A: Carbon emissions are causing the Earth to warm, which is leading to a host of problems including rising sea levels, more extreme weather, and deadly heat waves.
Q: What causes global warming?
A: The primary cause of global warming is human activity, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels and tropical deforestation.
Q: Who can reduce global warming?
A: We need to significantly reduce the amount of heat-trapping emissions to address global warming. As individuals, we can help by being mindful of our electricity use, driving more efficient cars, reducing the number of miles we drive, and taking other steps to reduce our own consumption of fossil fuels. We can also help by calling for government and corporate decision makers to reduce the threat of global warming by investing in renewable energy, implementing carbon pricing, and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.
Q: How do we know that humans are the major cause of global warming?
A: Scientists know that human activities are the main cause of today’s warming because they can see the distinct “signature” of carbon from fossil fuels in the atmosphere.
Q: What is the best source of scientific information on global warming?
A: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of global warming and its impacts. The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is the most up-to-date and comprehensive climate assessment for the United States.
Q: What is a “microbiome”?
A: Microbiomes are communities of microorganisms that share an environment.
Q: Why is ozone depleting?
A: The thinning of the ozone layer is caused by increasing concentrations of ozone depleting chemicals – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and, to a lesser extent, halons. These chemicals can remain in the atmosphere for decades to over a century.
SUN AFFECT CLIMATE & MICROBIOMES?.
Q: How does the sun affect our climate?
A: The sun is the source of most of the energy that drives the biological and physical processes in the world around us, and changes in solar output might affect our climate. However, changes to solar heating rate over the last century cannot account for the magnitude and distribution of the rise in global mean temperature, and there is no convincing evidence for significant indirect influences on our climate due to twentieth century changes in solar output.
Q: How is climate change expected to affect microbiomes?
A: Climate change is likely to have a significant impact on the composition of microbial communities, with consequences for the functioning of ecosystems and the transmission of human diseases.
Q: How does the initiative relate to other engagement efforts such as those by the IIGCC?
A: The TPI is a great tool for measuring progress on climate-related disclosure and reporting. It can help investors to identify companies that are leaders in disclosure and reporting, and those that need to improve.
SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR PERSONAL SUPPORT.
Q: Where can I get funding to support me ?
A: The MSc in Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy degree is aimed at individuals who intend to pursue a career in the wide field of ‘Environmental issues’ with the skills to understand the science as well as communicating policy-relevant evidence to diverse audience.
Q: Why does CO2 get most of the attention when there are so many other heat-trapping gases?
A: Carbon dioxide is the primary driver of global warming.
Q: What are the effects of climate change on the terrestrial polar regions?
A: The melting of glaciers, sea ice, and permafrost in polar regions is leading to changes in vegetation, albedo, and precipitation. These changes can have a feedback effect on climate change.
Q: What are the effects of climate change on soil, agriculture, and freshwater environments?
A: Climate change affects soils, lakes, rivers, and agricultural systems broadly, including warming temperatures from elevated greenhouse gases, as well as changes in the movement and distribution of water.
Q: What are the effects of climate change on the oceans?
A: Climate change is causing the oceans to warm and their pH to decrease, which is affecting overall ocean productivity, nitrogen inputs and losses, and ocean biogeochemistry. This is expected to bring about changes in the microbial species that dominate the ocean and the biogeochemical cycles they mediate, which could have both positive and negative feedbacks on Earth’s climate system.
Q: What is the role of the London School of Economics (LSE)?
A: The LSE is responsible for the academic framework by which sectors and companies are assessed, and regularly carries out company assessments. LSE also hosts the TPI website and online tool.
Q: What are the interactions between climate change and microbial ecosystems in terrestrial polar regions?
A: Warming and thawing of permafrost allow microbes to access and decompose previously frozen organic matter, liberating large amounts of carbon that is currently locked away in soils. Because warming soils also result in increased microbial activities, organic matter will be converted by microbes to carbon dioxide or methane. These greenhouse gases can then be released in greater quantities into the atmosphere, where they affect Earth’s temperature.
Q: What are the interactions between climate change and microbial ecosystems in soil, agriculture, and freshwater environments?
A: It is not yet known how climate change will affect the microbiomes associated with plants, but it is expected that increased carbon dioxide will lead to an increase in the plant root exudates that support microbial growth.
Q: What are the interactions between climate change and microbial ecosystems in the oceans?
A: Microbes in the ocean play a critical role in mediating the cycling of important elements and exchanging materials with the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems. Climate change is causing these microbes to be exposed to multiple stressors simultaneously, which may produce unexpected responses and feedbacks. Genomic advances may help us to better understand how organisms are responding to multistressors.
Q: What has been the compliance rate under the Cap-and-Trade Program?
A: The Cap-and-Trade Program is a key part of California's efforts to reduce GHG emissions, and it has been successful in driving climate action in the state. However, it has come under criticism in recent years for its cost and effectiveness. CARB is currently in the process of reviewing the Program to identify ways to improve it.
WHAT IS THE TPI’S
Q: What is the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI)?
A: The Transition Pathway Initiative is a global initiative led by asset owners and supported by investors globally that assesses companies' preparedness for transition to a low-carbon economy.
Q: What is the TPI’s purpose, and why is it needed?
A: The TPI is a way for investors to assess how companies are doing in terms of their progress towards the low-carbon economy.
Q: How did the TPI come about?
A: The TPI is a non-profit organisation that provides a tool for measuring how companies are transitioning to a low-carbon economy. It is supported by a group of asset owners, including the Environment Agency Pension Fund and the Church of England.
The TPI has three main objectives:
To provide a robust and independent assessment of company progress on climate change.
To enable investors to engage with companies on climate change.
To stimulate corporate action on climate change.
Q: How is the TPI governed?
A: The TPI is an asset owner led initiative that is mainly funded by asset owners. The Steering Group is responsible for the initiative's long-term success and can co-opt further expert and other partners to ensure the diversity of views needed to achieve the initiative's strategic objectives.
Q: What is the TPI’s data source / material?
A: The data for the management quality assessment is provided by FTSE Russell, and the data for the carbon performance assessment is gathered from publicly available information.
Q: How often will the tool’s data be updated?
A: Companies can now access an online tool that allows them to measure their performance against the new Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) emission reduction goals.
The tool provides data about company performance, sector-specific goals, and recommendations on how to improve.
The online tool will be updated on an annual basis to ensure the most recent available data from companies’ annual reporting is included.
Updates will also be made as new sectors and performance assessments are rolled-out