Next week, world leaders will meet in Paris where a global climate deal is expected to be agreed. Leaders are under pressure to ensure that they conclude a deal that meets the demands of science and reduces greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to keep global warming below 1.50C. Scientists agree that this is the upper limit for the survival for many communities and ecosystems, particularly coral reefs, Arctic ice regimes, and Pacific Island states among many others. The urgency of concluding an ambitious deal was underscored with recent news that global temperatures had risen to 10C above pre-industrial levels, reaffirming scientists’ predictions that 2015 will be the hottest year in recorded history.
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said:“Science is telling us that we need to act quickly on climate change and Paris is our moment. We need a strong climate plan that will cut carbon, promote renewable energy, provide promised finance and protect powerful carbon sink ecosystems like forests and the ocean. Only strong action in Paris can help meet the scale and pace needed to avoid runaway climate change and secure a safer future for us all.”
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, said: “We are now in a race against time and the relentless logic of climate change. Everyone understands that and our sense is that all parties want an agreement. They now need to turn difficult issues into concrete decisions that match the demands of science and are fair to everyone. Actions before 2020 – especially in growing renewable energy and energy efficiency, and providing finance and technology – are essential if we are to keep global warming to less than 1.50C,” she said.
Tasneem Essop, head of WWF’s delegation to COP21 said: “There can be no compromise on the level of ambition we need to address the climate crisis. The UN climate negotiations in Paris will be the most important global moment for progress on climate action since COP15 in Copenhagen (2009). So it has to set us up for the next phase of our work. We need decisions that will set the current level of efforts as the floor so that climate action will get stronger and stronger on a regular basis to close any remaining gaps in ambition.”
The climate agreement that comes out of the Paris talks needs to be fair, ambitious and transformational with science and equity at its heart. Governments need to act with urgency to ensure that emissions peak before 2020, deliver the promised US$100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, and bring down emissions through concrete actions by governments, cities, private sector and individual citizens.
The Paris meeting is an important opportunity to protect the vulnerable people and natural systems that are disproportionately impacted by climate change. To be effective, the climate deal should include a global goal for adaptation and provide strong solutions to address loss and damage due to climate change.
“Political leaders represent ordinary people across the world who are facing the devastating impacts of climate change. They must be bold and decisive in putting the world on a path that is safer for people and planet,” said Smith.
Source: WWF press release
Will we someday colonize space? Will our children visit other planets? To achieve goals like these, we’ll need to crack one crucial challenge: how to feed ourselves for long periods away from Earth.
Venus’ atmosphere is as mysterious as it is dense and scorching. For generations, scientists have sought to study it using ground-based telescopes, orbital missions, and the occasional atmospheric probe. And in 2006, the ESA’s Venus Express mission became the first probe to conduct long-term observations of the planet’s atmosphere, which revealed much about its dynamics.
The study of extra-solar planets has revealed discoveries that have confounded expectations and boggled the mind! Whether it’s Super-Earths that become diamond planets, multiple rocky planets orbiting closely together, or “Hot Jupiters” with traces of gaseous metal in their atmospheres, there’s been no shortage of planets out there for which there is no comparison here in the Solar System.
NASA’s Cassini mission has made its “death plunge” into the swirling clouds of Saturn after 20 years of exploring the planet and its moons. It’s been amazingly successful, making headlines with groundbreaking discoveries throughout its journey. But today the headlines are more like obituary notices, looking back at the mission’s spectacular achievements.
Viking culture might have been a bit more progressive than you would initially think. There seems to have been no such thing as a glass ceiling for women as their archaeological findings prove that women could be found in the higher ranks on the battlefield. One of the most well-known graves from the viking age, a mid-10th century grave in Swedish Viking town Birka provided enough evidence for archaeologists to come to this conclusion.
Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have detected titanium oxide in an exoplanet atmosphere for the first time. This discovery around the hot-Jupiter planet WASP-19b exploited the power of the FORS2 instrument. It provides unique information about the chemical composition and the temperature and pressure structure of the atmosphere of this unusual and very hot world. The results appear today in the journal Nature.
Since it was launched in 2009, NASA’s Kepler mission has continued to make important exoplanet discoveries. Even after the failure of two reaction wheels, the space observatory has found new life in the form of its K2 mission. All told, this space observatory has detected 5,017 candidates and confirmed the existence of 2,494 exoplanets using the Transit Method during its past eight years in service.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft gazed toward the northern hemisphere of Saturn to spy subtle, multi-hued bands in the clouds there.
In 1926, famed astronomer Edwin Hubble developed his morphological classification scheme for galaxies. This method divided galaxies into three basic groups – Elliptical, Spiral and Lenticular – based on their shapes. Since then, astronomers have devoted considerable time and effort in an attempt to determine how galaxies have evolved over the course of billions of years to become these shapes.
Only 20 years ago butter was the public villain – contributing to raised cholesterol levels and public concern over an increased risk of heart disease. Now this public perception seems to have been reversed, and reality cooking shows seem to use butter in every recipe. But what has caused this shift in perceptions and is it based on scientific evidence?