Stories from around the world that alarm us with outrageous decisions by governments and the dreadful results for the climate.
It’s Earth Day—and the News Isn’t Good
Apr 22, 2023 - New reports show that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than anticipated, and other disasters loom. Over the past three decades, the rate of ice loss from Greenland has increased sevenfold. The world is on track for disasters on a scale that humans have never before experienced. Scientists keep warning us to get off this track, and yet we seem unable—or, at least, unwilling—to do so.
Melting Antarctic ice predicted to cause rapid slowdown of deep ocean current by 2050
Apr 2, 2023 - New research suggests that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at today’s levels, the current in the deepest parts of the ocean could slow down by 40% in only three decades. This, the scientists said, could generate a cascade of impacts that could push up sea levels, alter weather patterns and starve marine life of a vital source of nutrients.
Enbridge plans multibillion-dollar gas expansion in Ontario — and wants customers to pay for it
Feb 21 - 2023 - Energy giant Enbridge is plotting a multibillion-dollar expansion to its gas network in Ontario that would lock the province into a fossil fuel future for decades to come. This includes plans to add a pipeline in Selwyn township along the 8th line from Bridgenorth to Lakefield.
Carbon capture is too pricey and takes too long to build
Feb 10, 2023 - By betting it can solve its emissions problem with carbon capture and storage, Canada's oil and gas industry risks saddling itself with expensive stranded assets.
Canada's Climate Pollution record is even worse than you think
Jan 24, 2023 - We dig up 35 tCO2 per Canadian - seven times the global average and the highest of all the world's 12 largest economies.
Exxon Knew Everything
Jan 17, 2023 - In 1977, despite Exxon's data confirming the fact of human-caused Global Warming, its public statements talked down climate models’ reliability and emphasized the uncertainty of scientific conclusions.
Oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022
Jan 11, 2023 - The world’s oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, demonstrating the profound and pervasive changes that human-caused emissions have made to the planet’s climate.
Emperor penguin at risk of extinction, along with two-thirds of native Antarctic species
Dec 23 - Two-thirds of Antarctica’s native species, including emperor penguins, are under threat of extinction or major population declines by 2100.
World will exceed 1.5C of warming in 9 years at current emissions
Nov 10, 2022 - To keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, humanity can release no more than 380 billion tons of of CO2. That's 9 years at the current rate.
Current emissions pledges will lead to catastrophic climate breakdown
Oct 26, 2022 - Deeper cuts are needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, which would avoid the worst ravages of extreme weather. Read More ...
Lancet 2022 Report Countdown: Health at the mercy of fossil fuels
Oct 26, 2022 - Yesterday, the British medical journal The Lancet reported on the devastating health impacts of the climate crisis: "The worsening impacts of Climate Change are increasingly affecting the foundations of human health and wellbeing, exacerbating the vulnerability of the world’s populations to concurrent health threats." Read More ...
Climate crisis poses growing threat to health
Oct 24, 2022 - The climate crisis poses a “significant and growing threat” to health in the UK, the country’s most senior public health expert has warned. Read More ...
Arctic Ocean acidifying up to four times as fast as other oceans
Oct 6, 2022 - The ocean, which absorbs a third of all of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has grown more acidic because of fossil fuel use. Conditions in the Arctic Ocean have accelerated this absorption with huge implications for Arctic sea life. Read More ...
Global fossil fuel subsidies almost doubled in 2021
Sep 10, 2022 - Global public subsidies for fossil fuels almost doubled to $700bn in 2021, representing a “roadblock” to tackling the climate crisis. Read More ...
How Bad is it?
Sep 10, 2022 - All our other dramas now play out on the stage of climate change. For the forseeable future—for as long as our lives last—the rapid rise of the temperature on the planet of our origin is the overriding human story. Read More ...
Doug Ford’s plan to replace nuclear power with natural gas
Aug 25, 2022 - Ontario’s plan to replace electricity generation with gas generation have critics saying the province didn’t get the memo on the growing dangers of climate change.
The life cycle of plastic is a death spiral
Aug 19, 2022 - Because plastics are made from fossil fuels, their processing emits an enormous amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. When plastics break apart or are burned, they release carbon dioxide.
Canada’s fossil-fuelled sprint away from climate safety
Jul 29, 2022 - For more than 30 years, Canada has been promising to do its part in solving the climate crisis by reining in our hugely oversized fossil fuel burning. Instead, we keep cranking up the amount we burn.
Extreme July Heat Brings Rapid Melting of Greenland’s Ice Sheet
Jul 29, 2022 - Unusually warm weather has led to a spike in the steadily rising melt rate of Greenland’s ice sheet, leaving scientists alarmed by temperatures that ran 5°C higher than normal for July.
Brazil’s Amazon rainforest suffers record levels of deforestation
Jul 11, 2022 - Brazil’s Amazon rainforest suffered record levels of deforestation in the first six months of 2022, as well as a record level of fires in June, says the country’s Space Research Institute (INPE).
Inaction on climate is 'dangerous', warns U.N.'s Guterres
June 16, 2022 - UN Secretary General Guterres says global carbon emissions need to drop by 45% this decade, but are currently forecast to increase by 14%.
Federal watchdog warns Canada's 2030 emissions target not achievable
Apr 27, 2022 - Environment commissioner says the government's questionable hydrogen emissions targets "raise concerns about their overall approach to climate modelling and emissions reductions in general."
Canada’s biggest banks shoot down climate resolutions at annual meetings
Apr 25, 2022 - Despite promising to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions Canada's Big 5 banks all told shareholders to shoot down climate resolutions, and shareholders listened. Not a single resolution came close to passing.
Most G20 Countries off track to meet 2030 targets
Apr 20, 2022 - New Corporate Knights Earth Index report finds most G20 countries off track when it comes to meeting their 2030 targets. How can they bridge the say-do gap?
Ottawa Approves Bay du Nord Offshore Oil Megaproject
April 7, 2022 - The federal cabinet administered what one critic called a “slap in the face” to climate science with a decision to approve the massive Bay du Nord megaproject off Newfoundland.
Atmospheric CO2 Passes 420 PPM for First Time Ever
Apr 7, 2022 - The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide surged past 420 parts per million for the first time in recorded history this past weekend.
‘Imminent’ tipping point threatening Europe’s permafrost peatlands
Mar 15, 2022 - Large swathes of northern Europe and western Siberia may become “climatically unsuitable” for carbon-rich permafrost peatlands within a few decades, even under moderate warming scenarios.
Canada’s carbon hypocrisy
Mar 8, 2022 - Canada's hypocrisy around climate change knows no bounds. When we say that we are cleaning up tar sands production we are telling lies. The problem is that the product itself is the poison. Read this article to see how our message is deluding us.
The Guardian view on the IPCC report: inaction has cost the world dearly
Mar 8, 2022 - The UN secretary general, António Guterres, was forthright in describing the abdication of leadership by world powers as “criminal”. The world’s biggest polluters, he said, “are guilty of arson on our only home”. No amount of global heating is safe.
Only 6% of G20 pandemic recovery spending ‘green’
Mar 5, 2022 - Only about 6% of pandemic recovery spending has been “green”, an analysis of the $14tn that G20 countries have poured into economic stimulus.
IPCC issues ‘bleakest warning yet’ on impacts of climate breakdown
February 28, 2022 - Climate breakdown is accelerating rapidly, many of the impacts will be more severe than predicted and there is only a narrow chance left of avoiding its worst ravages.
Satellite Finds Massive Methane Leaks from Gas Pipelines
Feb 4, 2022 - There's new evidence, collected from orbiting satellites, that oil and gas companies are routinely venting huge amounts of methane into the air.
Formerly rare high temperatures now covering half of seas
Feb 2, 2022 - The research found that extreme temperatures occurring just 2% of the time a century ago have occurred at least 50% of the time across the global ocean since 2014.”
Ontario continues to build Gas Powered Generation
Feb 1, 2022 - Despite pleas from 32 municipalities to phase out gas-fired electricity generation, the Ontario government is doubling down on the role of natural gas in keeping the province’s lights on.
Australia matches its hottest day as Onslow hits 50.7C
Jan 23, 2022 - Australia has matched its hottest ever reliably recorded temperature, with the West Australian town of Onslow registering 50.7C. Last summer, Lytton BC reached a record 49.6C and Siberia reached a record 48C.
Climate Change will cost Ontario Citizens a lot of Money
Jan 20, 2022 - A short informative article about the financial costs of the Climate Crisis which highlights the Ford Government’s destruction of Ontario’s environmental protections.
Ontario Stands Out as ‘Climate Hooligan’
Jan 17, 2022 - This story is not so Alarming as Disgusting, and it is not news to anyone who has been paying attention. Nevertheless it shows the many ways that Ontario's Conservative government has let us down on the environment.
2021 cancelled out nearly all the emissions reductions of 2020
Dec 21, 2021 - After a record-breaking drop in carbon emissions in 2020, global CO2 emissions have bounced back, nearly to pre-pandemic levels - a sign of how a “return to normal” isn’t enough to curb the emissions crisis and avoid tipping over our carbon budget.
The Year in Climate
Dec 16, 2021 - A Summer that Really Scared Scientists. Bill McKibben reminds us of the year's big climate news stories that seem to indicate that it's worse than we thought.
Canada’s Big Oil Reality Check
Dec 7, 2021 - The federal government has repeatedly told the public that Canada can be a climate leader while continuing to have a thriving oil and gas sector. In reality, Canadian oil and gas companies have released a range of complex, misleading climate change pledges that must not be taken at face value.
Canada takes the crown for fossil fuel financing
Oct 29, 2021 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will arrive in Rome with a new abominable record in hand: Canada has given more from the public coffers to the oil and gas industry than any of its peers.
Inaction on climate change imperils millions of lives: The Lancet
Oct 22, 2021 - Climate change is set to become the “defining narrative of human health,” The Lancet warned Wednesday, triggering food shortages, deadly disasters, and disease outbreaks that would dwarf the toll of the coronavirus.
The climate disaster is here
Oct 15, 2021 - Earth is already becoming unlivable. Will governments act to stop this disaster from getting worse?
Climate Negotiators Risk ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ Despite 1.5°C Target Within Reach
Sep 20, 2021 - Countries are on the verge of failing to avert “catastrophic consequences” at this year’s United Nations climate conference, beginning in just six weeks in Glasgow, even though G20 countries on their own can get average global warming down to 1.7°C if they decide to take action, according to a flurry of reports issued late last week.
Four in 10 young people fear having children due to climate crisis
Sep 20, 2021 - Four in 10 young people around the world are hesitant to have children as a result of the climate crisis, and fear that governments are doing too little to prevent climate catastrophe, a poll in 10 countries has found.
Gambia the world's only country on track to meet its Paris agreement goals
Sep 20, 2021 - Nearly every nation is coming up short — most of them far short — in their efforts to fight climate change, and the world is unlikely to hold warming to the internationally agreed-upon limit.
Major toilet paper brands are flushing our forests down the drain
Sep 18, 2021 - What runs through your mind when you’re deciding which toilet paper to buy? Sale price, roll size, pitiful single-ply or luxurious triple? Climate change might not make your list of considerations, but it should.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the toilet paper industry is among the most egregious climate offenders in Canada.
Why is life on Earth still taking second place to fossil fuel companies?
Sep 05, 2021 - The human tragedy is that there is no connection between what we know and what we do. Almost everyone is now at least vaguely aware that we face the greatest catastrophe our species has ever confronted. Yet scarcely anyone alters their behaviour in response: above all, their driving, flying and consumption of meat and dairy.
Rain falls on Greenland's normally snowy summit for the first time on record
Aug 27, 2021 - For the first time on record, rain has been recorded on the summit of Greenland — a location where precipitation has previously always fallen as snow or ice.
Canada falling $60-billion short annually on investments needed to hit climate change targets
Aug 24, 2021 - Investors remain wary of higher risks for returns in long-term transformative projects to reduce emissions, RBC report says.
‘Blue’ hydrogen may pollute more than coal
Aug 21, 2021 - A new study has found surprisingly large emissions from the production of so-called “blue” hydrogen, a variant being enthusiastically pushed by the fossil fuel industry.
‘Unimaginable, Unforgiving World’ without Drastic Emission Cuts, IPCC Warns
Aug 9, 2021 - Human activity is “unequivocally” producing a world of heat waves, wildfires, floods, sea level rise, and needless death and suffering, “it is more likely than not” that average global warming will exceed 1.5°C by 2040, and faster, deeper emission reductions will be needed to bring temperatures back below 1.5° by the end of the century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark science assessment released this morning.
‘Apocalyptic’ scenes hit Greece as Athens besieged by fire
Aug 9, 2021 - Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said climate change was clearly to blame for temperatures that “have turned the country into a powder keg” and sparked infernos described as the worst in decades in neighbouring Turkey and Italy.
Dairy farmers latest group hit hard by Manitoba drought
Aug 9, 2021 - Droughts come and go, but experts say the unusually prolonged stretches of heat and dryness experienced this summer are likely to become a more common feature on the Prairies due to climate change.
Earth’s vital signs worsen amid business-as-usual mindset on climate change
Aug 2, 2021 - There is growing evidence we are getting close to or have already gone beyond tipping points associated with important parts of the Earth system, including warm-water coral reefs, the Amazon rainforest and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.
We Are Not Building Back Better: CO2 Emissions Heading for All-Time-High
Aug 2, 2021 - In a new report, IEA estimates that of the $16 trillion world governments have spent to prop up their economies during the coronavirus crisis, just 2% of that total has gone toward clean energy development.
Beware summer! As climate crisis deepens, attitudes shift
July 24,2021 - Climate scientists have long predicted extreme weather will become more intense and frequent pushing temperate dwellers further from our comfort zone and into uncharted climate territory. Adapting will be a mental as well as physical challenge.
Canada not on track to meet new climate targets
July 22, 2021 - The federal, provincial and territorial governments have failed to plan emissions cuts sufficient to achieve Canada's net-zero targets, says a new climate report.
The crisis is Here!
July 22, 2021 - After the deadly heatwave in the US and Canada, where temperatures rose above 49.6C two weeks ago, the deluge in central Europe has raised fears that human-caused climate disruption is making extreme weather even worse than predicted.
G20 states subsidised fossil fuels by $3tn since 2015
July 21, 2021 - The G20 countries have provided more than $3.3tn (£2.4tn) in subsidies for fossil fuels since the Paris climate agreement was sealed in 2015, a report shows, despite many committing to tackle the crisis. Canada’s subsidies have risen by 40% in that time.
‘Heat dome’ probably killed 1bn marine animals on Canada coast
Jul 12, 2021 - Extreme heat temperatures, rising up to 40 C in Vancouver, has caused sea animals like mussels, clams and snails to cook to their death.
Heat wave would have been 'virtually impossible' without climate change
Jul 12, 2021 - The recent heat wave that overwhelmed communities in both Canada and the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. was at least 150 times more likely to happen because of climate change, new data suggests.
Parliamentary Budget Office warns Paris targets are out of reach without major change
Jun 27, 2021 - Canada will not meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets without dramatically scaling up new technologies that the Parliamentary Budget Office warns could be “prohibitively expensive” in a sobering new report.
Earth tipping points in domino destabilization
A new risk analysis has found that the tipping points of five of Earth’s subsystems could interact with each other in a destabilizing manner even before temperatures reach 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the upper limit of the Paris Agreement.
Ozone Alarm in the High North
Warming of the surface of the Arctic is matched by a colder polar vortex high in the atmosphere, which is speeding the breakdown of the Earth’s shield against ultraviolet rays.
Earth is trapping ‘unprecedented’ amount of heat
The Earth is trapping nearly twice as much heat as it did in 2005, according to new research, described as an “unprecedented” increase amid the climate crisis.
G7 failed to provide funds needed to reach climate goals
The G7 summit ended with rich nations reaffirming their goal to limit global heating to 1.5C, and agreeing to protect and restore 30% of the natural world by the end of this decade, but failing to provide the funds experts say will be needed to reach such goals.
Earth's carbon dioxide levels soar to record high despite pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic barely registered as a blip as humanity continued to spew carbon dioxide into Earth's atmosphere over the past year to levels not seen in more than 4 million years, scientists announced Monday.
Climate tipping points could topple like dominoes, warn scientists
Ice sheets and ocean currents at risk of climate tipping points can destabilise each other as the world heats up, leading to a domino effect with severe consequences for humanity, according to a risk analysis.
More Than a Third of Heat Deaths Are Tied to Climate Change
Sweeping new research found that heat-related deaths in warm seasons were boosted by climate change by an average of 37 percent.
G7 nations committing billions more to fossil fuel than green energy
The nations that make up the G7 have pumped billions of dollars more into fossil fuels than they have into clean energy since the Covid-19 pandemic, despite their promises of a green recovery.
Greenland ice sheet on brink of major tipping point
A significant part of the Greenland ice sheet is on the brink of a tipping point, after which accelerated melting would become inevitable even if global heating was halted. Rising temperatures caused by the climate crisis have already seen trillions of tonnes of Greenland’s ice pour into the ocean. Melting its ice sheet completely would eventually raise global sea level by 7 metres.
Air pollution linked to rise in child asthma GP visits
A “huge” increase in the number of visits to doctors by children with asthma problems occurs after a week of raised air pollution, according to a study. The number of inhaler prescriptions also increases significantly.
Canada's Big Five Missing From Net-zero Banking Alliance
Vancouver credit union Vancity was the only Canadian financial institution to join Wednesday’s launch of a new global banking coalition for net-zero emissions. None of Canada’s big five banks were founding signatories.
Canada’s budget dangerously short on climate action
Canada’s latest federal budget did little to tackle climate action or income inequality, two problems with strong ties.
Just 3% of world’s ecosystems remain intact
Just 3% of the world’s land remains ecologically intact with healthy populations of all its original animals and undisturbed habitat.
CO2 surge continued in 2020 Despite pandemic shutdowns
Levels of the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, continued their unrelenting rise in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic response.
Food Companies Spend Millions Lobbying Against Climate Action
The world's largest meat and dairy companies have worked to undercut climate and environmental legislation with only a handful making pledges to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Tipping points confirmed for massive Antarctic glacier
Researchers have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level.
Barrier Reef doomed as up to 99% of coral at risk
The Great Barrier Reef is all but doomed, with between 70 and 99 per cent of corals set for destruction unless immediate “transformative action” is taken to reverse climate change.
Canada set to lose $12 billion on TMX Expansion
Researchers at Simon Fraser University say growing construction costs and increasingly green regulations will result in a nearly $12 billion dollar loss on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Winter is vanishing' from the deep waters of Lake Michigan
As the globe continues to warm at an astonishing rate due to climate change, winter is shrinking at depths we've never known before, including the Great Lakes.
Clearing the air on fossil fuel pollution
A new study from U.S. and U.K. universities, including Harvard, found more than eight million people died from fossil fuel pollution in 2018, accounting for about 18 per cent of global deaths.
Conservative Convention votes down resolution to declare that climate change is real
Conservative delegates at the party's policy convention have voted to reject adding green-friendly statements to the policy book — including a line that would have stated the party believes "climate change is real" and is "willing to act."
Global heating pushes tropical regions to limits of human livability
Rising heat and humidity are threatening to plunge much of the world’s population into potentially lethal conditions.
Climate commitments ‘not on track’ to meet Paris Agreement
Today’s interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet. It shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees.
Canada’s Banks Continue to Finance Coal
Canadian financial institutions make Canada the fourth largest lender to the coal industry in the world as well as the 7th largest underwriter and 4th largest investor.
Canada Increasing Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Canada doled out about $1.9 billion to oil and gas companies in 2020, tripling its federal subsidies to the oil and gas industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. This could put them at odds with the Biden administration.
Global Ice Loss Accelerating at Record Rate
The melting of ice across the planet is accelerating at a record rate, with the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets speeding up the fastest.
Climate crisis: world is at its hottest for at least 12,000 years
The planet is hotter now than it has been for at least 12,000 years, a period spanning the entire development of human civilization.
Forests May Soon Release More Carbon Than They Absorb
New research suggests that trees may soon become carbon sources rather than carbon sinks, as a feedback loops drive them to release more greenhouse gases.
Earth losing roughly 1% to 2% of its insects annually
Climate change, insecticides, herbicides, light pollution, invasive species and changes in agriculture and land use are causing Earth to lose probably 1 per cent to 2 per cent of its insects each year.
Top scientists warn of 'ghastly future of mass extinction'
People still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises. The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction.
2020 Ties 2016 for Hottest Year on Record
Last year tied 2016 for hottest on record, further accelerating the melting of the Arctic region and fuelling a spate of deadly droughts, heat waves, and wildfires around the world. And this surge in warmth occurred despite the cooling presence of La Niña.
Climate crisis could create 63 million migrants in South Asia by 2050
The growing impacts of the climate crisis have already pushed more than 18 million people to migrate within South Asian countries, but that could more than triple if global warming continues on its current path.
12 Major Impacts of Climate Change in 2020
The World Meteorological Organization provisional report for 2020, shows that climate change continued its relentless march in 2020. The summary here gives a short description of 12 impacts.
Canada is losing the race to low-carbon prosperity
The world’s nations are racing to rein in the climate crisis while maintaining strong economies. Troublingly, Canada's decades of foot-dragging have put both our future prosperity and our climate at risk.
Fossil fuel production far exceeds climate targets
Some of the largest fossil fuel producers in the world, including Canada, will produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas than would be consistent with curbing global warming.
Fiscal Update does not go far enough
This story is really good news and bad news. As the 4RG Letter to Maryam Monsef says, thanks for doing something, but it's really not enough.
Methane emissions from oilpatch higher than thought
Emissions of methane from Canada's oilpatch are nearly twice as high as previously thought, complicating regulatory attempts to cut releases.
Hot November in Peterborough
Drew Monkman explains why the unusually warm November weather in Peterborough reflects bad news for the world. He says that you need to vote for a candidate and party who will act seriously.
Air pollution rise linked to more Covid-19 deaths
A small rise in long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with an increase in deaths from Covid-19.
CO2 emissions from forestry are a surging climate threat
Canada's vast managed forest lands are no longer a CO2 sink but now we cut more than is growing back.
Arctic methane deposits starting to release
Frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean, the "sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” have started to be released over the continental slope off the East Siberian coast.
Likely weakening of the Florida Current during the past century revealed by sea-level observations
Climate models have been forecasting the weakening of the Gulf Stream due to the climate crisis for many years. Determining how the Gulf Stream is actually doing has so far failed because there is too little data. The strength of the Gulf Stream has only been measured for 16 years , with a slight decrease. It is too short to determine a clear trend.
The oceanographer Christopher Piecuch recently succeeded in extending the period to the last 110 years using an indirect measurement method.
$100m Federal Grant Pays Fossils for R&D They Should Fund Themselves
The Trudeau government faced immediate criticism after re-announcing a four-year, C$100-million budget promise to help the fossil industry commercialize emerging technologies.
Julia Levin, climate and energy program manager at Toronto-based Environmental Defence, said the government is setting taxpayers up to fund projects the industry should be paying for on its own. She added that this type of funding in the past has failed to deliver concrete and significant GHG reductions from the sector.
Campaigners criticise global deal on carbon emissions from shipping
Governments have rejected calls for tougher regulation of international shipping, settling instead for new rules on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that campaigners say will imperil the Paris climate goals.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body that regulates international shipping, agreed on Friday after a week-long online meeting to make an existing target legally binding: to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% compared with 2008 levels in the next 10 years.
Alarm as Arctic sea ice not yet freezing at latest date on record
For the first time since records began, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in late October. The delayed annual freeze in the Laptev Sea has been caused by freakishly protracted warmth in northern Russia and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, say climate scientists who warn of possible knock-on effects across the polar region.
Ocean temperatures in the area recently climbed to more than 5°C above average, following a record breaking heatwave and the unusually early decline of last winter’s sea ice.
James Hansen reports increased rate of global heating
In the past five years global temperature has jumped well above the trend which has been stable at about 0.18°C per decade for the past half century (see figure above). This deviation is too large to be explained by unforced climate variability.
Temperatures of deepest ocean rising quicker than previously thought
Even the pitch black, nearly freezing waters at the bottom of the ocean – far from where humans live and burn fossil fuels – are slowly warming, according to a study of a decade of hourly measurements.
Roughly 90% of the heat absorbed by the Earth goes into the oceans. Although they warm slowly, the heat makes water molecules expand, contributing to sea-level rise. It also intensifies hurricanes.
The Amazon rain forest is near a survival tipping point
The Amazon rain forest, like other tropical forests, depends on rain to survive: Once rainfall drops to a certain level, the forest can dry out, burn, and start to turn into a savannah. A new study suggests that a huge swath of the Amazon forest—around 40%—is already at the point where that transition is at risk of happening.The study, published in Nature Communications, modeled what could happen in tropical forests globally over time as the climate changes. As forests get hotter, less rain is falling, and the ecosystems are becoming less resilient. “We understand now that rain forests on all continents are very sensitive to global change and can rapidly lose their ability to adapt,” co-author Ingo Fetzer said in a statement.
2020 Had the Warmest September on Record, Data Shows
Worldwide, last month was the warmest September on record, topping a record set just a year before, European scientists announced Wednesday.
It was also the hottest September on record for Europe. Northern Siberia, Western Australia, the Middle East and parts of South America similarly recorded above-average temperatures.
Nitrous oxide, more harmful to the climate than CO2, increasing in atmosphere, study finds
A new study published in the journal Nature suggests that nitrous oxide — a gas that is 300 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide — is steadily increasing in the atmosphere.
While nitrous oxide is produced in different ways, the study found the largest contributor is agriculture, where it is produced as a by-product of nitrogen, largely used in agriculture as a fertilizer.
California Fires Set Bleak Record as 4m Acres Destroyed
The wildfires that have ravaged California have reached a new grim milestone, having consumed 4m acres of the state in a fire season that shows little sign of ending.
The unprecedented figure – an area larger than Connecticut – is more than double the previous record for the most land burned in a single year in California.
British Columbia’s Seamounts Are Becoming Uninhabitable
In the northeast Pacific, the upper 3,000 meters of water has lost 15 percent of its oxygen over the past 60 years, and the top 500 meters is simultaneously becoming more acidic at an unprecedented rate, a study by Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists has found.
The changes, which the scientists say are a consequence of climate change, threaten the survival of the black coral, brittle stars, rockfish, and other species that live around the towering seamounts that lie off the British Columbia coast. The scientists say the seamount ecosystem—regarded as an oasis of life in the deep ocean—will be irreversibly changed, and there will likely be local extinctions.
Climate crisis could displace 1.2bn people by 2050, report warns
More than 1 billion people face being displaced within 30 years as the climate crisis and rapid population growth drive an increase in migration with “huge impacts” for both the developing and developed worlds, according to an analysis.
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a thinktank that produces annual global terrorism and peace indexes, said 1.2 billion people lived in 31 countries that are not sufficiently resilient to withstand ecological threats.
UN report: Increased warming closing in on agreed upon limit
The world is getting closer to passing a temperature limit set by global leaders five years ago and may exceed it in the next decade or so, according to a new United Nations report.
In the next five years, the world has nearly a 1-in-4 chance of experiencing a year that’s hot enough to put the global temperature at 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial times, according to a new science update released Wednesday by the U.N., World Meteorological Organization and other global science groups.
Northern hemisphere breaks record for hottest ever summer
This summer was the hottest ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, according to US government scientists. June, July and August were 1.17 °C above the 20th-century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The new record surpassed the summers of 2016 and 2019. Last month was also the second-hottest August ever recorded for the globe. The numbers put 2020 on track to be one of the five warmest years, according to NOAA.
- Canada is way behind on pledge to cut methane emissions, analysis shows
Five environmental organizations released an analysis of the government’s recent emissions modelling, which shows that under current federal regulations, Canada will only reduce methane emissions by 29 per cent by 2025.
- Drew Monkman on CHEX regarding this year's heat wave.
Drew Monkman interviewed on CHEX TV points out that there have already been 32 days above 30 degrees this summer and reminds us that in the 1990’s, there was an average of only 6 days per summer. This is clear local evidence of the accelerating pace of the climate crisis.
- Last decade was Earth's hottest on record as climate crisis accelerates
The past decade was the hottest ever recorded globally, with 2019 either the second or third warmest year on record, as the climate crisis accelerated temperatures upwards worldwide, scientists have confirmed.
Every decade since 1980 has been warmer than the preceding decade, with the period between 2010 and 2019 the hottest yet since worldwide temperature records began in the 19th century. The increase in average global temperature is rapidly gathering pace, with the last decade up to 0.39C warmer than the long-term average, compared with a 0.07C average increase per decade stretching back to 1880.
- Canada supporting fossil fuels at 10 times the G20 average during pandemic
Canada has committed nearly ten times the G20 average to fossil fuels per capita — for a total of $12 billion since the pandemic began.
- Recent Canadian Polling Shows How the Pandemic has Changed our Views on Climate Action
There’s a school of thought that, when it comes to fighting climate change, the notions of a greener future and strong economic growth are irreconcilable. These are the people who insist you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Others insist you can have it all, and that it’s indeed possible – if not paramount – to have both a healthy planet and a healthy economy.
Recent polling shows that the environment still looms as a longer-term issue that demands action. It is the timing and nature of this action that divides Canadians.
- Budget Cut for Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring Raises Health Concerns for Nearby First Nations
Indigenous communities in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories say they’re losing faith in federal and provincial environmental monitoring in the tar sands/oil sands, after The Canadian Press revealed earlier this week that this year’s field research program will sustain a funding cut of about 25%.
“I am so angry at this because it’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time with different governments and with industry,” said Gerry Cheezie, chief of Smith’s Landing First Nation, on the NWT-Alberta border. “I’m losing faith in the ability of governments to protect our people.”
- Alberta, Ottawa reduce oilsands environmental monitoring budget due to pandemic
Alberta has come to an agreement with the federal government that makes major cuts to environmental monitoring of the oilsands.
The deal, a copy of which has been obtained by The Canadian Press, lays out research plans for this year's field season under a federal-provincial program that oversees all monitoring of the area outside of company leases.
- Coastal flooding could hit 20% of world GDP by 2100 - study
Failure to rein in climate change and bolster sea defences could jeopardize up to a fifth of the world’s economic output by the end of the century, as flooding threatens coastal countries worldwide, according to a study released on Thursday.
From Bangladesh and India to Australia and even Britain, rising sea levels already are leading to more frequent and extreme flood events. With climate change causing polar ice to melt and ocean waters to expand, economists have sought for years to put a figure on the future potential damage.
- New climate predictions assess global temperatures in coming five years
The annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least 1° Celsius above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900) in each of the coming five years (2020-2024) and there is a 20% chance that it will exceed 1.5°C in at least one year, according to new climate predictions issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
- Green Recovery Under Threat in Canada
Canada’s pandemic response to date has sent just C$300 million to clean energy, compared to more than $16 billion to fossil fuels, according to new data released this week by Energy Policy Tracker, a joint effort by multiple civil society organizations including the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
- We cannot sustain life, or do business, on a dead planet
As people ponder our current situation, and question how we got here, we increasingly get asked the question “is this nature fighting back at us?” It is a good question. There is not, of course, any sentient being called “nature,” but there is a biosphere upon which we depend for our very existence that has been abused to a staggering degree as human “development” has “progressed,” fixated on relentless growth. Maybe COVID-19 is just the latest in a series of metaphorical warning shots that things are running out of control.
- When it comes to climate hypocrisy, Canada's leaders have reached a new low - Bill McKibben
A territory that has 0.5% of the Earth’s population plans to use up nearly a third of the planet’s remaining carbon budget