Study: Climate Change Probably Won’t Kill All of Us

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/02/study-climate-change-probably-wont-kill-all-of-us.html
@EricLevitz

A conveyor belt sits below excavated land at the Garzweiler open cast lignite mine. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Due to a combination of prudence and morbid curiosity, a great deal of scholarly research (and journalism) about climate change has focused on the worst of all possible worlds. For scientists running climate-economic models, that nightmare scenario has a concrete definition: In 2011, such researchers established four baseline scenarios for the future of greenhouse gas emissions (ranging from the benign to the catastrophic) for the sake of facilitating comparable studies.

The most fearsome — and widely cited — of these baselines, known as “RCP8.5,” imagined a year 2100 in which an overpopulated, technologically underdeveloped humanity is digging up and burning every last piece of coal it can find. Thus, by the turn of the next century, coal — the most carbon-intensive major fuel source — would account for 94 percent of the world’s energy supply. In 2015, that figure was 28 percent.

This scenario, and other, less severe hypotheticals that also imagine a resurgence of coal use, have loomed large in both the academic and political debates over climate change. In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cited 210 scenarios that assumed humanity would move toward more carbon-intensive forms of energy in the coming decades.

But a new analysis from researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests that this assumption — and the nightmare scenarios that derive from it — merits less attention than it’s been given.

Their reasoning is simple. First and foremost, there probably isn’t enough extractable coal on the planet to make RCP8.5 possible, even if future humans tried to use that filthiest of fossil fuels for virtually all of their energy needs. Second, there’s little basis for thinking that we will become more reliant on carbon-intensive energy sources in the future. For decades, the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to energy produced (i.e., the carbon intensity of energy) has been going down. And the growing prevalence of natural gas and renewable fuels strongly suggests this trend will continue.

The nightmare scenario looked considerably more plausible just a few years ago, when China’s consumption of coal was steadily rising. But precisely because that fuel is so dirty, anti-pollution political sentiment has pushed the Chinese government to move aggressively toward renewables, and many experts believe the nation’s coal consumption has already peaked.

There’s still no guarantee that we’ll be spared the worst of all possible climates. Even without a coal resurgence, there are plenty of other forces that could upend encouraging trends, including feedback from the warming we’ve already built in — like, for example, a surge of methane emissions from melting permafrost. Furthermore, there remains a lot that we don’t know about how the climate will evolve. One recent study found that aerosols, tiny atmospheric particles found in air pollution, may be suppressing global temperatures by as much a 1.1 degrees Celsius. If true, this would mean that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would have a less significant effect on global temperatures than previously thought, as they would produce a concomitant decrease in the atmosphere aerosol content.

Nonetheless, there is some reason to think we’ve been overestimating the likelihood of total catastrophe. Which isn’t to say that humanity doesn’t need to radically ramp up its efforts to combat climate change. In fact, this new research suggests that international efforts aren’t aggressive enough: If the baseline trend points toward a greater degree of “passive decarbonization” — reductions in greenhouse emissions through the evolution of energy markets — then governments have been overestimating the economic costs of setting even more stringent caps on carbon emissions.

And make no mistake: Even if near-term planetary extinction looks unlikely, humanity still has a moral and practical obligation to cut emissions as quickly as possible. The worst-case scenario may be less likely than we thought. But very, very bad scenarios remain almost certain. Climate change is already devastating and destabilizingwhole regions of the Earth and increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather.

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Methane from Indian livestock adds to global warming

A zebu bull

A zebu bull Copyright: B. Greene, Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

By: S. Singh

NEW DELHI Methane produced by India’s livestock population, considered the world’s largest, can significantly raise global temperatures, says a new study designed to help predict climate change linked to greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions from farm animals.

Results of the study carried out by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal and published this month (January) in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety show that the Indian livestock emitted 15.3 million tonnes of methane in 2012. Globally, the livestock sector is a major source of anthropogenic (human-induced causes) methane emission with annual global contribution of 14.5 per cent.

“The impact on climate change is global in result, so the negative impact due to livestock emission is not restricted to India,”

Shilpi Kumari, author

Shilpi Kumari, corresponding author of the study, tells SciDev.Net that the livestock sector in India has the potential to cause surface temperatures to surge up to 0.69 millikelvin over 20-year time period which is roughly 14 per cent of the total increase caused by the global livestock sector.

“The impact on climate change is global in result, so the negative impact due to livestock emission is not restricted to India,” Kumari says. India, with a livestock population of more than 500 million head, leads livestock- dominant countries such as Brazil, China and the US. Cattle and buffalo were found by the study to be the major sources of methane among India’s livestock accounting for 98 per cent.

Better livestock rearing practices such as using suitable feed types and improving livestock productivity can achieve reduction in methane emission, says Kumari.

Growth of livestock population is the key factor influencing levels of atmospheric methane, Kumari says. However, environmental risk management through improved livestock productivity, population stabilisation, better feed and manure use could reduce methane levels.

“In India, keeping livestock is mostly confined to the rural areas where opting for modern technologies is not possible due to dearth of money,” Kumari says.

According to Gufran Beig project director, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, New Delhi, the study is “noteworthy” given the background of climate change and because it highlights the need for technological solutions.

“Methane has a warming potential 20 times higher than carbon dioxide. In the Indian context, methane emissions are worrying because two major sources, livestock and paddy fields, are rapidly growing,” says Beig, “Both sources are connected to the Indian economy and food security.”

https://www.scidev.net/asia-pacific/livestock/news/methane-from-indian-livestock-adds-to-global-warming.html

The Ocean Is Losing Its Breath. Here’s the Global Scope.

2018 

In Broadest View Yet of World’s Low Oxygen, Scientists Reveal Dangers and Solutions

In the past 50 years, the amount of water in the open ocean with zero oxygen has gone up more than fourfold. In coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, low-oxygen sites have increased more than 10-fold since 1950. Scientists expect oxygen to continue dropping even outside these zones as Earth warms. To halt the decline, the world needs to rein in both climate change and nutrient pollution, an international team of scientists asserted in a new paper published Jan. 4 in Science.

“Oxygen is fundamental to life in the oceans,” said Denise Breitburg, lead author and marine ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. “The decline in ocean oxygen ranks among the most serious effects of human activities on the Earth’s environment.”

The study came from a team of scientists from GO2NE (Global Ocean Oxygen Network), a new working group created in 2016 by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. The review paper is the first to take such a sweeping look at the causes, consequences and solutions to low oxygen worldwide, in both the open ocean and coastal waters. The article highlights the biggest dangers to the ocean and society, and what it will take to keep Earth’s waters healthy and productive.

Map of the world, with low oxygen zones in ocean (blue) and coasts (red)
Low-oxygen zones are spreading around the globe. Red dots mark places on the coast where oxygen has plummeted to 2 milligrams per liter or less, and blue areas mark zones with the same low-oxygen levels in the open ocean. (Credit: GO2NE working group. Data from World Ocean Atlas 2013 and provided by R. J. Diaz)

The Stakes

“Approximately half of the oxygen on Earth comes from the ocean,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission that formed the GO2NE group. “However, combined effects of nutrient loading and climate change are greatly increasing the number and size of ‘dead zones’ in the open ocean and coastal waters, where oxygen is too low to support most marine life.”

Dead corals and crab shells
Low oxygen caused the death of these corals and others in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The dead crabs pictured also succumbed to the loss of dissolved oxygen.
(Credit: Arcadio Castillo/Smithsonian)

In areas traditionally called “dead zones,” like those in Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, oxygen plummets to levels so low many animals suffocate and die. As fish avoid these zones, their habitats shrink and they become more vulnerable to predators or fishing. But the problem goes far beyond “dead zones,” the authors point out. Even smaller oxygen declines can stunt growth in animals, hinder reproduction and lead to disease or even death. Low oxygen also can trigger the release of dangerous chemicals such as nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas up to 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and toxic hydrogen sulfide. While some animals can thrive in dead zones, overall biodiversity falls.

Climate change is the key culprit in the open ocean. Warming surface waters make it harder for oxygen to reach the ocean interior. Furthermore, as the ocean as a whole gets warmer, it holds less oxygen. In coastal waters, excess nutrient pollution from land creates algal blooms, which drain oxygen as they die and decompose. In an unfortunate twist, animals also need more oxygen in warmer waters, even as it is disappearing.

People’s livelihoods are also on the line, the scientists reported, especially in developing nations. Smaller, artisanal fisheries may be unable to relocate when low oxygen destroys their harvests or forces fish to move elsewhere. In the Philippines, fish kills in a single town’s aquaculture pens cost more than $10 million. Coral reefs, a key tourism attraction in many countries, also can waste away without enough oxygen.

“It’s a tremendous loss to all the support services that rely on recreation and tourism, hotels and restaurants and taxi drivers and everything else,” said Lisa Levin, a co-author and marine biologist with the University of California, San Diego. “The reverberations of unhealthy ecosystems in the ocean can be extensive.”

Some popular fisheries could benefit, at least in the short term. Nutrient pollution can stimulate production of food for fish. In addition, when fish are forced to crowd to escape low oxygen, they can become easier to catch. But in the long run, this could result in overfishing and damage to the economy.

GO2NE group selfie
Members of the GO2NE working group (Global Ocean Oxygen Network) in Monterey, Calif. Top row, from left: S.W.A. Naqvi, Moriaki Yasuhara, Kirsten Isensee, Véronique Garçon, Marilaure Grégoire, Michael Roman. Middle: Nancy Rabalais, Andreas Oschlies, Ivonne Montes, Denise Breitburg, Dimitri Gutiérrez, Maciej Telszewski, Denis Gilbert, Damodar Shenoy, Grant Pitcher. Bottom: Kenneth Rose, Gil Jacinto, Francisco Chavez, Karin Limburg, Lisa Levin. (Credit: Francisco Chavez)

Winning the War: A Three-Pronged Approach

To keep low oxygen in check, the scientists said the world needs to take on the issue from three angles:

Denise Breitburg samples with net in river
Lead author Denise Breitburg, a marine ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, is discovering how low oxygen can make life harder for fish and oysters in Chesapeake Bay.
(Credit: Tina Tennessen/SERC)
  • Address the causes: nutrient pollution and climate change. While neither issue is simple or easy, the steps needed to win can benefit people as well as the environment. Better septic systems and sanitation can protect human health and keep pollution out of the water. Cutting fossil fuel emissions not only cuts greenhouse gases and fights climate change, but also slashes dangerous air pollutants like mercury.
  • Protect vulnerable marine life. With some low oxygen unavoidable, it is crucial to protect at-risk fisheries from further stress. According to the GO2NE team, this could mean creating marine protected areas or no-catch zones in areas animals use to escape low oxygen, or switching to fish that are not as threatened by falling oxygen levels.
  • Improve low-oxygen tracking worldwide. Scientists have a decent grasp of how much oxygen the ocean could lose in the future, but they do not know exactly where those low-oxygen zones will be. Enhanced monitoring, especially in developing countries, and numerical models will help pinpoint which places are most at risk and determine the most effective solutions.

“This is a problem we can solve,” Breitburg said. “Halting climate change requires a global effort, but even local actions can help with nutrient-driven oxygen decline.” As proof Breitburg points to the ongoing recovery of Chesapeake Bay, where nitrogen pollution has dropped 24 percent since its peak thanks to better sewage treatment, better farming practices and successful laws like the Clean Air Act. While some low-oxygen zones persist, the area of the Chesapeake with zero oxygen has almost disappeared. “Tackling climate change may seem more daunting,” she added, “but doing it is critical for stemming the decline of oxygen in our oceans, and for nearly every aspect of life on our planet.”

Images are available after publication at the Smithsonian Newsdesk (http://newdesk.si.edu), and the abstract is available at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/eaam7240. For a copy of the full paper, images or to speak with the authors, contact Kristen Minogue at (314) 605-4315 or minoguek@si.edu, or John Gibbons at (202) 633-5187 or gibbonsjp@si.edu.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is the leading national research center for environmental issues in the coastal zone. Coastal zones are home to more than 70 percent of the world’s people, and the center’s scientists work to understand the connections between humans and the environment to help create a sustainable future. Its ecologists do research from the center’s Chesapeake Bay headquarters in Edgewater, Md., and in coasts around the world.

The Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE) is a scientific working group organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Established in 2016, its scientists from around the world are committed to providing a global and multidisciplinary view of deoxygenation, advising policymakers on countering low oxygen and preserving marine resources.

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Those Iguanas Falling From Trees in Florida? They Probably Aren’t Dead

Photo

A stunned iguana in Boca Raton, Fla., on Thursday. CreditFrank Cerabino/Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press

Read the latest on the bitter cold along the East Coast with Friday’s live updates.

Beware the falling iguanas in South Florida.

When temperatures dip into the 30s and 40s, people from West Palm Beach to Miami know to be on the lookout for reptiles stunned — but not necessarily killed — by the cold. They can come back to life again when it warms up.

In Boca Raton, Frank Cerabino, a Palm Beach Post columnist familiar with the critters, stepped outside and saw a bright green specimen by his pool on Thursday morning, feet up.

“It’s one of those ethical things: What do you do?” he said in an interview.

Iguanas, which can be as long as six feet, are not native to South Florida. They have proliferated in the subtropical heat, causing headaches for wildlife managers — and occasionally popping up in toilets. It took a prolonged cold spell to significantly reduce their population in 2010. (The same cold snap also resulted in the deaths of many invasive Burmese pythons.)

Iguanas climb up trees to roost at night, said Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami.

“When the temperature goes down, they literally shut down, and they can no longer hold on to the trees,” he said. “Which is why you get this phenomenon in South Florida that it’s raining iguanas.” (Including on windshields.)

Continue reading the main story

The larger the iguana, the greater its chance of survival, Mr. Magill added.

“Even if they look dead as a doornail — they’re gray and stiff — as soon as it starts to heat up and they get hit by the sun rays, it’s this rejuvenation,” he said. “The ones that survive that cold streak are basically passing on that gene.”

He suspects that, within a couple of decades, iguanas will creep north because they will be able to withstand colder climates.

On Thursday, Mr. Cerabino poked at the animal with his pool skimmer, hoping to wake it up. In a previous backyard encounter with a paralyzed iguana, he said, picking it up with a shovel did the trick.

But no luck this time.

“He didn’t move,” Mr. Cerabino said. “But he’s probably still alive. My experience is that they take a while to die.”

So he opted for leaving the iguana where it was, “and dealing with it when I come home.”

“He’ll either get enough sun where he’ll revive himself and get himself up the tree, or he’ll continue to freeze and turn dark brown — almost black — and I’ll know he’s dead,” Mr. Cerabino said.

The iguana lived.

Sea Level Rise Projections Double, Painting Terrifying Picture for Next Generation

Tuesday, January 02, 2018
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report

(Photo: Maria Da Conceição Araujo / EyeEm / Getty Images)(Photo: Maria Da Conceição Araujo / EyeEm / Getty Images)

In a consistent trend, future projections of an increase in the overall global temperature, as well increases in sea level rise, continue to outpace previous worst-case scenarios.

This is due to a simple equation: There is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere and heat absorbed into the planet’s oceans that even if we stopped emitting carbon completely right now, the planet would continue to experience and display dramatic impacts from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for thousands of years.

The second part of that equation is this: There is simply nothing to indicate that national governments around the world are willing to take the immediate, radical steps that would be necessary to begin to seriously mitigate these impacts.

To see more stories like this, visit “Planet or Profit?”

Many of the humans being born right now will be alive in 2100. They will live in the conditions we are creating for them today: In a world where it will likely be impossible to feed the majority of the projected 9 billion people on the planet by 2050, water wars will be the new oil wars (the US military has already been practicing for water wars for years), major coastal cities will have long since flooded, and droughts and wildfires will have become year-round events.

While reading this month’s climate disruption dispatch, consider how the latest scientific reports and studies might translate into a picture of our collective future.

recent study showed that deforestation has twice the negative impact on ACD as previously believed. Deforestation has two main negative impacts. First, the trees are burned and they immediately release their stored carbon into the atmosphere. Then, farms are created in their place, which go on to release other greenhouse gasses like methane and nitrous oxide. Furthermore, without trees to act as a carbon sink, less carbon dioxide is being removed from the atmosphere.

Climate Disruption DispatchesThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Oceans Melting Greenland mission has warnedthat that Greenland ice sheet, which alone contains enough landlocked ice to raise global sea levels 20 feet, is more at risk, due to ACD, than previously believed. Even into late fall of this year, Greenland was experiencing temperatures as high as a stunning 54 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Some of Greenland’s coastal towns were even experiencing rain, while melting was occurring up on the ice sheet well into November.

Meanwhile down in Antarctica, recent evidence shows that even the glaciers in the eastern Antarctic, largely thought to be minimally impacted by ACD, are not nearly as stable as scientists had believed. The study, published in Nature, found that in the area studied there is enough ice to raise global sea levels by as much as 15 feet, enough to submerge most of the coastal cities.

Across the US, warmer temperatures have dominated throughout the late fall season. Even on the last day of November, just 7.6 percent of the country was covered by snow, which is only approximately one-third of the typical area of snow coverage for that time of year over the past 15 years. One seven-day period saw 1,550 record high temperatures around the country, compared to 15 record lows, a 100-to-1 ratio. On November 27, the mile-high city of Denver reached 81 degrees, which was 34 degrees warmer than Los Angeles, Houston or Tampa.

To get a sense of what these numbers mean, pay attention to the climate where you live. Look out the window. Take a walk outside. Compare today’s temperatures and climate to those of 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. Ask friends in other places around the country what they are seeing. Then, consider these monthly climate disruption dispatches in the context of that personal glimpse. Climate disruption doesn’t simply affect “the planet,” in some abstract sense; it affects every one of us, along with every other species on Earth.

Earth

As ACD progresses, increasingly profound impacts across Earth are apparent.

Along with unsustainable farming and fishing practices, ACD has caused a deepening struggle for survival among several kinds of vulnerable animals and crops. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “red list” of endangered species now includes several species of wild rice that are listed as “threatened,” while Australia’s ringtail possum is now listed as “critically endangered.” Three reptile species on Christmas Island have gone extinct in the wild.

Meanwhile across the US west, The National Climate Assessment has already shownhow ACD-driven warming trends are changing both the water supply and ecosystems. Some of the impacts include an earlier arrival of spring, more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow (causing a lower winter snowpack), increasing droughts, and longer and more intense wildfire seasons.

On the human front, a recently published report links the growth of a new generation of child brides to ACD. The report showed that girls as young as only 13 years are being forced into marriage in an attempt to stave off poverty brought about by ACD impacts in countries like Mozambique. In fact, a 2015 UN Population Fund report estimated that there were 37,000 child marriages every day, and UNICEF warned that same year that if current trends continued the number of child brides could more than double, reaching 310 million by 2050.

Water

In the watery realms, ACD impacts continue to become increasingly pronounced as well. Longyearbyen, Norway, the most northerly town in the world, is at risk of disappearing. Winter temperatures there have seen a staggering increase of 10 degrees Celsius in the last three decades alone, snow is melting earlier in the spring and glaciers are thinning. Meanwhile, melting permafrost is causing avalanches near the town, closing roads and destroying houses. Between unusable roads from thawing permafrost, the ground no longer being able to support dwelling or town infrastructure, the avalanches, and disruptions to the food chain from melting ice and warmer temperatures, the town’s future looks grim.

Decreasing Arctic sea ice and warming temperatures are placing Arctic dogsledding culture in a very precarious position. Those who rely on dogsleds on a way of life can no longer count on the necessary ice, and hence, the traditional mode of transportation is on its way to becoming a thing of the past, as current melting trends continue apace.

Indeed, warming trends are only speeding up. Arctic permafrost is thawing faster than ever, Arctic seawater is warming up and Arctic sea ice is melting at its fastest pace in 1,500 years.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report showed that the Arctic experienced its second-warmest year on record during 2017, and that the melting sea ice (which reached its lowest point on record), “shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen state that it was in just a decade ago.”

A recent study published in Science Advances has shown that one section of the Greenland ice sheet began melting 80 percent faster between 2003-2014 compared to the 26-year period beforehand.

Another report shows a dramatic increase in the use of artificial snow across ski areas in the Alps as temperatures warm and ski seasons shrink. The report provides the grim assessment, “The dream of skiing on Alpine snow is going to go away.”

Meanwhile in the Antarctic, the Pine Island Glacier is showing increasing signs of instability as a giant iceberg that broke off of it this September rapidly shattered. The incident underscored concerns among scientists about sea level rise continuing to outpace many worst-case predictions.

Efforts are afoot to figure out what to do to protect coastal cities from sea level rise, though the challenge is formidable. A massive barrier that aims to protect Venice from rising seas and storm surges is on target to become operational next year, but engineering limitations coupled with rapidly increasing sea level rise projections are showing that it will, eventually, all be for naught.

In fact, a recent report published in the journal Earth’s Future shows that the sea level rise many of us will see in our lifetimes may actually be more than double what was previously anticipated.

Lastly in this section, a recent report showed that last summer’s Hurricane Harvey was made 15 percent more intense — and three times more likely to happen — due to ACD.

Fire

The biggest news in the US for ACD-fueled wildfires brings us again to California.

That state’s third-largest wildfire on record (at the time of this writing), the Thomas Fire, burned more than a quarter of a million acres across the southern part of the state. At least one firefighter has been killed, and the fire is at least the seventh most destructive ever for California as far as the number of structures lost. Thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has branded the wildfires that have scorched his state over 2017 the “new normal,” and added, “With climate change, some scientists are saying southern California is literally burning up.”

Air

Warmer air temperatures are becoming the new normal as well.

Alaska’s northernmost town of Utqiagvik is now warming so fast that NOAA computers removed their air temperature data because the data was automatically flagged by algorithms as “unreal” and removed from the climate database. As the Anchorage Dispatch News recently reported on the incident, “In the short 17 years since 2000, the average October temperature in Utqiaġvik has climbed 7.8 degrees. The November temperature is up 6.9 degrees. The December average has warmed 4.7 degrees.”

For the first time ever, the American Meteorological Society’s annual report showed that certain extreme high temperature events in 2016 could simply not have happened without the influence of ACD. The same report showed that of 27 extreme weather events that were analyzed in 2016, ACD was found to be a “significant driver” of 21 of them.

Denial and Reality

As usual with the Trump administration, there’s far too much denial to fit in this section, so here are a few lowlights. In the pages of Steve Bannon’s favorite “weapon,” Breitbart “News’ ” James Delingpole has likened people who are concerned about ACD to Nazis.

The Trump administration recently nixed a cross-agency government group that was created to help prepare US cities for inevitable ACD shocks.

The so-called administration also has proposed a federal budget that will slash ACD-related NASA missions, and is instead urging the space agency to prioritize missions to the moon and Mars instead of “Earth-centric research.”

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the world is living in reality and continuing to try to do something to mitigate ACD’s devastating blows.

Recently, a large group of world leaders, energy magnates and investment fund representatives met in Paris for a summit addressing ACD. They did not invite anyone from the Trump administration to the meeting.

In Canada, the Trudeau government will be introducing a new law next year that will make polluters pay for their CO2 emissions.

According to a new survey, nearly one in six new cars on the planet will be electric by 2025.

And despite the Trump administration’s efforts to clamp down on climate science, important research is pushing forward.

A sobering reality check comes in the form of a report showing that ACD may be more severe than expected by 2100, adding that global temperatures could rise 15 percent (.5 degrees Celsius) higher than expected during this century. The study shows that there is a 93 percent chance that Earth will be more than 4 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now by 2100. Previous estimates had given that possibility a 62 percent chance. This report is in alignment with a consistent trend among climate models, which continue to adjust upward projections as ACD intensifies with time.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.