Carbon Emission Red Alert
Leading climate scientists warn that the promised moves to greener technologies to supply the world’s energy needs will not happen fast enough to stave off the climate catastrophes predicted if the world warms more than 2 degrees Celsius.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says nations must cut their carbon emissions in half within the next 10 years to keep global heating within the 1.5-degree “safe” threshold. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the warning a red alert for our planet, adding that “it shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change.”
An iceberg more than 20 times the size of Manhattan and nearly 500 feet thick has broken off from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf. The British Antarctic Survey said it was the largest calving there since 1917 but cannot be directly linked to climate change.
Warning signs of the split began last November when a chasm in the ice appeared and ripped toward another major crack 21 miles away. In January, the chasm began to expand in that direction at about a half-mile a day until the separation occurredrcWhile it is a huge chunk of ice, scientists say it is dwarfed by Iceberg A68a, which broke off from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in 2017 and recently threatened to collide.
Greenhouse gas emissions around the world exceed pre-pandemic lockdown levels
After declining sharply last spring, global emissions of greenhouse gases ended 2020 by exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to International Energy Agency (IEA).
With a screeching halt of the movement of people last spring, as many countries imposed strict restrictions on travel, socializing and commuting to slow the spread of the coronavirus, emissions in April during the peak period of the lockdown were down 17 percent from a year ago, the report noted.
Overall, global carbon emissions from energy use dropped 8 percent in 2020. Yale School of the Environment says that’s a decline equal to two-and-a-half years of energy sector emissions.
However, by the end of the year, emissions spiked. This week, the IEA, a Paris-based intergovernmental agency, released a new report that shows emissions from the production and use of oil, gas and coal were 2 percent higher in December 2020 than a year earlier.