Climate Change News in Bullet Points

Here’s one for Extinction Rebellion Torrington branch, my local XR group.

We live in a rural, mostly agricultural area where farmers are struggling to change in the face of climate change, without the necessary government support, advice or funding. As individuals we’re also doing our best to do the decent thing but recycling and cutting back on energy at home isn’t going to save the climate.

Governments and big businesses hold the key to climate change mitigation, but neither are doing anywhere near enough. Many are doing nothing at all, carrying on like normal while Rome burns. It is not good enough. Here’s the latest climate change news, fresh from New Scientist magazine, the place where the truth lives.

The latest climate change news – From scientists

  • Australia is still on fire – and scientists say the risk of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest is rising as well. On the other hand we’ve known about the link between climate change and wildfires for more than a decade but governments have done nothing about it. Wildfires in the Amazon are predicted to worsen, doubling the affected area by 2050 and potentially turning it into a net CO2 emitter instead of a precious carbon sink. We’re looking at at least 6.8 million hectares of Amazonian forest destroyed by fire by the 2040s
  • The long-term future of sea ice is coming under serious question yet again as Antarctica’s massive Thwaites glacier proves more vulnerable to melting than anyone imagined. The egg-heads are calling it “a climate time bomb”
  • Everest is greening fast. Scientists have found plants colonising ever-higher altitude areas of the mountain, and it’s probably down to global warming. The problem? The plants night end up absorbing more heat than bare earth, which means ice loss will accelerate even faster
  • Britain’s climate advisers have said ‘oil companies and airlines’ should pay for a huge tree-planting drive, and they need to start planting by next year. They also say farmers need to set aside ‘a fifth of all farmland’ to store carbon instead of growing food
  • As far as the public is concerned, the experts say we can help by cutting our beef, lamb and dairy consumption by 20%. That’s hardly revolutionary. It’s something we can all do without too much doom, gloom and despondency
  • It’s a shame… but if someone tries to tell you the sea floor is sinking so sea level rise won’t be an issue, ignore them. The sea bed is sinking around 0.1mm a year thanks to the extra weight of water from melted ice pressing down upon it, but this will only have a ‘tiny effect’ on sea level rise. It looks like we’re still in for a wet one
  • The world’s hottest recorded year ever is likely to hit us before the year 2025. The past decade was a record breaker and the hottest recorded year so far globally was 2016. The UK Met Office has calculated there’s a 66% chance of the 2016 record being broken some time between 2020 and 2024
  • Net Zero is the aim, and it’s a goal that more nations are aiming for as we speed into an ever-hotter future. At the same time many scientists and other experts believe small is beautiful. We’re already seeing tiny political entities like states, counties, cities and even towns vowing to become CO2 neutral before long. It’s great news when almost every government on the planet is letting us down
  • So far just 18 nations on our beautiful blue planet are on a downward Co2 net emissions trajectory – but it’s a great deal better than nothing

If you want to take direct action, support others in taking direct action, or do your bit in some other way, join Extinction Rebellion and make your voice heard. You can also donate to the cause. Here’s a link to the XR website.

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