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The following Pinboard feed contains links to climate change news items, scientific articles and other information that I have bookmarked recently.

How did a small town in Canada become one of the hottest places on Earth? | Eric Holthaus | The Guardian

It’s the mountains of the Pacific coast that have had an essential and unique role in making this particular heat wave possible. Climate change is not just warming the surface of the planet, it’s warming Earth’s entire troposphere – the lowest layer of the atmosphere where all our weather occurs. That’s particularly true in mountainous areas, where temperatures are rising even faster than elsewhere. When snow and ice recedes or even disappears from mountains, the bare soil beneath can warm unimpeded. A 2015 study found that mountainous areas above 2,000 meters (6,500ft) are warming about 75% faster than places at lower elevations. (date: 01/07/2021)

climate  heatwave  mountains  

UK Climate Risk

The Climate Change Committee is working on an independent advice report, due to be published in June 2021, which will inform the UK Government’s third CCRA (known as CCRA3). This website will host all of the outputs for the UK Climate Risk Independent Assessment (CCRA3) (date: 16/06/2021)

climate  adaptation  

Iceland's innovations to reach net-zero – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Isolated and challenged by a harsh climate and battered by the financial crisis of 2008, Iceland has successfully moved away from fossil fuels and shifted to 100% electricity production from renewable sources. The island nation has developed high-tech greenhouses to grow organic vegetables and embraced sustainable fish farming, ecotourism, breakthrough processes for carbon capture and disposal, and efforts to restore the forests that were lost in earlier centuries (date: 06/05/2021)

Climate  NetZeroEmissions  

“What’s Up with the Weather?” Public Engagement with Extreme Event Attribution in the United Kingdom in: Weather, Climate, and Society Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021)

The science of extreme event attribution (EEA)—which connects specific extreme weather events with anthropogenic climate change—could prove useful for engaging the public about climate change. However, there is limited empirical research examining EEA as a climate change communication tool. To help fill this gap, we conducted focus groups with members of the U.K. public to explore benefits and challenges of utilizing EEA results in climate change advocacy messages. Testing a range of verbal and visual approaches for communicating EEA, we found that EEA shows significant promise for climate change communication because of its ability to connect novel, attention-grabbing, and event-specific scientific information to personal experiences and observations of extreme events. Communication challenges include adequately capturing nuances around extreme weather risks, vulnerability, adaptation, and disaster risk reduction; expressing scientific uncertainty without undermining accessibility of key findings; and difficulties interpreting mathematical aspects of EEA results. On the basis of our findings, we provide recommendations to help address these challenges when communicating EEA results beyond the climate science community. We conclude that EEA can help catalyze important dialogues about the links between extreme weather and human-driven climate change. (date: 20/04/2021)

Climate  extremeevents  Communication  

TC - On the attribution of industrial-era glacier mass loss to anthropogenic climate change

Around the world, small ice caps and glaciers have been losing mass and retreating since the start of the industrial era. Estimates are that this has contributed approximately 30 % of the observed sea-level rise over the same period. It is important to understand the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic components of this mass loss. One recent study concluded that the best estimate of the magnitude of the anthropogenic mass loss over the industrial era was only 25 % of the total, implying a predominantly natural cause. Here we show that the anthropogenic fraction of the total mass loss of a given glacier depends only on the magnitudes and rates of the natural and anthropogenic components of climate change and on the glacier's response time. We consider climate change over the past millennium using synthetic scenarios, palaeoclimate reconstructions, numerical climate simulations, and instrumental observations. We use these climate histories to drive a glacier model that can represent a wide range of glacier response times, and we evaluate the magnitude of the anthropogenic mass loss relative to the observed mass loss. The slow cooling over the preceding millennium followed by the rapid anthropogenic warming of the industrial era means that, over the full range of response times for small ice caps and glaciers, the central estimate of the magnitude of the anthropogenic mass loss is essentially 100 % of the observed mass loss. The anthropogenic magnitude may exceed 100 % in the event that, without anthropogenic climate forcing, glaciers would otherwise have been gaining mass. Our results bring assessments of the attribution of glacier mass loss into alignment with assessments of others aspects of climate change, such as global-mean temperature. Furthermore, these results reinforce the scientific and public understanding of centennial-scale glacier retreat as an unambiguous consequence of human activity. (date: 20/04/2021)

Climate  Cryosphere  

2020: Climate indicators reveal worsening climate - Met Office

Globally, 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, despite a cooling La Niña event. The global average temperature was about 1.2° Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level. The six years since 2015 have been the warmest on record. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record. (date: 20/04/2021)

Climate  Science  

The question of life, the universe and event attribution | Nature Climate Change

Event attribution, the study of the anthropogenic influence on individual extreme weather events, has been around for about 15 years. * Interest in the role of increasing greenhouse gas emissions on extreme weather has existed much longer * relating emissions to one-off events was only posed in 2003 in the investigation of a summer heatwave that hit France, Italy, Switzerland and neighbouring areas during August 2003. That summer was the hottest at that time since 1500 AD, and the study concluded that anthropogenic emissions at least doubled the risk of heat at that magnitude. * Framing and conditioning is important, e.g. are you asking if heat wave is significantly hotter in natural climate vs real (maybe not 7degC heat vs 2degC climate change) however probability 1-in-20 event to 1-in-10 event is significant. * Consider dependence - e.g. fruit fly might evolve quickly enough ... tortoise can't adapt quickly enough. * Vulnerability-centred attribution: ‘the vulnerability v was exposed to a hazard h that was x times more likely because of anthropogenic emissions’ (or ‘y larger’). (date: 19/04/2021)

Climate  Science  extremeevents  attribution  

Selection of Bias Correction Methods to Assess the Impact of Climate Change on Flood Frequency Curves

Climate projections provided by EURO-CORDEX predict changes in annual maximum series of daily rainfall in the future in some areas of Spain because of climate change. Precipitation and temperature projections supplied by climate models do not usually fit exactly the statistical properties of the observed time series in the control period. Bias correction methods are used to reduce such errors. This paper seeks to find the most adequate bias correction techniques for temperature and precipitation projections that minimizes the errors between observations and climate model simulations in the control period. Errors in flood quantiles are considered to identify the best bias correction techniques, as flood quantiles are used for hydraulic infrastructure design and safety assessment. In addition, this study aims to understand how the expected changes in precipitation extremes and temperature will affect the catchment response in flood events in the future. Hydrological modelling is required to characterize rainfall-runoff processes adequately in a changing climate, in order to estimate flood changes expected in the future. Four catchments located in the central-western part of Spain have been selected as case studies. The HBV hydrological model has been calibrated in the four catchments by using the observed precipitation, temperature and streamflow data available on a daily scale. Rainfall has been identified as the most significant input to the model, in terms of its influence on flood response. The quantile mapping polynomial correction has been found to be the best bias correction method for precipitation. A general reduction in flood quantiles is expected in the future, smoothing the increases identified in precipitation quantiles by the reduction of soil moisture content in catchments, due to the expected increase in temperature and decrease in mean annual precipitations. Keywords: bias correction; quantile mapping; climate change; floods; CORDEX (date: 31/03/2021)

Climate  Science  Modelling  Hydrology  

Climate Action Tracker

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) is an independent scientific analysis produced by two research organisations tracking climate action since 2009. We track progress towards the globally agreed aim of holding warming well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. (date: 08/03/2021)

Climate  Emissions  Science  

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