2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #29B

"A world that we have to avoid at all costs"

This is a guest post by Gabriel Levy and was originally published on the blog People and Nature. This post is Part 2 of a two-part interview with Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

"A World That We Have to Avoid At All Costs" by Gabriel Levy, DeSmog Canada, July  17, 2013

Acid test: rising CO2 levels killing ocean life

The ocean absorbs approximately one-third of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions at a rate of 300 tons per second, which helps slow global climate change. But, due to that carbon dioxide absorption, the ocean is now 30 percent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution, and the rate of change in ocean pH, called ocean acidification, is likely unparalleled in Earth’s history. 

With today’s levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide so high, the ocean’s help comes at a cost to marine life and the millions of people who depend on healthy oceans .

Acid Test: Rising CO2 Levels Killing Ocean Life, Op-ed by Matt Huelsenbeck, Oceana, LiveScience, July 16, 2013

Democrats building support for new climate change action

Democrats on Capitol Hill sought to move climate change back to the front of the congressional agenda Thursday morning, after a long period of inaction.

But the testy back-and-forth at a hearing of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen.Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), suggests that Congress is still paralyzed on global warming, even as many states aggressively enact their own policies.

Boxer and fellow Democrats are hoping to build momentum on President Obama’s release of a “Climate Action Plan” last month. The plan is a series of executive actions the administration is taking to nudge the country toward increased use of renewable energy. 

Democrats looking to build support for new climate change action by Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2013

Divert $600-bln fossil fuel subsidy to climate aid 

Diverting cash used to subsidise fossil fuel production and consumption could raise up to $600 billion a year to fund cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and help poor countries adapt to the effect of a warmer planet, delegates at U.N. talks were told in the Philippines this week.

Industrialised nations plough $600 billion a year to subside coal, oil and gas activity.

Dr Mattia Romani, Deputy Director General at the Global Green Growth Institute said in a presentation at the talks that this instead could be used to fill the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

“Removing these subsidies could lead to a 13 percent decline in CO2 emissions,” he said.

Divert $600-bln fossil fuel subsidy to climate aid by Susanna Twidale, Reuters Point Carbon, July 18, 2013

Getting the U.S.-China climate partnership right

President Nixon once changed the world with a single handshake on a Beijing tarmac, beginning a new relationship with China.

Today, it’s not just our geopolitics that are changing — it’s the earth itself. And it requires a new partnership with China to meet the challenge.

Nothing less than a complete and collaborative transformation of the way we use and produce energy will be enough to tackle the urgent threat of climate change.

Getting The U.S.-China Climate Partnership Right by John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, Energy Education Foundation, July 20, 2013

Globally, June was second warmest on record per NASA

How hot was it in June? So hot that NASA reports the only warmer June in the global temperature record was 1998, a year juiced by both global warming and a super El Niño.

By contrast, 2013 has been hovering between a weak La Niña and ENSO-neutral conditions — which would normally mean below-average global average temperatures — if it weren’t for that pesky accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

NASA: Globally, June Was Second Warmest On Record, Energy Education Foundation, July 19, 2013

Insurance industry, Republicans split on climate change

The U.S. insurance industry told Senators that a surge in weather-related catastrophes has forced billions of dollars in payouts, offering an assessment at odds with Republicans who have expressed doubt about global warming.

The Reinsurance Association of America, which represents companies such as Swiss Re Ltd. (SREN) and Munich Re, today urged Congress to have federal agencies consider climate risk in project reviews, and offer tax incentives to help homeowners prepare for severe hurricanes, floods, droughts and fires.

“The industry is at great financial peril if it does not understand global and regional climate impacts, variability and developing scientific assessment of a changing climate,” Franklin Nutter, president of the association, said in testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works committee. “We are committed to work with you to address the exposure of citizens and their property to extreme weather risk.”

Insurance Industry, Republicans Split on Climate Change by Mark Drajem, Bloomberg. July 18, 2013

Obama finds unlikely climate change partner

President Barack Obama has stumbled on an unusual partner in his quest to combat climate change: China.

The world’s two biggest emitters of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are finding common cause in efforts to reduce global warming, cooperation the U.S. says could clear the way for other developing nations like India and Brazil to get on board, too. 

Obama finds unlikely climate change partner in major polluter China, AP/Washington Post, July 18, 2013 

Record heat in June extends globe’s streak to 340 months

June was one of the hottest such months on record globally, based on newly released data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The month extended the unbroken string of warmer-than-average months to 340, or a stretch of more than 28 years. That means that no one under the age of 28 has ever experienced a month in which global average temperatures were cooler than average (based on the 20th century average).  

Record Heat in June Extends Globe’s Streak to 340 Months by Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, July 18, 2013

"Scientists are cajoled into developing...politically palatable messages" 

This is a guest post by Gabriel Levy and was originally published on the blog People and Nature. This post is Part 1 of a two-part interview with Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre.

"Scientists are Cajoled into Developing...Politically Palatable Messages" on Climate by Gabriel Levy, DeSmog Canada, July  17, 2013

Stunning photos of glaciers in retreat

Seventeen years.

That's about how long the glaciers that give Montana's Glacier National Park its name have before they disappear completely, scientists who study the park's snow and ice say.

By 2030 or even sooner -- perhaps even by the end of this decade -- most or all of the park's remaining 25 or so glaciers will be gone forever, according to Dan Fagre, a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist and glacial expert. 

Stunning photos of glaciers in retreat by Terrell Johnson, The Weather Channel, July 19, 2013 

Wretched week for a typical trio of climate contrarians

Last week was a rough one for climate contrarians Matt Ridley, Patrick Michaels, and Murry Salby.

Wretched week for a typical trio of climate contrarians by Dana Nuccitelli, Climate Consensus-97%, The Guardian, July 19, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 20 July, 2013

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