How US negotiators ensured landmark Paris climate deal was Republican-proof | US news | The Guardian


White House officials at COP 21 helped craft a deal congressional Republicans would not be able to stop – and the effort required major political capital

Source: How US negotiators ensured landmark Paris climate deal was Republican-proof | US news | The Guardian

Environmental groups demand inquiry after Exxon ‘misled public’ on climate | Business | The Guardian


In call for attorney general to investigate, top activists say company acted deceptively despite knowing about climate change ‘as early as the 1970s’

Source: Environmental groups demand inquiry after Exxon ‘misled public’ on climate | Business | The Guardian

What everyone gets wrong about the link between climate change and violence – Updated by Brad Plumer on November 15, 2015, 10:20 a.m. ET


During the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, CBS moderator John Dickerson brought up the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and then asked Bernie Sanders if he still believes climate change is our greatest national security threat. (Sanders had said as much in a previous debate.)

(John Cantlie/AFP/Getty Images)

During the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, CBS moderator John Dickerson brought up the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and then asked Bernie Sanders if he still believes climate change is our greatest national security threat. (Sanders had said as much in a previous debate.)

Sanders didn‘t back down:

Absolutely. In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world — this is what the CIA says — they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops, and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.

Much snickering ensued on Twitter, especially over that bolded sentence, with the prevailing sentiment that Sanders’ argument was self-evidently silly.

I’d say Sanders’ reply was a little off-base — but the outraged reaction was absurd. The truth about climate change and conflict is far more complex and nuanced than a short soundbite can allow, but it’s foolish to dismiss the entire topic out of hand.

Sanders was going too far when he said that climate change is “directly related” to the growth of terrorism. It’s hard to find any climate or security experts who would make that strong or straightforward of a causal link.

But it’s fine to raise the broader issue. What experts will often say — and what the Pentagon has been saying — is that global warming has the potential to aggravate existing tensions and security problems, by, for instance, making droughts or water shortages more likely in some regions. That doesn’t mean war or terrorism will be inevitable in a hotter world. Climate will typically be just one of many factors involved. Still, climate change could increase the risk of violence, which is why many military officials now take it seriously.

Article continues:

http://www.vox.com/2015/11/15/9738342/climate-change-conflict-terrorism

NASA Tracks Global Carbon Dioxide – By Brian Kahn and Climate Central | November 13, 2015


The space agency is trying to balance the planet’s carbon budget using satellite monitoring

Carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short. It’s simple gas that makes up a small part of our planet’s atmosphere. And yet it’s at the root of one of the biggest problems of the 21st century (that would be climate change, for the record).

Carbon dioxide is a simple gas that makes up a small part of our planet’s atmosphere. ©iStock.com

Carbon dioxide is a simple gas that makes up a small part of our planet’s atmosphere.
©iStock.com

NASA scientists have been keeping an eye on the movement of CO2 across land, air and sea in an effort to zero in on the changes in store for our planet.

CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are the highest they’ve been in 400,000 years. Despite the commitments to try and rein in carbon pollution, there’s still little sign human emissions will slow anytime in the near future, let alone drop to zero.

That has the world on track to cross the symbolic atmospheric CO2 threshold of 400 parts per million (ppm) permanently this year or early next year. And it also means that the climate will continue to change leading to warmer temperatures, higher and more acidic oceans, and shifts in extreme weather.

Yet CO2 and corresponding impacts would be a lot higher if it weren’t for plants, like giant sequoias to microscopic plankton, that absorb about half of all human CO2emissions in a given year. That’s why NASA is interested in monitoring the world’s greenery or what they’ve termed the “other half” of the carbon equation.

CO2 from wood burning and urban sources.
Credit: NASA

Factors such as El Niño, drought and warm weather in the Arctic all affect how much CO2 is taken up by the natural world. Scientists are beginning to understand those, but what they’re even more curious about is how human-influenced warming could further change plants’ ability to absorb CO2.

Article continues:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasa-tracks-global-carbon-dioxide/

 

What California wildlife tells us about ‘Godzilla’ El Niño – November 10, 2015


 

 

While California communities await the worst, El Niño is already taking a toll on local wildlife

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at Nov 15, 2015 2.29

As West Coast communities brace for what many are calling “Godzilla” El Niño, scientists are looking beneath the waves to learn more about the upcoming storm season. And if this year’s wildlife anomalies are any indication, this El Niño could be the strongest in decades. In this America Tonight excerpt, Joie Chen looks at what could be the strongest El Niño on record.

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/2015/11/what-california-wildlife-tells-us-about-godzilla-el-nio.html

VICE News Wants To Hear From You About Climate Change – Vice News Published on Nov 13, 2015


Ninety-seven percent of qualified scientists say that the earth is getting hotter and human activity is to blame. Data shows that the global mean temperature is now 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. If humanity continues this course, we can expect more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, rising seas, and an unprecedented impact on humanity.

World leaders will be meeting in Paris later this month to try to come up with a international climate agreement. While the overwhelming majority of the world’s economies have laid out plans to cut their carbon emissions, they’re still short of the goal the United Nations has set for holding the line on global warming.

Ahead of the conference, VICE News wants to hear your thoughts on climate change.
-What do you think should be done to address climate change?
-What changes can individuals make to make a difference? How do you think individual actions can make a difference?
-What message do you want to send to world leaders?

Send us a Skype video message with your thoughts. Here’s how: http://bit.ly/1Nvt08k