Author Archives: Romina Martin

De politiska partiernas klimatpolitik – analys av klimatforskare

Klimatforskare granskar partiernas politik: vilka lyssnar på vetenskapen och vilka är sämst i klassen?

Merparten av de politiska partierna har för stort fokus, och en övertro, på tekniska lösningar, snarare än att förändra de beteenden och system som orsakar klimatkrisen. Med MP och V som undantag. Det visar en ny rapport framtagen av forskare som har analyserat riksdagspartiernas klimatpolitik inför valet 2022. Rapporten baseras på enkätsvar om respektive partis klimatpolitik. Moderaterna besvarade inte enkäten.


Omfattande klimatåtgärder: Miljöpartiet och Vänsterpartiet

Miljöpartiets energipolitik har vissa brister men generellt är deras klimatpolitik i stort sett i linje med vad vetenskapen säger behövs. Bland annat genom att erkänna behovet av att minska konsumtionen och att ta hänsyn till Parisavtalets rättviseaspekt.

Vänsterpartiets mål är ambitiösa och man tar såväl klimatvetenskapen som rättviseperspektivet på allvar. Men planerna för hur växthusgasutsläppen ska reduceras når inte ända fram. Partiet visar en övertro gällande stora investeringar som ger effekt på sikt men som inte ger utsläppsminskningar i närtid. Man låter också målkonflikter, såsom energikrisen orsakad av kriget i Ukraina, skjuta åtgärder på framtiden.

Långsamt och otillräckligt: Liberalerna, Centerpartiet, och Socialdemokraterna

Liberalerna har en välutvecklad sammanhängande logik för klimatåtgärder, men betonar ekonomiska styrmedel på bekostnad av regleringar och direkta investeringar som forskning visat också är nödvändiga för en snabbt och rättvis omställning.

Centerpartiet har flera bra idéer, inte minst kring cirkularitet, men otillräckliga strategier för att förverkliga planerna.

Både partier har fokus på tekniska lösningar som går långt utöver vad som är möjligt eller realistiskt det närmaste decenniet.

Socialdemokraterna lämnar ett svagt bidrag som mest upprätthåller status quo.

Dessa partier har en klimatpolitik som enligt forskningen är otillräcklig för att hantera krisen. De behöver revidera delar av sin politik för att göra den mer evidensbaserad och verkningsfull.

Går bakåt: Kristdemokraterna och Sverigedemokraterna

Kristdemokraterna säger sig stödja Sveriges klimatmål men har ingen politik för att uppnå det. Sverigedemokraterna förnekar helt och hållet att Sverige har en klimatkris.

Vi bedömer att dessa partier aktivt förhindrar klimatomställningen i Sverige. Deras politik är inte i linje med vetenskapen.

*Moderaterna valde att inte delta i undersökningen och vi kan därför inte bedöma deras klimatpolitik. Men partiet planerar att regera tillsammans med Kristdemokraterna och Liberalerna, och med stöd av Sverigedemokraterna, vilket riskerar att innebära en mycket otillräcklig klimatpolitik.

Om rapporten: Analys av sju riksdagspartiers klimatpolitik utförd av klimat- och omställningsforskare: Sveriges klimatpolitik inför riksdagsvalet 2022 enligt Researchers’ Desk (sammanfattning)

Riksdagspartiernas partiernas svar på enkät om sina klimatmål och sin politik används som underlag för denna kvalitativa analys och bedömning.

Om författare:

Researchers’ Desk är en oberoende, ideell organisation, med över 80 ledande forskare i Sverige, som arbetar med olika aspekter av klimatförändringarna.

Kimberly Nicholas, Erik Pihl, Maria Wolrath Söderberg, Jessika Luth Richter, Svetlana Gross, Åsa Kasimir, Thomas Hahn, Wim Carton och Alasdair Skelton

Tidigare publicerat:

Mål för territoriella utsläpp, av Alasdair Skelton, Paul Glantz, och Kimberly Nicholas

Mål för LULUCF-sektorn, av Erik Pihl, Åsa Kasimir, och Peter Roberntz

Kontakt:

Kimberly Nicholas

Docent, Lunds Universitet

Kimberly.nicholas@lucsus.lu.se

046 222 68 12

How did the CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere once decrease?

by David Armstrong McKay and Paul Glantz

During the Cenozoic era – i.e. 66 million years ago until today – the Earth’s climate has shifted from a hot ‘Greenhouse’ state with no polar ice sheets to the cool ‘Icehouse’ state with polar ice sheets that we’re in today. This is revealed by palaeorecords from ancient single-celled marine organisms such as ‘benthic foraminifera’ that provide a geochemical record of past temperatures, ice sheets, and CO2 levels [Zachos et al., 2001b, 2008]. During this time atmospheric CO2 has gradually declined from ~1000 ppm in the Eocene to below ~300 ppm during the late Miocene [Pearson and Palmer, 2000; Royer et al., 2001; Beerling and Royer, 2011]. This decline has been hypothesised to be the result of either declining volcanic emissions as the rate at which new ocean crust forms has slowed, increased rates of silicate rock weathering (a chemical reaction which draws down CO2) due to the tectonic uplift of the Himalayas, or increased burial of carbon in seafloor sediment as a result of either greater plankton abundance in the ocean or carbon being better preserved in sediments [Berner, 1991; Larson, 1991; Raymo and Ruddiman, 1992; Raymo, 1994; Derry and France-Lanord, 1996; France-Lanord and Derry, 1997; Kump and Arthur, 1997; Royer et al., 2004a; Kent and Muttoni, 2008, 2013; Lefebvre et al., 2013].

More recently (the last ~1-2.5 million years), ice core and geochemical data show that CO2 levels have varied between ~180 ppm in cold glacials (a.k.a. “ice ages”) and ~280-300 ppm in warmer interglacials [Sigman et al., 2010; Lisiecki & Raymo, 2005]. The drivers of these changes can be explained by the theory by Milutin Milanković, who found that significant changes in solar radiation received by the Earth have occurred during this period as a result of gradual changes in the Earth’s orbit (known as Milankovitch cycles). This in turn affected the uptake and release of CO2 between the atmosphere and oceans (as more CO2 can dissolve in to colder water, so a cooler planet means more CO2 is taken up by the oceans, and vice versa). Thus, natural changes in the temperature during this period probably determined changes in atmospheric CO2 (as well as in CH4) and the greenhouse effect, which acted as an amplifying feedback to those changes. Today though, it is the release of greenhouse gases from humans burning fossil fuels that are warming both the atmosphere and the ocean. Around a quarter of man-made CO2 has been taken up by the ocean so far, acting as a stabilising feedback on warming, but the rate of this uptake will decrease as the oceans get warmer making even more anthropogenic CO2 stay in the atmosphere.

Acknowledgement

Thank you to Emil V. Nilsson for starting the question and Magnus Carlbring for linking it to Researchers’ Desk.

Reference

Armstrong Mckay, David (2015) Investigating the drivers of perturbations to the Cenozoic carbon-climate system. University of Southampton, Ocean & Earth Science, Doctoral Thesis, 185pp. https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/384565/

Hot potato session on “The tragedy of climate change science”

“The science-society contract is broken.” is the opening of the latest article by Bruce C. Glavovic, Timothy F. Smith and Iain White and it invited us at researchers desk this week to pause and think together with the authors: What kind of scientific activity is meaningful to enable human society to learn, adapt and transform human activities as the climate crisis becomes recognizable today, and when looking at the full picture – Earth? It is indeed a fully-fledged, global tragedy we are talking about: Against better knowledge (IPCC reporting), humanity is driving the crisis, meaning that the most powerful actions you could expect (e.g. covid recovery funds) are accelerating on the same old path (bouncing back) rather than turning around (rebuild and regenerate human relations to our shared environment).

So, if the above-mentioned contract works as a metaphor for the science-society interface, this means that researchers are paid by tax money to think freely and develop the best possible science around the questions they are appointed for by the governments in the world. In return, researchers could expect that this knowledge is acted upon. What if, as with climate science, this exploding knowledge on our climate system and scientific support for the society is ending “in the void” for decades?

Where and how can we re-politicize science and address not only the failure to act and explanations for why this happen but also demonstrate where the seeds are for an alternative course of action? What kind of moratorium would invite sufficiently powerful groups to rethink and engage with the discourse and transition towards a sustainable pathway?

This is an invitation for everyone to engage with us, with each other, and question the share of responsibilities we all have to learn and transform our lifestyles. This is about renegotiating the contracts we are embedded in with policy, business and culture. Today we leave this discussion (recording is online) with a few threads for the inspired ones:

While more science does not lead necessarily to more action – there are still several scientific avenues which are promising to focus on leverage points for change:

  • The IPCC report on mitigation is based on conventional assumptions and models like social welfare being dependent on a eternally growing market – which are proven to reinforce inequality rather than sustainable well-being. Mitigation based on post-growth economy is possible and rather a question of will and power redistribution (see article by Hickel et al. 2021).
  • The need and opportunities for an incremental but radically different development of how we institutionalize values, which are underlying to all our societal functions, become apparent in the book by Maja Göpel “The great mindshift”.
  • No single person is deliberately destroying our planet’s climate – but humans are bound to act on much smaller spatial and temporal scales than the technology is providing access to few people (through cars, planes, cement, plastics). When seeing Earth as a system where human health is dependent on a healthy environment, we begin to grasp that there is no deliberate, collective, and global governance which is taking care of this human-environmental relationship at the core. Another way looking at this big picture is like watching a flock of starlings who group in amazingly beautiful formations – with no single bird driving it. While there is no single entity able to drive humanities course of action, at the same time everyone has influence to shape actions. This is called self organization in a complex adaptive system. In the discussion about the climate crisis is now the tragedy emerging or flooding over us – how do we collaborate under this ‘flood’, embrace a more humble, systemic view and ’walk the talk’ of sustainable and globally equitable lifestyle?

In conclusion for today: We agree to disagree where we see the next steps. Some of us doubt that there is this one attainable vision but there are tangible tools for sustainability we know how they work. Others see the vision of sustainability future more clearly, just barriers and opportunities on the way. Let’s go, at least the direction is clear (not the highway …).