On Tuesday, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) readings at the Manua Loa Observatory in Hawaii reached 410 parts per million (ppm) a level last reached millions of years ago. When the measurements started in 1958, the levels were 280 ppm and it was only in 2013 that the levels passed 400 ppm. At best, we can only slow the rate of increase–these levels will persist for many years even if CO2 emissions are cut drastically. If unchecked, the levels will reach those of 50 million years ago by the end of the century.
China has launched its first domestically-made aircraft carrier. Its first aircraft carrier was a retrofitted Russian aircraft carrier, and the new one reflects China’s rapid development as a maritime power. The new vessel is designed primarily for coastal and close-shore combat: it is diesel-powered, not nuclear-powered, which limits how long it can stay at sea; it has a ski-lift jump for its aircraft which limits how much fuel and how many weapons each can carry; and it can hold only a relatively small number of aircraft. The Navy Times places the new vessel in context:
“China is believed to be planning to build at least two and possibly as many as four additional carriers, with one of them, the Type 002, reported to be already under construction at a shipyard outside Shanghai. They are expected to be closer in size to the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered 100,000-ton Nimitz class ships, with flat flight decks and catapults to allow planes to launch with more bombs and fuel aboard.”
“According to Chinese reports, the new, as yet unnamed, carrier will carry 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters, based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-33, along with 12 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning and rescue operations. That compares to 85-90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters carried by a Nimitz-class carrier.