General

2017
Interactive map of forecast for major cities
World's seven most vulnerable populations

GHGs at highest atmospheric level in 800,000 years

Study finds unprecedented assault on oceans by 2030

Methane emissions from oil production far higher than thought

2016
Hotter Arctic soils emitting more CO2 than the plants can absorb
Even with Paris deal we're headed for 3.4°C warming - UNEP

In 2015, half of world's new power generation was renewables

World at its hottest for 115,000 years 

2015

The challenge, in graphs

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CO2 level

CO2 2016

GHG emissions

2017

2016

Emissions steady for third year
Global greening taking up more CO2, but not enough to halt warming

CH4 from oil and gas industries 25% higher than thought
 ...
... while budget for 2°C halves

2015

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Ice caps and glaciers

Why do these matter?

  • Land ice volume:  if all land ice were to melt seas would rise 60m.
  • Sea ice extent: a wider area of ice reflects more sunlight and slows global warming.
  • Sea ice volume: thin ice melts rapidly in the summer.
  • Salinity: melting ice makes fresh water, changing circulation patterns
Ice extent is much easier to measure than ice volume, but varies more erratically.  Much variation results from changing ocean currents.

Trick question: If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, what would happen to the sea level at its shoreline? Answer here.

News

2017

Some worrying records that don't make the headlines
Drowning coastal "ghost" forests

Methane eruptions and anthrax outbreaks in Siberia

Unprecedented vast pond formed on W Antarctic shelf

Greenland melt will cause droughts in N. Africa

Permafrost thaw releasing potent GHG N2O

2nd largest Antarctic ice shelf, Filchner-Ronne, could go this century

Larsen B ice shelf crack lengthens and splits

Antarctic Peninsula Ice loss rate may have been overestimated

Before and after shots illustrate retreat

Arctic sea ice at record lows for most of last 12 months

Sea ice low at both poles

Half of Arctic ice loss might be natural swing

Even 2oC might mean ice-free Arctic summers

130,000 sq km Canadian permafrost melting
 [that's two Tasmanias - Ed]
Canadian glacier melt raising sea levels

Antarctic sea ice at lowest extent on record

OMG project studies how Oceans are Melting Greenland

Unprecedented "heatwave" continues in Arctic
Antarctica to shed iceberg twice the size of the ACT
...
... split lengthening 500m/day
Greenland melt could halt ocean circulation in 300 years
 

2016

East Antarctic ice shelves looking less stable
Arctic 22oC hotter than average for time of year
...
... leading to record low sea ice for November
 ...
... and freezing winters for Northern Europe, US and Asia
La Paz running out of water

Deep N Atlantic coral threatened

Arctic an alarming 20oC above normal

80,000 reindeer died of starvation

Sea ice at record lows - at both poles at once!

West Antarctic glacier melt accelerates

Arctic sea ice extent second lowest on record

Bolivian glaciers shrank 43% in 30 years, lakes threaten villages

How ice streams drain Greenland's ice cap

Simulation confirms fossils: Antarctic sheets can collapse at present CO2 levels

Greenland ice loss accelerates to 0.01% per year
Nearly 2m US homes could be underwater by 2100
Rocks show West Antarctic Ice Sheet vulnerable during warmings
Alaskan village losing 3m shoreline a year relocates
Top arctic scientist alarmed by approaching tipping point

"Third Pole" glacier melt rate doubles
GW primary cause of W Antarctic Peninsula glaciers' retreat
Historic low for Arctic sea ice extent

Melting Everest glaciers threaten villages

Ice melt changes N pole's drift direction
Earth's own heat makes Greenland sheet less stable than thought

Arctic ice extent maximum hits new low record ...
... making matters worse for Greenland

Microcobes accelerate melting

600ppm CO2 identified as disaster threshold for Antarctic ice

Greenland ice sheet darkening, absorbing more sunlight
Feb Arctic sea ice extent more than 2 standard deviations below 30 year avg
European skiing on the rocks

Local melt rate 25x expected found in Antartica
Greenland Ice Sheet losing retention

2015

2014
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Sea level

2017

Accelerating rise confirmed ,,,
... highest rate on US E coast for 2000+ years
NOAA lifts plausible 2100 rise to 2-2.7m

On Louisiana's coast seas rising 1cm/y

NOAA maps US coastal hazard

Geological evidence says 3C warming would mean 6-9m sea level rise 

2016

Supermoon+CC=floods around US coasts
Business-as-usual to raise NY sea level 1m by 2100

Underlying rise accelerating
 - NCAR
Five pacific islands have sunk

GHGs now principal cause of sea level rise
Antarctic icecap stability in question, seas may rise 2m by 2100
Why polar melt raises seas in other hemisphere more

20th century rise fastest in 3000 years

Consequences will last 10,000 years

Thermal expansion may be double that thought

2015

2014

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Ocean Chemistry

2017
Record low pH found all along US W coast
West Arctic Ocean hard hit

Oxygen levels down 2% over 50 years

Algae may destroy corals by 2100
 

2016

Barramundi particularly at risk
Fish brains harmed

Acidification fastest in 300m years

Oxygen depletion starting to show
Experimentally de-acidified reef thrives
Corals grow deformed, virus-prone

N Atlantic absorbing twice the CO2

CO2 disorienting fish

2015

2014

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Climate

2017
95% chance warming will exceed 2°C by 2100 - study
Fossil fuel aerosols shifting rainfall patterns

Heading for hottest non-El Niño year on record

Pattern of Siberian forest fires continues

40% increase in hailstorm damage predicted for N. America

Accelerating temperature rise in Pyrenees

Wildfires getting more frequent and more severe around the world

Tropical waters empty as fish flee warming

US reefs to die within decades

Cities could get 8°C hotter

Staple crop yields to fall 23% by 2050s

GW tripling severe Sahel storms

Tropicalisation heads south on Aus' East and West coasts

Models show how climate change stalls weather systems, making floods and droughts

India's monsoons failing to replenish groundwater

Middle East and North Africa may become uninhabitable

Argo reveals growth of Ocean Heat Content by depth
Estimates of ocean heating rate raised by 13%
Why higher temperatures mean heavier rainfalls
NW Europe could cool 2-3°C in a decade as ocean circulation falters

Okies* hit with 37°C in winter's depth
*including Trump's EPA chief, denialist Pruitt
Global temperature record broken third year in a row

Global average surface temp for 2016 was 1.3°C above pre-Industrial

No slowdown in ocean warming...
... and global warming even faster than had been thought
UK to expect yearly major floods
In 2016, record highs outnumbered record lows in US 5:1

2016 

Amer. Met. Soc. links all 2015 extreme heat events to climate change ...
... (in pictures)
Wheat yields to decline

2016 headed for third consecutive temperature record breaker

New study says on course for 5-7°C of warming by 2100

2011-2015 hottest 5 year period on record

S. Spain, Sicily could be deserts by 2100

Climate change shown to cause Jet stream changes that freeze Europe, US

New England, US, lobsters moved 10°N to escape heat

Eucalypt habitats to shrink

Ocean circulation closely watched

July and August hottest two months on record

Krill breeding grounds at risk

Warming rate fastest in at least 1500 years - NASA

Middle East heatwave smashes records

60% Maldives' reefs bleached

NOAA report shows records toppling

Existing GHGs will push past 1.5°C warming
Canadian wildfires expected result of climate change

Reef death expands
March temperature record beaten by whopping 0.36°C
Much of Persian Gulf to be uninhabitable by 2100
GW as cause of Reef crisis incontrovertible - Prof. Hughes

Ganges water crisis deepens
With more CO2, plants won't keep us as cool

Mediterranean rivers to be a third drier by 2100

Warming may reach 1.5°C by 2020 - UoQ study

Feb most abnormally hot month on record, only 20% due to El Nino...
... only to be beaten by March
Longest coral bleaching on record continues

Warming rate 50x that of ice age exit
Deadly heat waves will be 20x as frequent
Diseases threaten marine life as waters warm

January temperatures smash records, again

Indian Ocean food chain collapsing
Map of temperature increases attributable to climate change

2015 temperature smashed records - official
Oceans heated as much in last 20 years as preceding 150
PDO phase threatens unprecedented warming rate
Mass Alaskan bird starvation may be down to climate change
Sth Africa suffers driest year on record

UK floods unprecedented

2015

2014
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Atmosphere

2016

Policies, Commitments and Achievements

 Global

2017 
Large-scale solar nears 100GW

2016

Global CO2 emissions fell 0.1% in 2015 ...
... but methane emissions surging
Marrakech round ends with 200 nations pressuring Trump to comply

Energy efficiency growing at 1-2% p.a. - IEA

40% of cities track their emissions
Paris agreement ratified; enters force 4th Nov
World's carbon energy intensity down a third in 25 years
Review of actions since Paris
23 countries sign agreement on aircraft emissions


2015

2014

Europe & Asia Minor

2017
UK funding Liquid Air Energy Storage to stabilise grid
Turkey trots after Trump out of Paris

No new infernal combustion engines to be sold in France after 2040

25% of UK power renewable in Q1

30MW floating wind farm for Scotland

Sweden legislates net zero emissions by 2045

Transport pushed EU emissions up 0.5% in 2015

EC approves 17 GW of renewables in France

Norway tests autonomous electric ships to replace trucks

Oslo, London, Amsterdam lead cities' shift to clean transport

26/28 EU states commit to no new coal plant after 2020

EU emissions fell 11% in 2016

UK emissions lowest since 1920s

Spain finds the funds to restart renewables support

Ireland moves towards divesting Sovereign Wealth fund of fossil fuels

Heating Bordeaux suburbs with $60m geothermal

Scotland lifts emissions target to 66% below 1990 by 2032

Dutch trains run entirely on wind

To meet commitments, Spain launches 3GW renewable energy auction
 

2016
Finland to abandon coal power
France to end coal power by 2023

German coalition agrees 80-95% emissions cut by 2050

France targets 28% from renewables by 2023
...
... as reliance on nuclear proves costly
UK's coal power output fell 80% in four years
Sweden to subsidise home power storage up to 60%

1km PV road surface in France to generate 18MWh/day

Amsterdam commits to emissions 75% below 1990 by 2040

Oslo aims for half of 1990 emissions in four years

German upper house calls for end to fossil fuelled road transport by 2030

Switzerland to focus on renewables and efficiency, no nukes

Dutch vote will end its coal power by 2030

EU hits energy reduction target six years early

Madrid gets 110 new electric taxis
Portugal was 100% renewable power for four days
Cross-party support in Sweden for 100% renewables by 2040
Sweden tests trolleybus-style electric roadway
Austria may ban petrol and Diesel cars by 2020
France to triple solar PV by 2023
Solar topped coal for a day in UK
Last Scottish coal-fired power station closes

Backlash to anti-wind farm Polish Environment Minister

UK to legislate zero emissions by 2050
Fully electric double deckers for London
Spain scraps "tax on the sun" [At last! - Ed]
EU failing on Paris commitment
...
... environment ministers call for stronger response
London's car driving halved, cycling tripled, in 15 years

UK Energy sector embraces clean energy
1.5C cap will require profound lifestyle changes - leaked EU report

EU Wind and Solar markets accelerate
...
... with more countries beating renewables targets
Renewables up 2.5% in 2015 to be 29% of supply, but emissions flat

More parks, fewer cars to cut summer heat
German thinktank proposes coal exit by 2040

2015 

2014

Australasia & Pacific

2017

2016

2015

2014

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Americas

2017
Hawai'i to hit 100% renewables in 2040, 5 years early
US Renewables outpower nuclear

NY State seeks $1.5bn of renewables

Calif reached 14GW solar out of 29GW demand

Mild winter brings US emissions below 1994 levels

California lifts emissions target to 40% below 1990 by 2030
 

2016

40,000km of electric highways for US
Canada's gov't buildings to be 100% renewables by 2025

Iowa's power is 35% from wind

Alberta seeks 50% renewables plan


LA to develop plan for 100% renewables
Brazil ratifies Paris agreement

Boulder, Co, 17th US city to commit to 100% renewables

US Federal court upholds $36/tCO2e used in DoE cost/benefit analyses

US EPA extends clean air rules to GHGs from aircraft

$4.5bn in loan guarantees for US EV charging station network
Washington DC says 50% renewables by 2032
US, Mexico, Canada to go 50% green energy by 2025

PV required on all new San Fran buildings
US energy use declined in 2015
US and Canada address methane emissions
US and Canada climate pact

Oregon mandates 50% from renewables by 2040
US puts up first $500m of $3bn pledge to Green Climate Fund

17 US state governors sign clean energy accord

California creates efficiency market

NY releases plan for 50% renewables by 2030

Carbon trading now in 20 US states

2015

2014

Asia

2017

S Korean president commits to phasing out coal and nuclear
S Korea likely to cut thermal coal imports

Maglev flywheel test facility near Tokyo
 

2016

Japan, S Korea, China, Russia to share renewables on supergrid
S Korea to boost storage and add $36bn in renewables

Japan bringing 8GW solar online per year

Vietnam signals easing rate of new coal plant

Japan coal use down as demand drops, solar grows and nuclear restarts

2015

2014

Middle East & Africa

2017

2016

2015

2014

Industry

2016

 

 

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Greenland ice sheet answer: If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, the sea level at its shoreline would fall.  This is because the gravitational attraction of the ice sheet draws surrounding ocean in, making the sea level there anomalously high.  Longer term, with no ice pressing down on it, Greenland itself would rise relative to the sea.