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気になった一文集(English ver. No. 31)

One of the most powerful methods for predicting future behavior is to look for clues from the past.

The history of Greenland’s iceNature 540, 202–203 (08 December 2016).


The forecast will be considered a success if the 2016 annual mean CO2 concentration is measured as between 403.92 and 404.98 ppm.

Therefore the 2015–2016 growth rate would need to be greater than 2.7 ppm yr−1 in order for the forecast to be convincingly distinguishable from what could be expected from the trend plus variability unrelated to ENSO. 

Quantifying this direct anthropogenic contribution to the El Niño-related emissions with confidence would be challenging, but we suggest it would be an important avenue for future research with clear implications for understanding a potential contribution to climate change mitigation.

El Niño and a record CO2 rise」Betts et al. Nature Climate Change 6, 806–810 (2016).


(...) the latest results suggest that the climate is entering uncharted territory, and that would mean that weather will increasingly fall outside the historical norm. From this perspective, humanity hasn’t just loaded the dice. We have replaced them with a whole new type that behave in ways we don’t fully understand.

Extreme weather explicitly blamed on humans for the first time」"EDITORIAL" Nature (19 Dec 2017)


Today, population growth must be viewed alongside rapid, global technological change and the ongoing “demographic transition” from larger families and high mortality rates to smaller families and longer lives.

(...) the concept of planetary boundaries considers the entire Earth system and asks whether human activities have pushed the planet’s environmental systems outside the realm of geologic experience during the Holocene epoch (the past ~10,000 years).

(...) they can help guide a shift to high-efficiency, renewable energy systems; to using high-efficiency irrigation instead of wasteful practices seen around the world today; or to developing more sustainable forms of agriculture that avoid biodiversity loss and deforestation. Doing so will be necessary to avoid dangerous global environmental damage, including climate change and biodiversity collapse, while providing for human well-being.

Living by the lessons of the planet」Science 356, 251–252 (2017).


With nearly 1 °C of warming in the bag, the world is already experiencing unwanted effects, such as extreme weather events. These will continue to mount unless and until humanity slashes its greenhouse-gas emissions. A sober look at the numbers suggests that this task will be difficult — if not impossible — without radical interventions to deliberately steer energy producers and users towards sustainable options.

Support for the Paris agreement remains high outside the United States, but has its limits. Estimates suggest that actions on emissions so far have probably shaved off 1 °C or so from the projected warming this century, but the world remains on course for a rise of well over 3 °C. That’s true even if countries fulfil their current emissions pledges, which isn’t likely.

Perhaps the best news is that developing countries — including China and India, plagued by air pollution in many urban areas — have come to view clean energy through the lens of public health and air quality.

Reducing carbon emissions means making painful choices: halting new investments in the exploration and production of fossil fuels, and then closing down existing facilities. It won’t be easy, but eventually that is a story that must be told.

Climate talks are not enoughNature 556, 407-408 (2018)


Renewable energy is indeed undergoing a revolution, as prices for things such as solar panels, wind turbines and lithium-ion batteries continue to plummet. And yet it is also true that the world remains dependent on fossil fuels — so much so that even small economic shifts can quickly overwhelm the gains made with clean energy.

Many countries are likely to miss the emissions targets that they made in 2015, and the world is on track for more than 3 °C of warming by the end of the century.

The good news is that clean-energy technology is at last making substantial strides. The bad news is that the pace isn’t nearly quick enough. Big economic and political hurdles stand in the way of shutting off the fossil-fuel spigot and the cheap energy it provides.

While Trump is fighting on behalf of the fossil-fuel industry, leaders of other countries are moving in the opposite direction.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters to the climate is the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted — and so the question is when humanity will begin to close the spigot and shut down fossil-fuel infrastructure.

Can the world kick its fossil-fuel addiction fast enough?」Nature 556, 422-425 (2018)