Climate & Warming

Climate Change: Decline of West Antarctic glaciers appears irreversible

Image courtesy Jeremie Mouginot, University of California, Irvine, originally published in Geophysical Research Letters. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Two studies published this week conclude that a section of the West Antarctic ice sheet has reached a point of inevitable collapse, an event that would eventually raise sea levels more than a meter (three-plus feet). The first study, led by Eric Rignot of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, used NASA satellite and airborne observations to measure how glaciers have been retreating in the region. Read more »

Katharine Hamnett designs T-shirt to show support for Caroline Lucas & campaigners on trial for anti-fracking protest

Katharine Hamnett, the pioneer of ethical and environmental clothing, has pledged her support for anti-fracking campaigners, including Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, as they stand trial for involvement in anti-fracking protests at Balcombe last year.

Last summer, Sussex Police arrested 126 people during the anti-fracking protests in Balcombe, which included the five who are appearing in court this week. All of the five deny charges of obstructing the public highway and failing to comply with conditions imposed by a senior police officer. Read more »

"Politicians Discussing Global Warming" by Issac Cordal

© Issac Cordal

This sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin is called "Politicians discussing global warming."

Judging the effects of climate change on extinction may be easier than previously thought

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Ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata) © Geoffrey A Hammerson

Although widely used assessments of threatened species, such as the IUCN Red List, were not developed with the effects of climate change in mind, a study of 36 amphibian and reptile species endemic to the US has concluded that climate change may not be fundamentally different from other extinction threats in terms of identifying species in danger of extinction. Read more »

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 »

Global Warming: the picture that says it all

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 »

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 »

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 »

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