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Reading Recommendations

September 2017

New Climate Risk Classification Created to Account for Potential “Existential” Threats

Researchers identify a one-in-20 chance of temperature increase causing catastrophic damage or worse by 2050.

SCRIPPS Institution of Oceanography

OPED: Protecting the climate and the ozone layer together

The Montreal Protocol is a unique, planet-saving treaty, writes Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize for chemist for his work on ozone depleting substances.

The Guardian

Five ways to improve air quality in our cities

Gero Rueter

Around 3 million deaths worldwide were linked to outdoor air pollution in 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The European Environment Agency (EEA) says air pollution is the single largest environmental health hazard in Europe, causing around 467,000 premature deaths in Europe in 2013.


Temperature increase reduces global yields of major crops in four independent estimates

Chuang Zhao et. al.

Agricultural production is vulnerable to climate change. Understanding climate change, especially the temperature impacts, is critical if policymakers, agriculturalists, and crop breeders are to ensure global food security. Our study, by compiling extensive published results from four analytical methods, shows that independent methods consistently estimated negative temperature impacts on yields of four major crops at the global scale, generally underpinned by similar impacts at country and site scales.


How machine learning could help to improve climate forecasts

By Nicola Jones

Mixing artificial intelligence with climate science helps researchers to identify previously unknown atmospheric processes and rank climate models.


Emerging role of wetland methane emissions in driving 21st century climate change

Zhen Zhang et. al.

Conventional greenhouse gas mitigation policies ignore the role of global wetlands in emitting methane (CH4) from feedbacks associated with changing climate. Here we investigate wetland feedbacks and whether, and to what degree, wetlands will exceed anthropogenic 21st century CH4 emissions using an ensemble of climate projections and a biogeochemical methane model with dynamic wetland area and permafrost.


Best cost estimate of greenhouse gases

By R. Revesz, M. Greenstone, M. Hanemann, M. Livermore, T. Sterner, D. Grab, P. Howard, J. Schwartz

Trump’s Executive Order withdrew Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases’ (IWG) official valuations and instead instructed agencies to monetize climate effects using “the best available science and economics”. Yet IWG’s estimates already are the product of the most widely peer-reviewed models and best available data.


2.7-million-year-old ice opens window on past

By Paul Voosen

Record-setting Antarctic core holds atmospheric carbon dioxide from start of the ice ages.


Ozone treaty taking a bite out of US greenhouse gas emissions

Stephen A. Montzka et. al.

The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth’s protective ozone layer in 1989, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States. In a twist, a new study shows the 30-year old treaty has had a major side benefit of reducing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the US.

Science Daily
Can Poor Air Quality Mask Global Warming’s Effects?
Abigail Nastan
A significant improvement in air quality in the region may have contributed to the disappearance of the warming hole after about 1990

Less than 2 °C warming by 2100 unlikely

Adrian E. Raftery,  Alec Zimmer, Dargan M. W. Frierson,  Richard Startz & Peiran Liu

Here we use a country-specific version to develop a statistically based probabilistic forecast of CO2 emissions and temperature change to 2100. We develop a joint Bayesian hierarchical model for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and carbon intensity. We find that the 90% interval for cumulative CO2 emissions includes the IPCC’s two middle scenarios. The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0–4.9 °C, with median 3.2 °C and a 5% (1%) chance that it will be less than 2 °C (1.5 °C).

Nature Climate Change

The Nitrogen Problem: Why Global Warming Is Making It Worse

By Richard Conniff

New research shows that increases in rainfall and extreme weather because of climate change will increase the amount of nitrogen polluting rivers and other waterways. The findings underscore the urgency of reforming agriculture to dramatically reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers.

Yale 360

Estimating the health benefits of environmental regulations

Al McGartland, Richard Revesz, Daniel A. Axelrad, Chris Dockins, Patrice Sutton, Tracey J. Woodruff

Assessing health benefits of policies addressing environmental contaminants is important for decision-making and for informing the public about how policy affects their welfare.



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