Climate Change ☀️
Deadly heat waves will be common in South Asia, even at 1.5 degrees of warming
Residents of South Asia already periodically experience heat waves at the current level of warming. But a new study projecting the amount of heat stress residents of the region will experience in the future finds with 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the population's exposure to heat stress will nearly triple.

Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will likely reduce that impact by half, but deadly heat stress will become commonplace across South Asia, according to the new study in Geophysical Research Letters, AGU's journal publishing high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences.

With almost one quarter of the world's population living in South Asia, the new study underlines the urgency of addressing climate change.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210324155110.htm

Drillers Burned Off Gas at a Staggering Rate as Winter Storm Hit Texas
As Texas was crippled last month by frigid temperatures that killed more than 100 people and triggered widespread blackouts, drilling companies in the state’s largest oil field were forced to burn off an extraordinary amount of natural gas — on the worst day, an amount that could have powered tens of thousands of homes for at least a year.

The need to intentionally burn off, or flare, an estimated 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas in a single day — a fivefold increase from rates seen before the crisis, according to satellite analysis — came as the state’s power plants went offline and pipelines froze, so the wells simply had no place to send the natural gas still streaming out of the ground. As a result, the gas had to be set ablaze, fueling towering flames, the highest of which can reach hundreds of feet into the air.

“This is clearly one of the highest spikes” in flaring ever observed in the Permian Basin, said Mark Omara, a senior researcher at the Environmental Defense Fund who led the analysis, which was based on satellite data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “And it could be an underestimate,” he said.

... The findings are the latest example of the consequences of the Texas crisis that are only now becoming clearer. Far more people died in the winter storm — at least 111 people lost their lives, nearly double an earlier estimate — state officials said on Thursday. They also underscore the risks of the state’s heavy reliance on natural gas to generate power, even as some fossil-fuel advocates misleadingly tried to blame frozen wind turbines for the blackouts.

Natural gas was once hailed as a “bridge” toward renewable forms of energy such as wind or solar, because gas burns more cleanly than oil coal. But in recent years, researchers and environmental groups have raised growing concerns over the climate-change consequences of turning to natural gas.

Flaring is one reason. Burning off unused gas instead of capturing it not only wastes a valuable energy source, it emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is the main contributor to climate change.

Of course, if there had been no Texas blackout crisis, much of that natural gas would have been burned in power plants to supply energy to homes and businesses. But flaring is also damaging because the burning is sometimes incomplete, so it can also release uncombusted gases into the atmosphere, chiefly methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in the shorter term.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/26/climate/texas-blackout-flaring-natural-gas.html

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations