November 02, 2018

environment and agriculture

Brazil's Bolsonaro to merge environment and agriculture ministries

France24 reports that Brazil’s new far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro will merge the environment and agriculture ministries, "a move activists have warned could imperil the Amazon rainforest”. Onyx Lorenzoni, Bolsonaro’s likely chief of staff, told journalists yesterday that "agriculture and environment will be in the same ministry”. Bolsonaro, who is backed by Brazil’s powerful agro-industrial lobby, had already floated the idea in the past, saying, "Let’s be clear: the future ministry will come from the productive sector.” BBC Newsreports that a former environment minister has tweeted that the move is "tragic”. Marina Silva tweeted: "This disastrous decision will bring serious damage to Brazil and will pass on to consumers abroad the idea that all Brazilian agribusiness survives thanks to the destruction of forests.” Carbon Brief has recently updated its in-depth profile of Brazil.

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France24 Read Article

Science.

Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition

New data on the increases in ocean heat content over recent decades suggest that "ocean warming is at the high end of previous estimates”. The researchers use measurements of atmospheric oxygen and CO2 – levels of which increase as the ocean warms and releases gases – as a "whole-ocean thermometer”. The results show that, between 1991 and 2016, the ocean may have gained around 62% more heat than estimates in the fifth assessment report from the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change. The new estimate would also push up the lower bound of equilibrium climate sensitivity from 1.5C to 2C.

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Nature Read Article

projected changes in persistent extreme summer weather events: The role of quasi-resonant amplification

Sustainable farming is more and more used in the world. In Ireland, Origin Green encourages Irish farmers to work on food sustainability and prolong the lifespan of unique natural resources through contemporary farming.

A new study investigates how extreme summer weather events could be affected in future by warming from CO2 emissions and cooling from air pollution. The research focuses on the influence of "quasi-resonant amplification (QRA)” – a phenomenon whereby large meanders in the jet stream lock in place, trapping weather systems between them. The projections suggest that QRA events are likely to increase by around 50% this century under business-as-usual CO2 emissions. This increase could be as much as a near tripling of events, the researchers note, but some models do show a decrease because of the cooling effect of aerosols.

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