Aspinall Unit operations update (April 5, 2022): Bumping releases up to 750 cfs #GunnisonRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

The boat ramp at the Lake Fork Marina closed for the season on Sept. 2 due to declining reservoir levels. The Bureau of Reclamation is making emergency releases out of Blue Mesa Reservoir to prop up levels in Lake Powell and preserve the ability to make hydropower.
CREDIT: HEATHER SACKETT/ASPEN JOURNALISM

From email from Reclamation (Erik Knight):

Releases from the Aspinall Unit will be increased from 700 cfs to 750 cfs on Tuesday, April 4th. Releases are being increased as diversions to the Gunnison Tunnel continue to increase. Currently snowpack in the Upper Gunnison Basin is 106% of normal and the forecasted April-July runoff volume for Blue Mesa Reservoir is 83% of average.

Flows in the lower Gunnison River are currently above the baseflow target of 1050 cfs. River flows are expected to stay at levels above the baseflow target for the foreseeable future.

Pursuant to the Aspinall Unit Operations Record of Decision (ROD), the baseflow target in the lower Gunnison River, as measured at the Whitewater gage, is 1050 cfs for April and May.

Currently, Gunnison Tunnel diversions are 300 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are around 400 cfs. After this release change Gunnison Tunnel diversions will be around 400 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon will be near 350 cfs. Current flow information is obtained from provisional data that may undergo revision subsequent to review.

United Nations #climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit #GlobalWarming to 1.5 degrees C #ActOnClimate #KeepItInTheGround

A young boy collects what little water he can from a dried up river due to severe drought in Somalia. Credit: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

Click here to access the report.

Click the link to read the release from the IPCC:

The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030.

GENEVA, Apr 4, 2022 – In 2010-2019 average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history, but the rate of growth has slowed. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach. However, there is increasing evidence of climate action, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today.

Since 2010, there have been sustained decreases of up to 85% in the costs of solar and wind energy, and batteries. An increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy.

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group III report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change was approved on April 4 2022, by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that started on March 21. It is the third instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed this year.

We have options in all sectors to at least halve emissions by 2030

Limiting global warming will require major transitions in the energy sector. This will involve a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).

“Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

Cities and other urban areas also offer significant opportunities for emissions reductions. These can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature. There are options for established, rapidly growing and new cities.

“We see examples of zero energy or zero-carbon buildings in almost all climates,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea. “Action in this decade is critical to capture the mitigation potential of buildings.”

Click the link to read “United Nations climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit GlobalWarming to 1.5 degrees C” on the United Nations website:

A new flagship UN report on climate change out Monday indicating that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster, António Guterres has warned, with scientists arguing that it’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Reacting to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN Secretary-General insisted that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

His comments reflected the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.

Unless action is taken soon, some major cities will be under water, Mr. Guterres said in a video message, which also forecast “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”.

Horror story

The UN chief added: “This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5-degree (Celsius, or 2.7-degrees Fahreinheit) limit” that was agreed in Paris in 2015.

Providing the scientific proof to back up that damning assessment, the IPCC report – written by hundreds of leading scientists and agreed by 195 countries – noted that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, have increased since 2010 “across all major sectors globally”.

In an op-ed article penned for the Washington Post, Mr. Guterres described the latest IPCC report as “a litany of broken climate promises”, which revealed a “yawning gap between climate pledges, and reality.”

He wrote that high-emitting governments and corporations, were not just turning a blind eye, “they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects.”

Urban issue

An increasing share of emissions can be attributed to towns and cities, the report’s authors continued, adding just as worryingly, that emissions reductions clawed back in the last decade or so “have been less than emissions increases, from rising global activity levels in industry, energy supply, transport, agriculture and buildings”.

Striking a more positive note – and insisting that it is still possible to halve emissions by 2030 – the IPCC urged governments to ramp up action to curb emissions.

The UN body also welcomed the significant decrease in the cost of renewable energy sources since 2010, by as much as 85 per cent for solar and wind energy, and batteries.

A new flagship UN report on climate change out Monday indicating that harmful emissions from 2010-2019 were at their highest levels in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster, António Guterres has warned.
Reacting to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN Secretary-General insisted that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

Encouraging climate action

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

To limit global warming to around 1.5C (2.7°F), the IPCC report insisted that global greenhouse gas emissions would have to peak “before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030”.

Methane would also need to be reduced by about a third, the report’s authors continued, adding that even if this was achieved, it was “almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold”, although the world “could return to below it by the end of the century”.

Now or never

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F); without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, which released the latest report.

Global temperatures will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5C (2.7F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s, the IPCC report states.

“This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2C (3.6F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.”

Families forced to move all their belongings, including livestock, South Sudan. © UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

Policy base

A great deal of importance is attached to IPCC assessments because they provide governments with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

They also play a key role in international negotiations to tackle climate change.

Among the sustainable and emissions-busting solutions that are available to governments, the IPCC report emphasised that rethinking how cities and other urban areas function in future could help significantly in mitigating the worst effects of climate change.

“These (reductions) can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature,” the report suggested. “There are options for established, rapidly growing and new cities,” it said.

Echoing that message, IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair, Priyadarshi Shukla, insisted that “the right policies, infrastructure and technology…to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour, can result in a 40 to 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

A cow trying to leave an area affected by intense flooding, South Sudan. Credit: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

Click the link to read “New UN Climate Report Outlines Failure of Existing Policies, Need for Rapid Emissions Cuts” on the Yale 360 website:

The Yallourn Power Station and adjacent brown coal mine in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, Australia. STEPHEN EDMONDS VIA WIKIPEDIA

The world must make immediate and drastic cuts to carbon emissions to keep warming to under 1.5 degrees C, according to a new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Existing policies and economic growth would allow warming to reach 3.2 degrees C, or nearly 6 degrees F, the report finds.

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C,” said IPCC Working Group III co-chair Jim Skea. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

To reach the 1.5 degree goal, emissions must peak by 2025, drop by roughly half by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050, the report says. By mid-century, countries must cut their use of natural gas by 45 percent, oil by 60 percent, and must stop burning coal entirely. They must also remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, for instance, by planting trees.

The IPCC report said that such progress is not unrealistic thanks to rapidly falling prices for solar, wind, and batteries, which have dropped by as much as 85 percent since 2010. But countries must act swiftly to cut emissions. At the current rate, the world will unleash enough heat-trapping gas by 2030 to produce 1.5 degrees C of warming. The failure of existing climate policies drew a harsh rebuke from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

“High-emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye; they are adding fuel to the flames,” he said. “They are choking our planet based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels, when cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy security, and greater price stability.”

The new report is the third and final installment in the IPCC’s latest review of climate science. IPCC assessments are produced around every seven years, meaning this is potentially the last report to be released before the end of this critical decade. Guterres called the document “a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world.”

Humans and fire have coexisted for years. But reorganizing our society around constant combustion may burn it to the ground.
(Photo Credit: Issy Bailey, @bailey_i, via Unsplash)

Click the link to read “The world is running out of options to hit climate goals, U.N. report shows” on The Washington Pose website (Sarah Kaplan and Brady Dennis):

With the world on track to blaze past its climate goals, only immediate, sweeping societal transformation can stave off catastrophic warming

Whether humanity can change course after decades of inaction is largely a question of collective resolve, according to the latest report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Governments, businesses and individuals must summon the willpower to transform economies, embrace new habits and leave behind the age of fossil fuels — or face the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change.

“The science has been ever more consistent and ever more clear,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said in an interview.

What’s needed now is “political courage,” she added. “That is what it will take — the ability to look beyond current interests.”

Human carbon pollution has already pushed the planet into unprecedented territory, ravaging ecosystems, raising sea levels and exposing millions of people to new weather extremes. At the current rate of emissions, the world will burn through its remaining “carbon budget” by 2030 — putting the ambitious goal of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) irrevocably out of reach.

It is still technically possible, and even economically viable, for nations to curb carbon pollution on the scale that’s required, according to the United Nations-assembled panel of 278 top climate experts. However, the report’s authors write, it “cannot be achieved through incremental change.”

Monday’s report represents the IPCC’s first analysis of humanity’s remaining paths for climate action since the landmark Paris agreement, in which world leaders committed to prevent dangerous warming. The nearly 3,000-page document details how coordinated efforts to scale up renewable energy sources, overhaul transportation systems, restructure cities, improve agriculture and pull carbon from the air could put the planet on a more sustainable path while improving living standards around the globe.

Denver smog. Photo credit: NOAA

Navajo Dam operations update: Bumping down to 300 cfs April 5, 2022 #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Swim class on the San Juan River. Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

From email from Reclamationk (Susan Novak Behery):

In response to increasing flows in the critical habitat reach, the Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a decrease in the release from Navajo Dam from 350 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 300 cfs for Tuesday, April 5th, at 4:00 AM.

Releases are made for the authorized purposes of the Navajo Unit, and to attempt to maintain a target base flow through the endangered fish critical habitat reach of the San Juan River (Farmington to Lake Powell). This release change is calculated as the minimum required to maintain the target baseflow.

The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program recommends a target base flow of between 500 cfs and 1,000 cfs through the critical habitat area. The target base flow is calculated as the weekly average of gaged flows throughout the critical habitat area from Farmington to Lake Powell.