Frozen for thousands of years in Arctic permafrost, billions of tons of carbon and methane are slowly being released into the atmosphere due to rising temperatures. A new study shows that while the release is slow, continued thawing of this permafrost will significantly impact Earth’s climate.
Peatlands are ecosystems unlike any other. Perpetually saturated, their wetland soils are inhospitable to many plants and trees, yet they are rich in carbon.
But the world’s peatlands are under threat on multiple fronts. From a warming climate and rising sea levels through to land-use change and wildfires, disturbing peatland ecosystems risks releasing their long-held carbon into the atmosphere.
Tropical forests in Brazil have begun to release more carbon than they absorb as the warming climate kills more of the trees, researchers said.
The forests play an important role in the climate fight for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere, but dry and warm seasonal forests in southeastern Brazil have been progressively absorbing less carbon while releasing more over time, with the region transitioning “from a carbon sink to a carbon source” in 2013, according to a study published Friday in Science.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today released the government’s strategy to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 — and its centrepiece is a gradual hike in the federal carbon tax on fuels to $170 a tonne by that year.
The richest one percent of the world’s population are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the 3.1 billion people who made up the poorest half of humanity during a critical 25-year period of unprecedented emissions growth.
There is growing hope that the financial sector can contribute to decarbonizing the economy and help prevent dangerous levels of anthropogenic climate change. But aligning financial portfolios with the Paris Agreement, or lowering a portfolio’s carbon footprint alone, won’t be enough to actually contribute to real world emissions reductions. After all, where do emissions go when they are no longer in your portfolio?
Financial services firm Legal & General Retirement has today pledged to cut the carbon intensity of its £81bn annuity book in half by 2030. An interim goal will see the firm, which is targeting a net zero portfolio by 2050, aim for an 18.5 per cent reduction by 2025.
As recently reported in the Financial Times, if every British person sent one fewer thank you email a day, it would save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year, equivalent to tens of thousands of flights to Europe.
High levels of methane- a potent heat trapping gas- have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.