Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sea levels could rise an extra 60cm if emission reductions are delayed until 2035, study finds

Global sea levels will continue to rise until at least 2300 regardless of how much we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research published today.
Scientists say sea levels will continue to rise until at least 2300.
But for every five years until 2035 that we delay reaching net-zero carbon emissions, as committed to under the Paris agreement targets, sea levels will rise by about an extra 20 centimetres, the researchers found as part of the study published in Nature Communications.

They estimated average global sea levels would be between 0.7 and 1.2 metres above 2000 levels by 2300, depending on how quickly we can reduce our emissions.

The Paris agreement, to which Australia is a signatory, has a core aim of limiting global temperature rise this century to "well below" 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to keep the rise below 1.5 degrees.

Environment watchdog could slap tougher emissions caps on power plants

Victoria’s environmental watchdog is reviewing the licences of the state’s three remaining coal-fired power plants, amid claims toxic emissions have contributed to an unusually high number of low-birthweight babies in the Latrobe Valley and even poisoned native dolphins.
Burrunan dolphins in the Gippsland Lakes have 
recorded some of the highest mercury levels in the world.

The Environment Protection Authority is considering imposing tighter emissions caps on the three power stations, Yallourn, Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B, which together supply about 80 per cent of the state’s electricity.
At the end of the review, revised licence conditions will set legal emissions levels for potentially harmful substances including nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulphur, mercury and particulate matter.
But the EPA has given no indication it will impose new limits on carbon dioxide emissions, despite calls from Victorian environmental groups to do so as a way to tackle global warming.

Combined, the plants emit about one-third of Victoria’s greenhouse gases.

Read Adam Carey’s story in The Age - “Environment watchdog could slap tougher emissions caps on power plants.”

India’s air pollution crisis risks becoming humanitarian catastrophe

Before heading off on a foreign assignment, journalists take a course about working in hostile environments — learning about things like trauma first aid, weapons effects, and how to survive earthquakes, floods and civil unrest.
ABC's Siobhan Heanue wears the face mask
she had to buy in order to breathe properly.
It's all pretty useful training. And heading off to live and work in India, I was more than aware of the everyday dangers I'd be facing.

For instance, India has one of the world's highest road tolls and Delhi is one of the worst places in the world for sexual violence against women.

Read the ABC News story by Siobhan Heanue - "India’s air pollution crisis risks becoming humanitarian catastrophe.”

Queensland weather: Heavy rain eases across south-east, disaster package announced

After more than 24 hours of heavy rain across south-east Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has cancelled all severe weather warnings for the region, indicating the worst is over for the time being.
A 4WD crosses the flooded Clagiraba Creek
causeway west of Nerang on Saturday.
But the BOM has warned the situation is being closely monitored and that further severe weather warnings would be issued if necessary.

Some drenched Brisbane suburbs exceeded the average monthly rainfall for February in just 24 hours, BOM forecaster David Crock said.

Ireland Demonstrates Climate Leadership with €22 billion Investment Plan

The Government of Ireland has announced it will invest €22 billion to transition the country to a low carbon and climate resilient society, aiming at almost zero emissions by middle of the century.
Ireland demonstrates leadership with regard climate change.
According to the country’s National Development Plan published this month, the funds are to be primarily deployed to reduce carbon emissions from transport, agriculture and the energy sector, along with flood defenses.
“While Ireland clearly faces a very significant task in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the current profile of which reflects the particular structure of our economy, action can be taken now to position Ireland to harness significant benefits from realising a low-carbon economy,” the report says.

Read the United Nations Climate Change story - “Ireland Demonstrates Climate Leadership with €22 billion Investment Plan.”

Standing Up for Rural Australia Means Standing Up on Climate Change

The farmers in this ad represent thousands from across Australia who are demanding rural and regional politicians do more to stop damage to our climate harming our livelihoods. 

We must act, to prevent a situation where our kids won’t have the choice to farm like we do.

Insect population decline leaves Australian scientists scratching for solutions

A global crash in insect populations has found its way to Australia, with entomologists across the country reporting lower than average numbers of wild insects.
Entomologists are concerned Australia's insect populations are in decline.
University of Sydney entomologist Dr Cameron Webb said researchers around the world widely acknowledge that insect populations are in decline, but are at a loss to determine the cause.

"On one hand it might be the widespread use of insecticides, on the other hand it might be urbanisation and the fact that we're eliminating some of the plants where it's really critical that these insects complete their development," Dr Webb said.

"Add in to the mix climate change and sea level rise and it's incredibly difficult to predict exactly what it is."

Entomologist and owner of the Australian Insect Farm, near Innisfail in far north Queensland, Jack Hasenpusch is usually able to collect swarms of wild insects at this time of year.