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  • Of the many factors that cause wildfires, the influence of climate change and human activities is growing

    Although there are multiple things at play when it comes to wildfires, climate change is becoming increasingly important. Wildfires are the result of complex interactions between biophysical and human factors, and it only takes one poorly managed campfire to cause a serious, widespread wildfire disaster. Many wildfires are indeed the direct result of human activities. However, many more and much worse wildfires are now possible because of climate change, leading to greater environmental and economic negative impacts.

  • What’s in a number? The significance of the 1.5°C warming threshold and reporting on its possible breach in popular media

    These findings were widely covered by popular media outlets, including in articles published by The Guardian, CNN, and BBC, which all reported that this temperature increase would represent a breach of the key IPCC threshold. However, this is missing some important context. 
    “A single year above 1.5°C does not mean the world has passed that particular warming level”, said Zeke Hausfather. Such nuance was better captured by articles published in Reuters and Axios, which both correctly did not report that these new temperature projections, if realized, would constitute a breach of the threshold.

  • Here’s what we know about how climate change impacts hurricanes – and what we don’t

    The uncertainty surrounding how hurricane frequency could change as the climate warms has been brought up in claims seeking to undermine climate change’s impact on hurricanes. These claims are examples of straw man arguments: noting that climate change may not lead to a higher number of hurricanes in the future does not mean that climate change has had – or will have – no impact on hurricanes at all.

  • Different parts of the planet warm more quickly than others. That doesn’t mean climate change isn’t happening.

    If you’re even a casual consumer of climate news, you probably know that some parts of the globe are warming more rapidly than others. Scientists have known for years, for instance, that the Arctic is heating up at a faster clip than the global average, and recently, the region made headlines after a study showed that the northernmost reaches of our planet are warming four times faster than the rest of the Earth.

  • Water scarcity in a changing climate: will drought get worse with warming?

    “The thing to remember is that drought is a very complex phenomenon. For one, drought is not just precipitation. Drought is also soil moisture and streamflow. This is an important distinction, because it means that other processes that may be affected by climate change (e.g., evaporation) can play a role in increasing drought, even if precipitation does not change.”

  • How sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic is influenced by climate change

    “The decreases have accelerated since the 1990s and have been part of a consistent suite of changes in the Arctic, including rising atmospheric temperatures, melting land ice, thawing permafrost, longer growing seasons, increased coastal erosion, and warming oceans. Overall, it has been a consistent picture solidly in line with the expectations of the warming climate predicted from increases in greenhouse gases. In particular, modeled sea ice predictions showed marked Arctic sea ice decreases, and the actual decreases even exceeded what the models predicted.”

  • Explainer: How the rise and fall of CO2 levels influenced the ice ages

    The Earth’s climate has been quite stable over the past 11,000 years, playing an important role in the development of human civilisation. Prior to that, the Earth experienced an ice age lasting for tens of thousands of years. The global average temperature was around 4C cooler during the last ice age than it is today. There is a real risk that, if emissions continue to rise, the world warms more this century than it did between the middle of the last ice age 20,000 years ago and today.