Science

Groundwater recharge offers hope to drought-hit Indian farmers

In Odisha, where late monsoons mean crop failures, poverty and even suicide, a novel scheme aims to boost water access

Dryland expansion to hit food crops as planet warms

Studies warn climate change will bring faster warming to subtropical dry areas, making crops like wheat and potatoes unviable

‘We are praying it rains soon’ – Nairobi on severe water rations

Some districts are receiving just 12 hours of water each week as drought hits the Kenyan capital – home to more than 3 million people

Brazilian MPs bid to cut protections for one million hectares of forest

As deforestation spirals out of control, bills to be voted on by Congress would roll back protections on area of forest the size of Jamaica

Each degree of warming thaws India-sized area of permafrost – study

Frozen tundra may be more sensitive to rising temperatures than previously thought, releasing methane and worsening global warming

EU palm oil restrictions risk sparking trade spat

The European Parliament is set to back a ban on use of palm oil for biofuels, in a bid to protect rainforests, but exporters warn this would violate trade rules

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

Kenyan Met Office predicts rains to fail sparking crisis worse than 2011

Study released on Thursday shows a 2016 drought was made worse by climate change – but with March rains predicted to fail, the Met Office has warned of worse to come

Climate Science

2C

We already have a magic technology that sucks up carbon

Why have emissions plans that rely on removing carbon from the air with unproven technologies when forests can do it today?

World is well placed to stay under 2C – if we have carbon capture

“We are broadly in the right starting position to keep warming below 2C,” but most models require carbon capture to meet the Paris goal, researchers say

Geoengineering rulebook could be ready by 2020s

Initiative sponsored by Carnegie Council and led by UN climate veteran aims to break silence around geo-technologies and explore their potential

Global warming to shrink US harvests, say scientists

Rising temperatures will lead to massive crop losses in the US, which will increase prices and cause problems for developing countries, says international study

Global 2C warming limit not feasible, warns top economist

With “extreme policy measures”, a 2.5C limit is in reach, according to latest climate model from William Nordhaus

UK Met Office: 2017 to be ‘very warm’ but won’t beat 2016

Temperatures likely to dip slightly next year as El Nino wanes but long term average remains on an upward curve, say UK experts

G20 panel tells energy giants to come clean on climate risks

Voluntary rules for climate disclosure will force companies to evaluate role and strategy in a carbon-constrained world, say experts

Iconic Kruger game park faces bleak climate future

Recent drought gives a taste of things to come for Kruger National Park, South Africa, as global warming outpaces species’ ability to adapt

2C

Adaptation

Maldives regime imperils coral reefs in dash for cash

Under President Yameen, ministers are quashing environmental concerns to strike opaque resort deals with foreign investors, warn divers, scientists and two EPA insiders

Netherlands invests €1m in global climate adaptation centre

Dutch join forces with Japan, UN among leading donors for project aimed at helping countries understand how they can cope with climate impacts

Russia starts work on climate adaptation strategy

Kremlin wants new plan by mid-2018, as brief sent to regions highlights focus on extreme weather events, permafrost thawing

Drought sours future of Swaziland’s sugar growers

Sugarcane has brought wealth to the world’s last absolute monarchy, but climate change spells an uncertain future for this thirsty crop

South Asia’s women suffer as climate migration rises

Feminization of environmental migration is already underway in South Asia but governments have been slow to recognise the role of climate change

Growing water stress drives desalination push in Kenya

As drought hits crop yields and livelihoods, Kenya approves the first of a planned fleet of plants to get drinking water from the ocean

Global warming linked to plant, animal extinctions

Almost half of plant and animal species have experienced local extinctions due to climate change, research reveals, with the tropics suffering the most pronounced loss

Brazil’s coffee growers face bleak future as world warms

Small-scale farmers who produce most of the world’s coffee beans face reductions in crop yield and quality as a result of rising temperatures and extreme weather

Adaptation

Antarctic

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.

Antarctica geoengineering idea flawed say scientists

NEWS: Pumping sea water onto the continent to form ice to slow sea-level rise is flawed say scientists – and could make it worse

Warmer oceans speed up Antarctic ice loss

NEWS: Studies show a thinning ice shelf is accelerating the flow of glaciers into the Southern Ocean, raising sea levels

Antarctic

Arctic

Weekly wrap: Will China turn its back on coal?

This week’s top climate politics and policy stories. Sign up to have our newsletter sent to your inbox

It’s 1 March, but spring got started weeks ago

As warmer days wake parts of nature from their winter slumber earlier and earlier, ancient cycles are being broken

Think climate change is a hoax? Visit Norway

Environment minister says warm temperatures and low levels of Arctic sea ice are an early warning to world that climate change is biting

Pentagon: Arctic melt requires updated US strategy

Falling sea ice levels due to climate change and spike in Russian activity require strategic response in US, says department of defense

Watch the Arctic melt away as the Earth warms

Climate scientist Ed Hawkins releases latest in series of gifs illustrating the rapid collapse in Arctic sea ice since the late 1970s

Arctic scientists take climate warning to World Economic Forum

Researchers bring warnings of a rapidly melting North Pole to world leaders in Davos

Exxon has ‘excellent future’ in Russia says ex-energy chief

Former Putin minister and CEO of Rosneft says renewed cooperation with US would open up “massive investment” in Arctic oil and gas

Obama’s last climate play: US, Canada agree Arctic oil ban

Over 115 million acres of Arctic will be free from oil and gas exploration under decrees by leaders of US and Canada

Arctic

Corals

There’s a secret UN climate summit taking place in Mexico

UN biodiversity chief tells Climate Home protecting and restoring ecosystems is the best way to protect the world from dangerous levels of global warming

Worst-recorded coral bleaching event to continue into 2017

World’s reefs in “uncharted territory”, say scientists, as bleaching set to hit reefs for an unprecedented third year in a row

Asia’s coastal typhoons are gaining power

The violence of typhoons that devastate Asian coastal regions is being magnified by rising sea surface temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change now has a start date

Researchers have pinpointed the beginning of global warming to a couple of decades in mid-1800s, showing earth’s sensitivity to small atmospheric changes

Visitors rush to the Great Barrier Reef to catch it “before it’s gone”

Survey finds that 69% of visitors to the world’s largest coral reef system are motivated by the fear that it might disappear

UN asked Australia to cover up Great Barrier Reef lobbying

Email exchanges between Australian government and Paris-based UNESCO indicate officials colluded in keeping lobbying over key climate report secret

Bleached Great Barrier Reef corals ‘sickest ever’, warn scientists

Corals are dying rapidly and sustained high sea temperatures will make it harder than ever to recover, say researchers

Anote Tong: Migration is the “brutal reality” of climate change

Migration with dignity must be part of a climate change adaptation strategy, rather than relocation of people as climate refugees

Corals

Forests

Russia, Canada, Brazil record vast forest loss

Almost 1 million square kilometres of natural forest disappeared between the year 2000 and 2013, along with its ability to absorb carbon and reduce warming

Carbon sink larger than England found in Congo jungle

A carbon sink as large as 20 years’ worth of US fossil fuel emissions has been identified in peatland in central Africa’s forests

Indonesia president bans further destruction of peatlands

Norwegian pressure and financial support credited as world’s 8th largest greenhouse gas emitter targets end to exploitation of peatlands

Conservation zones exclude indigenous people, drive deforestation

Without their traditional land managers, reserves in Central America are left vulnerable to corporate interests, report finds

Fire bombs: British Columbia prepares for infernos

The second part of our series on vulnerable communities finds BC taking radical action in the face of a pile up of fire threats. Can it move fast enough?

Fire bombs: Hobart lies in the path of climate disaster

Around the world, communities are living obliviously close to climate-driven fire disaster. In the first in a series of reports, Karl Mathiesen visits Hobart, Tasmania

Cattle ranchers face heat as efforts to protect forests falter

Annual index by Global Canopy Programme shows commodity suppliers are acting too slowly to meet high level sustainability goals

Brazil needs new coalitions to halt forest clearance surge

The latest data confirms an increase in tree-cutting, including in the most valuable carbon-rich areas of Amazon rainforest

Forests

Glaciers

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

Canadian glaciers could start to disappear by 2040 – scientists

NEWS: Climate change could cause many glaciers in western Canada to start to disappear by mid century, affecting people and places that depend on their water

Glaciers

Research

Melting Arctic worsens Beijing’s pollution haze, study finds

Changing weather patterns make winter smog around China’s capital more likely, scientists warn, despite efforts to tackle air pollution at source

Trump budget: US to stop funding UN climate process

“America First” budget would axe 20% of the UN’s climate body’s funding and $2bn to help developing countries deal with global warming

Climate change made NSW’s hottest summer 50 times more likely

Researchers find strong climate signal behind the heatwaves and record average temperatures that beset Australia’s eastern states this summer

Africa gears up for first-of-a-kind climate impact study

A scientific pilot in Kenya and Ethiopia seeks to identify the link between extreme weather events and global warming

Don’t blame the solar cycle for global warming

New research confirms that increased greenhouse gas levels − rather than solar radiation impacts − are the key factor in global climate change

Carbon dioxide eases drought pressure – study

Plants exposed to more CO2 draw less water through their roots, mitigating the impact of global warming and rainfall shifts

In pictures: the citizen scientists tracking Kenya’s water woes

Smallholder farmers are helping to monitor water levels in the Sondu river catchment, to pave the way for better flood and drought warnings

World population to hit 10bn by mid-century – forecast

Surge will strain natural resources and ability to cope with climate change

Research

Nature

Scientists warn of ecological recession as biodiversity declines

Species loss has pushed ecosystems past a danger threshold across more than half of the terrestrial world

Climate change is raising peat fire risk – study

Drying bogs are increasingly flammable, researchers warn, fuelling blazes from Fort McMurray in Canada to southeast Asia

China’s pandas, flowers threatened by global warming

Researchers scent danger as rising temperatures threaten to eliminate vast amounts of the bamboo vital to panda diets and make flowers less attractive to pollinators

Super CO2-sucking crops could save the world from starving

NEWS: Plants genetically modified to thrive in hotter temperatures and increased carbon dioxide could cut fertiliser use and raise yields to reduce food shortages

Climate change could make growing these crops in African regions impossible

NEWS: Farmers advised to swap beans, bananas and maize for hardier staples in face of hotter continent in new study

Climate change slows health gains from eating better – study

NEWS: Cutting greenhouse gas emissions could save half a million lives in 2050, researchers find, by preventing food crop damage

India bee populations are collapsing under environmental strain

NEWS: A warming climate and the loss of natural areas to meet the demands of tourism are driving Indian bee colonies to the brink, imperilling food crops

Lost at sea: Rising ocean CO2 intoxicates fish – study

NEWS: Burning fossil fuels could change ocean’s chemistry enough by 2050 to disorient and confuse marine life, scientists warn

Nature

Water

Climate change is testing southern Africa water agreements

Stronger and fairer water agreements will be needed to prevent conflicts in southern Africa as the climate changes

South Africa authorises coal splurge during UN climate summit

Government accused of ignoring increasingly severe water crisis as it gives green light to more coal plants in bid to tackle electricity shortages

7 things you missed at COP22 while Trump hogged the headlines

It was a ‘uuugggggee story. But while the media reacted in horror, the world – soon to be renamed Planet Trump – and the COP22 climate talks kept turning

Water security: huge climate risk, huge business opportunity

The Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) plans to help millions of vulnerable people better adapt to shocks and chronic stresses and thrive in a more resilient future

High and dry: South African drought leaves Lesotho parched

Water-rich Lesotho has long lubricated South Africa’s burgeoning population, but when drought struck in 2016, it was the residents of Katse village who suffered

Squid are winning adaptation race in warming ocean

‘Weeds of the sea’ are on the rise, as rival fish species suffer from overfishing, acidification and increasing temperatures

Price water or prepare for a thirstier, poorer planet – World Bank

Value water or face plummeting growth rates, warns World Bank as Africa and Asia suffer from ongoing drought linked to El Nino and climate change

Climate models ‘overestimate’ increase in wet and dry extremes

NEWS: Analysis of data stretching back 12 centuries reveals questions surrounding climate models that have linked wet and dry weather extremes to current temperature rise

Water