Beck on CO2 and Temperature: Oceans are the “dominant CO2 store”

Evidence of variability of atmospheric CO2 concentration during the 20th century
Geo-Ecological Seminar University of Bayreuth, 17th July 2008 (see here)
Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol

Click for larger image with interactive popup links

Summary of the presentation (printable PDF available here)

In 1958 the modern NDIR spectroscopic method was introduced to measure CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere [Beck 2007]. In the preceding period, these measurements were taken with the old wet chemical method. From this period, starting from 1857, more than 90,000 reliable CO2 measurements are available, with an accuracy within ± 3 %. They had been taken near ground level, sea surface and as high as the stratosphere, mostly in the northern hemisphere. Comparison of these measurements on the basis of old wet chemical methods with the new physical method (NDIR) on sea and land reveals a systematic analysis difference of about minus 10 ppm.

Wet chemical analyses indicate three atmospheric CO2 maxima in the northern hemisphere up to approx. 400 ppm over land and sea since about 1812. The measured atmospheric CO2 concentrations since 1920 –1950 prove to be strongly correlated (more than 80 %) with the arctic sea surface temperature (SST).

A detailed analysis of the Atlantic Ocean water during the arctic warming since 1918 – 1939 by Wattenberg (southern Atlantic ocean) and Buch (northern Atlantic ocean) indicates a very similar state of the Atlantic Ocean (pH, salinity, CO2 in water and air over sea etc.) These data show the characteristics of the warm ocean currents (part of global conveyor belt) at that time, indicating a strong CO2 degassing from the Atlantic Sea, especially in the area of Greenland/Iceland and Spitsbergen. More than 360 ppm had been measured over the sea surface.

In 2004 Polyakov published evidence for a multi-decadal oscillation of the ocean currents in the arctic circle, showing a warm phase (strong arctic warming during 1918 –1940 with high temperatures in the Iceland/Spitsbergen area) similar to the current situation, and a cold phase (around 1900 and 1960). Today the Iceland/Spitsbergen area is known for a strong absorption of CO2.

This multi-decadal heating of the oceanic CO2 absorption area and larger parts of the Northern Atlantic Ocean was followed by an increase of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to approx. 400 ppm during the 30s and approx. 390 ppm today. The abundance of plankton (13C) and other biota supports this view.

Conclusion:

Atmospheric CO2 concentration varies with climate, the sea is the dominant CO2 store, releasing the gas depending on multi-decadal changes of temperature.

See several supporting graphs here: 180 Years of atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods

click for larger image

NOTE: While this paper presents some interesting findings, I and others do have some concerns with the older chemically derived sources of CO2 concentration data, which are obtained from a chemical analysis process that has some significant variability. Beck seems to think he has accurate enough data from these methods, and he has another essay on the process of chemical analysis of CO2 gas concentration in the atmosphere here. I’d recommend reading it also. My personal opinion on this paper is that I’m “on the fence with it”, and I encourage a rigorous debate, pro and con. – Anthony

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114 Responses to Beck on CO2 and Temperature: Oceans are the “dominant CO2 store”

  1. Scott Covert says:

    The data (CO2 concentration readings) look pretty uncorrelated. It looks like CO2 concentrations are pretty variable depending on locality. To get “Global averages” I suspect readings need to be taken in a huge number of locations simultainiously to be representitive. I don’t see how 90,000 data points can compare to satelite data. It’s like trying to determine Global wind speed and direction.

  2. The first Figure shows ‘average 19th century 321 ppm’ and ‘average 20th century 339 ppm’. These numbers are not correctly calculated as the measurements are taken with unequal time intervals. Consider this situation: we measure a quantity every day for a year, except on on day there are not just one measurement, but 10,000. Taking the average for the year to be the average of all 10,364 measurements is clearly wrong. By just eyeballing the graph it would seem that the 19th century average is higher than the 321 quoted.

  3. Hasse@Norway says:

    Another source of error is current CO2 measurements. According to geologist Tom Segelstad. Only about 20% of the CO2 measurements from Mauna Loa are being used. This could be for a good reason or a fudge factor. Like the sudden jump in concentration this year could suggest. When first the concentration lagged 2007 and then suddenly jumped past.

    Or the CO2 concentration varies more than lay-persons think. So the concentration over a year could be say from , min 250ppm to max 550ppm(speculating). When 80% of all measurements are rejected this can’t be a failsafe method either.

    I’m just a layperson here. So does anybody know whether the raw data from current CO2 measurements are publicly available? I’m thinking we could have a Hansen like scientist running the show….

  4. Francois Ouellette says:

    I’d like to comment on this, because I’ve looked at the issue in quite some detail, and even posted a paper about it on Arxiv.

    In that paper, I showed that you could simulate the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere using only the temperature data, and get really good agreement with both the long term growth curve, and the short term (monthly) fluctuations in CO2 uptake (rate of change), all this assuming a simple temperature response of the carbon cycle with a given response time.

    However, that result was wrong. It was wrong in that you can get the same kind of agreement if you include the “human” emissions properly, something which I had not done at the time I wrote the paper. So I am now pretty convinced that most of the increase in CO2 concentration is due, in fact to human emissions. (and yeah, if I were not so lazy, I would have removed my paper from Arxiv already…).

    That being said, I learned a lot from this exercise. Making mistakes is a good way to learn.

    One thing is that the carbon cycle IS dependent on temperature, something that has received surprisingly little attention in the scientific litterature. It seems to me that we could get very useful information if we studied that dependence in more detail.

    But the other thing I realized is that the carbon cycle DOES react to human emissions (well, all right, nothing new here…). The carbon “sink”, whether it is forests, or phytoplankton, expands with the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. In fact, the carbon sink has expanded tremendously over the past century. The more CO2 we pump into the atmosphere, the more is absorbed. I knew it before, but playing with the data just made it more real…

    But a big question is, what is the response time of that reaction? We are being told that the “residence time” of CO2 is 50, or even 100 years. In other words, it would take that long to get rid of the surplus CO2 if we stopped emitting today. I have a hard time with that figure. There just does not seem to be any empirical support for it. Sure, you can find nice simulations with such long lifetimes, superimposed on the CO2 growth curve, and there seems to be a perfect match. The problem is, you can get a similar match with about ANY lifetime value, short or long! And at some point, the uncertainty about the past history of CO2 just prevents you from discrimating between the possible values.

    In the end, it is a trade-off: either the system responds strongly, but slowly, or it is less sensitive, but reacts rapidly.

    A careful examination of the temperature response might help discriminating between the two options. But I must admit that I could never get a statistically significant answer. I just stopped trying…

    A better knowledge of the past history of CO2 concentration would also help. I am not convinced by Beck’s data on the high CO2 concentrations during the 1930’s. Just seems too anomalous. On the other hand, I think that stomatal frequency data could provide a more precise proxy than ice cores. They do tend to show that the CO2 concentration fluctuated more than is currently admitted, and moreover that it followed the temperature.

    A final comment on high CO2 concentrations in the oceans. Most people are not aware of it, but the CO2 concentration at the surface of oceans varies tremendously, depending on where you are. I mean, it varies by as much as a factor of two. Some regions of the oceans are very strong sinks, others outgas like crazy. Temperature has an effect on this, but mostly, this is the result of biological activity. Phytoplanktons are tremendous little beasts, they eat up a LOT of carbon, which they then dump at the bottom of the oceans. Their role in the carbon cycle is just beginning to be fully unraveled. There’s a lot we don’t know. Ocean biological productivity turns out to be awfully difficult to measure with any accuracy.

    In the end, the role of phytoplanktons may be crucial in understanding our climate, especially the switch between glacial and interglacial, and why there are ice ages at all. They may be the reason why, as Gerald Marsh pointed out in his APS article, CO2 concentration is actually historically low.

  5. Oldjim says:

    I didn’t think I would ever say this but I think Gavin is correct in this case
    Quote
    “A quick tour through my car-traffic-saturated home town, Paris, can give us a good first impression:

    * Jardin Luxembourg (major but still tiny green spot in the center of Paris) 425ppm
    * Place de la Bastille: 430ppm
    * Place de l’Etoile (the crazy huge roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe): 508ppm
    * And the winner was Place de la Nation: 542ppm (ie 160ppm over background!).”
    End quote
    i wonder what results would have been like in Victorian London

  6. Ric Werme says:

    I was looking at this last night and took another look this AM. All in all, this says that one really needs to look at CO2 at more places than Mauna Loa and other “well mixed” points. Is that the reason the sample points from the Antarctic ice cores differ so much from the other 19th century samples or are CO2 measurements from ice cores measuring something other than the True Historical Record?

    I think I said after that stumble in Mauna Loa CO2 concentrations a month or two ago that its another thing to keep an eye on. Perhaps we need a CO2 & SST station in the far north Atlantic too and keep an eye on conditions as the ice cap melts. Or doesn’t.

    If those 18th century measurements turn out to be accurate, CO2 concentrations will turn out to be another thing we don’t know as much about as we thought.

  7. Mark H. says:

    I’ve alwats wondered two things about RDIF and chemical:
    1) Is Mauna Lao the only place on earth taking RDIF readings? If not, why don’t we see other RDIF stats from around the world – there seems to be local variations as we see in the chemical data. I can’t believe the readings taken in Mauna Lao are the exact same as in a land locked area.
    2) Is there anyone performing chemical CO2 readings presently to see how it differs from the RDIF? I ask because there are enormous pattern differences begining in 1957 bwtn the RDIF and chemical, leading me to believe that one of them is a less accurate reading.
    Also, bumping the chemical bar graph along with the RDIF is not an accurate CO2 representation because the basis of the readings are entirely different – one being local to one spot (RDIF) and the other being copious international readings (chemical) over a greater period of time.
    I all, I have enormous issues with CO2 readings. It seems very inexact as varies a great deal. Perhaps we still don’t know what CO2 means to us and the climate.

  8. Stu Miller says:

    The CO2 data can’t be any worse than the surface record of temperature as revealed by your weather station survey can it, Anthony?

  9. James says:

    You might want to go to the original image above, it is an interactive image with a lot of information embedded in it.

    http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/bayreuth/bayreuth1e.htm

    REPLY: Done, thanks. – Anthony

  10. Jim Carson says:

    I haven’t read the paper, but I’m highly dubious. What wet chemical measurements of CO2 have been made lately, with which we can compare to Mauna Loa?

    Unless I’m missing something, this splice-job is just as bad as the Hockey Stick. Just like McIntyre’s call for updating the tree-ring proxies, I won’t believe a word of this until someone shows me that wet chemical measurements made today in the same way as in the past can agree with Mauna Loa.

  11. retired engineer says:

    “Wet chemical analyses indicate three atmospheric CO2 maxima in the northern hemisphere up to approx. 400 ppm over land and sea since about 1812.”

    Huh? I thought CO2 back in the golden age before we dumped a bunch of it into the air was about 260 ppm. Why didn’t we have runaway warming back then? The temp graph may correlate with the recent peak, doesn’t look like it for the previous one.

  12. Pieter Folkens says:

    I have often heard from the alarmists that average atmospheric CO2 concentrations are higher now (at around 360ppm) than ever before in the history of instrumental data. Beck’s work indicates concentrations of over 430 ppm a bit less than 200 years ago. Did the alarmists choose to ignore the data that didn’t fit or were they just ignorant of the larger body of climate science work by others?

    I don’t quite understand the 5 yr. temperature lag. The ice cores are suggesting a much longer lag, but opposite, that is, CO2 concentrations lag temp rise. Can some one explain this difference?

  13. Jim Watson says:

    The incredible uniformity of the recent rise of CO2 in the atmosphere has always troubled me a little.

    This type of smooth signature is NOT normally indicative of human activity. Shouldn’t there be fits and jabs as the CO2 rises in response to changes in human economies, the rise of China as an industrial giant, the changes in standards of living in India, etc.

    THEORY: Could it not be that the current rise in CO2 is merely the natural result of the “800-year lag” in warmer temperatures from the Medieval Warm Period?

    You all remember that “800-year lag” that proved so inconvenient to Gore’s propaganda campaign?

  14. Gary Gulrud says:

    Acknowledging some concern with Beck’s rigor, all of the criticism’s amount to is ankle-biting.

    Mauna Loa CO2 levels are measured indirectly, via IR absorption. These spectroscopic absorption criteria were not established empirically but by means of the outdated Beer-Lambert Law that, while yielding a straightforward answer, is clearly inadequate to the task. In fact all of the spectroscopic absorption graphs commonly available were drawn from such computations, they are ‘electromagnetically naive’.

    No calibration procedures are published and they persist in drying the air with H2SO4.

    The most that can be said is they give the ‘shape” of an actual smoothed curve. The data deleted by the smoothing process is not ‘noise’, as though one knows the answer already and simply needs to make the data obey.

    The ice-core CO2 levels aren’t ‘imprecise’ they are worthless for establishing contemporary atmospheric levels. Apart from comparing historic trends they use is only obfuscatory.

    Picking at Beck’s reconstruction of historic volumetric measurements and other methods by those who have established no particular analytic insight into the methods employed is a waste of our time to read.

    I do not for a moment believe Francois’ assertion that the antrhropogenic fluence can even be seen on a global scale. Deleting the ocean fluence from the seasonal sinusoid and longterm trend would still leave it indistinguishable noise on the resulting curve.

    The Mauna Loa seasonal curve cannot be thought to be biogenic; the NH growth flattens by the end of August. The total biogenic fluence is on the order of 800 Gtons, that dissolved in the oceans and in intermediate bottom-dwelling carbonates is 150,000 Gtons. As the temperature rises CO2’s partial pressure rises and it enters the atmosphere, as the ocean’s temperature cools the partial pressure falls and it leaves the atmosphere.

  15. Leon Brozyna says:

    You’ve provided a link to the summary above but here’s the link to a reprint of the full paper:

    http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf

    Between the two of them, there goes my weekend.

    REPLY: Thanks Leon, I’ve added the link.

  16. austin says:

    The thing that bothers me about the ML CO2 is the actual readings declined a bit and stayed flat for a year. But humans were producing just as much CO2 as before and Pinatubo put up a bunch as well.

    That tells us that there is another agent using CO2 or producing CO2.

  17. Bill Illis says:

    All the Antarctica ice core CO2 data is linked here in an Excel spreadsheet (Tab “Vostok – TD – Dome C” ) covering 800,000 BP to 137 BP.

    The CO2 data for the past several hundred years is pretty consistent at about 280 ppm (although there are only 12 data points over the past 1,000 years.)

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/epica_domec/edc-co2-2008.xls

  18. Flowers4Stalin says:

    Jim Watson:

    That was a great theory when I first heard it, but global temperatures were probably higher between 1000-1100 than 1200. What this paper by Beck shows us is that this issue is very complicated, as CO2 concentration is quite variable from place to place and method to method. The oceans, if I were to guess, were probably responsible for at least 20 parts per million of this CO2 increase, and maybe higher than 30 parts per million. Unless someone can correct me….

  19. The engineer says:

    Jim Watson – Its nice to know one isn’t alone.
    One of my major (and still unanswered questions) about warming
    was why the CO2 concentration line is so godddamned linear.

    Points entirely to ocean output if you ask me, and as you mentioned a much longer oscillation (temperature I assume).

    800 years – nobodys been around that long – but what is the forcing ??

  20. Joel Shore says:

    Mark H. says: “Is Mauna Lao the only place on earth taking RDIF readings?” No, here are time series from various places around the world: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/tseries.php?type=mr

    Jim Watson says: “The incredible uniformity of the recent rise of CO2 in the atmosphere has always troubled me a little…This type of smooth signature is NOT normally indicative of human activity. Shouldn’t there be fits and jabs as the CO2 rises in response to changes in human economies, the rise of China as an industrial giant, the changes in standards of living in India, etc.” Well, it hasn’t been completely smooth and there are little fits and jabs in addition to the seasonal cycle (although they probably have more to do with variations in uptake than variations in emissions). However, I don’t think that those things you listed regarding human economies have made for dramatic differences in emissions from one year to the next. Also note that the emissions is correlated with the derivative, i.e. the slope, of the CO2 concentration curve…So, even if there was a 10% change in emissions from one year to the next (which I think would be huge compared to reality, except perhaps during the Great Depression), it would not look all that dramatic on the plot of CO2 concentration vs time.

    Jim Watson says: “THEORY: Could it not be that the current rise in CO2 is merely the natural result of the ‘800-year lag’ in warmer temperatures from the Medieval Warm Period?” In a word, no. For lots of different reasons, we know the current rise is due to us and that the oceans are in net absorbing…not outgassing…CO2 currently. And, it would be an awfully strange coincidence if the only time during the last 750,000 years (according to ice core measurements) that CO2 levels rose above 300ppm was the century when we started emitting significant quantities of it into the atmosphere.

  21. David L. Hagen says:

    From Beck’s English links page
    He links to his published paper:

    180 YEARS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 GAS ANALYSIS BY CHEMICAL METHODS, Ernst-Georg Beck
    Energy & Environment · Vol. 18, No. 2, 2007, pp 259-282

    Erratum

    With two published comments:
    Comment on “180 years of atmospheric CO2 gas analysis by chemical methods” by ernst-georg beck pp. 635-646(12) Authors: Meijer, Harro A.J.;,
    and Keeling, Ralph F.
    with Beck’s reply Comments on “180 years of Atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods” pp. 641-646(6) Author: Beck, Ernst

    <a href=”http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm”Beck’s web cite links to numerous historical papers and analyses which should keep most critics happily(?!) reading for many hours.

    Note Beck’s spread sheetBasic database (>90 000 series, 143 averages over 150 years, >53 locations ) rev1, 11/2007

    Finally note Beck’s 113 page monograph. (Forthcoming?)
    Beck E. G. (2006/2007) History of CO2 Gas Analysis of Air by Chemical Methods, pp. 1–113. to be published.

    Note particularly the deviations of
    1822

  22. Francois Ouellette says:

    I don’t think the spectroscopic measurements could be very imprecise. Spectroscopy is not rocket science, it is performed daily in thousands of labortories, and the techniques are well proven, and get better every day. And Mauna Loa is NOT the only place where CO2 is measured. There are a number of stations around the world. They don’t all agree, because CO2 does travel around. Most emissions are in the northern hemisphere, and the oceans have, as I said, local areas where they absorb and outgas, which also depends on the time of year (and the temperature). Quite frankly, I think the CO2 data are quite reliable.

    If there is an area where the data is uncertain, it is that of human emissions. Before we got interested in CO2, no one really paid any attention to how much CO2 was emitted worldwide. So any data we have for worldwide emissions before, say, 20 years ago, are highly speculative. This is what, IMO, makes it hard (or easy…) to extract parameters on the lifetime of CO2. Because, in order to do that, you need to have a model linking emissions and concentration. A simple model of the form:

    dC/dt = -a*(C-Ceq) + Em

    where C is the CO2 concentration, Ceq is some equilibrium value, and Em are emissions. The parameter “a” is what you want to know. But the equilibrium value is not a constant. This is where you include the growing sink, and the temperature effect. In fact, you can have a set of coupled equations with CO2 in the air, in the land biomass, and in the oceans. The land biomass can also be split into the living biomass, and the CO2 in the soil. The oceans in turn have CO2 in the upper surface, and at the bottom. And so on, and so on, it can get very complicated. Various interactions can have different time constants and sensitivities.

    But in trying to extract those parameters, you are stuck with the empirical data that you have. Again, IMO, the emissions data have much more uncertainty than the CO2 data post-1959, and this is what limits our ability to simulate the carbon cycle.

    There IS definitely an effect of temperature, superimposed on human emissions. I found that it is almost impossible to disentangle the two. The temperature effect could be large (as much as 20% of the rise of the past century), or it could be small. In my simulations, there was no statistical difference between the two cases.

  23. joshua corning says:

    And, it would be an awfully strange coincidence if the only time during the last 750,000 years (according to ice core measurements) that CO2 levels rose above 300ppm was the century when we started emitting significant quantities of it into the atmosphere.

    Knowing that deeper ice is older ice my first guess at looking at that steady slope up would be that some natural process over time forces CO2 in ice to move upward. Also knowing that we are looking at ice that is hundreds of years old that such a process would be very hard to detect.

  24. David L. Hagen says:

    From Beck’s English links page
    He links to his published paper:

    180 YEARS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 GAS ANALYSIS BY CHEMICAL METHODS, Ernst-Georg Beck
    Energy & Environment · Vol. 18, No. 2, 2007, pp 259-282

    Erratum

    With two published comments:
    Comment on “180 years of atmospheric CO2 gas analysis by chemical methods” by ernst-georg beck pp. 635-646(12) Authors: Meijer, Harro A.J.;,
    and Keeling, Ralph F.
    with Beck’s reply Comments on “180 years of Atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods” pp. 641-646(6) Author: Beck, Ernst

    <a href=”http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm”Beck’s web cite links to numerous historical papers and analyses which should keep most critics happily(?!) reading for many hours.

    Note Beck’s spread sheetBasic database (>90 000 series, 143 averages over 150 years, >53 locations ) rev1, 11/2007

    Finally note Beck’s 113 page monograph. (Forthcoming?)
    Beck E. G. (2006/2007) History of CO2 Gas Analysis of Air by Chemical Methods, pp. 1–113. “to be published.” (Can anyone find this published/posted?)

    Eyeballing the chart above, note particularly the deviations in:
    1822 285 ppm vs 440 ppm = 56% difference or 18 std deviations;
    1856 290 ppm vs 380 ppm = 31% difference or 10 std deviations;
    1942 305 ppm vs 440 ppm = 44% difference or 15 std deviations; assuming a 3% standard deviation.

    Those relative deviations appear sufficiently far probability to require a serious analysis as to the causes and/or errors.

  25. AnonyMoose says:

    The above makes for interesting browsing. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/tseries.php?type=mr

    Notice: “If the modeled CO2 exceeds the tolerance by more than a factor of 3, the observation is not used in our system and colored blue in this figure.”

    More CO2 data sets:

    Four Pacific-area sites: CMDL Hourly Average Surface Carbon Dioxide (DSI-3273) but have to ask for data? — and corresponding weather data: CMDL Hourly Surface Observations (DSI-3274) .

    Various observing sites: NOAA ESRL Observation Sites >> Listing by Project. Click on the Interactive Visualization to browse graphs from many locations; data is in FTP archive. Did not check documentation to see if any data is discarded.

    Monthly Atmospheric CO2 Mixing Ratios from the NOAA CMDL Carbon Cycle Cooperative Global Air Sampling Network, 1968-2002.

  26. David L. Hagen says:

    Corrected link:Beck’s web cite links to numerous historical papers and analyses which should keep most critics happily(?!) reading for many hours.

    Reply: I think I fixed it now~Charles the moderator

  27. AnonyMoose says:

    The above ( Joel Shore (10:41:27)) makes for interesting browsing. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/tseries.php?type=mr

    Notice: “If the modeled CO2 exceeds the tolerance by more than a factor of 3, the observation is not used in our system and colored blue in this figure.”

    More CO2 data sets:

    Four Pacific-area sites: CMDL Hourly Average Surface Carbon Dioxide (DSI-3273) but have to ask for data? — and corresponding weather data: CMDL Hourly Surface Observations (DSI-3274) .

    Various observing sites: NOAA ESRL Observation Sites >> Listing by Project. Click on the Interactive Visualization to browse graphs from many locations; data is in FTP archive. Did not check documentation to see if any data is discarded.

    Monthly Atmospheric CO2 Mixing Ratios from the NOAA CMDL Carbon Cycle Cooperative Global Air Sampling Network, 1968-2002.

  28. Anthony,

    When I studied Beck’s previous work, a small point that particularly impressed me was the subtle correlation of CO2 concentrations with moon phases. It shows up in Beck’s reconstructions of antique data as well as the modern data. The ubiquity of the lunar signature helped persuade me to believe in the reality of his findings.

    I’m looking forward to reading this new paper.

    – Erik

  29. Peter says:

    I’ve also heard that the diurnal range of CO2 over heavily-vegetated areas can be well in excess of 2:1

  30. Tony Edwards says:

    James (09:03:41) : gave this link.

    http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/bayreuth/bayreuth1e.htm

    I f you go to this and click on the graph, you go to more graphs. At the bottom of the last one is a clickable link, “Keeling on accuracy”

    “Keeling´s statements on pre-1958 chemical CO2 measurements

    * The mean value that Theodore de Saussure found was roughly 0.04% by volume, which I will put in modern units as 400 parts per million by volume (ppmv). This value was much less than von Humboldt had found, but still in considerable error.

    * De Saussure’s Memories, published in 1830, nevertheless ushered in a period of increasingly precise measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide culminating in some nearly correct measurements in the 1880s by a Belgian named Jules Reiset.

    * Unfortunately, none of the other investigators of carbon dioxide reproduced the seasonal cycle even approximately correctly, casting doubt on all of their data.

    * After the 1880s, interest in carbon dioxide diminished for reasons which I have not been able to establish. Indeed, a quick and easy but not very precise 19th century technique of measurement, called Pettenkofer’s method, became the most common method for measuring carbon dioxide, so that measurements actually became less precise than the best of those of the 19th century. The 20th century data were generally higher than the correct concentrations, although of course this wasn’t known at the time.

    * My first measurements were made with only a brief prior investigation of the scientific literature.

    * In all cases I found the concentration of CO2 in the afternoon to be close to 315 ppmv. I came to the conclusion that the published 20th century data generally were in error and that the CO2 concentration, when not locally influenced, was nearly the same at least from the equator to the northern limits of the United States, perhaps everywhere.

    Speech: Winner of the Second Blue Planet Prize (1993);
    http://www.af-info.or.jp/eng/honor/bppcl_e/e1993keeling.txt

    Sure of himself, isn’t he?

  31. Hasse@Norway says:

    Is the raw data available for modern day measurements?? If 80% of those are rejected, it would be interesting to see the min/max values

  32. Gary Gulrud says:

    “dC/dt = -a*(C-Ceq) + Em”

    These very many CO2 fluences, e.g., the CO2 burned (from the biomass sink) to create CaO, the CO2 release from the carbonate (the geologic sink), the CO2 returned to produce cement (from the ground water sink and atmospheric sink), all this is captured in the above equation?

    You need to work with vector math not scalar math, otherwise nothing certain you might know about this moment’s state can be used to gain insight into the next moment. The ‘sinks’ are in dynamic exchange with multiple others continuously. Silly scalar math requires tagging your C atoms.

    Now, Spencer, some months back here, measured the 13C/12C variance in the Mauna Loa seasonal and long-term trend signals by means of an F-Test. The variance was the same! Therefore, whatever its limitations, the biogenic and anthropogenic fluences were not significant. What, pray tell, does that tell you?

    Keeling maintains the seasonal signal is biogenic, he is wrong about this as he is wrong about the 19th century averages.

  33. David L. Hagen says:

    One major author on CO2 variations is: P. Bawkin
    Some samples of CO2 variation with time and altitude are shown by:
    A multiple-scale simulation of variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide using a coupled biosphere-atmospheric model Melville E. Nicholls, A. Scott Denning, Lara Prihodko, Pier-Luigi Vidale, Ian Baker, Kenneth Davis, and Peter Bakwin JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 109, D18117, doi:10.1029/2003JD004482, 2004
    e.g., Fig 14, Fig 16, Fig. 17.

    Seems Altitude is a major item to add to Beck’s data set where it can be identified in the reports.

  34. anna v says:

    I would like to draw your attention that the means exist to have global maps of CO2 concentrations:

    http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=ShowNews_DynamicContent&NewsID=10

    Unfortunately this information starts and stops in July 2003, despite ” . I do not know whether they are waiting for a commercial use of the information and keeping it private, or the information contradicts orthodoxy.

    In this July 2003 map one can see differences in concentration of 15ppm over the globe, a few percent .

    It is a pity we do not have all the months since then.

  35. klausB says:

    Anthony,

    When I first stumbled over Beck’s datas, I questioned – at least some of – them. But, BUT, generally, one of the the ‘old’ methods, escecially by titration according to Pettenkofer was known to me.

    It was one of the methods I had to use when I had to do the practice for an Chemical Engineer in the ’70ties. And the method, a known volume of air, at a known/measured temperature, at a known/measured air presusre has not that much errors. The air was ‘washed’ in an alcalic solution of Kaliumhydroxide and/or
    Natriumhydroxide (The alcalic solution did have a known amount of one or both
    of these substances). It was added a coloric indicator, then a acid solution was added, drop by drop. The amount of acid solution used until the color of the indicator changed, could give good to excellent results to measure the CO², measured as H²CO³.

    To get rid of errors (SO³ and NO² within air, use different alcalic solutions, different
    concentrations and different alcalic substances, because the behavior of CO², NO² and SO³ differs). The results were usually in a plus/minus 1.2 error frame, when
    did properly and when done by at least halve a dozen anaylysisses.

    TIDBIT: Last time when I did it was about ’74, changed my profession then to EDP
    , now IT. So some of my explanaitions may be not that correct in my rememberance.

    So, whoever at this forum, could enhance it and/or correct it, I would sincerely appreciate it.

    Personnaly, I do live approx 27 kilometers driveway to the ‘Justus von Liebig’ -University, Giessen, Germany. I took two days off, to check some of the datas with the librarythere. At least I can say, Becks datas from Pettenkofers’ measures are not ‘Jim-Hansen-ed’. Pettenkofer did extremely good bookkeeping, when he did his measures, location, wind direction, season, distance from Giessen and Wetzlar, the towns in this area at that time … and so on.

    Best Regards

    KlausB

  36. radar says:

    Re: “After the 1880s, interest in carbon dioxide diminished for reasons which I have not been able to establish.”

    Could the answer his perplexity be the 30 year cooling trend that kicked off around 1880? How early was CO2 driving temperature originally speculated?

  37. Francois Ouellette says:

    Gary Gulrud,

    Please don’t make me pass for an idiot! I explicitly said that you can use a set of coupled differential equations. But the CO2 in air IS a scalar, at least in a very good approximation because the time it takes to mix the atmospheric concentration is quite small (less than a year), so the differences are small. To be precise, let’s just say that C is the average CO2 concentration in air.

    There are many so-called “box models” for the carbon cycle. I worked on this extremely simple model (where all the sinks are condensed into a single one) after considering those complex models, and attempting to build one myself. The problem with those complex models, just like with GCMs by the way, is that you soon get bogged down in the complexity, and you don’t have the real world data to support your model. So you start guessing and “parameterizing”, and soon you’re completely lost in your little virtual world.

    So after going through that phase, I decided to come back to simplicity. Because all the data I have is CO2 in air, CO2 emissions, and temperatures. Nevertheless, what I found is that I can, with this very simple model, get a very good match with those three data sets. So in a way, that means that despite the complexity of the carbon cycle, it’s average behavior is quite simple.

    For what it’s worth, while doing this work, I read about 100 scientific papers on the carbon cycle. So please don’t assume that I’m just making this up.

    I think there is some merit in what Beck has done. But faced with different, conflicting data sets, you always have to make a choice. Those old measurements were either right or wrong. I think if you make a model that is consistent with the data, especially with independent data, it improves your confidence in both data and model. If he comes up with a physical and plausible model for the carbon cycle that reconciles his data with other variables, like temperature, for example, good for him!

  38. Rod Smith says:

    This whole thread seems to cry out for tele-connecting these CO2 monitoring sites so that NASA could determine the “correct” value for all reports.

  39. Francois Ouellette says:

    klausB

    What would be interesting is to reproduce those measurements today: same method, same location, etc., and see the result.

  40. klausB says:

    addendum to my July 25th, 1312:40

    When I looked for ‘Pettenkofer’ & ‘titration’ & ‘CO²’, on WIKIPEDIA,
    about two years ago, there was still a link to his method. If I remember correctly, of
    course. Now it’s gone.

    “Ein Schelm, der Arges dabei denkt” – “Honi soit qui mal y pense”

    According to the most picturesque legend, it was established to commemorate an incident in which Edward was dancing with Joan of Kent, Countess of Salisbury, when one of her blue garters dropped to the floor. As bystanders snickered, Edward gallantly picked up the garter and put it on his own leg, admonishing the courtiers in French with the phrase that remains as the order’s motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (“Shame to him who thinks evil of it,” or, more popularly, “Evil to him who evil thinks”). Britannica 2001

    Regards

    Klausb

  41. David Segesta says:

    Interesting information on pre-industrial CO2 levels from Prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski
    Chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection
    Warsaw, Poland http://www.john-daly.com/zjiceco2.htm

    Excerpts from Statement written for the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    March 2004

    1)“…glaciological studies are not able to provide a reliable reconstruction of CO2 concentrations in the ancient atmosphere”

    2) “The data from shallow ice cores, such as those from Siple, Antarctica[5, 6], are widely used as a proof of man-made increase of CO2 content in the global atmosphere, notably by IPCC[7]. These data show a clear inverse correlation between the decreasing CO2 concentrations, and the load-pressure increasing with depth (Figure 1 A) . The problem with Siple data (and with other shallow cores) is that the CO2 concentration found in pre-industrial ice from a depth of 68 meters (i.e. above the depth of clathrate formation) was “too high”. This ice was deposited in 1890 AD, and the CO2 concentration was 328 ppmv, not about 290 ppmv, as needed by man-made warming hypothesis. The CO2 atmospheric concentration of about 328 ppmv was measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii as later as in 1973[8], i.e. 83 years after the ice was deposited at Siple.

    An ad hoc assumption, not supported by any factual evidence[3, 9], solved the problem: the average age of air was arbitrary decreed to be exactly 83 years younger than the ice in which it was trapped. The “corrected” ice data were then smoothly aligned with the Mauna Loa record (Figure 1 B) , and reproduced in countless publications as a famous “Siple curve”. Only thirteen years later, in 1993, glaciologists attempted to prove experimentally the “age assumption”[10], but they failed”

    3) “ The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv[11] (Figure 2) . In Figure 2 encircled values show a biased selection of data used to demonstrate that in 19th century atmosphere the CO2 level was 292 ppmv[12]. A study of stomatal frequency in fossil leaves from Holocene lake deposits in Denmark, showing that 9400 years ago CO2 atmospheric level was 333 ppmv, and 9600 years ago 348 ppmv, falsify the concept of stabilized and low CO2 air concentration until the advent of industrial revolution [13]”.

  42. joshua corning says:

    Don’t satellites pointed at the planet have spectrometers?

    Could they not be used to measure CO2 concentrations?

  43. Gary Gulrud says:

    “But the CO2 in air IS a scalar, at least in a very good approximation because the time it takes to mix the atmospheric concentration is quite small (less than a year), ”

    The peak in 14C production, at high latitude in high stratosphere leads surface concentration peak by 60 years, whereas tropospheric residence estimates for CO2 reported by Seagalstad range from 5 to 12 years. How is the excellence of mixing determined?

    I did not set out to make of you and idiot (although I do do that sort of thing) I see no conceivable hope for simplicity sans accuracy and your reasoning is not giving me a warm fuzzy.

    So what do you think of Spencer’s F-Test result?

  44. Syl says:

    Francois Ouellette

    “So after going through that phase, I decided to come back to simplicity. Because all the data I have is CO2 in air, CO2 emissions, and temperatures.”

    That gives you correlation but doesn’t get you climate sensitivity. I think this is what Spencer is getting at. Localized variations in CO2, air temperature, ocean temperature, cloud cover, convection, evaporation, slope of trends point to differing sensitivities.

    The simplification and averaging and smoothing of CO2, emissions, and global temperature mask the true sensitivity. For example, positive PDO periods increase the rate of temperature trend, negative phases decrease it, and the models don’t take that into consideration–all they see is the over-simplified correlation of more CO2 and increasing temps.

    At the risk of being pounded over the head with a twobyfour, I’m seeing the sun as the basic driver–no matter the fact TSI is less variable than thought. CO2 is an amplifier not the driver and the oceans control the distribution and amount of heat. How much CO2 amplifies is the big question. It may not be very much considering quiet sun and cool oceans with rising CO2 currently results in cooler global temps.

    So, basically, simplifying temp, CO2, and emissions is fine for some purposes, but nothing is going to beat getting down and dirty with the details to understand the processes occurring on a more regional than global basis.

  45. KuhnKat says:

    We try to find an average temperature of the earth by making as many measurements in as many places, with as standardized procedure and equipment, as possible. I think this is reasonable, ignoring the excessive attempts to ADJUST the data.

    Why then is CO2 measured at only a few SPECIAL locations with procedures to EXCLUDE data?? Isn’t this the ultimate cherry picking??

    Can’t you just see Hansen trying to tell us that only a few locations that he picked would be used to measure the BACKGROUND temperature and he would only use readings within certain parameters using his personally preferred method??

    I think Hansen is a LOON, BUT, his GISS is perfect compared to the CO2 hoax!!

  46. Philip_B says:

    Francois Ouellette, very interesting and I find myself in agreement with most of what you say (I don’t disagree with the rest. I just don’t know).

    Perhaps you could help answer a question. It seems plants with adequate temperature, water and nutrients are limited in their growth by CO2 concentrations.

    Trees represent the bulk of the Earth’s terrrestial biomass. Trees grow relatively slowly and generally large trees create more additional biomass than small trees (such as more leaves).

    We know that there has been a significant increase (6%) in plant biomass over recent years. It appears plants take up more CO2 at higher concentrations and there will be a lag due to the tree growth effect. My guess would be between 20 and 50 years before maximum bio uptake is reached.

    My question is, Has anyone quantified this and what do the models assume?

    The reason I ask is that it appears possible that bio activity alone will limit CO2 concentrations, irrespective of human emissions.

  47. KuhnKat says:

    Syl,

    take a look at this data file from SOURCE.

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/tsi_data/daily/SORCE_L3_TSI_DM_V0008_20030225_20080717.txt

    It has 2 columns of intensity. One marked 1 AU and one marked Earth Distance. Notice how much variance there is in the Earth Distance data compared to the standardized 1 AU data. This is what is actually hitting the upper atmosphere and varies at much higher levels due to the distance change. Right now the southern hemisphere summer gets the highest radiation and northern hemisphere summer gets the lowest. The southern hemisphere has more water so absorbs more of the energy it receives. Due to differences in surface and water absorption, clouds… this energy variance does NOT average out over the year.

  48. David L. Hagen says:

    Francois & Gary
    Yes the CO2 concentrations are scalar AND the CO2 fluxes are vectors (or tensor fields). Both trends and flows need to be examined in evaluating the reasonableness of the data Beck has compiled.

    klausB
    Thanks for noting your experience in that CO2 titration and observation “Pettenkofer did extremely good bookkeeping, when he did his measures, location, wind direction, season, distance from Giessen and Wetzlar, the towns in this area at that time … and so on.”

    That is a good reminder of the Germanic trait of systematic thoroughness and penchant for accuracy. There appears no basis for facially dismissing that quantitative accumulated data. That data needs to be accounted for and the differences with the ice core data and modern spectroscopic data need to be clearly understood.

  49. Keith Wooster says:

    All:

    Look at the embedded information on the first graph for the Kreutz samples from the Giessen weather station 1939-40.

    “The Giessen data
    He conducted 64 000 measurements in 4 differnet altitudes using a high precision gas analyser invented by P Schuftan, Accuracy: 1,5%. The yearly average for 1939/40 was 385 ppm. Country air with lowest CO2 was in average 372 ppm. The seasonal amplitude was 54 ppm which was roughly 20 ppm more than the data measured at the coast of the Baltic sea at that times. Most interesting is that the about monthly variations correlate with the lunar phases (peak on full moon)”

    This series represents 75% of the data samples surveyed.

    Klaus B: Is this data available locally? Is there a continuing sampling program locally at present.

    Keith

  50. Mike Bryant says:

    Speaking of CO2, we know that NASA has satellites that can check CO2 over the entire earth and update the data daily, much the same was that UAH checks temperatures. Why can we NOT have access to that data? Maybe it contains inconvenient truths.

  51. Smokey says:

    An interesting relationship between ocean CO2 and temps: click

    [scroll down to the chart]

  52. Smokey says:

    [I didn't make it clear. Scroll down to the February 22, 2008 chart. Sorry.]

  53. anna v says:

    Mike Bryant

    This link that I gave earlier also has a turning globe version.

    http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=ShowNews_DynamicContent&NewsID=10

    It seems that this “airs” business is not well coordinated, or somebody is suppressing data. 5 years to repeat simple plots is funny.

  54. David L. Hagen says:

    See the partial translation from “hoch Deutsch” (high German) into English By André Bijkerk
    “Who was W. Kreutz in Gießen? or what’s wrong with atmospheric CO2?”

    Note sampling at 0 m, 0.5 m, 2.0m, 14.0 m with 120 measurements per day. Note detailed analysis vs all major meteorological parameters. He measured daily variation with 1.5 hr sampling for a week. Furthermore,
    “The weather factors under consideration are (solar) radiation, temperature, wind speed and precipitation.”

    “In the next tables we give the average values of all the samples in thousands of percents during the period 1.5 years. The overall average of more than 25,000 samples is 43.85 (438.5 ppmv)”

  55. anna v says:

    Mike,

    on your link the scatter plot and the comment are indicative.

    It says “tropical oceans”, and the caption reads:
    “CO2 derived from AIRS calibrated radiances since launch shows the steady rise in global levels due to human factors.”

    . A look at their global map at the top of the page shows much less human factors in the tropical oceans than in the northern hemisphere!!!!

    Why are they not scatter plotting where the human factors really are???

    In addition one can see large concentration from areas that can only be attributed to volcanic activity.

    It is possible that the data are being sat on to figure out a way of subtracting inconvenient truths. The five year delay means that it is hard to do so.

  56. anna v says:

    P.S.

    Proof of bad coordination, at least, of these pages is that the figure on the top of the link says the data are from July 2003, and the caption January 2003! Both start with J and correlation is causation ::

    In the link I had given above, of the same generic site,
    http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=ShowNews_DynamicContent&NewsID=10
    It says July clearly.

  57. David L. Hagen says:

    The Justus Liebig University Geissen is running a
    Free Air CO2 Enrichment Facility

    See: “detailed description of the enrichment technique:

    Jäger, H.-J., Schmidt, S.W., Kammann, C., Grünhage, L., Müller, C. & Hanewald, K. (2003): The University of Giessen free-air carbon dioxide enrichment study: description of the experimental site and of a new enrichment system. Journal of Applied Botany 77, 117-127.

    Schmidt, S.W. (2003): Ein modulares System zur Untersuchung der Auswirkungen von erhöhtem atmosphärischen Kohlendioxid auf Grünland-Ökosysteme. Dissertation, JLU Gießen.
    Quelle: http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2003/1125/

    Contact Persons

    There is an:
    “Air Quality Monitoring Station Linden of HLUG Phenological Garden and Air Quality Monitoring Station

    “The Air Quality Monitoring Station Linden, located at the Environmental and Climate Impact Research Station Linden, is part of the air quality monitoring network of Hesse which is operated by the Hessian Agency for the Environment and Geology (HLUG).”

    See: data of the monitoring station
    This includes temperature and CO2 etc.

    Perhaps KlausB or others could followup exploring Beck’s documentation and especially the work of W. Kreutz with subsequent CO2 data from Geissen or nearby sites.

  58. LeeW says:

    As a lay person who is keenly interested in the ongoing research into AGW, I thoroughly enjoy lurking around and enriching myself. So thank you to all who contribute as you all make it much more enjoyable for me to continue my education!

    In reference to a few comments made regarding the comparison of chemical wet method vs. IR method I ran across this paragraph in Beck’s repsonse to Keeling and Meijer…

    “My E&E paper is an excerpt from my 113 page monograph (Beck, 2006/2007). In this monograph I compared the chemical measurements of atmospheric CO2, represented by the Steinhauser series for 1957/58 in Vienna (Austria), with the IR measurements at Mauna Loa. The average for chemical data for Vienna was 320 ppmv by chemical methods, and this is similar to the 318 ppmv obtained from Mauna Loa. This proves the validity of both types of measurement within the documented error range.”

    Whether this is of any value I do not know, but it seemed to provide some compelling information.

  59. Caleb says:

    I turn to the Mauna Loa data as a sort of “holy grail,” and expect accuracy, and therefore I find it upsetting to hear that 80% of the data is “thrown out.” In the interest of open scientific inquiry it seems the “thrown out” data should be made available, and the reasons for “throwing it out” should perhaps be made known.

    I don’t like being suspicious all the time, however up until the Climateaudit- prompted re-re-adjustment of NASA data nearly a year ago, I deemed Hansen’s data a “holy grail.” We are approaching the first birthday of my skepticism.

    As hard as scientists try to be objective, it’s human nature to be subjective and inclined to a sort of wish-fufillment, when scanning large amounts of data and attempting to see patterns. Therefore it is very important to be open with data, and to allow others to double-check our thinking. The worst thing Hansen and Mann have done is to withhold their data.

    One reason I check the Mauna Loa data is because, according to some Alarmist papers, warming seas cause CO2 “outgassing.” Therefore Alarmists should expect cooling seas from the PDO switch and recent La Nina to have the opposite effect, and to predict some sort of dip in CO2 to appear. They could say it was “masking” Global Warming, and was “only temporary,” and so forth.

    The ice-core data is another “holy grail,” and therefore my first responce to Zbigniew Jaworowski’s work was to deem him a crack pot. However the stuff he points out about lake-bottom leaf stomata, when used as a proxy, does tend to foster doubt in ice-core data.

    I wonder if anyone has studied what happens to bubbles of CO2 in ice, under differing pressures, at different temperatures, in a lab? It ought be easy to set up such an experiment.

    If the ice-core data becomes suspect, an awful lot of painstaking scientific work is going to have its foundations rattled and kicked-out-from-under. I can sort of understand why Zbigniew Jaworowski had his funding cut off, at one point.

  60. Dave Gardner says:

    In response to oldjim wondering what the CO2 values were for Victorian London, there are plenty of old books that give those values. The particular book I’m using is ‘Physiography: An Introduction to the Study of Nature’ by T H Huxley published in 1885, the values converted to ppm are:

    On the Thames at London, mean: 343
    In the streets of London: 380
    Top of Ben Nevis: 327
    From the Queen’s Ward, St Thomas’s Hospital: 400
    From the Haymarket Theatre, dress circle at 11.30 pm: 757
    From Chancery Court, 7 feet from ground: 1930
    From underground railway, mean: 1452
    From workings in mines, average of 339 samples: 7850
    Largest amount in a Cornish mine: 25000

    The measurements were carried out by Angus Smith and are originally given in his book ‘Air and Rain’ published in 1872. The above locations are in London apart from Ben Nevis (mountain in Scotland, tallest mountain in UK) and the values recorded in mines. Out of that data, the closest to a background level would be the Ben Nevis value. Beck’s historical instrumental CO2 curve seems to include the Ben Nevis data point. Rather than what the RealClimate bloggers and ‘Eli Rabbett’ would have you believe, these old CO2 measurers did fully understand that CO2 values varied with location.

    One of the criticisms I’ve seen of Beck’s work is that you can’t use European locations to measure background CO2 – you have to go to exotic, out-of-the-way locations like Hawaii and the South Pole. But there are some modern European measurements (on the CDIAC website) recorded at rural locations and these compare very well with Mauna Loa:

    Shetland Islands, Scotland elev 30m
    356.89 ppm in 1993 to 370.97 ppm in 2001
    Mauna Loa (elev 3397m)
    357.04 ppm in 1993 to 371.02 ppm in 2001

    Westerland, Island of Sylt, Germany near sea level
    329 parts ppm in 1973 to 364 ppm in 1997
    Mauna Loa 329.68 ppm in 1973 to 363.76 ppm in 1997

    My view of Beck’s work is that it’s a fairly honest attempt to compile historical instrumental background CO2 data, and I’m amazed that he seems to have been the first person to attempt to do this, but I suspect that some of his rural locations may not be rural enough. It does look very suspicious to me that climate scientists prefer to use an elaborate proxy method like ice core data when it would appear to be simpler to use historical instrumental data and possibly then ‘correct’ it to allow for any discrepancy between modern and old-fashioned methods of measuring CO2.

  61. KlausB says:

    Francois Quellette, yr 25th, 13:58

    Keith Wooster, yr 25th, 17:15

    David L. Hagen, yr 25th, 21:34

    Francois, Keith,
    David’s link ‘data of monitoring stations’ to the Linden
    station gives current CO² datas for Giessen (Linden is
    a suburb of the city of Giessen).

    David,
    thanks a lot for the links,
    (darn… should have find them by myself).

    Too, when you look on the stations available
    on that link, there are Wetzlar and about 30
    other stations in and around the state of Hesse,
    Germany.

    Hmmm, I put it onto my to-do-list, to try to get
    some more stations with CO² datas and find the
    files containing these datas. Would be really nice
    to compare then these datas with datas from Beck’s
    collections and current monthly Mauna Loa datas.

    KlausB

  62. Is it really true that human caused Co2 being absorbed into the sea might be sufficient to cause the oceans to acidify and melt the shells of sea life?

  63. David L. Hagen says:

    klausB your 26th (06:20:14)
    Thanks for clarifying Linden’s location. Complements on identifying those other weather stations. Re: “Would be really nice to compare then these datas with datas from Beck’s collections and current monthly Mauna Loa datas.” Look forward to what you find.

    Julian in Wales (yr 26th 07:04:12)
    CO2 dissolving shells is conventional wisdom publicized by global warming alarmists. However, common sense suggests sea life has survived far higher CO2 concentrations than at present. e.g., see Figure 7 “Fluctuating CO2 but stable temperature for 600m years” in Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered, Christopher Monckton, Physics & Society, July 2008.
    Monckton cites reports showing CO2 > 1,000 ppm from 65 to 248 million years ago, and from 360 to 560 million years ago!

    See also recent research: Dynamics of dimethylsulphoniopropionate and dimethylsulphide under different CO2 concentrations during a mesocosm experiment Vogt, M., Steinke, M., Turner, S., Paulino, A., Meyerhofer, M., Riebesell, U., LeQuere, C. and Liss, P. 2008. Biogeosciences 5: 407-419.

    There were no statistically significant differences in
    the temporal development of DMSPt , DMSPp and DMSPd
    concentrations and in DLA, which hints at a certain resilience
    of the studied system to changes in pCO2.

    Comments at OceanAcidification.org
    Marine Ecosystem Response to “Ocean Acidification” Due to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

    . . .the eight researchers say their observations suggest that “the system under study was surprisingly resilient to abrupt and large pH changes,” which is just the opposite of what the world’s climate alarmists characteristically predict about CO2-induced “ocean acidification.”

    David L. Hagen

  64. TonyB says:

    The BBC ( 18th July) and the New Scientist ( 26th July) are quoting Jon Egill Kristjansson ( University of Oslo) who claims, that he has shown no link between cosmic rays and cloud formation

    New scientist quote “As a factor in climate change, it’s pretty clear that we don’t have any indication that this is important at all”

    Given the good work in the past on cosmic rays what’s this about Anthony?

    REPLY: It’s about interpreting data differently. Two researchers, different views, differnt results. It will hacve to run the gaunlet of additional confirmation or falsification before we can say for certain one way or another.

  65. Pamela Gray says:

    I have also wondered about the stairstep to heaven graph of CO2. It seemed suspicious to me from the beginning but I didn’t spend much time on the issue as other things that were solar and weather related peaked my interests more.

    It seems to me that this measure would only make sense if the instrument were located near a “vent” of some kind. Is there a degassing area near this instrument, or some kind of swirling weather pattern (like what occurs in the Antarctic area seasonally that help create the ozone hole) that sucks in the CO2 being degassed nearby? Are there other graphs from other instruments located near CO2 sinks that don’t show this kind of regular pattern?

    Is it possible that this station is measuring CO2 degassing and not some kind of human increase?

  66. Basil says:

    Pamela,

    The “sawtooth” pattern is related to seasonal variation, and the rate of change from year to year is definitely related to outgassing from the oceans, if not the overall trend.

    I’d like to know more about the data is discarded. If it wasn’t discarded, what would the graph look like? Would it be more like other types of climate data, with lots of “noise?” Are there patterns in the data that is discarded that might undermine the impression of a steady monotonic increase in CO2?

    Is the methodology for discarding data documented anywhere, and is the raw data available anywhere?

    This isn’t another GISS mess in the making, is it?

    Basil

  67. Francois Ouellette says:

    Philip B.

    Do you know what constitutes the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s biomass? Surprise, surprise! It is… bacteria !! So most of the carbon cycle, whether on land or in the oceans, is really regulated by the action of bacteria, or rather, their respiration.

    It is obvious that more CO2 means more plants, and more biological productivity in general. Life thrives on CO2.

    There is an aspect that seems to be mostly overlooked in all the literature on the carbon cycle, and it is adaptation, or natural selection. As the CO2 in air increases, the effect is not only that plants will benefit from it. The effect is that the plants and other organisms that grow better in a CO2-rich environment will DISPLACE the other organisms, thus amplifyng the effect. We think of natural selection as being a slow process, but that’s for higher organisms. For bacteria and even for plants, it proceeds much more rapidly.

    Syl : I was NOT trying to find the climate sensitivity. I was just trying to figure out how the carbon cycle is modulated by temperature. Because if there is, say, more outgassing when it’s warmer, it means that some of the CO2 increase is a RESULT of the temperature increase, and not its cause.

    Gary Gulrud: O.K. maybe I overreacted. I know there is much emphasis on fluxes in the literature. I think it may be the wrong way to look at things, because it distracts you from the cause of the flux. So I looked at fluxes as being the result of a departure from equilibrium, and focused on finding how the equilibrium is itself a function of temperature, and even of the CO2 concentration itself. It is by no means a novel or original approach, and is rather standard, and even simplistic. I’m just doing this on my spare time, and don’t intend to make a carreer out of it! I was surprised to find out how you could, with that very simple model, get good agreements with the measurements. Just goes to show, IMO, that the average behavior of the carbon cycle is rather simple, despite all the local complexity. Much like the way we link volume of gas to temperature and pressure, without having to account for all the movement of individual molecules.

  68. Pamela Gray says:

    An interesting depiction of CO2 monitoring sites is at the following web address: http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/research/atmospheric_co2.html. Notice the concentration in the Pacific Ocean. These station locations do not appear to be “global” in the sense that I understand “global”. If I wanted to measure sulfur vents, I would put stations near volcanoes. If I wanted to measure degassing of CO2, I would want to put stations near degassing areas. If I wanted a control for sulfur, I would place it far away from a vent. If I wanted a control for CO2, I would place it far away from a degassing area.

    Are there as many land based stations as there are ocean island based? I couldn’t find any other sites. Are we seeing skewed data that reflects a biased sample and not a true random “global” sample? What is CO2 doing over known sinks? Or do sinks have inactive periods? If sinks are not working well at the moment (due to?), CO2 elsewhere would increase. If sinks begin to work again (due to?), then CO2 measurements will begin to flatten and even fall.

    hmmmm. It just seems to me that we could just be measuring degassing (which could be envisioned to act in a linear manner if degassing occurs in such a way), not human produced starts and fits of CO2 increases.

    Maybe what we need is measurements from satellites that could determine CO2 in the upper atmosphere where the models predict it to do its “damage”. Who knows, maybe there are even holes in CO2 like there are for ozone.

    It just seems to me that CO2 is being measured, talked about, and modeled with very few data points and that appear to be taken near biased locations, historically, as well as currently.

  69. Pamela Gray says:

    I just sent a post that has a URL in it. It points to a web site that shows CO2 stations. They appear to be located near CO2 degassing sites. The post is probably in the spam folder.

  70. Pamela Gray says:

    Basil

    I understand the seasonal variation which is obviously related to short term temperature/solar regulated growing and reproduction seasons for both plant and animal life. Which should lead us to the next obvious hypothesis: If short term temperature/solar influences have such a strong influence seasonally, what happens when temperature/solar influences have long term swings?

    The second question I have is how much of this very possibly natural long-term variation in CO2 is influenced by human produced CO2 due to energy consumption? The stairstep to heaven chart is always depicted as entirely human caused. I think not and the graph should include a pie chart related to how much is natural and how much is energy consumed CO2 emission.

  71. Oldjim says:

    Dave Gardner (05:42:27) : Thank you for the information.
    Really enlightening – Cornish Mines really weren’t a nice place to work!

  72. David L. Hagen says:

    Pamela Gray
    Re CO2 stations in the Pacific. Looks like those chosen as representative remote stations selected to span northern and southern latitudes.

    Is this the URL you sent?Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center ORNL

    Atmospheric Trace Gases, Carbon Isotopes, Radionuclides, and Aerosols

    Further clues:
    AmeriFlux Network

    The AmeriFlux network was established in 1996. The network provides continuous observations of ecosystem level exchanges of CO2, water, energy and momentum spanning diurnal, synoptic, seasonal, and interannual time scales and is currently composed of sites from North America, Central America, and South America. Please click on this site list for more information about the sites included in the AmeriFlux Network.
    AmeriFlux is part of a “network of regional networks” (FLUXNET) which coordinates regional and global analysis of observations from micrometeorological tower sites. Learn more about FLUXNET and other regional carbon flux networks.

    KlausB See:
    FLUXNET project

    FLUXNET is a global network of micrometeorological tower sites that use eddy covariance methods to measure the exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and energy between terrestrial ecosystem and atmosphere. At present, over 400 tower sites are operating on a long-term and continuous basis. Researchers also collect data on site vegetation, soil, hydrologic, and meteorological characteristics at the tower sites.

    FLUXNET data available at the ORNL DAAC include monthly and annual heat, waper vapor, and carbon dioxide flux, gap-filled flux products, ecological site data, and remote-sensing products.

    FLUXNET Map Server
    FLUXNET sites

    There appear to be about a dozen FLUXNET sites in Germany.

  73. Smokey says:

    <Pamela Gray noted:

    The stairstep to heaven chart is always depicted as entirely human caused.

    Yes, and furthermore, the y-axis is deliberately magnified by beginning at a high value, instead of on a chart with a zero line.

    This is what a non-alarmist CO2 Mauna Loa chart looks like: click

    I’ve been up to the Mauna Loa volcano crater a few times. It has to be at least a mile or two across, maybe more, with a very deep caldera. Since Hawaii is geologically active, I’ve often wondered why they would cite a CO2 monitoring station there. Wouldn’t you think that at least some of the CO2 indications must come from natural venting?

  74. Keith Wooster says:

    David L. Hagen; Klaus B.; Pamela

    Good information.

    Keith

  75. Kevin B says:

    Francois

    I have always thought that the reason for the low levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is because of the race between flora, which is desparatly trying to turn energy, water and CO2, (plus a few other things), into carbohydrates with oxygen as a byproduct, and fauna, which is trying to turn carbohydrates and oxygen into energy with CO2 as a byproduct.

    I’ve even wondered if the fact that fauna is largely exothermic has anything to do with the fact that CO2 levels lag temperatures. As the temperature goes up, the fauana become more active and reproduce more, producing more CO2.

  76. Philip_B says:

    Francois Ouellette, I doubt bacteria are the predominate biomass on land. Anyone who has been in a broadleaved or tropical forest will tell you, all there is is trees and things that live off trees (which includes bacteria).

    And concerning seasonal effects on CO2 levels. The Earth overall doesn’t have seasons, because one season in the NH has the opposite season in the SH.

    Therefore, annual variation in CO2 levels must be due to NH SH differences and that is a difference in the amount of land versus oceans.

    The large annual variation in CO2 (down in the northern summer and up in the northern winter), indicates to me that land is the primary CO2 sink and not the oceans.

    Note that CO2 store and CO2 sink are not the same thing. It is feasible (and IMO highly likely) that while oceans are the primary store of CO2, land based organisms are the primary sink (over relevant timescales to the CO2 debate).

  77. Keeling junior challenges Beck’s work and ends thus:

    “A small number of the earlier observations may in fact have been done with sufficient attention to sampling and analysis methods. Nevertheless, interest in the early observations waned in the 1980s when it became clear that background concentrations in the past could be established more reliably from air archived in ice cores (8). Although Beck claims that the earlier data exhibit seasonal variations which correspond to modern observations, this claim is unsubstantiated. The diurnal variability that Beck documents is in fact a smoking gun for data being non-representative of the background.

    “There is clearly no basis for assuming that meaningful background trends can be extracted by averaging the early data over 11-year intervals, as Beck has done. In effect, Beck has turned back the clock to before 1957, rejecting the notion of an atmospheric background, a concept which has stood the test of 50 years of scientific scrutiny.

    “It should be added that Beck’s analysis also runs afoul of a basic accounting problem. Beck’s 11-year averages show large swings, including an increase from 310 to 420 ppm between 1920 and 1945 (Beck’s Figure 11). To drive an increase of this magnitude globally requires the release of 233 billion metric tons of C to the atmosphere. The amount is equivalent to more than a third of all the carbon contained in land plants globally. Other CO2 swings noted by Beck require similarly large releases or uptakes. To make a credible case, Beck would have needed to offer evidence for losses or gains of carbon of this magnitude from somewhere. He offered none.

    “The Beck article provides an interesting test case for E&E’s recently advertised willingness to serve as a forum for “skeptical analyses of global warming” (E&E mission statement, Dec. 2006). The result was the publication of a paper with serious conceptual oversights that would have been spotted by any reasonably qualified reviewer. Is it really the intent of E&E to provide a forum for laundering pseudo-science? I suggest that some clarification or review of the practice is appropriate.”

    These last sentences are telling. Pseudo-science indeed!

    Beck answers every point here, and notes in addition that his paper’s purpose was to assess the QUALITY of the old measurements – an essential first step, if we are to re-assess our CO2 picture as much as Beck’s findings suggest. About this assessment of quality, Keeling is silent…

    Today I read somewhere (rocket scientist? Hissinck?) an “obvious” solution to the ice core CO2 anomaly:- pressure drops when samples are taken, and ice that has CO2 over 280 ppmv cracks under pressure and releases it all… so we never get higher figures. Someone else mentioned bacteria that sequester the CO2…? Sorry I cannot quote exact refs!

  78. Steve S says:

    Pamela Gray:

    The second question I have is how much of this very possibly natural long-term variation in CO2 is influenced by human produced CO2 due to energy consumption? The stairstep to heaven chart is always depicted as entirely human caused. I think not and the graph should include a pie chart related to how much is natural and how much is energy consumed CO2 emission.

    Table 1, (scroll down), on this site breaks the percentages down, ( http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html ). If correct, since the “pre-industrial baseline”, natural sources are responsible for the addition of 68,520 ppb, and human activities another 11,880 ppb. So we’re responsible for only 1/6th the increase in atmospheric CO2, up to the year 2000.

  79. anna v says:

    Pamela Gray (10:52:53) :

    “Maybe what we need is measurements from satellites that could determine CO2 in the upper atmosphere where the models predict it to do its “damage”. Who knows, maybe there are even holes in CO2 like there are for ozone.”

    Links for interesting satellite measurements are posted above. Have look at :

    http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=ShowNews_DynamicContent&NewsID=10

    and http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/Products/CarbonDioxide/

    It is just this this AIRS business seems to keep data for itself. They have only posted July 2003 data. They promise more in 2008, a 5 year delay from a government sponsored agency? Something up? Waiting to go commercial once carbon limits are imposed?

  80. FatBigot says:

    Mr Gardner said (05:42:27) :
    “My view of Beck’s work is that it’s a fairly honest attempt to compile historical instrumental background CO2 data, and I’m amazed that he seems to have been the first person to attempt to do this, but I suspect that some of his rural locations may not be rural enough. It does look very suspicious to me that climate scientists prefer to use an elaborate proxy method like ice core data when it would appear to be simpler to use historical instrumental data and possibly then ‘correct’ it to allow for any discrepancy between modern and old-fashioned methods of measuring CO2.”

    As a non-scientist I would have thought the best approach would be to look at every source of data and see whether they are consistent. It seems relevant not just to seek a “true” measure but also to see whether a trend can be established. If the various sources of data show the same trend but differ as to precise measurements it will be necessary to apply such knowledge as exists about the appropriate manner of adjustment of each source. But a consistency of trend should, I would have thought, have significance in itself. If, on the other hand, there is no consistency of trend the obvious conclusion is that one or more of the sources is unreliable.

    OK, I’ll put the dunce’s cap on again; it was just a thought.

  81. AKD says:

    “I’ve been up to the Mauna Loa volcano crater a few times. It has to be at least a mile or two across, maybe more, with a very deep caldera. Since Hawaii is geologically active, I’ve often wondered why they would cite a CO2 monitoring station there. Wouldn’t you think that at least some of the CO2 indications must come from natural venting?”

    Monitoring should get very interesting when Mauna Loa next erupts. Is there also a monitor station on Mauna Kea?

  82. Jock says:

    Julian in Wales (07:04:12) :

    “Is it really true that human caused Co2 being absorbed into the sea might be sufficient to cause the oceans to acidify and melt the shells of sea life?”

    We should find that ocean bound life can thrive within a broad range of parameters – just like earth bound life. Frailty is not a good trait in an organism (-;

    As for the “contamination” of ice core/CO2 measurements ( ignoring the explosive decompression factor regarding ice core sampling – and the diesel lubricant) – I lost the only reference I had to a peer reviewed paper on the affinity of different gasses to cold water. If anyone has it could they post it please.

    I need to straighten something out and being unable to remember which gas (N or O) has 30x more affinity to cold water than CO2, and which 70x, is holding me up.

    Thanks.

  83. Mike Bryant says:

    anna v (21:03:08) :
    “It is just this this AIRS business seems to keep data for itself. They have only posted July 2003 data. They promise more in 2008, a 5 year delay from a government sponsored agency? Something up? Waiting to go commercial once carbon limits are imposed?”

    This thing bothers the heck out of me. Dr. Spencer said that Watson wanted to regulate CO2 about twenty years ago. Maybe Watson and Hensen had already been working together for years before to hijack the data. Was Mauna Loa hansenized 30+ years ago? I hope this isn’t the Volcano CO2 Island effect. VCI…
    Why are these CO2 monitoring stations along the Pacific ridge?
    Why the huge delay from the AIRS satellite?

    Maybe I’m just paranoid, but this thing really stinks.

  84. Jon Jewett says:

    Jock,

    Most all gasses are inversely soluble in water, i.e. cold water holds more in solution than hot water. You can find some of the information you want here:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gases-solubility-water-d_1148.html

    The maximum (equilibrium at standard pressure) amount of gas that water will hold in solution at 0 degrees F is (numbers are taken off graphs so they are “about”):

    CO2: 3.3 grams per KG of water

    N2: 0.029 G/kG

    O2: 0.07 G/kG

    CO2 is about 100 X more soluble than N2 and 50 X more soluble than O2.

    As I recall (and it has been a lot of years) water is a strong polar solvent so it will work better on a polar solute, like CO2 rather than a non-polar molecule like N2. Also, the CO2 is very slightly disassociated to form a small amount of carbonic acid: H2CO3 ⇌ HCO3− + H+ .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonic_acid

    On the high end with polar molicules are:

    NH3: 900 G/kG

    SO2 : 230 G/kG

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack

  85. Jon Jewett says:

    Sorry about the error in my previous post. That is 0 degrees C, not F. I am still stuck in the operating world.

    Steamboat Jack

  86. Pingback: The VENT » Blog Archive » Mankind a ‘bit player’ in the C02 Cycle?

  87. Pamela Gray says:

    I have read in many papers that CO2 becomes well mixed in the atmosphere. How do we know that? The 2003 satellite image sure doesn’t look like CO2 is well mixed. Here is just one reason: if CO2 interacts with water vapor it would make sense that CO2 is not well mixed because water vapor isn’t (I check it every day and water vapor is definitely not well mixed across the globe).

    I agree with several posters above about the lack of data from satellites. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to get involved in carbon trading schemes given the potential bias in CO2 stations. At the very least, as a business owner, I would get pretty pithy if I were forced to give up part of my business income for carbon offsets, given the current state of the (lack of and potentially biased) data. In fact, I would get so pithy that I would have to get a pretty darned good lawyer to do my pithing for me. Al Gore’s scheme will never get off the ground.

    REPLY: Pamela, I’ve been wondering the same thing myself, and when I saw that sat image I wondered how that claim could be justified. Look for a post on this. -Anthony

  88. Pamela Gray says:

    hmmm. Wonder how that July 2003 graph of global CO2 distribution meshes with jet streams at the time, water vapor at the time, ocean conditions at the time, temperature at the time, etc, etc, etc. Twould be interesting to discover that CO2 measured in the Western part of the US originated in the Pacific Ocean outgassing areas and then blew into the US, twouldn’t it. So how twould Al go about getting a CO2 carbon offset payment from the Pacific Ocean? Maybe if Triton is still around he could get it from him for outgassing CO2 from the ocean, couldn’t he. Kinda matches the myth of AGW.

  89. Mike Bryant says:

    Headline.

    NASA Holding Back Data on CO2

    or

    NASA CO2 Data Adjusted To Match Global Climate Models

  90. anna v says:

    Pamela Gray (10:29:39) :

    “hmmm. Wonder how that July 2003 graph of global CO2 distribution meshes with jet streams at the time, water vapor at the time, ocean conditions at the time, temperature at the time, etc, etc, etc.”

    Well, it is July now, and have a look at the satellite record of sea temperatures. Shows similar zone distribution. If the winds/weather systems are involved it would explain how the arabic peninsula has such high values, when it has no industries and not many sea surfaces about it.

  91. Keith Wooster says:

    Lucy Skywalker your 26th

    Professor Zbigniev Jaworowski, a glaciologist from Poland, provided a written statement for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 19 March 2004. His research leads him to believe that the CO2 in the deep ice cores is transformed into gas hydrates under the high pressures existing in the deeper cores. He believes these escape during the drilling process returning to gaseous state. This has not been proven for lack of research funding (imagine that). Paraphrased from Lawrence Solomon’s The Deniers.

  92. statePoet1775 says:

    Concerning run-away greenhouse effect. Venus is sometimes cited as an example as to what could happen to Earth. However Venus has no Moon. The Moon is the reason the Earth does not have a thick, (heat-trapping?) atmosphere like Venus. Apparently the gravitational attraction of the Moon allows excess atmosphere to escape into space.

    The fact that Earth even has the Moon is considered an extremely lucky coincidence. Just one of many and here is a question:

    If you walk into a room and there are 1 million pencils balanced on their points, what do you do? Walk very gently or assume that something or someone is keeping them balanced? (Thanks to Dr. Hugh Ross for above info and analogy.)

  93. Eli Rabett says:

    FWIW, there are large numbers of monitoring sites beyond those whose data is found at CDIAC, for example Shauinsland in Germany. They can separate the background signal from interferences from industry and agriculture by careful work, much in the same way that the Mauna Loa measurements are separated from any interference from the volcano. Details on the later can be found at Ryan, Chemical Geology 177 (2001) 201-211, it used to be on the net, but the link has died.

    Notice that Beck does not continue the temperature curve beyond 1960, and except for the bump in 1940, the blue and red curves do not follow each other

    FWIW

  94. bob gregg says:

    Having been to the Mauna Loa Observatory at 11,500 feet it interested me that it is directly DOWNWIND of the Kileaua Volcano that has been erupting for over ten years. Wouldn’t this have sometime to do with it’s measurements?
    B.Gregg

  95. statePoet1775 says:

    “Having been to the Mauna Loa Observatory at 11,500 feet it interested me that it is directly DOWNWIND of the Kileaua Volcano that has been erupting for over ten years.” bob gregg

    Wow! What a thought! Is CO2 possibly not rising despite massive use of fossil fuels? Is it being “sunk” faster than it can be “sourced”? Does the AGW theory not even have the fact of rising CO2 levels as an input?
    Just asking.

  96. Pamela Gray says:

    The German article was interesting to say the least. If normal variation actually is equivalent to the proposed CO2 reduction in the European Union area, then at least for the EU, no real sacrifice will need to be made at the governmental level. It will be businesses that will carry the burden for this global program. Well, guess what. Business people get to vote governments in and out of existence.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that I am wondering if CO2 measures have been completed for all ocean cycles. I think that before models have any hope of being predictive, they will need to take into account observed outgassing/sink periods of ocean decadal cycles and the subsequent changes in CO2 measures near sources.

    But the best part is that by the time this stuff gets ironed out, the EU will be dealing with running out of heating fuel for those cold winters and cool summers coming their way. Bad ol’ CO2 will be put on the back burner.

  97. Glenn says:

    Bob Greg,

    The volcano emissions are supposedly factored out, called “normalized”
    data. How they do that and maintain essentially the same record as other stations around the globe is beyond me.

    “Though Mauna Loa is an active volcano, Keeling and collaborators made measurements on the incoming ocean breeze and above the thermal inversion layer to minimize local contamination from volcanic vents. In addition, the data is normalized to negate any influence from local contamination. Measurements at many other isolated sites have confirmed the long-term trend shown by the Keeling Curve, though no sites have a record as long as Mauna Loa.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve

    I’d include Keeling on the list of original alarmists. What interests me is the consistency of the different stations supposed data (below). Does CO2 mix very well and quickly on a global scale? I’m doubtful.

    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/graphics_gallery/other_stations/global_stations_co2_concentration_trends.html

  98. Mike Bryant says:

    OK, now this really is weird. I just looked at the AIRS CO2 map again, and I believe that alot of the dark blue at the south pole is now light blue. Someone tell me that I am going nuts.

  99. Keith Wooster says:

    Mike:

    The blue looks the same to me.

    All: Note that it is a January depiction when all of the power plants, home heaters, and car engines are working harder for people to stay warm.

    Notice the and the NH red areas with higher concentrations downwind off the eastern seaboard and east of the west coast urban areas.

    The same is true of the European cities withe a slight deviation for wind direction.

  100. Keith Wooster says:

    Oops!

    July not January 2003. The downwind effects are still apparent and perhaps higher in winter.

    Keith

  101. Mike Bryant says:

    Keith,
    Isn’t it odd that NASA calls it January in one place and July in another? Also, why can’t we see all the data? This stuff has been available to NASA at least since 2003, and according to NASA it can be reconstructed from data since the launching of the AIRS satellite.
    If CO2 is the stuff that will change the world, why won’t they release the data now?
    This thing still stinks.
    Does someone need to file a freedom of info request?

  102. Pamela Gray says:

    Notice the plume of red CO2 in southern South America. Isn’t that where a volcano is?

  103. Pamela Gray says:

    Take a look at the trend charts here:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/contents.htm

    Several CO2 stations are no longer active. It seems that on my first look, those that showed downward trends have been taken off the active list. At least it looks like that since the data for these downward trending sites seem to end generally around 2000. hmmmm.

  104. Pamela Gray says:

    I posted a comment that had a website address in it. It probably was sent to the spam filter folder. It is a great site to look at CO2 trends for all stations that are either current or have been taken off the list.

  105. statePoet1775 says:

    I read once that when lost at sea, one should head toward rain clouds since it rains most often over LAND. I was stunned by that statement. Imagine, fresh water mostly falls where it can do some good! Using the same logic, it seems that CO2 would be concentrated where it could feed plants. Therefore, I would not expect CO2 to be well mixed in the atmosphere. I wish I could find that 2003 CO2 map. Perhaps just wild speculation.

    [Reply: Here's what you are looking for.~Charles the moderator.]

  106. Pamela Gray says:

    On further investigation, CO2 comes in three isotopes; 12, 13, and 14. These isotopes vary not in electrons but in the composition of the nucleus. Different kinds of isotopes dominate CO2 based on the source of the CO2 and cosmic ray influences. It is possible that the relative ratio of these three isotopes would vary depending on fluctuating conditions. It is also possible to measure that ratio historically by looking at tree rings and ice core data. Plants have a preference for which CO2 it will use. Geologic activity produces yet another change in ratios. Burning anything produces yet another change. For example Fossil fuels contain no 14CO2 and the greater source of 12/13CO2 is coal, not gas or oil. The ratio measurements are what GW’s use to talk about human-caused CO2 increase and therefore global warming. However, the argument to its end point is assumptive, not cause and effect. Regardless of whether or not the composition of CO2 is changing as well as overall increasing, does not explain temperature changes nearly as well as other factors, based on correlation data among all these various factors and temp change.

  107. Gary Gulrud says:

    “Notice the plume of red CO2 in southern South America. Isn’t that where a volcano is?”

    I read a European? volcanologist’s paper via Googling months back stating that H2O and CO2 totalling upto 20% of the ejecta in mass were required to support a plinian column.

    His measurements of outgassing found CO2 to range <<0.05 to 0.5 of the vapor content.

    With no plinian eruptions yearly outgassing is supposed to be 0.2 Gtons and is dismissed. My rough calculations (I wouldn’t trust them), however, indicated Pinatubo, a VEI 6, or ca. 16 km^3 would have output 4 Gtons of CO2 at 4*10^-4 crustal proportion.

    Note Tambora’s, VEI 7, date of 1815 on Beck’s curve.

  108. Glenn says:

    “Though the carbon buried in the ocean by storms won’t solve global warming, knowing how much carbon is buried offshore of mountainous islands such as Taiwan could help scientists make better estimates of how much carbon is in the atmosphere — and help them decipher its effect on global climate change.”
    [...]
    “If more carbon is being buried in the ocean than scientists once thought, does that mean we can worry less about global warming?
    “I wouldn’t go that far,” Goldsmith said. “But if you want to build an accurate climate model, you need to understand how much CO2 is taken out naturally every year. And this paper shows that those numbers could be off substantially.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724084745.htm

    I thought it was already known how much carbon is in the atmosphere.

  109. Pamela Gray says:

    There is station bias, big time, in that stations that were used as controls are not reported, while those stations that show increases are media-ready. There is also the notion that some CO2 isotope forms are good, ie natural, and some CO2 isotopes are bad, ie from fossil fuel. Still, the bottom line end game, were I an AGWer, is to state that CO2 in general is increasing and that is bad. So in one breath, the argument is that some forms of CO2 are good, and all CO2 is bad. It is becoming a twisted argument that is collapsing on its own weight.

  110. Peter says:

    What I find amazing is, given the massive global political, economic and scientific importance of atmospheric CO2 levels, that they rely on just one measuring station!

  111. MarkR says:

    Peter, they have more than one measuring station , but the equipment is all calibrated by the Scripps Institute ( with an Agenda derived from the Alarmist Keeling), and it is a really crude way of collecting changes measuring parts per million.

    PhillpB. “it appears possible that bio activity alone will limit CO2 concentrations, irrespective of human emissions.” I think Ocean Temp is a long term (800 year) reservoir, and flora is a short term (almost immediate) reservoir. There are studies of plant growth relative to CO2 levels, but I’ve never seen a number put on the atmospheric effect.

  112. All,

    I see that I have missed this discussion…

    I have had a lot of personal discussions with Beck about the validity of the historical data. While I admire his tremendous work, I totally differ in conclusions.

    To make it short: there is very little doubt that humans are fully responsible for the recent rise in CO2 (whatever the historical data were).
    But that doesn’t say anything about the effect of that increase on temperature.

    For more, very detailed, information about that, have a look at my page:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

  113. Hans Erren says:

    and another one
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    While I respect the amount of work done by Beck to look at the historical data, I only can disagree to a large extent with his conclusions. Besides the quality of the measurements themselves, the biggest problem is that most of the data which show a peak around 1943 are taken at places which were completely unsuitable for background measurements. In that way these data are worthless for global background estimates. This is confirmed by other methods which indicate no peak values around 1943. As the minima may approach the real background CO2 level of that time, the fact that the ice core CO2 levels are above the minima is an indication that the ice core data are not far off reality.

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