New Data Confirms: Forest Fires Are Getting Worse

WRI.org

New data on forest fires confirms what we’ve long feared: Forest fires are becoming more widespread, burning nearly twice as much tree cover today as they did 20 years ago.

Using data from a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland, we calculated that forest fires now result in 3 million more hectares of tree cover loss per year compared to 2001 — an area roughly the size of Belgium — and accounted for more than a quarter of all tree cover loss over the past 20 years.

World map of tree cover loss from forest fires over time (2001-2021)

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Extreme Weather Is Brutalizing Asia

foreignpolicy.com

Floods, droughts, tropical storms, and heat waves are severely testing the resilience of a region with a lot of vulnerable people.

Two people on a makeshift raft during flooding in Pakistan

Two people on a makeshift raft during flooding in Pakistan. People make their way along a waterlogged street in a residential area after a heavy monsoon rainfall in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on Aug. 24. AKRAM SHAHID/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

AUGUST 24, 2022, 5:07 PM

High temperatures, frequent droughts, torrential rains, and other extreme weather events this summer have throttled Asia, forced industries to shut down, slowed global business, disrupted food supplies, and upended the lives of ordinary people living in some of the world’s most populous countries and densely packed cities. 

For months, countries across the Asia-Pacific have been experiencing a mix of heavier rains and higher temperatures, creating unpredictable weather patterns. When the rains aren’t falling a lot—as in Pakistan, where eight monsoon cycles have left thousands of people homeless—they aren’t falling at all, causing energy shortages as droughts have seriously restricted access to hydroelectric power. Record-breaking temperatures in China, for example, have sparked intense wildfires in the country’s center and dried up rivers that cities bank on to power industries and homes.

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Global Climate Agreements: Successes and Failures

cfr.org

International efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But experts say countries aren’t doing enough to limit dangerous global warming.

Summary

  • Countries have debated how to combat climate change since the early 1990s. These negotiations have produced several important accords, including the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
  • Governments generally agree on the science behind climate change but have diverged on who is most responsible and how to set emissions-reduction goals.
  • Experts say the Paris Agreement is not enough to prevent the global average temperature from rising 1.5°C. When that happens, the world will suffer devastating consequences, such as heat waves and floods.

Introduction

What are the most important climate agreements?

Is there a consensus on the science?

Why is the 1.5°C goal so critical?Which countries are responsible?

Are the commitments made under the Paris Agreement enough?

What are the alternatives to the Paris Agreement?

Recommended Resources

Introduction

Over the last several decades, governments have collectively pledged to slow global warming. But despite intensified diplomacy, the world could soon face devastating consequences of climate change.

Through the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps rising, heating the Earth at an alarming rate. Scientists warn that if this warming continues unabated, it could bring environmental catastrophe to much of the world, including staggering sea-level rise, record-breaking droughts and floods, and widespread species loss. 

Dozens of countries made new commitments during a UN climate conference known as COP26 in November 2021. Still, experts, activists, and citizens remain concerned that these pledges are not ambitious enough.

What are the most important international agreements on climate change?

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Three myths about the global energy crisis

Russia is not winning the battle for supplies nor disrupting efforts on climate change and clean power

ft.com FATIH BIROL\

https://www.ft.com/content/2c133867-7a89-44d0-9594-cab919492777

The writer is executive director of International Energy Agency

As the global energy crisis continues to hurt households, businesses and entire economies worldwide, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. There are three narratives in particular that I hear about the current situation that I think are wrong — in some cases dangerously so.

The first is that Moscow is winning the energy battle. Russia is undoubtedly a huge energy supplier and the increases in oil and gas prices triggered by its invasion of Ukraine have resulted in an uptick in its energy income for now. But its short-term revenue gain is more than offset by the loss of both trust and markets that it faces for many years to come. Moscow is doing itself long-term harm by alienating the EU, its biggest customer by far and a strategic partner. Russia’s place in the international energy system is changing fundamentally, and not to its advantage.

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Thí sinh sốc nặng khi 25 điểm vẫn trượt đại học

laodong.vn

HUYÊN NGUYỄN  –  Thứ sáu, 17/09/2021 08:41 (GMT+7)

Hai ngày sau công bố điểm chuẩn, Hoàng Thu Giang (một nữ sinh tại Thái Bình) vẫn chưa thể vượt qua cú sốc “đầu đời” rằng mình đã trượt đại học dù em được 25 điểm và đăng ký 8 nguyện vọng.

Thí sinh sốc nặng khi 25 điểm vẫn trượt đại học
Thí sinh dự thi tốt nghiệp THPT năm 2021. Ảnh: Huyên Nguyễn

Điểm cao vẫn trượt đại học 

Nhận kết quả điểm thi tốt nghiệp THPT, Hoàng Thu Giang khá vui mừng khi em được 25 điểm tổ hợp A00 (Toán, Lí, Hoá). Với mức điểm này, Giang tự tin đăng ký vào ngành Công nghệ thông tin và ngành Kinh tế. Em sắp xếp nguyện vọng ưu tiên hai nhóm ngành này có mức điểm tương đương điểm của mình năm trước, sau đó thêm nguyện vọng vào một số ngành “chống trượt” với mức điểm chuẩn năm ngoái thấp hơn điểm của Giang vài điểm.

“Sau khi nghiên cứu điểm chuẩn của năm 2020, em khá tự tin khi đăng ký nguyện vọng năm nay ở tổ hợp A00 vào các ngành Kinh tế, Công nghệ thông tin. Thế nhưng sau khi xem điểm chuẩn năm 2020, em mới tá hỏa vì cả 8 nguyện vọng của em đều trượt hết. Ngay cả ngành “chống trượt” cũng tăng gần 3 điểm so với năm ngoái”, Giang chia sẻ.

Giang kể thêm: “Em không thể tin nổi vào mắt mình khi chỉ thiếu 0,25 điểm để đỗ nguyện vọng số 8, còn nguyện vọng số 7 vào Quản trị Kinh doanh của Học viện Chính sách và Phát triển cũng tăng 3 điểm nên em cũng thiếu 0,5 điểm”, Giang nói.

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Vietnam to increase coal imports in 2025-2035 period: Ministry

Vietnam’s coal imports are forecast to rise to meet domestic production demand, according to a draft strategy for developing the coal industry in Vietnam recently introduced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

vietnamplus.vn

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s coal imports are forecast to rise to meet domestic production demand, according to a draft strategy for developing the coal industry in Vietnam recently introduced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Accordingly, Vietnam will import about 50-83 million tonnes of coal per year during the period from 2025 to 2035, with the volume gradually falling to about 32-35 million tonnes by 2045.

The data from the MoIT shows domestic coal consumption increased rapidly from 27.8 million tonnes in 2011 to 38.77 million tonnes in 2015, and about 53.52 million tonnes in 2021.

The volume of coal consumed at present has more than doubled compared to 2011, mainly for electricity production.

The demand for primary energy, including coal, will continue to increase, possibly peaking in the 2030-2035 period, the ministry said.

Vietnam’s coal demand will be around 94-97 million tonnes in 2025, and peak at 125-127 million tonnes in 2030, mainly due to the increase in demand for power generation, and the cement, metallurgy and chemical industries.

The ministry also predicted that the demand for energy after 2040 will decline due to the energy transition process to meet emission reduction targets.

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The Role of Nuclear Energy in the Global Energy Transition

The paper provides a wealth of data about the current state of the nuclear industry and the potential for its growth over the next ten to twenty years, while also considering important questions about the geopolitical dimensions which underpin the relationships between the exporters and importers of nuclear technology and the ties, such as financing and provision of services in the nuclear energy value chain, which bind them over multiple decades

See full paper here at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

For 110 years, climate change has been in the news. Are we finally ready to listen?

theconversation.com

On August 14 1912, a small New Zealand newspaper published a short article announcing global coal usage was affecting our planet’s temperature.

This piece from 110 years ago is now famous, shared across the internet this time every year as one of the first pieces of climate science in the media (even though it was actually a reprint of a piece published in a New South Wales mining journal a month earlier).

So how did it come about? And why has it taken so long for the warnings in the article to be heard – and acted on?

Short newspaper article with the headline
This short 1912 article made the direct link between burning coal and global temperature changes. The Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal, National Library of Australia

The fundamental science has been understood for a long time

American scientist and women’s rights campaigner Eunice Foote is now widely credited as being the first person to demonstrate the greenhouse effect back in 1856, several years before United Kingdom researcher John Tyndall published similar results.

Her rudimentary experiments showed carbon dioxide and water vapour can absorb heat, which, scaled up, can affect the temperature of the earth. We’ve therefore known about the relationship between greenhouse gases and Earth’s temperature for at least 150 years.

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What The Ozone Layer Teaches Us About Climate Action

06 APR, 2021

when it comes to the Paris Agreement and climate action; namely that when individuals change their behaviour by consuming differently they can drive industries to change, as those industries are then caught between a ‘greening’ consumer demand and international and governmental policies focusing on climate action. 

UNFCCC

Credit: NOAA / Unsplash

Back in the 1980s, everyone was talking about the hole in the ozone layer, so what happened, and what can the international agreement to ban CFCs teach us about the importance of multilateral cooperation when it comes to climate action?

What exactly is the ozone layer?

The ozone layer is the part of the Earth’s atmosphere that protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation. It’s found in the Stratosphere which is around 10-50km above the surface of the earth. Think of it as a layer of sunscreen that protects us from all manner of harmful rays. Without it, life on Earth would be extremely unpleasant.

So, I’m guessing a hole in it is not a good thing

Exactly right, in fact it’s a very bad thing.

So what caused it?

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Arctic is warming nearly four times faster than the rest of the world

theconversation.com

The Earth is approximately 1.1℃ warmer than it was at the start of the industrial revolution. That warming has not been uniform, with some regions warming at a far greater pace. One such region is the Arctic.

new study shows that the Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world over the past 43 years. This means the Arctic is on average around 3℃ warmer than it was in 1980.

This is alarming, because the Arctic contains sensitive and delicately balanced climate components that, if pushed too hard, will respond with global consequences.

Why is the Arctic warming so much faster?

A large part of the explanation relates to sea ice. This is a thin layer (typically one metre to five metres thick) of sea water that freezes in winter and partially melts in the summer.

The sea ice is covered in a bright layer of snow which reflects around 85% of incoming solar radiation back out to space. The opposite occurs in the open ocean. As the darkest natural surface on the planet, the ocean absorbs 90% of solar radiation.

When covered with sea ice, the Arctic Ocean acts like a large reflective blanket, reducing the absorption of solar radiation. As the sea ice melts, absorption rates increase, resulting in a positive feedback loop where the rapid pace of ocean warming further amplifies sea ice melt, contributing to even faster ocean warming.

Tiếp tục đọc Arctic is warming nearly four times faster than the rest of the world

58% of human infectious diseases can be worsened by climate change – we scoured 77,000 studies to map the pathways

theconversation.com

Published: August 8, 2022 4.00pm BST

Climate change can exacerbate a full 58% of the infectious diseases that humans come in contact with worldwide, from common waterborne viruses to deadly diseases like plague, our new research shows

Our team of environment and health scientists reviewed decades of scientific papers on all known pathogenic disease pathogens to create a map of the human risks aggravated by climate-related hazards.

The numbers were jarring. Of 375 human diseases, we found that 218 of them, well over half, can be affected by climate change.

Flooding, for example, can spread hepatitis. Rising temperatures can expand the life of mosquitoes carrying malaria. Droughts can bring rodents infected with hantavirus into communities as they search for food.

With climate change influencing more than 1,000 transmission pathways like those and climate hazards increasingly globally, we concluded that expecting societies to successfully adapt to all of them isn’t a realistic option. The world will need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change to reduce these risks.

Khủng hoảng khí hậu: Chuyện tiền cả đấy!

LÊ QUANG 31/07/2022 06:33 GMT+7

TTCTKhi người tiêu dùng rên xiết bởi đồng tiền mất giá, lãi bán hàng không đủ mua xăng dầu, hay mùa đông tới châu Âu có lẽ phải hạ lò sưởi xuống 18 độ C – thì chiến sự ở Ukraine là lời giải thích quá vội vã và quá dễ dãi. Về lâu dài, biến đổi khí hậu mới là nguyên nhân chính.

Khủng hoảng khí hậu: Chuyện tiền cả đấy! - Ảnh 1.

Nhiều nước châu Âu đang trải qua giai đoạn nắng nóng kỷ lục. Ảnh: Reuters

Các nghiên cứu trước đây đã chỉ ra mối liên hệ giữa thời tiết khắc nghiệt và khủng hoảng kinh tế, nhưng chỉ tập trung vào các nước đang phát triển, tình cờ cũng là những quốc gia bị lũ lụt, bão và hạn hán thường xuyên và nghiêm trọng hơn nhiều so với phương Tây. Nói cách khác, người ta đã cố tình lờ đi một điểm yếu của phương Tây, vốn vẫn luôn bị ảnh hưởng bởi biến đổi khí hậu, nay chỉ lộ rõ hơn vì chiến sự Ukraine.

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Human disruption to Earth’s freshwater cycle has exceeded the safe limit 

theconversation.com

Green water – the rainwater available to plants in the soil – is indispensable for life on and below the land. But in a new study, we found that widespread pressure on this resource has crossed a critical limit.

The planetary boundaries framework – a concept that scientists first discussed in 2009 – identified nine processes that have remained remarkably steady in the Earth system over the last 11,700 years. These include a relatively stable global climate and an intact biosphere that have allowed civilisations based on agriculture to thrive. Researchers proposed that each of these processes has a boundary that, once crossed, puts the Earth system, or substantial components of it, at risk of upset.

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Slow water: can we tame urban floods by going with the flow?

As we face increased flooding, China’s sponge cities are taking a new course. But can they steer the country away from concrete megadams?

Written by Erica Gies, read by Andrew McGregor and produced by Tony Onuchukwu. The executive producers were Max Sanderson and Isabelle Roughol.

the guardian – Fri 17 Jun 2022 05.00 BST

  • Read the text version here
  • Listen here
WEIHUI, CHINA - JULY 26: Aerial view of rescue team using inflatable rafts evacuate residents from flooded area after heavy downpour, on July 26, 2021 in Weihui, Xinjiang City, Henan Province of China.
 Photograph: China News Service/Getty Images

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Country Climate and Development Report for Vietnam

worldbank.org

Vietnam CCDR Report

Vietnam is increasingly seeing its development affected by climate change and now faces critical questions about how to respond. The Vietnam Country Climate and Development Report proposes that Vietnam shift its development paradigm by incorporating two critical pathways – resilient pathway and decarbonizing pathway – that will help the country balance its development goals with increasing climate risks.

After more than two decades of steady growth, Vietnam has set an ambitious goal of reaching high-income status by 2045. It has been recognized in the 2021-2030 Socioeconomic Development Strategy that the country’s economic transformation will greatly depend on better management of natural capital – the extensive stocks of agricultural, forest, and mineral resources that have helped drive development.

Yet Vietnam, with over 3,200 km of coastline and many low-lying cities and river delta regions, is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Climate change impacts  – mainly higher and more variable temperatures and sea level rise  – are already disrupting economic activity and undermining growth. Initial calculations suggest that Vietnam lost $10 billion in 2020, or 3.2 percent of GDP, to climate change impacts.

Tiếp tục đọc “Country Climate and Development Report for Vietnam”