Over 600 bars, restaurants, hotels and malls are now using GSG tools to enable tohier customers off-set their C02 at the point of purchase.
We see more and more changes emerging in multiple aspects of the climate system. It is not simply that the global surface temperature is rising: there are also a whole host of changes in our oceans, the frozen planet and the behaviour of plants and animals that together provide a compelling evidence basis. These point unambiguously to a world that has rapidly warmed.
Furthermore, improved understanding of longer-term changes from sources such as tree-rings and ice cores, point to the highly unprecedented nature of the recent directly observed changes. The climate we are living in today is unseen in at least many thousands of years. It is probably in a state unseen since 125,000 years ago, the peak of the last interglacial when alligators roamed Trafalgar Square in London. We have arguably already moved the climate system beyond the state in which we have evolved from hunter gatherers, through to modern society.
The best estimate of the human contribution to global surface temperature changes since the late 19th century is that humans are responsible for all of it. Human fingerprints are all over the proverbial crime scene – we have pinned the responsibility for the recent changes in many aspects of the climate system more firmly than ever on human activities.
So much so that, for the first time, IPCC has assessed human influence as an accepted fact. Not only are we now able to pin humans as the cause of long-term changes, but IPCC also concludes that human influences are present in numerous extremes we are experiencing - most notably heatwaves, heavy rainfall events and droughts. Human interference in the climate system is affecting both the frequency and severity of such events.
Yes, that includes us here in Ireland. In a typical year, Ireland is already one degree or so warmer than the late 19th century. Several events we have seen in Ireland in recent years - such as 2015's Storm Desmond, 2017's Donegal flash floods and the 2018 drought and heatwave - almost certainly have some human influences. We should expect that we will increasingly see further extremes and more pronounced changes with additional global warming and further warming.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of GSG