[GWSG] CO2 equivalents; $20 t to adapt; 100% utility; flooding up; slower hurricanes; a new world

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Thu Jun 7 08:05:00 EDT 2018

1. Emissions are tracked in terms of CO2 equivalents. Methane is assigned a stable equivalent, but because methane breaks down in the atmosphere with a half life of a decade, it provides varying amount of warming, a lot at first and much less later. A new proposal would recognize the difference, and would essentially calculate (and therefore, we may hope, tax) emissions in terms of their contribution to warming over time. https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-a-new-way-to-assess-global-warming-potential-of-short-lived-pollutants

2. We will be adapting to whatever climate change we do not escape by mitigation. A Nature article estimates that it would cost about $20 trillion more to adapt to the difference between 2C and 1.5C of warming than to limit warming to 1.5C by mitigation. The finding is based on the impact of warming so far in 165 countries. https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1117054_nature-study-shows-its-cheaper-to-reduce-global-warming-than-to-adapt-to-it

A Nature editorial summarizes the difficulties of projecting the economic impact of climate change and concludes that the general message remains clear: action is much more economical now than later. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05219-5

3. Iowa's MidAmerican Energy has announced plans which would make it the first investor-owned US utility to supply 100% renewable energy. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/06/midamerican-energy-to-become-first-100-renewable-energy-utility-with-wind-xii-project/

4. NOAA reports that a combination of sea level rise and lots of storms caused a record amount of high tide flooding in the US in 2017. The frequency of such flooding is 50% greater than in 200 and 100% greater than thirty years ago. The flooding rates are expected to continue increasing this year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/06/06/u-s-coastal-areas-flooded-more-than-ever-in-past-year-due-to-sea-level-rise-and-storms/?utm_term=.3e8c38bacb3c

5. Hurricanes travel more slowly than they did-a 10% slowdown since 1949-and so are yet more dangerous. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/06/06/hurricanes-are-traveling-more-slowly-which-makes-them-even-more-dangerous/?utm_term=.38164ae4e389

6. The world is already changing to cope with global warming-in ways that we are likely to welcome. (True, it will be a world in which we will eat less red meat.) https://mailchi.mp/climatenewsnetwork/global-green-vision-is-do-able-with-an-effort?e=ea792e87f2 ?

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