[GWSG] JetBlue, BlackRock make climate gestures; ocean heat accelerates; climate sensitivity higher?; FL's dwindling water; protecting biodiversity

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Jan 14 10:08:41 EST 2020

1. JetBlue is using carbon emissions offsets to become the first airline in the US to be carbon neutral. (While that is far short of zero emissions flight, it does indicate that the industry sees the  need for a gesture.) https://www.ecowatch.com/jetblue-carbon-neutral-airline-2644666201.html

2. BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager, announced it will invest with the climate crisis in mind. They warn that business which do not will suffer from investor hostility. BlackRock has not divested its fossil fuel holdings but maintains that it is in transition. It is ceasing investments in coal. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/14/blackrock-says-climate-crisis-will-now-guide-its-investments

3. 90% of the excess heat in our atmosphere goes to the oceans, which are at record, accelerating temperatures. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a new method of measuring ocean heat.  https://phys.org/news/2020-01-record-setting-ocean-warmth-equivalent-billion.html

4. Improved models indicate that the Paris goals of 1.5-2C of heating may be out of reach. The heat potential of CO2 is greater than we had realized—that is, the climate sensitivity is a little less than twice as high as we had supposed. Scientists still hope to find errors in the new models.  https://phys.org/news/2020-01-climate-paris-goals.html

This news indicates that the need for action is quite urgent. We need to cease emissions and to organize major efforts to draw down and sequester atmospheric carbon.

5. The Price of Sprawl calculates that Northeast Florida will have insufficient water to serve its 2030 population, and that South Florida already has too little to serve its population. They do not give the sources of their claims, but I find nothing to contradict them. http://www.priceofsprawl.com/water.html

6. A new UN plan calls for protecting 30% of the earth’s surface by 2030 in order to avoid degrading biodiversity. https://phys.org/news/2020-01-planet-nature.html

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