IMF

2016 Global Heatwaves due to Climate Change #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol #OnePlanet

Global heat waves in 2016 due purely to climate change: study

The findings mark the first time that global scientists have identified severe weather that could not have happened without climate change, said the peer-reviewed report titled “Explaining Extreme Events in 2016 from a Climate Perspective.”

Until now, the contribution of human-driven climate change has been understood to raise the odds of certain floods, droughts, storms and heat waves — but not serve as the sole cause.

“This report marks a fundamental change,” said Jeff Rosenfeld, editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, which published the peer-reviewed report.

“For years scientists have known humans are changing the risk of some extremes. But finding multiple extreme events that weren’t even possible without human influence makes clear that we’re experiencing new weather, because we’ve made a new climate.”

The report included 27 peer-reviewed analyses of extreme weather across five continents and two oceans.

A total of 116 scientists from 18 countries took part, incorporating historical observations and model simulations to determine the role of climate change in nearly two dozen extreme events.

Records shattered

In 2016, the planet reached a new high for global heat, making it the warmest year in modern times.

These record average surface temperatures worldwide were “only possible due to substantial centennial-scale anthropogenic warming,” said the report.

Asia also experienced stifling heat, with India suffering a major heat wave that killed 580 people from March to May.

Thailand set a new record for energy consumption as people turned on air conditioners en masse to cool off.

Even though the tropical Pacific Ocean warming trend of El Nino was pronounced in 2015 and the first part of 2016, researchers concluded that it was not to blame.

“The 2016 extreme warmth across Asia would not have been possible without climate change,” said the report.

“Although El Nino was expected to warm Southeast Asia in 2016, the heat in the region was unusually widespread.”

In the Gulf of Alaska, the nearby Bering Sea, and off northern Australia, water temperatures were the highest in 35 years of satellite records.

This ocean warming led to “massive bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and one of the largest harmful algal blooms ever off the Alaska shore,” according to the report.

“It was extremely unlikely that natural variability alone led to the observed anomalies.”

Another chapter found that the so-called “blob” of sub-Arctic 2016 warmth “cannot be explained without anthropogenic climate warming.”

Most, not all

Most of the extreme events studied were influenced to some extent by climate change, as in the past six years that the work has been published.

Climate change was found to have boosted the odds and intensity of El Nino, the severity of coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef, and warmth in the North Pacific Ocean.

Flash droughts over southern Africa, like the one in 2015 and 2016, have tripled in the last 60 years mainly due to human-caused climate change, it said.

“Extreme rains, like the record-breaking 2016 event in Wuhan, China are 10 times more likely in the present climate than they were in 1961.”

The unusual Arctic warmth observed in November–December 2016 “most likely would not have been possible without human-caused warming,” it added.

But not all extreme weather was influenced by global warming.

About 20 percent of the events studied were not linked to human-caused climate change, including a major winter snowstorm in the Mid-Atlantic United States, and the drought that led to water shortages in northeast Brazil.

The findings were released at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans.

Press link for more: SBS.COM.AU

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Planetary Prosperity Means Zero Carbon #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol #OnePlanetSummit

PLANETARY PROSPERITY MEANS ZERO CARBON

DR.MATHIS WACKERNAGEL – CEO OF GLOBAL FOOTPRINT NETWORK on December 12, 2017

Mother Nature seems to be in full revolt.

A stone’s throw from the city of Oakland, where Global Footprint Network is based, the seasonal Diablo winds recently reached record intensity, fanning the worst fires that the famous wine-producing region of Napa has known, reducing to ashes vineyards and residential neighbourhoods, and pushing tens of thousands of inhabitants on the roads.

Now Santa Ana winds are wreaking similar havoc in Southern California, causing more evacuations and burning more structures.

On the other side of the continent, the Caribbean islands most affected by the hurricanes of the last weeks – Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy and Puerto Rico in front – face a tremendous reconstruction project, needing to rebuild access to safe water and electricity.

The time is not for discouragement or defeatism.

More than ever, it is evident that every human community must do its utmost to keep pace with the planet that is hosting us.

The time for transformation is now.

Humanity is not idle.

The root causes are recognized.

On December 12, we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, when world leaders came together to commit to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and strive for 1.5 degrees.

Although President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the agreement, leaders around the world are standing firm.

In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and UN Secretary António Guterres will gather at the One Planet Summit on December 12 to call for concrete action.

Similarly, I am among 31 Blue Planet Laureates who not only want to mark this important anniversary but also remind the world that the climate agreement is achievable and desirable.

We have summarized our position as follows:

Planetary Prosperity Means Zero Carbon

The resource hunger of the human enterprise has become too large for our planet.

The Paris Climate Agreement recognizes this. It aims to limit global warming to less than 2°C above the preindustrial level.

This means ceasing fossil-fuel use before 2050, increasing ecosystem and biodiversity conservation, and improving human well-being.

We, Blue Planet Laureates, wholeheartedly and emphatically support this transformation.

It is technologically possible, economically beneficial, and our best chance for a prosperous future.

Our planet is finite. But human possibilities are not. The transformation will succeed if we apply people’s greatest strengths: foresight, innovation, and care for each other.

Examples across the globe show positive results.

Cities like Zurich, Curitiba, Malmö, Masdar, and Reykjavik have shown leadership. Regions have taken charge, including California, where Gov. Jerry Brown will convene the Global Action Climate Summit next year.

China has made creating an Ecological Civilization in harmony with nature a priority in its latest 5-year plan.

France and the UK have announced the end of fossil fuel cars by 2040, and Tesla surpassed General Motors earlier this year to become the most valuable US auto maker – without ever building a gasoline-powered car.

Other companies such as Schneider Electric thrive on driving down their clients’ carbon emissions and costs. Achieving Paris is possible.

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of this transformation is sparking the imagination of people around the world and making them realize that a zero-carbon world is much more likely to secure long-term prosperity than continuing our destructive path.

We also need to start to recognize that this transformation primarily builds on foresight and innovation, not sacrifice and suffering.

Even with the UN projecting world population growth of 13 percent by 2030 and 28 percent by 2050, flourishing lives on this one planet are possible through walkable cities that are renewably powered and sustainably fed.

Encouraging smaller families and empowering women around the world will also produce immediate positive health and educational outcomes for those families.

Such steps will also substantially reduce the carbon footprint and ease the resource budget for each country in the long run. Indeed, ‘family planning’ and ‘educating girls’ rank sixth and seventh in Project Drawdown’s ranking of solutions to reverse global warming.

We stand for one-planet prosperity. ‘One planet’ means that we recognize the physical context of our economies. ‘Prosperity’ means that we choose flourishing lives over misery. Will you join us?

Press link for more: Impakter.com

Top economists call for an end to fossil fuel investment! #StopAdani #Auspol #BeatPollution

Declaration on Climate Finance

In advance of French President Macron’s climate and finance summit, we call for an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy.

DECLARATION

We the undersigned, call for an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy.

We are issuing this call to action in the lead up to the climate summit hosted by President Macron in Paris this December. President Macron and other world leaders, have already spoken out about the need for an increase in finance for climate solutions, but they have remained largely silent about the other, dirtier side of the equation: the ongoing finance of new coal, oil and gas production and infrastructure.

Ongoing global climate change and environmental destructions are happening at an unprecedented scale, and it will take unprecedented actions to limit the worst consequences of our dependence on oil, coal, and gas.

Equally as critical as drastically curbing the carbon intensity of our economic systems is the need for immediate and ambitious actions to stop exploration and expansion of fossil fuel projects and manage the decline of existing production in line with what is necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals.

Research shows that the carbon embedded in existing fossil fuel production will take us far beyond safe climate limits. Thus, not only are new exploration and new production incompatible with limiting global warming to well below 2ºC (and as close to 1.5ºC as possible), but many existing projects will need to be phased-out faster than their natural decline. Simply put: there is no more room for new fossil fuel infrastructure and therefore no case for ongoing investment.

It is time for the community of global economic actors to fully embrace, safe, and renewable energies and phase out fossil fuels. This letter affirms that it is the urgent responsibility and moral obligation of public and private investors and development institutions to lead in putting an end to fossil fuel development.

A global transition to a low carbon future is already well underway and we recognize that a full transition away from fossil fuels is an opportunity for a new economic paradigm of prosperity and equity. Continued expansion of oil, coal, and gas is only serving to hinder the inevitable transition while at the same time exacerbating conflicts, fuelling corruption, threatening biodiversity, clean water and air, and infringing on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable countries and communities.

Energy access and demand can and must now be met fully through the renewable energies of the 21st century. Assertions that new fossil fuels, such the current push for gas, are needed for this transformation are not only inaccurate; they also undermine the speed and penetration of renewable energy.

The global investment community has the power to create the conditions under which this shift is possible. Current and future investments in fossil fuel production are at odds with a safe and equitable transition away from ever stronger climate disasters.

Global investor and international development actors and institutions must recognize that continued investments in fossil fuel production supply-side is irreconcilable with meaningful climate action. Instead, let us all prioritize the tremendous investment opportunities for a 100% renewable future that support healthy economies while protecting workers, communities, and the ecological limits of a finite planet.

Signers of the Declaration on Climate Finance:

• Alain Grandjean

• Economist, Scientific advisor to the Foundation for Nature and Mankind

• Alain Karsenty

• Research Director at CIRAD, Montpellier

• Ann Pettifor

• Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics, Prime

• Anu Muhammad

• Professor of Economics, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

• Aurore Lalucq

• Economist and Director of the Veblen Institute

Camilla Toulmin
Professor, Dr

• Carolina Burle Schmidt Dubeux

• Environemental Economist, PhD and teacher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro · COPPE/Centro Clima

• Cédric Durand

• Maître de conférences en Économie, université Paris 13

• Claudia Kemfert

• Head of the department of energy, transportation and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin

• Co-Pierre Georg

• Associate Professor, University of Cape Town. Research Economist – Deutsche Bundesbank , Policy Associate – Economic Research Southern Africa

Denis Dupré
Professor of finance and ethics

• Dominique Plihon

• Professor Emeritus of Economics, Paris-Nord University Director, Center of Economics of the University of Paris Nord

• Dr Ben Groom

• Associate Professor of Environment & Development Economics, LSE

• Dr Michael Mason

• Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, LSE

Dr. Alaa Al Khourdajie
Teaching Fellow in Environmental Economics, School of Economics, University of Edinburgh

• Dr. Ashok Khosla

• Chairman, Development Alternatives

• Dr. Charles Palmer

• Associate Professor of Environment and Development, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE),

• Dr. Ron Milcarek

• UMASS Economics Department

• Dr. Simplice Asongu

• Lead Research Economist, African Governance and Development Institute

• Emilio Padilla Rosa

• Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics, Autonomous University of Barcelona

• Frank Ackerman

• Principal Economist, Synapse Energy Economics

• Gail Whiteman

• Professor

• Gautam Sethi

• Associate Professor of Economics and Econometrics, Bard Center for Environmental Policy

• Helene Ollivier

• Research fellow of the CNRS and Associate Professor at Paris School of Economics

• Herman Daly

• Emeritus Professor, University of Maryland

• Ian Kinniburgh

• Former Director of Department of Policy and Analysis Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

• Ilan Noy

• Chair in the Economics of Disasters, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

• Ivar Ekeland

• Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Former President, the University of Paris-Dauphine

• Jaime De Melo

• Scientific Director at Ferdi (Emeritus Professor, University of Geneva)

• James Kenneth Galbraith

• Economist

• Jean Gadrey

• Jean Gadrey, former Professor of economics, University of Lille

• Jean-Pierre Ponssard,

• Senior Research Fellow CNRS France

• Jeffrey Sachs

• Economist, Senior UN Advisor

• John C. Quiggin

• Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and professor at the School of Economics, University of Queensland

• John Hewson

• Former Leader of the Federal Opposition, Australia

Jon D. Erickson
David Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy

• José Almeida de Souza Jr.

• Economist

• Jusen Asuka

• Professor Tohoku University

• Kate Pickett

• Professor, University of York Research Champion for Justice & Equality

• Kate Raworth

• Senior Visiting Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University

• Katheline Schubert

• Associate Professor at the Paris School of Economics and researcher at the Sorbonne Center for Economics.

• Katrin Millock

• Associate Professor, Paris School of Economics & Research Fellow at CNRS

• Lionel Fontagné

• Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics – University Paris 1

• Maria rosa ravelli abreu

• Prof. Universidade Brasilia

• Mariana Mazzucato

• Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, Director, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

• Mark Campanale

• Founder & Executive Director, Carbon Tracker Initiative

• Marzio Galeotti, Ph.D.

• Professor of Environmental and Energy Economics, University of Milan – Milan, Italy

• Maxime Combes

• Maxime Combes, economist for ATTAC

• Michael Jacobs

• Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy, University College London

• Michael Pirson

• Professor, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University

• Mohammad A Jabbar

• Agricultural Economist, International Livestock Research Institute

• Mouez FODHA

• Professor of Economics, Paris School of Economics & University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.

• Mutsuyoshi Nishimura

• Former Ambassador of Japan to the UNFCCC negotiations Research Fellow, The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIAA)

• Neva Rockefeller Goodwin

• Co-Director, Global Development And Environment Institute, Tufts University

• Nicolas Bouleau

• Mathematician, Economist

• Oliver Sartor, PhD

• Senior Research Fellow Climate and Energy, IDDRI

• Patrick Criqui

• Research Director, CNRS

• Peter A. Victor Ph.D.,FRSC

• Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

• Pierre-Richard Agenor

• Professor of International Macroeconomics and Development Economics, University of Manchester

pirax didier
Econnomist

• Prof Ross Garnaut

• Professorial Research Fellow in Economics, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne

• Prof. James Renwick (Victoria University of Wellington

• Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences

• Prof. Michael Finus

• Chair in Environmental Economics

• Prof. Phoebe Koundouri

• Athens University of Economics and Business, Director of International Center for Research on the Environment and the Economy, Chair Sustainable Development SOlutions Network Greece

• Prof. Simone Borghesi

• President Elect IAERE – Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

• Ramon E. Lopez

• Professor at the University of Chile , Santiago · Departamento de Economía

• Ramón López

• Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

• RENOUARD Cécile

• Professor, Centre Sèvres-Jesuit University of Paris and researcher, ESSEC Business School

• Reyer Gerlagh

• Professor of Economics, Tilburg University, Netherlands

• Richard Denniss

• Chief Economist, The Australia Institute

• Richard Wilkinson

• Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology University of Nottingham.

• Rick Van der Ploeg

• Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies at Oxford University, former Chief Financial Spokesperson in the Dutch Parliament

• Robert Costanza

• VC’s Chair in Public Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University

• Robert M. Freund

• Theresa Seley Professor in Management Science, Sloan School of Management, MIT

• Serge Reliant

• Economiste

• Seyhun Orcan Sakalli

• Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Lausanne

• Shahriar Shahida

• Co-Chief Investment Officer Constellation Capital Management LLC

• Shuzo Nishioka

• Counsellor, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

• Slim Ben Youssef

• Professor, ESC de Tunis

• Suzi Kerr

• Senior Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

• Takeshi Mizuguchi

• Professor Takasaki City University Of Economics

• Terra Lawson-Remer

• Fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences

• Thomas Porcher

• Associate Professor, Paris School of Business, member of “Les économistes attérrés

• Thomas Sterner

• Chair LOC World Conference of Environmental Economics

• Tim Jackson

• Professor, University of Surrey, UK

• Tom Sanzillo

• Director of Finance for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

• Tom Steyer

• Founder and former co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital and the co-founder of OneCalifornia Bank

• Valentina Bosetti

• Associate professor at the Department of Economics, Bocconi University, President of the Italian Association of Environmental Economists

• Véronique Seltz

• PhD in Economics

• Yanis Varoufakis

• Greek Economist, Academic and Politician

• Yifat Reuveni

• Head of social-finance innovation JDC College of Management business school, Faculty of Management – Tel Aviv University

Press link for more: Not a penny more

To Save Climate, Stop Investing In Fossil Fuels #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

Paris (AFP) – The development of oil, gas and coal energy must stop in order to avoid the worst ravages of global warming, 80 top economists said Thursday, days ahead of a climate summit in Paris.

To save climate, stop investing in fossil fuels: economists

“We call for an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy,” they wrote in a declaration.

The December 12 One Planet Summit organised by French President Emmanuel Macron — with 100 countries and more than 50 heads of state attending — will focus on marshalling public and private money to speed the transition toward a low-carbon economy, especially in developing countries.

But boosting renewable energy such as solar and wind is not enough, the economists warned.

“President Macron and world leaders have already spoken out about the need for an increase in finance for climate solutions,” they wrote.

“But they have remained largely silent about the other, dirtier side of the equation: the ongoing finance of new coal, oil and gas production.”

Many new fossil fuel projects already in the pipeline “will need to be phased out faster than their natural decline,” they added.

Numerous studies have shown that exhausting already developed oil, gas and coal reserves is incompatible with capping global warming at “well under” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the target set down in the 196-nation Paris climate treaty.

“The science is clear: if you look at the known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, you simply can’t burn all that without making a different planet,” said James Hansen, long-time director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The shift from “brown” to “green” energy is further hindered by oil, gas and coal subsidies, which totalled nearly half a trillion dollars (470 billion euros) in 2014, the International Energy Agency has calculated.

In 2015, direct consumer subsidies for fossil fuels topped $333 billion (315 billion euros) worldwide, according to the International Monetary fund.

“It is time to stop wasting public money on dirty fossil fuels and invest it instead in a sustainable future,” said Tim Jackson, a professor at the University of Surrey in Britain.

Signatories of the open letter also included Jeffrey Sachs, a senior UN advisor; James Kenneth Galbraith, an economist at the Texas LBJ School; American billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer; and Australian economist Ross Garnaut.

Press link for more: Au.news.yahoo.com

Women, Gender Equality & #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol

Women, gender equality and climate change: driving forward!

Fanny-Benedetti & Celine Mas

French President Emmanuel Macron again sounded the alarm at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

At the summit, which took place from 6 to 17 November 2017 in Bonn, he warned that the planet is under threat and that if we continue on our current trajectory, we risk “tacitly, collectively accepting the disappearance of a significant number of populations by 2100.”

Furthermore, a group of over 15,000 scientists from more than 184 countries have issued a notice highlighting our moral imperative to current and future generations to take action to reverse the vicious cycles that have been created by the overexploitation of the planet’s natural resources and through our unsustainable modes of production and consumption, which represent a risk for the future of all of humanity.

As the primary users of new agricultural techniques, as green energy entrepreneurs, or simply as those who decide on modes of consumption and behaviour within the family, women are key actors in bringing about change and developing solutions that secure our transition to a sustainable future.

While climate negotiations are failing to give us news that’s sufficiently heartening, the increasing attention given to the specific role of women in the fight against climate disruption and the ecological transition is a reason to feel encouraged.

Again this year, at the COP23 in Bonn, the role of women took the spotlight thanks to the activism of the feminist associations present, such as Care France, Adéquations and Women in Europe for a Common Future, which alongside UN Women have tirelessly brought the subject to attention, at every stage in the negotiation process.

These advocacy efforts are starting to pay off, as the states have just adopted a gender-focused action plan, a first within the framework of these negotiations. The plan obliges states to make commitments that go beyond making observations on the differentiated impact that climate change has on men and women, by ensuring that all of their climate mitigation efforts are designed to decrease this gender gap, whereby women are disproportionately affected.

In fact, each change to the climate affects women in a specific way, especially in the Global South, because female populations in these countries provide an essential contribution to food security, agriculture, health and energy sectors. Every consequence of climate change which impacts on natural resources — such as drought, flooding and other extreme meteorological events—will exacerbate the poverty of these women who generally carry out household tasks unaided.

The risk of death as a result of natural disasters linked to climate change is 14 times higher for women and children, essentially because they are not the primary beneficiaries of catastrophe alert and prevention programmes.

If women have often been considered as secondary actors, it’s time for a thorough review, appreciation and endorsement of their vital role. This inevitably means reassessing the way that financing is attributed.

Studies show that taking gender into account in policies focused on development, transport, sustainable forest management, water management and renewable energy strengthens their impact and increases their socio-economic return on investment. Taking action in favour of women and for equality therefore means contributing to the fight against climate change.

UN Women notably supports women’s action on climate change through its International Day of Rural Women on 15 October, and its flagship programme which promotes women’s empowerment through climate-smart agriculture. This programme aims to improve African women’s access to technology and information by managing digital platforms for women and providing agricultural data in real time such as information on farming technology, market prices and weather forecasts, as well as increasing women’s access to financing, credit and investment.

In France, women are already at the forefront of activities in the social and solidarity economy sector, in agribusiness, health, social integration and recycling.

However, the means allocated to gender concerns in the climate sphere remain largely insufficient. In 2015, only 0.01 percent of international funding was being used to support projects that incorporate both climate and women’s rights elements. This lack of access to funding is a serious impediment to the development of projects led by women that accelerate the ecological transition. The question of financing is undeniably one that states must address — by making real commitments — in order to create climate resilience, and to prevent humanity from suffering the worst consequences of its own imprudence.

Press link for more: The Hindu

Climate Change Drove ISIS in Iraq #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq

Photograph by Carolyn Drake, MagnumNovember 14, 2017

An oven burns near a family’s reed hut in Chibaish, Iraq.

The family moved to this area in search of water, but much of the former marshes remain desolate after years of draining and neglect.

An Iraqi shepherd leads his camels in search of water in the Kut Desert, about 180 kilometers south of Baghdad.

The country has seen years of drought, which ISIS recruiters exploited to attract followers.

Photograph by ALI AL-SAADI, AFP, Getty Images

Turkey has built more than 600 large dams, in some cases flooding ancient cities like Hasankeyf, above.

The dams has decreased the amount of water flowing across borders into Iraq and other countries.

Samarra, IraqIt was a few weeks after the rains failed in the winter of 2009 that residents of Shirqat first noticed the strange bearded men.

Circling like vultures among the stalls of the town’s fertilizer market in Iraq’s northern Salahaddin governorate, they’d arrow in on the most shabbily dressed farmers, and tempt them with promises of easy riches. “Join us, and you’ll never have to worry about feeding your family,” Saleh Mohammed Al-Jabouri, a local tribal sheikh, remembers one recruiter saying.

With every flood or bout of extreme heat or cold, the jihadists would reappear, often supplementing their sales pitches with gifts.

When a particularly vicious drought struck in 2010, the fifth in seven years, they doled out food baskets.

When fierce winds eviscerated hundreds of eggplant fields near Kirkuk in the spring of 2012, they distributed cash.

As farming communities limped from one debilitating crisis to another, the recruiters—all members of what soon became the Islamic State—began to see a return on their investment.

Two agricultural laborers in Azwai, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it farming community just south of Shirqat, ran off to join the jihadists in December 2013.

Seven more from outlying villages followed a month later. By the time the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) seized this swath of Iraq—along with most of the country’s west and north—in a brutal summer-long blitzkrieg in 2014, few locals were surprised to see dozens of former fertilizer market regulars among its ranks.

“We said just wait until the next harvest, life will get better, life will become easier,” Jabouri said.

“But things just weren’t getting better. There was always another disaster.”

Across rural Iraq and Syria, farmers, officials, and village elders tell similar stories of desperate farmhands swapping backhoes for assault rifles.

Already battered by decades of shoddy environmental policies, which had hobbled agriculture and impoverished its dependents, these men were in no state to navigate the extra challenges of climate change.

And so when ISIS came along, propelled in large part by sectarian grievances and religious fanaticism, many of the most environmentally damaged Sunni Arab villages quickly emerged as some of the deep-pocketed jihadists’ foremost recruiting grounds.

Around Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s northern Iraqi hometown, ISIS appears to have attracted much more support from water-deprived communities than from their better-resourced peers.

In Tharthar subdistrict, a semi-arid expanse west of the Tigris, farmers with fields closest to the encroaching sands joined the jihadists in greater numbers than their counterparts near the river valley.

Throughout 100 plus interviews conducted over three years, farmers and agricultural officials alike sometimes wondered aloud: if only we’d received a little more assistance, might this entire blood-soaked mess have been averted?

“This beast [ISIS] has many causes, but in the countryside these new problems just pushed people over the edge,” said Omar, a former agriculture ministry administrator from Mosul, who fled as the jihadists seized his city three years ago and who wished to withhold his surname for security reasons.

Seeds of Discontent

Looking back, it seems almost inevitable that something was going to snap.

For decades, Iraqi agriculture has been mired in a long, sad decline that showed few signs of abating. First the oil boom robbed farming of much of its importance from the early 1970s. With massive revenues coming out of the ground, Baghdad gradually lost interest in other parts of the economy.

An Iraqi shepherd leads his camels in search of water in the Kut Desert, about 180 kilometers south of Baghdad.

The country has seen years of drought, which ISIS recruiters exploited to attract support.

And then when Saddam Hussein rose to power in 1979, he swiftly sucked Iraq into a series of conflicts that struck farmers disproportionately hard.

He press-ganged tens of thousands of agricultural laborers into service for the eight year Iran-Iraq war.

That conflict left many farms desperately shorthanded and saw the repurposing of much farm machinery for military use.

Hussein torched some of southern Iraq’s most bountiful date plantations for fear that Iranian saboteurs might use them as cover to attack oil facilities around Basra.

Where once 12 million palm trees stood, there’s now just miles of dusty scrubland laced with oil spills. (Learn more about the damage caused in southern Iraq.)

All the while, Hussein—and then his successors—stood idly by as Iraqi farmers’ water supply slowly seeped away.

Years of below average rains in the Kurdish region and Nineveh governorate, the only parts of Iraq where rain-fed agriculture was historically possible, had increased the country’s dependence on the Euphrates and Tigris, the Fertile Crescent’s two great rivers.

At the same time, upstream Turkey and Iran were relentlessly damming them and their tributaries. Turkey has built over 600 large dams, including dozens of major ones near the Iraqi and Syrian borders. The Tigris and Euphrates’ combined flow in southern Iraq has subsequently shrunk so much that the Persian Gulf now barrels up to 45 miles upriver at high tide (the rivers used to project freshwater up to 3 miles out to sea).

“The disappearance of our water and environment has been unstoppable in places,’ said Hassan Al-Janabi, the minister of water resources.

As the rains and rivers declined, many farmers turned to wells to fill the void, only to find that they too had their limitations. With no electricity for up to 20 hours a day, the only way to power the pumps was with diesel generators, which are prohibitively expensive for many smallholders.

Around Samarra, farmers can shell out at least $6,000 on fuel a year to water 12 acres of fields.

Little by little, water was becoming a resource that in some parts of Iraq only wealthier landowners could afford.

“Every year the rains became less, so people were having to spend more and more on their generators,” said Ahmed El Thaer Abbas, director of the Tharthar Agricultural Office. “It’s not sustainable.” Once the provider of over a quarter of local farmers’ water, rains now supply less than ten percent of their needs, he added.

Ripe for Radicalization

By 2011, much of the Iraqi countryside was in desperate financial straits. Some 39 percent of people in rural areas were living in poverty, according to the World Bank. That’s two and a half times the country’s urban rate. Almost half lacked safe drinking water. The problems were so devastating in 2012-13 that tens of thousands of villagers ditched their fields altogether, preferring to try their luck in the slum districts of nearby cities instead.

Some 39 percent of those polled in Salahaddin cited drought as a reason for their displacement. Studies from neighboring Syria, large parts of which enjoy similar conditions to northern and western Iraq, suggest that anthropogenic climate change has tripled the probability of long, debilitating droughts.

But still the blows kept on coming. And by now, armed groups—ISIS’s forebears included—were paying close attention. When severe water shortages killed off countless livestock in 2011-12, jihadists descended on the animal markets to size up the frantic farmers, many of whom were trying to sell off their remaining cows and sheep before they too succumbed to drought.

“They just watched us. We were like food on the table to them,” said Abbas Luay Essawi, a herder from Hawija. In Kirkuk governorate alone, about two thirds of farms lost at least one animal, according to the International Organization on Migration.

Soaring temperatures also began playing into these groups’ hands. Amid unprecedented heatwaves, farmers pumped more water in order to keep their crops alive, but in so doing merely added to the burden on the aquifers, many of which were already struggling to keep pace with demand that had previously been met by the rains and rivers. After several years of energetic groundwater extraction near the oil refining town of Baiji, Samir Saed’s two wells ran dry in early 2014, forcing him to lay off the two young men he employed as farm laborers. Jobless and angry, he suspects they soon joined ISIS.

“There are many stories like this; they were frustrated and just saw it as another type of work,” he says.

Summer temperatures in the Middle East are set to soar twice as fast as the global average, possibly threatening the inhabitability of the region by the end of the century, researchers say.

Above all, though, the jihadists expertly exploited the desperation in Iraq’s agricultural heartland by rationalizing its inhabitants’ woes. They spread rumors that the Shia-dominated government was delaying crop payments and cutting off water to Sunni farmers. In fact, the lack of rain wasn’t due to climate change, but really a man-made ploy designed to drive Sunni landowners from their rich fertile fields, their emissaries suggested. Broke and unable to deal with their fast changing environment, many farmers ate it up. A large majority of the Islamic State’s Iraqi foot soldiers hailed from rural parts of the country’s west, north and center, terrorism analysts say.

Turkey has built more than 600 large dams, in some cases flooding ancient cities like Hasankeyf, above. The dams has decreased the amount of water flowing across borders into Iraq and other countries.

“It’s like this: agriculture employs a big percentage of Iraqis, and so when there’s a negative impact on agriculture this will translate into major social problems,” said Samir Raouf, a UNDP consultant and former deputy minister of science and technology.

What’s next?

For the moment at least, ISIS is mostly defeated in Iraq. From a high of 40 percent of Iraq’s territory in late 2014, it now only controls a few isolated villages, and small chunks of largely featureless desert. But the conditions that contributed to its success in the countryside are, if anything, more pronounced than ever.

The jihadists adopted scorched earth tactics as they were beaten back, laying waste to hundreds of thousands of acres of prime farmland. And so for returning farmers, climate change and shoddy governance are now among the least of their worries. ISIS fighters ripped up buried irrigation pipes to mold makeshift mortars. They poisoned wells, blew up water canals, and carted off everything that was of any value, notably generators, tractors, and water pump parts.

In Tharthar subdistrict, some farmers are still paying installments on enormous crop pivots they can no longer use. More or less broke after the oil price crash, the Iraqi state can’t afford to pay farmers for crops they’ve delivered to state silos, let alone cover the multi-billion dollar agricultural clean up bill. “Until all of this is fixed, farming in Iraq is dead,” said Naif Saido Kassem, until recently director of the agricultural office in Sinjar, to the north of Mosul. He estimates the agricultural damage in his subdistrict alone at $70 million.

Even more devastatingly perhaps, Iraq’s water situation is set to plumb new lows. Turkey has almost finished building the Ilisu Dam, which threatens to further cut the Tigris’ flow when it comes online, probably next year. Hotter temperatures are evaporating more and more surface water—up to six feet worth in Iraq’s lakes every year, according to Nature Iraq, a local NGO. As Baghdad’s relations with the upstream Kurdish region deteriorate, farmers might once more bear the brunt of the dispute. Kurdish authorities have cut off water to mostly Arab areas on several occasions in the past.

Some farmers still have hope. “We are tough. We will come back like we always have in the past,” said Ahmed, who grows wheat, barley, and some fruits near Dibis, northwest of Kirkuk. But against the backdrop of a climate of distrust so severe that the security forces are blocking most fertilizer from liberated farmland for fear that it might be used in making bombs, few share his optimism. If Iraq can’t get a grip on its crumbling environment, the next war might not be far off.

“ISIS is gone for now, but with all these water and heat problems, things will only get worse,” said Jabouri, the tribal sheikh from Shirqat. “We need help now.”

Press link for more: National Geopolitical

COP23 What’s at stake? #StopAdani #ClimateChange is changing the planet. 

COP23: What’s at stake?
International climate agreements are hard-won through laborious negotiations and COP23 will be no different. 

The event may be taking place in Bonn, but Fiji’s presidency sends a clear signal to the likes of Donald Trump.


Usually, the country holding presidency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosts it’s annual conference.
But Fiji, the country with that honor in 2017, was in no position to accomodate the 25,000 negotiators, environmental activists and journalists converging on COP23 from around the world. Apart from anything, the South Pacific island nation doesn’t have convention center anywhere near large enough.

Fiji’s President Bainimarama will put the plight of island nations center-stage

So, from November 6 to 17, the hordes are descending instead on Bonn, Germany — home of the UNFCCC headquarters.

 But Fiji will preside over the event — or more specifically, the country’s president, former naval officer Frank Bainimarama, will.
Fiji spotlights plight of island nations
For Fiji, a county of more than 300 islands, climate change isn’t just a talking point — it’s a threat to islands’ very existence.
Environmentalists hope Bainimarama will bring together different interests at the conference and lead the way to realistic compromise.
Sabine Menninger, climate expert at the NGO Bread for the World Germany, has been a frequent visitor to Fiji.
“They will use this conference to highlight the vulnerability of the Pacific island states,” she told DW. “They are particularly affected by climate change — and already by sea-level rise, which made Fiji the first country in the world to relocate an entire village due to climate change.”


As a low-lying island nation, Fiji is on the frontlines of the fights against global warming
Building on Paris
High on the COP23 agenda is firming up the 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw signatories commit to voluntary measures to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
They have also agreed to make their targets more ambitious over the coming years.

 So far, national targets under the accord aren’t enough to keep within the 2-degree limit.
Out-going German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks told DW, “I expect we will take steps to clarify how we will fulfil the Paris climate agreement. 

That might sound unspectacular.

 But it’s like a new, worldwide law, which was adopted in December 2015. And for this, you now need rules of interpretation.”


Almost all UN states are committed to the accord.

 The stark exception is the United States.
Trump’s shadow
Donald Trump’s climate denialism casts a dark shadow over the conference. 

This year, the US president rescinded his predecessor Barack Obama’s commitment to the global pact.
Pulling the US out of the agreement isn’t straightforward — and can only officially happen in 2020. 

Which is why there will still be an American delegation in Bonn next week, led by a senior US state department official.


German Environment Minister Hendricks likens the Paris accord to a global law

“I am very pleased, because state secretary Rex Tillerson has a very balanced position,” Hendricks said.

 “I am confident the American delegation will not disrupt the negotiations.”
“The world has come a lot closer together,” she added, “especially because of the megastorms in the Caribbean, and the US exit from the Paris Agreement has strengthened the unity between states.”
Merkel, Macron & co.
Though negotiations kick off on Monday, environment ministers and heads of state aren’t expected to show up until mid-way through the following week. 

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it’s likely to be a welcome break from ongoing coalition talks in Berlin.
French president Emmanuel Macron also intends to speak, perhaps even in a joint address with Merkel.
And from California — which is storming ahead with its transition to green energy regardless of federal policy — state governor Jerry Brown has said he will speak for the section of American society committed to climate protection and vowing to uphold the Paris agreement through local action.


California is embracing solar power in a big way. And German legislation has helped bring down the cost of solar technology
With the most powerful country in the world isolated at the highest level, Germany is often cast as taking global leadership on climate protection. 

But its record at home is mixed.
What about Germany?
Recently, the country’s emissions have been rising. 

It consumes far too much coal and is likely to miss its 2020 target of cutting emissions by 40 percent of 1990 levels.
Hendricks insists Germany remains an international leader on climate protection, partly because of the role it has played in driving down the cost of renewable energy worldwide over recent decades — which she says will one day be seen as a major achievement for international development.
German environmental activists are more skeptical. 

Many believe Germany’s image as climate-protection poster child will collapse with its own climate targets. 
“That’s largely because, in Germany especially, the coal industry has successfully sabotaged the energy transition,” Jan Kowalzig, a climate expert at Oxfam, told DW.
Kowalzig believes Germany will only meet its 2020 targets if the Merkel’s new government firmly commits to giving up coal.
Still, on an international level, Germany might lead another important achievement at the conference, with a plan for climate insurance for around 400 million people in the global south.

 It’s an idea Germany already put forward at previous conferences — and may be looking to firm up in Bonn.


Building a global climate village

Bonn gets ready
Bonn will play host to the world climate conference COP23 from November 6 to 17.

 Within a few months, the former German capital has been completely remodeled — from a new train station to several massive tent cities. One of the biggest tent complexes has been built in Deutsche Welle’s backyard; here, the very first cranes appear for its construction in early August.

Press link for more: DW.COM

CO2 Emissions Rising Faster Than Ever! #StopAdani #Qldvotes #Auspol 

A record surge in atmospheric CO2. Emissions rise faster than ever!
Yesterday (30/10), both the BBC and the Guardian posted an article proving the state of the world is atrocious.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), concentrations of atmospheric CO2 surged to a record high in 2016. 

What is more, the pace with which this process is taking place is accelerating. 

The year 2016 saw average concentrations of CO2 hit 403.3 ppm, up from 400 ppm in 2015.

 This is the largest increase the WMO watch programme has ever witnessed. 

Before 2016, the largest increase – 2.7 ppm – occurred in 1997-1998 when an El Niño was active (every El Niño impacts the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by causing droughts that limit the uptake of CO2 by plants and trees). 

Now the figure is 3.3ppm. It is also 50% higher than the average of the last 10 years, which is extreme.

 The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago, in the mid-Pliocene Epoch.

While emissions from human sources have slowed down somewhat in the last couple of years, the cumulative total of atmospheric CO2 continues to spike. 

Since 1990 alone, there has been a 40% increase in total radiative forcing. 

The rise in CO2 and CO2e (equivalent) is due the Earth’s response to human warming. 

This means that, at one unknown point, climate change will be out of our hands: total emissions will continue to increase even if we decrease CO2 emissions from human sources (not that we significantly succeed in this or that there is a plan for achieving it). 

The problem is not only that human activity creates climate change, but that climate change destroys sinks, such as forests, that it warms oceans and seas and destroys the permafrost.

 This explains the spike of methane levels over the last 10 years.

Incredibly, there is still doubt.

 As professor Nisbet from Royal Halloway says:
“The rapid increase in methane since 2007, especially in 2014, 2015, and 2016 (…) was not expected in the Paris agreement. 

Methane growth is strongest in the tropics and sub-tropics. 

The carbon isotopes in the methane show that growth is not being driven by fossil fuels. 

We do not understand why methane is rising. 

It may be a climate change feedback. It is very worrying” 
And Erik Solhein, the head of UN Environment added that “The numbers don’t lie. 

We are still emitting far too much and this needs to be reversed” 

The numbers do not lie, but one has to use the right ones. 

The global CO2 measure tells far from the whole story.

 Atmospheric levels of gasses like methane, nitrous oxide, and a host of less common industrial chemicals are also all on the rise in the Earth’s atmosphere due to human emissions. 

According to research by the Advanced Global Atmosphere Gases Center at MIT, the total heat forcing equal to CO2 (this is the CO2 equivalent measure which adds all the other gases) was about 478 ppm during the spring of 2013 – almost two years before the Paris Agreement was signed (December 2015) (see here and here). 

The Paris Agreement does not contain the word “methane” 
Needless to say, in 2013, the situation – ca. 480 ppm CO2e – was already nothing short of fearsome. 

The last time the world saw such a measure of comparable atmospheric greenhouse gas heat forcing was during the Miocene around 15-20 million years ago. 

At that time, global temperatures were 3-4 C warmer. 

Today, CO2e stands at ca. 492 ppm. 

It is impossible that the IPCC was unaware of it. 

For one, Natalia Sakhova and her colleagues have been publishing papers on methane venting into the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Ice Arctic Shelf since the 1990s.

That tropical forests could transform from a sink to a source due to rising temperatures has also been documented in the literature since the 1990s.

 According to an OECD study of 2011, GHG could reach 685 ppm of CO2e by 2050.

 In 2013, Michael Mann wrote that we will likely lock in a 2 C short term warming this century and a probable 4 C warming long-term. 


According to Mann in 2013, if the current, high-velocity pace of emission continues, we will likely hit 2C warming by 2036, setting off extraordinary, severe and irreversible global changes over a very short period. 

Since then, nothing has happened to change this gloomy picture.
It is absolutely necessary to understand the problem of the Earth’s response to human induced climate change. 

Natural carbon sinks on land and ocean buffer us from the full impact of carbon emissions.

 But we cannot assume this will continue indefinitely. 

The warmer the world becomes, the more difficult it will become to prevent further warming: even less emissions can lead to proportionally larger impacts. 

Natural carbon sinks become less effective and even become sources.


This is happening right now. 

The Earth’s tropical forests are now so degraded that they are emitting more carbon than all of the traffic in the United States.

 A healthy forest sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, whereas forests that are degraded by drought, wildfires and deforestation release previously sequestered carbon.

 In short, land ecosystems, mainly forests, have been mitigating part of the fossil fuel problem – they sucked CO2 out of the atmosphere, about 25% of our fossil fuel emissions. 

Not any longer. 

Another study showed that warming soils are now releasing much more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought.

 This means another disastrous feedback loop exists that will trigger giant carbon releases in a cycle that will be (practically) impossible to stop.

It is true that emissions from energy decreased in the last three years. 

Emissions from land use, agriculture, aviation and shipping have not stalled.

 Increased use of biomass is still often calculated as zero-emission, which is nonsensical. 

CO2e is now already above what was considered the limit for a 2 degrees C rise – this limit was 450 ppm CO2e. 

We are now over 490 ppm CO2e and the concentrations are rising.

 It is not possible otherwise, also because the earth itself contributes to the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly because of increasing emissions of CO2 and methane from wetlands, permafrost areas and sea beds. 

The IPCC, in its wisdom, does (or did) not count these contributions and so they do (or did) not exist. 

The world will pay a heavy prize for this ostrich policy.

The permafrost thaw caused by fossil fuel emissions already releases relatively large amounts of CO2, NH4 and NO2. 

Any reasonable discussion of our global situation therefore has to stop limiting the discussion to fossil fuel CO2 emissions and start evaluating the true global situation with regard to the planetary carbon cycle and the global warming of all the greenhouse gases.
The estimate is that about 50% of total global fossil fuel emissions over the past 100 years have been absorbed by land and oceans. 

If the sinks are exhausted or overwhelmed by permafrost or shallow marine sediment outgassing, it is possible that, in the worst case, a 50% reduction in the use of fossil fuels (again: not that there is a viable strategy to achieve this) would have no effect on the growth rate of atmospheric CO2.

It can be realistically expected that, IF every country meets its self-determined emissions goals, global temperature will increase by 3.7 degrees C at 2100 – and that is being optimistic!

 According to Friedrich et al. (see my article on this here and here for Friedrich et al.) a rise of 4.8 and 7.4 degrees can be in the making by 2100.
For CO2 emissions to fall, the use of fossil fuels has to decrease and brought to zero. 


This can only happen if they become so expensive that any other source is cheaper.

 It also means major changes in manufacturing, agriculture, transport and energy efficiency. 

It means changing and re-scaling the macroeconomic architecture.

We all know this, but it does not square with any reasonable projections of oil, natural gas and coal production.

 For example, the American EIA estimated future consumption of liquids and natural gas give annual rates of increase of 1.1 and 1.9 percent through 2040. 

Coal production also increases, albeit more slowly at 0.6 percent per year.

The idea that in such a world emissions will drop is magical thinking. 

The idea that climate change can be addressed in a technological way, leaving existing power relations intact is magical thinking – not only a myth, but a pertinent lie.

What is actually the “effort” that the “landmark” Paris Agreement expects countries to make?

 In 2015, the US budget was $3.800 billion.

 In 2016, the Department of Energy (DoE) budget request for all of energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear energy was $4 billion. 

This is a mere 0.1%. 

Where does most of this money end up?

 It goes to big multinationals in order to strengthen “competitiveness,” “create jobs” and “markets and growth” and to “reduce business risks,” as 360 big corporations wrote to Trump in an open letter, asking him to not quit the Paris Agreement.
Trump quit Paris and it is inherently stupid and regressive. 

But the Paris Agreement is also regressive.

At the end of 2017, CO2 and other GHGs are rising, they are rising faster than ever, temperatures are rising, new feedbacks and potential horrors are being discovered almost every day. 

As I wrote before, ‘this historical milestone that will safeguard the future of humanity’ (Cameron) contains no reference to “coal,” “oil,” “fracking,” “shale oil,” “fossil fuel” or “carbon dioxide.” 

The words “zero,” “ban,” “prohibit” or “stop” do not occur in it.

 The word “adaptation” occurs 85 times, although the responsibility to adapt is nowhere mentioned. 

Liability and compensation are explicitly excluded. 

There is no action plan.

 The proposed emission cuts by the nations are voluntary.

 There is no enforceable compliance mechanism.
Meanwhile, warming atmospheric temperatures coupled with warmer ocean waters have combined to cause Antarctic sea ice to shrink by two millions kilometres in just the last three years.


At the other pole, recently released data showed that the Arctic ice cap melted down to hundreds of thousands of square miles below its average this past summer. 

The ice minimum for this year was 610.000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average, in addition to its being the eighth-lowest year in the 38-year satellite record (to compare: Germany’s surface is 137.983.6 square miles) 
Some time ago, I would have ended this article by writing that ‘if the world’s nations are serious about addressing climate change, the rise in CO2 concentrations needs to cease. 

The sinks need to balance the sources. 

If the sinks degrade and become a source, the game is up.’ But I do not believe that the world’s nations are serious about addressing global climate change.

 There is nothing concrete that points in that direction. 

And so the problem becomes unsolvable.

Press link for more: Flassbeck Economics

U.S. Federal Report Blames Humans For #ClimateChange #StopAdani #Qldvotes 

Federal report blames humans for global warming and its effects
An extensive report published by the federal government Friday asserts that humans are the primary driver of climate change, causing higher temperatures, sea level rise, agriculture problems and more.

The report, the first volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, is years in the making, and involved contributions from more than a dozen federal agencies.
It is meant to be an authoritative assessment of the current state of climate change science.

Many of the report’s conclusions directly contradict the Trump administration’s positions on climate change.

For example, Trump officials like Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry say they can’t be sure whether human-caused greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are the primary cause of climate change.
But the Climate Assessment plainly states that is the case.
“This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” it says. “For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”

“Globally averaged, annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Centigrade, over the last 115 years,” David Fahey, an atmospheric scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and one of the leading authors of the report, told reporters. “This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization.”


The report cites “thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world” that show evidence of a warming globe, including “changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.”
It includes dire warnings about the impact of climate change on human activities.
Heavy rainfall, which causes flooding, is expected to increase over the rest of the century, and heat waves will become more frequent.
Severe weather events like forest fires and drought will grow more prevalent, and sea levels will rise “by at least several inches in the next 15 years and by 1–to-4 feet by 2100.”
This underlines warnings from scientists around the globe who say the only way to get climate change under control will be to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide.


Emission growth has slowed in recent years, but the report concludes it’s not enough to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, the limit at which scientists expect the worst effects of climate change to be irreversible.
The study is the fourth time this century that federal scientists have put together a report on the impacts of climate change around the globe and in the United States.
The report is mandated by Congress, with three federal agencies — NOAA, NASA and the Department of Energy — coordinating its publication. It uses research from thousands of scientists around the world.
This year’s assessment comes amid concerns that the White House would work to undermine the study’s conclusions. Scientists shared a draft version of the study with The New York Times in August, seeking extra publicity for its findings in the hope of rebuffing any attempt to water it down.
The topline conclusions of the final study, though, appear to be in line with those of the draft, and the accepted scientific consensus on the role humans play in warming the globe.
Fahey told reporters that there was no political interference in the assessment released Friday, though he conceded that some on the team had feared it would happen.
“Of course there are perhaps fears. We’re all citizens and scientists at the same time. But I think whatever fears we had weren’t realized,” Fahey said.
“The word ‘interference’ might have been a threat, but it never materialized. This report says what the scientists wanted it to say.”
In a statement, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said that “the climate has changed and is always changing” and pointed to a line in the report that concluded the future of climate change depends primarily on “remaining uncertainty in the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to [greenhouse gas] emissions.”
The report said, with “very high confidence,” that the magnitude of climate change will also depend on the “amount of greenhouse gases emitted globally” over the next few decades.
“The administration supports rigorous scientific analysis and debate and encourages public comment on the draft documents being released today,” Shah said.
“To address climate change as well as other risks, the U.S. will continue to promote access to the affordable and reliable energy needed to grow economically, and to support technology, innovation and the development of modern and efficient infrastructure that will reduce emissions and enable us to address future risks, including climate related risks.”

Press link for more: The Hill

Climate Change Profound impact on public health #StopAdani #Qldvotes

Espinosa is the executive secretary of UN Climate Change and Horton is editor-in-chief of The Lancet
The evidence is growing harder and harder to ignore—climate change is already having a profound and detrimental impact on public health. 

Around the world, warmer temperatures are creating and complicating a whole host of health challenges, many of which have been all too obvious this year.


As over 20,000 delegates from around the world prepare to meet in Bonn, Germany, for the annual UN climate conference, the unnaturally warm surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean have helped produce a historically high run of 10 named hurricanes this season, which have taken lives and destroyed communities from Texas to the Caribbean to Ireland.

Many parts of Europe sweltered this summer under a heat wave that was so bad that it was dubbed “Lucifer.” 

The American Southwest was meanwhile suffering through its own historic heat. 

And then came the wildfires, sparked on drought-scorched lands in Western Europe, the Pacific Northwest, and California.


A report published this week by The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, provides an annual “check up” of how climate change is impacting public health, and how countries’ actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are reducing health risks.

 The research, conducted by a group of leading doctors, academics, and policy professionals found that climate change is already damaging the health of millions worldwide.
How? 

The deaths caused by unnatural disasters like warming-fueled hurricanes and wildfires are obvious, and the threat of extreme heat waves — which can kill outright or cause heat-related illnesses — to public health is clear. 

But there are many other climate impacts that are every bit as sinister, and potentially lethal. 

Changing weather patterns are already altering the transmission patterns of infectious diseases, resulting in unexpected outbreaks of malaria, dengue fever, cholera, tick-born encephalitis, and West Nile virus. 

Allergy season is getting longer and allergen levels higher.

 Lyme disease is spreading, with the number of cases in the United States tripling over the past two decades as deer ticks can carry the disease farther north and as warmer temperatures allow them to Floods, which are increasing in regularity and severity, create even more breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects. 

Uneven, unpredictable precipitation patterns and higher temperatures are also reducing crop yields, causing more widespread malnourishment and nutrition deficiencies.


Tragically, these burdens are being — and will be — borne mostly by children, the elderly and low-income vulnerable populations that have done little to cause climate change and have benefited the least from the burning of fossil fuels. 

But make no mistake, the impacts will be felt by all.
Perhaps most troubling, what we’re experiencing today is just the beginning.

Over the past few decades, the global health community has made great gains in tackling the spread and sources of infectious disease, and in combatting malnutrition and hunger. 

But this progress could be undermined in a warming world that exacerbates such health threats.
It’s a dire diagnosis, but the good news is that we know the cure. 

We simply must stop burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, transitioning to clean, renewable energy resources.

What’s more, many of the steps we take to combat climate change can create immediate benefit public health in other ways. 

Fine particulate matter and other local air pollution in cities — from tailpipes and coal plants, for instance — kills some 2.6 million people annually worldwide, according to the Lancet Countdown. 

Solving the greenhouse gas problem also cleans up the smoggy air that’s polluting lungs.
These longer term and immediate health factors are why the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change called a comprehensive response to climate change “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”


Policymakers recognize climate change as being a massive public health challenge — and not just an environmental one — and act accordingly. 

The Lancet Countdown’s annual reports can help quantify the full costs to the public, and should be utilized to drive more ambitious efforts to transition to a low carbon future.
There are encouraging signs that this is starting to happen. 

The two-week climate conference, opening on November 6, has health among its key priority issues.
For the 25 years that the global community has been working to find a way to collectively combat climate change, not nearly enough has been known about the true risks to public health. 

We can no longer use that ignorance as an excuse for inaction. 

We’re seeing the impacts now, and they are measurable. 

Without aggressive action, the public health problems we’re seeing today risk intensifying to a widespread health emergency.


With ambitious action, however, we can both rein in long term warming and — by cleaning the air of fossil fuel-borne pollution—we can start improving health and saving lives right away.

Press link for more: Time.com