A simple change to how frozen food is stored and transported could help Earth avoid a climate ‘hell’

Simple and modest changes to the way frozen food is stored can drastically reduce carbon emissions. This would be equivalent to taking 3.8 million cars off of the road each year.

According to new research published today, lowering the temperature at which frozen foods are stored and transported from minus 18C down to minus 15C could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 17,7 million metric tons.

This three-degree shift would also result in energy savings of approximately 25 terawatts per year. That’s about half the annual electricity consumption of Singapore.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and London South Bank University, as well as the International Institute of Refrigeration in Paris, found that the switch would not affect food safety or quality.

DP World, a global logistics company, has formed a coalition with other industry giants, including Maersk and the Mediterranean Shipping Company. Daikin and AJC Group have also joined the group to support this change.

Maha AlQattan, DP World Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said that frozen food standards have not been updated for almost a century. They are overdue to be revised.

The industry cannot change the world by itself, no matter how committed they are. They must work together.

With this research and our newly formed alliance, we hope to support collaboration within the industry in order to find viable ways of achieving the sector’s collective net-zero ambition by the year 2050.

The simple changes and technological innovations provide some hope for the world to tackle climate change despite dire warnings of our slow progress.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has recently declared that climate change is “dwarfed by its scale” and humans have “opened hell’s gates.”

The Paris Agreement signed eight years ago resulted in a commitment to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrialisation levels by 2100, but that target is rapidly approaching.

This year, the planet has been 1.2C over that level.

A Year of Disastrous Weather

Climate scientists reflect on the shocking series of weather disasters that have occurred in recent years as the year draws to a rapid close.

Pedro DiNezio is an Associate Professor at Colorado University Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. He said that 2023 will be remembered for deadly wildfires and sweltering heat, as well as devastating hurricanes and massive flooding.

It’s been a difficult time for climate change. La Nina has been a rollercoaster ride with El Nino and La Nina. We were coming out of La Nina earlier last year and then went straight into El Nino.

Heatwaves are a normal phenomenon in the climate system. However, if it is already very warm, an event that used to happen every 50 years is now happening every five years due to the extra warmth.

Heatwaves are more intense and frequent because of climate change.

As the Earth’s climate warms up, its atmosphere can also hold more water vapor. All that water vapor can become rain, resulting in longer and heavier storms.

Scientists from the European Union believe that this year will be the hottest ever recorded.

The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service dataset dates back to 1940. However, when combined with research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which examines evidence such as tree rings, ice cores, and coral deposits, it is an even more stark picture.

Samantha Burgess, CS3’s Deputy Director, said that 2023 is “virtually sure” to be the warmest in 125,000 years.

He said that as they dried up, it was easier to set them alight.

Need for more ambitious action.

If pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement eventuate, experts expect global warming to peak between 2.1C and 2.8C above pre-industrialisation levels.

Brendan Mackey of Griffith University, Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beach, said that worst-case scenarios of a 4C or more warming by 2100 are now unlikely.

In an article published by The Conversation, Mr Mackey stated that a 2C world would cause irreversible and unacceptable damage.

The COP28 Climate Summit will begin today in the United Arab Emirates with representatives from all over the world.

A Global Stocktake, for the first time, will provide a comprehensive review of the progress made on the Paris Agreement’s commitments.

If we want to achieve net zero CO2 emission levels by 2050, Mr Mackey stated that “we’ll need more ambitious targets and help to reduce global greenhouse gas by 43 percent by 2030, and 60 percent by 2035 compared to 2019 levels.”

The success of COP28 will depend on whether or not the largest emitters agree to more ambitious emissions reduction actions.

Mackey stated that he expected a lot of debate about the wording.

The Federal Government will present its Annual Climate Change Report in Parliament today to coincide with the Summit. It shows that Australia is on course to reduce emissions by 42 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

Next week, Climate Minister Chris Bowen will be in the UAE to negotiate.

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