Reality:  Key Science Updates July 2022

“If your children or grandchildren live within sight of the sea, then be afraid. Very afraid. Sea-level rise is set to be one of the most devastating and disruptive consequences of climate breakdown and the prospect of the oceans drowning coastal communities by the end of the century is growing by the day.”

“Only serious and determined action now will give us any chance of avoiding a climate calamity that will swamp the world’s coastlines and displace hundreds of millions – if not billions – of people.”

Prof Bill McGuire, UCL, Climate scientist, author, contributor IPCC 3 July 2022

“Persistent heat extremes can have severe impacts on ecosystems and societies, including excess mortality, wildfires, and harvest failures. Here we identify Europe as a heatwave hotspot, exhibiting upward trends that are three-to-four times faster compared to the rest of the northern midlatitudes over the past 42 years. This accelerated trend is linked to atmospheric dynamical changes via an increase in the frequency and persistence of double jet stream states over Eurasia.”

Nature  4 July 2022

“Europe heating up faster than other ‘hot spots,’ study finds.” – research from the Potsdam Institute @PIK_Climate in the @nytimes  @syn_efou @KKornhuber

Johan Rockstrom 7 July 2022

“Methane is four times more sensitive to global warming than previously thought, a new study shows. The result helps to explain the rapid growth in methane in recent years and suggests that, if left unchecked, methane related warming will escalate in the decades to come.

Their findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest global heating is four times more influential in accelerating methane emissions than previously estimated, with rising temperatures helping to produce more methane (by speeding up microbe activity in wetlands for example), while at the same time slowing down the removal of methane from the atmosphere (with increasing numbers of wildfires reducing the availability of hydroxyl radicals in the upper atmosphere). 

“If the oxidative capacity of the air is also in trouble, as these results suggest, then we have a double-edged sword,” said Euan Nisbet, an earth scientist at Royal Holloway, University of London, who led the UK’s Global Methane Budget project and was not involved in the study. “That’s a real worry because methane acceleration is perhaps the largest factor challenging our Paris agreement goals.”

Kate Ravilious 5 July 2022

“I’m sorry everyone, I hate being so stark and it takes a lot out of me, but this IS what the process of losing essentially everything looks like and feels like. We need to end fossil fuels as though our lives depend on it, because they do, and shift into climate emergency mode.”

Peter Kalmus 7 July 2022

“When the Himalaya glaciers are gone, so are the great Asian rivers, along with 2 billion + people who rely on them to grow their food.”

 Prof Bill McGuire, UCL, Climate scientist, author, contributor IPCC Sat 9 July 2022

“If we go beyond 2 degrees #GlobalWarming, we really  are at risk of pushing the whole planet into self-amplified warming away from manageable conditions.” PIK Director @jrockstrom in @CentreNetZero podcast with @tim_gould_ @IEA 

Potsdam Institute 13 July 2022

“While the heat shocks get worse, in Europe & China, science finds evidence that rapid melting of the Arctic grinds the Jet Stream to slow and split, making bad things worse by blocking weather systems…This is a key insight + 1.2°C leads to 40-50°C shocks”

Johan Rockstrom 14 July 2022

“Hotter, faster, stronger: That isn’t a tagline for the next superhero movie. It’s what climate change is doing to extreme weather events. They’re no longer a future or distant concern, either; they are affecting us all, here + now. “

Professor Katharine Hayhoe 14 July 2022

“Bear in mind the heatwaves, wildfires, droughts across the world right now are happening within “safe” climate change of 1.2°C warming since industrial revolution. We are on course to at least double that. We risk catastrophe if we do not rapidly halt fossil fuel use.”

James Dyke 17 July 2022

“Sadly I don’t think “net zero” was coined to be “good enough”, rather, to circumvent the physics so that we could avoid questions of demand, fairness, need, sufficiency, equity, etc – all deeply problematic to our dominant & completely unsustainable economic/political world view.” 

Kevin Anderson, 20 July 2022

“The oft-cited 35C value comes from a 2010 theoretical study. However, research co-authored by Kenney this year found that the real threshold our bodies can tolerate could be far lower. “Our data is actual human subject data and shows that the critical wet-bulb temperature is closer to 31.5C,” he says.

Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre in the UK, says if the new finding is true, we are in “a whole new ball game” when it comes to extreme heat. “The numbers of people exposed to potentially deadly combinations of heat and humidity across the world would be vastly higher than previously thought.”

Jocelyn Timperley 31 July 2022