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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 will be significantly short of its goal to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2012 levels by its 2025 deadline, and advocates want stronger federal regulation to help bridge the gap.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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).
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.