[Oct 23-29'23] Peak CO2 by 2023
Lots of planetary vital signs at extremes, clean energy means less energy, big Ag made UN downplay role of methane.
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!
[#antarctic] — Melting of West Antarctic ice shelves is inevitable and will contribute to rising sea levels. The warming planet is causing larger volumes of warm water to bathe the undersides of the ice shelves, leading to their thinning and the movement of land ice towards the ocean. Even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the melting cannot be halted. The study emphasizes the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions to prevent further ice loss and higher sea levels.
[#stateoftheclimate] — Global temperatures throughout mid-2023 have shattered records, with every month from June onward setting a new record. The extreme heat is attributed to the combination of El Niño conditions and human-driven warming. The year 2023 is projected to be the warmest on record. The record-setting temperatures have led to record heatwaves in many regions, and virtually all parts of the world have experienced warmer-than-usual temperatures. Factors contributing to the recent warmth include the strengthening of El Niño, the 11-year solar cycle, an unusual volcanic eruption, and the phaseout of planet-cooling sulphur dioxide in marine shipping fuels. The observed temperatures align with climate model projections, and ocean heat content has reached record highs. Antarctic sea ice extent has been at record lows, while Arctic sea ice extent has been at the low end of the historical range.
[#climatereport] — A new climate report warns that global climate extremes are pushing both natural and human systems towards collapse. The report highlights 20 out of 35 planetary vital signs that are at new extremes, including ice sheet melt, greenhouse gas emissions, and billion-dollar flood events. Experts emphasize the need to scale back fossil fuel infrastructure and address the root problem of excessive consumption by the wealthy. While there have been some positive steps, such as divestment from the fossil fuel industry and the growth of renewable energy, urgent action is needed to prevent a potential collapse of ecosystems and socioeconomic systems.
[#IEAreport] — According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) data, global CO2 emissions could peak as early as 2023, with a decline in emissions projected to follow. This shift is attributed to the accelerating transition to low-carbon technologies and the global energy crisis. The IEA also highlights the need for increased investment in clean energy and the importance of meeting climate pledges to limit global warming to 1.5C. However, the report emphasizes that current policies are insufficient to achieve these goals and calls for further action to scale up renewable energy capacity, improve energy efficiency, and reduce methane emissions.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#fossilfuels1.5C] — A new study published in Nature Communications explores the need to rapidly reduce the supply and demand of all fossil fuels - coal, oil, and gas - in order to limit global warming to 1.5C. The study found that global coal, oil, and gas supply must decline by an average of 95%, 62%, and 42%, respectively, from 2020 to 2050. The role of gas in these scenarios varied, with some relying on unachievable levels of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The study highlights the importance of cutting all fossil fuels to avoid dangerous warming.
[#cleanenergymomentum] — This article discusses the powerful momentum behind the transition to clean energy. While there are still challenges, such as Chevron's acquisition of a rival and the predictions of oil and gas demand growth, there are positive signs. The International Energy Agency predicts a peak in fossil fuel demand in about seven years, with solar, wind, hydropower, electric vehicles, and heat pumps projected to surge. The cost of solar has significantly declined, making it the cheapest source of electricity in many countries by 2027. The article emphasizes that the transition to clean energy is happening worldwide and is unstoppable.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
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