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Reading Recommendations

January 2020

Climate econometric models indicate solar geoengineering would reduce inter-country income inequality

Exploring heterogeneity in the economic impacts of solar geoengineering is a fundamental step towards understanding the risk tradeoff associated with a geoengineering option. To evaluate impacts of solar geoengineering and greenhouse gas-driven climate change on equal terms, we apply macroeconomic impact models that have been widely applied to climate change impacts assessment.




Let’s stop dumping cookstoves in local communities. It’s time to get implementation right

Improved cookstoves have been on the market for over seven decades. The rationale for their need is simple: three billion people worldwide rely on solid fuels (e.g., wood and coal) as their main energy source.



Natural Gas Use Is Rising: Is that Good News or Bad News for the Climate?

It’s a little of both for now, but in the long run, it’s bad. Increased natural gas and oil use are driving the increase in carbon dioxide emissions and are outpacing slight declines from global coal use. With natural gas use surging globally at 2.6 percent a year and with increased emissions from it outpacing decreased emissions from coal globally, we need to reevaluate the role of natural gas as a bridge fuel.


Scientific American

Water wars: early warning tool uses climate data to predict conflict hotspots

Tension over water scarcity is increasing across the globe. A new system flags up where this threatens to erupt into violence. Researchers from six organisations have developed an early warning system to help predict potential water conflicts as violence associated with water surges globally


The Guardian

Drivers of change in China’s energy-related CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions are of global concern because of climate change. China has become the largest CO2 emitter in the world and presently accounts for 30% of global emissions. Here, we analyze the major drivers of energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1978 when the reform and opening-up policy was launched.




The past and future of global river ice

More than one-third of Earth’s landmass is drained by rivers that seasonally freeze over. Ice transforms the hydrologic, ecologic, climatic and socio-economic functions of river corridors. Although river ice extent has been shown to be declining in many regions of the world, the seasonality, historical change and predicted future changes in river ice extent and duration have not yet been quantified globally.



Nanoparticle size distributions in Mexico city

Particle size distributions in the 10–400 nm diameter size range were measured at a site south of Mexico City, during 30 non-consecutive days from October to December 2016 using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer, together with meteorological parameters and criteria pollutants concentration.



Science Direct

Sustainable minerals and metals for a low-carbon future

Climate change mitigation will create new natural resource and supply chain opportunities and dilemmas, because substantial amounts of raw materials will be required to build new low-carbon energy devices and infrastructure. However, despite attempts at improved governance and better corporate management, procurement of many mineral and metal resources occurs in areas generally acknowledged for mismanagement, remains environmentally capricious, and, in some cases, is a source of conflict at the sites of resource extraction.




Assessing progress towards sustainable development over space and time

To address global challenges 193 countries have committed to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)5. Quantifying progress towards achieving the SDGs is essential to track global efforts towards sustainable development and guide policy development and implementation. However, systematic methods for assessing spatio-temporal progress towards achieving the SDGs are lacking. Here we develop and test systematic methods to quantify progress towards the 17 SDGs at national and subnational levels in China.




These Are the Biggest Climate Questions for the New Decade

The 2010s brought major climate science advances, but researchers still want to pin down estimates of Arctic melt and sea-level rise. In the past decade, scientists substantially improved their ability to draw connections between climate change and extreme weather events. They made breakthroughs in their understanding of ice sheets. They raised critical questions about the implications of Arctic warming. They honed their predictions about future climate change.


Scientific American

Short-term effects of air pollution on blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure (BP) has been proposed as a possible pathophysiological mechanism linking exposure to ambient air pollution and the increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.




We Need an International Center for Climate Modeling

The science community must join forces to provide the most accurate long-term predictions and make their results publicly accessible. Earth’s climate is changing, and we must decide what to do about it. Existing climate models all predict further warming, but for all we currently know, this trend could range from modest and manageable to an existential threat. In face of such large uncertainty it is difficult to agree on a course of action. For this reason, we propose the formation of an international initiative for high resolution climate models with the aim of providing more reliable long-term predictions.


Scientific American

Sensitivity of the global carbonate weathering carbon-sink flux to climate and land-use changes

The response of carbonate weathering carbon-sink flux (CCSF) to its environmental drivers is still not well understood on the global scale. This hinders understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Here, we show that there is likely to be a widespread and consistent increase in the global CCSF (ranging from + 9.8% (RCP4.5) to + 17.1% (RCP8.5)) over the period 1950–2100. In the coming years the increasing temperature might be expected to have a negative impact on carbonate weathering.



New air pollution monitor can measure extremely low levels of NO2

Pippa Neill

A low-cost, graphene-based NO2 detector that measures air pollution levels in real-time has been created by researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).


Air Quality News

Newly spotted lakes on Greenland ice sheet are speeding up its demise

Satellite sleuthing reveals that Greenland summers now are warm enough to create 27 percent more lakes than 20 years ago, and at higher elevations.



Cities are set to miss 80% of their 2020 emission reduction goals

For nations and cities across the world, 2020 was set to be a milestone year in their fight against climate change. It’s the first in a series of globally earmarked emission-reduction waypoints—2020, 2030, 2050—with 2020 planned as an initial benchmarking moment, a time to see progress towards meeting targets aimed at limiting global warming.



Clean air as a human right

Most of the global population is exposed without their consent to hazardous substances and wastes that increase their likelihood of developing diseases and disabilities throughout their lives. In some cases, it has the potential to be a human rights violation.


UN Environment Programme

The polar regions in a 2°C warmer world

Over the past decade, the Arctic has warmed by 0.75°C, far outpacing the global average, while Antarctic temperatures have remained comparatively stable. As Earth approaches 2°C warming, the Arctic and Antarctic may reach 4°C and 2°C mean annual warming, and 7°C and 3°C winter warming, respectively. Expected consequences of increased Arctic warming include ongoing loss of land and sea ice, threats to wildlife and traditional human livelihoods, increased methane emissions, and extreme weather at lower latitudes.



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