Blog Archive

Friday, February 7, 2020

Roger Harrabin, BBC: Bank of England chief Mark Carney issues climate change warning

Bank of England chief Mark Carney issues climate change warning


by Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment Analyst, BBC, December 30, 2019

Readers, please see link at the bottom to go to the video interview.

The world will face irreversible heating unless firms shift their priorities soon, the outgoing head of the Bank of England has told the BBC.
Mark Carney said the financial sector had begun to curb investment in fossil fuels – but far too slowly.
He said leading pension fund analysis "is that if you add up the policies of all of companies out there, they are consistent with warming of 3.7-3.8C".
Mr Carney made the comments in a pre-recorded BBC Radio 4 Today interview.
The interview, by presenter Mishal Husain, is one of several items on the programme which are focusing on climate change, on the day the show is guest edited by environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.
Mr Carney added that the rise of almost 4C was "far above the 1.5 degrees that the people say they want and governments are demanding.”
Scientists say the risks associated with an increase of 4C include a nine metre rise in sea levels - affecting up to 760 million people – searing heatwaves and droughts, and serious food supply problems.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Evidence that an ice-free Arctic Ocean allowed ancient CO2 and methane emissions



Speleothems like these form fastest when the permafrost has thawed. Image: By James St John, via Wikimedia Commons
As the world warms, more greenhouse gas will enter the atmosphere. Researchers now think an ice-free Arctic Ocean explains how and why.

by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, January 10, 2020

LONDON – Deep in a cave in Siberia, Israeli, Russian and British scientists have identified evidence of periodic losses of carbon from the permafrost. And the unexpected link is not simply with peak periods of bygone global warming, but with an ice-free Arctic Ocean. The escape into the atmosphere of prodigious volumes of methane and carbon dioxide from the thawing soils is in step not with average planetary temperature rise, but with long periods when the Arctic Ocean is free of ice every summer.

Fact one: about one quarter of land in the northern hemisphere is now, and has been for much of the last half million years, permanently frozen, and with it about twice as much atmospheric carbon – in the form of peat and preserved vegetation – as there exists freely in the planetary atmosphere.

Fact two: in the most recent decades, sea ice has been both thinning and dwindling rapidly, and the polar ocean could by 2050 become almost entirely ice-free in the summer months. “This discovery about the behaviour of the permafrost suggests that the expected loss of Arctic sea ice will accelerate melting of the permafrost presently found across much of Siberia” And this twist in the tale of a rapidly-warming Arctic is preserved in stalagmite formations in a cave deep beneath the rim of the Arctic Circle in Siberia.

The chronology of stalagmite and stalactite development can be established precisely by the pattern of uranium and lead isotope deposits in formations, built up imperceptibly by the steady drip of water from, and through, the soils far above. That is, the speleothems – a geologist’s catch-all word for both stalactite and stalagmite – form fastest when the permafrost has thawed. And unexpectedly, the periods of thaw did not match the peaks of interglacial warming during the last 1.35 million years. They did however coincide with periods when the Arctic was ice-free in the summer.

“This discovery about the behaviour of the permafrost suggests that the expected loss of Arctic sea ice in the future will accelerate melting of the permafrost presently found across much of Siberia,” said Gideon Henderson of the University of Oxford, and one of the authors of a new study in the journal Nature.

The argument goes like this: if there is no sea ice then more heat and moisture is delivered from the ocean to the atmosphere, with warmer air flowing over Siberia, and therefore more autumn snowfall. A blanket of snow insulates the soil beneath from the extreme winter cold, so ground temperatures go up, to unsettle the permafrost and start a thaw that leads to accelerated plant decay and ever-increasing escape of carbon dioxide and methane that would otherwise have been frozen into the permafrost. So the stalagmites endure as evidence of these warmer soils and survive as a direct link to periods of ice-free ocean.

“If these processes continue during modern climate change, future loss of summer Arctic sea ice will accelerate the thawing of Siberian permafrost,” the scientists say. 

https://climatenewsnetwork.net/ice-free-arctic-ocean-allowed-ancient-carbon-leaks/

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Nick Breeze: Coping with climate distress - interview with psychotherapist Ro Randall

Coping with climate distress - interview with psychotherapist Ro Randall
Nick Breeze
for more information visit https://envisionation.co.uk
or https://www.climatepsychologyalliance.org
[or https://climatepsychology.us/]
Ro Randall is psychotherapist specialising in climate-related distresswith many years researching the impact of the climate crisis on individuals and climate groups.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kifHu04ZzzA