Climate Change

Climate change threatens to cause trillions in damage to world’s coastal regions if they do not adapt to sea-level rise

New research predicts that coastal regions may face massive increases in damages from storm surge flooding over the course of the 21st century. Climate change threatens to cause trillions of dollars in damage to the world’s coastal regions if they do not adapt to sea-level rise.

According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, global average storm surge damages could increase from about $10-$40 billion per year today to up to $100,000 billion per year by the end of century, if no adaptation action is taken. Read more »

Samples of ancient moss reveal that current Arctic warmth is unprecedented in 44,000 years

When the temperature rises on Baffin Island, in the Canadian high Arctic, ancient Polytrichum mosses, trapped beneath the ice for thousands of years, are exposed. Using radiocarbon dating, new research published in Geophysical Research Letters has calculated the age of relic moss samples that have been exposed by modern Arctic warming. Since the moss samples would have been destroyed by erosion had they been previously exposed, the authors suggest that the temperatures in the Arctic are warmer than during any sustained period since the mosses were originally buried. Read more »

The water cycle amplifies abrupt climate change

During the abrupt cooling at the onset of the so-called Younger Dryas period 12680 years ago changes in the water cycle were the main drivers of widespread environmental change in western Europe. Thus, the regional impacts of future climate changes can be largely driven by hydrological changes, not only in the monsoonal areas of the world, but also in temperate areas. Read more »

New research argues that changing landscapes and not global warming are to blame for increased flood risk

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A new study published in Hydrological Sciences Journal examines the key reasons for increasing frequency and severity of floods; considering whether this is due to improved reporting by the media, an increasing and expanding global population, or whether climate change is the crucial factor. Read more »

Climate Silence (and how to break it)...

Climate Silence (and how to break it) is the latest report from COIN, The Climate Outreach and Information Network. In it COIN describes the blanket of silence that has descended upon the issue of climate change in the UK in the past five years. The report argues the debate urgently needs new narratives that make the link between the climate challenge and ordinary people’s lives. Read more »

Postgraduate researcher shows that deep ocean crusts could store many centuries of industrial CO2

Researchers from the University of Southampton have identified regions beneath the oceans where the igneous rocks of the upper ocean crust could safely store very large volumes of carbon dioxide. Read more »

Rising sea levels, rather than storms, will become the dominant driver of flooding and coastal damage

Clamour about whether climate change will cause increasingly destructive tropical storms may be overshadowing a more unrelenting threat to coastal property — sea-level rise — according to a team of researchers writing in the journal Nature. Read more »

Research shows that climate change will have regional variations

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Extraction of a short core (© GFZ)

New research showing that regional climate changes can be very rapid has implications on the understanding of both past and future climate change. The assumption of an everywhere and always synchronously changing climate must be questioned and climate models have to better consider such regional aspects. Read more »

New study shows that protected marine reserves enhance resilience to climate change

Species such as the blue-throated wrasse were observed in greater numbers in a marine reserve southeast of Tasmania following protection from fishing, which led to greater community stability and resilience. (Picture credit Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)

A new study, led by a University of Southampton scientist, highlights the potential for fish communities in marine reserves to resist climate change impacts better than communities on fished coasts. Read more »

Coal continues to dominate global carbon emissions

Despite explosive growth in renewable energy consumption, continued strong growth in coal consumption has further consolidated coal as the dominate source of carbon dioxide emissions. In its annual analysis of global carbon emissions production published on 19th November 2013, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) found that global emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production reached a record high of 35 billion tonnes CO2 in 2012, 58 per cent above the level of 1990. Read more »

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