Tag Archives: output

World scientists – we can’t raise the temperature by more than two degrees Celsius

The official position of planet Earth at the moment is that we can’t raise the temperature more than two degrees Celsius.

Some context: So far, we’ve raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.)

Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.

We’re not getting any free lunch from the world’s economies, either. With only a single year’s lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we’ve continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. In late May, the International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before.

  • America had a warm winter and converted more coal-fired power plants to natural gas, so its emissions fell slightly
  • China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent
  • Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent.

 

Keep reading: Rolling Stone - Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

 

 

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Chart – 21st century has already created more goods than previous 1,900 years


 

  • In the first decade of the 21st century, the population of the world produced more economic output than in the first 19 centuries of the common era combined.
  • If people do make history, then two people make twice as much history as one. Since there are almost 7 billion people alive today, it follows that they are making seven times as much history as the 1 billion alive in 1811.
  • Measured in years lived, the present century, which is only ten years old, is already “longer” than the whole of the 17th century.
  • Over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010, according to an updated version of Angus Maddison’s figures.
  • 55% of all goods and services were made in the 20th century.

 
via - The Economist – Two thousand years in one chart, More 2,000 years in a single graphic