Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Extreme weather (106)

Climate change a walk between hope and despair, Saxe says

Kingston Whig / Elliot Ferguson / 17 January 2019

The challenge of combating climate change is a stark choice between hope and despair, both of which have a role to play, Ontario’s environment commissioner says.

Speaking at the second annual Kingston Climate Change Symposium on Thursday, Dianne Saxe said human-made climate change is the most pressing challenge facing the planet.

But it was easy to give in to despair as Saxe outlined the impact of climate change, both today and forecast for the coming decades.

“Anyone who works on climate change walks a knife edge between hope and despair,” Saxe said during her keynote address to the second annual symposium. “A lot of people think climate change is about polar bears and something that is going to happen sometime. It is here.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Municipalities must improve climate change adaptation planning

Waterloo Region Record / James Jackson / 13 November 2018

Mitigation may no longer be enough to prevent climate change impacts from occurring. A UN report released last month found global emissions must drop by 45 per cent before 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2075 to avoid surpassing the 1.5 C threshold in global temperatures.

Adaptation to climate change varies, but it can include: building flood defences and raising dykes; placing a moratorium on new construction in flood-prone areas; and choosing tree or plant species that are more drought-resistant.

“The gap in adaptation planning is concerning, because cities are more exposed to climate change risk than other levels of government due to high concentrations of people, property, and infrastructure,” [researcher Dave] Guyadeen’s study found.

His analysis also says implementation, monitoring and evaluation is relatively weak in Canada, and that many municipalities haven’t put enough emphasis on stakeholder engagement. Only one province — Nova Scotia — has mandated municipalities to create climate change plans.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Hot enough for you?

David Suzuki Foundation / David Suzuki, Ian Hanington / 22 August 2018

If you follow climate news (and you should), you’ve likely heard of the global warming “hiatus.” In attempts to keep the world hooked on diminishing reserves of polluting fossil fuels, climate science deniers seized on that phenomenon to claim the warming they once argued didn’t exist stopped. Others took up the false claim out of ignorance and fear.

Global warming didn’t stop. Quite the opposite: it accelerated. According to all legitimate scientific agencies that study climate, the past four years have been the warmest on record, and 2017 was the 41st consecutive year with global average temperatures higher than in the 20th century.

This year is also shaping up to be a record-breaker. But as the old saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” That’s because warming didn’t stop. The rate slowed slightly. And that’s over now.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

More heat, drought and longer fire season in Canada’s future

Montreal Gazette / Anna Junker / 18 August 2018

Heat and drought. A longer fire season with more frequent wildfires and larger areas burned. That’s what’s in store for Canada, especially the prairie provinces, in the coming years, experts say, a situation that is being directly attributed to climate change.

In Canada, 2.5-million hectares — equivalent to about half the size of Nova Scotia — burn every year from wildfires on average. The annual destruction has more than doubled since about the 1970s, where numbers were around one million hectares.

Current projections forecast even warmer, drier conditions across the country, creating the perfect catalyst for more wildfires in the future.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The message of a scorching 2018: Scientists were right

National Post / Somini Sengupta / 13 August 2018

This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change, and it is revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet.

The disruptions to everyday life have been far-reaching and devastating. In California, firefighters are racing to control what has become the largest fire in state history. Harvests of staple grains like wheat and corn are expected to dip this year, in some cases sharply, in countries as different as Sweden and El Salvador. In Europe, nuclear power plants have had to shut down because the river water that cools the reactors was too warm. Heat waves on four continents have brought electricity grids crashing.

And dozens of heat-related deaths in Japan this summer offered a foretaste of what researchers warn could be big increases in mortality from extreme heat. A study last month in the journal PLOS Medicine projected a fivefold rise for the United States by 2080. The outlook for less wealthy countries is worse; for the Philippines, researchers forecast 12 times more deaths.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Extreme temperatures ‘especially likely for next four years’

The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 14 August 2018

The world is likely to see more extreme temperatures in the coming four years as natural warming reinforces manmade climate change, according to a new global forecasting system.

Following a summer of heatwaves and forest fires in the northern hemisphere, the study in the journal Nature Communications suggests there will be little respite for the planet until at least 2022, and possibly not even then.

Rising greenhouse gas emissions are steadily adding to the upward pressure on temperatures, but humans do not feel the change as a straight line because the effects are diminished or amplified by phases of natural variation.

From 1998 to 2010, global temperatures were in a “hiatus” as natural cooling (from ocean circulation and weather systems) offset anthropogenic global warming. But the planet has now entered almost the opposite phase, when natural trends are boosting man-made effects.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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Transition initiatives share many of the same goals as other groups, and work collaboratively with a variety of organizations in their local areas. Transition differs in that it focuses specifically on preparing communities for the changes associated with unprecedented resource depletion and transitioning away from fossil-fuel dependency.

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