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February 2018

Extreme Weather Will Occur More Frequently Worldwide

By Chelsea Harvey

And if countries do not meet the Paris climate agreement goals, the risks will be even greater. Events like record-setting heat, extreme rainfall and drought will happen more frequently around the world even if global climate targets are met, new research suggests.

Scientific American

Vast bioenergy plantations could stave off climate change—and radically reshape the planet

By Julia Rosen

To limit warming, humanity also needs negative emissions technologies (NETs) that, by the end of the century, would remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than humans emit. One particular technology has quietly risen to prominence—thanks to global models—and it is the one on tap in Bozeman. The idea is to cultivate fast-growing grasses and trees to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and then burn them at power plants to generate energy.

Science

Permafrost thaw could spike global mercury, study suggests

By Sam Lemonick

New assessment adds a million tons to estimates of mercury in soil. Northern hemisphere permafrost holds at least as much, if not more, mercury than all the rest of the world’s soil, a new study finds. If the frozen soil layer, typically found at higher latitudes, thaws as climate scientists predict, global mercury levels could rise dramatically by 2100.

CEN

OECD says energy taxes in developed economies too low to fight climate change

Nina Chestney

Energy taxes in major advanced economies are not doing enough to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and drive a shift towards low-carbon sources, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said on Wednesday.

Reuters

Sea Level Rise Is Accelerating: 4 Inches Per Decade (or More) by 2100

BY BOB BERWYN

Satellite data confirm what computer models have warned for years: Oceans are rising faster as the planet warms, and coastal communities face increasing flood risk.

Inside Climate News

Companies’ contribution to sustainability through global supply chains

Tannis Thorlakson, Joann F. de Zegher and Eric F. Lambin

We develop a global database based on a random sample of publicly listed companies with annual reports in English to provide insight into how the private sector contributes to advancing global sustainability via their supply chains. This study provides a large-scale empirical analysis of corporate sustainable-sourcing practices across multiple sectors and geographies.

PNAS

Make Latin America’s farmers more tech-savvy to stop urban drift – official

by Sophie Hares

Rural poverty and limited access to land have fuelled migration to Latin America cities. Latin American agriculture needs to become more technologically savvy and be rebranded as a source of future jobs, in a bid to improve the lives of small-scale farmers and stop the drift towards cities, a senior agricultural official said.

Reuters

Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in energy-exporting regions

Jessica Jewell et al.

Contrary to the hopes of policymakers, fossil fuel subsidy removal would have only a small impact on global energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions and would not increase renewable energy use by 2030.

Nature

Scientifically assess impacts of sustainable investments

C. J. Vörösmarty et. al.

The practice of selecting and managing financial assets based on their social and environmental performance is undergoing rapid growth and fundamental change. Investors are increasingly pressed by asset owners to prove how one company’s practices are materially more or less sustainable than those of another.

Science

Global science for city policy

Michele Acuto

Research and data are increasingly at the heart of how we conceive of urban governance. Urban control rooms and city dashboards championed by cities like Chicago, São Paulo, and London have been promising real-time snapshots and tracking over time of urban systems, via geolocated mobility data sets, social media inputs, environmental sensors, and other tools. The global state of data-informed urban governance remains underdeveloped, often promising, as with the dashboards, more than it actually delivers. It is time for a step change.

Science

Linking models of human behavior and climate alters projected climate change

Brian Beckage et. al.

Although not considered in climate models, perceived risk stemming from extreme climate events may induce behavioural changes that alter greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we link the C-ROADS climate model to a social model of behavioural change to examine how interactions between perceived risk and emissions behaviour influence projected climate change. Our coupled climate and social model resulted in a global temperature change ranging from 3.4–6.2 °C by 2100 compared with 4.9 °C for the C-ROADS model alone, and led to behavioural uncertainty that was of a similar magnitude to physical uncertainty (2.8 °C versus 3.5 °C).

Nature Climate Change

 



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