Sat. Oct 23rd, 2021

Climate change updates

At the 2020 Olympics, dozens of records are set every day. Globally, another record is making history, but for the wrong reasons.

The number of so-called ‘planetary vital signs’ reaching new highs and lows, despite the limitation of human activity by the pandemic in recent years, is emphasized in a paper published earlier this week that follows a set of different indicators related to climate change.

Glaciers are melting at a record pace; sea ​​levels are always high, and the concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitric oxide in the earth’s atmosphere have never been so dense, according to the data.

A grid of line graphs showing trends in nature;  Concerned trends are being shown for global loss of tree cover, changes in ocean heat, Arctic sea ice, galaxy thickness, temperature deviations and sea level change.

“I’m worried. I’m worried. I feel it’s important that people see this data together,” said William J. Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University and co-author. “My conclusion is that we mostly do business. as usual, with the momentary interruption of the Covid-19 pandemic … but we are [already] to reach new record highs again. ”

The publication of the newspaper comes from the scope and frequency of recent times events again some scientists conclude that global warming is to blame.

Among the indicators are the deviations for land and sea surface temperatures, which reached record highs in certain areas in 2020.

At the same time as the oceans were heating up to peak temperatures, the acid was at its highest level in seven years, according to detection data. Combined together, it is known that these effects bleach coral reefs with warm water. And there are fears that the trend in these conditions may soon reach a ‘tipping point’ – after which the destruction caused may be difficult to reverse.

Three maps showing rising atmospheric trends for carbon dioxide, methane and nitric oxide

One of the main concerns of scientists, which was emphasized in the newspaper, was the lack of lasting impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had on the ‘vital’ indicators.

‘Big behavioral changes by humans to reduce energy consumption [as a result of the pandemic] had such a small effect, ”explains Ripple. ‘At this stage we need to think of great transformative change. . . Yet we are still in a fossil fuel society. “

Energy consumption from fossil fuel sources declined as the pandemic brought industry and services to a standstill in 2020. However, global energy consumption from coal power is expected to rise above pre-pandemic levels this year, according to forecasts, while energy consumption from oil and natural gas sources will recover.

Line graph of global energy trends.  Solar power and profit increase, but still oil, gas and coal

Up to 18 of the 31 indicators tracked by the group of scientists have reached recent extremes.

Yet not everyone can be viewed negatively – some give a glimmer of hope.

The use of wind and solar energy is expected to increase by a third this year, for example from 2019.

The value of global subsidies on fossil fuels fell by more than 40 percent in 2020, compared to the previous year.

And the sale of fossil fuel assets by pension funds, educational institutions, governments and other organizations continued to rise – to $ 14 tons in 2020 from $ 11.5 tons the previous year.

But according to the authors, the extent of climate action is currently not enough to reverse the main trends of concern.

“We are in a climate crisis. . . a very dangerous climate crisis, ”says Ripple. “At this stage, it is important that we do things that will have quick consequences.”

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