• Climate change

    Is it time to stop talking about climate change?

    This is perhaps a shocking question: Is it time to stop talking about climate change?  We need to talk about the consequences – climate change is a real and present problem. The impacts are here now. Anyone who saw Attenborough’s first programme in the Seven Worlds, One Planet series on BBC last night must surely be thinking that. We are still focusing on science and arguing in abstract terms about 1.5% and 2%. Meanwhile, there are “real world” consequences. In Antarctica more frequent and more powerful storms are blowing Albatros chicks off their nests, threatening the survival of the species. David Saddington has something important to hear. NASA reports:  Global…

  • Carbon,  Climate change,  Offsetting

    Carbon offsetting a get out of jail card?

    The issues of carbon pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are moving up the political agenda. The children’s strikes, protests by Extinction Rebellion and increasing government action will make the burning of fossil fuels more expensive. There are challenges in all sectors of travel and tourism but the elephant in the room is aviation. Airlines emit 80% of our industry’s greenhouse gasses and air travel is growing at 5% per year. As other industries reduce their carbon emissions aviation will account for ever-larger shares of global emissions. More   Aviation is the Achilles’ heel of the sector. Brian Summers writing is Skift has commented on the KLM initiative: “Take KLM, the…

  • Climate change

    For seven consecutive months the global average temperature has been at least 1C above the 1951-80 mean for that month.

    Last month was the hottest April on record globally – and the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records. Nasa data shows that the global temperature of land and sea was 1.11C warmer in April than the average temperature for April during the period 1951-1980. more The BBC have a graphic which shows how the average global temperature has risen “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2016 was 1.10°C (1.98°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F)—the highest temperature departure for April since global records began in 1880. This value surpassed the previous record set in 2010 by 0.28°C (0.50°F).…

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  • Climate change

    New shipping routes through the Arctic?

    New data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggest that January of 2016 was, for the globe, a truly extraordinary month. Coming off the hottest year ever recorded (2015), January saw the greatest departure from average of any month on record, according to data provided by NASA. The record breaking heat wasn’t uniformly distributed — it was particularly pronounced at the top of the world, showing temperature anomalies above 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 1951 to 1980 average in this region. Read more in the Washington Post Will The Arctic Be The World’s New Economic Hotspot?

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  • Climate change

    2015 the hottest year on record – doesn’t make the headlines

    2015 was the first full year to break the 1C barrier above pre-industrial levels – a key benchmark for warming UK Met Office figures show that 2015 was 0.75C warmer than the long-term average between 1961-1990. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a US federal agency, 2015 is the fourth time an annual global temperature has been set this century. 2015 also saw record high temperatures for 10 months, with five months showing the highest departure from the average of any month on record. Go to the graphic and watch the average temperature rise relentlessly year after year play “There is no evidence that [the] warming trend has…

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  • Climate change

    A warm and wet winter in Europe

    Deserted slopes and empty ski lifts resulted in sales of ski packages in Europe slumped by 20% in December resulting in heavy discounting. Just before Christmas Alpine ski resorts desperate to open after the warmest December on record in France. The Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise resort in Savoie used helicopters to transport 100 tonnes of snow to the slopes part of the 100,000 cubic metres of snow produced by water cannon. 120,000 people work in the French ski industry, only 40% of seasonal workers in resorts  have foudn employment this year and there are reports in the French media that in some resorts staff have accepted a 30% cut in in working time…

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  • Climate change

    Today is the Winter Solstice

    Today is the winter solstice. 2015 is a deviant year – the  shortest day of the year traditionally falls on 21st December but it is a day later this year, the foibles of man’s calendars. Its all to do with the fact that our calendar work on 365 days, whereas the  earth’s orbit around the sun takes 365.5 days, the sun will set at 15:54 today, just under eight hours of daylight in the UK. In the Northern Hemisphere winter begins today – as I write this it is 13.3C – and last night the lowest temperature was in Faversham was 12.3C. For an explanation of the mechanics of our…

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  • Climate change

    One cheer for the Paris agreement

    International aviation and shipping emissions have been excluded from the Paris climate agreement Article 31 (d) of the Paris Agreement requires parties to “provide an explanation of why any categories of anthropogenic emissions or removals are excluded.” Those who negotiated the Paris agreement should be held to account for giving aviation and marine transportation a get out of gaol free card  Effectively a “country” with the carbon emissions of the UK has secured exclusion ……. And effective action has been delayed – as Kevin Anderson explained graphically and eloquently at WTM last month we need to be reducing carbon emissions urgently now, we cannot risk waiting for cvhange by 2050,…

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  • Climate change

    Aviation gets “get out of gaol free card” in Paris

    You have to admire the lobbying skills of ICAO and the IMO – aviation and marine fossil fuel emissions remain outside the draft agreement on fossil fuel emissions Para 20 is really weak – a missed opportunity {International transport emissions} 20. [Parties [shall][should][other] pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, respectively, with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions, including developing procedures for incorporating emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels into low-emission development strategies.] The full document is available here.

  • aviation,  Carbon,  Climate change

    No real progress at ICAO on reducing carbon emissions

    At the close of the 38th session of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Friday the ICAO States committed the organisation to develop a global market-based measure (MBM) to limit the growth of international aviation emissions. The key paragraph is 5 on page 13: “Resolves that States and relevant organizations will work through ICAO to achieve a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 2 per cent until 2020 and an aspirational global fuel efficiency improvement rate of 2 per cent per annum from 2021 to 2050, calculated on the basis of volume of fuel used per revenue tonne kilometre performed”. This commitment is purely aspirational and voluntary Paragraph 5…

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