China Reverses on Climate As It Returns to Coal

In an attempt to revive a sluggish economy, the ruling Communist Party is promoting coal-fired power, which is threatening efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gasses.

In an attempt to revive a sluggish economy, the ruling Communist Party is promoting coal-fired power, which is threatening efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gasses.

The government plans to increase coal production by 300 million tons this year, according to news reports. This is 7% of last year’s output of 4.1 billion tons, an increase of 5.7% over 2020.

The country invests heavily in wind and solar power, but jittery leaders are calling for more coal-fired power after economic growth slowed last year and shortages triggered blackouts and factory shutdowns. Anxiety over the disruption of oil and coal supplies from abroad was heightened by Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The government faces political pressure to maintain stability as President Xi Jinping prepares to break with tradition by seeking a third 5-year term as party leader.

In an April 20 meeting where plans to expand production capacity were approved, Cabinet officials said coal plays a vital role in ensuring energy security.

Additionally, the ruling party plans to build power plants to inject money into the economy and revive growth that dropped to 4% in the final quarter of 2021 from 8.1% for the full year.

The international community has committed to limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Leaders say they really want a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists say that even if the world achieves the 2-degree goal in the 2015 Paris climate pact and the 2021 Glasgow follow-up agreement, there will still be higher seas, stronger storms, extinctions of plants and animals, and more deaths due to heat, smog, and infectious disease.

China is the world’s largest coal producer and consumer. Beijing’s actions determine global trends.

According to the Communist Party, binding emissions commitments are not necessary for economic development. China has not joined governments that have pledged to phase out coal-fired power.

In his 2020 speech to the United Nations, Xi predicted carbon emissions would peak by 2030, but he did not specify an amount. By 2060, Xi said, China will be carbon neutral, which means it will remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits in industry and households.

According to the World Resources Institute, China accounts for 26.1% of global emissions, nearly double the U.S. share of 12.8%. Rhodium Group estimates that China emits more than all developed economies combined.

The WRI estimates that each of China’s 1.4 billion people emits 8.4 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Compared with the U.S. average of 17.7 tons, this is more than double the 7.5 tons produced by the European Union.

China Reports Record Sea Levels Rise to Record in 2021

China’s sea level has hit a new record high, according to a new report. The findings, published in the journal Science, show that the country’s sea level has risen by 3.5 millimeters (0.14 inches) in 2021. This is the highest annual rate of increase ever recorded for China, and it is also higher than the global average of 2.8 millimeters (0.11 inches).

China’s sea level has touched a new high in 2021, according to reports. The country’s mean sea level rose by 0.27 meters (0.9 feet) in the first six months of the year, the highest ever recorded. 

Factors Behind the Sea Level Rise

The rise in China’s sea level is attributed to a combination of factors, including climate change, melting ice sheets, and changing ocean currents. Climate change is causing global sea levels to rise at an accelerated rate, and this is one of the main drivers behind China’s record-breaking figure. Additionally, the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica is contributing to the rise, as is the slowing down of a major ocean current called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

The effects of these factors are being felt around the world, with coastal areas especially vulnerable to flooding and erosion. In China, sea level rise is already causing problems for coastal cities such as Shanghai, which is struggling to cope with increased flooding. It is estimated that by 2050, sea level rise could displace up to 24 million people in China alone.

What China is Doing to Address the Issue

China is taking a number of measures to address the issue of rising sea levels. The country is investing heavily in coastal defenses, such as seawalls and dykes, and is also working on plans to relocate people from vulnerable areas. In addition, China is playing a leading role in international efforts to combat climate change, which is one of the main causes of sea level rise.

Despite these efforts, rising sea levels are likely to pose a major challenge for China in the years to come. With its large coastline and dense population, the country is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It is therefore essential that China continues to invest in adaptation measures and takes action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Potential Consequences of Rising Sea Levels in China

Rising sea levels could have a number of consequences for China. One of the most significant would be an increase in coastal flooding. This could damage infrastructure, contaminate water supplies, and displace people from their homes. In addition, rising sea levels could lead to saltwater intrusion into rivers and groundwater supplies, which would affect agriculture and drinking water. Additionally, it could cause land loss and erosion, as well as habitat loss for plants and animals.

In the long term, rising sea levels could have a major impact on China’s economy. The country’s coastal regions are home to some of its most important economic activities, including manufacturing, shipping, and tourism. If these areas are inundated by rising waters, it could disrupt supply chains and cause major financial losses. Additionally, it could lead to the displacement of millions of people, as well as a loss of valuable agricultural land.

Rising sea levels are therefore a major concern for China and the world. It is essential that we take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate. Otherwise, the effects could be devastating for both people and the environment.

How to Prepare for the Effects of Rising Sea Levels

There are a number of things that people can do to prepare for the effects of rising sea levels. For coastal communities, it is important to invest in flood defenses, such as seawalls and dykes. In addition, people should consider moving to higher ground if their homes are at risk of flooding.

It is also important to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done by switching to renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. In addition, people can help to offset their emissions by planting trees or investing in carbon offsets.

Rising sea levels are a major challenge that we must face together. By taking action now, we can minimize the impact on our environment and our economy.

Biden’s Climate Pledge Keeps Getting Pushback

Biden’s White House continues to receive pushback from unexpected sources on the climate change issue. Although there’s an expectation that most Republicans will oppose issues like clean electricity, carbon reduction, and other environmental policies, moderate Democrats are not getting on board with the idea.

Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat from West Virginia, can table any environmental effort in a 50-50 Senate when all GOP members are against the proposal. That headache is what the Biden Administration is currently trying to manage. 

Manchin’s district focuses on coal production and what he sees as more sensible solutions to the climate crisis

The Fight Is Over the Clean Energy Performance Program

Democrats hope the Clean Energy Performance Program helps utilities increase their clean energy supply.

By rewarding the agencies that make 4% improvements annually, the goal is to consequence those that don’t achieve that outcome. It was included originally in a tax-and-spend package to achieve the broader economics that Democrats want to see for the United States moving forward.

Biden pledged to cut emissions by half by the year 2030. This promise inspired some last-minute policy changes right before global leaders initiated some of the most critical conversations about the climate in the past 25 years. 

One of the newest initiatives is to create a voluntary emissions trading system while providing federal funding to stop pollution. These structures would impact the steel, concrete, chemical, and aluminum industries. 

Since the talks are still in the early stages, no one knows how the programs would be structured. A significant gap still exists between the progressives and moderates in the Democratic party, which means there might not be enough votes to proceed.

Weather Disasters Have Increased Five-Fold in the Past 50 Years

It doesn’t matter if you believe climate change is a natural or a human-made occurrence. Over the past five decades, the total number of weather-related disasters has multiplied by five times. 

The only good news from that data is that fewer deaths have occurred while the number of droughts, floods, and storms has increased.

Although better reporting could be partially responsible for the data increase, over 11,000 weather-related disasters occurred between 1970 to 2019. Two million people lost their lives, with over $3.6 trillion in damage requiring repair. 

More than 90% of the deaths have happened in the developing world. 

Droughts Are the Most Significant Weather Problem We Face

The biggest killer from adverse weather events is drought. It’s responsible for over 650,000 deaths.

At the other end of the scale, extreme temperature events have taken almost 56,000 lives during the study period. 

Although the number of deaths has gone down, so has the total number of recorded disasters. A steady increase happened up through 2009, but the next decade showed a decrease. That means a message of hope is out there within the stark statistics.

That’s not to say the costs of climate change are decreasing. In 2017, three hurricanes accounted for 35% of the total losses from the ten worst disasters from 1970 to 2019.

With only half of today’s countries having access to multi-hazard early warning systems, we must expand this technology to help people stay safe. International cooperation is also required to ensure that the people and families displaced by weather events can find a new place to call home. 

Energy Consumption of Cryptocurrency Mining Accelerates Climate Change

First, it was the emissions that cows and farmers produced. Then it was what we created while driving.

Now, the energy consumption from cryptocurrency mining is adding more accelerant to the climate change issues we face. By 2024, the carbon emissions from Chinese bitcoin mining will exceed the entire energy demands of Saudi Arabia and Italy.

Most bitcoin mining occurs in places where electricity remains affordable to keep costs down. That’s why the coal-heavy regions in China have attractive the most attention. About 75% of all activities happen there today.

According to Bill Gates, bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other current method. Only one of them is the equivalent to over 735,000 Visa® transactions.

Bitcoin Mining Could Use 297 Twh in 2024

If Chinese bitcoin mining reaches the projected levels of just under 300 Twh in 2024, that figure would be the 121st-highest country in the world for energy consumption. That also means over 130 metric tons of carbon emissions would flow into the atmosphere.

This emission output surpassed the total greenhouse gas output of Qatar and the Czech Republic, according to 2016 figures.

China announced that they would be cracking down on bitcoin operations in 20201 to reduce emissions and energy consumption in the region. For Inner Mongolia, the plan forces 100% of the existing mines to close while preventing anyone else from starting something new.

Some miners, including Bitmain (which is listed on the NASDAQ exchange), have said that they plan to shift operations to areas that have more renewable energy options. As the environmental impact of this effort is seen, the change has been a priority for many of today’s top producers.

In 2020, about 76% of miners used at least some electricity from renewable sources. That figure is up from 60% in 2018.

Atlantic Ocean Circulation Weakens to Raise More Climate Change Fears

Ocean scientists believe that the Atlantic is experiencing its weakest circulation levels in almost 1,000 years. The decline in this systemic movement could lead to higher sea levels in the United States and more extreme weather events in Europe.

The reason why weak circulation creates potential weather issues involves the Gulf Stream. This event brings the mild weather to Europe, preventing heatwaves and droughts from impacting the continent.

If nothing changes with the current structure, the Gulf Stream could experience up to a 45% reduction in strength by 2100.

Circulation Has Already Slowed About 15%

Researchers believe that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is already down by 15% from its average rate. That’s why we already see weather impacts that include more heatwaves in Europe and more hurricanes along the Americas.

It’s expected to continue weakening over the next two or three decades. Researchers studied sediments, ice cores, and other proxy data to reach these conclusions.

The issue is notable because the AMOC has only been studied since 20004. That means researchers are seeing a 1% average decline each year.

Why Is the AMOC Important to Global Health?

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation carries the warm surface water from the Gulf of Mexico further north into the Atlantic. It becomes colder and saltier until it reaches north of Iceland, where it can pull more warmth from the Caribbean.

That pattern is why wet and mild weather often comes to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and western Europe.

Researchers say that the risks of having the AMOC wind down further are so significant that we must consider making adjustments immediately. If global warming issues cannot be reversed, unprecedented changes could be waiting for us in the future.

Although the AMOC won’t collapse soon, the goal is to prevent instability by the end of the century by starting the work today.

This Is What Biden’s Environmental Plan Includes

When Joe Biden first started running for office in 2019, one of his first released initiatives was to provide a “clean energy revolution.” By focusing on environmental justice, he hoped to set himself apart from the rest of the candidates.

That ambitious effort worked. After defeating Donald Trump in the general election, the Biden Administration started reversing the policies from the past four years that they saw as detrimental to the environment.

One of the first steps of that process was to rejoin the Paris Agreement.

What Does the Biden Plan Hope to Accomplish?

Biden and his team have some lofty goals with their environmental plan, but the efforts could lead the United States to a leadership position in future green energy solutions.

Here are the goals of the Biden plan.

1. Ensure a 100% clean energy economy.

Biden wants the United States to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. By creating a clean energy economy, the goal is to start reversing the problems that greenhouse gases cause with the global warming issue.

2. Build a stronger country.

Whenever technology changes happen, people get displaced from their jobs. Biden’s efforts include infrastructure updates that offer training to workers while encouraging greener transportation, construction, and resource access. This process also contains regional climate resiliency plans.

3. Stand up to the polluters.

Instead of allowing vulnerable communities to continue carrying the greatest portion of pollution’s dangers, Biden plans to take action against the companies that profit from fossil fuels and environmental damage. That means safe drinking water, access to electric vehicles, and other opportunities to restore the land.

By taking these steps, the Biden Administration hopes to bring the American environment back to a place of restoration. Although time will tell if it works, this structure does provide hope to many who were hurt by previous policies. If Kamala Harris succeeds the current President, she will likely follow through with the same plan.