Some preliminary results from GOSAT – CO2 hot spots in interesting places

GOSAT_picture

GOSAT - click to enlarge

WUWT reader Anna V. alerts us to the preliminary report from the JAXA GOSAT Project. According to the project website:

The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) Project is a joint effort promoted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

NIES organized the research team dedicated to the GOSAT project within its organization in April 2004, and since then has been working for the research and development with respect to GOSAT “IBUKI”.

For a complete description of how GOSAT works, please read their summary here (PDF)

First let’s have a look at Global Methane (CH4):

GOSAT Worldwide Methane - click for larger image

GOSAT Worldwide Methane - Methane (column averaged dry air mole fraction) initial analysis (April 20-28 observation data)- click for larger image Source: JAXA

Note that the areas with the most concentration of methane are in China, Middle East, Southern Europe, and Africa.

The real surprise comes from the GOSAT CO2 data analysis. This first global CO2 map released from GOSAT is shown below:

20090829_ibuki_CO2

GOSAT Worldwide CO2 - Carbon dioxide (column averaged dry air mole fraction) initial analysis (April 20-28 observation data) - click for larger image Source: JAXA

While this is just a short data set comprising a few days from April 20-28th 2009, it does show some surprising features for hotspots of CO2 in the atmosphere over many of the same areas methane had higher concentrations. One difference is that some spots in the Eastern USA, presumably the larger cities, show CO2 hotspots also. From looking at the large CO2 map, it appears Atlanta, Charlotte, and NYC are the three cities in the USA with higher CO2 concentrations.

However, China, India, Southern Europe, the Mideast and Africa have the majority of the CO2 hotspots.

Here’s what JAXA has to say about their CO2 analysis:

Carbon dioxide column averaged dry air mole fractions (XCO2) for clear-sky scenes analyzed using observations at shortwave infrared bands (radiance spectrum uncalibrated data) from the IBUKI greenhouse gas observation sensor (TANSO-FTS). Clear-sky scenes at individual TANSO-FTS observation points are determined using measurements from the cloud/aerosol sensor (TANSO-CAI). Data are excluded where the associated radiance spectra are saturated, and where noise is relatively large due to weak ground surface reflection.

In the initial analysis, the late April observation data shows a hemispheric gradient, with larger values over the Northern Hemisphere (Note 1), consistent with other measurements. Derived XCO2 values are generally lower than model predictions (Note 2). This is thought to be due to the analysis involving uncalibrated radiance spectrum data and due to the parameter adjustment for the analysis method not being finalized. High concentrations are observed over continental China and Central Africa, which may be caused by measurement interference due to the presence of atmospheric dust. Asian dust (yellow sands) were observed over continental China during the observation period, and the existence of dust storm-like and smoke-like phenomena were observed in the relevant locations in Africa. Future investigation is required to understand these errors. Data calibration, processing parameter adjustment, and product validation required for quantitative discussion of the analysis results, will be carried out in the future.

(Note 1) The analysis showed Northern Hemisphere results to be on average around 10 ppm higher than Southern Hemisphere results. An atmospheric transport model calculation predicts the difference between north and south at this time to be 2-4 ppm.

(Note 2) Southern Hemisphere values were on average approximately 17 ppm lower than the model calculation, while Northern Hemisphere latitude band average values were approximately 7-12 ppm lower.

It will be very interesting to see if the hotspot CO2 distribution holds with more data from GOSAT. If it does we’ll be asking the question of why the USA seems to have less CO2 concentrations than other parts of the world. I’m sure it will fuel some political and policy debate.

We’ll be watching for releases of more complete data with better coverage.

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157 thoughts on “Some preliminary results from GOSAT – CO2 hot spots in interesting places

  1. I have examined the 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at

    [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

    It is difficult to see the impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power.

    RE New York and other citieswith red dots: What is that red dot in the Canadian Arctic? I don’t recall any major centres of industry there. Same for all those red dots in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also in Central Asia, north of Bangladesh.

    Also in the AIRS animation, where most CO2 is in the Arctic.

  2. Here we go, again – forcing the data to match the models so it reflects what we want.

    Why do the study in the first place, if it’s s just going to be disregarded?

  3. It has no credibility. Very high Methane and CO2 areas should be Sarawak/Sabah/Brunei and especially Nigeria where huge amounts are emitted from flares and vents and gas and oil processing plants that use huge amounts of energy.

  4. The talk of all the “fiddling” and adjusting they need to do makes me a bit nervous…

    So why are Canada and Siberia all white? Poor high latitude coverage?

    OK, what about Brazil?

    Oh, and as for why the USA is so low, look at all that corn, soybeans, trees, et. al. growing darned near everywhere between the cities. Then look at all the trees and lawns in the suburbs.

    We are just sucking one heck of a lot of CO2 out of the air with plants.

  5. Derived XCO2 values are generally lower than model predictions (Note 2). This is thought to be due to the analysis involving uncalibrated radiance spectrum data and due to the parameter adjustment for the analysis method not being finalized.

    Does this mean that the data are to be adjusted to fit the model predictions?

  6. respecting the principle of climate justice, this would require some sub-sahara and arab countries together with china to transfer their money to southern africa, south america and australia.

  7. Does anyone see a difference between this map’s data and the 385+ppm CO2 level from the official Mauna Loa site? This map’s levels seem to be somewhat lower on average.

  8. It will be interesting to see how the GCM folk choose to use/ignore this. For my mind I would have thought that the spatial distribution would be a major factor in the dose/response forcing calculations. A bigger computer is clearly on the shopping list.

  9. Bugger me, the areas with plants are absorbing the CO2 and the deserts aren’t. So that photosynthesis stuff they taught us in primary school is right after all!!

  10. Some of the Sub-Saharan “Hotspots” are possibly the Ruwanzori volcanoes and the Rift Valley vents, the rest probably show destruction of vegetation being used as fuel for cooking etc. They do coincide with high ovrpopulation areas.

  11. This map is from measurements taken during nine days in April earlier this year. It is important to note the scale: the CO2 from these measurements is currently varying between 360 and 390 ppm.

    The historical variation of CO2 is plotted here:

    which indicates a historical baseline of between 270 and 290 ppm. Any consideration of climate justice would first have to take into account the approximately 100 ppm of increase in CO2 already observed.

  12. What was that about CO2 being well mixed ?

    Three observations:

    The main bands are on each side of the equatorial regions.

    The highest concentrations are mostly on the far side of the continents from the direction of wind flow.

    There is little correlation with human activities.

    This suggests to me that our input is of no significance as against natural sources.

  13. A lot of parts with deserts have spots on the map. First thing that comes in my mind is that there are no trees to absorb the co2. Maybe the spots arent all hotspots and maybe the atmosphere mixes the gasses very well.

  14. The Red Dot in the Canadian Arctic seems to be near the community Grise Fiord in Nunavut, Canada. However, it really looks like the source is to the south east on Devon Island, allegedly uninhabited! We’d of course need to confirm the precise GPS coordinates of the alleged CO2 footprint from the GOSAT raw map data.

    Is there anyway to get the RAW DATA for GOSAT?

    “Grise Fiord means “pig inlet” in Norwegian and was named by Otto Sverdrup from Norway during an expedition around 1900. He thought the walrus in the area sounded like pigs. Grise Fiord’s Inuktitut name is Aujuittuq which means “place that never thaws.”

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=ellesmere+island+city&sll=76.259564,-80.397949&sspn=1.472402,7.630005&ie=UTF8&ll=76.426871,-82.878113&spn=0.363556,1.907501&t=h&z=10&iwloc=A

    Note there is an impressive ice break up going on in the overview google map image above. Actually the photo maps of the area are fantastic.

    “Grise Fiord in Nunavut, Canada, Population ~145, Region Qikiqtani, Time Zone Eastern, Postal Code X0A 0J0, – The northernmost community of Canada, Grise Fiord is located in the High Arctic on Ellesmere Island. Picturesque and remote, it is surrounded by high hills and, for most of the year, sea ice. In fact, the Inuktitut name for Grise Fiord is Aujuittuq, “the place that never thaws out.” Visitors come to Grise Fiord to witness its spectacular beauty and wildlife. It is also a stopover for researchers traveling either to Ellesmere Island or to the famed “Ancient Forest” on Axel Heiberg Island. For more information about Grise Fiord’s history and setting, see Nunavut Handbook website at: http://www.arctictravel.com/chapters/grisepage.html Getting There: All travel to Grise Fiord is done via Resolute Bay. First Air operates flights to Resolute Bay from Iqaluit on Wednesday and Saturday; from there, Kenn Borek Air take travelers to Grise Fiord. Same day connections are possible on Wednesdays when traveling north, and Saturdays when traveling south. Please check with the airlines for schedule changes.”

    Closer in view on the town.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=ellesmere+island+city&sll=76.259564,-80.397949&sspn=1.472402,7.630005&ie=UTF8&ll=76.420081,-82.896051&spn=0.022733,0.119219&t=h&z=14

    Wiki Page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grise_Fiord,_Nunavut

    Grise Fiord,Nunavut – Qulliq Energy Corporation

    http://www.nunavutpower.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=116&Itemid=0

    “Qulliq Energy Corporation is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing alternative energy projects that provide electricity at responsible prices. We are working to create long-term sustainable investments in the energy self-reliance of Nunavummiut.”

    Devon Island does have “a meagre population of musk oxen and small birds and mammals”. I guess if this is the source those musk oxen sure are pumping out that C02 and Methane!

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

    “Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth, is located in Baffin Bay, Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is one of the larger members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the second-largest of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada’s sixth largest island, and the 27th largest island in the world. It comprises 55,247 km2 (21,331 sq mi) of Precambrian gneiss and Paleozoic siltstones and shales. The highest point is the Devon Ice Cap at 1,920 m (6,300 ft) which is part of the Arctic Cordillera. Devon Island contains several small mountain ranges, such as the Treuter Mountains, Haddington Range and the Cunningham Mountains.

    Because of its relatively high elevation and its extreme northern latitude, it supports only a meagre population of musk oxen and small birds and mammals; the island does support hypolith communities. Animal life is concentrated in the Truelove Lowland area of the island, which has a favourable microclimate and supports relatively lush Arctic vegetation. Temperatures during the brief (40 to 55 days) growing season seldom exceed 10 °C (50 °F) , and in winter can plunge to as low as −50 °C (−58.0 °F). With a polar desert ecology, Devon Island receives very little precipitation.

    Cape Liddon is an Important Bird Area (IBA) notable for its Black Guillemot and Northern Fulmar populations.[1] Cape Vera, another IBA site, is also noted for its Northern Fulmar population.[2]

    Devon Island is also notable for the presence of the Haughton impact crater, created some 39 million years ago when a meteorite about 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter crashed into what were then forests. The impact left a crater approximately 23 km (14 mi) in diameter, which was a lake for several million years.”

    ____________
    The Blue Dot on the South West side of Hudson’s Bay is likely Churchill, Manitoba. The place where polar bears love to snack on humans and especially those tasty scientists.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill,_Manitoba

  15. “Devon Island is also notable for the presence of the Haughton impact crater, created some 39 million years ago when a meteorite about 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter crashed into what were then forests. The impact left a crater approximately 23 km (14 mi) in diameter, which was a lake for several million years.”

    Here is the impact crater. Impressive, most impressive. Let’s hope that meteorite strikes are like lightening and strike in the same places more often than not. Well one can wish at least but the reality of doom sinks in if we are hit by one of these puppies in the Oceans (the real name of our planet) or in a populated area.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=ellesmere+island+city&sll=76.259564,-80.397949&sspn=1.472402,7.630005&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=75.379939,-89.674187&spn=0.391004,1.907501&z=10

    It is a crime against Life on Earth/Ocean if we can’t stop one of these meteorites when we have the technology to! We’ve been warned. Instead we have the likes of Al Gore stealing all the resources for tilting at windmills when a real serious danger lurks above all of our heads.

  16. Manfred (00:08:08)

    “climate justice”

    I appreciate your irony, so let’s have:

    planetary orbit justice, spin-on-electron justice, amino acid justice.

    One of our leading UK comedians (a leftie) reckons they just pick words at random to make up slogans (probably out of a box of approved PC words).

    E.M.Smith (23:40:46) :

    “Oh, and as for why the USA is so low, look at all that corn, soybeans, trees, et. al. growing darned near everywhere between the cities. Then look at all the trees and lawns in the suburbs.

    We are just sucking one heck of a lot of CO2 out of the air with plants.”

    I can’t find it at the moment, but I think it was the late Reid Bryson who pointed out that the CO2 in the first 10 feet above a corn crop is completely absorbed in <20 minutes. Good job we have winds.

    What struck me about this study, without seeing the other comments, has been mentioned several times already: the promise to 'fix' the data. But also the rather small range of the variation. Whatever happened to all the sacred cow output from India? ("Sacred cow makes the best steaks." Mark Twain)

  17. I notice that the ring of CO2 anomalies in the Sahara is echoed by similar CH4 spots. Also in Madagascar and Central Asia. It does seem they have dust issues.

  18. tallbloke (23:42:02) :

    I don’t understand the map. What do the enormous areas of white represent?

    REPLY: no data

    Thanks. So why is that? Will coverage increase as time goes on, or is the orbital path of the satellite limiting it’s coverage, or…

  19. Southern Europe has a large amounts of spots?
    Err, don’t you mean Southern America instead? Or Northern Africa? Because there’s almost no data for Southern Europe (it’s all white).

  20. Devon Island has terrain very close to the Lunar Surface! Haughton-Mars Project. Cool. Heck I’m learning about the Arctic and the Moon and human space travel planning! Cool. Not to mention Polar Bear Guard Dogs! Wow! The tasty scientists are cautious about being eaten! Awe.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HMPResearchStation

    I guess the Red Spot of C02 in Canada’s north is the special Hummer! Mystery Solved!!! [:)]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haughton-Mars_Project

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

    “At 75° north latitude, it is one of the highest-latitude impact craters known. The temperature is below the freezing point of water for much of the year, and the limited vegetation is slow-growing, leading to very little weathering. For this reason Haughton retains many geological features that lower-latitude craters lose to erosion.

    Because Haughton’s geology and climatology are as close to Mars-like as can be had on Earth, Haughton and its environs have been dubbed by scientists working there as “Mars on Earth.” For example the center of the crater contains impact breccia (ejected rock which has fallen back into the impact zone and partially re-welded) that is permeated with permafrost, thus creating a close analog to what may be expected at crater sites on a cold, wet Mars. The Mars Institute and SETI operate the Haughton-Mars Project at this site, designed to test many of the challenges of life and work on Mars.”

  21. It looks like values over the sea are filtered out, is there anywhere we can see these? Total global coverage would be far more usefull.

    Also, are the readings calibrated to land based stations? As the stations record data in a way to make co2 levels consistant globally, if the satellite data is calibrated to this, it makes the data useless to science! I only hope the values are entirely independant and represent actual concentrations. Some detail on the methodology of measurement would be interesting i.e. changes greater than 1ppm over 6 hours are ignored etc….

  22. Methane and CO2 concentrations are high over deserts. That has to be a coverage issue. If it isn’t then vegetated zones are much bigger carbon sinks than anyone thought.

  23. No sign at all of all the methane supposedly emitted by New Zealand sheep and cattle and equally supposedly amounting to half of all New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

  24. Seems to me that the data is very good at showing the worlds dry spots .ie. deserts and stuff. The data doesn’t seem to want to tell me much more than that in a general sense. But then I haven’t “adjusted” the data yet.

  25. The big red C02 dot just north of Baffin Island is either
    1.) Al Gore’s Fortress of Solitude or
    2.) The birth of a new Volcano or
    3.) The Catilin Survey University homecoming bonfire

  26. Anthony,

    I think you mean Eastern and not Southern Europe.

    As for Brazil, the green spots for CH4 and CO2 are over the Pantanal, which is the biggest wetland in the world. I would expect there to be these spots.

  27. Interesting distribution of CO2 ‘hotspots’. NE China makes sense, as does the middle of the Arabian peninsula.

    However, what is the cause in the middle of Africa, in the Sahara / sub-Sahara areas? Not somewhere known for huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, but similarly an area where the draw down (by biological activity and/or by wash out with rain) would be very restricted.

    It’s also surprising that the eastern USA shows such high levels when the south-east of the UK doesn’t – I can’t imagine that London and surrounds is that much more ‘green’ than NYC, considering the population density in southern England. Suggests that what we are seeing is much more than just high emission locations

    Certainly plenty of scope to keep watching, and to see what effects rain and plant growth have on the ‘anomalies’ in this early data.

    I’d also be interested to see what happens over the oceans, and whether draw-down in the marine environment is more or less important than for land plants.

  28. Re: crosspatch
    I think they are validating and calibrating against ground truth, -not against models.

    Re: masonmart
    The satellite is measuring concentration averages in a vertical column. It is not CO2 flux. To get that you obviously need to know the advection. That will depend on models, but will be tied closely to observations (most likely a reanalysis product).

    I think it is extremely premature to judge the product at this stage. A few days of data that most likely have not been validated very extensively.

  29. […]”This is thought to be due to the analysis involving uncalibrated radiance spectrum data and due to the parameter adjustment for the analysis method not being finalized.”[…]

    So why not leave the data unadusted and just note the variances in CO2 concentrations over time at different locations?

    “Adjustments” is starting to become a 4-letter word to me.

  30. masonmart (23:37:07) :

    It has no credibility. Very high Methane and CO2 areas should be Sarawak/Sabah/Brunei and especially Nigeria where huge amounts are emitted from flares and vents and gas and oil processing plants that use huge amounts of energy.

    I’m fairly sure most of the flares in Brunei & Malaysia are out now, and Nigeria is also greatly reduced. Actually, I’d imagine that the jungle burning on Borneo contributes more CO2 than the gas / oil production.

  31. Re: E.M.Smith (23:40:46) :

    “We are just sucking one heck of a lot of CO2 out of the air with plants.”

    Which we then bury to create new coal and oil?

  32. Who would guess barking antilopes in southern Sudan is a bigger problem than the civil war – or something. (Note: This comment isn’t peer reviewed.)

  33. Allan M R MacRae (23:27:37)
    The high CO2 (red dot) and moderate methane (green dot) in the Canadian Arctic is in the general vicinity of Arctic Bay and Nanisivik on Baffin Isand. Although there was a lead zinc mine at Nanisivik it closed down back in 2002. It is pretty hard to believe that an abandoned mine and a town of about 700 people could be responsible for results of those magnitudes.

    One other thing caught my eye throughout the arctic there are very few methane readings. Yet the alarmists claim that melting of the permafrost is causing high methane emissions in the arctic. So what’s up with that ?

  34. How do they measure CO2 concentrations? There was some mention of measuring short wave infrared radiation. This sounds a bit like “we calculate the CO2 concentration by measuring its greenhouse effect.”

    But do they really know the greenhouse effect in the first place, or am I misunderstanding what’s going on?

    There’s so much to learn about this. However, it may be that the CO2 concentrations came out lower than predicted, because the greenhouse effect is lower than predicted (if my reading of the methodology is correct, though it probably isn’t).

  35. “While this is just a short data set comprising a few days from April 20-28th 2009″

    Concerning the CO2 hotspots in the Northeastern US.
    This area had some unusually high temperatures at the end of April, 2009.

  36. Looking at the UK, I note that the largest area of carbon “pollution” is Wales. I know that Britain has lost a lot of industry, but can this be right?

  37. Prediction – it will soon be announced that the measurement of those tiny amounts of methane will be influenced uncontrollably by the particulates in the air.

  38. Allan M R MacRae (23:27:37) :

    I have examined the 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at

    [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

    CO2 seem to rising from Nov to March, then dropping for the next 6 months. Is this CO2 tread due to plants or temperature?

  39. Funny that the two measurements on Northern Canada are in the opposite edges of the scale, one is dark red and the other dark blue.

    Also, what are these XCO2 and XCH4 thingies? They hurt my organic chemistry trained eyes.

  40. Also, if they are satellite measurements, why there is no ocean data?

    I though Siberia should be releasing huge amounts of CH4 trapped in ice due to global warming.

    Sorry for the double post.

  41. Reading the summary, which I found very interesting, only 10% of the globe is suitable for calculating co2 concentrations. That is why so much is white due to cloud cover and I guess low sun angles at high lattitudes. That map was from late April 2009 with the Nth hemisphere in the full bloom of spring. It would probably be the dry season in sub Saharan Africa, savanna fires may be the cause of the high co2 levels there?

  42. As for Manfred’s sense of climate justice, if we assume that those red areas in china represent millions of american jobs exported in ‘globalization’ then chinese carbon credits need to be paid to the US.

  43. It is interesting to correlate this with historical pollution tracking and jetstream patterns http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cms/pjr/pubs/2000JD900842.pdf which imply a dumpout between Hong Kong (lat. 22N) and Hawaii (lat. 21N). Although an early reach, it is possible to speculate that the Mauna Loa CO2 measurements are biased by the huge CO2 emissions from China and the Middle East. Anyone tried a correlation between ramp up of fossil fuel use in China and the Mauna Loa http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html measurements?

  44. Why does this satellite only measure CO2 concentrations over land? Surely it would be interesting to compare this with what is going on over the other 70% of the Earth’s surface. You know, oceanic outgassing, undersea volcanoes and the like. It would be interesting to see how we stack up against nature.

  45. If white truly represent no data than about 90% of the needed data is missing. I find this chart rather useless.

  46. India and China are obvious; but what about equatorial Africa? The jungle can’t be giving off that much.

    And no data at all for Brazil makes this entire concept pretty questionable.

  47. The white is no data? Interesting that there is a lot of white around the red dot hot spots. I would have thought that the red spot areas would have abundant data around them.

    The ozzie MP whose been asking for data of CO2 and warming to be shown will be delighted to know that the air over Australia is close to pristine! Was there a bit of political correctness in the interpretation over Asia? China would have looked horible with all the associated orange that most likely wraps around the red dots.

  48. I’d say that its pretty obvious that all of the massive amounts of CO2 produced in the USA is being blown over to the third world countries. We should be ashamed of doing that to them.

  49. Northern hemisphere winter compared to NH summer ought to be interesting. Supposedly the plants will be inactive and draw less co2 from the atmosphere. Since this is uncalibrated data I am curious what the maps will look like afterwards. Methane itself breaks down into co2 after about 10 years. So we go to a green house gas afterwards that is another 100 years minimum in the atmosphere (co2) after the breakdown of methane.

  50. Methane over Texas and Argentina is explainable because of cattle farting, but over Sahara?.
    There is one CO2 point over Galapagos volcanic island…but the rest frankly unexplained.
    Evidently CO2 it is a trace gas.

  51. Crosspatch asked “Does this mean that the data are to be adjusted to fit the model predictions”. According to what I read the data already is adjusted to the models..”three-dimensional CO2 concentration distribution on a global scale are estimated using an atmospheric transport model.”
    I did not see an estimate for Hawaii, would we not calibrate against known observations? I gather from reading that while clouds are eliminated as much as possible the overlapping absorbtion bands of water vapor are difficult to process.

  52. No conclusions can be drawn from this yet if they’re still trying to calibrate and understand the effect of “dust storm-like and smoke-like phenomena.”

  53. Wow! Here in Sweden we are totally innocent from the looks of it! :D

    Seriously; The average, from just glancing at those colored dots really shouldn’t be higher than ~370 ppm, a bit from the ~390 so often mentioned. Or?

  54. The money used in this project would have been much better employed in helping third world starving children to produce more CO2 (EATING!).
    Nevertheless it demonstrates how foolish the concept of greenhouse gases is.

  55. crosspatch (23:52:14) :

    Derived XCO2 values are generally lower than model predictions (Note 2). This is thought to be due to the analysis involving uncalibrated radiance spectrum data and due to the parameter adjustment for the analysis method not being finalized.

    Does this mean that the data are to be adjusted to fit the model predictions?

    Perhaps it means they’re looking at data never seen before and have a lot to learb about signal, contamination, and noise. From the .pdf they’re looking at light that has reflected off ground, not clouds, so I’m sure there is a lot to learn about the data they’re seeing. It’s not clear to me just what the resolution is in the four IR bands they’re looking at, so it may well be a challenge to remove the color of the reflected light to extract the signal.

    OTOH, the opening of the .pdf makes it clear they have some expectations of what they’ll see.

    The satellite has a cloud and aerosol imager, no word in the .pdf as to whether it can be used for looking at long-term cloud cover, I suspect it can, it would be nice to know if there are plans to do that.

  56. As Greece’s hard industry is tourism, and April is a time of the year when neither air conditioning nor heating is needed, I am hard put to explain the red dot over it.
    I do remember thought that prof Plimer had said that the island of Milos, from the CO2 vents emits about 2% of the world CO2. This would explain it. This summer I went on an exploration with my young grandsons just 70 km out of Athens in the remains of another extinct volcano that is still spewing sulphur, in Sussaki. It is part of the same volcanic arc.

    http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page38?oid=49496&sn=Detail

    He has written a book on Milos: Milos: Geologic History by Ian Plimer, so probably the original numbers are there.

    As for the IBUKI results, I hope there is little massaging. Already the units, averaged ppm in a column, raise questions. I would really like to see the near surface numbers to compare with the compilation by Beck.

  57. Isn’t it interesting that the first reaction to data that differs from model predictions is that “the data needs adjustment”? Although that may well turn out to be true, the reflected mind-set is revealing. Speaking of data, take a look at the current ASMU-A satellite record for 14,000 feet (the one Spencer likes to track). The September anomaly is going to be just huge in the positive direction. Watts up with that?

    Claude Harvey

  58. We have frequenly been told that CO2 id “well mixed” worldwide and that measuring at an active volcano (Mauna Loa) is as good a location as any for checking worldwide concentrations.

    This limited data set shows variations of ±5%, with a mean of about 370 ppm.

    Comments, anyone?

  59. Are the white areas actually no data, or are they areas where the data falls below the 360 ppm threshold? I note there are some colored spots in the oceans, so it seems the satellite was taking data.

  60. Jeff Green (05:42:34) :

    [Northern hemisphere winter compared to NH summer ought to be interesting. Supposedly the plants will be inactive and draw less co2]

    Yes, shoud be really interesting. Especially as the yearly variation detected at Moana Loa is more pronounced towards the higher northern latitudes. For those complaining about the lack of data in equatorial Africa and the Amazon it’s the ITCZ, (basically a swathe of cloud, rain, storms and monsoon i.e. the wet tropics)

  61. [The ozzie MP whose been asking for data of CO2 and warming to be shown will be delighted to know that the air over Australia is close to pristine!]

    May be a bit different for the next two months as the savanna in the top end catches fire.

  62. When things are warming bio-mass rules. When things are cooling ice rules.

    Where is the mystery? I prefer bio-mass governance because I am one.

  63. Wow, they measure Methane with a sensitivity of 0.05 ppm from space, very impressing.

    I would like to see an entire year of data that includes our entire planet including our oceans.
    This data could be animated to we could see what is happening with the CO2.

    The high levels and vast area’s with high CO2 levels covering deserts like the Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, South America and Australia, could be explained by the fact that there is no or not sufficient plant life available to absorb it.

    I also wonder why:
    1. Italy is blank.
    The Northern part of Italy is industrialized but the entire country is emitting CO2 due to it’s geological structure and volcanic activity.
    2. Spain is blank with a single concentration in Galicia which has NO INDUSTRY or a huge urban center?
    3. The spots that appear in Alaska and the spot that appears in the Pacific Ocean for the coast of Columbia (could be Haiti)

  64. tallbloke (23:42:02) :
    I don’t understand the map. What do the enormous areas of white represent?
    REPLY: no data

    What kind of satellite gets no data over the equator? Does this near uniform white for the equatorial belt indicate no data or no CO2, i.e., all absorbed by the jungles? cloud cover?

    Where’s all the methane that’s supposedly being released from the permafrost?
    No satellite coverage? I note blue dots for Hudson’s Bay (Churchill?) and S.W. Alaska (Anchorage?).

  65. Two more remarks:
    I forgot to mention the Southern Island of New Sealand.

    If this map is going to be used in Copenhagen,
    There won’t be a Climate Treaty

  66. I doubt corn and soybeans had very much impact in April. Especially in the US breadbasket. Even tree leaves and most weeds would not be present in the northern states.

  67. Why is CO2 showing up in Africa? Hasn’t anyone here heard of Lake Kivu?

    CO2 really DOES kill (when it’s caused by vulcanism).

  68. Isn’t it a bit misleading to refer to them as ‘hotspots’. This implies temperature whereas the report seems to indicate concentration.

    Too bad they have ‘no data’ from the areas in Siberia/ Northern Russia that have been showing temperature increases.

  69. So the trace gas CO2, necessary for all life on earth, varies by a few 10s of parts per million? That’s an insignificant +-5% (rough estimate). Anybody know what the errors are in the system? Point to point, day to day? I would guess the error of direct measurement would fall in the same range as the results … +-5%, but it’s just my guess — The PDF didn’t say, or I missed it.

    I don’t see anything that could be called real ‘hotspots’. Using red colors to show +-5% variation, doesn’t convince me. If measurements showed concentrations above the global average of say triple global averages, then to me that would be ‘hotspots’. But since many scientists put CO2 concentrations as high as 4,000-10,000 ppm over geologic time, and nothing bad happened to earth, seems like we have a ways to go.

    I also note that the GCMs say there should be a massive ‘hotspot’, Al Gore’s blanket if you will, surrounding the earth between +-15 degrees latitude, it’s still missing.

    Sometimes you have instruments that are too good to make real world use of the very fine grained data. it’s like the “tiny tim” effect for CO2 concentration. Technologically interesting but probably not useful in the end.

    Finally — What did people expect? Don’t you know the concentration of CO coming out of a tailpipe exhaust can be lethal, so don’t stick that in your mouth. Heck, even your Alka Seltzer fizz can gag you if you don’t first blow off the CO2 concentration.

    It is interesting though.

  70. Looking at the maps, I have to say I don’t trust it at all. Atlanta and Charlotte, not major cities but big ones nonetheless, have more CO2 than LA. The last time I had to fly to Los Angeles the smog was visible 30 minutes before we landed. Yet somehow LA has less CO2 PPM than Atlanta, Charlotte, and New York. I don’t believe it. Something is amiss.

    [Bad joke alert] Atlanta is a Delta hub, CNN, Coca-Cola plant, and not much else. All that hot air from CNN and the Weather Channel may be causing these problems. Then Charlotte and New York are big banking cities. All the heat Congress has been putting on banks may be causing that too.

  71. This is stunning?!

    Galapagos: 370 ppm, in the Pacific near equator. New zealand the same, 370 ppm approx,

    Variations of the yearly season does not explain this:

    Mauna loa will not go under 384-5 ppm this year.
    To get Pacific CO2 content down to 370 ppm we must go back to year 2000.

    Only 2-3 percent of the globe (?) seems to have 385ppm or higher?

    I expect som explantion, or just sadly a change of data as normal. And the change happends to be up.

    Non the less, the process of the biosphereeating up CO2 from the humans does appear sound, definetely not out of the question:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/17/the-co2-temperature-link/

    As our good Anthony says: “Indeed we live in exciting times ” :-)

  72. Thinking it more seriously, thus not taking it as a joke, it seems what they have measured is DUST and SOOT. They should consider that CO2 is invisible, it is not black.
    This is interesting:
    Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of frequencies, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM). This means that most of the heat producing radiation escapes it. About 8% of the available black body radiation is picked up by these “fingerprint” frequencies of CO2.

    http://www.nov55.com/ntyg.html

  73. The whole range for the CO2 data is +/-4%, wonder what sigma for the measurement is? In reviewing the AIRS animation, I noticed the highest concentration in the western hemisphere is in April, in Alaska/Canada. This sparse data seems to disagree with that. What is going on in northern Alaska and Canada in April? As far as I can tell the snow there is thinking about melting in a few weeks, and that’s about it.

  74. It would be interesting to see what this satellite data would look like from the time period when the California wild fires or the Australian wild fires were burning. I suppose it is just a matter of time before such a “calibration” event occurs now that they system is operational to determine if the system can see a CO2 plume from such an event. The central African areas that show high column CO2 could be explained by slash and burn agriculture and as mentioned above volcanic activity along the rift.

    I find it interesting that the satellite has no problem determining CO2 concentrations over unpopulated regions of Australia, but is blind to CO2 concentrations from equally unpopulated areas of the American west, it is not even showing any concentrations from the southern California areas around Los Angeles and San Diego, but sees CO2 in unpopulated areas of Northern Mexico.

    That leads me to suspect that a lot of the white areas are off scale low, not “no data” areas. Given the following statement in their PDF:

    Data are excluded where the associated radiance spectra are saturated, and where noise is relatively large due to weak ground surface reflection.

    I think it likely that no useful conclusion can be made about what is going on in the white areas, because we have no way of knowing if they represent areas where the data was dropped for the above reasons, or the the calculated concentrations were off scale low or high. They need to add additional color codes to their map that shows areas where it was off scale or dropped in processing.

    Larry

  75. hotrod (08:38:13) :

    It would be interesting to see what this satellite data would look like from the time period when the California wild fires or the Australian wild fires were burning. I suppose it is just a matter of time before such a “calibration” event occurs now that they system is operational to determine if the system can see a CO2 plume from such an event. The central African areas that show high column CO2 could be explained by slash and burn agriculture and as mentioned above volcanic activity along the rift.

    they measured the CO from the fires in Greece with AIRS but I cannot find it now. I found one for the California fires:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2303

    the difference is that AIRS measures from 5000 meters up
    whereas this new satellite is supposed to measure from ground up. ( to tax polluters?)

    Patience, maybe in a year we will get graphs corresponding to the AIRS graphs but close to the ground where the sources are.

  76. Bacteria and soil life will be the big emitters and consumers and will far outweight human production.

    Just a back of the envelope calculation of respiration rates per square inch of soil is stunning when magnified across the landmass of the US.

    The rates will change by season, humidity, and solar input as well. Many plants make sugar that the soil life uses…

  77. Anyway to use the same type if AIRS instrumentation to get readings from the ground or to use a balloon to do a CO2 sounding?

  78. All both maps appear to me to show is that both gases are found in bands around the earth at appox. 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south. Until we know why that is happening, all else, like the little ‘hot spots’ are meaningless.

  79. So we have extensive “blue spots” (which, according to the graphic bar) mean “low” – or below average – methane-CO2) over:

    Isolated dry Pacific islands
    Australia’s extremely dry central deserts
    Brasil’s extremely wet southern wetlands
    China’s extremely ??? humanized and dirty and ecologically dirty northern region
    China’s not-quite-so-extremely dirty southern hills
    Africa’s not-developed at all central area

    We have extremely dense red dots over particular areas i north china – could be human influence
    Africa – ?
    Newfoundland ?
    the hills and mountains of West Virginia – but not the east coast where the mined coal is burned! – and not the open pit lignite mines of South Dakota and the far west and east Texas
    Central Iraq and Iran – oil flares or leaks? Not that much.

    The “only places” where “average CO2 or methane is present worldwide is the Sahara Desert!

    So, how do they “fix” (or “adjust” or “correct” or “corrupt”) this data? What scheme will they use to show the results their models’ want?

  80. austin (09:27:23) :

    Bacteria and soil life will be the big emitters and consumers and will far outweight human production.

    Just a back of the envelope calculation of respiration rates per square inch of soil is stunning when magnified across the landmass of the US.

    The rates will change by season, humidity, and solar input as well. Many plants make sugar that the soil life uses…

    ====

    If so, then explain why “average” CO2 and methane are only present in the near-tropical deserts. And the near-tropical jungles.

  81. Bill Marsh (07:44:13) :

    “Too bad they have ‘no data’ from the areas in Siberia/ Northern Russia that have been showing temperature increases.”

    I don’t see what a temp increase in Siberia (small) would have to do with CO2. Btw, I was told by a Russian diplomat at a cocktail party that Russia is anxious for N. America to sign Kyoto. They hope to be able to sell abundant carbon credits since their industry had collapsed making them one of the big “cleaner-uppers”. I would be wary of reported temperature increases in Siberia coming from a nation of chess players.

  82. If it’s true that only 10% of the earth is suited for CO2/Methane observation from space, I think it’s a wasted project.

  83. I don’t remember where I read it, but measurements of aerosols cannot be taken within a half-mile or so of clouds, because they are swathed in some ionic sheath.

    If that’s relevant to anyone.

  84. Dave vs Hal (07:00:57) :

    “[The ozzie MP whose been asking for data of CO2 and warming to be shown will be delighted to know that the air over Australia is close to pristine!]

    May be a bit different for the next two months as the savanna in the top end catches fire.”

    A reasonable probability, like the California fires that with a packet of matches and gallon of gasoline we will have real man-made warming – I wonder if the CO2 peaks after the temperature rise

  85. One the one hand I am happy they are using dots to represent their data and are leaving the rest blank… so it looks like they are NOT extrapolating across large boxed areas of the globe based upon one measurement from a dubious location like the middle of the airport in Guam… if only others were so honest with their temperature maps and anomalies…

    But on the other hand they are giving the impression they are measuring CO2 when in fact they a measuring some proxy for CO2 and then trying to calibrate back to a real CO2 figure…. this is dressing mutton up at lamb… and it seems to be the way for all these other scientific measurement from space… so in the end there might be some indicative data… but the calibration, smoothing, rounding, infilling and averaging means that we just end up with hogwash, bull and settled science…. so we are well advised to remember: GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT

    No doubt there is some good data and some good science out there…. but with so many charlatans, fraudsters, shysters and bullshiters out there on the gravy train it is hard to tell the difference… Climate and Science are retreating back to the Dark Ages an alarming rate… although the WUWT community is a beacon of light and hope for me in a rapidly dimming world….

  86. Nogw (08:13:38) :

    Thinking it more seriously, thus not taking it as a joke, it seems what they have measured is DUST and SOOT. They should consider that CO2 is invisible, it is not black.
    This is interesting:
    Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of frequencies, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM). This means that most of the heat producing radiation escapes it. About 8% of the available black body radiation is picked up by these “fingerprint” frequencies of CO2.

    http://www.nov55.com/ntyg.html

    CO2 is _not_ invisible if you can see the right wavelengths. If it were, then this satellite couldn’t measure it. Ditto for methane and H2O. Each id differently colored, none are black in the IR spectrum.

    I don’t understand why you claim the CO2 is invisible and then quote something that says it absorbs some wavelengths of light. The whole point of looking at IR colors is because CO2 is invisible in visible light….

    The satellite has a clouds and aerosol imager. I anticipate that they will be able to tune it to determine where airborne dust and soot (and DUST and SOOT) are and discard the IR data from those regions.

  87. This is a preliminary report and seems to include up-front mention of known problems with the data and its analysis. The project is trying to do something that is new and challenging; the report is informative. This is actual science, unlike much of the public-funded crap we’ve seen in the past 30 years.

    Has anyone tried to validate Mauna Loa CO² measurements by taking an analyzer around the world on a boat? I don’t think this would be particularly expensive or difficult relative to, say, Caitlin. Of course, nothing it impossible to the man who doesn’t have to do it himself…

  88. Urederra (04:26:06) :

    Also, what are these XCO2 and XCH4 thingies? They hurt my organic chemistry trained eyes.

    They are mole fractions (moles per total moles in the system)

  89. So we have some more data which doesn’t agree with the models.

    Can the modellers please come to grips with the notion that what we need a model of (if possible) is the earth’s climate; and one that agrees with the properly collected data. It’s that same darn GISStemp problem over and over. They measure a temperature on the concrete outside the Uof Arizona Environmental Sciences Building, and they assume it’s still the same 1200 km away from there.
    But when I watch the weather report on the 6PM news, they show that the san Jose, and Livermore temperatures are different, in just a few km of space. So the data says the earth is colder or hotter than it issupposed to be.
    No it isn’t, it’s exactly as hot as it is supposed to eb; but then you see whan mother nature makes a model of planet earth, and its surface temperature, she measures the temperature (and everything else) samples much closer than 1200 km; in fact Gaia samples the temperature down at the sub nano metre level, all over the earth surface (and everywhere else).

    So how are you going to compete with that. Every single atom or molecule, is a thermometer sampling the local temperature, and Mother Nature doesn’t discard any of that data, in calculating what the temperature and other climate aspects are supposed to be, and she always gets the right answer.

    We don’t even come close.

    George

  90. Concerning Mauna Loa, Jeffrey A. Glassman (http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/) has for years insisted that Mauna Loa was a very poor choice for monitoring CO2. The island lies in the middle of a discharge plume as cool North Pacific water warming on its trip southward swings westward. The warming results in a steady elevation in atmospheric CO2. This map seems to confirm that Mauna Loa overestimates global atmospheric CO2 levels.

  91. “Note that the areas with the most concentration of methane are in China, Middle East, Southern Europe, and Africa.”

    Maybe that guy from Germany was right… it seems that people from China, Middle East, Southern Europe, and Africa are farting more… I propose a Global Fart Credit Bank, or a Fart & Tax… you certainly don’t want a Cap & Trade on that.

  92. jorgekafkazar (11:19:18) :said

    “Has anyone tried to validate Mauna Loa CO² measurements by taking an analyzer around the world on a boat?”

    Validation of the readings at the time was first done over 150 years ago when scientists took measurements in a huge variety of locations all over the world, from the arctic to the tops of mountains.

    The 90000 records referred to by Beck are a fraction of the number that were routinely taken and subsequently discarded. The British Victorians were famous for the meticulous nature by which administrators and scientists recorded information. They knew what they were doing. Keeling himself admitted this.

    The following link is from watts up-it is worth reading for its own sake but the comment from ‘Tony Edwards’; is particularly good and links to a talk by Keeling in 1993, reproduced in small part here (the full link is at the bottom of Mr Edwards post). There is also reference elsewhere in the blog to a Victorian book in which CO2 measurements were recorded. (also below) They knew about the means to take measurements and specifically referred to such things as avoiding gas flames.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/25/beck-on-co2-oceans-are-the-dominant-co2-store/

    From Keeling
    “In 1804, Theodore de Saussure showed that water was also an essential chemical in photosynthesis, combining with carbon to make actual living matter. He also demonstrated more clearly than Ingen-Housz that the carbon involved in plant growth came from the air. Curious about the carbon dioxide in the air, he made the first detailed measurements of its concentration there, measuring it near Geneva, Switzerland, under different wind conditions, different hours of the day and different months of the year. The mean value that he 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.”

    Saussure used accurate equipment, correct methodology, was aware of the need for mixing and the effects of time and location so why does Keeling illogically conclude that the measurements were inaccurate?

    The reference to a book is here by Dave Gardner (05:42:27) :
    “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:

    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.

    The Victorians were an inventive and thorough people and rapidly advanced their testing methods. Keeling makes reference to Haldane.

    http://www.dmm.org.uk/archives/a_obit20.htm

    The above link is the obituary of Prof Haldane who created a highly accurate device for measuring carbon dioxide in the 1890’s which was used in mining and medical situations, his obituary confirms his knowledge of the subject.

    The following is in connection with his work for the Admiralty measuring co2 levels for divers;

    http://www.divernet.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?id=2602&sc=1040&ac=d&an=2602:Grace+under+pressure

    The device he invented became a portable version and was part of the standard equipment in various organisations including hospitals, as can be seen in this inventory;

    http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F1919%2FAHRF%208%2F176

    The link below is a 1917 study where the means to analyse co2 is taken as the norm and a simple procedure.

    http://www.jbc.org/cgi/reprint/33/1/47.pdf

    All in all people have been measuring co2 in locations round the world for many decades, but all this was thrown overboard when a complete novice at the game -Charles Keeling-produced his own readings in 1957.

    Its a strange world.

    tonyb

  93. Ric Werme (10:38:58) :

    Nogw (08:13:38) :

    Thinking it more seriously, thus not taking it as a joke, it seems what they have measured is DUST and SOOT. They should consider that CO2 is invisible, it is not black.
    This is interesting:
    Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of frequencies, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM). This means that most of the heat producing radiation escapes it. About 8% of the available black body radiation is picked up by these “fingerprint” frequencies of CO2.

    http://www.nov55.com/ntyg.html

    CO2 is _not_ invisible if you can see the right wavelengths. If it were, then this satellite couldn’t measure it. Ditto for methane and H2O. Each id differently colored, none are black in the IR spectrum.

    I don’t understand why you claim the CO2 is invisible and then quote something that says it absorbs some wavelengths of light. The whole point of looking at IR colors is because CO2 is invisible in visible light….

    The satellite has a clouds and aerosol imager. I anticipate that they will be able to tune it to determine where airborne dust and soot (and DUST and SOOT) are and discard the IR data from those regions.

    It is absolutely invisible to the human eye. What’s the color of a breath? It’s a problem of semantics. I could say, the CO2 is undetectable by the human eye, but it could be detectable by the adequate instrumentation.

    In = no
    Visible = able to be seen.

    We can see objects which reflect visible light. Carbon dioxide is colorless, so it is invisible for humans. Instruments have not eyes, so carbon dioxide is invisible even for our instruments.

    Our instruments can detect the carbon dioxide; it cannot be seen by our instruments, however.

  94. Well, well… Lot’s of speculation and probably in place caution about this being preliminary and what not, but:

    No matter that all the earth isn’t covered and that measurements aren’t calibrated, it does seem to be unrefutable that the ppm varies quite a deal geographically. Or..?

  95. “GOSAT flies at an altitude of approximately 666 km and completes one revolution in about 100 minutes.”

    Now that’s fun, a satellite that orbits at 666 km, must be the work of the devil. Sigh. [:)]

    Ok, seriously, on page of their “results” report, http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/eng/result/result.htm, pdf file they say that the values for the northern hemisphere are lower than model predictions due to “uncalibrated radiance spectrum data and due to the parameter adjustment for analysis method not being finalized”. That’s a very spooky statement if you ask me. It COULD sound like they are going to try to adjust the equipment and their “software” or “math adjustments” using statistical games again to match the “current predictions” RATHER than accepting the data as it is.

    Once again FOR INTEGRITY OF THE SCIENCE and OPEN SOURCE SCIENCE and protection of the public the RAW unaltered data must be made available to the public for review and independent analysis. All “adjustments” aka “fudge factors or equations” MUST BE made available and documented ON ALL PAPERS derived from this GOSAT project. Any less and it’s politics in science as usual. Open Source Science levels the playing field so that full access is granted to ALL interested parties.

    I noticed that the project has specific time control of the data sets mentioned on their web site. So again the data seems to be locked up. For how long I wonder?

    Oh, the pdf is locked so I could not easily copy and paste text. Talk about paranoid pdf authors. Again a demonstration of control of the information. As they say information is power to promote and distort and “adjust” and “calibrate” the results into “current predictions” as determined by politics rather than whats actually going on. I wonder.

  96. Patrik (12:23:57) :

    Well, well… Lot’s of speculation and probably in place caution about this being preliminary and what not, but:

    No matter that all the earth isn’t covered and that measurements aren’t calibrated, it does seem to be unrefutable that the ppm varies quite a deal geographically. Or..?

    Unfortunatelly, we have not a parallel study before this one; so its validity is questionable.

    When the normal parameters for carbon dioxide were stablished some 50 years ago, the standard concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was from 300-600 ppmV; so we can deduce that in some cases those measurements showed higher concentrations of outdoors carbon dioxide than today and that 600 ppmV was considered to be very normal. On the other hand, variations of 300 ppmV were considered also normal.

    Carbon dioxide always has varied geographically, isn’t it?

  97. One really wonders why they would bother investing in this project if it all is about validating models and “calibration” and adjustments are needed to fit expectations.
    Why not just say “the models are correct” and send the money to the poor? :)

    A more serious note:
    This project promises to reveal just how reliable the Vostok ice core data is when determening past global levels of CO2 and methane. Is there even a modern day measurement series from the area where Vostok resides?
    If we will see great divergence (and maybe chaotic such) when comparing Vostok to the rest of the world, then the Vostok ice core data must be deemed useless on a global scale.

  98. pwl (12:53:43) :
    Oh, the pdf is locked so I could not easily copy and paste text. Talk about paranoid pdf authors. Again a demonstration of control of the information. As they say information is power to promote and distort and “adjust” and “calibrate” the results into “current predictions” as determined by politics rather than whats actually going on. I wonder.
    However we can save both of the above graphs and use them to demonstrate that neither Kyoto nor Copenhaguen are needed.
    “No greenhouse gases, japanese satellite shows”

  99. Yeah, lets base a carbon tax on this satellite data.
    Something nooo one can verify. What was it Hillary
    said: It requires the willing suspension of disbelief.

  100. MalagaView (10:16:46) : dots ??

    You make some good points – no question about that. But are these gases not continous variables? Should maps of such not be shown as contour lines?
    Where did these spots on the map come from? How large of an area is each dot meant to show. Where is Mexico City? Maybe elevation plays a role.
    There is too much about this not yet known. I think these folks started the data release too soon. Give them some time and let’s see what they have next September.

  101. A very large proportion of the sub-Saharan African population still subsists on a “slash-and-burn” method of agriculture. The bush is cut down at the end of the rainy season and when it has dried out it is burned. Grassland (the savannnah) is burned as soon as it is dry enough. That’s where the CO2 and ash particulates come from.
    The burning not only provides fertilised soil for next year’s crop, it also drives out a large number of small mammals which provide much-needed protein for the almost starving population.
    A large proportion of the sub-Saharan Africans still subsist this way despite the billions of dollars of overseas aid poured into the continent, almost all of which now resides in Swiss bank accounts held by the ‘caring’ politicians of this blighted continent.
    How much “Climate Change” compensation do you think would ever reach the population which most needs it?

  102. John F. Hultquist (14:06:22) :
    I think these folks started the data release too soon. Give them some time and let’s see what they have next September.

    Probaby far too early… so you have to wonder why a project would deliberately damage their reputation and credibility by publishing half-baked, half-arsed results…

    But then if you were worried about the results derailing your AGW gravy train then this is exactly what you would do…. didn’t someone say “follow the money”… or more precisely WHO doesnt want us to know what the actual global CO2 levels might really be…

  103. Some years ago fires raged all over south-east Asia and the smoke was visible from space.
    Did this produce a spike in Mauna Loa CO2 measurements?
    If so how long did it take to be absorbed by the ocean?

  104. Ive been following the GOSAT project since it launched, and i think they have been very accommodating and forthwith about what they are doing, and results to date. I wouldnt knock these guys…. but looking at their initial findings, its become clear to me that us in the southern hemisphere should not be subsidizing the NH climate action… in fact i think we should be paid reparations just for living in the SH, and helping to dampen Global GHG rises. ;-) yup im starting to like the idea o this AGW stuff lol

  105. I suspect there is a bit of political decision making involved in getting the CO2 data on the Third World (Africa) and developing counties (India, Russia, China) out first by the Japanese government scientists, since those are the countries that would be crying out for CO2 credit vouchers (a.k.a. free money) from the developed countries, such as Europe, the US, and Japan during the upcoming Copenhagen CO2 smoking powwow ceremony this December.

  106. As others have pointed out, these preliminary data come with so many caveats that any speculation is probably premature. One of the first principles of measurement is to make sure you’re actually measuring what you think you’re measuring. :-)

  107. “It is also a stopover for researchers traveling either to Ellesmere Island or to the famed “Ancient Forest” on Axel Heiberg Island.”

    Uh oh. Appears we destroyed the planet before, in a previous incarnation…

  108. I’m sure Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is applicable in AGW: when you try to measure something, you change its value so can you really measure it?

    (From your humble correspondent, contemplating life over a beer in KL airport…)

  109. TonyB:
    “The reference to a book is here by Dave Gardner (05:42:27) :
    “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. ”

    ====

    A question then: What is the “typical” (wind-disturbed and no-wind conditions) for CO2 variation with height above sea level?

    Is CO2 materially changing in elevation that the very,very crude GSM 1000 km “cubes” of air can’t dupliacte/won’t duplicate?

    Can a GCM that uses “cubes” that don’t vary with either upper elevation (do they consider the upper air masses the same as the lower air masses? ) nor of the lowest level of air masses (we know they don’t adjust for real mountains and hills and plains where the Gobi desert is at 12,000 ft plus, but the North US plains vary from 5000 ft in Denver to 150 ft in north Mississippi, from near 0 in the north Arctic to Canada’s and Siberia Urals.)

    So, they claim very, very precise corrections for relative humidity with temperature – to many decimal places in fact, but what do the CGM’s “accept” as the “average” condition for each “cube” of air they are multiplying and dividing between?

  110. Gary from Chicagoland (04:15:15) :

    Allan M R MacRae (23:27:37) :

    I have examined the 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at

    [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

    CO2 seem to rising from Nov to March, then dropping for the next 6 months. Is this CO2 tread due to plants or temperature?

    ______________

    HI Gary,

    The answer to your question is “both”.

    What you are seeing is apparently the net effect of the greater land area in the Northern Hemisphere (NH), and the net effect of seasonal photosynthesis that reduces CO2 during the NH growing season, and seasonal rotting of organic matter that occurs in the other half of the year.

    Note that in the far North, the seasonal amplitude in CO2 is about 18ppm, and at the South Pole it is near-zero. Compare this to the ~2ppm average increase in atmospheric CO2 from year to year.

    Also note that the only “signal” I’ve been able to detect in this data is that CO2 lags temperature (global averages) by about 9 months. See

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

    Honestly, I don’t think “mainstream warmist science” even know which drives which – there is strong evidence that CO2 does NOT significantly drive temperature, and there is some good evidence that temperature drives CO2.

    What we cannot rule out is there is a significant human component to increasing atmospheric CO2.

    I would allow for the possibility that the human component is negligible, but there is a “material balance argument” which speaks against that position.

    Conclusions:
    1. CO2 does not significantly drive Earth’s temperature (evidence is natural cooling and warming cycles throughout history, and recent cooling in ~1940-75 and ~2000-2009 when humanmade CO2 emissions were significant.
    2. Temperature drives CO2. Evidence is ice core data and the above paper on icecap.
    3. There may or may not be a significant human component driving modern atmospheric CO2, in addition to the natural component.

    That is what the evidence says to me.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards, Allan

  111. And Gary, I left out the impact of physical solution and exsolution of CO2 in water, which operates counter-cyclically to the photosynthesis-CO2 curve.

    That is, warmer water liberates more CO2 from solution, and colder water holds more CO2 in solution. This is best viewed in annualized data that removes the seasonal effect.

    Seasonally, the above solution/exsolution effect is dominated by the photosynthesis/rotting cycle.

  112. Mark (06:08:06) :

    Re: Allan M R MacRae (23:27:37) :

    Wow, that movie was very well crafted in a way to elicit maxim danger.
    _______________________

    I think it just shows how little humanity has to do with the CO2 cycle – it is probable that almost everything your see is this animation is natural.

    I cannot rule out a human cause for the ~2ppm/year increase in average global CO2.

    However, I do know that during cold perods since 1958, 12-month interval CO2 concentrations did occasionally decline.

    Regards, Allan

  113. Nick Stokes,

    “I notice that the ring of CO2 anomalies in the Sahara is echoed by similar CH4 spots. Also in Madagascar and Central Asia. It does seem they have dust issues.”

    Yes, of course, that would also explain the high level of CO2 readings over those east coast cities. They have a bad dust problem also. Just ask any home maker or street sweeper!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  114. Remember that the CH4 and CO2 are expressed as % of all molecules in a column of atmosphere. See above, Assy (02:24:34) : “The satellite is measuring concentration averages in a vertical column. It is not CO2 flux. To get that you obviously need to know the advection. That will depend on models, but will be tied closely to observations (most likely a reanalysis product). ”

    The height of the column will also depend on the elevation of the ground, so that the Tibetan Plateau would not look similar to the desert depressions of the world.

    I cannot understand how the CO2 is expressed in units resembling Mauna Loa readings. Even at sea level at ML there are substantially higher concentrations and the broadcast ML data are picked to avoid certain climate conditions that would expose this low-levil CO2. Maybe at ground level not much above sea level, with a bit of industry, the CO2 is many hundreds of ppm. It is also a heavy gas so it would be expected to drop off with altitude, though this is a function of mixing. I cannot imagine the measured column is so well mised that it is within a few ppm of the ML values.

    Very interesting early GB values – they support the likelihood of a lot of CO2 at ground level. There are many publications giving high CO2 at ground.

    Finally, the instrumentation works on the ratio of measured carbon dioxide to molecular oxygen to determine the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide to a precision of 0.3 to 0.5 percent. (NASA http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/312386main_oco.pdf) There is no justification for the colour banding used on the maps because the precision bins are too big. And you can bet your bippy that those estimates of precision are when everything is working 100% squeaky clean. It also depends on the constancy of molecular oxygen through the column.

  115. Geoff Sherington (05:52:30) :

    From the pdf pamphlet referenced above it seems they have a handle on measuring low level CO2 :
    The CO2
    absorption bands near 1.6 μm and 2.0 μm are
    important since absorptions in these bands
    provide information on the near-surface concentrations.
    The absorption band around 14
    μm is used for obtaining information mainly at
    altitudes above 2 km.

    I do not see why they could not give concentrations for near surface then.

  116. The white areas on the maps represent cloudy conditions during the 8 day span which invalidate the measurement standards set up for this project, so the data is not processed. The GOSAT brochure mentioned by Anthony covers this point is some detail; see his opening statement – For a complete description of how GOSAT works, please read their summary here (PDF). The brochure has a graph showing that unprocessed data are taken over almost the entire globe.

    There is still a lot of work to do before any meaningful analysis can be made of the graphs but one thing appears to be fairly certain is that emissions from the earth are very important, including perhaps the hot spot in northeast Canada, which is the site of a massive meteor strike which left a large crater. Sure would like to be there with a simple hand held CO2 monitor.

  117. In the Nino thread

    el gordo (20:04:25) :

    On a slightly different bent in the same part of the world. According to Tim Curtin ‘the whole theory of radiative forcing allegedly arising from increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide over time has no validity at pristine locations like Mauna Loa.’

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/09/warming-hawaii-part-2-a-note-from-tim-curtin/#more-6377

    If he is right, then the games up for alarmist hotheads.

    The link has a very interesting plot:
    the temperature at Maona Loa and the CO2 at the same spot.
    CO2 is going up, temperature is constant to maybe diminishing!!!

    Points to what I was saying : since CO2 is not well dispersed and since we want to compare it with temperaturs to get a global average we should have a CO2 measurement geographically next to each temperature measurement used to get the global average. Elementary scientific consistency.

    I suspect that the GOSAT data is similar to this one plot, showing the irrelevancy of CO2 in the real world and they are tied up in knots before the Copenhagen meeting. After all their bread is buttered by the people who are pushing global warming.

  118. Seems to me that the majority of the CO2 and CH4 is in generally arid regions subjected to high pressure Hadley Cell effects, predominately descending air between the westerlies and the trade winds.

  119. All,

    CO2 measurements again…

    To start with: CO2 is well mixed, worldwide.

    That doesn’t mean that at every moment at every place on earth, the same amount of CO2 is measured, but that means that any source or sink (hot spot or cold spot) of CO2 is readily mixed with or replaced by other air parcels. Near huge sources (vegetation at night, soil -bacteria-, volcanoes, heating, traffic) one can measure hundreds of ppmv’s higher than background. Or much lower values during the day near vegetation.
    But if we look at the yearly averages, there is little difference between places as far away from each other like Barrow, Mauna Loa or the South Pole:

    Why so little difference (besides the SH lag, which proves that the extra CO2 source is mainly in the NH)? Because the measurement sites were carefully chosen to have a minimum of local influences.
    Since Keeling started at the South Pole (yes, Mauna Loa was a year later…), more is known about the distribution of CO2 with wind patterns. In general, the measurements above the inversion (up to 1,000 m) over land and everywhere above sea surface are deemed “background”. That represents 95% of the earth’s atmosphere.
    More, very comprehensive background information about the CO2 data measurements and cause of the rise is here:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

    The historical data:

    Compare the results of a few modern days in Linden/Giessen (Germany, 1/2 hour sampling) with data from “good” stations (all are raw data, including “outliers”!)::

    Nightly data from Giessen can reach over 500 ppmv (with inversion), while photosynthesis during the day (more turbulence) sink to around 350 ppmv.
    With this in mind, it is easy to understand that much of the historical data, even measured with reasonable accuracy (+/- 10 ppmv was quite good for that time), are essentially worthless. For Giessen, one of the cornerstones of Beck’s historical compilation, even the time of sampling (7 AM, 2 and 9 PM) influences the result to a large positive bias.
    See my comment on Beck’s reanalysis:

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

    Thus the only useable results from history are from over the oceans, on mountains (indeed, Ben Nevis!) and measured at the seashore with seaside winds. Callendar (years before Keeling Sr.) eliminated most of the land side measurements and made a graph going around 310 ppmv. 60 years later, his graph was confirmed independently by many ice core samplings.

    Keeling’s first measurements were at Big Sur State Park in Califirnia. He measured CO2 during day and night and at the same samples measured the 13C/12C ratio. That revealed to him (and his boss at that time) that trees were heavily influencing the diurnal CO2 level. In deserts and at height, that was not the case and that was the main reason for him to look for another place where the he could measure the real background CO2 levels.
    See his fascinating story, including a life long struggle with the different administrations to maintain the continuous CO2 measurements:

    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/publications/keeling_autobiography.pdf

    More reactions in next message…

  120. this is substantiating data for what has been said here for years. with epa unidirectional flux at 780 gigatons, with deep ocean flux at 300 gigatons, mans contribution is not more than 2 percent of natural flux and well within variation of that flux. furthermore a study of the emissions graph at ornl versus the co2 data from MLO shows no related rate relationship. In other words the rates of co2 changes in emissions do not track the rates of change in co2 at MLO. Classically this is because another process is causing the co2 changes. This process is mother nature.

  121. Re: peerreviewer (07:01:44) :

    ” Classically this is because another process is causing the co2 changes. This process is mother nature.”

    No, it is not holy mother nature. She died in 1889. It is Elve number Fifteen. This Elve digs out fossil carbon and burns it hidden-wise in order to change the C-isotope ratios in the atmosphere in a very special way (as has been proved already in 1961). To spook us, Elve number Fifteen started this work at first slowy to coincide with the industrial revolution, and ever faster to coincide with the modern large developing economies.

    I have to wonder whether some posters ever check their assertions before calling out.

  122. TonyB (12:16:24) , 14-sep-2009,

    Hi Tony, some time ago since we met in South England…

    About the historical measurements: don’t overestimate the accuracy! There were a few very good ones, which can measure with better than 1 ppmv accuracy, but most of that time were +/- 3% (or +/- 10 ppmv). The “portable” ones were worse (the one used at Barrow was +/- 150 ppm!). That was accurate enough for their purpose: measuring exhaled air (around 2% CO2, or 20,000 ppmv), not for measuring accurate CO2 levels in ambient air…

    Further, not only European sites are not suitable for CO2 measurements: everywhere on land near (huge) sources or sinks you can find any value or average you (don’t) want. Only at height (plane, mountains), even in Europe (Zugspitse, also Schauinsland under certain conditions), or in deserts or over the oceans, one can measure similar to MLO values…

    The historical CO2 measurements only from seaships and/or shoreline, all are around the ice core data for the same period. Unfortunately, for the peak in Beck’s reanalysis (1935-1950), there are no over the ocean data available.

  123. anna v (00:02:53) :

    Hi Anna!

    Of course there is no link at all between local temperature and local CO2 levels. Even if there was a local CO2 level of 1,000 ppmv (somewhere near the ground), that is maintained only a few meters (up to a few hundred) and then it is fully dispersed. The total column CO2 on any given place on earth (as the satellite shows) differs only 10 ppmv from the average. The instant change in outgoing IR radiation that gives is about 0.1 W/m2. One cloud passing before the sun gives a change of 20 W/m2, to give some impression of what influences local temperature…

  124. peerreviewer (07:01:44) :

    Sorry, but there is little doubt that humans are at the base of the current rise of CO2 (the influence of that rise on temperature is a complete different and independent question). The figures you mention are about seasonal and permanent fluxes which are bidirectional, with a negative (!) balance over a year.

    Humans emit about 8 GtC per year, of which about 4 GtC (2 ppmv) shows up in the atmosphere. That means that nature (vegetation, oceans) is a net absorber of CO2, not a source… It doesn’t matter that over a year some 10, 100 or 1,000 GtC circulates back and forth, only the balance at the end of the year matters.

  125. Ferdinand Engelbeen (07:48:56) :

    Hi Ferdinand,

    Of course there is no link at all between local temperature and local CO2 levels. Even if there was a local CO2 level of 1,000 ppmv (somewhere near the ground), that is maintained only a few meters (up to a few hundred) and then it is fully dispersed. The total column CO2 on any given place on earth (as the satellite shows) differs only 10 ppmv from the average. The instant change in outgoing IR radiation that gives is about 0.1 W/m2. One cloud passing before the sun gives a change of 20 W/m2, to give some impression of what influences local temperature…

    CO2 has such a small effect even when we know that its effect is logarithimic, where the numbers are high, more so it will be insignificant when dispersed.
    We know that the urban heating effect exists. Part of it may be CO2 settling over the cities :), why not?

    I am saying that as long as we take the average temperature of the surface, and not of the column of air, we should measure CO2 on the surface, concurrently with the temperature measurement if we want to be scientifically consistent.

    I wonder what the same column of air that is used for CO2 has as an average temperature, as a function of time. It would be really interesting to see that. Satellites can do it. I suspect it will look like the plots in Jennifer’s blog that I linked to previously.

  126. Hi Ferdinand.

    It was about this time last year wasn’t it? I was getting worried about you, Anna and me had started discussing Beck and you hadn’t appeared :)

    Did you ever look at the figures in Smith’s ‘AIr and Water’? Many of those were taken in remote places.

    tonyb

  127. anna v (11:24:29) :

    If you look at what the satellite results (preliminary) were, then we have worldwide the same CO2 levels everywhere, ground to stratosphere +/- 3%. From direct measurements we know that only the first few hundred meters over land are chaotic, due to local sources and sinks, the rest is quite stable (less than 0.1 ppmv variability over a day).

    From the satellite temperature derived data, we know that the temperatures fluctuate from the tropics to the poles, ground to troposphere and opposite above it, so that we have different avarages for every slice in all three dimensions. Further temperature changes hour by hour, with and without clouds,…

    Thus you can make it yourself very difficult by measuring CO2 at ground level over land and averaging a lot of noise without much signal, or simply ignore this 5% of the atmosphere as unimportant (as the result of exchanges will show up in the rest of the atmosphere in short time).

    And there is surely no CO2 “UHI” effect, as even with 1,120 ppmv in the first 1,000 meters, the effect is less than 0.07 degr.C warming (according to the calculations of Modtran) without feedbacks. That is the full theoretical reaction of the temperature for 4 times the pre-industrial non-urban CO2 level. I should call that a neglectable impact… And only if there was no wind or convection at all to mix temperature and/or CO2 levels away.

  128. Are you sure that top red spot in the Southeast isn’t Nashville? Site of the Gore family mansion? The Gore Houseboat? Looks like Nashville.

  129. Ferdinand, from your post:

    From the satellite temperature derived data, we know that the temperatures fluctuate from the tropics to the poles, ground to troposphere and opposite above it, so that we have different avarages for every slice in all three dimensions. Further temperature changes hour by hour, with and without clouds,…

    you could be describing CO2 also , since you say :”And there is surely no CO2 “UHI” effect, as even with 1,120 ppmv in the first 1,000 meters, “, i.e. a three dimensional gradient.

    Physics tells us that CO2 is heavy.
    It tells us about ways of dispersion but still there should be the gradient of molecular weight.
    The “well mixed” is a hypothesis inbuilt even in this GOSAT presentation because it uses this “column” logic.

    We should once more agree to disagree on this subject, because I will not be convinced unless I see a three dimensional representation of CO2 density too.

  130. to Ferdinand and rr Kampen

    I am astonished at your posts. I do not know your backgrounds.

    Let me ask you:

    is it true that co2 has a 150 year residence time?

    is it true that co2 is well mixed, over weeks to months?

    is it true that the atmosphere has a fixed volume whose variation is immaterial to the measurement of co2 concentrations?

  131. anna v (20:21:32) :

    CO2 is well mixed… except near huge sources and sinks, which is on land near cars, chimneys, soil (bacteria) and green leaves.
    The 1120 ppmv is a theoretical example (not measured anywhere) to calculate what effect that would have on (local) temperature: simply unmeasurable.

    Indeed CO2 is heavier than air, but that only plays a (sometimes deadly) role near huge sources like some volcanic vents. If there is sufficient wind or heat disturbance, CO2 is readily mixed with overlying air layers and reaches “background” level within minutes to hours.

    All gases from very heavy (e.g. CFC’s) to very light (e.g. hydrogen) mix with air when there is sufficient turbulence and stay mixed, as the movement/collisions of gas molecules in general prevent a separation.
    Even without disturbances, CO2 mixes rapidely with air, as a test from 1927 could prove, see: http://www.jbc.org/content/73/2/379.full.pdf

    Much is known of the vertical profile of CO2 in an air column, from measurements by tall towers (up to 200 m) and air flights. Below a few hundred to 1,000 m over land there is a chaotic mix of different trace gases, above 500-1,000 m you will find only background levels. See e.g.:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/cabauw_day_week.jpg (Cabauw, Netherlands)
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/seasonal_height.jpg (1963-1976 Scandinavia flights)
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/inversion_co2.jpg (Colorado vertical profile)

  132. peerreviewer (22:04:17) :

    I have a BSc in chemical engineering, but half my work (now retired) was on MSc level (chemical) process automation engineering…

    1. The 150 years residence time of CO2.
    Any molecule of CO2 (whatever the origin) has an average residence time of about 5.2 years in the atmosphere. That is governed by the exchange rate of about 150 GtC/year from/to oceans and biosphere with the 800 GtC residing in the atmosphere as CO2.

    The excess sink rate, that is the time which is needed to reduce the 380 ppmv we have now (whatever the cause), back to the 280 ppmv at the start of the industrial revolution. That is about 40 years to halve the difference, if we should stop all emissions today. That is governed by the amount of CO2 absorbed by oceans and vegetation, which is currently about 4 GtC/year (2 ppmv/year).

    Many skeptics are confused by the first residence time, which shows the probability that a human induced CO2 molecule still resides in the atmosphere, while only the second “residence time”, how long an excess amount of CO2 stays in the atmosphere is of importance.

    The IPCC uses the second definition, but with a mix of sink rates (depending of the kind of sink), where the last 10% of an excess CO2 injection stays in the atmosphere near forever. That is only of importance of we burn all available oil and most of all coal. But that is far from realistic in current circumstances.

    2. CO2 mixing.
    Near ground, it mixes well, but there are permanent and intermittent sources and sinks at work, thus near ground you will not find steady values.
    At sea there are no fast sinks or sources, and the sea itself is a slow source (in mid-latitude summer and tropics) and sink (in mid-latitude winters and at the poles). This makes that there is little variation over a day at sea, but there is a seasonal amplitude in the NH of +/- 8 ppmv, mainly caused by vegetation growth and decay. The opposite amplitude caused by the oceans warming and cooling plays a minor role. At height, this seasonal amplitude is less pronounced (+/- 4 ppmv at MLO). In the SH the seasonal amplitude is near absent (+/- 1 ppmv) see the (cleaned) monthly averages of different latitudes:

    For yearly averages, the differences are minimal and the trend is near identical for all places, away from huge sinks/sources, where is measured.

    Thus “well mixed” is not the case in 5% of the atmosphere (near ground over land) and exists with a seasonal amplitude, mainly near surface in the NH, for 95% of the atmosphere.

    3. Fixed volume atmosphere.
    As far as I know, there are some variations in the volumes of the different slices (troposphere, stratosphere,…) of the atmosphere. That plays no role in the determination of CO2 levels, as these are expressed as ppmv (thus volume of CO2 in volume air, which changes together) in dry air. The latter is more important.

  133. Uh, I don’t think the Arctic was sampled, at all, for methane. White means not sampled, right?

    This is preliminary data from only about a week of sampling, right?

    So, we don’t really know what’s happening in the Arctic, right?

  134. Re: peerreviewer (22:04:17) :
    “to Ferdinand and rr Kampen

    I am astonished at your posts. I do not know your backgrounds.”

    Bsc physics/mathematics, specialization meteorology/oceanograhpy. I could work as a meteorologist though past years to now I’m in software quality assurance.

    “is it true that the atmosphere has a fixed volume …”

    No, over past decennia the volume must have increased a little by thermal expansion… Average air pressure remains unchanged so there’s no or very little change in total atmophere mass. As Ferdinand explained this is no factor in CO2-concentration figures because they are given in ‘parts per million’.

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