Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Carbon Emissions Highest In 66 Million Years



Carbon emission release rate ‘unprecedented’ in past 66m years

Researchers calculate that humans are pumping out carbon 10 times faster than at any point since the extinction of the dinosaurs

Humanity is pumping climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 10 times faster than at any point in the past 66m years, according to new research.
The revelation shows the world has entered “uncharted territory” and that the consequences for life on land and in the oceans may be more severe than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
It comes as the World Meteorological Organisation released its Status of the Climate Report detailing a string of weather and climate records that were broken in 2015.
“The future is happening now,” said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas in a statement released alongside the report. “The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emission is unprecedented in modern records.”
Scientists have already warned that unchecked global warming will inflict“severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world.


Methane measurements around Greenland and the Laptev Sea

Annual measurements. Especially intense along the north Siberian coast. First image 2009-2013. Second image map of one of the methane sources along the Laptev Sea. In the third image spikes of methane jump into levels not registered in human history.

Dr. Leonid Yurgonov uses the AIRS/AQUA satellite sensor to provide a record of Arctic methane overburden from 2009-2013. The general trend  is quite clear.



The Arctic Sea Ice is Breaking Up North of Greenland in June

1-3 mile wide cracks appear in the sea ice north of Greenland in this NASA satellite shot on June 19 of 2016. For reference, bottom edge of frame is 400 miles.

Compare this figure with earlier decadic growth rates

2005 – 2014   2.11 ppm per year
1995 – 2004   1.87 ppm per year
1985 – 1994   1.42 ppm per year
1975 – 1984   1.44 ppm per year
1965 – 1974   1.06 ppm per year
1959 – 1964   0.73 ppm per year



What Does It take to Be Upper Middle Class?

What's left unsaid is much of the upper middle class is prospering due to privileged positions that are increasingly at risk of disruption.

What does it take to be upper middle class? According to one analyst, the answer is: at least $100,000 a year for a family of three. The Growing Size and Incomes of the Upper Middle Class (Urban Institute).
The paper claims the upper middle class has grown from 12.9% of the population in 1979 to 29.4% in 2014--in essence, the shrinkage of the "middle class" is not just from households dropping down the ladder but millions of households climbing up to the upper middle class.
While the evidence broadly supports this secular shift--the concentration of income and wealth in the top 20% increases while the wealth and income of the bottom 80% stagnates--I think the claim that 30% of all U.S. households are upper middle class grossly overstates the reality, which is it's become increasingly costly to even qualify as middle class, never mind upper middle class.
I've explored these topics in depth over the past few years:

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