Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 30: Heavy breathing tropical forests under record heat

Today the WMO announced that the atmospheric CO2 concentration last year rose at a record high speed: +3.3 ppm – jumping from 400.0 ppm in 2015 to 403.3 in 2016. The annual average rise is close to 2 ppm. A … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 28: If the Amazon goes, so may Africa’s rainforests

The Congolese rainforests are the world’s second largest remaining tropical rainforest expanse and a 60 gigatonne carbon store. Although climate models have a hard time predicting rainfall changes over the Congo Basin and despite a multi-decade drying trend, these forests … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 23: Amazon ‘tipping point’ is a sliding process, from +1C

In this article we try to quantify the Amazon rainforest climate tipping point, based on available scientific literature. We conclude there’s no real basin-wide threshold temperature to activate the forest-killing biome switch. Rather it seems to be a sliding process, … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 18: Widespread effects ‘biodiversity redistribution’ unaccounted

We can all imagine that climate change-driven migration of species will have global consequences. But what do the actual effects look like – and how do these feed back on ecology, climate and human societies?

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 9: Cascading extinctions speed up biodiversity loss – and warming

Yes, we found yet another publication that is critical of one-dimensional biodiversity loss projections of climate change – and again it is a component of interspecies interaction that may be underestimated. We’ve previously looked at species competition and at evolutionary … Continue reading

Understanding Sea Level Rise, p4: ice sheet dynamics and (13) melting feedbacks – a background to 21st century SLR acceleration

In 2016 two influential new publications raised the possibility of a rapid acceleration of sea level rise in the 21st century – to ±2 metres (DeConto & Pollard) or more (2-5m, Hansen et al). In this background article we take … Continue reading

Do the math! Because climate sensitivity is logarithmic, 1.5 degrees target was already breached at 400 ppm – if you look at CO2 only (& assume ECS = 3C)

According to ‘conventional climate science’ the currently already emitted amount of CO2 (404 ppm) leads to a committed warming of 1.56 degrees Celsius. To keep ‘the promise of Paris’ – the CO2 concentration must go down, down to below 400 … Continue reading

Real Global Temperature Trend, p25 – Paleoclimate experts to the rescue! Closer to 1-2 degrees Celsius in pipeline from long-term climate inertia

We would keep the story simpler, helpful real-world paleoclimate experts advise us: ‘Say the Pliocene was 2 to 3 degrees warmer than pre-industrial Holocene – at a CO2 concentration that is about as high as the one that’s currently measured, … Continue reading

Real Global Temperature Trend, p17 – Climate System Thermal Inertia is lower when you don’t assume CO2 flatline

Oceans, oceans, oceans. You thought the atmosphere was complex? Well, just take a look at the oceans. Oddly shaped features with disturbing cycles and conveyor belt currents. Home of the octopus, the blue whale and a Mariana Trench full of … Continue reading

Real Global Temperature Trend, p16 – Climate System Thermal Inertia: Trend Line = 0.6C higher than observed temperatures show

In part 16 of our temperature trend series we take a better look at one of the main reasons almost everyone still underestimates climate urgency: ‘Thermal inertia’ of the climate system – a delay between the moment of emissions of … Continue reading