The Guardian Climate Change

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Updated: 2 years 39 weeks ago

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

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:00

Climate change has barely registered as a 2016 campaign issue, but in Florida, the state which usually decides the presidential election, the waters are lapping at the doors of Donald Trump’s real estate empire

On a hot and lazy afternoon in Palm Beach, the only sign of movement is the water gently lapping at the grounds of Mar-a-Lago, the private club that is the prize of Donald Trump’s real estate acquisitions in Florida.

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Climate change: how Victoria trumped New South Wales in the great renewable energy race

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 00:16

Wind and solar energy projects are set to be the big winners of the state’s ambitious renewable energy targets

Two years ago Rob Stokes, the then environment minister for New South Wales, promised that his state could become Australia’s answer to California in the clean energy industry.

“We are making NSW No 1 in energy and environmental policy,” Stokes, a Liberal, told the Clean Energy Week gathering in Sydney in July 2014.“When it comes to clean energy, we can be Australia’s answer to California.”

Related: Climate change: communities and councils fill void on zero emissions targets

Related: Four visionary renewable energy projects that could pay off for Australia

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Leadsom vows to continue with UK's climate commitments

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 15:25

Tory leadership candidate and EU Leave campaigner says she remains committed to current pledges to cut emissions and decarbonise energy supply

Andrea Leadsom, the Tory leadership candidate and campaigner to leave the EU, vowed on Tuesday to continue with the UK’s commitments to tackle climate change and decarbonise the energy supply.

She said that reducing greenhouse gases was a duty to future generations, and pledged to continue with the UK’s carbon budgets to set a limit on emissions.

Related: UK sets ambitious new 2030s carbon target

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The missing issue of the 2016 campaign? Climate change | The daily briefing

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 12:59

Voices of America highlights key issues ignored in primary season; Juno reaches orbit of Jupiter after five-year trip; gun control bill may get a vote

Across the country, the Guardian has been asking American voters about what really matters to them in this presidential year – in questions online, in person as they went to the polls, and in discussion groups on campuses, in restaurants and in their homes. Resoundingly, the largest group of participants pointed to climate change. More than 1,500 American voters gave us insight into the issues they care about most as part of the Guardian’s new Voices of America series – starting today – which aims to highlight the way key issues have been ignored or under-played during a primary season when trivial personal attacks seemed to take precedence over substantial debate of issues that matter.

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Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 11:30

Guardian US survey reveals anger of voters as election year debate fails to deal with concerns over the gathering global disaster

The race for the White House is failing to grapple with the key issues of the day, especially the urgent need to combat climate change before atmospheric changes become irreversible, a slice of the American electorate believes.

Related: Florida mayors join forces to call for climate questions at primary debates

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New research: climate may be more sensitive and situation more dire | Dana Nuccitelli

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 10:00

When comparing apples to apples, a new study finds energy budget climate sensitivity estimates consistent with climate models

Scientists use a variety of approaches to estimate the Earth’s climate sensitivity – how much the planet will warm as a result of humans increasing greenhouse effect. For decades, the different methods were all in good general agreement that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Earth’s surface temperatures will immediately warm by about 1–3°C (this is known as the ‘transient climate response’). Because it would take decades to centuries for the Earth to reach a new energy balance, climate scientists have estimated an eventual 2–4.5°C warming from doubled atmospheric carbon (this is ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’).

However, a 2013 paper led by Alexander Otto disrupted the agreement between the various different approaches. Using a combination of recent climate measurements and a relatively simple climate model, the ‘energy budget’ approach used in Otto’s study yielded a best estimate for the immediate (transient) warming of 1.3°C and equilibrium warming of 2.0°C; within the agreed range, but less than climate model best estimates of 1.8°C and 3.2°C, respectively.

A recent study, Marvel et al 2015 and prior works suggest that cooling effect of non-CO2 pollution may have been underestimated. This also suggests that climate sensitivity is underestimated (since the net direct impact of human activity would be reduced, requiring a greater sensitivity to achieve the observed temperature change).

The results of Marvel et al are independent of [our] work. If both studies are correct, climate sensitivity from the historical record could be higher than climate sensitivity from the models. However we are not in a position to comment on that paper, and so draw the weaker conclusion that the historical record offers no reason to doubt the estimates of climate sensitivity from climate models.

The work that’s out there now, if anything, favours hotter models in general. Now it’s clear there’s no evidence from this energy-budget approach for a cooler-than-models future. But there are lots of things where the numbers haven’t been fully calculated yet. We don’t know precisely how Marvel’s results apply to the real world yet and other factors could matter, such as recent hints from CERN laboratory results on how clouds form. This helps explain why we have such a large range of possible transient climate response values (1.0–3.3°C is a pretty big range!), but even so, our results say that we’re more than 99.9% confident that most recent global warming is human-caused.

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Pauline Hanson's One Nation will bring climate science denial to the Senate

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 04:10

Fringe political groups such as One Nation, Family First and the Liberal Democrats still reject the evidence that humans are causing climate change

So we’re in that post-election twilight zone where analysts, psephologists and columnists try and pull something cogent out of all the mess of uncertainty.

Who’ll be the next prime minister? Which party will lead and how will they do it? What does it all mean, and did Donald Trump have anything to do with it? What do psephologists do when there’s no election on?

Related: Derryn Hinch threatens legal action if he is relegated to three-year Senate term

Of those from the right wing still in the mix, as things stand the second Hanson candidate is still in with an outside chance along with at least a couple of others. Regardless of the outcome, the Greens will use our numbers to do all we can to tackle global warming through a clean energy jobs boom and by ending approvals of new coal and gas.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Flooding: the problem that will not go away

Mon, 07/04/2016 - 20:30

A report by MPs says the government is failing those in flood-prone areas in a number of ways

During last December and January, floods in the northern half of the UK cost insurance companies £1.3bn. Bridges and roads were destroyed, hundreds of homes and businesses were inundated, and many of these are still recovering. The government reacted by reversing earlier decisions to cut spending on flood defences and then hoped the problem would go away; but this is wishful thinking.

The House of Commons environment audit committee that looked into the problem says the government is failing those in flood-prone areas in a number of ways. Apart from lack of any strategic thinking, ministers are failing to provide funds to maintain even existing flood barriers, leaving communities that think they are protected with an unacceptable risk.

Related: The particle physics of clouds

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change: big four banks' lending to Australian renewables projects falls

Mon, 07/04/2016 - 01:54

Market Forces finds only two financing deals closed in first half of 2016 despite banks’ purported support for sector

Australia’s big four banks’ lending for Australian renewable energy projects has tumbled in the first half of 2016, despite all of them spruiking their continuing support for the sector.

Based on public announcements from the banks and their customers, the activist group Market Forces has found only two financing deals were closed this year in the Australian renewables sector.

Related: Australia's biggest banks pump billions into fossil fuels despite climate pledges

Related: Global coal and gas investment falls to less than half that in clean energy

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Categories: Climate Newsprint
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