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Global heating and the climate chaos that results from it: a slideshow summary to mark the global schoolchildrens' strike

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Global heating and the climate chaos that results from it: a slideshow summary to mark the global schoolchildrens' strike

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A slideshow-summary for-the-busy prepared for the team at Solarcentury, as a backgrounder for our support for the youth strike event on 20th September and the Extinction Rebellion protest on 7th October.

A slideshow-summary for-the-busy prepared for the team at Solarcentury, as a backgrounder for our support for the youth strike event on 20th September and the Extinction Rebellion protest on 7th October.

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Global heating and the climate chaos that results from it: a slideshow summary to mark the global schoolchildrens' strike

  1. 1. Global heating and the climate chaos that results from it: an overview A slideshow summary for-the-busy Jeremy Leggett
  2. 2. The problem 7th Jan 2016 The main atmospheric greenhouse gases derived from human activities: Carbon dioxide Methane Halocarbons Nitrous oxide …all increasing, all trapping heat in the atmosphere Zero scientific doubt about this
  3. 3. 7th Jan 2016 5th Jun 2019 Atmosphere CO2 increased in 2018 by the 2nd highest annual amount in the past six decades Concentrations were 414.8 parts per million in May ….3.5ppm higher than the same time last year. 1990s: average annual growth rate c. 1.5ppm Last decade: average annual growth rate c. 2.2 ppm
  4. 4. 7th Jan 2016 24th May 2019 Atmospheric methane concentrations reach a new record in 2018, continuing ascent since 2007 And the oil and gas industry fracks away, despite methane leakage often being substantial ….where measured. ppb Large scale fracking of shale starts in the USA (one candidate reason for the increase, or part thereof)
  5. 5. 7th Jan 2016 24th May 2019 New NOAA data show that atmospheric methane levels surged to a new record in 2018 And the oil and gas industry fracks away, often lobbying to suppress even monitoring of leakage, often substantial where measured. ppb Large scale fracking of shale starts in the USA (one candidate reason for the increase, or part thereof) This presentation omits the many solutions and policy and social responses underway. Looking at the problem without a solutions context can be very depressing, especially for those relatively new to the facts. Accordingly, I would invite you to keep in mind during the presentation what I consider to be the single most encouraging fact in terms of the policy fixes we need…..
  6. 6. Just 100 companies have been responsible for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988 Source: Carbon Disclosure Project
  7. 7. The problem 7th Jan 2016 They face huge risk of having their licence to do this removed in the years ahead, and those who replace them and / or convert them have huge opportunities Just one example…..
  8. 8. An equity research house removes all “buy” ratings from the biggest integrated oil companies 7th Jan 2016 6th Sep 2019 “Sector underestimates regulations aimed at curbing climate change.” Oil demand peak within 5 years means sector faces “an existential risk.” Redburn hits ExxonMobil hit with a rare “double downgrade”, bumping the world’s biggest oil company from “buy” to “sell” in one move
  9. 9. The problem 7th Jan 2016 An opening thought from an icon of our times
  10. 10. “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children” 7th Jan 2016 14th Dec 2018 Governments have been negotiating to slow global heating for 30 years. In my experience they have definitely tended not to tell it like it is. Greta Thunberg, Age 15 Addressing the 2018 annual climate summit
  11. 11. A history of the relevant science
  12. 12. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues a stark warning: the first of many Hundreds of scientists from universities and government labs (NASA, the Met Office, etc), from many countries, are involved in this body. 7th Jan 2016 May 1990 A typical UN IPCC meeting
  13. 13. The first IPCC science report: c. 0.5˚C rise in global average temperature since pre-industrial times 7th Jan 2016 May 1990 Global-mean combined land-air and sea-surface temperatures 1861 1989, relative to the average for 1951-80
  14. 14. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2019 And today? c.1˚C increase, with the hottest 5 years being the last 5 years Global temperature anomaly ˚C Since IPCC report 1990
  15. 15. IPCC’s first forecast: Business-as-usual GHG emissions will heat the planet >4˚C by 2100 7th Jan 2016 May 1990 Front page headlines included: “Race to Save Our World”: Daily Express. “Thatcher urges global action on environment”: Financial Times. etc.
  16. 16. 7th Jan 2016 June 2019 The sum of national policies, pledges and targets is far from hitting the Paris Agreement commitment 1.5˚C 0˚C 2˚C 4˚C Paris Agreement goal (to keep below) Paris Agreement aspiration (to keep below) 3.3˚C 3.3˚C 4.4˚C Current policies 3.0˚C 2.4˚C 3.8˚C Pledges & targets Source: The Paris Agreement of December 2015 was signed by 195 governments, and quickly ratified by enough of them to come into force in November 2016.
  17. 17. Two recent IPCC reports provide the most dire warnings yet of the difference a degree makes
  18. 18. 7th Jan 2016 7th Oct 2018 Latest UN scientists’ report finds ruinous contrast between 1.5˚C & 2˚C global heating To avoid going above 1.5˚C, emissions must be cut from 2010 levels by 45% by 2030, and to net zero by 2050 (20% by 2030 and net zero by 2075 for 2˚C).
  19. 19. Early impacts are especially clear in the coral reefs, the Arctic, coastal flooding, & heat-related health Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate. We are near 1˚C already 2006 - 2015 ipcc Global warming of 1.5˚C 2.0 1.5 1.0 0 Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900
  20. 20. UN scientists review impacts of observed and predicted global heating on land 7th Jan 2016 8th Aug 2019 Already: “Climate change, including increases in frequency and intensity of extremes, has adversely impacted food security and terrestrial ecosystems as well as contributed to desertification and land degradation in many regions.”
  21. 21. “The land surface air temperature has risen nearly twice as much as the global average temperature” ipcc Climate Change and Land Change in surface air temperature over land = 1.53˚C relative to 1850 - 1900 Change in global (land & ocean) mean surface temperature (GMST) = 0.87˚C relative to 1850 - 1900 2˚C: Paris Agreement commitment (195 governments) 1.5˚C: Paris aspiration 0.87˚C: Global heating
  22. 22. Above 1˚C risks to humans and ecosystems from changes in land-based processes soar Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  23. 23. A tour of some current impacts and forward projections by the IPCC and other scientific teams
  24. 24. Coral reefs, the second most diverse ecosystem on the planet, are very temperature sensitive Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate. We are near 1˚C already 2006 - 2015 ipcc Global warming of 1.5˚C 2.0 1.5 1.0 0 Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900
  25. 25. A healthy coral reef
  26. 26. 2nd Mar 2016 2nd Mar 2016 xGreat Barrier Reef suffering worst ever coral bleaching … 29th Mar 2016 Previous worst episode: 1997-98 Global reef death toll: 16% 95% of reefs from Cairns to PNG are severely bleached 50% mortality so far
  27. 27. 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 Coral reefs head for ‘knock-out punch’ as bleaching episodes return ever more frequently From once every 25-30 years in the early 1980s to an average of once every 6 years today: international team publishing in Science.
  28. 28. 7th Jan 2016 10th Jan 2019 Updated ocean heat content measurements in studies during the last 5 years remove the 40% discordance with climate models reported by the IPCC in 2013. Ocean warming accelerating faster than previously thought, new Chinese & American research finds
  29. 29. Temperatures are rising much faster at high northern latitudes than at lower latitudes Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate. We are near 1˚C already 2006 - 2015 ipcc Global warming of 1.5˚C 2.0 1.5 1.0 0 Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900
  30. 30. 7th Jan 2016 21st Aug 2018 Abnormal heat in the Arctic has been worrying scientists all year, and now winds have helped break up an area normally solid all summer. Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice, north of Greenland, breaks up for first time on record
  31. 31. 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 First ship takes direct route across Arctic ice cap …and it is an LNG carrier
  32. 32. 7th Jan 2016 2nd Aug 2019 The Greenland ice sheet is melting much faster than the historical average this year 2019 1981 - 2010 median Surface area melting sq km Guardian graphic Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado Boulder
  33. 33. If the entire Greenland ice sheet melts it would raise global sea levels by more than 7 metres 7th Jan 2016 2nd Aug 2019 Rivers of meltwater on the surface of the sheet are observed disappearing down huge crevasses, and scientists fear lubrication of the base of the ice will accelerate collapse.
  34. 34. Coastal flooding is about both extreme inundation events and sea-level rise Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate. We are near 1˚C already 2006 - 2015 ipcc Global warming of 1.5˚C 2.0 1.5 1.0 0 Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900
  35. 35. “Especially storms of previously unobserved strength.” Very bad news for the insurance industry, and all who live in the cyclone belt. Global warming is making tropical cyclones stronger, renowned climatologists conclude 7th Jan 2016 30th May 2018 Future Today Graph by Kerry Emanuel, MIT
  36. 36. e.g.: “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced” 7th Jan 2016 27th Aug 2017 Hurricane Harvey forecast rainfall Houston city officials: “Head to your roofs, not your attics” So says the US National Weather Service
  37. 37. Evacuation warnings in place for 1.7 million people and 800,000 are without power in the Carolinas 7th Jan 2016 15th Sep 2018 Florence has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm …but eight months of rain are expected to fall in 3 days.
  38. 38. The Weather Channel warns of Florence storm surges in places up to >9 feet 7th Jan 2016 15th Sep 2018 “This is an absolute life threatening situation ….if you are told to go, go!”
  39. 39. 7th Jan 2016 11th Oct 2018 Hurricane Michael: Category 4 storm hits Florida for the 1st time ever, flattening whole neighbourhoods This time wind is the problem: up to 155 mph, 5 mph < Category 5. Governor Rick Scott, climate denier: “unimaginable devastation.” Solarcentury solar farm, Panama
  40. 40. Global insured losses of $144 bn in 2017 were the highest ever, economic losses of $337 bn 2nd highest 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria = combined insured losses of $92 bn, equal to 0.5% of US GDP. Wildfire losses of $14bn also highest ever. Source: Swiss Re Institute USD at 2017 prices
  41. 41. So estimates a Stanford University economic study. “The benefits of meeting the targets vastly outweigh the costs”: a common conclusion. Hitting 1.5˚C Paris target vs 2˚ will save the world c. $30 trillion in climate-related damages by 2030 7th Jan 2016 23rd May 2018 Future Today
  42. 42. Insurers warn that climate change could make insurance unaffordable, threatening social order 7th Jan 2016 20th Mar 2019 Munich Re‘s Ernst Rauch warns of unaffordability for ordinary people. Insurance Europe’s Nicolas Jeanmart warns of societal implications. Wyoming oil and gas operations
  43. 43. Cyclone Idai: “one of the worst weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere” 7th Jan 2016 20th Mar 2019 >100 km/hr winds and vast flooding in Mozambique, with grave damage to Zimbabwe and Malawi, including to crops.
  44. 44. “Delaying the transition is responsible for millions of deaths every year:” World Health Organisation Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate. We are near 1˚C already 2006 - 2015 ipcc Global warming of 1.5˚C 2.0 1.5 1.0 0 Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 María Neira, WHO director of public health, at the Dec 2018 climate summit
  45. 45. 7th Jan 2016 28th Nov 2018 Climate change is already a health emergency, say experts from 27 organizations in The Lancet Top concerns include heatwave impacts, spread of infectious diseases. “The findings are clear and the stakes could not be higher. We cannot delay action”: Tedros Ghebreyesus, World Health Organisation DG.
  46. 46. 7th Jan 2016 5th July 2018 Africa’s hottest temperature ever: 124.3˚F (51.3˚C) in Ouargla, Algeria. Northern Siberia: > 90˚F ….> 40˚F above normal. Los Angeles highest-ever: 111˚F. And so on and so on. “Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week”
  47. 47. 7th Jan 2016 28th Nov 2018 The Lancet Countdown study: Extreme heat threatens “systemic failure” of hospitals
  48. 48. And beyond global heating impacts, let us not forget the impacts of fossil-fuel air pollution on human health
  49. 49. Including 3 billion people breathing deadly fumes from domestic cooking stoves and fires, causing an estimated 3.8 million deaths. Air pollution kills 7 million people a year, WHO reports, and 90% globally breathe polluted air 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  50. 50. University of London cardiologists find exposure to nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 and PM10 particles linked to an increase in the size of ventricles. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Aug 2018 Air pollution linked to changes in structure of the heart of the sort seen in early stages of heart failure
  51. 51. Air pollution deaths are double previous estimates, new data show, making it worse than smoking 7th Jan 2016 12th Mar 2019 Research published in the European Heart Journal estimates that nearly 800,000 in Europe die prematurely each year. Fossil fuels most to blame.
  52. 52. 7th Jan 2016 14th Feb 2019 “Oil is an ethical investment, says BP” Spencer Dale, chief economist, says that the debate over tackling climate change suffers from a lack of understanding about the “basic arithmetic” of oil supply and demand.
  53. 53. Above 1˚C risks to humans and ecosystems from changes in land-based processes soar Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  54. 54. Intense droughts are already having an impact on agricultural productivity in multiple countries ipcc Climate Change and Land
  55. 55. “Australia is devastated by drought, yet it won't budge on climate change” Dire droughts like the record-breaker in Australia currently are increasingly common around the world. nd 7th Jan 2016 22nd Aug 2018
  56. 56. Australian farmers are committing suicide at twice the rate of the general population Other countries are reporting the same problem. The suicide rate for American farmers is more than double that of veterans. nd 7th Jan 2016 20th May 2019
  57. 57. Cascading risks: for example, when combining drought and soil erosion, 1 + 1 = more than 2 Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  58. 58. Soil erosion from conventionally-tilled agricultural fields is c. 100 times higher than soil formation rate It is c. 10-20 times even without tillage. The IPCC policymakers summary does not explore where this takes us if the trend continues. ipcc Climate Change and Land
  59. 59. We will return to this point later
  60. 60. Land vegetation is a sink for carbon dioxide …and it is essential to maintain and grow that sink Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  61. 61. One forest cubic metre sequesters c. 1.4 tonnes Cutting carbon emissions one tonne at a time: two examples One solar light saves c. 1 tonne
  62. 62. “The natural response of land to human-induced environmental change caused a net sink of around 11.2 GtCO2/yr during 2007-2016” ipcc Climate Change and Land Equivalent to 29% of total CO2 emissions. However, “the persistence of the sink is uncertain due to climate change” (my emphasis).
  63. 63. Amazon deforestation is accelerating towards an unrecoverable tipping point, Brazilian scientists say 7th Jan 2016 24th Jul 2019 Government data show a surge to three football pitches a minute in the 7 months since hard-right populist president Bolsonaro came to power.
  64. 64. Tens of thousands of fires in the Amazon rainforest prompt international outrage and action by the G7 7th Jan 2016 27th Aug 2019 Brazil has had >72,000 fire outbreaks so far this year, an 84% increase on the same period in 2018. French president Emmanuel Macron, host of the G7 meeting, and other EU leaders, threaten not to ratify a recent trade deal with Brazil if environmental commitments are not met. Guardian graphic, Source: Nasa
  65. 65. Wildfires are already unprecedented worldwide …with much worse above 1.5˚C Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  66. 66. Siberian wildfires July 2019 7th Jan 2016 23rd Jul 2019 “Siberia’s wildfires seen from a million miles away” Source: EPIC camera, NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory
  67. 67. 7th Jan 2016 2nd Aug 2019 Russia declares a state of emergency as worst-ever wildfires rage, shrouding Moscow in smoke
  68. 68. 7th Jan 2016 18th July 2018 There have been many fires before in Sweden, but never over such a wide area. EU nations asked for emergency assistance in firefighting. Wildfires rage across the Arctic Circle - worst in Sweden, which calls for international help
  69. 69. “More and more Americans are starting to accept climate change is happening, despite Trump….” 7th Jan 2016 5th Aug 2018 “Our climate plans are in pieces as killer summer shreds records”
  70. 70. 7th Jan 2016 10th Nov 2018 Northern California wildfire incinerates most of a town called Paradise, killing many 27,000 people escape on a highway through “a wall of fire”. Wildfires also rage in south. 150,000 evacuated in all, including all of Malibu.
  71. 71. “The Terrifying Science Behind California’s Massive Camp Fire” 7th Jan 2016 10th Nov 2018 “This is what a climate change reckoning looks like.” “The atmosphere as it gets warmer is thirstier.” “Climate change is sucking California dry.” Meteorologist Rob Elvington in a prescient tweet the day before the fire broke out: “Worse than no rain is negative rain. Evaporative Demand Index (EDDI) is maxing out for some areas for the last 4 weeks.”
  72. 72. Wildfires burn across UK amid highest winter temperatures ever recorded 7th Jan 2016 26th Feb 2019 Eye witness: “It looks like the end of the world, it looks like the apocalypse is happening.” Saddleworth Moor ….February in Britain
  73. 73. Major risk lurks in trapped methane and carbon dioxide below the permafrost even at 1.5˚C Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  74. 74. “Projected thawing of permafrost is expected to increase the loss of soil carbon.” ipcc Climate Change and Land
  75. 75. 7th Jan 2016 17th Feb 2017 A study by the Northwest Territories Geological Survey shows 52,000 square miles in rapid decline. “Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release” “Scientists estimate that the world's permafrost holds twice as much carbon as the atmosphere.”
  76. 76. 7th Jan 2016 16th Jan 2019 Average warming 0.5˚Fahrenheit between 2007 and 2016. The most dramatic warming was found in the Siberian Arctic: 1.6˚F. Global deep permafrost monitoring network shows alarming warming in last decade Temperature data collected at an average depth of 45 feet at >120 sites in Arctic, Antarctic, and high mountains.
  77. 77. Methane release from Arctic permafrost found to be > doubled by unexpectedly abrupt thawing 7th Jan 2016 20th Aug 2018 NASA-funded international team observe emissions from carbon deep in thermokarst lakes, a warming impact not included in climate models.
  78. 78. 7th Jan 2016 2nd Jan 2019 These measurements, published today in Nature, are the third set of sub-glacier data of this kind. None of it is included in climate models. New data: Greenland melt water drives continuous export of methane from below the ice-sheet “Our results indicate that ice sheets overlie extensive, biologically active methanogenic wetlands and that high rates of methane export to the atmosphere can occur via efficient subglacial drainage pathways.” Guillaume Lamarche-Gagnon (Bristol University) et al in Nature
  79. 79. “The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases” Globalmeansurfacetemperaturechange˚C relativetopre-industrialtime1850-1900 Yellow is moderate risk.. Red is high risk.. Purple is very high risk.. Levels of IPCC confidence in assessments: H is high, M is moderate, L is low. 2006 - 2015 Dryland water scarcity Soil erosion Vegetation loss Wildfire damage ipcc Climate Change and Land We are near 1˚C already Permafrost degradation Tropical crop yield decline Food supply instabilities “Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe” 1 0 2 3 4 5 1.5
  80. 80. World's food supply under “severe threat” from loss of biodiversity: Food & Agriculture Organisation 7th Jan 2016 21st Feb 2019 Data collated from 91 governments in the first UN survey of the lifeforms that put food on our plates.
  81. 81. 7th Jan 2016 28th Nov 2018 Global food system is broken, say 130 of the world’s national academies of science and medicine Agriculture = 1/3rd of all greenhouse-gas emissions, and 1/3rd of all food produced is wasted. Radical change is needed: less meat, improved farming methods, focus on nutritious food rather than cheap food. Hunger continues to grow. In 2017, 821 million people - one in every nine - went hungry, the UK FAO reports.
  82. 82. So at this point, perhaps I should stop. But….
  83. 83. Tell the truth
  84. 84. IPCC reports, being written by a committee of many dozens of experts, are lowest- common-denominator syntheses ….and hence pull punches
  85. 85. Synergy between climate and other global risks “threatens 2008-style system collapse” 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2019 So concludes the IPPR, describing the intersection of climate with e.g. soil infertility, pollinator loss, chemical leaching and ocean acidification as a “new domain of risk” to which many policymakers seem blind.
  86. 86. Agriculture provides a particularly worrying example of synergy between climate and other global risks
  87. 87. This in Jeremy Grantham’s update of his classic letter to investors on climate change in holistic context, “The Race of Our Lives.” 7th Jan 2016 9th Aug 2018 Average Annual Agricultural Productivity Growth in the United States Average of yield growth for corn, wheat, and rice Source:USDANASS *GMOprojectionexcludingfutureeffectsof erosionandclimatechange.Asof1/31/18 . US & Europe under food stress as is: productivity of grains per acre is falling as natural limits approach 7th Jan 2016 9th Aug 2018
  88. 88. 7th Jan 2016 9th Aug 2018 “We’re losing perhaps 1% of our collective global soil a year …about a half a percent of our arable land a year.” Soil erosion: “It is the one or two great downpours every few years that cause the trouble” Gullying after heavy rain Soil Depth in Iowa Has Halved Since Intensive Cultivation Began
  89. 89. “It is calculated that there are only 30 to 70 good harvest years left, depending on your location.” 7th Jan 2016 And when we combine the effects of grain productivity limits, soil erosion, and global heating…. US grain yields, historical and projected Index averaging corn, soy and rice yields 2017 =1 . Source:USDANASS,Rhodes2014,Liangetal 2017,GMO.AsofendApril2018.
  90. 90. Flying insects numbers have plunged by 76% over the past 25 years, according to a comprehensive German study. Insects are pollinators. Scientists warn of “ecological Armageddon” after discovering a dramatic plunge in insect numbers 7th Jan 2016 18th Oct 2017
  91. 91. “One-third of all the food plants that we eat need pollination, every flower needs a pollinator. What we’ve done is created a toxic world, which is apparently not conducive to life as we know it.” 7th Jan 2016 9th Aug 2018 75% of flying insects “have just gone missing: why isn’t this a dramatic item in our news?”
  92. 92. 7th Jan 2016 10th Feb 2019 Rapid extinction of world’s insects threatens a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems” So concludes the first global scientific review, of 73 studies, by Australian & Chinese scientists: At current rate of decline, 2.5% p.a. over last 25 -30 years, insects will be gone within 100 years. Factors: pesticide use (main), climate change (especially in tropics) and urbanisation. Within the last ten years:
  93. 93. A commonly-cited example of an IPCC pulled punch is the impact of fast melting in the East Antarctic ice sheet
  94. 94. Sea level rise due to Antarctic ice melt has tripled in the past five years, satellite measurements show 7th Jan 2016 13th Jun 2018 The international Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise, using multiple satellites, shows most mass change in West Antarctica.
  95. 95. 7th Jan 2016 10th Dec 2018 Satellite data show for the first time that many of East Antarctica’s glaciers are thinning & speeding up If all the ice were to slide or melt, it would lift global ocean height 28 metres. “That's the water equivalent to four Greenlands of ice,” says Catherine Walker of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
  96. 96. One more example to make the point: oxygenation in the oceans
  97. 97. 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950 Smithsonian-led scientific team warns that fossil fuel burning is the cause of large-scale deoxygenation: warmer waters hold less oxygen. Where the heat from global warming goes: Source:SkepticalScience
  98. 98. The worry is that both synergizing impacts and individual impacts might entail points of no return
  99. 99. International scientific team warns of coalescing amplifying feedbacks from melting methane hydrates and other sources risks runaway effect. 7th Jan 2016 7th Aug 2018 “Climate change: 'Hothouse Earth' risks even if CO2 emissions slashed”
  100. 100. By way of conclusion….
  101. 101. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Dec 2018 David Attenborough warns climate summit that civilisation will collapse if we do not act “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
  102. 102. Collapse is a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and stage 7th Jan 2016 18th Feb 2019 “Studying the demise of historic civilisations can tell us how much risk we face today. Worryingly, the signs are worsening.” The average lifespan of a civilisation, based on these 83 spanning 4,000 years of human history, is 336 years 3000BC 2000BC 1000BC 1000 0 Luke Kemp, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
  103. 103. “The world is worsening in areas that have contributed to the collapse of previous societies” 7th Jan 2016 18th Feb 2019 “The collapse of our civilisation is not inevitable. …We are only doomed if we are unwilling to listen to the past”: Luke Kemp.
  104. 104. We are clearly not listening hard enough, collectively, as things stand
  105. 105. Jenny Chase, Bloomberg: “I fear my daughter will have to kill” in fights for habitable land. James Murray, Business Green: “I’m fucking terrified.” 7th Jan 2016 7th Aug 2018 Top journalists write graphically about their terror of climate meltdown, deep fears for their children
  106. 106. And this drama is about more than the fate of civilisation
  107. 107. 7th Jan 2016 7th Dec 2018 US scientists: modern climate change “solidly in the same category” as end Permian mass extinction 96% of all oceanic species died in just a few thousands years then, from reducing oxygen in warming water. With the warming of the last 50 years, oxygen has declined 2%, and continues to drop.
  108. 108. ....today they just got a whole lot worse A slideshow precis for busy people by Jeremy Leggett This is why we talk of extinction
  109. 109. If the planet were a sick human, the best analogy is that she has advanced-stage cancer. A strategy of mixed radical medical intervention - and medical innovation - could yet provide a cure ….but this has yet to be properly applied. ….And throughout the proper application, the patient and her medics will remain uncertain of ultimate success.
  110. 110. This is why so many are beginning to rebel ….and why we must be with them
  111. 111. 1989 - 2000 2000 - 2004 30 years of global heating, 1989 - 2019
  112. 112. 2004 - 2013 2013 - 2016 30 years of global heating, 1989 - 2019
  113. 113. 2019 - 2030 The next 11 years of global heating, 2019 - 2030 Title to be decided Text to be written We are medics, with a vital tool for treating the patient. We have a sacred duty, ….but also no choice. Good luck, and strength, to all.

Editor's Notes

  • http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/02/13/11-takeaways-draft-un-report-1-5c-global-warming-limit/
  • https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/14/15-year-old-greta-thunberg-speaks-truth-to-power-in-katowice/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/04/latest-data-shows-steep-rises-in-co2-for-seventh-year
    Image: from article
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    Image: from article
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    Image: from article
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/09/just-100-companies-responsible-71pc-greenhouse-gases-since-1988/
    Image: cbc.ca
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://www.ft.com/content/b214d780-cffd-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f
    Image: from article
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/14/15-year-old-greta-thunberg-speaks-truth-to-power-in-katowice/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/14/15-year-old-greta-thunberg-speaks-truth-to-power-in-katowice/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/03/ipcc_far_wg_I_full_report.pdf
    Image: from report
  • https://www.vox.com/2019/2/6/18214188/2018-hottest-year-record-temperature-nasa-noaa
    Image: from article
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    Image: from report
  • https://climateactiontracker.org/
    Image: from website
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    Image: Climate Home
  • http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    Image: Climate Home, adapted
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: cover of report
  • https://docfinder.bnpparibas-am.com/api/files/1094E5B9-2FAA-47A3-805D-EF65EAD09A7F
    Image: cover of report
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/14/15-year-old-greta-thunberg-speaks-truth-to-power-in-katowice/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    Image: Climate Home, adapted
  • Image: http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2012/09/coral-in-caribbean-florida-in-sharp.html
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-35914009
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42571484
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80
    Image: TheNOAA’s National Ocean Service
  • https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-observations-and-models-agree-that-the-oceans-are-warming-faster
    Image: from article
  • http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    Image: Climate Home, adapted
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record
    Image: from article

  • Image: YouTube screenshot
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/02/heatwaves-amplify-near-record-levels-of-ice-melt-in-northern-hemisphere
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/17/the-greenland-ice-sheet-is-melting-unusually-fast
    Image: from Guardian article
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/02/heatwaves-amplify-near-record-levels-of-ice-melt-in-northern-hemisphere
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/17/the-greenland-ice-sheet-is-melting-unusually-fast
  • http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    Image: Climate Home, adapted
  • http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/05/does-global-warming-make-tropical-cyclones-stronger/
    Image: from report - Percentage increase 1980 to 2016 (as a linear trend) in the number of tropical storms worldwide depending on their strength. Only 95% significant trends are shown. The strongest storms are also increasing the most. Red colors show the hurricane category on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Graph by Kerry Emanuel, MIT. Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 3.0.
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/27/us/harvey-texas-storm.html
    Images: National Weather Centre
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-us-canada-45504325?ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_linkname=news_central&ns_source=twitter&ns_mchannel=social
    Image: from article
  • https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/#
  • http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/10/michael-hurricane-latest-updates-winds-weather-flood-evacuations
  • http://www.swissre.com/media/news_releases/nr20180410_sigma_global_insured_loses_highest_ever.html Image: from article
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/23/hitting-toughest-climate-target-will-save-world-30tn-in-damages-analysis-shows
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0071-9 Image: NASA / NOAA
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/21/climate-change-could-make-insurance-too-expensive-for-ordinary-people-report
    Image: wachterinsurance
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-47624156
    Image: Twitter
  • http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    WHO: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/05/save-millions-of-lives-by-tackling-climate-change-says-world-health-organization
    Image: Climate Home, adapted
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/28/climate-change-already-a-health-emergency-say-experts
    Image: bugguidenet
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/07/03/hot-planet-all-time-heat-records-have-been-set-all-over-the-world-in-last-week/?utm_term=.efa8c303b647
    Image: from article - Simulation of maximum temperatures on July 3 from American (GFS) weather model at two meters above the ground. (University of Maine Climate Reanalyzer)
  • https://www.carbonbrief.org/the-lancet-extreme-heat-threatens-systemic-failure-of-hospitals
    Image: from article
  • https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/14/15-year-old-greta-thunberg-speaks-truth-to-power-in-katowice/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-01/air-pollution-kills-7-million-people-a-year-who-reports
    Image: Friends of the Earth
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/03/air-pollution-linked-to-changes-in-heart-structure
    Image: viendong daily
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/12/resource-extraction-carbon-emissions-biodiversity-loss Image: Tibet.net
  • https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/oil-is-an-ethical-investment-says-bp-pkz79dx8q Image: CNBC screenshot
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/world/australia/rural-suicides-farmers-globalization.html
    Image: Unicef
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/world/australia/rural-suicides-farmers-globalization.html
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/06/why-are-americas-farmers-killing-themselves-in-record-numbers
    Image: NYT
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: www.soilerosion.net
  • https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/14/15-year-old-greta-thunberg-speaks-truth-to-power-in-katowice/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg&feature=youtu.be
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/25/amazonian-rainforest-near-unrecoverable-tipping-point
    Image: YouTube, Google maps
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/23/amazon-fires-what-is-happening-anything-we-can-do
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/media-reaction-amazon-fires-and-climate-change
    Image: from Guardian article
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
  • http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/news/n0682-siberias-wildfires-seen-from-1-million-miles-away-even-the-tundra-is-burning/
    Image: NOAA
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10836281
    Image: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/08/11/russias-burning-climate-change-is-to-blame-a66802
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/18/sweden-calls-for-help-as-arctic-circle-hit-by-wildfires
    Image: Siberian Times
  • https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/04/world/climate-change-deadly-summer-wxc-intl/index.html
    Image: from article
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/09/california-fires-malibu-evacuations-latest-news-updates-today
    Image: screenshot from Guardian video
  • https://www.wired.com/story/the-terrifying-science-behind-californias-massive-camp-fire/
    Image: from article
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    Image: Independent
  • https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/
    Image: from report
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    Image: from article
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    Image: from article
  • https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13047
    Image: screenshot of NASA video
  • https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0800-0
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    Image: from report
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    Image: Glencore
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    Image: Vatican Times
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    Image: ?
  • https://www.gmo.com/docs/default-source/research-and-commentary/strategies/asset-allocation/the-race-of-our-lives-revisited.pdf
    Image: Exhibit 23 from the paper
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    Image: Exhibits 24 and 26 from the paper
  • https://www.gmo.com/docs/default-source/research-and-commentary/strategies/asset-allocation/the-race-of-our-lives-revisited.pdf
    Image: Exhibit 28 from the paper
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers
    Image: Flying insects caught in a malaise trap, used by entomologists to collect samples. From The Guardian, courtesy of Entomologisher Verein Krefeld
  • https://www.gmo.com/docs/default-source/research-and-commentary/strategies/asset-allocation/the-race-of-our-lives-revisited.pdf
    Image: Image: Natural History Museum
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    Image: from article
  • https://www.carbonbrief.org/sea-level-rise-due-antarctic-ice-melt-has-tripled-over-past-five-years
    Image: from article
  • https://www.wired.com/story/antarctica-thwaites-glacier-breaking-point/
    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/144361/more-glaciers-in-east-antarctica-are-waking-up
    Image: Nasa
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/04/oceans-suffocating-dead-zones-oxygen-starved
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/eaam7240
    Image: Skeptical Science
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45084144
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/06/domino-effect-of-climate-events-could-push-earth-into-a-hothouse-state
    Image: Stockholm Resilience Institute http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2018-08-06-planet-at-risk-of-heading-towards-hothouse-earth-state.html
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/03/david-attenborough-collapse-civilisation-on-horizon-un-climate-summit
    Image: YouTube video screenshot via, ahem, The Sun
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flYOOYy_hLE
  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/18/facebook-fake-news-investigation-report-regulation-privacy-law-dcms
    Image: Twitter
  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/18/facebook-fake-news-investigation-report-regulation-privacy-law-dcms
    Image: Twitter
  • https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/blog-post/3037233/fear-and-loathing-on-the-climate-beat
    Images: Scenes from the movie of Cormac McCarthy’s book “The Road”
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/science/climate-change-mass-extinction.html
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6419/eaat1327

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