests. And as bees pollinate clover, Darwin argued that this cascade of oscillating species numbers would result in there being more clover in fields in areas where there are lots of feline pets. Cats mean clover, in short.

Around islands that lacked sea otters, urchins had increased in size and in numbers with devastating consequences

Related: Rare sea otter sighting offers sign of a resurgence, scientists hope

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Neocons linked to Tea Party paid for Andrea Leadsom’s flights to US

Sat, 07/09/2016 - 22:00

Rightwing lobby group that attacks climate science and backs gun owners is courting politicians around the world

A controversial rightwing American lobbying group that denies climate change science and promotes gun ownership paid for the Tory prime ministerial hopeful Andrea Leadsom to fly to the United States to attend its conferences.

The American Legislative Exchange Council – Alec – is a neoconservative organisation with close links to members of the Tea Party movement. Championed by supporters of the free market, it has been attacked by critics for exerting a “powerful and undemocratic” influence on US politics.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Great Barrier Reef: government must choose which parts to save, says expert

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 22:15

Professor Hugh Possingham says authorities must confront prospect that some parts of reef are doomed and focus on what to preserve

Governments must decide which parts of the Great Barrier Reef they most want to save and confront the prospect that some of it may be doomed, an expert on conservation modelling has warned.

University of Queensland professor Hugh Possingham said agencies, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, needed to make tough decisions about which parts of the natural wonder are most worth preserving “rather than trying to save everything”.

Related: How the Great Barrier Reef got polluted – from farms and fossil fuels to filthy propaganda | Graham Readfearn

Related: This election, what hope is there for the Great Barrier Reef?

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Global warming to blame for hundreds of heatwave deaths, scientists say

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 08:25

Manmade climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths by about 70% in Paris and 20% in London in 2003, research shows

Hundreds of deaths in the searing European heatwave of 2003 can be attributed to manmade climate change, say scientists.

Researchers calculated that 506 out of 735 heat-related deaths recorded that summer in Paris – the hottest city – were due to global warming.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Estimated cost of Hinkley Point C nuclear plant rises to £37bn

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 19:57

Critics point to volatility of scheme but energy department says price ‘will not affect bill payers’

The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37bn, according to an assessment published by the UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, who said it showed just how volatile and uncertain the project had become, given that the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been £14bn.

The latest prediction comes amid increasing speculation about the future of the controversial project in Somerset, whose existence has been put in further doubt by post-Brexit financial jitters.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

June swoon: US breaks another monthly temperature record

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 17:14

Average temperature of 71.8F is 3.3F above 20th-century average for the month and comes amid a string of climate- and weather-related calamities

The US experienced its warmest ever June last month, with a scorching summer set to compound a string of climate-related disasters that have already claimed dozens of lives and cost billions of dollars in damage this year.

Worldwide, heat records have been broken for 13 months in a row, an unprecedented streak of warmth that has stunned climate scientists and heightened concerns over the future livability of parts of the planet.

Related: Arctic sea ice crashes to record low for June

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Australia's vast kelp forests devastated by marine heatwave, study reveals

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 17:00

About 90% of forests off the western coast were wiped out between 2011 and 2013, posing a threat to biodiversity and the marine economy, say scientists

A hundred kilometres of kelp forests off the western coast of Australia were wiped out by a marine heatwave between 2010 and 2013, a new study has revealed.

About 90% of the forests that make up the north-western tip of the Great Southern Reef disappeared over the period, replaced by seaweed turfs, corals, and coral fish usually found in tropical and subtropical waters.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Arctic sea ice crashes to record low for June

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 15:19

From mid-June onwards, ice cover disappeared at an average rate of 29,000 miles a day, about 70% faster than the typical rate of ice loss, experts say

The summer sea ice cover over the Arctic raced towards oblivion in June, crashing through previous records to reach a new all-time low.

The Arctic sea ice extent was a staggering 260,000 sq km (100,000 sq miles) below the previous record for June, set in 2010. And it was 1.36m sq km (525,000 sq miles) below the 1981-2010 long-term average, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Related: Arctic sea ice fell to record low for May

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Christiana Figueres nominated for post of UN secretary general

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 14:15

UN’s former climate change chief, who was a key architect of the Paris climate agreement, joins long list of candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon

One of the chief architects of the global accord on climate change signed last year in Paris has been nominated for the post of secretary general of the United Nations.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), won plaudits from around the world at the successful conclusion of the Paris talks in December. The summit saw all of the world’s nations agree for the first time to a binding commitment to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.

Related: Paris climate deal: key points at a glance

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate scientists are under attack from frivolous lawsuits | Lauren Kurtz

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:00

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is forced to defend climate scientists against constant frivolous lawsuits

Today’s climate scientists have a lot more to worry about than peer review. Organizations with perverse financial incentives harass scientists with lawsuit after lawsuit, obstructing research and seeking to embarrass them with disclosures of private information.

On June 14th, an Arizona court ruled that thousands of emails from two prominent climate scientists must be turned over to the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E), a group that disputes the 97% expert consensus on human-caused climate change and argues against action to confront it. E&E and its attorneys are funded by Peabody Coal, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources, coal corporations with billions of dollars in revenue.

[a]lternative methods of communications have been and remain available to Professors Hughes and Overpeck and any other similarly situated persons should they desire to correspond in confidence regarding research projects and like endevours [sic].

open records requests are increasingly being used to harass and intimidate scientists and other academic researchers, or to disrupt and delay their work.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Fracking 'will break UK climate targets unless rules are made stricter'

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 08:30

Government advisers also say more action would be needed to cut emissions in other areas to cope with full-scale fracking

Shale gas production will break the UK’s climate change targets unless there is stricter regulation now, according to the government’s official advisers.

More action to cut carbon emissions in other areas would also be needed to cope with full-scale fracking, despite the government already struggling to meet existing commitments.

Related: UK lacks policies to meet more than half its carbon emissions cuts – report

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change plagues Madagascar's poor: 'The water rose so fast'

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 08:00

Severe droughts and floods have had a devastating impact on the island’s rural poor, who are reliant on small-scale farming or fishing

Angenie, 21, lives in a country many people think of as an ecological paradise, home to a unique diversity of plants and animals. Yet within the past three years she has witnessed droughts and floods so severe she has had to flee her home to escape them – twice.

Angenie grew up in southern Madagascar where, as a child, she remembers “things being green”. But for the past few years a severe drought, blamed on the devastating effects of El Niño, has gripped the southern region. “The land got dry, really dry,” she says. “It got to the point we were not able to grow anything. People ate only dried cassava or cactus fruit.”

Related: Madagascar's vanilla farmers face volatile times after poor harvest

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

A girl's view of the 17 sustainable development goals - in pictures

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 06:00

‘If you don’t know where to start with the SDGs, start with women and girls everything else will fall into place,’ said UN Women head Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka recently. These photographs of women and girls all over the world illustrate each of the 17 SDGs. The exhibition was part of last year’s European Week of Action for Girls

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The great tide: is Britain really equipped to cope with global warming? | Simon Parkin

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 05:00

As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise at an alarming rate, the country faces the threat of catastrophic flooding

On the day that London drowned, 16-year-old Shirley Orchard was serving customers bars of chocolate and packets of cigarettes at her father’s shop on Canvey Island. The town, which sits on the underbelly of Essex, where the North Sea becomes the River Thames, had been teased by bursts of showers and sunshine throughout the day. By dusk the clouds had squeezed themselves dry. Orchard served her last customer of the day: a woman who, after seven years of trying for a baby, had recently given birth. After Orchard had closed up the shop, she began to walk home, her stride stretched by a chasing breeze.

The wind had been whipped to life two days earlier by a depression off the south-west coast of Iceland. From there, it began its journey towards Scotland. Soon after first light, on 31 January 1953, the captain of the ferry Princess Victoria ignored a storm warning and set sail from the Scottish port of Stranraer. As the ship – heavy with cargo, crew and passengers – cleared the mouth of the sheltered Loch Ryan, huge waves butted and then breached its stern doors. At 2pm, the order came to abandon ship. One-hundred-and-thirty-two people died, including the deputy prime minister of Northern Ireland and every woman and child aboard.

Related: This sinking isle: the homeowners battling coastal erosion | Patrick Barkham

The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and 500,000 Greater London homes could all be flooded

Related: Is it time to join the 'preppers'? How to survive the climate-change apocalypse

As seas surge, coasts retreat, and rain falls and falls, we have grown numb: 2C or 4C – who cares? It’s all catastrophic

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Antony Gormley: Humans are building 'a vast termites' nest' of greed

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 13:52

Sculptor explains how new show, featuring 600 cast-iron human skyscrapers, expresses his anger about London’s testosterone-fuelled corporate expansion

Antony Gormley says his first White Cube exhibition in four years, which opens in September, is driven by “more of a sense of urgency” than any other show he has done. From the warming of our climate and the acidification of our seas to cities dominated by skyscrapers – “nothing more than expressions of virile corporate power,” says Gormley – the artist’s despair at society’s failure to take action has filtered unavoidably into his latest work.

Related: How we made The Angel of the North

I don’t see London’s towers expressing much more than the testosterone of a late capitalist society

Related: Are Shoreditch skyscrapers a London tower too far, even for Boris Johnson?

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

This election year, we can't lose sight of the perils of climate change | Ralph Nader

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:15

Candidates running for Congress and the presidency aren’t offering real solutions, despite growing scientific alarm. That is not acceptable

Every election year, candidates for office engage in a perverse form of theater. Some flatter voters or try to scare them, others offer promises of a better future. Unfortunately, few candidates feel an obligation to follow through on campaign pledges or grapple with serious problems confronting our country and planet.

Related: Voices of America: why we wanted to hear from you – and still do

Related: Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

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Categories: Climate Newsprint
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