La Niña climate event is under way, heralding a colder and stormier winter than usual across the northern hemisphere, but 2020 remains likely to be one of the warmest years on record. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has declared La Niña event – a cooling of surface ocean water along the Pacific coast of the South American tropics – to help governments and humanitarian agencies plan for extreme weather events around the world.
“This world is threatened. We really saw how the ice is disappearing,” said Markus Rex, leader of the largest-ever Arctic expedition, at a press conference Monday. Researchers involved in the expedition called MOSAiC — Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate — returned on the German vessel, the Polarstern, which spent more than a year at sea.
This September was the hottest on record across the globe, scientists have found. Surface temperatures worldwide were 0.05C higher than 2019, making it the hottest September since records began, according to the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). The overall increase saw warmer temperatures in the Siberian Arctic, where this year the ice extent melted faster than normal due to forest fires in the wider region.
At least 14m tonnes of plastic pieces less than 5mm wide are likely sitting at the bottom of the world’s oceans, according to an estimate based on new research. Analysis of ocean sediments from as deep as 3km suggests there could be more than 30 times as much plastic at the bottom of the world’s ocean than there is floating at the surface.
Arctic sea ice has melted to its second lowest level on record as a result of heat waves and forest fires, scientists have said. On 15 September, ice in the Arctic Ocean measured 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometres), the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) said. This is the second lowest summer melt since satellite records began in 1979.
After multiple California officials confronted President Donald Trump Monday about ignoring climate change’s role in the raging west coast wildfires, the president dismissed their concerns and raised skepticism about the “science” that has concluded the Earth is warming. “It’ll start getting cooler,” Trump said in response to California Natural Resource Secretary Wade Crawfoot, who pressed the president to acknowledge the fact untamed vegetation is not solely responsible for the wildfires in the Golden State.
The rate at which humanity is consuming the Earth’s resources declined sharply this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to researchers. Consequently, Earth Overshoot Day, the point at which human consumption exceeds the amount nature can regenerate in a year, has moved back by over three weeks from 29 July in 2019 to 22 August this year.
Most of the Arctic’s polar bear population will struggle to survive by 2100 due to melting sea ice, a new study claims. A loss of the ice caused by global warming will force the animals on to land, where they must rely on fat reserves due to a lack of food, researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada said.
The prolonged heatwave in Siberia from January to June, which pushed overall temperatures 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than normal, would have been “almost impossible” if not for human-caused climate change, a new study has found. Temperatures in Siberia have been above average since the beginning of the year, with the Russian town of Verkhoyansk recording a temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in June — a record temperature for the Arctic.
A third of the global population — 3.5 billion people — could be living in temperatures inhospitable to human life in the next 50 years because of climate change, a study released Monday found. By 2070, billions could be living in a climate currently found only in a select few places, like Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where the average temperature is 86 F (30 C).