Climate & Warming

Partially logged rainforests could be emitting more carbon than previously thought

Dead wood in Borneo. (Picture © Marion Pfeifer/Imperial College London)

Global carbon emissions from forests could have been underestimated because calculations have not fully accounted for the dead wood from logging. Living trees take in carbon dioxide whereas dead and decaying ones release it. Understanding the proportion of both is important for determining whether a large area of forest is a source of carbon dioxide, or a ‘sink’ that helps to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Read more »

Sardines move North due to ocean warming

Sardines, anchovies, mackerel and horse mackerel have increased their presence in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Sardines, anchovies and mackerels play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, as well as having a high commercial value. However, the warming of waters makes them vanish from their usual seas and migrate north, as confirmed by a pioneering study analysing 57,000 fish censuses from 40 years. The researchers warn that coastal towns dependent on these fishery resources must adapt their economies. Read more »

University of Glasgow is the first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels

People + Planet network have launched over 50 Fossil Free campaigns across the UK involving over 15,000 students

The University of Glasgow has become the first university in Europe to divest from the fossil fuel industry. After a year of student campaigning the University Court voted on 8th October 2014 to begin divesting £19 million from the fossil fuel industry and freeze new investments across its entire endowment of £128 million. This is a major victory for the UK and Europe's, rapidly growing fossil fuel divestment movement. Read more »

Climate-smart agriculture and new approaches to food systems needed to cope with climate change

Overcoming climate change is central to achieving a sustainable future for the planet's growing population, and food security must lie at the heart of that effort, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in a speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York this September (2014). Read more »

Sharing the Climate Change burden: new study suggests how global carbon cuts could be fair

The UK and other developed nations will have to make far bigger cuts in their carbon emissions than currently planned to meet their fair share for tackling climate change, a new study has revealed. Read more »

Groups with 11m supporters call on David Cameron to lead at UN Climate Summit

The UK’s leading environmental and development groups have been joined by the IKEA Group, the National Trust, Unilever and the Women’s Institute in calling on David Cameron to speak out at the UN Climate Summit in New York. Read more »

New research identifies the areas of the Earth that are high priorities for conservation in the face of climate change

Europe is particularly vulnerable, as it has the lowest fraction of its land area, only four per cent, of any continent in ‘refugia’ – areas of biological diversity that support many species where natural environmental conditions remain relatively constant during times of great environmental change. The refugia that do exist in Europe are mostly in Scandinavia and Scotland.

The biggest refugia are in the Amazon, the Congo basin, the boreal forests of Russia, the Artic and the Australian outback. Read more »

New map reveals worldwide impacts of climate change

Scientists from the University of Southampton have helped to create a new map, which shows the impact climate change could have on the whole planet by the end of the century, if carbon emissions continue to increase. The Human Dynamics of Climate Change map was developed by the Met Office Hadley Centre with specific contributions from universities, Government and science organisations.

The map shows a range of potential impacts:

  • Temperatures on the warmest days of the year rising by 6°C or more across Europe, parts of Asia and part of North America
Read more »

Buildings and infrastructure ill-prepared for changing climate

The resilience of transport networks, homes, hospitals and water supplies in England need to be enhanced to counter the more frequent and severe flooding and heatwaves that can be expected in future. This is the key finding of a new report by the government’s official adviser on preparing for climate change. Read more »

Shipping needs radical rethink warn climate experts

Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change requires a radical rethink of the shipping system, according to a new report ‘High Seas: High Stakes’ released today by scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research based at The University of Manchester.

If global shipping is to make its fair contribution to avoiding the 2°C of warming associated with dangerous climate change, CO2 emissions need to be cut within the next decade and fall by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, say the authors. Read more »

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