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Climate Change Global News and Topical Issues Presentation Prepared by: Stephen Jones with 2 additional BBC slides by P Brow This presentation has been.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change Global News and Topical Issues Presentation Prepared by: Stephen Jones with 2 additional BBC slides by P Brow This presentation has been."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change Global News and Topical Issues Presentation Prepared by: Stephen Jones with 2 additional BBC slides by P Brow This presentation has been provided to assist engagement by ClimateNI members with staff in their own organisations and with policy makers. Whilst it may be edited down to suit the particular audience, the second slide should always be presented to set out the role of ClimateNI, and the ClimateNI logo shall be retained on all other slides. Edition: 1 Version 1.3 Issued : 14/11/14

2 About Us: Climate Northern Ireland is an inter-sectoral network devoted to increasing understanding of climate change impacts and risks within Northern Ireland and promoting the adaptation actions necessary to address these. Climate Northern Ireland is facilitated by Northern Ireland Environment Link, a national forum and networking body for organisations interested in the environment. Climate Northern Ireland was set up and funded by the Department of the Environment (DoE) to help fulfil its obligations to address climate change. Climate Northern Ireland is part of the Climate UK network, which consists of 12 climate change partnerships in Scotland, Wales and the English regions who work together to deliver coordinated action on climate change at the local and national level. Climate UK Further Information: Climate Northern Ireland (CNI), 89 Loopland Drive, Belfast, NI, BT6 9DW T +44 (0) E Website:

3 Global - Developments May Global Co2 levels measured to be 400ppm (parts per million) for the first time in recorded history. The amount considered to be safe is 350ppm. When the ratio passes 450ppm, some scientists question the ability to stop global warming of at least 2 °C. Source: NOAA/ESRL

4 Global - Developments Arctic Sea Ice has declined by 4.3% per decade since the 1970s, The 2012 ice minimum is the lowest amount on record; 2014 and 2013 are the 6 th and 7 th lowest respectively. – Predicted to be no ice in Summer by mid-century. The past 10 years were the warmest since the start of modern measurements 160 years ago and it was also a decade of unprecedented extremes in the climate according to a report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Sea Levels have risen 16cm in the last century with projections of 40cm -80cm this century (at least 3cm per decade). However, current emissions pathway is actually higher than worst case IPCC projections that equate to the 80cm rise. Source: Kinnard et. al, Nature 479, 509–512 (2011) Source: NOAA/NCDC

5 Global - Air Temperature Hiatus Between 1998 and 2012, climate scientists observed that, although the rise in global mean surface air temperature has continued, the increase was approximately only one third of that from 1951 to One of the main reasons for this is that the oceans store about 90% of the earth’s excess heat. Recent research suggests that the upper 6500ft (2000m) is where all of the warming has occurred so far, citing virtually none in the deep ocean. It Is a complex system, with short- term factors such as the La Nina pacific cooling effect, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (a pattern of temperature shifts that occurs about every 20 or 30 years) and the solar minimum all playing a role. However; global warming has not slowed down and NASA emphasises that this slowing of air temperature is likely only to be temporary. Source: Nuccitelli et al. (2012)

6 Global - News IPCC Fifth Assessment released between 2013 and 2014 in 3 Working Group Reports: WG1 – The Physical Science Basis Each recent decade warmer than the last in terms of sea, surface and air temperature. Clear evidence to suggest that humans are causing widespread climate and ecological change. Measurements from the ocean surface, show increasing temperature, CO2 content and acidification. Source: CCC, adapted from IPCC 5 th Assessment Report

7 Global - News IPPC WG2 – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. – Physical: Extreme weather impacts on natural and human environments. – Social: Disruption to vital services like electricity can be particularly challenging for the vulnerable in society, for example those with physical disability or mental health issues. – Environmental: Research ahs shown that Impacts on natural systems are the most certain in terms accurate measurements of species decline for example. – Economic: Widely ranging, from a lack of resilience in supply chains, through to physical infrastructure damage. Long-term, systemic strategic planning is the answer. IPPC WG3 – Mitigation of Climate Change Total anthropogenic GHG emissions have continued to increase from 1970 to About half of cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1750 and 2010 have occurred in the last 40 years. Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2, currently around 400ppm (350ppm is the healthy limit), which needs to stay under 500ppm to make it “more likely than not” that by 2100 warming can be capped at 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. Baseline scenarios, those without additional mitigation, result in global mean surface temperature increases in 2100 of between 3.7 °C to 4.8 °C and CO2 measurements well in advance of 700ppm.

8 Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News Sunday 2 November 2014 The IPCC's Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials. 'Science has spoken' The Synthesis Report summarises three previous reports from the IPCC, which outlined the causes, the impacts and the potential solutions to climate change. It re-states many familiar positions: Warming is "unequivocal" and the human influence on climate is clear The period from 1983 to 2012, it says, was likely the warmest 30 year period of the last 1,400 years Warming impacts are already being seen around the globe, in the acidification of the oceans, the melting of arctic ice and poorer crop yields in many parts Without concerted action on carbon, temperatures will increase over the coming decades and could be almost 5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century "Science has spoken," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side."

9 Will Obama's climate surprise deliver a global deal? By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent 12 November 2014 In 2009 the US pledged to cut emissions in 2025 by 30% compared to 2005 levels. The world hissed and booed, and called it a failure. Historic Agreement Today, in an "historic" agreement announced with China, the US are committing to cutting their emissions by less than that, (26-28% by the same date) and the world is cheering. The Chinese promise not just to peak their emissions by 2030 but to increase the share of non- fossil fuels in their energy mix to 20% by the same date. But in terms of steering the world to below the 2 degree C target that scientists believe is the threshold of danger, this agreement doesn't cut the mustard. According to some observers, the Beijing deal is significant because it underlines the fact that China is changing its position. "It signals a shift," according to Liz Gallagher from environmental think-tank E3G. "The ball is in play, so now others, not just developing counties but the likes of Japan, Canada and Australia, there is now pressure on them to come forward with something themselves," said Samantha Smith.

10 Global - News Progress: Global players have set targets for action: – USA: Climate Action Plan designed to achieve a 17% reduction on 2005 levels by 2020, including curbs on carbon dioxide emissions from electricity-generating plants and the establishment of a $1bn “climate resiliency fund.” – China: World’s biggest carbon polluter announced plans to create an overall cap on carbon emissions, set to be announced by 2016 at the latest. September 2014 saw a global climate march and a successful UN Climate Summit in New York. Countries now have until May 2015 to draft the climate deal which will be signed off at COP 21 in Paris, Dec Setbacks: Australia – Repealed carbon tax and closed several key agencies which provided climate/ renewable energy information to both citizens and government. Warsaw COP 19 – Climate meeting fell short of any meaningful resolution, with charities walking out and Japan scaling back its long-term carbon targets. A pathway to Paris 2015 was approved. Governments around the world have just over a year to set out their mitigation targets from 2020 to prevent a temperature rise above the 2°C limit. However, these are contributions rather than commitments and while victims of disaster will receive aid, no liability will be linked to developed countries. Observed change in surface temperature (IPCC, 2013)

11 EU/UK - Strategy Mitigation – EU targets: Climate and energy policy framework for 2030 – On 23rd October 2014 the European Council ratified targets to reduce carbon emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by It also agreed a binding target for 27% renewable energy in each country, also by – UK targets: Climate Act 2008 – 80% reduction in carbon emissions on 1990 levels by Adaptation – EU: Adaptation Strategy: Outlines actions which promote adaptation in member states, including provision of LIFE funding and ensuring the inclusion of adaptation in numerous policies across the EU. – UK: National Adaptation Plan: The UK strategy for adaptation, setting out key aims and priority actions in each sector, based on risks identified in UKCP09 and the 2012 CCRA.

12 NI – News and Developments Timeline of Extreme Weather Events in NI February cm (4 in) of snow affects areas across Northern Ireland, leading to over 30 school closures and treacherous road conditions. March 2013 Coldest March since 1962: 20cm of snow in many areas. 40,000 animals died in the cold weather. Feed flown in for animals and LNG shipped in to ease energy pressure. Electricity cut to a number of homes and roads blocked with drifts up to 10ft in places. July 2013 Warmest July on record. Average daily high temperature was 21.8 degrees - more than three degrees above average. December 2013 Strong winds cause disruption to power supply with close to 30,000 homes affected. January % of the average January rainfall. Strong winds and high tides cause serious flooding in County Down. Roads closed and sandbags distributed in coastal areas and East Belfast. February 2014 Heavy rain in the east while snowfalls hit the west. Several main roads closed. Fishing industry in Kilkeel hit hard after almost a month without leaving harbour.

13 NI – News and Developments Northern Ireland Adaptation Plan – Released in January 2014, the plan sets out priority areas for action in the areas of Flooding, Water, Agriculture and Forestry and the Natural Environment,based on UKCP09 and the 2012 NI CCRA. – Plan to be updated in 5 years time, in line with 2017 UK CCRA. NI Flood Maps – Created by Rivers Agency to show low, medium and high probability events of tidal, river and surface water flooding across NI. They include the ability to look back at historical flooding and also ahead, to assess the effects of climate change. ICE State of the Nation Report – Assessment made every 5 years released in August 2014, and found much of NI infrastructure not fit for purpose based on climate projections. DOE Flood Payments – After flooding during October 2014, Mark Durkan again opened the emergency flood payments scheme, providing £1000 to help make each affected household habitable again as quickly as possible.

14 Climate Change – Indirect Issues Several opportunities are expected to arise from Climate Change, such as extended growing seasons in Northern Europe and the opening of a Northern shipping route through the Arctic. However these positives are far outweighed by serious consequences, not just for the direct human and natural environment, but those which indirectly affect the global political or economic situation. The issues raised show the complexity of the challenge. From the interruption of supply chains, to tension over land claims in the oil and mineral-rich polar regions, it is not just the environment which will be affected. The response must be cross- sector; both global and local.


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