Climate change fuels Cumbria deluge

The severity of Storm Desmond in the mountainous Cumbria region of the United Kingdom is consistent with observed regional climate change trends and projections, including increases in the heaviest rainfall events and the occurrence of persistent atmospheric rivers. It’s likely Desmond also gained strength from Atlantic sea surface temperatures that are 1.8°F (1°C) above average and global-scale warming that adds extra moisture to the air.

Adaptation

Adaptation is a set of actions and policies designed to help communities prepare for and respond to unavoidable climate impacts. Read on for more on its role in the international climate talks.

Climate Change Worsened 2014’s Extreme Events, Special Report Finds

NOAA has released its fourth special issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, featuring the research of 32 groups of scientists that investigated 28 extreme weather events in 2014 to determine the degree to which natural variability and human-caused climate change played a role.

UNEP Report to Show Climate Action Commitments (INDCs) Start to Close the Gap

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its annual report on the rate of global progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions at 3:30AM ET on Friday, November 6. So far, 156 countries have submitted climate action plans (also known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs), covering almost 87 percent of global emissions. The UNEP Emissions Gap report is expected to indicate that the INDCs, combined with current global policies already in place, would result in substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, moving the direction of the global economy significantly closer to the cost-optimal pathway for holding warming under 2˚C.

Country Finance Pledges

National Pledges to the Green Climate Fund   Countries listed in order of contribution …

Loss and Damage

There are limits to adaptation. Some climate impacts are already exceeding the the abilities of affected populations to adapt, causing loss and damage. The question of how to address these losses and damages is a key issue in the international negotiation process.

Commitment Cycles and the Ratchet Mechanism

One of the big questions facing the negotiations is whether the agreement arrived at in 2015 should direct climate action for decades to come, and if so, how. This question has become starkly relevant as it is now clear that the recently submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) will only direct global action for 10 years, and will only push global action part of the way towards the 2˚C pathway.

Alaska: Climate Change Ground Zero

The Earth’s temperature is now increasing faster than anytime in the last 1,000 years. Alaska and the Arctic, temperatures are rising at twice the global rate—more rapidly than anywhere else in the world, making the region ground zero for climate change. The best estimate is that human activity is responsible for all of the observed increase in global temperatures since 1985. The effects of the temperature changes are transforming a once-frozen seascape into an evolving, navigable ocean. These rapid changes occurring in the North have created a new Arctic climate system.