Posted on February 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Rising temperatures raise a host of global security issues.
Global security threatened by rising sea levels, shifts in weather patterns
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — For only the third time, the UN Security Council will discuss climate change risks this week (Feb. 15) at a special meeting convened at the request of the UK and Pakistan.
The high-level meeting will include a briefing from Hans Joachim Schellhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Other speakers include Tony DeBrum, Minister-in-assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands, Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, and Gyan Acharya, Under-Secretary General and High Representative of the least developed countries.
Some of the issues to be debated are climate change impacts on food security, sustaining cooperative management of freshwater supply in the face of glacial melting and reduced runoff, and possible large-scale displacements of people across borders. The meeting could help to firmly establish climate change as a security issue on the Council’s agenda. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, United Nations Security Council, World Bank | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘Most monthly heat records are due to climate change. The science is clear that only a small fraction would have occurred naturally’
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Monthly temperature extremes have become five to 10 times more frequent as a result of global warming, according to a new statistical study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Complutense University of Madrid.
On average, there are now five times as many record-breaking hot months worldwide than could be expected without long-term global warming,and in parts of Europe, Africa and southern Asia the number of monthly records has increased even by a factor of 10.
“The last decade brought unprecedented heat waves; for instance in the US in 2012, in Russia in 2010, in Australia in 2009, and in Europe in 2003,” said lead-author Dim Coumou, describing the paper that was published in the journal Climatic Change. “Heat extremes are causing many deaths, major forest fires, and harvest losses – societies and ecosystems are not adapted to ever new record-breaking temperatures.” (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change heatwaves, Complutense University of Madrid, Environment, global warming, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 28, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Observational data is piling up and showing that sea level rise is exceeding the rate predicted by the IPCC
Glaciers and ice caps are melting, and sea level is rising even faster than forecast by the IPCC. Photos courtesy NASA. (Click the image for more information.)
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sea levels during the past two decades are rising 60 percent faster than the general estimates made by the IPCC, according to new research published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The scientists with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Tempo Analytics and Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales said that, while temperature rises appear to be consistent with the projections made in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report , satellite measurements show that sea-levels are rising at a rate of 3.2 mm a year compared to the best estimate of 2 mm a year in the report.
“This study shows once again that the IPCC is far from alarmist, but in fact has under-estimated the problem of climate change,” said lead author Stefan Rahmstorf. “That applies not just for sea-level rise, but also to extreme events and the Arctic sea-ice loss.” (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, Current sea level rise, Environmental Research Letters, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, sea level rise | 6 Comments »
Posted on November 20, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
On pace to see climate disruption outside the realm of human experience
Warmer and warmer …
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — You can almost hear global warming deniers gnashing their teeth and pulling out their hair as staid organizations like the World Bank take a hard look at the economic and environmental realities of climate change.
In a report prepared for the global financial institution, the Berline-based Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics warned that, without a drastic reduction in greenhouse gases, the world is on a path to warm at least four degrees Celsius, which could result in a “world of risks beyond the experience of our civilization — including heat waves … sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people, and regional yield failures impacting global food security.
“The planetary machinery tends to be jumpy, this is to respond disproportionately to disruptions that come with the manmade greenhouse effect,” PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber said. “If we venture far beyond the 2-degree guardrail, towards 4 degrees, we risk crossing tipping points in the Earth system. (more…)
Filed under: business, climate and weather, economy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Current sea level rise, global warming, Jim Yong Kim, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, World Bank | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 6, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA map shows patterns of monsoon rain distribution.
Study shows how warming temps will displace critical high pressure systems
By Summit Voice
Global warming could cause frequent and severe failures of the Indian summer monsoon in the next two centuries, according to researchers with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Potsdam University.
The effects of these unprecedented changes would be extremely detrimental to India’s economy which relies heavily on the monsoon season to bring fresh water to the farmlands.
“Our study points to the possibility of even more severe changes to monsoon rainfall caused by climatic shifts that may take place later this century and beyond.,” said lead author Jacob Schewe. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, India, India Meteorological Department, Indian Ocean, monsoon, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 17, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New global assessment predicts significant damage to majority of reef ecosystems unless greenhouse gases are curbed drastically
Staghorn coral. Photo courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Most coral reefs are likely doomed unless humankind acts quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new global assessment of global warming impacts published last week in Nature Climate Change.
“Our findings show that under current assumptions regarding thermal sensitivity, coral reefs might no longer be prominent coastal ecosystems if global mean temperatures actually exceed 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level,” said lead author Katja Frieler, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Without a yet uncertain process of adaptation or acclimation, however, already about 70 percent of corals are projected to suffer from long-term degradation by 2030 even under an ambitious mitigation scenario.”
The threshold for protecting at least half the world’s coral reef ecosystems is estimated at 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the study conducted by scientists from Potsdam, the University of British Columbia in Canada and the Universities of Melbourne and Queensland in Australia. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Coral bleaching, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, University of Queensland | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 26, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
1 meter sea level rise would subject New York to severe flooding every 3 years
When the impacts of melting ice sheets are added to thermal expansion, sea level rise from global warming becomes a dicey proposition. Photo by Bob Berwyn.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Sea-level increases of several feet are likely in the coming centuries even if global warming is held to two degrees Celsius, the target for current efforts to cap heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.
“Due to the long time it takes for the world’s ice and water masses to react to global warming, our emissions today determine sea levels for centuries to come.” said Michiel Schaeffer, of Climate Analytics and Wageningen University, and the lead author of a new study that tries to pinpoint the long-term outlook for sea levels.
“Sea-level rise is hard to quantify, yet a critical risk of climate change,” Schaeffer said, adding that the results demonstrate the benefits of capping and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Current sea level rise, global warming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, sea level rise | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
‘It is not a question of yes or no, but a question of probabilities’
A NASA graphic shows global temperature anomalies in January 2012.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —An unusual heat wave persisting across huge parts of the U.S. in early March, once again fueled discussions about possible links between long-term climate change and what appears to be more frequent extreme weather events.
Scientists with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany said the high incidence of extremes is not a coincidence.Through a statistical analysis, they said they’ve identified a pattern in the chain of extreme weather events, finding evidence that extreme rainfall and heatwaves can be traced to global warming.
“The question is whether these weather extremes are coincidental or a result of climate change,” said Dim Coumou, lead author of an article recently published in he journal Nature Climate Change. “Global warming can generally not be proven to cause individual extreme events … But in the sum of events the link to climate change becomes clear. “It is not a question of yes or no, but a question of probabilities,” Coumou said. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: climate, extreme weather, global warming, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | 4 Comments »