Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP, according to a new study. [Guardian]
Air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels is also separately contributing to the deaths of at least 4.5m people a year, the report found.
The 331-page study, entitled Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of A Hot Planet and published on Wednesday, was carried out by the DARA group, a non-governmental organisation based in Europe, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. It was written by more than 50 scientists, economists and policy experts, and commissioned by 20 governments.
By 2030, the researchers estimate, the cost of climate change and air pollution combined will rise to 3.2% of global GDP, with the world’s least developed countries forecast to bear the brunt, suffering losses of up to 11% of their GDP.
Hundreds of thousands of active oil and gas wells go without government inspection in any given year, and fines for regulatory violations are too small to change drilling company behavior, according to an energy watchdog group’s review of regulation and enforcement activities in six states. [Huffington Post]
Duane Braesch’s cornfields are prime evidence of how unforgiving the elements have been for him and so many others across the Midwest this summer. To demonstrate the hardship, the 79-year-old Nebraska farmer let The Associated Press show the world what he’s weathered during the worst U.S. drought in decades. [Associated Press]
Although official drought outlooks failed to provide Americans with advanced notice of one of the worst droughts to strike the U.S. since the Dust Bowl-era — a drought that is still ongoing — there were some computer models that got the forecast right. [Climate Central]
An updated ground and aerial survey indicates about 301 million trees have died in rural Texas because of the 2011 drought. [Associated Press]
For good reason, there has been significant media focus on how a warming sea gobbles up the ice that is polar bear habitat and reduces the area’s capacity to reflect the sun’s rays. But far less attention has been placed on what a naked Arctic Ocean means for its closest neighboring ecosystem: the Arctic tundra. [CNN]
Although leaders around the world, including Obama, have agreed climate change is by far the most serious threat to mankind, it is getting short shrift in the presidential election of the world’s most powerful economy and one of its biggest polluters. [Windsor Star]
Shale gas has jolted traditional roles in the planet’s climate drama, giving cleaner fuel to the United States, whose displaced coal has headed to Europe to pollute the old continent. [Reuters]
Two-thirds of solar panels — 18.5 gigawatts — were installed in Europe last year, a project that totaled roughly $84 billion and grew Europe’s solar photovoltaic industry by an average of more than 40 percent annually. [Huffington Post]