I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
November 30 2022

27th COP focuses on loss and damage in poorer nations, Arctic wildfires, local midterm-election results bolster climate resilience, home insurance market teeters in Florida, generating electricity from the tides

As the nations of the world gathered in Egypt for the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP), the danger posed by climate change is unassailable. The New York Times notes that the draft National Climate Assessment, released by the U.S. Government for public comment, concludes that “climate changes make it harder to maintain safe homes and healthy families, reliable public services, a sustainable economy, thriving ecosystems and strong communities.” While the report outlines many actions and policies to adapt to our new climate, these are being adopted too slowly. The report also notes that current efforts to reduce emissions are “not sufficient” to meet the Biden Administration’s 2050 target of net-zero emissions. Meanwhile, a recent analysis concludes that global emissions of carbon dioxide will reach an all-time high in 2022, as described by the study’s authors in The Conversation.

The global effort to reduce emissions appears inadequate to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. The Washington Post reports that new natural-gas projects, many initiated in response to the war in Ukraine, will have to be closed before the end of their useful life if the world is to meet its emissions goals. This is unlikely. The Post also describes a new study from the World Meteorological Organization reporting that global emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas, are rising faster than ever. Initial analysis has concluded that the methane increase is not from fossil fuels, but rather from natural sources such as wetlands or agriculture, suggesting that this is a response to climate change. The executive director of the U.N. Environment Program stated, “It’s a dismal, horrendous, incomprehensible picture.”

The Washington Post reports that only 24 countries have submitted new emissions-reduction pledges in the past 12 months. At present, the combined 193 climate pledges made since the Paris Agreement would actually increase emissions 10.6% by 2030, compared with 2010 levels. To reach the 1.5°C target, it is estimated that nations must reduce their emissions to about 45% of their 2010 levels, and an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times describes how far we have to go. An op-ed in the Guardian concludes that anybody who thinks the 1.5°C target is still achievable is delusional. The author argues that acknowledging this reality is essential for increasing action by corporations and governments. An editorial in the Washington Post argues that we should not lose hope…

read more
November 15 2022

sea level rise getting real in many places, climate misinformation continues to circulate, drought causes more focus on recycling wastewater, a rare toad slows geothermal development, France requires solar over parking lots

The New York Times reports that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides $2.6 billion in grants over five years for coastal communities to prepare and respond to hazardous climate-related events. While less than 1% of the total funding provided by the IRA, this is the latest sign of a shift by the federal government toward funding nature-based climate solutions. These funds will be enormously valuable as the threats from sea level rise and coastal erosion mount.

The rate that sea level rises in any given community is a function of the vertical movement of both water and land. In places where land is subsiding, the relative rate of sea level rise is faster. Because of this phenomenon, the Humboldt Bay in northern California has the highest relative sea level rise in the state. The San Francisco Chronicle examines how this region is approaching its vulnerability to sea level rise.

The Washington Post visits Socastee, South Carolina, a community that is similar to many on the eastern seaboard impacted by rising sea level and storm surges. In this area of South Carolina, sea level is rising as fast as anywhere in the nation. The article chronicles the agonizing decision facing residents who don’t want to leave, yet are beginning to recognize that their communities will become more and more unlivable. The Washington Post also examines plans to protect Norfolk, VA, another community extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. This article points out that the method used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for assessing benefits and costs of flood-protection projects fails to account for ecological, cultural and historic values. This can lead to controversy about the relative worth of proposed projects. The New York Times reports on the Corps of Engineers’ $52 billion proposal for flood protection in New York harbor…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
November 30 2022

27th COP focuses on loss and damage in poorer nations, Arctic wildfires, local midterm-election results bolster climate resilience, home insurance market teeters in Florida, generating electricity from the tides

As the nations of the world gathered in Egypt for the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP), the danger posed by climate change is unassailable. The New York Times notes that the draft National Climate Assessment, released by the U.S. Government for public comment, concludes that “climate changes make it harder to maintain safe homes and healthy families, reliable public services, a sustainable economy, thriving ecosystems and strong communities.” While the report outlines many actions and policies to adapt to our new climate, these are being adopted too slowly. The report also notes that current efforts to reduce emissions are “not sufficient” to meet the Biden Administration’s 2050 target of net-zero emissions. Meanwhile, a recent analysis concludes that global emissions of carbon dioxide will reach an all-time high in 2022, as described by the study’s authors in The Conversation.

The global effort to reduce emissions appears inadequate to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. The Washington Post reports that new natural-gas projects, many initiated in response to the war in Ukraine, will have to be closed before the end of their useful life if the world is to meet its emissions goals. This is unlikely. The Post also describes a new study from the World Meteorological Organization reporting that global emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas, are rising faster than ever. Initial analysis has concluded that the methane increase is not from fossil fuels, but rather from natural sources such as wetlands or agriculture, suggesting that this is a response to climate change. The executive director of the U.N. Environment Program stated, “It’s a dismal, horrendous, incomprehensible picture.”

The Washington Post reports that only 24 countries have submitted new emissions-reduction pledges in the past 12 months. At present, the combined 193 climate pledges made since the Paris Agreement would actually increase emissions 10.6% by 2030, compared with 2010 levels. To reach the 1.5°C target, it is estimated that nations must reduce their emissions to about 45% of their 2010 levels, and an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times describes how far we have to go. An op-ed in the Guardian concludes that anybody who thinks the 1.5°C target is still achievable is delusional. The author argues that acknowledging this reality is essential for increasing action by corporations and governments. An editorial in the Washington Post argues that we should not lose hope…

read more
November 15 2022

sea level rise getting real in many places, climate misinformation continues to circulate, drought causes more focus on recycling wastewater, a rare toad slows geothermal development, France requires solar over parking lots

The New York Times reports that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides $2.6 billion in grants over five years for coastal communities to prepare and respond to hazardous climate-related events. While less than 1% of the total funding provided by the IRA, this is the latest sign of a shift by the federal government toward funding nature-based climate solutions. These funds will be enormously valuable as the threats from sea level rise and coastal erosion mount.

The rate that sea level rises in any given community is a function of the vertical movement of both water and land. In places where land is subsiding, the relative rate of sea level rise is faster. Because of this phenomenon, the Humboldt Bay in northern California has the highest relative sea level rise in the state. The San Francisco Chronicle examines how this region is approaching its vulnerability to sea level rise.

The Washington Post visits Socastee, South Carolina, a community that is similar to many on the eastern seaboard impacted by rising sea level and storm surges. In this area of South Carolina, sea level is rising as fast as anywhere in the nation. The article chronicles the agonizing decision facing residents who don’t want to leave, yet are beginning to recognize that their communities will become more and more unlivable. The Washington Post also examines plans to protect Norfolk, VA, another community extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. This article points out that the method used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for assessing benefits and costs of flood-protection projects fails to account for ecological, cultural and historic values. This can lead to controversy about the relative worth of proposed projects. The New York Times reports on the Corps of Engineers’ $52 billion proposal for flood protection in New York harbor…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES