A look back at 2019 in climate news

The Source
By: Guest contributor, Wed Jan 8 2020

Author: Guest contributor

Two of our Executive Editors from Springer's Climate Program share highlights from climate news in 2019 and where you can read more about the latest findings. Continue reading for the full overview.

Written by Dr. Johanna Schwarz, Executive Editor, Springer and Dr. Robert K. Doe, Executive Editor, Springer

As we look back on 2019, it has been an extraordinary one for climate, again. The heatwaves of July 2019 made prominent headlines in Europe; “United Kingdom sets all-time high temperature record”, “Portugal breaks temperature records as European heat wave sizzles on”, “Germany records highest ever temperature as mercury hits 42.6C”. So here some of the notable numbers from the summer:

Belgium (Begijnendijk)                                   41.7C
France (Gallargues-le-Montueux)                   46.1C
Germany (Lingen)                                          42.6C   
Luxembourg (Steinsel)                                  40.7C 
Netherlands (Gilze Rijen)                              40.7C
U.K. (Cambridge)                                           38.7C

According to the climate institute Berkeley Earth, almost 400 all-time local and national high temperatures were broken in the northern hemisphere this summer. At the recent UN Climate Change Summit in Madrid, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated that ‘2019 concludes a decade of exceptional global heat and high-impact weather’. Meteorological and hydrological hazards such as floods, droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and tropical cyclones had a severe impact around the globe. With this in mind you might be interested in reading the highly cited paper Spatial distribution of unidirectional trends in temperature and temperature extremes in Pakistan by Khan et al., published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology. We also recommend Hogue et al.’s paper on Gridded estimates of CO2 emissions: uncertainty as a function of grid size in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. This paper is part of a special issue on Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions, guest edited by Matthias Jonas et al; the overview and introduction to the special issue is available open access here.

Further afield there was further bad news for the Great Barrier Reef where the Reef’s unique values as a World Heritage Site have been adversely affected by climate change. This is not only a result of coral bleaching but a number of tropical cyclones, flood plumes and outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish! Such impacts are leading to what is dubbed ‘ecoanxiety’, one of the most overlooked consequences of climate change – mental health. Health has also been a focus for our book program this year where we published the important text Extreme Weather Events and Human Health. This book assesses the impacts of various extreme weather events on human health and development from a global perspective. The Open Access title The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People also received much global attention this year. It constitutes as the first comprehensive assessment of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, based on collective knowledge of over 300 leading researchers, practitioners, experts, and policymakers. Decision makers have also contributed to the Handbook of Climate Change Resilience. It comprises a diverse body of knowledge, united in the objective of building climate resilience in both the industralised and the developing world. This unique publication will assist scientists, decision-makers and community members to take action to make countries, regions and cities more resilient to climate change.

2019 has also been one of the most exciting years when it comes to realizing the needs of climate governance policies. An increased activity of ‘Fridays for Future’ has highly influenced the public perspective of global change and its influence on Planet Earth. It was the young generation that has communicated scientific evidence on climate change to governments around the world, and has reached the public and politicians better than all the IPCC reports in the past decades. Nevertheless, climate justice needs to be based on solid scientific findings, and we are proud to play a strong part in publishing some of the best climate science in our earth and environmental science portfolio. The 2020 Earth Day comes under the theme of ‘Climate Action’ – another signal to the world just how important that topic is. New for 2020 is the major reference work, Climate Action, part of the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals comprehensively addresses the SDGs in an integrated way. It encompasses 17 volumes, each one devoted to one of the 17 SDGs. This volume addresses SDG 13, "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts", and contains the description of a range of terms, which allows a better understanding and fosters knowledge. Climate change is a threat to development with unprecedented impacts. Urgent action to combat climate change and development of integrated strategies on climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable development are critical for a sustainable future. We also continue to support SDG 13 Climate Action through our Sustainable Development Goals Book Series and we are now inviting contributions for 2020.

We have also published a couple of related journal special issues, such as Decision Support Tools for Climate Change Adaptation, edited by Jean Palutikof, Roger Street, and Edward Gardiner, and Putting Climate Services in Contexts: Advancing Multi-disciplinary Understandings, edited by Sophie Webber, both in our journal Climatic Change. The special issue on ENSO Diversity, edited by Benjamin Kirtman and published in Climate Dynamics, deals with different aspects of the complex and multi-faceted ENSO phenomenon and tries to answer the question of how ENSO diversity will respond to decadal and longer term climate variations.

Lastly, a brand-new publishing outlet for the area of atmospheric sciences, with a special aim at crossing the bridge between scientific studies and technological application, we would like to draw your attention to our new journal Bulletin of Atmospheric Science and Technology. The Editors Silvana Di Sabatino and Paolo Di Girolamo, provide an introduction to the journal in this video.

We will also be at the American Meteorological Society conference in Boston 13-17 January 2020 launching the journal.

It’s been a busy year for the Springer Climate program, should you wish to publish in one of our journals or as a book we look forward to hearing from you.

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Click the following links to learn how to contact Executive Editors Dr. Johanna Schwarz (Climate Journals) and Dr. Robert K. Doe (Climate Books).
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Author: Guest contributor

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