In a clear sign of continuing long-term climate change caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been confirmed as the three warmest years on record. 2016 still holds the global record, whilst 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño, which can boost global annual temperatures.
A consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organization of five leading international datasets showed that the global average surface temperature in 2017 was approximately 1.1° Celsius above the pre-industrial era.
The year 2016 remains the warmest year on record (1.2°C above pre-industrial era). Global average temperatures in 2017 and 2015 were both 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. The two years are virtually indistinguishable because the difference is less than one hundredth of a degree, which is less than the statistical margin of error.
"The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “Seventeen of the 18 warmest years on record have all been during this century, and the degree of warming during the past three years has been exceptional. Arctic warmth has been especially pronounced and this will have profound and long-lasting repercussions on sea levels, and on weather patterns in other parts of the world.”
The globally averaged temperature in 2017 was about 0.46°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average (14.3°C). This 30-year baseline is used by national meteorological and hydrological services to assess the averages and variability of key climate parameters, such as temperature, precipitation and wind, which are important for climate sensitive sectors such as water management, energy, agriculture and health.
In addition to the global warming due to rising greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, the climate also has a naturally occurring variability due to phenomena such as El Niño, which has a warming influence, and La Niña, which has a cooling influence. The strong 2015/2016 El Niño contributed to the record temperature in 2016. By contrast, 2017 started with a very weak La Niña and also finished with a weak La Niña.
“Temperatures tell only a small part of the story. The warmth in 2017 was accompanied by extreme weather in many countries around the world. The United States of America had its most expensive year ever in terms of weather and climate disasters, whilst other countries saw their development slowed or reversed by tropical cyclones, floods and drought,” said Mr Taalas.
WMO will issue its full Statement on the State of the Climate in 2017 in March. This report will provide a comprehensive overview of temperature variability and trends, high-impact events, and long-term indicators of climate change such as increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, sea level rise and ocean acidification. The final statement will include information submitted by a wide range of United Nations agencies on human, socio-economic and environmental impacts as part of a drive to provide a more comprehensive, United Nations-wide policy brief for decision makers on the interplay between weather, climate and water and the United Nations global development goals.
The three conventional surface temperature data sets are NOAA’s NOAAGlobalTemp data set, Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit HadCRUT.188.8.131.52 data set and NASA GISS’s GISTEMP data set. They use measurements of air temperature over land and sea-water temperature measurements over oceans to estimate temperature anomalies around the globe. The reanalyses are the ERA-Interim of the European Centre for Medium Weather Forecasts and the JRA-55 of the Japan Meteorological Agency. Despite the very different approach, the estimates of global average temperatures produced by these reanalyses are in good agreement with the conventional surface temperature datasets
WMO now uses 1981-2010 as a baseline for computing Temperature variations at monthly, seasonal and annual time-scales. This replaces the 1961-1990 baseline used previously. The 1981-2010 period is also recommended by WMO to compute the climatological standard normal for operational climate monitoring as it is more representative of current climatic conditions. It allows a consistent reporting of information from satellite and reanalysis systems, some of which do not extend back to 1960, alongside with traditional data sets based on surface-based-observations managed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of the 191 WMO Member States and territories. For global average temperatures, the 1981-2010 period is approximately 0.31±0.02°C warmer than that of 1961-1990. The change in the baselines has no influence on trend analysis.
WMO uses the period 1880-1900 as a reference period for pre-industrial conditions allowing early instrumental observations to be used for estimating pre-industrial temperature conditions.
2017 is set to be in top three hottest years, with record-breaking extreme weather
It is very likely that 2017 will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes and floods, debilitating heatwaves and drought. Long-term indicators of climate change such as increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level rise and ocean acidification continue unabated. Arctic sea ice coverage remains below average and previously stable Antarctic sea ice extent was at or near a record low.
The World Meteorological Organization’s provisional Statement on the State of the Climate says the average global temperature from January to September 2017 was approximately 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era. As a result of a powerful El Niño, 2016 is likely to remain the warmest year on record, with 2017 and 2015 being second and/or third. 2013-2017 is set to be the warmest five-year period on record.
The WMO statement – which covers January to September - was released on the opening day of the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn. It includes information submitted by a wide range of UN agencies on human, socio-economic and environmental impacts as part of a drive to provide a more comprehensive, UN-wide policy brief for decision makers on the interplay between weather, climate and water and the UN global goals.
“The past three years have all been in the top three years in terms of temperature records. This is part of a long term warming trend,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50 degrees Celsius in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa."
“Many of these events – and detailed scientific studies will determine exactly how many – bear the tell-tale sign of climate change caused by increased greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities,” he said.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change which is hosting the Bonn conference, said: “These findings underline the rising risks to people, economies and the very fabric of life on Earth if we fail to get on track with the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement”.
“There is unprecedented and very welcome momentum among governments, but also cities, states, territories, regions, business and civil society. Bonn 2017 needs to be the launch pad towards the next, higher level of ambition by all nations and all sectors of society as we look to de-risk the future and maximize the opportunities from a fresh, forward-looking and sustainable development path, “she added.
Extreme events affect the food security of millions of people, especially the most vulnerable. A review of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) found that, in developing countries, agriculture (crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry) accounted for 26% of all the damage and loss associated with medium to large-scale storms, floods and drought.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global health impacts of heatwaves depend not only on the overall warming trend, but on how heatwaves are distributed across where people live. Recent research shows that the overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with around 30% of the world’s population now living in climatic conditions that deliver prolonged extreme heatwaves. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of vulnerable people exposed to heatwave events has increased by approximately 125 million.
In 2016, 23.5 million people were displaced during weather-related disasters. Consistent with previous years, the majority of these internal displacements were associated with floods or storms and occurred in the Asia-Pacific region. In Somalia, more than 760 000 internal displacements have been reported, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook indicates that adverse consequences are concentrated in countries with relatively hot climates and which are home to close to 60% of current global population.
Banner and thumbnail photo credit: Daryll Peter Griffith/Photo4Climate
Twelve big cities to buy zero emissions buses, extend green areas
OSLO (Reuters) - Twelve major cities including London, Paris, Los Angeles and Cape Town promised to buy only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and to make major areas free of fossil fuel emissions by 2030 to protect the environment.
The 12, with a combined population of almost 80 million, said they would promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport under a joint “fossil-fuel-free streets declaration”.
Many cities are setting tougher environmental goals than governments to limit air pollution and to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“Air pollution caused by petrol and diesel vehicles is killing millions of people in cities around the world,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a statement. “The same emissions are also causing climate change.”
The mayors, part of the C40 group of cities which is seeking to slow global warming, said they would “procure only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and ensure that major areas of their city are zero emissions by 2030.”
Other cities signing up were Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle and Auckland.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti shows off a skateboard he will offer to London Mayor Sadiq Khan during a two-day summit of the C40 Cities initiative, a network of cities making plans to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions along levels agreed upon in Paris two years ago, in Paris, France, October 23, 2017. Photo Credits: Reuters/Charles Platiau
Zero emissions areas could mean more parks, pedestrian areas or roads where only electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles could enter to make cities more attractive places to live. They did not define how big “major areas” would be.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, for instance, said the city was aiming to add 165 hectares (408 acres) of green space in coming years, extend bike lanes and cut the number of trips by private vehicles by a fifth.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (R) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan (L) attend a bilateral talk during a two-day summit of the C40 Cities initiative, a network of cities making plansto cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions along levels agreed upon in Paris two years ago, in Paris, France, October 23, 2017. Photo credits: Reuters/Charles Platiau
Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess said the plan demonstrated “the power of cities to lead on climate.”
C40 estimated that there were 59,000 buses of all types operating on the streets of the 12 cities.
An electric bus that reads 'zero emissions' is seen on a day of traffic restrictions from the Mexico City's government campaign to support anti-pollution measures in Mexico City, Mexico, May 5, 2016. Photo Credits:Reuters/Edgard Garrido
Among them, London says it has the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, with more than 2,500 hybrid electric buses made by China’s BYD and Britain’s Alexander Dennis.
In an expanding market, other makers include Volvo, Mercedes-Benz Daimler and Proterra Inc.
Caroline Watson, an expert in low-emission vehicles at C40, told Reuters the declaration was meant as “a clear commitment in writing to raise the bar and give a signal to the private sector” to encourage greener investments in cities.
Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Toby Chopra
Banner and thumbnail photo credits: Reuters/Charles Platiau. From L to R: Mauricio Rodas, mayor of Quito, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, former New York City Mayor and founder of Bloomberg L.P. Michael Bloomberg, Barcelona's Mayor Ada Colau and Milan's mayor Giuseppe Sala pose together during a two-day summit of the C40 Cities initiative, a network of cities making plans to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions along levels agreed upon in Paris two years ago, in Paris, France, October 23, 2017.
Cooling For All: A new initiative to address growing challenge of providing cooling solutions for all
Sustainable Energy for All reveals a new initiative to spur action and political leadership in increasing access to integrated cooling solutions. The announcement follows record-breaking temperatures recorded last month in Iran of 129 degrees.
As global temperatures reach record highs, Connect4Climate's partner Sustainable Energy for All announced a new initiative to identify the challenges and opportunities of providing access to affordable, sustainable cooling solutions for all.
The new Cooling for All initiative will focus on how we embed growing cooling demands that can reach everyone within a clean energy transition, and in turn, support faster progress to achieve the goals of the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment* agreed last year in Rwanda.
Cooling solutions are an essential need for everyday life – from cold supply chains for fresh produce, safe storage of life saving vaccines and medicines, to safe work and educational environments that increase productivity – cooling needs are not just an air conditioner, but a necessity that puts the focus on super-efficient technologies and innovation to meet our needs.
With populations rising, growing cooling needs risk creating a significant increase in energy demand, that if not managed through super-efficient technologies or clean sources, will cause further climate change impacts and a rise in emissions.
The work of the initiative will therefore create a direct intersect between three internationally agreed goals for the first time: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment* – with one of the key goals of the amendment to limit consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used widely in air conditioners and refrigerators.
An important part of the initiative that will support greater, more informed action, will be the Cooling for All Global Panel. The panel will bring together a group of high-level leaders from government, academia, civil society, business and finance leaders who will together better understand the challenges and opportunities of providing access to cooling solutions for all across the world.
The panel will be co-chaired by two governments who are dealing with issues of cooling access in their own countries. The co-chairs will lead the groups work in developing a comprehensive report that offers the evidence, suggested solutions and understanding of how we accelerate the uptake of cooling solutions to create sustainable cooling access for all, including the poorest countries and their citizens who are often disproportionality affected.
Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), who will act as secretariat for the global panel, said: “As the world grows dangerously warm, access to cooling will become the difference between life and death in some parts of the world that suffer from extreme heat. A clean energy transition is already underway globally that can provide affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all. We must now incorporate cooling for all needs within this transition, while keeping us on track to reach our global climate and energy goals.”
Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All in an interview for Connect4Climate. Photo Credits: Max Thabiso Edkins
Investing in more efficient cooling solutions provides a great business opportunity for the private sector, and mobilizing them to meet the goals of the Kigali Amendment and reduction in HFCs is a priority. However, estimated costs show investments in super-efficient technologies would be offset by gains in energy efficiency, and could in the long-term create potential savings across business operations.
The Cooling for All work is being funded by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program. Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Executive Director, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, commented: “We need cooling to work, rest, play and worship. In short, life depends on cooling, especially in a warming world. Yet not everyone has access to cooling. That has to change. Which is why the new SEforAll initiative on Cooling for All is so important. It's time to reap the benefits of cooling for people across the world, whilst limiting the impact on the climate. We can't keep cooling down by warming the planet up.”
The initiative will convene its first panel meeting this September in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC, where co-chairs and panel members will be announced. The panel’s report will be launched in 2018.
The Montreal Protocol is a multilateral environmental agreement that is successfully preventing massive damage to human health and the environment from excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun by phasing out the production and consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer. On 15 October 2016, in Kigali, the parties to the Montreal Protocol reached agreement at their 28th Meeting to phase down consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are frequently used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). Although HFCs are not ODSs, they are powerful greenhouse gases that have significant global warming potentials (GWPs). The Kigali Amendment is a binding international agreement, or treaty, which is intended to create rights and obligations in international law.
The photo essay on the following pages turns its focus on wind energy and reflects on its enormous power for helping us keep the planet fit and healthy for coming generations.
When the sun set on Friday, January 20, the world had changed. Its most powerful person was now a man who does not believe that climate change is caused by human activity and has publicly stated that global warming is a hoax. Climate researchers and campaigners ended the day in shock and as darkness fell, further development of renewable energy, wind power included, felt nowhere near as secure as it had been.
The photo essay on the following pages turns its focus on wind energy and reflects on its enormous power for helping us keep the planet fit and healthy for coming generations.
Lifted effortlessly into the air, a plastic bag swirls above a basketball court in central Copenhagen. The wind energy keeping it aloft is roughly half to that used by an iPhone on standby.
Our plastic bag has a mass m 0.01kg and has a vertically projected area of
25cm25cm = 1/16m2
The gravitational force the wind must overcome to keep the bag in the air is
F = g*m = 9.82* 0.01 ≈0.1 [N]
We assume the bag is round and its drag coefficient Cd is about 0.5.
Apply the calculation for drag to find the wind speed (in metres per second) in a vertical direction needed to keep the plastic bag in the air
0.1 = ½*1*u^2*0.5*1/16
u = 2.5 m/s
The required updraft in the wind to keep the bag in the air is about 2.5 m/s.
In terms of energy that is equivalent to a power of
F*u = 0.1[N] * 2.5 [m/s] = 0.25 Watt.
An iPhone 6 on stand-by uses about 0.6 Watt
In the lull after Storm Urd, which raged over Denmark on December 26, 2016, twilight descends over a tree blown over by the high winds. Already its branches are becoming partially trapped in the still frozen waters of Utterslev Marsh. The energy in the wind which felled the tree could keep a Tesla S running for 42 hours at 100 kph.
Presuming that the surface area of the tree is similar to that of the rotor swept area A [m2]of a medium scale wind turbine, the tree would absorb energy [Watt] at a rate equal to:
P = Cp* ½ rho*U^3*A
During the storm, the strongest gust was measured at 37.8 m/s (84.5 mph). Had the tree fallen in winds of 21 m/s while standing for one hour, the average energy absorbed would have equalled 1 MWh.
A Tesla S at one tenth of its maximum capacity of 236 kW (1000kW/23.6kW) would keep moving for 42 hours.
The sun rises over a changed landscape. A tidal surge caused by the previous night’s storm leaves rows of small boats tied to invisible underwater jetties in Ise Fjord. Together with neighbouring Roskilde Fjord it makes up the largest fjord system on Denmark’s main island of Zealand. The force of the storm, equivalent to about fourteen hours energy consumption in the city of Aarhus, raised the fjord’s water level to 1.59 metres above normal.
Ise Fjord is nearly 50 kilometres long and has a total area of about 450 square kilometres.
E= m g H [Joule] Pr m2: 100 dm * 15.9 dm *1*9.82 m/s^2*1.59 m = 24,826 Joule/m2
450 km2 = 450 e6 m2
E pot =11.2 TJ = 11.2 e3 G Joule
A Dane uses just 6,122 kWh a year. With a year made up of 8760 hours, that is just under 1 kW of power per citizen
6122 kWh/8760 hours = 700 Watt
Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, with a population of nearly 320,000 therefore uses on average 700 W *319 680 people = 223 MW. One hour’s consumption of electricity in Aarhus corresponds to
223 MW * 3600 [s] = 0.806 TJ
The energy behind the rise of the water level in Ise Fjord could keep Aarhus supplied with energy for
Solar lamps brightened the coastal villagers' lives in Bangladesh
Sundarbans coastal people of Bangladesh are living in the dark. Villages are enveloped in darkness after the sunset. Women use kerosene lamps or have to cook food on daylight only. Students have to skip their study hours at night. Why? Most of the people in this area live below the poverty line. Their life and livelihood fully depend on the Sundarbans resources. They collect fishes, crabs, shrimp fry, honey, golpata (nypa frutican), and others, from the Sundarbans mangrove forest.
For solving these problems and in a step forward to help the community, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) has been working to promote clean energy at the non-electrified Sundarbans coastal area in Bangladesh with the help of Korea Green Foundation (KGF). To light up villages at night, an initiative is underway to distribute different types of 2800 Solar Lamps and 504 solar home systems among Sundarbans coastal area families and install three solar stations. These solar lights will decrease the need to purchase kerosene, which is associated with respiratory diseases and global warning.
Three solar stations have been installed in our project sites from where approximately 3000 people are directly and indirectly benefited
In previous times, 80% of the community was Kerosene dependent but now this percentage has been reduced to 10% and expenditure for light reduced to 30-200 (initially it was 200-600)
A studio, a photocopy shop, and a battery charging service (Community Digital Center) have been established in the solar charging station, therefore, the community does not need to travel 7-8 kilometers to get studio and photocopy related services
One Union i.e. more than 17 villages are now enlighted by the solar energy
Two schools and one Union Parishad building have been electrified due to the electricity produced at the solar station. Moreover, multimedia class has been introduced in the school
Renewable energy education programs are being conducted in three project sites among students and community people to let them inspire on renewable energy usage
The students and the community are getting solar lamp and battery facilities at a very cheap rate with nominal security money and a low-cost rental fee
People can rent 30-130 ampere batteries as regular or irregular customers from the solar charging station
Regular customers will pay the rent monthly, the irregular customers will pay on a daily basis. All kinds of batteries rent are cheaper than the local market price
Solar lamp and batteries can be charged at a lower rent in the solar charging station in comparison to the local market
Photography, photocopy, laminating and printing are available in “Community Digital Center” at very low-cost prices
E-mail facility, online circular download, online job application, different internet facilities and data transfer in memory card are also available in “Community Digital Center” at a lower price than the local market