• Climate threatsAustralia: Grim Story of Heat, Drought and Fire

    Record hot weather, drought and a devastating bushfire season in 2019 damaged our environment and natural resources on an unprecedented scale, according to the annual Australia’s Environment Report. “Last year was just another step down on the continuing descent into an ever more dismal future - unless we finally take serious action,” said the lead author of the report.

  • Energy securityReducing U.S. Fossil-Fuel Dependence: Left, Right Agree on Goal, Differ on Means

    Both sides of the political spectrum recognize a need to reduce American dependence on carbon-based energy sources, but how the nation does so remains a divisive issue, a new study found.

  • Food securityImpact of a Second Dust Bowl Would Be Felt Worldwide

    The American Dust Bowl of the 1930s - captured by the novels of John Steinbeck - was an environmental and socio-economic disaster that worsened the Great Depression. The Dust Bowl was an extreme event. But due to climate change, massive crop failures are more likely to happen again in the future. A catastrophic shock to U.S. agriculture would deplete reserves, including those of other countries.

  • Energy securityCoal Developers Risk $600 Billion As Renewables Outcompete Worldwide

    Coal developers risk wasting more than $600 billion because it is already cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables than from new coal plants in all major markets, the financial think tank Carbon Tracker warns in a new report. The report also finds that over 60 percent of global coal power plants are generating electricity at higher cost than it could be produced by building new renewables. By 2030 at the latest it will be cheaper to build new wind or solar capacity than continue operating coal in all markets.

  • Climate crisisEarth Just Had Its 2nd-Hottest February on Record

    The planet sweated it out again last month, as February 2020 ranked as the second-hottest February in the 141-year global climate record. In addition, meteorological winter hardly made an appearance in large parts of the Northern Hemisphere, as both Europe and Asia recorded their warmest winters ever.

  • WildfiresAustralia’s Bushfires “Made 30% More Likely by Climate Change”

    The World Weather Attribution (WWA) initiative has released the first analysis of the role climate change played in the 2019-2020 bushfire season in South-Eastern Australia, which showed that the risk of intense fire weather has increased by 30 percent since 1900 as a result of anthropogenic climate change.

  • Climate crisisWe Climate Scientists Won’t Know Exactly How the Crisis Will Unfold Until it’s Too Late

    By Wolfgang Knorr and Will Steffen

    When we hold on to things for too long, change can come about abruptly and even catastrophically. While this will ring true for many from personal experience, similar things can happen at large scales as well. Indeed, the history of Earth’s climate and ecosystems is punctuated by frequent large-scale disruptive events.

  • Climate challengesMore Accurate Climate Change Model Reveals Bleaker Outlook on Electricity, Water Use

    By 2030, global warming alone could push Chicago to generate 12 percent more electricity per person each month of the summer. If the city generated any less electricity, it would be risking a power shortage that may require drastic measures to avoid rolling blackouts, according to projections from a model designed by Purdue University researchers.

  • ResilienceBuilding a Flood Resilient Future

    By Tom Almeroth-Williams

    Seven of the United Kingdom’s ten wettest years on record have occurred since 1998. Its wettest winter in history came in 2013, and the next wettest in 2015. In a single week in November 2019, 400 homes were flooded and 1,200 properties evacuated in northern England. The frequency and severity of these events is expected to increase as a result of climate change, meaning that many more communities will suffer their devastating effects. A new book shows how we can adapt the built and natural environment to be more flood resilient in the face of climate change.

  • Climate & businessExtreme Weather Events Could Bring Next Recession

    Physical climate risk from extreme weather events remains unaccounted for in financial markets. Without better knowledge of the risk, the average energy investor can only hope that the next extreme event won’t trigger a sudden correction, according to new research. Experts say that the market needs to plan for weather risk, or face extreme correction.

  • Climate & securityClimate Change Poses “High-to-Catastrophic” Security Threats to U.S. Security: Experts

    A comprehensive report finds that plausible climate change trajectories pose “High-to-Catastrophic” threats to U.S. national security. An expert panel analyzed the globe through the lens of the U.S. Geographic Combatant Commands, and concluded that “Even at scenarios of low warming, each region of the world will face severe risks to national and global security in the next three decades. Higher levels of warming will pose catastrophic, and likely irreversible, global security risks over the course of the twenty-first century.”

  • Climate & securityA Military Perspective on Climate Change Could Bridge the Gap Between Believers and Doubters

    By Michael Klare

    As experts warn that the world is running out of time to head off severe climate change, discussions of what the U.S. should do about it are split into opposing camps. The scientific-environmental perspective says global warming will cause the planet severe harm without action to slow fossil fuel burning. Those who reject mainstream climate science insist either that warming is not occurring or that it’s not clear human actions are driving it. With these two extremes polarizing the American political arena, climate policy has come to a near standstill. But as I argue in my new book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, the U.S. armed forces offer a third perspective that could help bridge the gap.

  • Water securityArid American West is Moving East as Groundwater Depletes

    Loss of groundwater may accelerate drying trends in the eastern United States, according to research that applied supercomputing to create an in-depth model of how groundwater will respond to warming. Even under modest climate warming scenarios, the continental United States faces a significant loss of groundwater – about 119 million cubic meters, or roughly enough to fill Lake Powell four times or one quarter of Lake Erie.

  • Coastal challengesSea Level Rise to Cause Major Economic Impact If No Climate Action Is Taken

    Rising sea levels, a direct impact of the Earth’s warming climate, is intensifying coastal flooding. The findings of a new study show that the projected negative economy-wide effects of coastal flooding are already significant until 2050, but are then predicted to increase substantially towards the end of the century if no further climate action on mitigation and adaptation is taken.

  • Climate & healthChildren to Bear the Burden of Negative Health Effects from Climate Change

    Climate change will have grim effects on pediatric health, researchers say. The effects of climate change increase mortality and morbidity due to heat waves and fires, increased risk of food- and water-borne illnesses, and malnutrition due to food scarcity. These negative experiences bring with them psychological trauma and mental health issues that can affect both children and their caretakers.