What, quantitatively, is the social cost of carbon dioxide—the economic damage caused by a 1-ton increase in emissions or the benefits of a 1-ton decrease?
After lying largely forgotten in a museum for decades, a set of fossilised footprints have revealed a new glimpse of the world when reptiles began taking over from amphibians as the dominant land animals.
Ocean acidification is an inevitable consequence of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s a matter of fact. The journalist James Delingpole disagrees.
Technological advances wouldn’t protect US agriculture from a drought on the scale of the legendary Dust Bowl crisis of the 1930s, research shows.
Global climate change has already impacted every aspect of life on Earth, from genes to entire ecosystems, according to a new study in Science.
Beijing, London, Mexico City, New Delhi and Paris are among the cities that have drawn attention for their dangerously high air pollution levels in 2016 – but they’re not alone.
Almost half of plant and animal species have experienced local extinctions due to climate change, research reveals, with the tropics suffering the most pronounced loss.
There is no doubt that 2016 has been a record-breaking year for Earth’s climate.
A warming climate is exposing the Arctic to the possibility of radical changes that could affect the rest of the planet, scientists say.
As demand for grain increases to feed a rising population, scientists warn that global warming could seriously reduce wheat productivity.
President-elect Donald Trump has been unclear so far on how many of his campaign pledges he actually intends to see through. Hopeful Democrats and moderates have clung to this uncertainty as reason to hope that a Trump presidency wouldn’t be as bad as they feared.
The consequences of climate change are already being felt all over the globe. But some regions are particularly affected. These so-called “hotspots” are areas where strong physical and ecological effects of climate change come together with large numbers of vulnerable and poor people and communities.
The high ambition of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to “well below 2°C”, was driven by concern over long-term sea level rise. A warmer climate inevitably means melting ice – you don’t need a computer model to predict this, it is simple common sense.
More than a dozen authors from different universities and nongovernmental organizations around the world have concluded, based on an analysis of hundreds of studies, that almost every aspect of life on Earth has been affected by climate change.
Climate-related catastrophes are expensive, whether they come on suddenly, like the thousand-year flood in Louisiana in August 2016, or move slowly and inexorably, like desertification in Turkey.
A report based on fossilised evidence reveals that plant biodiversity in Europe and North America is changing profoundly as the world heats up.
The new president will take office at a singular time in the history of our planet. The year 2016 is the first in well over a million in which the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere did not fall below 400 parts per million.
Hurricane and tropical storm development from three million years ago might give today’s forecasters a good blueprint for 21st-century storms.
Scientists now agree: warmer weather in the Arctic and a wavy jet stream are influencing winter weather in the UK and US.
Bolivia’s glaciers have shrunk by more than 40% in the past few decades. This puts further pressure on an already stressed water supply, while the meltwater lakes left behind risk collapsing in sudden and catastrophic outburst floods.
The destructive nature of Hurricane Matthew—which resulted in hundreds of deaths in Haiti, dozens more in the US, and extensive damage still being assessed—was a test of strength in communications systems, infrastructure, and ultimately the resilience of communities.
New York City can expect nine-foot floods, as intense as the one produced by 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, at least three times more frequently over the next century—and possibly as much as 17 times more frequently, say researchers.
New study finds that man-made global warming is the root cause of a relentless increase in forest fires in the US.
In this presidential election year we have heard much about some issues, such as immigration and trade, and less about others.
The unprecedented West Coast toxic algal bloom of 2015 appears to be linked to the unusually warm ocean conditions—nicknamed “the blob”—in the winter and spring of that year.
Hurricane Matthew has slammed into the Florida coast after hammering Haiti. Close to 2 million people were asked to evacuate to escape its winds and rain.
New study shows that the speed of climate change is now much too great for grassland species of vital food crops to adapt and survive.
Spring arrives and the warming weather encourages the plants in our gardens and parks to burst into life, commencing their annual reproductive cycle.
The planet could pass the critical 1.5°C global temperature threshold in a decade—and is already two-thirds of the way to hit that warming limit, climate scientists warned on Thursday.
New scientific studies address lack of awareness of the adverse economic, social and biodiversity effects that climate change is already having.
With the impacts of climate change threatening food supply as population grows, China is buying land on other continents to grow more crops.
As global warming cuts crop yields, trade liberalisation in agricultural commodities will be needed to avoid food shortages and economic hardships.
Trees are dying across Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks. Glaciers are melting in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Corals are bleaching in Virgin Islands National Park.
The role of drought in the fall of ancient Mayan civilisation highlights the vital need today for water management in fighting the impacts of climate change.
Record high temperatures in Arctic Russia are believed to be one of the main factors behind the emergence of the deadly anthrax disease in northwestern Siberia.
With a heat wave pushing the heat index well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) through much of the U.S., most of us are happy to stay indoors and crank the air conditioning.
Ethicist Peter Singer told Q&A that climate change-related sea level rises are “estimated to cause something like 750 million refugees just moving away from that flooding”.
Southern Africa is noted for its wealth of biological diversity and for its high proportion of endemic species. These are species that are unique to a specific location and are found nowhere else in the world. Many of the region’s endemic species can be found in South Africa’s fynbos and succulent Karoo biomes.
Serious tree loss and stunted growth caused by repeated droughts in the Amazon Basin have damaged the rainforest’s vital ability to store atmospheric carbon.
Every so often, in regions too remote for the TV cameras, satellite images reveal vast fires covering thousands of square kilometres in smoke. This is what’s happening in Siberia, right now.
Smoldering peat gives off massive quantities of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, but the search for solutions is on.
Researchers warn that thawing soils in the Arctic tundra’s permafrost will release increasing quantities of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Creeping desertification in China is swallowing thousands of square kilometres of productive soil every year. It’s a challenge of gigantic and unprecedented proportions.
On May 19, India’s all-time temperature record was smashed in the northern city of Phalodi in the state of Rajasthan. Temperatures soared to 51℃, beating the previous record set in 1956 by 0.4℃.
Squid, octopus and cuttlefish populations are booming across the world. These fast-growing, adaptable creatures are perfectly equipped to exploit the gaps left by extreme climate changes and overfishing, according to a study colleagues and I published in the journal Current Biology.
Dramatic images of out-of-control wildfires in western North American forests have appeared on our television and computer screens with increasing regularity in recent decades, while costs of fire suppression have soared.
A huge glacier in the frozen wastes of East Antarctica, a region previously thought stable, could melt much faster than expected, scientists say.
Temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could reach unbearably high levels that would make some regions uninhabitable and increase the pressures of climate refugees.
Sea-level rise, erosion and coastal flooding are some of the greatest challenges facing humanity from climate change.
Marine life faces increased threats as researchers warn that warmer waters caused by climate change could seriously reduce the levels of oxygen in the world’s seas.
Researchers warn that many of Africa’s antelope species are at greater risk of extinction as climate change adds to the survival challenges they already face.
Scientists warn that the current pleasures of warmer weather will pall for US citizens as climate change brings extreme temperature rises and unhealthy levels of atmospheric ozone.
Research in China shows that the changing monsoon pattern in East Asia and heavier rainfall is having a detrimental effect on the yield and quality of tea.
Scientists say that storms carrying desperately-needed water to California are being diverted by a band of high pressure that coincides with rainfall and temperature extremes.
Global average sea level has risen by about 17 cm between 1900 and 2005. This is a much faster rate than in the previous 3,000 years. The sea level changes for several reasons, including rising temperatures as fossil fuel
New research warns that more than 13 million American citizens could be at risk of being forced to move away from vulnerable coastal zones because of sea level rise.
As we write, the much-cherished Great Barrier Reef is experiencing the devastating effects of coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has declared severe coral bleaching underway on the reefs north of Cooktown.
"While the effects have been most pronounced in the West, our analysis shows virtually all US forests are now experiencing change and are vulnerable to future declines," says James Clark.
One of the big problems with the world’s heavy carbon emissions is that they are driving up the levels of carbon dioxide in our oceans, which is making them more acidic.
At the Paris climate summit, delegates have struck an agreement that calls for the world to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃”.
Coal, oil and gas sectors warned that trillions of dollars of assets could be stranded if a global agreement on limiting climate change is reached at the UN summit in Paris.
New research warns that rising temperatures are reducing the mountain snow on which billions of people in lowland areas depend for their water supply.
If political leaders around the world are serious about gender equality, they must also get serious about climate change.
The world is watching as refugees flood into a Europe unprepared for the new arrivals. Conflict and social unrest due in part to climate stress – including induced food shortages and social conflict – have prompted migrants to search for new homes and new opportunities. To ecologists, however, this comes as no surprise.
Ask people what they know about Antarctica and they usually mention cold, snow and ice. In fact, there’s so much ice on Antarctica that if it all melted into the ocean, average sea level around the entire world would rise about 200 feet, roughly the height of a 20-story building.
This week, scientists registered their concern that super-warm conditions are building to a point where corals are severely threatened across the tropical Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They did so after seeing corals lose colour across the three major ocean basins – a sign of a truly momentous global change.
Wide-ranging survey shows that many of North America’s bird species could be left with nowhere to go as climate change drastically affects their habitats.
You may have read recent reports about huge changes in sea level, inspired by new research from James Hansen, NASA’s former Chief Climate Scientist, at Columbia University. Sea level rise represents one of the most worrying aspects of global warming, potentially displacing millions of people along coasts, low river valleys, deltas and islands.
Flooding is a well-known natural hazard along the US coastline. Nearly 40% of the US population resides in its coastal counties.
As the world warms, animals and plants will shift their ranges to keep pace with their favoured climate. While the changing distributions of species can tell us how climate change is affecting the natural world, it may also have a direct impact on us.
An international scientific report commissioned by the UK government says the risks of climate change are comparable to those posed by nuclear conflict.
One of the most dramatic features of recent climate change is the decline of summer Arctic sea ice. The impacts of this summer ice loss on northern society, on Arctic ecosystems, and the climate both locally and further afield, are already being felt.
The goal of international climate negotiations is “to avoid dangerous atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases”. In 2010, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change formally recognised the “long term goal” of the convention was to hold the increase in global average warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels.
California is undergoing a record-setting drought that began in 2012, the worst in at least 1,200 years. It can be seen in many ways: most of the freshwater reservoirs are drying up, crops are wilting in the fields and groundwater is rapidly depleting.
Climate change is affecting all regions of the globe. But some places, such as Africa, are more vulnerable to climate change’s devastating effects than others. This is particularly true because of the continent’s very high dependency on agriculture.
Senior Chinese official warns that climate-related temperature rises could seriously affect the country’s harvests and major infrastructure projects.
You never forget the first time you see an iceberg. But, in truth, the first iceberg you see is likely to be small. Most icebergs that make it far enough north from Antarctica to where they are danger to shipping are sometimes many years old and at the end of their lives. They are small fragments of what once left the continent.
One of our closest animal relatives is at risk of being wiped out as changing rainfall patterns threaten to destroy its Central African habitat. Central Africa in particular, and the continent in general, is likely to be severely affected by climate change.
International scientists say global warming could double the frequency of the extreme La Niña weather phenomenon that triggers floods and hurricanes.
Worldwide field trials show that just one degree of warming could slash wheat yields by 42 million tonnes and cause devastating shortages of this vital staple food.
Scientists report that many cities near the coasts of the US should prepare for daily flooding at high tide by mid-century because of rising sea levels.
At the top of the world, it’s time to get ready for a new future. In the winter of 2013–14, hundreds of milk-white birds with luminous yellow eyes and wingspans of up to 5 feet descended on beaches, farmers’ fields, city parks and airport runways throughout southern Canada and the United States.
One of nature’s most spectacular events occurs every autumn, when the leaves of hardwood trees burst into brilliant color before falling to the ground. These autumnal displays entice people to experience nature in all its raw beauty.
Some tree species in central Europe are growing faster as the climate changes, while the rising levels of acid it causes are endangering coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
As the forest fires season peaks in the western US, a new report predicts that climate-led temperature rise will lead to millions more acres across the world being burned to the ground.
New research shows that the complex balance of gains and losses caused by climate change could mean more land being available for agriculture − but fewer harvests.
Those who question the seriousness of the threat which climate change presents have a very strange idea of the risks they think are acceptable.
Two new atlases provide clear visual evidence of the effect climate change and extreme weather can have on people and property.
Failure to factor immediate action on climate change into American policies and business plans aimed at economic prosperity will lead to havoc, warns former US Treasury Secretary.
If you’ve ever wondered how much little things really matter, consider the mountain pine beetle. Roughly the size of a grain of rice, the glossy black insect lives only about a year. A throng of beetles can ravage a pine as tall as an eight-story building, as the tree first oozes sap, then its needles turn rusty red...
Spring and summer have come early – and observations from some parts of the country even suggest that typical autumn events, such as the development of beech nuts and hawthorn berries, are already in evidence. But, to understand effects on our wildlife, a longer view is needed...
The heavyweights of the global insurance industry, well aware of the risks posed to their finances by extreme weather events, have made a renewed commitment to use their financial clout and influence to tackle the climate impacts of a warming world
The 2014 State of the Climate report. a joint undertaking by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, found that Australia’s temperature is predicted to rise by 1°F to 2.7°F by 2030; in comparison, between 1910 and 1990 the temperature rose by 1°F.
It is not just the extreme cold that birds have had to cope with in recent British winters, scientists have found, but the unpredictability with which the weather often now changes.
Increasingly common false spring events are leaving crops and wild plants vulnerable to subsequent freezes, creating a cascade of consequences for ecosystems. The spring of 2012 was the earliest recorded across the United States since 1900.
The world faces a serious water crisis, warned former heads of government and experts recently in a book that identifies a multitude of associated security, development and social risks, including food, health, energy and equity issues.
Research from the Arctic shows Greenland’s fastest-flowing glacier has doubled its summer flow pace in a decade, and ice cover on Alaskan lakes is declining.