Today's climate and energy headlines:
- Study: China's carbon emissions substantiallyoverestimated
- 10 years on from Hurricane Katrina: What lessonshave we learned?
- China's Carbon Dioxide Emissions May Have BeenOverstated by More Than 10%
- EU debate on green energy targets pitches UKagainst Germany
- Climate philanthropist George Soros investsmillions in coal
- National climate pledges made so far falling short-study
- India 'central to Paris success' say small islandstates
- Can Islamic scholars change thinking on climatechange?
- The Guardian view on Arctic drilling: bad now,worse for the future
- Multi-year drought-induced morbidity precedingtree death in Southeastern USforests
- Can we trust climate models to realisticallyrepresent severe Europeanwindstorms?
A new paper finds China’s emissions in 2013 were as much as14% lower than previously thought, because of faulty assumptions oncoal quality and energy use. It says China released 10.6 billiontonnes less carbon dioxide (CO2) during 2000 to 2013, equivalent tothree years of EU emissions. Carbon Brief considers theimplications for climate policy and science.
Hurricane Katrina, which wreaked destruction on the southernUS 10 years ago this month, went on to become a focus for argumentsabout the link between climate change and (individual) extremeweather events. Carbon Brief has spoken to some scientists in thefield to find out what has and hasn’t been learned since 2005.
Climate and energy news.
Inaccurate assumptions about China’s coal burning mean China’scarbon dioxide (CO2) emissions may have been overstated, says theNew York Times. That doesn’t mean current CO2 levels in theatmosphere are lower, it says. Instead, China’s share ofresponsibility may be reduced, though it’s still the largestemitter.
The UK and Germany disagree on how to translate an EU renewableenergy target for the next decade into national action, Reutersreports. Germany wants there to be strong a compliance mechanismwith consequences if national efforts fail to add up to the EUgoal. The UK, with the Czech Republic, is urging a “light-touch andnon-legislative” approach.
George Soros, who once described coal as “lethal” to the climate,has invested $2m in struggling coal firms Peabody Energy and ArchCoal, the Guardian reports. The investments are small relative tohis wealth, it adds.
Climate pledges received so far fall short of the reductionsneeded to avoid more than 2C of warming, according to a study fromthe Grantham Research Institute. The ‘bottom-up’ approach ofnationally-determined pledges is failing to deliver, itsays.
Some 14 of the world’s most climate vulnerable nations will callon India to back ambitious emissions targets this week, says RTCC.The states’ leaders say India is central to success in Paris and is”well poised for strong and visible leadership on climate”. Aheated debate over India’s forthcoming climate pledge appears to betaking place at cabinet level, RTCC adds.
Climate and energy comment.
Nature News looks at the this week’s Islamic Declaration onGlobal Climate Change and asks what it might achieve. Big emitterswith large muslim populations include Indonesia and India, it says.One theologian tells Nature he’s sceptical the declaration willchange the minds of governments, however.
Recent decisions on Arctic drilling in the US and frackingin the UK show a reluctance to get to the root of the climateproblem, says a Guardian editorial. Economic development “can nolonger be a question of exploitation of resources”, it says. “Everytime a new area of fossil fuel exploitation is opened up…thetransition drifts a little further”.
New climate science.
Damage suffered by trees during a drought can reduce theirlong-term survival for up to a decade after the drought ends, a newstudy in the southeastern US shows. Researchers analysed the growthand survival rates of 29,000 trees in two forests in North Carolinafrom 1993 to the present day. The study finds that following asevere, multi-year drought, 72% of trees that did not recover theirpre-drought growth rates died within 10 years.
Severe windstorms are one of the most important naturalhazards for Europe, but robust projections of the position andstrength of these storms are not yet possible. In a new study,scientists test how well two climate models simulate 20 past stormsby re-running them from when each weather system first started up.The results show that the models are able to represent the complexdynamics of these storms well, if given the correct initialconditions, the researchers say. But they also find that the modelstend to underestimate how many storms occur.
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