Science

Bonn bulletin: Fears over “1.5 washing” in national climate plans

Next round of NDCs in focus as negotiations wrap up with a final push to resolve fights on issues including adaptation and just transition

Bonn makes only lukewarm progress to tackle a red-hot climate crisis

At mid-year UN talks, negotiators have achieved little to get more help to those struggling with fiercer floods, cyclones and heatwaves in South Asia

Climate, development and nature: three urgent priorities for next UK government

Revitalised global leadership from Britain can make a difference at a deeply troubling and fractured time for world affairs

Developing countries need support adapting to deadly heat

Many vulnerable people in South Asia are already struggling to protect themselves from unbearably high temperatures – which are set to worsen

Argentinian scientists condemn budget cuts ahead of university protest

Right-wing President Javier Milei has taken an axe to funding for education and scientific bodies, sparking fears for climate research 

Cancellation of UN climate weeks removes platform for worst-hit communities

The UNFCCC has said it will not hold regional climate weeks in 2024 due to a funding shortfall – which means less inclusion for developing-country voices

What will it take to protect India’s angry farmers from climate threats?

Indebted farmers, facing falling yields and water scarcity, want legally guaranteed price support for more crops – but that may not fix their climate woes

Switzerland proposes first UN expert group on solar geoengineering

A draft resolution aimed at creating a space for discussion on sun dimming technologies will be debated at the summit of the UN’s environment body this month

Adaptation playbook is the true test of Cop28 for world’s vulnerable

While most attention is on fossil fuels, the US is blocking progress on an adaptation playbook, a matter of life or death for many Africans

OECD: Rich countries ‘likely’ to hit $100bn climate finance goal in 2022

Data shows countries provided $89.6bn in 2021, but funding for adaptation declined.

Climate Science

Adaptation

UK aid cuts leave Malawi vulnerable to droughts and cyclones

After the UK cut short a £52m climate adaptation scheme in Malawi, vulnerable communities saw their livelihoods destroyed by Cyclone Freddy

Talks to boost ‘underfinanced’ climate adaptation split over money

Developing and developed countries are wrangling over whether finance should be included in an adaptation framework to be approved at Cop28

Devastating Beijing floods test China’s ‘sponge cities’

Despite Beijing’s sponge city project, the capital was overwhelmed by recent floods with dozens dying and a new “sponge airport” shut down

Morocco’s centuries-old irrigation system under threat from climate change

As Morocco faces increasingly extreme temperatures, indigenous communities in the country’s southeast suffer the brunt of the climate crisis

Last-minute compromise avoids break down on adaptation goals

In fraught nations, developing countries wanted to focus on specific targets, while developed nations only wanted to talk about structure

Bonn talks offer opportunity to bridge the adaptation gap

With climate devastation growing, we can’t keep sidelining climate adaptation at governments’ climate talks

Reporting on climate adaptation is a mess – here’s how to fix it

Information about projects to help adapt to climate change is scattered, hard-to-find and incomplete, making keeping track of them impossible

“Life or death”: Weather-watchers warn against Elon Musk’s Twitter changes

Elon Musk is charging for automated tweets, making it harder for authorities to warn of extreme weather events

Adaptation

Antarctic

Dying oceans rising faster than predicted, UN warns in stark report

Accelerating melting in Antarctica coupled with heating and acidification will push world’s oceans into ‘unprecedented’ condition, the UN science panel said

Polar sea ice hits record new low

Northern spring thaw begins with sea ice at a record low. Nasa scientists say the world has lost an expanse of ice larger than Mexico since 1981

Global sea ice at lowest area ever recorded

Scientists mystified by a sudden fall in sea ice around Antarctica, but said there was no evidence it was related to global warming

Antarctic ice shelf collapse pits fishing against science

British scientists want a fishing moratorium while they study newly open waters, but Russia stands in their way

Elephant seals enlisted in Antarctic sea ice study

Marine mammals have been fitted with monitoring devices to gather data in inaccessible parts of the South Pole

The puzzle of Antarctica’s long-term ice loss

Satellite data records reveal that the worrying loss of hundreds of square kilometres of ice along West Antarctica’s coastline has been occurring for decades

Top insurer urges US to stop subsidising climate-risk homes

National scheme encourages irresponsible housebuilding on regions exposed to flooding and storms, warns Lloyds

Antarctic glacier melt could add 3 metres to sea levels – study

A huge glacier in the frozen wastes of East Antarctica, a region previously thought stable, could melt much faster than expected, scientists say.

Antarctic

Arctic

Nations fight to be called climate vulnerable in IPCC report

Being recognised as partiuclarly vulnerable can help countries access climate finance and plan adaptation strategies

Norway eyes expansion of oil and gas industry under policy proposal

The government wants to hand out more exploration licences – ignoring modelling that shows fossil fuel expansion must end now to meet global climate goals

How the shipping industry can halve climate-warming black carbon in the Arctic

Switching to cleaner shipping fuel would prevent Arctic warming and deliver an easy win for the climate

Russia resists tougher climate targets in dash for Arctic gas

Russia has no plans to end its contribution to climate change before the end of the century and is aggressively expanding Arctic gas production for the Asian market

Loopholes in Arctic heavy fuel oil ban defer action to the end of the decade

In concessions to Russia, the International Maritime Organisation has watered down draft rules to protect the Arctic from oil spills and black carbon pollution

‘Nature doesn’t trust us any more’: Arctic heatwave stokes permafrost thaw

Record permafrost temperatures are transforming the Arctic, especially for indigenous peoples, whose hunting livelihoods are at risk as ground melts

Greenpeace takes Arctic oil lawsuit to Norway’s supreme court

After losing at two lower courts, campaigners are taking the fight to ban new oil exploration licences to the top, where it will be heard by all 19 justices

Climate Home News launches front line climate justice reporting programme

We want your story ideas about how communities – especially women, youth and indigenous peoples – are building resilience to climate change

Arctic

Corals

Maldives greenlights destructive dredging to build housing and luxury resorts

The president is approving a $147 million land reclamation project on Addu atoll, despite warnings of “irreversible damage” to the environment

Women and youth are leading Kenya’s coral reef revival

A programme to restore Kenya’s damaged coral reefs is creating jobs and boosting the fish catch in economically vulnerable communities

Mauritius oil spill compensation could be limited by maritime law technicality

Experts warn payouts for an oil spill that has devastated Mauritius’ fishing and tourism industries may not match the scale of the damage

Next UN climate science report to consider lessons from coronavirus

UN climate science reports due in 2021 will examine the links between pandemics and human pressures on the natural world to guide policymakers

Australian emissions rise as LNG production soars

Emissions from gas extraction cause carbon pollution to continue to rise, while agency issues warning about health of Great Barrier Reef

Chile’s ‘Blue Cop’ will push leaders to protect oceans to heal climate

Hosts of UN climate talks push ocean health up political agenda in year when IPCC scientists will deliver major report on climate link

EU: Breaching 1.5C would trigger cascade of negative effects

Confidential comments on a draft UN report show the EU calling for scientists to discount scenarios where temperatures temporarily overshoot the Paris goal

Ecosystems across Australia are collapsing under climate change

The Great Barrier Reef has become a notorious victim of climate change. But it is not the only Australian ecosystem on the brink of collapse

Corals

Glaciers

Fatal Himalayan glacial lake outburst highlights destabilising effect of warming

More than 200 people are dead or missing after floods gushed through mountain gorges in Uttarakhand, India, in a disaster linked to climate change

Green Climate Fund talks ‘hijacked’ by India-Pakistan conflict

After objections by the Indian representative, the Green Climate Fund has kept on hold a project to reduce the risk of glacial lake outburst floods in northern Pakistan

Rapid glacier melt threatens Bolivia water supplies, homes

Area of the Bolivian Andes covered by ice has shrunk 43% in a generation, study finds, with alarming implications

Human-caused warming postpones next ice age by 50,000 years

NEWS: Scientists forecast long delay to return of glaciers as carbon emissions screw the Earth’s climate systems

Greenland ice melt speeds up sea level rise

NEWS: Scientists have found evidence suggesting that melting icecap water from the interior of Greenland is adding to sea level rise faster than previously realised

Glacier melt hits record levels, report Zurich-based monitors

NEWS: Scientists say many glaciers are melting faster than ever − and many will continue to do so even if climate change can be stabilised

Too few scientists track loss of Himalayan glaciers

NEWS: Millions rely on meltwater from Asia’s water towers, but lack of expertise and manpower hampers the study of climate impacts

Alaska glaciers melting faster as planet overheats

NEWS: Climate change rather than natural causes is the main driver of state’s glacier loss, which is set to speed up, US scientists say

Glaciers

Research

Mainstream economists accused of playing down climate threat

Economic models have ignored tipping points, rainfall changes and indoor work, leading them to under-estimate climate change’s economic damage

Researchers push to make polluters put carbon back in the ground

A team from Oxford University is trying to persuade governments to impose carbon capture and storage requirements on fossil fuel producers

A rush to mine the deep ocean has environmentalists worried

Tiny Nauru is behind a push to fast-track talks on mining rules for the deep seabed, which could see fragile habitats opened to exploitation as early as 2023

Cop26 must urgently get specific on carbon removal in net-zero pathways

The last IPCC report overlooked the technical, financial, and political limitations of carbon removal techniques and risks informing poor policy choices

Study suggests China’s crackdown on illegal CFC gases is working

Levels of the banned CFC-11 in the atmosphere have fallen over east Asia after the Chinese government cracked down on illegal producers in the foam industry

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Coronavirus pandemic threatens climate monitoring, WMO warns

Data for weather forecasts and climate monitoring provided by in-flight sensors and manual observations have decreased significantly since the Covid-19 outbreak

Coronavirus: in Hawaii’s air, scientists seek signs of economic shock on CO2 levels

Ralph Keeling estimates that global fossil fuel use would have to decline by 10% for a full year to clearly impact CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere

Research

Nature

Brazilian government eyes money from Amazon Fund for controversial road

Brazil’s transport ministry plans to bid for money from the Amazon Fund to pave the world’s “most sustainable highway”

‘Carbon bomb’ in Argentina gets push from local government

Argentina’s southern city of Sierra Grande started public hearings for a shipping terminal to export from Vaca Muerta, the world’s second largest shale gas reserve

UN deep-sea mining talks deadlocked over agenda clash

A dozen countries want to officially debate for the first time in history the possibility to halt deep-sea mining, but have faced opposition from China and the island-nation of Nauru.

Lula revives $1 billion Amazon Fund and environmental protections

On his first day in office as Brazil’s president, Lula da Silva signed a package of seven executive orders to protect the environment

Breakthrough for nature protection – Climate Weekly

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Destruction of Brazil’s Cerrado savanna soars for third year in a row

Brazil’s outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro has presided over four years of destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the Cerrado grasslands

Governments split on ditching nature-harming subsidies in Montreal

Negotiators at the Cop15 biodiversity summit in Montreal have until Friday to agree a “nature pact” that can get rid of harmful subsidies

UN nature pact nears its ‘Copenhagen or Paris’ moment

Cop15 biodiversity negotiations in Montreal next month will determine how the world halts and reverses nature loss

Nature

Water

Seen from space: Extreme drought dries up rivers across the globe

In China, Lake Poyang is just a quarter of its normal size, while in Germany, the Rhine is running at 45% of its average levels for August

Between a wolf and its food: as one deep sea miner flops, others eye the prize

The Metals Company is running out of money, but the regulator is still fast-tracking rules to mine the ocean while other prospectors wait in the wings

German minister backs Middle East ‘peace through water’ plan

The proposals aim to harness solar power to bring drinking water to Palestinian territories but Israel’s support is needed

Drought-hit town hopes Chile’s new leader will take back water from Big Avocado

Leftist Gabriel Boric won a landslide to become Chile’s president and backs reform to improve water rights and access for communities like Petorca

Afghanistan at risk of hunger amid drought and Taliban takeover

As the Taliban seizes control of Afghanistan, experts warn severe drought could worsen the humanitarian crisis triggered by an exodus of western forces

Fatal floods expose gaps in Germany’s disaster preparedness

While heavy rain was forecast, infrastructure was overwhelmed and many residents did not get the message about the dangers

Chileans look to new constitution to return water to communities

Rural communities hope the drafting of a new constitution will dismantle water privatisation in Chile and recognise the right to access water

Ocean fire exposes weak regulation of Mexico’s oil and gas sector

After ‘eye of fire’ footage goes viral, Pemex denies its ruptured gas pipe caused environmental damage and campaigners demand an investigation

Water

IPCC

Governments battle over carbon removal and renewables in IPCC report

While the Saudis pushed carbon capture and storage technology, Europeans fought for wind and solar to be talked up in the report.

The IPCC’s climate scientists have done their job – now we must do ours

As citizens, we must educate and inspire our peers to act on climate change through positive and empowering campaigns

IPCC highlights rich nations’ failure to help developing world adapt to climate change

Scientists say funding needs to increase ‘many-fold’ in order to reach climate goals and protect communities disproportionately affected by global warming

Study: IPCC asks emerging countries to drop coal faster than rich nations did

A new study has found that most energy transition models ask nations like China, India and South Africa to cut coal use twice as fast as developed countries ever did.

As 1.5C overshoot looms, a high-level commission will ask: what next?

Fifteen former leaders and ministers are set to address sensitive questions on the role of CO2 removal and geoengineering in climate action

War in Ukraine is triggering a food crisis – and climate change has more in store

Governments must fund humanitarian relief and prioritise cropland for feeding people, not livestock or cars, to guard against future shocks

Leading scientists pitch for annual IPCC reports to keep climate on the agenda

Corinne Le Quéré is among a group of authors proposing the IPCC publish updates on key climate indicators every year amid an “explosion” of scientific literature

Global hub launched to help countries slash methane emissions

Chilean ex-minister Marcelo Mena will lead the hub, urging governments to tackle methane from fossil fuel, waste and farming sectors in updated national plans

IPCC