Global warming news

David Miliband says world refugee crisis to worsen with climate change

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A historic 52 million people are fleeing conflict worldwide, a trend that will intensify over the next two decades because of climate change, International Rescue Committee chief David Miliband said on Friday.








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Global Warming Update

March 2015 was the warmest March in a 136 years of records, and CO2 levels are now higher than they have been in 800,000 years. If you are an environmental activist, or someone who cares and wants to help, you may find yourself confronting a denialist campaign that sows doubt and confusion. Here is some useful information about the current state of global warming.

Farmer Zhang Dadi in his dry corn field in Mongolia. Global warming has stricken farmers around the world. © Qiu Bo / Greenpeace.

Doubt: Petroleum interests and paid denialist employ scientific doubt to rationalize non-action, but this is a trick. Scientific knowledge is built on doubt. Every process in nature involves multiple influences, no observer knows all the factors, and everything science knows is framed by a margin of doubt. Nevertheless, science has observed enough to know that global warming is real, and that the primary cause is human activity.

The fundamental hypothesis: In 1896, using known observations of energy radiance and conduction, Swedish chemist Svente Arrhenius introduced the fundamental postulate: "If the quantity of carbonic acid [CO2] increases … the temperature will increase." CO2 in the atmosphere absorbs reflected light, adding heat to the Earth system.

Greenhouse effect: Greenhouses store heat because light changes when reflected. Solar energy enters and passes through a greenhouse glass, or our atmosphere, at "short" wavelengths (0.1 - 4 microns or millionths of a meter). Once reflected, light is polarized and has a longer wavelength (4-50 microns). Carbon dioxide absorbs light at around 15-microns, other gases, such as methane, absorb at other wavelengths, and this absorbed light energy adds heat to the Earth system.

"Global warming" defined: Temperature is always fluctuating, but Climatologists have defined "Global warming" as a relatively large change in a short time, specifically: 0.4°C in one century. Earth's temperature has increased by 0.8°C in one century, a state of global warming. (Goddard)

Weather vs. Climate: Weather is local and short term; climate is regional or global, and long term. A cold winter is weather, and does not indicate the direction of climate change.

A thin border separates the Boreal Forest from an open-pit mine in Alberta, Canada's Tar Sands region. 09/15/2009 © Greenpeace / John Woods

Do humans contribute to global heating? Yes. We contribute to heating because we produce CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and because we reduce carbon-sequestering plant life. The tars sands in Canada does both, producing vast amounts of carbon while destroying forests.

Human carbon emissions. World carbon emissions through Fossil fuels, cement, land-use change, and other sources were about 1 billion tons / year a century ago. Those emissions are now about 10 billions tons / year (9.9 billion tons in 2013, CO2Now). You may hear of "carbon dioxide emissions" around 35 billions tons, and this is because a ton of carbon produces about three-and-a-half tons of CO2.

Rate of change: These emissions are now about 61% higher than they were in 1990 (the Kyoto Protocol reference year), and still increasing at about 2.5% per year, on track to double in 28 years.

Sources of CO2: Carbon emissions are dominated by China, the US, Europe, and now India. The primary sources are coal, oil, gas, and cement manufacturing. Meanwhile, carbon uptake by plant life is reduced through deforestation and ocean acidification.

CO2 in atmosphere: Before the industrial revolution, some two hundred years ago, atmospheric carbon-dioxide fluctuated around 280 parts per million (ppm). Today, by March 2015, CO2 has reached 401.5 ppm (Scripps), a 43% increase in two centuries.

Rate of CO2 increase has, itself, been accelerating. In the 1950s, atmospheric CO2 was increasing at about 0.5 ppm per year; by 1970, by 1 ppm per year, and is now increasing by 2.1 ppm / year.

Are humans the primary cause of global heating? Yes, this is extremely likely. For anything to heat or cool, a force is necessary, called a "radiative forcing," measured in watts per square meter, (w/m2). Smaller forcings include ozone, water vapour, carbon soot, sulfates, land use changes, Earth's albedo (reflective quality), and reduced ocean CO2 absorption due to acidic water. Intermittent volcanic aerosols have a cooling effect. These smaller forcings somewhat offeset each other. There are three larger forcings, shown here as changes between 1880 and 2011:

1. Human gases: + 3.10 w/m2 (heating)

2. Solar variations: + 0.12 w/m2 (heating)

3. Human aerosols: - 1.60 w/m2 (cooling)

This chart below (James Hansen, NASA) shows the result of adding all these forcings, large and small, heating and cooling: a + 1.5 w/m2 heating effect, primarily caused by human greenhouse gases. We do not know of any forcing greater than the human greenhouse gases, and to this we must add the human reduction in carbon-sequestering ground cover. If anyone believes there is a source of global heating greater than human activity, ask them to state what that forcing is. Of course, unknown factors may exist, but the available information shows us that humans stand out as the primary cause of modern global heating since 1750.

Feedback and runaway: The danger civilization faces is that we can easily lose control of global warming. The heating itself causes feedbacks within the ecological system, which in turn increase heating. These include:

1. Methane from melting permafrost, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

2. Albedo: Ice melt reduces reflection, and increases heat absorption.

3. Water Vapour: Warming adds moisture, a greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere.

4. Forest loss: Each year, we lose about 15 million hectares of forests.

5. Acidic seas: reduces aquatic life and carbon capture.

6. Fires: A hotter climate increases fires that release CO2 and reduce forest cover.

The effects: NASA, the UN, and scientific agencies around the world have observed and reported on the effects of global warming. The picture above (Justin Sullivan, Getty Images) shows the effects of drought on California's Lake Oroville. Here are some of the observed effects of global warming:

Heat: Earth's average temperature has increased by 0.8°C in one century.

Arctic: average temperature increase is about twice the global average.

Ocean temperature has increased to depths of 3,000 meters.

Rate of warming has nearly doubled in the last 100 years.

Warmest years: Of the last 12 years, 11 rank among the warmest since 1850.

Ice melt: Glaciers and polar ice melting in Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Sea level has risen about 20 cm in a century, and the rate of rise is increasing.

Extreme weather: more intense tropical storms, heat waves, drought.

Precipitation has increased in eastern Americas, northern Europe, and Asia.

Drying and drought in Southwest US, Mexico, Mediterranean, southern Africa.

Species: Diversity loss due to climate changes and habitat destruction.

Agriculture disruptions, such as reduced yields from warmer and wetter climates.

Ocean Acidification: The oceans are about 30% more acidic compared to the pre-industrial era, killing off sea life and reducing vital coral reef ecosystems.

Historic Climate Change: Denialists use past fluctuations to proclaim that modern warming is not caused by human activity, cherry-picking isolated data to misrepresent global warming. Here is a brief history of Earth's changing climate:

Young Earth: Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago as molten rock, and cooled over the next 3 billion years. Volcanoes released gases: hydrogen, carbon dioxide, sulfates, and nitrogen. Water condensed, bacteria formed, and photosynthesis produced oxygen, which poisoned bacteria, the first major extinction. This comprised about half of Earth's history.

First warming: About 2 billion years ago, some bacteria learned to breath oxygen; released CO2, and Earth heated up, the first global warming, and new extinctions.

Plant boom, 550-470 million years ago (mya): As CO2 increased and oxygen levels dropped, plant life recovered, captured carbon, and Earth cooled. Ninety percent of Earth's history had passed.

Animal boom, 450-350 mya: The plant die-off released CO2; fish, amphibians, and reptiles released more CO2; and Earth warmed.

Land plants, 385 - 265 mya: The boom in land plants captured carbon, and Earth cooled. This boom of life created the hydrocarbons, oil and coal, that we now burn.

Land animals, 265-65mya: Again, the plant die-off and animal boom released CO2, and Earth warmed. By 100mya, CO2 content reached 2,000 ppm, and the average temperature was about 11°C hotter than today.

Ice ages: 65 million years ago, an asteroid hit Earth near Yucatan, Mexico. Earth has generally cooled since then, punctuated by warming fluctuations and ice ages. Forests captured carbon, and humans evolved. By the time humans controlled fire, about 99.9% of Earth history had passed.

Modern warming: The chart above (ice core data, M. Ernst, Woods Hole Research Center), shows that for the last 400,000 years, Earth's temperature and CO2 levels have fluctuated in lock-step, CO2 levels between 200-300 ppm, and temperature between 9°C cooler and 3°C warmer than today. About 3,200 years ago, CO2 and temperature spiked, causing worldwide flooding as recorded in human cultural stories. About 300 years ago, industrial advancement increased coal and oil use, releasing CO2, and heating Earth. CO2 levels have now reached 400ppm, and temperatures have risen almost 1°C. The data suggests that Earth may be headed for severe temperature increases, due to this CO2 build up in the atmosphere.

The Future: If humans act wisely — if we reduce consumption, stabilize population, and abandon hydrocarbon energy — we could reverse the modern warming that we have set in motion. If we fail, we face runaway heating.

A 2009 MIT study estimated that there is now a 90% chance that by 2100, CO2 levels will reach 550ppm and Earth's temperature will reach 5.2°C above pre-industrial temperatures.

At those temperatures, melting permafrost will release enough methane to send Earth into a Mesozoic-scale heating, as Earth experienced a hundred-million years ago. Organisms could live in that environment, but humans would have a difficult time, so say the least. Sea rise will wipe out thousands of cities and displace billions of people. Few really want to face this. I do not enjoy writing about it. Avoidance, denial, despair, and anger are completely natural reactions.

Nevertheless, to avoid these outcomes, caring citizens must speak up and help inspire the large-scale and realistic actions that will reverse carbon release into Earth's atmosphere and halt the warming trend.

Rex Weyler is an author, journalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International.

Additional sources:

Human greenhouse gas forcing: David Biello, in Scientific American, Nov. 30, 2009: www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=what-explains-past-climate-change-09-11-26; Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate (1979): "Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment." US National Academy of Sciences: www.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/download/charney_report.pdf. V. Ramanathan, M.S. Lian, and R.D. Cess (1979): "Increased Atmospheric CO2 .. Radiative Energy Balance and Surface Temperature."

Agriculture disruptions, Example: coffee yields in Columbia; NY Times (March 9, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/science/earth/10coffee.html.

Global Temperature: Columbia University: Global Temperature and Temperature 2014-15

Sea Rise: By 2100: 0.5 - 1.2 meters: IPPC 2013; Changing rate: Columbia Univ.

Runaway warming: Rapid, non-linear change: R. Jones, Victoria Univ.

       Abrupt Non-Linear Climate Change: S. Schneider, OECD

Ocean Acidification: InterAcademy Panel, 105 science academies recommended CO2 emissions reduced by 50% from 1990 levels by 2050.

Recent News Articles:

Heat Wave Deaths in India

New Arctic Ice Mass Destabilized

California Redwoods Stressed by Drought

Insurance Company Divests Coal Due to Global Warming


Read more [Greenpeace international]

Freedom and liberty should not be red flags for climate science denial, but they are

Guardian: You can play one of those fun bingo games with anyone that reckons climate change science is all bunk, is a conspiracy or can be easily ignored and pushed down the list of priorities. Here’s what you do. First you need to wait until time you’re about to read an opinion column or listen to a speech from one of the usual suspects (good candidates include Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s business advisor Maurice Newman or anyone speaking at an event for a ‘free market’ think tank anywhere...
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Poor nations waiting for deal on climate, says French minister

Guardian: Developing countries are “waiting to see” what rich nations will offer them in global warming talks, the French minister of environment has said, ahead of crunch negotiations to be hosted in Paris later this year. Ségolène Royal, the environment minister and former presidential candidate, will play a leading role in the United Nations conference in December as the French government is working to produce a new “Paris protocol” that would determine the future of global action on climate change for...
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Texas floods reveal climate change irony

Town Talk: From devastating droughts to flash floods, it seems that Texas can't get a break from extreme weather associated with climate change. Emerging recently from a multiyear record-breaking drought, with reservoirs at near record lows, now the state is suffering from flooding and record precipitation. We are entering a new normal. Texas is definitely being messed with. Texas is witnessing an increase in extreme high temperatures. That means more hot days and heat waves, which make illness, death and...
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Obama’s storm warning: Climate change make hurricanes more powerful and destructive

Salon: President Obama headed down to Miami Thursday, where he visited the National Hurricane Center, did some science and issued a stern warning about the risks climate change poses - to the low-lying coastal city, especially. “The best climate scientists in the world are telling us that extreme weather events like hurricanes are likely to become more powerful," Obama said, according to the Hill. "When you combine stronger storms with rising seas, that’s a recipe for more devastating floods." He...
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Financial markets ignore climate impacts at their peril: experts

BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Financial markets have yet to grasp the urgency of investing in measures to protect businesses and people from the worsening impacts of climate change, depriving those efforts of much-needed funds, climate finance experts said.








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Climate Change: Ancient Warming Interrupted Significant Cold Snap

Nature World: This revelation, described in the journal Geology, may help improve prognoses of future climate and environmental development as well as the assessment of human influence on climate change. During the Cretaceous period, which was one of the warmest times in Earth's history, the poles were devoid of ice and average ocean temperatures in the Atlantic reached up to a sweltering 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). "A typical greenhouse climate; some even refer to it as a 'super greenhouse,'"...
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Allergies: Europe's ragweed pollen counts to quadruple by 2050?

ScienceDaily: Airborne concentrations of common ragweed pollen, a potent allergen, could increase fourfold in Europe by 2050. Researchers believe climate change will be responsible for two thirds of this increase, while the remainder will be due to the plant's spread, as a result of human activity. These estimates by researchers from the CNRS, CEA, INERIS and RNSA , in collaboration with several European institutes, show that it is now necessary to implement coordinated management of this invasive plant on the...
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Do We Need To Go Nuclear On Climate Change?

Forbes: “Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time,” Yukiya Amano, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, told French ministers at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday. “As governments around the world prepare to negotiate a legally binding, universal agreement on climate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year, it is important that the contributions that nuclear science and technology can make to combating climate change are...
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Extreme global warming of Cretaceous punctuated significant global cooling

ScienceDaily: Scientists at the Goethe University Frankfurt and at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre working together with their Canadian counterparts, have reconstructed the climatic development of the Arctic Ocean during the Cretaceous period, 145 to 66 million years ago. The research team comes to the conclusion that there was a severe cold snap during the geological age known for its extreme greenhouse climate. The study published in the professional journal Geology is also intended...
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France ready to step in if UN climate talks stall, says top diplomat

Guardian: France will produce its own text for a global climate change agreement if countries taking part in UN negotiations fail to cut the current 90-page document down to size. The host of this year’s UN summit, where an emissions cutting pact between nearly 200 countries is set to be finalised, wants a shorter document by the end of the summer. “We have to get a simpler text by June or the latest by the end of August to work with it,” France’s top climate diplomat Laurence Tubiana told RTCC, speaking...
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Canada must deal with tar sands emissions, says Clinton campaign chief

Guardian: Canada faces a widening rift with America over climate change unless it deals with “excessive emissions” from the Alberta tar sands, according to a trusted adviser to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. John Podesta told the Guardian that Canada must do more to compensate for its exploitation of the carbon intensive tar sands ahead of a critical conference in Paris aimed at reaching an international agreement to fight climate change. Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has championed...
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Across U.S., heaviest downpours on the rise

Climate Central: Record-breaking rain across Texas and Oklahoma this week caused widespread flooding, the likes of which the region has rarely, if ever, seen. For seven locations there, May 2015 has seen the most rain of any month ever recorded, with five days to go and the rain still coming. While rainfall in the region is consistent with the emerging El Niño, the unprecedented amounts suggest a possible climate change signal, where a warming atmosphere becomes more saturated with water vapor and capable of previously...
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Tom Steyer aims get GOP candidates ‘on the record’ on climate

Hill: Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer said he does not support any of the Republican candidates for president but that it’s still important to get involved in the primary campaign. Steyer told Gwen Ifill of PBS "NewsHour" that he would be thrilled if a Republican candidate ended up being stronger than a Democrat on the climate change and energy issues that he cares about, but none of the declared or potential candidates in the GOP field for 2016 have indicated as much. But “we’re seeing the...
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Norway oil fund to slash coal investments

Associated Press: Norway's parliamentary parties have agreed that the country's $900 billion sovereign wealth fund should stop investing in coal companies because of their impact on climate change. Under new rules to be presented by Parliament's finance committee on Thursday, the fund - also known as the oil fund - would exclude companies that get at least 30 percent of their revenue from mining coal or burning it. The move is expected to be formally approved by the full Parliament on June 5 because both government...
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Global finance must face climate challenge

Eco-Business: The world's financial system must undergo comprehensive change by 2035 if humanity is to make the transition needed to reduce the threat of dangerous climate change, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, on an inquiry into aligning the financial system with sustainable development, says finance must be focused on moving investments into low-carbon projects. It quotes World Bank estimates that investments of more than US$90 trillion will be...
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Plankton trawl reveals ten times species

SciDevNet: The number of known plankton species floating in our oceans has increased ten-fold thanks to an international study aiming to understand the impact of climate change. Scientists from the Tara Oceans initiative say that this is a first step towards cataloguing the full diversity of marine life, which could in turn help to predict how stocks of fish and other marine resources will be affected in a warmer world. Plankton is crucial to climate modelling, because phytoplankton, tiny plant organisms,...
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Climate Change a Factor in Texas Floods, Largely Ignored

Texas Tribune: Climate change is taking a toll on Texas, and the devastating floods that have killed at least 15 people and left 12 others missing across the state are some of the best evidence yet of that phenomenon, state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said in an interview Wednesday. "We have observed an increase of heavy rain events, at least in the South-Central United States, including Texas," said Nielsen-Gammon, who was appointed by former Gov. George W. Bush in 2000. "And it's consistent with what...
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Texas flooding puts Cruz, GOP in bind climate change

CNN: The heavy flooding that's overwhelmed Texas and killed more than 30 people has put Sen. Ted Cruz in a bind on climate change. The Republican presidential contender has held two press conferences over the past two days to address the flooding and the government's response. At each one, he was asked about the impact of climate change on natural disasters like the Texas flooding, and at each one, he dodged the question. "In a time of tragedy, I think it's wrong to try to politicize a natural disaster...
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Exxon, Chevron holders say 'no' to adding climate experts to boards

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Shareholders of the top two U.S. oil companies on Wednesday rejected proposals to add directors with climate change expertise to their boards, but a measure passed at one, Chevron Corp, could give new power to minority investors with environmental concerns.








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Climate Change Could Melt Everest Region’s Glaciers

Climate Central: The Dudh Koshi basin spans 1 million acres and includes some of world's tallest peaks including Mount Everest. Glaciers tumble down from the highest reaches to the valleys below, shaping the landscape and culture of the region. But climate change has the region primed for a major meltdown. A new study published in The Cryosphere shows that by 2100, the jagged tongues of ice that define the region could shrink by 70 percent or greater as the region warms. More than a bucket list item for mountaineers,...
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Scientists warn Everest glaciers at risk of disappearing

Agence France-Presse: Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink at least 70 percent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change, scientists warned on Wednesday. Researchers in Nepal, the Netherlands and France studied weather patterns on the roof of the world and then created a model of conditions on Everest to determine the future impact of rising temperatures on its glaciers. "The worst-case scenario shows a 99 percent loss in glacial mass... but even if we start to slow...
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10 Steps to Achieve the US Emissions-Reduction Target

The United States is the largest economy and the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so the world can’t avoid the worst impacts of climate change without U.S. leadership. The Obama administration stepped up to this challenge by setting a goal to reduce U.S. emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. So is this target achievable? Our new study finds that it’s possible for the country to meet this target even without Congressional action, but only if it...

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World has no choice but to decarbonize: U.N. climate chief

BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Responding to climate change in the next 15 years is the world's "mega development project", given the need to invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure, creating jobs and economic stability, the United Nations' top climate change official said on Tuesday.

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Addressing Global Warming Claims

Dissident Voice: Unless you are a new arrival from another planet, you have probably heard or read at least one of the following claims (among other possibilities): Global warming is occurring--or, conversely, is not occurring. (Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has, for example, referred to global warming believers as “alarmists,” and has “compared people who think that the climate is warming to ‘flat-Earthers’ and described himself as a modern-day Galileo in an interview with the Texas Tribune.”) Global warming...
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Morocco's majestic cedars threatened by climate change

Agence France-Presse: The cedar tree, considered by many to be Morocco's national treasure, is coming under attack from climate change, greedy humans who indulge in illegal logging, and monkeys. The noble conifer Cedrus Atlantica covers about 134,000 hectares (330,000 acres) of the North African country. Although less well-known than its Lebanese cousin Cedrus Libani, the Moroccan cedar is still a potent symbol of national pride. The cedars cover vast stretches of Morocco's mountainous Middle Atlas, near the town of...
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U.S., Canada and Mexico create new climate change partnership

OTTAWA (Reuters) - North American energy ministers said on Monday they had set up a working group on climate change and energy, a partnership designed to help Canada, the United States and Mexico harmonize policies.

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U.S., Canada & Mexico create new climate change partnership

Reuters: North American energy ministers said on Monday they had set up a working group on climate change and energy, a partnership designed to help Canada, the United States and Mexico harmonize policies. The partnership does not include binding targets, but will enhance cooperation and integrate more climate change-related policies into energy discussions between the countries, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said during a conference call. All three governments said they will prioritize...
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Probing climate change winners, losers among state's wildlife

Worcester Telegram: Will there be a time when the state’s official bird will be driven out of the commonwealth because it will no longer be able to survive in a changing climate? In a 2008 paper on the possible changes to our environment caused by climate change, John A. O’Leary, assistant director of wildlife for the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the agency’s Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator, posed that question. “We at Fisheries and Wildlife have a duty to protect wildlife and address...
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World leaders missed chance to tackle climate change, says economist

Guardian: World leaders missed the perfect opportunity to tackle climate change during the global economic crisis, according to the influential economist and academic Lord Stern. The author of the seminal 2006 Stern review on the economics of climate change also criticised what he called a strange and anti-science wing of the Conservative party for putting the brakes on their leaders making progress on the issue in the UK. Stern told an audience at the Hay festival the economic and technological conditions...
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Study: Europeans to suffer more ragweed with global warming

Associated Press: Global warming will bring much more sneezing and wheezing to Europe by mid-century, a new study says. Ragweed pollen levels are likely to quadruple for much of Europe because warmer temperatures will allow the plants to take root more, and carbon dioxide will make them grow more, says a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. Other factors not related to man-made climate change will also contribute. Ragweed isn't native to Europe, but was imported from America in the late...
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Global Warming Biggest Risk to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Sputnik: Global warming poses the greatest risk to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world, the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt, said Monday. "Climate change is the single biggest long-term risk to the reef," Reichelt told a parliamentary inquiry hearing, days before United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization makes a decision on whether the reef will be placed on the "endangered list," as quoted by Financial Review....
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UN chief seeks 'global action' on climate change this year

Agence France-Presse: UN chief Ban Ki-Moon on Monday called for "global action" this year to limit climate change as international weather experts began a quadrennial congress in Geneva. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) meeting comes ahead of a key conference in Paris at the end of the year which will be the first attempt to clinch a planet-wide deal on global warming since the near-disastrous 2009 UN summit in Copenhagen. The Paris accord, which would take effect from 2020, would aim at limiting global warming...
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Ireland should lead way climate smart farming, says ecology expert

Irish Times: Ireland should become a global leader in encouraging countries to produce more food in a sustainable way while reducing emissions, climate change expert Bruce Campbell has said. Dr Campbell said he believed no country was taking the need for emissions reductions seriously but soon they would have no choice. “We’re essentially on target for a four degree-warmer world at the moment and it’s going to make some parts of the world unlivable. For example, sub-Saharan Africa is going to be in real trouble...
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Officials will evaluate impacts of Colowyo Mine

Denver Post: Federal mining officials are moving ahead with a new environmental assessment on coal mining operations at the Colowyo Mine near Craig, including the impacts of greenhouse gases on climate change. On May 8, a federal district court ruling found the environmental assessment done in 2006 for the expansion of the mine on federal lands was insufficient. Judge R. Brooke Jackson gave the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement 120 days to address the issues. One of the major deficiencies...
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Paris can't be another Copenhagen

New York Times: As a former prime minister of Australia, I understand something of the political costs leaders must bear in aiming to reconcile the long-term interests of the planet with short-term national interests. After attending the 2009 Copenhagen summit on climate change, I was attacked back home for either doing too much or too little in trying to bring about a binding global agreement. We all failed at Copenhagen, though not for want of effort from many of us. The United Nations conference in Paris...
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What impact will climate change have on Scotland?

Scotsman: While climate change is no longer news to anyone, it can seem like an arbitrary concept; a term bandied about by politicians and cited by campaigners. But its effects, caused by all of us, will be felt by all of us. Scotland -- its wildlife and landscapes -- is already experiencing the consequences of our changing climate, and we are only likely to see more of these if the changes continue at their current rate. Here are some of the ways Scotland will feel the impact. Coastal habitats could be lost...
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Australia: Great Barrier Reef's 'single biggest risk' climate change

Financial Review: The chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt, says climate change posed the biggest risk to the long-term future of the reef but said he believed there was enough government funding at the moment to tackle the problem. Just days before UNESCO will make its decision on whether the Great Barrier Reef will be placed on the "endangered" list, Dr Reichelt said he was encouraged by the $140 million in extra funding from the federal government to improve water quality...
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France's biggest insurer Axa axes coal investments

Sydney Morning Herald: France's largest insurer will scrap holdings in coal companies because of concerns about climate change, broadening support for the fossil-fuel divestment movement to a major mainstream investor. Axa SA Chief Executive Officer Henri de Castries said he's working to sell 500 million euros ($702 million) of coal assets and triple "green investments" to 3 billion euros by 2020. He joined investors in Paris saying companies must act to contain global warming. "There is one thing which is absolutely...
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John McCain mocks Obama for calling climate change a threat as Isis advances

Guardian: Senator John McCain on Sunday attacked the president for citing climate change as a threat to national security, suggesting that the Obama administration’s focus on environmental issues was detracting from the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. The comments by the Senate armed services committee chairman were part of a rotating blame game over the Memorial Day weekend about who is responsible for recent gains by Isis fighters, who last week took control of the ancient Syrian...
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Catholics Organize to Promote Pope's Climate Change Message

Associated Press: There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. When Pope Francis releases his much-anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks, a network of Roman Catholics will be ready. These environmental advocates — who work with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities and lay movements — have been preparing for months to help maximize the effect of the statement, hoping...
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Pope Francis to issue decree on faith, climate

USA Today: When the Rev. Gary Padgett plans to speak on the politically charged issue of climate change to a Catholic congregation, he undertakes a delicate process. He said he avoids "talking points," keeps language ambiguous and tries to show how care for what he describes as God's creation is relevant to people's lives and faith. "I am thinking how am I going to craft my message so that it can be heard," said Padgett, the former Ascension parish priest who now heads the St. James and St. Brigid parishes...
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Jeb Bush finds new ways to be inaccurate about global warming 2016 race

Mashable: What is it with Florida Republicans and global warming? The state that has the most at stake in the near future from global warming-related sea level rise -- with at least $145 billion in property value precariously lying less than 3 feet above the high-tide line -- has a knack for producing politicians who deny the mainstream findings tying the vast majority of recent global warming to manmade emissions of greenhouse gases. The latest Florida politician to stake out a skeptical position is...
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The danger of climate denial

Baltimore Sun: It's Memorial Day, and the forecast is for renewed mocking and derision regarding man-made climate change from the know-nothing, science-averse wing of the Republican Party. President Barack Obama's warning - issued during his commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation ceremonies Wednesday - that climate change represents a national security threat seems certain to provoke that kind of stormy reaction. For those who actually serve in the military, however, the response is...
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Fossil-fuel divestment gains momentum with Axa selling coal

Bloomberg: France’s largest insurer will scrap holdings in coal companies because of concerns about climate change, broadening support for the fossil-fuel divestment movement to a major mainstream investor. Axa SA Chief Executive Officer Henri de Castries said he’s working to sell 500 million euros ($559 million) of coal assets and triple “green investments” to 3 billion euros by 2020. He joined investors in Paris saying companies must act to contain global warming. “There is one thing which is absolutely...
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Japan Pledges Climate Change Aid to Pacific Island Nations

ABC: Japan is giving 55 billion yen ($450 million) in climate change and disaster aid to Pacific island nations, an effort to beef up its profile in the region. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the pledge at a meeting with Pacific island nations in Iwaki in northern Japan on Saturday. The assistance will be doled out over three years to help fight climate change and natural disasters. Japan will also help with expert exchanges and training. The island nations include Fiji, the Marshall Islands,...
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Japan to give $400 mn Pacific islands to fight climate change

Economic Times: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday pledged $453 million in aid to Pacific island nations to help them combat climate change and natural disasters. Abe made the pledge as leaders of 14 Pacific island nations gathered for a two-day meeting, which began on Friday in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, to discuss their development needs. "As a pledge of the Japanese government, we will provide no less than 55 billion yen ($453 million) to you in the upcoming three years ... in order to foster...
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Climate Change Is Killing Agriculture As We Know It

Gothamist: If we don't drown or suffocate first, it's a very real possibility that life on earth will starve to death as climate change ravages planet Earth. Though it serves as the background story for Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar, the agricultural implications of climate change haven't been the face of the planetary event--polar bears are much cuter, of course--but a new documentary film from Academy Award-winning director Sandy McLeod aims to change that, bringing the human toll of drought and crop...
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Huge Insurance Company Cites Climate Change As Reason For Divesting From Coal

ThinkProgress: Citing climate change as a major threat, one of the world’s largest insurance companies has pledged to drop its remaining investment in coal assets while tripling its investment in green technologies. At a business and climate change conference held this week in Paris, AXA — France’s largest insurer — announced that it would sell €500 million ($559 million) in coal assets by the end of 2015, while increasing its “green investments” in things like renewable energy, green infrastructure, and green...
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