Climate & Warming

19.3 million displaced by disasters but “mother nature not to blame” says new report

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Displacement related to disasters worldwide in 2014

In the last seven years, an estimated one person every second has been displaced by a disaster, with 19.3 million people forced to flee their homes in 2014 alone. Disaster displacement is on the rise, and as policy leaders worldwide advance towards the adoption of a post-2015 global agenda, the time has never been better to address it. Read more »

Rapid decline in bumblebee species caused by climate change, study finds

Bumblebee (UFZ)

In the most comprehensive analysis of climate change impacts on critical pollinators, researchers have found that rapid declines in bumblebee species across North America and Europe have a strong link to climate change. The study was published in Science. It was conducted by scientists from University of Ottawa and other North American institutions. Scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), as one of the major partners from Europe, were responsible for coordinating basic data collection. Read more »

Climate change may knock seafood off the menu

Pink salmon is one of the species jeopardised by the impact of carbon dioxide emissions. (Image: NOAA Fisheries via

Pink salmon – the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, and a supper table mainstay in many parts of the world – may be swimming towards trouble. And they are not the only dish likely to disappear from the menu. Mussels, oysters, clam and scallop could all become scarcer and more expensive as the seas become more acid. And as the world’s waters warm, fish will start to migrate away from their normal grounds at an ever-increasing rate. Read more »

Partially logged rainforests could be emitting more carbon than previously thought

Dead wood in Borneo. (Picture © Marion Pfeifer/Imperial College London)

Global carbon emissions from forests could have been underestimated because calculations have not fully accounted for the dead wood from logging. Living trees take in carbon dioxide whereas dead and decaying ones release it. Understanding the proportion of both is important for determining whether a large area of forest is a source of carbon dioxide, or a ‘sink’ that helps to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Read more »

Sardines move North due to ocean warming

Sardines, anchovies, mackerel and horse mackerel have increased their presence in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Sardines, anchovies and mackerels play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, as well as having a high commercial value. However, the warming of waters makes them vanish from their usual seas and migrate north, as confirmed by a pioneering study analysing 57,000 fish censuses from 40 years. The researchers warn that coastal towns dependent on these fishery resources must adapt their economies. Read more »

University of Glasgow is the first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels

People + Planet network have launched over 50 Fossil Free campaigns across the UK involving over 15,000 students

The University of Glasgow has become the first university in Europe to divest from the fossil fuel industry. After a year of student campaigning the University Court voted on 8th October 2014 to begin divesting £19 million from the fossil fuel industry and freeze new investments across its entire endowment of £128 million. This is a major victory for the UK and Europe's, rapidly growing fossil fuel divestment movement. Read more »

Climate-smart agriculture and new approaches to food systems needed to cope with climate change

Overcoming climate change is central to achieving a sustainable future for the planet's growing population, and food security must lie at the heart of that effort, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in a speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York this September (2014). Read more »

Sharing the Climate Change burden: new study suggests how global carbon cuts could be fair

The UK and other developed nations will have to make far bigger cuts in their carbon emissions than currently planned to meet their fair share for tackling climate change, a new study has revealed. Read more »

Groups with 11m supporters call on David Cameron to lead at UN Climate Summit

The UK’s leading environmental and development groups have been joined by the IKEA Group, the National Trust, Unilever and the Women’s Institute in calling on David Cameron to speak out at the UN Climate Summit in New York. Read more »

New research identifies the areas of the Earth that are high priorities for conservation in the face of climate change

Europe is particularly vulnerable, as it has the lowest fraction of its land area, only four per cent, of any continent in ‘refugia’ – areas of biological diversity that support many species where natural environmental conditions remain relatively constant during times of great environmental change. The refugia that do exist in Europe are mostly in Scandinavia and Scotland.

The biggest refugia are in the Amazon, the Congo basin, the boreal forests of Russia, the Artic and the Australian outback. Read more »

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