New Alarming Report on the State of the Arctic

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This Tuesday, on December 11, 2018, at the same time that the COP24 is about to conclude in Katowice, Poland, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) released its annual international Arctic report card (the “Report”) reflecting on a range of land, ice, and ocean observations made throughout the Arctic during the 2018 calendar…
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“We don’t have the luxury of feeling discouraged”-Former Vice-President Al Gore Warns of the Dangers of Climate Change at COP24

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“The cheapest and most effective carbon sequestration technology is called a ‘Tree.’ When this technology is taken to scale, it is called a ‘Forest.’” The Former Vice President of the United States and Presidential hopeful paused to let the laughter subside. Holding up a hand, he became deadly serious once more. He had come to…
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Oops! How Will a Mistake in a Major Scientific Report Affect the Future of Oceans at COP?

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Earlier this week, scientists from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography corrected their most recent study regarding the ocean’s heat absorption capacity. This study, published in the journal Nature, initially reported that the oceans absorbed about 60% more heat from the atmosphere than originally determined. The scientists working on the study used a new method—collecting gases (mainly oxygen…
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The Log-istics of Carbon Dioxide Removal

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Trees are the coolest source of CO2 Removal on the planet. Trees and vegetation are known to help cool ambient air temperatures through evapotranspiration.  If left undisturbed, forests can also be a vital source of carbon storage.  Estimates from the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2015) show that the world’s forests and other wooded lands…
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Local climate data at your finger tips

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The scientists at Climate Analytics – the ones that gave us the invaluable Climate Action Tracker (CAT) – have done it again. They have taken the global research and stats featured in the IPCC’s reports and scaled them down to more locally understandable and useful info. Thus far they have developed four online tools that allow…
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IPCC special report leaves the world in dire straits

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In response to an invitation from the Parties of the Paris Agreement (PA), and pursuant to the Article 2 efforts to limit temperature increases well below 2°C, the IPCC prepared a Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15), released Monday, 8 October, 2018. Climate scientists sounded the alarm yet again, painting a dire picture…
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Science and Adaptation: Prevention is the Key

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COP23 is significantly emphasizing the impact of extreme weather on climate change adaptation. This issue is even more prevalent with the major weather events that have occurred in the past several months: intense hurricanes in the Caribbean and the southern United States, flooding in South East Asia, and severe drought on the West Coast of…
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Climate Change “Refugees” in Hot Water

UN "Refugee" Status

Direct effects of climate change such as droughts, floods, rising sea levels, and hazardous weather events have immediate and lasting impacts upon displacement of communities. For example, five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have already been deemed uninhabitable due to sea level rise and erosion. Since 2008, approximately 22.5 million people have been…
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Trump’s proposed budget would cut US international climate change work significantly

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According to Inside Climate News, the Trump Administration’s recently unveiled budget proposal would cut $10.1 billion from the United States’ current international climate work, which represents a 28% reduction from the status quo. It would eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), which funds all climate-related bilateral efforts, like collaborations with China and India, and contributes to the United Nations…
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Is Time Running Out?

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Referencing the response to climate change at today’s COP 22, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the issue in terms of time.   He stated, “The question is not whether we will transition to a clean energy economy. The question is whether we will have the will power to make the transition in time….
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From INDC to NDC: Diversity in ambitions and fairness

APA1-2 Co-chairs: Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) and Jo Tyndall (New Zealand)

The Paris Agreement requires Parties to communicate their first NDC along with their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement. However, this requirement is typically accomplished when a Party has communicated an INDC prior to joining the Paris Agreement, unless it decides otherwise. So far, 163 INDCs have been submitted, while…
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Land Use and Methane

As the COP negotiations increasingly look to agriculture, forestry, and other land uses as tools to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate, methanogenesis – the biological production of methane by single-celled organisms – must be taken into account. This methane production is very similar to fermentation, the process used to produce alcohol. In fermentation,…
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Ecological Migration and Migrating Towards Ambitious Climate Change Commitments at COP22

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In 2011, the UN projected that the world will have 50 million environmental refugees by 2020. These are people who need to resettle due to climate change impacts such as drought, food shortage, disease, flooding, desertification, soil erosion, deforestation, and other environmental problems. This past week the New York Times released two stories about the…
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375 NAS scientists speak out

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“Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality.” So begins an open letter published yesterday by 375 National Academy of Science members. It unequivocally states that burning fossil fuels have left human “fingerprints” all over the climate system, notably observed in sea level rise, declining Arctic sea ice, and…
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Climate Change influences extreme weather events, but by how much?

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  We know that our climate system is changing as global temperatures rise. It is also now possible, in many cases, for science to credibly speak to the influence of climate change on the likelihood and/or the extent/severity of a certain type of event. However, according to a pre-publication version of a new National Academies…
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