Plants and animals that only live in one region – known as “endemic” species – are expected to be “consistently more adversely impacted” by climate change than their less specialised counterparts, new research shows.
WASHINGTON — Up and down the coastline, rising seas and climate change are transforming a fixture of American homeownership that dates back generations: the classic 30-year mortgage.
Home buyers are increasingly using mortgages that make it easier for them to stop making their monthly payments and walk away from the loan if the home floods or becomes unsellable or unlivable. More banks are getting buyers in coastal areas to make bigger down payments — often as much as 40 percent of the purchase price, up from the traditional 20 percent — a sign that lenders have awakened to climate dangers and want to put less of their own money at risk.
Climate change is causing “lake heatwaves” to become more frequent, intense and long-lasting, a new study warns.
The research, published in Nature, finds that lake heatwaves could become between three and 12 times longer by the end of this century – and between 0.3C and 1.7C hotter.
The authors warn that, as lake temperatures increase, heatwaves of the past “will no longer be extreme and will become the new normal”. In some cases, even under a low-emissions scenario, there will be lakes that reach a “permanent heatwave state” by the end of the century.
Washington and Beijing are to co-chair a G-20 study group focusing on climate-related financial risks. It is a cautious step in a low-stakes venue. Still, neither country is eager to take credit for even such a modest initiative, underscoring sensitivities on both sides about any outreach.
Texas prides itself on being different. Yet it is in the grip of a winter storm that typifies the Snowmageddon-size problems facing energy in America. Although nobody can be sure if this particular freeze is a sign of climate change, the growing frequency of extreme weather across the country is. Texan infrastructure has buckled. The problem is not, as some argue, that Texas has too many renewables. Gas-fired plants and a nuclear reactor were hit, as well as wind turbines. Worse, Texas had too little capacity and its poorly connected grid was unable to import power from elsewhere (see article). Texas shows that America needs both a cleaner grid and a more reliable one.
A record-setting polar vortex, which brought intense cold to a majority of the American heartland, has led to massive blackouts in Texas as significant amounts of generating capacity have been knocked offline. As climate change worsens extreme weather events, we should expect more of these failures.
As the climate continues to warm at an alarming rate, experts warn if dramatic steps to mitigate global warming are not taken, the effects in Canada’s Prairie region will be devastating to the country’s agriculture sector.