Here are some of the latest stories involving climate change:
2019 Was the Second Hottest Year on Record, NASA Says
It’s the award no one wanted to win: 2019 was the second hottest year on record, government scientists confirmed yesterday (Jan. 15). That’s according to two separate analyses: one conducted by NASA and one by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Each study compared 2019 Earth temperature data with scientists’ historical records, which begin in 1880. Of those 140 years, only 2016 was warmer than last year; the analyses also show that the five hottest years on record have been the five years beginning in 2015.
Acid Water in the Pacific Ocean Is Eating Crab Shells
Humans have pumped about 2 trillion tons (1.8 trillion metric tons) of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and the ocean has absorbed about 25% of it. This glut of greenhouse gases not only warms the ocean (contributing to more-frequent heat waves and severe weather), but also changes the water’s chemistry, slowly acidifying it and reducing the concentration of molecular building blocks that shellfish, corals and other marine life use to craft their hard outer shells. According to a new study, that molecular mix-up is already having harmful effects on the development of some baby crabs.
Climate Change Models Are “Running Very Hot”
There are dozens of climate models, and for decades they’ve agreed on what it would take to heat the planet by about 3° Celsius. It’s an outcome that would be disastrous—flooded cities, agricultural failures, deadly heat—but there’s been a grim steadiness in the consensus among these complicated climate simulations. Then last year, unnoticed in plain view, some of the models started running very hot. The scientists who hone these systems used the same assumptions about greenhouse-gas emissions as before and came back with far worse outcomes. Some produced projections in excess of 5°C, a nightmare scenario.
UK Plan: Only Fully Electric Cars To Be Sold After 2035
A ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, under government plans. The change comes after experts said 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.