[Oct 16-22'23] Big Ag's ties to right wing in EU
27th consecutive year of ice loss in Greenland, new way to recycle batteries and why some civilizations survived climate change
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#hurricanes] — A study published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean are now twice as likely to rapidly intensify into a major Category 3 or higher hurricane within 24 hours. This trend poses challenges for forecasting and evacuation efforts. The study also suggests that climate change and decreased sulfate aerosol pollution may contribute to the increasing intensity of hurricanes.
[#greenlandicesheet] — The Greenland ice sheet experienced its 27th consecutive year of ice loss in 2023. The melt season saw high levels of melting in July, along with above-average rain and snowfall in the late spring and early summer. Despite the cool and wet weather, Greenland still lost more ice than it gained. The ice sheet lost 196 billion tonnes of ice over the 12-month period from September 2022 to August 2023. The surface mass balance, which includes gains from snowfall and losses from runoff and evaporation, ended the year close to the 1981-2010 average. The Greenland ice sheet has not seen a net gain of ice since 1996. The weather patterns over North America and Europe, characterized by high-pressure systems and a blocked jet stream, contributed to cool and wet conditions over Greenland. The melt season was stronger than average, with melting occurring over more than 50% of the ice sheet for 29 consecutive days. The Greenland summer also experienced record-breaking conditions, with the summit station recording an average temperature almost 2 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous record. The total mass balance of the ice sheet, which includes surface mass balance, marine mass balance (calving of icebergs and melting at the front of glaciers), and basal mass balance (ice losses from the base of the ice sheet), resulted in a loss of 196 billion tonnes of ice. This indicates that the Greenland ice sheet has lost mass for 27 consecutive years, with the last year of net ice gain being 1996. The total ice loss from the Greenland ice sheet over the past year is equivalent to around 13mm of global average sea level rise.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#tidal] — A tidal energy project in New York City's East River is exploring new, recyclable materials for renewable energy technology. The project, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), developed a thermoplastic resin that is easier to recycle and better suited for corrosive saltwater environments. The thermoplastic blades outperformed traditional epoxy blades during a six-month deployment, generating a record amount of energy. Post-deployment tests are being conducted to further understand the material's performance and determine its suitability for wind and tidal turbines.
[#powergrid] — According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments and utilities need to upgrade or replace nearly 50 million miles of power grids worldwide by 2040 to meet climate goals and prevent climate-related disasters. The aging grids are already struggling, and with the increasing adoption of electric cars, heat pumps, and renewable energy, the grids are becoming the weakest link. Investment in power grids needs to double to over $600 billion a year by the end of the decade to ensure a smooth transition to clean energy.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#bigtech] — According to a report by Stand.earth, Apple is leading the way among tech giants in climate initiatives. It is the only company that has set targets for its suppliers to switch to renewable energy. However, another report by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) highlights the need for Apple to be more transparent about its supply chain emissions. The report emphasizes the importance of companies strategically purchasing renewable energy and collaborating to fight climate change.
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