Nature and Biodiversity

Climate crisis costs the world 12% in GDP for every 1°C temperature rise, and other nature and climate stories you need to read this week

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Offshore wind turbines producing renewable energy and green energy in the Belgian North Sea

Key climate news shows the cost of the climate crisis. Image: Unsplash/Jesse De Meulenaere

Michael Purton
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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  • This weekly round-up contains the key nature and climate news from the past week.
  • Top nature and climate news: Climate crisis costs the world 12% in GDP for every 1°C temperature rise; NASA satellites to measure heat escaping Earth to better predict climate change; North Atlantic could be hit by double the usual number of major hurricanes this season.

1. Climate crisis costs the world 12% in GDP for every 1°C temperature rise

Climate change costs the world 12% in gross domestic product (GDP) losses for every 1°C of warming, according to a new report.

The study on the macroeconomic effects of climate change has estimated that the damage caused is as much as six times larger than previous estimates.

Each 1°C increase in global temperature can be linked to a 12% decline in global GDP, according to the report by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

The “social cost of carbon” could be around $1,056 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions, the study says – much higher than previous estimates which range between $51 and $190 per metric ton.

Global carbon emissions for 2023 were about 37.55 billion metric tons, according to Statista.

Scientists predict a 3°C temperature rise by the end of this century due to the ongoing burning of fossil fuels, which the NBER report says will cause “precipitous declines in output, capital and consumption that exceed 50% by 2100.”

Adrien Bilal, an economist at Harvard who co-authored the paper, said: “There will still be some economic growth happening but by the end of the century people may well be 50% poorer than they would’ve been if it wasn’t for climate change.”

Monthly average surface temperatures by year, World
Global monthly average surface-temperature rise, 1955-2024. Image: Our World in Data
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How is the World Economic Forum fighting the climate crisis?

2. NASA satellites to measure heat escaping Earth to better predict climate change

NASA has launched the first of two satellites with the aim of more accurately predicting climate change by measuring the heat that escapes from the Earth’s poles.

This is the first time the administration has sent out a satellite with this objective. CubeSat in NASA’s Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment (PREFIRE) mission launched from New Zealand on 25 May, while the second is expected to lift off on 4 June at 11:13pm, EDT.

NASA says the mission will measure the amount of heat Earth emits into space from the two coldest, most remote regions on the planet.

Data from PREFIRE will improve computer models that researchers use to predict how Earth’s ice, seas and weather will change in a warming world.

Karen St. Germain, Earth sciences research director at NASA, said: “This new information – and we’ve never had it before – will improve our ability to model what’s happening in the poles, what’s happening in climate.”

3. News in brief: Other top nature and climate stories this week

There could be double the usual number of major hurricanes in the North Atlantic from June to November this year. The region would normally expect three category three hurricanes in a season, but the US weather agency, NOAA, said seven could happen, due to record high sea surface temperatures and a likely shift in regional weather patterns.

US President Joe Biden’s administration has for the first time outlined a broad set of government guidelines around the use of carbon offsets, in a bid to increase confidence in the method for tackling global warming. Carbon offsets are intended to cancel out the climate impact of businesses’ activities by funding projects that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but there has been criticism of the initiative.

Scientists say climate change was a major reason why the UK just experienced its second wettest October to March period on record. According to the World Weather Attribution group, global warming made the extreme level of rainfall at least four times more likely, the BBC reports.

More than 40 million people living in low-elevation coastal areas in Latin America and the Caribbean are facing life-threatening weather events made worse by climate change. A new study by the UN Population Fund identifies coastal communities most exposed to hazards such as hurricanes and storms, which are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of rising global temperatures.

4. More on the nature and climate crisis on Agenda

To meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, around 600 million additional housing units need to be constructed compared to 2015 levels. Here’s how low-carbon cement can help.

Climate anxiety is on the rise globally, compounding the mental health crisis among our youth. So how can we take action to help? Here are some solutions.

Demand for critical minerals has doubled in the past five years, as they play a vital role in the construction of green technologies such as wind turbines, electric vehicles and solar panels. This article explores ways to boost the critical minerals supply chain.

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Nature and BiodiversityClimate Action
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Contents
1. Climate crisis costs the world 12% in GDP for every 1°C temperature rise 2. NASA satellites to measure heat escaping Earth to better predict climate change3. News in brief: Other top nature and climate stories this week4. More on the nature and climate crisis on Agenda

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