Displaying items by tag: Climate change
The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started breaking up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon, never previously recorded, is due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave. One meteorologist described the loss of ice as ‘scary’. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest. ‘I think that solar heating of the water column will increase during this opening (of the ice) and this will delay freeze-up and ice formation,’ said an expert at the Danish Meteorological Institute. Freakish Arctic temperatures have alarmed climate scientists since the beginning of the year. There are concerns that the polar vortex may be eroding.
Christian charity Operation Noah has launched an animated film designed to help Christians around the world recognise the human cost of climate change - particularly for women and children. According to the charity, while most adults in the UK think that climate change is real and caused primarily by human activity, many Christians don't yet see it as a faith issue. Recent polling indicates that environmental issues are seen as less important by conservative Christians than in other parts of the church. Inspired by real-life stories, the film tells the story of a seven-year-old girl living on a South Pacific island who is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. UN figures indicate that women and children are 14 times more likely than men to die or be injured during extreme weather events.
New research from Newcastle University published in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters reveals that nearly sixty UK cities will battle flooding by 2051, with Glasgow and Aberdeen among the worst-hit. The changes in flooding, droughts and heatwaves for European cities are blamed on climate change and the effect of greenhouse gases on global temperature. Experts are now calling for improved flood defences in order to prevent severe damage in future. The most optimistic scenario showed that 85% of UK cities with a river would face increased flooding. Some areas in the UK and Ireland could see the amount of water per flood as much as double.
Mount Mayon, in the Philippines, is erupting like a fountain. By 18 January, forty thousand villagers had been evacuated. People expect volcanic mudslides and roofs collapsing from accumulated ash and rainwater. Pray for those living in fear. In North America thousands are still engaged in search and clean-up efforts from last year’s wildfires, followed by huge mudslides. Pray for those who have lost everything. In Africa humanitarian aid takes months to reach people. 15 million people need aid in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia; pray for better aid agency networking. Europe has experienced devastating floods. Pray for the 80,000+ who were evacuated and are still receiving relief efforts. In Australia temperatures of 47.3 degrees necessitate a total fire ban. See and also
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is the UN’s authoritative voice on the behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with land and oceans, and the weather it produces. On 6 November WMO predicted 2017 to be among the hottest years recorded. A few days earlier NASA revealed maps of Greenland's coastal seafloor and bedrock beneath its ice sheet having up to four times as many coastal glaciers at risk of accelerated melting as previously thought. We are in a long-term warming trend with the highest ever recorded CO2 in the atmosphere and many unusual meteorological events this year, seemingly due to climate change. These issues were discussed at the COP 23 climate talks (6 to 17 November) in Bonn. Justin Welby wrote to the delegates to say that the Anglican community supports their work and recognises addressing climate change as an urgent priority requiring immediate attention. See
Disillusioned with protectionism and the US government’s rejection of low-carbon economic models, the European Union hopes that China will stick with the climate change agreements made during the summit in in Brussels. China has a very big air-pollution problem, especially in Beijing. Also the policy for China’s domestic economic development is very clearly a green economy policy. Preventing dangerous climate change is a key priority for the EU. Europe is working hard to cut its greenhouse gas emissions substantially, while encouraging other nations and regions to do likewise. Key EU targets for 2020 are a 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990; 20% of total energy consumption from renewable energy; and 20% increase in energy efficiency.
The worst monsoon since 2003 hit Sri Lanka after two months of drought. 194 people died, and the toll is expected to rise. 99 people are missing, and 112 injured. Over half a million people are affected. Red Cross, police, foreign aid workers, and military are giving first aid, organising search and rescue missions, and distributing food and water. Homes are uninhabitable. Barnabas Fund reported that 200 churches and 5,000 Christian families are affected. However, Christians have not sought shelter in relief camps, fearing persecution, especially those in Buddhist temples. On 30 May Cyclone Mora’s winds of 85 mph lashed Bangladesh forcing the evacuation of 2.5 million people, killing at least six, destroying 20,000 houses and felling hundreds of trees. Meanwhile President Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, according to two senior US officials familiar with his plans - a major reversal of the previous administration's efforts on climate change. See:
Last Saturday, over 600 protest marches in the name of science took place - in Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, Japan, and even South Korea. Tens of thousands of scientists and their supporters rallied around the world, in a rebuke to Donald Trump’s dismissal of climate science and scientific research cuts. Organisers warned that science is ‘under attack’. Placards demanded ‘science not silence’, and ‘there is no Plan B’. The marches took place on Earth Day, one week before tomorrow’s People’s Climate March when a series of large-scale environmental events that will be more overtly political are due. See also:
At a ‘creation care fair’ at St Cuthbert’s Church in Toronto, Anglicans and community members had opportunities to ask church and secular leaders how they were responding to the challenge of climate change, with many questions about whether or not the Anglican Church of Canada will divest from fossil fuel companies. Its General Synod will be making a decision about this in 2019. While the Canadian Church and government address environmental challenges, President Trump signed an executive order to return to coal fuel. The order directs the US Environmental Protection Agency to begin re-evaluating immediately the Clean Power Plan that was published just ahead of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in France. The Plan was to reduce US power plant emissions dramatically over 25 years, and was a bargaining tool when negotiating the Paris climate accord. See:
Anti-fracking activists placed adverts in Leeds bus-stops stating that thousands of gallons of fracking fluid could be headed for the city. This overnight action was part of a national ‘Break the Chain’ fortnight, which also saw protesters suspended by swings above a quarry in Carnforth for eleven hours and residents walking 120 miles in an area where a fracking licence was granted. Lancashire and Yorkshire are concerned that wastewater from potential fracking sites could enter local treatment works. This week 250 people attended a protest rally near the UK's first horizontal fracking site, and earlier this month the Government was taken to court about its permitting Cuadrilla to test fracking sites in the UK. On Monday Nottinghamshire planning officers will publish recommendations for another shale gas well.