UPDATED: Roy Spencer on how Oceans are Driving CO2

NOTE: Earlier today I posted a paper from Joe D’Aleo on how he has found strong correlations between the oceans multidecadal oscillations, PDO and AMO, and surface temperature, followed by finding no strong correlation between CO2 and surface temperatures. See that article here:

Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2

Now within hours of that, Roy Spencer of the National Space Science and Technology Center at University of Alabama, Huntsville,  sends me and others this paper where he postulates that the ocean may be the main driver of CO2.

In the flurry of emails that followed, Joe D’Aleo provided this graph of CO2 variations correlated by El Nino/La Nina /Volcanic event years which is relevant to the discussion. Additionally for my laymen readers, a graph of CO2 solubility in water versus temperature is also relevant and both are shown below:

daleo-co2-ppmchange.png  
Click for full size images

Additionally, I’d like to point out that former California State Climatologist Jim Goodridge posted a short essay on this blog, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Variation, that postulated something similar.

UPDATE: This from Roy on Monday 1/28/08 see new post on C12 to C13 ratio here

I want to (1) clarify the major point of my post, and (2) report some new (C13/C12 isotope) results:

1.  The interannual relationship between SST and dCO2/dt is more than enough to explain the long term increase in CO2 since 1958.  I’m not claiming that ALL of the Mauna Loa increase is all natural…some of it HAS to be anthropogenic…. but this evidence suggests that SST-related effects could be a big part of the CO2 increase.

2.  NEW RESULTS: I’ve been analyzing the C13/C12 ratio data from Mauna Loa.  Just as others have found, the decrease in that ratio with time (over the 1990-2005 period anyway) is almost exactly what is expected from the depleted C13 source of fossil fuels.  But guess what? If you detrend the data, then the annual cycle and interannual variability shows the EXACT SAME SIGNATURE.  So, how can decreasing C13/C12 ratio be the signal of HUMAN emissions, when the NATURAL emissions have the same signal???

-Roy

Here is Roy Spencer’s essay, without any editing or commentary:


Atmospheric CO2 Increases:

Could the Ocean, Rather Than Mankind, Be the Reason?

by

Roy W. Spencer

1/25/2008

            This is probably the most provocative hypothesis I have ever (and will ever) advance:  The long-term increases in carbon dioxide concentration that have been observed at Mauna Loa since 1958 could be driven more than by the ocean than by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels.

            Most, if not all, experts in the global carbon cycle will at this point think I am totally off my rocker.  Not being an expert in the global carbon cycle, I am admittedly sticking my neck out here.  But, at a minimum, the results I will show make for a fascinating story – even if my hypothesis is wrong.  While the evidence I will show is admittedly empirical, I believe that a physically based case can be made to support it.

            But first, some acknowledgements. Even though I have been playing with the CO2 and global temperature data for about a year, it was the persistent queries from a Canadian engineer, Allan MacRae, who made me recently revisit this issue in more detail.  Also, the writings of Tom V. Segalstad, a Norwegian geochemist, were also a source of information and ideas about the carbon cycle.

            First, let’s start with what everyone knows: that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and global-averaged surface temperature, have risen since the Mauna Loa CO2 record began.  These are illustrated in the next two figures.

spencer-012508-fig1.png
 

spencer-012508-fig2.png

Both are on the increase, an empirical observation that is qualitatively consistent with the “consensus” view that increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing the warming.  Note also that they both have a “bend” in them that looks similar, which might also lead one to speculate that there is a physical connection between them.

Now, let’s ask: “What is the empirical evidence that CO2 is driving surface temperature, and not the other way around?”  If we ask that question, then we are no longer trying to explain the change in temperature with time (a heat budget issue), but instead we are dealing with what is causing the change in CO2 concentration with time (a carbon budget issue).  The distinction is important.  In mathematical terms, we need to analyze the sources and sinks contributing to dCO2/dt, not dT/dt.

So, let us look at the yearly CO2 input into the atmosphere based upon the Mauna Loa record, that is, the change in CO2 concentration with time (Fig. 3).

spencer-012508-fig3.png

Here I have expressed the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration changes in million metric tons of carbon (mmtC) per year so that they can be compared to the human emissions, also shown in the graph.

Now, compare the surface temperature variations in Fig. 2 with the Mauna Loa-derived carbon emissions in Fig. 3.  They look pretty similar, don’t they?  In fact, the CO2 changes look a lot more like the temperature changes than the human emissions do.  The large interannual fluctuations in Mauna Loa-derived CO2 “emissions” roughly coincide with El Nino and La Nina events, which are also periods of globally-averaged warmth and coolness, respectively.  I’ll address the lag between them soon. 

Of some additional interest is the 1992 event.  In that case, cooling from Mt. Pinatubo has caused the surface cooling, and it coincides in a dip in the CO2 change rate at Mauna Loa.

These results beg the question: are surface temperature variations a surrogate for changes in CO2 sources and/or sinks?

First, let’s look at the strength of the trends in temperature and CO2-inferred “emissions”.  If we compare the slopes of the regression lines in Figs. 2 and 3, we get an increase of about 4300 mmt of carbon at Mauna Loa for every degree C. of surface warming.  Please remember that ratio (4,300 mmtC/deg. C), because we are now going to look at the same relationship for the interannual variability seen in Figs. 2 and 3.

In Fig. 4 I have detrended the time series in Figs. 2 and 3, and plotted the residuals against each other.  We see that the interannual temperature-versus-Mauna Loa-inferred emissions relationship has a regression slope of about 5,100 mmtC/deg. C. 

There is little evidence of any time lag between the two time series, give or take a couple of months.

spencer-012508-fig4.png

So, what does this all show?  A comparison of the two slope relationships (5100 mmtC/yr for interannual variability, versus 4,700 mmtC/yr for the trends) shows, at least empirically, that whatever mechanism is causing El Nino and La Nina to modulate CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is more than strong enough to explain the long-term increase in CO2 concentration at Mauna Loa.  So, at least based upon this empirical evidence, invoking mankind’s CO2 emissions is not even necessary. (I will address how this might happen physically, below).

In fact, if we look at several different temperature averaging areas (global, N. H. land, N.H. ocean, N.H. land + ocean, and S.H. ocean), the highest correlation occurs for the Southern Hemisphere ocean , and with a larger regression slope of 7,100 mmtC/deg. C.  This suggests that the oceans, rather than land, could be the main driver of the interannual fluctuations in CO2 emissions that are being picked up at Mauna Loa — especially the Southern Ocean.

Now, here’s where I’m really going to stick my neck out — into the mysterious discipline of the global carbon cycle.  My postulated physical explanation will involve both fast and slow processes of exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and the surface. 

The evidence for rapid exchange of CO2 between the ocean and atmosphere comes from the fact that current carbon cycle flux estimates show that the annual CO2 exchange between surface and atmosphere amounts to 20% to 30% of the total amount in the atmosphere.  This means that most of the carbon in the atmosphere is recycled through the surface every five years or so.  From Segalstad’s writings, the rate of exchange could even be faster than this.  For instance, how do we know what the turbulent fluxes in and out of the wind-driven ocean are?  How would one measure such a thing locally, let alone globally?

Now, this globally averaged situation is made up of some regions emitting more CO2 than they absorb, and some regions absorbing more than they emit.  What if there is a region where there has been a long-term change in the net carbon flux that is at least as big as the human source? 

After all, the human source represents only 3% (or less) the size of the natural fluxes in and out of the surface.  This means that we would need to know the natural upward and downward fluxes to much better than 3% to say that humans are responsible for the current upward trend in atmospheric CO2.  Are measurements of the global carbon fluxes much better than 3% in accuracy??  I doubt it.

So, one possibility would be a long-term change in the El Nino / La Nina cycle, which would include fluctuations in the ocean upwelling areas off the west coasts of the continents.  Since these areas represent semi-direct connections to deep-ocean carbon storage, this could be one possible source of the extra carbon (or, maybe I should say a decreasing sink for atmospheric carbon?).   

Let’s say the oceans are producing an extra 1 unit of CO2, mankind is producing 1 unit, and nature is absorbing an extra 1.5 units.  Then we get the situation we have today, with CO2 rising at about 50% the rate of human emissions.

If nothing else, Fig. 3 illustrates how large the natural interannual changes in CO2 are compared to the human emissions.  In Fig. 5 we see that the yearly-average CO2 increase at Mauna Loa ends up being anywhere from 0% of the human source, to 130%.  

It seems to me that this is proof that natural net flux imbalances are at least as big as the human source.

spencer-012508-fig5.png

Could the long-term increase in El Nino conditions observed in recent decades (and whatever change in the carbon budget of the ocean that entails) be more responsible for increasing CO2 concentrations than mankind?  At this point, I think that question is a valid one.

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116 thoughts on “UPDATED: Roy Spencer on how Oceans are Driving CO2

  1. Very interesting! This one will probably be very controversial. Still, this is an interesting result and Roy generally gives good insight.

  2. Very important quote: After all, the human source represents only 3% (or less) the size of the natural fluxes in and out of the surface. This means that we would need to know the natural upward and downward fluxes to much better than 3% to say that humans are responsible for the current upward trend in atmospheric CO2. Are measurements of the global carbon fluxes much better than 3% in accuracy?? I doubt it.

    That is something I have been saying in discussions with friends, colleagues, and family for some time–and receive mostly blank looks, for my trouble.

    Nice “super Friday” today!

  3. I’m not sure whether this is consistent (or at least compatible) with isotope studies, so it’d be nice to hear Dr. Spencer address that directly.

    REPLY: he’s out of country until Feb 1st, so we’ll have to wait.

  4. Dr Spencer’s article reaches similar conclusions to those in
    Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005).

    I expanded on that paper in a presentation at a climate conference held in Stockholm on 11 & 12 September 2006. I could provide Dr Spencer with a copy of it were he to contact me.

    There are some surprising similarities between Dr Spencer’s article and my presentation. For example, his Figure 3 presents the same data in the same way as my Figure 1, and he draws the same conclusion from it as we do in our paper.

    Importantly, our paper provides six models that each match the empirical data.

    We provide three basic models that each assumes a different mechanism dominates the carbon cycle. The first basic model uses a postulated linear relationship of the sink flow and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The second used uses a power equation that assumes several different processes determine the flow into the sinks. And the third model assumes that the carbon cycle is dominated by biological effects.

    For each basic model we assume the anthropogenic emission (a) is having insignificant effect on the carbon cycle, and (b) is affecting the carbon cycle to induce the observed rise in the Mauna Loa data. Thus, the total of six models is presented.

    The six models do not use the ‘5-year-averaging’ to smooth the data that the IPCC model requires for it to match the data. But all of the six models match the empirical data. However, they provide very different ‘projections’ of future atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration for the same assumed future anthropogenic emission. And other models are probably also possible.

    The ability to model the carbon cycle in such a variety of ways means that according to the available data
    (1) the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is not known,
    (2) the future development of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cannot be known, and
    (3) any effect of future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide on the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cannot be known.

    All the best

    Richard

  5. Al Fin

    The following figures are from my laymans’ pov research I am compiling on the subject. (More on this later, Rev.)

    I do not know the delta over time, but it seems quite plausible that man is the factor causing the CO2 “overflow”. (A bit over half of total output is sucked up by the other sinks.)

    Remember, CO2 is a trace gas (c. 1/25 of 1% of volume), and the Atmosphere is the lesser of the three Great Sinks. So it seems quite reasonable to assume that man is responsible for CO2 buildup.

    To put the overall exchange in perspective:

    ——————————————————–

    Atmospheric CO2 Cycle
    Amounts in Bil. Metric Tons Carbon (BMTC)

    Total Sinks:
    Atmosphere: 730
    Vegetation/Soil: 2000
    Ocean: 38,000

    Annual Input to Atmosphere/Output from Atmosphere:
    Ocean: To Atm.: 88, From Atm.: 90, Difference: -2
    Vegetation/Soil (Natural): To Atm.:119, From Atm.: 120, Difference: -1
    Vegetation/Soil (Man): To Atm.:1.7, From Atm.: 1.9, Difference: -0.2
    Industry: To Atm.: 6.3, From Atm.: 0, Difference: +6.3

    Total: To Atm.: 215, From Atm.: 211.9, Difference: +3.1

    Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html

    If oceans are warming (via PDO/AMO or whatever), they may be absorbing less or exuding more, or both. Then all bets are off.

    But the above is what the DoE seems to think:
    –The oceans suck up c. 2% more than they are putting out. (-2 BMTC)
    –Vegetaion/Soil sucks up c. 1% more than it puts out (-1 BMTC)
    –Agriculture sucks up c. 20% more CO2 than it puts out. (-O.2 BMTC)
    –Industry is making the positive difference (+6.3 BMTC)

    As to whether CO2 has the effect the AGW advocates say is, of course, an entirely different question.

  6. Evan Jones makes two common logical error. Before stating them, I point out that some people are trying to assess how carbon dioxide moves in and out of the atmosphere – which is a small part of the carbon cycle – by assuming the carbon dioxide content of that small part is not dominated by the variations in flows in and out of it from the much, much bigger other parts. This assumption may be correct but it is improbable for the following reason (that Mr. D’Aleos article also addresses).

    The apparent accumulation rate of CO2 in the atmosphere (1.5 ppmv/year which corresponds to 3 GtC/year) is equal to almost half the human emission (6.5 GtC/year). However, this does not mean that half the human emission accumulates in the atmosphere, as is often stated. There are several other and much larger CO2 flows in and out of the atmosphere. The total CO2 flow into the atmosphere is at least 156.5 GtC/year with 150 GtC/year of this being from natural origin and 6.5 GtC/year from human origin. So, on the average, 3/156.5 = 2% of all emissions accumulate.

    Evan Jones provides one estimate of the carbon dioxide moving in the carbon cycle. All the estimates are very gross, but another widely accepted estimate is provided by NASA and is presented in a diagram that is at

    http://science.hq.nasa.gov/oceans/system/carbon.html

    The diagram shows the amounts of carbon in the parts of the carbon cycle to be

    the atmosphere 760 PgC (increasing at a rate of about 3 PgC p.a.)
    the ocean surface layers 800 PgC
    the deep ocean 38,000 PgC
    plants and soils 2,000 PgC

    Simply, the carbon in the air is less the 2% of the carbon flowing between above-listed parts of the carbon cycle. And the recent increase to the carbon in the atmosphere is less than a third of that ~2%.

    Estimates of the flows of carbon between the parts of the carbon cycle are also provided in the diagram. Please note the squiggles which indicate that the flows between deep ocean and ocean surface layers are completely unknown and it is not possible even to estimate them (although some organizations do provide guesses).

    The NASA diagram also provides an estimate of the carbon in the ground as fossil fuels. They estimate this to be 5,000 PgC and it is being transfered to the carbon cycle (by humans burning fossil fuels) at a rate of 6.5 PgC p.a.

    In other words, the annual flow of carbon into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels is less than 0.02% of the carbon flowing around the carbon cycle.

    Like Roy Sencer, I find it hard to believe that so small an addition to the carbon cycle is certain to disrupt the system because I know of no other activity in nature that is so constant as to only vary by less than ± 0.02% p.a..

    Now to the logical errors.

    Firstly, there is no “build up” of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The seasonal variation at each measured locality is much more than the annual increase. Simply, at every measurement locality natural processes remove between about six times more than the annual increase each year then put it back again each year. (At Mauna Loa – as Dr Spencer’s Figure 1 shows – natural processes remove an order of magnitude more than the annual increase each year then put it back again each year.) The annual rise is the residual of the seasonal fluctuation.

    Clearly, there is a disturbance to the seasonal variation of the carbon cycle at each locality and not a “build up” (nor “accumulation” as the IPCC says).

    The anthropogenic emission could be considered to be – in effect – a “build up” (or “accumulation”) if the anthropogenic emission were larger than the seasonal variation and/or if the system of the carbon cycle were near to saturation in CO2 so it fails to adjust for all of the relatively small anthropogenic additions to the CO2 in the air. However,
    (a) the anthropogenic emission is less than a third of the seasonal variation, and
    (b) the rapid changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration of the seasonal variation indicate that during each year the system very rapidly adjusts to seasonal changes that are much greater than the anthropogenic emission each year (in some places more than an order of magnitude greater; e.g. at Alert, Canada). The anthropogenic emission is to the air, but the rapid changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration exhibited by the seasonal varaiations do not suggest that the system is near to saturation that would prevent the system from sequestering the anthropogenic emission from the air.

    Secondly, it is a logical fallacy to attribute the rise in atmospheric to any one cause (e.g. the anthropogenic CO2 emission) when several variations to the flows exist.

    The seasonal variations in atmospheric CO2 are larger than the anthropogenic emission of CO2. This demonstrates that there are larger changes to natural flows in and out of the air than the flow to the air that is the anthropogenic emission. The issue is the concept of causality. Let us suppose that a number of natural inflows have increased, while others have decreased. Likewise for outflows. The net accumulation cannot be ascribed to just one change, such as the anthropogenic contribution. It is caused by all the changes taken together.

    There is a simple test that demonstrates this point that could be called the “but for” test. We can say that but for the anthropogenic contribution, the net accumulation would not have happened (all else being constant). This is often said (e.g. by IPCC). However, the same thing can be said about any combination of the natural changes that sum to or exceed the net accumulation. Ascribing the cause to the anthropogenic contribution alone is therefore a fallacy.

    Does any of this prove that the anthropogenic emission is not the cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2 ?
    No, but it does demonstrate that other causes are possible and are more likely.

    All the best

    Richard

  7. I completely disagree with Roy Spencers comment (as good as with Richard’s, after a long, ongoing discussion).

    Basicly, as Evan Jones already reacted, the total sum of all natural in/out flows to/out of the atmosphere are negative in all years (except in strong El Niño years like 1972 and 1998, although I have different figures). That means that no matter what the individual flows were, even if these are 100 or 1000 times the emissions, the net effect of all natural flows over a year, and certainly over several years, is a net loss of CO2 out of the atmosphere. That means that the net addition from nature to the observed increase is zero (even if a lot of CO2 molecules were temporarely added, within a year more molecules – the same or others – were removed by the same cycle or different cycles).

    If we take into account the different reactions of CO2 levels on temperature variations in the past and present, then we have following figures:

    – Over the ice ages / Interglacials (Vostok, Epica C ice cores): 8 ppmv/°C
    – The MWP-LIA cooling (Law Dome ice core): 10 ppmv/°C
    – The current CO2 variability over the trend (Mauna Loa): 2-4 ppmv/°C

    This means that the about 1°C increase from the LIA till current temperatures (including Pinatubo and El Niño’s) is maximum responsible for 10 ppmv of the 100 ppmv increase in CO2 since the start of the industrial revolution…

    More discussion can be found at CA, here: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2469

  8. In addition, about the rate of increase:

    Roy Spencer compares the increase slopes of a few extreme years with the slope of the increase in the atmosphere (which in the following year go as fast back as they rised). But one should also compare the slope of the emissions to the atmosphere with the increase, which is double the increase.

    One should look at the net result of a complete cycle (El Niño ánd La Niña, summer ánd winter releases/uptakes), not one halve cycle and forget the other halve. The difference between cycles and the emissions is that the latter is a one-way process, the former are two-way processes, which are more or less in equilibrium after a full cycle, except for temperature influences.

    As the increase is mainly a two-variable process, one can give a formula like:

    dC(atm) = 0.5 F(emissions)/0.21 + 3*dtemp

    where dC(atm) is the yearly change in CO2 (ppmv)
    F(emissions) the emissions in GtC; 0.21 the conversion factor GtC->ppmv
    and dtemp the change in temperature over a year.

    Thus the emissions are responsible for most of the increase, while temperature is mostly responsible for the variation in increase…

  9. Dr. Spencer is obiously not off his rocker. I remember a Sci. American feature in the late ’70s focussing on the Oceanic lacunae of the carbon cycle. The temperature dependent partial pressure of CO2 controlling atmospheric abundance was presented as orthodox Earth Science. The pseudoscience cult has so dominated with their ‘sink’ obfuscations that it now bubbles up as novel, nonetheless, Dr. Spencer’s critical treatment of CDIAC outputs is new to me.
    I’d be especially interested in his thoughts on this: Pinatubo was a 5 on the explosivity index. As 20% of the 10 km^3 ejected was gaseous to support the Plinian column, my rough estimate indicates a CO2 pulse on the same order as the yearly anthropogenic one. Where is it in the Mauna Loa data?

  10. Evan: Interesting analysis. I suspect the total system is more complex and dynamic than that, however. We will have to get a bit closer to the action to find out what is really happening.

    Natural systems are typically elastic, with the ability to expand or contract based upon environmental factors. The same is no doubt true of the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2, or of the biosphere of land and sea to sequester CO2.

    Despite the human’s best attempts to destroy tropical forest, for example, tropical vegetation overall seems to be expanding based upon latest satellite counts.

  11. Evan,

    The question is, what were the numbers before the 6.3 BMTC turned up? CO2 was presumably not vanishing at the rate it is now increasing, so those numbers must have been quite different fifty years ago.

    The increase in the natural sinking of carbon is presumably partly to do with the increased CO2 partial pressure, but has it been shown that all of it is? The “solubility pump” flux is also strongly temperature dependent, so if there have been changes to the polar-tropics temperature difference over the past century, that would also affect these numbers.

  12. Evan, could it be that changes in the ocean modulate the addition of our emissions to the atmosphere, becuase these changes would alter the properties of the ocean as a sink?

  13. Dr. Courtney,

    Since Roy Spencer is out of the country, perhaps you can address my question above about carbon isotopes. I’m sure you have addressed this issue in your publications, so it would be nice to address it here as well.

    Thanks.

  14. I thought one could get other evidence on these matters by looking at the isotopic composition of the CO2 and also by looking at the correlation between CO2 changes and change in O2. With regard to the latter, combustion increases CO2 while decreasing O2, while increased photosynthesis does the opposite. Cement manufacture releases CO2 without changing O2. On the other hand, I think that both CO2 and O2 are released together from the ocean — and in roughly the same amount — as it warms. With regard to the former, I seem to recall reading somewhere that the isotopic composition of the carbon in fossil fuels (and limestone used to make cement) differs from the average composition in current sinks and that can be used to look at where the CO2 is coming from.

  15. About the stable isotope (d13C) ratios, there are two interesting graphs:

    One made by the late Bert Bolin:

    which shows the decrease of O2 and increase of CO2 vs. the human emissions.

    The other by Böhm ea. about the d13C changes in coralline sponges over 600 years: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
    The resolution is less than 5 years and the accuracy is good enough to detect 1 GtC from fossil fuel burning or 4 GtC from deep ocean upwelling.

    Further:
    More evidence for man-made increase is in the following:
    – CO2 levels in the upper oceans follow the air measurements
    – pH levels in the upper oceans are decreasing
    – d13C ratios are declining in the atmosphere and with some delay in the upper oceans
    This is a good indication that the (deep) oceans are not the source of the extra CO2, as the (deep) oceans have a higher d13C ratio than the atmosphere.
    – d14C levels were declining pre-bomb testing at such a rate that 14C dating needed to be corrected for the decline since 1875 (fossil fuels are completely depleted of 14C).
    – oxygen levels are declining in near ratio with fossil fuel use.
    As there is a small deficiency in oxygen use, that indicates that vegetation is not a net source of CO2, but a net sink (about 2 GtC/yr), as oxygen is produced by CO2 uptake (see Bolin’s graph).

    The only net source for increasing CO2 levels are the human emissions…

  16. Okay, Ferdinand, humans are a net source at all times, but other things aren’t. But varying properties of sinks could alter how much gets into the air, correct? So warm years in the ocean mean that the oceans absorb less CO2, right? So might that be why CO2 growth rate appears to be correlated well with ocean temperatures? Seems reasonable to me.

  17. Ferdinand says: “As the increase is mainly a two-variable process”. I don’t think we can say that. There are at least three variables – anthropogenic, oceanic, and flora. Since the trees and bushes in my yard this year are the same as last year, I feel fairly confident in saying that the annual variation due to flora is pretty much invariant. That leaves anthropogenic, a constant (but escalating) contribution, and the ocean, which is what this is all about.

    One can cite cores as evidence of 8 to 10 ppm per K, but that is a long term average. Average age of air at Vostok is 4,000 years older that the age of the ice at that depth, so we have an extremely long averaging period. One could argue that 4,000 years is a long enough time for flora to adjust to, for example, a mammoth influx of CO2 due to warming. The expansion of flora under these conditions will sink a great deal of CO2 over millennia.

    This seems to be backed up by looking at the rate of change of CO2 by age in the cores. The rate of change, based on a 4,000 year average age, cannot possibly be as fast as it is without the introduction of some extreme values. Over 10% of the time Vostok cores (from CDIAC) show a jump of over 0.1ppm in 10 years, something improbable with multi-millennial averaging, unless there is a spike.

  18. I have not yet had time enough to read all the comments. I am “hard at work”.)

    I want to be clear, though, I am NOT expressing a hard and fast opinion, I am merely being a messenger of DoE data.

    And yes, I provided a simplified version dealing only with atmospheric exchange and I am aware there’s a lot more to it than that.

    I’ll be back as soon as I have time to comment on the comments and maybe put up the other carbon cycle version I have in my “library”.

    Also, for the record, I am a strong advocate of Anthony Watts and think his work is both groundbreaking and vitally important.

  19. Andrew,

    Of course, ocean CO2 release (mainly in the tropics) and uptake are influenced by temperature. But that is less than many expect: the temperature influence today, based on the Muana Loa data and the influence of the 1998 El Niño and the 1992 Pinatubo eruption shows a 2-4 ppmv/°C influence (Dr. Spencer calculated 4,300 mmtC/deg. C, which is 4.3 GtC/°C or about 2.1 ppmv/°C).
    Dr. Spencer’s conclusion is that increased temperatures (more El Niño’s) may be the cause, but these are often followed by La Niña’s, which cool the sea surface… Thus what is of interest is the total temperature change over the full period.

    The global temperature increase 1959-2003 is about 0.6°C, which gives with 3 ppmv/°C an increase of about 2 ppmv of the 60 ppmv we see in the same period… Doesn’t sound that temperature is the main driver of the total increase.

    That temperature and CO2 levels are in close connection can be seen in the seasonal variations: For the NH, we see an average amplitude of about 20 ppmv. Translated to CO2/temperature ratio, we see again a short-term ratio of 2.6 ppmv/°C. In the SH the amplitude is much smaller (less vegetation, more oceans).

    But still, there is a correlation between temperature and CO2 increase rate, as you say, as indeed the release/uptake of CO2 from/to the ocean’s surface is governed in part by temperature.

    But the increase itself is mainly governed by the emissions.
    Instead of focusing on yearly increases, one should look at the accumulated emissions and the increase of the CO2 levels. The correlation between both is 0.96.
    See: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/emissions.gif

    I have played around with the formula which should calculate the CO2 increase from the emissions and the temperature variation. This can be seen at:

    The formula used was: dCair = 0.5415*F(emissions)/0.21 + 3*dtemp
    This resulted in a mean difference of trends (observed-calculated)= 0.00; correlation between the series = 0.65; R^2 = 0.42 (which is poor); stdev of the calculated and observed series = 0.55 ppmv
    It looks like that the calculated CO2 increase/variations are leading the observed ones.

    By lagging the CO2 result from temperature changes one year, the calculated variation was lagging the observed:

    The same coefficients were used, no difference in trends and stdev, correlation between the series = 0.732; R^2 = 0.536 (which is fair).
    Thus the real lag of CO2 increase rate after temperature changes is somewhere between 0 and 1 year…

  20. Interesting discussion. I’d like to note that prior to Mauna Loa circa 1955, we are led to rely on ice core – shallow ice core CO2 readings. These have several significant divergences from the chemical CO2 analysis as described in the Beck paper. Further, the shallow ice core data gas readings is as best as I could establish from the several background articles, a bit iffy, perhaps at best having a plus or minus 10 ppm accuracy.

    Going back fifty years prior to 1955, we have there a ramp up of industrialization and CO2 emissions. Understanding that our knowledge of actual CO2 concentrations is limited as above described, nonetheless extending the analysis to the prior time period might show some things up. Therein we have the prior PDO cycle and other ocean cycles with known effects.

    Then again, this may raise more questions and varibles and confuse the matter rather than help it….

  21. Developing, testing, validating and invalidating theories using well-established or newly observed facts is a tenet of the scientific method, a skill that many posting as experts on this site have yet to demonstrate.

    A challenge to Roy Spencer, Richard Courtney, Stevo, Andrew and Steve Hemphill (and others): Demonstrate publically your skills in the scientific method by addressing the following —

    Using known and established tenets of geochemistry and physical chemistry, describe how the delta-13-C data shown in Figure 4 of Bohm et al (2002) (conveniently provided by Mr. Engelbeen in his post as http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif ) does or does not support your theory that anthropogenically produced carbon (derived from fossil fuels) is NOT the cause of the increase in the content of atmospheric (and ocean) carbon dioxide shown by peer-reviewed data to have occurred in the last 1,000 years.

    You may develop or derive new tenets of physical chemistry and geochemistry to support your claims, but these new tenets must be supported by existing data or data you (or others) derive from peer-reviewed experiments or observations. If your claim(s) include other sources of carbon as being the prime source of any excess carbon dioxide, you must explain how these sources explain both the long term trends in the Mauna Kea carbon dioxide data and the Bohm, et al delta-13-C data simultaneously. You may use either existing peer-reviewed data or that which you collect and are validated by peer-review.

    I recommend reading the following article before starting on this challenge: http://ecophys.biology.utah.edu/public/Isotope_course_readings/Spero%202.pdf . It is not hard to understand for a PHOSTA. Oh, and I suggest you follow the example of Bohm, et al and state clearly where each piece of data comes from (i.e., a reference) since others, who are not a PHOSITA, might want to try out their skills in the scientific method and check your facts and logic.

    I suspect that none will take on this challenge: (a) You are not a PHOSTA and lack the background, knowledge and critical thinking skills it takes to understand the existing data and its implication in terms global geochemical systems; (b) You will be unable to find through literature research or create via experiment or observation the data needed to come to a self-consistent derivation and will thus ignore this challenge in the face of embarrassment; or (c) You will want to conveniently ignore the myriad of data presented by Bohm and others since these data contradict your theory and your working studiously to prove otherwise is, well, just inconvenient.

    Have fun!

    MODERATORS REPLY:
    Just FYI, atmospheric CO2 (the Keeling curve) is measured at MAUNA LOA, not “Mauna Kea” (from your 4th paragraph). Mauna Kea has the Keck Observatory, not the CO2 lab. It’s always a good idea to check your own facts before you dictate terms to others.

  22. Courtney says

    The seasonal variation at each measured locality is much more than the annual increase. Simply, at every measurement locality natural processes remove between about six times more than the annual increase each year then put it back again each year. (At Mauna Loa – as Dr Spencer’s Figure 1 shows – natural processes remove an order of magnitude more than the annual increase each year then put it back again each year.) The annual rise is the residual of the seasonal fluctuation.

    However this is true only for the northern hemisphere. If you look at the data from the Scripps monitoring sites you see that the most extreme annual variations are in the most northernly of the stations (Barrow/Alert) and the least in the southernmost (Baring Head, Kermadec Island). There is a smooth increase as one goes from south to north. The South Pole station shows a bit more variation than Kermadec. The link has a nice map.

    The obvious correlation is the more water in the latitude band, the less variation in annual CO2 concentration. Since even the seas warm and cool during the year this would seem to knock Spencer and Courtney’s ansatz into a cocked hat, if it had not already been taken apart by Engelbeen and others

  23. I know the tendency from traditionalists who support AGW theory is to poo poo ideas like Spencer’s, and to bring to bear all sorts of supporting factual weaponry to shoot it down.

    That’s normal. Almost any new idea in science (or contrary one for that matter) must run the gauntlet of criticism. I heard someone once say that “an idea really isn’t likely to be worth something unless there’s a big fuss about it at the beginning”.

    With that thought in mind, I’d like everyone (you too Rabett) to read this interview by Spencer Weart of Jack Eddy, the man who brought us the “Maunder Minimum”.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/eddy_int.htm

    He has a great line about his most famous discovery: “I started by trying to make it go away”.

  24. Tony, that’s what a scientist must always do with something unexpected. As Colyn Doyle put it having eliminated the impossible, what remains must be the truth. The problem is you need a lot of experience to eliminate the impossible, and there are a lot of naive people out. As Sean Carroll put it to the wanna be next Einsteins, first acquire basic competency in whatever field of science your discovery belongs to.

  25. Well we’ll see. I don’t know if Spencer or Courtney’s ideas will bear out or not, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to do so without being condescending in the process like Mr. “Swammi”.

    I do like what Sean Carroll had to say, and getting the basics down is important, if not only to elevate credibility with others, but to help yourself see the outcome probabilities of paths you could choose.

    We all have different ideas. Some will fail, some will fly. We shouldn’t start shooting skeet right away without first letting them all devlop some wings.

    One thing I’m sure of, we don’t fully understand our earth-climate system, so there’s room for discovery.

  26. Richard:
    Don’t get me wrong. Nothing would delight me more than to be in error. And I admit the amount is smaller than the MoE. But it has rather steadily accumulated (according to measurements which may or may not be entirely accurate) through both cool and warm. That’s the reason it isn’t making it as such a great temperature proxy!

    ER:
    Oh, yes. Only the expert may testify. But never, ever forget it is the layman juror who must, in the end, “determine the facts”. The expert is excuded from the jury, and for good reason.

    Mr. E.
    I think you may well be right.

    On the other hand, whether CO2 is the–main–driver of the recent warming measurements is yet to be seen. It does not correlate very well. And if Mr. Watts’ Inconvenient Photographs are any indication at all, the surface stations have actually been measuring encroaching heat sinks and waste heat for the last two or three decades.

    A modest temperature increase is greatly exaggerated by a heat sink.

    ————————————————————-

    And yes, the carbon cycle is indeed more involved. Here’s one I hammered together a while back from several sites (including the one RC provided:

    The Greater Carbon Cycle

    Air & Water
    From: Organic Compounds/Animals (Decay, Cellular Respiration), Organic Compounds/Plants (Decay, Cellular Respiration, Combustion), Limestone, Coal, Oil (Industry), Volcanoes (CO2)
    To: Plants (Photosynthesis), Limestone, Coal, Oil

    Organic Compounds/Animals
    From: Animals
    To: Air & Water (Decay, Cellular Respiration)

    Limestone, Coal, Oil
    From: Air & Water
    To: Air & Water

    Plants
    From: Air & Water
    To: Animals, Organic Compounds/Plants

    Organic Compounds/Plants
    From: Plants
    To: Animals (Consumption), Air & Water (Decay, Cellular Respiration, Combustion)

    Animals
    From: Organic Compounds/Plants , [ Plants ], [ Animals ]
    To: Organic Compounds/Animals

    Volcanoes
    To: Air (CO2)

    ————————————————————-

    And another take:

    The Oxygen Cycle

    Atmosphere
    From: Animals (CO2), Plants (O2)
    To: Animals (O2), Plants (CO2)

    Plants
    From: Atmosphere (CO2)
    To: Atmosphere (Photosynthesis/CO2, Respiration/O2)

    Algae
    From: Water (CO2)
    To: Water (O2),

    Animals
    From: Atmosphere (O2)
    To: Atmosphere (CO2)

    Atmosphere
    From: Animals (CO2), Plants (O2)
    To: Animals (O2), Plants (CO22)

    Fish
    From: Water (O2)
    To: Water (CO2)

    Water
    From: Algae (O2), Atmosphere (O2, CO2)
    To: Algae (CO2) Fish (O2), Atmosphere O2, CO2)

    [I've also hunted up and compiled simple cycles for Energy (Greenhouse) Cycle, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Phosphous, Life Energy, and Water.]

    Just an amateur look at the back-and-forth. At some point I am going to try to compile common carbon into a single entity. I may try to create link between the hydrogen aspects which run through many of these.

    It’s all in the point of view. All a body has to do to make Ptolemy “correct” is to take a working solar system model, is grab it by the earth and then watch the sun and planets spin weirdly about …

  27. I decided long ago that much of this debate about mankind’s relative impact on the planet could be resolved if only those involved stayed away from airplanes and drove the length of the continents by car.

    Or by ox cart.

  28. Steve Hemphill,

    I used “two-variable” process for the emissions and temperature influences. The latter involves oceans and vegetation.

    The interesting feature of temperature on oceans and vegetation is that the CO2 uptake/release is opposite of each other.
    Oceans continuous release CO2 in the equatorial band (including deep ocean upwelling in the Pacific) and dissolve CO2 near the poles (including deep ocean downwelling by the THC in the North Atlantic). The main seasonal variation is due to the mid-latitudes, where changing ocean surface temperatures release CO2 in summer and absorb CO2 in winter.

    Vegetation goes the opposite way: large CO2 uptake in summer (including ocean algues) and continuous release of CO2 during the year from vegetation decay (without uptake in winter from leafless trees).

    This makes that the about 100 GtC exchange oceans/atmosphere and 50 GtC exchange vegetation/atmosphere are in countercurrent and cause only a 20 GtC (10 ppmv) global amplitude over the seasons. The one-way emissions are about 35% of the two-way seasonal flows in the atmosphere, but average 200% of the residual variability of the seasons over a year.

    About ice cores (of interest for Mhaze too):

    There is a difference between the lag of gas age after ice age dating and the resolution of the gas sampling. The lagging is a question of closing depth of the bubbles, while the resolution is a matter of diffusion of CO2 through the firn before the bubbles close and the number of layers necessary to have enough sample for a CO2 measurement.

    For the Vostok ice core, the lagging is several thousands of years, but the resolution is about 600 years. The accuracy of the measurements are no way better than 1 ppmv, smaller variations are within the accuracy. The 8 ppmv/°C is based on the big shifts of about 10°C and about 80 ppmv for the ice age – interglacial transitions and reverse. That indeed are very long-term averages and probably involve the deep oceans, which is not the case for current (2-4 ppmv/°C) temperature changes.

    High accumulation ice cores have a better resolution (about 60-80 years) and because of the one-way CO2 increase, the most recent layers only have a 10 years ice-gas age lag and a 5 years resolution. This resulted in an overlap of about 20 years for the Law Dome gas age data and the South Pole atmospheric measurements. The data of the South Pole atmosphere are within the +/- 1.2 ppmv accuracy of three ice cores (with different drilling methods) of Law Dome. See Etheridge ea.: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1996/95JD03410.shtml
    The overlap is here: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_sp_co2.jpg

    About Beck’s historical data vs. ice cores: I don’t want to (re)start the discussion of Beck’s data here. It is sufficient to say that most measurements had an accuracy of 10 ppmv, but that most measurements were done at places where huge local production (vegetation as well as human emissions) was present. The only measurements taken at sealevel and/or coastal stations for the assumed peak period 1935-1950 (+ 100 ppmv 1942!) include the ice core values within the data variability.

    And one need to take the comments of Jaworowski about ice core CO2 accuracy with a lot of salt, I noticed several remarks of him which simply aren’t true…

    But I agree, even if human emissions are the sole cause of the increase, that doesn’t tell us anything about the influence of more CO2 on temperature…

  29. “Or by ox cart.”

    You would be surprised at the damage preindustial man did to the land. There are more of us today, but the environmental impact per person is miniscule compared with the past (and a good thing, too!). And that is mostly on account of the internal combustion engine. The IC engine has deletrious direct effects but many unsing indirect environmental (and other) benefits. And, above all, one must consider the overall environmental impact to land and air of what it replaced–bitumens, wood, and the horse–and those oxen you mention.

    Consider that double-take line from Home onthe Range: “And the skies are not cloudy all day.” Also consider that Europe was one big forest, once.

  30. There seems to be a consensus that the 3% of CO2 emissions that are anthropogenic are causing a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Supposedly 50% of these emissions stay in the atmosphere. If this is true doesn’t it stand to reason that atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be falling if there were no anthropogenic emissions?

    Taken to it’s logical conclusion one could conclude and then confirm with GCM’s that anthropogenic emissions are preventing a cascading runaway ice-age.

  31. “d13C ratios are declining in the atmosphere and with some delay in the upper oceans”

    Ferdinand,
    If you are trying to convey the idea that d13C isotope data could account for the exact contribution of manmade CO2 in the atm concentration increase, I must disagree.

    Appart from saying that d13C ratios are “consistent” (see IPCC 4AR chapter 7) with anthropogenic CO2 emission, nothing QUANTITATIVE can be said by isotope observations, neither with d13C, nor with C14. We can go further with numbers if you want but you should have known numbers don’t sum up.

    The CO2 balance is so fuzzy that current “theories” must rely on the anti-science notion of “missing sink” (rephrased “residual carbon sink” by the IPCC in 4AR, see Wood Hole) to account for what may happen to 1/3 of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
    So the questions raised by Drs Spencer and Courtney about the outcome and the real influence of manmade CO2 and the caveats about data (huge) uncertainties remain valid.

    “…even if human emissions are the sole cause of the increase…”

    This is something the current science can’t say. Nobody knows if human emissions account for 30%, 60% or 100% of the concentration increase. So it’s out of the domain of refutability.

  32. “the most recent layers only have a 10 years ice-gas age lag and a 5 years resolution.”

    Ferdinand,
    If icecores enables 5 y resolution CO2 measurements, we should have proxies data for up to year 2002 and plenty of them. The bubble close-off, reactive decay, diffusion… problems shouldn’t exist. But I’m not aware such data exist or are properly archived. Your Law Dome graph shows sparce data, “adjusted” with some methods, from different locations, with end date in the late 70s. Not exactly an illustration of a high quality 5 y resolution serie that would put to rest the divergence-calibration problem (between proxies and direct data).

    I’m not saying such CO2 proxies don’t exist. I’d just love to see them.

  33. Ferdinand,

    Thanks for your input, it’s been very interesting. I’m not here to make any sort of case for or against, but to try to understand how it works better.

    A few questions:
    Where you say “More evidence for man-made increase is in the following” I don’t understand why some of those constitute evidence. The d13C/d14C levels show that fossil carbon has gone into the atmosphere and oceans, but doesn’t say the deep ocean hasn’t contributed any more (or less). Think of it as a tank of water with big pipes running in and other big pipes running out, and the rate of flow varying with both the level of the water, and some valves controlled by other stuff like temperature. You also pour in a small amount of dyed water. Now even if the flow has been varied by the big pipes, there’s still going to be an increasing level of dye in the water, until the concentration is high enough that the amount of diluted dye going out of the bigger pipes equals the amount of dye coming in. Certainly, not all of the dye is hanging around – that’s what Tom Segalstadt keeps going on about. The picture the layman normally gets is of a tank with tiny natural pipes in and out, and a huge anthropogenic pipe pouring in water with nowhere to go, and that all this new CO2 consists of fossil carbon. We need to get a clear picture of what is actually going on from the scientists, so that we can stop annoying them with these simplistic misunderstandings.

    The oxygen level must decrease because carbon is being converted to carbon dioxide (and the hydrogen in hydrocarbons to water), but that doesn’t say anything about where it ends up. Is that oxygen ending up in the air or the water or the biosphere? Bringing in the oxygen cycle adds a whole new level of complexity, and would require a whole lot more discussion for us to be sure there was no other explanation for the lowering oxygen level. There may be good evidence there, but the argument is incomplete. Vegetation is a net sink of 2GtC/yr, but what if it would have sunk 4GtC/yr if it wasn’t for some other effect? Then that effect would be one of the causes of the accumulation. It doesn’t help me to understand.

    The main argument I see is one you didn’t mention explicitly – that past temperature changes haven’t led to corresponding CO2 changes (unless there’s something badly wrong with CO2 proxies, which I’ve seen no convincing evidence for).

  34. Ferdinand,

    In a later comment, you speak of the 2-4 ppmv/°C sensitivity of CO2 levels to temperature. I don’t understand this figure. Firstly, the effect of temperature is surely on the flow, not the level? There ought to be some time units in there, unless you’re talking about some sort of equilibrium level? (Same goes for Dr Spencer, of course.) Secondly, what is that temperature? The global average, the average ocean temperature, or the temperature at the places where CO2 is absorbed/emitted? Since the solubility is a non-linear function of temperature, it matters, and you could possibly get some sort of effect from changes in distribution of temperatures (over time or location) without changing the average.

    Similarly, you mention the seasonal temperature changes and their effect on CO2 level. The effect of the flow in and out of vegetation is a non-linear and integrated function of temperature, and the effect on the solubility pump is surely on the flow rate? This is the integrated change over about a year. If the 0.6C global mean anomaly change means a 2 ppmv change in CO2, and that is accumulated over 40 years, wouldn’t that give an 80 ppmv total? I don’t seriously think it works that way, but confusing rates with levels doesn’t make it obvious why such reasoning must be wrong.

    I don’t know – your reasoning may well be perfectly correct for reasons that you’ve skipped over in order to be concise. But by skipping over them you just cause more confusion in those unable to fill in the gaps for themselves. They’re not convinced, they don’t understand any better, and when they find out that there are huge gaps in the argument you’ve given them (as they inevitably do) they immediately jump to the conclusion that they’re being taken for fools. (Take note, Eli and Swammi.)

    Eli, There are many who would like to acquire a basic competency in the area, but when they try they at first find only these simplistic cartoon models, that are nevertheless presented by authoritative scientists as the truth. They can’t tell which ones are intended to be taken seriously, because they’re not told. When they start picking holes in them (as Dr Spencer has here), they’re told they’re fools and there’s another layer that the famous scientist didn’t explain to them, and an endless series of papers in journals they can’t get access to that each give one tiny bit of the jigsaw puzzle.

    Make it easy for them. Provide an accessible explanation all in one place that fills in all the gaps and doesn’t fudge anything. (And everything elsewhere that is fudged should be marked as such.) As Richard Feynman said, if you can’t explain the science in terms an educated layman can understand, then you don’t really understand it yourself. And as Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s detective lamented so often, his feats of reasoning were always so absurdly obvious once they had been explained.

  35. Ferdinand,
    First off I must say I wholeheartedly agree that just because CO2 is increasing does not mean it is the causative agent of the warming of last century, which seems to either have begun to decline or plateaued, depending on which analysis you look at (except GISS, which for some reason is out there all by itself).

    Then, Huxley said “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

    which dispenses with the dogmatic narrowmindedness of Swammi.

    To the point of this particular discussion, CDIAC says the *average* difference in age between the ice and the air at a depth is 4,000 years. You say (I suspect well documented) that the resolution is within 600 years. Leaving alone for the moment the weighted bubbles below the 4,000 year mark, how do you explain that there is no mixing between open bubbles for over 3,000 years?

  36. A challenge to Roy Spencer, Richard Courtney, Stevo, Andrew and Steve Hemphill (and others): Demonstrate publically your skills in the scientific method by addressing the following —

    Using known and established tenets of geochemistry and physical chemistry, describe how the delta-13-C data shown in Figure 4 of Bohm et al (2002) (conveniently provided by Mr. Engelbeen in his post as http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif ) does or does not support your theory that anthropogenically produced carbon (derived from fossil fuels) is NOT the cause of the increase in the content of atmospheric (and ocean) carbon dioxide shown by peer-reviewed data to have occurred in the last 1,000 years.

    The Bohm et al’s delta-13-C data shown in Ferdinand’s graph does in NO WAY demonstrate human emissions cause the increase in CO2 atmospheric content. And certainly not in ocean (sic) CO2 content since no reliable measure exists there (if you are thinking about ocean pH change, forget about it, nobody has observed it apart from models).

    Let me elaborate :
    d13C is supposed to decrease because fossile CO2 – from oil, coal, nat gas – are depleted of C13 (d13C=-26/1000) compared to natural CO2 (-7/1000). So by measuring d13C, one *should* be able to know what percentage fossile CO2 accounts for the concentration increase.
    Then using a simple mixing law, if you suppose concentration increase is due integrally to human emission (ie fossile CO2), you should observe a d13C = -13,3/1000. The problem, a big one, is that the real value you find is just -9/1000 that is just 30% of the target from the hypothesis & theory above.

    Conclusion: contrary to what you hear very often but without further explanation, isotopic dosage can NOT tell you which % fossile CO2 accounts for the atmospheric increase. No way.

  37. Ferdinand, Demesure.

    I was just trying to indicate that extending the analysis back to say, 1880 with our best estimates of historical CO2 might yield some interesting results.

    Do it with ice core dated CO2, and also with some group of historical CO2 by chemical means. Use the same analysis as for the recent period.

    Might be something interesting there, might not. The fact there are controversies does not mean that entire period (1880-1955) should be excluded from study and analysis. Bad idea.

  38. Dear all,

    Here I try to address the most important points in Dr. Spencer’s and Richard Courtney’s essays where we differ in opinion.

    Before we start, we need to be sure that we use the same definitions with the same meaning.

    Definitions
    Emissions is used for all increases by Dr. Spencer: as well as for the human emissions as for the increase in the atmosphere (whatever the source). In the following emissions is exclusively used for anthro emissions.
    Accumulation is by several used as the increase in % within a mass (of CO2), while others (myself included) use it as an increase in total mass. We use in the following accumulation for both, but add “in %” or “in mass” to make the distinction.

    The accumulation
    Richard made a statement that the total CO2 into the atmosphere is 156.5 GtC, of which 150 GtC/yr from natural inflow and 6.5 GtC/yr from emissions. Of this only 3 GtC/yr accumulate in mass in the atmosphere, thus only 3/156.5 = 2% of all emissions accumulate in mass.

    Here we see the first logical error: the 6.5 GtC/yr emissions are not a part of the seasonal cycle of about 150 GtC/yr, which is composed of about 90 GtC seasonal (summer, oceans) increase, about 92 GtC (winter, oceans) decrease, 61.5 GtC decrease (summer, vegetation) and 60 GtC increase (winter, vegetation). For an attempt to make a rough estimate (+/- 30%) of the seasonal flows, see Battle ea..

    Thus while the accumulation in CO2 mass is only 2% of the inflows, the seasonal inflow is a part of a cycle and the total natural cycle shows a net loss of about 3.5 GtC/yr. Thus the natural cycle has a negative accumulation in mass to the atmosphere and the full accumulation in mass of 3 GtC/yr in the atmosphere thus is from the emissions. Which makes that about halve of the emissions accumulate in mass in the atmosphere.

    How much of the original emissions in % accumulate in the atmosphere is of a different order. A lot of molecules is exchanged over the seasons and by continuous flows (equatorial to polar oceans). About 20% of the atmospheric CO2 molecules are exchanges between the atmosphere and oceans/vegetation over a year. That means that about 80% of the emissions accumulate in % in the atmosphere, the first year of the emissions. The next year, without further emissions, again 20% of all molecules are exchanged and 80% of 80% of one-year emissions stays in the atmosphere. Thus the half-life time (the time that 50% of any addition of specific molecules, in this case 13C depleted CO2 stay in the atmosphere) is about 5 years.
    This is based on the fate of the one-time addition of extra 14C from nuclear bomb testing in the 1950-60’s.

    The real accumulation in % of the emissions in the atmosphere can be calculated, as there is a decrease in d13C in the atmosphere (ice cores-firn-Mauna Loa). Of total atmosphere only about 8% is from the emissions (65/800 GtC), and from the upper oceans only 3.5% (35/1000 GtC) is from human origin. Total 100 GtC from human origin still reside in the atmosphere and upper oceans. The rest of the over 300 GtC emissions since 1850 is either somewhere in the deep oceans (unmeasurable in that mass) or in vegetation (only quantitative since 1990, calculated from oxygen measurements).

    The influence of flows and mass
    Richard makes a lot of the huge carbon reservoirs and huge flows between the reservoirs, compared to the small amount that humans add to the atmosphere.

    To be short on this: reservoirs have not the slightest influence on other reservoirs (including the atmospheric reservoir), if there were no flows/cycles between them.

    Take the deep oceans: the estimated flow of 100 GtC between deep oceans (38,000 GtC) and upper oceans is only 0.26% of the deep ocean carbon mass.

    Carbon cycles have not the slightest influence on accumulation in mass, if there was no imbalance between the in and out flows. Of the about 100 GtC upper-deep ocean carbon cycle, only 1.6 GtC is the negative accumulation in mass of the upper ocean layer, or 0.16% of the upper oceans, or 0.004% of the deep oceans.

    While we don’t know any of the in/out flows of the atmosphere with sufficient accuracy, we do know the emissions with reasonable accuracy and the increase in the atmosphere with quite good accuracy. The difference between emissions and measured increase is the net (negative) accumulation in mass of all natural cycles together. We don’t need to know any of the individual flows or cycles to any accuracy, as only the net difference of all cycles together accumulates as mass in the atmosphere. The data show that in almost all years, the accumulation in mass of all natural cycles together is negative. And thus only the emissions give a real accumulation in mass.

    To show the logical error in Dr Spencer’s example:

    Let’s say the oceans are producing an extra 1 unit of CO2, mankind is producing 1 unit, and nature is absorbing an extra 1.5 units. Then we get the situation we have today, with CO2 rising at about 50% the rate of human emissions.

    Which is right, but even in this example, the accumulation in mass in the atmosphere from the natural cycle is -0.5 units and that of the emissions is 1 unit. The same result as if you have an ocean which produces 90 units and absorbs 90.5 units, while the emissions still are 1 unit.
    Even the same result if you have a crossover: the oceans produce 90 units and absorb 89 units, vegetation produces 60 units and absorbs 61.5 units and the emissions still are 1 unit.

    In all cases, the natural cycles accumulate in mass -0.5 units and the emissions still are accumulating 1 unit in mass… The net result in all cases is +0.5 unit accumulating in mass in the atmosphere.

    As you can see, the individual flows of a cycle have not the slightest influence on accumulation in mass, if the cycle is in balance. It is the unbalance that accumulates in mass (positive or negative). Calculations which only include one-way parts of the cycle lead to illogical conclusions.

    The saturation of the oceans
    Richard assumes that the oceans are far from saturated, because of the rapid changes in CO2 flows with temperature variations during the seasons. While we can’t speak of “saturation” here, the rapid changes prove that the CO2 flows are influenced by temperature, which is responsible for an immediate change in pCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) in the surface layer of the oceans. With steady pCO2 in the atmosphere, the pressure difference between ocean pCO2 and pCO2 of the atmosphere changes and thus the flows from one to the other. The limiting factor in all cases is the diffusion speed between water surface and atmosphere, which is rather low, but increases with wind speed.

    The same is true for an increase of pCO2 in the atmosphere by the emissions: this leads to less outflow from the equatorial oceans and more inflow into the polar oceans and similar changes during the seasons. The current difference between pCO2 air/oceans is about 7 ppmv (7 microatm).
    See for a lot more information on this topic:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml

    That means that if the emissions should stop, next year there would be a drop of about 3 GtC out of the atmosphere, the second year about 2.4 GtC,… etc., until a new equilibrium is reached. The second cycle (upper-deep oceans) also remove CO2 from the upper oceans, which reduces the pCO2 of the upper oceans, which maintains to a certain extent the pCO2 difference air-upper oceans. Thus the second year, the drop will not be 2.4 GtC, but a little less than 3 GtC. Some more knowledgeable than me made a calculation, which resulted in an about 38 year half life time of the accumulation in mass caused by the emissions. This is governed by the pCO2 differences air/ocean.

    What vegetation will do with decreasing CO2 levels is not easy to answer.

    The half life time of the accumulation in mass of CO2 in the atmosphere is entirely different of the half life time of the accumulation in % in the atmosphere of the emissions, which is governed by the total carbon cycles between air and oceans/vegetation.

    This was a long story, but it gives a good insight of the difference in opinion…

    Regards,

    Ferdinand Engelbeen

  39. Do it with ice core dated CO2, and also with some group of historical CO2 by chemical means. Use the same analysis as for the recent period

    @Mhaze
    That’s what Beck has done. And the results are divergent. That’s where the science is.

  40. Of total atmosphere only about 8% is from the emissions (65/800 GtC), and from the upper oceans only 3.5% (35/1000 GtC) is from human origin.

    Ferdinand,
    Just a clarification before further discussion (sorry if you have written it down).
    Your numbers for CO2:
    – human emissions since 1850: 300 GTc ending up in (1) + (2)
    (1): 235 GT sequestered
    (2): 65 GT in the atmosphere

    – atmospheric increase since 1850 = +30% or 184 GT (615 GT in 1850-> 800 GT in 2006)

    So if we stick to your numbers, that means the atmospheric CO2 increase since 1850 is
    – 35% due to human CO2 emissions (65/184)
    – 65% due to natural CO2 increase ((184-65)/184)

    Do you mean that the CO2 increase is about 1 part manmade for 2 parts natural ?

  41. I have noticed that when you but the ice core CO2 data into the air-measured CO2 there is a bigass divergence. You don’t need a PhD in snowballs to see that.

    The air measures purport to start where the ice cores leave off. But is that raw or some funky adjustment to paste the ends together and make it look pretty? One thing is for sure: the air measure sure swoops off a heck of a lot faster than the ice cores!

    Let’s look at the history. There was full war production in England from 1940, from Russia, from 1941, the US from 1942, and Germany, from 1943. (Not to mention Japan, which had been at war since 1937.) Not to mention blasting everything blastable including 100 cities (with several severe firestorms).

    That’s a lot of damn CO2.

    Then, after the war, there was a severe worldwide recession and retrenchment followed not until a few years later by what became the current industrial trend.

    So where’s the wiggle in that suspiciously even graph, then? Do we have useful demographic data (numbers/types of factories, industrial output, coal/oil cinsumed, “car-mile” numbers, or whatever) from those days that can confirm these readings?

    And what about the great Depression when a third to a half of industrial production simply–ceased? When gas was so dear that siphoning jokes were a very common form of humor?

    So where’s Uncle Wiggles? Out to lunch?

    Them there graphs is smooooooth. TOOOOOO smooth!

  42. Evan wrote: “Them there graphs is smooooooth. TOOOOOO smooth!”

    In the context of Roy Spencers essay, it could be said that the reason that you don’t see such expected perturbations such as WWII, etc, but we do see a slight perturbation with Mt. Pinatubo in 1992, speaks to the possibility that the human contribution of CO2 is swamped by natural contributors.

    Human history is erratic, driven by politics, war, economy, disease, famine, and natural disaster.

    If humans are the majority contributor to the Keeling CO2 curve, it would seem that it would be a bit more “wiggly” as you put it.

    It stands to reason that the only things large enough to swamp the variance in signal of the human contributions would be earth’s own processes.

    The ocean is a great low pass filter.

  43. Since Evan is looking for “wiggles” I decided to supply some. Here is Mauna Loa annual CO2 that I plotted from CDIAC thanks to the link provided by Eli Rabbet. For some reason the data only goes to 2004, but it will do.

    With the annual biomass respiration removed, it is easier to see the “wiggles”.


    Full sized image link maunaloa-annual-co2.png

    Your mission Mr. Jones, should you choose to accept it, is to use your skills as a student of history to put names on the “wiggles”.

    (No Australian kids TV shows jokes please.)

  44. Demesure,

    The d13C argument is not the sole argument that the accumulation in mass is caused by the emissions. The mass balance is the best argument.
    Even if not all sinks are known to any accuracy, neither the partitioning between vegetation and oceans (one of them even may be a net source), we know with reasonable accuracy that all natural flows together form a net sink of average 3 GtC/yr (ad that is the difference between emissions and accumulation in mass in the atmosphere). This proves that the emissions are the sole cause of the accumulation in mass (except for a small temperature influence).
    It would be different if some source was missing (if the accumulation in mass in the atmosphere was larger than the emissions).

    But the d13C fate effectively exclude (deep) oceans as source of extra CO2. That is the main point.
    Indeed what we measure in the atmosphere as d13C decrease is about 1/3th of what a direct calculation gives. This can be the result of
    a) dilution of the atmospheric d13C decrease by the natural cycle oceans (0-4 per mil d13C) – atmosphere (-8 per mil) – oceans.
    b) dilution of the atmospheric d13C decrease by an extra addition of ocean CO2

    a) can be reached by an about 70 GtC carbon cycle (deep) oceans – air – oceans. Not that different of the 90 GtC (+/- 30%) found by Battle ea.
    b) needs about 21 GtC extra inflow (without outflow) of deep ocean CO2, to reach the observed less decrease in d13C than calculated. But we don’t see a 28 GtC (oceans + emissions) increase in the atmosphere, only a 3 GtC increase, less than the emissions alone.
    Thus there is no extra input of CO2 from the oceans.

    About the ice cores, you should read the full article. That gives the reasons for the adjustments, which are quite small. The end of the ice core measurements is at the end ’70s, as that is the age of the ice at bubble closing depth. At the same depth, the CO2 age is about 10 years younger. Therefore we have no later ice core data, but we have firn data, which show a further increase of CO2 until current levels.
    There is no difference between open bubble and closed bubble CO2 levels at closing depth, thus no diffusion problems seems to occur at least at closing depth.
    Reactive decay is more a problem in the Greenland ice cores (volcanic deposits, more acid) than in Antarctica.
    Three ice cores were drilled with different methods (wet and dry) at 0.5, 5, 16 km from the summit of Law Dome. The difference in CO2 levels between the ice cores is within 1.2 ppmv (one sigma). The South Pole trend is 0.8 ppmv lower than the average ice core trend.

    The difference between ice core measurements and proxy data (like stomata data) is that with proper equipment and handling, the ice cores give a rather good sample of the real atmosphere of many years to milennia ago, while proxies need some translation between what you measure and ancient reality…

    Regards,

    Ferdinand

  45. Could be, could be. Either what you say is true, or the measurements are highly questionable, or some other option, because so far as I can see ain’t no slow, steady curve in man’s use of CO2.

    I know there may be the demographic data to dispute this notion, but from where I sit, looking at it writ large and crude, I can’t see it. I see seriuous ups and downs in man’s CO2 output.

    Yeah, it’s a small percentage in the overall input/output matrix, but according to the the AGW advocates man IS the delta–a little less than half accumulating in the atmospheric sink and and rest winding up in the other two sinks, land and sea (a lot of that second half having routed through the atmosphere first).

    If the AGW advocates are right, fluctuations in man’s output MUST change the curve (or why even bother cutting back?). They HAVE fluctuated (I contend). So why does the curve not reflect this?

    Unless the “Rev” Watts is right? Wouldn’t be the first time, would it?

    I’m surprised some historian or demographer has not pointed this out previously. (Heck, I’m surprised I never pointed this out previously.)

  46. “A challenge to Roy Spencer, Richard Courtney, Stevo, Andrew and Steve Hemphill (and others): Demonstrate publically your skills in the scientific method by addressing the following —

    Using known and established tenets of geochemistry and physical chemistry, describe how the delta-13-C data shown in Figure 4 of Bohm et al (2002) (conveniently provided by Mr. Engelbeen in his post as http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif ) does or does not support your theory that anthropogenically produced carbon (derived from fossil fuels) is NOT the cause of the increase in the content of atmospheric (and ocean) carbon dioxide shown by peer-reviewed data to have occurred in the last 1,000 years. ”

    Demesure, I assure you that that is emphatically NOT what I said. I speculated that Oceans may MODULATE our emissions going into the atmosphere. It is not, as Ferdinand seems to believe, either, that I am saying that the oceans have a large effect that outweighs our input. I am simply stating that, again, the oceans are a sink, but not a constant one, and therefore that is the reason for the match between growth rate and temperature. I really wish my position wouldn’t be mischaracterized this way.

  47. Demesure,

    There is a lot of people which have problems to understand the difference between the two figures, you are by far not alone…

    The 65 GtC is what is left of the original molecules of the emissions in % (accumulated in % of the atmosphere) of the atmosphere (which is diluted by the carbon cycles at a rate of 150/800 GtC per year).
    The 184 GtC is what is accumulated in mass in the atmosphere, due to the emissions (which is diluted by the difference in in/outflows of the carbon cycles at a rate of 3/800 GtC per year).
    Thus while the accumulation in mass is due to the total number of molecules added by the emissions, even during the year of emissions, about 20% (or more, depending of the distance between sources and sinks) is already exchanged with molecules of other origin. That alters the composition in %, but not the total mass…

    To use the example of Segalstad: if you add a red colored small flow into a big tank where a lot of single in/outflows and cycles are in perfect balance, then the red color will be diluted in ratio with the total flows, while the total volume will increase with the total extra flow, independent of the rest of the flows and cycles…

  48. MHaze,

    Beck has made a graph of both the ice core data and the historical measurements:

    See: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm the graph is top left of the different graphs.

    Warning: historical chemical data to be taken with caution. The 1942 about 100 ppmv (!) peak value is composed by a lot of data from places where the authors warn that they measured soil/plants/human emissions CO2… Even experiments set up to measure plant CO2 exchanges (rice fields 1941-1943, Misra, India) are included…

  49. Evan Jones and Anthony,

    You forget the difference in scale between the human additions and natural variations. The human additions are about 3.5 ppmv/yr, of which about 1.5 ppmv/yr accumulates in the atmosphere, the natural variations are within +/- 0.8 ppmv/yr, both to be observed at a scale of 380 ppmv.
    Thus no wonder that the graph looks smooth, very smooth! Only extreme increases (like the 1998 El Niño) and extreme coolings (like the 1992 Pinatubo) can be easely observed.

    The difference between the emissions and the natural variation is that the emissions caused the entire increase of 60 ppmv 1959-2004, while natural wobbles caused a temporarely change of a few ppmv, followed by normal temperatures (and CO2 increases, 1994) or even cooler periods (1999)…

  50. Okay,

    Now bear in mind that what I am betting are the great fluxes in CO2 emissions are prior to this graph: A downswing during the Great Depression, and an Upswing during WWII, and a downturn in the immediate postwar years.

    After that there has been a somewhat steady upward economic trend. But there are some things that correspond (timewise, at least) to phases that might affect global output. So I’ll do a little off-the-cuff palm-reading, here.

    On very brief observation I am noting two more noticeable wiggles that correspond (maybe causally, maybe not) with known historical phenomena.

    THIS IS A PRELIMINARY TAKE

    1.) I see an upward bump between 1970 and 1975 followed by a mild trough.
    –The uptick corresponds with the emergence of the six (now five) “Dragons” of the far east and the Japanese Superstate.
    –The Clean air Act (in practice) in the US and a whole new environmental consciousness in Europe (the west of it) seem to correspond with the trough. (The buildings–after sand-blasting–actually became the colors they actually “were”.)
    “The Dragon Emergence”
    “The Redbrick Cleanup”

    2.) I see a bubble starting in the mid 80’s followed by a bump-back around 1993.
    –The US economy recovered and took off around this time.
    –China and India began to emerge as great (and coal-intensive) industrial powers.
    — But the Big News is the downtick at the end which matches with the massive shutdown of the heavy Industry of the beastly Sovs and Eastern Europe.
    “The Made In China/Reagan Revolution”
    “The Peace ‘Dividend'”

    Then there are a couple of smaller ones that are harder to peg. They match with US events but I don’t see much to compare with the rest of the world.

    3.) A slight downtick around 1997.
    –There was a serious financial crash in the far East in general and Japan in particular. This has a worldwide effect, having an impact on Europe/Russia and a slowdown of the US economy.
    “The Stumble from Grace”

    4.) A very mild dip from 2000 to 2003 that picks up.
    –this corresponds with the US mild “recession” (read “slow growth”) and bear market and the resulting drop in capital gains income.
    –Toward the end of the dip, Russian recovery, Eastern European tax reforms and recovery, Us tax cuts, Western Europe initiates pro-growth economic measures. Worldwide economic Boom.
    “The Dubya Bubble”

    Note that these are all very minor blips in a very steady upward trend. It would seem that relatively major economic swings have a very minor impact on CO2.

    What also must be considered is the accumuation vs. persistance factor of CO2.

    Just a first impression so far.

  51. Andrew,

    It is not, as Ferdinand seems to believe, either, that I am saying that the oceans have a large effect that outweighs our input. I am simply stating that, again, the oceans are a sink, but not a constant one, and therefore that is the reason for the match between growth rate and temperature.

    No problems here Andrew, I don’t think that you were believing that the oceans have a large effect (at maximum within one year), and I completely agree that the oceans are not a constant sink, as that is modulated by temperature… As the emissions are relative monotonely increasing in increase speed, one can expect a good match between a more variable independent cause and effect…

  52. Ferdinand,

    Thank you. Understood.

    You wrote: “emissions caused the entire increase of 60 ppmv 1959-2004″ which by your thinking would rule out any possibility that oceans changes and the solubility of CO2 as a factor.

    My question is, does a long term record of seawater samples with analysis of dissolved gases exist? That might help put the matter to rest.

    If anyone knows of one, please post it.

  53. Evan Jones,

    Why making it difficult? Simply compare it to graph 3 in Dr. Spencer’s essay. There you have the emissions and what is left of them (thanks to mainly temperature changes)…

    Btw, the emissions during the Great Depression were (in MtC per year):

    1927 1062
    1928 1065
    1929 1145
    1930 1053
    1931 940
    1932 847
    1933 893
    1934 973
    1935 1027
    1936 1130
    1937 1209

    If we may assume that about half of the emissions stay in the atmosphere (as mass), then the average emissions 1927-1937 were around 1 GtC/yr, of which 0.5 GtC or 0.25 ppmv accumulates in the atmosphere.
    The difference 1929-1932 is about 0.3 GtC which results in 0.06 ppmv less accumulation over a year…
    Even no current measurement technique is accurate enough to detect such small difference in accumulation, and hardly can measure the total increase per year.
    Most historical chemical measurements were accurate to +/- 10 ppmv. Ice core measurements are accurate to +/- 1.2 ppmv (one sigma), and smooth the whole depression away…

  54. @Anthony,
    For up to date CO2 data for Mauna Loa, see here
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

    The 65 GtC is what is left of the original molecules of the emissions in % (accumulated in % of the atmosphere) of the atmosphere (which is diluted by the carbon cycles at a rate of 150/800 GtC per year).
    The 184 GtC is what is accumulated in mass in the atmosphere, due to the emissions (which is diluted by the difference in in/outflows of the carbon cycles at a rate of 3/800 GtC per year).

    Ferdinand, I disagree with that. The “65 GtC original molecules” is inconsistent with the fact that 1/2 of human emission is sequestered the very first year. I’ve played with a simple flux model and I KNOW that this number wouldn’t sum up. No way.
    We agree that isotope counting is no help in determining the part of human CO2 in the concentration build up (even if it is an argument often heard from the AGW people). But I don’t adhere to your claim that the calculation of this part can be done with “mass balance” for which you have provided no concrete demonstration. Even the IPCC doesn’t claim -AFAIK- that 100% of CO2 concentration rise is anthropogenic. Simply because it CAN’T, as long as the problem of the “missing sink” remains (which you haven’t addressed).
    – Please let me know what you do think about the missing sink before we dig down further in the arcane of numbers. And please, elaborate about your above claim that icecore CO2 data’s resolution is 5 years and there is no divergence problem: where are the raw data, why Bohm’s results stop in 1980 (with a 10 year lag, it should be in the 90s), are they independently replicated by others (not that hard to have an short icecore)…

    Just as an anecdote, one of the well known glaciologist is Jean Jouzel, lead author in TAR, who happens to be the French chief climate alarmist (he wouldn’t miss a single media event to claim out loud future disasters). That’s one of the reason I have highest doubts about claims that Antarctca’s icecores can be easily reconciled with direct measurements. Up to now, I haven’t seen any credible data, nor proper archive which support such claims. This remind me too much of the tree rings divergence problem.

  55. Anthony,

    There are a lot of data of ocean composition, but most dataseries start from 1992, when several ship’s surveys were done for the first time at a lot of places in the same year. Today we have several ship’s surveys per year and fixed moorings which supply data on a regular base.

    There were several attempts to measure CO2 over and in the oceans with seaships, with a lot of data, including high latitudes in the SH.
    Here are several addresses which supply data + several interesting articles and slide presentations about ocean data:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/home.html data oceans

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/ocd/gcc/co2research/

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml Feely ea. and following pages.
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2633/abstract.shtml Feely CO2/carbonate
    http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/~nikki/Metzl-Lenton-SOLAS_China07.pdf Southern ocean
    http://ioc.unesco.org/IOCCP/pCO2_workshop/Presentations/metzl-SOCOVV-Final2.pps Southern ocean and world 2007!

    There are two island based stations which continuously measure air and seawater CO2 (and a lot of other data), which are used to calculate seasonal fluxes over the North Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

    From the results of the Bermuda station:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/298/5602/2374 variation North Atlantic

    A very good introduction is the Feely overview:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml and following pages.

  56. “As the emissions are relative monotonely increasing in increase speed, one can expect a good match between a more variable independent cause and effect…”

    Ferdinand,
    The human emission increase rate was +1%/year in the 80s and 90s. But it has surpassed +3%/year since 2000 (see the Corine le Quéré paper in the PRS some months ago).
    The fact that CO2 concentration increase remains around 0,5%/year (over the last 50 years) even with a trebling of emission increase rate is a big problem to the science !

  57. Thanks Ferdinand, I’ll look those over.

    One thing that immediately struck me was this graphic:

    A PH of 7.91 for 2xCO2 is closer to neutral 7.0 “aka” pure water than the PH for 1xCO2 at 8.14.

    claims like this one:

    “British Scientists Say Carbon Dioxide Is Turning the Oceans Acidic”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/01/international/europe/01ocean.html

    where they say: “growing acidity would be very likely to harm coral reefs and other marine life by the end of the century.”

    I don’t get this claim, if its closer to 7, aka “neutral” how could such a shift be “more acidic”? It’s really “less basic”.
    reference: http://www.fst.vt.edu/extension/valueadded/pH.html

    Is the chemistry wrong or the claim or both?

  58. “There are a lot of data of ocean composition, but most dataseries start from 1992, when several ship’s surveys were done for the first time at a lot of places in the same year. Today we have several ship’s surveys per year and fixed moorings which supply data on a regular base.”

    The is no reliable global data of ocean composition. In the Metzl et al paper for example (your link above), Ocean-atmosphere fluxes differ wildly between models and observations (more than 5 GTc/month, ie 60 Gt/y, ) and measurements are made on short periods (less than a decade). So if you try to do a “mass balance” of the anthropic 7,5 Gt/y, it’s like trying to know if you’ve gained 7,5 pounds using a scale with 60 pound tolerance. You simply can’t tell the difference. Yep, the CO2 “science” is as bad.

  59. Ferdinand,

    You say:

    “There is no difference between open bubble and closed bubble CO2 levels at closing depth, thus no diffusion problems seems to occur at least at closing depth.”

    when discussing cores a few decades old. Surely you are not using that as a basis to confirm there would be no diffusion for 3000+ years in the Vostok cores *above* closing depth would you? Do you still feel there is no diffusion for thousands of years before the bubbles reach closing depth at Vostok?

  60. Demesure,

    The emissions have a constant “increase in increase speed”. That is the same as saying that the there is a constant % increase of the total CO2 level.

    As with all processes:
    1. if a disturbance of a dynamic equilibrium is a one-time addition, then the process will go back assymptotely back to the equilibrium
    2. if a disturbance is a continuous fixed addition, then the process will increase assymptotely to a new, higher level equilibrium.
    3. if a disturbance is a continuous increasing addition (fixed % increase), then the process will never reach a new equilibrium and continuous to increase with a fixed % of the disturbance.

    Today we see a type 3 disturbance. Which implies that the CO2 cycle was a simple dynamic equilibrium process in pre-industrial times…
    No problem at all for science. It is simple process dynamica…

    About the missing sink: I have not the slightest problem with a missing sink. We know the average total of natural sinks with reasonable accuracy. We don’t know the exact sinks in the oceans and vegetation, only rough estimates. Battle ea. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/287/5462/2467 ):
    vegetation: 1.4 +/- 0.8 GtC/yr; oceans: 2.0 +/- 0.6 GtC/yr.
    Minimum 3.4 GtC/yr, maximum 4.8 GtC/yr. A missing sink of 1.2 GtC/yr? Or there may be some unknown large sink besides oceans and vegetation, which acts as absorber of extra CO2 at higher levels…
    My bet is that they underestimate the direct sink of CO2 in the North Atlantic deep water formation (THC sink). That goes directly from atmosphere in the deep ocean. Hard to measure exactly.

    This doesn’t change the measured/calculated mass balance which shows a near-continuous net sink for all natural sources/sinks together.
    The mass balance still is:
    increase in the atmosphere – emissions = natural inflows – outflows = -3 +/- 2.7 GtC/yr (with a few exceptions…).
    It is only unsure where it all exactly sinks.

    But as already said before, there would be more problems to explain a missing source…

    As already warned, the difference between an accumulation in % and an accumulation in mass is the difficult part…

    The accumulation in mass is near entirely due to the emissions, except for a small temperature factor (and maybe a few other small factors, as the two-variable formula doesn’t give an exact match with the observations).
    That means that about 184 GtC from the 300+ GtC emissions of the past 150+ years has accumulated as mass in the atmosphere. That it is. We can stop here.

    But we can ask ourselves, how much of the original 13C depleted anthro molecules still reside in the atmosphere, from the first halve GtC in the far past, after 150 years, to the last 8 GtC from last year after one year. Knowing that these are diluted by a yearly exchange of about 90 GtC from the 13C rich deep ocean waters (vegetation plays a minor role in this), we don’t expect to find much anthro CO2 (labeled with a low d13C per mil) in the atmosphere.

    That is a simple calculation: we know the d13C drop in the atmosphere from ice cores/firn/Mauna Loa data. Recalculated to 800 GtC today, the original anthro molecules still residing in the atmosphere are about 65 GtC or 8% of the atmosphere (that means, most of last years, as we add about 1% 13C depleted CO2 per year to the atmosphere). This has nothing to do with the increase in mass of about 30% over the past 150 years, although this type of calculation is used as argument that the anthro CO2 is not the cause of the rise…

  61. Demesure,

    I don’t even want to start a mass balance based on any natural flow of CO2. All mass balance I need is based on the calculated emissions and measured increased of CO2, which are more than accurate enough…

    But even in ten years time, one can see that several ocean parts changed from permanent or seasonal sources of CO2 to seasonal sources and permanent sinks…

    More tomorrow (it’s 1.30 AM here!)…

  62. “No problems here Andrew, I don’t think that you were believing that the oceans have a large effect (at maximum within one year), and I completely agree that the oceans are not a constant sink, as that is modulated by temperature… As the emissions are relative monotonely increasing in increase speed, one can expect a good match between a more variable independent cause and effect…”

    Okay, glad we understand each other, now. :)

  63. Simon Donner has some important links on corals and CO2. The world has moved on since 2001.

    http://simondonner.blogspot.com/2008/01/temperature-and-co2-new-figure-for-new.html

    http://simondonner.blogspot.com/2008/01/rising-co2-and-other-reef-organisms.html

    http://simondonner.blogspot.com/2008/01/what-is-dangerous.html

    and I put in a word about the threat this poses to the biological pump

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/01/elevator-trouble-simon-donner-at-maribo.html

    and, FWIW, Atmoz has plotted the different Scripps CO2 series on one graph

    http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/01/24/co2-is-still-rising-even-at-locations-other-than-mauna-loa/

    although his choice of colors sucks

  64. Decreasing pH is more acidic, increasing more basic. A solution with pH 8 is more basic than a solution with pH 9. The equilibrium is [H+][OH-]= 1E-14. pH = -log10 [H+]. At pH = 8 the concentration of [H+] is 1E-8 moles/liter and the concentration of [OH-] is 1E-6 moles/liter. Increase the pH to 9 and [H+] is 1E-9 moles/liter and the concentration of [OH-] is 1E-4 moles/liter. a solution with pH 8 is more acidic than one with pH 9. At pH 7 the concentrations of both is 1E-7.

    REPLY: I think this post may be in error, you are making conflicting claims. Second sentence and second to last sentence conflict. By my training second to last sentence is correct. However, a pH greater than 7 by anybody’s definition would not be considered ‘acidic” and that is the issue I brought up in my previous post. -Anthony

  65. Eli,

    As Anthony already replied, the definition of neutral is at pH 7.0, acidic is below 7.0 and basic is above 7.0…

    Calling a drop of pH in the basic range “more acidic” is at least confusing and for the general public rather misleading…

  66. Re: John M. query on isotopes, pertaining to Demesure/Englebeen discussion.
    The Suess effect for C-13 depended on his work with C-14. The latter has a comparatively simple mechanism of creation that has more recently been seen to be on decline over his lifetime for a reason unknown to him, the level of cosmic ray input.
    Isotopes of carbon are particulary bad choices for proxies due to its chemical promiscuity. Water easily carries it away (apart from cellulose) wherein it readily moves between organic and inorganic forms. In comparison Be-10 quickly precipitates out of the atmosphere forming relatively inert oxidants.
    As Segalstad has pointed out, perhaps 2 dozen empirical estimates for the atmospheric carbon residence time provide values less than 12 years, and average 7 years. The C-13 proxy is therefore an outlier in this application.

  67. Waaaaayyy out of my league here, but I do have a quick question:

    How good are the estimates of CO2 sources? Seems that there’s an assumption that the amount of CO2 in the CO2 sinks are well known. But it also seems quite remarkable that these types of data could be well known with any type of precision.

    Bruce

  68. The hypothesis may be provocotive but there is some clear supporting evidence that shows nature not humans is the prime driver of increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
    Emissions from fossil fuels are calculated from oil, coal, and natural gas consumption data which are not part of the mainstream climate data. When this is compared to the concentration data from Mauna Loa the relative contribution of humans and nature can be roughly calculated.

    Kyoto is based on the direct relationship between CO2 emissions and CO2 concentration.
    From 1990 to 2003 emissions increased from 21,230 to 25,030 megatonnes or 292 megatonnes per year.
    From 2003 to 2006 emissions increased from 25,030 to 29,330megatonnes or 1435 megatonnes per year.
    This represents an increase in the rate of emissions of 491% (this alarming rate of increase was duly noted at the conference in Nairobi last year using 2001as the pivotal date and “over a four fold increase” stated.)

    If there is a direct linear relationship between CO2 emissions and concentration then this same 491% increase should have taken place in the rate of atmospheric CO2 concentration increase.

    From 1990 to 2003 the concentration of atmospheric CO2 increased from 254.16ppmv to 375.79ppmv or 1.66ppmv per year.
    From 2003 to 2006 the concentration of atmospheric CO2 increased from 375.79ppmv to 381.89ppmv or 2.03ppmv per year.
    This represents an increase in the rate of atmospheric CO2 concentration of only 22% yet the emissions rate increased by 491%.

    If emissions are increasing at a rate over 20 times greater than the increase in concentration then it is clear that human emissions are not primarily responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration and consequentially not primarily responsible for global warming for those who subscribe to the Greenhouse Gas hypothesis of global warming.

    Since human emissions can be calculated in actual tonnage, simple algebra can show the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmospheric concentration from human and other sources.
    In 2006 this equates to humans contributing 1435 megatonnes to the concentration increase and other sources presumably natural (such as out gassing of the oceans and volcanoes) contributing 4836 megatonnes.
    This is a clear statement that human emissions are only contributing 29.7% of the atmospheric CO2 increase and therefore any statement that human emissions are the major cause of global warming is clearly false.

    The sharp increase in human emissions took place in 2001 as was pointed out by the IPCC. If the same calculation is done using the 5 years before and after 2001 the human emissions contribution to the atmospheric concentration is reduced to 27%, and if the natural emissions are increasing as would be suggested by out gassing theory this number would be reduced even further.

    Norm K.

  69. Eli,

    I have read a few of the references (and references in the references) about coral reefs. Most of the references point to “probable” influences of higher temperatures and lower pH somewhere in the future. The 2001 reference I gave was on the observed increase in coral growth in the Great Barrier (marvellous nature!), despite of (or thanks to) higher CO2 levels in the past 50 years…

    Besides a few large scale laboratory tests, I haven’t seen many studies in field tests, except that other types of human interference (overfishing, pollution, mangrove destruction) has done a lot of damage to the coral reefs.

    Although CO2 levels during the Cretaceous were much higher than today, that was the time that coccolithophores were building enormous layers of chalk, like the white cliffs of Dover. I know, carbonate levels in seawater probably were much higher too, but is remains to be seen in how far the theory describes reality…

  70. Pingback: Roy Spencer on how Oceans are Driving CO2

  71. “I don’t even want to start a mass balance based on any natural flow of CO2. All mass balance I need is based on the calculated emissions and measured increased of CO2, which are more than accurate enough…”

    Ferdinant, you’re just citing a coincidence, at betst a correlation, not a causation. Since there is no way to determine the outcome of fossile CO2 (certainly not by isotope dosage), you can only assume that it’s integrally responsible for the concentration increase but that’s a claim out of the field of refutability. It’s no better an hypothesis than an increased upwelling of ocean currents, a change in plankton activity or many other changing factors.
    After all, 10 years ago, nobody at the IPCC thought methane levels would stabilize but that’s what happened, unexpectedly.

    So as long as the missing sink (which is 3 GTC/y, see chap 7 AR4, and not 1.2 GTC/y as you claimed) remains, let’s say that the science in CO2 accounting is far from “settled”.

  72. Steve hemphill,

    Of course, there is diffusion above closing depth, although less and less, as the firn densifies. For the Law Dome ice cores, that is at 72 m depth, where the ice is closing, but still has open bubbles. Even above the closing depth, there is diffusion, but still a top-down gradient, which means that closing is faster than diffusion. As both firn CO2 and ice CO2 shows the same value, no differences caused by drilling methods, ice handling, ice/air diffusion, fractionation, etc. are showing up.

    At closing depth, the difference in ice-gas age is about 40 years and the average gas age is ten years younger at the same depth with a spread of 8 years, that is the time needed to close all bubbles.

    This is for the Law Dome ice core. I didn’t find direct figures for the Vostok ice core on the net (but remembered some +/- 600 years resolution).

  73. In any case, I want to (1) clarify the major point of my post, and (2) report some new (C13/C12 isotope) results:

    1. The interannual relationship between SST and dCO2/dt is more than enough to explain the long term increase in CO2 since 1958. I’m not claiming that ALL of the Mauna Loa increase is all natural…some of it HAS to be anthropogenic…. but this evidence suggests that SST-related effects could be a big part of the CO2 increase.

    2. NEW RESULTS: I’ve been analyzing the C13/C12 ratio data from Mauna Loa. Just as others have found, the decrease in that ratio with time (over the 1990-2005 period anyway) is almost exactly what is expected from the depleted C13 source of fossil fuels. But guess what? If you detrend the data, then the annual cycle and interannual variability shows the EXACT SAME SIGNATURE. So, how can decreasing C13/C12 ratio be the signal of HUMAN emissions, when the NATURAL emissions have the same signal???

    -Roy

  74. Roy, I have a gut feeling that a part of that R-squared on figure 4 could be a spurious result of the detrending. As you point out, Figures 1 and 2 share the same “bend” so what you are seeing on Figure 4 is in some part a consequence of both sets of detrended data sharing a tendency to positive anomalies early and late on in the time series and a negative anomaly in the middle.

    Worth a check, based on a quadratic fit even if the square term may be bordering on insignificant.

  75. Of all the people who follow this blog and comment regularly, I probably have the least amount of scientific and mathematical background. Nevertheless, the topic is of great interest and fascination to me so I have to base my beliefs, to a large extent, on logic, historical observation, accuracy of measured data and analysis of the obvious or perceived motivations of those on both sides of the debate. IMHO, one cannot look at the issue from those four perspectives and arrive at any position other than that of skepticism.

    I tried to follow the comments on this thread over the last 72 hours until my head hurt. Finally, the comment by Norm K earlier today put things in a layman’s that I could follow. Thanks, Norm.

  76. Hello,
    Err, is this the same idea as,

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html

    The Acquittal of CO2 – Jeffrey A. Glassman PhD.

    Realclimate.org and Gavin Schmidt have been “discussing” the idea, and Dr. Glassman has answered many of the questions raised…

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/11/gavin_schmidt_on_the_acquittal.html

    Most “rebuttals” seem to revolve around the idea that the oceans can not or will not absorb much more CO2.
    Motl Lobos discusses this on this thread.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/11/ocean-carbon-sink-henrys-law.html

    Even I have managed a Layman’s simplified overview…

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=94

    Whereever the idea came from, it is good to see it being more widely discussed.
    Personnally, I believe it maybe THE one that puts the long awaited realistic view of CO2, and the natural processes effecting it climate science so desperately needs at present.
    It does explain the 800 to 1,000 year lag between temperature change AND THEN CO2 level changes better than just about any other idea I’ve seen.

  77. Hello again,
    May I also add that thinking about the world’s oceans as I try to describe on this thread, may help, (as if peeled off a tangerine…)

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=232

    After some consideration it may become apparent that the Vostock and Mauna Loa CO2 (processed) data appears to be a bit too similar (the raw data is effectively “unavaliable” at present), seeing as one is in a large natural CO2 sink (Vostock) and the other is in one of the world’s largest natural degassing areas, the Western Pacific (Mauna Loa).

    Natural variation, that is really a big problem for THE climate science at present.

  78. Norm K,

    From 1990 to 2003 emissions increased from 21,230 to 25,030 megatonnes or 292 megatonnes per year.
    From 2003 to 2006 emissions increased from 25,030 to 29,330megatonnes or 1435 megatonnes per year.

    From 1990 to 2003 the concentration of atmospheric CO2 increased from 254.16ppmv to 375.79ppmv or 1.66ppmv per year.
    From 2003 to 2006 the concentration of atmospheric CO2 increased from 375.79ppmv to 381.89ppmv or 2.03ppmv per year.

    The problem is that atmospheric increases don’t react on the differential of the emissions (here expressed in Mt CO2, not MtC), but on absolute levels (in fact mainly the difference air-ocean pCO2). You compare emission increase rates with atmospheric CO2 level increases, but you should compare emission increases with CO2 increases…

    The emissions totalised 80 GtC 1990-2002 and 22 GtC 2003-2005 (I have no figure yet for 2006).
    The emissions, if these would accumulate in total in the atmosphere should give an increase of 2.93 ppmv/yr (1990-2002) and 3.51 ppmv/yr (2003-2005). That is +20%.
    The increase in atmospheric CO2 over the same periods changed +22%.

    Not bad for a process where the trend is mostly controlled by the emissions (a small variation due to temperature changes allowed…).

  79. Dear Dr. Spencer,

    1. The interannual relationship between SST and dCO2/dt is more than enough to explain the long term increase in CO2 since 1958. I’m not claiming that ALL of the Mauna Loa increase is all natural…some of it HAS to be anthropogenic…. but this evidence suggests that SST-related effects could be a big part of the CO2 increase.

    The dCO2/dt relationsship you found is 4,300 mmtC/deg. C, which is 4.3 GtC/°C or about 2.1 ppmv/°C. I did find similar values: 2-4 ppmv/°C for El Niño, La Niña and Pinatubo temperature fluctuations. And 2.6 ppmv/°C for the global seasonal variations vs. global temperatures (land+oceans).

    Thus we do agree about the influence of temperature fluctuations on CO2 rate of increase.

    Where we disagree, is that you see the temperature as a one-way driver. It goes both ways: the temperature drop of the Pinatubo and the El Niña episodes show similar drops of CO2 rate of increase as the El Niño episodes the other way out.

    If we may assume that the rate of increase vs. temperature currently observed is similar for longer-term influences (over decades) on absolute CO2 levels, then the observed 1959-2004 temperature increase of about 0.6°C has added about 1.3 ppmv of the 60 ppmv measured in the same period.

    If we go the other way out, that the change in temperature was the sole driver of CO2 changes, then the temperature has added 60 ppmv for a change of 0.6°C, or 100 ppmv/°C, never seen in history…

    I can’t place your remarks on 13C/12C ratios without figures and/or graphs…

  80. “The increase in atmospheric CO2 over the same periods changed +22%.

    Not bad for a process where the trend is mostly controlled by the emissions
    (a small variation due to temperature changes allowed…).”

    Oceans absorb and degass somewhere about 90 to 100 Gigatonnes annually, (IPCC figures)
    so I’m not sure why you’ve added up 1990-2002, to get 80GtC, presumeably those are man’s emmissions.
    They do sound more significant when added up 12 to 13 years at a time though..

    I must admit to hearing quotes of CO2 has increased by 4% since 2002 (I think) ,
    so that does not exactly tally with man’s emmissions either,
    maybe a bit of exageration in the adding up (or the method used) to get to 22% perhaps…..

    The hypothesis as I understand it is that a small change in temperature of the world’s oceans causes the Solubility pump to change the amount of CO2 “pumped”, this can (and does) easily dwarf man’s emissions.
    Which seemingly they do. (Depending on how you add up, obviously.)

  81. Derek,

    The raw (hourly average from 4 measurements) CO2 data from Mauna Loa and other base stations (including the South Pole) are available at:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/ The data are not pre-processed or deleted. Some bear flags, because of known (system or natural) disturbances of the measurements. These falgged data are not used for daily, monthly or yearly averages. But including or excluding the outliers doesn’t change the yearly average with more than a few tenth of a ppmv…

    Ice core/firn data of Law Dome and South Pole atmospheric CO2 have a 20 years overlap and are similar for the same time period, within the +/- 1.2 ppmv accuracy of ice core measurements.

    Several ice cores, measured by a lot of different teams show the same CO2 history.

    10 base stations (see http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/contents.htm ) and a lot more, measured by different teams and laboratories (continuous and via flask samples), measure the same trends, only influenced by the seasons, and a small altitude and N/S gradient.

    That involves hundreds of people at tens of places and laboratories. I don’t think that all of them would cheat to keep their job, without anyone protesting against such a way of working…

  82. Dear Stevo,

    Sorry for the late reply… There are so many reactions that we needed more time (after all we still have a life besides these discussions…).

    A few answers were already given in other responses:

    – d13C/d14C levels don’t prove that humans are the sole cause of the increase in the atmosphere, but they prove that the deep oceans are not the cause of the increase…
    – I did use your Segalstad example to show the difference between accumulation in % (the red dye) and the accumulation is mass (the extra inflow), all other variables being constant in total result.

    Further:
    – The solubility of oxygen in water is quite limited. Most of the O2 from vegetation photosynthesis is building up in the atmosphere. The other big oxygen user is vegetation decay. If decay and photosynthesis are in equilibrium (after a full seasonal cycle of one year), then no oxygen is added or substracted to/from the atmosphere. Since 1990 oxygen levels are measured with sufficient accuracy to detect a deficit of oxygen use from fossil fuel burning. That must be caused by the production of about 2 GtC, which released the extra oxygen.
    Other sources or sinks of oxygen than vegetation and derivatives (humans… just part of the C and O cycles) are minor compared to vegetation.

    – Past temperature cycles did lead to corresponding CO2 changes at different time scales. Short term, about 2-4 ppmv/°C, long term 8-10 ppmv/°C.

    For short-term changes, the upper oceans are surely involved, as good as vegetation. For the oceans both directions of the flows are changed: increased temperatures increase the pCO2 of surface water, which results in more release at the warm side and less uptake at the cold side of the oceans. The result is less clear for vegetation, but in general one can expect more CO2 uptake with higher temperatures (more towards the poles). But in general, the oceans win in this case. That are the short term fluctuations we see. The long term changes may involve the deeper ocean temperatures and/or flows, which gives larger changes of CO2 for a similar temperature change.

    You can find similar CO2/temp ratios if you use global (sea+land), sea only or UAH lower atmosphere temperatures. That changes the ratio’s in absolute figures, which may play a role. For the Vostok ice core (8 ppmv/°C) this is in fact compared to the calculated SH ocean temperatures (via dD and D18O measurements).

    Anyway, whatever the (semi) global temperature you take, the effect of temperature on CO2 levels is surprisingly linear, despite many underlying processes are far from linear.

    That is also the case for seasonal temperature changes: Both temperature and CO2 levels form more or less nice sinusoids, but maintain their ratio over the cycle (with some small lag for CO2).

    About temperature and flows/levels:
    The first effect of temperature on ocean CO2 flows is to increase the outflows and decrease the inflows. That is a result of the increased pCO2 in the oceans vs. a steady pCO2 of the atmosphere (assuming no emissions).
    But because of the change in flows, oceanic CO2 start to accumulate in the atmosphere. That leads to an increased pCO2 of the atmosphere, until the average pCO2 of the oceans and the atmosphere are again in equilibrium (at a higher level than before). This is a quite rapid process (for the upper oceans), but much slower for deep ocean temperature changes, which results in the above differences in ratios for short term and long term temperature variations…

    I agree with you that a simple explanation is the best thing to do. But that is not that simple to make. I started a web page (yet far from ready), to explain that the “background” CO2 levels measured at Mauna Loa and other base stations have a real, global meaning. But even such a simple topic costs a lot of work (and even isn’t believed by several sceptics, who still think that the data are manipulated)…
    See: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

    And this kind of debates is necessary, but slows down the work at the web page…

  83. Demesure,

    Ferdinant, you’re just citing a coincidence, at betst a correlation, not a causation. Since there is no way to determine the outcome of fossile CO2 (certainly not by isotope dosage), you can only assume that it’s integrally responsible for the concentration increase but that’s a claim out of the field of refutability. It’s no better an hypothesis than an increased upwelling of ocean currents, a change in plankton activity or many other changing factors.

    As long as the emissions are larger than the increase in the atmosphere, there is not the slightest addition in mass from all natural flows together. If there was increased upwelling from the oceans, that need to be compensated by increased downwelling at the other side of the ocean, or increased uptake by vegetation. It doesn’t matter where the flows go, even if hundreds of flows change at the same moment: the only hard fact (within the limits of accuracy of emissions and CO2 measurements) is that the sum of all natural flows together over a year and over 50 years is negative.

    That doesn’t solve the “missing link” mystery. But that is a mystery, exactly because we have a quite accurate overall mass balance, even if we don’t know the exact flows in/out nature.

    Your position is the same as Richard’s: we don’t know the exact flows in nature, thus we can’t know which causes the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    My position is that we know that the sum of all natural flows was negative over near all of the past 50 years, thus nature has not added anything to the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere, thus the only cause (besides temperature) are the emissions.

  84. Even if we assume that an unknown source that is producing CO2 it does not follow that the CO2 levels atmosphere would increase as much as they had if humans were not pumping the excess CO2 into the air since the human produced CO2 must go somewhere.

    If one wants to argue that human CO2 is not causing the increases then one must show that some sort of feedback system exists that regulates the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (i.e. the natural sources/sinks adapt dynamically to ensure that the CO2 level stays at some ‘set point’ which could change over time). If such a feedback system existed then one could argue that the sources of CO2 would increase (or sinks decrease) if humans were not adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

    So the question becomes: does the data support the idea that nature tightly regulates the amount of CO2 in the air?

    If such a mechanism exists then we must assume the set point is monotonically increasing since that is what we observe. We also must assume that this mechanism is not driven by year by year temperature variations like El NInos (i.e. El Ninos like humans simply add perturbations that must be absorbed).

    A test for this mechanism would add the ENSO perturbation and the human perturbation and look for evidence that the climate system responds. For example, a large ENSO+human spike should cause an opposite response. This opposite response would lag the spike and should be observed as an undershoot in the following year (i.e. the climate seems to absorb more CO2 than would be expected given the temps+human emissions).

    People with more up to date experience with control systems may have better ideas on how to test for the presence of a feedback mechanism that regulates the quantity of CO2.

  85. I still I want to see that WWII bump vs. Postwar recession CO2 trough.

    And if fuel consumption and industrial production dropped by a third or even more during the Great Depression that CO2 output only dropped under 20% and only very briefly. History seems to conflict with the ice core measurements.

    But I still agree with Ferdinand and others as follows:

    What I can’t seem to get away from is the exchange factor.

    Every exchange factor between Atmosphere and Soil/Vegetation (even including agriculture) or Sea is negative but one. There is only one positive factor: Industry puts out 6.3 BTMC and absorbs ZERO. And 3.1 BMTC currently accumulates yearly in the atmosphere.

    How do you get away from that? I still don’t see how the scale or the variuability affects this whatever.

    I dispute the alleged effect CO2 is supposedly having. (Ferdinand and others have also questioned what effect it has).

    My current guess is that there has been a very modest tempoerature increase since 1979 that has been heavily influenced by recently introduced heat sink and waste heat causing incorrect data.

  86. Pingback: Spencer Pt2: More CO2 Peculiarities - The C13/C12 Isotope Ratio « Watts Up With That?

  87. I need to retract my contention that the correlation in Figure 4 is amplified by the linear detrending. The “bend” in the CO2 graph does not carry through to the residuals (and of course Figure 4 graphs the residuals from the trend line, not raw emissions). In fact, the within year temperature effect has been depressed by its linear detrending – the superimposed pattern of temperature residuals of too positive at the beginning and end and too negative in the middle suppresses part of the signal. If we allow for the curve in the temperature trajectory (which I did by including a quadratic term) then the r-squared between “emission” and temperature residuals jumps from 0.23 to 0.34 and the sensitivity increases to over 6000 MtC per degree C.

    This of course strengthens your conclusion that there is enough power in whatever influences annual fluctuations in temperature and carbon dioxide increase to explain their long term linkage as seen in both trends. but of itself, it does not unequivocally say which is cause and which is effect.

  88. Max Beran,

    Even with a 6000 Mt/°C, that is about 3 ppmv/°C (I calculated 2-4 ppmv), that doesn’t change the trend, as that is a two-way reaction on temperature. After the 1998 El Niño we had a 1999 La Niña. After that the trend did go back to around the average. After the 1992 Pinatubo, in 1993, temperatures returned to the “normal” trend. Thus the average influence of temperature on the trend is near zero.

    If we may assume that the short term CO2/temp ratio and the longer term ratio are the same, then the 0.6°C increase in the period 1959-2004 has increased the CO2 level with 1.8 ppmv, while the observed increase is 60 ppmv… Even if we use the long term ratio (10 ppmv/°C for MWP-LIA), then the influence of temperature over the whole period is only 6 ppmv.

    What one may not forget is the difference in scale between the different influences: There is a continuous trend of now 30% extra CO2 in the atmosphere, while humans have added about 60% more CO2. And we have seasonal to interannual variations, which are within +/- 1% (interannual) to +/- 3% (seasonal) of the CO2 levels. I don’t see how a small two-way variation can influence the trend itself (except for a small temperature contribution), besides their short-term influence on trend speed.

  89. “The ability to model the carbon cycle in such a variety of ways means that according to the available data
    (1) the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is not known,
    (2) the future development of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cannot be known, and
    (3) any effect of future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide on the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cannot be known.”

    Thus according to the assertions we return at least 50 years back (and btw we could also save billions of $ of misdirected research…. write to Dubya or his successor, to Gordon Brown, to XXXX,… for saving lots of taxpayer money)… but, assuming that those propositions come out of personal thoughts, i.e. are seriously validated (and as such would deserve a true Nobel, isn’t it ?)… we are literally in the fog, and assuming that the anthro emissions have negligible impact would be no more than an act of faith. OK for me, I love accelerating in the fog and at the end the paradise is, but I wouldn’t impose such risk to an unwilling passenger… So, inch’Allah ?

    Yves

  90. We still have a few outstanding questions here…

    To begin with:

    Evan Jones:

    <blockquote.I have noticed that when you but the ice core CO2 data into the air-measured CO2 there is a bigass divergence. You don’t need a PhD in snowballs to see that.
    The air measures purport to start where the ice cores leave off. But is that raw or some funky adjustment to paste the ends together and make it look pretty? One thing is for sure: the air measure sure swoops off a heck of a lot faster than the ice cores!

    I suppose that you have read that allegation, made by Jaworowski. But you better use a bit of salt with what he says. To make it clear: nobody ever has “but” the ice core data and atmospheric data together, without counting the layers for ice (which is the age at closing depth) and the CO2 level changes in firn (which give a nice trend from atmospheric to closing depth). The latter gives an idea of the gas age at closing depth (together with several other tests), as we have an overlap of about 20 years between ice bubble ages at Law Dome and South Pole atmospheric measurements.

    See the following graphs (all from the Etheridge Law Dome measurements):
    CO2 measurements in firn and ice with depth:

    Overlap of SP air CO2 and ice CO2 levels:

    CO2 over 1,000 years (see the influence of the MWP and LIA, and of anthro emissions:

    (will make a better scan, this one is blurred)…

  91. Derek (18 Jan) :

    Oceans absorb and degass somewhere about 90 to 100 Gigatonnes annually, (IPCC figures) so I’m not sure why you’ve added up 1990-2002, to get 80GtC, presumeably those are man’s emmissions.
    They do sound more significant when added up 12 to 13 years at a time though..
    I must admit to hearing quotes of CO2 has increased by 4% since 2002 (I think) , so that does not exactly tally with man’s emmissions either,
    maybe a bit of exageration in the adding up (or the method used) to get to 22% perhaps…..
    The hypothesis as I understand it is that a small change in temperature of the world’s oceans causes the Solubility pump to change the amount of CO2 “pumped”, this can (and does) easily dwarf man’s emissions.
    Which seemingly they do. (Depending on how you add up, obviously.)

    Although the oceans exchange about 90GtC/season and vegetation about 60 GtC/season, most is turnover and the net change over a year is only -3 +/- 2.5 GtC (thus a net sink) over a trend, and the sink is increasing, while the emissions and the trend are increasing in time.

    The 1992 Pinatubo cooling and the 1998 El Niño warming caused a decrease and an increase in trend (not in absolute value), of about 6 GtC/°C or 3 ppmv/°C. The total temperature increase 1959-2004 was 0.6°C, thus only 1.8 ppmv is caused by more ocean outgassing, the rest is from anthro emissions…

    The trend of CO2 level is related to the quantity of CO2 released in the atmosphere. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you do that for one year, or ten years or 50 years: in all cases (with an ever increasing emission) you will find an increase more or less in ratio with the emissions, but more variability for shorter periods, as some years are warmer or colder than others, causing a temporarely variation in increase speed.
    Spread over several years, the variations level out and in average reach near zero around the trend. That is clearly visible in graph nr.3 of Dr. Spencer in the introduction: The straight black line is the trend, the red one the emissions and the difference between both is the net sink in the oceans and/or vegetation.

    Thus the emissions over 12 years (1990-2002) or 4 years (2003-2006) and the increase of CO2 levels over the same periods are thightly correlated, no matter how many years you group together.

    The 4% you heard of is the increase in absolute level (about 370 ppmv) since 2002. The 20% is the increase in additional CO2 levels over a period of in average 8 years, caused by emissions increasing by 22% over the same time span…

  92. Evan Jones (28 Jan),

    I still want to see that WWII bump vs. Postwar recession CO2 trough.

    And if fuel consumption and industrial production dropped by a third or even more during the Great Depression that CO2 output only dropped under 20% and only very briefly. History seems to conflict with the ice core measurements.

    About the Great depression: even if the industrial use of fossils fuels dropped about 30%, household heating still needed fuel (although maybe mostly wood?), thus a 20% drop in total seems reasonable…

    I have plotted the Law Dome data (available at: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/lawdome.html ) here:

    As you can see, there is a peak around 1940 and a reduction thereafter. If you take into account that the ice core CO2 is smoothed (with about 5 years for LD 1 and LD 2, more for LD 3 and much more for Siple Dome, which were drilled in shallower ice layers), then we see a peak and reduction of about 1 ppmv CO2 1940-1945, which is within the accuracy of the measurements (+/-1.2 ppmv). The variation in emissions even is much smaller: about 0.1 ppmv. The emissions/yr simply are too small to be measured in ice cores, only after at least 3 years, the signal is better than the accuracy…

    Emission figures (year/GtC):
    1935 1.0
    1936 1.1
    1937 1.2
    1938 1.1
    1939 1.2
    1940 1.3
    1941 1.3
    1942 1.3
    1943 1.4
    1944 1.4
    1945 1.2
    1946 1.2
    1947 1.4
    1948 1.5
    1949 1.4
    1950 1.6

    It is only after 1950 that fossil fuel use increased rapidely.

  93. Pingback: How to tell a good scientist from a bad scientist « Watts Up With That?

  94. I have not been able to read all the good comments here yet, but will do so.

    My related article was posted Jan.31/08 with a spreadsheet on http://icecap.us/

    Roy Spencer and I have been discussing this subject since I emailed him on Dec. 31/07.

    Here are further thoughts from Richard Courtney, with my comments, posted on climate skeptics:

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/climatesceptics/message/44900

    I sincerely thank Richard S. Courtney for getting my point. I am not trying to prove Veizer correct in this paper; it would be sufficient to merely prove the IPCC is incorrect – the future can not cause the past…

    … In personal correspondence, which I quote with Richard’s explicit permission, he wrote:

    “The data show what they show: i.e. when an ST change happens then a CO2 change happens 9 months later. This is a clear demonstration that it is physically impossible for the CO2 change to be the cause of the ST change (this is because – in the absence of a time machine – an effect cannot occur before its cause exists). And it strongly suggests that the ST changes are causing the CO2 changes.

    Of course, some other and unknown cause (e.g. hypothetical feedbacks) may be inducing both the ST and the CO2 changes. If there is some other and unknown cause then the 9 month difference between ST and CO2 changes would be the difference between the response times of the ST and CO2 to that cause. However, there is no evidence that such an additional and unknown cause exists. Therefore, the scientific indication of the data is that the observed ST changes cause the observed and later CO2 changes (Occam’s Razor). And this indication will remain the scientific conclusion unless and until there is evidence that an additional and unknown cause exists.

    Simply, the data indicate that the ST changes cause the CO2 changes.

    Science says that the indication of the data should be accepted until contrary evidence is produced.”

    I would suggest that the Sun is the primary driver, and ST, LT, dCO2/dt and finally CO2 follow, but Richard’s point remains. Lacking a time machine, the only possible alternative explanation that is consistent with the IPCC position is that the ~9 month lag of CO2 behind ST, LT and dCO2/dt is a positive feedback mechanism, and a minor one. Nevertheless, this “minor feedback mechanism’s” signal stands out loud and clear. Richard also made this same point when he said in an earlier post:

    “But if anthropogenic emissions were a driver of CO2 changes then they would over-ride the observed driving of CO2 changes by temperature (both up and down). QED the temperature changes drive the CO2 changes.”

    As Richard says, in the absence of solid evidence that this 9 month lag is a feedback mechanism, my hypothesis stands as the simplest and best explanation consistent with the data. If evidence exists of a positive feedback mechanism, and that evidence stands up to reasonable scrutiny, then let’s see it. If there is no such evidence, let’s see the time machine. Failing both these criteria, my hypothesis stands.

    Best regards, Allan

    P.S. I have since plotted humanmade CO2 emissions vs atmospheric CO2 and dCO2/dt and the correlation is very poor to non-existent. So according to the “feedback” argument, the [temperature:dCO2/dt] signal survives loud and clear atop a noisy, messy, even non-existent [humanmade CO2: atmospheric CO2} non-signal. Can someone please explain how this is practically possible, using logical and probabilistic rigor.

    Summary, posted on icecap.us:

    CARBON DIOXIDE IS NOT THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING:
    THE FUTURE CAN NOT CAUSE THE PAST

    Despite continuing increases in atmospheric CO2, no significant global warming occurred in the last decade, as confirmed by both Surface Temperature and satellite measurements in the Lower Troposphere. Contrary to IPCC fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, Earth may now be entering another natural cooling trend.

    Earth Surface Temperature warmed approximately 0.7 degrees Celsius from ~1910 to ~1945, cooled ~0.4 C from ~1945 to ~1975, warmed ~0.6 C from ~1975 to 1997, and has not warmed significantly from 1997 to 2007.

    CO2 emissions due to human activity rose gradually from the onset of the Industrial Revolution, reaching ~1 billion tonnes per year (expressed as carbon) by 1945, and then accelerated to ~9 billion tonnes per year by 2007. Since ~1945 when CO2 emissions accelerated, Earth experienced ~22 years of warming, and ~40 years of either cooling or absence of warming.

    The IPCC’s position that increased CO2 is the primary cause of global warming is not supported by the temperature data.

    In fact, strong evidence exists that disproves the IPCC’s scientific position. The paper (HYPERLINKED) and Excel spreadsheet (“CO2 vs T”) (HYPERLINKED) show that variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration lag (occur after) variations in Earth’s Surface Temperature by ~9 months. The IPCC states that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the primary cause of global warming – in effect, the IPCC states that the future is causing the past. The IPCC’s core scientific conclusion is illogical and false.

    There is strong correlation among three parameters: Surface Temperature (“ST”), Lower Troposphere Temperature (“LT”) and the rate of change with time of atmospheric CO2 (“dCO2/dt”). For the time period of this analysis, variations in ST lead (occur before) variations in both LT and dCO2/dt, by ~1 month. The integral of dCO2/dt is the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (“CO2″).

    ******************************

  95. “This is interesting. It says CO2 levels are 30% higher than they can account for by models.

    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?ID=6674&Method=Full

    They only focus on “sinks” and completely ignore the possibility of outgassing”

    This is just a BBC press release. Having retrieved the original article (Canadell et al., 2007, PNAS online) it’s written (p.3) that 65+/-16% of … d²CO2/dt² (translation of “increase of atmospheric CO2 growth rate”) is attributed to “the increase in the global economy”, the remaining 35+/-16% being attributed to “the increase in carbon intensity in the global economy” and 18+/-15% to “the decrease in the efficiency of the lands and ocean sinks in removing anthropogenic CO2″.

    I haven’t yet studied the article in detail but my thoughts are that the relative uncertainties are high, as expected since the atmospheric CO2 level at a given time is the response of the complex carbon cycle to the net anthro increase (6 Gt from fossil + est 2 Gt from land use change), small but not negligible compared to the gross carbon cycle fluxes (90 Gt to/from ocean, 120 Gt to/from biosphere). Such response takes some time (a few months to a few years) and has much noise from many “natural” (i.e. non directly anthropogenic) factors, including increased/decreased ocean outgassing (or “decrease/increase of the net ocean sink”) from temperature change. Those factors are expected to dominate the short term (huge) variations of d²CO2/dt² and (before digging into the article) I would have some doubts in making positively any attribution like 65+/-16% to “the increase in the global economy”. On the other hand the “mean sign of d²CO2/dt² on the long term” (translation: the trend of dCO2/dt) is expected to be positive (fossil fuel consumption/land use change still increases), and … it is.

    Best

    Yves

  96. Looking at Figure 3, if “mauna loa inferred emissions” is the observed change in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, then it shoud be the sum of anthropogenic emissions and the net natural flux imbalance (NNFI). This means we can infer the NNFI as

    NNFI = Mauna Loa inferred emissions – anthropogenic emissions

    If we were to plot the NNFI on the same diagram, I think we would see that (a) it is almost always negative and (b) that it has a downward long term trend.

    In that case, the corrlation between temperature and NNFI is negative in the long term, but positive in the short term (i.e. once the time-series have been detrended). This seems difficult to reconcile with the new theory.

    This suggests to me that the long term trend is due to an increase in radiative forcing from anthropogenic emissions (partly offset by environmental uptake), but the short term variations are due to the modulation of the NNFI by the ENSO (which limits the partial uptake of anthropogenic emissions).

    Can someone with access to the data plot the NNFI to see if this is the case?

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  99. Most people do not seem to realise the extremely limited restrictions placed on the “measurement” of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at the official sites. When it is continuous (very few), the only measurements retained are those when the wind is in the right direction and the figures vary only be an extremely small amount for six hours ro more.

    At the “flask: sites (the majority), two flasks have to agree with a high accuracy.
    Differences between sites nay be due to slight variation in imposing the restrictions.

    All measurements outside the rstricted conditions are rejected and concealed.

    Until we have widespread and preferably representative measurements of concentration and its variabilioty much of this discussion is merely speculative,

  100. I was directed to this article as an example of Roy Spencer’s scientific acumen.
    I am appalled. The best information we have is that the increase in the CO2 concentration dates from the beginning of industrial emissions and the trend of the annual increase is rising with the increase in the use of fossil fuels.

    In addition the total emissions since the industrial age is twice the increase in concentration, which leads to the conclusion that the natural world is a sink for CO2. A large part of that sink is the ocean. In some years, when the surface of the ocean is warm, because of the solubility of CO2 goes down with increasing temperature, some CO2 may be emitted from the ocean, but that is an exception.

    If there were no industrial emissions there would be no increase.
    The whole isotope argument is nonsense. This should be a no- brainer for anyone with any sense.

    How can a PHD scientist be so blinded by his own opinion that he can’t see how silly his argument is!!!????? This article could only be published on a CO2 denier site. It certainly wouldn’t pass peer review.

  101. Allan MR MacRae (21:34:33) wrote:
    ” My paper is no longer on the cover page of icecap.us – please use

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    Best regards, Allan”

    I have read your paper with interest and looked at your charts.
    You said,

    “In fact, strong evidence exists that disproves the IPCC’s scientific position. The attached Excel spreadsheet (“CO2 vs T”) shows that variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration lag (occur after) variations in Earth’s Surface Temperature by ~9 months (Figures 2, 3 and 4). The IPCC states that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the primary cause of global warming – in effect, the IPCC states that the future is causing the past. The IPCC’s core scientific conclusion is illogical and false.

    There is strong correlation among three parameters: Surface Temperature (“ST”), Lower Troposphere Temperature (“LT”) and the rate of change with time of atmospheric CO2 (“dCO2/dt”) (Figures 1 and 2). For the time period of this analysis, variations in ST lead (occur before) variations in both LT and dCO2/dt, by ~1 month. The integral of dCO2/dt is the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (“CO2″) (Figures 3 and 4).”

    Your analysis leaves out an important factor. It is known to all, including the scientists who wrote the IPCC report, that the change in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is driven by 2 things:
    1) An accelerating upward trend in CO2 due to human caused emissions.
    2) The variation in the oceans’ ability to absorb the CO2, which decreases with increasing sea surface temperature.

    One half of the CO2 added by industrial emissions is absorbed by the oceans over time. When the earths temperature peaks temporarily, driven by peaks in ocean temperature, for instance during el Nino events the, oceans can even emit CO2. This was shown in the graphs put up by Spencer. This accounts for the location of the short term peaks in temperature correlated with the peaks in the rate of change of CO2 with time.

    Since two mechanisms are at work a long term increase in CO2 due to emissions and rapid changes in the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2, the location of these peaks is not proof that the short term effect and the long term effect have the same cause. The oceans’s influence on the temperature is cyclical over and the CO2 influence is a constant forcing factor.

    The presence of the short term correlation is not proof that the IPCC is wrong about the influence of human caused emissions on the global temperature over the long run.

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  103. Eric Adler (17:12:30) :
    “Your analysis leaves out an important factor. It is known to all, including the scientists who wrote the IPCC report, that the change in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is driven by 2 things:
    1) An accelerating upward trend in CO2 due to human caused emissions.
    2) The variation in the oceans’ ability to absorb the CO2, which decreases with increasing sea surface temperature.”

    Your comment may or may not be correct – over the next decades, we may see the truth emerge from the data.

    However, your tone with me and especially with Roy is aggressive and ill-advised.

    Re: “It is known to all…”:

    Really, such hogwash. I am reminded of that IPCC highlight, Mann’s hockey stick, that eliminated the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age; also of the Divergence Problem. Mann and the IPCC were clearly wrong – the only remaining question here is not one of error, it is one of fraud.

    I am also reminded of the greatly exaggerated climate sensitivity used by the IPCC to produce their scary scenarios, and the ridiculous climate models that continue to predict catastrophic warming, even though Global Warming ceased a decade ago.

    I remind you that ice core data shows a ~600 lag of CO2 after temperature at that time scale. I have provided evidence at shorter time scales. Ernst Beck has provided significant evidence at intermediate time scales, and has suffered scorn from the likes of you.

    I also remind you of the “missing sink”, whereby only half of humanmade CO2 reports to the atmosphere. The rest, presumably, is hidden away by evil climate skeptics (or do you prefer the term “climate deniers”).

    Still, there may be a significant humanmade CO2 component, which cannot be ruled out at this time.

    So even if the final conclusion in my paper turns out to be wrong, it will still be a much closer to the truth than any of the IPCC’s scary conclusions, which are clearly false, alarmist, self-serving and extremely expensive for humanity.

    There has been no Global Warming for a decade, and evidence is mounting that Earth will enter a 20-30 year cooling period as the PDO has shifted to cool mode.

    I await the IPCC’s smooth transition from Catastrophic Humanmade Global Warming to Catastrophic Humanmade Global Cooling, and your spirited defense thereof. Watch out for whiplash when you change directions.

    Best wishes to all for the Holidays!

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  105. Interesting, but we need to see far more data, models, empirical observations to validate this hypothesis.

  106. Pingback: Basic Geology Part 2 - CO2 in the Atmosphere and Ocean « Watts Up With That?

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