Nobel Prize in Physics rewards work on climate change

Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for essential work in understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing, identifying the effect of human behavior on these changes and ultimately predicting the impact of global warming.

The winners were Syukuro Manabe from Princeton University, Klaus Hasselmann from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, and Giorgio Parisi from Sapienza University in Rome.

Others have received Nobel Prizes for their work on climate change, including former US Vice President Al Gore, but the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said this was the first time the physics prize was awarded specifically to a climatologist.

“The findings recognized this year demonstrate that our knowledge of climate has a solid scientific basis, based on rigorous analysis of observations,” said Thors Hans Hansson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics.

Complex physical systems, like climate, are often defined by their disorder. This year’s winners helped understand what appeared to be chaos by describing these systems and predicting their long-term behavior.

In 1967, Dr Manabe developed a computer model that confirmed the critical link between the main greenhouse gas – carbon dioxide – and global warming.

This model paved the way for more and more sophisticated ones. Dr. Manabe’s subsequent models, which explored the links between ocean and atmospheric conditions, were crucial in recognizing how the increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet could affect ocean circulation in the North Atlantic. , said Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University.

“It has fundamentally contributed to our understanding of climate change and the dynamic human-caused mechanisms,” said Dr Mann.

About a decade after Dr Manabe’s foundational work, Dr Hasselmann created a model that relates short-term climate phenomena – in other words, rain and other types of weather – to long-term climate such as oceanic and atmospheric currents. Dr Mann said this work laid the groundwork for attribution studies, an area of ​​scientific research that seeks to establish the influence of climate change on specific events such as droughts, heat waves and torrential rains. intense.

“This underpins our efforts as a community to detect and attribute the impacts of climate change,” said Dr Mann.

Dr Parisi is credited with discovering the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems, including everything from a tiny collection of atoms to the atmosphere of an entire planet.

“The gist of his job is that he’s incredibly eclectic,” said David Yllanes, a researcher at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a nonprofit research center. “Many important physical phenomena involve collective behaviors that arise from fundamentally disordered, chaotic, even frustrated systems. A system that seems hopelessly random, if analyzed the right way, can give a robust prediction for collective behavior.

These ideas can help understand climate change, which “involves fluctuations resulting from the interaction of very many moving parts,” said Dr Yllanes.

But Dr. Parisi’s impact on climate science is small compared to his impact in many other fields, including math, biology, and computer science. It involves everything from lasers to machine learning.

Dr Manabe and Dr Hasselman will share half the cost of around $ 10 million. The other half will go to Mr. Parisi, whose job was largely separate from that of the other two. After the award was given, many climatologists said they were only marginally aware of Mr Parisi’s work – or had not heard of him at all.

Dr Manabe said in a telephone interview that five days ago a group of Japanese journalists contacted him saying they had heard a rumor that he would soon win the Nobel Prize. But he didn’t believe them.

Then, early this morning, he received a phone call from the Nobel Committee.

“That’s when I thought I won,” he said.

Three hours after the prize was announced, Dr Manabe said he was unaware he was sharing the prize with two other people. He praised Dr Hasselman’s work and how he built himself up, but said he didn’t know Dr Parisi.

After responding to the committee’s call, Dr Manabe analyzed the list of past physics prize winners, only to realize that this was the first time the prize had been awarded for climate science.

“I think they made a point of choosing something that is essential for the company,” he said.

The three scientists strive to understand the complex natural systems that have been driving climate change for decades, and their findings have provided the scaffolding on which climate predictions are built.

The importance of their work has only increased in urgency as forecasting models reveal increasingly gloomy prospects if the rise in global temperature is not stopped.

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations, released a report showing that the nations of the world can no longer prevent global warming from intensifying. . The global average temperature will rise by 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, even if all countries meet the emission reductions promised under the Paris Agreement. This increase in temperature is likely to lead to more forest fires, droughts and extreme flooding, according to a United Nations report released in September.

The IPCC report says nations have a short window to reduce fossil fuel emissions and avoid worse future outcomes. And this work is based directly on the models of Dr Manabe.

“Today’s climatologists sit on the shoulders of these giants, who laid the foundation for our understanding of the climate system,” said Ko Barrett, senior climate advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is also vice-chairman of the IPCC.

Robert Kopp, a climatologist at Rutgers University who also worked on the IPCC report, called Dr Manabe a critical figure in the rise of climate science in the mid-1960s.

“He took the weather models that were starting to emerge in the period after World World II and turned them into the first climate models,” he said.

Piers Forster, a climatologist at the University of Leeds in England, called Dr Manabe’s 1967 article detailing these models “arguably the greatest climate science article of all time.”

Dr Barrett also praised Dr Hasselmann and Dr Parisi for developing this work and commended the Nobel Committee for showing the world that climate studies today are based on decades of scientific work. “It is important to understand that climate science rests on fundamental foundations of physics,” she said.

Dr Manabe is a meteorologist and senior climatologist at Princeton University. Born in 1931 in Shingu, Japan, he obtained his doctorate. in 1957 from the University of Tokyo before joining the US Weather Bureau. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking research into how increasing levels of carbon dioxide lead to higher temperatures on the Earth’s surface. This work “laid the foundations for the development of current climate models”, according to the Nobel judges.

Dr Hasselmann is a German physicist and oceanographer who dramatically advanced public understanding of climate change through the creation of a model that links climate and chaotic weather systems. He is a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. He got his doctorate. in 1957 from the University of Göttingen in Germany before founding the meteorological institute which he directed until 1999. He is also the founder of what is today known as the Global Climate Forum. In 2009, Dr Hasselmann received the 2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change.

Dr Parisi is an Italian theoretical physicist born in Rome in 1948, whose research has focused on quantum field theory and complex systems. He got his doctorate. from La Sapienza University in Rome in 1970. In 1980 he was responsible for the discovery of hidden patterns in complex messy materials. He is a professor at La Sapienza University in Rome.

Referring to the climate change forecast at a press conference after the award was announced, Dr Parisi said: “It is clear that for the next generation we need to act very quickly now.


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Nobel Prize in Physics rewards trio for contributions to climate models

Stockholm

Three scientists on Tuesday won the Nobel Prize in Physics for work that brought order to apparent disorder, helping to explain and predict the complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.

Syukuro Manabe from Japan and Klaus Hasselmann from Germany have been cited for their work in “physical modeling of the Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.” The second half of the prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi from Italy for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic scale to planetary scale”.

Faced with the challenges of climate change, Hasselmann told The Associated Press that he “would rather not have global warming and no Nobel Prize”.

Across the Atlantic at the same time, Manabe noted in an interview that it is easier to understand the physics behind climate change than to get the world to do something.

The three scientists work on what are called “complex systems”, of which climate is just one example. But the price comes with two separate fields of study that are opposed in many ways but share the goal of making sense of what seems random and chaotic in a way that can be predicted.

Mr. Parisi’s work focuses on subatomic particles and is somewhat esoteric and academic, while the work of Mr. Manabe and Mr. Hasselmann focuses on the large-scale global forces that shape our daily lives.

The judges said that Mr. Manabe, 90, and Mr. Hasselmann, 89, “laid the foundation for our knowledge of Earth’s climate and how human actions influence it.”

Beginning in the 1960s, Mr. Manabe, now based at Princeton University in New Jersey, created the first climate models that predicted what would happen to the globe when carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere. Scientists have shown for decades that carbon dioxide traps heat, but Dr. Manabe’s work has put details and predictions into this general knowledge. This allowed scientists to ultimately show how climate change will get worse and how quickly depending on the amount of carbon pollution being spat out.

About a decade later, Mr Hasselmann, of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, helped explain why climate models can be reliable despite the seemingly chaotic nature of the weather. He also developed ways to look for specific signs of human influence on the climate.

Mr Hasselmann said the problem with climate change is that it exists on such a large time scale that people find it difficult to understand it.

“People tend to deny the problem until it’s too late,” Hasselman said.

During this time, M. Parisi of the Sapienza University in Rome, “built a deep physical and mathematical model” which has enabled us to understand complex systems in fields as different as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and science. machine learning.

His work originally focused on what is known as spin glass, a type of metal alloy in which atoms are arranged in such a way as to change the magnetic properties of the material in seemingly random ways, which baffled scholars. scientists. Mr Parisi, 73, was able to uncover hidden patterns behind this behavior, theories that could be applied to other areas of research as well.

In their work, physicists used complex mathematics to explain and predict what appeared to be chaotic forces of nature in computer simulations, called modeling. This modeling has given scientists such a solid understanding of these forces that they can accurately predict the weather one week per week and warn of the climate decades in advance.

“Physics is about modeling, finding mathematical stories, their equations that accurately reflect the workings of nature and allow humanity to use science, as its instinct for survival,” said Jim Gates, physicist at Brown University.

Some non-scientists have ridiculed modeling, but it has been key to how the world tackles one of its biggest problems – climate change.

“Physically-based climate models have been able to predict the magnitude and rate of global warming, including some of the consequences such as rising seas, increasing extreme precipitation and stronger hurricanes, decades before it happened. ‘they cannot be observed. Klaus Hasselmann and Suki Manabe were pioneers in this field and personal role models for me, ”said German climatologist and modeler Stefan Rahmstorf.

“We [are] now seeing how their first predictions come true one after the other, ”said Rahmstorf.

When climatologists and former US Vice President Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, some non-scientists who deny global warming rejected it as a political prize. Perhaps anticipating the controversy, members of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prize, pointed out that it was a science prize.

“It’s a physics prize. What we’re saying is that climate modeling is firmly based on physical theory and well-known physics, ”Swedish physicist Thors Hans Hansson said at the announcement.

It is common for several scientists working in related fields to share the prize.

While Mr Parisi’s work did not focus on the climate, he spoke of the pressing issues facing Earth after the announcement.

“It is very urgent that we take very strong decisions and that we move at a very sustained pace” in the fight against global warming, he said.

When asked if he expected to get the prize, Mr Parisi said: “I knew there was a sizable possibility.”

Mr. Hasselmann, for his part, expressed his perplexity.

“I don’t really understand it, but it’s fantastic,” he told Swedish news agency TT. “I heard it just five minutes ago. I’m still trying to figure it out.

“I don’t think I’ve done too much research in my life, but I had a lot of fun doing it with my colleagues,” he continued. “It is enough for me that my research shows that humans have really affected the climate. “

In Mr. Manabe’s hometown, the mayor announced his victory.

“I represent all the residents of the city to warmly congratulate Dr Shukuro Manabe,” said Minoru Shinohara, Mayor of Shikokuchuo City. Mr. Manabe grew up in the city’s Shingu Village.

The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $ 1.14 million). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the creator of the prize, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the Physiology or Medicine Prize to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their findings on how the human body perceives temperature and touch it.

Over the next few days, prizes will also be awarded for outstanding work in the fields of chemistry, literature, peace and economics.

This story was reported by The Associated Press. Seth Borenstein reported from Kensington, Maryland. PA journalists Frank Jordans and Kerstin Sopke in Berlin, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.


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Nobel Prize in Physics rewards trio for contributions to climate models

Stockholm

Three scientists on Tuesday won the Nobel Prize in Physics for work that brought order to apparent disorder, helping to explain and predict the complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.

Syukuro Manabe from Japan and Klaus Hasselmann from Germany have been cited for their work in “physical modeling of the Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.” The second half of the prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi from Italy for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic scale to planetary scale”.

Faced with the challenges of climate change, Hasselmann told The Associated Press that he “would rather not have global warming and no Nobel Prize”.

Across the Atlantic at the same time, Manabe noted in an interview that it is easier to understand the physics behind climate change than to get the world to do something.

The three scientists work on what are called “complex systems”, of which climate is just one example. But the price comes with two separate fields of study that are opposed in many ways but share the goal of making sense of what seems random and chaotic in a way that can be predicted.

Mr. Parisi’s work focuses on subatomic particles and is somewhat esoteric and academic, while the work of Mr. Manabe and Mr. Hasselmann focuses on the large-scale global forces that shape our daily lives.

The judges said that Mr. Manabe, 90, and Mr. Hasselmann, 89, “laid the foundation for our knowledge of Earth’s climate and how human actions influence it.”

Beginning in the 1960s, Mr. Manabe, now based at Princeton University in New Jersey, created the first climate models that predicted what would happen to the globe when carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere. Scientists have shown for decades that carbon dioxide traps heat, but Dr. Manabe’s work has put details and predictions into this general knowledge. This allowed scientists to ultimately show how climate change will get worse and how quickly depending on the amount of carbon pollution being spat out.

About a decade later, Mr Hasselmann, of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, helped explain why climate models can be reliable despite the seemingly chaotic nature of the weather. He also developed ways to look for specific signs of human influence on the climate.

Mr Hasselmann said the problem with climate change is that it exists on such a large time scale that people find it difficult to understand it.

“People tend to deny the problem until it’s too late,” Hasselman said.

During this time, M. Parisi of the Sapienza University in Rome, “built a deep physical and mathematical model” which has enabled us to understand complex systems in fields as different as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and science. machine learning.

His work originally focused on what is known as spin glass, a type of metal alloy in which atoms are arranged in such a way as to change the magnetic properties of the material in seemingly random ways, which baffled scholars. scientists. Mr Parisi, 73, was able to uncover hidden patterns behind this behavior, theories that could be applied to other areas of research as well.

In their work, physicists used complex mathematics to explain and predict what appeared to be chaotic forces of nature in computer simulations, called modeling. This modeling has given scientists such a solid understanding of these forces that they can accurately predict the weather one week per week and warn of the climate decades in advance.

“Physics is about modeling, finding mathematical stories, their equations that accurately reflect the workings of nature and allow humanity to use science, as its instinct for survival,” said Jim Gates, physicist at Brown University.

Some non-scientists have ridiculed modeling, but it has been key to how the world tackles one of its biggest problems – climate change.

“Physically-based climate models have been able to predict the magnitude and rate of global warming, including some of the consequences such as rising seas, increasing extreme precipitation and stronger hurricanes, decades before it happened. ‘they cannot be observed. Klaus Hasselmann and Suki Manabe were pioneers in this field and personal role models for me, ”said German climatologist and modeler Stefan Rahmstorf.

“We [are] now seeing how their first predictions come true one after the other, ”said Rahmstorf.

When climatologists and former US Vice President Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, some non-scientists who deny global warming rejected it as a political prize. Perhaps anticipating the controversy, members of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prize, pointed out that it was a science prize.

“It’s a physics prize. What we’re saying is that climate modeling is firmly based on physical theory and well-known physics, ”Swedish physicist Thors Hans Hansson said at the announcement.

It is common for several scientists working in related fields to share the prize.

While Mr Parisi’s work did not focus on the climate, he spoke of the pressing issues facing Earth after the announcement.

“It is very urgent that we take very strong decisions and that we move at a very sustained pace” in the fight against global warming, he said.

When asked if he expected to get the prize, Mr Parisi said: “I knew there was a sizable possibility.”

Mr. Hasselmann, for his part, expressed his perplexity.

“I don’t really understand it, but it’s fantastic,” he told Swedish news agency TT. “I heard it just five minutes ago. I’m still trying to figure it out.

“I don’t think I’ve done too much research in my life, but I had a lot of fun doing it with my colleagues,” he continued. “It is enough for me that my research shows that humans have really affected the climate. “

In Mr. Manabe’s hometown, the mayor announced his victory.

“I represent all the residents of the city to warmly congratulate Dr Shukuro Manabe,” said Minoru Shinohara, Mayor of Shikokuchuo City. Mr. Manabe grew up in the city’s Shingu Village.

The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $ 1.14 million). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the creator of the prize, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the Physiology or Medicine Prize to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their findings on how the human body perceives temperature and touch it.

Over the next few days, prizes will also be awarded for outstanding work in the fields of chemistry, literature, peace and economics.

This story was reported by The Associated Press. Seth Borenstein reported from Kensington, Maryland. PA journalists Frank Jordans and Kerstin Sopke in Berlin, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.


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Climate Change Threatens Florida’s Jewel Everglades

Miami (AFP)

Umberto Gimenez loves alligators. He gives them nicknames like “Smile” and “Momma Gator” and laughs when he thinks of their antics.

Gimenez, an airboat captain, found his paradise in Florida’s Everglades National Park, a natural gem in the southeastern US state threatened by climate change.

“It’s an amazing place and there is only one in the world,” he says.

The largest wetland in the United States is under threat and has become a battleground for one of the most important ecological conservation efforts on Earth.

Gimenez hopes the efforts will help preserve the park.

But time is running out and global warming is sabotaging a subtropical wilderness that is home to more than 2,000 species of animals and plants.

The main threat comes from the sea.

The Everglades, like all of South Florida, are nearly flat, making the ecosystem extremely vulnerable to sea level rise, one of the biggest consequences of rising temperatures.

An alligator lays on the grass near a canal in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

The passage of salt water through freshwater wetlands can have disastrous effects.

The region stores and filters the water on which nine million Florida residents depend, or nearly 21 million people.

Once the salt enters underground aquifers, they can be destroyed.

In addition, the salt water risks destroying the habitat of much of the region’s rare flora and fauna.

The intensification of droughts and the decrease in rainfall, other consequences of climate change, are also of concern.

“As a massive bog that builds organic soils over time, this ecosystem has sequestered huge amounts of carbon that are locked up in the soils that contribute to habitat formation,” says Steve Davis, Scientific Director of the Everglades Foundation, a non-governmental organization.

Small fish swim near aquatic vegetation underwater in Everglades National Park, Florida - which is threatened by sea level rise due to climate change - September 30, 2021
Small fish swim near aquatic vegetation underwater in Everglades National Park, Florida – which is threatened by sea level rise due to climate change – September 30, 2021 AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

A lack of fresh water not only stops carbon sequestration, it also causes what was stored in the soil to be released into the air.

A double climatic catastrophe.

– Multi-billion dollar project –

Gimenez puts on sunglasses, ties a bandana around his head, and jumps barefoot in his airboat with Davis.

The boat starts and goes through a carpet of greenery with water hidden under the vegetation.

Everglades Foundation Scientific Director Steve Davis collects weeds and algae in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021
Everglades Foundation Scientific Director Steve Davis collects weeds and algae in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

We have the impression of floating on the grass.

For thousands of years, water has accumulated north of the Everglades during the rainy season, shaping the landscape by moving very slowly following the gentle slope of the terrain.

In the last century, however, the natural flow has been diverted to allow urban and agricultural growth in South Florida.

In doing so, he altered the 1.5 million acre (607,000 hectare) wetland ecosystem, weakening it in the face of climate change.

In 2000, Congress approved a project, funded equally by Florida and the federal government, to protect the area, which was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1976.

A bird flies holding its prey in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 as America's largest wetland faces a myriad of climate change threats
A bird flies holding its prey in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 as America’s largest wetland faces a myriad of climate change threats AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

Its initial cost was $ 7.8 billion.

The goal was “to store water, clean it, and return it as naturally as possible to the national park,” Davis said.

To achieve this, scientists designed a complex system of canals, dikes, dams and pumps.

They also designed artificial swamps to filter the water and rid it of nutrients that damage the wetland.

At the same time, sections of road that blocked the flow of water to the park were raised.

“Restoring the Everglades is the model for other ecosystem restoration efforts, whether it’s wetlands like the Pantanal (in South America) or estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay,” says Davis.

Everglades Foundation Scientific Director Steve Davis collects weeds and algae in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021
Everglades Foundation Scientific Director Steve Davis collects weeds and algae in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

“We have the same kind of problems here,” he adds. “It’s about ensuring the right amount of clean water is flowing through the ecosystem.”

– Delays –

The effects of rehabilitation are already noticeable. Davis gets off the boat, plunges his hands into the clear water, and picks up a dark ball from the bottom.

It is periphyton, a mixture of algae, bacteria and microbes, the presence of which indicates healthy water quality.

Tourist hydrofoil captain Umberto Lazaro Gimenez flies over Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021
Tourist hydrofoil captain Umberto Lazaro Gimenez flies over Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

Despite some progress, only one of the 68 major projects in the original 2000 plan has been fully completed.

The delays are mainly due to a lack of federal funding.

According to the Everglades Foundation, between $ 4 billion and $ 5 billion has been spent so far on the restoration project, with Florida contributing 70% and Washington contributing just 30%.

The emergency caused by climate change could, however, give a boost to the conservation plan.

President Joe Biden included $ 350 million for the Everglades in his 2022 fiscal budget, $ 100 million more than in 2021.

In April, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers to build a reservoir west of Palm Beach that will cost $ 3.4 billion.

Aquatic vegetation grows above the water in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021
Aquatic vegetation grows above the water in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021 AFP CHANDAN KHANNA

About the size of Manhattan Island, it “will store a lot of water that will go south, rehydrate these wetlands, recharge the aquifer and push back sea level rise,” says Davis.


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Can climate change be a long-term alpha generator?

The ESG The investment industry is growing exponentially as investors flock to the space, seeking either to invest in accordance with their personal values ​​or to capture some of the market action. Although this is an unregulated space at the moment, standards could soon arrive from the SECOND, at least as far as ESG reports from companies, as more and more advisers and fund managers seek to attract investors with various ESG approaches.

CalSTRS DSI Christopher Ailman recently told CNBC’s “Delivering Alpha” that he believes climate change is a “mega-trend that if you take advantage of it and get ahead it will be an alpha generator for it. the next 30 or 40 years. If you don’t pay attention, it’s going to be alpha negative and you’re going to be stuck with a low beta return.

Global assets put in ESG global investments topped $ 2.24 trillion at the end of June, according to Morningstar data; the first time assets crossed the trillion dollar mark was in the second quarter of 2020, reflecting robust growth.

One of the biggest critiques of ESG Currently, there is a lack of standardization across industries and within reporting. Wellington vice president Wendy Cromwell believes all companies listed in the US should be required to disclose Tier one, two and three emissions, and that investors and scientists should work together to assess what the risk is Real physicality for a business comes from the impacts of global warming and the environment.

It is not an easy thing for investors to dig through all the research and data. Carine Ihenacho, director of governance and compliance at Norges Bank Investment Management, explained that it is important for investors and advisers “to find out what kinds of issues are important to businesses … how the business is handling them. it and how the company then reports progress. “

While some funds choose to forgo their exposure to elements such as fossil fuels to become a ESG fund, many supporters believe in actively engaging with businesses and making change through investing.

“Divestment does not reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Commitment does. I cannot stress this enough, ”said Ailman. “Engaging and changing people’s attitudes, turning around businesses, is what is absolutely essential now, because climate change is not just about the energy industry, it is about a lot of other industries, and the whole world must change. “

This has already been seen in the industry with the No.1 engine, backed in part by CalSTRS, removing and replacing three of Exxon’s board seats.

“We took this board of directors. We’ve changed that advice and we’re really changing this business from top to bottom, ”Ailman said.

Putnam believes in sustainability and owns ESG practices as a central aspect of its investment approach. His ESG-active and sustainability-focused sustainability managers are a fundamental part of its work to align shareholders ESG values ​​with investment practices by engaging directly with the companies in which they invest as to their ESG fundamental and practical.

The Putnam sustainable leaders AND F (PLDR) invests in companies focused on ESG problems go far beyond basic compliance and for whom ESG is integral to their long-term success. These companies have transparent goals and provide consistent and measurable progress updates.

As a semi-transparent fund using the Fidelity model, PLDR does not disclose its current holdings on a daily basis. Instead, it publishes a tracking basket of previously disclosed holdings, liquid ETFs that reflect the portfolio’s investment strategy, and cash and cash equivalents. The monitoring portfolio is designed to closely monitor the overall performance of the actual fund portfolio, and reports on the actual portfolio are published monthly.

Holdings at the end of August included Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) at 8.28%, Apple (AAPL) at 7.38%, and Amazon.com (AMZN) at 5.01%. The fund was heavily allocated to information technology stocks (32.41%), followed by healthcare at 15.91% and consumer discretionary at 14.61%.

PLDR has an expense ratio of 0.59% and owns 60 stakes at the end of August.

Meanwhile, the Putnam’s sustainable future AND F (PFUT) invests in companies seeking to provide solutions to future challenges of sustainable development. This is a forward-looking approach because these companies contribute to the development ESG and address sustainability issues.

PFUT focuses on impact businesses as identified by its sustainability rating system and on investing in businesses that drive economic development, as Putnam believes that strong sustainability practices equate to strong financial growth.

PFUT’s main sector allocations at the end of August were 32.21% in healthcare stocks, 29.58% in information technology and 8.70% in consumer discretionary.

The AND F has an expense ratio of 0.64% and owns 69 stakes at the end of August.

For more news, information, and strategies, visit the Big Ideas Channel.


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How Social Media Reduces Climate Change Debates To Opinions About Veganism

Dublin / London: Ten years ago, when we ranked the most controversial articles on Wikipedia, George W Bush was at the top of the list with global warming in fifth place. The article on global warming has now been renamed climate change, but it remains one of the most polarizing issues of our time and a frequently debated topic on social media.

This may seem due to how climate change is often presented primarily as a political issue: something that you can choose to support or not.

But maybe it’s just as much a result of the way social media works. Our recent research shows that polarization on social media is mathematically inevitable.

Additionally, this polarization allows online discussions of climate change to be replaced by culture-focused arguments about things like food.

This seems to further reinforce the idea that climate change is about ideology, making it harder to convince people to support action to address it.

The fact that it’s so easy to remove or unfollow people you disagree with on social media has sped up the formation of online echo chambers to the point that even an algorithmic tool designed to break the bubbles will not be able to help you.

Make no mistake: we are huge fans of social media and we have probably tweeted this article by the time you read it.

Social media can be seen as a marketplace of ideas, providing an open forum for exchanging facts and opinions and, importantly for scientists, for informing the public about their research.

But polarization can ruin anyone.

One example of this is the vegan sausage roll from British bakery chain Greggs, which sparked days of unrest on social media when it was introduced in the UK in January 2019 to coincide with Veganuary, a charity campaign. month in UK designed to encourage veganism.

Vegan-focused social media discussions that year were dominated by arguments over the relative merits of the sausage roll.

To understand the extent of this interference, we analyzed approximately half a million tweets posted between December 28, 2018 and January 28, 2019 containing one of the hashtags #vegan, #veganuary, and # veganuary2019 to map the prevalence of opinions. extremes among tweets.

About 30% of the tweets we analyzed were strongly pro-vegan, while 20% of the tweets used vegan-related hashtags to express their protest against veganism.

More importantly, many Twitter users who tweeted about Veganuary explicitly stated that if it hadn’t been for Greggs’ story, they wouldn’t have gotten involved.

On the one hand, paying close attention to the campaign can be seen as a blessing. On the other hand, the polarized nature of the arguments online focused disproportionately on the issue of the vegan sausage roll.

This shifted what could have been a fruitful and logical discussion of the pros and cons of veganism towards unproductive fights centered on the perceived threats to people’s identities related to what they do or don’t eat and what. that this means.

Many quickly took sides, refusing to engage in conversation and instead attacking personal qualities or intelligence on the other side.

This conflict resurfaced on social media a few months later, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN endorsed organization, released its special report on climate change and climate change. land in August 2019.

In order to gauge the level of public engagement with the report, we collected all tweets sent in August 2019 that contained the phrase IPCC.

We then used software to analyze the content of some 6,000 English tweets in order to extract the main topics of discussion.

We found that not only did a large portion of the tweets in response to the IPCC report relate specifically to food, but these tweets contained the most toxic and polarized language in the sample.

This is even more surprising considering that diet was mentioned only briefly in the original IPCC report, without any explicit recommendations on the consumption of meat or dairy products.

Evidence like this suggests that food and cooking are now at the heart of a new cultural war around the climate.

It could be catastrophic for climate action. Politicians and policy makers traditionally tend to avoid issues that are culturally controversial, and polarization of public opinion has been shown to weaken the responsibility of politicians when it comes to making important decisions.

Our recently published work in Climatic Change shows how tools such as computer subject modeling and sentiment analysis can be used to monitor public discourse on topics such as climate events, food, and climate policy. This could help decision makers plan more engaging communication strategies: in other words, to help them read the play.

Scientists and science communicators discussing reports like the one produced by the IPCC need to understand and anticipate the likelihood of emotionally charged and potentially negative responses to issues as polarizing as climate change as well as specific areas of polarization, such as climate change. diet, which are currently more popular.

This way, they can work to communicate key information in a way that allows readers to focus on what really matters.

In a time when so much is uncertain, there is one thing we are sure of; the importance of experts. We match academics with publishers to make sure their advice is clear and accessible. Your donation funds this work. By making a monthly donation, you will not only help us, but you will help all Australians stay informed.

By Taha Yasseri Associate Professor, Geary Fellow, Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin and Mary Sanford, PhD candidate in Social Data Sciences, University of Oxford (The Conversation)

Read also : Kangana Ranaut: UP brand ambassador for the “one district-one product” program



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Climate change: what ancient caves reveal about future New Zealand floods

Prehistoric deposits left in ancient New Zealand caves – like the Waipuna Cave in Waitomo – could help scientists better understand how precipitation changes as our climate warms. Photo / Supplied

Scientists are looking to prehistoric clues left in New Zealand caves to predict how climate change will cause deluge in our warmer, wilder future.

Researchers have long used records of prehistoric warm climates, trapped in sediment in ice cores, to better understand the potential rise in temperature as carbon dioxide concentrations warm our atmosphere.

Replenishing precipitation from those mild periods long ago in our planet’s past, however, is much trickier.

In New Zealand, precipitation records go back only to post-colonial development, when instrumental recordings first began.

Beyond this period, New Zealand’s past climate and rainfall patterns remain unknown, except for broad trends in relative humidity or drought over the past few thousand years.

“Because people have been recording precipitation for less than 200 years, we have a very limited picture of how precipitation regimes change when global climate transitions occur,” explained Dr Adam Hartland, a geochemist at the University. from Waikato.

“We know from paleoclimatic records that earlier in the current interglacial period we live in, about 9,000 years ago, it was wetter and the temperature of the atmosphere was slightly warmer than it is today. hui.

“Yet we cannot say that the precipitation in Hawke’s Bay, for example, was 50% higher than today.”

This was a critical knowledge gap for this country, which depended on rainfall but also remained vulnerable to too much or little of it.

In 2019, for example, a lack of rainfall on the North Island left hydroelectric lake levels low and forced the energy sector to resort to coal, increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

This year, a succession of storms driven by tropically laden “atmospheric rivers” caused catastrophic flooding that cost tens of millions of dollars in insured damage.

As our climate warms, scientists have predicted that New Zealand’s annual average precipitation will decrease in the northeast of the South Island and in the north and east of the North Island, but would increase in other regions.

University of Waikato geochemist Dr Adam Hartland pictured in Nurau Cave in the Cook Islands.  Photo / Garry K Smith
University of Waikato geochemist Dr Adam Hartland pictured in Nurau Cave in the Cook Islands. Photo / Garry K Smith

Droughts could also become two or three times more frequent in the eastern and northern regions by 2040.

Despite the variability from year to year, we have seen the southwest of the South Island become progressively wetter and the north of the North Island become drier, as well as more extreme events that carry the footprint of global warming.

With more humidity in the atmosphere, for example, the frequency and magnitude of arrivals from atmospheric rivers – which already account for half of New Zealand’s total precipitation – are expected to increase, and some research suggests their areas of strike are moving south.

Still, Hartland said building a detailed picture of the interplay between climate and rain in a maritime country like New Zealand remains notoriously complex even today.

“Right now, we are witnessing a major climate reorganization as the entire Earth system catches up with all the greenhouse gases we put out into the atmosphere,” he said.

Scientists venture into Wairoa's Cave of Disbelief.  Photo / Kate Clark
Scientists venture into Wairoa’s Cave of Disbelief. Photo / Kate Clark

“This inevitably leads to changes in the way the atmosphere and the ocean circulate, which in turn affects precipitation – but the question is how much and where?

“Because the way air masses interact with New Zealand’s oceans and land mass is so complex, even the most advanced models of climate physics and meteorology cannot make accurate predictions. and distant. “

This was where looking for clues into the planet’s past could help – and it turns out there was plenty to be found deep in the ground.

As water flowed through the earth over millennia, it dripped into caves depositing minerals and creating what are known as speleothems, including the well-known stalactites and stalagmites.

These deposits are unique because they are formed by the flow of water – a property Hartland and his colleagues will mine in a new million-dollar study.

Using a combination of state-of-the-art geochemical and magnetic methods, the team will study speleothems in the Waitomo and Wairoa regions to reconstruct precipitation from decades to millennia, dramatically increasing our understanding of gravity and gravity. frequency of droughts and floods.

“Using caves as archives isn’t really new to science, but when it comes to how we use these deposits and generate information from them, and help better quantify climate change, we are. at the dawn of a revolution. “

They also plan to study periods when the climate has changed rapidly, providing analogues of short-term climate states.

Scientists observe deposits in Waipuna Cave in Waitomo.  Photo / Sebastian Breitenbach
Scientists observe deposits in Waipuna Cave in Waitomo. Photo / Sebastian Breitenbach

“We can even go back 120,000 or 130,000 years in the past and compare samples from that time with others that are forming today, which is not possible with other types of paleoclimatic records,” did he declare.

“Because global climate models are tested against paleoclimatic data, our results will be critical in validating climate projections used by government for planning and adaptation at all levels of society. “

Importantly, the study, supported by the Endeavor Fund, sought to bring together past rainfall from different parts of the country – giving us a potential glimpse into how each region might fare.

“If we can find out that it was much drier on the east coast of the North Island 9,000 years ago, it may give us additional confidence to move forward and start planning for the challenges we are facing. are going to have for water and resources, “he said.

“If several dry years can really change the characteristics of a region, it behooves us to find out what that looks like – otherwise we might find that we are investing in infrastructure in places where we perhaps shouldn’t be.”

Create an “extreme fire”

Extreme fires - like that seen in major bushfires in Australia - are becoming a growing threat to firefighters and Kiwi communities.  Photo / Nathan Edwards
Extreme fires – like that seen in major bushfires in Australia – are becoming a growing threat to firefighters and Kiwi communities. Photo / Nathan Edwards

Meanwhile, another team of scientists will design some of the most formidable features of huge fires in controlled experiments never before seen in the world to better understand “extreme fires.”

Our changing climate is also increasing the frequency and severity of forest fires, and native forests once considered safe are now under threat.

It also increases the risk for Kiwi communities at the rural-urban interface – as shown by one of the largest forest fires ever seen in New Zealand, which ravaged 5,000 ha and destroyed nearly 50 homes. in Ohau, a year ago this week.

Today, the average annual direct impact of rural fires on our economy is estimated at around $ 140 million – but with a fire season that may have lengthened by 70% by mid-century, these total costs could reach around $ 550 million.

In the worsening picture, authorities worry about what is called an “extreme fire” – behavior that, until recently, had rarely been observed in New Zealand.

It is characterized by dangerous characteristics such as spots, where embers and other particles are thrown in front of the fire front; conditions of “explosion”, where hell suddenly escalates in size and intensity; and whirlwinds of fire and tornadoes.

All of these elements, but especially the vortices of fire, will now be closely observed and analyzed in an $ 11 million study led by Scion to better prepare the country and our firefighters for this new normal.

Scion fire specialist Grant Pearce said the experimental “burns” part of the program will mark the first known attempt to create and measure large-scale fire vortices – reaching tens of meters high – in field conditions.

“These will be carried out using residual forest fuels left over from the clearing of wild pines and will require very careful consideration and preparation to mitigate the dangers involved and the risk of escape.” “

A major fire, which occurred a year ago this week, destroyed nearly 50 houses in Ohau and damaged some 5,000 ha of land.  Photo / Otago Daily Times
A major fire, which occurred a year ago this week, destroyed nearly 50 houses in Ohau and damaged some 5,000 ha of land. Photo / Otago Daily Times

These types of experiments would help expand new theories predicting how and when fires got extreme.

“We no longer believe that fuels are the dominant factor causing these transitions, but assume that the coupling of fire front convection with atmospheric turbulence is the primary driver.”

And without having a clear understanding of this point of change, it has not been possible to develop effective tools and strategies to keep fire crews safe.

Still, Pearce said the program would explore and help develop potential new ‘smart firefighting’ technologies, such as drones, data systems and wearable sensors to give firefighters information about fires in time. real.

Elsewhere, the study would use models to simulate the spread of forest fires – drawing on work on the factors behind the Ohau fire – and also study the flammability of native forests, to through a mixture of tests and experiments.

Finally, the Kiwi and US research team planned to survey a range of people, from fire managers, boards and insurers to homeowners and developers, to identify barriers to planning and preparedness. fire hazards.

Pearce ultimately hoped the work, which is also supported by the Endeavor Fund, would help save lives, livelihoods, homes and ecosystems.


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Winter in Philadelphia can be snowy and cold, even with climate change

A month-long snow blitz was underway in Philadelphia, with up to 4 feet building up in nearby suburbs.

Texas, which has long suffered devastating and destructive hurricane damage, experienced an all-out disaster of a different kind, a cold snap that bypassed the state’s electricity grid and darkened millions of homes and companies.

At one point, nearly three-quarters of the contiguous United States was blanketed in snow during what turned out to be the coldest February in more than 30 years.

And with the 2021-22 snow season about to begin, northern hemisphere snow cover would be above normal in October and November if the trends continue.

READ MORE: Will it snow another day? Should we be worried? Yes and yes, says New Jersey’s international snow expert.

Is it global warming? Yes, say polar scientist Judah Cohen and other researchers, it is the work of climate change; more precisely, what they call “arctic change”.

In 2020, global temperatures were about 1.74 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, according to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The Arctic region has warmed twice as fast.

Rising temperatures this way melted snow and ice which in turn released previously frozen waters.

Changes in the vital cold air pantry of the northern hemisphere could conspire to disrupt the upper atmosphere in a way that causes powerful pulses of polar air to spread more frequently to lower latitudes via the polar vortex, say Cohen and his co-authors in an article published in the journal Science last month.

“I’m not saying winters are getting colder,” Cohen, of Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc., said in a telephone interview. But climate models have generally underestimated the ferocity of winters, and “expecting harsh winter conditions to decrease could be dangerous.”

READ MORE: What went wrong for the Philly winter forecast? “The polar vortex stole the show.”

Other atmospheric scientists, like NOAA researcher Amy Butler, agree that the arctic heat may well be linked to severe winter episodes in the United States. However, they expressed reservations about the limited period of observations and said it was not clear whether the authors had identified a trend.

Between 10 and 30 miles above the surface, during the winter, the polar vortex circulates around the Arctic with winds sometimes exceeding 150 mph.

When it howls, it confines vast puddles of freezing air, perhaps 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, over the sunless North Pole. Don’t ask about wind chill.

Occasionally, disturbances at lower levels of the atmosphere disrupt the stratosphere so that the vortex weakens, exporting arctic air as it seeps south.

In a way that is not fully understood, the cold air of the upper atmosphere interacts with the low-level jet winds that ignite and carry winter storms.

With 40 years of observations, Cohen and his team conducted computer modeling experiments using previously identified arctic atmospheric pressure models that preceded the polar vortex disturbances.

They included data to simulate the loss of arctic sea ice and recent increases in autumn snow cover in Eurasia – which they attributed to the additional moisture available in the released waters. The modeling results strongly showed a “physical link” between the warming of the Arctic and the weakening of the polar vortex which leads to a spill of cold air, they wrote, resulting in severe winter epidemics in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

Butler, a researcher at NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory, said the team’s concept was more than exaggerated. Their “hypothesis is plausible,” she said, but “I don’t think there is convincing evidence of a long-term trend in the strength of the polar vortex.

But any change in its location or shape could also influence the weather, she said.

Paul Pastelok, the seasoned seasonal forecaster at AccuWeather Inc., said the team’s results were promising, but the data was limited.

“We need more precise measurements to go back to the 1960s,” he said. “We don’t have real data for the whole Arctic, only partially, and that’s just not enough.”

Nothing happens in a vacuum in the atmosphere, and Pastelok said he has no doubts that the Arctic has a powerful influence on winter conditions and low latitudes.

He said he was an admirer of Cohen’s articles, which included the correlation of October snow cover in Siberia with the North American winter that followed, and consulted them to expand on his outlook.

READ MORE: Winter forecast for Philly calls for early snowfall, cold December and 100% chance of uncertainty

Regarding the results of the Science article, Pastelok said, “I think it will take another 20 years to really determine whether or not this can be used as a forecasting tool.”

Cohen says they might come in handy in the short term. “I would say the Arctic can precondition the atmosphere for these events so that you can anticipate when such events are more likely over the coming winter,” he said.

And in the meantime, he argues that it would be a mistake to conclude that a warmer world will result in milder American winters.

See: Texas, February 2021.


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Nationals spill blood in the wrong place

“The cynic in me is wondering if this is somehow a staging, a work of performance art,” says acclaimed climatologist and author Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center from Pennsylvania State University. “This allows the Prime Minister to give the impression of taking a bold stance by committing to net zero emissions in 2050, when in fact it is an anemic commitment that sets fire to the powder, decades too late. “

The black bushfires of the summer gave a horrific new backdrop to the debate over emissions and what not reducing them would mean.Credit:PA

Mann, who wrote much of his new book The new climate war while living in Australia on sabbatical during the black summer bushfires, knows how much the climate is contested in Australian politics. “Australia is clearly the last hurdle right now among major industrial nations when it comes to making serious climate commitments.”

Former Australian chief climate diplomat Howard Bamsey said net zero by 2050 is a “very low bar” and the bare minimum expected by our allies. “If you think you can’t do it, then you need the blood on the floor to show you’ve tried,” he says.

Why 2030 matters

Simply put, 2030 is crucial to tackling climate change because it forces governments to take immediate action rather than delay action until it becomes impossible to meet the Paris Agreement target of keeping warming below 2 degrees – and as close to 1.5 as possible – by 2100.

According to the last major United Nations climate report in August, to have only a 67% chance of keeping warming at 1.5 degrees, from 2020 we could afford to emit just 400 billion tonnes of dioxide. more carbon in the atmosphere.

Coal stocks at Gladstone in June.

Coal stocks at Gladstone in June. “If the G20 countries – including Australia – choose the status quo, climate change will soon ignite Australia’s high standard of living,” said Selwin Hart, one of the UN’s top climate advisers .Credit:Pierre Davis

Given that the world currently emits around 40 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, by January 2021 that would have been 360 billion tonnes, and by 2030 our “allocation” would be exhausted. .

“Have a chance to touch [Paris goals] we need big reductions now, ”said Professor Will Steffen, former executive director of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute and advisor to the Climate Council.

“Setting a 2030 target that allows for a gradual transition to net zero emissions helps avoid getting locked into carbon-intensive economic pathways and can avoid costly rates of change in the years to come” , indicates a new report on the gap between current targets and sustaining global warming. at 1.5 degrees by Climate Analytics, a global center for climate policy and think tank.

In climate negotiations, it is also recognized that rich countries have a responsibility to cut faster than developing countries because they have already benefited from their wealth by harnessing fossil fuels, and because they have the financial resources to act.

The Prime Minister and the Treasurer are responding to international pressure, albeit more slowly than many would like on the international stage. As Joe Biden announced his pledge to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 while assuming the presidency of the United States, Morrison said he wanted Australia to ‘preferably’ reach net zero by 2050.

Johnson described the economic opportunities for a clean revolution when he said that “in the years to come the only great powers will be the green powers.” Frydenberg echoed this message and warned that global investors view Australia as a risky backwater.

“We cannot run the risk that the markets mistakenly assume that we are not transitioning with the rest of the world,” Frydenberg said.

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Like other G20 countries, Germany takes net zero by mid-century for granted, and is now grappling with immediate domestic politics. Germany has pledged to cut emissions by 65% ​​by 2030, and the government is fighting bad press as reports show the country is on track to reach just 50% by the end of the decade.

But successive federal governments have been crippled for a decade by internal divisions over climate. While a majority of MPs recognize that there is support for greater action among urban voters, they have been blocked by some of those who represent the rural electorate as well as by blue-collar workers in coal mines and power stations.

After identifying climate policy as the Prime Minister’s graveyard, Morrison adopted a “technology, not taxes” mantra. Emissions reductions would only be achieved if they could be achieved at no cost to industry. As a result, Australia has yet to update its 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% based on 2005 levels, making it even more worthwhile. aberrant among peer countries.

The government is working on an updated version of its technology roadmap that could pave the way for a net zero deadline. It will focus on the expected greenhouse gas reductions by investing in low-emission technology.

Is it possible ?

According to scientists and engineers, deep and fast cuts can be made. The cost of renewable energy technology has fallen faster than expected, and adoption rates have exceeded even optimistic forecasts.

Australian state and territory governments have all adopted targets of net zero by 2050 or earlier, while NSW’s announcement this week that it would pursue a 50% target by 2030 puts it in line with Victoria’s ambitions.

Australia is expected to increase its emissions reduction targets ahead of the Glasgow climate summit, but questions remain as to whether that will be enough.

Australia is expected to increase its emissions reduction targets ahead of the Glasgow climate summit, but questions remain as to whether that will be enough. Credit:Pennsylvania

The NSW decision also suggests that there is also a way out of the political deadlock within the Coalition.

The modeling relied on by the NSW government in adopting the target suggests that it can be achieved through four main measures.

The first is the replacement of the coal-fired power park with renewables based in renewable energy zones across the state. In these areas, the government agrees to rationalize permits for renewable energies and foot the bill for transport infrastructure.

Other policies include a series of measures to make owning electric cars cheaper and easier and a fund to help industry replace equipment.

Renewable energy zones have been critical in gaining support from NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro, NSW predicting that his emissions reduction campaign will attract around $ 12 billion in investment into the economy by 2030, including two-thirds should go to regional communities.

The area around Joyce’s federal headquarters is expected to generate $ 10 billion in investment in the region.

Likewise, Victoria’s plan includes injecting public funds into programs to boost investment in renewable energy, private adoption of solar energy, and industrial innovation.

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Earlier this year, the International Energy Agency recommended that in the short term, the government consider “stopping the construction of new coal-fired power plants and phasing out coal-fired power by 2040. (or 2030 for developed countries), phase out combustion-engine cars by 2035, end fossil fuels. subsidies and the rapid acceleration of the deployment of renewable energies over the next decade to decarbonise the electricity system by 2050 ”.

The federal government’s “technology, not taxes” policy encompasses some of these measures – but it also maintains fossil fuel subsidies such as the fuel tax rebate of $ 7.8 billion. It is also investing public money in large-scale carbon capture and storage in the hope of making some fossil fuels work in a net zero world.

Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific analysis group, was scathing in its assessment: “The government seems determined to replace fossil fuels with fossil fuels: the 2021-2022 budget allocates significant sums (52.9 million central electric ($ 30 million), with no new support for renewable energies or electric vehicles.

Their overall verdict on Australia’s performance so far? “Very insufficient”.

With COP26 starting in less than a month, the Morrison government doesn’t have much time to convince the world otherwise.


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Study: Climate change could reduce outdoor recreation on public lands

Nevada celebrated its fifth annual Public Lands Day over the weekend with events and free entry to the park, all designed to bring more people outside. However, a new report in the journal Global environmental change estimates that as the planet warms due to climate change, the demand for outdoor recreation on public lands may decrease.

This could have significant impacts on Nevada, a state that brings in billions of dollars from the outdoor recreation industry every year.

Dr Emily Wilkins is the lead author of the study, and she spoke about the research with KUNR Morning edition host Noah Glick.

Noah Glick: Tell me about the study. What led to this work? What were you trying to find out? And finally, what did you find out?

Dr Emily Wilkins: There have been other studies that have looked at the impact of weather and climate on specific parks, often looking at national parks and how that might impact attendance at a certain park. , like Zion, but no one had looked across the whole of the United States yet, sort of [the] different types of public land, what could be the effects of climate and climate change. So I thought that was a really important question.

My study looked at all state and federal lands – so state parks, national forests, national parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, National Wildlife Refuges – to really see how the effects might be on a large scale depending. seasons.

Glick: What would be the main points to remember? What did you find? What were the big differences between the seasons [and] among the regions?

Wilkins: So, across the United States, we found that in the summer, as the temperatures warmed up, we expected fewer visits to many parks and protected areas. I guess in a lot of places it’s going to be too hot that people won’t necessarily want to visit in the summer.

But we have seen the opposite in winter. So in winter, as temperatures continue to warm up, more people will want to visit parks and protected areas in winter than they have in the past.

Glick: Based on your modeling, it looks like our area could experience a drop in demand almost every season. Can you just break down what wedo you see here in our area? What does the future look like for public lands in Nevada and California?

Wilkins: In this region in particular, we would expect to see the biggest drops in the summer – which makes sense because it’s already a fairly warm area – with slightly smaller drops in the fall, spring, and then none. change in winter. in this region.

But this also only takes into account the increase in temperatures. There are a lot of other factors that could also affect demand. For example, population growth or where people travel increases demand. More people will recreate if there is a higher population in the area. So it’s not the only thing that’s going to have an impact on park attendance, but it’s one of many different factors.

Glick: If demand for public land use decreases due to climate change, what impact does this have on tourism for western states that depend on people visiting national parks, state parks , coming to the state to recreate itself outside?

Wilkins: Yeah, so this study was only about increasing temperatures, but of course that has a lot more implications for public lands, including the increased prevalence of wildfires – either just people not wanting to going to places that have been recently burned down perhaps or with smoke from forest fires closes places – or other types of more common natural disasters.

Now, even things like drought can impact people who wish to participate in water recreation or the shift in species distribution can impact people who wish to observe wildlife, hunt or fish. Of course, the timing of fishing could change in the future as spring runoff occurs earlier and stream temperatures increase; there may be different times and places for people to participate in different types of activities.

If people stopped visiting altogether it would have a very negative economic impact, obviously, but I don’t think people are going to stop visiting public lands. I don’t think they’re going to stop going on vacation. I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to see a change in the times of the year that people visit. So instead of always going on vacation in the summer, people could go in the winter instead.

I think it’s just going to change the way people recreate themselves, maybe the activities they do, where and when they visit, and I think Gateway Cities need to be prepared for that as well. Some gateways may only keep businesses open during peak visitor season, which if it’s summer [is] From May to September, then they stop in winter. So if they really want to capitalize on these changes that might occur and keep revenues stable, it would make sense to keep businesses open year round or longer periods in the future, as the climate continues to improve. warm up.

Glick: Reporting on climate change, you always have the impression that it’s pessimistic. Is there any hope that you were able to get out of this study? I mean, it doesn’tit doesn’t look like itThis is bad news.

Wilkins: Yeah. I think certain types of people might actually have more opportunities to recreate themselves on public land. For example, people who really like mountain biking. As the climate warms up and there is less snow, it also extends the mountain biking or hiking season.

So it’s not necessarily good for everyone, but I think certain groups of people may have longer seasons where you can be outside – and I think that’s positive.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited slightly for grammar and clarity.


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