Climate News Recap: Climate Scientists Get A Legal Defense Fund; Warming to Both Help & Hurt UK; More

Rob Fahey/CC BY-SA 2.0

Fewer deaths in winter may offset deaths due to heatwaves in UK summers by mid-century. Spewing sulfate into sky to stop warming won't fully work (redux). What Singapore's doing to make sure sea level rise doesn't swamp their city. And, yes, really, climate scientists now have their own legal defense fund. That's what caught our eye this morning:

Global Warming To Both Hurt & Help UK
There's been a new risk assessment of the likely effects of climate change in the UK and it's a mixed bag, presenting both "risks and opportunities" in the words of the BBC.

On the hurt side: Hotter summers will mean that there will be 580-5900 additional deaths per year by mid-century; water shortages may grip the north, south, and east of England by the 2080s; and, contrasting that, flooding may increase causing £2.1-12bn in damages by the 2080s.

On the help side: Those additional deaths caused by heatwaves will actually be offset by milder winters resulting in fewer premature deaths (3,900-24,000 fewer); wheat yields in the UK may increase 40-140%, with sugar beat yields increasing 20-70%, both due to longer growing seasons.

Pumping Sulfate Particles Into Atmosphere Won't Fully Stop Warming
Another study shows that attempting to geoengineer the climate by pumping sulfate particles into the atmosphere, which offset warming by reflecting solar radiation, both won't fully stop warming, but may have unintended negative consequences. However, it may also have some unintended positive consequences:

[The researchers] also found that injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere might even suppress temperature increases in the tropics enough to prevent serious food shortages and limit negative impacts on tropical organisms.

It still would do not enough to prevent warming in polar regions, and has huge issues with actually implementing such a geoengineering plan, though.

Climate Scientists Get Their Own Legal Defense Fund
ThinkProgress explains:

The fund is designed to help scientists like Professor Michael Mann cope with the legal fees that stack up in fighting attempts by climate-contrarian groups to gain access to private emails and other correspondence through lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests at their public universities.

The project is co-directed by physical sciences Professor Scott Mandia of Suffolk County Community College and Joshua Wolfe, co-author of “Climate Change: Picturing the Science.”

Singapore Increasing Breakwater Size To Combat Rising Seas
Singapore sits on an island both virtually right on the equator and which has large areas very close to sea level. Reuters tells us how the Southeast Asian nation is taking action so that its streets don't flood:

Stone breakwaters are being enlarged on the low-lying island state's man-made east coast and their heights raised. Barges carrying imported sand top up the beach, which is regularly breached by high tides. [...] Late last year, the government decided the height of all new reclamations must be 2.25 meters (7.5 feet) above the highest recorded tide level -- a rise of a meter over the previous mandated minimum height.

Singapore's environment minister calls all the changes "insurance for the future". A wise, precautionary approach which ought to be emulated.

Tags: Geoengineering | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Science | Singapore | United Kingdom