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human activity and the destruction of the planet


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Met office expects surge in Carbon Dioxide levels in 2019

A report published in The Independent today (25th Jan 2019) states that scientists from the Met Office are predicting a surge this year (2019) in CO2 levels.  This is because of rising emissions due to the world’s continued use of fossil fuels will combine with reduced absorption of greenhouse gas by withering grasslands and forests, due to unprecedented heat.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/environment/co2-levels-expected-to-rise-rapidly-in-2019-met-office-scientists-warn/ar-BBSHIZM?ocid=spartandhp#image=2

A further explanation about the prediction is as follows:

CO2 levels will be at a record high once again after emissions reached unprecedented levels last year, dashing hopes the world had finally hit “peak carbon”.

Besides fossil fuels pumping out the harmful gas, natural weather fluctuations will exacerbate the problem as they hamper the ability of carbon sinks to store it.

In 2019 an upward swing in tropical Pacific Ocean temperature will make many regions warmer and drier.

As drought sets in and plants dry out, they will be less capable of sucking CO2 from the atmosphere, and massive deforestation in places like the Amazon is making this problem even worse.

The new predictions were based on monitoring at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, which has registered a 30 per cent increase in the concentration of CO2 since 1958.

“Carbon sinks have saved us from what has already happened – the future rise would have been about double if it wasn’t for the sinks. So we are lucky they exist, to be honest,” Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office Hadley Centre told The Independent.

“But the sinks themselves are affected by the climate, and that’s an important thing because it shows that as climate change continues in the future it may affect their strength.”If emissions continue to rise, a major concern is that the carbon sinks currently storing carbon will cease to function, potentially leading to uncontrollable warming and a scenario dubbed “hothouse Earth”.a close up of a map: Forecast CO2 concentrations at the Mauna Loa station for 2019 (orange), along with previous forecast concentrations and the real observed data (Met Office)
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Forecast CO2 concentrations at the Mauna Loa station for 2019 (orange), along with previous forecast concentrations and the real observed data (Met Office)
Last year Mauna Loa observatory recorded concentrations of over 410ppm in April, marking the highest level that had been reached in at least 800,000 years.This year CO2 levels in the atmosphere are likely to hit 411 parts per million (ppm).The Met Office forecast predicts the average increase in CO2 will be around 2.75ppm, the third largest annual rise on record, matched only by two years in which El Nino Pacific warming events took place.

CO2 is by far the biggest contributor to climate change, and global efforts to prevent environmental disaster largely focus on transitioning away from industries that pump it into the air.

Scientists welcomed the new data collected in Hawaii, describing it as “a call to innovate with rapid and radical responses” to the looming crisis.

“We need to reduce emissions from fossil fuel use, increase soil carbon sequestration to ‘lock-up’ CO2, decelerate deforestation and land conversion, and promote less polluting more sustainable agriculture,” said Professor Nick Ostle from Lancaster University, who was not involved in the Met Office research. “It’s a massive challenge but there are real opportunities to make an impact individually and globally.”

Further examples of the effects of global warming across the world are shown in a picture gallery in the original article.
An article in The Guardian on 25th January 2019 also carries this story but giving further detail and linking the predictions to an expected El Niño event in 2019:


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BBC Website gives updates on the Paris Agreement and the Climate Vulnerable Forum

This extract is taken from:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-39861589

According to the BBC, Chinese President, Xi Jinping has vowed to protect the Paris Agreement, which aims to curb climate change and fossil fuel emissions.

In contrast, US President, Donald Trump, is still deciding whether to withdraw from the Accord, one of the issues he promised to do during his election campaign.  According to the BBC climate experts worry that such a move from Trump would throw the agreeent into chaos.  A White House meeting to discuss the topic on Tuesday of this week, was postponed amid reports of divisions among senior Trump advisors.

Under former President, Barack Obama, the US and China issued several joint statements on climate change, even announcing together that they would sign the Paris Agreement.

The two countries are the world’s biggest polluters.

Almost 200 countries have backed the agreement, which aims to keep temperature increases below 1.5 degreesC.

 

A further update on other progress has appeared on the BBC’s website on Science and Environment:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39954423

It provides details of further meetings of the CVF (Climate Vulnerable Forum) and is copied below:

“The world’s poorest nations say the Paris climate agreement is their “lifeline” and must be strengthened.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum, (CVF) representing 48 countries, said the deal was crucial to their survival.

In a swipe at President Trump’s oft-used phrase, they said that “no country would be great again” without swift action.

Thousands of delegates are meeting in Bonn to develop the rule book for the Paris deal.

Around one billion people live in countries that are part of the CVF.

The group firmly supports the idea, enshrined in the Paris agreement, that countries would do all in their power to keep temperatures from increasing more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

“Keeping to 1.5 degrees is quite simply a matter of survival,” said Debasu Bayleyegn Eyasu from Ethiopia, which holds the presidency of the CVF.

“For all of us, the Paris agreement is our lifeline.”

Other speakers highlighted the fact that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the current US position on climate change.

President Trump is expected to decide on future US participation in the Paris accord after the G7 summit in Italy next week.

Picking up on Mr Trump’s “make America great again,” election battle-cry, Emmanuel Guzman from the Philippines said: “Without increased climate action, no country will be great again.”

350px-Map_of_Philippines

“The measure of greatness is how you are able to increase and enhance your climate action.”

Mr Guzman said he was calling on all world leaders to increase their ambition and not just Mr Trump.

“I would not like to point a finger at someone, but it is a call for action by all big or small.

“If we don’t achieve the goals of the Paris agreement there are irreversible damages and consequences.”

“It’s a grim scenario – that’s really unacceptable to us.”

The group highlighted some of the important differences between keeping temperature rises under 2 degrees or under 1.5.

The Greenland ice sheet would enter irreversible long-term decline, with significant impacts on sea levels at 1.6 degrees one delegate said.

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Warming beyond 1.5 would also “appreciably increase the prevalence of extreme storms that have already been capable of large-scale loss of life and cutting a year’s GDP in half for some of our members.”

At the last major conference of negotiators in Marrakech last November, members of the CVF committed themselves to moving towards 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

“Costa Rica produces 100% renewable energy most of the year,” said William Calvo, the country’s adjunct chief negotiator.

“But we won’t stop there: we are tackling now the transport sector and hope to even export renewable power more widely in the region.”

kaart CR-PAWP

The idea that other countries are capable of picking up the slack if the Americans pull out of Paris gained support this week with the release of an analysis showing that India and China are likely to overshoot existing targets to cut carbon.

President Trump’s actions to revitalise the coal industry in the US and to de-regulate oil and gas are unlikely to rapidly increase emissions before 2030 says the study from the Climate Action Tracker.

Between 2013 and 2016 China’s coal use declined each year and a continued slow decline is expected. India says that planned coal-fired power plants may not be needed if recently announced green policies are effective.

“You have to have the U.S. on board ultimately to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement,” Bill Hare from Climate Analytics told news agencies.

“But if there’s a hiatus for four years it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the game”.