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Fossil link acidification of oceans to mass extinctions

The oceans along with the atmosphere are a major absorber (sink) for carbon emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels. This will result in the seas getting more acidic so affecting species in the food chain.

Researchers at a German research institute have analysed small seashells in sediment laid down just after a giant meteorite hit the earth 66 million years ago. This resulted in the oceans becoming more acidic resulting in the dissolution of the chalky shells of many animals and led to an ecological collapse.

Current modelling predicts a decrease in pH of the oceans by 0.4 pH units if carbon emissions are not stopped and 0.15 if the average global temperature rise is limited to 20C. The researchers concluded that if a decrease of 0.25 pH units was enough to precipitate a mass extinction then it will be vital to limit emissions of greenhouse gases as soon as possible.
Guardian newspaper dated 22/10/2019

UK climate modelling predictions

The UK Meteorological Office has published the results of its climate change modelling in a report called Climate Prediction (CP18). This report conatins a set of predictions for various areas of the UK. In general there will likely be warmer, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters and this could affect the yield of agricultural crops if the moisture in the soil decreased significantly.

The other major prediction is that if the current rate of emissions of greenhouse gases is not reduced then the average temperature in Reading, UK could increase by 60C by 2070 whereas decreasing emissions to zero within the next 20 years could limit the average global temperature rise to 20C. UK CP 18 report can be downloaded from https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research

Droughts and floods leave 100 million people needing disaster relief

Two million people each week need humanitarian aid because the changing climate is leading to increasing numbers of extreme weather conditions including droughts, flooding and hurricanes.

According to a recent report by the Red Cross, this number of people could double in the next three decades as climate changes became more severe unless Governments acted collectively to reduce global carbon emissions as per the 2015 Paris agreement. Like the UN Secretary General’s comments, the report concluded that the cost of doing nothing was high it was the most vulnerable people who would suffer the most.

Timely adaptations to the likely impacts of climate change and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically could reduce the numbers of affected persons significantly. Many of the necessary measures were low cost including early warning systems, improved weather forecasts and restoring natural features like mangrove swamps and wet lands
Guardian newspaper 23/09/2019

Market funding 4C rise

Mark Carney, governor of the UK’s central bank has warned that the multibillion dollar capital markets were still financing carbon producing activities related to exploiting fossil fuel resources which could result in an increase in average global temperature rise of 4C. If however the Paris climate change agreement was carried through this could lead to stranded assets with sever financial implications for such firms and their investors.
Guardian newspaper 16/10/2019

 

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