Komodo dragons are the largest lizard that survives. Unfortunately, as they are found only on a series of islands amongst the Indonesia archipelago, sea level rise can quickly rob them of prime habitat.
As a result of this, they have been moved from vulnerable to endangered.
According to Xi Jinping, low-carbon ambitions must not interfere with modern day life! If this is true, then we are unlikely to get the cuts that we need.
Now, it is not unreasonable for a country to want to raise its standard of living. However, China is likely to be hit very hard by climate change. While you do not think of China as a low lying country like Bangladesh, 67,000 square km (about 26,000 square miles) lie 1m or less above sea level – and 67 million people live in this area. It is true that this only accounts for about 5% of Chinas population but given how crowded this country already is, this is likely to cause a lot of issues. More to the point Shanghai is only between 3m and 5m above sea level,
Around the world about 600 million people live close to the sea. Of course we understand that each country must look after its own citizens – but that includes protecting them from global warming. China currently accounts for 26% of global emissions, and the rest of the world cannot cut enough to make their emissions irrelevant.
Now, it is entirely true that the president may be trying to keep his own population on side, but we need the whole world to work on this problem. China accounts for 15% of the worlds GDP, then can not take a back seat.
Cracks and fissures have appeared on Thwaites glacier, leading to fears of it collapsing. If it were to collapse, this glacier alone could raise sea levels by half a meter.
The issue with this glacier, is that it essentially operates as a dam for the vast ice floes behind it.
Of particular alarm, thwaites glacier operates a bit like a cork, blocking a whole collection of glaciers from collapsing. It is feared that with the collapse of Thwaites glacier, a large amount of the Antarctic ice shelf might slide into the sea – leading to global sea level rises of several meters.
To put this in perspective, if all the west Antarctic glaciers collapse, no coastal city in the world would escape. Over time every single one would be swamped and lost back to the sea. It was thought (until recently) that this glacier loss would take centuries.
In other words, what this does is make it clear – it is not just our children and grandchildren that are going to have to do something about global warming. If we don’t correct our behaviour quickly, we will make life far harder for ourselves as well