Arctic tipping points put planet at risk

Read the full story at EnvironmentalResearchWeb.

If the world fails to slow the pace of climate change very soon by cutting emissions of the greenhouse gases that are heating the planet, Arctic tipping points threaten to overwhelm the region, new research reveals.

The Winners of the C40 Cities Awards for Climate Change

Read the full story in CityLab.

The top cities mass-produce compost, use landfill gas to heat a stadium, and “deconstruct” rather than demolish homes.

Great Barrier Reef Threatened by Climate Change, Chemicals and Sediment

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Climate change and the flow of farm chemicals and coastal sediment into the waters that wash over one of Australia’s most significant nature areas, the Great Barrier Reef, pose the biggest threats to its survival, according to a government report to Unesco released early Friday.

A Wrenching Choice for Alaska Towns in the Path of Climate Change

Read the full story in the New York Times.

With its proximity to the Arctic, Alaska is warming about twice as fast as the rest of the United States and the state is heading for the warmest year on record. The government has identified at least 31 Alaskan towns and cities at imminent risk of destruction, with Shaktoolik ranking among the top four. Some villages, climate change experts predict, will be uninhabitable by 2050, their residents joining a flow of climate refugees around the globe, in Bolivia, China, Niger and other countries.

Pope Francis: “Never been such a clear need for science” to protect the planet

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Pope Francis this week implored world leaders not to postpone the implementation of global environmental pacts, an appeal that appeared aimed at President-elect Donald Trump’s vows to end the United States’ leading role in combating climate change.

Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

At a time when a huge pulse of uncertainty has been injected into the global project to stop the planet’s warming, scientists have just raised the stakes even further.

In a massive new study published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature, no less than 50 authors from around the world document a so-called climate system “feedback” that, they say, could make global warming considerably worse over the coming decades.

That feedback involves the planet’s soils, which are a massive repository of carbon due to the plants and roots that have grown and died in them, in many cases over vast time periods (plants pull in carbon from the air through photosynthesis and use it to fuel their growth). It has long been feared that as warming increases, the microorganisms living in these soils would respond by very naturally upping their rate of respiration, a process that in turn releases carbon dioxide or methane, leading greenhouse gases.

Where the rains come from

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Intense storms have become more frequent and longer-lasting in the Great Plains and Midwest in the last 35 years. What has fueled these storms? The temperature difference between the Southern Great Plains and the Atlantic Ocean produces winds that carry moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Plains, according to a recent study in Nature Communications.