Tag: climate change

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Climate change s role in the flooding of the Mississippi

Clearly climate change isn't the only factor influencing these floods It seems like there's been a lot of crazy weather lately. Powerful tornadoes wreaking havoc across the Southeast, Texas in the worst drought in decades and now flooding along the Mississippi.Global warming, right? Um, actually, maybe so.It's a standard first response whenever any climate scientist is asked if a particular weather event was caused by climate change: "You can't say any one storm happened because of climate change." And then they go on to talk about how climate change may have played a role, but that it's hard to tell without a long-term context.But by that point, most listeners (including highly-distractible high school students) have moved on. You wasted your 10-second window of opportunity on the caveat as opposed to the main point:Climate change was involved.There's no way it wasn't. The world we live in is a world warmed-up and altered by greenhouse gases that we put in our atmosphere and that's just the way it is. There is no control group. Every weather event we get is happening within the context of a climate-changed world.As one scientist, Dr. Peter Gleick at the Pacific Institute, puts it, "We are loading ...

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Target of peaking emissions by 2020

Less than a decade to put in place measures The world now has less than a decade to put in place measures that would prevent damaging and irreversible changes to global climate, a new science-based report delivered to the Australian parliament warns.The report from a government-appointed commission of climate experts tables the latest evidence in climate science and also targets what it says is ill-informed debate that is confusing the public and holding back action.The report's authors conclude there is "strong and clear" scientific evidence of global warming and humans' role in it. The "fingerprints" of greenhouse-gas forcing are increasingly there to see, they argue.In a report entitled The Critical Decade, the report warns that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must reach their peak as soon as possible if the plus-2-degrees "guardrail" warming limit is to be met to avoid irreversible alterations in the climate that will make it "a struggle to maintain our present way of life".On the latest available science, it argues, if the generally accepted target of peaking emissions by 2020 is followed then steep reductions in emissions of 9 per cent per year will be required thereafter - something that would appear impossible unless economies were ...

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EU finance ministers have proposed a carbon pricing system for international shipping and aviation

Aims to cut emissions and raise finances for climate change mitigation EU finance ministers have proposed a carbon pricing system for international shipping and aviation, to cut emissions and raise finances for climate change mitigation.In a statement, the ministers called for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to "develop without delay a global policy framework that avoids competitive distortions or carbon leakage"."The carbon pricing of global aviation and maritime transportation is a potential source of revenues that would also generate the price signal necessary to efficiently achieve emission reductions from these sectors," the statement said.Lies Craeynest, Oxfam's climate change advisor, hailed the decision as a "double win" that would redistribute climate aid to vulnerable communities."It is a unique opportunity to control a major and rising source of climate changing emissions and at the same time generate desperately needed cash," she told EurActiv.Carbon pricing in the aviation and shipping sectors would work by imposing a global cap on CO2 emissions. Aviation and shipping companies that went beyond this would have to trade permits to pollute.Shipping concernsOn 27 April, Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that the EU would push for shipping and aviation to be ...

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US forecasters predict 3 to 6 major hurricanes in Atlantic

Hurricane season: June 1 - November 30 U.S. government forecasters announced Thursday they expect three to six major hurricanes from an above average Atlantic storm season.No major hurricane has made a U.S. landfall in five years, but the forecasters warned U.S. coastal residents that odds are diminished that they can't expect a sixth straight year without a major landfall on either the Atlantic or Gulf coasts.As many as 18 named tropical storms may develop during the six-month Atlantic hurricane season that begins June 1, according to forecasters at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Six to 10 of those storms could strengthen into hurricanes with top winds of at least 74 mph, the agency said. Three to six could become major hurricanes, with maximum winds of 111 mph and up.Last year's hurricane season was one of the busiest on record with 19 named storms, including 12 hurricanes. The 2011 season was not expected to be as extreme, partly because ocean temperatures were only two degrees warmer than normal, instead of four degrees warmer as they were last year, said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco."We still expect that to support an above average hurricane season," Lubchenco said.Also, a Pacific Ocean weather phenomenon ...

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Global sea levels to rise by 35 to 63 inches due to Arctic ice melting

Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the highest since 1880 A new assessment of climate change in the Arctic shows the region's ice and snow are melting faster than previously thought and sharply raises projections of global sea level rise this century.The report by the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, or AMAP, is one of the most comprehensive updates on climate change in the Arctic, and builds on a similar assessment in 2005.The full report will be delivered to foreign ministers of the eight Arctic nations next week, but an executive summary including the key findings was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.It says that Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the highest since measurements began in 1880, and that feedback mechanisms believed to accelerate warming in the climate system have now started kicking in.It also shatters some of the forecasts made in 2007 by the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change.The cover of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean, for example, is shrinking faster than projected by the U.N. panel. The level of summer ice coverage has been at or near record lows every year since 2001, AMAP said, predicting that the Arctic ...

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