CO2 monthly mean at Mauna Loa leveling off, dropping?

Source: NOAA http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

In the graph above, the black line is the seasonally adjusted value while the red is the monthly mean. This is based on data through March. May is normally the peak month. Here we see how Mauna Loa CO2 has lagged in its annual rise. The likely culprit: Pacific ocean cooling due to La Nina and increased solubility of CO2 in water.

This graph certainly supports the notion of the ocean’s importance in CO2 trends, something Roy Spencer did a guest post on CO2 and oceans here on this blog and was roundly criticized for it in some circles.

Given that May is normally the peak month for CO2, and because we still see a strong La Nina, the result could be a lower CO2 max in 2008 than 2007 for Mauna Loa. This has happened before in the 60s and 70s in the last cool PDO phase (lasting til 1977). Even if it stays even with last year’s level, this tells us a lot and sheds doubt on these ideas:

1. Anthropogenic accumulation (civilization is still producing CO2)
2. A CO2 residence time of several hundred years seems unlikely now
3. Giegengack’s thesis that if man stopped emitting CO2, the earth would emit more to compensate, the premise being that since man has for the first time “upset the balance” and is pressing CO2 into the earth, then once the balance is restored the earth will resume emitting it instead.

The global data plot below doesn’t show the same trend as Mauna Loa, so it appears that this CO2 dropoff at Mauna Loa is a regional effect due to Hawaii’s proximity to cooler ocean temperatures.

It will be interesting to see in the coming months what happens globally, should we see a drop-off or leveling of global CO2 in response to our quiet sun and La Nina, it will be difficult for AGW proponents to explain. Nature will indeed be the final arbiter of this debate.

We live in interesting times. Hat tips to Joe D’Aleo and Alan Siddon for portions of this post.

UPDATE: Lucia at the Blackboard has posted an interesting rebuttal to criticisms of this simple presentation above. It is worth a read.

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129 Responses to CO2 monthly mean at Mauna Loa leveling off, dropping?

  1. Mike Bryant says:

    Could a solar minimum cause a drop in CO2 levels?

  2. Brian D says:

    This could be something similiar to 1992. PPM only rose 0.49 for the year. That was the lowest rise since 1959.Now if it where to go negative, that would be something. It hasn’t done that yet since 1959.

  3. CoRev says:

    Cross linked and partially copied at the:
    globalwarmingclearinghouse.blogspot.com

    CoRev, Editor (above referenced blog)

  4. A. Fucaloro says:

    In your link to Dr.Spencer’s guest post, you provide a graph of CO2 solubility as a function of temperature. You fail to provide the units of the ordinate (vertical) axis and do not mention the partial pressure ofCO2 for which the graph applies.

    REPLY: I updated the graph, if you have one that is more representative, I welcome a link to an image.

  5. Ric Werme says:

    Wow – One of the reasons Mauna Loa was selected as a CO2 monitoring spot was because it was so far from, well, everything and atmospheric gases would be well mixed by the time they reached Mauna Loa. If it winds up that Mauna Loa is well placed to measure ocean absorption of CO2, that would be off the irony scale!

  6. BarryW says:

    No, no, no this is just due to Koyoto and the Bush recession reducing emissions thus proving AlGore is right! The global temperature trend has been flat so CO2 must not be rising.

    If Mona Loa is the station where global CO2 is measured where does the second graph get it’s data from?

    FROM NOAA: The graph shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide globally averaged over marine surface sites. The Global Monitoring Division of NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory has measured carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for several decades at a globally distributed network of air sampling sites (Conway, 1994). A global average is constructed by first fitting a smoothed curve as a function of time to each site, and then the smoothed value for each site is plotted as a function of latitude for 48 equal time steps per year. A global average is calculated from the latitude plot at each time step (Masarie, 1995).

  7. Mike Bryant says:

    Someone obviously forgot to run that through the adjustments before publication.

  8. Walter Dnes says:

    An interesting paper from 1994 is referenced at http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=4033707 Here’s the abstract. Note the part I emphasized…

    The relationship between the anomalies in the sea-surface temperature of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean region and the first derivative of the atmospheric CO2 concentration has been investigated by using cross-correlation and cross-spectral analysis. Data of the Barrow, Mauna Loa, Samoa and South Pole stations have been used in this study. The mature stage of the El Niño events usually leads the maxima of the CO2 growth rate, especially in the Mauna Loa and South Pole records. A significant time variability of the cross-correlation and cross-spectral patterns has been observed. ***GENERALLY, THE SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES PRECEDE THE CHANGES IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 GROWTH RATES BY ABOUT 5-7 MONTHS AT MAUNA LOA, 7-9 MONTHS AT SAMOA AND THE SOUTH POLE AND 8-13 MONTHS AT BARROW***.

  9. Sanjong Thapa says:

    The cool part about these graphs is that it has recently been discovered that ‘global warming’ ended in 1998.

    These charts show that rising Co2 does not coincide with rising temps. Or, Co2 has nothing to do with The Earth’s climate.

    Great stuff.
    Thx.

  10. GK says:

    Wouldnt it be interesting if CO2 levels continued to fall over the next few years as ocean temps continue to fall.

    Maybe man’s output of CO2 was never significant at all. Mayne the rise in CO2 followed the global temperature rise that started in the late 1800s !!

  11. Hasse@Norway says:

    OH NO! If temprature and CO2 drops this AGW debate will go on forever. The AGW proponents will say; “see, CO2 goes down and temperature goes down”
    Sceptics will say; “But temperature went down before CO2″
    AGW proponents “DENIALIST, ARRRGHH!!!!”

  12. J.Hansford. says:

    “***GENERALLY, THE SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES PRECEDE THE CHANGES IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 GROWTH RATES BY ABOUT 5-7 MONTHS AT MAUNA LOA, 7-9 MONTHS AT SAMOA AND THE SOUTH POLE AND 8-13 MONTHS AT BARROW***.”

    Now that is interesting!…. It’s what the longer timescale ice cores show as well….

    I wonder if we’ll hear more on this?

  13. I don’t find the lack of recent increase to be that significant. Ocean temps have stayed flat for several years but CO2 have been rising. Thus it is reasonable to assume human emissions to be the source.

    What is significant though, is that the rate of increase is still roughly constant, even though human emissions have increased exponentially. That certainly doesn’t square with a CO2 lifetime of 200 years…

  14. Pierre Gosselin (aka AGWscoffer) says:

    It would make sense. Let’s assume:
    1. We’ve entered a period of reduced solar activity, a Gore Min.,
    2. The oceans respond by beginning to cool.
    3. The 3000 or so Argus project robots confirm this.
    4. Cool oceans start to absorb CO2, as confirmed above.
    5. World atmospheric temp-drops also confirm cooling.
    Could it be that we’ve been underestimating the power of the next solar minimum? Could a real nasty cold period be coming up – a GORE MINIMUM? How will the media and the entire zealot lot respond to this, should it turn out to be the case? These changes often occur abruptly.
    Amazingly, with all that bio-fuel driven deforestation going on and climbing CO2 emissions, one would not expect CO2 concentrations to go decelerate.
    I’m looking forward to the next few years. Truly I am.
    Did I just hear a bunch of scientists bolt out the back door?

  15. Paulus says:

    Anthony – Just eyeballing your upper graph, isn’t the drop almost exactly the same as in mid 2004?

    REPLY: I didn’t do the graph, NOAA did. I looked at 2004 also, but this seems a little bit different. 2004 has one month of drop, this has two, with a larger effect on the running mean. Though, part of that could be an endpoint effect of the data.

  16. Pierre Gosselin (aka AGWscoffer) says:

    AGW zealots try to have us believe that the CO2 comes before the warming – first the CO2, and then the warming.

    I know when I drink my 1/2 liter glass of beer, the “fizz” disappears much more quickly if the beer is served warm. If the beer is served cold, it keeps it’s fizz much longer. This would have me believe that warm oceans emit CO2. Should the oceans begin to cool, as instruments have shown over the last 5 years, then CO2 would certainly be absorbed. A Finnish scientist named Ahlbeck, I believe, wrote a paper on this.
    So what could be driving the temperature of the oceans?

  17. Pierre Gosselin (aka AGWscoffer) says:

    @Mike Bryant,
    I’d say indirectly yes. A Gore Minimum would lead to cooling, thus cooler oceans, and thus more CO2 absorption. I have no idea about the time lags here. Perhaps someone could cast some light on this.

  18. sonicfrog says:

    I wonder if the temp trends of stations in the immediate area surrounding Mauna Loa are also showing a sharp drop in temps, vs those surrounding the other CO2 stations, which haven’t shown the same CO2 drop. Could we get a better idea of CO2 induced temp change rates by studying these man-made microclimates?

  19. Lizi says:

    Since the 1960s, the annual increase in Mauna Loa CO2 has been LINEAR – ie. the same each year.

    But CO2 emissions are now 300% greater than in the 1960s :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Global_Carbon_Emission_by_Type_to_Y2004.png

    So how is possible that the increase in C02 could be linear, if our emissions are exponential ? I understand that fertilization and oceans are explainations – but the globe and oceans cooled from the 50s till the mid 70s – so the tiny CO2 emissions of the 50/60s (compared to today) should have been absorbed by the cooling oceans – and easily. If the oceans are today absorbing the 200-300% increase from the the 50/60s, then the cooling oceans of the 50/60s shoud easilty have absorbed all of the CO2 emission, which back then were just 30% of todays.

  20. Dave says:

    [sarcasm]
    Obviously Mauna Loa has deciding to be environmental responsible and what you’re seeing is the result of Carbon Credits offsets.

    See, they really do make a difference!
    [/sarcasm]

  21. DR says:

    On CO2 resident time:

    http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/esef0.htm
    http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=433b593b-6637-4a42-970b-bdef8947fa4e

    5-10 years. Hmm. Henry’s Law? We don’t need no stinking laws!

  22. Alex Barnett says:

    so this shows that co2 follows temperature on earth? Now that we have plateued or cooled in the last 10 years due to decreased solar activity, does this mean that co2 is following the drop? As GK said, all the rise in temperature in the last century could of been followed by an increase in co2.

  23. Basil says:

    Walter Dnes,

    Thanks for that reference. I have a more recent study, somewhere in my files, presented at a NOAA conference, showing the same thing. There are others. For anyone interested in researching this further, the keyword to search for, besides C02, is “interannual.” The latter is a reference to the sawtooth pattern in CO2 rise. The interannual change in the rate of change (there we go again, looking at time derivatives) is pretty clearly driven by sea temperature — when oceans warm, they emit CO2, when the cool, they take up CO2.

    GK,

    Don’t hold your breath. The Mauna Loa series begins, in the ’50’s, I think, I don’t know what exists for meaningful measurements of CO2 prior to that (ignoring indirect measurements from isotopes), but I don’t think there’s any evidence of significant dips in the late 1800’s or mid 20th century when the temperature trends went negative. The current upward trend is probably the result of human activity; I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. I just don’t think it has much influence on global, or even regional, temperatures.

    Anthony,

    Thanks for the report. Enjoyed the read with my morning coffee. Who reads the morning paper any more, when there’s much more interesting stuff on blogs?

    Basil

  24. Tom in Florida says:

    I would love to see these graphs with the vertical scale from 0 to 1,000,000.
    That would show how tiny the rise of CO2 really is and put it in perspective.

  25. Robert Wood says:

    No wonder we have an outbreak of hysterical climatologist syndrome, panicing the children with horror stories of impending global burnup. They real scared that the facts are showing.

  26. Stef says:

    You can all thank me for this.

    I turned my TV and DVD player off instead of just going to standby. Thus the CO2 in the atmosphere has dropped as they use less electricity.

    Of course, I then had to turn my heating up to account for the lost heat from those devices, thus negating any save. Oh hang on…

  27. Tom Davidson says:

    Given the evident susceptibility to regional influences of the Mauna Loa CO2 levels, can someone with access to the appropriate raw data compare the CO2 data against local Hawaiian CO2 emissions? I wonder if the CO2 may be correlated with the population and development of Hilo.

  28. Mike Bryant says:

    James Hansen announced that we have now reached the “tipping point” of 385PPM CO2.

  29. Magnus A says:

    GK: The levels has not begin to fall yet. It’s still above last year for this month and has only begin to rise slower. (But I pretty much believe that the antropogenic addition of CO2 is theoretically up to 5 percent – and maybe a bit more in reality – of the total of +30 percent in the atmosphere. I may be wrong, but I agere that the CO2 concentration may sometimes stop rising and start to fall, just as the methane concentrations has since 1999.)

  30. Magnus A says:

    GK: Globally the increase rate hasn’t even started to drop. (Let’s assume the CO2 measurement devices is better than the temperature stations.)

  31. len says:

    It would be interesting if Gore’s graph where temperature leads CO2 turns out to be correct because there is some mechanism we don’t understand. I hope not … because getting CO2 back to a geological norm is the only mitigating factor leading into the Landscheidt Minimum coming. Brutal Winter coming moderated by a weak Cycle 24 at 100 and then the 1600’s all over again. Getting a basic nutrient for plant life up above a distress level would help deal with the reduced area of activity. I’ve seen 3 studies so lately that say adding more CO2 to the atmosphere at this level actually has little effect as a GWG because it’s effect diminishes as the amount increases … so that’s not going to help.

  32. JohnB says:

    So let’s explore this. Let’s suppose that in 2009 we see the CO2 growth reverse, and start declining at the same rate as it’s grown in the last 100 years. What’s the “tipping point” for plant life and by which year would we reach it?

  33. JohnB says:

    ……And as I wrote that note this also occured to me – the greenhouse effect of CO2 is logarithmic – so the effect decreases with growth, which is good news. However, it also means that the negative effect – ie the reduction in greenhouse warming effect – of removing CO2 Increases as it reduces. Does this mean that we would get a feedback effect as the CO2 decreases, which could cause runaway cooling?

    (Don’t you just love this game…..?)

  34. Magnus A says:

    Ien: CO2 does not leads temperature in Gore’s graph, but he more or less says it does, of course (otherwise the non-fitting truth would have been told).


    JohnB: If there aren’t any known feedback in the opposite direction I think it’s useless to speculate about it. If you don’t think more CO2 means a lot to warming because its effect declines at a higher concentration levels, than also lower concentrations at this “higher” 380 ppm levels means less change. But I don’t think CO2 is an important player anyway (the difference between average 280 ppm at warm periods and 180 ppm at ice ages might mean a few tenth of a degree; too little to trigger feedbacks). No one shall expect climate to change more than very little because of a proposed interaction between CO2 and temperature. I think that idea is qualified stupidity. (It’s bad that so many in the society of today are stupid.) For me as a skeptic of the current discourse on climate change it is impossible to suggest what you suggest.

    (BTW: I *do think* the sun-cloud-connection is important, but that Milankovitch cycle and changes in the ice aldebo helps create the large ice ages because this aldebo effect is quite large etc… Maybe we have reached the top of the 1500 years cycle? We’ll maybe know in 50 or 100 years (I’m more than 90 years of age in 50 years… :P )

    The Global Warming”, “Climate Change”, “tipping points” and speculations on hundreds of different smaller feedback effects are just rubbish alarmism. The dominating forces – for example large changes in aldebo – is important, but there will be no new positive feedback to surprice us, and definitely no “change-in-ppm-CO2-feedback”.)

    I guess you did joking, but I’m a little tired of this matter so excuse my tired and boring mood.

  35. Bruce Cobb says:

    The thing puzzling me is that historically, there’s been a lag of C02 to temps. of at least 200 years, and as much as 800. Perhaps then, C02 is always responding to both short-term and long-term climatic elements. I doubt that man’s puny contribution of 3% does much, if anything. C02 seems a strange beast, worthy of study all on its own.

  36. Pierre Gosselin (aka AGWscoffer) says:

    John B
    We’re well on the flat part of the logarithmic curve. I’d say we don’t have to worry about the scenario you’ve floated until CO2 levels reach the area of around 140 ppm. But at that level, the declining temperatures would be the least of our problems.

  37. Sam says:

    A reduction in atmospheric CO2 would only impact temperature in the same manner as its preceding increase – ie, not very much. The primary downside to a reduction is losing the aerial fertilization for plants and photosynthesis that CO2 provides.

    Hansen talks about 385 as a dangerous tipping point, but anyone looking at long term geologic timeframes can see that the norm is well over 1000ppm. This man has become a raving lunatic. It is an outrage that he is portrayed as some kind of lone wolf genius terribly put-upon by his government superiors.

  38. kim says:

    Basil, the interannual sawtooth of CO2 levels probably has to do with the inequal distribution of land and ocean in the two hemispheres, but whether it is because of uptake by biomass in the Northern Hemisphere summer, or uptake by oceans in the Southern Hemisphere winter seems to be controversial.
    ========================

  39. SteveSadlov says:

    It’s not an either or proposition. Some of the decline is likely due to colder ocean, and some of it is likely due to emissions reductions / slower global economy.

  40. Bill Illis says:

    Oceans and plants were already absorbing about half of human’s CO2 emmissions. We are putting out about 8 billion tons of carbon right now but the CO2 concentration trend line is only increasing at what would be 3 or 4 billion tons carbon.

    Oceans absorb about 92 billion tons of carbon per year and emit about 90 billion tons.

    A cooling ocean would just absorb a little more so that is probably what we are seeing.

    We already know that Methane levels have flatlined and might even be decreasing now. But it would take alot of change for CO2 to flatline.

  41. Bmdowne says:

    I would like to add something.

    First, with the AGW side, it’s supporters would argue that even if we stop everything now, we will still see up to just over 2 degrees more warming in the century to come because the CO2 take so long to move through the atmosphere. How then can we see such leveling off, or cooling for that matter, of temperatures knowing that our CO2 output has been ever-increasing?
    You cannot base an argument with CO2 levels as the main driver as the fundamental science behind it says the opposite.

    Secondly, the sun powered climate theory does seem to be more accurate, but still is not strong enough to explain all these changes.

    We need to take a step back and take a deep breath.
    We know very little about our planet and the forces that act upon it. We need to be calm and keep gathering information instead of pointing fingers. I swear if I see congress pass any bit of legislation (in the near future, technology will probably improve later on in the next century) requiring me to switch to bio-fuels or hybrid cars or to pay huge fines because Al Gore told them that the polar bears were in trouble and my car was doing, I’m probably going to flip!

    That being said I think that we should be trying to clean up our environment. We’ll i think Al Gore should have been DOING things to clean up the world, rather than TELLING everyone else what to do while he sat on his private jet heading to some stupid AGW conference.

  42. Gary Gulrud says:

    Bill I:
    “But it would take alot of change for CO2 to flatline.” This conclusion is entirely unobjectionable. But where do you get:

    “Oceans and plants were already absorbing about half of human’s CO2 emmissions. We are putting out about 8 billion tons of carbon right now but the CO2 concentration trend line is only increasing at what would be 3 or 4 billion tons carbon.”?

    As Spencer recently spake at the NY conference, the natural CO2 fluences are 24000 times the anthropogenic contribution, indeed, termites’ are 20 times.

    The Pinatubo eruption emitted roughly the same 8Giga tons in a matter of weeks. Pretty hard to locate in the Mauna Loa curve, isn’t it?

    Your equation makes sense only if you’ve eliminated the change in partial pressure of Oceanic CO2 due to temperature. Using balanced equations of these fluences is a convenient shorthand but it leads to startling failures in reasoning.

  43. Bill Illis says:

    Gary G. These numbers just come from the various Carbon Cycle estimates out there. Some are slightly different than others but Wiki has a diagram that explains it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Carbon_cycle-cute_diagram.jpeg

    Oceans – In 92; Out 90 Plants and soil – In 123; out 122

    We have to work in Carbon, because when CO2 gets absorbed in the ocean or by plants, it gets converted into other Carbon-based molecules. When they are emitted, they are usually converted back into CO2.

    While human emissions are dwarfed by the natural processes, we are adding Carbon to a system which was pretty close to being balanced before.

    There are other papers as well that show the concentration of CO2 is not increasing at the rate CO2 from fossil fuels etc is being emitted.

  44. There has been a lot of talk of acidification of the oceans if they absorb CO2 too fast, and then all the coral dies and all the crustacea and moluscs cannot make their shells and die too. Good openings for politicians to make their own patch and media tycoons to sell more newpapers?

  45. Jerker Andersson says:

    So what causes the CO2 to raise on earth? I have been made to belive that it was humans that caused the raise. I had no reason to think otherwise.
    Recent scientific studies have showed that the climate do not behave as the AGW theory predict so I have not been very worried about human caused CO2 emissions.

    Today I sat down and put together a graph that shows both RSS temperature anomaly and NOAA global CO2 increase per year.

    It was amazing to see how sensitive the CO2 increase is to changes in global temperature. It certainly isn’t humans that changes their CO2 emissions that much each year.

    If the CO2 increase is that sensitive to temperature changes, couldn’t it be that almost all CO2 increase we have seen is caused by natural increase of global temperature?

    See the graph below that I have put together.
    I don’t know how to make double Y-axises in excel so the temperature scale is missing.
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2253/2396033207_e3039c5234_o.jpg

  46. Derek says:

    This is a paper some have obviously not seen.

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html
    – The Acquittal of Carbon Dioxide.
    by Jeffrey A. Glassman PhD.

    I sort of did an easy version,
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=94
    – The Solubility pump. – A layman’s (simple) overview.

    Hope that helps.

  47. Magnus A says:

    SteveSadlov: There is no current slow down in emissions, and you shall check the post and see the absolutely perfect co-variance between temperature changes and difference in CO2 increase each year! That is really striking.

    If your comment was on the seasonal increase and decerase of CO2 . (There is no other CO2 _decrease_ here I think!) In that case, either, in no way variation in human CO2 emission can play a part?

    The human emissions is twice as large as the net increase each year, and the size of the annual variation is actually bigger than all the human emissions together!

    The human CO2 emission can’t vary to such extent that it has the slightest chance to contribute to the seasonal variations! The seasonal variation is much bigger than the total human emissions during a year, and the seasonal variation of the human CO2 emissions can’t be larger than a not so large fraction of the total annual human emission. It’s obvious that at most a few percent of the annual CO2 variation can be caused by annual changes in the distribution of human emission.

    So twice a year we have seasonal increase and decrease, respectively, which each is about 150 % of the total yearly amount of human CO2 emissions, and each change within 6 month.

    It’s also good to remember that each year 30 times more CO2 is emitted (and absorbed) from the oceans and the biosphere than is emitted from humans.

    If the CO2 concentration change at Mauna Loa is related to seasonal changes — changes of growth — on the northern hemisphere I guess it is possible that the variations for all stations is due to the geographical distribution of these stations…

    But BTW, here is a .gif-animation showing the seasonal changes at different latitude, and my notion in the last paragraph seems to be wrong; almost all stations follow the seasonal trend:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/globalview/images/gvco2_lg_movie.gif
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/globalview/

    The large variation at the northern hemisphere has to indicate something. But I don’t know what. I think the northern hemisphere normally vary more in climate than the southern hemisphere. Is may also vhave a bigger difference in seasonal temperature, more biosphere/land, and/or larger changes in ice between winter and summer…

  48. Magnus A says:

    SteveSadlov: Your comment is btw typical for a person that I would like to really call a denier. There is no decrease in CO2 emissions, but you say it is so that the development in AGW shall fit your belief. Am I right, or?

    I also think many AGW:ers will say that the focus on AGW saved the world if we get a chill the coming decades. It’s good to be honest, and if they will think that they are honest, but I anyway will call them deniers; deniers of data and science.

  49. Magnus A says:

    SteveSadlov: The post i wanted you to check is Roy Spencers presentation and solid analysis of CO2 concentration and temperature here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

  50. Bob G says:

    I think we are all jumping the gun here. CO2 values for Jan Feb and March 08 are all above the values for those months in 07, and April usually shows a big jump in concentration.

  51. superDBA says:

    Can someone tell me how the fact that Mauna Loa has active volcanoes on windward flank is accounted for in the CO2 record? It’s my understanding that volcanoes spew CO2 at prodigious rates.

    I’ll slink back to the sidelines now.

  52. Jeff Alberts says:

    That being said I think that we should be trying to clean up our environment.

    And we have been. Air quality is better in the US than it was only 20 years ago. Rivers and streams are cleaner, etc.

  53. Francois says:

    Well, well, why am I not surprised? It’ll be interesting to check how the recent changes agree with my model .

    What happens when it gets cooler is that net primary production by phytoplankton actually gets bigger, so it draws more CO2 from the atmosphere. That is called the “biological pump”. Once transformed into organic matter, it falls to the bottom in the form of fecal material, or dead bodies.

  54. austin says:

    Gore Minimum. I like it.

    What I do not understand about the Mauna Loa C02 is this – why do we not see the same decrease in the CO2 measuring stations around the Arctic and Antarctic when the Sea Ice melts? 32 degree water is going to love that C02 compared to tropical pacific waters.

    As for a “balanced C02″ system – the Oceans and land can only absorb or emit the CO2 present at the boundary layer between the ocean/plant surface and the air according to the osmotic pressure differences across that boundary. The surface area of that boundary will have a large impact as well.

    On land, precip patterns drive C02 fixation. Plants will stop photosynthesis if it gets dry or too hot or too cold. A wet, cool summer over a hot, dry one will see 10 times more biomass accumulated.

    What is critical is the rates of absorption and emission, not the total amounts themselves.

  55. McGrats says:

    Regardless of any reality, the Pogies are mounting a full court press, complete with scary headlines, to augment Goofy Gore’s $300 million advertising campaign. Today’s garbage from Reuters included “Iceland: Life on global warming’s front line.” As usual with Reuters, the article is filled with hyperbole, inaccuracies, and possibilities.

    Like Anthony always says, Nature will be the final arbiter. But until that happens, truth from all our great scientits must continue to keep the Poghies, politicans, Lamestream Media, and other parasites in check.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  56. Jeff C. says:

    “I don’t know how to make double Y-axises in excel so the temperature scale is missing.”

    Right click on the trace, select “format data series”, select the “axis” tab and click “secondary axis”.

    “That being said I think that we should be trying to clean up our environment.”
    “And we have been. Air quality is better in the US than it was only 20 years ago. Rivers and streams are cleaner, etc.”

    Absolutely true. As someone who grew up in Southern California in the 1970’s I can state with certainty that the air is much cleaner here now. All the metrics over time show it (number of smog alerts, pollutant levels, etc.) in addition to anecdotal observations like easier breathing and visibility levels. If you watch old TV reruns filmed back in the 70’s, you can see a brownish haze in the outdoor shots. It is much better now despite Southern California adding millions of new residents.

    One of the big problems with the climate alarmism is that all the gloom and doom detracts from many of the truly commendable accomplishments.

  57. Jeff C. says:

    “I don’t know how to make double Y-axises in excel so the temperature scale is missing.”

    Right click on the trace, select “format data series”, select the “axis” tab and click “secondary axis”.

    “That being said I think that we should be trying to clean up our environment.”
    “And we have been. Air quality is better in the US than it was only 20 years ago. Rivers and streams are cleaner, etc.”

    Absolutely true. As someone who grew up in Southern California in the 1970’s I can state with certainty that the air is much cleaner here now. All the metrics over time show it (number of smog alerts, pollutant levels, etc.) in addition to anecdotal observations like easier breathing and visibility levels. If you watch old TV reruns filmed back in the 70’s, you can see a brownish haze in the outdoor shots. It is much better now despite Southern California adding millions of new residents.

    One of the big problems with the climate alarmism is that all the gloom and doom detracts from many of the truly commendable accomplishments.

  58. jim says:

    Help! Lib Arts major, but avid follower of AGW hype. I know someone here can give me (and maybe other lay observers) a reference to a base point. Is there a reliable pre-fossil-fuel expansion, 1930s, CO2 ppm? It would also be good to know the generally accepted non-anthropogenic percentage of CO2. What do cows and birds and fish produce?
    My liberal friends drive me nuts with, “It’s going up! IT’S GOING UP!!!” From what, and how much?
    Thanks.

  59. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    ATTTN: A. Fucalore.
    RE: CO2 Solubility Graph.

    The graph is the solubility of CO2 in g/ 100g of pure water as a function temperature at a constant pressure of 1 atm of pure CO2.

  60. JD says:

    Can anyone explain why the CO2 plot of Mauna Loa data shows what could be reasonably modelled as sine function superimposed on a slope, whereas the Global equivalent shows something much more like a sine^2 function on a similar trend?

  61. Francois says:

    Solubility alone cannot explain the temperature dependence of uptake.

    It is estimated that, without the biological pump, atmospheric CO2 would be 200 ppm higher.

  62. Magnus A says:

    Francois: Interesting paper. I read it right now.

    The over the years quite steady (constant) increase of CO2 concentration may be something that indicate that an equilibrium model is right, and in that case I guess it has to be temperatures at least as low as in the 60th and 70th to make the concentration start falling…

    I guess there may be things as biological feedback when the concentration begin to fall. Some chemists say they measured more than 400 ppm in the 1940s, but the temperature started to fall and the concentration falled a lot according to these measurements (Beck and Jaworowski). This may end abruptly, but I wonder when? Above 400 ppm again? The sooner the better. ;)

    Will read it all now. I like the electronics analogy!

  63. Evan Jones says:

    Absolutely true. As someone who grew up in Southern California in the 1970’s I can state with certainty that the air is much cleaner here now. All the metrics over time show it (number of smog alerts, pollutant levels, etc.) in addition to anecdotal observations like easier breathing and visibility levels.

    Before the Clean air act, the sunsets over the Hudson River were the of a spectacular beauty which defies description. The refineries and other heavy industry of the Jersey flats created a multicolored sky show every night.

    By 1976 it was fading fast. Today it’s just the usual reds, yellow, oranges and the –occasional–tinge of pink (yawn). If I had known, I would have taken pictures before it was too late.

    The buildings are no longer a ubiquitous gray. They were sandblasted during the ’80s and ’90s. There would have been no point in a cleanup before that. And the pigeons have evolved to match the buildings. We have a great many more birds now. (I HATE the starlings, but I love the crows, hawks, gulls, herons, and the rest.)

    But, ah, those sunsets! I still miss them in spite of it all.

  64. Magnus A says:

    jim (15:34:43) : The prehistorical CO2 concentration (and temperature) here (figures published in Science):
    http://biocab.org/Geological_Timescale_op_927x695.jpg

    …and here:
    http://www.junkscience.com/images/paleocarbon.gif

    The CO2 concentration was at least 5 times higher than the present level 55 to 65 million years ago. Almost 200 million years ago there temperature falled when CO2 concentration rised and then the CO2 falled and temperature rised. No obvious CO2-connections through ice ages etc in this timescale.

    Tell your friend CO2 concentratoin was 5 times higher 55 million years ago, a few degrees warmer but no visible temperature change due to CO2. Tell him the concentration was lower than today, 230 million years ago, but then it was more warmth than 55 million years ago. Tell him it has ben great ice ages when the CO2 concentration was a great lot higher than today.

    The rate of fossile CO2 is measured with isotope fingerprint. Roy Spencer described it and an argument why “fossile CO2″ seems to be low here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/

    …also but chemists say it can’t be above about 5 percent, due to Henry’s Law. In a book on nuclear chemistry at a university in Sweden they mention it’s quite low. Due to the paper linked by Francois above about 30-40 times more CO2 is released from the oceans and the biosphere than from humans. The oceans and the biosphere also absorb about that much, but also some of the additional fossile CO2 which shall not exceed 6 % only due to Henry’s Law.

    Cows emitts about as much as human transportation, I’ve heard. About 20 percent of that from human fossile emission in Europe.

    But there are so many good arguments against AGW even if humans should have caused the CO2 to rise, so check them out too! Lomborgs book “Cool it” (only about 140 pages) is also very good reading! Good luck!

  65. Evan Jones says:

    Help! Lib Arts major, but avid follower of AGW hype. I know someone here can give me (and maybe other lay observers) a reference to a base point. Is there a reliable pre-fossil-fuel expansion, 1930s, CO2 ppm? It would also be good to know the generally accepted non-anthropogenic percentage of CO2. What do cows and birds and fish produce?
    My liberal friends drive me nuts with, “It’s going up! IT’S GOING UP!!!” From what, and how much?
    Thanks.

    THE CARBON CYCLE

    Amounts in Bil. Metric Tons Carbon (BMTC)

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

    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: DoE

    So, from what I can tell, yes, mankind is the factor that is “overflowing the bathtub” by somewhat less than half a percent a year.

    On the other hand, CO2 has a limited persistence. So , assuming the output levels off (which it will as a result of natural economic forces, i.e., sans regulations), CO2 “sink” will catch up with input and there will be stability (at a higher level than today) without any emergency legislation whatever.

    Also, the term ‘overflow” has inaccurate connotations. It seems quite doubtful that the impact is what the IPCC says it is: The IPCC claims all sorts of positive feedbacks, but the new Aqua Satellite (2002) seems to indicate negative feedbacks and homeostasis.

    As the “tipping point” issue relies entirely on seemingly faulty positive feedback calculations, I would actually say that the “CO2 bathtub” is much larger than the IPCC imagines and that long before it “overflows”, it will have stabilized because CO2 does eventually sink out of the atmosphere and eventually the input will equal the outflow.

  66. jim says:

    Thanks, Magnus A. I knew the info was floating around here. I know the multitude of anti-AGW arguments. I just felt these few more data points might help.

    Remember — be very careful what you believe. It will limit what you can learn.

  67. Evan Jones says:

    Some chemists say they measured more than 400 ppm in the 1940s,

    To those who dispute Beck and say nothing could have caused a 100ppm bump, I think WWII needs a good mention. When c. 100 cities are raided including several utter firestorms and with all the Great powers at full war production there is a lot of CO2 going on whatever else isn’t. (Plus nukes.)

    I’d like to calculate it, but how does one go about figuring out how much CO2 a Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, or Osaka emits when they disappear from the map?

  68. Francois says:

    The concept of an “stable” CO2 pre-industrial concentration seems to be a myth. Already ice cores show that CO2 has varied a lot, but stomatal index reconstructions show that CO2 can change by tens of ppms within decades, and that it follows temperatures. If you accept the validity of the stomatal index reconstructions, then there is something wrong with the ice cores, which would be in accord with Jarowoski’s criticisms.

    I’m not sure about Beck’s findings, however. The measurements he reports may have been made carefully, but may have been subject to local conditions that we don’t know about (upwind or downwind, etc.).

    Keep in mind also that there is still a “missing sink”. Half of anthropogenic CO2 is uptaken. That’s what has been bugging me. How does the carbon cycle “know” that we emit CO2? And why does it decide to take only half, year after year? That’s very strange. Recently, I realized that, if my model is right, then it’s not 50% that is uptaken, it might as well be 100%. In other words, if 50% is possible, and we don’t know why, then 100% is just as likely to be true. That’s why the fluctuations are only a function of temperatures. But for this, you need a part of the system that reacts to CO2 concentration as well. All I can see is the CO2 fertilization effect, the extent of which we don’t really know. Furthermore, it also seems to work in the oceans: some phytoplankton species grow faster with more CO2, and could thus help regulate it. Yet those who found this did not realize this simple fact of biology: if there is more CO2 and one species is favored because it grows faster, then that species will come to dominate the population. Nobody measured the phytoplankton species distribution early last century, so we have no idea what it was like. So there could very well be a large sink there that wasn’t there 100 years ago.

    There is so much that is still poorly known about the biological processes that involve CO2 that it’s probable that our current carbon cycle models are all just plain wrong.

  69. SteveSadlov says:

    Magnus A – you are quite obnoxious. Now that I’ve got that out of the way … you have me figured all wrong. You are obviously a newbie here, if you think I am in the AGW hysteric camp. Think again. You have failed to grasp my meaning. It is a complex problem. There are both human and natural components. It is not one or the other, it is both. I think you will find that Pielke Sr. and many other folks agree with this position. Good bye troll.

  70. Lizi says:

    Francois, not only that – but the “hidden” sink is INCREASING how much of human CO2 it absorbs. Human CO2 is growing at an exponential rate (CO2 emissions are NOT reducing as someone here has said). Human CO2 output is 300% what it was 30-40 years ago. If for example we output 10 units of CO2 in the 1960s, today we are outputting 30 units. This “hidden sink” was abosbing 5 units back then, but is absorbing 25 units now – since the MLO CO2 readings show a linear increase over the past 3 decades.

    How is it that this sink keeps increasing how much CO2 it absorbs ?

  71. Roger says:

    It looks to me that if you draw a line of best fit through the annual max or min points of either either Mauna Loa or Global, the upper and lower envlopes are convex, ie. rate of increase is slowing, at least for the last 4 years.
    Same applies to just about any month year by year

  72. Dave Andrews says:

    Hi, Anthony. Great site which I visit most days.

    I have a question. I know Mauna Loa was chosen as a CO2 monitoring site because it is far from industrial centres. But it also an active volcano with quiescent outgassing of CO2. My question is do these outgassings in any way affect the CO2 measurements?

    I went to the Mauna Loa Observatory site which says CO2 emissions from Mauna Loa are an insignificantly small part of the global carbon cycle and do not play a role in climate change. But the two links they give to papers on the Outgassing of CO2 and Volcanic CO2 emissions don’t work.

    REPLY: Dave here is how I see it. The altitude of the observatory is 13680 ft. At that altitude, any CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere and probably not from local sources, though with the latest down-tick it suggests regional representivity. CO2 emitted by the mountain (Kilauea and fumaroles) tend to be much closer to sea level, and would tend to stay there given CO2’s heavier than air nature. It would take a long time for local CO2 to get mixed to that altitude.

  73. Mike Bryant says:

    Termites produce 20 times the amount of CO2 as humans. Someone has an extra 300 million dollars. Why not put a bounty on termites? Problem solved.

  74. Gary Gulrud says:

    Bill Illis:
    Sorry, I probably knew your equations’ provenance and instead meant to question your confidence in their utility.

    Note that the chemical reaction equations they are meant to resemble make a number of simplifying assumptions that are extended, even strained to breaking, when applied to fluences: Constant temperature and pressure, constant quantities of solvent and solute, etc.

    One in particular causes an illusion of stasis. The reactants are represented by scalar quantities; in the case of fluences they should really be vector quantities. Scalar arithmetic is inadequate except when presenting a snapshot of the Carbon Cycle.

    I would contend that “we are adding Carbon to a system which was pretty close to being balanced before” is just such an illusion created by your simplifying assumptions.

    You probably know already what follows next but just humor me.

    Keeping in mind Harold Pierce’s graph of CO2 solubility in H2O as dependent on temperature and pressure, as the partial pressure of CO2 rises (atmospheric ppm >>) more CO2 dissolves, instantly for your purpose.

    As the temperature of the solvent rises, more CO2 exits solution. Consider also that at constant pressure in the presence of Mg and Ca ions, more CO2 precipitates out of solution. For your purpose there is no limit on Mg and Ca.

    At the bottom of the water column, as temperature drops and pressure rises CO2 again dissolves.

    Now, with this in the background, return to my Pinatubo query. If a pulse of CO2 larger than that which your balanced system can instantly accomodate, which is reliably observed and of the same order as that causing a linear increase in CO2 partial pressure, and that pulse is instantaneously inserted shouldn’t you see its presence?

  75. deepslope says:

    Derek, thank you for contributing the “The Acquittal of Carbon Dioxide” by Jeffrey A. Glassman – an important and well-developped argument. I just noticed that Jennifer Marohasy discussed and summarized it in her blog of March 25, 2007. Worth comparing!

    Francois’ input on the biological pump is also very important.

    When I worked on global carbon cycling in grad school during the seventies, I gave up because it appeared much too complex and nobody had any satisfactory explanations (neither the textbooks nor my supervisors). I dabbled measuring stable carbon isotope ratios of the organic fraction in quaternary sediment cores. Never published the results – time to dig them out and correlate the sharp changes with glaciation records…

  76. Robert Wood says:

    Francois,

    How does the carbon cycle “know” that we emit CO2?

    By partial pressures of CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans, and wherever else. Differences in partial pressures across interfaces causes gas diffusion to the lower partial pressure side.

  77. Alan Chappell says:

    Lizi,
    I would like to give you a few points to look at, first if you go to the article; “Scavenger Hunt, find the lump of coal” on this Blog, and look at anna v (21:27:46) you will see that she has some references to Co2, one of which is referring to Prof. Ian Plimers statement that ‘ the Milos (Greece) hot spring which is about the size of a table produces 2% of the worlds Co2 atmospheric levels, now when you consider that a ‘ New Scientist’ ref. by her show that there is, confirmed, over 300,000 active volcanoes under our oceans I think you need to leave the worrying about human Co2 emissions to Al Gore.

  78. Pamela Gray says:

    I must be a simple creature. When I do a plot experiment with fertilizer, my plot of grass gets bigger, stronger, and grows faster than the nonfertilized plot of grass. I can do the same with CO2. I can deprive plants of CO2 and they don’t do so well. When I reverse this, I get more plants. This leads me to hypothesize that with increased CO2 available to land and ocean plant life, plants, in a bit of a lag, bloom like crazy and spread, much like a desert AFTER a rain storm. Eventually this increased productivity reduces CO2 to levels not sufficient to maintain the increased plant levels. So plant levels decrease. I think CO2 levels have biological self-leveling cycles that occur on a long-term cycle, moderate cycle, and short term cycle. Temperature changes can disrupt this cycle or coincide with it. Ice core samples clearly show this kind of pattern. Me thinks we should be offering sacrifices to the god of CO2 because the animal kingdom (including us) has been riding on its coattails every time it rises and suffer from lack of food when it falls.

    REPLY: CO2 – Occam’s fertilizer.

  79. Magnus A says:

    SteveSadlov: OMG.

  80. Francois says:

    Robert Wood,

    Of course, of course. What I’m saying is that when we emit 1 GtC, 0.5Gt disappears. When we emit 2 GtC, 1Gt disappears, and so on and so on. So if 1Gt can be absorbed by the system, why isn’t it absorbed when we emit 1Gt?

    Now have you ever looked at the difference in partial pressure between ocean and atmosphere? Little known fact, but the partial pressure in the oceans goes from 200 to 450 ppm or something like that, depending on location. Again, that’s mostly because of variations in phytoplankton productivity. Human emissions are equivalent to a couple ppm’s.

    When we think of the carbon cycle as something in a delicate equilibrium, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s like every bit of phytoplankton, every tree leaf knows exactly how much CO2 to ingest to keep the system at perfect equilibrium, just so that our climate remains stable… we add a bit to the system, and off we go to a global catastrophe! Just doesn’t sound right to me. Whenever you enter life into the equation, you add a component that is highly adaptable. It’s not a linear physical system anymore. It’s a highly complex, nonlinear biological system.

  81. Mike From Canmore says:

    WRT to air polution, the following is a link to a study by Ross McKictrik and the Fraser Institute out of Vancouver. It looks at Montreal, T.O., Calgary and Vancouver. A quick look at the particulate graphs indicates of the particulates examined, (SO2, TSP, NO2, CO and O3), only O3 looks to have maintained levels. That is, as Jeff C pointed out, despite significant increases in population in the cities

    http://www.fraserinstitute.org/commerce.web/publication_details.aspx?pubID=3174

  82. Mike From Canmore says:

    Regarding the above link, I can’t imagine the US differs much given the air quality standards south of the border are usually more stringent.

  83. Arch Stanton says:

    Allen Chappell,

    I followed Anna’s links and I can’t seem to find anywhere in the article where it is stated that the 200,000+ undersea volcanoes (not 300,000) are active (as reported repeatedly by folks here). When I follow the article link to the abstract from AGU they specifically say that this includes “seamounts”. Seamounts are not active volcanoes.

    As for the Milos (an extinct volcano) hot spring CO2 claim from Professor Plimer; I would like to know where he gets this “factoid” from (and what it means, as it is worded to vaguely to understand clearly). I have been unable to find a source for it myself. Does anyone here know?

    Thanks

  84. Francois says:

    The other part of the equation is bacteria. Bacteria constitute by far the largest portion of the Earth’s biomass. Bacteria respirate: they eat stuff and emit CO2. When it’s warmer, they are more efficient, so they emit more CO2. That is the case both in soils and in oceans. But the metabolism of bacteria is VERY sensitive to temperatures, I mean by factors of 5, 10, 20 for a few degrees.

    On land, for example, if you increase the CO2 in the atmosphere, then you fertilize the plants. They expand and grow. Eventually they die and rot, eaten by bacteria. That’s how the CO2 goes back to the atmosphere. But there is of course a lag between the two. The living plants constitute a reservoir (a sink) of CO2 that expands when CO2 in the air increases. But should the temperature go up, the respiration by bacteria will increase and emit more CO2. Eventually a new equilibrium is reached where the sink of living plants is greater, but the sink of dead, rotting matter decreases. But if only CO2 increases, then only the living matter sink increases. Hence CO2 is, in the end, dependent on temperature.

  85. Pingback: Erhmm “some” are commenting on the TWO month change in CO2: How not to rebut a blog post. | The Blackboard

  86. kim says:

    What’s a little amusing and a lot revealing is what comments Tamino allows and which he deletes. It’s apparent to me on his latest post that this business of the dropping CO2 anomaly has him nervous.
    ===========================================

  87. Dave Andrews says:

    Anthony,

    Thanks

  88. dscott says:

    Looking at the Mauna Loa plot, CO2 typically peaks in May and troughs in October, the same time period in the Northern Hemisphere where land plants are in their growth phase. Isn’t it just as plausable to claim the annual 2 ppm increase is due to land use changes? This way the AGW people can claim Man did it but we can discount fossil fuel use. If you look at the time period when CO2 increased this coincided with clearing of the land for farming and then replacement of the farms with suburbs. Lately, the Sahara Desert (also in the NH) is retreating, turning green, this obviously is taking CO2 out of the air. So it is equally plausible to blame annual CO2 rise on land use.

    Now that everyone is planting trees for those so called carbon credits, the young trees are in a growth phase sucking up all the CO2. So in the short term re-forestation and the retreat of the Sahara Desert would tip the balance on total CO2 in the air. Couldn’t this account for an early decrease in the annual CO2 peak? Has anyone done a ground study on re-forestation?

  89. Chris Knight says:

    Mauna Loa CO2 is measured in dry air. As are all CO2 quantitative assessments. Yet there is never a figure quoted for the water vapour content of the air at each assessment, i.e. (weight of sample before drying minus weight of sample after drying) *100/weight of sample as a percent. I wonder why not? Without the H2O quantity, the CO2 ppm are exaggerated.

    If a 12 monthly rolling mean of the monthly series of CO2 is plotted, on the same graph as a similarly processed global temperature anomaly, the ENSO signal, and volcanic signals are clear on both, but the delay in the CO2 curve is clear by about 6 months.

    The saw tooth shape of the raw CO2 plot is clearly indicative of the northern winter absorbtion of CO2. the colder NH this past few months is increasing the CO2 sink – snow and land held water. As the spring thaw progresses, the rate of CO2 outgassed will again pick up, unless northern SSTs are greatly depressed.

  90. anna v says:

    Arch Stanton (11:08:10) :

    Here is a CO2 article by Prof. Plimer himself, where the Milos contribution is down to 1% of volcanic CO2. One would have to contact him directly to get at the difference, but knowing how reporters exaggerate it is possible that the percentage was miss attributed.

    http://www.jimball.com.au/Features/Cold-facts-about-Global-Warming.pdf

    Your question of how many of the detected 200.000 and estimated 3.000.000 are currently active is not answered by the survey. This probably can be done by checking known areas for activity and extrapolating from there.

    We can make an upper limit guess from the Philippine volcanoes”

    active 22
    http://www.malapascua.de/Volcanoe-Map/hauptteil_vulcano-map.html#List-active-volcanoes

    inactive 88
    http://www.malapascua.de/Volcanoe-Map/hauptteil_vulcano-map.html#list-Inactive-volcanoes

    This is 25%.

    Even if 0.1% of the estimated 3.000.000 volcanic vents at the ocean bottom are active, that is a lot of volcanoes.

  91. anna v says:

    Arch Stanton (11:08:10) :

    Here is a CO2 article by Prof. Plimer himself, where the Milos contribution is down to 1% of volcanic CO2. One would have to contact him directly to get at the difference, but knowing how reporters exaggerate it is possible that the percentage was miss attributed.

    http://www.jimball.com.au/Features/Cold-facts-about-Global-Warming.pdf

    Your question of how many of the detected 200.000 and estimated 3.000.000 are currently active is not answered by the survey. This probably can be done by checking known areas for activity and extrapolating from there.

    We can make an upper limit guess from the Philippine volcanoes”

    active 22
    http://www.malapascua.de/Volcanoe-Map/hauptteil_vulcano-map.html#List-active-volcanoes

    inactive 88
    http://www.malapascua.de/Volcanoe-Map/hauptteil_vulcano-map.html#list-Inactive-volcanoes

    This is 25%.

    Even if 0.1% of the estimated 3.000.000 volcanic vents at the ocean bottom are active, that is a lot of volcanoes.

  92. Francis T. Manns says:

    Ice is an open system. Any grad student using sphalerite inclusions would tell you that their work would be thrown out if they used secondary inclusions. Ice core data is corrupt. The fellows using it should know that it takes centuries for snow to become firn and ice. It’s probably variable but how would the researcher know?

    People find what they look for and the minute a scientist believes his own hypothesis, he’s a dead duck as a scientist.
    My hypothesis is climate change is not man-made.
    The hypothesis runs:
    It’s not solar irradiance alone.
    It’s not sunspots alone.
    It’s not CO2 above 18 C.
    it’s not water vapour alone.
    It’s not cosmic radiation alone.’
    But it may be cosmic and solar radiation modulated by solar magnetic activity subtly changing the cloud albedo of Earth.
    Beware the unintended consequences of sequestering plant food during the famine.

  93. dscott says:

    The saw tooth shape of the raw CO2 plot is clearly indicative of the northern winter absorbtion of CO2. the colder NH this past few months is increasing the CO2 sink – snow and land held water. As the spring thaw progresses, the rate of CO2 outgassed will again pick up, unless northern SSTs are greatly depressed.

    Uhmmm, Chris, the CO2 level always drops from May to October, i.e. a negative trend. It is not the “winter absorbtion” of CO2 for that period is summer. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point?

    In actuality it is the biological feedback of plant growth from May to October that is “a” major driver. Hint, March 20, 2008 marked the Spring Equinox, the first day in which there are 12 hours of sunlight in the NH. Since Solar Mins are accompanied by increased clouds and precip, what’s the response of plants to water?

    However, there is one other driver not discussed by all those here present, that being open (cold) water. Notice that the melt phase of the NH ice pack is occuring from March (Hint, hint) to September, during this phase around 11 million square Km of open water is created at it’s peak, thus “allowing” this massive cold water surface area to be exposed to the atmosphere to absorb CO2. (and I’m not even develing into the marine biological feedback that occurs in these waters during this time period, hint, hint, hint) http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg

    Here’s a math problem for you professors out there, what is rate of solution of CO2 in 0C water per square meter? Now multiply by 11 million. What’s the amount of CO2 the Arctic Ocean can absorb during the summer?

    Please notice that from October to May when CO2 trends positive again it basically means the CO2 that is constantly being produced on the earth year round is not being absorbed during this period. What two events in nature are occuring to cause this non-absorbtion? Plants go dormant and the NH ice pack covers the Arctic Ocean. What’s interesting is that the SH ice cover varies around 13 million square km 180 degree out of phase and does not smooth out the global CO2 value, which suggests the primary driver of CO2 regulation is plant growth or the absence thereof. Knowing that the bulk of land area is in the NH, that being the case by process of elimination the rising CO2 concentration is a result of land use changes and very minimally fossil fuel consumption.

  94. Pamela Gray says:

    Chemistry question here.

    What happens to CO2 when it is ionized? Or bombarded with other components of cosmic rays?

  95. Evan Jones says:

    Hmmm. I don’t see how CO2 can get ionized. (What would the ions be?)

  96. Arch Stanton says:

    anna v,

    Thank you for the response and your further research.. I agree with you that in the case of Professor Pilmer the “press” could be responsible for the gross exaggeration of his Milos claim (particularly when the source in this case is a pro-mining site designed to encourage one to purchase shares of mining companies). The difference between “2% of atmospheric CO2 levels” and “1% of the planet’s volcanic CO2” is very significant. Without a cited source for this information even the 1% of volcanic CO2 figure is suspect in my mind particularly after reading Professor Pilner’s article and seeing what he presents as “not known” verses controversial interpretations he presents as facts. I also find it significant that he throws out the 1% statement as a fact and in the next breath talks about unseen undersea volcanoes leaking “huge quantities of CO2”. It would seem to me that he would need to better quantify the latter statement in order to justify the former statement.

    I agree with you that the estimated 3,000,000 seamounts and volcanoes is a lot. I would also agree with you that to use the Philippines as a region to extrapolate the percentage of active volcanoes under the sea would be an upper limit of the estimation since the Philippines sits behind a tectonic subduction trench; an area known for it’s active volcanoes. I believe that the list of volcanoes you presented (88) in the Philippines does not come close to representing the number of volcanoes that would be included if we were to use the definition of volcanoes and seamounts (over 100 meters tall) used by Hillier and Watts http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL029874.shtml http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn12218#comForm . According to the CIA https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html#Geo the Philippines includes over 7000 islands and atolls (not counting all seamounts). I would guess that just about each of these would represent a “volcano or seamount” in the Hillier and Watts paper. I would not be surprised if there were not an equal if not significantly greater number of seamounts that are not included in this number (albeit some of them may be active).

    Back of the envelope calculations 88active volcanoes)/7000 (islands)= ~1.25% (active percentage of volcanoes)

    1.25% x 3,000,000 (volcanoes & seamounts)= 37,770

    37,770 is significantly less than 200,000.

    I suspect that even this number may be on the high side but I honestly have little idea. Since we have little idea how many undersea volcanoes are active in the phillipines I would say that it would be unfair to include seamonts (the number of which we also do not know) in ths calculation. I have not.

    You might want to check my math as I make math errors (often an order of magnitude or more) all the time. ;-)

    Arch

  97. anna v says:

    Arch Stanton (10:14:56) :

    Can we agree then that more research is needed in this area?
    Which means that the amount of heat entering the oceans is still an unknown and a guestimate?

  98. Alan Chappell says:

    anna v and Arch Stanton

    I would agree with the 3,000,000 (and possibly more ) scenario if the word volcanoes was changed to geothermal activity, I would think that it is in the eye of the beholder to distinguish between the two, a vulcanologist would surely have some reference point as to the differance, but I do not, visiting Rotarua in New Zealand some years ago it looked like it was a city built on 10,000 active volcanoes, ( like Yellowstone only in 3D ) having sailed across what for me was a very big volcano in the Pacific but am unable to find any references to it, (Depth in excess of 2 miles, and water temp increasing 18c) Spending much of the summer in Italy where I regularly dive around the island of Stromboli where I have seen underwater volcanic (geothermal) activity of dozens of active mini volcanoes which in reality are vents, (cones arising from the sea floor 5-10 meters) but if one were placed in Central Park would immediately become a volcano.
    As the water covers 70% of the earth and in places depths arrive to the limits of the earths crust, where logic says it must get hot,the information available on the activities under our oceans is equivalent to a grain of sand on one of New Zealand beautiful beaches.
    Arch says, ” Can we agree then that more reseach is needed in this area?”
    Given the size of the subject, I would think ‘more’ is not an appropriate word .

  99. Pamela Gray says:

    If I don’t insulate my attic, my warm air rises and a nice cold layer of air settles near the floor where I then freeze my little feet off during a midnight run to the bathroom. Does CO2 (which is heavier than O2) hitch a ride and rise with the warm air? Adding water vapor to the mix, is dry warm CO2 lighter than cold wet CO2? Also does atmospheric pressure (high’s and low’s) play a part in helping CO2 rise higher than its weight would predict? Might it then escape out the roof (in this case the roof being through the ozone layer). Might we have carbon sinks as well as periodic carbon escapes?

    Just curious and on a learning curve.

  100. Gary Gulrud says:

    dscott re: Chris Knight:

    Uhmmm I believe the hypothesis of Keeling, et. al., that the signal riding atop the Mauna Loa trend is in fact biogenic, is just that, a conjecture.

    Check Spencer’s paper at the link, 2nd. paragraph.

  101. Arch Stanton says:

    anna v,

    I think we can agree that many things are unknown, particularly things about the future. When it comes to the future the best we can hope for is a reasonable degree of uncertainty.

    I don’t know for a fact that I will wake up tomorrow and my life will continue on more or less as it has. None the less, I continue to make my best guesstamations under the (unproven) assumption that I will be here tomorrow. My guesstamation could change at any time depending upon facts that are presented to me as I go through my life. Differentiating “facts” from “implications” from “pure BS” is an important step here.

    In this case the FACTS are that someone published a paper saying that they used a technique indicating that there are many more bumps that are likely volcanoes (active and extinct) on the floor of the ocean than were previously thought. Obviously there are some more detailed facts presented in the paper, but I think I have summarized the big one as far as “certainty” and “significance” goes.

    YES, I can agree with you that the amount of heat entering the oceans is not known exactly. I would say the same thing about carbon or any other single factor you care to mention.

    Can we also agree that this paper makes no claim as to there being 200,000 active volcanoes under the ocean?

    I hope that we can also agree that to misrepresent or overstate facts is not a good thing and is to be avoided, whether the statement is “the debate is over” or “there are 200,000 active volcanoes under the ocean”.

    Peace,
    Arch

  102. anna v says:

    Arch Stanton (07:53:23)

    I am sorry, but nobody is claiming 200.000 active volcanoes on the ocean floor, not I and not the authors of :
    http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn12218#comForm

    quote:
    “The programme found 201,055 volcanoes over 100m tall. Previously, satellite data had identified 14,164 volcanoes over 1500 m high.”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL029874.shtml for subscribers it is GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L13304, doi:10.1029/2007GL029874, 200

    Sure, we can agree that the number of active volcanoes versus inactive ones is not known. You, and I, had a guess from the number of active and inactive volcanoes in the Philippines, trying to gauge an upper limit. That does not a claim make, or a misrepresentation either.

    And I would like to see an effort of measuring this ratio in a real sea bed. Even if limited in area it will give a much better estimate.

  103. dscott says:

    Yes, I saw Spencers thread previously, conjecture based on sound reasoning is a good beginning of a hypothesis. But I believe he could broaden that to include NH land plants to give a more robust biofeedback. Given the large CO2 uptake rates of the biosphere, even the AGW people have to admit that prior to the 1970s of so called man’s contribution of CO2 with fossil fuel a sine wave existed in the CO2 readings. They also have to admit to the plant and animal CO2 balance and in doing so admit that if balance is disturbed CO2 either goes up or down depending on what changes. It logically follows there is more than one way to disturb the balance. Simply excluding variables and not studying them is not science, but activism.

  104. Gary Gulrud says:

    dscott:
    You may not have understood the implications of Spencer’s work. The trend and sinoid signal riding on it are of the same origin. Seasonal and longterm ocean heating are inescapably indicated.

    The NH growth spurt, late April thru July would seem a bit too short to be represented in the curve (acknowledging filtering of course).

    Moreover, the recent shortfall needs explanation in terms of the responsible fluence.

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  106. Arch Stanton says:

    anna v (11:37:35) wrote:

    “I am sorry, but nobody is claiming 200.000 active volcanoes on the
    ocean floor, not I and not the authors of :
    http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn12218#comForm”

    Your apology is accepted, however it is only 33% right.

    I agree with you that that you and the authors of the paper never claimed 200,000 active volcanoes on the ocean floor. When did I ever say you did?

    Your original post (over on the Coal thread) was (apparently) in response to: (reprinted with reply from Anthony)

    Alan Chappell (15:26:57) :
    “there are about 200,000 active volcano’s under our oceans, fortunately the Co2 that they produce does not exist, as they are under water and that means that it does not count, Co2 is like whiskey I need it to suvive. ( and also branch to add to the whiskey)
    REPLY: 200,000 ? That number seems very high. What is your source?”

    Your first response to me in this thread was in response to my comment to

    Alan Chappell (06:37:56) :
    “Lizi,
    I would like to give you a few points to look at, first if you go to the article; “Scavenger Hunt, find the lump of coal” on this Blog, and look at anna v (21:27:46) you will see that she has some references to Co2, one of which is referring to Prof. Ian Plimers statement that ‘ the Milos (Greece) hot spring which is about the size of a table produces 2% of the worlds Co2 atmospheric levels, now when you consider that a ‘ New Scientist’ ref. by her show that there is, confirmed, over 300,000 active volcanoes under our oceans I think you need to leave the worrying about human Co2 emissions to Al Gore.”

    My initial post to Allen Chappell:

    Arch Stanton (11:08:10) :
    “Allen Chappell,
    “I followed Anna’s links and I can’t seem to find anywhere in the article where it is stated that the 200,000+ undersea volcanoes (not 300,000) are active (as reported repeatedly by folks here). When I follow the article link to the abstract from AGU they specifically say that this includes “seamounts”. Seamounts are not active volcanoes.”
    As for the Milos (an extinct volcano) hot spring CO2 claim from Professor Plimer; I would like to know where he gets this “factoid” from (and what it means, as it is worded to vaguely to understand clearly). I have been unable to find a source for it myself. Does anyone here know?”

    was meant to point out (to Allen) that he was spreading a rumor concerning the 300,000 [sic] active volcanoes on the ocean floor. I thought I made it very clear that the purpose of my post was that the (200,000) volcanoes were not necessarily active and that Allan was mistaken in his interpretation of that paper. It would appear that you had also been in agreement with him since you responded more than once to his posts claiming a certain number of active volcanoes on the ocean floor and you failed to correct him when he claimed that you had posted such a link to proof of said “active” volcanoes.

    My point is a very minor one. I simply wanted to stop a silly rumor before it got bigger.

  107. Arch Stanton says:

    Alan Chappell (01:59:31) :

    The paper you cited was very clear (as scientific papers generally are) that they were simply counting volcanoes and seamounts over a certain size.

    Some times I go sit in some of the hot springs in the Long Valley area. I would never claim that I have sat in an “active volcano” despite what the folks in town might call it. Let’s stick to more precise language. It’s hard enough to understand things when accurate definitions are used.

    Arch

  108. Arch Stanton says:

    anna v

    In (11:38:10) I meant you were 66% right.

    ;-)

  109. Gary Gulrud says:

    Arch Stanton was the grave next to the ‘Unknown Soldier’, and in which grave the payroll was buried, in the epic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

    I see no analogous treasure here whatever.

  110. dscott says:

    Hey Anthony, the Mauna Loa figures for April should be released any day now. Want to take bets on if April 2008 will be lower than April 2007? If it comes in lower, the blogosphere is going to explode with people screaming at each other over whether temperature or CO2 is the driver and what role La Nina plays in it.

    REPLY: Yep, keep a watch for me, hitting the road again tomorrow. I just bought an electric vehicle and I’m driving to S. Cal to pick it up. I’ll explain why somebody like me needs an electric vehicle in a future post.

  111. dscott says:

    I’ll be watching and will report on this thread.

  112. Roger Carr says:

    Basil: Who reads the morning paper any more, when there’s much more interesting stuff on blogs?
    Yep!

  113. Mike Bryant says:

    Mauna Loa CO2 Up… Still Below Trend

  114. dscott says:

    This is very odd, they have the Mauna Loa chart updated http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ but not the supporting data. ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

    Eyeballing the chart it looks like April 2008 is higher than April 2007, same for the global marine chart and data.

  115. Gary Gulrud says:

    As they say:

    “The last year of data are still preliminary, pending recalibrations of reference gases and other quality control checks.”

    IMHO, CO2 data are more suspect than GISSTemp, just better established and less readily disputed. Hansen caught his mojo from Keeling.

  116. dscott says:

    Gary,

    How much have the “calibrated” the CO2 reading before? Surely not on the order of 1 or 2 ppm? What would be the reasoning used to perform such an adjustment of the data? There is no UHI effect on Mauna Loa or do they have to account for the volcano offgasing CO2? Or the prevailing winds bringing CO2 from the errupting volcano Kilauea, after all they are on the same island?

  117. dscott says:

    Here’s a USGS page showing the monitoring of the Mauna Loa volcano: http://volcano.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloastatus.php Here’s a little history of the monitoring: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/current/monitoringdata.html

  118. Gary Gulrud says:

    dscott:

    The Beck paper at Icecap and Kaufmann paper at NZClimateScience, taken together, indicate that drying the sampled air with H2S04 under-reports the CO2 by 20ppm.
    The CDIAC data are plainly smoothed and the data sheet for the Siemens black box measuring the CO2 using IR spectrometry, the calibration methods used, etc., are seemingly unavailable.
    Therefore, my suspicions are not ‘proven’, but there is scope for them to be held.

  119. dscott says:

    In a day or two we should have the May CO2 graph update. I was rather surprised at April’s resurgence so I have to wonder if May will level off or actually show and increase as well. Can we use the lessening rate of increase as an issue citing the negative PDO as the cause???

  120. dscott says:

    The new CO2 data and graph is out today, they set a new record for May. ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt This seems very suspicous to me when you look at how the graph looks in relation to the other years.

  121. Darth Lindzen says:

    No surprise here, May 2007 to May 2008 saw an increase of 1.95

  122. Alexander Croyant says:

    I found this note interesting in light of the suspicious jump in the May and June numbers. It was in the explanatory notes at ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt which lists the monthly data from Mauna Loa:

    “NOTE: In general, the data presented for the last year are subject to change, depending on recalibration of the reference gas mixtures used, and other quality control procedures. Occasionally, earlier years may also be changed for the same reasons. Usually these changes are minor.”

    So, it is possible that someone has his statistical thumb on the scale in terms of that recalibration function. Anyone know more about how that statistical work gets done, and if there is room for monkey business?

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  124. kwik says:

    Hopefully soon someone with a lot of money will put up more CO2 measuring stations….

    Strange its only one, if its so important.

  125. for4zim says:

    It will be interesting to see in the coming months what happens globally, should we see a drop-off or leveling of global CO2 in response to our quiet sun and La Nina, it will be difficult for AGW proponents to explain.
    After having waited a couple of months an update would be due. As I see it, with CO2 still rising globally and even stronger at Mauna Loa, the difficulty to explain is now (again) on the side of those who are AGW opponents.
    By the way, just the comment above by kwik shows that this site fails to fulfill any educational purpose. Otherwise it should have become clear, that with many measuring stations in the world in the frame work of Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) we clearly don’t depend on just one station at Mauna Loa.

  126. megan says:

    i believe that mauna loa is awakining!

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