Saturday, December 29, 2018

The huge cost of global warming in 2018

Global warming is with us and costing us dearly. A report by Christian Aid, as reported by the BBC, counts the cost.
"The charity's report identified ten events that cost more than $1bn each, with four costing more than $7bn each.
Scientists have shown that the chances of heat waves in Europe were influenced directly by human-related warming.
Other events, say the authors, are due to shifts in weather patterns, said to be a consequence of climate change.
According to the report the most financially costly disasters linked to rising temperatures were Hurricanes Florence and Michael, with costs said to be around $17bn for the former, and $15bn for the latter."

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Declining fertility

For many decades the rising human population of our planet has been regarded as a major threat to civilisation, often featured in books and movies. It now becomes clearer that fertility is actually declining in more and more developed countries such as North America, Europe and Japan.

According to a BBC report (my emphasis):
In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate all but halved to 2.4 children per woman by last year.
But that masks huge variation between nations.
The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1, but in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus women are having one child, on average.
In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries.
If the rate is below 2.1 then the population will start to shrink. In some countries the population may be maintained only by increasing life expectancy and immigration each of which have other issues. This finding has huge implications for the future.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The landmark 2018 report on climate change from the IPCC

It seems to me that the main new thing here is the urgency resulting from the failure of decision-makers to be realistic and stop kicking the can down the road... It is too late to stop damaging climate change. It remains to try and limit the disastrous consequences. 
According to a BBC report:
"Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".
It will be hugely expensive - but the window of opportunity remains open."

Clearly the summary of the report is phrased to try and get action from decision-makers and attention from media, worded by desperate, frustrated scientists.
According to the BBC report:
"The critical 33-page Summary for Policymakers certainly bears the hallmarks of difficult negotiations between climate researchers determined to stick to what their studies have shown and political representatives more concerned with economies and living standards." 
""Scientists might want to write in capital letters, 'ACT NOW, IDIOTS,' but they need to say that with facts and numbers," said Kaisa Kosonen, of Greenpeace, who was an observer at the negotiations. "And they have.""
IPCC press release.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Some ongoing wildlife research

A very interesting blog by Molly Crookshank who is studying Wildlife Biology and Conservation at Edinburgh Napier University. She has been with a group at Iwokrama through Operation Walacea. Her blog has comments and pictures about wildlife in Guyana.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Guyana Earth Tremor

We experienced a tremor of about magnitude 4 here on Tuesday 21st August as a result of a major (7+) earthquake in Venezuela. One of the strongest tremors I can recall in the past 40 or so years.

No significant damage in Guyana that I am aware of. Minor damage was reported in Trinidad - but not minor to the owner of the car that got totalled by a falling chunk of concrete... Some damage was reported in Venezuela and possibly some loss of life.

See also
https://guyanachronicle.com/2018/08/21/tremor-shakes-guyana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Venezuela_earthquakes