Bitcoin Proves to Be a Hedge to Investors During Stressful Trade Wars

By CCN: The U.S./China trade war stage has been set with no finale in sight, and the unlikely beneficiary appears to be bitcoin.

While it’s still early days, the crypto is emerging as a viable global hedge.

Travis Kling, CIO of crypto asset management firm Ikigai Asset Management, told TD Ameritrade the rally in crypto caught him by surprise considering “the increase in stress from what’s going on with the trade war.” He offered a possible catalyst for the gains, saying:

“This is a hedge against irresponsibility from governments and from central bankers…the world is waking up to the value of a hedge against…quantitative easing.”

Kling noted the importance of global outflows to bitcoin, and he noted that “there could be onshore renminbi capital flight stuff that’s going on…that could be driving the positive crypto price action right now.”

bitcoin price bitcoin price

Bitcoin ripped above $8,100 Monday afternoon. | Source: CoinMarketCap

In a note to clients cited by CNBC, Andy Brenner, head of International Fixed Income at National Alliance Securities, observed BTC’s recent and sharp divergence from Chinese currency prices, writing:

“If you were in China and you wanted to diversify, it would seem logical that bitcoin would be a short term alternative. While we do not see the direct flows of who is buying bitcoin, we can see that the bid for bitcoin in this latest run has coincided with a big downtick in the value of the Chinese Yuan versus the dollar.”

Brenner’s comments come as the Dow has tanked by more than a 1,000 points since last week. Over nearly the same time period, bitcoin has moved to its best level since last year. At the time of writing, its price was about $8,100, marking the first time it’s pierced $8,000 since July 2018.

Bitcoin Sheds Stigma 

Crypto enthusiasts know that a traditional finance player recognizing crypto as even an alternative is a huge development. Cryptocurrencies have come a long way in shedding a stigma and moving closer toward mass adoption.

The bitcoin price’s volatility has been one of the main reasons interest has seemingly been tepid.

While bitcoin has been highly volatile, it seems it’s finally coming into its own.

Bitcoin as a Hedge 

Today’s low interest-rate environment may also work to bitcoin’s advantage and contribute to its emergence as an alternative asset. This according to Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global Trading. Similar to the appeal of high-growth tech stocks, investors may look to BTC as a riskier but faster-growing bet as cash continues to earn next to nothing. Moro is quoted in CNBC as saying:

“If you look back at 2018 when the Fed was raising interest rates, bitcoin was not performing well. I think that’s what we’ve seen with bitcoin the last two months — the Fed signaling we’re cutting rates.”

Other central banks have followed suit, including New Zealand, which just experienced its first rate cut in more than two years.

Dow Rallies 300 Points But Fed Insider Reveals Ominous Warning

By CCN: The Dow Jones exploded toward a spectacular recovery on Tuesday, launching the stock market bellwether more than 300 points higher despite lingering concerns about the U.S.-China trading relationship.

Dow Jumps More Than 300 Points

However, one Federal Reserve insider delivered an ominous warning about the state of the global economy that should trigger alarm bells on Wall Street.

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The Dow assembled a spectacular 300 point recovery on Tuesday. | Source: Yahoo Finance

The short-term recovery of the Dow Jones has been primarily attributed to the optimism of U.S. President Donald Trump towards a comprehensive trade deal with China after the latest round of trade talks fell apart.

“He just got back from China. We’ll let you know in about three or four weeks whether of not it was successful. … But I have a feeling it’s going to be very successful,” Trump said at a White House dinner, according to Reuters.

However, as said by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren, the breakdown of the most recent round of trade discussions poses a serious threat to the global economy which may negatively affect the near-term trend of the U.S. equities market.

Fed President Rosengren: Trade War Could Catalyze Global Slowdown

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Fed President Eric Rosengren warned that the trade war could greatly disrupt global economic stability. | Source: Shutterstock

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Rosengren stated that despite signs of recovery in the first several months of 2019, the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China in regards to trade could cause major disruptions to the economy and the performance of the Dow Jones.

He said:

“We do have to be concerned that if we have a more widespread issue with trade and particularly if financial markets react quite negatively to that, it could have the possibility to slow down global growth. It’s way too soon to be able to make that assessment.”

The rising tension between the U.S. and China comes after the eurozone economy recorded a surprising rebound in the first quarter of 2019 after it demonstrated a steep decline in late 2018.

Previously, market strategist Russel Napier warned that if the struggle of the eurozone economy continues, it may cause the collapse of the global monetary system.

“The key consequence of this collapse will be the destruction of the euro. The expected success of the far-right and far-left in the European parliamentary election in May this year augurs the beginning of the end for the currency union. Both extremes share a commitment to the return of sovereignty to their parliaments that is incompatible with a single currency,” Napier wrote in January.

No Interest Rate Raise on the Horizon

One positive takeaway, if there is any, is the reluctance of the Federal Reserve to move its benchmark interest rate from the current level that has buoyed the stock market in recent weeks.

“I’m comfortable with where interest rates are right now. We are obviously in the process of discovering how big a shock we are going to get from the recent announcement of tariffs and the retaliation for the tariffs. We should really focus on the more near term. And for the near term I don’t think we need to alter policy,” Rosengren said.

However, the Federal Reserve may consider dropping the benchmark interest rate if the U.S.-China trade tension worsens in the near-term and if indicators suggest it poses a large risk to the global economy.

President Trump expressed his intent to push for a full deal, even if it ends with the two central banks engaging in an interest rate battle that could spell trouble for the equities market and the Dow Jones.

“China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are, and will be, losing. If the Federal Reserve ever did a ‘match,’ it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!” President Trump said.

The Dow last traded at 25,625.02 for a gain of 300 points or 1.18 percent.

Click here for a live Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.

AOC & Bernie Sanders Spew Socialist Propaganda to Trigger the Right

By CCN: Billionaire Mark Cuban slammed progressive politicians Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Bernie Sanders for what he says are their misconceptions about how helpful socialism can be. The man who self-identifies as a “hardcore capitalist” believes the two Democrats use the word to get attention, without actually believing in it or understanding it.

Mark Cuban: Bernie Sanders and AOC Use Socialism as a Calling Card

Cuban told Fox Business at the SALT conference:

“When they talk about socialism – whether it’s Bernie Sanders – whether it’s [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] – I think they recognize that it’s a trigger word and they use it just to get people all riled up as opposed to really being socialist.”

He could be right. Cuban suggested that Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders did not genuinely, or not necessarily, believe in the socialism they supposedly promote. AOC lobbed the idea of a $93 trillion Green New Deal as a way to both rally the conservationist movement and corner climate deniers in the Republican party into taking anti-science stances.

Mitch McConnell was the first pigeon trapped:

Bernie Sanders has always described himself as a social democrat, a term that fits within the framework of a capitalist economy and a liberal democratic polity, with a promise of promoting social justice:

Big Government, Small Government… Shut the F**k Up… How About Government That Works?

As unfeasible as it might seem, Mark Cuban’s commentary about solving inequality was inadvertently Obama-esque, emphasizing the importance of government’s effectiveness over its size. He described the “old days” as being characterized by:

“Ten thousand bureaucrats coming to a compromise that doesn’t work.”

Mark Cuban wants to see smart government, bringing data, the funding that capitalism provides, and “a little compassion” to create programs that work in a “government-as-a-service” style approach to policy.

mark cubanmark cuban

Billionaire Mark Cuban sounds surprisingly Obama-esque when discussing the role of government in the economy. | Source: Shutterstock

If the right needed a sensible voice in the crowd, Mark Cuban has provided it. While his intention was to decry the socialist leanings of the two high-profile Democrats, the billionaire conceded there was “no question” that the US has a wealth gap problem, among the worst in the developed world.

And while he obviously doesn’t see socialism as the answer, he does acknowledge that income inequality is economically and socially problematic. He spoke of compassionate capitalism and data-driven solutions to social problems.

These are concepts beyond the reach of the current administration, given its intellectual shortcomings. Will the GOP ever get another reasonable, sensible candidate for the White House? When pressed, the businessman coyly replied:

“Stay tuned.”

Google Searches Scream FOMO! as Bitcoin Tops $8,350

By CCN: Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, once gave some investing advice that is incredibly timely now that bitcoin (BTC/USD) skyrocketed to a fresh 2019 high of $8,350 on Coinbase:

“To be a successful investor, you must divorce yourself from the fears and greed of the people around you.”

The unexpected rally may not be getting the media attention it deserves but, our analysis shows that people are beginning to hop on the bandwagon.

Unfortunately, they only do so after bitcoin is most likely about to conclude a rally. In this article, we show how many retail investors buy only after the price surge concludes.

Bitcoin Charts and Google Trends Data Show Undeniable Correlation

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The bitcoin price appears to be inspiring FOMO in the hearts of retail investors. | Source: Shutterstock

In trading and investing, it is always good practice to consider the contrarian stance. For instance, if the overall sentiment is bearish, perhaps it’s an excellent time to be bullish – and vice-versa. We do this all the time because the herd is rarely correct. It seems that Google Trends supports our line of thinking.

We plotted the interest for the search term “buy bitcoin” on Google Trends during the past 12 months, and correlated it with bitcoin’s price action on the weekly chart.

On the Google Trends chart, we were able to mark nine points where there was a spike or significant interest in the search term. For your reference, these are the dates when the search “buy bitcoin” bounced:

  1. July 22 – 28, 2018
  2. Sept. 02 – 08
  3. Oct. 14 – 20
  4. Nov. 25 – Dec. 01
  5. Dec. 30, 2018 – Jan. 05, 2019
  6. Feb. 03 – 09
  7. Feb. 24 – Mar. 02
  8. Mar. 31 – Apr. 06
  9. May 05 – 11
“buy bitcoin” on Google Trends“buy bitcoin” on Google Trends

Dates when people showed interest in the search term “buy bitcoin” on Google Trends | Source: Google Trends

We then cross-referenced these dates to bitcoin’s weekly chart on Coinbase. We discovered that there’s only significant interest in the cryptocurrency either during a rally or after a bounce.

Bitcoin posted green weekly candles in eight out of the nine dates listed above. There was only one red candle, and that was in the week of September 3rd. At that time, the market was blowing off steam after going above $8,000.  

bitcoin pricebitcoin price

Bitcoin weekly chart suggests FOMO. | Source: TradingView

The correlation between public interest and price action is undeniable. It indicates that people are only interested in buying bitcoin after a price surge. The link becomes more evident when you look at the relationship between the two variables in the last seven days.  

Interest in “buy bitcoin” increasing in the last seven daysInterest in “buy bitcoin” increasing in the last seven days

Interest in “buy bitcoin” increased significantly in the last seven days. | Source: Google Trends

In this sample, the “buy bitcoin” search term peaked on May 12th and May 14th. If you look at bitcoin’s daily chart, these are the dates when the market appears to be hyper bullish.

Bitcoin looks ultra bullish and people are taking noticeBitcoin looks ultra bullish and people are taking notice

Bitcoin looks ultra bullish, and people are taking notice | Source: TradingView

Don’t Get Trampled When the Crypto Bulls Stampede

Considering all the data, there appears to be a link between the rise in price and the surge in interest in buying bitcoin.

Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation. However, there is some evidence to suggest that FOMO likely drives the general public.

If this is true, then the legendary Warren Buffett is right. Here’s a slight modification to what he said: “You must divorce yourself from the fears and greed of the” herd “to be a successful investor.”

Crypto Hedge Funds Bought the F**king Dip During 2018s Bitcoin Crash

By CCN: It seems bitcoin’s epic 72 percent price fall in 2018 didn’t deter wealthy investors.

Crypto hedge funds reported a three-fold increase in assets under management (AuM) in 2018 despite the bear market. It suggests investors were quietly building exposure to cryptocurrency even as the price fell.

Per a comprehensive report on crypto hedge fund performance issued by PWC, hedge funds reported a median AuM of $4.3 million in January 2019, a 3x increase from the year previous ($1.2m).

Crypto hedge funds: buying the dip

The report confirms that hedge funds were pretty successful in attracting new funds through a difficult market.

“The median AuM at fund launch was US$1.2 million and the median launch date was January 2018, which indicates that the funds surveyed have been relatively successful in fundraising, especially considering that the Bitwise 10 index has fallen ~75% over this period.”

According to PWC, 150 active crypto hedge funds collectively manage $1 billion assets.

Only a small fraction of these funds are high-rollers, with more than half managing less than $10 million each. Much like the traditional hedge fund ecosystem, a small handful of giant funds dominate the total AuM.

Hedge funds AUM, bitcoin, cryptoHedge funds AUM, bitcoin, crypto

The vast majority of crypto hedge funds manage less than $10 million. Source: PWC

Most hedge funds still lost money

Despite attracting new capital, crypto hedge funds weren’t immune from bitcoin’s collapse. The surveyed funds reported a median loss of 46 percent across the board. A dramatic fall in absolute terms, but as the PWC report explains, it’s a significant outperformance against bitcoin.

“The majority of the managers we surveyed use Bitcoin as their benchmark. Therefore, it can be argued that these managers did manage to outperform their benchmark and add some alpha.”

By using leverage and hedging their capital with short positions, hedge funds are better placed to limit the market’s downside. So-called “quant funds” actually returned 8 percent median gains using these techniques in a volatile market.

2,400% “buying spree” in 2019

The trend is accelerating in 2019. As the crypto winter thaws, hedge funds are allocating even more capital to bitcoin. As CCN reported this week, hedge funds propelled a 2,400% increase in inflow to the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust in the first quarter of 2019.

“Grayscale experienced a 42% uptick in product inflows quarter-over-quarter, from $30.1 million in 4Q18 to $42.7 million in 1Q19. Notably, hedge funds ramped up their investments substantially, from less than $1 million in 4Q18 to approximately $24 million in 1Q19.”

A separate report published by Circle last month pointed to a 40 percent increase in crypto fund holdings.

One thing is for certain, hedge funds and their investors have been quietly loading up on bitcoin for the last year. As bitcoin pops to $8,000, we’re seeing the rest of the market sit up and take notice.

Dow Kickstarts Recovery After Wall Street Buys Trumps Trade War BS

By CCN: The US stock market swung back into recovery mode on Tuesday, positioning the Dow to mount a triple-digit gain just one day after trade war tensions dropped a grenade on Wall Street.

Dow Wakes Up from Monday Nightmare

The Dow Jones Industrial Average popped by around 100 points at the opening bell, and by 9:37 am ET, the index had gained 133.74 points or 0.45% to trade at 25,438.73. The S&P 500 jumped 0.5% to 2,825.98, and the Nasdaq added 0.66% to reach 7,695.34 amid a positive morning session for US stocks.

dow jones industrial average djiadow jones industrial average djia

The Dow jumped by around 100 points at the opening bell. | Source: Yahoo Finance

On Monday, the stock market absolutely imploded, wiping 617.38 points or 2.3% off the Dow, which settled at 25,324.99 when the closing bell mercifully brought an end to the bloodshed. Remarkably, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq performed even worse, plunging 2.41% to 2,811.87 and 3.41% to 7,657.02.

Wall Street Hops Back on the Trade War Carousel

Stock futures jerked higher on Tuesday morning after US President Donald Trump revealed that he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in June, giving the two leaders a chance to hash out their countries’ differences following the sudden end to the trade war ceasefire.

Trump expressed optimism that the two economic superpowers could strike a deal, even as the US Trade Representative’s office prepares to smack another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 25% tariff.

“When the time is right we will make a deal with China. My respect and friendship with President Xi is unlimited but, as I have told him many times before, this must be a great deal for the United States or it just doesn’t make any sense,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Here. We. Go. Again.

Please tell me I’m not the only one suffering from trade war deja vu.

Trump and his officials fattened equities valuations throughout the first four months of 2019 by feeding us a steady diet of trade deal optimism. The chaos that transpired when Beijing abruptly erased months of negotiating “progress” should have been sufficient to expose the administration’s lack of credibility on US-China relations.

At this point, it’s hard to see investors as anything but masochistic. Why else would they continue to lap up every half-cocked Trump tweet as though it was transmitted from Mount Olympus by the Oracle of Delphi herself?

At least the Oracle of Delphi got it right once in a while.

No, it increasingly appears that after a decade of unbridled bullishness, Wall Street is desperate to maintain that euphoric narrative as long as possible, even if that means allowing Trump to string them along on a trade deal that’s always just out of reach.

Stock Market Needs to Buckle Up for a ‘Long Trade War’

Meanwhile, Axios reports that senior Trump administration officials have absolutely no confidence that the US and China will pound out a firm agreement within the near future.

The stock market, that report suggested, should buckle up for a “long trade war.”

But who are Axios and unnamed Trump administration sources to stand between the Dow and a new all-time high?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.

AOC & Bernie Sanders Spew Socialist Propaganda to Trigger the Right

By CCN: Billionaire Mark Cuban slammed progressive politicians Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Bernie Sanders for what he says are their misconceptions about how helpful socialism can be. The man who self-identifies as a “hardcore capitalist” believes the two Democrats use the word to get attention, without actually believing in it or understanding it.

Mark Cuban: Bernie Sanders and AOC Use Socialism as a Calling Card

Cuban told Fox Business at the SALT conference:

“When they talk about socialism – whether it’s Bernie Sanders – whether it’s [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] – I think they recognize that it’s a trigger word and they use it just to get people all riled up as opposed to really being socialist.”

He could be right. Cuban suggested that Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders did not genuinely, or not necessarily, believe in the socialism they supposedly promote. AOC lobbed the idea of a $93 trillion Green New Deal as a way to both rally the conservationist movement and corner climate deniers in the Republican party into taking anti-science stances.

Mitch McConnell was the first pigeon trapped:

Bernie Sanders has always described himself as a social democrat, a term that fits within the framework of a capitalist economy and a liberal democratic polity, with a promise of promoting social justice:

Big Government, Small Government… Shut the F**k Up… How About Government That Works?

As unfeasible as it might seem, Mark Cuban’s commentary about solving inequality was inadvertently Obama-esque, emphasizing the importance of government’s effectiveness over its size. He described the “old days” as being characterized by:

“Ten thousand bureaucrats coming to a compromise that doesn’t work.”

Mark Cuban wants to see smart government, bringing data, the funding that capitalism provides, and “a little compassion” to create programs that work in a “government-as-a-service” style approach to policy.

mark cubanmark cuban

Billionaire Mark Cuban sounds surprisingly Obama-esque when discussing the role of government in the economy. | Source: Shutterstock

If the right needed a sensible voice in the crowd, Mark Cuban has provided it. While his intention was to decry the socialist leanings of the two high-profile Democrats, the billionaire conceded there was “no question” that the US has a wealth gap problem, among the worst in the developed world.

And while he obviously doesn’t see socialism as the answer, he does acknowledge that income inequality is economically and socially problematic. He spoke of compassionate capitalism and data-driven solutions to social problems.

These are concepts beyond the reach of the current administration, given its intellectual shortcomings. Will the GOP ever get another reasonable, sensible candidate for the White House? When pressed, the businessman coyly replied:

“Stay tuned.”

Coinbase Launches XRP Trading in New York, Price Explodes 20%

By CCN: Coinbase has expanded its exchange platform to support XRP trading in New York.

In a tweet on Monday, the cryptocurrency exchange confirmed that New York state residents can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store XRP online or via the Coinbase apps.

XRP, the cryptocurrency associated with Ripple, is up 20 percent on the news. 

A Long Wait for XRP on Coinbase

It’s been a long time coming for many XRP holders. Rumors of a Coinbase listing first circulated back in late 2017, but concerns over the crypto’s regulatory status meant a listing didn’t materialize until 2019. 

Coinbase first added XRP to its Coinbase Pro platform in early 2019. In the weeks following, the crypto was added to its online retail exchange, but with restrictions in New York and the UK. As of Monday, the full New York roll-out is now complete.

Coinbase has ramped up the number of tradable assets on its platform over the last twelve months. It now supports bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin SV, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, stellar lumens, XRP, basic attention token, REP, zcash, 0x, as well as others on its Coinbase Pro offering. 

XRP Shoots up 20%

XRP is trading 20 percent higher intraday, pushing the third-largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization beyond $16 billion. Currently trading at $0.38, the cryptocurrency’s spike is outperforming the rest of the market with bitcoin up 13 percent and ethereum up 9 percent.

XRP 24 hour price chartXRP 24 hour price chart

XRP price explodes after Coinbase facilitates trading for New York customers. Source: CoinMarketCap

The price is also bolstered by news yesterday that Germany’s second-largest stock exchange has approved an XRP exchange-traded note (ETN). The move will allow German investors to get easy exposure to XRP and other cryptocurrencies.

As CCN reports, however, the surge puts the crypto token into dangerously overbought territory. With a Relative Strength Index (RSI) now above 70, a correction to the downside is a strong possibility.

The Worst Performing Cryptocurrency in 2019?

Despite today’s surge and a slew of strong fundamentals, XRP has failed to capitalize on the broader crypto resurgence this year.

With just 6 percent gains year-to-date, it remains one of the year’s worst-performing digital assets. Only Stellar Lumens has performed worse in the top ten this year. In contrast, bitcoin has chalked up 112 percent while Binance Coin has surged 295 percent.

$1 Trillion Stock Market Massacre Risks Igniting Global Recession

By CCN: Monday’s devastating stock market massacre wiped a staggering $1 trillion from equities valuations as the U.S.-China relations escalated into a full-blown trade war. American farmers, among the worst hit by the trade war, are saying they feel like “it can’t get worse,” but economists fear a global recession is next.

Global Recession Will Bite if Trade War Escalates

In a note to clients on Friday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists wrote:

“A trade war, with across-the-board tariffs on US-China trade, would push the global economy towards recession.”

This is the worst case scenario most economists fear from a full-fledged, Cold War-like trade war between the U.S. and China, in which the U.S. levies tariffs on all Chinese goods and the Chinese government retaliates again in kind.

stock market crashstock market crash

Global stock markets lost $1 trillion on Monday. Yikes! | Source: Bloomberg

In a note Monday, Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. equity strategist, Michael Wilson, said the massive tax burden of new tariffs would create cost pressures that U.S. companies won’t be able to offset. The Wall Street analyst fears this will lead to a recession:

“Given other cost pressures and stubbornly low inflation, we are unconvinced that companies will generally be able to fully offset tariff costs through raising prices or through cost efficiencies elsewhere, meaning tariffs will press on margins. In the case of 25% tariffs on all of China’s exports to the US, we are inclined to think this has the potential to tip the US economy into recession given the cost issues companies are already dealing with.”

The center-right Tax Foundation says Friday’s tariff increases raised taxes on American businesses by $72 billion. The foundation estimates any further escalation in the trade war threatens to wipe out half of the long-term impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and that more than 500,000 American jobs could disappear.

Even top Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow admitted in a widely publicized interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that “both sides will suffer” as a result of the latest escalation in Trump’s trade war.

Warren Buffett: Stock Market Sell-Off Is ‘Rational’

Warren Buffett stock market trade warWarren Buffett stock market trade war

Legendary investor Warren Buffett says the trade war is terrible for the economy. | Source: Shutterstock

This latest escalation in Donald Trump‘s trade war cost investors a trillion dollars worth of global stock values in one day.

A week ago, legendary stock investor Warren Buffett said it’s “rational” for investors to unload stocks in light of recent tariff increases and the threat of even more. Donald Trump is now threatening to levy tariffs on the $300 billion of remaining Chinese imports that he hasn’t taxed yet.

Buffett, who says the two world powers are playing a “dangerous game,” warns a full-blown trade war like this would be very bad for the entire world economy:

“If we actually have a trade war, it would be bad for the whole world, and could be very bad, depending on the extent of the war.”

Carbon Dioxide Levels In The Atmosphere Hit Highest Mark In Human History

Carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere have soared to a new high, one never before been seen in human history, researchers announced.

A daily CO2 reading by researchers on Saturday recorded a 415.26 parts per million (ppm) baseline. It’s the first daily baseline to top 415 ppm in mankind’s history, the researchers with San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography said.

“Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago,” Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and writer for the non-profit environmental magazine Grist, emphasized on a Twitter post. “Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago.”

Saturday's carbon dioxide reading at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, depicted on a graph showing levels over several tho

Researchers have collected the daily measurements for more than 60 years at  Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, an atmospheric baseline station considered ideal for monitoring atmospheric conditions because of its undisturbed air, remote location, and minimal influences of vegetation and human activity. Those measurements are then compared to those from hundreds of thousands of years ago after analyzing gas contained in ice cores, according to the research institute.

“During ice ages, the CO2 levels were around 200 ppm, and during the warmer interglacial periods, the levels were around 280 ppm,” according to the institute’s website.

The data has been showcased in what is called the Keeling Curve. This graph shows a significant spike in CO2 levels in more modern years, as well as particular milestones in more recent times.

Atmospheric CO2 measurements have been collected at the atmospheric baseline station Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii since th



Atmospheric CO2 measurements have been collected at the atmospheric baseline station Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii since the 1950s.

At the end of 2018, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded the fourth-highest annual growth in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 in its 60 years of record keeping. In 2013, CO2 levels were recorded as exceeding 400 ppm for the first time in human history. To offer some comparison, CO2 levels were around 315 ppm at the start of record keeping in the 1950s.

Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s CO2 program, said the current rise is likely from both human and natural causes.

“The average growth rate is remaining on the high end. The increase from last year will probably be around three parts per million whereas the recent average has been 2.5 ppm,” he said in a statement. “Likely we’re seeing the effect of mild El Niño conditions on top of ongoing fossil fuel use.”

Keeling has previously said that human activity is undeniably to blame for CO2 levels rising so high, primarily due to fossil fuel burning.

Ice core samples, like the ones stored here at the National Ice Core Laboratory in Colorado, have been used to measure CO2 le



Ice core samples, like the ones stored here at the National Ice Core Laboratory in Colorado, have been used to measure CO2 levels in the atmosphere from thousands of years ago.

“It’s true that atmospheric CO2 has almost certainly been higher than present in Earth’s distant past, many millions of years ago. But because fossil-fuel burning is not natural, the recent carbon increases in the atmosphere, oceans, and land biosphere cannot be natural either,” he has said. “Few if any natural processes can release fossil carbon into the atmosphere as fast as we humans are doing it now via the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.”