The Elephant

A resource for journalists, politicians, policy makers, activists and citizens interested in climate change and the environmental emergency

Source: Springer Verlag


Articles from this source (27)

Will the Globe Encounter the Warmest Winter after the Hottest Summer in 2023? - Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

  2023-12-01 in Springer Verlag

In the boreal summer and autumn of 2023, the globe experienced an extremely hot period across both oceans and continents. The consecutive record-breaking mean surface temperature has caused many to speculate upon how the global temperature will evolve in the coming 2023/24 boreal winter. In this report, as shown in the multi-model ensemble mean (MME) prediction released by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a medium-to-strong eastern Pacific El Niño event will reach its mature phase in the following 2–3 months, which tends to excite an anomalous anticyclone over the western Nort...

  Tagged under: Oceans | Global Warming | El Niño | Middle East

Airborne hydrophilic microplastics in cloud water at high altitudes and their role in cloud formation - Environmental Chemistry Letters

  2023-11-16 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Microplastic pollution is occurring in most ecosystem, yet their presence in high altitude clouds and their influence on cloud formation and climate change are poorly known. Here we analyzed microplastics in cloud water sampled at the summits of Japan mountains at 1300–3776 m altitude by attenuated total reflection imaging and micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. We observed nine microplastics including polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, polyamide 6, polycarbonate, ethylene–propylene copolymer or polyethylene–polypropylene alloy, polyurethane, and epoxy r...

  Tagged under: Microplastics and Nanoplastics

Interactive effects of changes in UV radiation and climate on terrestrial ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, and feedbacks to the climate system - Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences

  2023-10-07 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Terrestrial organisms and ecosystems are being exposed to new and rapidly changing combinations of solar UV radiation and other environmental factors because of ongoing changes in stratospheric ozone and climate. In this Quadrennial Assessment, we examine the interactive effects of changes in stratospheric ozone, UV radiation and climate on terrestrial ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles in the context of the Montreal Protocol. We specifically assess effects on terrestrial organisms, agriculture and food supply, biodiversity, ecosystem services and feedbacks to the climate system. Emphasis is placed on the role of extreme clima...

  Tagged under: Drought | Health

A Global Review of Insurance Industry Responses to Climate Change - The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice

  2023-08-30 (or before) in Springer Verlag

A vanguard of insurers is adapting its business model to the realities of climate change. In many ways, insurers are still catching up both to mainstream science and to their customers, which, in response to climate change and energy volatility, are increasingly changing the way they construct buildings, transport people and goods, design products and produce energy. Customers, as well as regulators and shareholders, are eager to see insurers provide more products and services that respond to the “greening” of the global economy, expand their efforts to improve disaster resilience and otherwise be proactive about the...

  Tagged under: Climate Change | Insurance | Sustainability

The Collapse of Civilization in Southern Mesopotamia - Cliometrica

  2023-08-15 (or before) in Springer Verlag

In the late ninth century, rural settlement, agriculture, and urbanization all collapsed in southern Mesopotamia. We first document this collapse using newly digitized archaeological data. We then present a model of hydraulic society that highlights the collapse of state capacity as a proximate cause of the collapse of the economy and a shortened horizon of the ruler as a potential driver of the timing of the collapse. Using cross sections of tax collection data for 27 districts in southern Mesopotamia in 812, 846, and 918, we verify that the proximate cause of the crisis was the collapse in state capacity, which meant that the ...

  Tagged under: Collapse

Identifying anomalously early spring onsets in the CESM large ensemble project - Climate Dynamics

  2023-04-10 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Seasonal transitions from winter to spring impact a wide variety of ecological and physical systems. While the effects of early springs across North America are widely documented, changes in their frequency and likelihood under the combined influences of climate change and natural variability are poorly understood. Extremely early springs, such as March 2012, can lead to severe economical losses and agricultural damage when these are followed by hard freeze events. Here we use the new Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble project and Extended Spring Indices to simulate historical and future spring onsets across the United ...

  Tagged under: Climate Change

Climate justice in higher education: a proposed paradigm shift towards a transformative role for colleges and universities - Climatic Change

  2023-03-29 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Moving beyond technocratic approaches to climate action, climate justice articulates a paradigm shift in how organizations think about their response to the climate crisis. This paper makes a conceptual contribution by exploring the potential of this paradigm shift in higher education. Through a commitment to advancing transformative climate justice, colleges and universities around the world could realign and redefine their priorities in teaching, research, and community engagement to shape a more just, stable, and healthy future. As inequitable climate vulnerabilities increase, higher education has multiple emerging opportunit...

  Tagged under: Renewable Energy | Climate Change | Health | Climate Justice

Contribution of non-native galliforms to annual variation in biomass of British birds - Biological Invasions

  2023-03-05 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Millions of individuals of two species of non-native galliform birds, the Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) are released into the British countryside annually in late summer, supplementing established breeding populations of these two species. The biomass of birds involved in these releases has been compared to the British breeding bird biomass. However, the validity of this comparison is compromised because the biomass of wild birds varies across the year due to reproduction, mortality and migration. How the biomass of Common Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges compares to that of o...

Contours of Feminist Political Ecology

  2023-02-08 (or before) in Springer Verlag

The book reflects on a collective learning process as it maps out the contours of feminist political ecology. This is an open access book

Following the money: trade associations, political activity and climate change - Climatic Change

  2022-12-14 (or before) in Springer Verlag

The political activities of industries associated with the production and consumption of fossil fuels have thwarted state efforts to advance climate policy. Yet research on the role of trade associations that firms use to coordinate their activities remains sparse. Studies of business political activity are generally focussed on the firm level with trade associations typically considered only as part of wider advocacy coalitions. Scholars are still to examine the full range of political activities of trade associations. Using an original dataset built from trade associations’ IRS filings, we find that trade associations en...

  Tagged under: Coal | Climate Change | Fossil Fuels

An advocacy coalition framework of policy change and the role of policy-oriented learning therein - Policy Sciences

  2022-10-28 (or before) in Springer Verlag

There has been a great deal of research in recent years concerning the use of substantive policy analysis in public policy-making. This paper seeks to integrate those findings - e.g., the ‘enlightenment function’ of policy research - into a more general model of policy-making over periods of a decade or more. The conceptual framework focuses on the belief systems of advocacy coalitions within policy subsystems as the critical vehicle for understanding the role of policy analysis in policy-oriented learning and the effect, in turn, of such learning on changes in governmental programs.

  Tagged under: Coal

Another Record: Ocean Warming Continues through 2021 despite La Niña Conditions - Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

  2022-01-11 (or before) in Springer Verlag

The increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities traps heat within the climate system and increases ocean heat content (OHC). Here, we provide the first analysis of recent OHC changes through 2021 from two international groups. The world ocean, in 2021, was the hottest ever recorded by humans, and the 2021 annual OHC value is even higher than last year’s record value by 14 ± 11 ZJ (1 zetta J = 1021 J) using the IAP/CAS dataset and by 16 ± 10 ZJ using NCEI/NOAA dataset. The long-term ocean warming is larger in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans than in other regions and is ...

  Tagged under: Oceans | Greenhouse Gases | Climate Change | Pacific Ocean | El Niño | Climate Change Mitigation

Co-designing engaging and accessible data visualisations: a case study of the IPCC reports - Climatic Change

  2022-01-05 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Creating scientifically rigorous and user-friendly data visualisations can play a critical role in making complex information more accessible to wider audiences and supporting informed decision-making. ‘Co-design’ encapsulates a way of approaching data visualisation that ensures a deep and shared understanding between those creating the visuals (e.g. information designers, content experts, cognitive scientists) and the audience/users. This essay describes co-designing data visualisations with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A multidisciplinary design team made up of information designers and cog...

  Tagged under: IPCC | Climate Change

Tropical cyclone occurrence dates in the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins: climatology, trends, and correlations with overall seasonal activity - Theoretical and Applied Climatology

  2021-12-19 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are major meteorological hazards for coastal communities around the world. Among the most active TC development basins are the North Atlantic (NATL) and the eastern North Pacific (ENP), both of which bring impacts to the USA and other countries of North America. This research assesses the climatology of occurrence dates of nth (e.g., 1st and 2nd,) TCs and hurricanes in both basins, as well as occurrence dates of accumulated cyclone energy thresholds. We use statistical methods to develop a base climatology of occurrence dates and assess their trends over time, as well as correlate early season nth TC and ...

The role of public relations firms in climate change politics - Climatic Change

  2021-12-04 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Climate change policy has long been subject to influence by a wide variety of organizations. Despite their importance, the key role of public relations (PR) firms has long been overlooked in the climate political space. This paper provides an exploratory overview of the extent and nature of involvement of PR firms in climate political action by organizations in five sectors: Coal/Steel/Rail, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Renewable Energy, and the Environmental Movement. The analysis shows that the engagement of public relations firms by organizations in all of these sectors is widespread. In absolute terms, the Utility and Gas &...

  Tagged under: Renewable Energy | Coal | Climate Change | US Politics

Context and Early Origins of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Climatic Change

  2021-11-19 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Climate change is a problem which is global both in terms of causes and consequences. The uncertainties are large and likely to persist. Meanwhile, the political and economic stakes of both action and inaction are much higher than those in other transboundary concerns such as acid rain and ozone depletion. The public policy impact of scientific opinions on climate change, therefore, not only depends upon what is being said, but also, who is advancing those conclusions and how they were arrived at. This was the rationale behind the setting up of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. The paper examines the ...

  Tagged under: IPCC | Climate Change | Public Opinion

Climate effects on US infrastructure: the economics of adaptation for rail, roads, and coastal development - Climatic Change

  2021-08-20 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and coastal storms will likely increase the vulnerability of infrastructure across the USA. Using models that analyze vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation, this paper estimates impacts to railroad, roads, and coastal properties under three infrastructure management response scenarios: No Adaptation; Reactive Adaptation, and Proactive Adaptation. Comparing damages under each of these potential responses provides strong support for facilitating effective adaptation in these three sectors. Under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario and without adaptation, overall costs are pro...

  Tagged under: Greenhouse Gases | Climate Change | Economics | Sea Level | Climate Change Impacts | Trains

The debate on World Dynamics: A response to Nordhaus - Policy Sciences

  2021-07-25 (or before) in Springer Verlag

In a recent paper published in the Economic Journal, Professor William D. Nordhaus of Yale University reviewed World Dynamics by Jay W. Forrester. In his criticism, Nordhaus signals three “serious problems” and several additional “questionable assumptions” of sufficient importance to undermine the usefulness of Forrester's book. However, a careful examination of his analysis shows that each point made by Nordhaus rests on a misunderstanding of World Dynamics, a misuse of empirical data, or an inability to analyze properly the dynamic behavior of the model by static equilibrium methods.The three “ser...

Re-framing the threat of global warming: an empirical causal loop diagram of climate change, food insecurity and societal collapse - Climatic Change

  2021-02-25 (or before) in Springer Verlag

There is increasing concern that climate change poses an existential risk to humanity. Understanding these worst-case scenarios is essential for good risk management. However, our knowledge of the causal pathways through which climate change could cause societal collapse is underdeveloped. This paper aims to identify and structure an empirical evidence base of the climate change, food insecurity and societal collapse pathway. We first review the societal collapse and existential risk literature and define a set of determinants of societal collapse. We develop an original methodology, using these determinants as societal collapse...

  Tagged under: Conflict | Climate Change | Collapse

Extreme weather and climate opinion: evidence from Australia - Climatic Change

  2021-01-19 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Extreme weather patterns can be linked to the effects of anthropogenic climate change with increasing confidence. Evidence from the USA suggests a weak relationship between individuals’ experiences of many types of weather events and concern about climate change. Using data from Australia, we investigate the effects of experiences of increases in mean temperatures and drought on a range of measures related to individuals’ beliefs in, and concerns about, climate change. Our results show no association between recent experiences of elevated temperature relative to long-term average and views about climate change, thoug...

  Tagged under: Extreme Weather | Extreme Rainfall | Drought | Climate Change

Eco-reproductive concerns in the age of climate change - Climatic Change

  2020-11-27 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Media reports and public polls suggest that young people in many countries are increasingly factoring climate change into their reproductive choices, but empirical evidence about this phenomenon is lacking. This article reviews the scholarship on this subject and discusses the results of the first empirical study focused on it, a quantitative and qualitative survey of 607 US-Americans between the ages of 27 and 45. While 59.8% of respondents reported being “very” or “extremely concerned” about the carbon footprint of procreation, 96.5% of respondents were “very” or “extremely concerned&r...

  Tagged under: Climate Change | Climate Change Impacts | Women and Children | Climate Change Mitigation

Anthropocentrism: More than Just a Misunderstood Problem - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

  2020-09-12 (or before) in Springer Verlag

Anthropocentrism, in its original connotation in environmental ethics, is the belief that value is human-centred and that all other beings are means to human ends. Environmentally -concerned authors have argued that anthropocentrism is ethically wrong and at the root of ecological crises. Some environmental ethicists argue, however, that critics of anthropocentrism are misguided or even misanthropic. They contend: first that criticism of anthropocentrism can be counterproductive and misleading by failing to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate human interests. Second, that humans differ greatly in their environmental ...

Fairly sharing 1.5: national fair shares of a 1.5 °C-compliant global mitigation effort - International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics

  2020-06-10 (or before) in Springer Verlag

The problem of fairly distributing the global mitigation effort is particularly important for the 1.5 °C temperature limitation objective, due to its rapidly depleting global carbon budget. Here, we present methodology and results of the first study examining national mitigation pledges presented at the 2015 Paris climate summit, relative to equity benchmarks and 1.5 °C-compliant global mitigation. Uniquely, pertinent ethical choices were made via deliberative processes of civil society organizations, resulting in an agreed range of effort-sharing parameters. Based on this, we quantified each country’s range of fai...

  Tagged under: Brazil | Economics | International Agreements | Climate Justice | Climate Change Mitigation

Aluminum Production in the Times of Climate Change: The Global Challenge to Reduce the Carbon Footprint and Prevent Carbon Leakage - JOM

  2019-11-21 in Springer Verlag

This paper addresses the global challenge of greenhouse gas emissions facing the aluminum industry. The demand, production and use of aluminum are increasing and so are the emissions. From bauxite mine to aluminum ingot, the total global average emissions vary somewhat in the literature, but most reported values are now between 12 and 17 metric tonnes of CO2-equivalents per tonne of aluminum, depending on the various estimates and assumptions made. Two-thirds of these gases are emitted because the electricity used for electrolysis is produced from fossil fuel sources, mainly coal but also natural gas. Reduction of these emission...

  Tagged under: Electricity

Requirements for Minerals and Metals for 100% Renewable Scenarios

  2019-10-13 (or before) in Springer Verlag

This chapter explores the magnitude of the changes in patterns of material use that will be associated with the increasing deployment of renewable energy and discusses the implications for...

  Tagged under: Renewable Energy | Minerals

Climate change communicators’ carbon footprints affect their audience’s policy support - Climatic Change

  2019-05-24 in Springer Verlag

Global warming is caused mainly by CO2 emission from burning fossil fuels and is beginning to have large negative impacts on human well-being and ecosystems (IPCC 2014; IPCC 2018). Policies that mitigate CO2 emissions will require public support. Here, we examine how support for several possible decarbonization policies varies as a function of the personal carbon footprint of a researcher who advocates the policy. We find that people are more likely to support policies if the advocate for these policies has a low carbon footprint. Replicating our prior work, we find that the communicators’ carbon footprint massively affect...

  Tagged under: Fossil Fuels | Climate Change Impacts

Recent vegetation history of Drygarn Fawr (Elenydd SSSI), Cambrian Mountains, Wales: implications for conservation management of degraded blanket mires - Biodiversity and Conservation

  2007-06-06 in Springer Verlag

Many areas of blanket mire in Britain display apparently degraded vegetation, having a limited range of ericaceous and Sphagnum species. Data are presented here from Wales from the upland locality of Drygarn Fawr (Elenydd SSSI), which is dominated overwhelmingly by Molinia caerulea. Palaeoecological techniques were used to chronicle vegetation history and to determine the nature and timing of vegetation changes, as an aid to devising conservation management and restoration strategies. Although for the past 2000 years the pollen and plant macrofossil data indicate some evidence for cyclic vegetation change, they demonstrate that ...

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