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Author: Bonnie G. Fullwood

Children deserve answers to their questions about climate change. Here’s how universities can help

Our children are growing up in an unstable climate. It is already hurting their health, wealth and well-being. Universities can be leaders in helping young people acquire the knowledge they need to navigate this uncertain future. Curious Climate Schools, a project that directly connects young people with experts who can answer their questions on climate, is a model for this type of leadership.

Universities around the world are coming together this week to support leadership on climate action in their communities as part of Global Climate Change Week. In Tasmania, our Curious Climate Schools project connected more than 1,000 students, aged 10 to 18, with 57 climate researchers from various disciplines to answer student questions.

Climate change will increasingly affect the lives of our children, even as we take the deep steps needed this decade to avoid the worst. Young people will need to be made aware of the climate for the world they inherit. While it is established that learning about climate change is essential for improving understanding and action, climate literacy education is not compulsory in the Australian curriculum.

Our goal is to enable children to develop essential climate knowledge through a survey conducted by students. Our experts’ answers to questions from schools across the state will be made public on the Curious Climate Schools website on November 1. This will coincide with the COP26 climate summit, connecting local and global climate leadership.



Read more: More reasons to be optimistic about climate change than we’ve seen in decades: 2 climate experts explain


What do young people want to know?

The students submitted questions to our project that ranged from global to local. The key themes of their questions included:

The children had many questions about the science of climate change, but even more about our social and political responses. For example:

” I am 13 years old. What do you think climate change will change in the world in my lifetime, and what can I do about it? “

“Does the climate crisis have the potential to unite humanity in response? “

“As for future generations, what will they think of what we have done? “

While children are interested in the physical science behind climate change, their questions show that they are also concerned about how we should act on climate as a society. This suggests that when climate change is taught in schools, it should be taught holistically. While it is important to understand the drivers of climate change, education should also address the social challenges we face and the decision-making processes that this nasty problem demands.



Read more: Free Schools Guide to Inclusion and Climate Science Isn’t Ideological – It’s Evidence Based


A way to counter climate anxiety

The current silence on the climate in school education is bad for children’s mental health. Research has established that talking about climate change is an important first step in allaying legitimate climate anxiety. An education that empowers students to take action through climate literacy could reduce the mental health burden on young people.

We need young people with climate awareness. Empowering them to talk about climate change could both improve their mental health and help develop the engaged citizens and leadership we need to tackle the climate crisis.

Recognizing that children have a stake in climate action and decision making is vital. Without it, they feel helpless and frustrated. We have seen this in some of the questions submitted to the Curious Climate Schools.

“Do you think that we, the future leaders, are heard enough? For example, Scott Morrison or the other politicians, are they listening? “

Students wonder if Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other politicians are listening to their concerns.
Lukas Coch / AAP

These students are our future leaders. They deserve to be heard.

A model of university climate leadership

Many universities are well equipped to address local climate challenges in partnership with their communities. Curious Climate Schools is an example of how universities can engage with the public to improve climate knowledge and action.



Read more: Here’s how universities can lead climate action


Our project mobilizes the knowledge, attention and enthusiasm of 57 experts. They work in a variety of fields including climate modeling, biodiversity conservation, pyrogeography, chemistry, law, social sciences, engineering, geology, oceanography, paleoclimatology, indigenous knowledge and health. .

The Curious Climate Schools website will provide students with holistic climate knowledge and help teachers tackle a topic at the forefront of students’ minds – if not the Australian curriculum.

With initiatives such as Curious Climate Schools, universities can be leaders in climate action. At this critical juncture, it is crucial that we harness our collective talents in every way possible to ensure a liveable world for our children.


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Climate models show coastal areas threatened by rising seas

LOS ANGELES (KCAL / KCBS) – Climate change is an important part of President Joe Biden’s agenda – a point that will be in the foreground on his next trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Could 50 cities in the world completely change or even disappear because of climate change? A nonprofit said it can and wants to show you how.

New climate models highlight just how serious the problem is.

They show that parts of Southern California could be submerged in the next century if people don’t do something now.

“Their ability to exist in the future depends on the actions we take,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central, who researched and created striking images of landmarks around the world, including some parts of the world. Southern California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach.

The Santa Monica Pier is a landmark, but these models show that anything could go away.

A model shows the Santa Monica promenade underwater, according to projections by climatologists, which could come true over the next few centuries if temperatures and sea levels rise without human intervention.

“It’s really sad to think that he might one day disappear under rising seas,” Strauss said.

Projections range from 1 to 4 degrees of warming, with the worst-case scenarios showing seas rising over 20 feet.

In the Long Beach footage, high tides push all the way up to Highway 405, and much of Huntington Beach is also underwater.

“Really, the neighborhoods from Golden West to Los Altos would be way below sea level, could be almost 10 feet,” Strauss said.

While images like these could be hundreds of years in the future, scientists have said climate change is already wreaking havoc along the coastline.

“It’s not something that looks to the future; it’s happening right now, ”said John Dorsey, a professor at Loyola Marymount University who studies sea level rise.

He points out that the loss of beaches and the tourists they bring could drain Southern California’s economy, and said infrastructure such as water pipes, sewers and highways would also be lost.

“If we get this coastal erosion, it could erode and start destroying this kind of infrastructure. We’re going to pay billions of dollars to try to move this inland, ”Dorsey said.

Climate scientists have said that part of this could be avoided if people take significant steps to reduce emissions over the next decade.

Copyright 2021 KCAL / KCBS via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.


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Are you ready for the climate change economy (D)?

The effects of climate change are already being felt, from deadly heat waves to severe flooding, and Asia has been and will continue to be significantly affected. With $ 4.7 trillion in GDP at stake, how can the business world reverse this trend and preserve the longevity of its businesses and human capital? LESA 2021 seeks to solve this problem and more.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – With the most to lose from climate change (up to $ 4.7 trillion in GDP according to the recent McKinsey analysis), Asia is at the forefront of the climate crisis. The science is clear and the financial sector has the increased risks of severe floods, typhoons and droughts on its radar. Global, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investments have seen a wave of growth in the wake of the pandemic and a new emphasis on sustainability, and ESG assets are expected to represent more than a third of assets under management by 2025 (Bloomberg).

The change begins with you, today. Register now at www.asb.edu.my/lesa

In South East Asia, sustainability-driven business models, climate risk assessments and ESG investments are still emerging, but the impacts of climate change are already being felt. Are asia companies equipped to face these challenges? How do we start to mitigate the impact? It’s too late? Teacher. John Sterman, director of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative and keynote speaker at this year’s Leadership for Enterprise Sustainability Asia (LESA 2021) conference, is adamant that there is hope.

Sterman will be the anchor of this event, organized by the Asia School of Business located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which focuses on the urgency for businesses in Southeast Asia and the emerging world to take critical action to mitigate climate risks and chart a new course forward. Representatives from organizations such as MIT Sloan, McKinsey & Company, Esquel Group, BlackRock, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and many more will also speak at LESA 2021.

As the region’s business leaders prepare for “the next normal” and Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore recently announced their commitment to become carbon neutral over the next decades, LESA 2021 invites all business leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and individuals to join the conversation – both on the challenges and economically viable solutions supported by science. technologies to adapt and cope with this climate economy in an Asian context.

“Instead of leaving things on a ‘wait-and-see’ basis, where individuals depend on businesses, small businesses depend on large conglomerates to take the lead, and governments ask other governments to implement policies , LESA 2021 aims to spread the message that every person and entity has a role and a responsibility to play to steer us in the right direction before the consequences become irreversible ”, said Prof. Charles H. Fine, (Ph.D. Stanford) CEO, President and Dean of the Asia School of Business.

Break down change into small, achievable steps

After spending decades studying people’s responses and efforts to mitigate climate change, Sterman says people care about the environment. “The main problem is that people are overwhelmed by the complexity and the long lead times, especially when we are so used to instant feedback. ”

When we are faced with consequences that seem catastrophic, overwhelming and hopeless, he says, “Most tend to be convinced that ‘the problem is not that bad’, ‘the market will fix it’ or ‘the government will fix it. will settle “.”

To challenge these notions and call for individual and collective action, Sterman has developed the En-ROADS and C-ROADS simulations, which use the analogy of a bathtub (“The amount of CO2 in the air is like the amount of water in a bathtub; if you keep filling it faster than it flows, according to the law of fundamental physics, it will rise until it overflows “) – and has made simulations accessible to the large Just like preparing a pilot for a potential crash, simulations help teach and train pilots so they can make the necessary adjustments to avoid the crash.

“The conclusion of the simulations is always the same – we all play a role, and none are too small. Participants always come out of them empowered,” concludes Sterman, who has also conducted several such simulations for the highest levels of the world. government, business and NGOs in over 80 countries around the world, and for students, including at the Asia School of Business.

This simple but powerful idea – that the cumulative effect of small actions can move mountains – is exactly the key message the Asia School of Business is trying to spread through this year’s LESA 2021 conference.

Action and change come from mindset

Asia has an excellent opportunity – to chart a new course in the management of social, economic and climate risks. But charting new territory will require new ideas, approaches, courage, agility and a strategic mindset, ”said Professor Fine.

LESA, currently in its 9th year, will be held virtually this year from November 15-18, 2021.

The conference includes over 16 hours of content spread over 4 days and features business leaders, industry experts, academics and sustainability practitioners from around the world who will focus on insights and learnings on the way to embark on sustainable development for Asia.

The conference will also see the culmination of the Iclif Leadership Energy Awards (ILEA), which are sponsored by Maybank and honor people who use their “Leadership Energy in Action” to make a positive and lasting impact in their organizations or communities. . The conference is also supported by associate sponsor Sarawak Energy.

With sustainability as a key pillar for ASB and the urgent need for mass awareness among business leaders, LESA 2021 is extending free Discovery Passes to all interested. The Discovery Pass gives access to a limited number of preselected sessions to make the information shared at the LESA accessible to a greater number of people.

For the full LESA experience, an All-Access Pass which includes access (live and on demand) to all conferences, masterclasses and panel sessions is now available for purchase at https://asb.edu .my / lesa.

Related links:

https://asb.edu.my/

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Modi will “play” a crucial role for carbon credits to fight against climate change

An official confirmation of Modi’s visit has yet to be announced.

India, China, Brazil and some other developing countries have strongly advocated maintaining carbon credits, which allow companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions, as part of the Paris Agreement of 2015, an ambitious global action plan to fight climate change.

The carbon market mechanism, mainly the guidance of Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms) of the Paris Agreement regulations, is the new voluntary climate change mitigation mechanism that aims to help organizations reduce their carbon footprint.

At the 2019 UN climate summit, countries failed to reach unanimous agreement on Article 6 on the carbon market system as long negotiations remained inconclusive despite 48 hours past the deadline official.

Describing the agenda for the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, UN Chief Climate Officer, said the one of the main subjects of negotiation is the conclusion of the negotiations underway around the rules of article 6. to finally allow market and non-market tools to launch their operations.

The Article 6 Rules Agreement maintains environmental integrity, including guidance for cooperation under Article 6.2, a new UN mechanism under Article 6.4 and a program of work on non-market approaches under Article 6.8.

Explaining the mechanisms of the carbon market, the UNFCCC says that when countries set a limit or ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions, they create something of value: the right to emit.

What happens if we apply the principles and rules of the market? Countries or companies that cut their emissions below their cap have something to sell, unused emission allowances, measured in tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Countries and companies that fail to meet their target can buy these one-ton units to fill the gap. This is called emissions trading, or cap and trade. The net effect on the atmosphere is the same, provided the measurements are correct, i.e. each unit represents a true reduction of one tonne below the ceiling and each unit is only used. ‘once. It requires clear rules and transparency.

Article 6 carbon market rules will replace the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol, the predecessor of the Paris Agreement.

In India, 1,669 projects were successfully registered under the CDM, millions of Certified Emission Reduction Credits (CERs), better known as carbon credits, remain unsold with the CDM market collapse .

One CER is equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide. CERs help companies earn billions of dollars by trading them. Currently there is a market but no political platform.

At the last UN climate summit, the developed world took a stand against allowing the “spam” carbon market, which allows the buying and selling of carbon emissions, and emerged as part of the of the Kyoto protocol adopted in December 1997 to continue in the existing mechanism under the Paris Convention An understanding.

They blamed the faulty mechanism and loopholes in the existing system that failed to prevent double counting of carbon credits and called for a new mechanism to be put in place.

Several countries such as India were demanding to carry over old carbon credits also earned by companies to meet new climate targets.

The carbon credit system allows countries to reduce their emission reduction targets by accumulating and trading carbon credits.

According to rough estimates, countries have nearly 4 billion unsold Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). India has a depository of 750 million and China has much more than India.

Climate negotiators say there is a need to increase transparency in COP26 to trade carbon credits, as the current mechanism has been “strewn with scandals”.

A latest report from an international task force led by UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, Mark Carney, and chaired by Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, indicates that to achieve the goals of Paris aiming to limit global warming, the world community must reach “net zero” by 2050 at the latest.

This will require an economic transition as a whole: every company, every bank, every insurer and investor will have to adjust their business models, develop credible plans for the transition and implement them.

The report, Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, says that given the demand for carbon credits that could arise from global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is evident that the world will need a voluntary market. carbon that is vast, transparent, verifiable and robust to the environment.

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires that annual global greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by 50% from current levels by 2030 and reduced to “net zero” by 2050.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS
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Much work ahead for Sidney to meet its climate change emissions targets, says CAO – Saanich News

Sidney’s chief executive said there is still a lot of work to be done for the community to meet its carbon emissions targets in the municipality’s climate action plan and proposed but not yet formalized numbers for the new plan. official community.

“Given that community-wide (greenhouse gas) emissions decreased 9.4 (percent) from 2007 to 2018, it would take a reduction of about 40 (percent) to achieve the goal of 50 (percent) by 2030, and about 90 percent reduction by 2050 to become carbon neutral, ”Randy Humble said in an emailed statement.

On October 12, council received and considered two reports dealing with climate change and the municipality’s approach to it. The second notes that the community has shown support for the following emission reductions during OCP’s current engagement process: a 50% reduction in community GHGs below 2007 levels by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

The current OCP calls for a 15% reduction from 2007 levels by 2020; 30% below 2007 levels by 2030; and 80% below 2007 levels by 2050.

The new numbers are more ambitious and Kira Gill-Maher, Sidney’s climate action coordinator, said in a report that they would align the municipality’s goals with recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (IPCC) to keep warming below 1.5 C.

But they would also require a larger effort, as the community is expected to quadruple its GHG emissions from 2007 levels in nine years, an effort that would also require help from senior levels of government.

“These goals can only be achieved through community-wide effort and climate action programs across multiple levels of government,” Humble explained. “For example, an improved bus service could be a deciding factor for community members to drive their vehicles less. “

He added that carbon offsets could help to a small extent. “(But) the biggest opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in Sidney involve changes in transport (such as increased use of public transport and active transport) and the renovation of existing buildings.”

According to a staff report, transportation accounts for 56 percent of community GHG emissions, while buildings account for 29 percent.

Humble has also made it clear that he believes the goals are achievable, pointing to the recently released report setting out the key directions that have emerged from the OCP review so far.

“The model (present in the report) also shows that with aggressive action a significant reduction in emissions is possible, reaching, compared to 2007, a reduction of 41% of emissions by 2030, a reduction of 60% emissions by 2040 and a 78% reduction in emissions by 2050, ”he said.

Last Tuesday’s meeting saw the council take further action. The council first unanimously approved the staff’s approach to updating the municipality’s climate action plan, followed by a unanimous vote to establish a climate action reserve fund that dedicates a annual funding to help implement the climate action project following the update of the climate action plan, with the board to decide on the annual funding level in the next budget process.

Staff recommend $ 50,000.


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New climate models show much of Southern California underwater – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A climate-focused nonprofit has shown in models how some 50 cities around the world could potentially change or even disappear due to climate change.

“Their ability to exist in the future depends on the actions we take,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central.

READ MORE: Bill Clinton hospitalized at the UCI medical center in Orange: “He is on the mend”

Strauss’s nonprofit Climate Central researched and created striking images of landmarks around the world, including parts of Southern California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach, affected by the rise in the sky. sea ​​level.

The Santa Monica Pier is a landmark seen from both the ground and the sky, but these models show that everything could be gone and, in 100 years, could be very different.

The model shows Santa Monica’s walk underwater, according to climatologists’ projections, which could come true over the next few centuries if temperatures and sea levels rise without human intervention.

“It’s really sad to think that he might one day disappear under the rising sea,” Strauss said.

RELATED: Report: Nearly 5.7 Million Los Angeles County Residents Vulnerable to Extreme Heat, Drought, and Flooding by 2050

Projections range from 1 to 4 degrees of warming, with the worst-case scenarios showing an increase in the sea of ​​more than 20 feet.

Visualization of the Long Beach climate model. (credit: Climate Central)

In the Long Beach photos, high tides push all the way up to Highway 405 and much of Huntington is also underwater.

READ MORE: A section of MacArthur Park will close starting Friday to eliminate homeless camps

“Really, the neighborhoods from Golden West to Los Altos would all be way below sea level, could be almost 10 feet,” Strauss said.

While images like these could be thousands of years into our future, scientists have said climate change is already wreaking havoc along our coastline.

“It’s not something that’s in the future. It’s happening right now, ”said John Dorsey, professor at Loyola Marymount.

Dorsey studies sea level rise and points out that the loss of our beaches and the tourists they bring could drain our local economy. He also said that we would lose infrastructure, like water pipes, sewers and highways.

“IF we get this coastal erosion that could erode and start destroying this kind of infrastructure, we’ll pay billions of dollars to try to move this area inland,” Dorsey said.

Climate scientists say part of this could be avoided if we take significant steps to reduce emissions over the next decade.

On Thursday, it was announced that President Biden will be traveling to Europe for the annual United Nations climate change conference in a few weeks.

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‘Overnight Disaster’: New Climate Change Model Shows Coachella Valley Underwater As Sea Levels Rise

There’s a new warning about the growing climate change crisis: that the Coachella Valley could one day be underwater due to sea level rise as temperatures warm globally.

Notable new scientific predictions from the nonprofit Climate Central research group show that major coastal cities are largely submerged in the ocean. The base of the Statue of Liberty and the Santa Monica Pier would be submerged.

“What we do over the next 10, 20, 30 years is going to trigger what will happen over the next 100,000 years,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO and Chief Scientist at Climate Central.

Strauss predicts that if global emissions are not halved over the next decade, the global average temperature will warm by 3 degrees Celsius within a century.

If the earth warms by 4 degrees Celsius, models show the Coachella Valley could also be inundated.

“The valley is really low – the Salton Sea is below sea level, but it’s protected by the mountains,” Strauss said. “The problem is, if the sea level rises enough, the ocean can connect from the south … You would be facing a disaster overnight because everything could fill up very quickly.”

Cindy Yanez, 24, of Cathedral City, is a graduate researcher in Earth Systems Science at UC Irvine. Last year, she published a climate change study predicting big hits to local tourism due to rising temperatures.

She said the extreme heat in our area will only get worse. “The extreme heat in itself would cause great stress in people’s lives and jobs,” Yanez said.

Experts say this is currently a turning point in the growing global crisis, offering responsibility and an opportunity to change climate change.

“What we do can affect countless generations into the future,” Strauss said. “We have a change to improve all of these lives through the decisions we are making right now.”

The potential impacts are made more urgent with the United Nations Climate Summit to be held on October 31 in Glasgow, where world leaders will discuss how aggressive they are with the new climate policy.


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No more heatwaves, less snow and more rain

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to ask the question: What will the future climate look like under several different emission scenarios?

In a regular series of reports dating back to 1990, scientists have given the same answer: the more greenhouse gases we emit, the warmer the world will be. The repetition becomes boring. The only difference over the past 30 years is that as data accumulates, science advances, models improve, and computers get more powerful, there is more confidence and more details in this answer.

What was “probable” just a few years ago is now “practically certain”, to the point that UN Secretary General António Guterres has called the latest AR6 report a “red code for humanity”. He found that human activities have unequivocally warmed Earth’s climate across the planet, and that these changes are widespread, rapid and intensifying.

Advances in climatology and high-performance computing have enabled the continuous improvement of climate models. In 1990, climate simulations could only offer rough representations of the atmosphere, without the possibility of taking into account dynamic oceanic or terrestrial processes.

In contrast, the latest report assesses large sets of high-resolution models that couple all components of the real climate: atmosphere, ocean, land / vegetation, and sea ice. Today’s climate models synthesize and digitally represent all of the climates. latest scientific knowledge on radiation, cloud microphysics, turbulence and other processes that together determine climate.

As a result, our ability to predict the climate response to any particular future emissions scenario (or “forcing”) has become much more robust. The main question now is, what will these emissions really be?

For any specific trajectory of future greenhouse gas emissions, climate models project what the climate response would be. We speak of climate “projections” instead of “forecasts” because the climate over the next few decades depends to some extent on human-controlled emissions, and we cannot be sure how humans will choose to. ‘exercise this control.

Ireland’s contribution

Ireland contributes in particular to the IPCC reports through its participation in a consortium of several northern European countries that are developing and running one of the 50 or so global climate models that feed into the IPCC assessments.

The Irish Center for High End Computing (ICHEC) has conducted centuries of global climate simulations with the “EC-Earth” climate model. As a “model of the earth system” it represents all of the most relevant physical processes that operate in and between the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea ice. The simulations go from the historical past, so that model performance can be compared to actual climate records, until the end of the 21st century. This work is supported by the EPA, the Met Éireann and the Marine Institute.

Over 50 different global climate models have been developed by different research centers around the world, including Ireland, through ICHEC and the Met Éireann. Like Formula 1 cars, they can share certain parts, but each is also different in its own way.

Their real strength, however, is that they are collectively organized to each perform the same simulation experiments. As far as the particular design of each model allows, they all use the same initial configuration, the same boundary conditions and the same future emission scenarios. Collectively, they generate sets of several thousand sample climates for each scenario.

This number is high enough to generate high confidence that something close to the full range of possible climates is being captured. Dr Pangloss de Voltaire would be impressed. Multi-model sets like this are great examples of the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

These coordinated climate simulation projects also reflect how climate research has become ‘big science’, without a single person or even a single institute being able to do it all. The ICHEC simulations alone consumed tens of millions of computer core hours, and the resulting datasets occupy more than 1.5 petabytes (equivalent to the storage capacity of well 1,500 modern laptops. endowed).

The potential for more extreme events

Almost every model from 30 years ago to now predicts that the world will continue to heat up if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current path. An average warming of 2 or 3 degrees may not seem like much, as temperatures can vary much more than that from day to day. However, even this level of warming is likely to cause widespread and even dramatic changes in ice cover (especially in the Arctic) and in the natural world of plants and animals.

Additionally, a changing climate tends to alter the full range of expected weather conditions, not just the average. Even more dramatic future changes are projected for the extremes, or “tails”, of the frequency distributions of each climate sample. Thus, a rain event so intense that it only occurred once every 100 years or so in the past, may occur every 20 years in the future. Likewise, long, deep freezes (such as during the winter of 2010-2011) could become even rarer in a warmer future world.

What does this mean for Ireland?

Scientists at ICHEC supplemented the global projections with another set of regional simulations (each nested within a larger global simulation) to provide a set of ultra-high-resolution future climate projections for Ireland. These provide a wealth of detail on the likely characteristics of Ireland’s future climate. Selected results of this to study are that by the middle of this century (2041-2060) we should expect:

– Temperature increase of 1.0-1.6 degrees (compared to 1981-2000) with the largest increases in the east;

– More frequent summer heat waves, especially in the south;

– About 50% less frost and ice days;

– More variable precipitation, with drier periods and more intense precipitation episodes;

– A decrease in snowfall of 50 percent or more;

– Weaker surface winds, as well as a reduction in the energy content of the wind by 120 meters (height of the turbine) in all seasons;

– The annual growing and grazing seasons are expected to lengthen by 12 to 16 percent. Likewise, crop heat units and growing degree days for a range of crops (and pests) are likely to increase dramatically.

The capacity of supercomputers has increased by more than seven orders of magnitude, or a factor of 10 million, over the past 30 years. This has enabled advances in climate science that would have been unthinkable even as recently as 1990. Given the computational resources currently available and other scientific advances, model simulations can provide very accurate indicators of our climate.

The level of detail and consistency achieved gives confidence in these projections and allows an ever more convincing evidence-based consensus to emerge that humans are forcing rapid climate change in well-understood ways.

How to respond to this consensus now is a question primarily for governments (since they can have the most impact) as well as for individuals.

Dr Enda O’Brien and Dr Paul Nolan are based at the Irish Center for High End Computing in Galway


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DEEPICE: Network of young researchers to unveil past climate change in Antarctica

A network of international researchers is launching a European collaboration this week (October 14, 2021). This collaboration will train a new generation of scientists to understand the impact of past climate change on Antarctica

The new innovative European research and training network “DEEPICE” aims to equip the next generation of scientists with a solid background in climatology related to ice cores, with a particular focus on Antarctica. It will also tackle major technological and scientific challenges in order to make the best use of the Beyond EPICA – Oldest Ice Core which will be mined by a large European team in Antarctica in the years to come, to recover up to 1.5 million. years of climate data. Ultimately, these initiatives will answer key questions about the major climate changes that the Earth has faced in the past and their impacts on the Antarctic ice sheet.

Climate change in Antarctica can have significant consequences for our society, as these can impact future global sea levels due to the large volume of fresh water stored in the ice cap. Thus, on the eve of the next Conference of the Parties (COP26), understanding climate change and the vulnerability of the Antarctic ice sheet is more than ever a priority issue. As the younger generations inherit a planet that will be far different from today, they need to be provided with the right information to help them take action to tackle one of the greatest environmental crises facing us. humanity is facing. Not only will DEEPICE prepare a network of young climate scientists, but it will also give them the skills needed to effectively communicate the issue of climate change to the general public.

Thanks to the doctoral projects of 15 fellows, the new program will prepare the tools for an optimal use of the very old ice core, by developing cutting-edge instrumental techniques, cutting-edge statistical tools for signal reconstruction and coupled climate models. . These results will directly contribute to a better understanding of past processes of the climate system and, thus, to improved prognosis for the future. This European network will also offer unique links with many non-academic partners who will provide these young scientists with the broad skills now required to pursue academic and non-academic careers.

A close up of a person
A slice of a deep ice core.

Dr Amaëlle Landais is CNRS research director at the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences (LSCE) and principal coordinator of the DEEPICE network. She says:

“Climate change is a major challenge for society today. The new generations must be given the best tools to meet this challenge.

Dr Emilie Capron is a CNRS researcher at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE) and co-coordinator of the new research and training network. She says:

“Studying the past climate is essential to understanding how our climate system works and how it might change in the future.”

Professor Carlo Barbante of the University of Venice is the leader of the BE-OI project. He says:

“The quest for the oldest ice is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic challenges in climate science. To tackle it, we need the best talented young scientists.

Dr Louise Sime, climate change specialist at the British Antarctic Survey, who is supervising a new DEEPICE doctoral student, says

“It’s wonderful to be part of DEEPICE – it provides the ideal inter-European training network for the exciting new generation of climate and ice core scientists. “

This innovative European research and training network includes 10 research organizations and universities as well as 10 partners from the academic and non-academic sectors. It started in January 2021 and will run until December 2024.

Beneficiaries: CNRS (Coordinator), France; Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany; University of Bergen, Norway; University of Bern, Switzerland; University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; Ca ‘Foscari University in Venice, Italy; Free University of Brussels, Belgium; University of Copenhagen, Denmark; University of Lund, Sweden; British research and innovation – British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom

Partner organizations: TOFWERK AG, Switzerland; Past global changes, Switzerland; Schäfter & Kirchhoff GmbH, Germany; University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy; Air Liquide, France; PICARRO, United States; University of Art London – Central Saint Martins, United Kingdom; Teledyne CETAC Technologies, United States; Interscience SPRL, Belgium; Risk Management Solutions, United States.

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How political science can advance climate models

From thermal domes in the Pacific Northwest to flooding in Henan, China, 2021 has been a year of extreme weather events. It is more crucial and more timely than ever to identify the appropriate means to tackle climate change.

With the conclusion of climate talks at the United Nations General Assembly, the eyes of the world are on the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the results of which will be critical for the global climate future .

Decisions made at the conference will, in part, be based on findings from scientific papers using so-called “Integrated Assessment Models” (IAM), which “combines different streams of knowledge to model human society alongside parts of the Earth system”.

Existing AIMs have integrated economic, technological and biophysical processes that produce greenhouse gas emissions. While politics plays an important role in shaping climate-related policies and trajectories, political scientists have not been actively involved in the development of integrated assessment models and, by extension, the scientific basis for it. climate policy development. This must – and can – change.

The missing contribution of political science to climate modeling is probably due to two main factors: the lack of exposure and meaningful interaction between political scientists and climatologists and a great difficulty in modeling political phenomena. Indeed, when I was a doctoral student at Stanford taking classes in climate modeling in 2017, I was told to be the first from political science to do so.

While some have already expressed concern about the unrealistic representation of the model, actual design and implementation to address these concerns has been scarce. After all, this is a very difficult and time-consuming task, requiring at a minimum an intimate knowledge of the political world, familiarity with the models and knowledge of what can be incorporated, as well as the technical expertise to bring to bear. artwork.

I think political scientists can help model the climate in specific areas. My recently published exercise, which conceptualizes and implements the internalization of a key political concept – human security – offers lessons on how to achieve this.

Making reasonable assumptions about political behavior can provide essential information about future alternative climates. A critical step towards achieving this goal is to conceptualize and quantify fundamental political science ideas such as power, violence and preferences so that they can be incorporated into IAMs. Not all basic ideas lend themselves to incorporation, but some recently published econometric studies – which “transform theoretical economic models into useful tools for economic policy making” according to the International Monetary Fund – leading the way. I postulate that political scientists have a lot to contribute to answering two fundamental questions.

First, what would be optimal? Political scientists can improve the estimation of the optimal carbon price – the price at which the net social benefit of carbon emissions would be maximized – by internalizing the costs of significant social impacts not previously taken into account.

One example is the cost of climate-induced violence. My recent study uses econometric estimates of the costs of human violence and the climate-violence relationship and an established model called MERGE. He thinks that such internalization can significantly influence the optimal carbon price. The impact can be significant and sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be the biggest beneficiary in terms of avoiding damage from climate-induced violence. As future researchers adjust the approach taken in the study, they may incorporate other missing, but potentially significant, social damages. A promising candidate could be that of climate-induced migration.

Second, what would be feasible? Climate policies concern distributive policy, so tThe second axis is to introduce and adjust the representation of political constraints in the MOIs according to constituency preferences, incumbent’s electoral incentives, incumbent’s ideology or partisan orientation, and the presence of powerful interest groups, among other factors.

In democracies, voters would support climate policy if they believe it is in their best interests and oppose it otherwise. However, voters’ preferences are not taken into account in the same way by career-conscious incumbents who, when eligible for re-election, would pursue the set of policies likely to maximize their electoral results. In addition, governments tend to place more importance on the well-being of a nucleus of citizens than on opposing groups and would be more inclined to adapt to the preferences of powerful interest groups. A modeling goal would be to represent these considerations to achieve a workable set of alternatives.

While none of this is easy, integrating political science into climate modeling is meaningful and long overdue. As statistician George Box said once, “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” Political scientists can help make climate models more real and useful and contribute more substantially to climate policy making.

Dr Shiran Victoria Shen is a political scientist and environmental engineer, Hoover National Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia.


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