Environment

Norway’s $650 billion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s biggest investors, has started asking companies it invests in to minimise their impact on rainforests.

It is hoped this will mean Norway stops investing and pulls out of many companies that are damaging rainforests.

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A new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA has found that climate model projections that show a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise over the coming decades.

Scientists analyzed how well 16 leading sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in Earth’s tropics and subtropics.

Current climate models predict temperature increases in this century, if current carbon dioxide emission levels continue unchanged, at between 3 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 19th century temperatures. The average prediction is 5 degrees. If this new study proves accurate, that would mean temperature increases on the upper end of the 3-to-8 degree range if nothing changes. The greater the temperature rise, the greater the effect on sea level rise, heat waves, droughts and other effects

The world’s major global climate models are all based on long-established physical laws known to guide the atmosphere. However, because these relationships are challenging to translate into software, each model differs slightly in its portrayal of global climate. In particular, some processes, such as those associated with clouds, are too small to be represented properly. Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.

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