According to the 2020 Adaptation Gap Report, released on Thursday by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), as temperatures rise and climate change impacts intensify, nations must urgently step up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses.
A new study co-authored by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Global Conservation Program and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Forestry introduces a classification called Resistance-Resilience-Transformation (RRT) that enables the assessment of whether and to what extent a management shift toward transformative action is occurring in conservation
Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to an analysis by NASA.
Continuing the planet’s long-term warming trend, the year’s globally averaged temperature was 1.84 degrees Fahrenheit (1.02 degrees Celsius) warmer than the baseline 1951-1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. 2020 edged out 2016 by a very small amount, within the margin of error of the analysis, making the years effectively tied for the warmest year on record.
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.
That’s why firing bullets from a gun is more dangerous than tossing them by hand. Why skydivers use parachutes. Why roads have speed limits. And why it’s critical to understand how quickly human activity will drive the climate to change, compared with past rates. Will we cause gradual shifts that civilization and life on Earth can adapt to — or are we igniting a wildfire that can’t be outrun?
In an annual letter to CEOs earlier in 2020, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said “climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects … But awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”
In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years and undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to curb new drilling because of climate change, according to public records and industry analysts.
Financial firms produce very few greenhouse-gas emissions directly, aside from those associated with keeping the lights on and the computers whirring. But the picture changes dramatically when you add “financed emissions”, those associated with a firm’s lending and investing activities. Figures from the few banks and asset managers that disclose them suggest that financed emissions are 100 to 1,000 times bigger than operational ones.
Two years ago, an influential self-published paper entitled, “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating the Climate Tragedy,” written by Jem Bendell, suggested that we were too late to save the world. Yet, in their rebuttal to Deep Adaptation, researchers Galen Hall and Tom Nicholas argue, “The fundamental battle in climate change right now is whether or not we can understand it as a primarily political struggle — rather than a scientific or natural struggle — and then win that struggle,” Mr. Hall said. “Deep Adaptation or fatalism in general is just one way of depoliticizing it because it puts everything up to inhuman forces.”