Global Warming...New Report...and it ain't happy news

Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2023 11:43 am
As just admittedly ignorant mussing on my part, I wonder if someday water will become as big of a commodity as oil?
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Reply Wed 19 Apr, 2023 08:15 am
Westerners support 100% clean energy, less oil drilling — even in red states

I wish they would start putting their votes where their interest lie,
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 19 Apr, 2023 09:20 am
A Spanish startup is on "mission to save planet’s beer" from the climate crisis.

Sustainable and reliable solutions for climate-resilient agriculture
Our locally-produced hops are 100% climate-resilient

Hops is the green gold that gives beer its distinct bitterness and aroma, but unfortunately it is under severe risk due to erratic climate conditions and higher Summer temperatures.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 20 Apr, 2023 12:46 am
Temperatures are rising at a record pace worldwide, but Europe is leading the way. Temperatures are rising faster there than on any other continent and twice as fast as the global average.

Last year, Europe experienced the hottest summer on record. But other months were also extreme, a new report says. Data and maps show the extent.

Report @ The Guardian: Continent set for further drought in 2023, scientists say, as unstoppable impacts of climate crisis mount
‘Frightening’: record-busting heat and drought hit Europe in 2022

Data & maps: Copernicus: European State of the Climate 2022
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2023 12:12 pm
A gold miner found a grapefruit-sized ball of fur in 2018. X-ray examinations showed that it was an Arctic ground squirrel. Mummified animals of this kind could turn up more often in the future.
The Klondike gold fields of the Yukon have been covered in permafrost — frozen soil — since the ice age. That makes the area perfect for preserving creatures that died back then — hair, nails, and all.

Gold miners there have previously found a mummified wolf pup and an immaculately preserved baby mammoth.

Discoveries like these are likely to become more common as global temperatures continue to rise due to human emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide and methane. That's causing the permafrost to thaw, revealing everything from mummified creatures to viruses and anthrax deposits.

Full report @ Business Insider
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 08:29 am
‘Unprecedented’ warming indicates climate crisis is taking place before our eyes, experts say.
Temperatures in the world’s oceans have broken fresh records, testing new highs for more than a month in an “unprecedented” run that has led to scientists stating the Earth has reached “uncharted territory” in the climate crisis.


Full report @ The Guardian:
Record ocean temperatures put Earth in ‘uncharted territory’, say scientists
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 27 Apr, 2023 12:15 am
The devastating drought in the Horn of Africa would not have happened without the human-made impact of the climate crisis, new science has shown.

Human-induced climate change increased drought severity in Horn of Africa
Since October 2020 large parts of Eastern Africa have been experiencing extended dry conditions punctuated by short intense rainfall events that often led to flash floods.

The below-average rainfall in the October-December (OND) 2022 season “short rains” was the fifth consecutive failed season since OND 2020, including the below-average March-May (MAM) “long rains” in 2021 and 2022. The resulting drought was reported to be the worst in 40 years (WMO, 2022, FAO 2022).

The drought has led to substantial harvest failure, poor pasture conditions, livestock losses, decreased surface water availability and human conflicts, leaving 4.35 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (NDMA, 2022). At least 180,000 refugees from Somalia and South Sudan crossed into the drought-stricken areas of Kenya and Ethiopia (UNHCR).

By January 2023, close to 9,210 MT of food commodities had been distributed and USD 7.29 million cash-based transfers had been made (OCHA, 2023). Despite some reported rains in parts of Kenya by the end of March 2023 (KMD, 2023), the drought conditions are not likely to recover quickly enough to see improvements in food security before mid-2023.

Scientists from Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom collaborated to assess to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of the low rainfall that led to drought, as well as the increase in evaporation due to climate change, exacerbating drought severity.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 27 Apr, 2023 03:15 am
More on the El Niño event...

Ocean Warming Study So Distressing, Some Scientists Didn't Even Want to Talk About It

"This is one of those 'sit up and read very carefully' moments," said one science journalist.

Scientists are so alarmed by a new study on ocean warming that some declined to speak about it on the record, the BBC reported Tuesday.

"One spoke of being 'extremely worried and completely stressed,'" the outlet reported regarding a scientist who was approached about research published in the journal Earth System Science Data on April 17, as the study warned that the ocean is heating up more rapidly than experts previously realized—posing a greater risk for sea-level rise, extreme weather, and the loss of marine ecosystems.

Scientists from institutions including Mercator Ocean International in France, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the United States, and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research collaborated to discover that as the planet has accumulated as much heat in the past 15 years as it did in the previous 45 years, the majority of the excess heat has been absorbed by the oceans.

In March, researchers examining the ocean off the east coast of North America found that the water's surface was 13.8°C, or 14.8°F, hotter than the average temperature between 1981 and 2011.

The study notes that a rapid drop in shipping-related pollution could be behind some of the most recent warming, since fuel regulations introduced in 2020 by the International Maritime Organization reduced the heat-reflecting aerosol particles in the atmosphere and caused the ocean to absorb more energy.

But that doesn't account for the average global ocean surface temperature rising by 0.9°C from preindustrial levels, with 0.6°C taking place in the last four decades.

The study represents "one of those 'sit up and read very carefully' moments," said former BBC science editor David Shukman.

Lead study author Karina Von Schuckmann of Mercator Ocean International told the BBC that "it's not yet well established, why such a rapid change, and such a huge change is happening."

"We have doubled the heat in the climate system the last 15 years, I don't want to say this is climate change, or natural variability or a mixture of both, we don't know yet," she said. "But we do see this change."

Scientists have consistently warned that the continued burning of fossil fuels by humans is heating the planet, including the oceans. Hotter oceans could lead to further glacial melting—in turn weakening ocean currents that carry warm water across the globe and support the global food chain—as well as intensified hurricanes and tropical storms, ocean acidification, and rising sea levels due to thermal expansion.

A study published earlier this year also found that rising ocean temperatures combined with high levels of salinity lead to the "stratification" of the oceans, and in turn, a loss of oxygen in the water.

"Deoxygenation itself is a nightmare for not only marine life and ecosystems but also for humans and our terrestrial ecosystems," researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in January. "Reducing oceanic diversity and displacing important species can wreak havoc on fishing-dependent communities and their economies, and this can have a ripple effect on the way most people are able to interact with their environment."

The unusual warming trend over recent years has been detected as a strong El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to form in the coming months—a naturally occurring phenomenon that warms oceans and will reverse the cooling impact of La Niña, which has been in effect for the past three years.

"If a new El Niño comes on top of it, we will probably have additional global warming of 0.2-0.25°C," Dr. Josef Ludescher of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research told the BBC.

The world's oceans are a crucial tool in moderating the climate, as they absorb heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.

Too much warming has led to concerns among scientists that "as more heat goes into the ocean, the waters may be less able to store excess energy," the BBC reported.

The anxiety of climate experts regarding the new findings, said the global climate action movement Extinction Rebellion, drives home the point that "scientists are just people with lives and families who've learnt to understand the implications of data better."

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 2 May, 2023 12:48 am
Many Europeans want climate action – but less so if it changes their lifestyle, shows poll
YouGov survey in seven countries tested backing for government and individual action on crisis

Many Europeans are alarmed by the climate crisis and would willingly take personal steps and back government policies to help combat it, a survey suggests – but the more a measure would change their lifestyle, the less they support it.

The seven-country YouGov survey tested backing for state-level climate action, such as banning single-use plastics and scrapping fossil-fuel cars, and individual initiatives including buying only secondhand clothes and giving up meat and dairy products.

The responses, from the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Italy, suggested many people were happy with measures that would not greatly affect the way they lead their lives, but bigger steps that may be necessary were unpopular.

Large majorities in all the countries surveyed – ranging from 60% in Sweden, 63% in Germany and 65% in the UK to 77% in Spain, 79% in France and 81% in Italy – said they were very or fairly worried about climate change and its effects.

Broadly similar percentages said the climate was changing because of human activity, with fewer than 20% of respondents in most countries saying climate change was not due to human activity and a maximum of 5% denying it was even happening.

There was also strong support of between 76% and 85% for the view that all countries would be more effective at tackling climate change if they worked together with others – but less agreement about what exactly individuals were willing to do about it.

Measures entailing no great lifestyle sacrifice were popular, with between 45% (Germany) and 72% (Spain) backing government tree-planting programmes and 60% (Spain) and 77% (UK) saying they would grow more plants themselves or were doing so already.

Between 40% (Denmark) and 56% (UK, Spain and Italy) of respondents would happily never buy products made of single-use plastic again, while between 63% (Sweden) and 75% (Spain) would support a government ban on them.

Similarly, there was fairly solid support – from 28% in Germany to 43% in Italy – for the idea of limiting meat and dairy intake to two or three meals a week; between 24% (in the UK) and 48% (in Italy) would back government legislation to that effect.

Unsurprisingly, government subsidies to make homes more energy efficient were wildly popular, with support ranging from 86% in Spain to 67% in Germany, while covering the costs personally was rather less so (19% in Germany to 40% in Spain).

There was broad support, too, for frequent flyer levies (from 39% in Italy to 59% in Germany, with a majority in five out of the seven countries in favour), but much less for buying only secondhand clothes (from 17% in Germany to 27% in the UK).

Even more radical proposals, such as voluntarily eating no more meat and dairy and having fewer children than you would like, were supported by between barely 10% (Germany) and 19% (Italy), and 9% (Germany) and 17% (Italy) respectively.

Changes in car use, a major contributor to carbon emissions and an area in which many European governments are already legislating, also drew responses that showed a close correlation to the impact they might have on people’s lives.

Asked whether they would be willing to switch to an electric car, an average of just under a third of respondents across the seven countries surveyed – ranging from 19% in Germany through 32% in Denmark to 40% in Italy – answered positively.

Responses were more varied when it came to giving up driving altogether in favour of using public transport, walking or cycling. In France, Spain and Italy, 35%, 44% and 40% respectively said they would be willing to make the move.

Support was lower in Britain (22%), Germany (24%), Denmark (20%) and Sweden (21%) – although 25% of French, and 28% of Germans, said they already walked, cycled or used public transport rather than driving, against 11% to 16% elsewhere.

An obligatory increase in fuel duty, however, and government legislation banning the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars outright, were not popular. Those opposed to paying more fuel tax outnumbered those in favour in all countries.

And asked what they thought of a ban on fossil fuel cars, only in Spain and Italy were more people happy with the idea than opposed to it – with the level of opposition in countries such as France and Germany, at more than 60%, almost double the support.

YouGov questioned representative samples of more than 1,000 respondents in each country, with fieldwork carried out between 5 and 24 April.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 8 May, 2023 10:25 pm
Actually, wells for oil and gas should be well sealed when they are shut down. But this is done only carelessly, at least in the USA.

In the Gulf of Mexico alone and on the coasts of the neighbouring US states, around 14,000 inactive oil and gas wells have not yet been permanently sealed. This is the conclusion of a recent study. Oil and gas can leak from the wells into the environment, and the consequences are more serious the closer the wells are to the coast.

Financial liabilities and environmental implications of unplugged wells for the Gulf of Mexico and coastal waters
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 14 May, 2023 12:44 am
Climate crisis deniers target scientists for vicious abuse on Musk’s Twitter
Abusive, often violent tweets denying the climate emergency have become a barrage since Elon Musk acquired the platform, say UK experts

Some of the UK’s top scientists are struggling to deal with what they describe as a huge rise in abuse from climate crisis deniers on Twitter since the social media platform was taken over by Elon Musk last year.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 May, 2023 10:30 pm
There’s growing evidence that fossil fuel companies knew their product would harm the climate, and that’s driving lawsuits around the world.

The ‘Skeletons’ in Big Oil’s Closet [NYT Climate Forward newsletter]
The legal headaches for Big Oil are spreading. The latest company to land in court is Eni, the Italian giant.

Today, I want to talk about lawsuits against oil companies and how the sheer volume and complexity of cases around the world may lead to change.

Last week, Greenpeace and other groups, along with 12 private citizens of Italy, sued Eni in Rome, saying the company was well aware of the climate damage caused by its product but chose to ignore the harm and keep pumping oil anyway.

If that legal tactic sounds familiar, that’s because it is. And, it appears to be effective.

Increasing accountability

The central legal tactic in the Eni suit started making the rounds after 2015, when journalists uncovered documents showing that company researchers at Exxon, starting in the 1970s, had made remarkably accurate projections of just how much the burning of fossil fuels would warm the planet. For years after those projections, however, Exxon continued to publicly cast doubt on climate science and cautioned against moving away from burning fossil fuels.

Since then, we’ve learned that other companies, including Shell, also knew about the dangers of fossil fuels and climate change. So did automakers and the coal industry, journalists and researchers have found.

The result has been dozens of lawsuits by organizations and governments accusing Exxon, Shell and other companies of public deception. The plaintiffs are demanding billions of dollars in climate damages.

The Shell case, in the Netherlands, showed the kind of impact that these lawsuits can have. In 2021, a court found that Shell was liable for causing climate change and ordered the company to cut its emissions. The case used the company’s early knowledge of climate science as one of its central arguments. The company has denied wrongdoing and has appealed the decision.

Exxon also denies wrongdoing.

The suit against Eni is widely regarded as the first of its kind in Italy. The company said it would “prove in court the groundlessness of the lawsuit” as well as “the correctness of its actions and its transformation and decarbonization strategy.”

Why it matters

“The net of climate accountability isn’t just widening, it’s also tightening,” said Geoffrey Supran, a professor of environmental science and policy at the University of Miami who focuses on the history of climate disinformation.

It’s widening, he said, because the revelations in every case are helping to drive more lawsuits in a wide range of jurisdictions, most recently Italy, involving an equally wide range of plaintiffs.

Digging through corporate documents, Supran noted — as lawyers, researchers, journalists and even members of Congress have been doing — has yielded damning evidence.

“For all the skeletons we’ve already found in Big Oil’s closet, in reality we’ve only been looking through the keyhole,” he said. “There’s this kind of avalanche of discoveries now building that is helping to strengthen, and I think inspire, these cases.”

Moreover, Supran told me, the net is also tightening, because, by coming from many directions all at once, these cases “may spread the defense thin.” Meaning, the number and the complexity of cases could eventually prove too much for oil and gas companies to handle despite their vast resources.

That’s what happened with Big Tobacco, Supran said. Cigarette companies, facing lawsuits on so many different fronts, ultimately opted to negotiate with plaintiffs.

Friends of the Earth International, one of the plaintiffs in the Shell case, translated a lot of the research it used into different languages. The group hopes to inspire others to file similar cases in different countries.

Aside from liability issues, these cases present another big problem for Big Oil companies: the loss of credibility. That’s important, because, as the world moves away from fossil fuels, oil companies want to have a hand in shaping that transition.

It’s no coincidence that, last year, oil companies sent the second-biggest delegation to COP27, the global climate summit in Egypt. The next summit, in the United Arab Emirates in November and December, will be led by an oil executive, by the way.

Here’s an example of what’s at stake for the companies: The world can phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy, as scientists say we should, or we can keep using them, as the industry would prefer, and try to capture and store the carbon emissions before they enter the atmosphere.

In this debate, it’s key to keep in mind that there are major hurdles for carbon capture technology to gain traction, as my colleague Brad Plumer recently explained. In an interview with The Associated Press this week, John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, called on the industry to provide solid evidence that the carbon capture technologies they’re talking up can really avoid a climate catastrophe.

It will be harder for Big Oil to make the case for carbon capture technology if companies have a reputation for playing fast and loose with scientific facts.

At least, that’s what advocates for an energy transition hope.

“We know that they’re responsible, and the fact that they knew has just really decimated the reputation,” said Sam Cossar-Gilbert, who coordinates efforts to hold companies accountable at Friends of the Earth International. “There’s much, much wider society acceptability for a just transition.”

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 18 May, 2023 12:29 pm
Although lakes make up only about three per cent of the global land area, they contain more than 85 per cent of the Earth's liquid freshwater. Until now, however, little was known about the state of lakes. Now there is a global analysis - and these are the results:

Satellites reveal widespread decline in global lake water storage
Editor’s summary
The amount of water stored in large lakes has decreased over the past three decades due to both human and climatic drivers. Yao et al. used satellite observations, climate models, and hydrologic models to show that more than 50% of both large natural lakes and reservoirs experienced volume loss over this time (see the Perspective by Cooley). Their findings underscore the importance of better water management to protect essential ecosystem services such as freshwater storage, food supply, waterbird habitat, cycling of pollutants and nutrients, and recreation. —H. Jesse Smith

Climate change and human activities increasingly threaten lakes that store 87% of Earth’s liquid surface fresh water. Yet, recent trends and drivers of lake volume change remain largely unknown globally. Here, we analyze the 1972 largest global lakes using three decades of satellite observations, climate data, and hydrologic models, finding statistically significant storage declines for 53% of these water bodies over the period 1992–2020. The net volume loss in natural lakes is largely attributable to climate warming, increasing evaporative demand, and human water consumption, whereas sedimentation dominates storage losses in reservoirs. We estimate that roughly one-quarter of the world’s population resides in a basin of a drying lake, underscoring the necessity of incorporating climate change and sedimentation impacts into sustainable water resources management.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 25 May, 2023 11:50 am
The Southern Ocean overturning circulation has ebbed 30% since the 90s, CSIRO scientist claims, leading to higher sea levels and changing weather.

Slowing ocean current caused by melting Antarctic ice could have drastic climate impact, study says

Recent reduced abyssal overturning and ventilation in the Australian Antarctic Basin
Dense water formed near Antarctica, known as Antarctic bottom water (AABW), drives deep ocean circulation and supplies oxygen to the abyssal ocean. Observations show that AABW has freshened and contracted since the 1960s, yet the drivers of these changes and their impact remain uncertain. Here, using observations from the Australian Antarctic Basin, we show that AABW transport reduced by 4.0 Sv between 1994 and 2009, during a period of strong freshening on the continental shelf. An increase in shelf water salinity between 2009 and 2018, previously linked to transient climate variability, drove a partial recovery (2.2 Sv) of AABW transport. Over the full period (1994 to 2017), the net slowdown of −0.8 ± 0.5 Sv decade−1 thinned well-oxygenated layers, driving deoxygenation of −3 ± 2 μmol kg−1 decade−1. These findings demonstrate that freshening of Antarctic shelf waters weakens the lower limb of the abyssal overturning circulation and reduces deep ocean oxygen content.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 5 Jun, 2023 11:16 am
You’ve heard of farm-to-table food?

In southern France we got now farm-to-building architecture: the latest low-carbon weapon in the battle against the climate crisis.

The ultimate eco building – made of salt, sunflowers and recycled urine
In a former railway repair shop in the southern French city of Arles, flasks of lurid green algae are bubbling away on a shelf, in a room that looks like a cross between a modern-day laboratory and a witch’s potion-brewing den. Nearby, a 3D printer spews out curious objects made from algae-based bioplastic, while samples of algae-dyed textiles hang on a rack. Some of the walls appear to be made of rice cakes, others look like Weetabix, while some are daubed with a coat of porridgy gloop. All are natural byproducts of the local sunflower industry, the mashed-up pith and fibres redeployed as acoustic insulation. Elsewhere, there are antibacterial door handles made of salt, harvested from the region’s salt marshes; thermal insulation made from bales of local rice straw; and bathroom tiles made of waste clay from a nearby quarry.

... ... ...
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 6 Jun, 2023 09:58 am
Even with low emissions, the Arctic could experience ice-free summers as early as the 2030s. Researchers in a new study urge us to prepare for changing ecosystems as soon as possible.

"The results suggest that, independent of emission scenarios, the first sea ice-free September already occurs in the 1930s to 1950s," the authors led by South Korean researcher Min Seung Ki from Pohang University of Science and Technology write in the journal Nature Communications.

For their forecast, the group analysed measured data for each calendar month between 1979 and 2019 and first compared them with simulated changes. In mid-September, the extent of Arctic sea ice reaches its summer minimum. "The Arctic sea ice area has been declining rapidly over the past decades, with a more pronounced decrease since 2000," the team said.

Observationally-constrained projections of an ice-free Arctic even under a low emission scenario

The sixth assessment report of the IPCC assessed that the Arctic is projected to be on average practically ice-free in September near mid-century under intermediate and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, though not under low emissions scenarios, based on simulations from the latest generation Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) models. Here we show, using an attribution analysis approach, that a dominant influence of greenhouse gas increases on Arctic sea ice area is detectable in three observational datasets in all months of the year, but is on average underestimated by CMIP6 models. By scaling models’ sea ice response to greenhouse gases to best match the observed trend in an approach validated in an imperfect model test, we project an ice-free Arctic in September under all scenarios considered. These results emphasize the profound impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on the Arctic, and demonstrate the importance of planning for and adapting to a seasonally ice-free Arctic in the near future.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 6 Jun, 2023 10:04 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Report in The Guardian:

Too late now to save Arctic summer ice, climate scientists find
Ice-free summers inevitable even with sharp emissions cuts and likely to result in more extreme heatwaves and floods

It is now too late to save summer Arctic sea ice, research has shown, and scientists say preparations need to be made for the increased extreme weather across the northern hemisphere that is likely to occur as a result.

Analysis shows that even if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply reduced, the Arctic will be ice-free in September in coming decades. The study also shows that if emissions decline slowly or continue to rise, the first ice-free summer could be in the 2030s, a decade earlier than previous projections.

The research shows that 90% of the melting is the result of human-caused global heating, with natural factors accounting for the rest.

Since satellite records began in 1979, summer Arctic ice has shrunk by 13% a decade, in one of the clearest signs of the climate crisis. Arctic sea ice reaches its annual minimum at the end of summer, in September, and in 2021 it was at its second lowest extent on record.

“Unfortunately it has become too late to save Arctic summer sea ice,” said Prof Dirk Notz, of the University of Hamburg, Germany, who was part of the study team. “As scientists, we’ve been warning about the loss of Arctic summer sea ice for decades. This is now the first major component of the Earth system that we are going to lose because of global warming. People didn’t listen to our warnings.

“This brings another warning bell, that the kind of projections that we’ve made for other components of the Earth system will start unfolding in the decades to come.”

Other climate scientists said in 2022 that the world was on the brink of multiple disastrous tipping points.

Prof Seung-Ki Min, of Pohang University, South Korea, who led the new study, said: “The most important impact for human society will be the increase in weather extremes that we are experiencing now, such as heatwaves, wildfires and floods. We need to reduce CO2 emissions more ambitiously and also prepare to adapt to this faster Arctic warming and its impacts on human society and ecosystems.”

In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that the Arctic would not lose its summer ice if emissions were cut sharply and global temperature rises were limited to 2C. But the new research, published in the journal Nature Communications, projects the loss of summer sea ice in the 2050s in the low emissions scenario.

The IPCC report concluded that the Arctic would lose its summer ice in the 2040s in intermediate and high emissions scenarios, but the new research advances that by a decade into the 2030s.

In the study, the scientists first established how much rising greenhouse gases have contributed to ice melting compared with natural factors such as variation in the sun’s intensity and emissions from volcanoes. “Humans really are to blame for almost all the loss of Arctic sea ice we have been observing,” Notz said.

The scientists used this information to model future melting and found that the models underestimated the pace of melting compared with observations of ice in the Arctic from 1979 to 2019.

Calibrating the models to be consistent with the observations led to the projections of faster melting and an ice-free summer even in the low emissions scenario. In the intermediate and high emissions scenarios, August and October also become ice-free by about 2080, the study found.

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It is not possible to pinpoint a particular year for the first ice-free summer because of natural variability in the climate system.

Faster melting of Arctic sea ice leads to a vicious circle of more heating, because the dark ocean exposed as ice melts absorbs more heat from the sun. The result is faster warming in the Arctic, and scientists have increasing evidence that this is weakening the jet stream and leading to more extreme weather events in North America, Europe and Asia.

The searing heatwave in the Pacific north-west of America in 2021 and the catastrophic floods in Pakistan in 2022 are the type of events that may be increasing in likelihood because of a weaker jet stream.

Min said faster Arctic heating also accelerated the melting of the Greenland ice cap, driving up sea level, and the melting of permafrost regions, releasing more greenhouse gases. Polar bears and other wildlife in the Arctic and the Indigenous people of the region all rely on sea ice.

Prof Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US, who was not part of the study team, said: “The key message is that we are pretty much destined to lose the Arctic’s sea ice cover in late summer. The question is: when will this occur?

“Over the past decade, there has not been much of a downward trend in September sea ice, which reflects the natural variability in the system. This hiatus will not last, but it shows the difficulties in making predictions. About a decade ago, I mused that the Arctic might lose its summer sea ice by 2030. That may have been an overly aggressive statement. While from the present study 2030 is still in the running, I’m going with sometime in the 2040s – that’s still not very far away.”

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2023 08:22 am
There had already been doubts about possible conflicts of interest in recent weeks: Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is not only host and president of the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP), but at the same time Minister of Industry of the United Arab Emirates and head of the national oil company Adnoc. Now the Guardian reveals that emails to and from the office of the next climate summit, COP28, could also be read by Adnoc.

‘Absolute scandal’: UAE state oil firm able to read Cop28 climate summit emails
The United Arab Emirates’ state oil company has been able to read emails to and from the Cop28 climate summit office and was consulted on how to respond to a media inquiry, the Guardian can reveal.

The UAE is hosting the UN climate summit in November and the president of Cop28 is Sultan Al Jaber, who is also chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). The revelations have been called “explosive” and a “scandal” by lawmakers.

The Cop28 office had claimed its email system was “standalone” and “separate” from that of Adnoc. But expert technical analysis showed the office shared email servers with Adnoc. After the Guardian’s inquiries, the Cop28 office switched to a different server on Monday.

Al Jaber’s dual role has attracted strong criticism, including from the former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, who called his approach “dangerous”.

Replies to a Guardian email to the Cop28 office requesting reaction to these comments, which did not mention Adnoc, contained the text “Adnoc classification: internal”.

The French MEP Manon Aubry, said: “This is an absolute scandal. An oil and gas company has found its way to the core of the organisation in charge of coordinating the phasing out of oil and gas. It is like having a tobacco multinational overseeing the internal work of the World Health Organization.”

Aubry, who co-led a recent letter to the UN from 133 US and EU politicians calling for the removal of Al Jaber, said: “The Cop28 office has lost all credibility. If we care more about preventing a climate disaster than protecting the profits and influence of fossil fuel companies, we need to react now.”

Pascoe Sabido, at Corporate Europe Observatory and co-coordinator of the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition of more than 450 organisations, said the revelations were outrageous and that Al Jaber’s appointment had been “a huge blow to the credibility” of the UN’s climate body, the UNFCCC.

“It’s completely inappropriate that an oil corporation was consulted and it exposes just how influential it has been in shaping what gets presented to the outside world,” Sabido said. “Until world governments accept that fossil fuels need to be left in the ground and their lobbyists are no longer allowed to write the rules of climate action, this will keep happening.”

A senior international climate policy expert, who requested anonymity, said: “The UAE have been advised by many actors since it became clear they would host Cop28 that they should separate out the presidency from Adnoc. They also were advised that Sultan Al Jaber should step down from his roles at Adnoc, even if temporarily. Despite a six-month listening tour, they do not seem to have picked up on this advice.”

The Guardian revealed in April that the UAE had the third biggest net zero-busting plans for oil and gas expansion in the world. The International Energy Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a large consensus of scientists are clear that new oil and gasfields are incompatible with the 1.5C target of the Paris agreement.

In addition to being the head of Adnoc, Al Jaber chairs Masdar, a renewable energy company, and was the UAE climate envoy from 2010 to 2016 – he was reappointed to the post in 2020. He received support from senior figures shortly after his appointment as Cop28 president in January, including from the US climate envoy John Kerry and EU climate chief Frans Timmermans.

The Guardian discovered the links between the UAE’s Cop28 office and Adnoc after requesting a response to Figueres’s criticisms in mid-May. When asked why the email replies contained the text “Adnoc classification: internal”, the Cop28 office said it had “sought input from several subject matter experts regarding emissions, including Adnoc” and that the internal classification mark had become part of the email chain as a result.

The Guardian also asked if the Cop28 office shared an IT system with Adnoc. Politico reported in January that the UNFCCC had sent a “series of questions inquiring whether the presidency will be independent of the oil company … including whether there is a firewall between the two institutions; whether Adnoc has access to Cop28 meetings and strategic documents; if [Cop28] staff are relying on the oil giant’s IT systems”.

The Cop28 office replied to the Guardian on 23 May, with a spokesperson stating: “Cop28 can confirm that Cop28 content (including emails) are held in separate servers, housed in the Cop28 offices, on a standalone, firewall-protected network, supported by a separate Cop28 IT team.”

However, expert technical analysis for the Guardian of the headers of emails from the Cop28 office and from an earlier email chain between the Guardian and the oil company revealed that Adnoc servers were involved in both sending and receiving emails from the Cop28 office.

“The [Cop28] server handed everything off to the oil company’s server to send the email out,” said Dr Richard Clayton, at the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, UK, and an expert in traceability. “The oil company was able to look at all of the email which they were sending out.”

Prof Alan Woodward, a computer security expert at the University of Surrey, UK, added: “Both the [Cop28] and Adnoc emails use the same primary email external service. Their MX record – where their email is sent to – was the same Proofpoint server.”

In response to the finding that Adnoc servers were involved in Cop28 office communications, the Cop28 spokesperson said on 2 June: “For the past few months, Cop28 has been using a dedicated Microsoft 365 tenant and email service. We have been migrating our data from the previous host to our own setup and we expect that this process will be complete by 5 June.”

The MEP Bas Eickhout, the vice-chair of the EU parliament’s environment committee, said the Guardian’s findings were “explosive”.

He added: “The [UAE presidency of Cop28] is a merger of the economic interests of a fossil country with a fundamental transition agenda that should be away from this fossil industry – that will not go well, and [these revelations] already show that it’s not going well.”

Al Jaber should be replaced as Cop28 president, Eickhout said. But with time running short before the November summit, he said the UNFCCC secretariat “should now take more control of the entire process” and better reflect the statements made by the UN secretary general António Guterres, who has warned that the climate crisis has put the world on a “highway to hell”. The UNFCCC did not respond to a request for comment.

Al Jaber has previously defended his appointment, and told the Guardian in April that his business ties would prove an asset in ensuring the private sector took the necessary action on the climate crisis.

The US senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who also co-led the letter calling for the removal of Al Jaber, said: “The [Guardian] reports seem to confirm what many of us have been saying. Sultan Al Jaber will be hard-pressed to separate his role as CEO of Adnoc from his role as the head of the world’s largest diplomatic gathering on climate change. Our window to avert climate disaster is narrowing, and there’s too much at stake for the planet to get this wrong.”

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2023 09:27 am
In seven years, a first Hurtigruten ship will cruise off the coast of Norway that no longer emits emissions - it sails and drives electrically. Now the mail-ship shipping company is showing the first designs.


Future Of Cruising? Norway’s Hurtigruten Unveils Radical Zero-Emission Ship Design
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