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As the Amazon burns, it seems like everyone is in search of someone to blame. Nearly 100,000 fires have been detected, but who or what is to blame? (Sarah Cahlan, Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)
Deforestation and other fast-moving changes in the Amazon threaten to turn parts of the rainforest into savanna, devastate wildlife and release billions of tons carbon into the atmosphere, two renowned experts warned Friday.
“The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we,” Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University and Carlos Nobre of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, both of whom have studied the world’s largest rainforest for decades, wrote in an editorial in the journal Science Advances. “Today, we stand exactly in a moment of destiny: The tipping point is here, it is now.” SOURCE
Encavis hybrid solar and wind energy installation in Germany
Global consulting firm Wood Mackenzie has released a new report with the snappy title “Thinking global energy transitions: The what, if, how and when.” It claims 2035 will be the year when the world’s transition to renewable energy reaches critical mass. That year will be the “point of singularity,” the time when the world moves away from oil and gas to enter the age of renewables.
In an interview with PV Magazine, Christian Breyer, professor of solar economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland, puts the need for urgency in stark terms.
“We already have no other appropriate options than this 100% renewables pathway. This is not science fiction but a real world scenario that must be taken into serious consideration, unless we don’t want to commit a collective suicide. But this is not only a matter of survival, it is also the cheapest way to shape our energy future, as solar and renewables have the potential to reduce the LCOE of global power supply from €70/MWh in 2015 to between 50 and €55/MWh by 2050.
“The easiest part of this trajectory will be the switch to renewables of the power sector, while the hard job will have to be done for the transport, industry and chemical sectors. In the transport sector, marine and aviation will also have to go through electrification, as economically they only work with low-cost electricity, and this will come mainly from renewables in the future, particularly from solar.”
Professor Breyer concludes his interview with this thought. “A world energy system based exclusively on renewable energies and an almost fully electrified world are our only chances to avoid further disasters. This is absolutely doable, and at lower costs than today.” MORE
“The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming—it’s too late for there to be no effect.”
A fjord is seen from the air in southwest Greenland, where new research shows ice is melting even more rapidly that scientists previously feared. (Photo: NASA/Maria-Jose Viñas)
While climate scientists have repeatedly raised alarm about the how human-caused global warming is driving “off the charts” ice loss in Greenland that will contribute to devastating sea level rise, a new analysis of a less studied region has ramped up those concerns, revealing that Greenland’s ice sheet is melting even faster than previously thought.
“We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point,” warned lead author Michael Bevis, a geodynamics professor at Ohio State University. “We’re going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future.”
Researchers often look at ice loss from large glaciers in Greenland’s southeast and northwest regions. However, this study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that the most sustained ice loss during the decade following 2003 was in the island’s southwest region.
“Whatever this was, it couldn’t be explained by glaciers, because there aren’t many there,” noted Bevis. “It had to be the surface mass—the ice was melting inland from the coastline.” MORE