Guest Post By Frank Lansner, civil engineer, biotechnology.
More words on the topic first presented here: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/FlaticecoreCO2.pdf
It appears from this graph that CO2 concentrations follows temperature with approx 6-9 months. The interesting part is off course that the CO2 trends so markedly responds to temperature changes.
To some, this is “not possible” as we normally see a very smooth rise on CO2 curves. However, the difference in CO2 rise from year to year is quite different from warm to cold years, and as shown differences are closely dependent on global temperatures. Take a closer look:
For this writing I have slightly modified the presentation of UAH data vs. Mauna Loa data:
The relatively rough relationship between CO2 growth per year and global temperatures (UAH) is:
1979: CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp.anomaly(K) + 0,7
2008: CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp.anomaly(K) + 1,2
CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp.anomaly(K) + 0,95
For 2007, a UAH temperature anomaly approximately – 0,32 K should lead to CO2 rise/year = 0 , that is, CO2-stagnation.
These equations are useful for overall understanding, but so far they don’t give a fully precise and nuanced picture, of course. On the graph, I have illustrated that there is a longer trend difference between CO2 and Temperature. Thus, the “constant” of the equation should be a variable as it varies with time (1979: 0,7 2008: 1,2).
The trend difference means, that from 1979 to 2008 the CO2-rise per year compared to the global temperatures has fallen 0,5 ppm/year, or the other way around: It now takes approx. +0,15 K global temperature anomaly more to achieve the same level of CO2 rise/year as it did in 1979.
How can this be? The CO2 rise/year now takes higher temperatures to achieve?
With the human emissions rising in the time interval 1979-2008, one could imagine that it would be the other way around, that CO2 rises came with still smaller temperature rises needed. But no, its becoming “harder and harder” to make CO2 rise in the atmosphere.
So generally, the human emissions effect appears inferior to other effects in this context at least.
Which effects could hold CO2 rise/year down as we see?
The fact that we today have higher CO2 concentration in the atmosphere than in 1979 does not favour more CO2 release from the oceans. However the fact that we approx 500 million years ago had several thousand ppm CO2 in the atmosphere implies that the 385 ppm today hardly does a big difference.
My guess is, that what we see is mainly the effect of the growing biosphere.
In short: A period with higher temperatures leads to higher CO2 rises/year and thus of course after some years higher CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
In the period of rising temperatures and CO2 concentration, the biosphere has grown extremely much.
The results of trend analyses of time series over the Sahel region of seasonally integrated NDVI using NOAA AVHRR NDVI-data from 1982 to 1999:
Even if we put every European in “Plant a tree”-projects we could never reach a fraction of what mother nature has achieved in Sahel alone over these few years. In Addition, in these areas lots of more precipitation is occurring now. ( If we here have a “point of no return” im not sure Africans would ever want to come back to “normal”. We Europeans want so much to help Africans – but take away the CO2? What kind of help is that? )
In addition, the seas are much more crowded with life, plankton etc.
The biosphere is blooming due to CO2: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/08/surprise-earths-biosphere-is-booming-co2-the-cause/
So today we have a larger biosphere. Every single extra plant or plankton cell will demand its share of CO2. It takes more CO2 to feed a larger biosphere. More CO2 is pulled out of the atmosphere today than earlier. An enormous negative feedback on CO2 levels. Roughly: Any human CO2-influence would cause bigger biosphere that eventually omits the human CO2-influence.
A rather interesting scenario: What happens if temperatures go down below approx – 0,3 K UAH??
Well first it appears from my rough equation that CO2 levels will go down. We will have negative CO2 rise / year. But the bigger biosphere is still there (!!!) even though temperature and thus CO2 levels suddenly should drop and it will still demand its bigger share of CO2. And more, in these days of Cold PDO and especially more precipitation due to the solar condition, we might see more CO2 washed faster out of the atmosphere.
This adds up to my belief, that a cooling after a longer warming trend, mostly due to the bigger biosphere, could be accompanied by quite rapid fall in CO2 levels. Faster that temperature raise leads to CO2 rise? In short, I postulate: CO2 often falls quicker than it rises:
(I am very aware that the data Ernst-Georg Beck has gathered has had a lot of critic. I will not here be a judge, but I think its fair to show that Becks data to some degree matches my expectations, even though the level of CO2 appears high. But I am no judge of what is too high etc.)
So what to expect now? First of all, how about the present cooling??
We should be able to see the big Jan 2008 dive in global temperature in CO2? Well yes, this dive should 6-9 months appear thereafter. And if we take a look at Mauna Loa data released Aug 3, nicely in the 6-9 months time frame after Jan 2008, we saw a dive.
However, this dive was mostly removed from Mauna Loa data 4 Aug 2008, so its hard to judge anything about 2008.
Antarctic ice core data shows that in the period 1890-1940 there was a flat development approx 8 ppm from 300 ppm to 308 ppm.
We have seen first in this writing, that the CO2 is very responsive to temperature changes 1979-2008. So how come the warmer temperatures 1920-40´s has no effect at all on the extremely straight Antarctic CO2 curve?
Is there a mismatch between extremely flat Antarctic CO2 data on one side and Mauna Loa data/UAH data on the other side? If so, which data sets are correct? Mauna Loa/UAH or Antarctic ice cores?