Climate is the trend in long-term averages of day-to-day weather. These averages, such as rainfall, windspeed, air pressure and temperature tell us what weather to expect in the future. When changes in the expected weather occur, we call these climate changes. They can be defined by the differences between average weather conditions at two separate times. The overall state of the global climate is determined by the amount of energy stored by the climate system, and in particular the balance between energy the Earth receives from the Sun and the energy which the Earth releases back to space, called the global energy balance. Climate change involves any process that can alter the global energy balance, and the energy flows within the climate system. Causes of climate change include changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun, changes in the amount of energy coming from the Sun, changes in ocean circulation or changes in the composition of the atmosphere. Large volcanic eruptions can affect the global climate over only a few years. By contrast, the movement of continents around the world over hundreds of millions of years can also affect global climate, but only over these much longer time scales. Direct records of past climates span only a tiny fraction of the Earth's climatic history. A longer perspective on climate variability can be obtained by the study of natural phenomena which are climate-dependent. Such phenomena provide a record of past climates, and are revealed through the study of, amongst other techniques, tree rings, ice cores and sea floor sediments. Such studies show that throughout the Earth's history climate has fluctuated between periods of relative warmth and relative cold. In the last 100 years or so, the Earth's surface and lowest part of the atmosphere have warmed up on average by about 0.6oC. During this period, the amount of gases (greenhouse gases) which slow down the loss of energy which the Earth releases back to space has increased. These gases come from the burning of wood, coal, oil and gas for energy and transportation, and land use changes, for food by mankind. In the last 20 years, concern has grown that these two phenomena are, at least in part, associated with each other. That is to say, global warming is now considered most probably to be due to the man-made increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst other natural causes of climate change, including changes in the amount of energy coming from the Sun and shifting patterns of ocean circulation, can cause global climate to change over similar periods of time, the balance of evidence now indicates that there is a discernible human influence on the global climate. This timeline goes back several hundred years. It is part of a project in world development education. This timeline is integral with the time line of 'environmentalism' with which it is intertwined. (http://www.culturalecology.info) This time line runs to 2012. To see a continuation go to: http://timerime.com/en/page/my_timerime/739/
Created by Corixus on 16/11/2009
Last updated: 13/09/13 at 11:22
Tags: Climate change CO2 greenhouse gas energy
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•The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for August 2012 was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F). This is the fourth warmest August since records began in 1880.
•The globally-averaged land surface temperature for August 2012 was the second warmest August on record, at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above average, while the globally-averaged ocean surface temperature was the fifth warmest on record, at 0.52°C (0.94°F) above average.
•ENSO-neutral conditions continued in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during August 2012. El Niño conditions are likely to emerge in September.
•The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June–August 2012 was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), marking the third warmest June–August on record.
•The globally-averaged land surface temperature for June–August 2012 was the all-time warmest June–August on record, at 1.03°C (1.85°F) above average.
•The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January–August 2012 was the ninth warmest such period on record, at 0.56°C (1.01°F) above the 20th century average.
Life in extremely cold climate not so unusual Philip Eden, Daily Telegraph, 15th Jan 2011 Our air-conditioned, centrally heated existence insulates us so successfully from our surroundings that we can forget what is normal in respect of the British climate. So many think that extremes of weather are somehow wrong, certainly abnormal, and must be caused by something interfering with the system. Someone is to blame, and something should be done about it. This is wrong-headed. Extremes are part and parcel of the British climate. Our detailed meteorological archives show that this is correct, and even if you believe that all statistics are damned lies, the vast corpus of weather lore compiled by Richard Inwards more than 100 years ago demonstrates how concerned our forebears were with floods, freezes and famines. These old sayings were the easiest way to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next. The year 2010 produced some unusually cold weather, both at the beginning and end of the year. But it was part of the routine variability that allows that level of severity to recur once, say, every 50 or 100 years. Last year may have been the coldest, overall, since 1986, but 14 years were colder during the 20th century, 37 were colder in the 19th century, and 33 in the 18th century. Some argue that, although the extremes of cold and warmth in recent years may not be unprecedented, the wild fluctuation between these extremes is. Easy to say, and easy to disprove. The difference between the mean UK temperature between 2010 and 2006 (the coldest and warmest of the past 10 years) was much smaller than the difference between the years 1739-40, 1940-41, 1781-82, or 1828-29. Thus there is no need to seek special reasons for the contrast between the hottest and coldest spells of the past decade, nor for the individual warmth of 2006 or the coldness of 2010. The same argument is applicable to any meteorological element you care to think of.
Between 2009 and 2011, Catlin was the principal sponsor of the Catlin Arctic Survey. Its purpose was to provide valid scientific data that experts could use to make more reliable conclusions about:
•the impact of climate change and other environmental changes
•the new, substantial risks these changes could create.
The main features of the month were:
- Exceptionally cold till the 9th, and from 16th-27th
- Several disruptive snowfalls, notably 1st/2nd, 6th, and 17th/18th
- Driest, averaged nationally, since 1971
- Very sunny in parts of Scotland and N Ireland; remarkably dull in the far SE
December 2010 was the coldest December for 120 years and the coldest individual calendar month since February 1986. Snow fell widely and heavily on several days, causing disruption to road, rail and air transport. Worst hit areas were eastern Scotland, northeast England, the north Midlands, and the Home Counties on the 1st/2nd; central Scotland on the 6th; Northern Ireland and Wales on the 17th; and southeast England and the south Midlands on the 18th. There were, however, significant milder interludes between the 10th and 16th, and from the 28th onwards.
Mean maximum temperature for December ranged from 7.6°C at St Mary's (Isles of Scilly) to minus 0.4°C at Dalwhinnie and Aviemore (both Inverness-shire), while mean minimum temperature varied between 4.9°C at St Mary's and minus 8.4°C at Tyndrum (Stirlingshire). Mean maximum temperatures were between 3.0 and 5.5degC below the average for the standard reference period 1971-2000 in most parts of the UK, while mean minimum temperatures were between 3.5 and 6.5degC below. The Central England Temperature (CET) of –0.6°C was 5.7degC below the long-term mean, and the lowest for December since 1890. The last calendar month with a sub-zero CET was February 1986.
The highest maximum at a standard site (i.e excluding rooftop and mountain sites) in the UK was 11.5°C at St Mary's (Isles of Scilly) on the 28th, while the lowest minimum was minus 21.1°C at Altnaharra (Sutherland) early on the 1st. The were ten individual nights during the month when the temperature dropped below minus 18°C somewhere in the UK. The lowest daytime maximum was minus 15.8°C on the 22nd also at Altnaharra, and the warmest night was that of the 27th/28th with a minimum of 10.5°C at St Mary's.
Rainfall averaged over England and Wales (including a small estimated figure for the 31st) was 39.5mm which is 39 per cent of the average for the standard reference period 1971-2000, and the lowest for December since 1971; in the last 100 years only five Decembers were drier while 95 were wetter. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 48mm and 47 per cent of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 59mm and 60 per cent. Monthly totals at routinely-available sites ranged from 117mm at Guernsey airport (Channel Is) to just 7mm at Shap (Cumbria).
Sunshine averaged over England and Wales (including a small estimated figure for the 31st) during December was 56 hours which is 117 per cent of the 1971-2000 mean. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 59 hours and 178 per cent, and for Northern Ireland 80 hours and 227 per cent. Largest total was 92 hours at Auchincruive (Ayrshire), and the smallest was just 10 hours at Charlwood (Surrey).
It was a remarkably quiet December with no widespread gales. The windiest day of the month was the 16th with gusts to 56kn (65mph) at Capel Curig in Snowdonia.
Gobally the average temperature for December was the highest ever recorded
THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted. All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organization report showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record. How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes. Last winter, too, was exceptionally snowy and cold across the Eastern United States and Eurasia, as were seven of the previous nine winters. For a more detailed explanation, we must turn our attention to the snow in Siberia. Annual cycles like El Niño/Southern Oscillation, solar variability and global ocean currents cannot account for recent winter cooling. And though it is well documented that the earth’s frozen areas are in retreat, evidence of thinning Arctic sea ice does not explain why the world’s major cities are having colder winters. But one phenomenon that may be significant is the way in which seasonal snow cover has continued to increase even as other frozen areas are shrinking. In the past two decades, snow cover has expanded across the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Siberia, just north of a series of exceptionally high mountain ranges, including the Himalayas, the Tien Shan and the Altai. The high topography of Asia influences the atmosphere in profound ways. The jet stream, a river of fast-flowing air five to seven miles above sea level, bends around Asia’s mountains in a wavelike pattern, much as water in a stream flows around a rock or boulder. The energy from these atmospheric waves, like the energy from a sound wave, propagates both horizontally and vertically. As global temperatures have warmed and as Arctic sea ice has melted over the past two and a half decades, more moisture has become available to fall as snow over the continents. So the snow cover across Siberia in the fall has steadily increased. The sun’s energy reflects off the bright white snow and escapes back out to space. As a result, the temperature cools. When snow cover is more abundant in Siberia, it creates an unusually large dome of cold air next to the mountains, and this amplifies the standing waves in the atmosphere, just as a bigger rock in a stream increases the size of the waves of water flowing by. The increased wave energy in the air spreads both horizontally, around the Northern Hemisphere, and vertically, up into the stratosphere and down toward the earth’s surface. In response, the jet stream, instead of flowing predominantly west to east as usual, meanders more north and south. In winter, this change in flow sends warm air north from the subtropical oceans into Alaska and Greenland, but it also pushes cold air south from the Arctic on the east side of the Rockies. Meanwhile, across Eurasia, cold air from Siberia spills south into East Asia and even southwestward into Europe. That is why the Eastern United States, Northern Europe and East Asia have experienced extraordinarily snowy and cold winters since the turn of this century. Most forecasts have failed to predict these colder winters, however, because the primary drivers in their models are the oceans, which have been warming even as winters have grown chillier. They have ignored the snow in Siberia. Last week, the British government asked its chief science adviser for an explanation. My advice to him is to look to the east. It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it. Judah Cohen is the director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm.
CANCUN CLIMATE DEAL THINGS ACHIEVED Fund to channel money from the West to developing nations Formal recognition that current emissions pledges need to rise A framework on paying countries not to cut down their forests THINGS NOT ACHIEVED Deeper emissions cuts Mechanisms for negotiating deeper emission cuts Deciding on the legal status of any new global agreement
A key element the Cancún Agreements is that:
Industrialised country targets are officially recognised under the multilateral process and these countries are to develop low-carbon development plans and strategies and assess how best to meet them, including through market mechanisms, and to report their inventories annually.
An interactive map, based on computer model of a do nothing scenario. In 23 runs out of 34 the computer predicted a 4 degree rise in average temperature by end of the century. This would mean a 30% decrease in rice yields in the Far East and a 70% drop in rainfall run off around the Mediterranean, southern Africa and Latin America.
There are numerous instances where the IPCC reports, which are summaries of published climate change science, have understated the case - hardly suggesting exaggeration in pursuit of an agenda. Here are some examples:
CO2 output from fossil fuels: observed emissions are close to the worst-case projections made by the IPCC, despite them offering a range of potential emission scenarios. (In fact, atmospheric CO2 is increasing ten times faster than any rate detected in ice core data over the last 22,000 years).
Sea-level rise is accelerating faster than the IPCC predicted. Actual sea-level rise is 80% higher than the median IPCC projection. By 2100 sea-level rise was predicted by the IPCC to be in the range of 18-59 cm. It is now believed that figure may be far too low, because estimates of contributions from Greenland and Antarctic ice-caps were excluded from AR4 because the data was not considered reliable. (This omission hardly supports the notion that the IPCC seeks to exaggerate global warming trends).
Each Arctic summer, sea-ice is melting faster than average predictions in the last IPCC report. The Arctic is experiencing a long-term loss of multi-year ice which is also accelerating.
Chatham House Conference
Developing countries can shift to lower-carbon paths while promoting development and reducing poverty, but this depends on financial and technical assistance from high-income countries, says World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change.
High-income countries also need to act quickly to reduce their carbon footprints and boost development of alternative energy sources to help tackle climate change. If they act now, a 'climate-smart' world is feasible, and the costs for getting there will be high but still manageable. More from the press release...
There is no serious regress on climate change politics. What we see is just a reiteration of the stop-and-go that characterizes complex decision-making settings. The climate change decision-making environment is almost as complex as the climate system itself.
Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated. This represents the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade of Gallup polling on the subject.
Aim of this new foundation is to compile all the latest weather related articles and news stories from around the world to keep the public informed.
Leaked emails between top climate change scientists implicate Prof Phil Jones, head of East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit, in conspiracy to cover up evidence that the global climate is actually cooling.
Video from National Geographic
Review of controversy over public face of the scientists at the University of East Anglia
Brazil raised the pressure on other nations on Friday ahead of a world climate summit in Copenhagen, pledging deep cuts in its greenhouse gases over the next decade that would take its emissions back to 1990s levels.
The climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, today became the first British politician to acknowledge publicly that the Copenhagen summit would produce no legal climate change treaty, but insisted a politically binding agreement was still possible – which he described as "a meaningful political track with strong numbers committed by all countries".
350 Poems was part of 350.org's international day of climate action on October 24th. On this site, 350 poets each contributed a poem responding to climate change in the days leading up to the 24th
When was the last time you tried to convince your partner or a friend to do something for you? Washing the dishes, say — something you have to do, but you'd rather put off until later. The negotiation probably involved some coaxing and complementing, and then possibly some complaining or coercion. That's quite a lot of diplomacy for a situation involving two people and a minor task. Now imagine groups of hundreds of people trying to get thousands of people to do what they want them to. It's head-spinning stuff, but it's what the world is up against when it comes to dealing with climate change.
A thin strip of ice protecting the Wilkins ice sheet from collapse breaks apart, hastening the sheet's demise – while the Arctic continues to warm much faster than expected. A major study suggests that humanity can emit no more than 1 trillion tonnes of carbon, if we are to avoid temperature rises of 2°C or more.
ScienceDaily — The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than expected, according to a new study led by a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher and published in the journal Hydrological Processes. A 7M rise in sea level predicted.
The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than expected, according to a new study led by a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher and published in the journal Hydrological Processes. Predicts a 7 m rise in sea level
Since late 2007 the Prince of Wales' Rainforests Project (PRP) has been seeking answers to this and related questions. One result was published in April 2009 in the form of an Emergency Package for Tropical Forests. Based on nearly eighteen months of research and intense analysis, the project team generated a set of proposals that could mobilise finance immediately, providing tropical countries with the economic space they need to embark on lower-carbon and more sustainable development paths. In the end the reasons for deforestation are economic, and any serious attempt to slow down forest loss needs to provide alternatives to the income derived from activities ranging from logging to farming and from agri-business feeding global commodity markets to minerals exploitation. All these activities generate income (as well as causing forest loss) and if the destructive impacts are to be reduced then countries will need to put in place different development plans from the ones they have now. The loss of income arising from the stoppage of deforestation has to be compensated for. Creating that economic space is one of the most important priorities for the international community; but not as an act of traditional overseas aid, and less still in the form of loans. The transaction should be seen more like the payment of a utility bill – the price of maintaining services that are vital for human wellbeing everywhere. Without the rainforests, the prospects for sustainable development will be fatally undermined everywhere. But how much will it cost to provide that economic space for countries to embark on a different style of development? One idea from the PRP is for a new agency to be set up. It would negotiate with countries on how much money they would need to depart from deforestation activities. The agency would disburse funds and monitor performance. Countries would be compensated in direct proportion to how much forest they saved, thus creating a clear and direct financial incentive to keep the forests standing. One possible funding mechanism proposed by the PRP is the use of government bonds. These would be offered to private investors such asinsurance and pension companies and would yield a modest rate of return over the lifetime of the bonds — say, ten to fifteen years — for the investors. At the end of the period, the investors would get their money back having earned a secure rate of return for the time the governments had use of their money. This is a perfectly normal financial arrangement. Indeed, governments routinely issue hundreds of billions of dollars worth of bonds each year. These would be rainforest bonds, however, and the money raised would be passed to the new agency which in turn would disburse finance in accordance with the agreements reached with the tropical forest countries. The 2006 report The Economics of Climate Change (The Stern Review) estimated that the annual bill to cut tropical rainforest clearance in half by 2020 was in the order of US$10-15 billion. The PRP concluded that this kind of finance must be urgently deployed to compensate countries for keeping their forests intact, by replacing the revenues they would otherwise derive from land activities such as cattle exports, soya bean production, palm oil expansion or an increase in logging.
Barack Obama may be forced to delay signing up to a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year because of the scale of opposition in the US Congress, it emerged today.
Senior figures in the Obama administration have been warning Labour counterparts that the president may need at least another six months to win domestic support for any proposal.
Global warming is one of the few scientific theories that makes us examine the whole basis of modern society The following are some suggestions of what the low-carbon world of tomorrow might look like. Rydin & Maslin in Maslin M. (1990) Global Warming, Oxford Home of the future The three-storey town house is part of a group of houses, which collectively make up the GreenHomes Neighbourhood in Anywhere Town in Any Country. They are grouped around a pleasant green space with some play and keep-fit equipment in the centre. There is lots of greenery, some of it acting as sustainable urban drainage systems and the rest as shade from the midday sun. There is a network of local pathways, which are well lit and well used. Close by are local shops, a primary school, and a community centre. The community centre notice board is testimony to the number of activities occurring there. Just outside the centre is the express tramway stop, and behind is a small car park with some of the community electric car-share vehicles and communal bicycles. The house displays its zero-carbon energy certificate in the hallway but the high levels of insulation in the building fabric are invisible to most visitors. Next to the certificate is the smart meter. This shows the remarkably low levels of electricity usage within the house, thanks to the energy-efficiency measures and the solar water-heating system on the roof. But the meter also shows when electricity is being generated by the household through the photovoltaic cells incorporated into the roof-tiles, window shutters, and other flat surfaces. The house is built to deal with the extreme weather predicted for the region: high ceilings, solar shading, and efficient air-conditioning powered by solar panels for the more frequent heat waves; raised ground floor and flood channels in the surrounding area to deal with floods, especially urban flash floods; deep foundations prevent damage to the house from soil shrinkage. The house is as water efficient as it is energy efficient. Outside you can see the pipework for the rainwater harvesting system, collecting water into a special tank for feeding through into the house's plumbing system. Water separation is a feature of the house's plumbing, but the household hardly notice this or the water-saving features in the toilets, showers, and sinks. There is no garage or off-street parking for the house. Instead, there is a secure cycle store, next to the composting unit. The rest of the household's waste goes into a vacuum waste removal system that also automatically sorts waste for collection and recycling at the community centre. Office of the future FutureOffices are proud of their new headquarters. Approaching it from any of a number of nearby bus-stops, tram-stops, or the train station, visitors are often surprised by its attractive design incorporating greenery at the ground floor, on numerous balconies, and right up to the green roof. The blades of the wind turbines catch the light, giving a clue to how some of the electricity demands of the occupiers are met. Less obvious is the system of district heating pipes that connect the office building with other local users – shops, restaurants, the cinema, local health centre, and the college. The mix of users means that the heat demand is more or less balanced over the day and the week. All these users are connected into the area's combined heat and power unit. However, FutureOffices Inc. have found the energy demands of its new building are much lower than those of its older buildings. The building's fabric is highly energy efficient but equally as important is the design that maximizes natural daylight while providing shade during the middle of the day, even when the sun is at its hottest. This and the natural internal ventilation system have removed the need for air-conditioning except during extreme heat waves and have made for a much healthier internal environment. FutureOffices have made the health of workers a key aspect of the building. The stairs are visible features linking floors, with cafes on mezzanine levels. The stairs are heavily used; the lifts don't stop at every floor, so it is often more convenient to use the stairs. In any case, the lifts are tucked away rather than being the focal point of the lobbies. Water-efficiency measures have hugely reduced the water bill. This is despite a dedicated cycle-and-shower unit on the ground floor, with secure cycle storage and changing room facilities. Most of the office functions are not at ground-floor level, however, and neither are the core services. The building is not far from the river, and flooding has become more common recently, so the ground floor is flood-proofed to ensure that the next flood will not disrupt business. Cities of the future Our cities have been transformed across the world. Mixed-use developments are situated around vibrant public spaces. These spaces create a strong sense of distinctive place for new developments. The old is integrated into the new, with high-quality urban design. Pedestrians are given priority over the car in the planning of cities. There are dedicated routes for trams, guided buses, and cycles linking the different land-uses. A mix of micro-generation technologies provide energy for building users. Combined heat and power and district heating schemes are routine for new mixed-use developments, some using renewable fuels. Many of these schemes draw the existing buildings into their scope as well. Greenery abounds, on the ground but also on roofs, providing multi-functional spaces for amenity, leisure, natural habitats, and water drainage. Sustainable urban drainage systems are standard, transforming the look of urban areas. Cities are as green and attractive as the countryside. Nearby rivers are managed for their landscape, leisure, and nature conservation value. They also form part of urban transport networks, with riverside cycle paths and walkways. Most importantly, the riverbanks and surrounding land absorb rainfall run-off and prevent flooding of built-up areas. Such cities encourage people to use their urban areas and to be active within them. Safe, pleasant, and green, cities all over the world contribute to the physical and mental health of their residents. Transport of the future Local travel is now routinely accomplished by public transport, which includes underground and overground trains, buses, trams, and boats. The majority of private cars and taxis are electric. A significant proportion of goods is moved by rail and then efficient electric vans and lorries. Separate cycle lanes and clear, well-lit pedestrians walkways are provided in all urban areas. Continental travel has been revolutionized as air traffic has been replaced with Maglev (magnetically levitating) trains travelling at 900km/h (about 600mph) using renewable sources of electricity. These rail networks extend between major cities throughout the world and fast connections allow people to travel across whole continents. The first coast-to-coast train versus plane race in the USA was won by the train; as the walk-on, walk-off train service removed the lengthy delays that occur at the airports. Intercontinental travel still uses traditional aeroplanes, but these super-sized commercial jets carry over 1,000 passengers each and are the most efficient ever made. Flights have become very expensive due to the global carbon tax on aviation fuel and thus are always operating at full capacity. They are towed to and from the runway, saving a significant amount of fuel and of course money. By the end of the 21st century, resources to fuel the new low-carbon global economy are running low. This is due to both the huge demand as the world rapidly develops and strict new global environmental protection laws. Space exploitation thus becomes cost-effective at the end of the 21st century. Carbon tax breaks on international space launches enable private companies and countries to set up orbiting space stations and the mining of the Moon begins. Economy of the future Carbon Auditors Ltd have just opened their new headquarters in London using all 143 floors of the first zero-carbon skyscraper. This attests to the huge market created in carbon trading since the momentous post-2012 international agreement. Renewable and alternative energy companies flourish, replacing the old oil giants as one of the main profit-generating industries in the world. They have been made so profitable by global carbon trading, which is driven by the gradually shrinking global cap on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Technological solutions to both emission reductions and adaptation to climate change have occurred at a fast rate through the 21st century, producing a global developed society unrecognizable from that of a hundred years before. Everything from how plants grow to how we produce electricity has been improved. Contrary to the doom merchants, the global economy in the middle of the 21st century is growing at nearly 5% per year - twice the yearly average in the early 21st century. This is due to the increasing flow of money and expertise to the developing world through the post-2012 agreement and global carbon trading. The increased spending power of the developing world has stimulated the global economy, benefiting everyone with improved standards of living. The threat of global warming thus ultimately led to a more equal distribution of wealth across the world and a stronger, faster-growing global economy.
This graph was produced by Anthony Watts from data held by the UK Met Office. It shows that there has been no sign of global warming for over a decade since the 1998 El Nino peak.
On the other hand data from a number of centres shows that the average temperature for each decade has been warmer than the last since the mid-20th century.
CO2 concentrations stand at 384 part per million, an increase of 37% since the start of the industrial era and higher than at any time in, at least, the last 850,000 years. A global temperature increase of around 0.4 °C above 2005 levels is expected.
Across Asia, up to a billion people could be adversely affected by climate change
The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre is one of the foremost climate change research centres. They produce world-class guidance on the science of climate change and provide a focus in the UK for the scientific issues associated with climate change.
The Conference, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, took place at the Bali International Convention Centre and brought together more than 10,000 participants, including representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and the media. The two week period included the sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, its subsidiary bodies as well as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. A ministerial segment in the second week concluded the Conference.
The conference culminated in the adoption of the Bali Road Map, which consists of a number of forward-looking decisions that represent the various tracks that are essential to reaching a secure climate future. The Bali Road Map includes the Bali Action Plan, which charts the course for a new negotiating process designed to tackle climate change, with the aim of completing this by 2009. It also includes the AWG-KP negotiations and their 2009 deadline, the launch of the Adaptation Fund, the scope and content of the Article 9 review of the Kyoto Protocol, as well as decisions on technology transfer and on reducing emissions from deforestation.
Recent studies indicate that increased frequency of heat stress, droughts and floods negatively affect crop yields and livestock beyond the impacts of mean climate change, creating the possibility for surprises, with impacts that are larger, and occurring earlier, than predicted using changes in mean variables alone. This is especially the case for subsistence sectors at low latitudes. Climate variability and change also modify the risks of fires, pest and pathogen outbreak, negatively affecting food, fiber and forestry.
350.org was founded by U.S. author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, and a team of university friends.
Together, they ran a campaign in 2007 called Step It Up that organized over 2,000 rallies at iconic places in all 50 states. These creative actions - from skiers descending a melting glacier to divers hosting an underwater action - helped convince many political leaders, including then Senator Barack Obama, to adopt our common call to action: cutting carbon 80% by 2050.
The Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report describes progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change, observed climate change, climate processes and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change. It builds upon past IPCC assessments and incorporates new findings from the past six years of research. Scientific progress since the Third Assessment Report (TAR) is based upon large amounts of new and more comprehensive data, more sophisticated analyses of data, improvements in understanding of processes and their simulation in models and more extensive exploration of uncertainty ranges.
The IPCC (Fourth Assessment Report) declares that warming of the climate system is unequivocal (as evident from observations), and most of the recent warming is very likely (>90% probability) to be the result of human activity.
Warns that serious effects of warming have become evident; cost of reducing emissions would be far less than the damage they will cause.
* Level of CO2 in the atmosphere reaches 382 ppm. Mean global temperature (five-year average) is 14.5°C, the warmest in hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.
Arctic sea ice shrinks to its lowest extent since records began.
Asia's greenhouse gas emissions will treble over the next 25 years, according to a report commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The report provides detailed analysis of the link between transport and climate change in Asia.
The Stern Review (Sir Nicholas Stern:advisor to the Government) was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in July 2005. The Review set out to provide a report to the Prime Minister and Chancellor by Autumn 2006 assessing the nature of the economic challenges of climate change and how they can be met, both in the UK and globally.
Summary of Conclusions
There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we take strong action now.
The scientific evidence is now overwhelming: climate change is a serious global threat, and it demands an urgent global response.
This Review has assessed a wide range of evidence on the impacts of climate change and on the economic costs, and has used a number of different techniques to assess costs and risks. From all of these perspectives, the evidence gathered by the Review leads to a simple conclusion: the benefits of strong and early action far outweigh the economic costs of not acting.
Climate change will affect the basic elements of life for people around the world – access to water, food production, health, and the environment. Hundreds of millions of people could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the worldm warms.
Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t
act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least
5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.
In contrast, the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year.
The investment that takes place in the next 10-20 years will have a profound effect on the climate in the second half of this century and in the next. Our actions now and over the coming decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And it will be difficult or impossible to reverse these changes.
So prompt and strong action is clearly warranted. Because climate change is a global problem, the response to it must be international. It must be based on a shared vision of long-term goals and agreement on frameworks that will accelerate action over the next decade, and it must build on mutually reinforcing approaches at national, regional and international level.
Climate change could have very serious impacts on growth and development.
If no action is taken to reduce emissions, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could reach double its pre-industrial level as early as 2035, virtually
committing us to a global average temperature rise of over 2°C. In the longer term, there would be more than a 50% chance that the temperature rise would exceed 5°C. This rise would be very dangerous indeed; it is equivalent to the change in average temperatures from the last ice age to today.
Such a radical change in the physical geography of the world must lead to major changes in the human geography – where people live and how they live their lives.
Even at more moderate levels of warming, all the evidence – from detailed studies of regional and sectoral impacts of changing weather patterns through to economic models of the global effects – shows that climate change will have serious impacts on world output, on human life and on the environment.
All countries will be affected. The most vulnerable – the poorest countries and
populations – will suffer earliest and most, even though they have contributed least to
the causes of climate change. The costs of extreme weather, including floods,
droughts and storms, are already rising, including for rich countries.
Adaptation to climate change – that is, taking steps to build resilience and minimise costs – is essential. It is no longer possible to prevent the climate change that will take place over the next two to three decades, but it is still possible to protect our societies and economies from its impacts to some extent – for example, by providing better information, improved planning and more climate-resilient crops and infrastructure. Adaptation will cost tens of billions of dollars a year in developing
countries alone, and will put still further pressure on already scarce resources.
Adaptation efforts, particularly in developing countries, should be accelerated.
The political targets of Sustainable Development include the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence. The economic target is free enterprise and the ideals of private property. Justice becomes a fatality of this new order.
One of the greatest challenges facing the world is from global climate change.
In 2003 and 2004, Nova Scotians experienced several extreme weather events - an ice storm, torrential rains and flooding, Hurricane Juan, and the Blizzard of ‘04 (also known as White Juan). In response to concerns about global climate change and the impacts from such extreme events, which are associated with climate variability brought about from increased emissions of green-house gasses, HRM initiated Climate SMART (Sustainable Mitigation and Adaptation Risk Toolkit). Climate SMART is a leading edge partnership between HRM, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada, and private companies. Its goal is to develop management and planning tools to prepare for climate change impacts, and to develop strategies to reduce practices that contribute to global warming in the first place - primarily by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Rutgers University scientists, reporting in the journal Science, say that global ocean levels are rising twice as fast today as they were 150 years ago, and warming from human activities appears to be the culprit. The speed of the rise today is two millimeters per year, compared to one millimeter annually for the past several thousand years. While the figures may not sound dramatic, it seemingly confirms scientific concerns of acceleration in global warming.
A Friends of the Earth report relating emissions of Exon to a climate change timeline
The Kyoto Protocol comes into force following its ratification by Russia.
Globally it is the second warmest year on record. Global temperatures have risen by 0.74 °C over the last 100 years.
Hurricane Katrina and other major tropical storms spur debate over impact of global warming on storm intensity.
Many critics argue that Kyoto protocol will do nothing to prevent global warming. It cuts emissions of between 1-8% relative to 1990 levels but 60% cut is needed to arrest climate change otherwise its business as usual but with CO" rising at a slightly slower rate (see graphI,
* In controversy over temperature data covering past millenium, most conclude climate variations were substantial, but not comparable to post-1980 warming. * First major books, movie and art work featuring global warming appear.
Europe experiences its worst heatwave in 500 years, leading to an estimated 30,000 additional deaths.
* Numerous observations raise concern that collapse of ice sheets (West Antarctica, Greenland) can raise sea levels faster than most had believed. * Deadly summer heat wave in Europe accelerates divergence between European and US public opinion.
COP-8 to be held in New Delhi * Studies find surprisingly strong "global dimming," due to pollution, has retarded arrival of greenhouse warming, but dimming is now decreasing.