• Coastal perilRising Seas Threaten Low-Lying Coastal Cities, 10 percent of World Population

    A new report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions finds that, because sea level rise exacerbates flooding and storm surge, it is a critical threat to urban coastal areas. More than 10 percent of the world’s population now resides in urban centers or quasi-urban clusters situated at less than 10 meters above sea level.

  • HurricanesHurricanes in U.S. Have Become Bigger, Stronger, More Destructive

    A new study shows that hurricanes have become more destructive since 1900, and the worst of them are more than three times as frequent now than 100 years ago. A new way of calculating the destruction, compensating for the societal change in wealth, unequivocally shows a climatic increase in the frequency of the most destructive hurricanes that routinely raise havoc on the North American south- and east coast.

  • Perspective: Climate emergencyHow Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong

    Few thought it would arrive so quickly. Now we’re facing consequences once viewed as fringe scenarios. Had a scientist in the early 1990s suggested that within 25 years a single heat wave would measurably raise sea levels, at an estimated two one-hundredths of an inch, bake the Arctic and produce Sahara-like temperatures in Paris and Berlin, the prediction would have been dismissed as alarmist. But many worst-case scenarios from that time are now realities.

  • Water securityPlants Demand More Water as Climate Warms, Leaving Less for People

    As climate changes, plants in North America, much of Eurasia, and parts of central and South America will consume more water than they do now, leading to less water for people, according to a new study. The research suggests a drier future despite anticipated increases in precipitation in populous parts of the United States and Europe that already face water stresses.

  • Climate crisisWorld Scientists Declare Climate Emergency

    A global coalition of scientists says “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without deep and lasting shifts in human activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other factors related to climate change. In a paper published in BioScience, the authors, along with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries, declare a climate emergency, present graphics showing trends as vital signs against which to measure progress, and provide a set of effective mitigating actions.

  • Perspective: Age of fireCalifornia Wildfires Signal the Arrival of a Planetary Fire Age

    Another autumn, more fires, more refugees and incinerated homes. For California, flames have become the colors of fall. Stephen Pyne writes that free-burning fire is the proximate provocation for the havoc, since its ember storms are engulfing landscapes. But in the hands of humans, combustion is also the deeper cause. Modern societies are burning lithic landscapes - once-living biomass now fossilized into coal, gas and oil - which is aggravating the burning of living landscapes. “Add up all the effects, direct and indirect – the areas burning, the areas needing to be burned, the off-site impacts with damaged watersheds and airsheds, the unraveling of biotas, the pervasive power of climate change, rising sea levels, a mass extinction, the disruption of human life and habitats – and you have a pyrogeography that looks eerily like an ice age for fire,” he writes. “You have a Pyrocene. The contours of such an epoch are already becoming visible through the smoke. If you doubt it, just ask California.”

  • Climate mitigationTechno-Fix Futures Will Only Accelerate Climate Chaos – Don’t Believe the Hype

    By Joanna Boehnert and Simon Mair

    Thanks to the efforts of climate activists, the climate and ecological emergency has never been more prominent. But acknowledging the problem is just a starting point. Now this momentum must be harnessed to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse habitat destruction.

  • Coastal challengesShould New York Build a Storm Surge Barrier?

    By Sarah Fecht

    It’s been seven years since Superstorm Sandy brought the city that never sleeps to a grinding halt. The Superstorm Sandy anniversary also marks seven years since New York started talking about building storm surge barriers to protect itself from future storms. At a recent event hosted by Columbia University, experts discussed a study that is evaluating the feasibility of building storm surge barriers around New York and New Jersey. The panelists also debated whether such a measure is a good idea.

  • Climate mitigationThe Hidden Politics of Climate Engineering

    At this point, the greatest danger of climate engineering may be how little is known about where countries stand on these potentially planet-altering technologies. Who is moving forward? Who is funding research? And who is being left out of the conversation?

  • Perspective: Climate refugeesHouse Democrats Set to Introduce First-of-Its-Kind Climate Refugee Bill

    Since 2008, catastrophic weather has displaced an average of 24 million people per year, according to data from the Swiss-based nonprofit Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. That number could climb to anywhere from 140 million to 300 million to 1 billion by 2050. The World Bank estimated last year that climate change effects in just three regions ― sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America ― could force 143 million people to flee by the middle of the century. House Democrats are set to introduce the first major piece of legislation to establish protections for migrants displaced by climate change, ramping up a push for a long-overdue framework for how the United States should respond to a crisis already unfolding on its shores.

  • Perspective: Climate & hybrid warHow Climate Change Will Help China and Russia Wage Hybrid War

    Americans and Europeans may not yet notice the existential threat climate change poses, but they had better pay attention to it. Their adversaries could use climate change as a new front in hybrid warfare. “In several African countries we’re already seeing rural settlements disrupted by development projects funded and executed by China,” Howard Jones, CEO of the Born Free Foundation. Told Defense One’s Elizabeth Braw. “Those projects include altering the flows of entire river systems and putting good land to use for export of food and resources to China. Put this together with climate change and pre-existing poverty and we have a huge problem. And why would China care?” Braw adds: “Indeed, China, Russia, and other hostile states can use climate change as a new tool in blended aggression (often called hybrid warfare) against the West.”

  • Climate threatsClimate change: Steep Warming Curve for Europe

    Climate is changing: Droughts, floods, and extreme weather events influence agriculture, economy, and society. Improved adaptability of industry and society to the future climate, however, requires reliable statements on medium-term climate development, in particular for certain regions. Researchers develop a new system for a more precise prognosis of the climate in the next ten years.

  • Climate threatsSeptember 2019 Tied as Hottest on Record for Planet

    The globe continued to simmer in exceptional warmth, as September 2019  tied with 2015 as the hottest September in NOAA’s 140-year temperature record. The month also capped off another warm year so far, with the globe experiencing its second-warmest January through September (YTD) ever recorded. Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to third-lowest for September.

  • FloodsWith Coastal Waters Rising: First-Ever National Assessment of FEMA Buyouts

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been offering voluntary buyout programs to homeowners in flood-prone neighborhoods since the 1980s. And with increasingly powerful storms battering coastlines and flooding becoming more ubiquitous after heavy rains, these programs and the idea of managed coastal retreat have continued to garner more and more attention. A new study is the first to examine nationwide data on FEMA’s buyout program.

  • Perspective: Mass migrationMass Migration from Africa Likely as U.K. Government Invests in Satellite Monitoring of Vulnerable Countries

    Climate change could bring mass migration from Africa and diseases, the U.K. Space Agency’s Chief Scientist has warned, as he said foreign aid was now being used to fund satellites which monitor vulnerable countries.

    Dr Chris Lee said global warming could lead to water shortages, droughts and famine, which could push vast numbers from their homes. In an effort to help countries prepare for climate change, the government has invested £150 million over five years to set up programs, under the name International Partnership Program (IPP) —  which can monitor sea-level rise, crop failure, natural disasters, deforestation, coastal erosion, oil spillages, water shortages, and predict tsunamis and storm surge flooding.