Climate & Warming

Study reveals disturbing hunger trends in world's highland areas

While global hunger figures are decreasing, the number of food insecure people in mountain areas rose 30 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to a new study, released today by FAO and the Mountain Partnership on International Mountain Day. Read more »

No more than the cost of a year’s stamps: the UK public’s willingness to pay to fight climate change

Just days after Prince Charles’ landmark speech about the perils of climate change at COP21 in Paris, new research reveals just how little UK citizens are willing to pay out of their own pockets to fight it.

In the first study of its kind, Tanya O’Garra and Susana Mourato of the London School of Economics and Political Science asked over 1000 adults how much they would be willing to contribute personally to a variety of projects designed to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

The answer: not very much. Read more »

Slower global emissions growth driven by Chinese economic adjustment

Global carbon dioxide emissions grew at their slowest level outside of economic crisis in 2014 with a drop in global emissions possible in 2015. The changes are driven primarily by economic adjustments in China and may mark the beginning of a period of slower emissions growth.

The growth of global carbon dioxide emissions has slowed in the last few years, largely due to reduced growth in coal consumption in China. Global emissions may decrease in 2015, but it is unlikely that this represents a peak in global emissions. Read more »

Crisis in global oceans as populations of marine species halve in size since 1970

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White tip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, close-up. Phoenix Islands, Kiribati. (© Cat Holloway / WWF)

WWF’s Living Blue Planet report, an updated study of marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, shows a decline of 49 per cent in the size of marine populations between 1970 and 2012. As well as being disastrous for ecosystems, these findings spell trouble for all nations, especially people in the developing world who depend heavily on the ocean’s resources. Read more »

Receding snowpack highlights impacts of California drought

A sparse covering of snow on the Sierra Nevada in California (Image: oliver.dodd via Flickr)

The snowpack on the Sierra Nevada range between California and Nevada is lower than at any time in the last 500 years. Researchers report in Nature Climate Change that the level of snow at the end of March on the high hills was just one-twentieth of the average for the last half century.

Snow is winter rain that doesn’t run off the hills immediately. So in Mediterranean climates − characterised by winter rainfall and warm, dry summers − the snowpack is a vital resource. Read more »

London’s economy at risk from extreme world weather

Published today, 23rd July 2015, the London Assembly Economy Committee report ‘Weathering the Storm’, looks into the impact of climate change on London’s economy in terms of risks and opportunities.

The key findingas are:

  • London’s businesses are ill-prepared for climate change risks - 54 per cent of FTSE 100 firms have no business adaptation strategy in place for climate change.

19.3 million displaced by disasters but “mother nature not to blame” says new report

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Displacement related to disasters worldwide in 2014

In the last seven years, an estimated one person every second has been displaced by a disaster, with 19.3 million people forced to flee their homes in 2014 alone. Disaster displacement is on the rise, and as policy leaders worldwide advance towards the adoption of a post-2015 global agenda, the time has never been better to address it. Read more »

Rapid decline in bumblebee species caused by climate change, study finds

Bumblebee (UFZ)

In the most comprehensive analysis of climate change impacts on critical pollinators, researchers have found that rapid declines in bumblebee species across North America and Europe have a strong link to climate change. The study was published in Science. It was conducted by scientists from University of Ottawa and other North American institutions. Scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), as one of the major partners from Europe, were responsible for coordinating basic data collection. Read more »

Climate change may knock seafood off the menu

Pink salmon is one of the species jeopardised by the impact of carbon dioxide emissions. (Image: NOAA Fisheries via Flickr.com)

Pink salmon – the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, and a supper table mainstay in many parts of the world – may be swimming towards trouble. And they are not the only dish likely to disappear from the menu. Mussels, oysters, clam and scallop could all become scarcer and more expensive as the seas become more acid. And as the world’s waters warm, fish will start to migrate away from their normal grounds at an ever-increasing rate. Read more »

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