Science

Pioneer of attribution science Geert Jan van Oldenborgh dies, aged 59

The Dutch scientist led research linking climate change to individual extreme weather events in real time and is warmly remembered by his collaborators

Xi Jinping announces biodiversity fund to help developing nations protect nature

The Chinese president called on other donor countries to contribute to the $230 million fund for biodiversity at Kunming talks

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

Conservationists set out ‘nature positive’ vision for global biodiversity deal

The IUCN Congress has come up with a blueprint for a “transformative” deal to protect plants and wildlife, which members hope governments will embrace in Kunming

Conservationists back indigenous peoples’ call to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025

Members of the IUCN Congress overwhelmingly backed the motion but Brazilian experts warn the verdict will likely be ignored by Bolsonaro’s government

What is Cop26 and why does it matter? Your guide to the Glasgow climate summit

Following a two-year gap, countries are due to meet in the UK for UN climate talks in November. Here’s what is at stake

Conservation summit opens amid debate over role of indigenous people

A group of human rights NGOs has organised a counter-summit, claiming mainstream conservation measures aren’t respecting indigenous peoples’ rights

New York floods show subway systems must be prepared for climate change

After hurricane Ida swamped the city, experts set out how to increase the resilience of public transport infrastructure as flash-flooding events become more frequent

Leaked IPCC draft: Lifestyle change can cut double the emissions of Brazil by 2030

Meat, air con, flying and SUVs are driving emissions up, the latest science shows – and cleaner lifestyle choices can make a difference

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

Climate Science

Adaptation

The lesson from German floods: prepare for the unimaginable

A month after fatal floods swept through western Germany, survivors are still in shock and experts warn such disasters are becoming more common

Developing nations push to define ‘unacceptably vague’ adaptation goal

South Africa is proposing a quantitative target for boosting resilience to climate impacts globally, but there are technical and political hurdles

Ethiopia to shift from beef to chicken production under updated climate plan

The government is promoting smaller livestock to limit the rise of methane emissions, in a plan that is 80% dependent on international finance

South Africa proposes global goal for adaptation at pre-Cop26 ministerial

Environment minister Barbara Creecy called for quantifiable improvements in resilience to climate impacts, to give the adaptation agenda the same weight as emissions cuts

Europe’s floods hit my childhood home, sweeping away my parents’ sense of safety

As a researcher, I want to bridge the gap between weather forecasts and warning systems so people can take protective action

North American heatwave broke records – and the climate models

Climate scientists were shocked by the recent lethal heatwaves in western Canada and northwestern US, which exceeded all global heating predictions

Row erupts at Green Climate Fund over who defines climate adaptation

Two adaptation projects didn’t make it pass the UN’s flagship fund’s technical panel, while board members decide to partner with a fossil fuel backing Japanese bank

Southern Madagascar at risk of famine amid worst drought in 40 years

UN agencies are urgently calling for international support as a million Madagascans go hungry, with some surviving on insects and wild roots

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

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

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Arctic

Corals

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

Why are the world’s climate funds ignoring coral reefs?

Vital marine ecosystems are threatened by ocean warming and acidification, yet get a tiny fraction of climate finance, E3G research shows

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

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

Carbon taxes are key to stop deforestation

In Colombia and Costa Rica, where governments have imposed carbon taxes, deforestation rates are down, while revenues to fund forest restoration efforts are up

Kerala shows how floods are changing

Across the world, cities and communities are underprepared for the new flooding regime that climate change is ushering in

Link between Hurricane Harvey and climate change is unclear

Reports the devastating storm was made worse by humanity’s carbon emissions fail to grasp climate change is not just about warming

Sweltering European summer has human fingerprints

The chance of extremely hot days, such as have been seen across southern Europe this summer has been “greatly increased” by climate change

Research

Nature

UN draft accord sets out new biodiversity goals but delivery plan is lacking

Experts welcomed the proposed targets to protect and restore nature, but said without funding and national accountability they would achieve little

Biodiversity talks are running out of time for robust deal, says top diplomat

Pandemic delays and gruelling online talks threaten the ambition of a Kunming global pact to protect nature due to be finalised in October

Germany launches $1 billion biodiversity fund after world misses targets

The Legacy Landscape Fund aims to mobilise public and private finance to support an ambitious nature protection deal at this October’s Kunming summit

Shell’s net zero plan will be judged on science, not spin

Shell’s net zero plan is better seen as a defence of its core oil and gas business, which it is planning to expand, than a genuine energy transition

Pakistan explores debt-for-nature scheme to accelerate its 10 billion tree tsunami

Creditors could grant Pakistan debt relief in exchange for meeting nature restoration targets, under a proposed first-of-its-kind bond

France and UK lead push for climate finance to restore nature

Campaigners welcomed commitments to ramp up funding for biodiversity but raised concerns it came at the expense of other climate and aid spending

UN summit highlights $700bn funding gap to restore nature

A pledging conference to halt the decline of biodiversity worldwide yielded only a handful of vague financial commitments from European governments

World misses 2020 biodiversity goals: leaked UN draft report

Global Biodiversity Outlook draft finds funding shortfalls and failure to account for the role of women held back progress on restoring ecosystems

Nature

Water

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

An outbreak of ‘sea snot’ is killing Turkey’s fishing industry

Fishing in the Marmara Sea has become impossible as marine mucilage blankets the water, blamed on rising sea temperatures and pollution

Lost to sea: The Ivory Coast villagers saving their ancestors from rising waves

As rising sea levels slowly engulf the ancestral graves of a fishing community in Ivory Coast, residents are moving their relatives before their bodies are lost forever

Covid exposes Mexico City’s water access gap between rich and poor

The coronavirus pandemic lays bare the impact of Mexico City’s mounting water crisis on vulnerable households, while gated communities enjoy reliable supplies

African ministers call for investment in Great Green Wall to aid Covid-19 recovery

Plans for an 8,000km green belt across the Sahel region have stalled, with fresh funds needed to halt desertification and create sustainable livelihoods

Malawi’s farmers grow crops with ‘magic liquid’ fertiliser

‘Bionitrate’ made from urine is starting to help yields for farmers in Malawi who face high costs fertilising maize and other crops amid shifting weather patterns

Water

IPCC

IPCC report a ‘call to arms’ for climate science in courts, legal experts say

Youth, climate disaster victims and vulnerable countries could use the latest UN science report as evidence to sue polluters for damages or remedial action

IPCC report prompts calls to tackle methane emissions at Cop26

Only 13 countries have methane emission targets in their climate plans, despite evidence of the gas’s potent role in global heating

Five takeaways from the IPCC’s 2021 climate science report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published its first update on the physical science of climate change since 2013. Here are the key messages

Timeline: How the science linking climate change to extreme weather took off

Attribution science, which quantifies the influence of human activity on specific heatwaves, droughts and floods, has developed rapidly in the past decade

Most of UN climate science report likely to be delayed beyond 2021 Glasgow summit

Only the first section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, about the science of global warming, is set to be ready before the postponed Glasgow summit

Greta Thunberg misses Nobel prize amid green vs peace dispute

The Swedish teen activist may have been too young, or come up against disagreement over whether environmentalism counts as a peace activity

Meat and potatoes: international media majors on diet in IPCC coverage

Reporting on latest science around climate change and land use focused on rich nations’ eating habits, but did it miss the bigger picture?

How we manage land is critical to climate justice

The latest science shows the impacts of global warming – and solutions to it – risk worsening inequality if not coupled with support to the world’s poor

IPCC