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New climate warnings in old permafrost

by Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News 


Highlights

  • A new study in Science Advances says that only a few degrees of warming is needed for large scale permafrost thawing, which would release methane and carbon dioxide that has been trapped in the frost 
  • The permafrost regions of the arctic hold more carbon dioxide than the Earth’s atmosphere. If this carbon is released rapidly in large amounts it will accelerate climate change 
  • This tipping point due to permafrost melt has been seen before in other warming phases of the planet’s history
  • It is uncertain how much of this released carbon could be sequestered by peatlands and new arctic shrubs that have grown due to the warming of that region
  • The melting of permafrost is impacting indigenous peoples in the arctic, as the infrastructure they rely on is built on the collapsing permafrost

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement policies for massive greenhouse gas emissions reductions and begin a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere within ten years. With 9 of 15 global tipping points now active, what we do today can either unleash an inhospitable hothouse Earth or secure a safe climate well into the future. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16102020/permafrost-study-arctic-ocean-climate-change

New studies show drought and heat waves will kill most trees alive today

By Bob Berwyn, Insideclimate News


Highlights

  • Tim Brodribb, a plant physiologist at the University of Tasmania, published a study that helps identify how trees succumb to heat and dryness
  • The study shows that if climate change continues to persist, most living trees will not be able to survive the warmer climate of the Earth in 40 years
  • Though other research has concluded that more carbon dioxide would result in more plant growth, the negative impacts of warming and drying are already outpacing the fertilization benefits of increased carbon dioxide.
  • Bridribb says the time for action is now:

“We’re at a point where we can see the process, we can predict it. It’s time to start making some noise about it. We can’t afford to sit on our hands.”

  • Since more droughts and higher temperatures are expected, forests globally will continue to be severely impacted with tree deaths
  • The decimation of forests would result in more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causing an increase in warming, as well as a loss of animal habitats
  • This new information could damper efforts to plant more trees as a method to sequester carbon since it may become too hot for seeds to sprout 
  • Trees that have survived climate changes and bug infestations will be important in creating new resilient forests

Implementing bold and equitable policies that will catalyze carbon sequestration through building healthy soils and restoring healthy habitats will be key to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and net negative emissions by 2035. Endorse The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform today.


Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24042020/forest-trees-climate-change-deforestation?

Tropical forests losing ability to absorb CO2, study says

by Daisy Dunne, Carbon Brief, January 27, 2020


Highlights

Tropical forests are losing their ability to capture carbon dioxide from the air due to deforestation. 

  • The boreal forests found in cool temperature, high mountain ranges are sequestering more CO2 than tropical forests due to the rise of the CO2 Fertilization Effect
  • Roughly 30% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are absorbed by the land, creating a “carbon sink” 
  • Carbon was lost in tropical forest regions due to lack of rain

The Climate Center aims to sequester 100+ MMT of additional CO2e per year by 2030 through healthy soils and vegetation management.


Read more: https://www.carbonbrief.org/tropical-forests-losing-ability-to-absorb-co2-study-says