Climate change dominates marathon Shell annual general meeting | Business | The Guardian

Totally unacceptable and deliberately myopic argument from Shell executives at its annual general meeting.. To wait until the second half to this century is to consign the world to 6 degrees warming. that is not survivable.

“…Van Beurden said Shell would be at the forefront of change but that it needed to find more oil in the short term to meet the demands of population growth and economic development in emerging markets.

He rejected the idea that Shell could be left with “stranded assets” that cannot be extracted because climate change will make them unviable. He dismissed as a red herring the argument that there was a carbon bubble of investment in fossil fuels.

Van Beurden said in the second half of this century solar power would become dominant as a source of energy but that the world would have to rely on oil and other traditional fuels in the meantime.

Simon Henry, Shell’s finance director, said fossil fuels made up 80% of the world’s energy sources and that oil was needed to produce and transport food, make clothes and manufacture roofs. “Modern life would not be possible” without oil, he said.”

via Climate change dominates marathon Shell annual general meeting | Business | The Guardian.

PIK PR: Global warming brings more snow to Antarctica – makere@ualberta.ca – University of Alberta Mail

Press Release, Potsdam Institute

Although it sounds paradoxical, rising temperatures might result in more snowfall in Antarctica. Each degree of regional warming could increase snowfall on the ice continent by about 5 percent, an international team of scientists led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research now quantified. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, their work builds on high-quality ice-core data and fundamental laws of physics captured in global and regional climate model simulations. The results provide a missing link for future projections of Antarctica’s critical contribution to sea-level rise. However, the increase in snowfall will not save Antarctica from losing ice, since a lot of the added ice is transported out into the ocean by its own weight.

“Warmer air transports more moisture and hence produces more precipitation – in cold Antarctica this takes the form of snowfall,” lead author Katja Frieler explains. “We have now pulled a number of various lines of evidence together and find a very consistent result: Temperature increase means more snowfall on Antarctica,” says Frieler. “For every degree of regional warming, snowfall increases by about 5 percent.”

To narrow down future snowfall on Antarctica to a robust estimate, the scientists from Potsdam collaborated with colleagues in the USA and the Netherlands. “Ice-cores drilled in different parts of Antarctica provide data that can help us understand the future,” says Peter U. Clark from the Oregon State University, USA. “Information about the snowfall spanning the large temperature change during the last deglaciation 21,000 to 10,000 years ago tells us what we can expect during the next century.” The researchers combined the ice-core data with simulations of the Earth’s climate history and comprehensive future projections by different climate models, and were able to pin down temperature and accumulation changes in warming Antarctica.

Double paradox: Warming brings more snowfall, more snowfall enhances ice loss

via PIK PR: Global warming brings more snow to Antarctica – makere@ualberta.ca – University of Alberta Mail.

World bank to focus future investment on clean energy | Environment | The Guardian

The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its president Jim Yong Kim.

Talking ahead of a UN climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented weather events.

“The findings are alarming. As the planet warms further, heatwaves and other weather extremes, which today we call once­-in­-a-century events, would become the new climate normal, a frightening world of increased risk and instability. The consequences for development would be severe, as crop yields decline, water resources shift, communicable diseases move into new geographical ranges, and sea levels rise,” he said.

via World bank to focus future investment on clean energy | Environment | The Guardian.

Adaptation implications of new IPCC report | LinkedIn

Adaptation implications of new IPCC report | LinkedIn.

October 31, 2014–The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) salutes the imminent release of the Summary for Policymakers, the culmination of five years of work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading authority on climate change.

The Summary for Policymakers, expected to be unveiled on Sunday, November 2, 2014, is a synthesis of three IPCC reports released over the past year, which covered the science of climate change, our vulnerability to it, and what options are available to mitigate it.

“The IPCC reports are a clear, compelling case for immediate climate action,” says EESI Executive Director Carol Werner. “In a nutshell, they confirm that climate change is already causing damage and that it will only get worse unless we act now. The good news is, it’s not too late to act to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. I think the most important take-away from the IPCC’s work is that climate action makes good economic sense. Becoming sustainable and preventing disasters is good for business, good for economic growth, and good for the well-being of our people and communities!”

The reports, drafted by 830 authors and 1,200 contributors–and evaluated by 3,700 expert reviewers–leave no room for doubt: climate change is happening, and it is caused by humans. Unless we change our ways rapidly, average global temperatures will rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels, with potentially devastating results. The effects of climate change are already making themselves felt–the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy this past week is a grim reminder of what rising sea levels and more extreme weather can lead to.

The Summary for Policymakers should not make for a depressing read, however. Instead, it is expected to focus on the fact that action is still possible, that it won’t be excessively costly, and that it will indeed likely create the conditions for strong economic growth. Many of the actions we need to take to address climate change have a whole host of ancillary benefits, in particular when it comes to public health and the long-term sustainability of our economies.

On October 24, the European Union led by example, agreeing on an ambitious, binding target for its greenhouse gas emissions. The 28 member countries agreed to cut emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and to source a minimum of 27 percent of their energy from renewable power generation. “With major UN climate negotiations just a year away [the U.N. Climate Change Conference will take place in Paris starting November 2015], now is the time for nations to show their determination and commitment to address climate change,” said Werner.

For more information, please contact Amaury Laporte alaporte@eesi.org or (202) 662-1884.

Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery — and the news isn’t good – The Washington Post

There’s now a substantiated theory about what created the crater. And the news isn’t so good.It may be methane gas, released by the thawing of frozen ground. According to a recent Nature article, “air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane — up to 9.6% — in tests conducted at the site on 16 July, says Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia. Plekhanov, who led an expedition to the crater, says that air normally contains just 0.000179% methane.”The scientist said the methane release may be related to Yamal’s unusually hot summers in 2012 and 2013, which were warmer by an average of 5 degrees Celsius. “As temperatures rose, the researchers suggest, permafrost thawed and collapsed, releasing methane that had been trapped in the icy ground,” the report stated.

via Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery — and the news isn’t good – The Washington Post.

Arctic News: Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian Sea

Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian SeaA catastrophe of unimaginable propertions is unfolding in the Arctic Ocean. Huge quantities of methane are erupting from the seafloor of the East Siberian Sea and entering the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean.

via Arctic News: Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian Sea.

The Amount Of Carbon Dioxide In Our Air Just Reached A New Record, And Scientists Are Worried | ThinkProgress

On Monday, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii told Climate Central that June would be be the third month in a row where, for the entire month, average levels of carbon dioxide were above 400 parts per million ppm. In other words, that’s the longest time in recorded history that this much carbon dioxide has been in the atmosphere.The finding is troubling to climate scientists, several of whom told ThinkProgress on Monday that the levels are a reminder that humans are still pumping too much carbon dioxide into the sky. If the trend continues, some said, carbon levels will soon surpass 450 ppm — a level that many scientists agree would create a level of global warming that would be too difficult for some humans to adapt to.“CO2 levels continue to increase, the amount of heat in the climate system continues to increase, ice continues to melt, and the seas continue to rise,” said Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology. “We will continue to break through threshold after threshold — unless we stop using the sky as a waste dump soon.”

via The Amount Of Carbon Dioxide In Our Air Just Reached A New Record, And Scientists Are Worried | ThinkProgress.

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

via Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone.