CLIMATE CHANGE

 

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Theresa May's plan for a cleaner Britain

 

THERESA MAY  - has said her government is serious about improving the environment after pressure groups gave a lukewarm response to a 25-year green plan, praising its ambition but warning that it lacked sufficient proposals for immediate action.

 

 

 

HOW MUCH IS THE EARTH HEATING UP - As of early 2017, the Earth had warmed by roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 1 degree Celsius) since 1880, when records began at a global scale. The number may sound low, but as an average over the surface of an entire planet, it is actually high, which explains why much of the world’s land ice is starting to melt and the oceans are rising at an accelerating pace. If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, scientists say, the global warming could ultimately exceed 8 degrees Fahrenheit, which would undermine the planet’s capacity to support a large human population.

 

 

According to a 2013 report, temperatures in the shallowest waters of our oceans rose by more than 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18 degree Fahrenheit) each decade between 1970 and 2010.

 

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATION - Fish are moving to colder waters to keep within their preferred temperature parameters. Cod and sardines are moving north as the oceans warm.

 

 

These are just six ways that warmer temperatures are affecting our oceans:-

 

 

1. Coral bleaching

As early as 1990, coral reef expert Tom Goreau and I pointed out that mass coral bleaching events observed during the 1980’s were probably due to anomalously warm temperatures related to climate change.

Mass coral bleaching results in the starvation, shrinkage and death of the corals that support the thousands of species that live on coral reefs.

 

 

2. Fish migration

In addition, many fish species have moved toward the poles in response to ocean warming, disrupting fisheries around the world.

 

 

3. Fish shrinkage

 

A new study (21-8-17) by researchers at the University of British Columbia explains that fish are cold blooded and cannot regulate their own body temperatures. Thus, when their waters get warmer, their metabolism accelerates and more oxygen is needed to sustain body functions. For this reason fish could shrink in size by 20 to 30 per cent if ocean temperatures rise by just 2°C (3.6°F) - about what is expected to occur around the world by the mid-21st century.

 

 

 

GILL OXYGEN LIMITATION THEORY - There is a point where the gills of a fish cannot supply enough oxygen for a larger body, so the fish just stops growing larger. This is very similar to insects where oxygen supply is by spiracles rather than lungs, also limiting growth size. The surface area of the gills – where oxygen is obtained – doesn't grow at the same pace as the rest of the body. Dr Daniel Pauly (lead author of the study) calls this principle the 'gill-oxygen limitation theory.'

 

As of early 2017, the Earth had warmed by roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 1 degree Celsius) since 1880, when records began at a global scale. The number may sound low, but as an average over the surface of an entire planet, it is actually high, which explains why much of the world’s land ice is starting to melt and the oceans are rising at an accelerating pace. If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, scientists say, the global warming could ultimately exceed 8 degrees Fahrenheit, which would undermine the planet’s capacity to support a large human population.

 

 

4. Drowning wetlands

Rising sea levels, partly the result of heat absorbed by the ocean, is also “drowning” wetlands. Wetlands normally grow vertically fast enough to keep up with sea level rise, but recently the sea has been rising too fast for wetlands to keep their blades above water.

Coral reefs and sea grass meadows are also in danger of “drowning” since they can only photosynthesize in relatively shallow water.

 

 

 

 

5. Ocean acidification

The ocean has absorbed about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide humans have sent into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution – some 150 billion tons.

However, this great service, which has substantially slowed global warming, has been accomplished at great cost: The trend in ocean acidification is about 30 times greater than natural variation, and average surface ocean pH, the standard measure of acidity, has dropped by 0.1 unit - a highly significant increase in acidity.

This is damaging many ocean species that use calcium carbonate to form their skeletons and shells. Studies have shown that calcium carbonate formation is disrupted if water becomes too acidic.

Ocean acidification also appears to be affecting whole ecosystems, such as coral reefs, which depend on the formation of calcium carbonate to build reef structure, which in turn provides homes for reef organisms.

 

 

6. A disastrous positive feedback loop

Finally, acidification also appears to be reducing the amount of sulfur flowing out of the ocean into the atmosphere. This reduces reflection of solar radiation back into space, resulting in even more warming.

This is the kind of positive feedback loop that could result in run-away climate change – and of course, even more disastrous effects on the ocean.

 

 

 

COP THAT - The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC Parties (Conference of the Parties, COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mid-1990s, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 the Conferences have also served as the "Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol" (CMP); also parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Protocol can participate in Protocol-related meetings as observers. From 2011 the meetings have also been used to negotiate the Paris Agreement as part of the Durban platform activities until its conclusion in 2015, which created a general path towards climate action. The first UN Climate Change Conference was held in 1995 in Berlin.

 

 

 

WHAT! - Business success does not appear to go hand-in-glove with conservation needs, where there is no profit in doing the right thing, other than saving the planet. But you cannot bank saving the planet. This begs the question, do we want hard nosed business non-ethics entering the political arena. Want it or not the USA have got it, while the entrepreneur is doing his best to develop a conscience.

 

 

 

 

 

SCIENCE DAILY JUNE 28 2017 - TURNING THE CLIMATE TIDE BY 2020

 

The climate math is brutally clear

"The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020," concludes Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, co-author of both the Nature comment and the Science article. Action by 2020 is necessary, but clearly not sufficient - it needs to set the course for halving CO2 emissions every other decade. In analogy to the legendary Moore's Law, which states that computer processors double in power about every two years, the 'carbon law' can become a self-fulfilling prophecy mobilizing innovations and market forces, says Schellnhuber. "This will be unstoppable - yet only if we propel the world into action now."

The opportunity given to us over the next three years is unique in history

"We stand at the doorway of being able to bend the GHG emissions curve downwards by 2020, as science demands, in protection of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the eradication of extreme poverty," Christiana Figueres says, lead-author of the Nature comment and former head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). "This monumental challenge coincides with an unprecedented openness to self-challenge on the part of sub-national governments inside the US, governments at all levels outside the US, and of the private sector in general. The opportunity given to us over the next three years is unique in history." Figueres is the convener of Mission 2020, a broad-based campaign calling for urgent action now to make sure that carbon emissions begin an inexorable fall by 2020.

The authors and co-signatories to the Nature article comprise over 60 scientists, business and policy leaders, economists, analysts and influencers, including Gail Whiteman from Lancaster University; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever plc; Anthony Hobley, Chief Executive of Carbon Tracker; Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft; and Jonathan Bamber, President of the European Geosciences Union.

 

 

 

STUNTED FISH GROWTH - Without the ability to regulate their metabolism, fish don't grow so large in warmer waters. This explains why more northern waters produce the biggest and juiciest prawns.

 

 

Humpback wales are dying from plastic pollution

 

MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity on planet earth. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy and climate awareness.

 

 

 

THE ECONOMIC TIMES 26 JUNE 2017

 

When people think of climate change, pictures of melting glaciers, sweltering heat in summers and flooding of coastal areas predominate. Often lost in the imagery is the role the world's oceans play in countering the worst effects of global warming.

Although oceans and seas cover more than two-thirds of the earth's surface, they are taken for granted most of the time. People and governments forget that they are rich in resources and provide us with food, energy and minerals. It is a truism to say that since the high seas belong to no nation, they are the most exploited by everyone.

It is thus important to remember that oceans are crucial for the stability of the planetary climate and local weather. But due to overfishing, loss of biodiversity and ocean pollution, the future of this unique ecosystem faces a grave threat today.

It is well known that global warming is mainly caused by the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil. Since industrialization in the 19th century, the amount of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere has risen by as much as 40%.

If not for the oceans, temperatures would be even higher than they are now because they absorb a quarter of the carbon dioxide released into the air. When the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises, oceans absorb more to restore the balance. The colder the seawater is, the more effectively the process works.

It is in this context that mapping of the oceans on various parameters that affect human life assumes importance. To illustrate the important role played by the ocean and its ecosystems, Germany's Heinrich Böll Foundation has recently released the latest in a series of global environmental reference works called the Ocean Atlas: Facts and Figures on the Threats to Our Marine Ecosystems 2017.

The atlas aims to give a current insight of the state of the seas and the threats to them. "We hope to stimulate a broader social and political discussion about the meaning of the ocean as an important system and the possibilities for protecting it," the foundation said while launching the atlas.

The atlas clearly explains the role oceans play in battling climate change. In the Labrador Sea and Greenland Sea as well as in regions near the Antarctic coast, large quantities of surface water sink into the deep sea where carbon dioxide is stored for a long time. The lion's share of the stored greenhouse gas since the start of the Industrial Revolution will take centuries to return to the surface of the ocean again. Part of it will remain fixed in the sediment of the sea floor. That is how the ocean significantly slows down climate change.

However, the ability of the oceans to sequester carbon dioxide is not unlimited. For example, while carbon dioxide absorption in the Southern Ocean declined between 1980 and 2000, it has increased in the years since, according to the atlas. The ocean does more than absorb a considerable amount of the greenhouse gas. It also soaks up nearly all the additional warmth resulting from the manmade greenhouse effect.

 

According to the atlas, oceans have absorbed an astounding 93% of the excess heat over the past 40 years. Increased atmospheric temperatures are attributable to just 3% of this additional thermal energy and would be much greater if not for the oceans. The extra warmth is essentially hidden in the ocean, where it slowly spreads through the depths. Because of this, the surface temperature only increases at a snail's pace.

All of this comes at a price. Absorbing excess carbon dioxide leads to a progressive acidification of the ocean water, while absorbing excess heat contributes to rising sea levels and troubling changes in marine ecosystems. The warming of the oceans also contains dangerous feedback loops. When the rate of evaporation on the ocean surface increases, it produces more water vapor -- a potent greenhouse gas -- which in turn causes temperatures to rise, which causes the rate of evaporation to increase.

These feedback loops can accelerate global warming in ways that are difficult to predict, one more reason not to further burden the ocean system, the atlas warns. For this reason, meeting the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees agreed upon at the Paris Climate Conference is essential.

 

 

 

 

1995 COP 1, BERLIN, GERMANY
1996 COP 2, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
1997 COP 3, KYOTO, JAPAN
1998 COP 4, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
1999 COP 5, BONN, GERMANY
2000:COP 6, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
2001 COP 7, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
2002 COP 8, NEW DELHI, INDIA
2003 COP 9, MILAN, ITALY
2004 COP 10, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
2005 COP 11/CMP 1, MONTREAL, CANADA
2006 COP 12/CMP 2, NAIROBI, KENYA
2007 COP 13/CMP 3, BALI, INDONESIA
2008 COP 14/CMP 4, POZNAN, POLAND
2009 COP 15/CMP 5, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
2010 COP 16/CMP 6, CANCUN, MEXICO
2011 COP 17/CMP 7, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
2012 COP 18/CMP 8, DOHA, QATAR
2013 COP 19/CMP 9, WARSAW, POLAND
2014 COP 20/CMP 10, LIMA, PERU
2015 COP 21/CMP 11, PARIS, FRANCE
2016 COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
2017 COP 23/CMP 13/CMA 2, BONN, GERMANY
2018 COP 24/CMP 14/CMA 3, KATOWICE, POLAND
2019 COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 4 TBA

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42297370

https://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/trump-lawsuits/

https://longtailpipe.com/2017/08/28/trump-administration-fiddles-in-washington-while-houston-drowns-under-extreme-weather-hurricane/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/climate/what-is-climate-change.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628144848.htm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4819542/Climate-change-make-fish-SHRINK-30.html

https://www.seeker.com/earth/animals/climate-change-is-causing-fish-to-shrink

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/climate-change-neglecting-oceans-no-longer-an-option/articleshow/59319549.cms

 

  

Conversion of older buildings to energy self sufficiency in the fight against climate change

 

RECYCLING OLD BUILDINGS - Solar House is an old generating building dating from C.1900 that formerly burned coal gas made on site from coal to produce electricity for a country manor house and a local Sussex village up until 1936. The village of Herstmonceux boasted street lighting and electric ovens by 1913 because of this enterprise. Today this monument to innovation in the age of electricity is being equipped with photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine and solar water heaters - to become all but self sufficient in energy terms. With local authorities struggling to meet targets set by the Climate Change Act 2008, this building may be the only one in Sussex to reduce its carbon footprint to below 1990 levels as per the 2050 target set by the UK Government. In 2006 the UK encouraged microgeneration and harvesting heat from the sun for hot water, etc., with the Sustainable Energy Act.

 

Strangely, the local authority (Wealden) objects to such eco-upgrading, apparently not realizing that the fight against climate change begins at home. The negative attitude of any council that should be urging property developers to go green is disturbing to say the least, and may be more widespread in the UK rather than an isolated case, where it seems that some councils are living in the dark ages in terms of planning policy that is not being implemented as it was intended by the British Government. All the more reason for an awareness campaign, to shake the cobwebs from the corridors of power - which members appear to be pursuing alternative agendas - or they simply don't care. It may be that planning staff are ignorant of ways to capture energy from nature. If that is the case they could be trained or council's might employ energy conservation specialists in place of dyed in the wool RTPI members who are out of touch with a fast changing world - that needs to change even faster to avoid more lost crops and wild-fires.

 

 

 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. Copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) 2018. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital.

 

 

 

 

Climate Change is harmful to all life on earth