Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Global warming (347)

The Global Risks Report 2018

World Economic Forum / January 2018

Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk-management approaches. But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment. There are signs of strain in many of these systems: our accelerating pace of change is testing the absorptive capacities of institutions, communities and individuals. When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of “runaway collapse” or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

We want to fight climate change – as cheaply as possible

iPolitics / Rachel Gilmore / 11 January 2018

Most Canadians care about the climate – but not quite enough to welcome massive energy bill hikes or to buy an electric car.

That was one of the many interesting snippets to come out of a recently-released report for Natural Resources Canada. The report’s purpose was to help tailor the government’s resource-related plans to meet “the needs of the public.”

Here’s the highlight reel.

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2017: Hottest year with no el Niño

Open Mind / Tamino / 11 January 2018

Last year (2017) will not be the hottest year on record; it’s likely to be 2nd-hottest. But it will be the hottest which was not enhanced by el Niño conditions.

El Niño is the “warm phase” of a natural oscillation of wind patterns over the Pacific ocean, which increases the amount of heat transferred from ocean to atmosphere. When that happens, there’s more heat in the atmosphere so surface temperatures increase (actually, temperature of the air near the surface, which is what matters for land-based living things). When El Niño subsides, the warming subsides too. The opposite face of the coin is la Niña, when heat tends to go from atmosphere to ocean and surface temperatures tend to be cooler. Together, they make up the el Niño southern oscillation (ENSO).

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

City hopes new climate agency rains data, cash

London Free Press / Megan Stacey / 08 January 2018

City staff and politicians are welcoming plans for a new provincial agency to help direct the response to climate change, hoping it could bring London more of the data and funding it needs.

The new organization — a not-for-profit proposed by the province to build awareness, provide programming, and develop better regional weather data — could be just what London needs to combat the impacts of climate change, they say.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How a warming Arctic fuels cold snaps

InsideClimate News / Bob Berwyn / 28 September 2017

When winter sets in, “polar vortex” becomes one of the most dreaded phrases in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s enough to send shivers even before the first blast of bitter cold arrives.

New research shows that some northern regions have been getting hit with these extreme cold spells more frequently over the past four decades, even as the planet as a whole has warmed. While it may seem counterintuitive, the scientists believe these bitter cold snaps are connected to the warming of the Arctic and the effects that that warming is having on the winds of the stratospheric polar vortex, high above the Earth’s surface.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Happening faster than expected, and more extreme

Inside Climate News / Bob Berwyn / 26 December 2017

In the past year, the scientific consensus shifted toward a grimmer and less uncertain picture of the risks posed by climate change.

When the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its 5th Climate Assessment in 2014, it formally declared that observed warming was “extremely likely” to be mostly caused by human activity.

This year, a major scientific update from the United States Global Change Research Program put it more bluntly: “There is no convincing alternative explanation.”

Other scientific authorities have issued similar assessments.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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