Tipping points confirmed for massive Antarctic glacier

A small rise in ocean temperature may trigger catastrophic collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Climate and Capitalism | April 02, 2021

In 2013, a 270 square mile iceberg broke off the Pine Island Glacier.

(Adapted from material provided by Northumbria University.)

Researchers have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level.Read More »


Why a net‑zero future depends on the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon

Anya M. Waite, Brad Deyoung, Chris Milley and Ian G. Stewart

| February 25, 2020


Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Most of us growing up along Canada’s East Coast never worried about hurricane season. Except for those working at sea, we viewed hurricanes as extreme events in remote tropical regions, seen only through blurred footage of flailing palm trees on the six o’clock news.Read More »


Ecocide: Kill the Corporation Before it Kills Us

Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2020. 236 pp., £9.99 pb
ISBN 9781526146984

Reviewed by Scott Poynting

The title signals it succinctly: this book is an urgent exhortation to avert ‘the deliberate destruction of our natural environment’ (2). It pulls no punches, but is carefully argued, with abundant historical, political-economic and socio-legal evidence that the capitalist corporation is ‘killing the planet’. David Whyte makes his argument admirably accessible, in language leavened with sometimes dark and sometimes biting humour.

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UN Report: Action Needed Now to Solve Triple Emergency

Climate and Capitalism | February 18, 2021

Making Peace With Nature, a new report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), synthesizes findings from recent global assessments, including those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and others. It proposes what the authors’ call “a scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies.”Read More »


Global Ice Melt: Much Faster Than Predicted

Evan Lim

Climate and Capitalism | February 17, 2021

Eqip Glacier, a marine terminating glacier in Greenland

Two new studies suggest that recent estimates of global ice melt are conservative. In other words, ice is melting much more rapidly than experts thought. As a result, sea levels are rising faster as well.

The first study combines various observations from satellites, on-the-ground measurements, and model-based estimates to create a clearer picture of the state of Earth’s ice between 1994 and 2017. Essentially, it captures a global tally of change in ice mass over that time period. The resulting measurements of ice loss and sea level rise fall in the upper range of scenarios forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body within the United Nations meant to provide objective science related to climate change. The IPCC’s scenarios were laid out in their 2019 special report on oceans and the cryosphere, itself a recent overview of assessment work.Read More »



Lithium, Batteries and Climate Change

The transition to green energy does not have to be powered by destructive and poisonous mineral extraction.

Jonathan Neale

Climate and Capitalism | February 11, 2021

Jonathan Neale’s new book, Fight the Fire, is published by The Ecologist magazine, Resistance Books, the Alternative Information and Development Centre, and the International Institute for Research and Education. For a free copy, click the cover image.

Lithium mine in Bolivia

Click to download free pdf or ebook.

I have spent the last year working on a book called Fight the Fire: Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs. Most of it is about both the politics and the engineering of any possible transition that can avert catastrophic climate breakdown. One thing I had to think about long and hard was lithium and car batteries.

Read More »


Five African Countries Among Top 10 Affected by Extreme Weather in 2019: Germanwatch

Kiran Pandey

Down To Earth | January 25, 2021

The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Five African countries were among the global top 10 to suffer extreme weather in 2019, the Climate Risk Index 2021, released by environmental think tank Germanwatch said January 25, 2021.

The index also ranked India as the country that suffered the second-highest monetary loss due to climate change in 2019 after Japan. The index was released ahead of the climate adaption summit that began virtually January 25 and is hosted by the Netherlands.

It also showed that eight out of the ten countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2019 belong to the category of low to lower-middle income. Five of them fall into the category of Least Developed Countries.Read More »


Upper Ocean Temperatures Set a New High Record in 2020

Climate and Capitalism | January 14, 2021

Heat content change in the upper 2000 meters of the global ocean. (Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, January 2021)

Even with the Covid-19-related small dip in global carbon emissions due to limited travel and other activities, the ocean temperatures continued a trend of breaking records in 2020. A new study by 20 scientists from 13 institutes around the world, reported the highest ocean temperatures since 1955 from surface level to a depth of 2,000 meters.Read More »


How climate crisis is disrupting ecosystems?

A Journal of People report


Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

As the world is getting warmer and warmer many organisms native to lower latitudes or elevations are moving higher.

However, novel organisms moving into a new habitat could disturb the ecological balance, which has been established over a long period. Plants and herbivores are characterized by long-term co-evolution, shaping both their geographic distribution and the characteristics that they display in their occupied sites.

At higher elevations, this is seen in insect herbivores being generally less abundant and plants in turn being less well defended against herbivores, because of lower energy and shorter growing seasons. In contrast, low-elevation plant species defend themselves against more abundant and diverse herbivores, whether by means of spikes, thorns or hair, or by toxic substances. Climate change could disturb this ecological organization.Read More »


Climate Crisis: Change in global precipitation patterns

A Journal of People report

Fig. 1

Figure: Schematic illustration of the general circulation of the atmosphere for early and late Holocene latitudinal insolation gradients. Source: Inter-hemispheric synchroneity of Holocene precipitation anomalies controlled by Earth’s latitudinal insolation gradients, Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19021-3

The Earth’s climate system is largely determined by the differences in temperature between the tropics and the poles. Global warming is likely to cause global atmospheric circulation to change and progressively revert to a situation similar to that of 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. This is the conclusion of a study (Michael Deininger, Frank McDermott, Francisco W. Cruz, Juan Pablo Bernal, Manfred Mudelsee, Hubert Vonhof, Christian Millo, Christoph Spötl, Pauline C. Treble, Robyn Pickering, Denis Scholz. Inter-hemispheric synchroneity of Holocene precipitation anomalies controlled by Earth’s latitudinal insolation gradients. Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19021-3 ) undertaken by a research team led by Dr. Michael Deininger, the results of which have been published in Nature Communications.Read More »