News That Matters

Tag: climate

Climate change: China coal surge threatens Paris targets

Climate change: China coal surge threatens Paris targets

Science
While the rest of the world has cut coal-based electricity over the past 18 months, China has added enough to power 31 million homes.That's according to a study that says China is now in the process of building or reviving coal equivalent to the EU's entire generating capacity. China is also financing around a quarter of all proposed coal plants outside its borders. Researchers say the surge is a major threat to the Paris climate targets.China's reliance on coal as a key step in developing the economy led to the fabled "one coal plant a week" building programme between 2006 and 2015.But the push had many negative consequences, choking the air with pollution in many Chinese cities and leading to huge overcapacity. Many of these pl...
Scientists use 3D climate model to narrow search for habitable exoplanets

Scientists use 3D climate model to narrow search for habitable exoplanets

Science
Nov. 14 (UPI) -- For the first time, scientists used a 3D climate model that incorporates photochemistry to study the habitability of exoplanets surrounding M dwarf stars. The findings -- published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal -- could help planetary scientists know what to look for when surveying potentially habitable exoplanets. Researchers adopted a 3D climate model, originally developed by scientists at the University of Colorado-Boulder for the study of Earth's climate, to simulate the atmospheric dynamics of faraway planets -- specifically exoplanets orbiting M dwarf stars. These stars, also called red dwarfs, give off relatively small amounts light and heat. Originally, scientists thought M dwarfs were rare, and because they're relatively cool, scientists assumed planetar...
Climate change: Sea ice loss linked to spread of deadly virus

Climate change: Sea ice loss linked to spread of deadly virus

Science
The decline in sea ice seen in the Arctic in recent decades has been linked by scientists to the spread of a deadly virus in marine mammals. Researchers found that Phocine distemper virus (PDV) had spread from animals in the North Atlantic to populations in the North Pacific.The scientists say the spread of pathogens could become more common as ice declines further.The 15-year study tracked seals, sea lions and otters via satellite. The loss of sea ice in the Arctic has been one of the most visible signs of climate change on the planet over the past four decades. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the ice has been retreating by around 12% per decade between 1979 and 2018."These sea ice changes in Septembe...
Carbon capture could be climate change solution, or a waste of time

Carbon capture could be climate change solution, or a waste of time

Science
Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy announced $ 110 million in federal funding for research and development of carbon capture and storage projects. According to DOE, carbon capture and storage technologies, or CCS, are "increasingly becoming widely accepted as a viable option" for coal- or gas-fired power plants to reduce their emissions. Carbon capture technologies promise to scrub CO2 from the flumes and exhaust pipes of coal and gas plants. The captured carbon can be permanently buried underground or sold for other uses like making fertilizers or boosting oil extraction. The technologies have been tested on small scales, but high costs have prevented wide-scale adoption. While subsidy-free wind and solar power now offer the cheape...
Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists

Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists

Science
A global group of around 11,000 scientists have endorsed research that says the world is facing a climate emergency.The study, based on 40 years of data on a range of measures, says governments are failing to address the crisis.Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing "untold human suffering" the study says.The researchers say they have a moral obligation to warn of the scale of the threat. Released on the day that satellite data shows that last month was the warmest October on record, the new study says that that simply measuring global surface temperatures is an inadequate way of capturing the real dangers of an overheating world. So the authors include a range of data which they believe represents a "suite of graphical vital signs of clima...