Adaptation News 2014
NEW: Are Canadian local governments ready for the impacts of climate change? Canada may be a nation unprepared. The results of the NMAP Survey of Canadian Local Governments has been released. Click here to see the fact sheets.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Montana — What will it be called once the glaciers are gone? A
century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted
some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across
summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys.
Today, perhaps 25 survive.
In 30 years, there may be none.
A warming climate is melting Glacier’s glaciers, an icy retreat that promises to change not just tourists’ vistas, but also the mountains and everything around them. From the NYT.
all the pronouncements about the United States and China reaching a
historic climate pact, the agreement they announced Wednesday does not
signal a seismic shift in policies by either nation, experts said.
United States and China should both be able to meet the stated goals by
aggressively pursuing policies that are largely in place,
analysts said. From the NYT.
The US-China deal on carbon emissions received a broadly positive response in China in the media and from experts.
While the Chinese press mostly carried news stories about
the deal and not much analysis in comparison to the western press, it
was was welcoming of a deal some described as “historic”. From the Guardian.
A new study
has appeared which describes a clever method for measuring the flows of
ocean currents and their impacts on ice shelves. This study has
identified a major mechanism for melting ice in the Southern Hemisphere. From the Guardian.
The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears
to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming
accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists
have reported. The
finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means
that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be
inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the
next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it
will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis.
is really happening,” said Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA’s programs
on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research. “There’s nothing
to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the
ice can flow.” From the NYT.
Arguments that the climate is relatively insensitive to the increased
greenhouse effect have become the last best chance for climate
change contrarians, but a new study from Texas A&M University hammers a big nail in the coffin of that argument. From the Guardian.
Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies
calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to
tackle climate change. The companies, which have a combined
turnover of $90bn, say the world needs a "rapid and focused response" to
the threat of rising global carbon emissions and the "disruptive
climate impacts" associated with their growth. From the Guardian.
A United Nations IPCC report
warns that climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. From the NYT
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, has released a stark report Tuesday on climate change. The report
warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are
already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and
that the window to do something about it is closing. From the NYT.
U.S. federal officials are proposing sweeping new requirements
for American health care facilities — from large hospitals to small
group homes for the mentally disabled — intended to ensure their
readiness to care for patients during disasters. From the NYT.
Efforts to tackle climate change
must urgently focus on implementing low carbon technologies such as
wind and solar power rather than discussions of the science and quarrels
over policy, the former United Nations climate chief has said. From the Guardian.
US President Obama’s annual budget request to Congress will propose a
significant change in how the government pays to fight wildfires,
administration officials said, a move that they say reflects the ways in
which climate change is increasing the risk for and cost of those fires. From the NYT.
The Jakobshavn Glacier - widely thought to have spawned the
iceberg that sank the Titanic - is moving about four times faster than
it was in the 1990s. The Greenland Ice Sheet has seen record melting in recent years and would raise sea levels 6m were it all to vanish. Details of the research are published in The Cryosphere journal. From the BBC.
With no sign of rain, 17 rural communities providing water to 40,000
people are in danger of running out within 60 to 120 days. California state
officials said that the number was likely to rise in the months ahead
after the State Water Project, the main municipal water distribution
system, announced on Friday that it did not have enough water to
supplement the dwindling supplies of local agencies that provide water
to an additional 25 million people. From the NYT.
Climate change and the impacts on business. After a decade of increasing damage to Coca-Cola's balance sheet as
global droughts dried up the water needed to produce its soda, the
company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically
disruptive force. Coke reflects a growing view among American business leaders and
mainstream economists who see global warming as a force that contributes
to lower gross domestic products, higher food and commodity costs,
broken supply chains and increased financial risk. Their position is at
striking odds with the longstanding argument, advanced by the coal
industry and others, that policies to curb carbon emissions are more
economically harmful than the impact of climate change. From the NYT.
Drought conditions in the US Far West intensified last year, government scientists said Wednesday, adding to concerns about water supplies in the region. From the NYT.
The spate of severe weather disruptions across Canada over the past year caused insurers to pay out a record $3.2 billion in claims, the industry says. The ice storm that hit southern Ontario and then Eastern Canada caused $200 million worth of insured losses, bringing the total to $3.2 billion for all of 2013. That's the highest level the insurance industry has ever seen. From the CBC.
Scientists point to unmistakable evidence that global sea levels are rising and could increase as much as three feet by end of century, particularly if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked; rising tides pose enormous risk for United States, particularly along East Coast, where much of population and economy is concentrated. From the NYT.
Climate scientist tells US Senate that climate change is a 'clear and present danger. In a Senate hearing on President Obama's Climate Action Plan, Andrew Dessler (Texas A&M University) summarised the science behind the climate threat before the Senate committee hearings about the proposed climate action plan. From the Guardian.
The UK's run of rain-drenched summers could be ended by a slow-down in major Atlantic currents which bring warm, wet air to Europe, according to research. The currents were known to have weakened since 2004 but the new work suggests the trend began in the 1990s and shows no sign of ending. From the Guardian.
Severe drought in California leads to emergency declaration. From the NYT.
NMAP Links Policy
We select links that are relevant to adaptation planning and related climate change or local government planning activities. We do not link to external sites in return for remuneration or any other consideration in kind. We link to sites based on content merit.
These are free to access, but users may sometimes be asked to register or subscribe before viewing some content.Some sites may require registration and a fee after viewing a certain number of articles. External links on this page are selected and reviewed when the page is published. We do not produce them or maintain them. We do not necessarily endorse services. views or information they provide
NMAP is a university-based research group. NMAP does not provide consulting or other services, nor is it an advocacy organisation. All data and results that NMAP develops are provided on request or are available through this website.