Daily weather now bears the fingerprints of global warming – The Washington Post

By Andrew Freedman January 2

For the first time, scientists have detected the “fingerprint” of human-induced climate change on daily weather patterns at the global scale. If verified by subsequent work, the findings, published Thursday in Nature Climate Change, would upend the long-established narrative that daily weather is distinct from long-term climate change.

The study’s results also imply that research aimed at assessing the human role in contributing to extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods may be underestimating the contribution.

The new study, which was in part motivated by President Trump’s tweets about how a cold day in one particular location disproves global warming, uses statistical techniques and climate model simulations to evaluate how daily temperatures and humidity vary around the world. Scientists compared the spatial patterns of these variables with what physical science shows is expected because of climate change.The study concludes that the spatial patterns of global temperature and humidity are, in fact, distinguishable from natural variability, and have a human component to them.

Going further, the study concludes that the long-term climate trend in global average temperature can be predicted if you know a single day’s weather information worldwide.According to study co-author Reto Knutti of ETH Zurich, the research alters what we can say about how weather and climate change are connected.

“We’ve always said when you look at weather that’s not the same as climate,” he said. “That’s still true locally, if you are in one particular place and you only know the weather right now, right here, there isn’t much you can say.”However, on a global scale, that is no longer true, Knutti said. “Global mean temperature on a single day is already quite a bit shifted. You can see this human fingerprint in any single moment.“Weather is climate change if you look over the whole globe,” he said.

The research uses the techniques applied in other “detection and attribution” studies that have sought to identify the signal of human-caused climate change in longer-term changes at the global level such as the seasonal temperature cycle of the planet or heating of the oceans.

The authors, from research institutions in Switzerland and Norway, use machine learning to estimate how the patterns of temperature and moisture at daily, monthly and annual time scales relate to two important climate change metrics: global average surface temperatures and the energy imbalance of the planet. Increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing Earth to hold in more of the sun’s energy, leading to an energy surplus.

The researchers then utilized machine learning techniques to detect a global fingerprint of human-caused climate change from the relationships between the weather and global warming metrics, and compare it with historical weather data.

By doing this, scientists were able to tease out the signal of human-caused global warming from any single day of global weather observations since 2012. When looking at annual data, the human-caused climate signal emerged in 1999, the study found.

In what one outside expert, Michael Wehner of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, termed a “profoundly disturbing” result, the study found that the global warming fingerprint remained present even when the signal from the global average temperature trend was removed.

“This … is telling us that anthropogenic climate change has become so large that it exceeds even daily weather variability at the global scale,” Wehner said in an email. “This is disturbing as the Earth is on track for significantly more warming in even the most optimistic future scenarios.”

According to Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, the new study advances our understanding of climate change’s effects. Diffenbaugh was not involved in the new research.“The fact that the influence of global warming can now be seen in the daily weather around the world — which in some ways is the noisiest manifestation — is another clear sign of how strong the signal of climate change has become,” he said in an email.

“This study provides important new evidence that climate change is influencing the conditions that people and ecosystems are experiencing every day, all around the world.”

The research may provide a bridge between two approaches to detecting the human fingerprint on the changing climate. One of these techniques focuses on long-term trends, while another looks at regionally specific, shorter-term extreme weather events. Until this new study, there was no way to integrate these two specialties.

Source: Daily weather now bears the fingerprints of global warming – The Washington Post

History’s Largest Mining Operation Is About to Begin It’s underwater—and the consequences are unimaginable.

Deep-Sea Mining and the Race to the Bottom of the Ocean
– The Atlantic

Unless you are given to chronic anxiety or suffer from nihilistic despair, you probably haven’t spent much time contemplating the bottom of the ocean. Many people imagine the seabed to be a vast expanse of sand, but it’s a jagged and dynamic landscape with as much variation as any place onshore. Mountains surge from underwater plains, canyons slice miles deep, hot springs billow through fissures in rock, and streams of heavy brine ooze down hillsides, pooling into undersea lakes.

These peaks and valleys are laced with most of the same minerals found on land. Scientists have documented their deposits since at least 1868, when a dredging ship pulled a chunk of iron ore from the seabed north of Russia. Five years later, another ship found similar nuggets at the bottom of the Atlantic, and two years after that, it discovered a field of the same objects in the Pacific. For more than a century, oceanographers continued to identify new minerals on the seafloor—copper, nickel, silver, platinum, gold, and even gemstones—while mining companies searched for a practical way to dig them up.

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/01/20000-feet-under-the-sea/603040/?utm_source=pocket-newtab&fbclid=IwAR0Jeswmmg14nOY7RD_bCVaGflN-jJK30220Jeikl1iYaLeynQMWQlL3ND4

Today, many of the largest mineral corporations in the world have launched underwater mining programs. On the west coast of Africa, the De Beers Group is using a fleet of specialized ships to drag machinery across the seabed in search of diamonds. In 2018, those ships extracted 1.4 million carats from the coastal waters of Namibia; in 2019, De Beers commissioned a new ship that will scrape the bottom twice as quickly as any other vessel. Another company, Nautilus Minerals, is working in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea to shatter a field of underwater hot springs lined with precious metals, while Japan and South Korea have embarked on national projects to exploit their own offshore deposits. But the biggest prize for mining companies will be access to international waters, which cover more than half of the global seafloor and contain more valuable minerals than all the continents combined…

Indigenous Activism at #COP25

Indigenous people were highly engaged both inside and outside COP 25, the UN Climate Conference just ended in Madrid, in December 2019. These video pieces provided by the Indigenous Rising Media team highlight the critical role of Indigenous people’s activism and engagement in UN climate negotiations.

https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1414263824

Regions Will Be Uninhabitable, From Unrelenting Heat & Humidity. Primer on Wet Bulb Temp — Paul Beckwith, Climate System Scientist

Human Body Limit to Heat Stress from Abrupt Climate Change // Aug 3, 2018 The average persons core body temperature is 98.6 F (37 C). Human skin is a few degrees colder, being about 35 C (95 F). Heat travels from hot regions to cold regions, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Thus when […]

via Regions Will Be Uninhabitable, From Unrelenting Heat & Humidity. Primer on Wet Bulb Temp — Paul Beckwith, Climate System Scientist

The Rockefeller Family Fund Takes on ExxonMobil | by David Kaiser | The New York Review of Books

Just as the tobacco industry gained decades of huge profits by obfuscating the dangers of smoking, the oil industry secured decades of profits—in Exxon’s case, some of the largest profits of any corporation in history—by helping to create a fake controversy over climate science that deceived and victimized many policymakers, as well as much of the public.

Source: The Rockefeller Family Fund Takes on ExxonMobil | by David Kaiser | The New York Review of Books

The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy — PIK Research Portal

07/20/2016

– Banks and insurers can play a crucial part in stabilizing the climate, while at the same time safeguarding their clients’ assets. Leading representatives of finance and climate research will discuss the best strategies for a turnaround in investing this Thursday in Berlin. The event is hosted by the Swiss global bank UBS, the French multinational insurance firm AXA, CDP, the European innovation initiative Climate-KIC, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Divestment – the diversion of capital from fossil fuel industries to green innovation and sustainable businesses – is a new approach to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, which could turn out to be a global “game changer”.

Already today, investments of billions of Euros are being redirected. Pioneered by students of wealthy US universities, divestment has reached financial big shots like Allianz by now: the financial services company announced its intention to divest from its assets in coal mining. The foundation of the legendary US oil dynasty Rockefeller plans to divest their funds from the fossil fuel industry as well.

“The risks of climate change affect everyone and everything. When the finance sector now divests billions from the fossil business, this does not only reflect a moral responsibility but also makes good business sense,” says PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, co-initiator of the conference. “While weather extremes increase already, many of the biggest climate impacts, like the consequences of sea-level rise, will become perceptible only after it would be too late to act. Therefore it is important for the finance sector to recognize the warnings of science and to ramp up sustainable investments as soon as possible. The Paris Agreement substantiates that the nations of the world aim at reaching zero emissions by 2050. This means we are now in year one of the Great Transformation. Whoever still invests in coal and oil will not only damage the environment, but eventually also lose a lot of money.”

“Recognize the possible economic and social impacts of climate change”

„As a global bank it is of major importance to recognize the possible economic and social impacts of climate change, in order to better prepare us and our clients,” says Axel Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS Group AG. “The financial sector is working hard to lay the foundations for filling gaps in financing climate action and to support nations in delivering on their corresponding commitments. We aim for a sensible long-term allocation of capital that is congruent with a low-carbon economy.”

Christian Thimann, Global Head of Strategy, Sustainability, and Public Affairs at AXA Group and Vice-Chair of the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, says: “Finance has an important role in addressing climate change, because it steers long-term investment. Investors need to understand how companies address climate change in their strategies, which goes well beyond the current carbon footprint. Under the mandate of the G20 and the Financial Stability Board, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure seeks to develop consistent voluntary disclosures by companies and enhance investor understanding of climate-related business risks and opportunities. Such disclosures and better investor understanding will foster implementation of the COP21 agreement.”

„Divestment is one of the most potent signals of investor discontent”

Susan Dreyer, CDP Country Director Germany, Austria, Switzerland adds: „Divestment is one of the most potent signals of investor discontent and can be a valuable method to manage portfolio risk, given climate risks are becoming more urgent every day. Having built a platform for transparent and comparable climate strategies, into which 5600 companies worldwide are voluntary reporting today, CDP knows of the impact investor engagement can unfold. Shareholder resolutions or setting joint reduction targets are good examples. And yet, the clear signal from both civil society and investors that fossil based business models do not have a future in the decarbonized world of 2050, is helpful and needed.”

Source: The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy — PIK Research Portal