New ground truth: soil microbe negative feedback

This could be a game changer. From the University of California, Irvine press release, a finding that suggests soil microbes have a negative feedback with temperature increase. This has broad implications for the amount of CO2 emitted estimated in climate models. It had been assumed that as temperature increased, microbes and fungii would increase their CO2 output. Globally, this microbiotic contribution is large.  The amount of CO2 released from soils worldwide each year is estimated to be about 8-10 times greater than the amount released by humans.

Humans 7, soils 60 - Source: University of Heidelberg

This study shows that soil microbes won’t go into a an “overdrive” mode when soil temperature increases.

Soil microbes produce less atmospheric CO2 than expected with climate warming

Key players in the carbon cycle, they multiply slowly when overheated

— Irvine, Calif., April 26, 2010 —

The physiology of microbes living underground could determine the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from soil on a warmer Earth, according to a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

Researchers at UC Irvine, Colorado State University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies found that as global temperatures increase, microbes in soil become less efficient over time at converting carbon in soil into carbon dioxide, a key contributor to climate warming.

Microbes, in the form of bacteria and fungi, use carbon for energy to breathe, or respire, and to grow in size and in number. A model developed by the researchers shows microbes exhaling carbon dioxide furiously for a short period of time in a warmer environment, leaving less carbon to grow on. As warmer temperatures are maintained, the less efficient use of carbon by the microbes causes them to decrease in number, eventually resulting in less carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere.

“Microbes aren’t the destructive agents of global warming that scientists had previously believed,” said Steven Allison, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology at UCI and lead author on the study. “Microbes function like humans: They take in carbon-based fuel and breathe out carbon dioxide. They are the engines that drive carbon cycling in soil. In a balanced environment, plants store carbon in the soil and microbes use that carbon to grow. The microbes then produce enzymes that convert soil carbon into atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

The study, “Soil-Carbon Response to Warming Dependent on Microbial Physiology,” contradicts the results of older models that assume microbes will continue to spew ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the climate continues to warm. The new simulations suggest that if microbial efficiency declines in a warmer world, carbon dioxide emissions will fall back to pre-warming levels, a pattern seen in field experiments. But if microbes manage to adapt to the warmth – for instance, through increased enzyme activity – emissions could intensify.

“When we developed a model based on the actual biology of soil microbes, we found that soil carbon may not be lost to the atmosphere as the climate warms,” said Matthew Wallenstein of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. “Conventional ecosystem models that didn’t include enzymes did not make the same predictions.”

Mark Bradford, assistant professor of terrestrial ecosystem ecology at Yale, said there is intense debate in the scientific community over whether the loss of soil carbon will contribute to global warming. “The challenge we have in predicting this is that the microbial processes causing this loss are poorly understood,” he said. “More research in this area will help reduce uncertainties in climate prediction.”

About these ads
This entry was posted in Carbon dioxide, Modeling. Bookmark the permalink.

158 Responses to New ground truth: soil microbe negative feedback

  1. INGSOC says:

    Why is it that something well known among many other disciplines of science can be such a startling revelation to climate science?

  2. Enneagram says:

    Organic life on earth is closely linked to carbon cycle simply because WE are made out from CARBON and WATER. Every individual absorbs and emits energy according to its inner structure. As every wave train emits and absorbs discrete amounts of energy, so we. Each “feed”of food which is resonant with its frequency and excrete, emit, accordingly. If more complex, as human beings, feed of several wavelengths: as light, sound, water, etc.
    Needless to say warmists prefer longer wavelengths ☺ improper for us.

  3. Pamela Gray says:

    So now we have a model of the model?

  4. Pearland Aggie says:

    I’m sure they will find something wrong with *this* model while having nothing to say about GCMs.

  5. AdderW says:

    Another model predicting something that is poorly understood

  6. DocWat says:

    Geeze Geeze Geeze, the hits keep coming. When are these real scientists going to stop picking on those poor AGW guys???

  7. Jimbo says:

    Couple this with
    “Amplification of Global Warming by Carbon-Cycle Feedback Significantly Less Than Thought, Study Suggests”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127134721.htm

    A greening biosphere
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003400/a003451/index.html

    Co2 is lumpy, contrary to the IPCC assumption of it being a well mixed gas
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-196

    and what we have is computer model failures.

  8. beng says:

    The new format doesn’t show well on my Firefox browser.Much slower loading too.

    Sometimes messing w/a good thing isn’t a good thing.

    REPLY:
    Which version of Firefox on what OS?

  9. CO2 emissions have increased much faster than atmospheric CO2. The deficiency in atmospheric CO2 probably indicates that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere much faster than our CAGW friends want policymakers to believe.

  10. Wind Rider says:

    We found something potentially interesting! Give us more money for further studies!

  11. Paul says:

    “More research in this area will help reduce uncertainties in climate prediction.”

    Not that I think that more research is a bad thing, generally speaking, but I can’t remember the last study that didn’t end with what is essentially a request or justification for further funding. And I can’t help but note that the government provides much if not most climate-related funding, and that politicians are generally far less interested in research than I am, except when it provides them something that they can use for their own agendas.

    To my mind, the most revealing hockey-stick graph would be the funding directed towards ‘climate science’ since the weather ceased being the weather and became man-made and catastrophic to boot.

  12. Bill Tuttle says:

    Mark Bradford, assistant professor of terrestrial ecosystem ecology at Yale, said there is intense debate in the scientific community over whether the loss of soil carbon will contribute to global warming….“More research in this area will help reduce uncertainties in climate prediction.”

    Translation: “We’re not sure, but a *decrease* in atmospheric CO2 could also lead to global warming. Throw more money at us so we can continue to not be sure about it.”

  13. Pamela Gray says:

    I don’t think this will be a game changer at all. We are talking about such a small change in an already extremely small percent of atmospheric gases that this will never be observed as a measurable event. It will always and only exist in models. An educated guess with no statistical difference to be had. And mother nature cares not one red cent for models. That is the real game changer.

    My opinion, this is not anywhere near a study you can hang your hat on. And it appears that the researchers are grasping for straws, though they may not have intended it to look that way.

    It does however, point out the amusing belief by AGW enthusiasts the notion that microbe emissions under warmer temperatures would be worse than we thought! It is a rather silly study used to refute a rather silly notion.

  14. Jim says:

    On a somewhat related topic, have any of you actual scientists or others who have access to the literature seen any articles on CO2 released by tree roots growing in limestone? I live in a region where the ground is composed of limestone. Roots from trees and probably other plants grow right through the limestone. I assume the roots secrete some sort of organic acid that decomposes the limestone, allowing them to grow through it. I am wondering how much CO2 this process releases compared to how much is sequestered by the plant material. Also, this would represent a case of a plant feeding itself CO2 wouldn’t it? Limestone is a concentrated source of CO2 so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a net release of CO2 in this case.

  15. RockyRoad says:

    The results aren’t surprising–had the opposite as hypothesized by the warmers been earth’s fate, the earth would have tipped a long time ago to a steamy hot planet with most if not all of the ocean’s water diffused throughout the atmosphere. That this isn’t the case shouldn’t surprise anybody.

    The warmers apparently proceed on the belief that our current climate is as warm as the earth has ever gotten. They should study more “geo” and less “theo”.

  16. Baa Humbug says:

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Don’t know who said it)

    “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge!”
    (Daniel J. Boorstin, winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize)

  17. R Taylor says:

    The write-up confuses me: Is less CO2 produced because (i) warmer microbes exhale CO2 “furiously” for a short period of time, “leaving less carbon to grow on”, or (ii) warmer microbes make “less efficient use of carbon.” The two possibilities seem mutually exclusive, unless the microbes somehow know how much carbon they have left to be furious about.
    The first explanation is the only one consistent with our observation of tropical soils, i.e. they are depleted in organics by active microbes, which remain ready to oxidize any new carbon that becomes available.
    Fortuitously, the authors allow themselves an out for the purpose of CAGW fear-mongering: The microbes might adapt (in a way they haven’t for billions of years), so CO2 “emissions could intensify.”

  18. Brad says:

    Pamela-

    I respectfully disagree. Enzymes are very temperature sensitive, that is the reason you are a homeotherm, and to think that soil microbes wil simply increase their carbon poutput because the temperature rises is absurd. On the other hand, if their are more soils where microbes are more active for longer periods of the year, the output may increase. Of course, if the temp rise goes beyond the optimum for the enzymes to function to respire, then the amount of carbon will decrease. To think this study is “grasping at straws” is absurd, to me at least.

  19. Brad says:

    I would add that the greatest discoveries in science are often made at the interface between two disciplines, where we know enough to come to real conclusions if only the scientists on both sides could see through the ivory wall of publishing in and reading different journals.

  20. David Middleton says:

    Is the current estimate of the natural carbon flux actually measured?

    Or is it based on a model?

    When I use Knorr’s 0.55 decay rate for atmospheric CO2, I come up with a residence time (RT) of ~15 years (with 95% cycled out of the atmosphere within 5 years).

    When I use the CDIAC anthropogenic emissions history back to 1751 and the 0.55 decay rate, I back calculate a natural CO2 flux to the atmosphere of 437 GtC in 1751, gradually rising to 592 GtC in 2006. The highest value I can find for a pre-industrial natural flux to the atmosphere is 244 GtC from the TOTEM model.

    Is the natural carbon flux measured? Is it model-derived? Is it just assumed? Could the natural carbon flux be more than twice the initial conditions assumed in the TOTEM model?

  21. Steve Keohane says:

    Another in a long list of erroneous assumptions. At what point do we know enough about a field of study to actually be doing science with respect to that field. ‘Climate Science’ seems to be at the point of blind men trying to determine if they are examining the same elephant, not yet at the point of defining what that elephant is.
    stevengoddard says: April 28, 2010 at 5:50 am
    CO2 emissions have increased much faster than atmospheric CO2. The deficiency in atmospheric CO2 probably indicates that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere much faster than our CAGW friends want policymakers to believe.

    After many years of rock hunting in Colorado, one can’t help but notice the calcium carbonate coating that occurs on rocks here. I wonder how much carbon is sequestered by that method. It is not as obvious as some of the monolithic deposits, but is everywhere and must be a substantial amount.

  22. Loco says:

    New format is performing just fine Down Under (Mandurah, Western Australia) running Firefox 3.6.3

  23. DonK31 says:

    Is this why there is an increase in CO2 500 to 800 years after warming and a decrease 500 to 800 years after cooling? Warming causes an increase in microbial activity, therefore causing more atmospheric CO2. And vice versa?

  24. Spector says:

    I think it would be highly ironic if our minor 1000-year climate cycles were eventually found to be biota-related and analogous to the classic predator-prey cycles. That is where increasing prey animals allow the predator population to rise until they begin to devour the prey faster than this food source can reproduce. Then the numbers of both populations crash until there are so few predators left that the prey population can start rising again.

  25. renminbi says:

    First used by Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) in An Essay on Criticism, 1709:

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.”

    I feel pedantic today.Good quote by Boorstin

  26. Milwaukee Bob says:

    Well, all though the report’s conclusion does support “our” general position that we humans have a miniscule effect compared other forms of life on this plant, I think it’s for the wrong reason. Wherein, I think they (we) again have failed to comprehend the massiveness of the “system” we (or they in this case) are dealing with. The following is from a study done by the NSF and no, I do not have a link to the actual study –

    Microbes to People: Without Us, You’re Nothing!
    April 21, 2008

    Nowhere is the principle of “strength in numbers” more apparent than in the collective power of microbes, which include bacteria, viruses, some fungi and some animals that can only be seen with microscopes.

    Although each microbe is but an almost weightless one-celled organism, the collective weight of Earth’s 5 million-trillion-trillion microbes accounts for most of the planet’s biomass–the total weight of all living things. Even the total number of stars in the universe (7 thousand-billion-billion) pales in comparison to the number of microbes on Earth.

    With their mighty collective muscle, microbes control every ecological process, from the decay of dead plants and animals to the production of oxygen. Therefore, it is fair to say that in important ways, microbes literally run the world.

    No corner of Earth escapes the influence of microbes, the oldest living organisms on Earth. Since microbes first appeared 3.5 billion years ago, about one billion years after Earth formed, they have diversified enough to colonize every ecosystem, from scalding vents at the bottom of the ocean to burning desert sands to polar ice.

    Microbes are in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Each liter of sea water contains up to a billion bacteria.

    Microbes even inhabit the human body. In fact, every person has more than 10 times as many microbes living on and inside their body as human cells. Although most frequently associated with disease, our microbial hitchhikers help us much more than they harm us. How? By controlling many of the biological processes that are essential to our survival, including the maintenance of our skin and the digestion of our food. Each person’s digestive track alone harbors about three pounds of bacteria.

    “If all of Earth’s microbes died, so would everything else, including us,” says Matt Kane of the National Science Foundation. “But if everything else died, microbes would do just fine.” Therefore, Kane concludes that “we need microbes more than they need us.”

    Despite the importance of microbes, scientists have only been able to study less than one percent of the estimated millions of microbial species that live on Earth. Why so few? Because microbes have strict nutritional requirements and interact with one another in complex ways that currently make it impossible to grow the overwhelming majority of them in the laboratory.

    — Lily Whiteman, National Science Foundation

    Considering how LARGE that mass of life is, why do we think we can measure or much less project from a small sampling, accurately, any negative/positive change?
    Statistically and logically, there is no way to know if the data points derived from your extremely limited sample are the same (or can be extrapolated to the whole) as would be derived from a majority of the mass.

    Our mistake is in applying mathematics (digital analysis) to highly complex analog systems and then blindly believing that’s the way the real world works. It doesn’t!

  27. C. Bruce Richardson Jr. says:

    That’s interesting but it appears to be based only on modeling. They had to make certain assumptions in designing the model.

  28. Ed Caryl says:

    Jim
    “Tree roots growing through limestone.”

    http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/page65.html

    No. It’s purely mechanical. Small root hairs grow into small cracks going after moisture, then grow bigger.

  29. Milwaukee Bob says:

    Jimbo says:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 am
    Co2 is lumpy,…..

    Jimbo, thanks for that reference, been looking for something like that for years, knowing there is no way CO2 is a “well mixed gas” as REQUIRED by the GW models to work. Already on its way to a programming guru who thinks the sun and moon rise and set because of computer models.

  30. Stacey says:

    “When we developed a model based on the actual biology of soil microbes, we found that soil carbon may not be lost to the atmosphere as the climate warms,” said Matthew Wallenstein of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. “Conventional ecosystem models that didn’t include enzymes did not make the same predictions.”

    Why not carry out an experiment and measure CO2 emissions from soils at different temperatures. Is that too easy?

  31. John Galt says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:09 am
    I don’t think this will be a game changer at all. We are talking about such a small change in an already extremely small percent of atmospheric gases that this will never be observed as a measurable event. It will always and only exist in models. An educated guess with no statistical difference to be had. And mother nature cares not one red cent for models. That is the real game changer.

    My opinion, this is not anywhere near a study you can hang your hat on. And it appears that the researchers are grasping for straws, though they may not have intended it to look that way.

    It does however, point out the amusing belief by AGW enthusiasts the notion that microbe emissions under warmer temperatures would be worse than we thought! It is a rather silly study used to refute a rather silly notion.

    It likely won’t be a game changer because it will be ignored. When ignoring fails, it will be summarily dismissed.

    However, it may be one more thing the climate models got wrong. As always, this study needs to be followed up by others to validate the conclusions.

  32. Douglas DC says:

    At least the paper got published. Ten years ago even six months ago this may not have seen the light of day. Hmmm….

  33. Chris Riley says:

    “This could be a game changer” Well put.

    In that soil respiration is about an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions, any small deviation from from the assumption that plant respiration + soil respiration equals plant assimilation ( minus actual growth in biomass carbon) would would require a rethinking of the impact of current emissions of CO2 on future concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Another recalculation would involve the expected net flux of energy, as a portion of the energy we receive from the sun would be stored in the soil. Could it be that the fossil fuel cycle is the largest (in absolute terms) recycling project ever imagined.

    I have no idea of what, (if any) attention the scientific and political communities will pay, or should pay, to this paper. Time will tell. I will say that it is heartening to see that an Assistant Professor, Stephen Allison, who presumably does not yet have tenure, has the courage to produce this kind of work, and in the UC system of all places. Courage has, and will always be, a scarce commodity. There is Hope.

  34. Nandheeswaran Jothi says:

    anthony,
    this study needs to be taken with a whole bunch of salt. When the temperature of a specific area changes ( up or down ), some of the native species of fungi and other soil living life forms ( microbes, predominantly ) move to more hospitable area, but others that are better suited for the new environment invade very quickly. But, the overall Biota should increase. once they stabilize, you will see an increase in CO2 emissions again. That lag period might be a few years, but not much mor ethan that.

    You should expect, as chemistry demands it for exothermic reactions, there should be an increase of CO2 emission from ground.

    having said that, I think we know so little about this, and the Alarmists have been making all sorts of assertions, I welcome this paper. however, this sorts out in the long run, this kind of real science needs to be injected back into the debate. otherwise the alarmists will con the world into spending trillions on companies they run and control.

  35. Enginer says:

    I have >neveris< a relationship…) In this case soil humics, fulvic acid, other soil organics are the result of a warm, CO2 rich environment.
    Experts have mentioned that for the last 100 years we have been mining carbon from US soils. No-till agriculture is a misdirected attempt to reverse this process. Proper soil cultivation can increase the soil organics, especially in a higher warmth,CO2 environment.
    Didn't youse guys learn [i]anything[/i] from the discussions about Terra Preta?

  36. steveta_uk says:

    The report on the on The Register implied that quite a bot more warmth was required to inhibit the microbial growth.

    So perhaps the believer’s response will be that this will only kick too late, well past the 6C rise they expect by 2100.

  37. Spector says:

    RE: Baa Humbug : (April 28, 2010 at 6:16 am) “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge!”

    I think the problem here is that ‘the illusion of knowledge’ may be all any of us really have. Perhaps one of the more profound statements is that the universe may not only be stranger than we know, it may be stranger than we can possibly comprehend.

  38. Co2 Insanity says:

    Saw the comment about Firefox. Works fine on chrome and I like the new format. Works fine on Android, too.

  39. Henry chance says:

    More tax fraud in carbon trading? I suspect there is a motive to cheat.
    If anyone thinks the carbon schemes will pay off the farmer that raises plants, they are crazy. Too many handlers in the chain that will beat the farmer to the money.

  40. Milwaukee Bob says:

    David Middleton says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:28 am

    To all of your questions about carbon flux – NO! The human race has no clue to what the real world in and outs are, from whence it comes, where it goes or what the balance is at any given point in time. It’s all postulations by computer model based on a miniscule number of data points, with virtually no history other than analysis of sediments and ice cores. Until just a few months ago, when satellites proved the contrary, (for the first time!) supposedly the majority of atmospheric scientists (and GW modelers) believed CO2 was a well mixed gas. It is not and we have no reason/study/data to pin a belief on that it ever was or will be.
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-196

  41. Mike D. says:

    The surface of the planet is 5/6 water, which also contains microbes and other carbon-cycling organisms. What is the ratio of marine CO2 emissions to anthropogenic? Must be 50-to-1 at least. And how does that vary across location and time?

    The depth of what we don’t know is abysmal.

  42. hunter says:

    The models did not account for a major source of CO2 properly, yet they are still considered reliable.
    That reliability is not justified. And this is but part of a list of things the models do not get correctly.
    AGW is to climate science what tulipomania was to horticulture.

  43. geo says:

    Do we know if the AGW computer models have even been trying to include the old understanding? They seem remarkably willing to just assume hard-to-determine stuff into irrelevance.

    Since these are living organisms, Darwin cannot be ignored. Loss of efficiency may only be temporary. But then how long is “temporary”, even if true? Darn those fussy little details!

  44. Tom in Co. says:

    This “new finding” is taught in undergraduate level soil science and petroleum geology. All carbon, that is complexed in plant material, returns back to CO2 either by respiration or oxidation. The only exception to that is the small amount of plant material that happens to be buried in an inoxic environment, this material can eventually become coal oil and natural gas with enough heat and time. This is all part of the carbon cycle.
    The biggest unknown in my mind with this cycle, is the generation of carbonate sediments in the ocean (that which becomes limestone). It would make sense that if the CO2 content in the ocean were to increase that the rate of carbonate sediments would also increase, but I have not seen any quantification of this process sensitivity. If this were true it, could be the biggest negative feedback of all.

  45. pettyfog says:

    First, I dont understand the ‘Negative Feedback’ element. Used to seeing CO2 stated as ‘positive’ feedback by the warmists.
    – Which it doesnt seem to be, unless you can use a chain to push a cart. But how is a ‘moderating output’ negative?*

    Second, as stated above, there’s a universe of microbial diversity and many would favor the warmer soils and multiply faster than their predecessor dominants. So that little bump in CO2 output might occur over and over as different variants emerge over time.

    * However that should be offset by the greening effect of a richer soil, right? Nature’s Balance! When them little soil bugs in the Sahara start replicating like crazy.. WE BE HAPPY!
    —————————————————————

  46. Models, models everywhere and none that I can trust. (sorry STC) This is just another model and proves nothing. Models can only support or cast doubt, sometime they explain. At least this one takes into account the reality of living systems. Living systems do not function in a liner fashion for very long. Most living and probably most if not natural systems are always striving for equilibrium. They never quite achieve it for very long but just keep trying. That is much like people of science. We never do get all our questions answered we just keep trying. In short the more complex the problem the more complex the understanding of it.

  47. Alexander says:

    We are all profoundly ignorant about most stuff. Which is why idiotic Chicken Little-type assumptions from the Gore school of nonsense science should be seen for what they are. ‘The Cat In The Hat’ by the late Dr Seuss makes more scientific sense than Al Gore’s followers.
    Living in the UK is quite dispiriting now, as a little over a week away from an election the three majoe political parties trumpet their desperation to reduce ‘our’ carbon footprint when what they really mean, as they jet off to another photo-opportunity, is reducing my carbon footprint and enlarging theirs.

  48. Enneagram says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:09 am
    Brad says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:26 am
    A kind of pesky microbes called HUMANS breath oxygen and exhale CO2, at an average amount of 900 grams (1.98 lb) per day.
    This oxygen, as we all know, is to oxidize Fe+2 contained in blood’s hemoglobin (venous blood) to Fe+3 (red compound-arterial blood-) , while carbohydrates oxidation (burning=combustion) produces CO2. These are redox reactions (oxidation/reduction).
    Only fools believing themselves Fool-Gods could pretend to intervene in such a complex system. Oh! I forgot it, as HE invented the Internet he is able to meddle in any operating system, no matter how complex.

  49. JJB says:

    AGW could lead to a shortage of CO2! The plants will starve! This is the final tipping point – we’re all doomed!
    ;)

  50. Erik says:

    @beng says:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 am
    —————————————————————————————–
    The new format doesn’t show well on my Firefox browser.Much slower loading too.
    —————————————————————————————–
    No problem with these browsers, try empty your disk catch
    Firefox 3.6.3
    Opera 10.51
    Google Chrome 4.1.249.1064

  51. Mr B says:

    Is this peer reviewed ?

  52. Smokey says:

    Pamela Gray says:

    “We are talking about such a small change in an already extremely small percent of atmospheric gases that this will never be observed as a measurable event.”

    That is the key point. The climate alarmist crowd wants people to think that the increase in CO2, coinciding entirely by chance with the industrial revolution, is due to human emissions.

    That is a deliberate misrepresentation. Almost all of the increase in CO2 comes from natural sources.

    Only about one-quarter of one percent of all GHG emissions are from human activities. CO2 is only one minor fraction of total GHGs. Further, CO2 is a minor trace gas, comprising only 0.00039 of the atmosphere.

    The entire global warming scare is based on the misguided belief that human produced CO2 has a measurable effect on global temperatures. It does not. No empirical measurement of human emitted CO2 causing a quantifiable change in global temperature has ever been made. The effect is simply too small to measure.

  53. Jim says:

    ****************Ed Caryl says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:57 am
    Jim
    “Tree roots growing through limestone.”

    http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/page65.html

    No. It’s purely mechanical. Small root hairs grow into small cracks going after moisture, then grow bigger.
    ****************
    That does not appear to the mechanism I see. I have a large limestone rock in my yard for decoration. It had roots all through it when we got it. There are holes where the roots were, not cracks. (Some roots are still in it.) The holes are smooth-walled, not jagged as if they had been produced by mechanical force.

  54. Enginer says:

    After my garbled earlier attempt to make the point that soil organics are a HUGE part of the picture, Tom in Co. made the (erroneous) point that carbon requires an “inoxic” environment to stay in the soil. Not So. In the relatively small deposits of anthropogenic Terra Preta soil in the Amazon basin, there are enormous stores of almost-permanently sequestrated CO2.

    Proper forms of horticulture can sink CO2 into farmlands much more cheaply than compressing it and pumping it into salt formations. With any reasonable cropping methodology, the humics are there to stay. Even better in a warming, high CO2 world.
    Buried long enough, yes, even coal and oil might form. Right now we need it to produce food with lower synthetic fertilizer input.

  55. Mike Haseler says:

    OT News: Beaconsfield candidates cheered over global warming ‘doubts’

    With the main two UK political parties (Lib-Dem/Tory) agreeing with X government party (labour) on Global warming, we’ve not heard much about global warming in the UK election. So this article from a small local paper is interesting because it shows the kind of response candidates will be getting when they raise this issue in the UK election.

    TWO parliamentary candidates were cheered by sections of a hustings audience in Beaconsfield when they expressed doubts about global warming.

    When asked about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint Quentin Baron, standing as an independent, said: “I’m personally not convinced about climate change or global warming. I don’t think we are being told the truth.

    “There are too many conflicting reports in my opinion…I don’t know what to think.”

    Delphine Gray-Fisk, the UKIP candidate for the Beaconsfield constituency, said the climate has been changing for thousands of years adding: “I don’t yet feel convinced that it’s anything to do with man.”

    She said there was a limit to fossil fuels however, and efforts should be made to decrease pollution.

    Jem Bailey, representing the Green Party, responded: “Oh dear…I’m not going to win votes from certain people in this room. It’s sad to see that some people have been mind-washed.

    http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/localnews/beaconsfield/8125675.Candidates_cheered_for_global_warming__doubts_/

  56. Mike says:

    From the press release: “But if microbes manage to adapt to the warmth – for instance, through increased enzyme activity – emissions could intensify.”

    So, we should continue to run up CO2 levels and see what happens. If we ruin this planet we can always move to another one, right?

    REPLY: The whole AGW issue is built on “what if?”. You could come up with a hundred more “what if” scenarios. What if microbes develop super powers? What if they develop an affinity for increased CO2? What if nothing happens at all? The planet and the microbes did just fine before when CO2 levels were higher in ancient past. I’m not going to worry about them and neither should anyone else as we have virtually no control over the sum of the biospheric microbiotics. -A

  57. J Bunt says:

    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

    One must learn to think well, before learning to think; afterwards, it proves too difficult.

  58. pat says:

    There is something truly amiss in the climate science field. One is taught early about the biologic source of the Earth’s atmosphere. That oxygen is unlikely to exist atmospherically in the absence of biological activity. That the primary exchange gas for oxygen is CO2. Yet the climate scientists are constantly conjecturing as if they are unaware of entire fields of study. In order to study climate properly every field from astrophysics thru oceanography must be accounted for. Instead we have test tube experiments on CO2 and suspect tree ring sizing.

  59. David Alan Evans says:

    OMG!

    It was all going so well until they snuck in…

    But if microbes manage to adapt to the warmth – for instance, through increased enzyme activity – emissions could intensify.

    Have any shown signs of adapting?

    Well no… but wait ’till they do, then the excrement will really hit the fan!

    & what if microbes adapted to the current conditions to grow to super-sized microbes the size of houses?

    They’ve shown no signs of doing so but when they do…

    DaveE.

  60. Enneagram says:

    The good news is that their business it is, up to now, BROKE. All but negative feedbacks.
    Gotto do something Al baby!…if you don’t, boss will fire you!

  61. Ian W says:

    “stevengoddard says:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:50 am
    CO2 emissions have increased much faster than atmospheric CO2. The deficiency in atmospheric CO2 probably indicates that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere much faster than our CAGW friends want policymakers to believe.”

    Absolutely true. There appears to be a disregard of Henry’s Law and a failure to take into account the surface area of every cold pure water droplet in clouds worldwide; a significantly higher surface area than the oceans. These droplets then fall as rain taking the CO2 to the surface. CO2 gets washed out of the atmosphere VERY much faster than admitted. This could also account for CO2’s not well mixed state.

  62. I use Chrome for everything these days, even on my droid phone. Firefox is slow and buggy.

  63. Michael D Smith says:

    I can’t post to tips section anymore from work, so I thought I’d try here…

    Well, it was only a matter of time. Global warming may cause cancer and mental illness.

    I thought global warming REQUIRED mental illness…

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/64827

  64. Luboš Motl says:

    I think it’s completely obvious – and it had to be obvious for more than 100+ years for anyone who knows basics of science – that all these biological feedbacks have to be negative.

    If there is an excess of a compound (or energy), those objects and processes that consume it begin to thrive, while those that need place to emit extra of this excessive stuff get suppressed. So all the objects and additional processes act against the initial change.

    That’s what the La Chatelier principle implies – and while the principle is normally applied to “chemistry” only, it’s pretty clear that the microbes’ activity is just a set of complex chemical reactions, so the principle still applies.

  65. John from CA says:

    my 2 cents – the study appears to fit the naturally recurring Carbon cycle for flora.

    During hotter seasons, plants store more carbon in the soil which is then broken down the following year by Microbes which in turn release the CO2 as food. Given that its never “hot” all the time, the CO2 is produced and consumed under optimal conditions.

    Why did they need a “model” for this?

  66. NucEngineer says:

    Let’s see now….
    Microbes account for 8-times more CO2 than man and the feedback is not well understood.
    Clouds are not well understood while albedo affects 35% of solar energy directed at Earth. Cosmic ray effects are not well understood but there is a greater correlation between solar activity and temperature versus the correlation (nearly zero except during the 30 years between 1970 and 2000) between CO2 and temperature.

    With all that “not well understood” hanging out there, I am sure glad that the science is settled. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

  67. Gail Combs says:

    Paul says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:00 am

    ….To my mind, the most revealing hockey-stick graph would be the funding directed towards ‘climate science’ since the weather ceased being the weather and became man-made and catastrophic to boot.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Here is the climate funding: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/23/climate-science-follow-the-money/

  68. gcb says:

    Tom in Co. says:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:46 am
    The biggest unknown in my mind with this cycle, is the generation of carbonate sediments in the ocean (that which becomes limestone). It would make sense that if the CO2 content in the ocean were to increase that the rate of carbonate sediments would also increase, but I have not seen any quantification of this process sensitivity. If this were true it, could be the biggest negative feedback of all.

    Actually, more CO2 in the ocean makes it (slightly) more acidic via the formation of small amounts of carbonic acid, as I understand it. This could potentially have adverse impacts on coral reefs.

  69. Roger Knights says:

    Climate catastrophism depends of a chain of causes and effects. If any link is broken the chain fails. If this link can be broken, it will be a game-changer.

  70. Tenuc says:

    I don’t think that extra CO2 will have any significant effect on temperature, as the CAGW theory has cause and effect the wrong way round.

    However, this paper should help to reassure those that do worry about extra CO2 and is a good example of the way the ecosystem stays in balance. There are also marine and soil bacteria which have the ability to fix CO2 and, which also thrive when levels of this life giving gas increase.

    As illustrated by Milwaukee Bob’s post, will still only understand a fraction of what part the Earth’s estimated 5 million-trillion-trillion microbes play in maintaining the ecosystem.

  71. Gail Combs says:

    #
    Enginer says:
    April 28, 2010 at 9:30 am

    …..Proper forms of horticulture can sink CO2 into farmlands much more cheaply than compressing it and pumping it into salt formations…..
    ________________________________________________________________________

    I had made a half in jest comment to another post that we should be using sealed green houses to sequester CO2 if the idiots in government insist on CO2 legislation. Dumping all that nice plant food into a hole and burying it is crazy.

  72. Enneagram says:

    Quiz:
    What is the meteorological phenomenon which repeats itself much more times in the earth on a daily basis?
    Answer:
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/wea00/wea00239.htm

  73. Enneagram says:

    Gail Combs : What everyone should do is to Cap&Dump green politicians.

  74. David44 says:

    The third reference provided by Jimbo @ April 28, 2010 at 5:48 am
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-196
    is disconcerting with regard to ststements made about positive feedbacks by water vapor. (see below) Is this corroborated by others? Has Lintzen weighed in on this? I’m surprised this hasn’t been touted in the alarmist press, or maybe I’ve just missed it. Any knowledgeable comments?
    Here’s what I’m referring to:

    “In another major finding, scientists using AIRS data have removed most of the uncertainty about the role of water vapor in atmospheric models. The data are the strongest observational evidence to date for how water vapor responds to a warming climate.

    “AIRS temperature and water vapor observations have corroborated climate model predictions that the warming of our climate produced as carbon dioxide levels rise will be greatly exacerbated — in fact, more than doubled — by water vapor,” said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

    “Dessler explained that most of the warming caused by carbon dioxide does not come directly from carbon dioxide, but from effects known as feedbacks. Water vapor is a particularly important feedback. As the climate warms, the atmosphere becomes more humid. Since water is a greenhouse gas, it serves as a powerful positive feedback to the climate system, amplifying the initial warming. AIRS measurements of water vapor reveal that water greatly amplifies warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide. Comparisons of AIRS data with models and re-analyses are in excellent agreement.

    “The implication of these studies is that, should greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current course of increase, we are virtually certain to see Earth’s climate warm by several degrees Celsius in the next century, unless some strong negative feedback mechanism emerges elsewhere in Earth’s climate system,” Dessler said.”

  75. Gail Combs says:

    gcb says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

    “…..Actually, more CO2 in the ocean makes it (slightly) more acidic via the formation of small amounts of carbonic acid, as I understand it. This could potentially have adverse impacts on coral reefs.”
    __________________________________________________________________

    That whole line of thinking is discussed here. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/11/not-as-bad-as-we-thought-coral-can-recover-from-climate-change-damage/

    and here: http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/bleached-coral-reefs-bounce-back

  76. John Galt says:

    @Milwaukee Bob:

    Any idea how many microbes line the human alimentary canal? Any idea what happens when they are not present?

  77. magicjava says:

    If I’m reading this correctly, this study suggests we should have _less_ bacteria and fungus in warmer climates. That certainly isn’t true. Nor do we get less bacteria or fungus in a given region when it gets warm.

    As far as I can see, this is just another bogus computer model being used to generate funding. They’re junk when the AGW guys use ‘em. They’re junk when the skeptics use ‘em.

  78. NucEngineer says:

    John Galt says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:59 am. It likely won’t be a game changer because it will be ignored. When ignoring fails, it will be summarily dismissed. However, it may be one more thing the climate models got wrong. As always, this study needs to be followed up by others to validate the conclusions.

    The real crime is how many of the 21+ General Circulation Models (used to project temperature in the year 2095) include a term for microbial CO2 with a positive feedback. We don’t know. And if we do know which models have a positive feedback term for this, will the factor be removed and the programs rerun? I doubt it.

  79. David Middleton says:

    gcb says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:01 am
    Tom in Co. says:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:46 am
    The biggest unknown in my mind with this cycle, is the generation of carbonate sediments in the ocean (that which becomes limestone). It would make sense that if the CO2 content in the ocean were to increase that the rate of carbonate sediments would also increase, but I have not seen any quantification of this process sensitivity. If this were true it, could be the biggest negative feedback of all.

    Actually, more CO2 in the ocean makes it (slightly) more acidic via the formation of small amounts of carbonic acid, as I understand it. This could potentially have adverse impacts on coral reefs.

    Ocean Acidification: Chicken Little Strikes Again

    Oceanic pH and Atmospheric CO2 over last 6,000 years

    Flinders Reef (1700-1988, data from Pelejero et al., 2005)

    pH vs Calcification Rate: No correlation

    pH vs Atmospheric CO2: No correlation

    Great Barrier Reef – 60 Reef Data Set (data from De’ath et al., 2009)

    Average Calcification Rate and Atmospheric CO2: Calcification rate increases along with CO2

    GBR calcification rate shows positive corrleation with rising CO2

    Calcification rates with elevated CO2 under laboratory conditions (data from Ries et al., 2009)

    Corraline red algae show no adverse effects at 10 time pre-industrial CO2 (2856 ppmv)

    Temperate coral shows no adverse effects below 900 ppmv CO2

    Coccoliths and CO2 (data from Iglesias-Rodriguez et al., 2008)

    Coccolith calcification increased with increasing CO2

  80. Davol says:

    I’ve got a game changer for the global warming agenda. The volcano in Iceland is still spewing ash into the upper atmospher. It’s a well established climate model that can demonstrate the effect of this volcano for the next 2 to 5 years at least. That scientifically established effect is known as global cooling. It’s true what is said above, that nature doesn’t give a crap about climate models. Now there’s a game changer.

  81. Naamdrager says:

    Straight from IPCC AR4 ( http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-3-3-1.html ):

    “Soil warming experiments typically show marked soil respiration increases at elevated temperature (Oechel et al., 2000; Rustad et al., 2001; Melillo et al., 2002), but CO2 fluxes return to initial levels in a few years as pools of organic substrate re-equilibrate with inputs (Knorr et al., 2005). However, in dry soils, decomposition may be limited by moisture and not respond to temperature (Luo et al., 2001).”

    So…. what is new in this study anyway? What is revolutionary here, when IPCC already said the same?

  82. magicjava says:

    [quote David44 says:]
    As the climate warms, the atmosphere becomes more humid. Since water is a greenhouse gas, it serves as a powerful positive feedback to the climate system, amplifying the initial warming. AIRS measurements of water vapor reveal that water greatly amplifies warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide. Comparisons of AIRS data with models and re-analyses are in excellent agreement.
    [/quote]

    Baloney.

    As the climate has gotten warmer:
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/BarChartsForSattelliteTempTrends.gif
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/BarChartsForSurfaceTempTrends.gif

    Water vapor has deceased:
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/TotalColumnWaterVapourDifferentAltitudesObservationsSince1983.gif

    [Note: WordPress uses HTML, and requires angle brackets. Examples are shown below the comment box at the bottom of the page. ~dbs]

  83. magicjava says:

    P.S.

    The AIRS stuff is probably referring to the same stuff that scienceofdoom talks about on his web site. Increased water vapor does cause warming in the weather. There is no question about that and the science is very well understood.

    But, as our friends over at RealClimate like to say, weather’s not climate. In the climate there’s no indication that increased water vapor leads to increased temperatures. In fact, it’s the other way around, as temperatures are going up, water vapor is going down.

  84. kdtroxel says:

    Was the microbial soil test done on grounds that was saturated with RoundUp or DDT, these compounds do not break down easily and they do inhibit soil microbial growth.

  85. Ed Caryl says:

    Jim says:
    April 28, 2010 at 9:20 am
    ****************Ed Caryl says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:57 am
    Jim
    “Tree roots growing through limestone.”

    http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/page65.html

    No. It’s purely mechanical. Small root hairs grow into small cracks going after moisture, then grow bigger.
    ****************
    That does not appear to the mechanism I see. I have a large limestone rock in my yard for decoration. It had roots all through it when we got it. There are holes where the roots were, not cracks. (Some roots are still in it.) The holes are smooth-walled, not jagged as if they had been produced by mechanical force.
    *****************
    I kept looking. And guess what, I found a paper that mentioned that bacteria and fungi grow alongside roots.
    http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/784.pdf

    Also found:
    http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/sciences/botanicalsciences/plantsstructure/MatureRoot/MatureRoot.htm
    With this:
    “Mineral Uptake: Root hairs are responsible for initiating and maintaining cation exchange relationships with microscopic soil particle. Here the root hair secretes hydrogen ions onto the soil particle, exchanging them for mineral ions (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). Then the root removes those minerals from the soil water surrounding the soil particle. ”
    That process would obviously produce CO2 from limestone. Jim, you were correct.

  86. magicjava says:

    [quote ~dbs]
    [Note: WordPress uses HTML, and requires angle brackets. Examples are shown below the comment box at the bottom of the page. ~dbs]
    [/quote]

    Perhaps there was a shift change or something, but I’ve already replied that I like using square brackets.

  87. dave38 says:

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
    The quote is actually “A little learning is a dangerous thing”
    From An Essay on Criticism, 1709 by Alexander Pope

  88. Tom in Co. says:

    gcb says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:01 am
    “…..Actually, more CO2 in the ocean makes it (slightly) more acidic via the formation of small amounts of carbonic acid, as I understand it. This could potentially have adverse impacts on coral reefs.”

    This has been a standard mantra of the AGW crowd for a positive feedback, that the ocean will acidify and the carbonate reefs will dissolve and release even more CO2. But this is not supported by the geologic record at all. For the past 300 million years, the CO2 content in the air, has been more than three times what it is today (>1000 ppm). If the AGW theory were true, there would be no carbonate rocks in the geologic column (because it would have all dissolved in the “carbonic acid” rich ocean). Yet the geologic column is rich with lots of carbonate rock, in fact there is much more carbonate rocks in the past than they can see forming in the present.

  89. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Enneagram says:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:42 am
    Organic life on earth is closely linked to carbon cycle simply because WE are made out from CARBON and WATER. Every individual absorbs and emits energy according to its inner structure.

    I think you raise such a thought provoking point, that the government wants to actually regulate our place in the carbon cycle, in nature itself! That is something that puts it on a spiritual or religious plane, because they are telling us what we must do to live at one with the planet, to atone for our existence. I hope your post gives people a little shock, as they always do for me! :) :)

  90. Larry says:

    What Professor Motl says above is exactly what I was thinking about this post, and about the stuff that Willis Eschenbach has been writing about Earth as a “thermostat.” It is a well-observed and proven principle that nature somehow always seeks an equilibrium, and that all of the processes of nature appear to be designed in a manner to produce that effect. What we are seeing in the daily data we observe is nature striving in its own way to attain an equilibrium state. We just want to learn more about how and when that happens. Mankind can really do little by itself to disturb those processes on a global scale (even though it can occasionally do so on a local scale).

  91. Pascvaks says:

    Let’s not forget the lowly anaerobic microbes which accomplish the exact opposite. They love co2 and hate o2. Maybe we could send a few to Venus;-)

  92. David Middleton says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:28 am
    Is the current estimate of the natural carbon flux actually measured?
    Or is it based on a model?
    When I use Knorr’s 0.55 decay rate for atmospheric CO2, I come up with a residence time (RT) of ~15 years (with 95% cycled out of the atmosphere within 5 years).
    When I use the CDIAC anthropogenic emissions history back to 1751 and the 0.55 decay rate, I back calculate a natural CO2 flux to the atmosphere of 437 GtC in 1751, gradually rising to 592 GtC in 2006. The highest value I can find for a pre-industrial natural flux to the atmosphere is 244 GtC from the TOTEM model.

    David, you are confusing between residence time (which is about 5.2 years) and excess removal time which is about 40 years. The 55% year by year removal rate is the result of the second halve life time. That it was such a constant ratio is quite coincidencal, because until a few years ago the emissions were increasing more or less exponentially, thus the accumulation in the atmosphere increased too. If the emissions were at a constant rate, the increase in the atmosphere would increase assymptotically until a new equilibrium was reached (at some higher level), where emissions and sinks were of the same size.

    flows in/out the atmosphere were deduced from different items like d13C changes and oxygen use for vegetation sink/source rate over the seasons and dCO2 partial pressure differences between the oceans and the atmosphere from the tropics to the poles. These figures still have large margins of error, but are not that important for models, as for the models the seasonal flows are not important, only the net increase of CO2 and water vapour over the years is important.
    See further:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/287/5462/2467.pdf Battle ea. partitioning
    http://www.agu.org/journals/gb/gb0504/2004GB002410/2004GB002410.pdf Bender ea. idem
    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf until 2002.
    For the oceans:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml

    Some models may assume that the 55% sink rate in the future will reduce as the oceans become saturated, but there is no sign of that.

  93. David44 says:

    magicjava @April 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    Just to clarify, I’m not saying that, just quoting Dressler from that Dec09 JPL article. Just trying to find out if he has a leg to stand on based on the Aqua/AIRS data or if he’s just spouting reflex AGW dogma. Clearly you don’t think he does, but the water vapor/humidity graph you link to in your response isn’t too helpful without attribution and explanation – but thanks for the attempt. If anyone has a more developed response to Dressler’s statement, please chime in. Mean time, I’ll see what I can find at scienceofdoom as magicjava suggests. Thanks.

  94. Jimbo says:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 am
    Co2 is lumpy, contrary to the IPCC assumption of it being a well mixed gas
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-196

    Milwaukee Bob says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:59 am
    Jimbo, thanks for that reference, been looking for something like that for years, knowing there is no way CO2 is a “well mixed gas” as REQUIRED by the GW models to work.

    Even the AIRS data show that in average (over a year), CO2 is well mixed. That doesn’t mean that CO2 at every moment everywhere on earth is exactly the same. Of course not, as we have huge sources and sinks at work, especially over the seasons: some 20% of all CO2 in that atmosphere per year is exchanged (back and forth) with the oceans and vegetation over the seasons. Despite that, the differences as yearly averages from the North Pole to the South pole are less than 2% of the atmospheric CO2 content…

    The Mauna Loa data and the AIRS data over the same area show a quite good fit:
    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/411794main_slide8-AIRS-full.jpg but the accuracy of the AIRS data is less than these of Mauna Loa and other ground based stations. The advantage of AIRS is its global coverage.

  95. Logan says:

    Oceanic phytoplankton produce a strong negative feedback through the generation of dimethyl sulfide. The summary essay at CO2science:

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/d/summaries/dms.php

    The last paragraph in the summary:

    In conclusion, it is unfortunate that in light of the overwhelming empirical evidence for both land- and ocean-based DMS-driven negative feedbacks to global warming, the effects of these processes have not been properly incorporated into today’s state-of-the-art climate models. Hence, the warming they predict in response to future anthropogenic CO2 emissions must be considerably larger than what could actually occur in the real world. In fact, it is very possible that these biologically-driven phenomena could totally compensate for the warming influence of all greenhouse gas emissions experienced to date, as well as all those that are anticipated to occur in the future.

  96. Chris Riley says:
    April 28, 2010 at 7:28 am
    “This could be a game changer” Well put.

    In that soil respiration is about an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions, any small deviation from from the assumption that plant respiration + soil respiration equals plant assimilation ( minus actual growth in biomass carbon) would would require a rethinking of the impact of current emissions of CO2 on future concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    This is not a big game changer at all. Soil respiration is part of the natural carbon cycle, which shows little variation over the years, only influenced by temperature (about 4 ppmv/C) and precipitation. Temperature influence on CO2 levels is small and includes ocean warming and all biological processes (vegetation growth and decay, soil respiration, animals use of vegetation,…). The net effect is that about halve of the human emissions (in quantity) is removed from the atmosphere, of which 2/3rd in the oceans and 1/3rd in the total biosphere). Thus while the individual flows may be large the net natural variance is small and a net sink for CO2.

  97. Tom in Co. says:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:46 am
    The biggest unknown in my mind with this cycle, is the generation of carbonate sediments in the ocean (that which becomes limestone). It would make sense that if the CO2 content in the ocean were to increase that the rate of carbonate sediments would also increase, but I have not seen any quantification of this process sensitivity. If this were true it, could be the biggest negative feedback of all.
    There is some quantification done at two stations: for the Atlantic at Bermuda, for the Pacific at Hawai. Sedimentation is a rather slow process, and mainly from coccoliths (see: http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/soes/staff/tt/eh/ ). Most of the CO2 is captured in the upper few hundred meters of the oceans as new equilibrium with the atmosphere and more permanently in the deep oceans by the sinking flows of the THC.

  98. Jim G says:

    Dave38,

    “It’s not all the things that people don’t know that get them in trouble, but all the things they do know that just ain’t so.” Quote often attributed to Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain) though I believe the originator of this quote predated him. Unfortunately my advanced state of senility precludes my ability to recall his name. Suffering from CRS I guess.

  99. Smokey says:
    April 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

    That is the key point. The climate alarmist crowd wants people to think that the increase in CO2, coinciding entirely by chance with the industrial revolution, is due to human emissions.
    That is a deliberate misrepresentation. Almost all of the increase in CO2 comes from natural sources.

    Come on Smokey, by chance? I don’t know of any natural process that may be able to exactly follow the emissions at such a straighth percentage. As good as in quantity as in quality (13C/12C ratio). And what natural source could that be? Both vegetation and oceans are net sinks for CO2, not sources. Maybe from space?

    Only about one-quarter of one percent of all GHG emissions are from human activities. CO2 is only one minor fraction of total GHGs. Further, CO2 is a minor trace gas, comprising only 0.00039 of the atmosphere.

    Except that the natural “emissions” are no emissions at all, but part of a cycle, where the natural sinks are larger than the natural sources…

    The effect of the human induced increase of CO2 on temperature, that is a different discussion, there we can largely agree, but the cause of the increase is from human emissions, there is overwhelming evidence (and no disproof) for that:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#The_mass_balance

  100. Josualdo says:

    Spector says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I think it would be highly ironic if our minor 1000-year climate cycles were eventually found to be biota-related and analogous to the classic predator-prey cycles.

    That would be fun. It has been in the back of my mind, and will stay there.

  101. David44 says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

    “In another major finding, scientists using AIRS data have removed most of the uncertainty about the role of water vapor in atmospheric models. The data are the strongest observational evidence to date for how water vapor responds to a warming climate.

    I have read the water vapor “feedback” in detail for North/West Europe by Philipona. This paper showed a huge feedback of water vapor and temperature with a very small increase of CO2 over a few years. That was a factor 4 larger than what the models expected (as global feedback). But what Philipona forgot was that in this case, the NAO was the main driver for (winter) temperatures and humidity: a positive NAO shows stronger SW winds in winter, bringing warmer, more humid air to far inland. Thus water vapor in this case was not a feedback, but (together with warmer ocean side winds) the driver for increased temperatures…

  102. David Middleton says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    [...]

    The Mauna Loa data and the AIRS data over the same area show a quite good fit:
    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/411794main_slide8-AIRS-full.jpg but the accuracy of the AIRS data is less than these of Mauna Loa and other ground based stations. The advantage of AIRS is its global coverage.

    Ferdinand,

    The MLO and AIRS curves match well, because the AIRS data were “collocated within 500 km” of MLO.

    And the AIRS data do not show well mixed CO2…

    “AIRS data show that carbon dioxide is not well mixed in Earth’s atmosphere, results that have been validated by direct measurements. The belt of carbon dioxide concentration in the southern hemisphere, depicted in red, reaches maximum strength in July-August and minimum strength in December-January. There is a net transfer of carbon dioxide from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere produces three to four times more human produced carbon dioxide than the southern hemisphere. Image credit: NASA” NASA

    This AIRS image clearly shows Arctic CO2 in the 370’s, Antarctic CO2 in the 360’s and mid- to lower latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere to be in the 380’s.

    The polar regions clearly have 10 to 20 ppmv lower CO2 concentrations than the mid- to low latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. This is one of the reasons that CO2 estimates from Antarctic ice cores are too low.

  103. Davol says:
    April 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    I’ve got a game changer for the global warming agenda. The volcano in Iceland is still spewing ash into the upper atmospher. It’s a well established climate model that can demonstrate the effect of this volcano for the next 2 to 5 years at least. That scientifically established effect is known as global cooling. It’s true what is said above, that nature doesn’t give a crap about climate models. Now there’s a game changer.

    Not really, the ash is not going high enough. Most still is in the troposphere where it can rain out in a few days to a few weeks. The Pinatubo was the real one, spitting it directly into the stratosphere, where it stayed for 2-3 years…

  104. Josualdo says:

    gcb says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Actually, more CO2 in the ocean makes it (slightly) more acidic via the formation of small amounts of carbonic acid, as I understand it. This could potentially have adverse impacts on coral reefs.

    And it might not. It seems, for instance, that some crustaceans grow bigger, with thicker shells (CaCO3).

    Coral bleaching seems to be a transient situation too, while the symbiotic algae that were there die, and until they are replaced by a more adapted strain/species/whatever.

    Sea water around corals also seems to be much more acidic than in the open sea.

    It also appears that the extent of pH variation from GW will not be more than 0,2 to 0,4 pH units, and it seems that wider variations occur already.

    I apologize for not having links ready — it would take me some time! Try looking up, say, http://co2science.org in the meantime. It has a search feature. All these assertions would be much more comfortable for me if I was more certain of them, in terms of references!

    As has been said here (this post’s comments are full of phylosophical observations!), the extent of our ignorance is abysmal. But the first step to knoweledge is knowing we know not.

  105. Smokey says:

    Yes, Ferdinand, almost all of the rise in CO2 comes from natural [non-anthropogenic] sources. The current rise in CO2 is a correlation that appears to be largely a coincidence. Similar rises have taken place repeatedly in the past, before humans could possibly have had any effect. As you have stated before, a rise in CO2 results from a rise in temperature. This cause and effect appears on all time scales.

    You do not agree with the article. But it is very similar to what Prof Freeman Dyson explained here. The biosphere has an enormous effect on sources and sinks of CO2, and we do not know all the answers. We have not specifically quantified the extent of the effect of the biosphere on CO2. Its terrestrial extent in particular is one of the great unknowns. Climate science is in its infancy.

    One thing we do know is that while CO2 has steadily increased over the past two centuries, the planet’s temperature rises and falls on a multi-decadal time scale without regard to CO2, making a clear link between CO2 and any subsequent rise in temperature highly questionable.

    All you can say is that the amount of a particular carbon isotope remains in the atmosphere longer due to biological processes. Gradually over time the ratio shifts. But increases in CO2 follow temperature increases, and no adequate refutation has been provided showing that the current rise in CO2 is not primarily the result of the MWP. As Prof Dyson explains, the rise in atmospheric CO2 since the mid 1700’s can not be explained by human emissions, which are insufficient to cause such a large rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Therefore, other factors must be at work.

    It is premature to make the assumption that the relatively tiny amount of anthropogenic CO2 has any measurable effect on the temperature. Rather, it seems that the temperature has an effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

  106. pft says:

    Do scientists ever publish papers based on experiments anymore. These numbers can only be gross estimates with large uncertainties. How do scientists publish papers and not estimate these uncertainties. Maybe the paper does, but the press release should have it as well.

    Models are today what thought experiments were in Einsteins days, so I don’t have a problem with models in that sense. However, Einsteins thought experiments came after reading papers published based on experimental data from a lab. I keep waiting for a day when I read about a paper based on experiments from a funded project that simulates climate in a closed system built like in Stephen Kings fictional work Dome. I doubt it will happen, since models are way too convenient. Who needs to know whats real when we can create our own reality of the “The emperor is wearing fine clothes when he is naked” variety with models.

  107. Dave Wendt says:

    David44 says:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/28/new-ground-truth-microbiotic-negative-feedback/#comment-379030

    If anyone has a more developed response to Dressler’s statement, please chime in. Mean time, I’ll see what I can find at scienceofdoom as magicjava suggests. Thanks.

    I’m not sure what you’re looking for but my own views on the positive- negative feedback from H2O question have been most affected by a study done in Canada over a decade ago. They used spectral analysis of downwelling longwave radiation, the main driver of the greenhouse effect, to quantify the contribution of the various atmospheric component gases to the total DLR signal. What they found was that in the presence of DLR from H2O that was greater than 200W/m2, the contribution from the nonH2O GHGs was dramatically suppressed. CO2 went from providing 30-35W/m2 of the 120 -140 W/m2 total in the dry cold air of winter to only 10.5W/m2 of the 270W/m2 in the moister air of summer. Interestingly, they used a computer model to construct a profile of the preindustrial atmosphere which exactly predicted this phenomenon.
    Since any predicted increase in water in the atmosphere would need to be generated from the oceans in the tropics and subtropics and since measurements and predictions of the total DLR in those zones are in the 375-450+ W/m2 range, this phenomenon suggests, to me at least, that CO2’s contribution to the greenhouse effect in those areas would be in total only 1-3% or less of the whole and any marginal increases would be reduced proportionately. Given that, it’s a little hard to imagine how CO2 could generate enough extra water in the atmosphere to drive any kind of feedback.

  108. Charles Colenatyd says:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave
    When using models to deceive

  109. David44 says:

    @magicjava, Ferdinand, and Dave Wendt – Thanks for your comments. Science of Doom has a current post relative to this. The bottom line for me is it’s highly complex and anyone who claims to understand the effects of water vapor (Dressler?) sufficient to make accurate predictions for the end of the century is spoofin’ or deluded or both. Given the long term relative stability of climate, it seems likely that feedbacks are much more likely to be proved to be negative than positive and that external influences must be responsible for any dramatic shifts. It’s hard for me to believe that we can put and keep enough CO2 in the atmosphere before we run out of fossil fuels to have seriously deleterious effects on climate. (That’s not to say that mining, transporting, and burning coal and oil is good for the environment and other living things; just that CO2 production seems the least likely of the impacts to be harmful.)

  110. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    The diagram clearly shows what the problem is.

    The atmosphere increases 4 units a year while fossil fuel use puts out 7 units a year.

    Therefore humans are completely responsible as 7 is greater than 4. And we need to cut 3/7 of our output immediately to avoid catastrophe, and even more to just slow down the warming climate change. A 7/7 reduction would work best of all.

    Check with Dr. Pachauri, he’ll confirm this. He’s smart. He got a Nobel Prize for figuring all this stuff out.

  111. Pamela Gray says:

    pft, you mentioned thought experiments. Einstein was good at that. In his clerk days, he spent many hours battling office boredom by doing thought experiments. Brilliant man.

  112. Pamela Gray says:

    I believe the proper phrase is less alkaline, not slightly acidic. You would be hard pressed to turn a salty ocean into an acidic one.

  113. Graeme From Melbourne says:

    listen to that….. it’s the sound of evaporating “tipping points”.

  114. Bill says:

    I installed large tonnage commercial chillers at a mushroom farm, (mushroom metabolism produces a huge amount of heat) and I was told mushrooms essentially stop growing when the temperature reaches 90°F, so it isn’t just microbes which stop contibuting CO2 as it warms. Termites don’t handle heat well either.

  115. Ken Coffman says:

    Maybe you guys would enjoy my little essay on Little Carbon Dioxide Suns…

    Little Carbon Dioxide Suns

  116. Charles Colenaty says:

    I managed to place an unwanted d at the end of my name in the post above. My last name is Colenaty, not Colenatyd. Not that this makes any difference to anyone except me.

    [Can't change it, sorry. You will have to go through WordPress. ~dbs, mod]

  117. Paul Vaughan says:

    Once you start modeling the complexity of life itself, you’re lucky if you can get to within a factor of 2. Often much worse performance is considered “excellent”. The need for more research is an understatement, but claims that biological modeling is precise can be dismissed with a hearty laugh.

  118. Mike says:

    Mike says:
    April 28, 2010 at 9:33 am

    From the press release: “But if microbes manage to adapt to the warmth – for instance, through increased enzyme activity – emissions could intensify.”

    So, we should continue to run up CO2 levels and see what happens. If we ruin this planet we can always move to another one, right?

    REPLY: The whole AGW issue is built on “what if?”. You could come up with a hundred more “what if” scenarios. What if microbes develop super powers? What if they develop an affinity for increased CO2? What if nothing happens at all? The planet and the microbes did just fine before when CO2 levels were higher in ancient past. I’m not going to worry about them and neither should anyone else as we have virtually no control over the sum of the biospheric microbiotics. -A

    REPLY to A: No, AGW is based on physics. If we pump CO2 into the atmosphere this will push toward warming. There are unknowns. This soil microbe one is interesting. There are unknowns in cloud formation and in deep ocean heat transport. But these may delay warming but are not likely to stop it. And of course there are unknown risks: methane release from permafrost. The people with the relevant expertise are overwhelmingly convinced the risk of major harm to our environment is high with most of the uncertainty in when not if. Therefore it is prudent for us to explore means to reduce CO2 emissions.

    PS: I think it is good you are posting links to Gore and the EPA even though you are making fun of them. Avoiding group think is important all around.

  119. maksimovich says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Not really, the ash is not going high enough. Most still is in the troposphere where it can rain out in a few days to a few weeks. The Pinatubo was the real one, spitting it directly into the stratosphere, where it stayed for 2-3 years…

    And the biologist would suggest otherwise ( in a local geographic area)

    Eg Langmann et al

    Volcanic ash as fertiliser for the surface ocean

    Abstract
    Iron is a key limiting micro-nutrient for marine primary productivity. It can be supplied to the ocean by atmospheric dust deposition. Volcanic ash deposition into the ocean represents another external and so far largely neglected source of iron. This study 5 demonstrates strong evidence for natural fertilisation in the iron-limited oceanic area of the NE Pacific, induced by volcanic ash from the eruption of Kasatochi volcano in August 2008. Atmospheric and oceanic conditions were favourable to generate a massive phytoplankton bloom in the NE Pacific Ocean which for the first time establishes a causal connection between oceanic iron-fertilisation and volcanic ash supply.

    This brings three concomitant mechanisms into play,surface albedo,cloud nucleation due to dmsp, and co2 drawdown (from a biological POV),

    The draw down is visible in the airborne fraction ,eg Gloor et al 2010

    Although understood for a longtime eg Harvey 1937, Kurenkov 1966 the mechanisms seem to have been overlooked by the IPCC

    http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh133/mataraka/AFPETURBATION.jpg

  120. Josualdo says:

    Mike says:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Mike says:
    April 28, 2010 at 9:33 am

    [...] So, we should continue to run up CO2 levels and see what happens. If we ruin this planet we can always move to another one, right?

    REPLY: The whole AGW issue is built on “what if?”. [...]

    REPLY to A: No, AGW is based on physics. If we pump CO2 into the atmosphere this will push toward warming. [...]

    Right it is. But in an incomplete understanding of the factors involved. Moreover, much that we love physics, it still is unable describe many things.

    So, as said here, there’s still much ignorance in this matter, and a little knowledge. Filling in our ignorance with assumptions takes us nowhere, and anyway, in the absence of experimental (not models!) knowledge, any assumption is just as good as its complete opposite.

    Even how much temperature increase results from a given increase in CO2, in the earth system, is still an assumption, IIRC.

  121. jaymam says:

    Stacey: “Why not carry out an experiment and measure CO2 emissions from soils at different temperatures. Is that too easy?”

    I was wondering the same thing.
    How about 100 different samples of soil with a variety of temperatures and CO2 levels. Monitor the changes in CO2 levels over a few months.

  122. David Middleton says:
    April 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    the AIRS data do not show well mixed CO2…

    “AIRS data show that carbon dioxide is not well mixed in Earth’s atmosphere, results that have been validated by direct measurements. The belt of carbon dioxide concentration in the southern hemisphere, depicted in red, reaches maximum strength in July-August and minimum strength in December-January. There is a net transfer of carbon dioxide from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere produces three to four times more human produced carbon dioxide than the southern hemisphere. Image credit: NASA”

    There lacks one word:
    “AIRS data show that carbon dioxide is not well mixed momentarely in Earth’s atmosphere”. If you see the difference in summer and winter for the NH, the Arctic CO2 is higher than average in winter and lower than average in summer (which is caused by vegetation growth and decay). Just have a look at the AIRS animation:
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/AIRS-CO2-Movie-2002-2009/

    This AIRS image clearly shows Arctic CO2 in the 370′s, Antarctic CO2 in the 360′s and mid- to lower latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere to be in the 380′s.
    The polar regions clearly have 10 to 20 ppmv lower CO2 concentrations than the mid- to low latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. This is one of the reasons that CO2 estimates from Antarctic ice cores are too low.

    Yes, in summer time, but the opposite within the NH for winter times. Indeed there is a gradient between the NH and SH, as most of the human emissions are in the NH and the ITCZ slows down the interchange of air masses (including CO2) between the hemispheres. But over a year, the averages are less than 2 ppmv from each other within one hemisphere and less than 5 ppmv between near the North Pole (Barrow) and the South Pole:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.gif
    The difference is 5% of the increase or slightly over 1% of the full scale. Thus well mixed, the SH follows the NH with some 12 months lag. As in pre-industrial times the changes were (probably) much slower (in average) and ice cores average the changes out over eight to hundreds of years, the NH/SH differences play no role at all.

  123. Smokey says:
    April 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    Yes, Ferdinand, almost all of the rise in CO2 comes from natural [non-anthropogenic] sources. The current rise in CO2 is a correlation that appears to be largely a coincidence. Similar rises have taken place repeatedly in the past, before humans could possibly have had any effect. As you have stated before, a rise in CO2 results from a rise in temperature. This cause and effect appears on all time scales.

    While nature increases CO2 levels with higher temperatures, the increase is limited to 8 ppmv/C, even sustained over thousands of years. That means that the drop in temperature between the MWP and the LIA was about 6 ppmv (measured) and the increase in temperature (less than 1 C) since the LIA didn’t increase CO2 levels in the atmosphere with more than 8 ppmv. That is all. The rest of the 100+ ppmv increase is from human emissions.

    To make a balance: humans have emitted over 300 GtC since about 1850, of which about 210 GtC remained in the atmosphere ( as mass, not as individual isotopic different molecules). Thus it is entirely possible that humans are responsible for the increase. Both oceans and biosphere are net sinks for CO2 and there are no other important natural sources which are fast enough to deliver the increase.
    Moreover: if we add 8 GtC/year and we measure an increase of some 4 GtC/year in the atmosphere, that simply means that some 4 GtC/year is absorbed by nature as a whole, whatever the individual natural flows released and absorbed… This is sufficient proof that humans are responsible. That is a matter of mass balance:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg
    At least over the past 60 years, nature as a whole added nothing, nada, zero CO2 in balance to the atmosphere, despite that 150 GtC was exchanged between the atmosphere and oceans/biosphere.

    It is like an industry with a huge turnover, but a negative yield…

  124. maksimovich says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    And the biologist would suggest otherwise ( in a local geographic area)
    Eg Langmann et al
    Volcanic ash as fertiliser for the surface ocean

    In addition, CO2 increase was reduced after the Pinatubo eruption in part from colder temperatures (-0.6 C), but also by increased photosynthesis: the aerosols redistributed sunlight in more diffuse ways, which enhanced sunrays impact on leaves which were more shaded from direct sunlight…

  125. Mike says:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    REPLY to A: No, AGW is based on physics. If we pump CO2 into the atmosphere this will push toward warming. There are unknowns. This soil microbe one is interesting. There are unknowns in cloud formation and in deep ocean heat transport. But these may delay warming but are not likely to stop it. And of course there are unknown risks: methane release from permafrost. The people with the relevant expertise are overwhelmingly convinced the risk of major harm to our environment is high with most of the uncertainty in when not if. Therefore it is prudent for us to explore means to reduce CO2 emissions.

    PS: I think it is good you are posting links to Gore and the EPA even though you are making fun of them. Avoiding group think is important all around.

    The temperatures were higher than today in the previous interglacial (the Eemian), without any runaway reaction of CO2 of CH4 levels. Permafrost and Arctic summer ice were probably gone, as good as a large part of the Greenland ice sheet. Temperatures in Alaska were 5 C warmer than today, but CO2 levels were only 280 ppmv and CH4 levels were only 700 ppbv. The effect of 2xCO2 is not more than 0.9 C, with (questionable) water vapor feedback 1.3 C. The rest of the feedbacks are highly uncertain and even the sign used in the models may be wrong (clouds e.g.).

    But that shouldn’t stop us for a search into alternatives, but that is quite different from high taxes or cap-and-trade and other economic disasters…

    BTW, my experience is that websites which don’t give links to their opposants are not thrustworthy, no matter how “scientific” these may seem to be…

  126. ozspeaksup says:

    I dabble in soil micobial activity, in dry hot summer soils the microbe count is almost none, they estivate as do worms in cooler weather.
    My soil CO2 meter can be set for 24hr or days of external reads, the variation in a cup of soil in a sealed container over even an hour is simply amazing.
    the lunar cycle also affects the readings greatly.
    carbon either from humates charcoal or as a limestone form, though some are degradable faster ie dolomite, is what the microbes need to make the Ph levels and cation exchange happen, without microbial action the soil is inert and useless to plants.ie desert.
    chemical fetilizers are salt based and kill biota, the lime to neutral theory is also wrong, slightly acid soils are more effective at allowing the needed reactions to occur.

    to the chap that has the limestone rock, the tree roots followed and forced cracks, the microbes followed the roots as they delved, and they sure can etch rock.
    then as they make soils the worms and other biota move in also.
    soils follow circadian ,lunar, seasonal cycles.
    the idiots that pronounced this “news” need to go learn from the oldtimers!
    I suggest Charles walters, W Albrecht, andC Loius Kervrans book on Biological Transmutation as being basic and mandatory reading.

  127. Smokey says:

    ozspeaksup,

    Thanks for your very interesting comment, pointing out that the lunar cycle greatly affects CO2 readings.

    Prof Beck notes the same thing here [p. 276] and here. [click on "M" @bottom right corner to return to the index]. Also see here [see p. 8; diurnal changes in CO2].

    Beck had a chart showing that CO2 peaks during various moon phases, but I can no longer find it. A lot of folks would be skeptical of the moon’s influence on CO2 levels, but as you pointed out, it is there. CO2 levels are much more complicated than the simplistic notion that fossil fuel use is the only, or even the primary explanation.

  128. Josualdo says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 29, 2010 at 2:59 am

    David Middleton says:
    April 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    This AIRS image clearly shows Arctic CO2 in the 370′s, Antarctic CO2 in the 360′s and mid- to lower latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere to be in the 380′s.
    The polar regions clearly have 10 to 20 ppmv lower CO2 concentrations than the mid- to low latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. This is one of the reasons that CO2 estimates from Antarctic ice cores are too low.

    Yes, in summer time, but the opposite within the NH for winter times. Indeed there is a gradient between the NH and SH, as most of the human emissions are in the NH and the ITCZ slows down the interchange of air masses (including CO2) between the hemispheres. But over a year, the averages are less than 2 ppmv from each other within one hemisphere and less than 5 ppmv between near the North Pole (Barrow) and the South Pole:

    Ferdinand, if you say there is a gradient, then you cannot say that it’s well mixed. I know that from my irish coffees :-)

    You can average, but statistics over an year (or anything) will not make that shifting gradient disappear in nature, just in the spreadsheet.

  129. Joe says:

    “As warmer temperatures are maintained, the less efficient use of carbon by the microbes causes them to decrease in number…”

    I can see it now:

    “We’re killing the polar bears microbes!!!!!!”

  130. Josualdo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Ferdinand, if you say there is a gradient, then you cannot say that it’s well mixed. I know that from my irish coffees :-)

    You can average, but statistics over an year (or anything) will not make that shifting gradient disappear in nature, just in the spreadsheet.

    Depends what borders you use in the definition of “well mixed”. One-year time frames are needed to eliminate the seasonal cycle (+/- 5 ppmv) and about one year is the lag of the SH. Thus, besides the influence of the seasons, the mixing of global CO2 is obtained within a year from about 1% difference (in absolute level) to zero, if there were no further emissions. It is because most of the emissions are in the NH that there is a gradient. Thus we may say that CO2 is well mixed within a year. Not within days or months or seasons. For the impact of CO2 on temperature, the variability within a year is of no importance, only the average CO2 increase over (many) years might be important (if at all).

    BTW, let your Irish coffee stand for one day and it is well mixed too…

  131. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    According to the US EPA,

    • In 2000, energy-related emissions resulting from POTW operations – excluding organic sludge degradation – led to a global warming potential of 15.5 teragrams (Tg) CO2- equivalents (CO2-eq.), an acidification potential of 145 gigagrams (Gg) sulphur dioxide- equivalents (SO2-eq.), and eutrophication potential of 4 Gg phosphate equivalents (PO43- eq).

    • CH4 (methane) and N2O (nitrous oxide) are mainly emitted during organic sludge degradation by anaerobic bacteria in the soil environment, wastewater treatment plant, and receiving water body.

    • In 2006, an estimated 23.9 and 8.1 Tg CO2-eq. of CH4 and N2O, respectively, resulted from organic sludge degradation in wastewater treatment system, over 0.4% of total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
    ——

    So, save the earth and don’t flush!! Your poop is ruining the climate!!

  132. maksimovich says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    In addition, CO2 increase was reduced after the Pinatubo eruption in part from colder temperatures (-0.6 C), but also by increased photosynthesis: the aerosols redistributed sunlight in more diffuse ways, which enhanced sunrays impact on leaves which were more shaded from direct sunlight…

    Incorrect assumption eg Duggen et al 2009

    An anomalous oxygen pulse emanating from the Southern Hemisphere in the years following the 1991 Pinatubo eruption is consistent with an iron-fertilisation event with Pinatubo ash in the iron-limited Southern Ocean (Keeling et al., 1996; Watson, 1997; Sarmiento, 1993). It was proposed that the oxygen pulse was linked to an atmospheric CO2-drawdown in the same years, also argued to be causally related to an iron-fertilisation effect with ash from the Pinatubo eruption (Sarmiento, 1993; Watson, 1997). The causes for the post-Pinatubo CO2-drawdown, however, seem to be subject to ongoing discussion. It can be argued that the relative atmospheric CO2-reduction cannot be explained by an increase in net primary production (NPP) of the terrestrial biomass, as several studies show a decrease in terrestrial NPP of up to eight years after the eruption, possibly caused by a decrease in mean summer temperatures and a shortening of the growing season (Lucht et al., 2002; Nemani et al., 2003; Awaya et al., 2004; Krakauer and Randerson, 2003).

    Lagmann et al 2010 summarize succintly

    Interestingly, the direct deposition of volcanic ash from the Mt. Hudson eruption in Chile in 1991 into the iron-limited Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean (Scasso et al., 1994) was not even considered in explaining the observed CO2 drawdown of the 90ies.Another example is the eruption of Huaynaputina volcano in Peru in 1600 (de Silva and Zielinski, 1998). Volcanic ash settled into the tropical Pacific as well as the Southern Ocean, two large HNLC areas. The amount of tephra released by Huaynaputina in 1600 is 19.2 km3 minimum (de Silva and Zielinski, 1998), which is a factor of about 77 in comparison to Kasatochi, resulting in an amount of carbon consumed by phytoplankton of 9.2×1015 gC. The iron-fertilisation potential of this event could serve as an explanation for the atmospheric CO2 reduction by about 10 ppm which was measured in Antarctic ice cores after 1600 (Meure et al., 2006), but this mechanism has not been taken into account until now.

  133. maksimovich says:
    April 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for the interesting info! Hadn’t thought about the iron fertilization of the oceans… The assumption about increased NPP was from another source, but lost the reference. Seems to be wrong…

  134. Josualdo says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Josualdo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Ferdinand, if you say there is a gradient, then you cannot say that it’s well mixed. I know that from my irish coffees :-)

    You can average, but statistics over an year (or anything) will not make that shifting gradient disappear in nature, just in the spreadsheet.

    Depends what borders you use in the definition of “well mixed”.

    Hmmm yes, let us define our terms…

    [...] mixing of global CO2 is obtained within a year from about 1% difference (in absolute level) to zero, if there were no further emissions.

    That’s decent. There that big “if” in there, though.

    For the impact of CO2 on temperature, the variability within a year is of no importance, only the average CO2 increase over (many) years might be important (if at all).

    I see. But what if the NH-SH gradient doesn’t go away? (Or am I missing someting?) I mean, it can stay for many years, I guess; be something like a fixed feature.

    BTW, let your Irish coffee stand for one day and it is well mixed too…

    Hogwash! Impossible! It never stands more than two minutes! :-)

  135. Josualdo says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 29, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Ferdinand, thank you for being so helpful. I must forward a question, though, as it hasn’t left my mind since I read this:

    While nature increases CO2 levels with higher temperatures, the increase is limited to 8 ppmv/C, even sustained over thousands of years.

    Where does that value come from? This is very interesting, considering the geological record etc. I hope it’s not another model thing? That would be disappointing.

  136. Josualdo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I see. But what if the NH-SH gradient doesn’t go away? (Or am I missing someting?) I mean, it can stay for many years, I guess; be something like a fixed feature.

    As human emissions are currently about 8 GtC/yr, or about 4 ppmv and 90% of the emissions are in the NH, this causes a near constant difference of near 4 ppmv between the NH and the SH. The difference was smaller in the past (50 years ago) than today and increases with the emission rate:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1960_2006.jpg
    Thus if there were no emissions, the difference would be near zero within a year.

    BTW, let your Irish coffee stand for one day and it is well mixed too…
    Hogwash! Impossible! It never stands more than two minutes!

    It is worse than I thought! Mixing already within 2 minutes… in your stomach.

  137. David Middleton says:

    Josualdo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 29, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Ferdinand, thank you for being so helpful. I must forward a question, though, as it hasn’t left my mind since I read this:

    While nature increases CO2 levels with higher temperatures, the increase is limited to 8 ppmv/C, even sustained over thousands of years.

    Where does that value come from? This is very interesting, considering the geological record etc. I hope it’s not another model thing? That would be disappointing.

    The 8 ppmv/C comes from the Antarctic ice cores.

    Of course, those ice cores yield an over all Pleistocene CO2 level that is 30 to 40 ppmv too low and fail to record the century-scale CO2 shifts of 60 or more ppmv that routinely occurred in response to prior episodes of global warming and cooling during the Holocene.

  138. Josualdo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    While nature increases CO2 levels with higher temperatures, the increase is limited to 8 ppmv/C, even sustained over thousands of years.

    Where does that value come from? This is very interesting, considering the geological record etc. I hope it’s not another model thing? That would be disappointing.

    This is based on the Vostok ice core (420,000 years) and recently confirmed by the Dome C core (800,000 years). The ratio between CO2 levels in the ice core and temperature (proxies: dD and d18O) is remarkably linear:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif
    Where zero temperature is current average temperature. Most of the deviations from the trend line is at the transitions, caused by the lag of CO2 changes after temperature changes: some 800 years for deglaciations and several thousands of years for the onset of glaciations.

    The inland high altitude ice cores more or less reflect the average temperature of the SH oceans over a wide area in dD and d18O isotopic shifts. There are some differences in timing with the NH, but similar reconstructions (Greenland ice core for the last 120,000 years) show similar (ocean) temperature shifts. Unfortunately the Greenland ice core can’t be used for CO2 measurements, as there is a lot of contamination (including CO2 production) by (Icelandic) volcanic dust in the ice layers.

    The 8 ppmv/C ratio is quite constant over the past near million years, with the current position of continents and mountain ranges, but may be quite different in other geological times. The ratio includes long term changes in (deep) ocean flows, ice caps, forest area,…

    The short term CO2/temperature ratio is about 4 ppmv/C around the trend, based on the reaction of CO2 increase rate on cooling (1992 Pinatubo) and warming (1998 El Niño).

  139. My2Cents says:

    What the study says is that there will be an initial ‘burp’ of CO2 from the soil critters when the temperature rises followed by a longer period of reduced emissions.

    The AGW models are based on the assumption that the ‘burp’ continues, probably because no one had done long term studies before. If so, then it is not their fault as long as they are willing to correct the models for the new data. It also demonstrates the critical need for input to the models from outside the field of climatology.

    Unfortunately, the study appears to be limited to soils from only one area, and will need to be replicated in multiple countries and biomes before it can be considered confirmed. So, more research is necessary, but it would be quicker and possibly cheaper to fund multiple small studies using a common process than to have only one study team perform them all. This would also block the principle scientist from withholding his data from the public until he has exhausted the potential to produce of papers and studies and substitute a rush to publish.

  140. Jim says:

    **************
    Smokey says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Beck had a chart showing that CO2 peaks during various moon phases, but I can no longer find it. A lot of folks would be skeptical of the moon’s influence on CO2 levels, but as you pointed out, it is there. CO2 levels are much more complicated than the simplistic notion that fossil fuel use is the only, or even the primary explanation.
    *******************

    See figure 22 for the moon phases chart:
    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/literature/evidence-var-corrRSCb.pdf

  141. Kim Moore says:

    Does anyone remember this article by Freeman Dyson from “Edge” three years ago? (Part 2 Climate and Land Management)

    http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge219.html#dysonf

    The CAGW people in their fretful little blogs were falling all over themselves trying to make out that Dyson was getting too old to be talking about important things like global warming and climate change.

  142. biobob says:

    erm ….. exactly how many soil temperature monitoring stations are there in the world ? [enter the vanishing small number here ____] are they any more accurate and report for periods similar to surface weather stations [no]

    has ANYONE actually shown that there is ANY measurable net global//widespread increase in soil temperatures coupled with the supposed questionable .5 degree C lower atmospheric temp anomaly. [no]

    Has anyone accurately measured CO2 cycling over any kind of range of soil systems in the field [no]

    Are current numbers about CO2 cycling in soil eco-systems any better than Wild-Ass-Guesses [no]

    from what I recall, ground temperatures are incredibly resistant to quick change and act more like climate and less like weather.

    [b]So, in conclusion, we have hypothetical modeling “data” reported that possibly might could possibly be accurate within several orders of magnitude concerning a likely non-existent issue/problem/hypothesis from systems we do not understand and have never accurately measured. [/b]

    What exactly could go wrong with this picture ???

    rofl

  143. Jim says:
    April 29, 2010 at 6:58 pm
    **************
    Smokey says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Beck had a chart showing that CO2 peaks during various moon phases, but I can no longer find it. A lot of folks would be skeptical of the moon’s influence on CO2 levels, but as you pointed out, it is there. CO2 levels are much more complicated than the simplistic notion that fossil fuel use is the only, or even the primary explanation.
    *******************

    See figure 22 for the moon phases chart:
    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/literature/evidence-var-corrRSCb.pdf

    Even with far more accurate modern measurements, there is some correlation of CO2/temperature with sun/moon positions. But these are more on decadal scale, not monthly scale. See page 70 and following pages in the autobiography of C.D. Keeling:
    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/publications/keeling_autobiography.pdf

    Most of the historical data collected by Beck are in fact worthless for historical background levels, as these were taken over land near huge sources. As we see e.g. huge diurnal changes in the two main series (Giessen and Poona) which are at the base of the 1942 “peak” (which doesn’t exist in any other CO2 measurement/proxy), this points to nearby vegetation and other sources and the data can’t be used for global estimates. The modern data from Giessen e.g. confirm huge diurnal variations of over 300 ppmv (in summer), where the historical measurements have an additional positive bias due to the 3 samples per day of which 2 were taken at the largest changes in CO2 level. See further my comment on Beck’s data:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

  144. Josualdo says:

    @ David Middleton says: April 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    @ Ferdinand Engelbeen says: April 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Vostok ice cores: Thank you both. I think I’ll be at the library for a while.

  145. Jim says:

    ****************
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 30, 2010 at 1:10 am
    ************
    In general your conclusions about Beck’s measurements make sense.

  146. E.M.Smith says:

    Didn’t anyone bother to think that maybe the carboniferous was an “existence proof” that carbon is sequestered in the earth during warm periods?

    Sheesh. We’ve got megatons of carbon all over the planet from a high CO2 hot period causing massive sequestration in the ground. You’d think they would have noticed that the bugs didn’t go nuts and eat it all “spewing” it as CO2…

    When did science get taken over by highly educated idiots making “perfect error”?

    (In Karate class, we were always admonished not to practice “perfect error” but to make sure you were doing something correctly and THEN practice for more speed and natural flow. I think “climate scientists” need to spend some time in the dojo learning that accuracy comes first, then the rest… so you don’t end up with “perfect error”.)

  147. I brought together the research on the moon phase and CO2 levels at http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/004166.html
    I was sceptical when Ernst-Georg Beck first said that “CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases – Higher CO2 levels occur at full moons”.

    But the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun at Full Moon than at New Moon, and will therefore receive slightly more solar radiation during daylight hours, increasing maximum temperatures and thus DTR as a whole. …”a statistically significantly higher DTR occurs near the full moon (~10.23°C) while a lower DTR occurs near the new moon (~10.13°C)…”
    And of course CO2 solubility is temperature dependent and so the atmospheric amount will be altered, by a tiny amount but it isn’t a lunatic idea.

    (I note that I quoted in my post http://web.archive.org/web/20010418041708/http://www.nature.com/nsu/990624/990624-9.html which also says “The message should be clear: all possible sources of variation should be investigated before blaming human activity alone for observed changes in climatic parameters.”)

  148. David Middleton says:

    Josualdo says:
    April 30, 2010 at 3:11 am
    @ David Middleton says: April 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    @ Ferdinand Engelbeen says: April 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Vostok ice cores: Thank you both. I think I’ll be at the library for a while.

    In addition to reading up on ice cores, be sure to check out some of these papers…

    Wagner et al., 1999. Century-Scale Shifts in Early Holocene Atmospheric CO2 Concentration. Science 18 June 1999: Vol. 284. no. 5422, pp. 1971 – 1973.

    Berner et al., 2001. GEOCARB III: A REVISED MODEL OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 OVER PHANEROZOIC TIME. American Journal of Science, Vol. 301, February, 2001, P. 182–204.

    Kouwenberg et al., 2004. APPLICATION OF CONIFER NEEDLES IN THE RECONSTRUCTION OF HOLOCENE CO2 LEVELS. PhD Thesis. Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, University of Utrecht.

    Esper et al., 2005. Climate: past ranges and future changes. Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 2164–2166.

    Kouwenberg et al., 2005. Atmospheric CO2 fluctuations during the last millennium reconstructed by stomatal frequency analysis of Tsuga heterophylla needles. GEOLOGY, January 2005.

    Van Hoof et al., 2005. Atmospheric CO2 during the 13th century AD: reconciliation of data from ice core measurements and stomatal frequency analysis. Tellus (2005), 57B, 351–355.

    Rundgren et al., 2005. Last interglacial atmospheric CO2 changes from stomatal index data and their relation to climate variations. Global and Planetary Change 49 (2005) 47–62.

    Jessen et al., 2005. Abrupt climatic changes and an unstable transition into a late Holocene Thermal Decline: a multiproxy lacustrine record from southern Sweden. J. Quaternary Sci., Vol. 20(4) 349–362 (2005).

    Beck, 2007. 180 Years of Atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods. ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT. VOLUME 18 No. 2 2007.

  149. David Middleton says:
    April 30, 2010 at 7:27 am

    In addition to reading up on ice cores, be sure to check out some of these papers…
    Wagner et al., 1999. Century-Scale Shifts in Early Holocene Atmospheric CO2 Concentration. Science 18 June 1999: Vol. 284. no. 5422, pp. 1971 – 1973.

    While the stomata data are quite interesting and show a much better resolution, one need to be cautious about the results. These have the same problem as many historical data by chemical methods: measured over land near huge CO2 sources. Stomata data is a proxy which is influenced by average CO2 levels in the previous year (personal communication with Van Hoof). But as these levels are, by definition, over land, there may be a huge (positive) bias, noteworthy from the same soil bacteria this discussion started with. Thus higher or colder temperatures at a certain period back in time may have far more local effect than at places far away from huge sources.

    Stomata data in recent periods are calibrated against ice cores, but the problem is that we don’t know the general changes in local/regional CO2 levels due to landscape changes (and prevailing wind direction changes!). The South Netherlands oak stomata of 800 years ago may have seen a quite different landscape (and CO2 level…) from marshes to forests to agriculture in the main wind direction…

    Thus for the moment it is prudent to take the stomata data as a rough estimate of historical CO2 levels (as good as many of the chemical measurements), with a better resolution than ice cores, but with less accuracy, larger variability and more local/regional bias, which may have changed over history.

  150. The Englishman says:
    April 30, 2010 at 7:04 am

    But the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun at Full Moon than at New Moon, and will therefore receive slightly more solar radiation during daylight hours, increasing maximum temperatures and thus DTR as a whole. …”a statistically significantly higher DTR occurs near the full moon (~10.23°C) while a lower DTR occurs near the new moon (~10.13°C)…”

    That means that at the current short term ratio between temperature and CO2 levels, we should see an amplitude of about 0.4 ppmv CO2 around the trend. Mauna Loa is accurate to 0.1 ppmv, thud the 0.4 ppmv cyclr should be visible, if one substracts the seasonal cycle and the trend from the data.

  151. http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/CO2%20Moon%20Phase.jpg shows exactly that, Mauna Loa and the lunar cycle of CO2 concentration – it is only a small sample. I haven’t found the data to do a longer analysis

  152. The Englishman says:
    April 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/CO2%20Moon%20Phase.jpg shows exactly that, Mauna Loa and the lunar cycle of CO2 concentration – it is only a small sample. I haven’t found the data to do a longer analysis

    Cleaned (without local/regional outliers) daily averages 1974-2008 can be found at:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/mlo/
    Filename: mlo_01C0_day.co2
    The file includes average, stdv of the average and number of retained hourly averages included in the daily average. What lacks is the expected seasonal cycle influence for daily averages, only a seasonally corrected trend for monthly averages is availbale at:
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

    I overlooked the left side graph of Mauna Loa, as the right side from historical data is normally too inaccurate (most methods were +/- 3% or +/- 10 ppmv) to detect changes in the order of a few tenths of a ppmv.

  153. The Englishman says:
    April 30, 2010 at 7:04 am

    But the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun at Full Moon than at New Moon

    Isn’t it the opposite? At Full Moon the sun and moon are at opposite sides of the earth, I should expect a shorter distance to the sun at New Moon…

  154. David Middleton says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    [...]

    Thus for the moment it is prudent to take the stomata data as a rough estimate of historical CO2 levels (as good as many of the chemical measurements), with a better resolution than ice cores, but with less accuracy, larger variability and more local/regional bias, which may have changed over history.

    Ferdinand,

    It might also be prudent to use the various CO2 tools according to their respective bandwidths when reconstructing the pre-MLO CO2 “signal.”

    GeoCarb, though model-derived, does a decent job of reconstructing the very low frequency component of the signal. Wavelength: Millions to 10’s of millions of years.

    Ice cores do a decent job of reconstructing the mid-range frequencies. Wavelength: Thousands to 10’s of thousands of years in most cases. The shallow section of Law Dome and sections of other cores with anomalously short firn densification times can have better resolution (century to even decadal).

    Plant stomata do a decent job of reconstructing the high frequency component. Wavelength: Annual in some cases; but normally decadal to century scale.

    The modern instrumental record theoretically would contain the full frequency spectrum. However, its short record length restricts the amount of low frequency data that has been recorded and the fact that the data are so heavily smoothed removes much of the high frequency data. It’s like a very good reflection seismic line that has been hammered with coherency filters.

    If you assemble a CO2 signal using all of the tools in a manner that preserves true amplitude and frequency, you get a CO2 profile that makes the modern day look a lot less anomalous than just tacking MLO on to the end of Law Dome… CO2 800AD to Present.

    This is the same basic principle that explains why temperature reconstructions like Moberg (2005) and Esper (2003) make the modern warming appear a lot less anomalous than the “Hockey Sticks”… Moberg, Esper, Mann and Alley.

  155. David Middleton says:
    May 1, 2010 at 4:07 am

    If you assemble a CO2 signal using all of the tools in a manner that preserves true amplitude and frequency, you get a CO2 profile that makes the modern day look a lot less anomalous than just tacking MLO on to the end of Law Dome… CO2 800AD to Present.

    David, I agree with the temperature profiles. Moberg seems far more realistic than Mann, probably because in his reconstruction tree rings have a minor impact.

    But I disagree with your CO2 profile: the stomata show the true amplitude and frequency of CO2 at the regional level where the stomata were sampled (+/- 10 ppmv) which give a rough indication of global levels, but not more than that (comparable to tree rings as temperature indicators…).

    Law Dome (DSS core) over the past 1,000 years has a resolution of 21 years (8 years over the past 150 years for the other two Law Dome ice cores and 20 years overlap with the South Pole measurements), by far sufficient to see any one-year peak of 30 ppmv or any 20 years long sustained in/decrease of 3 ppmv (the accuracy is +/- 1.3 ppmv, 1 sigma). The latter is visible as a 6 ppmv sink of CO2 in the LIA, for an about 0.8 K temperature drop (if we take Moberg’s reconstruction as base). That is comparable to the 8 ppmv/K CO2 variations over the glacials-interglacials.

    Thus I think that the CO2 hockeystick is a real one…

  156. David Middleton says:

    @ Ferdinand…

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

    But, it’s always a pleasure discussing it with you.

    Dave

  157. Ferdinand Engelbeen says: May 1, 2010 at 2:30 am
    At Full Moon the sun and moon are at opposite sides of the earth, I should expect a shorter distance to the sun at New Moon…

    No it is nearer at Full moon:
    The earth and moon are a spinning system which has a centre of rotation within the earth but not at the centre of the earth.
    Simple experiment.
    Find a small child, or similar substitute and a lamp post.
    Spin with the child in your arms in the light of the lamp.
    You will lean backwards from the child as you rotate; as the light of the lamp fully lights up the screaming brat’s face you will be leaning back towards the light. As you continue to rotate to the new moon position, so the light is behind the child, you will be further away from the lamp post.

  158. The Englishman says:
    May 2, 2010 at 6:56 am

    No it is nearer at Full moon:
    The earth and moon are a spinning system which has a centre of rotation within the earth but not at the centre of the earth.

    Nice explanation, thanks a lot!

Comments are closed.