Nov 6, 2019

11,000 scientists urge action on global "climate emergency"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some 11,000 scientists labeled climate change as an "emergency" for the first time in a report released Tuesday.

Driving the news: By a slim margin, last month was the warmest October ever recorded, new data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service shows. It was only 0.01°C warmer than October 2015 — the second warmest on record — and 0.09°C warmer than October 2017, per the report.

  • The Copernicus Climate Change Service analysis is "significant because it shows that 2019 is certain to be one of the warmest years on record," the Washington Post's Andrew Freedman reports.

What they're saying: In Tuesday's report in the journal BioScience, the scientists argue that global human activities' effects on the environment have not been properly addressed in public discussions on climate change.

  • The scientists list forest loss, energy consumption, air transport, greenhouse gas emissions, meat production and CO2 emissions as prominent examples of areas in which human activity has rapidly increased in the last few decades.
  • Reducing emissions of "short-lived climate pollutants" like methane could potentially reduce the Earth's current short-term warming trend by more than 50% over the next few decades, the scientists say.

Go deeper: Where climate change will hit the U.S. hardest

Go deeper

Climate change threatens children's health across the globe

Students participate in a protest against climate change in Mumbai, India, in 2019. Photo: Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Climate change is creating a warmer world, and a new international report says children growing up in it will face more health problems than their parents did, per AP.

The big picture: Climate change is already impacting people's health — through problems like increasing diarrhea and mosquito-borne diseases — but that'll get worse if greenhouse gas emissions aren't curbed, per the report, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

Why climate change is a defining issue for 2020

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images

Climate change is playing a larger — and more polarizing — role than ever before in a presidential election.

Why it matters: In the past, the topic barely registered with voters and candidates were less polarized. Today, all Democratic candidates are treating it as a crisis, with detailed plans and funding sources to address it, while President Trump ignores the problem and bashes those plans.

Go deeperArrowNov 25, 2019

Italy becomes first country to require students to learn about climate change

Students hold a climate march in Palermo, Italy, on Sept. 27. Photo: Francesco Militello Mirto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

All public schools in Italy will require students to learn about climate change and sustainable development starting the next academic year, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Italy is the first country in the world to mandate curriculum on climate change. Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and students in the U.S. — through the Zero Hour and Sunrise movements — have organized massive protests on climate change and called for politicians and other adults to take science on the issue seriously.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 7, 2019