News and Highlights in August 2019
A new IPCC special report focusing on climate change and land use has been released, warning of a looming food crisis as rising temperatures reduce crop yields and the nutritional value of crops, according to an IPCC press release and an article in National Geographic. RCI affiliate and report lead author Pamela McElwee says informed choices can protect ecosystems and reduce carbon emissions in the absence of new technologies. These choices include ending deforestation, protecting peatlands, and cutting food waste.
Source: IPCC report Figure 5.1 Interlinkages between the climate system, food system, ecosystem, and socio-economic system.
The film ‘Countdown to Cleaner Air: Street Scientists and the Fight for First Street’ was selected for screening at the 2019 Global Public Health Film Festival in Philadelphia this November. The film features RCI affiliate Robert Laumbach, and details an effort to improve public health by reducing pollution from truck traffic in Newark, New Jersey.
Sea level rise is exacerbating high-tide flooding, especially along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts due to melting ice sheets and warmer ocean temperatures. Flooding will continue because the average tide is higher along many coastal areas, according to RCI affiliate Robert Kopp. Infrastructure projects to accommodate flooding are short term solutions, according to Kopp, as there are limits to adapting to sea-level rise. The best solution is ultimately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.