Today, on 7th February, thousands of Dutch school children are demonstrating against climate change, missing a day of school in the process.  The pupils are supporting the Youth for Climate NL campaign on Instagram, which was launched by school children at the Dalton school in The Hague. The campaign website, which invites donations to pay for banners, urges teenagers to ‘play truant for our future’. The youth wants the Dutch government to take more action against climate change.

This climate change protest has been inspired by mass demonstrations by school children in neighbouring Belgium, which have attracted tens of thousands of teenagers four Thursday’s in a row. The Belgian protests have also sparked similar demonstrations in Australia, Germany, Finland, Switzerland and Ireland.

Lately there has been disturbing news about the effects of climate change:

  • Hindu Kush Himalaya

Scientists reported that third of Himalayan ice will be lost this century. The vast mountain glaciers helping provide water, irrigation and power for up to two billion people are expected to shrink by at least a third as temperatures heat up this century. "Global warming is on track to transform the frigid, glacier-covered mountain peaks of the Hindu Kush Himalaya cutting across eight countries to bare rocks in a little less than a century," said Mr Wester of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
The report 'The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment' written by 210 authors, concluded that 36 per cent of the ice in the region will melt by 2100 even if governments hit the most ambitious 2015 Paris climate agreement targets to limit temperature rises to one-and-a-half degrees.

  • Antarctic Ice Sheet

The rate of ice melt from Antarctica has tripled over the past ten years, from 73 billion tonnes per year to 219 billion tonnes, and as result, sea levels are rising faster. This was a result of a research report 'Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017' published in the 2018, June 14 issue of the journal Nature. This research gives the most complete picture of Antarctic ice sheet change. To produce the assessment 84 scientists from 44 international organisations combined 24 satellite surveys. The scientists determined the changes in the thickness and mass of the ice sheet covering Antarctica. The latest data is a continuation of previous climate assessments known as the Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE), which began in 2011 and tracks ice-sheet loss from 1992 onwards. IMBIE was established with the support of NASA and the European Space Agency, to monitor the changes in ice-sheet cover around the world. The ice loss in Antarctica has caused sea levels to rise by an average of 7.6 mm world-wide over the past 25 years. Forty percent of that, or 3 mm, occurred just over the past five years. “The mass loss from the ice sheet fluctuates due to variations in snowfall from year to year, but the general trend is clear. And this increase occurred in just a single generation. AntarticaThe result also reinforces that nations have a short window — perhaps no more than a decade — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions if they hope to avert some of the worst consequences of climate change. 'That’s a big deal', according to NESSC-researcher Van den Broeke, Professor of Polar Meteorology at Utrecht University and one of the five research leaders. Van den Broeke’s concern is based on the fact that the accelerated ice melt and its consequences can eventually reach a tipping point beyond which some parts of the ice sheets will melt irreversibly. Van den Broeke: “The Paris climate accord aimed to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C. But it’s unclear as to whether that will be enough for Antarctica. At the moment, we can’t accurately predict the maximum temperature increase at which these tipping points can occur.”

The Peace Palace Library has created a bibliographic overview on climate change, intended as a starting point for research. It provides materials available in the Peace Palace Library catalogue, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented. Check also our Library Special on Paris Global Climate Agreement and our Research Guide Environment.

 

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