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Poorer Countries Will See Greater Temperature Swings as Planet Warms
The countries that did the least to cause climate change are already projected to absorb the worst of its impacts, from sea level rise to devastating heat waves.
Now, researchers at the universities of Exeter, Wageningen and Montpellier have discovered another "unfair pattern," a University of Exeter press release reported Thursday.
If no effort is made to curb carbon dioxide emissions and global temperatures continue to rise this century, poorer, tropical countries will suffer more temperature swings.
"The countries that have contributed least to climate change, and have the least economic potential to cope with the impacts are facing the largest increases in temperature variability," lead author Dr. Sebastian Bathiany of Wageningen University said in the press release.
The study, published May 2 in ScienceAdvances, found that temperature variability would increase by about 15 percent per degree of warming in Southern Africa and the Amazon region and 10 percent in the Sahel region of Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
The researchers used 37 climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to look at changes in the standard deviation of monthly temperature anomalies. They used data going back to 1850, and projected future changes through 2100 based on a worst-case-emissions scenario.
In the Northern Hemisphere, they found that temperature variability decreased in every season except for summer, when it increased. According to the study, the decreases are due to the melting of sea ice in high latitudes and the warming of the Arctic in mid-latitudes, since a warmer Arctic means less of a difference between mid-and-high latitude temperatures.
In tropical latitudes, the researchers found that the increased temperature variability was due in part to a loss of soil moisture.
Concerned about the climate justice implications of their findings, the researchers calculated the changes in temperature variability for individual countries and found that countries with high Gross Domestic Products (GDP) saw variability decrease while countries with low GDP saw variability increase.
"The countries affected by this dual challenge of poverty and increasing temperature variability already share half of the world's population, and population growth rates are particularly large in these countries," study co-author and University of Exeter Prof. Tim Lenton said in the press release.
"These increases are bad news for tropical societies and ecosystems that are not adapted to fluctuations outside of the typical range," he said.
The study's discussion section pointed out that other research has associated temperature variability with lower agricultural production, reduced economic growth and even increased conflict and political instability.
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By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.
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By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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