Science

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

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

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

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

On the ticket – Climate Weekly

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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

Green shift urged to revive Brazil’s economy and shield Amazon forests

President Bolsonaro could rebuild the economy faster after Covid-19 by making low-carbon growth a pillar of recovery, international study says

Climate Science

Adaptation

Coronavirus delays work to protect the world’s poor from climate shocks

Travel restrictions and patchy internet access are slowing down efforts to improve resilience to weather extremes like cyclones Amphan and Nisarga

Now is the time to climate-and-pandemic-proof our food systems

Social safety nets and shorter supply chains are essential to protect smallholder farmers facing spiralling debt and bankruptcy

‘Mysterious’ seasons harm Nigeria’s farmers who need help with climate change

Smallholder farmers grow 90% of Nigeria’s food but their crops are vulnerable to ever more extreme weather linked to climate change. New technologies can help

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

Locusts plague destroys livelihoods in Kenya but ‘biggest threat yet to come’

Wetter and hotter weather than usual is forecast until May, providing locust eggs with ideal conditions to hatch and grow. FAO says it is in a “race against time”

Coronavirus side effect – Climate Weekly

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UN ruling on climate refugees could be gamechanger for climate action

The latest UN ruling is a step towards improving the lives of those most vulnerable and affected by climate change

Erosion crisis swallows homes and livelihoods in Nigeria

Climate change is aggravating an erosion crisis in Nigeria that is wrecking buildings, roads and farmland. Damage may cost up to $100 million a year

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

‘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

IMO under pressure to regulate new ship fuels over Arctic warming

New marine fuels introduced at the start of January could lead to an increase of the shipping sector’s climate impacts

‘Trundling over to Africa’ – Climate Weekly

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Oslo court backs Arctic oil exploration in defeat for environmentalists

Greenpeace says it will appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing oil exploration violates Norway’s constitutional guarantees of a healthy environment

What is the real cost of cheap Russian gas?

Few people in the West think about the ethics of buying fossil fuels from Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Indigenous leaders call for Arctic cooperation against wildfires

As high temperatures and dry thunderstorms turn the Arctic Circle into a tinderbox, the Arctic Council has been urged to step up firefighting capacity

US breaks from Arctic consensus on climate change

At a meeting of the Arctic Council, secretary of state Mike Pompeo refused to identify global warming as a threat, instead hailing an oil rush as sea ice melts

Arctic

Corals

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

Ocean acidification is global warming’s forgotten crisis

We have the tools to barricade ecosystems against some impacts of warmer, more acidic oceans. But do we have the political will to use them?

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

Corals

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

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

Humans massively increased odds of three consecutive hottest years

New research shows odds of record years and runs of record years have changed from tiny to probable because of greenhouse gases

African countries urged to prepare for rise in extreme El Niño events

Early warning systems and early action funds are needed to prevent repeats of the 2015/16 famine, experts warn in response to latest science

Research

Nature

EU plans to protect 30% of land and seas by 2030 for biodiversity

The European Commission set out a strategy to overhaul farming and strictly protect carbon-rich forests and wetlands, to benefit wildlife

Postponing major environmental summits is the right thing to do

China and the UK must ensure all nations are involved in planning the delayed summits to protect biodiversity and to raise climate action

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

From summits to stimulus: Nature-based solutions can help

Nature-based solutions deserve much deeper consideration as governments decide how to design their economic responses to the coronavirus

Coronavirus: UN delays talks on global ocean biodiversity treaty

Observers say additional time could help countries agree on rules to create marine protected areas in parts of the ocean that lie beyond national jurisdiction

Protect 30% of Earth to avert ‘irreversible’ biodiversity loss – former ministers say

Albright among 23 former foreign ministers calling for ‘strong protection’ of animals and plants at UN biodiversity summit, due in China in October

UN relocates biodiversity talks to Italy from China after coronavirus emergency

Rome will host next month’s biodiversity meeting, when negotiators are due to review a draft proposal for a global framework to protect the world’s plants and wildlife

UN biodiversity meeting in China under review following coronavirus outbreak

UN agencies and the Chinese government are holding consultations to decide whether next month’s meeting can go ahead as planned

Nature

Water

Stinky seaweed chokes American coast due to hotter oceans and deforestation

Sargassum is a natural occurrence on beaches in the Caribbean but warmer waters and the use of fertilisers has seen it proliferate dramatically in recent years

Poland faces threat of water crisis as rivers dry up

Experts warn Poland could face a serious water crisis in coming years, if the country of 38 million people fails to capture more water

Trains deliver emergency water to drought-hit Chennai

Millions of people are experiencing water shortages as Chennai’s reservoirs are running dry and other sources of water are dwindling

Lake Chad not shrinking, but climate is fuelling terror groups: report

Satellite analysis shows ‘vanishing’ lake has grown since 1990s, but climate instability is driving communities into the arms of Boko Haram and Islamic State

MPs call to expand post-Brexit green programme across whole government

Indications that Britain’s new environmental watchdog will be government-funded raise questions about its independence, the National Audit Office said

Nile countries prepare water monitoring system to fill data gaps

Officials hope the hydromet system will help neighbours along the world’s longest river to manage the pressures of population growth, infrastructure and climate change

Valley dams offer half a hope to drought-hit Ugandan herders

As temperatures rise, pastoralists in Karamoja travel further to find pasture, while the government’s preferred remedy fails under extreme drought

Cape Town ‘Day Zero’ drought odds tripled by climate change

Such a dry spell would once have only occurred only once every 300 years. Now it is a once-a-century event and will get even more frequent with further global warming

Water

IPCC

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: Urgent action needed to tackle hunger alongside climate crisis

In a special report, the UN’s climate science panel warned use of land to store carbon or grow fuel crops risked worsening food insecurity if poorly managed

Nine solutions to the food-forests-fuel trilemma

The UN climate science body is expected to warn of increasing pressure on land use to meet climate and development goals. Here are ways to limit the conflict

Leaked UN science report warns of clash between bioenergy and food

Models suggest large areas of land are needed for forests and biofuel crops to halt climate change, but this risks worsening hunger, draft tells policymakers

UN report on 1.5C blocked from climate talks after Saudi Arabia disputes science

There will be no further formal discussions of the IPCC’s findings at the UN after Saudi Arabia fought to undermine the findings of the global scientific community

I am a denier. A human extinction denier

The rhetoric of extinction and emergency does not adequately describe the situation we find ourselves in and is counter-productive

IPCC