Global warming news

U.S. states, Rockefellers clash with U.S. House panel on Exxon climate probes

HOUSTON (Reuters) - With a number of U.S. states proceeding with investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp's record on climate change, the attorney general of Massachusetts and investment funds of the Rockefeller family on Friday told a Congressional committee it lacked powers to oversee those probes.
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Thousands of heat deaths predicted as New York City heats up, scientists say

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 3,000 New Yorkers could die each year from intense heat due to climate change beginning about 60 years from now, researchers said on Thursday.
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97% global warming consensus paper surpasses half a million downloads

Guardian: In 2013, a team of citizen science volunteers who collaborate on the climate myth debunking website SkepticalScience.com published a paper finding a 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming in peer-reviewed research. Over the past 3 years, that paper has been downloaded more than 500,000 times. For perspective, that’s 4 times more than the second-most downloaded paper in the Institute of Physics journals (which includes Environmental Research Letters, where the 97% consensus paper was...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Arctic?s red algae speeding up global warming, causing glaciers to melt fast

IB Times: A study has revealed that fields of red-coloured algae are forming on world’s glaciers and it is accelerating global warming. Previously, the experts thought the red colour of the snow was caused by some chemical spill or baby seal clubbing. However, it is just algae, and scientists are completely baffled by this weird phenomenon. Moreover, the algae-formation is causing the glaciers to melt fast. The study, published in the science journal Nature Communications, revealed that it’s the colour...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Climate Change In NYC: Hot Summers Could Cause Over 3,000 Deaths A Year By 2080

Medical Daily: New York City summers bring to mind images of children running through open fire hydrants, free concerts in the park, and a feeling of carefreeness not associated with any other season. If the results of new research are correct, New York City summers could conjure darker images as the result of worsening climate change.. It’s well-known that high temperatures can overheat the body and lead to heat exhaust or even heat stroke. Researchers from Columbia University wanted to see what effect rising...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

EU, UN create largest coalition of mayors to combat climate change

Examiner: Wednesday marked the creation of the new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, the world’s largest coalition of mayors, spanning six continents, representing 7,100 cities and 119 countries. The Covenant joins two of the world’s primary city-led climate change and energy initiatives, the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, in what has been dubbed the “first-of-its-kind global initiative of cities and local governments leading in the fight against climate change.” The purpose...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

UN boss: Brexit would mean rewriting Paris Agreement on climate change

EurActiv: A vote for Brexit in tomorrow's UK referendum on EU membership (23 June) would mean that the COP21 agreement would have to be rewritten, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said today (22 June) in Brussels. Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the historic deal struck last December to limit warming to no more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels, said the international pact, "would require recalibration". It is currently in the process of ratification....
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Our new alliance unites 600m city dwellers in fight against climate change

Guardian: When it comes to confronting climate change, the world’s cities are proving that there’s strength in unity. The historic climate agreement reached in Paris in December, which was approved by nearly all of the world’s nations, was made possible in part by the progress that cities have made by working together. Today, the two biggest coalitions of cities in the world – the EU-based Covenant of Mayors and the UN-backed Compact of Mayors – are forming an alliance to link more than 600 million city...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Political leaders take action climate change prevent devastation to regional economies

Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Political leaders urged to take action on climate change and prevent devastation to regional economies A dry sheep farm in Tasmania in 2011. A signatory to an open letter calling for climate change action says regional Australia is going to bear the brunt of its damaging effects. More than 20 prominent Australian scientists, community and business leaders signed an open letter in The Age newspaper on Thursday to declare a climate emergency. The letter was addressed to those appointed to...
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Mayors and EU Covenant of Mayors launch largest global coalition fighting climate change

National Geographic: Today, the world’s two primary city-led climate change and energy initiatives, the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, announced the formation of a new, first-of-its-kind global initiative of cities and local governments leading in the fight against climate change. This single initiative will create the largest global coalition of cities committed to climate leadership, building on the commitments of more than 7,100 cities from 119 countries and six continents, representing more than...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

US giving $48 million to help Western farms handle drought

Associated Press: The Obama administration is announcing $48 million in grants to help farmers and ranchers in the West conserve water and energy amid drought and climate change. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to discuss the plan Thursday in Colorado. The Agriculture Department says the effort will include 76 projects in at least 11 states. The department says the program will include improving irrigation systems. The grants will come from both the Agriculture and Interior departments.
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Climate change could have an even worse impact on Boston than previously expected

Boston Globe: The consequences of climate change on Boston are expected to be far more calamitous than previous studies have suggested, a new report commissioned by the city says. In the worst case scenarios, sea levels could rise more than 10 feet by the end of the century -- nearly twice what was previously predicted -- plunging about 30 percent of Boston under water. Temperatures in 2070 could exceed 90 degrees for 90 days a year, compared with an average of 11 days now. And changes in precipitation could...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Dead Trees Adding to California Firefighters’ Battle

Climate Central: With drought and climate change conspiring to push California's summer wildfire season into premature overdrive, the state's lead wildfire agency has acquired a multimillion dollar arsenal to help it cope with unprecedented numbers of dying trees. California recently bought $6 million worth of chippers, mobile sawmills, portable incinerators and other equipment to help its firefighters remove some of the nearly 30 million trees that now stand dead across the state, killed by drought and insects....
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

"We were waiting for our deaths" - Kenyan widows saved by tribal elders

Reuters: "We were waiting for our deaths" - Kenyan widows saved by tribal elders Bangladesh declares lightning strikes a disaster as deaths surge From cleaning corpses to sex with strangers, widow rituals fuel disease in Africa Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change - scientists Branded witches and cursed by spirits, Kenyan widows ousted from land Kenyan law grants widows the right to live on their late husbands' property until they die, but poor women are often evicted...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

94 million-year-old climate change event holds clues for future

ScienceDaily: A major climate event millions of years ago that caused substantial change to the ocean's ecological systems may hold clues as to how the Earth will respond to future climate change, a Florida State University researcher said. In a new study published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Assistant Professor of Geology Jeremy Owens explains that parts of the ocean became inhospitable for some organisms as the Earth's climate warmed 94 million years ago. As the Earth warmed, several natural elements...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Cities forge world's largest alliance to curb climate change

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Cities in six continents joined up to form the world's largest alliance to combat climate change on Wednesday, a move intended to help making ground-level changes to slow global warming.
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Cities forge world's largest alliance to curb climate change

Reuters: Cities in six continents joined up to form the world's largest alliance to combat climate change on Wednesday, a move intended to help making ground-level changes to slow global warming. More than 7,100 cities in 119 countries formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a network for helping exchange information on such goals as developing clean energy, organizers said. Cities are responsible for an estimated 75 percent of carbon emissions contributing to climate change and consume...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron call for less meat consumption to combat climate change

Mongabay: Avatar director James Cameron and former California governor/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger are joining the call for less global meat consumption to combat climate change. The two Hollywood legends have been tapped by the 5 To Do Today campaign for the starring role in a media blitz comprised of TV PSAs and billboards aimed at reducing the amount of meat we eat. U.S.-based groups Climate Nexus and My Plate, My Planet will be distributing English versions of the ads in the U.S. later this summer. The...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Obama’s fracking regulations hits a speedbump, not a brick wall

Grist: President Obama’s environmental legacy hasn’t had a great year in court. Last October, a federal appeals court blocked an Environmental Protection Agency rule protecting wetlands, and in February, the Supreme Court pressed pause on his Clean Power Plan, the cornerstone of Obama`s climate change agenda. The latest blow came on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl, an Obama appointee, struck down the Department of Interior’s fracking regulations. While the 2015 regulations weren`t considered...
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Exxon Loses Bid to Fight Virgin Islands Climate Subpoena in State Court

Inside Climate News: Judge's motion sets the stage for the company's legal challenge to proceed in federal court. By David Hasemyer A court ruling in Texas has set the stage for ExxonMobil's legal challenge to a climate change investigation by the U. S. Virgin Islands to proceed in federal court. Exxon and the Virgin Islands' Attorney General Claude Walker had been bickering for more than a month over whether the company's lawsuit to quash a subpoena issued by Walker should be heard in Texas state court or in federal...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear new-build not fast enough to curb global warming: Report

Reuters: Nuclear reactors are not being built rapidly enough around the world to meet targets on curbing global warming, a report by the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, said on Tuesday. The association, which represents the global nuclear industry, says 1,000 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity needs to be added by 2050 so nuclear can supply around 25 percent of global electricity. Last year, more nuclear reactors were under construction and came online than at any other time in the past...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Koch Brothers Continue to Fund Climate Change Denial Machine, Spend $21M to Defend Exxon

EcoWatch: The Kochs have spent more than $88 million in traceable funding to groups attacking climate change science, policy and regulation. Of that total, $21 million went to groups that recently bought a full page New York Times advertisement defending ExxonMobil from government investigations into its systematic misrepresentation of climate science. If you’re an executive at a big oil company watching as ExxonMobil is finally exposed for studying climate change, covering up the science and spreading misinformation,...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Pace of warming threatens Africa’s new maize varieties

Climate Home: It can take up to 30 years to improve a crop variety, test it and persuade farmers to adopt it. That means the speed of climate change in Africa could make a new variety of maize useless even before the first harvest, according to new research. But two separate studies that address the challenge of food security in a rapidly warming world suggest that the answers may lie not just in future weather but in today’s soils. One says that better soil data can be used to predict surer levels of...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nation losing a nuclear weapon against climate change

Bloomberg: Some environmentalists are thrilled over Tuesday’s announcement of the planned closing of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. They might want to reconsider: Fighting climate change requires more nuclear power, not less. That Diablo Canyon’s two reactors could be allowed to shut down is alarming evidence that too little effort is being made to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The electricity that the Diablo Canyon plant generates, which amounts to about 9 percent of California’s power,...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Race is on to feed warming world

Climate News Network: Millions in Africa depend on maize, but new crop varieties can barely keep pace with the warming climate. Image: Kate Holt/AusAID via Wikimedia Commons Scientists warn that plant breeders will need to accelerate development schedules if they are to ensure the ever-growing population can be fed as global temperatures rise. It can take up to 30 years to improve a crop variety, test it and persuade farmers to adopt it. That means the speed of climate change in Africa could make a new variety of...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

New alliance unites 600m city dwellers in fight against climate change

Guardian: When it comes to confronting climate change, the world’s cities are proving that there’s strength in unity. The historic climate agreement reached in Paris in December, which was approved by nearly all of the world’s nations, was made possible in part by the progress that cities have made by working together. Today, the two biggest coalitions of cities in the world – the EU-based Covenant of Mayors and the UN-backed Compact of Mayors – are forming an alliance to link more than 600 million city...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Warming temps raise Zika virus risk

EarthSky: Global warming will cause more people to be exposed to the mosquito that carries Zika virus, says a new study. Why this mosquito is such a good virus-spreader. As Americans ready themselves for the arrival of mosquitoes this summer, many may be wondering whether they are at risk for tropical diseases like Zika and whether climate change will raise the risks of infection. My colleagues and I recently completed a study examining how projected changes in climate and human population may increase...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

City leaders unite to find ground-level climate change strategies

United Press International: A bottom-up strategy steered by local leadership can help tackle the challenges from climate change on the ground where it counts, officials said from Brussels. "Today, the world's cities are uniting their efforts to fight climate change behind a single global organization, something that has never before happened," former New York City Mayor and U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. On becoming a U.N. envoy after leaving office after 12 years as mayor...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Paris takes Global Earth Hour Capital 2016 title

GLAND, Switzerland – Paris is this year's Global Earth Hour Capital. WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge recognizes the "City of Light" as a role model for climate action and awards Paris for its ambitious vision and successful engagement with business, civil society and other cities on its journey toward sustainability.

Paris hosted last year's historic global climate summit and has shown strong climate leadership, creating a model for other city governments to replicate. In addition to setting up an effective centralized Climate Agency, ensuring clean vehicles, extending public transportation and developing waste-to-fuel conversion, Paris has also incorporated a regular review process to ensure that the city is on track to meet its sustainability goals as well as the current and future needs of its citizens. 
 
"As the world works to bring the Paris climate agreement into action, the 'City of Light' is leading by example," said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International. "Winning WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge reflects Paris' commitment to inspire global action to reduce emissions and build environmental sustainability through green urban development."
 
Selected from a shortlist of 18 national finalists, Paris impressed the international jury with its innovative actions, long-term vision and willingness to collaborate and share knowledge capital with cities around the globe.
 
WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge 2016 saw participation from 125 cities representing 21 countries. Cities were evaluated on their level of ambition and innovation in developing climate-smart solutions that advance sustainable development under local circumstances.
 
National winners included Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Boulder, USA; Chiangrai, Thailand; Edmonton, Canada; Hue City, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Lappeenranta, Finland; Montería, Colombia; Murcia, Spain; Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Quito, Ecuador; Rajkot, India; Santa Rosa, Philippines; Shenzhen, China; City of Singapore, Singapore; Tshwane, South Africa and Umeå, Sweden.
 
Paris now joins the ranks of previous global Earth Hour City Challenge winners such as Vancouver, Cape Town and Seoul, all of whom have shown extraordinary leadership in developing innovative solutions for tackling climate change and reducing the ecological footprint of urban lifestyles.

"Paris, as a member of ICLEI, is a global forerunner in sustainability. The city's ambitious, long-term, holistic vision, supported by concrete climate actions and ambitious targets set the bar high for the Earth Hour City Challenge this year. Paris has demonstrated its commitment to inspire, collaborate and exchange knowledge with cities around the world, taking this to new heights as the host of the COP21 last year," said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI. 
 
WWF works closely with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability to mobilize cities to participate in the Earth Hour City Challenge. ICLEI provides the use of its carbonn Climate Registry as the reporting platform for the initiative.

"I am very happy and honored to see Paris and Parisians being rewarded with the prestigious Earth Hour City Challenge award by WWF. As Paris acts in concrete terms against air pollution, this recognition encourages us to go further in linking public health and protection of the environment," said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. "Cities have always been on the front line of change, and have always foreseen, prefigured and pre-empted the future. This makes them key actors of the ecological transition. Paris will take up this 21st century challenge," continued Hidalgo.

Separately, on 30 June, WWF will announce the winner of the We Love Cities campaign – the public engagement arm of the Earth Hour City Challenge – on welovecities.org and through social media. The We Love Cities campaign engages citizens around the world to express their support for cities committed to sustainability through votes, tweets and Instagram pictures. To date, more than 230,000 people have voted for their favorite urban area from the 46 cities profiled on the campaign's website. Voting closes on 26 June 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Notes to Editors:
Earth Hour City Challenge Jury
Gino van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI
Simon Giles, Senior Principal Intelligent Cities, Accenture Global
Martha Delgado, General Director, Secretariat of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate
Dan Hoornweg, Professor and Jeff Boyce Research Chair, Faculty of Energy Systems and Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology  
Seth Schultz, Director, Research, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute of Human Settlements
Gil-hong Kim,Director Sustainable Infrastructure Division, Asian Development Bank
Alexandre Meira da Rosa, Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Sector, Inter-American Development Bank
Adrian Rimmer, Chief Executive Officer, European Environmental Markets (EEM)
Aisa Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General, UN-Habitat
Wee Kean Fong, Senior Associate, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute
Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director and Head of Global Practice/ Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience, World Bank
Patricia Mccarney, President and CEO, World Council City Data (WCCD)
David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures
Marion Verles, CEO, Gold Standard
Xolisa Ngwadla, Research leader Global change at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Alice Charles, Head of Urban Development & Services, World Economic Forum
 
For more information, please contact:
Barbara Evaeus, Global Communications Manager Earth Hour City Challenge, WWF
Tel: +46 70 393 9030, Email: Barbara.evaeus@wwf.se
Carina Borgström-Hansson, PhD, Lead, Earth Hour City Challenge, WWF
Tel: +46 708 855 185, Email: Carina.Borgstrom-Hansson@wwf.se

 

Read more [WWF]

Watch this famous pianist perform while on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean

Yahoo: Composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi took a trip to the Arctic for a very unique purpose: He performed a concert for the South Pole. Einaudi played his "Elegy for the Arctic" — composed for a Greenpeace effort to help raise awareness about climate change's harmful effects on the region — while floating on a platform in the Arctic Ocean. The piece's powerful melody is accompanied by the sounds of ice falling into the sea around Einaudi in a video produced by Greenpeace. "As he performed...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Climate change: poll finds support for strong action at highest level since 2008

Guardian: Support for strong action on climate change is at its highest level since 2008, with much sought after uncommitted voters showing the strongest support, according to Galaxy polling commissioned by the Climate Institute. Despite that, voters were dissatisfied with both Labor and Coalition policies, with only 17% saying the Coalition had a credible climate plan and only 20% saying Labor did. Those findings fitted with an assessment of the main parties’ policies conducted by the Climate Institute,...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Which animals will cope with climate change droughts?

ScienceDaily: JCU's Dr Tasmin Rymer led a study that produced a template measuring several crucial factors, including an animal's physiology and environment, to determine how it would handle a severe drought. Dr Rymer said scientists believe the current rate of climate change is unprecedented in Earth's history and will lead to more and worse droughts in many areas. "So we developed a theoretical framework that allows researchers to estimate the likelihood that a species will be able to cope," she said. Dr...
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Nuclear new-build not fast enough to curb global warming: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Nuclear reactors are not being built rapidly enough around the world to meet targets on curbing global warming, a report by the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, said on Tuesday.
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Fossil fuel companies impose more in climate costs than they make in profits

Vox: It is fairly well understood by now that releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere imposes an economic cost, in the form of climate change impacts. In most cases, however, those responsible for carbon emissions are not required to pay that cost. Instead, it's borne mainly by the world's poor and low-lying countries, and of course by future generations, as many of the worst impacts of climate change will emerge years after the emissions that drive them. People sometimes...
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The Insane Southwest Heat Wave Is Just the Beginning

Mother Jone: This story originally appeared on the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Deadly, record-breaking heat and wildfires sweeping across the Southwestern US are a clear sign of manmade climate change at work, scientists say. Triple-digit temperatures began scorching Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico early this week. Some of the most intense heat was recorded throughout Arizona, where four hikers died in separate heat-related incidents....
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Scorching Hot Southwest Is Climate Change In Action

Huffington Post: Scientists say if we keep burning fossil fuels at the same rate, pretty soon "what we think of as extreme summer heat" will become "typical." Deadly, record-breaking heat and wildfires sweeping across the Southwestern U.S. are a clear sign of manmade climate change at work, scientists say. Triple-digit temperatures began scorching Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico early this week. Some of the most intense heat was recorded throughout Arizona, where four hikers died in separate...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Climate puts squeeze on cuddly koalas

Climate News Network: A koala bear and baby find leaves to nibble on. More frequent extremes of heat and drought predicted for Australia could have a devastating impact on the habitat of the unique marsupial found nowhere else on Earth. LONDON, 21 June, 2016 – Human-induced climate change promises to make life a lot harder for one of Australia’s most charismatic species -- the koala. The herbivorous marsupial (Phascolarctos cinereus), unique to the world’s largest island, is rarely seen. It moves slowly, lives...
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Migration is the “brutal reality” of climate change

Climate Home: Climate change poses the most significant moral challenge to the global community and an existential threat to the future of many communities worldwide. With the projected rise in sea levels by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of up to one metre within the century, the most vulnerable coastal communities and low-lying island states -- several of which are in Pacific -- face the real possibility of their islands and communities being submerged well within the next hundred years....
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Australia: Climate change to affect how and where fruit is grown

Age: Red apples could be a bit less red as temperatures rise due to climate change, Royal Galas are likely to suffer more sun damage, and some fruit growers are likely to rip out trees and opt for different varieties. The looming impact of climate change on the fruit growing industry is detailed in a new report out of the University of Melbourne, which says climate change could affect what is grown and where in some Australian apple growing regions. The report concentrates on science, but as climate...
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Traditional irrigation keeps water flowing in drought-hit India

Reuters: Ask the farmers in remote Baksa district, in the northeast Indian state of Assam, whether they are affected by climate change and they usually respond with a look of surprise. Across much of India, farmers are struggling to adapt as their crops fail season after season as a result of increasingly unpredictable and often dry weather. But in Baksa, along Assam’s border with Bhutan, farmers have never seen their harvest ruined by drought or delayed rainfall, despite having no access to irrigation...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Traditional irrigation keeps water flowing in drought-hit India

BAKSA, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ask the farmers in remote Baksa district, in the northeast Indian state of Assam, whether they are affected by climate change and they usually respond with a look of surprise.
Read more [Reuters]

United Kingdom: Batten the hatches as summers to have more heavy downpours

Conversation: The state of the British summer has always been a constant source of fascination and irritation, if only for its fickle nature. Now the latest prediction is for more heavy summer downpours. Our study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows the first evidence that summer downpours in the UK could become heavier with climate change. We used a very high-resolution model more typically used for weather forecasting to study changes in hourly rainfall. Unlike current climate models, this...
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The future of food: a necessary road map from uniformity to diversity

Are you concerned about pesticides in your food? Are you wondering how we could switch to more ecological farming? Then you’ll be excited about this report. It’s by an independent group of experts on food security, agro-ecosystems and nutrition (the interntional Panel of Experts on Sustainable food systems, or iPES-food), and describes how to move from industrial agriculture to a sustainable, ecological food model. It’s a roadmap towards our sustainable food future. Here’s what they have to say:

Industrial agriculture threatens itself

Monocultures are good for one thing: producing a lot of the same on a large scale. Be it cows in feedlots, pigs in mega-stables, fields with soy or corn or orchards of apples and almonds, monocultures can only be maintained with toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or antibiotics. In their uniformity they are extremely vulnerable to so-called ‘stress factors’ such as pests, diseases and drought. This high-productivity impacts our farming ecosystem, be it polluting water, climate change, loss of pollinators (like bees), loss of fertile soils and a decrease of insects that control agricultural pests causing an even higher use of chemicals. In this industrial one-size-fits-all agriculture, chemicals rule the daily business of farmers.

Agricultural experts are ringing the alarm bells about the existential threat of this industrial food system to itself - it undermines the ecological basis it relies on and threatens our food security in the long run.

Working with nature, not against it

From the Netherlands to Brazil, from Ghana to China, farmers and communities are proving that farming based on working with nature, instead of against it — “agroecological farming”, or “ecological farming” — is feasible and the way to go. Agroecological models are not only protecting and fostering the ecological basis of farming and food production, such as enough clean water, fertile soils and ecosystem services like pollination, they provide farmers with a higher and more stable income. Farmers and farming are much more resilient to the effects of climate change, pests and diseases, and also market prices. If a farmer has a diversity of crops to rely on, low market price or a bad harvest of one specific crop is a manageable risk and not a cause for bankruptcy.

Industry perpetuated myths are blocking a food revolution

The facts are clear: Fair and sustainable food production today and tomorrow need a fundamental shift in the way we organise the food chain. Front-runners are successfully working with innovative new models of production. Community-supported agriculture initiatives are taking off, sales of organic products are increasing. Sustainable food is hip and happening. But why is it still perceived as a ‘niche market’? Why is the transition to ecological farming happening so slowly? The scientists conclude that there are powerful forces that keep us locked in the current situation.

Companies profiting from the industrial food model, such as pesticide producers and feed traders get no benefits from changing their production. Their core business is industrial agriculture. So they lobby against policies which could benefit diverse eco farming and restrict industrial production. The privatisation of research and technology development is also a problem. Agricultural universities are working with and for big business, and much less on ecological farming innovations. The reasoning is sad, but logical. Ecological farming means less profits for industry and big business.

How we, as a society, perceive our agriculture also blocks real change. After years of industry PR we believe that we need industrial agriculture to ‘feed the world’. While the truth is that it is exactly the opposite: in the long run, we cannot feed the world with industrial agriculture, because it’s destroying our soils, water and ecosystem services which food production relies on, while putting farmers in a stranglehold.

How can we then feed the world with fair and ecological food for all?

The iPES-Food report can be seen as a ‘roadmap’ for a sustainable food future. It shows the way for governments and business. Policies must restrict the worst practices of industrial agriculture immediately and promote ecological farming, which can be done by shifting agricultural subsidies, banning bee harming pesticides and deforestation, for example. Food producers should help shaping a new food future by ending the rat race for always cheaper and uniform food. Also, we, as consumers, need to tackle the problems related to industrial agriculture, by reducing our meat consumption or switching to organic food.

Only if all actors start working together can we move from uniformity to (bio)diversity on our fields and plates. See our vision for ecological farming and join the movement today!

Herman van Bekkem is an Ecological Farming Campaigner at Greenpeace Netherlands.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

Climate change campaigners welcome China's plan to halve meat consumption

Telegraph: Climate change campaigners have welcomed new guidelines which urge Chinese consumers to eat 50 per cent less meat, even though food experts say enticing the country's growing urban middle classes away from beef and pork will be a huge challenge. The Chinese Nutrition Society last month called on consumers to reduce the amount of animal-based food they eat from about 300 grams to 200 grams a day and their meat consumption from about 62 kg to 27 kg per year. The Beijing-backed health agency hopes...
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Beyond CO2: China Can Curb Its Other Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Nearly 30 % by 2030

Beyond CO2: China Can Curb Its Other Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Nearly 30 % by 2030Add Comment|PrintOne way China can curb non-CO2 emissions is by tackling methane emissions from rice fields and coal mines. Photo Credit: opalpeterliu via Compfight cc As the largest greenhouse gas emitting nation, China clearly needs to show strong leadership to avoid the worst global impacts of climate change. In recent years, China has taken positive steps to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. But...

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Read more [wri.org]

On climate change, rain forest: Asean youth take the challenge

Business Mirror: CLIMATE change affects people of all ages and races. It affects all living things in the world. Actually, threats of elimination of many living species have been evident, making international organizations to initiate mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), together with the Asian countries of Japan, China and South Korea, and Sweden, took students to a higher level of understanding and critical thinking to help save the rain forest from the effects...
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Study Revealed Both Humans and Climate Change Killed Off Ice Age Giants, But How?

Nature World: Patagonia in South America was once the home of Ice Age giants, like huge sloths, bears and saber-toothed cats. Suddenly, they all died at exactly the same time--around 12,300 years ago. A new study published in the journal Science Advances revealed that the species were killed off as a result of human activities and rapid climate change. Molecular biologist Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide said his team discovered that human hunting drove a swift blow to the populations of these Ice...
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Changing Winter Climate Causing Permafrost Below Shallow Arctic Lakes to Thaw

Nature World: A new study revealed that warmer winters and increasing snowfalls due to climate change is causing the permafrost below the shallow arctic lake. According to the study published in Geophysical Research Letters, changing winter climates over the last 30 years have limited the growth of seasonal sea ice, leading to warming of lakebed temperature of Arctic lakes less than 1 meter deep by 2.4 degree Celsius. This makes the annual lakebed temperature to be above the freezing point. This rate of...
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Climate change 'the key to megafauna extinction'

Cosmos: Bears the size of cars and savage sabre-toothed cats that ruled the plains of ice age Patagonia were no match for a fatal combination of humans and climate change that wiped them out about 12,300 years ago, according to a new study. But contrary to previous research, humans alone did not cause their downfall. The fossil record shows humans had been at Monte Verde, on the edge of Patagonia, from about 14,600 years ago. That means the South American megafauna had coexisted with humans for up to...
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New Climate Change and Global Warming Records Unprecedented

Business Times: Climate scientists are stunned at the latest findings that suggest the previous month May was the 13th month in a row to break previously held temperature records. Apart from the soaring heat recorded in February and March, alarm bells are ringing continuously in the form of extreme weather events, ranging from vanishing Arctic sea ice, droughts in India, the vast bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and flash floods in the UK and in Paris. "It is in my view highly unlikely that we would be...
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