The Emily Litella moment for climate science and CO2 ?

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Professor Murry Salby

There is quite a bit of buzz surrounding a talk and pending paper from Prof. Murry Salby  the Chair of Climate, of Macquarie University. Aussie Jo Nova has excellent commentary, as has Andrew Bolt in his blog. I’m sure others will weigh in soon.

In a nutshell, the issue is rather simple, yet powerful. Salby is arguing that atmospheric CO2 increase that we observe is a product of temperature increase, and not the other way around, meaning it is a product of natural variation. This goes back to the 800 year lead/lag issue related to the paleo temperature and CO2 graphs Al Gore presented in his movie an An Inconvenient Truth, Jo Nova writes:

Over the last two years he has been looking at C12 and C13 ratios and CO2 levels around the world, and has come to the conclusion that man-made emissions have only a small effect on global CO2 levels. It’s not just that man-made emissions don’t control the climate, they don’t even control global CO2 levels.

Salby is no climatic lightweight, which makes this all the more powerful. He has a strong list of publications here. The abstract for his talk is here and also reprinted below.

PROFESSOR MURRY SALBY

Chair of Climate, Macquarie University

Atmospheric Science, Climate Change and Carbon – Some Facts

Carbon dioxide is emitted by human activities as well as a host of natural processes. The satellite record, in concert with instrumental observations, is now long enough to have collected a population of climate perturbations, wherein the Earth-atmosphere system was disturbed from equilibrium. Introduced naturally, those perturbations reveal that net global emission of CO2 (combined from all sources, human and natural) is controlled by properties of the general circulation – properties internal to the climate system that regulate emission from natural sources. The strong dependence on internal properties indicates that emission of CO2 from natural sources, which accounts for 96 per cent of its overall emission, plays a major role in observed changes of CO2Independent of human emission, this contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide is only marginally predictable and not controllable.

Professor Murry Salby holds the Climate Chair at Macquarie University and has had a  lengthy career as a world-recognised researcher and academic in the field of Atmospheric Physics. He has held positions at leading research institutions, including the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado, with invited professorships at universities in Europe and Asia. At Macquarie University, Professor Salby uses satellite data and supercomputing to explore issues surrounding changes of global climate and climate variability over Australia. Professor Salby is the author of Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, and Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate due out in 2011. Professor Salby’s latest research makes a timely and highly-relevant contribution to the current discourse on climate.

Salby’s  talk was given in June at the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysic meeting in Melbourne Australia.   He indicates that a  journal paper is in press, with an expectation of publication a few months out.  He also hints that some of the results will be in his book Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate which is supposed to be available Sept 30th.

The podcast for his talk“Global Emission of Carbon Dioxide: The Contribution from Natural Sources” is here (MP3 audio format). The podcast length is an hour, split between his formal presentation ~ 30 minutes, and Q&A  for the remaining time.

Andrew Bolt says in his  Herald Sun blog:

Salby’s argument is that the usual evidence given for the rise in CO2 being man-made is mistaken. It’s usually taken to be the fact that as carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increase, the 1 per cent of CO2 that’s the heavier carbon isotope ratio c13 declines in proportion. Plants, which produced our coal and oil, prefer the lighter c12 isotope. Hence, it must be our gasses that caused this relative decline.

But that conclusion holds true only if there are no other sources of c12 increases which are not human caused. Salby says there are – the huge increases in carbon dioxide concentrations caused by such things as spells of warming and El Ninos, which cause concentration levels to increase independently of human emissions. He suggests that its warmth which tends to produce more CO2, rather than vice versa – which, incidentally is the story of the past recoveries from ice ages.

Dr. Judith Curry has some strong words of support, and of caution:

I just finished listening to Murry Salby’s podcast on Climate Change and Carbon.  Wow.

If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science.  Salby and I were both at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the 1990′s, but I don’t know him well personally. He is the author of a popular introductory graduate text Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics.  He is an excellent lecturer and teacher, which comes across in his podcast.  He has the reputation of a thorough and careful researcher.  While all this is frustratingly preliminary without publication, slides, etc., it is sufficiently important that we should start talking about these issues.  I’ll close with this text from Bolt’s article:

He said he had an “involuntary gag reflex” whenever someone said the “science was settled”.

“Anyone who thinks the science of this complex thing is settled is in Fantasia.”

Dr Roy Spencer has suspected something similar, See  Atmospheric CO2 Increases: Could the Ocean, Rather Than Mankind, Be the Reason? plus part 2 Spencer Part2: More CO2 Peculiarities – The C13/C12 Isotope Ratio both guest posts at WUWT in 2008. Both of these are well worth your time to re-read as a primer for what will surely be a (ahem) hotly contested issue.

I’m pretty sure Australian bloggers John Cook at Skeptical Science and Tim Lambert at Deltoid are having conniption fits right about now. And, I’m betting that soon, the usual smears of “denier” will be applied to Dr. Salby by those two clowns, followed by the other usual suspects.

Smears of denial and catcalls aside,  if it holds up, it may be the Emily Litella moment for climate science and CO2 – “Never mind…”


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499 thoughts on “The Emily Litella moment for climate science and CO2 ?

  1. About time this field of climatology gets a dose of real science — theory, counter-theory, rather than consensus. We have wasted 30 years doing climatology.

  2. As an Australian I can only hope that some of our best can put paid to this alarmism non sense.

  3. It will be interesting to see how this research pans out, since it is essentially a game player.

    On a related point, we need to know why natural sinks today are absorbing more CO2 than they were 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years ago etc.

    For example, if say back in 1980, natural sinks had the same capacaity as they do today to absorb CO2 then there would not have been an increase in CO2 levels in 1980/1, ditto If say back in 1981, natural sinks had the same capacaity as they do today to absorb CO2 then there would not have been an increase in CO2 levels in 1981/2.

    We need to better understand the natural processes involved both in the release of CO2 and in its absorpttion.

  4. [snip - Bzzzt penalty box. Not enough time has elapsed between the posting of this comment and the posting of the story. Listen to the audio THEN comment and whine about what was or what was not said. - Anthony]

  5. Part of his research has shown that temperature drives CO2 levels which confirm other research on ice cores.

    The main parts on C12/C13 ratios is very good and shows past estimates to be in wild error.

  6. Won’t make any difference. What he’s saying has been obvious to anyone who can read graphs for 20 years.

    The Gaian High Priests won’t give up until their money, power and glory are gone. When all hope of making money from “carbon offsets” is gone, when nobody outside their own ranks will listen, that’s when they will quietly slink away and find some other fraudulent and criminal way to get money, power and glory.

    Unfortunately the government agencies will not give up, because government agencies exist and expand forever, no matter what happens to their original goal.

  7. yes science is settle, i used to think of medieval warm period which is about 800 years ago…what we learnt from ice is there should be an increase of co2 now causes by this period of warming …how much?

  8. to Nick Stokes:

    but those are just CO2 proxies, not measurements. I suggest you listen to the lecture, Professor Salby explains why they are inaccurate. His theory is based on the factual measurements since 1960s.

  9. Anthony, Nick did listen to the audio, since this story broke out on Climate Etc yesterday, and he did comment on it.

    Also, many comments were made wrt this story. Despite all the noise (it’s a scam I knew it! or, there the denialists go again!) some arguments were made on Judith Curry blog.

    The most pertinent criticism I think was quoted on Cetc but it was made by Gavin Schmidt. It is basically this point: if CO2 was so sensitive to temperatures (we are talking about 100ppm per 1 degree celcius), then the ice age data stops making sense. In the ice ages, CO2 was 180ppm, while in the warmer gaps between ice ages, CO2 was 280ppm. But the temperature was 6 degrees celcius higher. If the CO2 was as sensitive as Selby says, the difference ought to be 600ppm+- (or more), not 100.

    So something’s very off right there.

    REPLY: By his own admission below, Nick did not listen to the podcast – Anthony

  10. It is a pity that we are not able to see what an obdurate warmist like Nick Stokes has to say about this extremely important subject, the logic of which has been so obvious to me for a long time. It would have been interesting for me and others here to see him tying himself up in knots.

  11. Initial response so far, warmists don’t want to listen, don’t want to discuss or acknowledge any point he makes. So its avoidance, fingers in ears, and attempts to divert attention away in the hope that the usual suspects at RC will either play the man, or diss the substance of his talk and then the puppies can be let out to troll the chosen line. The longer that goes on it looks downright encouraging!!

  12. Anthony, my comment at 3:41 am was far from being the first. My comments were based on the abstract. Is the rule that everyone has to have listened to the podcast in full before commenting?

    REPLY: It has nothing to do with being first or not, it has everything to do with the content of your comment. You made no claims of listening to the podcast, but then commented on the lack of anything substantial, saying “we have nothing written” while taking the entire issue to task complaining you have nothing to go on. Now you say you were commenting on the abstract. Clearly then you didn’t listen.

    Sorry Nick, given you past behavior here with thread hijacks, I simply don’t believe you. Listen to the podcast, then diss it all you want. – Anthony

  13. Wow. Food for thought. Have heard the presentation once and will listen over again to understand what he is getting at. This is either someone who has gone off the deep end or this guy is the Einstein of climatology.

  14. I seem to recall reading a few years back a paper discussing C12/C13 isotope rations on Mars and concluding that these were not as expected and that they cast doubt on whether one can use that relationship on Earth to determine whether increased CO2 levels on Earth were truly manmade. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the paper but someone might remember it.

    A similar theme is discussed at:

    http://oilismastery.blogspot.com/2008/06/lack-of-c13-isotope-proves-nothing.html

  15. The same thing happens every month.

    WOW!” AGW TURNED ON ITS HEAD!!!1!

    But then nothing.

  16. Sort of a bad news/good news sort of day when you think about it. Markets are really bad, but I expect this news to be cause for optimism for the future of mankind. We ain’t that bad after all. Nice.

  17. @ wayne Job

    Unfortunately, the government under B.Brown and his lackey J.Gillard will not take any notice of any REAL science that is produced. Its not about the science any more, if it ever was (which I doubt).

    From BB’s point of view it is a power/control trip, and from JG’s pov it is proving how tough she is in not backing down. To the great detriment of Australia. :-(

  18. I was arguing 10 years ago that today’s c02 was outgassing from warmer oceans – as it takes 800 years for a complete circulation of oceans. Even if we cease anthropogenic c02, it will rise and rise for several hundred years yet

  19. Gavin has already dismissed it completelely in the “unforced variations” thread over on nasas unofficial propoganda blog. Amazing as the paper is not out for six weeks.

  20. Nick Stokes says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:41 am

    [snip - Bzzzt penalty box. Not enough time has elapsed between the posting of this comment and the posting of the story. Listen to the audio THEN comment and whine about what was or what was not said. - Anthony]

    Point of order, Anthony; Nick might already have listened to the podcast – I listened to it a couple of days ago, and even blogged about it yesterday.

    http://dereksorensen.com/?p=112

    REPLY: See Nick’s comment and my reply upstream. – Anthony

  21. I wouldn’t worry. Someone from Green Peace will go through his trash and find he once bought a tank of gas from Exxon or BP. This will obviously mean he is on the payroll of Big Oil, and his views can be summarily dismissed.

  22. If the extra CO2 in the air is coming from the oceans due to warming oceans, then the amount in the oceans should be going down.

    As far as I know ocean CO2 is going up not down.

  23. If this means that the rise in CO2 comes from natural causes; will the USA government arrest mother nature?

  24. “Shaun Dunne says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:14 am
    The same thing happens every month.
    WOW!” AGW TURNED ON ITS HEAD!!!1!
    But then nothing.”

    Everything has been changing Shaun. You needn’t worry so much. This announcement seems to bring it all together.

  25. Aussie Jo Nova has excellent commentary

    Perhaps, I’m jumping the gun here but, reading Jo Nova’s summary, it looks as though Professor Salby is simply repeating many of the same arguments we see on numerous blogs.

    We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.

    There was an increase of ~100 ppm (180ppm -> 280 ppm) following the last ice age but this was in response to 5-6 deg increase in global temperature . The temperature increase since ~1850 has only been about 0.7 deg yet there has been another 100+ ppm increase in CO2 concentrations.

    According to many posters on this blog, we’ve had no warming since 1998. In 1998 CO2 concentrations were ~366 ppm. In 2010 CO2 concentrations were ~390 ppm. According to UAH, 2010 and 1998 pretty much tied for warmest year, Why was there ~24 ppm more CO2 in 2010 than in 1998?

    Human emissions are causing the increase in CO2. Temperature simply determines the rate of that increase.

    Oh dear I’ve just noticed from another post that I’m agreeing with Gavin Schmidt. Unfortunately, in this case, Gavin is right.

  26. Anthony:

    Thankyou for linking to a contribution from Roy Spencer at

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

    As you say, both his ‘CO2 papers’ on WUWT are pertinent and worthy of a revisit by all considering the work of Salby.

    In the thread at the link I post above, I posted a brief outline of some of our findings which directly contradict the Team mantra that “We know human activities are increasing the CO2 in the air.” To save people the trouble of finding that comment, I copy it here.

    Richard S Courtney says:
    January 25, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Dr Spencer’s article reaches similar conclusions to those in
    Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005).

    I expanded on that paper in a presentation at a climate conference held in Stockholm on 11 & 12 September 2006. I could provide Dr Spencer with a copy of it were he to contact me.

    There are some surprising similarities between Dr Spencer’s article and my presentation. For example, his Figure 3 presents the same data in the same way as my Figure 1, and he draws the same conclusion from it as we do in our paper.

    Importantly, our paper provides six models that each match the empirical data.

    We provide three basic models that each assumes a different mechanism dominates the carbon cycle. The first basic model uses a postulated linear relationship of the sink flow and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The second used uses a power equation that assumes several different processes determine the flow into the sinks. And the third model assumes that the carbon cycle is dominated by biological effects.

    For each basic model we assume the anthropogenic emission
    (a) is having insignificant effect on the carbon cycle,
    and
    (b) is affecting the carbon cycle to induce the observed rise in the Mauna Loa data.
    Thus, the total of six models is presented.

    The six models do not use the ‘5-year-averaging’ to smooth the data that the IPCC model requires for it to match the data. But all of the six models match the empirical data. However, they provide very different ‘projections’ of future atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration for the same assumed future anthropogenic emission. And other models are probably also possible.

    The ability to model the carbon cycle in such a variety of ways means that according to the available data
    (1) the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is not known,
    (2) the future development of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cannot be known, and
    (3) any effect of future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide on the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cannot be known.

    All the best

    Richard

  27. This will be very, very interesting. I have been looking at the ice-core records more closely in recent months. Not only is there a regular 1000 year delay from the temperature peaking during deglaciation to the CO2 peaking, but on occasions, temperature is falling while CO2 is still rising. The overall correlation of CO2 to temperature is clearly a consequence of temperature change driving CO2 rise and with a time lag that almost certainly is related to oceans degassing. The argument that the higher CO2 then drives the temperature higher is related entirely to the issue of assumed but unproven feedbacks and there is no evidence for it in the actual rate or sign of the change of temperature and rate or sign of the change in CO2.

    Thus, one would expect an enhanced release of CO2 parallel to the current temperature rise…with a time delay. And given the post LIA rise began in 1800, then 1950 would be plenty of time for the ocean response to contribute. What is odd, however, is that research has shown the proportion of emissions that is sequestered by the global ecosystem has stayed constant despite the rise from 2GtC/year to 7 GtC/year in annual emissions.

    I have simply assumed that the specialists dealing with isotopic ratios knew what they were doing!

  28. Nick Stokes says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Derek,
    No I hadn’t listened to the podcast then (I have now). My comment explicitly referred to the abstract.

    Fair enough, I’ll wind my neck in. Anthony: apologies.

  29. Salby is saying that The CO2 rise is a natural response to the global termperature rise. So you can accept his explanaion but this also requires accepting that glbal temperatures are increasing.

    Is everyone here accepting that then?

  30. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:37 am

    It will be interesting to see how this research pans out, since it is essentially a game player.

    On a related point, we need to know why natural sinks today are absorbing more CO2 than they
    were 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years ago etc.
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    The planet has greened since then (added CO2), shown in satellite photos.
    A further point Murry Shelby seems to show pretty well that warming is causing most if not all of the increase in CO2. If we do get cooling, and CO2 does not decrease then we still won’t know if he is right or wrong as we are due for the ~800yr boost from the MWP ?

  31. So finally we have it that CO2 increases are due to warming and not the other way round. That is, when the oceans (liquids) warm up, the more gassing occurs. That is the higher the temperature of the oceans the more CO2 bubbles out.

    But this is known by any Aussi beer drinker.

  32. John Finn and Gavin claim that the ice age changes negate this theory. However, they quote air temperatures. What is the change in ocean temperatures? Isn’t this more important?

  33. John Finn [August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am] says:

    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.”

    But what was the overall temperature doing ~800 years ago?

    This is clearly not settled science at all. And if the theories of a multi-century lag (from temperature changes to resultant CO2 changes) are correct, you would not expect to see CO2 going up or down because of current temp delta.

    Humans are really stuck in a realtime narcissistic limbo, where everything must happen within a life timescale or else they mentally self-destruct.

  34. John Finn [August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am] says:

    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.”

    But what was the overall temperature doing ~800 years ago?

    This is clearly not settled science at all. And if the theories of a multi-century lag (from temperature changes to resultant CO2 changes) are correct, you would not expect to see CO2 going up or down because of current temp delta.

    Humans are really stuck in a realtime narcissistic limbo, where everything must happen within a life timescale or else they mentally self-destruct.

  35. “The Emily Litella moment for climate science and CO2 ?”

    What moment? That the science is Seattle?….. Well of course there’s science in Seattle. There’s probably even Scientists there…. Nevermind…….;-)

  36. A good paper by D’Aleo and Seddons is
    CO2 – The Houdini of Gases
    The paper discusses why the CO2 levels are not what they should be if the carbon sink data and models are accurate.

  37. “Shaun Dunne says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:14 am
    The same thing happens every month.
    WOW!” AGW TURNED ON ITS HEAD!!!1!
    But then nothing.”

    Fair observation. We had years of hysteria over AGW. It won’t be undone by a single paper or study. It will be overcome as solid research, such as the subject study, causes solid scientists, such as Dr. Curry, to rethink the issue. Good science is the result of an evolved consensus that a particular hypothesis (or set of them) provides the best explanation for all available data.

    Which is why the claim that “the science is settled” led me to doubt AGW from the start.

  38. klem says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Guaranteed he will be brushed off and accused of being paid by Koch or Exxon, guaranteed.

    We haven’t seen the book or the paper yet but I expect they will show that the work was done with full academic rigor. It will be hard to brush off. It will have to be refuted with the same rigor with which it was produced.

  39. However, they quote air temperatures. What is the change in ocean temperatures? Isn’t this more important?

    I have no idea, but if you are saying that the ocean temperatures weren’t colder in an ice age, I can’t really follow you. If not, what’s really your point Richard?

  40. REPLY: By his own admission below, Nick did not listen to the podcast – Anthony

    Yeah, you’re right. Sorry.

  41. REPLY: By his own admission below, Nick did not listen to the podcast – Anthony
    Anthony, it is not an admission. I at no stage claimed to have listened to the audio. In fact, my comment made it clear that I had not, as I said in my initial comment: ” The problem is, we don’t have a written account of what he said, and I gather that the audio references slides that one can’t see. In the abstract is that he is talking about perturbations…”

    Have you listened to the podcast?

  42. I am a little nonplussed here.
    I mean, all those explanations “Wow!” and “Revolutionary!” while this is something most reasonable people regarded as obvious from the beginning.
    I’ve been saying the same things for more than 10 years now.
    But no, those like Judith Curry must pretend that they never knew this.
    Fine heroes of science, true warriors of truth, those “lukewarmers,” peeking out of their hiding places when the battle is over.

  43. It’s a bit ingenuous to believe, assume, or even think that the AGW bedwetters are going to admit that this paper has any meaning or weight regarding their junk science card castle. They dismissed the 800-year lag, the shorter lag in the 1938 warm peak in E. Beck’s CO2 data study, and pretty much ignore Henry’s Law, focusing only on the idea that CO2 will increase in the oceans, regardless of Henry’s Law.

    They will ward off any wind that comes close to their card castle and the character assassination, spurious, wrong criticisms, and name-calling will begin once the paper is published, or even before.

  44. Up Wing says:
    August 5, 2011 at 5:13 am
    Salby is saying that The CO2 rise is a natural response to the global termperature rise. So you can accept his explanaion but this also requires accepting that glbal temperatures are increasing.

    Is everyone here accepting that then?
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    Everyone was always accepting that temperature has risen since about 1850…. Skeptics say that mostly it is Natural and the anthropogenic signal that should be present because of the accepted physical properties of CO2 is barely detectable above the noise of natural climate variation and is not significant…… So I think you have been missing the skeptical view point if you thought skeptics didn’t accept higher temperatures….. However, it is interesting to note that there has been a hiatus in the warming for 12 to 15 years despite rising CO2 levels…..

  45. John Finn said:

    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall. ”

    But it is the ocean temperature that counts and not the air temperature and we’ve seen that the oceans vary internally over time as regards the rate at which energy is released at the surface via warmer or cooler surface temperatures. If the current CO2 increase is driven by MWP warmth returning through the ocean system at a time of more active sun then it would be most unlikely that we would see decreases just from changes in air temperatures.

    Luis Dias said:

    “The most pertinent criticism I think was quoted on Cetc but it was made by Gavin Schmidt. It is basically this point: if CO2 was so sensitive to temperatures (we are talking about 100ppm per 1 degree celcius), then the ice age data stops making sense. In the ice ages, CO2 was 180ppm, while in the warmer gaps between ice ages, CO2 was 280ppm. But the temperature was 6 degrees celcius higher. If the CO2 was as sensitive as Selby says, the difference ought to be 600ppm+- (or more), not 100.”

    But that only goes to the sensitivity issue which is not the important finding. So what if the sensitivity is less than first thought ? That does not affect the basic contention that the isotope ratios have been wrongly interpreted.

    LazyTeenager said:

    “If the extra CO2 in the air is coming from the oceans due to warming oceans, then the amount in the oceans should be going down.
    As far as I know ocean CO2 is going up not down.”

    I’m not convinced by that. Water will only hold so much CO2 at a given temperature. Thus if ocean heat content rises the water must hold less CO2 and more will be released to the air. Please indicate how warmer water can become less alkaline (not more acidic) if it can hold less CO2. The PH of the oceans may well be more complex than simply the amount of CO2 they can hold.Furthermore ocean PH is not that evenly distributed vertically and horizontally. Remember that if there are horizontal temperature discontinuities along the track of the Thermohaline Circulation that would have an impact on surface PH levels as those discontinuities feed back to the surface some 800 or more years later. Some say the THC could be up to 1500 years long and climate cycles of that length have been noted.
    We are clearly only at the very beginning of the process of understanding all the relevant inter relationships. The confident assertions of warmists are utterly bogus.

  46. Julian Braggins says: August 5, 2011 at 5:13 am, commenting upon a point raised by me (see
    richard verney says: August 5, 2011 at 3:37 am)
    “…The planet has greened since then (added CO2), shown in satellite photos…”
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Julian, I accept that it would appear that planet has greened since the 1950s, (and whilst I accept that a greener planet is likely to increase one source of natural CO” sink), this fact alone does not answer the detail of the pointthat I raised.

    The fact is that each year, the increase in CO2 levels is less than the corresponding increase in manmade CO2 emissions. This means that in 2010, the sinks absorbed more than they did in 2009. Ditto in 2009, the sinks absorbed more than they did in 2008. ditto, in 2008, the sinks absorbed more than they did in 2007. This trend is seen each year since the 1950s.

    It is implausible, that the planet has similarly greened (in like linear fashion) each year. Indeed, it is almost certainly the case that there must have been years when de-forestation more than offset any natural greening in other areas, yet one still sees that the sink capacity has increased. The reasons behind this need detailed consideration and understanding.

    In summary, what was the natural sink in each and every year since 1950, and what was the corresponding biomass each year? Increase in biomass is very probably only part of the explanation.

  47. If this is true, then is the ~800 year lag wrong? Or, are we ~800 years behind a previous temperature increase that occurred 800 years ago?

    The other issue I see here is, if you look at the graphs of ice core temp and co2, the CO2 only changed about 100 ppm, from roughly 190 ppm to 290 ppm. The CO2 ppm today is almost 400.

  48. This is excellent, leaving little but the conundrum of the relativistic levels of CO2 in ice cores as opposed to absolute values.
    John Finn says: August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am

    [...]

    We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.

    It is the ocean temperatures that are being discussed wrt CO2 not the atmosphere, and with a several hundred year hysteresis.

  49. John Finn is in good company. There are many people who do not notice the inertia in the system. The climate does not instantaneously respond to stimulus. All the arguments about year on year changes tacitly assumes the system is in a state of equilibrium. We know that is not the case, as the climate is always chasing stimulus. No article I have read indicates that we have a thorough understanding of the various time constants involved in this dynamic system. If the sun were to stop tomorrow, it would take time for the Earth to cool, likely months before it was totally frozen due to all the inertia in the system. Heat does not leave complex systems as quickly as it does a black body. A black body by definition has no resistance to the photon emissions associated with its temperature. Heat also does not enter into a complex system as quickly as it does a black body absorber for the same reason. All the complex equilibrium reactions in the Earth system means some heat is reradiated before it can bring the system to an equilibrium temperature.

    Does this mean there is no “Global Warming” or whatever they want to call it today? No. It just means the models are very much oversimplified and don’t represent the real climate system to even first order approximations of the observed phenomena. The jury is still out on the rest of their case and they aren’t doing much of a job presenting the evidence. Hand waving and political machinations do not prove a scientific case – though it does seem to attract funding.

  50. Lazy Teenager,

    The partitioning of CO2 between the oceans and atmosphere is extremely complex; and the volume of gas that is dissolved in water is immense. The thermal and circulation lags are enormous, which may be why we see an 800 year time lag between temperature changes and CO2 levels. There is also the issue of sediments and the effects of thermal and circulation changes on CO2 in sediments.

    The measured surface C02 levels posited for changes in pH (“acidification”) can be greatly affected by transient thermal conditions in the near-surface layer, but the quality of the measurements and scarcity of reliable, widely distributed measurements are reasons to be uncertain about the acidification issue. So, the system is much more complex than the very short term response you are suggesting.

    This presentation is quite interesting and should provide a basis for vigorous debate. Just another reason that the science isn’t settled.

  51. Hi Anthony, I would really like to see a graph of a smaller time scale showing the relation between CO2 and temperatures over say the last ice age and this interglacial period. This would give a better view of the lag between them. Do you have a site I could visit or one yourself? Thanks

  52. Great! Their analysis and conclusions agree with mine. http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf. Try this simple analysis. Divide the C12/C13 index by the standard index for graphite to get an estimate of the fraction in the atmosphere that is from organics. Multiply that fraction by the atmospheric concentration and plot both the organic and inorganic concentrations as a function of time. You will find that the organic fraction is about 1/3 of the total and both have been increasing at about the same rate. That is strong evidence that the increase is natural rather than man made.

  53. RL says:
    August 5, 2011 at 5:15 am
    I consider that,above all other research, this paper has checkmated AGW theory

    I consider the missing tropospheric hotspots to have invalidated AGW theory long ago.

  54. John Finn says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall. ”

    Pay attention John and look at the graphs! There is an 800 year lag! Want to try again?

  55. He said he had an “involuntary gag reflex” whenever someone said the “science was settled”.

    Nice to know I have the same response as one of the world’s leading researchers in atmospheric sciences.

  56. John Finn says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am
    We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.

    You didn’t allow for the 800 year time lag. We know from the ice cores that temperatures drive CO2 levels 800 years later. You will see the results of current warming/cooling around 2900 AD. Mark it on your calendar and get back to us.

    Gore was aware of, but failed to mention in his movie. Instead he carefully worded his talk to make it appear the other way round, in what looks to me like an attempt to cash in on CO2 trading via his stake in CCX. Destroy the economy and get filthy rich in the process. For this you get a nobel prize.

    We have a similar problem with government employees living high on the taxpayer dollar, with the money the should have been used to explore the moon and solar system diverted within NASA to feeding the climate hype machine. It wasn’t an accident that the last 3 moon missions were canceled, the program shut down and NASA re-tasked to studying the earth. All NASA manned missions have been low earth orbit since then, and even that capability has now been lost. Why? It is a lot easier to get money from congress when the mission is saving the earth rather than exploring space, so if budgets are a problem, re-task the mission.

  57. I’ve just listened to the podcast and I find this VERY interesting. If he is right about this then it should be a serious blow to the AGW community. If the nature is responsible for most of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere then what difference does it make if we try to curb the emmisions?! In fact what difference does it make if the computer models are right or wrong? They can all be scrapped. They’ve got the “wrong guy” and the “culprit” is still out there waiting to be discovered. We’ve wasted 30 years on the AGW theory and millions of dollars on super computers and the IPCC organisation.

    Interestingly in the end he also mentions that even methane concentrations seems to follow the same rules as CO2 (temperature and surface moisture). So even the second greenhouse gas (third if you count H2O) is influenced largely by nature. Glad someone finally did some checking!

    By the way, Anthony, I think you’ve spelled his name wrong. It should be Murry not Murray.

  58. Of course, if temp is driving CO2 & not the other way around, the 1st question you have ask then is what drives temps, specifically, what has driven them up over the last 100 + yrs – could it be ……. the sun ???? Combine this idea with the cosmic ray – clouds hypothesis & you might have a relatively complete model to explain both temps & CO2.

    This will be very interesting to see how this story develops & if the hypothesis stands up to scrutiny.

  59. heh, heh, heh…….. to borrow another SNL saying…….. Well, “isn’t that special.” But, given a recent conversation had here, I think a borrowing from Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood would be more apt……..

    James

  60. J.Hansford says:
    August 5, 2011 at 5:30 am

    “The Emily Litella moment for climate science and CO2 ?”

    What moment? That the science is Seattle?….. Well of course there’s science in Seattle. There’s probably even Scientists there…. Nevermind…….;-)

    Seattle? Oh – very good!

  61. Prof. Salby : “Anyone who thinks the science of this complex thing is settled is in Fantasia.”

    He is being very polite there. Clearly, all the “science is settled” proponents are pure demagogues. I do see a high correlation between being a demagogue and getting a Nobel peace prize, by the way – maybe they should fix that and rename it to Nobel Prize For Demagogy.

  62. Friends:

    Several here have pointed out that global temperature has been approximately static for about a decade but CO2 continues to increase in the air. They seem to think that this indicates temperature change is not the cause of the CO2 rise. However, that does not follow as is explained in the one of our papers which I referenced in my above post (at August 5, 2011 at 4:51 am ).

    The continuing rise for decades after the temperature has risen is because a temperature increase causes the system of the carbon cycle to obtain a new equilibrium state, and the system takes decades to achieve that new equilibrium.

    The short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the anthropogenic and the natural emissions of any year. But some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium (whatever caused the change to the equilibrium) and, therefore, atmospheric CO2 concentration changes for decades after a change to the system (e.g. a change to global temperature).

    I think it is important to note that Salby says very little that is new in his presentation. Only his soil moisture argument is novel. Everything else he says is covered by our paper which I referenced in my above post (at August 5, 2011 at 4:51 am ) and the WUWT articles of Roy Spencer (that Anthony links above). Indeed, Salby uses some of the same words as we use in our paper (please note that this is NOT an accusation of plagiarism: clear statements of the same facts are likely to use the same words).

    Richard

  63. Interesting talk by Prof. Salby. I’m sure the conclusions are controversial and will be debated endlessly, but I think they are sufficiently compelling to recommend NOT implementing a ruinous and completely unnecessary climate tax. Can someone (especially someone from Australia) tell me why a carbon tax is needed and what it will accomplish? The same thing can be said for declaring CO2 a “pollutant”. Why are we doing this to ourselves??

  64. John Finn says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “According to many posters on this blog, we’ve had no warming since 1998. In 1998 CO2 concentrations were ~366 ppm. In 2010 CO2 concentrations were ~390 ppm. According to UAH, 2010 and 1998 pretty much tied for warmest year, Why was there ~24 ppm more CO2 in 2010 than in 1998?

    Human emissions are causing the increase in CO2. Temperature simply determines the rate of that increase. ”

    There is a short term correlation between the temperature and the rate of increase, but this does not exclude the possibility of other, long term correlations between a very long term temperature average and the temperature trend – I’m thinking of the thermohaline circulation. In other words, very long lag times from another, very large reservoir – the waters in the deep that must come up somewhere.

    When i’m looking at the thermohaline circulation, it looks too me like the longest delay line i’ve ever seen. And surely any information that once went into this delay line (a CO2 impulse, caused by increased CO2 absorption during a cold phase, for instance, or the opposite during a warm time) will come out a long time later and very, very blurred and low-passed…

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

  65. DirkH says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:47 am
    “long term correlations between a very long term temperature average and the temperature trend ”

    Sorry, i meant to say between a very long CO2 emissions average and the temperature trend.

  66. Luis Dias says:

    August 5, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Those are proxy co² measurements with a huge range of uncertainty. Try again.

  67. The thing of it is, no matter how you slice it or dice it, anthropogenic CO2 emission is a matter of fact. One might argue on the exact quantity but the bottom line remains is that we pretty much know how much oil, natural gas, and coal is taken out of the ground every year and burned. The total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is also a matter of fact.

    Annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are close to 3% of the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been very consistently rising by 1.5% every year. These are not speculations or numbers obtained through proxies. They are facts which any hypothesis must explain. This ratio of annual atmospheric CO2 rise being half of anthropogenic CO2 emission is quite consistent over the past 50 years.

    The null hypothesis based on empirical observation is that annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are twice what natural sinks can absorb in that same year.

    It does not appear to me that Salby has falsified the null hypothesis. All he has done is cast doubt upon C12/C13 being proof of the null hypothesis. I never took C12/C13 ratios as being credible confirmation of the null hypothesis due to a number of factors including difficulty in accurate measurement of these ratios and inadequate understanding of how natural CO2 sources and sinks operate. But that does nothing to falsify the null hypothesis.

  68. kramer says:

    August 5, 2011 at 6:05 am

    No. What we see in the 800 year lag is the smoothed rate of change over a long period. The fact that this is shorter periodic change does not change the result.

  69. Well it has been obvious to me for some time that the CO2 record from Mauna Loa has no relation to human produced CO2 output since the Mauna Loa record has no change points/points of inflexion in it whilst human produced CO2 has not followed the same curve, having a pronounced dip round about the 70’s when the OPEC oil embarge cut off supplies of oil to the developed world and caused a major global recession.

    Here is the total human output of CO2 with a nice dip in the late 70s (another one in the early 90s):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Carbon_Emissions.svg

    And here is the Mauna Loa CO2 record proudly forging upward regardless of what humans are doing:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide-en.svg

  70. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:03 am
    “It is implausible, that the planet has similarly greened (in like linear fashion) each year. Indeed, it is almost certainly the case that there must have been years when de-forestation more than offset any natural greening in other areas, yet one still sees that the sink capacity has increased. ”

    Deforestation does not mean that all the carbon contained in the trees turns into CO2 at once; wood is used for construction and the paper industry. Deforested areas don’t turn into deserts but are re-used for agriculture, or for industrial forestry, or for grasslands, all of which will consume CO2 as well. Björn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist has a section about this (not CO2 related, but just a discussion of the typical “deforestation scare”).

  71. But that only goes to the sensitivity issue which is not the important finding. So what if the sensitivity is less than first thought ? That does not affect the basic contention that the isotope ratios have been wrongly interpreted.

    That may be true and I’m waiting for the actual evidence to come out of this finding. However, the claim that CO2 rises due mostly to the temperature simply falls down flat with this simple reasoning. At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise. Where did the other 90% come from? “Natural variability”? I can eat that, the problem is how on earth will you show such a thing to be true.

    And given the “hockey stick nature” of the CO2 rise in this century, there’s little evidence to support it.

    So I guess the next step for the skeptics is to undermine the hockey stick of the CO2 record.

  72. I listened to the podcast on Judith Curry’s blog. Wow! Judith Curry said ‘Wow’ too.:-) It woud be great to see the graphs discussed.

  73. Having failed to block the publication , anyone want to take a bet on how long before the ‘Team’ starts attacking the author ?

  74. Shaun Dunne says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:14 am

    The same thing happens every month.

    WOW!” AGW TURNED ON ITS HEAD!!!1!

    But then nothing.

    It takes a lot of arrows to kill an elephant.
    But they’re accumulating. Jumbo is becoming a pincushion.
    One “last-straw” arrow will put him on his knees. Then it’s all over but the dining.

  75. “atmospheric CO2 increase that we observe is a product of temperature increase”

    Well, duh.

  76. Luis Dias

    In reply to [] Gavin Schmidt’s point about the ice age data not making sense – that is exactly the point that Murray Salby was making. You cannot point to ice core data and say that atmospheric levels of CO2 were-such-and-such so many years back. All you can say about ice core data is that changes is CO2 lagged changes in temperature, and also that there must be large natural feedbacks present that prevents this planet from having runaway temperatures and ever increasing levels of atmospheric CO2.

    We, Schmidt, Salby do not know what the atmospheric levels of CO2 were in the past …. but what we can directly infer from Salby’s research using satellite data is they must have been a lot higher during warm phases than indicated in the ice core data.

    The game changer in all this is that science has not changed – man is not interfering with the global climate – as ever it is natural changes in temperature that is driving changes in atmospheric CO2.

  77. Having failed to block the publication , anyone want to take a bet on how long before the ‘Team’ starts attacking the author ?

    I didn’t catch what is the journal where it will be published.

    Does anyone know?

  78. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:37 am

    On a related point, we need to know why natural sinks today are absorbing more CO2 than they were 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years ago etc.

    I attribute it to there being a natural equilibrium point of 280ppm during interglacial periods. The more a system is thrown out of equilibrium the harder it tries to get back to equilibrium. A good example is when you put two objects in contact where one is hotter the than the other. The equilibrium point is when both objects are the same temperature. When the temperature disparity is greater the race towards equilibrium is faster and when the disparity is less the slower the race. In fact the two objects will never reach absolute equilibrium because the energy exchange gets smaller and smaller as they approach equilibrium. The classic example of never quite reaching equilbrium is taught as two objects approaching each other in stepwise fashion where each step halves the distance between them. They will never actually meet and the speed of approach diminishes with each step.

  79. Some here have suggested that this paper, when it is released, will be shot down by Team AGW in the usual manner, i.e. employing the usual ad hominems. I suspect that will be the case, but I don’t buy that it will therefore have no impact. For one thing the likes of Gavin Schmitt, Michael Mann et al are coming across more and more like ranting maniacs. Their attempts to defend their own science by making personal attacks on their critics are calling their own motivations into question. Open minded people will start to question what is really going on. Open minded scientists will start to question whether they have had the wool pulled over their eyes. They will start to look at the data for themselves to see if they have chosen to be on the wrong side. Once this starts to happen the game is up for Team AGW, and it has already started to happen. More and more papers are questioning the basic foundations of AGW theory and the extent of the danger.

    We will not change the mind of people like Michael Mann and others like him. They are zealots. But we don’t need to change their minds. They will simply become irrelevant as the truth unfolds. And that is what they are most scared of.

  80. Don’t like the premise.

    Yes there is natural variation.

    But less than half of annual anthro CO2 remains, so the remaining half
    satisfies Occam’s razor.

    And CO2 increase mirrors that of CH4 and N2O, amongst others.

    Global warming is -not- a hoax of principle, but is rather a hoax of exaggeration.

  81. KnR says:
    August 5, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Having failed to block the publication , anyone want to take a bet on how long before the ‘Team’ starts attacking the author ?

    Is Salby is known to believe in God? If he does that seems to be a fashionably acceptable way for climate boffins to attack scientific research – discredit the author’s science for totally unrelated philosophical beliefs.

  82. Dave Springer says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:52 am

    “The null hypothesis based on empirical observation is that annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are twice what natural sinks can absorb in that same year. ”
    ================================================================

    Yeh, this is a tricky subject. I often find myself on the other side of people whose opinions I respect…… but, that’s the process, no?

    So if we were to cut our emissions in half, atmospheric CO2 would be come quasi static?

    Nope, not even close. As shown earlier, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Carbon_Emissions.svg ) , we can see that our emissions were half no[t] so long ago, yet, the rate of rise hasn’t changed much. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/plot/esrl-co2/from:1970/to:1990/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1990/trend

    So, what were the sinks doing in the 70s? Just hanging out waiting for the millennium?

  83. jason says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:33 am
    “Gavin has already dismissed it completelely in the “unforced variations” thread over on nasas unofficial propoganda blog. Amazing as the paper is not out for six weeks.”

    The Warmista are everywhere. Their reflex is to quash anything that might conflict with their dogma. At Curry’s site, some are begging her to come back from the Dark Side while others are demanding that she post disclaimers whenever she posts material like Salby’s.

  84. Dr. Judith Curry says:

    If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science.

    It certainly doesn’t revolutionize AGW. It does revolutionize GW theory, but it removes the “A” from AGW. This would be falsification not “revolution”. Judith is being much too kind and diplomatic. Of course, the paper must stand, or we are all whistling dixie.

    Refusing proper debate, is going to cost a lot of scientists plenty. I try to maintain some compassion for their predicament, but it may be beyond my capabilities. The most, I can muster, is amusement, as one by one, these scientists, realize they have been standing, in full view, as naked as a jaybird. GK

  85. re. the 800 year lag between temperature and CO2 concentration.
    Prof. Salby commented on ice cores. With time, CO2 diffuses across layers. It is seen by the fact that recent short term fluctuations can be seen in the cores but as you go back in time, they get averaged out.

    My comment is that, if the CO2 preferentially diffuses up through the ice column, then the 800 year lag would be overstated. That seems reasonable because the pressure in the ice column increases with depth and CO2, a gas, would diffuse toward a lower pressure region (ie. upward).

  86. Roger Knights says:
    August 5, 2011 at 7:08 am

    It takes a lot of arrows to kill an elephant.
    But they’re accumulating. Jumbo is becoming a pincushion.
    One “last-straw” arrow will put him on his knees. Then it’s all over but the dining.

    ====================================
    Paging David Appell … another “Death Threat” for your collection.

    /sarc

  87. People should go back and listen to what I said at the Heartland in Washington recently. There is no record for any period of any duration in which CO2 increase precedes temperature increase. It is what I have researched and written about for several years. Apart from my presentation all the presentations were built around the idea that CO2 and especially human CO2 were causing warming. It is difficult to be a sceptic among sceptics. Fortunately, away from the podium I was involved in several discussions with an increasing number of people who are recently to the climate and CO2 issue who are questioning the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

  88. @Dave Springer: “One might argue on the exact quantity but the bottom line remains is that we pretty much know how much oil, natural gas, and coal is taken out of the ground every year and burned.”

    So what? If it all gets absorbed what difference does that make? What if the natural emissions of CO2 were 1,000,000 times greater than the anthropogenic emissions, and the Earth then absorbed 99.9999% of what was emitted? This is what is being suggested here – that the Earth is emitting massive amounts of CO2 and absorbing massive amounts of CO2 and mankinds fiddling around the edges is making precious little difference. Thus the “signature” of mankinds accumulated involvement simply isn’t present as it should be, and the Mauna Loa record only indicates not the increase in CO2 caused by your local power station, but a small temporary imbalance in the Earth’s natural CO2 recycling system.

  89. Shaun Dunne says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:16 am
    “I want a T-Shirt that says…

    I GET MY SCIENCE FROM RON CRAM”

    Oh sorry, we ran out of those, but we still have a hundred million “I GET MY SCIENCE FROM WILLIAM M. CONNOLLEY” in stock. They don’t sell as good as they used to.

  90. The atmosphere is not very sensitive to changes in anthropogenic CO2 output (it has been up and down). It seems very sensitive to regular changes in natural seasonal output, and very sensitive to some kind of CO2 pump that out performs seasonal changes. This constant uptick , this constant relationship is rare in nature. I have two thoughts.

    1. Something that outputs CO2 is growing at a steady pace and exponentially, like a population explosion, and CO2 sinks aren’t expanding to match it. The growth isn’t just adding one more unit per year, it is adding multiple units per year that expands each year.

    or

    2. The mathematical model that converts CO2 measurements into part per million has a calculations/methods flaw.

  91. Richard Verney, you state:
    “It is implausible, that the planet has similarly greened (in like linear fashion) each year.”
    The above statement is an assumption by you. I don’t see any reason why the planet could not have been[] greening each year. Satellite photos even show greening of the Sahara desert. Stating an assertion does not make it so.

  92. Salby’s talk via podcast is sufficient motivation for me to look more into the earth’s carbon dynamics prior to his book and paper coming out.

    For me that is reason enough to praise Salby’s efforts and reason for me to thank him.

    John

  93. Luis Dias says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:58 am

    But that only goes to the sensitivity issue which is not the important finding. So what if the sensitivity is less than first thought ? That does not affect the basic contention that the isotope ratios have been wrongly interpreted.

    That may be true and I’m waiting for the actual evidence to come out of this finding. However, the claim that CO2 rises due mostly to the temperature simply falls down flat with this simple reasoning. At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise. Where did the other 90% come from? “Natural variability”? I can eat that, the problem is how on earth will you show such a thing to be true.

    And given the “hockey stick nature” of the CO2 rise in this century, there’s little evidence to support it.

    So I guess the next step for the skeptics is to undermine the hockey stick of the CO2 record.

    CO2 “hockey stick” and ice cores undermined here and here

  94. Some here keep saying that the natural content in the atmosphere is a known quantity, because the anthropogenic content is a known quantity, thus what is left must be, by default, all natural……. Of course if the residence time of Anthropogenic CO2 is very short lived, ….. Then, as Professor Salby said…. All bets are off. Because then, if his view of the C12/13 ration is correct, then the natural CO2’s sinks, emissions and natural variation is unknown, meaning human influences are very minimal…… One just cannot say what portion of anthropogenic CO2 remains in the atmosphere, or for how long, because it is impossible to tell….. and considering that the warming started before major industrialization and the rate is not increasing. The AGW hypothesis becomes increasingly stressed.

    The lack of a lag of CO2’s effects on global temps between the mainly industrialized northern hemisphere and the less industrialized south, should have been a good warning of problems with CO2 sinks and anthropogenic CO2 residence times…… To my mind anyway.

  95. I produced a graph from the inter year changes derived from the Mona Loa data. It
    is interesting that over a short time span the year to year rate of increase can vary from 0.4 to almost 3 ppm/year (1992 and 1998 for example). Since the fossil fuel burning of humans is increasing consistently the last 40 years, this wide variation shows that the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is due to more than just man’s combustion.

    The almost 8X variation in yearly increase shows that is is not just a simple “humans are adding CO2 to the air” based increase. The big trend over 50 years may be due to warming, and out gassing of the oceans.
    I look forward to the experts understanding the subtleties of isotope rations etc.
    -Jay

  96. Is there a witness protection program for climate scientists?………………………………

  97. Funnily enough I was just reading this paper from PNAS

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/11/4249.full.pdf+html

    Its about the changing carbon cycle monitored at Mauna Loa and discusses the fact that the annual increment of CO2 is strongly correlated with temperature and dependent upon respiration and photosynthesis complicated by the fact that the MLO signal is derived from different air masses at different times of year.

    Perhaps we will now begin to see some attention paid to the nitrogen cycle which is completley dominated by anthropogenic inputs unlike the carbon cycle which is not – and unlikely ever to be and about which it might just be possible to do something without the cure being worse than the disease.

    But then that would be old fashioned “ecology” wouldn’t it?

    jh

  98. LazyTeenager says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:43 am
    If the extra CO2 in the air is coming from the oceans due to warming oceans, then the amount in the oceans should be going down.
    As far as I know ocean CO2 is going up not down.
    =======================================================
    Lazy, I’ve not been able to find one single record of pH change.
    Do you have a link to an actual measured – not computer modeled – pH change?

    As you can see from this, places like Monterey Bay would be the most vulnerable and would show the most change. Yet, there has been no change at all in either sea level or pH.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/monterey-bay-shows-no-change-in-sea-level-or-ph/

  99. Dave Springer:

    Your post at August 5, 2011 at 6:52 am is either naïve or disingenuous.

    Yes, the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration (i.e. CO2 in the air) is less than the tiny anthropogenic emission of CO2.

    But it is also true that the natural emissions of CO2 dwarf the anthropogenic emissions of CO2.

    And, importantly, the annual pulse of anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere should relate to the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere if one is directly causal of the other, but their variations greatly differ from year to year. In some years all of the anthropogenic emission seems to be sequestered from the air, and in other years almost none of it.

    Furthermore, the annual increase of the anthropogenic emissions is about 0.1 GtC/year. The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption is at least 12 GtC in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the rapid natural sequestration processes can easily cope with the human production of CO2.

    Whatever you try to assert, the fact is that the null hypothesis is that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is natural, and there is no evidence – none, not any, zilch – which suggests other than that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is natural.

    Richard

  100. Prof. Salby’s analysis, and comments, suggest ice-core CO2 most likely reflects muted fluctuations about a mean of atmospheric concentration. Well, so much for 400 ppmv being unprecedented over the previous million years.

  101. @Richard S Courtney says: August 5, 2011 at 6:41 am
    ///////////////////////////////////////////
    The system is never in equilibrium and cannot achieve equilibrium. the chaotic nature of clouds alone leads instrinsically to that result. The area and volume of clouds constantly changes and add to this the place where clouds are formed and the time when they are formed also changes. Obviously, cloud forming either side of midday, have more impact on the amount of solar energy received than do the same clouds say formed late afternoon, early evenning. Ditto, clouds formed over the euatorial/tropical regions have more impact on the amount of solar energy received than say similarly sized clouds forming over the Artic. The sheer variability of clouds, the changes in biomass and your point regarding changes in the concentration of CO2, means that the system can never achieve equalibrium, although it may ‘hunt’ around a stable equalibrium point moving one way or the other.

    I agree with much of what Dave Springer says (see Dave Springer says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:52 am) and in particular with the comment “…empirical observation is that annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are twice what natural sinks can absorb in that same year.” This ties into an earlier post of mine, namely, we need to investigate why natural sinks vary like this on an annual basis. For example, if the natural sink in 2008 had the same capacity as the natural sink had in 2010 there would in fact have been (or perhaps more correctly ‘there should in fact have been’) no increase in CO2 levels between the period 2008/9. In short, what was so different between the natural sinks in 2008 and 2010?,

  102. Luis Dias:

    At August 5, 2011 at 6:58 am you assert:

    “At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise. Where did the other 90% come from?”

    Really, only 10%? You know that? I am boggled at your hubris.

    To now that then you would be able to quantify the entire carbon cycle system.
    Nobody can do that.

    Let me give you some insight into the nature of what you claim you can do.

    The following are the major known processes of the carbon cycle and some of their interactions.

    SHORT-TERM PROCESSES

    1. Consumption of CO2 by photosynthesis that takes place in green plants on land. CO2 from the air and water from the soil are coupled to form carbohydrates. Oxygen is liberated. This process takes place mostly in spring and summer. A rough distinction can be made:
    1a. The formation of leaves that are short lived (less than a year).
    1b. The formation of tree branches and trunks, that are long lived (decades).

    2. Production of CO2 by the metabolism of animals, and by the decomposition of vegetable matter by micro-organisms including those in the intestines of animals, whereby oxygen is consumed and water and CO2 (and some carbon monoxide and methane that will eventually be oxidised to CO2) are liberated. Again distinctions can be made:
    2a. The decomposition of leaves, that takes place in autumn and continues well into the next winter, spring and summer.
    2b. The decomposition of branches, trunks, etc. that typically has a delay of some decades after their formation.
    2c. The metabolism of animals that goes on throughout the year.

    3. Consumption of CO2 by absorption in cold ocean waters. Part of this is consumed by marine vegetation through photosynthesis.

    4. Production of CO2 by desorption from warm ocean waters. Part of this may be the result of decomposition of organic debris.

    5. Circulation of ocean waters from warm to cold zones, and vice versa, thus promoting processes 3 and 4.

    LONGER-TERM PROCESSES

    6. Formation of peat from dead leaves and branches (eventually leading to lignite and coal).

    7. Erosion of silicate rocks, whereby carbonates are formed and silica is liberated.

    8. Precipitation of calcium carbonate in the ocean, that sinks to the bottom, together with formation of corals and shells.

    NATURAL PROCESSES THAT ADD CO2 TO THE SYSTEM

    9. Production of CO2 from volcanoes (by eruption and gas leakage).

    10. Natural forest fires, coal seam fires and peat fires.

    ANTHROPOGENIC PROCESSES THAT ADD CO2 TO THE SYSTEM

    11. Production of CO2 by burning of vegetation (“biomass”).

    12. Production of CO2 by burning of fossil fuels (and by lime kilns).

    Several of these processes are rate dependant and several of them interact.

    At higher air temperatures, the rates of processes 1, 2, 4 and 5 will increase and the rate of process 3 will decrease. Process 1 is strongly dependent on temperature, so its rate will vary strongly (maybe by a factor of 10) throughout the changing seasons.

    The rates of processes 1, 3 and 4 are dependent on the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The rates of processes 1 and 3 will increase with higher CO2 concentration, but the rate of process 4 will decrease.

    The rate of process 1 has a complicated dependence on the atmospheric CO2 concentration. At higher concentrations at first there will be an increase that will probably be less than linear (with an “order” <1). But after some time, when more vegetation (more biomass) has been formed, the capacity for photosynthesis will have increased, resulting in a progressive increase of the consumption rate.

    Processes 1 to 5 are obviously coupled by mass balances. Our paper (4) assessed the steady-state situation to be an oversimplification because there are two factors that will never be “steady”:
    I. The removal of CO2 from the system, or its addition to the system.
    II. External factors that are not constant and may influence the process rates, such as varying solar activity.

    Modeling this system is a difficult because so little is known concerning the rate equations.

    However, some things can be stated from the empirical data.

    At present the yearly increase of the anthropogenic emissions is approximately 0.1 GtC/year . The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption (i.e. consumption processes 1 and 3 minus production processes 2 and 4) is at least 6 ppmv (which corresponds to 12 GtC) in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the natural processes here listed 1-5 can cope easily with the human production of CO2. A serious disruption of the system may be expected when the rate of increase of the anthropogenic emissions becomes larger than the natural variations of CO2. But the above data indicates this is not possible.

    The accumulation rate of CO2 in the atmosphere (1.5 ppmv/year which corresponds to 3 GtC/year) is equal to almost half the human emission (6.5 GtC/year). However, this does not mean that half the human emission accumulates in the atmosphere, as is often stated. There are several other and much larger CO2 flows in and out of the atmosphere. The total CO2 flow into the atmosphere is at least 156.5 GtC/year with 150 GtC/year of this being from natural origin and 6.5 GtC/year from human origin. So, on the average, 3/156.5 = 2% of all emissions accumulate.

    The above qualitative considerations suggest the carbon cycle cannot be very sensitive to relatively small disturbances such as the present anthropogenic emissions of CO2. However, the system could be quite sensitive to temperature. So, our paper considered how the carbon cycle would be disturbed if – for some reason – the temperature of the atmosphere were to rise, as it almost certainly did between 1880 and 1940 (there was an estimated average rise of 0.5 °C in average surface temperature.

    As temperature rises the rate of the main CO2 production processes 2 (decomposition of organic matter) and 4 (desorption from the oceans) would rise, as would the rate of the consumption process 1 (photosynthesis). However, the rate of absorption in the ocean (process 3) will not be increased. The rates of processes 1a and 2a will rise more quickly than the rates of processes 1b and 2b, but it is not obvious which would rise most. Obviously, the net result would be an increase of CO2 production by desorption from the oceans. This is a relatively slow process, because the mass transfer coefficient between the sea water and its surface is relatively low (the rates of both absorption and desorption in the oceans have time constants that are probably of the order of decades). This would mean that a disruption by a temperature rise would result in a relatively slow increase of CO2 production. Gradually, the consumption processes 1 (photosynthesis) and 3 (absorption in cold ocean waters) will increase and slow down the excess CO2 formation.

    As long as the anthropogenic production of CO2 is less than, say, 10% of the average natural production (2.5 times the present level), the CO2 level in the atmosphere might become 2.5 times higher than it was originally. However, it will eventually become much lower again, due to the delayed action of process 8 (the “true sink”).

    The above considerations of available data strongly suggest that the anthropogenic emissions of CO2 will have no significant long term effect on climate. The main reason is that the rate of increase of the anthropogenic production of CO2 is very much smaller that the observed maximum rate of increase of the natural consumption of CO2.

    And you say you know “At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise”.
    I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. PROVE IT.

    Richard

  103. Moderators:

    I have just posted a message in reply to Louis Dias comment at August 5, 2011 at 6:58 am.

    It seems to have vanished. Do you have it or should I post it again, please?

    Richard

    [We're working through a long queue. 8<) Robt]

  104. Hmm, imagine that. When I use to play with CO2 injection in my extreme Aquaria, I had to crank to bubble rate way down during the hot days ( tank temp ~ 30 C). CO2 is created by kariote metabolism. The rate of Kariote metabolism is directly related to temperature. Its I dynamic system.

  105. The keyboard and monitor of the system I used to post my last comment are at the back of my workbench. I have to reach over two other keyboards and squint at the monitor to post. I guess it shows :(

  106. “Up Wing says:
    August 5, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Salby is saying that The CO2 rise is a natural response to the global termperature rise. So you can accept his explanaion but this also requires accepting that glbal temperatures are increasing.

    Is everyone here accepting that then?”

    I do not know of many people who do not accept that there has been some moderate warming. The re-analysis of the HADCRUT3 data shows that there has been some moderate warming, although not globally. Some regions have cooled.

    There has not been, neither is there any remote actual sign of, the extreme and catastrophic warming that the extremist end of the alarmist’s have been getting so hysterical about.

    Even allowing for the warming that has been measured, there is no proof that it is mostly caused by mankind. The amount of warming which has been measured still fits within the boundaries of observable natural variability.

  107. @Luis Dias…

    There are several natural source of carbon dioxide. I’m not only referring to the well-known sources, like biosystems, volcanoes, and oceans, but to a vast source of carbon dioxide: sand and subsurface materials like rocks, water, etc. It has been observed that warming of the surface triggers the releasing of carbon dioxide towards the atmosphere. The higher the increase, the higher load of carbon dioxide released. This release of carbon dioxide from sand and subsurface materials fluctuates according to surface temperature and the latter fluctuates according with the load of radiation it receives from the Sun:

    http://www.casnw.net/desertlabweb/members/Dongzhibao.files/%D2%D1%B7%A2%B1%ED%C2%DB%D6%F8/Estimate%20of%20total%20CO2%20output%20from%20desertified%20sandy%20land%20in%20China.pdf

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/320/5882/1409.full.pdf

    So, China desert sands, as well as Saharian, Gobi, Atacama, Arabia, Arizona and Texas sands, are sinks of carbon dioxide that overwhelms any emissions from human activities.

    The question is: why to bother by carbon dioxide? It is not a pollutant neither a warmer of the Earth; it is an essential part of life, same as water. Saying the carbon dioxide is a pollutant is the same madness as saying that water is a pollutant, and some AGW proponents have gone even to this extreme.

    The results of an experiment only can be rebutted by another experiment. No other ways in science.

  108. I’m pretty firmly in the skeptic camp, but if this article is true, I’m not completely sure it is good news. It could also be interpreted that a small increase in CO2 leads to warming, which leads to a much greater release of CO2. A classic positive feedback loop.

  109. “The most pertinent criticism I think was quoted on Cetc but it was made by Gavin Schmidt. It is basically this point: if CO2 was so sensitive to temperatures”

    Luis, I would like it better if there was a degree of firmness by Gavin, in instances where he seems to synonymize “temperature” and “temperature change”

  110. Friends

    It is an instrinsic part of the AGW theory that if man was not emitting CO2, CO2 levels measured in the atmosphere would not be increasing.

    There is no doubt that man is causing CO2 to be emitted in to the atmosphere, however, it does not necessarily follow from this that these emissions are the cause of the increased levels of CO2 as measured in the atmosphere.

    One cannot rule out the possibilty that if man was to stop all manmade CO2 emissions, the level of CO2 in the atmoshphere would still continue to rise. For example, it could be the position that for short periods (and in this I include periods of 100s may be 1000s of years), there is a relationship between total atmospheric CO2 levels and available natural sinks. This relationship may be such that available natural sinks will always increase in line with increased CO2 emissions (whatever be the reason for this emission, ie., natural and/or manmade) such that they will always be able to absorp approximately 50% of the increase in CO2 levels.

    Thus it may the case that if man was to stop emitting CO2, the natural sinks would become less efficient/have less capacity so that they would be unable to absorp a greater proportion of CO2 which is being naturally outgassed with the result that one would still see a rising CO2 trend, may be a trend having exactly the same rate of increase as that being measured today, even though in this scenario, man was not emitting any CO2 at all.. Not only is a proper understanding of natural CO2 emissions required and what these may be a response to, but in addition, a proper understanding of nautural sinks and how they respond to increase in CO2 concentrations is required. I do not consider that presently, we have a proper grasp of this and without this, one cannot begin to evaluate to what extent mamade emiisions are playinng a significant role in the carbon cycle/increased levels of CO2 measured in the atmosphere these past 60 or so years.

  111. Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    Answer: With all due respect Mr. Salby is incorrect. Current CO2 levels, far beyond the levels we seen for the past 800,000 years and probably longer are due to human industrial activities. The oceans have been net sinks of human carbon dioxide…this much is quite clear. Humans have taken the carbon from the fossil fuels and placed it in the atmosphere and oceans…end of story.

  112. It never made any sense to me to attribute changes in C12/C13 ratios to humanity, considering that C13 is created naturally in the atmosphere by incoming radiation from space which is a variable, and not constant. I never heard anyone speak on how they eliminated the variability of naturally produced C13 wrt human emissions.

  113. John Finn says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.”
    ===================================================
    A whole 50 years John Finn? You are willing to believe that humans are responsible for CO2 increases because of a whole 50 years of increases?
    The average lag between CO2 and temperature is 800 years. When CO2 was increasing in the 1940s through to the 1970s (for over 30 years) why did temperature go down?
    Probably because the short term fluctuations in global temperature are not related to the long term increase in CO2, which is obvious when you compare the two graphs. Over a period of several thousand years – yes there is a correlation, CO2 follows temperature. But over 50 years? No correlation. I don’t understand why people don’t understand this.

  114. When the cooling really gets going, the CO2 will start decreasing. I think there is already evidence of deceleration.

    ~800 years lag is an artifact. CO2 was higher than today during the Holocene optimum for example, simply because the temperatures were higher.

  115. Re Luis Dias @ August 5, 2011 at 3:55 am:

    There must be a very large effect on the carbin sink if CO2 concentration goes from 180 ppm to 280 ppm. You’re crossing over the threshold value of CO2 (~200 ppm) at which plant photosynthesis can occur.

  116. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:37 am

    On a related point, we need to know why natural sinks today are absorbing more CO2 than they were 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years ago etc.

    We do not know that they are, though I tend to think so. CO2 is, as often repeated, “plant food.” Increased productivity would lead to higher sequestering rates. Again, the oceans may be a more or less undiscussed key sink. Algal blooms, for example, would take up tons of CO2, but how broadly researched is this. There are also natural chemical sinks – carbonate pan formation in soil,. lime precipitation in marine environments, and presumably others as well.

    For example, if say back in 1980, natural sinks had the same capacaity as they do today to absorb CO2 then there would not have been an increase in CO2 levels in 1980/1, ditto If say back in 1981, natural sinks had the same capacaity as they do today to absorb CO2 then there would not have been an increase in CO2 levels in 1981/2.

    Natural biological sinks would be capable of increasing capacity in response to increased available CO2 if other critical nutrients aren’t acting as limits. Increased agriculture could also act as a non-natural sink.

    We need to better understand the natural processes involved both in the release of CO2 and in its absorpttion.

    Hear, hear!

  117. “professor” Salby should get some basic courses on diffusion physics before he writes this tripe.
    Google Ferdinand Engelbeen CO2 for some real skeptic science.

  118. Anthony,
    Nothing new here just another rehash of what appeared in our ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’ book written by Miso Alkalaj. Also, it’s amazing to read “Dr Roy Spencer has suspected something similar,” because in emails with the ‘Slayers’ he argued against our conclusion that increasing CO2 wasn’t principally traceable to human emissions.

    Week by week, month by month lukewarmers are wising up to fact there is no ‘greenhouse effect.’

  119. Mike Hohmann says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Here is something hair-raising I found:

    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

    I’m not competent to comment – but who can?
    ============================================
    Hmm, Mike some blogs are a bit behind WUWT……

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/ (There’s a link to Lubos Motl’s thoughts at the end of the post)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/08/venus-envy/

    Goddard has continued espousing that the ideal gas law should be applied on his own blog…..

    Here is an excellent articulation of the current theory as to why the ideal gas law doesn’t apply in this particular case. http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/ivy-league-alarmist-proves-my-point/#comment-50172 :-)

    But, the post itself demonstrates Goddard’s POV.

  120. Hello folks, I am not Jeff Dunham, nor do I play him in TV, but today our skit will not have Jeff Dunham not playing himself and Achmed the dead terrorist who will be playing to part of Kevin Trenberth, and Walter, who Gavin Schmidt plays when he is not posting on The Blog that will not be Named. Are you with me so far?

    Jeff: So, you guys have a real problem today with whole out-gassing of CO2 from the oceans problem making your AGW theory look like so much hot air…

    Gavin: I out-gas all the time! But that is not a problem because clearly if warming oceans were causing CO2 levels to rise, the fact that the warming has halted for a decade or so would have caused CO2 levels to level off, and we have not seen that.

    Kevin: Infidel!!! Fool who is bought and paid for by big oil! What you are saying is not possible. Everyone knows that the heat is hiding in the deep oceans where we can not find it. This is a position I have staked my career on, and AGW theory requires that this be true, therefor the oceans have been warming!! Wait… Gavin is that you?

    Gavin: (Emitting a gas he claims is killing us with every breath…) Ahhh, hmmm What I meant to say was that the missing heat is hiding in the deep oceans in a place where it will not cause warming, in fact the extra heat is causing cooling. Therefor this proves double true that human activity causes the heating which causes the cooling that creates the CO2 that causes my funding, that proves that everyone who disagrees with our position is funded by big oil and therefor must be wrong.

    Jeff: What?

    Kevin and Gavin: Silence!!!

  121. I still don’t understand this point: there is a high turnover rate of CO2 in the atmosphere. The entire turnover period is less than 10 years. Furthermore, the majority of CO2 emissions are natural. Therefore, the live CO2 in the atmosphere is going to always be coming predominantly from natural sources, and the CO2 being taken in is predominantly natural with a bit of man-made in there. Either way, the man-made sources are only part of the mix, and this is a well-mixed system. Just going by this description, I don’t think that we can determine these things on this level using a C12-C13 analysis.

    The question is: if man had not been outputting CO2 to the atmosphere, would the CO2 levels have increased? More generally, what is the equilibrium concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and has this been significantly affected by the actions of Man?

  122. this is by far the top story of the whole AGW even greater than climategate ect should be left top post for a very very long time AW you decide its your site lol

  123. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    Answer: With all due respect Mr. Salby is incorrect. Current CO2 levels, far beyond the levels we seen for the past 800,000 years and probably longer are due to human industrial activities. The oceans have been net sinks of human carbon dioxide…this much is quite clear. Humans have taken the carbon from the fossil fuels and placed it in the atmosphere and oceans…end of story.

    That’s pretty weak, Gates. Your comment amounts to, “It is this way because I say it is so!”

    As far as the MWP is concerned, I presume you’re basing your argument on ice-core data. You’re saying the ice-cores do not show a CO2 increase during the MWP. This indicates you did not listen to the podcast.

  124. Tim Ball says:
    August 5, 2011 at 7:43 am

    “It is difficult to be a sceptic among sceptics.”
    =========================================================

    Sometimes, it is.

  125. R. Gates says: August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    It doesn’t matter what the CO2 level is…it is not driving the climate bus. I’d say it is not only at the back of the bus, it’s coming out the tailpipe. That is to say, it is barely connected to climate.

  126. richard verney:

    I welcome disagreement with what I write and I especially appreciate it when I am shown to be wrong because then I learn. But I object to misrepresentation of what I write.

    Your post at August 5, 2011 at 8:21 am purports to be replying to my post at August 5, 2011 at 6:41 am.

    You begin that reply by saying;
    ”The system is never in equilibrium and cannot achieve equilibrium. the chaotic nature of clouds alone leads instrinsically to that result.”

    Then you attack what I said as being wrong because the system is never in equilibrium. That attack is the logical error commonly known as a ‘straw man’.

    I wrote,

    “The continuing rise for decades after the temperature has risen is because a temperature increase causes the system of the carbon cycle to obtain a new equilibrium state, and the system takes decades to achieve that new equilibrium.

    The short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the anthropogenic and the natural emissions of any year. But some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium (whatever caused the change to the equilibrium) and, therefore, atmospheric CO2 concentration changes for decades after a change to the system (e.g. a change to global temperature). “

    So, I said the system is changing because it is seeking equilbrium equilibrium.
    I did not say it is in equilibrium.

    My argument must be very good if you feel the need to answer it with a ‘straw man’.

    Richard

  127. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    ——————–

    R. Gates,

    I think R Taylor’s following comment suggests an insight. The Salby paper will be interesting.

    R Taylor says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Prof. Salby’s analysis, and comments, suggest ice-core CO2 most likely reflects muted fluctuations about a mean of atmospheric concentration. Well, so much for 400 ppmv being unprecedented over the previous million years.

    Thanks R Taylor.

    John

  128. Its new, its old. Its exciting, its a boring rehash. Its accurate, its inaccurate. He is a good scientist, he is a bad scientist.

    This one could run a while….

  129. @ John Finn: One presumes you’ve understood that the time lag between temperature trend rise and [CO2] trend rise is 800years? so why would you expect [CO2] to be trending downward on account of 15years of cooling or no change?
    If your soup is boiling and you turn off the stove element, does the soup immediately stop boiling? Now consider the volume of the earth’s oceans and consider it’s thermal inertia and then explain why you expect that a trivial 15years cooling should already be paying dividends WRT atmospheric [CO2].

    As another Skippy, I hope this paper proves sufficiently game changing to put the brakes on this gullible warming gravy train; though I am far too pessimistic to actually believe the nomenclatura will relinquish their grand vision when faced with yet more contractory science.
    Concensus my arse!
    Sad thing is, all my Geology, Meteorology, Climatology and Oceanography professors knew the hot-air affect was pure fiction back in 1991, so why have we all wasted so much time and beer vouchers on such improbable bovine faeces in the meantime?
    (My Meteorology Professor was cut off while answering a local radio station’s DJs questions on gullible warming back in 1993, a sudden technical failure after he’d pointed out that atmospheric [CO2] increases were as trivial as those due to opening a can of coke in one’s lounge room).

    Off topic maybe, but I see another oil company is proudly gloating about an offshore wind farm selling watermelon electricity to the UK national grid (off the Norfolk coast) this week.
    So much for the vested interest of ‘big oil’.
    Bring on the 21st century minimum so that science proof eco-worriers have something real to fuss about.

  130. R Gates: “Current CO2 levels, far beyond the levels we seen for the past 800,000 years”

    During the Eemian, CO2 rose 100ppm from a 190ppm base line. So far, CO2 has risen about 100ppm from a higher base line.

    What natural process decided the base line would be 100ppm higher in the Holocene than the Eemian?

    Why did CO2 follow temperature changes in the Eemian?

    Why does CO2 rise 2.9ppm during an El Nino and less than 1ppm in some years? I thought human produced CO2 was quite consistent?

  131. Mr./Ms. Gates:

    The last 800,000 years is less than a blink of an eye. As can easily be found, there was a period of time when CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was close to what it is today.

    This was the Carboniferous Period, called the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian Periods on the side of the pond wherein polar bears are drowning due to thin/absent arctic ice.

    This was also a significant glacial event, coexistant with luxuriant coal-forming swamps.

    A bit earlier, near the transition between the Ordovician and Silurian Periods, we saw another significant glacial event take place. Funny thing is, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was more than ten times what it is today.

    What is the big deal about the last 800,000 years? Why not look at the complete record, and explain tells us why the last 800,000 years is so special? While you are at it, explain the lack of correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature changes. There’s lots of data; surely you can come up with a model to make CO2 concentration and temperatures match each other perfectly, right?

    Mark H.

  132. Wow! This was a talk by Prof. Murray Salby that had to blow the collective minds of every eco-fanatic on the planet. CO2 increased in the 80s while temperature began to drop and c13 is also made naturally. This is devastating to the AGW community – millions of dollars will have to be spend to discredit this man and his work or the AGW community is DOA.

    BTW, thanks Anthony for this article – your research is second to none highlighting this man.

  133. Prof. Murray Salby in his question and answer section give a brilliant answer to ice related so called atmospheric CO2 trapped in millions of year old ice. Anyone who actually listened to this section would have gotten their answer.

  134. I note that Spencer’s observations on satellite measured heat radiation and Salby’s conjecture reflect very accurately the real world as opposed to the modeled. And both go hand in hand. No wonder Dr. Curry is very interested. I suspect others will react with anger.

  135. Richard,

    Really, only 10%? You know that? I am boggled at your hubris.

    To now that then you would be able to quantify the entire carbon cycle system.
    Nobody can do that.

    I’m not saying I’m able to do so. It’s not my thesis, it’s professor’s Salby’s thesis which states the CO2 sensitivity to temperature, not me.

    I’m merely stating a counter example that falsifies his proposition. If you now say something like “it’s complicated”, ok sure. I never said otherwise, dr. Salby is the one stating he can recognize this causality and its sensitivity. Please go tell him that he can’t do what he did.

  136. I really don’t get his point. That there is variability in CO2 levels due to natural changes in balance? Why is that news? And, how does that say that human added CO2 does not alter the CO2 balance?

    Say, for example, that with no human contributions, CO2 levels fluctuated -1.5 PPM/year to 1.5 PPM/year. Add a human contribution and then they fluctuate from 0 PPM/year to +3 PPM/year. You still have natural variability and still have a human component that is causing increased CO2. This seems to be completely consistent with his presentation.

    The only thing interesting and potentially new was that the isotopic concentrations don’t necessarily mean that the extra CO2 in the air is from humans, which doesn’t say it isn’t either.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a skeptic. But, given the larger temperature swings of the past and the smaller CO2 variations that went along with them, I don’t really think that an argument that says that the extra 100 PPM of CO2 is “not from us” holds much weight. In fact, it probably draws away from the truth which is, ‘yes, it is us, but it is no big deal’.

    Then again, maybe I was missing something in the presentation because I didn’t have the graphics.

  137. In an e-mail from beyond the grave, Emily Littela admitted to an associate
    that she had originally begun to write up her commentary, thinking the topic
    was “gerbil worming”.

    BTW, if you’ve ever carefully opened a bottle of beer (warm as
    traditionalists perfer, or cold as the less refined demand) you might notice
    the level of the beverage in the container doesn’t go down as the CO2 slowly
    outgasses.

  138. My only problem is that…….and correct me if I’m wrong, but, this may be a new study but I thought that knowledge of this was already known. I believe I’ve seen studies on this CO2 lag before.

    It may be just me.

  139. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    Answer: With all due respect Mr. Salby is incorrect. Current CO2 levels, far beyond the levels we seen for the past 800,000 years and probably longer are due to human industrial activities. The oceans have been net sinks of human carbon dioxide…this much is quite clear. Humans have taken the carbon from the fossil fuels and placed it in the atmosphere and oceans…end of story.

    Plant stomata clearly indicate high levels of CO2 associated with the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warming and Medieval Warm Period…

    Roman Warming and Medieval Warm Period

    The CO2 chart is from Kouwenberg, 2004. It is a reconstruction of atmospheric CO2 from plant stomata. It clearly shows that pre-industrial CO2 levels routinely fluctuated from ~280 to 310-360ppmv. The post-800 AD data were also published in Kouwneberg et al., 2005. Dr. Kouwenberg attributed the 400-600 AD CO2 maximum to unspecified local environmental stresses because the high CO2 level could not be matched up with climate warming… She was relying on Mann & Jones, 2003 reconstruction. I used the temperature reconstructions from Moberg et al., 2005 and Ljungqvist 2010; neither of which was available at the time Dr. Kouwneberg published these CO2 reconstructions.

    CO2 levels peaked ~230 years after the Medieval Warm Period peaked and the Little Ice Age cooling began and CO2 bottomed out ~230 years after the trough of the Little Ice Age. In a fashion similar to the glacial/interglacial lags in the ice cores, the plant stomata data indicate that CO2 has lagged behind temperature changes by about 230 years over the last millennium. The rise in CO2 that began in 1860 is most likely the result of warming oceans degassing.

    While we don’t have a continuous stomata record over the Holocene, it does appear that a lag time was also present in the early Holocene…

    <a href =http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/Preboreal.pngPreboreal Oscillation

    8200-yr Cooling and Holocene Thermal Maximum

    McElwain et al., 2002 also found that a “~77 ppm decrease in atmospheric CO2 at the onset of the Younger Dryas stadial… lagged climatic cooling by ~130 yr.”

    The stomata data clearly support a temperature-driven carbon cycle.

    The ice cores cannot resolve century-scale or shorter duration CO2 fluctuations. It’s basic Nyquist… “CO2 fluctuation with duration of less than twice the bubble enclosure time cannot be detected in the ice or reconstructed by deconvolution.” (McElwaine et al., 2002 JQS).

    The highest resolution Antarctic ice cores have a bubble enclosure time of ~60 years. the Mauna Loa Observatory record is only ~50 years long. It cannot be resolved in ice cores. The century-scale and shorter duration CO2 fluctuations documented in dozens of papers by van Hoof, Wagner, Kouwenberg, McElwaine, etc. from plant stomata do not show up in the ice cores because the ice cores are incapable of recording such short-duration fluctuations.

  140. Smokey,

    No, I don’t need ice cores for my analysis. It’s pretty simpler than that.

    CO2 was 280 ppm a century ago (more or less). If the sensitivity is, as dr Salby says, of ~100ppm per degree celcius, and if temperature is the main driver of CO2, then how come the CO2 was *only* 280 ppm a century ago, if the temperature is at least 6 degrees higher than the ice ages?

    Why, for instance, is the temperature not increasing for the last ten years, and still we see CO2 rising? (wasn’t that fact used against CO2 ->temperature causation here and elsewhere?)

  141. Anyone else scared by this comment

    “Dr. Judith Curry has some strong words of support, and of caution:
    If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science.”

    Note the lack of “debunk” but instead the implied “it will live on as a new form from which we will still demand everything we currently are but for new reasons”…. aka this event will be much like the change from global cooling to global warming… same ppl, demands just a define excuse.

  142. lol – somebody is ready to forsake delusion as a lifestyle? just when they thought the asylum was settled…

    a cause ALWAYS precedes the effect. that’s THE fundamental axiom of epistemology.
    you can’t even know anything if you get the most basic part of ‘how things are known’ quite backwards.

    and yah- what’s with the surprised comments from the liberal arts labcoats? every such instance amounts to a declaration of prior symptoms, eh? confessions, if you will, of gross ineptitude.
    it had not been anything scientific – the science was scuttled.

  143. Reply to John Finn August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Oceans contain about 93% of all c02, some 50 times more than in the atmosphere

    http://tinyurl.com/7uhsuo

    Oceans are heating, NOT the atmosphere, though in fact, no-one measures exactly the exchanges in c02 between oceans, air and land.

    IE> They are not measured

  144. David Middleton says:

    “The stomata data clearly support a temperature-driven carbon cycle.”

    ___
    And no doubt, prior to the onset of human industrialization, the carbon cycle was clearly driven by temperatures (and you could argue, that human industrial activity also is a consequence of the Holocene warmth, so in a round-about way, our release of CO2 continues the relationship between warmth and CO2 levels.)

  145. Hans Erren says:
    August 5, 2011 at 9:17 am

    “professor” Salby should get some basic courses on diffusion physics before he writes this tripe.
    Google Ferdinand Engelbeen CO2 for some real skeptic science.

    You seem to be seriously lowering the tone of the discussion here.
    1 – You put the word professor in quotes. That means you are emphasizing that word and suggests that you don’t feel that Prof. Salby deserves the title. He has a long list of publications and is clearly respected within his community. Do you have some specific reason to doubt his qualifications?
    2 – You have suggested that Prof. Salby should take some classes on diffusion. I listened to the whole podcast and didn’t hear him say anything remotely controversial about diffusion. Did you have anything specific in mind? There have been a number of studies of gas diffusion in an ice column. As far as I can tell, none of them contradicts anything said by Prof. Salby.

  146. Wil says:
    August 5, 2011 at 10:37 am
    Prof. Murray Salby in his question and answer section give a brilliant answer to ice related so called atmospheric CO2 trapped in millions of year old ice.

    ____
    Since we don’t have any ice core samples of “millions of year old ice” on the planet, it would be interesting to hear his “brilliant” answer.

  147. Not sure if this has been mentioned in later comments, but people in early comments seem not to understand that the outgassing of CO2 from the oceans depends on ocean temperatures, not atmospheric temperature. It doesn’t much matter what the atmospheric temperatures are, except to the degree that they warm the entire ocean, which takes a very long time. So yearly air temperature variations will have very little effect on CO2 outgassing, which proceeds at a slow and steady rate as the oceans warm up, and decline as they cool. Nor will it occur in proportion to changes in atmospheric temperature change.

  148. Luis Dias says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Anthony, Nick did listen to the audio, since this story broke out on Climate Etc yesterday, and he did comment on it.

    Also, many comments were made wrt this story. Despite all the noise (it’s a scam I knew it! or, there the denialists go again!) some arguments were made on Judith Curry blog.

    The most pertinent criticism I think was quoted on Cetc but it was made by Gavin Schmidt. It is basically this point: if CO2 was so sensitive to temperatures (we are talking about 100ppm per 1 degree celcius), then the ice age data stops making sense. In the ice ages, CO2 was 180ppm, while in the warmer gaps between ice ages, CO2 was 280ppm. But the temperature was 6 degrees celcius higher. If the CO2 was as sensitive as Selby says, the difference ought to be 600ppm+- (or more), not 100.

    So something’s very off right there.

    I’m very amused at how sure you are with the numbers you are using. A six degree C difference with what amount of error? 180ppmv with what amount of error? What were the methods used to come up with these numbers? Your comment seeks to create contradiction where none perhaps exist by demonstrating naught but hubris in supposedly *knowing* exactly what past climate was like. This kind of bold claim of knowledge is not at all surprising from those who believe in CAGW.

  149. Suppose AGW theory is correct and a rise in atmosheric CO2 will lead to an increase in temperature and that this could verry bad effects.

    Then why is it a good thing that this is natural?

    If it were to anthropgenic CO2 then we would have a chance of of controlling the process. However if this is a natural process and the effects are a natural calamity for us then this would appear to me to be very bad. We would be facing a calamity with no way to ameliorate it.

    The souce of CO2 and possible warming due to CO2 increase are separate problems. A natural increase in CO2 would seem to me to be possibly very bad news for us

  150. R. Gates
    Since we don’t have any ice core samples of “millions of year old ice” on the planet, it would be interesting to hear his “brilliant” answer.
    —————-
    Lol! Thanks for pointing out a mere spelling mistake – and might I ask are you reduced to this level of comment? Perhaps you might want to stick the information contained in both the article and those contained in the Q&A section. To do otherwise reduces your level of discourse.

  151. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    David Middleton says:

    “The stomata data clearly support a temperature-driven carbon cycle.”

    ___
    And no doubt, prior to the onset of human industrialization, the carbon cycle was clearly driven by temperatures (and you could argue, that human industrial activity also is a consequence of the Holocene warmth, so in a round-about way, our release of CO2 continues the relationship between warmth and CO2 levels.)

    You could also argue that fossil fuels are concentrated solar power… But that’s not relevant either.

    The stomata data indicate that atmospheric CO2 would have risen to at least 330-360 ppmv due to the warm up from the Little Ice Age without any anthropogenic assistance. Many, if not most, stomata reconstructions employ quercus (oak) leaves. Quercus stomata are unresponsive to CO2 levels above ~345 ppmv. CO2 levels higher than 345 ppmv will yield the same stomatal index as 345 ppmv.

  152. R Gates

    By Physics Today on April 29, 2011 1:08 PM
    New Scientist: Four science teams—from Europe, Australia, China, and the US—are racing to retrieve the first million-year-old sample from Antarctica’s ice. Ancient ice could hold clues to past changes in Earth’s climate. Using such ice samples, scientists could study the concentration of carbon dioxide in the ancient atmosphere by analyzing the air trapped in tiny bubbles within the ice. A decline in carbon dioxide concentration could explain the advent of an ice age, for example. One researcher, Robin Bell of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and her colleagues have come across a potential problem with the hunt, however. They have found that ice sheets in Dome A, one of the drilling sites, is growing from the bottom up. This could mean that any ancient ice that was once there has melted and been replaced.
    ———
    Here is one example of Prof. Murry Salby “problem” with ice core samples among others he outlines.

  153. Hans Erren says:
    August 5, 2011 at 9:17 am

    “professor” Salby should get some basic courses on diffusion physics before he writes this tripe.
    Google Ferdinand Engelbeen CO2 for some real skeptic science.

    Having been through most of a CSU’s physics catalog, I don’t recall any classes devoted to “diffusion physics”. You generally take good core classes, like Mechanics / EM / Thermo / Quantum, and perhaps some blends like Solid State / Particle Physics. I don’t recall any classes that even had sections devoted to this “diffusion physics” topic. I think you’re just making stuff up there.

    Also, what “tripe” are you referring to? Most of the information thus far is in an audio-only webcast with no slides, and a single abstract. Do you have access to the paper already? Perhaps you’re part of team defense?

  154. Luis Dias:

    You people must be really desperate to avoid reality if you keep feeling the need to present ‘straw man’ arguments as in your post at August 5, 2011 at 10:51 am.

    You are the second person to respond to my words on this thread with a ‘straw man’.

    At August 5, 2011 at 6:58 am you asserted;
    “At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise.”

    I replied at August 5, 2011 at 8:37 am where I explained that nobody could know that because the carbon system is complex and I outlined that complexity. I concluded with;

    “And you say you know “At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise”.
    I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. PROVE IT.”

    Your post at August 5, 2011 at 10:51 am responds to that challenge with a falsehood and a ‘straw man’ argument.
    It says;
    “I’m not saying I’m able to do so. It’s not my thesis, it’s professor’s Salby’s thesis which states the CO2 sensitivity to temperature, not me.”

    But Salby did NOT say, “At most, the temperature would have only affected 10% of the CO2 rise”.
    YOU SAID IT, NOT HIM.
    Your assertion is a falsehood. And the argument that Salby said any such thing is misrepresentation of his argument; i.e. it is a ‘straw man’.

    Salby says the rise is completely consistent with it being natural. It is. Please see my post at August 5, 2011 at 4:51 am if you want to know what the data does show.

    And you are attempting the same reversal of the null hypothesis that Dave Springer tried to foist on us at August 5, 2011 at 6:52 am and I refuted at August 5, 2011 at 8:19 am.:

    Richard

  155. Hans Erren says:
    August 5, 2011 at 9:17 am

    “professor” Salby should get some basic courses on diffusion physics before he writes this tripe.
    Google Ferdinand Engelbeen CO2 for some real skeptic science.

    Google Nyquist sampling theorem. Then read these two papers…

    McElwain, J.C., Mayle, F.E. and Beerling, D.J. 2002. Stomatal evidence for a decline in atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Younger Dryas stadial: a comparison with Antarctic ice core records. Journal of Quaternary Science 17: 21-29.

    Van Hoof, T.B., Kaspers, K.A., Wagner,F., Van de Wal, R.S.W., Kürschner, W.M. and Visscher, H. (2005) Atmospheric CO2 during the 13th century AD: reconciliation of data from ice core
    measurements and stomatal frequency analysis. Tellus B, 57/4, 351-355.

  156. I have always felt that Salby’s hypothesis seemed to be highly likely. There is so little evidence for CO2 causing warming in the historical records – everything suggests that atmospheric CO2 is affected by temperatures in some ways.

    No doubt many other things influence CO2 levels such as volcanoes, plants, land mass, how much ice covers the poles, animal & bacterial life forms including, of course, Man etc.

    Only a narrow minded imbecile could possibly believe that there is a simple relationship between any of these factors.

    Any intelligent person would necessarily conclude that there are a whole host of interrelated factors.

    Only a simpleton would single out just CO2 and temperature and suggest that there is some kind of direct constant relationship between the two that is independent of everything else.

    Is it just me that sees the discussions exclusively around CO2 and temperature as being pointless and idiotic? Doesn’t anyone else see that it is a totally futile approach to understanding a chaotic complex system?

  157. So the AGW crowd urge us to keep temperatures down, so in the light of Prof Salby’s findings, we need to keep burning fossil fuels to keep the cooling sulphates high……oh the irony.

  158. Tom Gray says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Suppose AGW theory is correct and a rise in atmosheric CO2 will lead to an increase in temperature and that this could verry bad effects.

    Then why is it a good thing that this is natural?
    =========================================================

    Because acceptance is necessary for advancement. And certitude is only derived from acceptance. It is how we persevere over adversity. ——– “Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear.”—————William Congreve

    We could then quit wasting our time, energies and money on this useless CO2 blame game and move on to something worthwhile. You see, it doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t a natural process vs. human caused. If this is a natural occurrence, obviously, there’s nothing to be done about it. If this is man caused……… well, there’s nothing to be done about it either. China has aptly proven that developing nations don’t and won’t care about a degree or two of warming. They will develop first and worry about the rest later. The developed world can’t change to a non-carbon emitting society, either. If it is man caused, atmospheric CO2 will continue to rise at least until the end of the next century and likely beyond that. If its a natural variation, it could stop anytime then.

  159. This could be a trillion dollar blunder for the warmists if it holds up and it seems solid. Prof. Murry Salby’s talk was very persuasive.

  160. John Finn says:

    Human emissions are causing the increase in CO2. Temperature simply determines the rate of that increase.

    ummm…
    So, you’re saying that temperature determines the rate at which humans emit CO2?

    Yeah, right.

  161. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    Seriously? What part of “lag” do you fail to understand? Current levels of CO2 are only partially affected by current temperatures. You can’t simply take a given “global temperature” (as if such a thing actually existed or were pertinent to global energy content) and expect to correlate that with a specific level of CO2. Your argument is typical of warmists who gladly accept the science when it fits their argument, but conveniently forget it when they try to shoot down someone else’s argument.

  162. Steve from Rockwood says:
    August 5, 2011 at 9:02 am


    John Finn says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall.”


    ===================================================
    A whole 50 years John Finn? You are willing to believe that humans are responsible for CO2 increases because of a whole 50 years of increases?
    The average lag between CO2 and temperature is 800 years.

    With all due respect, Steve, I don’t think you nor a large number of posters understand the 800 year lag and the time scales involved.

    As the earth emerged from the ice age, temperatures began to rise very gradually following which the oceans warmed and more CO2 was released into the atmosphere. The whole complete process took thousands of years. The ~800 year lag was due to ocean circulation ‘digging’ out higher concentrations of CO2 from the deep. Throughout this, the earth was continuing to warm so a new CO2 ocean/atmosphere equilibrium (Henry’s Law) would be established as more ‘free’ CO2 at the ocean surface became available.

    To repeat: This was a long continuous process of rising temperatures and slow CO2 feedback.
    After about 5000 years the earth had warmed 5-6 degrees and in response to that atmospheric CO2 concentrations had risen from 180 ppm to 280 ppm, i.e. about 100 ppm.

    Over the past 150 years the earth has warmed ~0.7 degrees while atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen by more than 100 ppm – i.e. more than the increase over the 5000 years following the LGM (when temps increased more than 5 degrees) .

    In a nutshell: The 800 year lag is completely and utterly irrelevant in the context of the rises over the past 150 years. There are small short term fluctuations such as during ENSO events. That is, during the warm El Nino phase there is more emission and less absorption than during the cool La Nina phase. But the steady underlying upward trend since the late 19th century is almost entirely due to human emissions.

    A Question to all those who still believe the current CO2 rise is due to higher temperatures:

    How come a temperature rise of less than 1 deg C produces the same increase in CO2 as a 6 deg C rise – and in just a tiny fraction of the time?

  163. Luis Dias says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:55 am
    “basically this point: if CO2 was so sensitive to temperatures (we are talking about 100ppm per 1 degree celcius), then the ice age data stops making sense. In the ice ages, CO2 was 180ppm, while in the warmer gaps between ice ages, CO2 was 280ppm. But the temperature was 6 degrees celcius higher. If the CO2 was as sensitive as Selby says, the difference ought to be 600ppm+- (or more), not 100.”

    Jeremy says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    “I’m very amused at how sure you are with the numbers you are using. A six degree C difference with what amount of error? 180ppmv with what amount of error?”

    As the argument comes from Gavin, it must be numbers he found out using his computer models. So his argument is a tautology: If the models are right, Salby must be wrong, and as we have shown that Salby is wrong, our models must be right.

  164. Oceans overwhelm all other influences on climate, being 70% of the earth’s surface, and regulate the climate concerning air temperature, water vapour which overwhelms all other ghgs, humidity and precipitation., Oceans also regulate how much c02 is in the atmosphere. NASA et al have no theory for all this, or data, as they can’t really handle that much complexity.

    However, The air does not heat the oceans; the oceans heat the air; since oceans have a thousand times more heat capacity than the air.(Thus water retains heat, the air does not – the fallacy of green house gases trapping heat, which it doesn’t)

  165. Charlie Z says:
    August 5, 2011 at 11:01 am
    “The only thing interesting and potentially new was that the isotopic concentrations don’t necessarily mean that the extra CO2 in the air is from humans, which doesn’t say it isn’t either. ”

    Well, that’s the bombshell because it undermines the ability of AGW science to determine the impact that antropogenic CO2 emissions have at all on the CO2 concentrations in the air. They would no longer be able to “fingerprint” human impact. As the natural carbon cycle exchanges are 2 orders of magnitude above human emissions, this would render CO2 control technology or taxation irrelevant.

  166. Daniel M says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    John Finn says:

    Human emissions are causing the increase in CO2. Temperature simply determines the rate of that increase.

    ummm…
    So, you’re saying that temperature determines the rate at which humans emit CO2?

    No I’m not saying that. I’m saying that humans are causing the regular average annual increase of roughly 2 ppm but temperature determines whether the actual rise for any given year is, say, 1.5 ppm or 2.5 ppm. In an El Nino (warm) year the annual rise will be more than in a La Nina (cool) year.

    Yeah right.

  167. In other words, John Finn, c02 simply can’t add any more heat to the atmospheric temperature than comes from other sources, such as the sun and oceans.

    Much of what you write seems to indirectly refer to the gimmick notion of the back radiation effect, which is contrived to explain why c02 doesn’t heat where there is supposed to be the hotspot 10km above the tropics, so the 0.6 degree is a tiny fraction of heat to be added to anything to do with the climate, regardless of the temperature measurement frauds of the last 40 years.

    then there’s the question of decay/respiration etc that there is little data on, as nature puts 26 times more c02 into the atmosphere than does humans, per annum.

    There is also the question of the decay of biology due to too little c02 in the atmosphere. Fortunately, since c02 is rising, there is every indication that biology will flourish for the forseeable future.

  168. John Finn,
    “How come a temperature rise of less than 1 deg C produces the same increase in CO2 as a 6 deg C rise – and in just a tiny fraction of the time?”
    Because the ice core data does not have the resolution to accurately reflect actual atmospheric concentrations of CO2. I believe that 10,000 years ago the atmospheric level of CO2 exceeded 400ppm not 280ppm. Click on my name for a more complete explanation.

  169. Frank K. says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:43 am
    “Can someone (especially someone from Australia) tell me why a carbon tax is needed and what it will accomplish? The same thing can be said for declaring CO2 a “pollutant”. Why are we doing this to ourselves??”

    I thought that was obvious. Wealth redistribution, socialist dependent State, Green-minority pandering, and vote buying to try and win a clear majority at the next election!

  170. OMG? The balls on that guy! Quickly protect him long enough so he can speak his piece in peace before the climate zombie hippie drones start with the whole big oil stuff that owns them. :p

  171. P Wilson states “Oceans overwhelm all other influences on climate, being 70% of the earth’s surface”

    Your comments echo EXACTLY what my college Atmospheric Physics Professor said more than 25 years ago!!!

    We knew about CO2 as a greenhouse gas at that time and even discussed it in class.

    But nobody back then dared dismiss the Oceans and suggest that it is actually “the tail which wags the dog”.

    I guess a truth never changes – it remains valid no matter the political winds.

    Unlike Global Cooling….err Global Warming err Climate Change err Climate Disruption….blah di blah…what nonsense will they invent next?

  172. We just played the ultimate joke on our 2800AD selves. Man are they going to be annoyed with us when all our emissions come back out. Hehehehehe.

  173. This may have been covered by other comments, but I would like to point to the beer I am drinking right now. If I warm it up, the CO2 will be driven off right smartly. If I then cool it at atmospheric CO2 levels, it will absorb much less CO2. This is a concept well known in most science as hysteresis. That is to say, the path in one direction does not always indicate the path in the other direction. Dr. Schmidt et. al. who argue that CO2 should immediately drop with cooling may be unaware of this concept. Perhaps they don’t like beer.

    Cheers.

    JE

  174. John Finn,
    One of the things Salby talked about was the huge increase in CO2 from the 1998 El Nino event. Looking at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ there were several El Nino’s the past decade. While none of the El Nino’s since 1998 were as large, El Nino was dominant in the first half of the decade and that could explain the increase in CO2 concentration.

  175. @
    J.Hansford:
    Good job setting Up Wing straight. Except, I’d qualify it by saying most people, in my view, on here accept that warming has occurred; but, that it’s been exagerated by improper accounting of urban heat island effect and poor station siting and other issues. Also, too much leeway has been taken replacing historical data with adjusted data, which always goes in favor of biasing modern temperatures upwards–Mosh’s protestations not withstanding.

  176. Does plant/plankton life in the ocean consume CO2 like terrestrial plants do? If you add CO2 to a plant’s environment, it grows faster, automatically. Could oceans be adding more plant life too, if our atmosphere contains more CO2?

  177. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make. Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?

    Answer: With all due respect Mr. Salby is incorrect. Current CO2 levels, far beyond the levels we seen for the past 800,000 years and probably longer are due to human industrial activities. The oceans have been net sinks of human carbon dioxide…this much is quite clear. Humans have taken the carbon from the fossil fuels and placed it in the atmosphere and oceans…end of story

    So you’re saying that for 800,000 years we’ve had some ten 100,000 year long periods of ice age interspersed by periods of rapid and dramatic warming with huge rises in sea levels during some ten c15,000 year long interglacials, and Carbon Dioxide had nothing to it. End of story.

  178. I was at the talk given by Prof Salby – and thus had the benefit of the slides. It was tightly argued and logically compelling. I am waiting for the publication so I can review it all in detail at at my pace. I will be more interested in the informed debate among climate scientists that will undoubtably occur.

    I went to the talk thinking this would be a chance to hear a prominent climate scientist explain the AGW science. After all, he has a Chair in a major Australian university and is a former IPCC reviewer. To say I was surprised is an understatement.

    I appreciated his comment that he has a gag reflex when he hears about “settled science”. His statement that science should proceed interativly by discourse was obvious – but unfortunately needs to be stated sometimes.

    His statement that CO2 is not the driver of the bus, was music to this scientifically trained but skeptical citizen of a country that is hell bent on imposing the most punitive carbon tax regime in the world.

  179. john a and Orson Olson:

    John a,
    the answer to your question is, yes. This is mentioned as items 3 and 4 in my post in this thread at August 5, 2011 at 8:37 am.

    Orson Olson,
    thankyou for your overly generous kind words.

    You say,
    “However, a NOAA illustration of the Annual Mean Growth of CO2. Note the group by decade-and no relation to human emissions.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png

    Yes, and
    compare those decadal averages shifted back in time ~30 years
    to
    mean global temperature (e.g. HadCRUT, see
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ )

    Does that suggest anything to you?

    Richard

  180. @R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am
    “Well then, it seems skeptics to the anthropogenic build-up of CO2 studies would have a difficult choice to make.”

    Well the build up of all them studies ought to be anthropogenic since there seem to be a lack of aliens conducting them studies.

    “Why, for example, didn’t CO2 reach the levels we see today during the Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm period, or much beloved MWP?”

    Because there were more trees back then, christ the spaghetti monster, but don’t you know anything of import?

  181. Hi Anthony, I listened to the podcast of his presentation and was impressesed how he conveyed his message, without even seeing the displays. Frankly, he only states what I have come to think, but his credentials are much larger than mine … also he has balls to make these remarks … I guess he doesn’t need the funding. I was a bit surprised by Curry’s reaction .. I guess she has been in the tank so long that she didn’t question the basics .. but good for her for having an open ear.

    The AGW argument relies upon three sequential arguments, anyone of which being wrong brings down the whole edifice. They are:

    1) The Earth is warming
    2) The warming is caused by CO2
    3) The increased CO2 is due to man.

    4) We are all going to die!!

    OK number 4 I don’t disagree with, unfortunately :-(

  182. Just as a note to those readers who do not know Australia – there is an intense and viceral “debate” going on in that glorious country about a soi-disant “carbon tax” that the current government is now committed to, that, to win the election, insisted there would not be a carbon tax. The government did not win the election and made a pact with the devil greens to get a ONE SEAT majority to form the government.

    Most Australians are disgusted with such blatant lying. Google Juliar. or Andrew Bolt. or Tim Blair

  183. John Finn says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    … A Question to all those who still believe the current CO2 rise is due to higher temperatures:
    How come a temperature rise of less than 1 deg C produces the same increase in CO2 as a 6 deg C rise – and in just a tiny fraction of the time?

    When you do comparisons, you have to have ‘all other factors being equal’, or the comparison doesn’t mean much. The world was quite a different place during the LGM. For one thing, it had a lot less liquid water. So, all other factors were really not equal and you have to do a detailed calculation before you can reach any kind of conclusion (or even ask an intelligent question for that matter).

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

  184. Frank K. asks @ August 5, 2011 at 6:43 am
    Can someone (especially someone from Australia) tell me why a carbon tax is needed and what it will accomplish?

    It is up to you, as an Australian, to do that. What will it accomplish? Nothing, zero, nada, zilch. Ask the supporters of Juliar how much it will decrease the temperature. Here in Canada, that question is very telling … like, you know, we want a colder Canada.

  185. Orson Olson,
    thankyou for your overly generous kind words.

    You say,
    “However, a NOAA illustration of the Annual Mean Growth of CO2. Note the group by decade-and no relation to human emissions.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png

    Yes, and
    compare those decadal averages shifted back in time ~30 years
    to
    mean global temperature (e.g. HadCRUT, see
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ )

    Does that suggest anything to you?

    Richard

    Yes. It suggests delta-T is causing rising atmospheric CO2.

    And beyond the ‘rock throwing’ of the blogosphere, with the arrival of a dissenter like Salby – author of, I think, one of the three graduate-level atmospheric physics textbooks, it suggests that there is a New Kid on the Block. To wit, the fundamental assumptions of AGW and the EGE need to be re-argued, and scientists sent to settle some fundamental facts, instead of prevailing with ‘arm waving.’

    Someone mentioned how Salby hasn’t really added anything new that AGW-skeptics haven’t. I hope his paper goes beyong re-arguing analysis and has new evidence. It not, the new window for climate science may be shut again. But, post-Climategate, other dissenters might stand up and be counted.

    As for your welcome presence here, Richard, you are like Steve McIntyre: a disciplined voice among the noise, and thus all the more instructive through both words and manner.

    Now, will someone kindly plot up the NOAA and CRU graphic? (I gottat revisit your E&E paper, too: “The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle,” E & E, 2005

    http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/d81267523838p173/?p=82f895ea658a479c962d8a5f38778a01&pi=44)

  186. Others have adequately pointed out the problems with relying on the mass balance defense…..the natural fluxes are not adequately constrained; and the arguments about today’s levels being unprecedented……..we can’t know that because the proxies do not have adequate resolution. All of this is plausible and I hope this paper starts a long overdue discussion. It will certainly be hard for scientists with no stake in the debate to dismiss out of hand.

    The most important thing we should learn from this is to stop assigning new observations to anthropogenic causes without adequate investigation and debate. The first time we began monitoring atmospheric CO2 concentrations we observed an approx 2ppmv annual rise and arrogantly assigned this rising level of CO2 to anthropogenic causes. We did the same thing with the ozone “hole” over Antarctica. “Oh look, a hole in the ozone layer, it must be us.”

  187. Tom Gray says:

    Suppose AGW theory is correct and a rise in atmosheric CO2 will lead to an increase in temperature and that this could verry bad effects.

    Then why is it a good thing that this is natural?

    If the rise is natural, then at least we can save our money and fight what we can fight: poverty especially (but also human rights, improving education, etc). At the moment we have the worst of both worlds, as we are wasting money fighting something that cannot be beaten. We are building expensive wind stations when we would get more power from coal for the same money.

    If the warming is natural then we can use the money better in mitigation, rather than prevention.

    There is also a philisophical postion at stake. Some people think that economic growth and development is the root of much evil in the world. Others think it is the answer to most of the evil in the world. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming plays into the hands of the first group. (Note I do not hold with fake left/right division on this — there are conservative greenies, such as Prince Charles, and there are leftist sceptics, such as Vaclav Havel. The division is at least as strong on the authoritarian vs libertarian axis.)

  188. David Middleton says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    David Middleton says:

    “The stomata data clearly support a temperature-driven carbon cycle.”

    ___
    And no doubt, prior to the onset of human industrialization, the carbon cycle was clearly driven by temperatures (and you could argue, that human industrial activity also is a consequence of the Holocene warmth, so in a round-about way, our release of CO2 continues the relationship between warmth and CO2 levels.)

    You could also argue that fossil fuels are concentrated solar power… But that’s not relevant either.

    —-
    Why is the fact that fossil fuels are stored sunlight not important? It’s absolutely important as our entire modern lifestyle and the industrialization that brought it could not have come about if we were not able to tap into this stored sunlight from eons ago. The burning of this stored sunlight allowed us to in essence break away from the long term pattern whereby CO2 levels were entrained to the Milankovitch cycles of glaciation and interglacials. Now we will find out the consequences of breaking that pattern.

  189. Before I found WUWT I suggested on a thread on unReal Climate that perhaps the rise in CO2 in recent history was due to a delayed response to the MWP 800 years ago. The response was – how shall I say? – robust…

    REPLY: Best LOL of the week! – Anthony

  190. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm
    The burning of this stored sunlight allowed us to in essence break away from the long term pattern whereby CO2 levels were entrained to the Milankovitch cycles of glaciation and interglacials.
    ========================================

    WOW, are you saying that we may have inadvertently avoided the next Ice Age ?? Not all bad, in my opinion. This could be huge for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. I think I, amazingly, must have missed the peer-reviewed literature on this. Could you please oblige with a few references ?

  191. Blaming CO2 for the phony GLOBAL warming; but now blaming CO2 for going into another sink; for not producing GLOBAL warming (by the Warmist and the active Skeptics) is the new low in the Warmist sewer. What about admitting that: CO2 doesn’t produce GLOBAL warming; stop misleading yourself! Yes, this is not going to be your ‘’backdoor exit’’ CO2 is not a ‘’Greenhouse gas’’ CO2 is a ‘’shade-cloth affect gas’’ Oxygen + nitrogen are Greenhouse gases – one of the reasons the earth is warmer than the moon. Start using the ‘’laws of physics, or those laws soon will get you on the witness stand, under oath. CO2 intercepts extra heat during the day – at night CO2 intercepts more coldness than oxygen and nitrogen = those two factors cancel each other = zero warming effect.
    1] Oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to sunlight, same as glass roof on a normal greenhouse. Then, as perfect insulators, they slow down cooling = same as normal greenhouse does. CO2 is not transparent to sunlight as glass on a normal greenhouse. You don’t want to know the difference? Isn’t it why is the search of ‘’backdoors exits’’ suddenly?!
    2] another reference of ‘’Greenhouse’’ is misrepresented: when the air in a ‘’normal greenhouse’’ warms up = 20% of the air out the door. Volume of the greenhouse stays the same, but quantity of air decreases. In the Shonky’s ‘’Greenhouse’’ (in nature); when air warms up = volume increases, quantity doesn’t decrease even by one atom. So much about referring to CO2 as a Greenhouse gas. If one knows anything about physics; shouldn’t call CO2 a Greenhouse gas! Please note: no need to wait 100years, to know all things in this text + more.
    3] experiment was done and can be replicated now: cover a roof on a greenhouse with thick coat of CO2 = the temperature inside decreases. Everything is documented. Therefore, stop searching for some imaginary sinks, why GLOBAL warming is not happening. The moderator my not approve this text – but cannot silence it. If the shonky science keep molesting the CO2… blaming the Chinese increase of CO2 for preventing the phony GLOBAL warming and other ‘’backdoors exits’’… Have in mind that: all the proofs exist that CO2 is not a global warming gas; and everything associated with the Warmist industry. http://www.stefanmitich.com.au Disregarding the real proofs will be as proof that you folk in the Warmist club did know that you are wrong, reason for disregarding the real proofs. If one was genuinely worrying about GLOBAL warming, the proofs that never was a treat of global warming would have brought joy. Instead of going into carbon 14, or any other isotope. Trees don’t discriminate, they use any carbon available to them. Those gimmicks can only put you in deeper water that you are trying to muddy now with different isotopic forms, or searching for elusive carbon sinks. All those carbon sinks were available when carbon extortion started.

  192. Mooloo says:
    If the warming is natural then we can use the money better in mitigation, rather than prevention.

    Mitigation is precisely what the powers that be are aiming for. The money ought to go to adaptation, which includes poverty alleviation. Harder to adapt if you have less resources, right?

  193. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:03 am
    “It is implausible, that the planet has similarly greened (in like linear fashion) each year. Indeed, it is almost certainly the case that there must have been years when de-forestation more than offset any natural greening in other areas, yet one still sees that the sink capacity has increased. ”

    merely postulate that CO2 uptake is non-linear with increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 while plant footprint is linear?

  194. It is the destiny of mankind as the masters of fire to break the cycle and defeat the Wirrun (the aboriginal term for the Ice Giants – i.e. Glaciers). This is a traditional aboriginal folk tale from australia.

  195. Robert of Ottawa says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm
    Just as a note to those readers who do not know Australia – there is an intense and viceral “debate” going on in that glorious country about a soi-disant “carbon tax” that the current government is now committed to, that, to win the election, insisted there would not be a carbon tax. The government did not win the election and made a pact with the devil greens to get a ONE SEAT majority to form the government.

    Most Australians are disgusted with such blatant lying. Google Juliar. or Andrew Bolt. or Tim Blair

    —————————————————————————

    Okay, from an Australian, here in brief is what’s happened:
    2007 federal election, both Labor (left) and Liberal (right) went to the poll with an ETS package. For other reasons Libs lost the election and Labor took over Govt with a majority (Kevin Rudd). Over the next few years Rudd made some big blunders and a couple months out from the 2010 federal election was knifed in the back by Julia Gillard, who took over. Before the election Libs found out she was planning a carbon tax, and Greens went to the election with both a carbon tax and 40% mining tax. Gillard flatly denied a carbon tax with her famous words two days before the election, “There will be no carbon tax under a Government I lead”. Quite simply, if she’d said yes they were planning a carbon tax, Libs would have won with a majority. The election was the tightest in federal election history and resulted in Libs having one more seat than Labor, but there were also 1 Green, 3 Independents and 1 Country Liberal Party members. The CLP member signed with Libs (both right wing) and the Green signed with Labor (both left wing). Then both sides bartered with the 3 independents who eventually signed with Labor due to the National Broadband Network proposal of Labor’s. No one knew at that point that to get the Green to sign up, Labor had agreed to implement the Green’s carbon tax policy.

    Thus here we are, a year on from the 2010 election. The carbon tax has been announced, and vicious debate is occurring. In Australia, most people (~70%) agree that global warming is occurring, but most disagree (~60%) that a carbon tax is the right way to tackle it. The carbon tax package will tax the 500 worst carbon “polluters” (another point of debate whether it’s “pollution” or not) at $23 per tonne. The money from that is split 50% back to people in increased Govt payments and tax cuts. The Govt claims that 9 in 10 households will receive benefit from payments or tax cuts, but the reality is that due to passed on costs, 60% of households will be worse off. Basically, the tax is structured to benefit low income earners (Labor’s heartland voters), at the cost of medium-high income earners (Libs heartland voters). The other 50% of the tax is split between a “climate fund” which will be headed by Labor Govt and AGW stooge Tim Flannery, who is an environmental extremist whom even Greenpeace distances from as too extreme. Flannery is famous for proclaiming an 8 story sea level rise, yet still lives in his million dollar mansion on beachfront property. The rest of the money goes to subsidise the coal industry (so why even tax carbon if the money goes straight back) and of course to Australia’s commitment to give 25% of the tax to the UN.

    However, an interesting sideline has come up in the last couple of weeks which could spell the downfall of the entire thing (and the Govt). A Labor backbencher is suspected of defrauding a union (before he got elected in 2010). Criminal investigations have started and if he’s charged he’ll have to resign his seat. This will cause a by-election in one of Australia’s most marginal seats facing a national swing against labor of ~10%. If the by-election occurs he will lose his seat. One of the 3 independents has ripped up his agreement with Labor, so Labor only holds Parliament by one vote. If a Lib replaces this Labor back bencher the Libs will immediately call a “vote of confidence” which Labor will not win (the Independent is furious at Gillard for her deceipt about the carbon tax, he’s in a heavy mining seat which will be hit hard by the tax). Labor will lose the “vote of confidence” and the Governor General will be forced to disband both Houses of Parliament and call a full General Federal Election, which Libs will win.

    So fun times in the next couple of months coming up, and hopefully a change of Govt. :D

  196. Owen wrote;

    “The climate does not instantaneously respond to stimulus. All the arguments about year on year changes tacitly assume the system is in a state of equilibrium.”

    IMHO, this is exactly correct, the natural system is NEVER in a state of equilibrium, rather it is CONSTANTLY chasing the most recent perturbation. The only question is how fast can it respond to the perturbations?

    One of the wonders of engineering is the ability to overcome the limits of any natural system to respond to perturbations and force the system to respond in accord with our wishes.

    For example a simple mass suspended by springs will swing back and forth at a “natural frequency” determined by the masses/inertias involved. But with real “feedback” an engineer can force the mass to remain in place (within the limits of our ability to; resolve its position; apply power to move it; and the bandwidth at which we can calculate updates).

    The alleged “feedbacks” referred to by the climate scientists are actually a combination of parallel and serial responses to the perturbations. Some of which just happen to correlate (some or most of the time) with the perturbation. Other “feedbacks” just happen to be random effects that over some random time interval might appear to be a feedback.

    “NEVERMIND” INDEED, who is going to replace all those golden and bald eagles minced by the wind mills ? Funny that their populations were going UP after we stopped shooting them for FUN several decades before the DDT ban.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  197. Katherine, money colected for carbon rip-of should be used for building new big jails for the members of the Warmist club. They are extortion money; they are hot money, billions. Urban Seep needs to be compensated / money rethurned. Then, if they want to contribute, to make you look generous, they should be given an option; it’s their money. The members of the warmist club should start thinking how to repair the real damages done to the environment /climate / humanity; under the banner of preventing the phony GLOBAL warming – which was converted into Climate Change. IT’s clear cut; there is no such a thing as GLOBAL warming. Climate NEVER stopped changing for one day for the last 4 billion years. Now they intend to mislead that they will stop the climate; probaly the winds allso… with carbon rip-of. Crime shouldn’t pay !!!

  198. Seems that there is a surge in posting today, I believe I posted this before,but I’ll send it in again in case it got lost. If it is duplicate please delete one copy.(thanks, K Klees)

    Owen wrote;

    “The climate does not instantaneously respond to stimulus. All the arguments about year on year changes tacitly assume the system is in a state of equilibrium.”

    IMHO, this is exactly correct, the natural system is NEVER in a state of equilibrium, rather it is CONSTANTLY chasing the most recent perturbation. The only question is how fast can it respond to the perturbations?

    One of the wonders of engineering is the ability to overcome the limits of any natural system to respond to perturbations and force the system to respond in accord with our wishes.

    For example a simple mass suspended by springs will swing back and forth at a “natural frequency” determined by the masses/inertias involved. But with real “feedback” an engineer can force the mass to remain in place (within the limits of our ability to; resolve its position; apply power to move it; and the bandwidth at which we can calculate updates).

    The alleged “feedbacks” referred to by the climate scientists are actually a combination of parallel and serial responses to the perturbations. Some of which just happen to correlate (some or most of the time) with the perturbation. Other “feedbacks” just happen to be random effects that over some random time interval might appear to be a feedback.

    “NEVERMIND” INDEED, who is going to replace all those golden and bald eagles minced by the wind mills ? Funny that their populations were going UP after we stopped shooting them for FUN several decades before the DDT ban.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  199. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Heh, heh, heh. You are toast, buddy. You are toast. You’d best listen to the Selby podcast, instead of making a bunch of nonsensical comments that you are having your hand called on. It destroys your arguments, along with those of your fellow warmists. Don’t be so arrogant to presume that you are more of an authority on the subject than this fellow Selby.

  200. Tim Ball says:
    August 5, 2011 at 7:43 am

    God bless you, Tim. You were among the first to really, seriously question the nonsense that was coming out of the warmist camp, and you lead us to the river to drink in the truth. That kind of courage will someday be rewarded.

  201. 1. dmmcmah says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    John Finn,
    One of the things Salby talked about was the huge increase in CO2 from the 1998 El Nino event. Looking at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ there were several El Nino’s the past decade. While none of the El Nino’s since 1998 were as large, El Nino was dominant in the first half of the decade and that could explain the increase in CO2 concentration.

    For crying out loud. I know that atmospheric CO2 increases faster during El Nino. I said as much at least twice on this blog. During warm El Nino years atmospheric CO2 increases more than during La Nina years – but the point is it continues to go UP – it NEVER comes down.
    You say Salby talks “about was the huge increase in CO2 from the 1998 El Nino event.” This implies Salby thinks the ~3 ppm increase was due to the warm ocean surface during that year. Ok so –

    Why didn’t atmospheric CO2 levels drop back to 1997 levels in 1999 and 2000?

    1999 and 2000 were La Nina years when sea surface temperatures were well down n 1997. CO2 concentrations went up in both 1999 (~1 ppm) and 2000 (~1.8 ppm).

    According to UAH, the temperatures during 1998 and 2010 were pretty similar.

    Why was atmospheric CO2 concentration ~24 ppm higher in 2010 than in 1998?

    What’s caused the increase? Both years were warm and there were no warmer years in between. Salby can’t simply attribute the 1998 CO2 increase to the El Nino of that year. If atmospheric CO2 was ‘equilibriating’ with the higher sea surface temperatures in 1998 then why didn’t it ‘equilibriate’ at a lower level in 1999, 2000 etc. Why was it 24 ppm higher in 2010 than in 1998?

    If we get CO2 rises during El Nino years – when do we get falls? You (and Salby) seem to be arguing that it’s a one-way process, i.e. it goes up but doesn’t come down.

    In 1958 CO2 concentrations were ~315 ppm; In 1975 they were ~331 ppm. Why? If it takes an anomalously warm El Nino (1998) to raise CO2 levels by 3 ppm, what caused the 16 ppm rise when the world wasn’t warming.

    Even in a generally warming world there will be temperature falls. We’ve seen this over the past 30-odd years. But his neven happens with CO2. Between 1958 and 1975 global temperatures were essentially flat. Given these conditins you woulsd expect CO2 levels to remain more or less flat. There would, of course, be some fluctuation due to ENSO (up one year; down the next). But that never happened. Every year, without fail, CO2 concentrations were higher than they were in the previous year.

    Given the flat cooling temperatures, What do you think the probability of that happening 17 years in a row is?

    ZERO. The year-on -year increase is clearly due to the fact that there is now an additional source of atmospheric CO2.

    I’m getting seriously concerned for the credibility of CAGW scepticism. Thank gooodness for the likes of Willis, Hans Erren, Jack Barrett , Ferdinand Engelbeen et al.

  202. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 5, 2011 at 5:54 am

    John Finn said:

    “We know atmospheric CO2 concentration responds to temperature. When it’s warmer CO2 concentration increases – BUT WHEN IT’S COOLER IT SHOULD DECREASE. Not once in the past 50 years has there been a year on year fall. ”

    But it is the ocean temperature that counts and not the air temperature and we’ve seen that the oceans vary internally over time as regards the rate at which energy is released at the surface via warmer or cooler surface temperatures.

    Quite – but it still doesn’t fit. Annual CO2 levels have risen regarldless of any change in SST.

    As for your 800 year lag argument I’ve already explained why this is irrelevant in the context of the last 150 years. The 800 year lag is seen in the ice core records following (and prior to) each glacial maximum. This is when the earth is going through a warming process lasting several thousand years. As ocean circulation ‘digs’ out more CO2 from the deep, more CO2 can be released due to the warmer SST.

    The key point here is that atmospheric and sea surface temperatures are warmer than they were 800 years earlier. This is a continuing process. Each 800 year period is warmer than the previous one. Eventually temperatures increased by about 6 degrees C and atmospheric CO2 by ~100ppm

  203. 225 responses in a few days, of which only a few with some scepticism. I thought that this was a blog for sceptics, but it seems that most here are only one-way sceptics… Thus please, even if Prof. Salby says something that you like to hear, use some dose of scepticism, and check if what he says is plausible. Unfortunately several of his points are not.

    That humans are the cause is quite sure:
    – The mass balance: It is impossible that nature was a net contibutor to the increase, because the measured increase is less than the emissions. Thus nature was a net sink for CO2 over the past at least 50 years. As long as the Law of conservation of mass holds. Have a good look at following graph:

    In every year, the emissions were larger than what remains in the atmosphere, the difference must go somewhere (and it’s not escaping to space!), it is absorbed by oceans and vegetation. Thus there were (near) always more natural sinks than sources. Thus all natural emissions were completely absorbed (in mass, not in origin of the molecules) by natural sinks and the natural emissions were just part of a turnover of CO2, not contributing to the total mass in the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if human emissions were 3% or 0.3% or 0.03% of the turnover, because the human emissions were additional, the natural emissions were not.

    – The 13C/12C ratio: Indeed there are two main sources of low 13C: fossil fuels and the decay of vegetation. But the earth is greening, thus there is more CO2 absorbed by vegetation than that organic matter decays. That is confirmed by the oxygen balance: less oxygen is used than calculated from fossil fuel burning, thus the biosphere was a net source of oxygen, thus a net absorber of CO2 and preferentially 12CO2, leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. But we see a decline of 13CO2 in the atmosphere…

    – The process charasteristics: The increase in the atmosphere follows the emissions with an incredible fixed ratio. There is no natural process which is able to follow human emissions in such a way, Natural processes are far more variable. See:

    and

    A few other problems:
    – While there is an extremely good correlation between accumulated emissions and accumulation in the atmosphere, the correlation is less when one looks at the year by year increase, simply because temperature changes have a short term influence (about 4 ppmv/degr.C) on the increase rate, but hardly visible in the trend itself! Here Salby, as good as Dr. Spencer and others make the error to draw conclusions about the cause of a trend, based on the year by year changes (thus the derivative), where the trend is completely removed!

    The long term influence of temperature on CO2 levels, as seen in ice cores, is about 8 ppmv/degr.C. Even an increase of 1 degr.C since the depth of the LIA would not give more than 8 ppmv increase, not the 100+ ppmv as measured. BTW the pCO2 of seawater increases with not more than 16 ppmv/degr.C. And while a temperature increase should decrease the total amount of carbon in the upper layer of the oceans, we measure an increase in carbon (and a decrease in 13C/12C ratio).

    – Ice cores, tree carbon and coralline sponges all give small 13C/12C variations over the Holocene, but all show a steady and ever faster decline since about 1850. See:

  204. Fred H. Haynie says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    John Finn,
    “How come a temperature rise of less than 1 deg C produces the same increase in CO2 as a 6 deg C rise – and in just a tiny fraction of the time?”

    Because the ice core data does not have the resolution to accurately reflect actual atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

    There are 8 or 9 major ice core records – each with a considerable sample size. The consistency between each record is pretty impressive considering they are taken form such diverse regions. Your argument appears to raly on the fact that the sampling has, with incredible bad luck, failed to pick up the high CO2 level signal.

    I believe that 10,000 years ago the atmospheric level of CO2 exceeded 400ppm not 280ppm.

    I don’t believe that.

  205. John Finn:

    All your supposed questions have been answered by previous posts in this thread. For example you ask this:
    “Why was atmospheric CO2 concentration ~24 ppm higher in 2010 than in 1998?
    What’s caused the increase? Both years were warm and there were no warmer years in between.”

    Please read e.g. my posts above. The rise was induced by the temperature rise that preceded it, and the delay is a function of the rate constants.

    I know trolls often repeat nonsense late in threads in hope that late-comers will only read the later posts. But this is a technical thread and your tactic is wasting space.

    Richard

  206. Dale I hope your right for australia sake god help us because we don,t want the far left fabien party running us

  207. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 6, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Please read e.g. my posts above. The rise was induced by the temperature rise that preceded it, and the delay is a function of the rate constants.

    That doesn’t fit anymore: the late Ernst Beck predicted a drop of CO2, 5 years after a temperature drop, but we didn’t see any CO2 drop 5 years after the 1998 El Nino. Neither a leveling of CO2 now that there is little or no temperature increase over the past decade. Further back in time, the 1945-1975 temperature drop had no influence on steady increasing CO2 levels in any following period, no matter what lag is used.

  208. John Finn,
    “I don’t believe it”

    I have analyzed the proxie CO2 and temperature data from around two dozen ice cores from Greenland to Antarctica. Click on my name and study the presentation objectively and not as a “true believer” in IPPC “scripture”. If you really have questions, you can find my e-mail address at http://www.kidswincom.net.

  209. Ferdinand:

    You have ‘come late to the party’. So, I will cross-post what I wrote in response to your similar late entry on the blog of Judith Curry.

    Richard

    Ferdinand,
    as you know – but others here may not – I respect your work but disagree with it.

    As you say, we have disagreed about this for years (much more than 3 years on the record). And we each think the failure to resolve the matter is the other’s intransigence.

    So, before stating our disagreement, I point out that I commend those who are interested in the subject to use your blog as a good, collated information source.

    Our disagreement stems from fundamentally different views of the carbon cycle.

    You model the system as a set of fixed reservoirs with flows in and out. Importantly, you assume the natural system does not vary and then calculate where the anthropogenic emission ‘goes’. I say your model is a circular argument based on a false assumption. If you assume nature does not change then it follows that any observed change is the anthropogenic emission. I do not “throw out” anything. I point out that an assumption cannot prove itself.

    I model the system as being a complex mixture of interconnected parts with a myriad of different time constants affecting their interactions. All the observations which you cite can be explained as merely being effects of the time constants. And I observe facts that my model explains and yours cannot.

    Such facts include, for example, the following.

    There is no direct correlation between the anthropogenic emission and the increase of CO2 in the air. The best that can be said is that both have increased in recent decades.

    But the global temperature is followed with a ~30 year lag by a smoothed version of the CO2 in the air: cf.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    and

    At present the yearly increase of the anthropogenic emissions is approximately 0.1 GtC/year. The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption is at least 6 ppmv (which corresponds to 12 GtC) in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human emission, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the short-term (i.e. operative in months) natural sequestration processes can cope easily with the human emission of CO2.

    The available data strongly suggest that the anthropogenic emissions of CO2 will have no significant long term effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration. The main reason is that the rate of increase of the anthropogenic production of CO2 is very much smaller that the observed maximum rate of increase of the natural consumption of CO2.

    As you know, there is more, but I think this is sufficient to explain to others how our views differ.

    Richard

  210. Ferdinand Engelbeen says: August 6, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Ferdinand, if you agree that the long-term sensitivity of CO2 to polar-temperature is 8 ppmv/degree-C, you can’t make a model that back-casts the temperature-CO2 record if that model has any significant sensitivity of temperature to CO2..

  211. John Finn says:

    August 6, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Fred H. Haynie says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    John Finn,
    “How come a temperature rise of less than 1 deg C produces the same increase in CO2 as a 6 deg C rise – and in just a tiny fraction of the time?”

    Because the ice core data does not have the resolution to accurately reflect actual atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

    There are 8 or 9 major ice core records – each with a considerable sample size. The consistency between each record is pretty impressive considering they are taken form such diverse regions.

    [...]

    “Sample size” has no impact on resolution.

    Resolution is dictated by sample rate; which, in ice cores, is equivalent to accumulation rate. The

    Sample Rate vs CO2

    The amplitude of the CO2 signal is being attenuated in proportion to the accumulation rate of the ice. This relationship is consistent with the findings of van Hoof et al., 2005, which demonstrated that the ice core CO2 data essentially represent a low-frequency, century to multi-century moving average of past atmospheric CO2 levels.

    van Hoof

  212. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 6, 2011 at 3:16 am

    225 responses in a few days, of which only a few with some scepticism. I thought that this was a blog for sceptics, but it seems that most here are only one-way sceptics… Thus please, even if Prof. Salby says something that you like to hear, use some dose of scepticism, and check if what he says is plausible. Unfortunately several of his points are not.

    That humans are the cause is quite sure:
    [ and you go on to present your usual well presented and thorough views]

    —————-

    Ferdinand Engelbeen,

    We have had an appetizer of Salby’s forthcoming paper.

    You say be skeptical of Salby. You must understand that some are also somewhat skeptical of someone like you whose past views will apparently be directly contradicted by Salby . . . Salby being the person you push us to be skeptical about.

    I have always found your posts to be sincere. Please continue to be sincere by not suggesting you have a scientifically defensive attitude.

    John

  213. John Finn says:
    August 6, 2011 at 2:29 am

    “Even in a generally warming world there will be temperature falls. We’ve seen this over the past 30-odd years. But his neven happens with CO2. Between 1958 and 1975 global temperatures were essentially flat. Given these conditins you woulsd expect CO2 levels to remain more or less flat. There would, of course, be some fluctuation due to ENSO (up one year; down the next). But that never happened. Every year, without fail, CO2 concentrations were higher than they were in the previous year.

    Given the flat cooling temperatures, What do you think the probability of that happening 17 years in a row is?

    ZERO. The year-on -year increase is clearly due to the fact that there is now an additional source of atmospheric CO2……”
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    “But his neven happens [sic], “Given these conditins you woulsd expect [sic]“, “Zero probability”, “Clearly due”…..

    Now really….. Surely, you would think that a person who considers himself somewhat intelligent would not be as myopic and close minded? No need to answer that, you already have…….

    And get a spell checker – they’re free you know :).

    Best,

    J.

  214. @Sexton

    “So if we were to cut our emissions in half, atmospheric CO2 would be come quasi static?”

    That is a prediction of my hypothesis. That wikipedia graph you posted shows atmospheric CO2 smoothed to what appears to be a 5 year average. A graph without the smoothing such as this one from a paper published in Geophysical Research is apt:

    http://radioviceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

    The dips in anthropogenic CO2 align pretty well but as one can see there are natural factors in play which cause greater short term variation than anthropogenic variations. That is to be expected given 97% of emissions are natural. The trend however is pretty clear and my hypothetical natural interglacial equilibrium point of 280ppm is not at all contradicted by the record. It is supported by the record.

  215. There isn’t anything technical I can say here that hasn’t already been said. So….

    Somewhere, between the leaked CRU emails, the continuing failure of the models to predict…pretty much anything, the insistence by IPCC that “observation is overrated”, and wonderful gems like this fascinating paper by Professor Salby, the news media and the rest of the world will finally wake up and realize the emperor has no clothes.

    What will happen then?

  216. J.Hansford says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:09 am

    “Because then, if his view of the C12/13 ration is correct, then the natural CO2′s sinks, emissions and natural variation is unknown, meaning human influences are very minimal…… One just cannot say what portion of anthropogenic CO2 remains in the atmosphere, or for how long, because it is impossible to tell…..

    That is also my position. It may not be impossible to tell but it has not yet been told. We are then left with the fact that atmospheric CO2 has been consistently increasing for the past 50 years half as much as anthropogenic emissions. Correlation is not causation of course so we are left with a compelling (IMO) correlelation and no credible evidence to either confirm or deny a causative link.

  217. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:53 am

    “It is an instrinsic part of the AGW theory that if man was not emitting CO2, CO2 levels measured in the atmosphere would not be increasing.”

    No, it is not intrinsic. Atmospheric CO2 increases and decreases considerably more over the short term than anthropogenic emissions can account for. What is intrinsic is that there would be less long term increase if anthropogenic emissions were absent.

    Consider you have an open top 55 gallon drum where there’s a leak on the bottom letting out 1 gallon per day and rainfall refills the drum at an average of 1 gallon per day. Over the long term the water level in the barrel will not change. Now say some person comes along and adds an extra ounce per day to the barrel over and above the rainfall. Over a longer period of time the water level in the barrel will rise. Morever as the level rises the water pressure at the bottom rises with it and the leak rate will increase. Thus in order to keep the long term average rise at one ounce per day the person adding the water will have to add more than one ounce.

    The above perfectly illustrates my CO2 equilibrium hypothesis.

  218. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    “And you are attempting the same reversal of the null hypothesis that Dave Springer tried to foist on us at August 5, 2011 at 6:52 am and I refuted at August 5, 2011 at 8:19 am.: ”

    You didn’t refute anything. Unilateral declarations to the contrary notwithstanding.

  219. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 6, 2011 at 5:37 am

    That doesn’t fit anymore: the late Ernst Beck predicted a drop of CO2, 5 years after a temperature drop, but we didn’t see any CO2 drop 5 years after the 1998 El Nino. Neither a leveling of CO2 now that there is little or no temperature increase over the past decade. Further back in time, the 1945-1975 temperature drop had no influence on steady increasing CO2 levels in any following period, no matter what lag is used.

    Alternatively, wouldn’t the rate of rise be expected to be much higher now than in 1975 with a much higher proportion of the world burning fossil fuels? It only seems to follow that burning more fuels would cause a faster increase. That is not what I see on the Mauna Loa graphs. I see a steady, monotonic, rise that appears to be oblivious to how much fossil fuel use has increased in the world below.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_full

    Not that you need the graph, but for others.

  220. R Taylor says:
    August 6, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Ferdinand, if you agree that the long-term sensitivity of CO2 to polar-temperature is 8 ppmv/degree-C, you can’t make a model that back-casts the temperature-CO2 record if that model has any significant sensitivity of temperature to CO2..

    The sensitivity of CO2 for temperature includes any feedback the opposite way. I doubt that it is significant, but I don’t see the problem. I have made a plot with an arbitrary temperature and CO2 as one-way dependent, with a lag and a two-way feedback:

    If the feedback is not too high (10% if I remember well in this example), there is no problem to back-cast both variables.

  221. John Finn says:
    August 6, 2011 at 2:29 am

    “Even in a generally warming world there will be temperature falls. We’ve seen this over the past 30-odd years. But his neven happens with CO2.”

    Technically so but the annual rate of increase in CO2 varied by a factor of 4 during the 1990s from a minimum of 1ppm to a maximum of 4ppm. Clearly these large swings are related to ocean surface temperature. The biggest spike upward and downward in rate of increase in the past 50 years was centered around the 1998 El Nino. As the El Nino gained steam and ocean temperature rose the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 doubled and when it cooled back down the rate halved again.

    See Knorr 2009 figure 2.

    http://radioviceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

  222. Dave Springer says:
    August 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

    No, it is not intrinsic. Atmospheric CO2 increases and decreases considerably more over the short term than anthropogenic emissions can account for.

    Please have a good look at the emissions and the variablity of the increase in the atmosphere: human emissions are about 200% of the increase in the atmosphere and 200% of the variability around the trend over the past 50 years:

  223. There is assumed in most of the discussions that measured co2 and temperature are tightly coupled, which ever is considered causative. Comparing Mauna Loa co2 records and Hadcrut data at WoodforTrees we find that they are well correlated for 25 years starting around 1975. Unfortunately the data starts in 1958 and that would seem to have little or negative correlation. In addition the correlation again fails after 2000. So of the 52 years of co2 data less than half of it tracks the world temperature. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/normalise

  224. Ferdinand Engelbeen,

    I can’t find any holes in your logic, but you always stop short of the conclusion: anthropogenic CO2 is not the problem claimed by the alarmist crowd. On balance, the added CO2 appears to be beneficial, not harmful.

  225. Ferdinand:

    You assert that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is accumulation of anthropogenic CO2.

    If so, then why in some years does almost all the anthropogenic CO2 seem to be sequestered and in other years almost none?

    Also, nothing I have presented here is contradicted by a prediction of the late George Beck (who did excellent work collating historic CO2 measurements) whether or not his prediction is correct. We have had enough ‘straw men’ from trolls and I expect better from you.

    Richard

  226. Ferdinand Engelbeen says August 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Well fine, if you want to say the net sensitivity between temperature and CO2 is 8 ppmv/degree-C, that means the effective sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is zero. So why are we undergoing economic agony to reduce CO2, other than to construct a new bureaucracy to administer a new stream of tax revenue?

    Getting back to geological physics, there is a lag between cause and effect. If you want to have a model with both a temperature-to-CO2 sensitivity as well as the evident CO2-to-temperature sensitivity, you need to use differential equations, rather than the simple “net sensitivity” you suggest. You can’t back-cast the temperature-CO2 record with a significant sensitivity of temperature to CO2, because you can’t overcome the lag of CO2 behind temperature.

  227. Smokey says:
    I can’t find any holes in your logic, but you always stop short of the conclusion: anthropogenic CO2 is not the problem claimed by the alarmist crowd. On balance, the added CO2 appears to be beneficial, not harmful.

    True.
    But why is no one looking at the cause for the increase in average temps?
    They would have to conclude that rising temps were natural and subsequently most of the rise in CO2 as well
    (remember at college when we were tasked to remove the CO2 from water to make up a standard solution? How did we do that?)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/04/analysing-the-complete-hadcrut-yields-some-surprising-results/#comment-713409

  228. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

    If so, then why in some years does almost all the anthropogenic CO2 seem to be sequestered and in other years almost none?

    Because temperature changes have an influence on the CO2 sink speed. That can be seen as a quite good correlation between temperature changes and CO2 increase speed, while the human emissions are quite stable in their increase rate. Temperature changes explain about 2/3rd of the variability in sink rate / increase speed.

    But that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the trend itself, as temperature changes largely compensate each other over 2-3 years (with some residual increase/decrease).

  229. kramer says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:05 am
    If this is true, then is the ~800 year lag wrong? Or, are we ~800 years behind a previous temperature increase that occurred 800 years ago?

    I have a chart that I get to trot out once in a while that might shed some light on this… The CO2 RATE (dCO2/dt) responds INSTANTLY to temperature. The signal is there, the reason you don’t normally see it or hear it talked about is that it’s not easy to de-seasonalize the monthly CO2 data on an exponentially increasing function. But it can be done:

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf

    There is a HUGE amount of information in that chart.

    The reason you see a lag is that this instantaneous response must act over a long period of time to produce a large change in atmospheric CO2, because the rate is small. If you look at the raw CO2 monthly data, you can see small changes related to temperature, but they are dwarfed by the seasonal changes and the exponential increase. The 800 year lag you hear about might be interpreted as what happens after a step change, in other words, 5 or 6 time constants = 800 years (you should see 63% of the reaction to a step change in 800/5 or 160 years). But nature doesn’t do step changes, so you’d have to be careful with that. Estimating time constant based on lag is difficult with the ice data because the effect can’t lead the cause, which the data sometimes does. But with the Mauna Loa data, given that the slope of dCO2 is so reactive to the input, I suspect there has to be more than one process involved in the ice data. A fast one and a slow one.

    I have my own opinions of what all this means, but I would be very interested to hear what all of you think of it. From this chart, can we conclude anything about:

    * The residence time of CO2 before exchange with the ocean?
    * What the rate of increase of CO2 would be if the temperature anomaly was zero?
    * What does that answer say about what the temperature used to be, if the rates derived in the chart are true? When was it that temperature? Does this match the historical record? Is this possible without an anthropogenic component?
    * What can you say about the fact that dCO2 is in an uptrend? Does this point to a natural occurrence? Why or why not?
    * If it is natural, does it mean we are in a runaway condition?

    I think there is good information there. What do you see? What would you analyze next? I am very interested in your insights on this. Thanks.

  230. Moderator: Sorry, I didn’t close my italics… Please fix?

    [Reply: It wasn't your error, it was a WordPress glitch. That's how I knew where to close the italics. ~dbs]

  231. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 6, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Ferdinand:
    You assert that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is accumulation of anthropogenic CO2.
    If so, then why in some years does almost all the anthropogenic CO2 seem to be sequestered and in other years almost none?

    What’s wrong with you, Richard. We’ve gone over this dozens of times. There is a steady rising trend of ~2 ppm per annum (Do you agree with this?) . This would be the annual rise from anthropgenic sources if sea surface temperatures remained constant. However SST does not remain constant. Some years temps are warmer (e.g. during El Nino) and some years temps are cooler (e.g. during La Nina). The transition from La Nina to El Nino, say, can result in an SST increase of 0.5 degrees or more. This can easily explain a 2ppm discrepancy between one year and another. Try de-trending the CO2 data and I’m sure you’d find it matches ENSO pretty closely.

    The short term fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 levels would still exist even if humans were not producing emissions. Actully I’m not sure why you would expect a constant increase.

    Regarding your other comment (addressed to me) where you claim that the continuing rise in CO2 levels is due to some earlier temperature rise. Could you tell me which temperature rise that might be? Also could you explain how this actually works. That is, could you explain how the atmospheric and sea surface temperatures from an earlier period affects the CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere decades later?

    Answer these question while also bearing in mind that Professor Salby seems to attribute the large ~3 ppm increase in 1998 to the El Nino of that year.

  232. Re my previous post
    Just to satisfy the pedants on this blog: “anthropgenic” should read anthropogenic.

  233. David Falkner says:
    August 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Alternatively, wouldn’t the rate of rise be expected to be much higher now than in 1975 with a much higher proportion of the world burning fossil fuels?

    The rise in the atmosphere now is higher than in 1975, but because the increase in the atmosphere is only 50-55% of the emissions (but quite steady!), the change in the curve is less impressive than of the emissions…
    The airborne fraction of what humans emitted (in mass, not in original molecules) is remarkable stable, one of the reasons to expect that human emissions are at the base of the increase:

    The 2009 work of Knorr confirms that the rise in the atmosphere still follows the emissions with the same rate as 50 years ago:

    http://radioviceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

  234. Larry in Texas says:
    August 6, 2011 at 2:07 am

    R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Heh, heh, heh. You are toast, buddy. You are toast. You’d best listen to the Selby podcast, instead of making a bunch of nonsensical comments that you are having your hand called on. It destroys your arguments, along with those of your fellow warmists. Don’t be so arrogant to presume that you are more of an authority on the subject than this fellow Selby.
    ____

    I listened to his podcast (twice), and understand clearly what he’s saying. The source of the modern rise (since about 1750 or so) in the NET rise in CO2 in both the atmosphere and oceans is the human use of fossil fuels. Based on Dr. Salby’s own analysis, CO2 should have peaked during the Holocene Optimum and have been falling ever since, and even more so, we should have seen CO2 this high (390 ppm and rising) or higher during the last interglacial period 130,000 years ago, yet we didn’t. But of course, he conveniently rejects the accuracy of the ice core data and only seems to interested in data that support his hypothesis. His complete rejection of ice core data is baffling and disturbing.

    For those who’d like to get an accurate perspective on the anthropogenic contribution of CO2 and other GH gases to the atmosphere, might I suggest:

    http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=CSIRO_CC_Chapter%202.pdf

  235. R Taylor says:
    August 6, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Well fine, if you want to say the net sensitivity between temperature and CO2 is 8 ppmv/degree-C, that means the effective sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is zero.

    That is true, but the 8 ppmv/degr.C is what is observed, thus that is the brut sensitivity, including any feedback from CO2 on temperature…

    But this discussion leeds to far from the original one. For the convinience of Smokey, I repeat here that I don’t expect a huge feedback from CO2 on temperature, and that any such feedback would be largely beneficial…

  236. Question: By how much did the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increase between 1880 and 2000?
    Answer: 640 billion tons
    Question: How much CO2 did human beings emit to the atmosphere during the same time period?
    Answer: 1620 billion tons.
    The difference, about 1000 billion tons of CO2, has been absorbed by oceans and terrestrial vegetation and soils.

    Conclusions
    1: Human emissions are more than able to account for the rise in atmospheric CO2 .
    2. The oceans have been and continue to be a sink of CO2 .

    Claims that the increase in atmospheric CO2 has been caused by release of CO2 from the oceans are 1. unnecessary, 2. wrong.

    [ Data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ ]

  237. John Whitman says:
    August 6, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I have always found your posts to be sincere. Please continue to be sincere by not suggesting you have a scientifically defensive attitude.

    Sorry if it can be interpreted that way. I don’t have such an attitude, but of what I have read of Salby is already enough to be careful:
    He says that it is impossible to distinguish between emissions from fossil fuel burning and vegetation based on 13C/12C isotope ratios. That is true, but even with a little literature research, he should know that vegetation is a net sink for CO2, not a source at all, thus that problem doesn’t exist.

    But if he has good scientific arguments of the opposite, I will change my mind…

  238. Ferdinand Engelbeen says August 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for considering my point; I hope I didn’t sound argumentative. It is just so frustrating to see the scientific establishment give Hansen, et al., a free pass on “positive feedback” when their models ignore the obvious sensitivity of CO2 to temperature.

  239. Ferdinand and John Finn:

    Ferdinand, you assert,
    “Temperature changes explain about 2/3rd of the variability in sink rate / increase speed.”

    What!?
    The components of the carbon cycle are all unquantified and their behaviours are not known, but you say you know “Temperature changes explain about 2/3rd of the variability in sink rate / increase speed.”
    How can anybody know that when nobody knows the possible responses of any of the myriad interacting components of the carbon cycle?

    Simply, your assertion is nonsense! The temperature changes could be the cause of all or none of “the variability in sink rate / increase speed”.

    And you also assert, “temperature changes largely compensate each other over 2-3 years”.
    Really? You know that? How?

    Anyway, your claim that such compensation happens is an assertion of magic. Please read my post at August 5, 2011 at 8:37 am .

    Ferdinand, we both know that you are better than this. Please ‘raise your game’.

    John Finn, my many disagreements with Ferdinand have given me great respect for him over the years. Sadly, your posts addressed to me are not giving me any respect for you.

    You ask me;
    “What’s wrong with you, Richard. We’ve gone over this dozens of times.”

    Yes, we have (see above) and it is clear that what is “wrong” is your inability to read. Since you seem incapable of understanding my words, I quote those of David Wojick on another blog in hope that they may help you to grasp what you find so difficult to understand.

    “lolwot and Ferdinand are both confusing arithmetic with causality. The fact that human emissions a numerically greater than the increase in no way shows that they are causing the increase. As Richard points out, a simple reservoir model is a fallacy. This is similar to the simple minded argument that since CO2 is a GHG it must warm when CO2 increases. I call this sort of fallacious argument speculation based on simplified first principles. If there is one thing we have learned about climate it is that it is a complex nonlinear dynamical system.

    In particular, the fact that the top levels of the ocean may be increasing in CO2 concentration does not mean that the ocean cannot be the source of the atmospheric increase. Quite the contrary in fact. Remember that the ocean is a biosphere, not simply a reservoir. There are huge CO2 sinks and sources within it, none of which is being monitored or measured.”

    I have answered every question you have asked. For example, these;

    “Regarding your other comment (addressed to me) where you claim that the continuing rise in CO2 levels is due to some earlier temperature rise. Could you tell me which temperature rise that might be? Also could you explain how this actually works. That is, could you explain how the atmospheric and sea surface temperatures from an earlier period affects the CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere decades later?”

    Time difference:
    See my post to Orson Olson at August 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm
    and his reply at August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Mechanism:
    See my post at August 5, 2011 at 6:41 am
    and my post at August 5, 2011 at 10:07 am
    I do not intend to type it out for a third time merely because some troll is trying to be disruptive.

    Richard

  240. R. Gates says:
    August 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

    ‘’’’I listened to his podcast (twice), and understand clearly what he’s saying. The source of the modern rise (since about 1750 or so) in the NET rise in CO2 in both the atmosphere and oceans is the human use of fossil fuels. Based on Dr. Salby’s own analysis, CO2 should have peaked during the Holocene Optimum and have been falling ever since, and even more so, we should have seen CO2 this high (390 ppm and rising) or higher during the last interglacial period 130,000 years ago, yet we didn’t. But of course, he conveniently rejects the accuracy of the ice core data and only seems to interested in data that support his hypothesis. His complete rejection of ice core data is baffling and disturbing.’’’’’

    —————–

    R. Gates,

    I have bolded three (3) separate segments of your quote above. You claim he has claimed those three (3) things in his podcast.

    Please advise me of the three (3) separate time indexes in the Salby podcast where you find he has claimed each of those three (3) things.

    Thank you.

    John

  241. Oceans contain some 37,400 billion tons (GT) of c02, land biomass has 2000-3000 GT. The atmosphere contains 720 GT of CO2 and humans contribute only 8 GT

    The notion, Ferdinand, of changing ratios because of human activity has a difficult logic Fossil fuels put less carbon-13 into the air, but a tag tells nothing of where it goes (like into the oceans). and oceans can put and take as much c02 from, and into the atmosphere as they would, so oceans regulate how much c02 is in the atmosphere. They can take as much c02 from the air as possible.

    If 8.6 GT per year are put into the air, half is said to be absorbed by the oceans, which is 4.3 GT. Yet, we put 4.3 GT p.a into the air around 1970. Why then did not the oceans absorb all 4.3GT p.a produced by humans in 1970. Why were not the oceans absorbing vast amounts of CO2 from the air before humans came along? The obvious answer is that oceans could absorb everything humans produce, but increasing ocean temperatures determine the amount absorbed and are releasing more.

  242. and incidentally, there is no data whatsoever about how much c02 the oceans absorb,release, or exchange, nor is there any data about how much landmass and biology absorb, perspire and exchange p.a. There are models and theories that approximate.

    given all this, even if we stopped releasing AC02, it is very unlikely that aerial c02 would decrease, but increase at the same rate, hitherto seen until some time into the future when the temperature of oceans undergo a longterm shift

  243. Is there any data about fumaroles, mud volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, etc and generally all volcanoes, and (including underwater) and how much c02 they put into the atmosphere? Underwater volcanoes are quite a source of ocean heating around Antarctic waters..

  244. Michael D Smith says:
    August 6, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Whether you intended it or not your graph illustrates exactly what Ferdinand (and me) have been saying. In the context of the last 50 or 100 years THERE IS NO LAG. As you yourself say

    The CO2 RATE (dCO2/dt) responds INSTANTLY to temperature.

    Note that the “CO2 RATE” is the change in CO2 over a period. This is, in effect, what a graph of CO2 concentration would look like – if there were no human emissions. See Michael’s graph here.

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf

    I suggested de-trending the CO2 data but plotting dCO2 achieves the same result. Now before anyone jumps the gun and suggests that this proves that the CO2 increase is solely a function of temperature – BEWARE! The graph plots dCO2 (i.e the rate of increase) v the actual temperature anomaly – not the CO2 concentration. The actual concentration is a summation of all the increases. I’m beginning to wonder if this is where that Salby guy has got confused.

    Let’s try to simplify this:

    1. Human emissions are increasing atmospheric CO2 by ~4 ppm per annum.
    2. Due to increased sink capacity around 50% of this excess is being absorbed, so that only ~2 ppm remains in the atmosphere
    3. However this is just an average figure. The actual amount depends on temperature at the time.
    4. If it’s a warm month/year less is absorbed and more released so that more remains in the atmosphere. Vice Versa in a cool year. Michael’s graph illustrates this.

    I’d like Richard Courtney to comment on this because I believe he is also in error. I remember, some years ago, having the same discussion on Tamino’s blog – except I was playing the “Salby” role. I couldn’t understand why some of the CO2 increases in the 1970s (e.g. 1977) were larger than some of those in the 1990s (e.g. 1999) when human emissions had increased substantially in the intervening years. Althougn no-one on Tamino’s blog was able to correct me, it did eventually dawn on me what was happening.

  245. John Finn, my many disagreements with Ferdinand have given me great respect for him over the years. Sadly, your posts addressed to me are not giving me any respect for you.

    That’s a shame, Richard, but hey-ho, let’s try again

    You’ve made a claim that the reason CO2 concentrations rose by 24 ppm between 1998 and 2010 was due to a temperature increase some time prior to this. Presumably this also applies to the 16 ppm increase between 1958 and 1975 (a period of ‘no warming’).

    I think your claim is wrong. Michael Smith has posted a graph which shows clearly that the temperature contribution to the CO2 increase is immediate. There is no lag, Richard. You claiming there is a lag or might be a lag doens’t make it so. The data says different. Although Ferdinand might be more polite than me – he is nevertheless saying much the same thing.

    If you have any evidence to support the CO2-temperature lag then I’m happy to consider it. However, I don’t mean the 800 year lag that is evident in ice core data. The processes taking place in a continually warming world over the period of ~5000 years is not really relevant to the sudden injection of CO2 since ~1850.

  246. John Finn says:

    “If you have any evidence to support the CO2-temperature lag then I’m happy to consider it.”

    I’m a little busy right now, but later today I will post charts based on empirical evidence showing that changes in CO2 lag changes in temperature on time scales from months to hundreds of millennia.

  247. Slioch says:
    August 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Question: By how much did the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increase between 1880 and 2000?
    Answer: 640 billion tons
    Question: How much CO2 did human beings emit to the atmosphere during the same time period?
    Answer: 1620 billion tons.
    The difference, about 1000 billion tons of CO2, has been absorbed by oceans and terrestrial vegetation and soils.

    I’d be interested to know where you got your numbers. In any event, your arithmetic makes no allowance whatsoever for any source of CO2 other than human beings. An oversight perhaps?

  248. commieBob August 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm
    asks about the source of the figures I gave earlier.
    The specific information is given here:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/faq.html#Q4 under the question “What percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere has been produced by human beings through the burning of fossil fuels?” where it states:
    “According to Houghton and Hackler, land-use changes from 1850-2000 resulted in a net transfer of 154 PgC to the atmosphere. During that same period, 282 PgC were released by combustion of fossil fuels, and 5.5 additional PgC were released to the atmosphere from cement manufacture. This adds up to 154 + 282 + 5.5 = 441.5 PgC”

    1PgC = 1 billion tonsC so I used that unit in preference.
    1 billion tons C = 44/12 billion tons CO2, so I converted to billion tons CO2, as CO2 is what we are talking about.
    So, 441.5 billion tons C = 441.5 x 44/12 billion tons CO2 = 1618.83 billion tons. I rounded to 1620 billion tons.

    Similarly Q4 states,
    “Atmospheric CO2 concentrations rose from 288 ppmv in 1850 to 369.5 ppmv in 2000, for an increase of 81.5 ppmv, or 174 PgC.”
    174PgC = 174 x 44/12 billion tons CO2 = 638 billion tons CO2. I rounded to 640 billion tons CO2.

    I hope this helps.

    With respect to your observation, “your arithmetic makes no allowance whatsoever for any source of CO2 other than human beings”.
    My “arithmetic” gave (assuming the information is accurate) information on total human emissions and total increase in atmospheric CO2.
    Here in Scotland we remember Rabbie Burns who said, “Facts are chiels that winna ding, an’ downa be disputed”, which being translated means, ‘facts are shields that won’t let you down (won’t dent) and cannot be disputed’.
    Now, I gave you two facts about CO2, 1.total human emissions and 2. total increase in atmospheric CO2, both between 1850 and 2000. If anyone can come up with any logical explanation of those two facts that disproves my conclusions that 1: Human emissions are more than able to account for the rise in atmospheric CO2 and and 2. The oceans have been and continue to be a sink of CO2 , let them try.

    It needs hardly be said that my conclusions fundamentally refute the proposition that the increase in CO2 during the period in question was caused by anything other than human action.

  249. Richard Courtney (and Smokey)

    Here’s a paper you may remember, Richard (since you commented on it).

    http://www.john-daly.com/bull120.htm

    It was posted by Dr. Vincent Gray (a sceptic) on John Daly’s (also a sceptic) web-site several years ago. It includes a graph of CO2 data from about 1000 AD taken from the Law Dome ice core (antarctica). The first thing you might notice is the variability (or lack of) in the early part of the record up to ~1800. Vincent Gray makes the following comment

    There is no “pre-industrial” equilibrium carbon dioxide concentration. There was variability in the order of 10ppmv between 1006 and 1800.

    So from the peak of the MWP to the depths of the LIA CO2 concentrations varied by ~10 ppm. Either the temperature difference between the MWP and LIA is pretty small (tiny would be a better word) or, as is more likely, the CO2 response to temperature is nowhere near as large as some people have recently tried to claim. In fact, the CO2 variability looks to be fairly consistent with Ferdinand Engelbeen’s figure of ~8pppmv/degC.

    Note also that the graph only goes up to 1978. Current CO2 concentration are at 390 ppm which is way off the scale on Vincent’s graph.

  250. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    “…Smokey, I repeat here that I don’t expect a huge feedback from CO2 on temperature, and that any such feedback would be largely beneficial.”

    Thank you for that statement, Ferdinand, because that is what the whole debate is really about.

    And I promised some charts showing that there is, in fact, a lag between temperature rises and subsequent increases in atmospheric CO2:

    CO2 lags temperature by 5 months: click

    CO2 lags temperature, past 400,000 years: click

    CO2 lags temperature by 800 ±200 years on geological time scales: click

    Another chart showing the 800 year CO2 lag following temperature: click

    Got more charts if anyone needs ‘em.

  251. John Finn:

    At August 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm you say;

    “Let’s try to simplify this:
    1. Human emissions are increasing atmospheric CO2 by ~4 ppm per annum.
    2. Due to increased sink capacity around 50% of this excess is being absorbed, so that only ~2 ppm remains in the atmosphere
    3. However this is just an average figure. The actual amount depends on temperature at the time.
    4. If it’s a warm month/year less is absorbed and more released so that more remains in the atmosphere. Vice Versa in a cool year. Michael’s graph illustrates this.

    I’d like Richard Courtney to comment on this because I believe he is also in error.”

    Me in error on this? Me? Nonsense!

    I have repeatedly explained why you are plain wrong. You repeatedly failed to read or understand my explanation so I provided an explanation by a third party. You have ignored that, too.

    So, I will try explaining it in another fashion in the hope that this time you will read the explanation. This time I will try as best I can to copy your format.

    A.
    Nature is emitting CO2 to the air at a rate of more than 150 GtC/year.
    B.
    The variation of CO2 in the air during each year is ~15 GtC/year.
    C.
    The variabilities of the natural inputs and outputs of the system are not known.
    D.
    Human’s are emitting CO2 to the air at a rate of less than 7GtC/year.
    E.
    The increase of CO2 in the air over each year is ~3 GtC/year.

    So, E is less than D, is much less than B, and is very much less than A.

    The natural system is changing because if it were not then E would be approximately equal to D.

    Which is changing; A and/or C?
    We cannot know because the innumerable natural inputs and outputs of CO2 to the air are not monitored.

    So, how much of the change to the system is natural? Is it all, part, or none?
    We cannot know because we do not know C.

    But we do know as a certain fact (which I have repeatedly explained above) that the system can easily sequester ALL the anthropogenic emission each year.

    Now, address that or go away. I will not reply if you yet again ignore it and yet again spout your same nonsense.

    And Smokey says he is going to reference the immense literature on the lags of CO2 behind temperature at all time scales so I will leave that to him.

    Richard

  252. John Finn:

    At August 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm you say;

    “Richard Courtney (and Smokey)
    Here’s a paper you may remember, Richard (since you commented on it).”

    Where and when did I comment on it? I certainly have not in this thread.

    However, the ice core data are smoothed by diffusion and they are not supported by stomata measurements from ancient plants.

    The leaves of plants adjust the sizes of their stomata with changing atmospheric CO2 concentration and this permits the determination of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations by analysis of leaves preserved, for example, in peat bogs.
    (refs. e.g. Retallack (2001), Wagner et al. (2004), Kouwenberg et al. (2003)).

    The disagreement with the ice core data is clearly seen in all published studies of the stomata data. For example, as early as 1999 Wagner reported that studies of birch leaves indicated a rapid rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 260 to 327 ppmv (which is similar to the rise in the twentieth century) from late Glacial to Holocene conditions.

    This ancient rise of 67 ppmv in atmospheric CO2 concentration is indicated by the stomata data at a time when the ice core data indicate only 20 ppmv rise.
    (refs. Retallack G, Nature vol. 411 287 (2001), Wagener F, et al. Virtual Journal Geobiology, vol.3. Issue 9, Section 2B (2004), Kouenberg et al. American Journal of Botany, 90, pp 610-619 (2003), Wagner F et al. Science vol. 284 p 92 (1999)).

    Now, do you really want to hang your arguments on the ice core data?
    I assure you that I can really ‘go to town’ on the many reasons they are misleading. However, that side-track would ‘get you off the hook’ of continuing to try to sell your mistaken idea that the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is known.

    Richard

  253. Re the ‘impossible to distinguish between emissions from fossil fuel burning and vegetation based on 13C/12C isotope ratios’ and variations –

    As with the Himalayagate controversy, the Prentice paper was never reviewed beyond the secretive four walls of UN climate alarmism; it relied entirely on an internal uncorroborated source.

    On this cynical practice Mišo observes, “Few readers will be bothered to follow the trail all the way and especially not the ‘policymakers.’ But the few that do frequently find out that the argument is circular (A quotes B and B quotes A), etc.”

    Thus, there exists no proof of any such distinct ‘human signal’ anywhere in samples of atmospheric CO2. Therefore, once again, the public has been shown compelling evidence of how it was duped by junk science.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/11/analysis-ipcc-insider-inserted-false.html

    and,

    Based on this brief literature survey, we may conclude that volcanic CO2 emissions are much higher than previously estimated, and as volcanic CO2 is isotopically identical to industrially emitted CO2, we cannot glibly assume that the increase of atmospheric CO2 is exclusively anthropogenic.

    http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

    and,

    plants breathe out carbon dioxide when they’re not eating it in photosynthesis, and breathe in oxygen.

    http://www.saburchill.com/chapters/chap0025.html

    http://water.me.vccs.edu/concepts/oxycycle.html

  254. Richard Courtney

    In response to your points

    A.
    Nature is emitting CO2 to the air at a rate of more than 150 GtC/year.

    Yes – and also absorbing about the same amount hence the rough equilibrium value of ~280 ppm observed between 1006 and 1800 in the Antarctic Law Dome data presented by Vincent Gray in his paper posted on the John Daly site .

    B.
    The variation of CO2 in the air during each year is ~15 GtC/year.

    No – the variation is not ~15 GtC/year. The variation is ~15GtCO2/year or ~4GtC/year which equates to a variation of ~2 ppm/year. However, while the variation is ~2 ppm/year the average increase is also ~2 ppm/year. We see this in the last 10-12 years data. Between 1998 and 2010 CO2 levels increased by ~24 ppm (i.e. ~2 ppm/year) . The largest increase was 2.98 ppm (1998); the smallest increase was 0.9 ppm (1999).

    C.
    The variabilities of the natural inputs and outputs of the system are not known.

    Why not? In (A) you told us that nature was emitting ~150 GtC/year to the air. Since CO2 levels stayed within a fairly narrow range varying by only ~10 ppm over the ~800 years between 1006 an 1800 (Ref: Vincent Gray, John Daly site) I think we can conclude that the inputs and outputs were pretty much in balance. I accept the temperature difference between the MWP and LIA would account for the 10 ppm difference in CO2.

    D.
    Human’s are emitting CO2 to the air at a rate of less than 7GtC/year.

    It’s more like 8GtC/year but we’ll let that pass. Of more concern is the fact that you are confusing ‘GtC’ with ‘GtCO2’ . I’ll assume this is a simple error- for the moment.

    E.
    The increase of CO2 in the air over each year is ~3 GtC/year.

    Again I think it’s more like ~4GtC/year. As we’ve seen over the past few years the average increase has been ~2ppm/year. The ‘conversion rate’ is 2.1 GtC per ppm so 4GtC/year is nearer the mark.

    So, E is less than D,

    Yes it is. That’s because ~50% of the excess is absorbed due to increased sink capacity. This is well documented. Ferdinand has provided several references and graphs on this thread alone. It’s you that seems to have the problem with reading and understanding, Richard – not me.

    is much less than B,

    No it’s not – it’s the same as B. As I pointed out in response to (B) you have confused ‘GtC’ with ‘GtCO2’. Your argument falls over here.

    and is very much less than A.

    Totally irrelevant since all ice core data shows that inputs = outputs so the net effect is ZERO.

  255. John Finn:

    Note that the “CO2 RATE” is the change in CO2 over a period. This is, in effect, what a graph of CO2 concentration would look like – if there were no human emissions. See Michael’s graph here.

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf

    I don’t think it says that. The chart is real-world data, with human emissions included. The way I read it, if the temperature anomaly was zero, the dCO2 would be around 0.13 ppm per month, or 1.56 ppm per year. Something besides the temperature anomaly is causing it to go up, that is clear. But what? A couple of ways to look at it:

    If you’re in the “human emissions have no effect” camp, you would need to explain how CO2 is increasing at this rate without human emissions contributing. So you would need to argue that the temperature has increased compared to equilibrium, and that increase has caused the oceans and/or biosphere to outgas at 1.56 ppm per year. Remember that the reference point (zero) of the UAH MSU Global data set is the average of 20-years (1979-1998) (or at least it was when this data was taken). So we need to argue that the past was colder than our reference point, and that’s pretty easy to do, because the temperature has been going up since the LIA.

    Let’s see if it works. We know from the fastest-reacting slope of the chart that the impact of a 1°C temperature anomaly is 0.693 ppm/mo, or 8.3 ppm/yr (this was determined from a different correlation that used the very nice, relatively noise free section including the El Nino of 1998, otherwise the slope drops due to all the noise – yes, I cherry picked it to get the maximum response). This correlation chart is shown here:

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/dCO2Slope.pdf

    This agrees with figures Ferdinand Englebeen is using above, let’s just be clear that we are talking about an ANNUAL rate, not a maximum total response. So a small increase in temperature, in place for a long time, can have a very large effect.

    And since you mentioned that there is no lag, I should also point out that there is no lag in the RATE. But there is absolutely a lag in the primary function, it depends on how much the anomaly is, and how much time the system has to react. If it were a step function that never reversed, the curve could be described and its time constant understood, but the lag would be evident. If it were a sine wave, you would get a phase shift and a dampening of the response. It will behave just like any RLC circuit. There will definitely be a lag in the response, as the “tank” fills, so to speak. There is no question this will happen, because the ocean acts as a very large capacitor.

    So to help prove the “emissions don’t matter” case, we need to know two things. What is the anomaly from our zero reference, and how long was it in effect? With these two factors, we can estimate the ppm difference per month, and integrate it to see what the total effect is. To do that, I’m going to take a 0.7°C constant slope, and integrate it over 161 years, or 1932 months (since 1850)… Just to see if it makes any sense at all. Applying the rate above to this slight temperature increase over time results in an end CO2 level of 748 ppm today. So I add a factor to the rate, and adjust it until the CO2 level comes out to 390 ppm today. That factor is 0.2345. Meaning the relationship between temperature and CO2 rate in ppm/mo that we clearly see in the actual data is more than 4x higher than is necessary to bring 2011 CO2 to 390ppm, without any anthropogenic emissions at all. So something is actually having the opposite effect of emissions.

    With that said, the very simple model was not adjusted for any equilibrium effect, which would make that factor I mentioned smaller. For example, we have estimates that the lag must be 800 years, so I assume that means 3 to 6 time constants = 800 years. Using 5 TC= 800 years, one TC is 160 years, which is the same period I used. Some of the CO2 we are outgassing in the model would also serve to increase the equilibrium level of the ocean (which I assumed was stable at 280ppm atmospheric). For example, if suddenly the 0.7°C rise stopped, about 63% (1-e^-1) of the total effect from the 1850 temperature increase (which was 0.7/161 years) would have been realized, and slightly less than that for year 1851, and so on. So the difference to equilibrium is getting smaller, and should be accelerating as the delta T gets bigger each year. It will be a significant but not huge effect that will make the 0.2345 factor larger, so the effect of temperature on CO2 rate is really less than 4x sufficient to explain the total difference. It is probably 2 or 3 instead. Maybe I’ll add that and find out.

    The 2nd way to look at it is that its quite obvious that anthropogenic emissions are real, because I have 4 cars and drive them all. This means that the “factor” I used is actually overstated to make room for the human emissions, and the carbon dioxide cycle is even faster still. The maximum monthly slope in the Mauna Loa data can be used to estimate the minimum possible turnover rate, and last time I did that, it was 7.2 years, meaning its probably quite a bit faster than that. Is this where the 4x or 10x factor goes? Don’t know.

    With all that said, it’s a simple exercise, too simple, but worth discussing. I don’t have a position on it, other than I think the original chart is cool and indicates that CO2 rate is exceptionally responsive to temperature. I don’t think its wise to dismiss the anthropogenic contribution, but likewise I don’t see any evidence it has much effect, and the data clearly shows that CO2 is very strongly affected by temperatures. But the chart also shows that the rate is increasing over time, which I think points to a non-natural source. But if the carbon dioxide transfer rate is very fast, you’ll never see very much of the anthropogenic contribution because it is small to begin with and most will get absorbed very quickly.

    The truth is probably somewhere between.

    Any thoughts?

    Now I think I’ll listen to the podcast and see what this guy has to say.

  256. Michael D Smith,

    After reading your post, I think I agree with it. I’ll have to think it over some, but I can’t see any glaring errors. The only minor quibble is when you say you have 4 cars and drive them all. At the same time? ☺

    The central question in the debate, however, isn’t whether humans are adding CO2. The question the alarmist crowd needs to answer is whether anthropogenic CO2 is causing any global harm. If it is, show us where exactly, and provide testable evidence that CO2 is the cause, and not something else. We already know that more CO2 = more food production. Therefore, if CO2 causes no global harm and increases agricultural productivity, then on balance, more CO2 is harmless and beneficial. QED

  257. Smokey.

    Well in response, the 1st 100ppm delays 8% of outward energy, which doesn’t affect temperature, thereafter, more doesn’t delay any more heat. Its like sunblock. More doesn’t mean more sun is blocked. If you have a factor 10 block, doubling the amount you put on your face won’t make it factor 20. C02’s saturation window closes when its optimum 10 microns are achieved – not that it is delaying at this subzero temperature level (minus 29C) for any length of time, or that such radiation at subzero temperatures will suddenly cause global warming, or anything crazy like that. Imagine radiation at -29 causing a temperature increase of 2C at ground level – its like saying that putting eggs in the freezer will cook them.

  258. addendum to:
    P Wilson says:
    .
    August 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    15 microns. 10 microns is the average at which radiation leaves earth, so most radiation is invisible to c02

  259. richard verney says:
    August 5, 2011 at 6:03 am

    ” ————In summary, what was the natural sink in each and every year since 1950, and what was the corresponding biomass each year? Increase in biomass is very probably only part of the explanation.
    _____________________________________________

    Sorry I missed your reply to my post. I see your point.
    However CO2 content of deep ocean upwelling is as far as I know not well monitored over decades.So the absorption rate may be what is reflected in atmospheric content, and relates to the climate of many centuries ago.
    As this source shows, it’s a very complex set of interactions that determine areas and rates of absorption, and most would not be known on a global scale.
    http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Bi-Ca/Carbon-Dioxide-in-the-Ocean-and-Atmosphere.html

  260. I feel the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is due, partially or heavily, to a rapid increase in the number of animals including human, via respiration (CO2 release).

    For instance, human population was more than doubled from 3 billion (in 1958: start of Mauna Loa) to the current 7 billion, following a curve apparently similar to the CO2 concentration trend:

    No doubt many of other animals (including termites?) have increased during the same period, though I don’t know of any precise data on this issue.

    I appreciate hearing from anyone in the know. Thanks.

  261. After listening to the podcast, I added CO2 emissions to my model (as a monthly rate, same as dCO2). The P value on emissions was 0.5 (not significant). How about that? The P value on Temp Anomaly was 1.64e-26 as a driver of dCO2. Let me say that one more time: The rate of increase in emissions has no discernible effect at all on the rate of increase of CO2. Things that make you go Hmmmm. I wonder why this is news. Isn’t this something that should have been checked a few decades back in the process?

  262. John Finn:

    You are even wrong on basic facts.

    For example, you say the variation of CO2 during each year is 2 ppm.
    No! It is not. IT IS ABOUT TEN TIMES THAT.
    See

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

    I will try to explain for you what you will see if you click on the link. I recognise that you have not understood anything else I have written, and what you see at the link is more complicated than any of my statements which you have not understood. But I will try to explain for you what you will see if you do click on the link

    The picture is called a graph. It shows how CO2 measured at Mauna Loa has varied.
    Up the side on the left are some numbers. These show values of CO2 in ppmv.
    Along the bottom are some more numbers. These show time in years.
    The annual values of CO2 are provided as the black lines (joined by the black lines) in the picture
    The monthly values of CO2 are provided as the red dots (joined by the red lines) in the picture

    The red dots wiggle up and down during each year. This indicates the variation during each year.

    Look across from the top of a ‘wiggle in a year’ to the left side and read off the number.
    Look across from the bottom of a ‘wiggle in a year’ to the left side and read off the number.
    Now, subtract one number from the other and the result is the annual variation of CO2 during a year as measured at Mauna Loa.

    Please note that Mauna Loa was deliberately chosen as a measurement site that would provide little variation of CO2 in the air during each year. Other places provide more variation in each year, but I have tried to explain to you what you will see if you click on the link.

    Now, I lack both the time and the patience to hold your hand through all your other errors. So, go away.

    Richard

  263. Michael D Smith:

    Thankyou for your post at August 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm. It is clear and concise.

    But I suspect that John Finn will not read it just as he ignored all the explanations I gave him. It is apparent that he is only here to ‘proclaim the true faith of AGW’.

    Richard

  264. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Simply, your assertion is nonsense! The temperature changes could be the cause of all or none of “the variability in sink rate / increase speed”.

    Please Richard, the influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change is known for decades. It is acknowledged by sceptics (Dr. Spencer and many others and now Prof. Salby) as well as by warmers. My information is from a “warmer” I respect for his scientific integrity: Pieter Tans, head of the NOAA unit which runs the baseline stations where CO2 is measured. For the data, see half way his speech at the festivities for 50 years Mauna Loa CO2 measurements:

    http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf

    And you also assert, “temperature changes largely compensate each other over 2-3 years”.
    Really? You know that? How?

    Simply make a 3-years moving average. I haven’t done that, but have a look at the 21 year averaging of the temperature record:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
    Over time you see flat periods and periods where the average temperature increases. That means that the short term responses in both directions fully compensate each other in flat periods and there is a residual plus in upgoing periods.

  265. Ferdinand:

    Thankyou for your comment to me at August 7, 2011 at 1:06 am .

    This response is a brief note to assure you that I am not ignoring your comment, and I will reply to it probably this evening or, perhaps, tomorrow morning. But it is now 9.40 am on Sunday here and – as you will understand – I am already in my ‘working clothes’ and must now rush away.

    Richard

  266. P Wilson says:
    August 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Oceans contain some 37,400 billion tons (GT) of c02, land biomass has 2000-3000 GT. The atmosphere contains 720 GT of CO2 and humans contribute only 8 GT

    How much each reservoir contains doesn’t matter, as long as there are no exchange flows between the reservoirs. How huge the exchange flows are doesn’t matter, as long as there is no difference in in and outflows for a given reservoir. The only point that matters is the balance between the inflows and outflows.
    For the atmosphere it is quite exactly known: the human inflow is calculated (from fossil fuel sales) and what is in the atmosphere is measured. What nature does is the difference between these two: a net sink over the past 50 years.

    Thus even if the deep oceans contain 50 times the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere, that doesn’t matter, because more CO2 from the atmosphere is going down into the deep than is coming out…

    If 8.6 GT per year are put into the air, half is said to be absorbed by the oceans, which is 4.3 GT. Yet, we put 4.3 GT p.a into the air around 1970. Why then did not the oceans absorb all 4.3GT p.a produced by humans in 1970.

    If more CO2 is going from the oceans to the atmosphere or reverse is a matter of CO2 partial pressure difference between the CO2 which is in the ocean surface and CO2 which is in the atmosphere. The old equilibrium was at about 290 ppmv in the atmosphere. We were at 325 ppmv in 1970, thus 35 ppmv above equilibrium. We are at 390 ppmv now, thus 100 ppmv above equilibrium. The sink rate now is about 4 GtC/year, the sink rate in 1970 thus should be around 1.5 GtC/year. These are not exact figures, but it shows the idea: one need higher partial pressure differences to push higher amounts of CO2 in the oceans (and vegetation).

  267. Richard S Courtney says:

    August 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

    John Finn:

    You are even wrong on basic facts.

    For example, you say the variation of CO2 during each year is 2 ppm.
    No! It is not. IT IS ABOUT TEN TIMES THAT

    Ok – we’re talking about different things here. You are talking about the seasonal or ‘within year’ variability. I was referring to the year on year increases (~1ppm to ~3ppm). However the seasonal variability is simply a reflection of the net input-output effect throughout the course of the year. (see your point A from earlier post). The net effect over the complete year is ZERO.

  268. Tom Quirk has a PDF that I sourced at Icecap.us It has many plots of CO2 around the world and charts of seasonal variations as opposed to annual variations. It seems from my reading, that seasonal variations are up to ten times annual variations, that local increases are absorbed locally within a season, that the major discernible output areas seem to be tropical, and the southern hemisphere produces proportionally more than the northern Hemisphere, given its 20% land mass and little major industrial output (oceans?). The O2/13 isotope does not follow projections for a MM fingerprint either. As it backs up the paper we are discussing it is well worth the 17pp PDF read.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/TomQuirkSourcesandSinksofCO2_FINAL.pdf

  269. Michael D Smith says:

    August 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    John Finn:

    Note that the “CO2 RATE” is the change in CO2 over a period. This is, in effect, what a graph of CO2 concentration would look like – if there were no human emissions. See Michael’s graph here.

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf

    I don’t think it says that. The chart is real-world data, with human emissions included.

    Michael

    The chart refers to dCO2 using ppm (parts per million) as units. This refers to the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the previous year (or 12 month period to be precise). Temperature clearly contributes to the magnitude of the increase AND the effect is immediate. However you also say this

    The way I read it, if the temperature anomaly was zero, the dCO2 would be around 0.13 ppm per month, or 1.56 ppm per year. Something besides the temperature anomaly is causing it to go up, that is clear. But what?

    Well observed. If temperature remained constant we would still see an increase in atmospheric CO2. Temperature changes amplify or moderate the increase but the underlying increase is still there. That’s because humans are continuing to emit ~8GtC per year into the atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong I don’t particularly have a problem with this. I expect some warming from CO2 but nothing ‘catastrophic’. However I see no point in denying that human activity is clearly responsible for the steady increase in atmospheric CO2 which I believe is now nearer 2ppm per year (rather than the 1.56 ppm per year that you noted).

  270. Richard S Courtney says:

    August 7, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Michael D Smith:

    Thankyou for your post at August 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm. It is clear and concise.

    But I suspect that John Finn will not read it just as he ignored all the explanations I gave him.

    Read it and responded, Richard

    It is apparent that he is only here to ‘proclaim the true faith of AGW’.

    Richard

    I can point you in the direction of umpteen posts where I have argued against AGW supporters (including Michael Mann). WUWT and ClimateAudit have both cited comments made by me in an exchange with Mann on the Realclimate blog. You’re starting to get a bit silly now, Richard.

  271. Richard Courtney in August 2011:

    Please note that Mauna Loa was deliberately chosen as a measurement site that would provide little variation of CO2 in the air during each year.

    Richard Courtney in Feb 1999

    I recently visited Hawaii and observed the Mauna Loa site, and this has convinced me that measurements of carbon dioxide from that site are not indicative of “the well mixed background.”

    I suppose there are some signs of some progress. However, since your 1999 statement, Richard, CO2 levels measured at Mauna Loa have risen by 24 ppm. I’m still waiting for an explanation. Unfortunately you appear to have chosen to use a misunderstanding between us as a convenient excuse to close the discussion.

  272. Richard S Courtney says:

    August 7, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Michael D Smith:

    Thankyou for your post at August 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm. It is clear and concise.

    Yes, Richard, especially this bit… :-)

    But the chart also shows that the rate is increasing over time, which I think points to a non-natural source.

  273. I agree with Julian Braggins. People should read that paper by Tom Quirk. The argument is very similar.

  274. trouble is john, some of the points are nothing more than the contrived a-priori dogma.

    280ppm at the dawn of civilisation, when proxies from the MWP show elevated levels, (see details from Richard Courtney’s references above) The logic of is claiming that the 3% of CO2 which humans put into the atmosphere accumulates over time to 30%, while the 97% of CO2 which nature adds to the atmosphere does not accumulate and in fact shrinks to 70% of the total is [snip]. Its not even gimmick, as gimmick arguments can be convincing

    Since oceans regulate CO2 in the air to the most minute degree, any real increase is due to warmer oceans releasing more. There is no justification in reading human activity into an increase

  275. trouble is, Ferdinand, these are speculative figures based on mathematical models and equations. They’re not measured or verified facts.

  276. Coincidentally, I wrote this note to Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell on July 28, 2011.

    Hi Roy and Danny,

    Congrats on your recent paper “On the Misdiagnosis Of Surface Temperature Feedbacks From Variations In Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” By Spencer and Braswell 2011.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/

    Roy, you may recall we corresponded in early 2008 on this subject, and we both wrote papers on the subject. Mine is at

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

    While I am not certain, I still really wonder if the mainstream debate (human fossil fuel combustion primarily drives atmospheric CO2, which primarily drives temperature – the two camps just argue about how much warming will result) is mostly wrong.

    I think there is more real-world data to suggest that temperature primarily drives atmospheric CO2, not the reverse, although it is possible that humanmade CO2 emissions have a significant influence (or not).

    I realize that putting forward such a heretical hypothesis is high-risk, tin-foil hat stuff. Nevertheless, it would not surprise me if this becomes the conventional wisdom in less than a decade.

    Best, Allan MacRae

    Summary of my paper:

    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    Carbon Dioxide in Not the Primary Cause of Global Warming: The Future Can Not Cause the Past
    Paper by Allan M.R. MacRae, Calgary Alberta Canada

    Despite continuing increases in atmospheric CO2, no significant global warming occurred in the last decade, as confirmed by both Surface Temperature and satellite measurements in the Lower Troposphere. Contrary to IPCC fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, Earth may now be entering another natural cooling trend. Earth Surface Temperature warmed approximately 0.7 degrees Celsius from ~1910 to ~1945, cooled ~0.4 C from ~1945 to ~1975, warmed ~0.6 C from ~1975 to 1997, and has not warmed significantly from 1997 to 2007.

    CO2 emissions due to human activity rose gradually from the onset of the Industrial Revolution, reaching ~1 billion tonnes per year (expressed as carbon) by 1945, and then accelerated to ~9 billion tonnes per year by 2007. Since ~1945 when CO2 emissions accelerated, Earth experienced ~22 years of warming, and ~40 years of either cooling or absence of warming.

    The IPCC’s position that increased CO2 is the primary cause of global warming is not supported by the temperature data. In fact, strong evidence exists that disproves the IPCC’s scientific position. This UPDATED paper and Excel spreadsheet show that variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration lag (occur after) variations in Earth’s Surface Temperature by ~9 months. The IPCC states that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the primary cause of global warming – in effect, the IPCC states that the future is causing the past. The IPCC’s core scientific conclusion is illogical and false.

    There is strong correlation among three parameters: Surface Temperature (“ST”), Lower Troposphere Temperature (“LT”) and the rate of change with time of atmospheric CO2 (“dCO2/dt”). For the time period of this analysis, variations in ST lead (occur before) variations in both LT and dCO2/dt, by ~1 month. The integral of dCO2/dt is the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (“CO2″).

  277. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Dave Springer says:
    August 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

    No, it is not intrinsic. Atmospheric CO2 increases and decreases considerably more over the short term than anthropogenic emissions can account for.

    Please have a good look at the emissions and the variablity of the increase in the atmosphere: human emissions are about 200% of the increase in the atmosphere and 200% of the variability around the trend over the past 50 years:

    You got the context all wrong. I was referring to the annual variation in how much anthropogenic CO2 is emitted vs. the annual variation in total atmospheric CO2. If you’d bothered to go the linked paper in Geophysical Review and looked at the figure I mentioned you’d know that. But hey, don’t let sloth get in the way of correcting someone…

  278. Julian Braggins says:
    August 7, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Tom Quirk has a PDF that I sourced at Icecap.us It has many plots of CO2 around the world and charts of seasonal variations as opposed to annual variations.

    Jack Barett and I have reacted on his essay with an article in E&E. He made an essential error in graphs 18 and 19, supposing a lack of lag between the South Pole and Mauna Loa data, even a reverse lag, but his method doesn’t show lags with a multiple of 12 months. In reality, CO2 and d13C level changes in the SH lag the NH data with 12-24 months. That makes that his conclusions don’t hold:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg
    and
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends_1995_2004.jpg

  279. Hi Ferdinand,

    I hope you are well, and am enjoying once again your longstanding dialogue with Richard Courtney.

    I think you raise some very interesting points, particularly in the quantification of certain factors.

    I wonder if some of these questions can be explained by at least two, and possibly more, time lags of CO2 AFTER temperature change. We think we know there is an ~~800 year “long cycle” lag of CO2 after temperature from the ice core data, and also a ~9-month “short-cycle” lag as derived from modern data. If I recall correctly, the dear, late Ernst Beck also postulated another such “intermediate-cycle” lag, and it may still become apparent, even if it takes more than ~5 years to manifest itself.

    However, with sincere respect, I don’t agree with your “material balance argument”. I think it is incorrect because it inherently assumes the climate-CO2 system is static, but it is highly dynamic, and the relatively small humanmade fraction of total CO2 flux is insignificant in this huge system, as it continues to chase equilibrium into eternity.

    Best personal regards, Allan

  280. P Wilson
    August 7, 2011 at 3:42 am
    claims, “They’re not measured or verified facts”

    Here, repeated, are some measured and verified facts:
    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased by 640 billion tons between 1850 and 2000.
    Human beings emitted 1620 billion tons to the atmosphere during the same time period.
    The difference, about 1000 billion tons of CO2, has been absorbed by oceans and terrestrial vegetation and soils.

    Conclusions
    1: Human emissions are more than able to account for the rise in atmospheric CO2 (since human emissions were more than twice the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere).
    2. The oceans have been and continue to be a sink of CO2, since that is where much of the CO2 has “disappeared” to. This is independently confirmed by the decrease in oceanic pH.

  281. @Engelbean

    Here is the link AGAIN. See figure 2.

    http://radioviceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

    Note in 1997 atmospheric CO2 increase was about 2ppm. In 1998 it was 5ppm. In 1999 it was 2ppm again. 1998 was the strongest El Nino on record. The Pacific warmed, outgassed a buttload of CO2, then cooled and went back to normal.

    Now go back to figure 1 and note that anthropogenic emissions in those years was close to flat. There is no anthropogenic explanation for the 1998 acceleration in rate of atmospheric CO2 increase.

    Salby attempts to make the point that all CO2 variation is a result of warming oceans. He might be right. I don’t think he is but the possibility remains. No one has either proven nor falsified that rise in CO2 over the past 250 years is anthropogenic in origin and certainly not narrowed it down to fossil fuel combustion gasses. What Salby actually did was cast great doubt upon the C12/C13 ratio meme held out by climate boffins as confirmation of anthropogenic causation which I personally had never thought was reliable confirmation even before Salby came along. So what we are left with is the same thing we were left with before – a strong correlation between anthropogenic CO2 emission and rise in atmospheric CO2 level. I personally find the correlation compelling but I also know that correlation is not causation and so, reasonable as it seems, it cannot be taken as fact.

  282. P Wilson says:
    August 7, 2011 at 3:40 am

    280ppm at the dawn of civilisation, when proxies from the MWP show elevated levels, (see details from Richard Courtney’s references above) The logic of is claiming that the 3% of CO2 which humans put into the atmosphere accumulates over time to 30%, while the 97% of CO2 which nature adds to the atmosphere does not accumulate

    The ice core data are not proxies, but real atmospheric measurements of old air, be it smoothed over 8 (Law Dome) to 600 years (Vostok, Dome C). They have their problems, but by far not what renders them useless.
    The proxies you allude too probably are stomata data. These are useful for a first approximation, but suffer from the same bias as many of the historical measurements: over land, near huge sources and sinks. Stomata (index) data are calibrated against… ice cores for the past century, which removes the local bias for that century. The main problem is that we don’t know how the bias evolved over the centuries. E.g. one of the main places of SI research is in the SE Netherlands, which saw huge changes in land use (marshes and sea to forests and pasture and other vegetation) over the centuries in the main wind directions.

    What everybody seems to forget is that against the 97% natural addition there stands 98.5% natural sinks. The 97% natural addition is only part of the main circulation, only throughput, not addition.

    Have a fountain where a pump circulates 1,000 l/h from down a bassin over a fountain. Except for some evaporation, nothing happens with the water level in the bassin. Add a hose which supplies only 1 l/h of extra water and some time later, you will see an overflow of the bassin. No matter if the additional flow is 0.1 or 0.01 or 0.001% of the main circulation…

  283. Dave Springer says:
    August 7, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Sorry, my misinterpretation, indeed wrong context…

    But that doesn’t make much difference. The annual increase in the atmosphere depends of the annual emissions, which are rather monotonically increasing at one side and the sink rate in oceans and vegetation at the other side. The sink rate is heavily influenced by temperature fluctuations, which explain about 2/3rd of the variability (see my the link to Pieter Tans in my reaction on Richard). But that has little influence on the trend, as most changes in temperature level of over the years.

  284. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

    For example, you say the variation of CO2 during each year is 2 ppm.
    No! It is not. IT IS ABOUT TEN TIMES THAT.

    According to Dr.Spencer, the global variation of CO2 over the seasons is 6.2 ppmv for a global temperature variation of 1 degr.C. Both variations are very low in the SH but near double in the NH.

  285. tokyoboy says:
    August 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I feel the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is due, partially or heavily, to a rapid increase in the number of animals including human, via respiration (CO2 release).

    Animals or burning wood don’t add to the overall increase of CO2, because all CO2 they exhale (or emit from burning) was captured by vegetation out of the atmosphere a few months to a few years before. Thus over a few years that levels off. In contrast, fossil fuels were stored out of the atmosphere many millions years ago, so that adds to the current atmosphere.

    Only if there is a mismatch between what the biosphere (plants, humans, animals, insects, bacteria) emits and absorbs, that will add or substract to/from the atmosphere. That can be measured via the oxygen balance: if more oxygen is used than can be calculated from fossil fuel burning, then the biosphere is a net emitter of CO2. But we see a net deficit in oxygen use. Thus the biosphere is a net sink for CO2 (around 1.5 GtC/year).

  286. Human emissions of CO2 were very small until about 1900.

    Technically, I think we should move the pre-industrial timeline to 1900 because CO2 was changing by itself for decades at a time at a rate which were orders of magnitude greater than our very small emissions.

    CO2 changes per year and human emissions going back to 1750.

    CO2 changes per year and human emissions going back to 1000AD.

  287. Dave Springer says:
    August 7, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Salby attempts to make the point that all CO2 variation is a result of warming oceans. He might be right.

    He probably is right. But please pay attention to the word “variation”. Temperature is the cause of the variability of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. But look at the graphs in Knorr: the emissions are about twice the increase in the atmosphere and twice their variability. Thus his assumption that 80% of the increase in the atmosphere is by temperature doesn’t hold.

    No one has either proven nor falsified that rise in CO2 over the past 250 years is anthropogenic in origin and certainly not narrowed it down to fossil fuel combustion gasses. What Salby actually did was cast great doubt upon the C12/C13 ratio

    The latter argument is already refuted for about a decade: while no differentiation is possible for 13C/12C ratios between fossil fuels and vegetation, it is possible to discriminate on 14C/12C ratio and oxygen use: vegetation is a net absorber of CO2, thus not responsible for the decline in 13C/12C ratio. To the contrary. See:

    http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/25_Partition.pdf

  288. sorry, ferdinand, despite your ardour, I’m not convinced.

    Taking it further, I repeat a post which might have been overlooked, it was aquestion:

    Is there any data about fumaroles, mud volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, etc and generally all volcanoes, and (including underwater) and how much c02 they put into the atmosphere? Underwater volcanoes are quite a source of ocean heating around Antarctic waters..

    so I quote:

    Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (Gerlach, 1991). This estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes, about in equal amounts.

    In point of fact, the total worldwide estimate of roughly 55 MtCpa is by one researcher, rather than “scientists” in general. More importantly, this estimate by Gerlach (1991) is based on emission measurements taken from only seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. Yet the USGS glibly claims that Gerlach’s estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes in roughly equal amounts. Given the more than 3 million volcanoes worldwide indicated by the work of Hillier & Watts (2007), one might be prone to wonder about the statistical significance of Gerlach’s seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. If the statement of the USGS concerning volcanic CO2 is any indication of the reliability of expert consensus, it would seem that verifiable facts are eminently more trustworthy than professional opinion.

    and further:
    Hillier & Watts (2007) surveyed 201,055 submarine volcanoes estimating that a total of 3,477,403 submarine volcanoes exist worldwide. According to the observations of Batiza (1982), we may infer that at least 4% of seamounts are active volcanoes.

    Irrespective that some authors may neglect to allow for significant volcanogenic CO2 input to the atmosphere, volcanoes represent an enormous CO2 source that is mostly submarine. Furthermore, volcanic activity beneath both ice caps and localized to the regions of most intense melting has demonstrated an obvious cause of stronger Spring melts at the Poles. It is evident from the observations of Sohn et al. (2008) & Reves-Sohn et al. (2008) that the Northwest Passage was opened up by powerful volcanic activity under the Arctic Ice along the Gakkel Ridge, while West Antarctic melting (as opposed to thickening of ice throughout the rest of Antarctica) can be explained by recent volcanic activity beneath the ice (Corr & Vaughan, 2008). Moreover, there are simply too many volcanoes to deny that the atmospheric concentration of the most erupted gas next to water is predominantly controlled by the balance or lack thereof between volcanic activity and photosynthesis. Furthermore, there is no fingerprint by which we may distinguish fossil fuel CO2 from volcanic CO2. This leaves us with no empirical method by which we may attribute the 20th century rise in CO2 to human energy consumption.

    from:

    http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

  289. I mean, its a tidy mathematical equation that is presented to support to anthropogenic co2 case, though it just can’t be verified. There’s nothing so far to suggest that the annual carbon budget is fixed or equilibrium based

  290. Ferdinand Engelbeen
    August 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

    “He probably is right.”
    I think you overlook the annual wriggle due to growth and decay of terrestrial vegetation, where NH has far greater land surface than SH and therefore in NH summer there is a net decrease in global CO2 and vice versa. Or were you referring to something else?

  291. John Finn says:
    August 7, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Well observed. If temperature remained constant we would still see an increase in atmospheric CO2. Temperature changes amplify or moderate the increase but the underlying increase is still there. That’s because humans are continuing to emit ~8GtC per year into the atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong I don’t particularly have a problem with this. I expect some warming from CO2 but nothing ‘catastrophic’. However I see no point in denying that human activity is clearly responsible for the steady increase in atmospheric CO2 which I believe is now nearer 2ppm per year (rather than the 1.56 ppm per year that you noted).

    I don’t deny anything, I’m simply observing the dCO2 data once it has been de-seasonalized, and I’m taking it where it leads me. As I explained, we see that temperature produces clear and drastic changes in dCO2. Small changes, applied over a long period, are more than enough to account for all of the observed total CO2 changes since 1850, 4x over. It’s right there, and quite significant at P=1e-26. I added emissions to the model as mentioned above, it is not significant at P=0.5. But it still LOOKS like it deserves to be part of the equation. And it would make sense too, since we know we make a small contribution. But looks don’t count.

    These fast rates of exchange of CO2 with temperature is the part that cannot be ignored, I’m afraid. It indicates to me that the oceans breathe quite readily, and in very large breaths, and they do it all the time, regardless of air temperature. The temperature simply determines which direction the giant vectors balance to. And they clearly are giant or you could not have such a fast reaction to temperature. This needs to be quantified, which I think is a simple extension of what I’ve already done. See where I’m going?

    The exchange rate is critically important. Let’s look at this another way, and assume that the exchange rate is such that ALL CO2 is exchanged overnight, so the oceans are exchanging it like lungs. Now, given the CO2 capacity of the ocean, would you expect to see any measurable effect of our emissions, since 1850? If so it would be nearly unmeasurable simply due to the capacity of the oceans, even if you only affect the top layers. Now, on the other hand, let’s assume that CO2 is exchanged only once every million years, so the absorption rate can be safely ignored. Now we should see twice the increase in total CO2 levels that we do see.

    So the amount of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere is related to the size of the drain into the sink. It can be a giant sink, but if the drain size is small (low flow rate), then emissions will accumulate in the atmosphere and should be detectable. But we can see from the data that the ocean is both a source and a sink. And we know from the data that the reaction rate is very high, dwarfing emissions. So we must conclude that the the size of the opening to this source / sink is very large. This is the part that is unmistakeable in the data. If that is true, then the total accumulation MUST be mostly related to temperature and the ocean’s equilibrium level.

    So we know that we have an anthropogenic contribution. And we know we have a temperature contribution. They add to what we observe now, but we don’t know which is which. I’m saying that given the charts I’ve done, we DO know which is which because we have directly measured the temperature’s effect on CO2 rate! You apply that rate to the length of time it was in effect (integrate it). And that says that the temperature effect is (probably less than) 4x adequate to explain ALL the CO2 accumulation. This means that the rate of exchange is EVEN HIGHER than we thought. There is no question that some anthropogenic CO2 must remain in the atmosphere, but given the size of the opening to the source / sink, this is being exchanged out so fast that not much can accumulate, it’s mostly a temperature effect.

    One last thing I would point out, is the filtering effect over time that you can see in the charts Bill Illis posted:

    CO2 changes per year and human emissions going back to 1750.

    CO2 changes per year and human emissions going back to 1000AD.

    Please look at the frequency information in those charts. You can see that in the recent past, information is retained. Going back in time, the frequency of the chart is reduced, meaning information is being lost by filtering. The longer you go back, the more information is lost. I’m saying that in general, all proxies will do this. The fast response you see in my chart is a real-world, measured, physical effect. The rules don’t change as time passes, the ability to resolve differences over time does. So don’t think these processes were never in effect just because we can’t see high frequency, fast response data in proxies. It all gets smoothed together and you’ll never see it. So just because you can’t see large excursions of CO2 values in ice cores doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. If the temperature changed, they happened. The high frequency information is gone forever.

  292. michael says:

    So we know that we have an anthropogenic contribution. And we know we have a temperature contribution.

    Henry@Michael

    I don’t dispute that we are putting a bit more CO2 in the atmosphere. I think that is good for forests and greenery. They need that specific chemical for more growth. I dispute the fact that anyone knows for sure what the net effect is of this small increase of 0.01% since 1960 in CO2 in the atmosphere, cooling or warming. Unless they can bring me the actual test results.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  293. Thanks for the link Slioch, but i meant objective and authoritative data.

    Given the sizeable number of submarine volcanoes, by far the biggest source of volcanic co2, I suspect that there isn’t

  294. regarding oceanic ph, lets assume that these huge numbers of active underwater volcanoes, fumaroles, etc, most likely impossible to quantify, of magmatic c02, and which surface preferentially in an ocean that contains some 60 times the quantity of c02 than is in the atmosphere, the notion that aerial co2 absorption where it takes place – usually at the polar waters – makes silly logic for oceans becoming more acidic due to a minuscule fraction of anthropogenic co2, in the annual equation of the c02 budget (the anthropogenic part that is absorbed by oceans). Its like saying that a drop of ink will cause a bathful of water to turn into enough ink to produce the works of Shakespeare.

  295. incidentally, the author of that article, in ch5 estimates that 121GT of carbon are emitted underwater. That is an estimate of some 139,000 underwater volcanoes inferred from typically sized oceanic plate volcanoes.

    However, its an estimate. Perhaps there isn’t a data source that says how much enters the atmosphere. I can’t imagine it all stays in the ocean. The oceans would be an acid bath, surely, if that were the case.

  296. M. D. Smith,

    I like your answers to John Finn, but he is not likely to accept them being a “true believer”. You can use this physical evidence to illustrate your sink and stopper analogy. The frigid water of the Arctic ocean is our greatest sink for CO2. Each year when it is dark and heat is radiating to space, the Arctic freezes over and stoppers the sink (and also slows the rate of heat loss). CO2 concentrations rise at a rapid rate as the stopper is being closed. Once closed, the rate of rise decreases to the long term rate that CAGW claims is from our burning fossil fuel but is more likely the rate of delivery from the equator. When the sun comes up and starts to melt the ice, CO2 concentrations decrease rapidly and reaches a minimum at the same time that the area of the ice stopper is a minimum. This observed behavior in the Artic will give you an inverse SST (skin surface temperature) – CO2 concentration correlation.

  297. Fred H. Haynie says:
    August 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Right. I used the maximum slope I could find the in seasonal data to find that the rate of exchange between oceans and atmosphere must be faster than 7.2 years (otherwise this slope could not be reached). I suspect it is actually much faster than that.

    There is a process that explains the dCO2/dT relationship. Like I said, this fast rate precludes accumulation of too much anthropogenic CO2, the drain size at the source / sink is too big to allow it. I think the rate I’ve described can be used to determine the value of the resistor in the circuit, if you will. Haven’t got all the way there. There appears to be a very free flow between atmosphere and ocean, with just the net effect visible.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to develop this?

  298. P Wilson says:
    August 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

    “Thanks for the link Slioch, but i meant objective and authoritative data.”

    That is what I provided you with.
    What you were looking for was spurious data that supports what you want to believe.

  299. Well I don’t know how many times I have mentioned here (at WUWT) that it is just 800 years since the Mediaeval Warm Period, when Temperatures were warmert than they are now.

    Also related to this and other climate fictions, is the interminably related; including here at WUWT by presumably informed PhD Physicists, misinformation that the ordinary neutral atmospheric gases, such as N2, O2, Ar, even H2, DO NOT radiate an infra-red continuum thermal spectrum of Electro-Magnetic Radiation, due to simply the atmospheric Temperature. Atmospheric LWIR emissions can ONLY come from resonance emissions from polar GHG molecules, since neutral and homo diatomic molecules have no electric dipole moment, and therefore cannot radiate EM radiation in accordance with Maxwell’s equations for the electro-magnetic field.
    Well it is time to call such theory what it is; hogwash !
    Neutral gases can; indeed must, and do emit a continuum thermal spectrum due solely to the Temperature of the Atmosphere.

    The origin of such radiation is no mystery. According to Maxwell, any varying electric current covering any non-zero distance, must result in the radiation of EM waves, that travel at the speed of light (c). Well a varying current (di/dt) is also an accelerating electric charge (d2Q/dt^2).
    Neutral gas atoms, or homo-diatomic molecules such as N2 contain electric charges (electrons and protons). Such a (gas) molecule, or atom is in free ballistic flight subject only to the gravitation force, so the acceleration is very modest.
    However eventually, the atom or molecule, will undergo collision with another, and at ordinary atmospheric Temperatures, the result is an elastic scattering; not unlike the rebound of a billiards cue ball. During the time that the molecules are in collision, so that their electrons and protons, can feel each other’s Electric fields, the charges are undergoing acceleration and according to Maxwell, they must (and do) radiate.
    Of course, the electron charge and proton charges are equal in magnitujde, so their forces are comparable. The key ingredient is that the proton to electron mass ratio is almost 1000, and the typical atmospheric gas atom has about the same number of neutrons as protons. As a result the nuclear to electron cloud mass ratio is about 2000:1, so the net repulsive forces that eventually push the atoms or molecules apart again,result in the electon cloud accelerations being around 2000 times the nucleus accelerations. So for all practical purposes as far as EM radiation is concerned, the positively charged nuclei, barely accelerate at all, compared with the electrons. The result is EM radfiation from the accelerated electrons, with only about 0.05% cancellation due to the nuclear acceleration.

    From the “Astronomy on line” web site I found this simple statement:-

    “”””” Thermal Radiation – Back to Table of Contents

    Did you know that any object that contains any heat energy at all emits radiation? When you’re
    camping, if you put a large rock in your campfire for a while, then pull it out, the rock will emit
    the energy it has absorbed as radiation, which you can feel as heat if you hold your hand a few
    inches away. Physicists would call the rock a “blackbody” because it absorbs all the energy that
    reaches it, and then emits the energy at all frequencies (although not equally) at the same rate it
    absorbs energy.

    All the matter in the known universe behaves this way.

    Some astronomical objects emit mostly infrared radiation, others mostly visible light, others
    mostly ultraviolet radiation. The single most important property of objects that determines the
    radiation they emit is temperature.

    In solids, the molecules and atoms are vibrating continuously. In a gas, the molecules are really
    zooming around, continuously bumping into each other. Whatever the amount of molecular
    motion occurring in matter, the speed is related to the temperature. The hotter the material, the
    faster its molecules are vibrating or moving.

    Electromagnetic radiation is produced whenever electric charges accelerate—that is, when they
    change either the speed or direction of their movement. In a hot object, the molecules are continuously
    vibrating (if a solid) or bumping into each other (if a liquid or gas), sending each other
    off in different directions and at different speeds. Each of these collisions produces electromagnetic
    radiation at frequencies all across the electromagnetic spectrum. However, the amount of
    radiation emitted at each frequency (or frequency band) depends on the temperature of the
    material producing the radiation. “””””

    I can’t think of any group of Physicists, whose view on EM radiation Physics is as all encompassing as the Astronomy community. The EM radiation spectrum is their laboratory.

    Compared to Astronomers, climate physicists are babes in arms; so I’ll take the Astrophysics field’s word for it, that atmospheric gases do indeed radiate a thermal continuum EM LWIR spectrum, as a part of the energy flow in the earth atmosphere.

    GHG molecules that produce and absorb LWIR radiation due solely to molecular resonance processes, are not all that atmospheric LWIR radiation is all about.

  300. So the amount of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere is related to the size of the drain into the sink. It can be a giant sink, but if the drain size is small (low flow rate), then emissions will accumulate in the atmosphere and should be detectable. But we can see from the data that the ocean is both a source and a sink. And we know from the data that the reaction rate is very high, dwarfing emissions. So we must conclude that the the size of the opening to this source / sink is very large. This is the part that is unmistakeable in the data. If that is true, then the total accumulation MUST be mostly related to temperature and the ocean’s equilibrium level.

    You’re missing the mechanism for the sink – carbon dioxide is heavier than air, takes work to get it to rise in air and will always displace air to sink to the surface, and, readily joins with water to form carbonic acid, i.e. rain. It’s a constant turnover, ‘accumulation’ doesn’t factor in, the term/concept here is residence time.

    I used the maximum slope I could find the in seasonal data to find that the rate of exchange between oceans and atmosphere must be faster than 7.2 years (otherwise this slope could not be reached). I suspect it is actually much faster than that.

    http://www.c3headlines.com/2009/09/the-liberal-attack-on-science-acorn-style-the-ipcc-fabrication-of-atmospheric-co2-residency-time.html

    Note though, the IPCC line is the ‘propaganda’ line; when delving into the actual figures produced by the IPCC, hidden in the morass of information, the figures are different:

    Regardless of which way one poses the problem, the existing CO2 in the atmosphere has a mean residence time of 1.5 years using IPCC data, 3.2 years using University of Colorado data, or 4.9 years using Texas A&M data. The half lives are 0.65 years, 1.83 years, and 3.0 years, respectively. This is not “decades to centuries” as proclaimed by the Consensus. Climate Change 2001, Technical Summary of the Working Group I Report, p. 25. See The Carbon Cycle: past and present, http://www.colorado.edu/GeolSci/courses/GEOL3520/Topic16/Topic16.html & Introduction to Biogeochemical Cycles Chapter 4, http://www.colorado.edu/GeolSci/courses/GEOL1070/chap04/chapter4.html, UColo Biogeochem cycles.pdf; The Carbon Cycle, the Ocean, and the Iron Hypothesis, http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/carboncycle.htm

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2007/06/on_why_co2_is_known_not_to_hav.html

  301. Edim,
    “I agree with the arguments in your presentation. What do you think of the similarity of the variations in global sea ice and CO2 rate of change (double peak)? Coincidence?”
    The double peak in the global sea ice is the results of adding opposing cycles of different amplitude that are slightly out of sink. I have found in curve fitting the CO2 annual variation that there are possibly two cycles with different shapes operating at the same time. One has the modified triangle form cos(2*PI*t+b)+cos(2*(2*PI*t+b))/4+cos(3*(2*PI*t+b))/9. The other has the sawtooth form sin(2*PI*t+c)-sin(2*(2*PI*t+c))/4. Together, these two functions can give you the double peak. In multiple regression analysis, the coefficients for these two functions vary systematically with latitude, but not longitude. The maximum amplitudes are at Arctic sites. There is hardly any amplitude around 10S. In the southern hemisphere, the direction changes and a much smaller maximum amplitude shows up around the edge of the ice. The climate behavior at the poles are poles apart in many ways.

  302. well slioch, i’m not going in for this tit for tat “my source is more impartial than yours”. or even a compromise that 121GT per annum is too much whilst 145MT is too little, Since your link comes from the said source, the British Geologic survey under that guise of certainty in what is obviously an unresearched field, with the title of “volcanic contribution to carbon cycle” subheaded “sustainable and renewable energy”, it comes form the same hymn sheet that Schmidt and consensus bearing climate scientists opt for – assuming that you’re referring to point 7 in the contents of the British geological survey paper. I assume its therefore a fairly recent document What is amiss is that terrestrial and submarine volcanoes emit large amounts of *fossil fuel* c02 when they are not active or erupting, so they are not measured, and this process is continual ,and goes back a long period in time -that might go some way to understanding why there’s such a huge reservoir of c02 in the oceans – assuming that a heck of a lot of it has the identical isotope of anthropogenic co2, then any appraisal of aerial co2 is pure guesswork.

  303. as an addendum, I don’t think that guesswork from a consensus, which makes assumptions from a position of a lack of knowledge or research is what goes on between the mantle and the oceans, or inferences from non-consensus scientists are going to provide real data from natural c02 sources from the earth,

  304. Fred,

    I understand where the double peak in global sea ice comes from. My question is if this double peak causes the same in dCo2? Probably not.

  305. Ferdinand:

    To quote the nightmare of someone else, “I’m back”.

    I am now looking at your points to me at August 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

    You say;
    “Please Richard, the influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change is known for decades. It is acknowledged by sceptics (Dr. Spencer and many others and now Prof. Salby) as well as by warmers. My information is from a “warmer” I respect for his scientific integrity: Pieter Tans, head of the NOAA unit which runs the baseline stations where CO2 is measured.”

    Firstly, your statement is misleading. The people you cite do NOT agree on “the influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change”. Indeed, Salby concludes that temperature probably governs atmospheric CO2 concentration in his presentation which is the subject of this thread.

    You choose to accept the work of Tans (whose integrity I have never questioned).

    But I choose to accept the empirical data. It shows the exchange of CO2 between ocean surface layer and the air can be much faster than is needed to provide all the observed rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since measurements began at Mauna Loa in 1958. Michael D Smith gives a very good explanation of this in this thead at August 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm .

    However, that information is short-term. If CO2 were to be released from the ocean surface layer over a long period then the surface layer may become depleted in CO2. In that case, the rate controlling factor would be how fast CO2 is supplied to the surface layer from deep ocean, but that supply rate is not known.

    So, if the short-term ocean/air exchange rate can be sustained then the observed temperature changes could be expected to have provided the increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration which is observed at Mauna Loa since 1958.
    But
    if the short-term ocean/air exchange rate denudes the ocean surface layer of CO2 then large exchange rates may only occur for one or two years and then CO2 supply from deep ocean would limit the rate at which atmospheric CO2 concentration could rise. If that possibility is true, then the CO2 in the ocean surface layer is sufficient for annual fluctuation in-and-out of the ocean and occassional ENSO fluctuations, but only the rate of CO2 supply from deep ocean could enable the increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration which is observed at Mauna Loa since 1958. However, as I said, we do not know that supply rate. It could be sufficient to permit the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1958. Alternatively, the supply rate from deep ocean may be so little that – for all observable purposes – it could be considered to be zero.

    Hence, I stand by my statement that said, “The temperature changes could be the cause of all or none of “the variability in sink rate / increase speed”.

    Then you repond to my having disputed your assertion that
    ““temperature changes largely compensate each other over 2-3 years”.
    by saying;
    “Simply make a 3-years moving average. I haven’t done that, but have a look at the 21 year averaging of the temperature record:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
    Over time you see flat periods and periods where the average temperature increases. That means that the short term responses in both directions fully compensate each other in flat periods and there is a residual plus in upgoing periods.

    Sorry, but that is a ‘non sequitor’.
    You said the effects of temperature “largely compensate” over 2 to 3 years.
    You now try to justify that by claiming the “short term responses” compensate within 2 to 3 years. Well, they are “short term”, but so what?
    Importatly, you admit “there is a residual plus in upgoing periods”.

    That “residual plus” is the rise in atmospheric cO2 concentration since 1958 that we are talking about”!
    I say we need to determine its cause which is probably the temperature rise.
    You say you know it is caused by the anthropogenic emission.

    It is not reasonable to reject temperature change as a cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration because “temperature changes largely compensate each other over 2-3 years” when only the short term changes do that and the longer term changes are the possible cause of the rise.

    Richard

    PS I apologise that I could not give this reply until now but I am sure you know why.

  306. Myrrh says:
    August 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the info. So it looks like I’m on the right track that the turnover must be much faster than the maximum seasonal slope in CO2 would indicate (maybe this is where the 4x factor comes from). I’ll read up and see what comparisons I can make. If turnover is that fast, I’m sorry, but there isn’t a snowball’s chance of accumulating much CO2 in the atmosphere. We just don’t have enough supply to do that, we can’t burn it fast enough. Unless we make some severe restrictions on ocean mixing, like it only affects the first few meters.

    Agree rain is a good way to scrub CO2, but it only works in one direction. The rate is large in both directions. Surface absorption must be really efficient too.

    The mass of CO2 is meaningless at normal temperatures on earth. Diffusion will mix CO2 (and any other gas, even Xenon) to an even distribution so fast you won’t believe it. It can’t “settle out”, it’s constantly being bounced around and mixed by the property of having temperature. The molecules will be a long way away from where they started before you know it. I could see gravity taking over at something near absolute zero, but, really, for all practical purposes, gravity has nothing to do with it. I don’t remember the substance, but the science teacher opens a bottle of something smelly with a very small molecule size, and you could smell it in the back of the room in a few seconds. The lightest molecules do diffuse the fastest, but they ALL diffuse too fast to prevent rapid mixing.

    Agree the IPCC has their foot on the scale. I loved Susan Solomon’s study saying the effects will last thousands of years… Right. If we could only find enough carbon to burn.

    Busy week, but I’ll work on some equations and see if I can figure out what the maximum human signal that could be registered would be given the turnover rates. The rest must be temperature. There is a very slightly rising rate, so maybe that is related to both increasing emissions and ocean equilibrium pushing back, and from there, we might be able to deduce mixing depth. It’s a stretch, probably too many unknowns. It’s no wonder they have have to press on the scale so hard, with fast turnover, AGW implodes. Again.

  307. Edim,
    “I understand where the double peak in global sea ice comes from. My question is if this double peak causes the same in dCo2? Probably not.”
    Proximity of the CO2 measuring sites to the sinks affects the amplitude of both the observed cycle types but not the same. I don’t think you will be able to see double peaks in the Southpole CO2 data; and possibly not in any of the southern hemisphere data.

  308. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

    He probably is right. But please pay attention to the word “variation”. Temperature is the cause of the variability of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. But look at the graphs in Knorr: the emissions are about twice the increase in the atmosphere and twice their variability. Thus his assumption that 80% of the increase in the atmosphere is by temperature doesn’t hold.

    Huh? In 1998 atmosphere increased by 5ppm. Anthropogenic emission was 3ppm. Where’d the other 2ppm come from if not from El Nino warming of the Pacific? Moreover, where did it go if it didn’t remain resident in the atmosphere? I believe this demonstrates the ocean can be a net source of CO2 in any given year. The question this raises is whether it can be a net source over 50 years. Or 250 years. Salby believes it can and the only thing standing in the way of Salby’s hypothesis is C12/C13 ratios which are held up by climate boffins as confirmation that accumulation is anthropogenic in nature. I never found the C12/C13 ratio a credible confirmation and now there’s some support for my lack of confidence of it in the literature.

    Again this is not to say CO2 rise over the past 250 years is NOT anthropogenic in origin. I’m just saying there’s nothing to prove or disprove that claim. There is correlation, compelling correlation IMO, but correlation is not causation.

  309. Rainwater has the ability to wash CO2 out of the atmosphere, and may be an important mechanism in the ocean – atmosphere exchange.

    Rough estimate of CO2 in rainwater is on the same order as the TOTAL annual CO2 atmosphere exchange.

    From a global water balance, I found an estimate of total global rainfall that came to about 100,000 Gt/yr (as H2O) over land, and 400,000 Gt/Yr over the oceans. CO2 is fairly soluble in water, and the colder the water, the more CO2 it can hold. The CO2 in ‘natural’ rainwater lowers the pH from neutral 7 to around 5.7. Since the observed pH of rainwater is similar to calculated pH at CO2 saturation, that suggests that rainwater, if not saturated with CO2, is fairly close to holding as much as it can. At saturation, the dissolved CO2 in water would be 0.23 g CO2/100g water at 10 deg C, at 15 deg C dissolved CO2 is 0.20 g/100g and at 20 deg C the dissolved CO2 would be 0.18 g/100g.

    Global average air temperature is around 15 deg C, but that varies widely over the planet, and of course the temperature of rainwater in the top of a cloud may not be the same as an average ground temperature. Just to get a rough idea of the magnitude of CO2 in rainwater, I did a couple calculations using the CO2 solubility at 20 deg C (warmer, holds less CO2) and at 10 deg C (colder, holds more CO2). Rainfall over land calculates as 49 to 68 Gt CO2/yr (as Carbon so we can compare to the atmospheric CO2 estimates). And for the ocean rainfall, it comes to 183 Gt/yr to 252 Gt/yr (as carbon). The land rainfall could end up ’stored’ in a river or lake, go into the soil or plants, or could splat on a parking lot and re-release the CO2 to the air when the water evaporates. My guess is the ocean rainfall could most likely be incorporated into the ocean and the CO2 with it (there is way more CO2 dissolved in the oceans than ‘free’ in the atmosphere).

    So how much is that compared to CO2 estimates in the atmosphere? For CO2 in the atmosphere (around 380 ppm at the time I did the calculation) it was estimated that the atmosphere contained about 750 Gt (Gt =gigatons, CO2 expressed as equivalent amount of Carbon). The amount of CO2 that is cycled into and back out of the atmosphere is estimated to be on the order of 150 to 220 Gt per year due to a variety of natural (volcanism, forest fires, vegetation decay, ocean offgassing, etc) and man-made (burning organic fuels, etc) sources. The man-made CO2 totals come to about 6-8 Gt (as carbon) each year, which is only about 3 to 5% of the total emitted CO2. Atmospheric CO2 is also removed via plant growth, absorption into the oceans, etc. The net increase in atmospheric CO2 appears to be around 1.5 ppm per year, which is about 3 Gt/yr (as carbon).

    Note that these estimated rainfall CO2 values are about the same size as the total carbon cycle estimates of 150 to 220 Gt per year. This does not necessarily mean that the estimates (theirs or mine) are incorrect.The rainfall CO2 may show up in other parts of the global estimates such as an overlap of the land rainfall CO2 ending up in the plant growth CO2 estimates. Similarly we know that as ocean water warms, it releases CO2, and since we don’t have very good measurements of that released CO2, it could be that rainfall is just returning some of that unmeasured CO2 to the ocean for a ‘net’ value much lower than my calculation. And of course, my estimates include assumptions about CO2 saturation in rain water, and about the temperature of rain water. Snow or other frozen forms of precipitation may not hold much, if any CO2.

    Still, even if my estimates are 10 times too high, there is potentially still a lot of CO2 in rain water. It appears that rainwater has more than enough capability to remove all man-made CO2 on an annual basis. However, whether it stays removed is regional and situational.

  310. Dave in Delaware says:

    August 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Here is something for you to think about. Cold water is the best sink for CO2. As sea water warms as it crosses the equatorial Pacific, it not only releases CO2 into the atmosphere, it evaporates a lot more water at the same time. That vapor rises and cools and forms clouds. That cold cloud water absorbs CO2. Some of those clouds tower into the stratosphere and the water freezes and releases CO2. Some falls as rain into warmer air. Some of that rain evaporates and releases CO2. The rest returns to the ocean. This cycle may occur many times before it finally delivers CO2 to the frigid polar waters where it sinks in brines caused by freezing ice. A side note, these many evaporation/condensation/freezing cycles will tend to fractionate C12/C13 leaving more of the lighter in the stratosphere and returning the heavier to the ocean. Now see if you can figure out those rates.

  311. @Fred Haynie
    interesting cycle description, had not considered fractionation in the atmosphere.

    I have been thinking more about long term Thermohaline circulation – We often hear about CO2 being absorbed and drawn down in the frigid polar waters, but seldom mention of where that circulation comes back up to the surface in the Indian or Pacific oceans, perhaps on the order of 800+ years later.

    The returning waters will be very cold and under pressure, so they bring extra CO2 when they surface (extra as compared to an equal volume of ‘surface’ ocean). And from what I have read, the deep ocean CO2 is enriched in C12 (lower C13, even less C13 than you would get from fossil fuels). So the returning deep ocean CO2 would tend to dilute out the atmospheric C13, similar to a fossil fuel, but from a ‘natural’ source. Much like Prof Salby has described in the lead article here.

    There would also be an ENSO link – more cold upflow off the coast of South America in some phases of ENSO (CO2 released at lower surface pressure), followed by warming of those waters as an El Nino sloshes back across the Pacific, potentially releasing more of that returning deep ocean CO2.

  312. P Wilson says:
    August 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Furthermore, there is no fingerprint by which we may distinguish fossil fuel CO2 from volcanic CO2.

    Sorry, here your reference (even if he is a geologist) is wrong. Most of all active volcanoes and vents emit CO2 with high 13C content (zero +/- 10 per mil). That is because many volcanoes recycle oceanic carbonate deposits which have that 13C/12C ratio. Magmatic CO2 indeed is lower in 13C/12C ratio, and that can be used to know the origin of the CO2.

    But the main point is: can volcanoes be the origin of the recent increase in the atmosphere? Hardly: the mass balance gives an increase in the atmosphere which is less than the human emissions. That means that regardless what volcanoes do, even if they emit 100 times more CO2 than humans, all the natural emissions, including volcanoes, are more than compensated by natural sinks, wherever that may be.
    Further, there is no indication of increased volcanic activity over the past 150 years, compared to any period before, to the contrary.
    And last but not least: any increased natural activity, including volcanoes, should follow the human emssions at an incredible fixed rate, as that is what is observed.

  313. Myrrh says:
    August 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Again and again, so many are confusing residence time with excess decay time. Residence shows how long any CO2 molecule (whatever the origin) resides in the atmosphere, before being exchanged with another molecule from the oceans or vegetation. The exchange rate or throughput is inflow (or outflow) / mass in the atmosphere. That is more or less known: 150/800 GtC, or near 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with other reservoirs per year. That gives a residence time of about 5 years.
    That doesn’t give us any clue how long it takes to remove an extra amount of CO2 injected into the atmosphere (whatever its origin, human, volcanoes, warming oceans,…).
    The excess decay rate is governed by the sink rate, which currently is only 4 GtC/year. That means that of the 800 GtC carbon currently in the atmosphere (of which 200 GtC extra since 1850), only 4 GtC/year is removed. But humans emit 8 GtC per year! Thus even if we stop all emissions today, the reduction of the extra amount of CO2 needs far more time than the 5 years residence time (but far less than the hundreds of years from the IPCC), about 38 years half life. See:

    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

  314. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Firstly, your statement is misleading. The people you cite do NOT agree on “the influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change”. Indeed, Salby concludes that temperature probably governs atmospheric CO2 concentration in his presentation which is the subject of this thread.

    Not only does Salby agree with the influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change, it is the very base for his notion that that also influences the total CO2 concentration, based on the fastest rate of change seen in the record.

    And there he goes wrong.

    But I choose to accept the empirical data. It shows the exchange of CO2 between ocean surface layer and the air can be much faster than is needed to provide all the observed rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since measurements began at Mauna Loa in 1958.

    That is true and false and also what Salby expects: any temperature increase (or decrease) has a longer term influence on CO2 levels. But that can’t be right, because it violates Henry’s Law. If we start with a steady state equilibrium between atmosphere and ocean surface, then an increase of 1 degr.C gives an increase in equilibrium partial pressure of the oceans of 16 microatm. The oceans surface (the “mixed” layer) therefore emits more CO2, until the atmosphere also reaches an extra 16 microatm increase. At that moment a new equilibium is reached and the flows back and forth between the atmosphere and the mixed layer are equal.
    16 microatm (~ 16 ppmv) extra in the atmosphere needs only 32 GtC, or the equivalent of four years human emissions.

    Moreover, despite the temperature increase of the oceans, the atmospheric increase was 100 ppmv (80 ppmv since Mauna Loa started), far higher than expected from the oceans temperature increase. Thus the oceans are not the source of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, they are a net sink. That is measured as an increase of total CO2 (CO2+-bi-carbonates, DIC) in the ocean’s mixed layer by millions of ships samples and a few long term series (Bermuda and Hawaii).

    That “residual plus” is the rise in atmospheric cO2 concentration since 1958 that we are talking about”

    Over the longer term, we see that the period 1945-1975 was slightly cooling, the period 1975-2000 was warming and the period 2000-now is flat. Despite that, there was a steady increasing increase of CO2 in the atmosphere over all three periods, whithout any visible influence of the residual temperature decrease/increase/flat level. But the increase in the atmosphere follows the accumulated emissions at an incredible constant ratio…
    That is a strong indication that the longer term (2-3 years) trend is caused by the emissions, where temperature has a huge influence on short term variations around the trend, but hardly any on the trend itself.

  315. P Wilson says:
    August 7, 2011 at 3:40 am
    ….
    Since oceans regulate CO2 in the air to the most minute degree, any real increase is due to warmer oceans releasing more. There is no justification in reading human activity into an increase

    Since the start of the satellite era in 1979 MSU temps have risen by ~0.4 deg – less over the oceans. How much has SST risen? Certainly no more than 0.4 deg. Let’s be generous and call it 0.4 deg. In 1979 atmospheric CO2 levels were ~336 ppm; In 2010 they were ~390 ppm. That’s an increase of more ~54 ppm in the last 30 years. Let’s call it 50 ppm.

    Now then, we know temperature and SST, in particular, influences the CO2 growth rate in the atmosphere. We can see this in Michael Smith’s graph (posted earlier). Ferdinand Englebeen reckons the short term relationship is ~4 ppm/deg C. This looks to be about right. The net growth over an El Nino year can be as much as ~2 ppm more than over a La Nina year. Ferdinand also cites a longer term relationship of ~8ppm/deg C – a figure which is supported by Law Dome data (the most reliable ice core data).

    If ocean warming were responsible for the post-1979 increase in atmospheric CO2, the relationship would need to be ~125 ppm/deg C i.e. (50/0.4). Things are no better if we look at the longer term. The post-1900 CO2 increase is ~100 ppm. Temperatures have risen ~0.7 deg over the same period of time. This yields a relationship of ~143 ppm/deg C . These figures are so far removed from reality they are simply not credible. To show how ridiculous they are, consider CO2 levels during the recent interglacial period.

    Even if we accept Richard Courtney’s leaf stomatal CO2 level of ~330 ppm, this still leaves us with a bit of problem with the previous ice age when temperatures were ~5 deg lower. Using any of the relationships based on modern observations implies a fall in CO2 concentrations of at least 625 ppm – leaving us with a CO2 level of around MINUS 300 ppm .

    It’s complete nonsense and the whole episode is destroying the credibility of genuine climate scepticism.

    The logic of is claiming that the 3% of CO2 which humans put into the atmosphere accumulates over time to 30%, while the 97% of CO2 which nature adds to the atmosphere does not accumulate and in fact shrinks to 70% of the total is [snip]….

    You’re (completely) failing to understand what’s happening. Many people use the bath-tub analogy to explain the concept but I’ll use the CO2- atmosphere mode using simple numbers.
    Imagine a pre-industrial time where there are 600 units of CO2 in the atmosphere. During the annual carbon cycle, 120 units are emitted from the biosphere and 120 units are absorbed. Some points to notice here:

    1. Co2 in the atmosphere remains in equilibrium at 600 units.
    2. The average life-time of a unit in the atmosphere is 5 years (this ties into earlier discussions).

    Suppose we now introduce a new (non-naural) source of CO2 which adds 2 units a year (less than 2% of the natural emissions). The carbon cycle continues whereby 120 units are emitted and 120 units are absorbed but the atmospheric level has increased to 602 units. After 10 years the level is 620 units and after 100 years it’s 800 units. Another point to notice.

    Even though the non-natural source is less than 2% of the natural source, it has, over time, increased the atmospheric concentration by 33%.

    Things are a bit more complicted than I’ve just described but that’s the basic concept in a nutshell.

  316. Dave Springer says:
    August 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    In 1998 atmosphere increased by 5ppm. Anthropogenic emission was 3ppm. Where’d the other 2ppm come from if not from El Nino warming of the Pacific?

    The 1998 increase in the atmosphere was 2.6 ppmv, human emissions 3.0 ppmv. But even if the increase was higher than the human emissions, then the natural imbalance was only 2 ppmv in one year, as your figures give. In 1973, we had the same scenario, with a possible contribution by nature. All other years, nature was a (strong) sink for CO2. Averaged over 50 years, nature was a sink for about halve the mass of the emissions. Thus the true contribution of nature to the increase over the past 50 years was negative.

    This demonstrates the ocean can be a net source of CO2 in any given year. The question this raises is whether it can be a net source over 50 years. Or 250 years.

    It was in the period 250-110 years ago, when humans were emitting (very) small amounts of fossil fuels. It was probably not anymore in the period 110-50 years ago and it was definitely not in the past 50 years.

    Salby believes it can and the only thing standing in the way of Salby’s hypothesis is C12/C13 ratios which are held up by climate boffins as confirmation that accumulation is anthropogenic in nature.

    If Salby had done a little literature search about the oxygen balance, he would have known that the only other source of low 13C, the biosphere, is a net aborber of CO2, thus of 12CO2 and thus not the cause of the decline in 13C/12C ratio, leaving only fossil fuel burning as cause.

  317. Dave Springer says:
    August 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2011 at 8:37 am
    ………….
    Huh? In 1998 atmosphere increased by 5ppm.

    No it didn’t. The increase in 1998 was 2.98 ppm. However, the point is irrelevant anyway. Can you please get this and understand it.

    We know that there is year to year variation in CO2 growth rate which is temperature driven to a significant degree.

    That is not – and never was – in dispute. If there were no human CO2 emissions CO2 levels would not remain in exact equilibrium at ~280 ppm. Over a decade annual readings might be as high as 282 ppm or as low as 278 ppm; over longer periods the range could be even wider (up to 10 ppm perhaps). We know this and can explain it.

    HOWEVER, we can’t explain the medium to long term CO2 trend

    While we can explain much (not all) of the 2.98 ppm rise in the El Nino year of 1998 and much (not all) of the smaller 0.46 ppm rise in the Pinatubo-affected year of 1992 as results of temperature changes, we cannot explain

    1. The ~24 ppm increase since 1998 (temp change ~0.1 deg)
    2. The ~53 ppm increase since 1979 (temp change ~0.4 deg)
    3. The ~100 ppm increase since 1900 (temp change ~0.7 deg)

  318. Ferdinand:

    Thankyou for your response (at August 8, 2011 at 1:53 am) to my post (at August 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm).

    As always, I appreciate that we can forcefully disagree without being disagreeable. But, with repect, your response does not address my points.

    You do make one counter-argument to me when you say;
    “That is true and false and also what Salby expects: any temperature increase (or decrease) has a longer term influence on CO2 levels. But that can’t be right, because it violates Henry’s Law.”

    Sorry, but, NO!
    The data clearly proves that Henry’s Law is not applicable in this case. Please read what I wrote.
    The fact is that the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration at times of ENSO changes proves that Henry’s Law does not apply.

    We can argue until ‘the cows come home’ as to why Henry’s Law does not apply in this case, but the data proves it does not. Therefore, any calculations based on Henry’s Law (including yours) are wrong.

    And you again assert;
    “Over the longer term, we see that the period 1945-1975 was slightly cooling, the period 1975-2000 was warming and the period 2000-now is flat. Despite that, there was a steady increasing increase of CO2 in the atmosphere over all three periods, whithout any visible influence of the residual temperature decrease/increase/flat level.”

    But there was NOT “a steady increasing increase of CO2 in the atmosphere over all three periods”, and your assertion ignores what I have written.

    At August 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm I wrote to Orson Olson saying;
    “You say,
    “However, a NOAA illustration of the Annual Mean Growth of CO2. Note the group by decade-and no relation to human emissions.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png

    Yes, and
    compare those decadal averages shifted back in time ~30 years
    to
    mean global temperature (e.g. HadCRUT, see
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ )

    Does that suggest anything to you?”

    Then (at August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm) he replied saying that it did provide him with the obvious suggestion; i.e. he said;

    “Yes. It suggests delta-T is causing rising atmospheric CO2.”

    Richard

  319. Dave in Delaware says:
    August 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    And from what I have read, the deep ocean CO2 is enriched in C12 (lower C13, even less C13 than you would get from fossil fuels).

    Sorry, but that is wrong. The deep oceans are around zero per mil d13C, the ocean surface is at 1-5 per mil, the atmosphere is at -8 per mil and declining and fossil fuels burning gives CO2 at -24 per mil in average. Thus any release of the (deep) oceans (including a two-way fractionation over the water-air border) would INcrease the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere, indeed diluting the fossil fuel signal (which is observed), but in the wrong direction…
    See:

    http://homepage.mac.com/uriarte/carbon13.html

  320. John Finn:

    I write in hope of giving you some help. At August 8, 2011 at 2:04 am you write to P Wilson and conclude by saying;

    “Things are a bit more complicted than I’ve just described but that’s the basic concept in a nutshell.”

    Many here – including P Wilson and me – are very familiar with “the basic concept” you outline but we observe that empirical data indicates it is wrong.

    You convince nobody by merely repeating what you think over and over and over ….
    You need to address the points P Wilson and others make which indicate your “basic concept” is wrong. Unless and until you do that then your repetitive posts are a waste of your time and a waste of space in this thread.

    Richard

  321. Michael D Smith says:
    August 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Michael, in you post you say

    There is a very slightly rising rate, so maybe that is related to both increasing emissions ….

    I’m sorry, mate, but unless I’ve misunderstood you, you seem to be heading completely off track. If you are referring to your graph the “very slight rising rate” you refer to is the rate of the annual growth rate NOT the rate of accumulation in the atmosphere. This is related to the annual increase in emissions – NOT the actual emissions. I’ll try to illustrate with numbers.

    Over the first 10 years of the ML record CO2, concentrations were rising at the rate of ~1 ppm per year.
    Over the last 10 years of the ML record, CO2 concentrations have been rising at the rate of ~2 ppm per year.

    The change in the rate of growth is 2ppm – 1ppm = 1ppm.

    This is the change over 50 years so the trend is 0.02ppm per year. This is predominantly determined by the year on year increase in emissions but is probably also moderated by increasing sink capacity.

    This, though, is not the same as the accumulation rate of CO2 in the atmosphere which as we’ve already noted has been between ~1ppm and ~2ppm over the past ~50 years. The accumulation rate (1.56ppm/year according to you) has seen CO2 levels rise by ~50 ppm over the period covered by your graph. The 50 ppm number is the integral (area under the curve) of your dCO2 curve. This is the gigantic elephant in the room.

    I can’t think of too many more ways of explaining this point – but try this thought experiment: If the MSU temperature anomaly were exactly ZERO for the next 10 years, (a) what would the period between 2011 and 2020 look like on your graph and (b) what would the atmospheric CO2 concentration be in 2020.

    Cheers

  322. “Moreover, despite the temperature increase of the oceans, the atmospheric increase was 100 ppmv (80 ppmv since Mauna Loa started), far higher than expected from the oceans temperature increase.”

    I think the problem there is that whilst the biosphere is playing catchup with the reduction of oceanic absorption from warmer ocean surfaces (more CO2 accumulating in the air) the biosphere itself ALSO turns into a source rather than a sink adding to the oceanic effect.

    All this is happening pretty quickly with no time for increased long term sequestration from the biosphere. So for a while during the biosphere response to more CO2 in the air the energised biosphere is pumping MORE CO2 into the air from more faster growing organisms and from more surface decay of more and larger organisms.

    So we don’t need the human emissions to account for more CO2 in the air than we would have otherwise expected from warmer ocean surfaces. The whole biosphere is at it with our contribution lost in the system because of the vast scale difference.

    It is an ever changing natural balance of differential flow rates in different parts of the system with human emissions just along for the ride.

    It simply isn’t conceivable that a mere 55% of human emissions going back into the system (after deducting the so called airborne fraction) offsets the entire absorption changes caused globally and naturally by warmer ocean surfaces and an energised biosphere leaving just the other 45% of human emissions as an addition to the atmosphere.

    The human contribution as part of the total CO2 exchange is far too small yet that is what has previously been proposed and Salby has called out on the issue.

    Humans are out of their league in this process.

  323. “However, a NOAA illustration of the Annual Mean Growth of CO2. Note the group by decade-and no relation to human emissions.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png

    No, Richard, but there is a good reason for this (Sheeesh!). The mean rate of ~1.5 ppm per year over the past ~50 years is amplified or attenuated by temperature (about the 50th time I’ve written this in one form or another). In ‘warm’ years the rise is more than ‘cool’ years. The increase in1998 (El Nino) was bigger than in 1992 (following Pinatubo)

    However, over the past 50 years, there has always been a year on year rise and the mean rate (or trend) does correlate to human emissions.

    Richard, Michael Smith, Allen Macrae, Prof Salby (if you’re reading this blog) et al
    Try the thought experiment I suggested to Michael in an earlier post, i.e.
    1. Take any global temperature data set – any one will do (GISS, UAH, Hadley) – but SST data is probably most appropriate.
    2. Plot delta_CO2 (not CO2) and the temperature anomaly (from 1) on the same graph. Michael Smith has already done this using MSU data using 12 month moving averages. (The close correlation completely debunks the notion that current CO2 levels are responding to Delta_T from previous decades or centuries)
    3. Next, assume that the temperature anomaly (mean temp in your chosen data set) remains at ZERO for the next 10 years, i.e. there is no change at all in temperature between now and 2020.

    QUESTIONS:
    1. What will the delta_CO2 curve on your graph look like over the 2011-2020 period.
    2. From your graph (or other) estimate the atmospheric CO2 concentrations in 2020.

    If you can’t be bothered to plot your own graphs –use Michael’s here:

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf

    Note the LH vertical axis uses increments of ppm/month.

  324. @ Ferdinand Engelbee August 8, 2011 at 3:30 am
    Interesting that the link you provided is the very information I was thinking of when I wrote my earlier comment. Having re-read that link, I will give you one part, but insist the the core of my comment is still valid.

    * I said … deep ocean CO2 would be ‘even less C13 than you would get from fossil fuels’. You stated – “fossil fuels burning gives CO2 at -24 per mil in average”. The article says ” The oceanic organic matter, that is, the soft parts of marine plankton –…– has a mean value for d13C of –23 ‰.” So CO2 from soft oceanic organic matter is about the same C13 as in fossil fuels, not ‘even less’ as I said.

    * However, that same link goes on to describe how the deep ocean receives the low C13 organic matter – “In contrast, deep water receives large amount of organic matter that falls from above, poor in 13C. ”
    and the article concludes –
    “This mass of water, in its route towards the south across the deep, collects organic carbon that falls from the surface level and is low in d13C. In this manner the deep NADW current becomes poorer in d13C, so that the lowest values are reached in the Pacific, at the end of its long transoceanic trajectory.”

    That last comment is what I had remembered. My contention is that, when the nutrient rich waters resurface, as they do off the coast of South America, the ‘natural’ CO2 they release would drive C13 ratios in the atmosphere in the same manner as CO2 released from fossil fuels.

  325. The most interesting part for me is during questions from 52:15 to 53:23 mins. Salby doubts the reliability of ice core CO2 concentrations as a proxy for atmospheric CO2 at the time the ice was laid down. He says to believe it is a “pitfall”, that ‘the CO2 is not representative of atmospheric CO2′ and may not even have orginated from the atmosphere. Sort frequency variations in CO2 concentration between layers disappear, the further back in time you go, indicating that diffusion between layers is the overiding influence.

  326. You need to address the points P Wilson and others make which indicate your “basic concept” is wrong.

    There is nothing in anything that P.Wilson has posted which shows that ‘my’ basic concept is wrong. Him not believing something doens’t really count, Richard.

    If P.Wilson or you could respond to my thought expreriment here John Finn says:August 8, 2011 at 5:06 am then explain the results we might start getting somewhere but I’m afraid your “repetitive posts” claiming that CO2 rise over the past 50-100 years is “a waste of your time and a waste of space in this thread”.

    Delta_T since 1958 : ~0.5 deg C
    Delta_CO2 since 1958: ~75 ppm

    Over the past 50 years Delta_T has been both positive and negative (sometimes strongly so): Delta_CO2 has always been positive.

  327. John Finn:

    Re your post at August 8, 2011 at 5:06 am, I refer you to my post which was addressed to you at August 8, 2011 at 3:31 am.

    You seem to have doubted that the advice I offered was genuine because you have ignored it. Please be assured that it was and is sincere.

    Richard

  328. John Finn:

    You are becoming tiresome.

    I have no intention of doing your “thought experiment” when I can assess and have assessed the real-world empirical data, especially when you make such plain wrong statements as “Over the past 50 years … Delta_CO2 has always been positive”.

    Read what I have written or stop bothering me. I will ignore any more of your nonsense whether or not it is addressed to me.

    Richard

  329. I notice that my copy / paste left off the last letter in the name Ferdinand Engelbeen above. My apology, the error was not intentional.

  330. Dave in Delaware says:
    August 8, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Unfortunately, the d13C level for deep ocean water is not in one of his figures, but rather deep in the text stands:
    In contrast, deep water receives large amount of organic matter that falls from above, poor in 13C. So, after remineralizing the d13C of the DIC is reduced and reaches a null, or slightly positive, value in the deep of the oceans.

    DIC is “dissolved inorganic matter”, the sum of CO2+bi+carbonates.
    Thus while organic matter from the surface sinks into the deep oceans and lowers the d13C level there, the water still is around zero d13C. Thus diluting the fossils burning signal when upwelling to the surface.

  331. oakwood says:
    August 8, 2011 at 5:57 am

    The most interesting part for me is during questions from 52:15 to 53:23 mins. Salby doubts the reliability of ice core CO2 concentrations as a proxy for atmospheric CO2 at the time the ice was laid down. He says to believe it is a “pitfall”, that ‘the CO2 is not representative of atmospheric CO2′ and may not even have orginated from the atmosphere. Sort frequency variations in CO2 concentration between layers disappear, the further back in time you go, indicating that diffusion between layers is the overiding influence.

    I am very interested to hear where Salby did find that ” knowledge”.

    1. That the CO2 is representative for the atmosphere was proven by Etheridge e.a. (1996!) with three cores at Law Dome: He measured CO2 as well as in firn as in ice bubbles at closing depth: the same levels were found. Two cores had an about decade resolution and a 20 year overlap with the South Pole direct measurements:

    2. The frequency variations are smaller for ice cores that show longer time frames, simply because that are the cores with the smallest precipitation and therefore the longest closing time (~600 years), but the longest record. But there is no measurable migration of CO2 even in the longest (and coldest) ice cores (Vostok and Dome C, resp 420,000 and 800,000 years history): The ratio between CO2 in the gas bubbles and the SH temperature proxy in the ice layer (d18O and dD) stays the same over interglacials and glacials (8 ppmv/degrC), while any CO2 migration should reduce the ratio between these two for each interglacial period, 100,000 years back in time.

  332. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 8, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I think the problem there is that whilst the biosphere is playing catchup with the reduction of oceanic absorption from warmer ocean surfaces (more CO2 accumulating in the air) the biosphere itself ALSO turns into a source rather than a sink adding to the oceanic effect.

    The biosphere is an active sink since at least 1990, including the 1998 El Nino. That can be calculated from the oxygen balance: less oxygen is used than calculated from fossil fuel burning. Thus the biosphere was a net producer of oxygen, thus a net sink for CO2 and preferably of 12CO2…

    The human contribution as part of the total CO2 exchange is far too small yet that is what has previously been proposed and Salby has called out on the issue.

    Have a look at “Le Chateliers Principle”. You have a lot of huge exchanges, which net result is app. in balance. Two possibilities to change the balance: process conditions like temperature, which have a rapid (4 ppmv/degr.C) and a slow (8 ppmv/degr.C) but limited action on CO2. Add a disturbance, even a small one, like human emissions (currently at 4 ppmv per year) and guess what will happen.

  333. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    August 8, 2011 at 7:06 am

    The question we need to answer: is the long term fossil fuel signal detectable when deluted by a long term cycle of upwelling? Also:What are the natural cycle lengths for upwelling?

  334. @Ferdinand Engelbeen
    I take the ‘remineralization’ statement as in reference to the formation of inorganic sediments.
    In the figure and supporting text, the author clearly differentiates the inorganic from organic –
    “In inorganic sediment carbonates in the sea, the d13C is 1‰ and for organic sediment carbon it is -23‰.”
    The author has proposed using deep ocean sediments as proxy for paleo reconstructions –
    “Comparison of the d13C value of planktonic fossils and benthic fossils (inhabitants of surface and deep waters, respectively) can provide indication of the intensity of oceanic productivity in the past.”
    and later
    “Currently, the value of d13C of shell carbon from benthic foraminifera in the Atlantic is larger than in the Pacific.”
    and finally
    “This mass of water, in its route towards the south across the deep, collects organic carbon that falls from the surface level and is low in d13C. In this manner the deep NADW current becomes poorer in d13C, so that the lowest values are reached in the Pacific, at the end of its long transoceanic trajectory.

    Although not specifically stated, the author seems to be saying that the deep ocean water mass is more like the organic sediment, which then has an affect on the sediments laid down in the Atlantic (upstream) and Pacific (downstream) sediment formations. However, the author is clear in the statement that the deep current becomes poorer in C13.

  335. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 8, 2011 at 3:18 am

    The data clearly proves that Henry’s Law is not applicable in this case. Please read what I wrote.
    The fact is that the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration at times of ENSO changes proves that Henry’s Law does not apply.

    Sorry Richard, but I never heard of one case where Henry’s Law is not applicable. Only that it may take some time to reach an equilibrium, but Henry’s Law still holds for all situations. Including ENSO changes.

    That the data don’t follow Henry’s Law only proves that temperature is not the driving force of the increase in CO2…

    But there was NOT “a steady increasing increase of CO2 in the atmosphere over all three periods”, and your assertion ignores what I have written.

    I said:
    ” Over the longer term, we see that the period 1945-1975 was slightly cooling”
    No matter that the yearly SST was going up and down, the average temperature in that period was cooling, over the whole period. Thus if temperature was the driving force, that should cause decreasing CO2 levels measured over the whole period (including ups and downs at the year by year scale), but we see an overall rise of CO2 in that period. Thus temperature is not the main driving force..

  336. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 8, 2011 at 7:42 am

    “Add a disturbance, even a small one, like human emissions (currently at 4 ppmv per year) and guess what will happen.”

    Okay, I’d like to play the guessing game with you. My guess is longer growing seasons in higher latitudes, increased primary productivity in the food chain, and lower fresh water requirement per unit of green plant mass.

    What’s your guess?

  337. Dave in Delaware says:
    August 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

    In this manner the deep NADW current becomes poorer in d13C, so that the lowest values are reached in the Pacific, at the end of its long transoceanic trajectory.

    That only indicates that there is a measurable influence of organic matter on the d13C value while the NADW travels from the NE Atlantic to the Pacific equator, but doesn’t specify what the “lowest” value is. But there are other sources which make that clear:

    http://ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu/ees123/caiso.htm

  338. John Finn says:
    August 8, 2011 at 2:45 am

    “That is not – and never was – in dispute. If there were no human CO2 emissions CO2 levels would not remain in exact equilibrium at ~280 ppm.”

    That’s a nice hypothesis. What experiment was performed to verify or falsify it?

    I’m sorry if conducting science by the scientific method is inconvenient for you but I must insist upon it. Otherwise I’m just going to shrug off such claims as the above as “just-so stories”.

  339. PS to Finn:

    See Knorr 2009 figure 2 which shows ~5ppm increase in atmospheric CO2. Mauna Loa gives the same year at 3ppm. I believe the difference is Knorr isn’t using a single source for the data as you appear to be doing. Using a single source when more than one source is available isn’t usually considered good form and in less charitable terms is called “cherry picking”.

    http://radioviceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

  340. Ferdinand:

    You say to me:
    “Sorry Richard, but I never heard of one case where Henry’s Law is not applicable. Only that it may take some time to reach an equilibrium, but Henry’s Law still holds for all situations. Including ENSO changes”

    No! Henry’s Law is ONLY applicable to chemical interactions. It says nothing whatsoever about biological responses. The biosphere is a major part of the carbon cycle on land and in the oceans.

    For example, the ocean surface layer is full of life forms. So, the rise of dissolved CO2 in the ocean could be a response to altered biological activity in the ocean surface layer (I don’t think it is but we do not know sufficient to say it is not) and – if so – then that could be the reason for increased atmospheric cO2 concentration.

    You continue to think of the system as being static. It is not. It changes in response to conditions because biota do that.

    Richard

  341. Dave Springer says:
    August 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    PS to Finn:

    See Knorr 2009 figure 2 which shows ~5ppm increase in atmospheric CO2. Mauna Loa gives the same year at 3ppm.

    Dave

    As Ferdinand and I both pointed out the actual rise is not terribly relevant. It’s perfectly plausible that in a strong El Nino-affected year more CO2 could be emitted and less absorbed than normal. I would tend to go for the Mauna Loa figure but if the Knorr figure was correct it wouldn’t change anything.

    That’s a nice hypothesis. What experiment was performed to verify or falsify it?

    Not an experiment but actual data, i.e. the Law Dome ice core record. Although there is ~8 year smoothing but you can clearly see a drop of ~10ppm from MWP to LIA. But Micahel Smith’s graph (and others like it) is the real clincher.

    http://naturalclimate.home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf

    See how Delta_CO2 tracks temperature. Now then, Dave, here a question for you. Let’s just suppose that the MSU temperature anomaly over the next 10 years remained at exactly ZERO i.e. there was no warming or cooling.

    What would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to be in 2020? (They’re at ~390 ppm at the moment)

  342. According to a chart in IPCC 4 global sea surface temperature has increased pretty much on a straight line by 0.8C. While difficult to estimate the CO2 outgassing according to Henry’s Law it estimated that a 1C rise in ocean surface temperature will raise atmospheric CO2 by 150ppm.

    So we should expect that ocean outgassing in the past 100 years would produce an atmospheric CO2 rise of 120ppm. The actual rise in that 100 years is actually a bit less than 120ppm.

    Clearly something doesn’t add up when we factor in anthropogenic emissions of nearly 240ppm (if it was all retained) during that 100 years. Dig it. Starting from a base amount of 280ppm combined anthropogenic emission and ocean outgassing should have added another 360ppm to bring the total up to 620ppm. Yet it’s not quite 400ppm in actuality.

    Just as clearly, the carbon cycle is not sufficiently well understood for “just-so stories” about how much CO2 rise is due to anthropogenic contributions. Evidently there are carbon sinks at work which are far from adequately characterized.

    This whole debate is so riddled with poor data and just-so stories that science, like Elvis, has left the building. I am thus forced to fall back on facts – atmospheric CO2 has been rising for at least 50 years and this has a great positive effect for green plants which are the primary producers in the food chain. What’s good for the primary producers is good for everything farther up the food chain. Sure there will be displacements but the winners vastly outnumber the losers. CO2 is rising and the earth is getting greener as result. Deal with it.

  343. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 8, 2011 at 6:09 am

    John Finn:

    You are becoming tiresome.

    I have no intention of doing your “thought experiment” when I can assess and have assessed the real-world empirical data,….

    We’re looking at real world data. We’re using Michael Smith’s graph. I beginning to have serious doubts that you’re able to interpret what the graph is saying. It’ s a simple question rather than a thought experiment, i.e.

    Using the graph what would you expect the CO2 level to be in 2020 if temperatures remained constant for the next 10 years?

    It’s just interpretation of the graph. If you can’t do it – just say you can’t do it.

  344. Richard S Courtney says “So, the rise of dissolved CO2 in the ocean could be a response to altered biological activity in the ocean surface layer (I don’t think it is but we do not know sufficient to say it is not) and – if so – then that could be the reason for increased atmospheric cO2 concentration.”

    Oh give me a break – a MASSIVE shift in the biology of organisms in a very short (evolutionary speaking) time as a way of not acknowledging our changing the chemistry of something as vast as the ocean via the CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere.

    Let’s see the evidence for that Richard…

  345. Dave Springer

    Here’s another question for you. In an earlier post you wrote

    Note in 1997 atmospheric CO2 increase was about 2ppm. In 1998 it was 5ppm. In 1999 it was 2ppm again.

    Why didn’t CO2 decrease in 1999? After all SST in 1999 was cooler than in 1997. You see, you are happy to accept as perfectly natural a situation where delta_CO2 only ever seems to go up.
    If it’s warm CO2 goes up; if it cools CO2 still goes up but by a smaller amount.

    When does it actually go down, Dave?

  346. @John Finn

    “Not an experiment but actual data, i.e. the Law Dome ice core record. Although there is ~8 year smoothing but you can clearly see a drop of ~10ppm from MWP to LIA. But Micahel Smith’s graph (and others like it) is the real clincher.”

    Data is acquired by experiment. You really don’t understand the scientific method at all do you?

    But more to the point your hypothesis is that absent anthropogenic CO2 emission atmospheric CO2 would be stable in the range of 278-282ppm. You can’t just presume that everything else was equal in the past except for anthropogenic CO2 emission. Assumptions like that are no proper way to isolate variables. Isolating variables might also be a foreign concept to you.

    But let’s talk more about ice core data. The data indicate that during interglacial periods CO2 is stable around 280ppm and during glacial periods it is about 200ppm. How on earth is there such a small difference (80ppm) when ocean surface temperature varies by 10C over that same period and while Henry’s Law predicts that the ocean will outgas or take up 1500ppm of atmospheric CO2 for a 10C change in surface temperature.

    There is quite clearly a great attractor of some sort in the carbon cycle which is poorly understood. My guess is that during ice ages, both interglacial and glacial periods, the atmosphere and the biosphere is starved for CO2. Outside of ice ages, which is beyond the reach of ice cores into the past, CO2 proxies in the geologic column indicate stable levels of CO2 at around 2000ppm persisting for tens or hundreds of millions of years with temperate zones extending to the poles and a complete absence of arctic zones. Yet global average temperature in those long epics is only about 8C above modern interglacial temperature. Actually that lines up pretty well with Henry’s Law. It’s the tiny difference between modern glacial and interglacial CO2 level that’s the real head scratcher. Personally I think the answer lies in biological sensitivity to carbon dioxide not climate sensitivity. But that’s just another just-so story like yours only mine is a different story. The cool thing about just-so stories is everyone and anyone can make them up and they’re all equal.

  347. @Finn

    Now then, Dave, here a question for you. Let’s just suppose that the MSU temperature anomaly over the next 10 years remained at exactly ZERO i.e. there was no warming or cooling.

    What would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to be in 2020? (They’re at ~390 ppm at the moment)

    Hard to say. I believe the great attractor is average ocean temperature top to bottom and that it takes tens of thousands of years for it to equalize in response to changes in forcing. The deep ocean is still outgassing CO2 due to a positive change in surface forcing that began over 10,000 years ago. The average temperature of the global ocean is 4C which can only be explained as the average temperature surface layer temperature over a complete glacial/interglacial cycle which is long enough for the deep ocean below the thermocline (90% of the ocean lies below the thermocline). This the only explanation I can come up to explain why there’s so little difference in CO2 level between glacial and interglacial periods. Ten thousand years of mildly elevated surface temperature isn’t long enough to have much effect on total ocean average temperature.

  348. John Finn says:
    August 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    “Why didn’t CO2 decrease in 1999? After all SST in 1999 was cooler than in 1997. You see, you are happy to accept as perfectly natural a situation where delta_CO2 only ever seems to go up. If it’s warm CO2 goes up; if it cools CO2 still goes up but by a smaller amount. When does it actually go down, Dave?”

    If I let a bottle of beer warm up it outgasses a lot of CO2 in a short period of time. If I put the glass of flat beer in the fridge it won’t become very carbonated again. The ocean has a huge reservoir of dissolved CO2 at depth due to very high pressure. Indeed droplets of liquid CO2 were recently discovered in deep ocean trenches. When the surface layer warms it is rapidly depleted in CO2 and isn’t replenished from below because warm water rises. As the ocean cools the surface layer sinks and is replenished by CO2 rich water from the lower reserves. Thus the partial CO2 pressure in the surface layer rapidly depletes into the atmosphere while warming and is replenished from below, not from the atmosphere, during cooling.

    It all makes sense if you know some basic physics and pause long enough to think it through.

    Water runs the climate parade on this planet. Once you understand the physics of water everything makes sense. The atmosphere’s main role is providing enough surface pressure for water to be liquid over a range of 0-100C allowing a global ocean to exist in the first place. The sun’s main role is providing enough energy to the ocean to keep somewhere in that range. It’s largely a self-regulating system after that with negative feedback from clouds that prevent runaway greenhouse. Unfortunately there’s nothing stopping a runaway freeze as once water turns to ice the albedo changes radically and it doesn’t absorb enough energy to melt until, it is believed, volcanic activity over millions of years darkens the surface with soot and builds up non-condensing greenhouse gases until the combined effect is enough to initiate a melt.

  349. Dave

    I wasn’t sure where to start to respond to your post(s). I’ve plumped for the little gem above. So let’s just take in some of the detail. First, you say that ocean temps varied by 10 deg C over the glacial/interglacial period. This is possibly true at a regional level but I’m not sure it’s as high as that globally but we’ll let that pass. You then go on to say

    Henry’s Law predicts that the ocean will outgas or take up 1500ppm of atmospheric CO2 for a 10C change in surface temperature

    Right then, Dave, so when the next ice age comes around and surface temperatures have dropped, say, 6 degrees below those at present we can expect atmospheric CO2 levels to be what exactly? Bear in mind that they are ~390 ppm at the moment. It’s just that by my reckoning you are expecting a 900 ppm drop.

    Do you think it’s possible you haven’t really understood Henry’s Law when applied to the CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere. Just a thought

    Data is acquired by experiment. You really don’t understand the scientific method at all do you?

    I admit to be a bit bemused by your particular brand of science, Dave. I wouldn’t let it worry you, though, you’re not alone.

  350. Fun Facts For Finn

    1) warm water rises
    2) cool water sinks
    3) volcanoes emit CO2
    4) vast majority of earth’s volcanoes are underwater where new crust is formed
    5) due to extremely high pressure deep ocean can hold a huge amount of CO2 in solution
    6) exchange rate between deep ocean and surface layer is limited by temperature stratification

    Now let’s go over once again what happens to the surface layer as it warms and cools with regard to dissolved CO2. As the surface layer warms it remains at the surface because warm water rises. As it warms its ability to hold CO2 in solution declines according to Henry’s Law. If offgasses CO2 to the atmosphere as it warms. As the ocean cools the surface layer sinks and is replaced by deeper water. The deeper water is richer in CO2 because of higher pressure. Thus the equilibrium pressure between atmosphere and ocean is reestablished during cooling not by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere but rather by CO2 rich water from below rising to replace the CO2 deficient water at the surface.

    Any questions?

    I’d be really amused if you somehow tried to argue the basic physics involved here so feel free to try disputing the Fun Facts For Finn enumerated above. And if you don’t care to go there, thanks for playing.

  351. @Finn

    “Do you think it’s possible you haven’t really understood Henry’s Law when applied to the CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere. Just a thought.”

    Not at all. It won’t decline to zero because the oceanic CO2 reservoir is constantly replenished by deep sea volcanoes which ring the earth like the seams on baseball.

    I’m still waiting for you to somehow dispute the physics of dissolved CO2 level in ocean surface layer in response to warming and cooling. The physics say that partial pressure in the surface layer outgasses rapidly to the atmosphere during warming because warmer water doesn’t sink but during cooling the partial pressure rises by the cool water sinking and being replaced by CO2 rich water from deeper down.

    That’s what the physics have to say. If you have something different to say I’d love to hear it. I’ll take silence to mean you now understand the physics but are embarassed to admit I had to explain it to you. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I can spoon feed this stuff to you if you stop making faces and spitting it out.

  352. @John Finn

    Henry’s Law predicts that the ocean will outgas or take up 1500ppm of atmospheric CO2 for a 10C change in surface temperature

    Right then, Dave, so when the next ice age comes around and surface temperatures have dropped, say, 6 degrees below those at present we can expect atmospheric CO2 levels to be what exactly? Bear in mind that they are ~390 ppm at the moment. It’s just that by my reckoning you are expecting a 900 ppm drop.

    There’s an old saying, John, that you can’t draw blood from a turnip. Prior to the most recent ice age atmospheric CO2 was, according to the geologic column, 1500ppm higher. Henry’s Law works perfectly well. It’s just that it doesn’t work at the same rate in both directions due to the physical properties of water. Offgassing happens fast because the warming ocean surface layer is trapped on the surface. Absorption happens very slowly because the cooling surface layer sinks and is replaced by CO2-rich water from below. Moreover there appears to be a floor on how low CO2 can get which is damn fortunate because below 200ppm plants start dying for lack of it. The ocean would still have enough to sustain aquatic life but it’d a real bitch if terrestrial life gets wiped out during an ice age and has to crawl out of the ocean all over again. Whether the floor is established by the slow exchange between deep CO2-rich ocean water and surface layer or by surface volcanic activity or some combination of both I haven’t a clue. All I know is that something keeps it fluffed up enough so that terrestrial life isn’t completely wiped out.

  353. Dave Springer says:
    August 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    See Knorr 2009 figure 2 which shows ~5ppm increase in atmospheric CO2.

    Dave, Knorr uses GtC as unit, 1 ppmv is about 2.1 GtC…

    But in fact it doesn’t matter, as John Finn already said, if that is a one-year extra increase, there were at least 48 years of far less increase than the emissions…

  354. Bystander:

    I understand the tactic of trolls acting as a relay team. John Finn has exhausted my patience but Dave Springer continues to engage with him by ‘rubbing his nose’ in his own nonsense.

    I have read your posts on WUWT and elswhere. If you think I am going to help you to ‘pick up the baton’ dropped by Finn then you are very much mistaken. I have much, much better things to do with my time.

    Richard

  355. Not at all. It won’t decline to zero because the oceanic CO2 reservoir is constantly replenished by deep sea volcanoes which ring the earth like the seams on baseball.

    Oh Goody.

    Right – so to what level will it decline? And about these volcanoes – how much CO2 do you think they need to emit to offset the removal of 600-700 ppm from the atmosphere by the oceans.

    A bit more on Law Dome data for you

    http://www.john-daly.com/bull120.htm

    This is a paper by Vincent Gray (a sceptic). If you read the whole paper inlcuding comments you might notice the name of a regular poster praising the paper. The key point, though, is the delta_C02 of ~10 ppm over the period of the period of the MWP and LIA (1006-1800). Vincent Gray makes the following comment:

    There was variability in the order of 10ppmv between 1006 and 1800.

    That’s a bit less than the ~150 ppm per deg C that you claim. There’s no easy way to say this, Dave. Your understanding of Henry’s Law is screwed. Ferdinand Engelbeen has posted on Henry’s Law either on this thread or on the corresponding one at Jo Nova’s (link at top of page). Find it and read it.

  356. Dave Springer says:
    August 8, 2011 at 10:02 am

    While difficult to estimate the CO2 outgassing according to Henry’s Law it estimated that a 1C rise in ocean surface temperature will raise atmospheric CO2 by 150ppm.

    Dave, where did you obtain the 150 ppmv? According to measurements, the pCO2 of the oceans in average increases with 16 microatm for each degr.C. That means that a 16 microatm increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (about 16 ppmv, minus water vapour pressure) is sufficient to reach a new equilibrium between pCO2(aq) and pCO2(atm).

    The pCO2(aq) is measured by bringing seawater in contact with a small portion of air. After thorough mixing, the CO2 in the above air is measured (after drying over a cold trap). Thus that measures what the equilibrium CO2 in the atmosphere is for the CO2 pesent in the ocean water at the temperature in the water. That equilibrium tells you how much the atmospheric CO2 pressure should increase or decrease to reach a new steady state with the oceans.

  357. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm.

    …..

    Dave, Knorr uses GtC as unit, 1 ppmv is about 2.1 GtC…

    But in fact it doesn’t matter, as John Finn already said, if that is a one-year extra increase, there were at least 48 years of far less increase than the emissions

    I didn’t actually look at the Knorr stuff though I did think the numbers quoted by Dave were a bit off. Now I know Knorr uses GtC as the unit that explains a lot. On a separate issue can you direct Dave to your post on Henry’s Law. Dave seems to think that 150ppm/deg C is consistent with Henry’s Law.

  358. Fred H. Haynie says:
    August 8, 2011 at 7:49 am

    The question we need to answer: is the long term fossil fuel signal detectable when deluted by a long term cycle of upwelling? Also:What are the natural cycle lengths for upwelling?

    Depends of the height of the upwelling. Some time ago I have estimated the current deep ocean – atmosphere exchange (upwelling and sink) at around 40 GtC/year, based on the dilution of the d13C signal from fossil fuel burning:

    To make the fossil fuel signal completely unmeasurable seems impossible to me, because even with ten times more upwelling, the trend still can be detected.

    About the cycle lengths, all I know is that there is a seasonal cycle in the THC, and you have ENSO, which frequently alters upwelling. But I have no knowledge how other (longer) cycles influence upwelling.

  359. John Finn says:
    August 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    On a separate issue can you direct Dave to your post on Henry’s Law. Dave seems to think that 150 ppm/deg C is consistent with Henry’s Law.

    See above, but here is the text I made for JoNova:

    “The amount in the surface layer is about 1000 GtC, in the atmosphere about 800 GtC. Any increase in temperature of the surface layer of 1 degr.C will increase the CO2 pressure of the oceans in equilibrium with the atmosphere with about 16 microatm. Thus an increase of 16 microatm (about 16 ppmv) or 32 GtC in the atmosphere is enough to fully compensate for the temperature increase, so that no more CO2 is released from the oceans. But the increase in the atmosphere is over 100 microatm. That means that more CO2 is going into the oceans than is coming out… That is observed by regular ships measurements and buoys and by a few longer term series.”

    The latter series are in Bermuda and Hawaii. Here a nice overview:

    http://www.bios.edu/Labs/co2lab/research/IntDecVar_OCC.html

  360. Ferdinand:

    As usual, you provide an honest answer when you reply to Fred H. Haynie by saying;

    “About the cycle lengths, all I know is that there is a seasonal cycle in the THC, and you have ENSO, which frequently alters upwelling. But I have no knowledge how other (longer) cycles influence upwelling.”

    As you already know – but others reading this may not – your answer goes to the heart of our long-standing disagreement.

    I say that the gaps in our knowledge prevent any meaningful assessment by accountancy of flows into ‘sources’ and ‘sinks’.

    You say (as your reply to Fred illustrates) that those gaps are so unlikely to be significant that the accountancy of flows into ‘sources’ and ‘sinks’ provides useful information.

    Richard

  361. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Bystander:

    I understand the tactic of trolls acting as a relay team. John Finn has exhausted my patience but Dave Springer continues to engage with him by ‘rubbing his nose’ in his own nonsense.

    Would that be Dave “150ppm per deg” Springer, Richard?

    Bystander

    You need to be aware that Richard has derived a special case of Henry’s Law known as Courtney’s Law. Courtney’s Law quite clearly states that Henry’s Law does not apply when it is inconvenient to the argument proposed by Courtney.

    Actually Courtney’s Law can be extended across virtually any area of climate science, so when you ask Richard for actual evidence for his assertion (as you did in your post) you are violating the very essence of Courtney’s Law.

  362. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Dave Springer says:
    August 8, 2011 at 10:02 am

    While difficult to estimate the CO2 outgassing according to Henry’s Law it estimated that a 1C rise in ocean surface temperature will raise atmospheric CO2 by 150ppm.

    Dave, where did you obtain the 150 ppmv? According to measurements, the pCO2 of the oceans in average increases with 16 microatm for each degr.C. That means that a 16 microatm increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (about 16 ppmv, minus water vapour pressure) is sufficient to reach a new equilibrium between pCO2(aq) and pCO2(atm).

    The pCO2(aq) is measured by bringing seawater in contact with a small portion of air. After thorough mixing, the CO2 in the above air is measured (after drying over a cold trap). Thus that measures what the equilibrium CO2 in the atmosphere is for the CO2 pesent in the ocean water at the temperature in the water. That equilibrium tells you how much the atmospheric CO2 pressure should increase or decrease to reach a new steady state with the oceans.

    150ppm is theoretical offgassing if entire ocean surface to 30 meters rises by 1C.

    Calculations here: http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/CO2-flux.htm

    Obviously in an El Nino event only a small fraction of ocean surface is involved and the El Nino, if I recall correctly, is defined as a 0.5C or greater warming and is confined to the top 30 meters which is as deep as sunlight effectively penetrates. So we get a spike of a couple ppm in that year. It appears to remain resident in the atmosphere for quite some time due to difference in exchange rate between top 30 meters of water and below in cooling vs. warming surface water. During warming that surface layer gets trapped. Upon cooling into a La Nina the surface layer sinks and deeper water rises. CO2 is stratified so the deep water rising has greater partial pressure of CO2 than the surface water descending. The greater partial pressure of the rising water means the ocean/atmosphere is less out of equilibrium than happens when the surface layer is warming. Indeed carbon sequestration schemes are being suggested that pipe CO2 to a depth below 3000 meters where it becomes a liquid denser than water due the pressure at that depth and sinks to the bottom forming a lake of liquid CO2. No one knows how long it takes to migrate back up to the surface but the general consensus is a thousand years or more. I believe we need a lot better handle on how much CO2 is injected into the ocean by deep sea volcanoes and how long it takes to migrate to the surface. Presumably when surface temperature is colder CO2 uptake from the atmosphere rises (or outgassing slows which has the same effect) while undersea volcanic activity is independent of surface temperature. That would slow the migration rate of dissolved CO2 upward from the sea floor so total ocean reservoir rises and when surface warms up it declines. The hysteresis is not the same rate in both directions due to change in convection from surface to depth surface warming vs. surface cooling i.e. it outgasses fast and ingasses slow but in the end Henry’s Law prevails. I think this handily explains why there’s very little CO2 change (~80ppm) when moving from glacial to interglacial period and back but why there’s a gigantic change of near 2000ppm when moving from ice age to non-age and back. You have to look at rocks to get CO2 levels before the present ice age. No ice cores are that old.

    As for accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere I believe it does accumulate due to the simple fact that absorption and emission rates of the ocean differs under a warming or cooling regime. What I can’t explain, an no one can explain either, is why more of the short term emissions aren’t sticky. We’ve got to have net ocean outgassing if it’s true that ocean surface temperature worldwide has risen almost a full degree C in the past century. Something else is sequestering CO2 faster as temperature rises. I think it’s a biological response. As carbon from dead plants and animals (tissue and carbonate shells) sink to the bottom of the ocean relatively quickly and where that sequestration on the bottom of the ocean takes a thousand years to migrate back to the surface it would seem to explain the situation.

  363. Yes I have suggested that in a warmer world the increased atmospheric CO2 energises the entire biosphere including organisms in the oceans but sequestration rates lag behind so that there is more night time CO2 released from more and larger plants and organisms and more and larger dead plants and organisms decaying at the surface.

    Effectively the entire biosphere becomes a net source as a positive feedback to more oceanic CO2 release and that swamps anything that humans produce. In due course cooling occurs and sequestration catches up or even overtakes oceanic CO2 release and again our emissions are as nothing in the face that process.

    So I don’t think there is ever an accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere for long from any cause whether human or not. There is a balance set by the physical properties oceans and air (primarily mediated by temperature) which the biosphere responds to but which the biosphere (including humans) cannot disrupt for long because sequestration rates change accordingly and much of the CO2 sequestered only comes back on geological timescales.

    Salby must have some persuasive data in that direction.

  364. John Finn:

    Your post at August 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm demonstrates that you are an offensive little oik with less understanding of science than a peanut. Other than that, it is content free.

    Take your nonsense elsewhere.

    Richard

  365. John Finn:
    I’m sorry, mate, but unless I’ve misunderstood you, you seem to be heading completely off track. If you are referring to your graph the “very slight rising rate” you refer to is the rate of the annual growth rate NOT the rate of accumulation in the atmosphere.

    No one is going off the track, John, you’re just finally starting to understand what I’ve been saying all along. I know there is a previous post, but let me respond to this one first.
    1) Read the chart. Don’t read into the chart. You seem to now be interpreting correctly, but you were applying it incorrectly and leaving out a term before, which I’ll get to later.
    2) You are correct that you are seeing a slope in the derivative. This indicates acceleration in the primary function. What did you think the derivative would look like? We do see this acceleration, do we not?
    3) Answers to your questions (a) straight across at 0.13 ppm per month, (b) 390+0.13*120=405.6. Note that since we have eliminated the upward slope in the first derivative, this now becomes a linear increase in CO2 level, instead of an accelerated one.
    4) You make the claim at August 8, 2011 at 5:06 am in this quote “Plot delta_CO2 (not CO2) and the temperature anomaly (from 1) on the same graph. Michael Smith has already done this using MSU data using 12 month moving averages. (The close correlation completely debunks the notion that current CO2 levels are responding to Delta_T from previous decades or centuries).”

    I was thinking just the opposite. Please explain you you can come to this conclusion from the data provided. The relationship remains in effect until the entire system reaches equilibrium. The problem is, we don’t know where the equilibrium point is because the temperature response of the ocean is so slow. But we do know that the air temperature was lower during the LIA and has been increasing ever since. As I mentioned earlier, if we simply apply the rates per month from the chart to an increasing slope over time, you get CO2 at 748ppm. So maybe you still don’t get the chart, I can’t tell.
    5) Then you go on to talk about rates from other sources, but mix it up with my results. You just need to understand, the slope of the reaction is 0.693ppm/mo/°C, or 8.3ppm/YEAR/°C. So if the surface temp suddenly increased by exactly 1°C, and that held steady for 1 year, how much would the ppm rise? 8.3ppm. Very simple.

    But in your post of 2:04 am, and I quote “If ocean warming were responsible for the post-1979 increase in atmospheric CO2, the relationship would need to be ~125 ppm/deg C i.e. (50/0.4). Things are no better if we look at the longer term. The post-1900 CO2 increase is ~100 ppm. Temperatures have risen ~0.7 deg over the same period of time. This yields a relationship of ~143 ppm/deg C . These figures are so far removed from reality they are simply not credible.”, you claim that the total effect is somehow out of the bounds were describing, but you left out the YEAR term!

    Really, to do it correctly, you would need to assume equilibrium first, because you’re working with a rate from that, whatever it is. The more the temperature increases, assuming the ocean won’t move much, the larger the effect will be, which will give the accelerating primary function again (unless the ocean reacts quickly to reduce the distance to equilibrium, but it would have to be mighty quick to prevent an accelerating function). But let’s pretend we don’t care about that, and use your example. Post 1979 is, say, 29 years (my data ends in 2008). So the required rate is 50/0.4/29 or 4.3ppm/°C/year. (good answer, wrong method) Now, the other one… 100ppm/0.7°C/108 years = 1.32ppm/°C/year. You have to apply the rate to the years over which the temperature differential to equilibrium was active in order to integrate this.

    Note that the rate is lower the longer we look. This might be consistent with a system reacting to the impulse and moving toward equilibrium (since we know the instantaneous rate is much higher). What is removed from reality and not credible is your application of the math… ;-)

  366. Thanks Ferdinand, Richard, John and everyone else for this interesting discussion. There is a lot of knowledge here. Now I understand why nothing useful comes of climate science. Just kidding, but there certainly are a lot of factors and opinions. It would be quite interesting to take all these discussions and simply list out the factors, what influences what, what are the constraints, how good is the data, how recent, etc. From the sounds of it, we know quite a lot, we just need to put it together. Taking the entire globe, temperatures, seasons, ocean flows, bio, etc and making assumptions about factors such as ocean skin thickness, etc would go a long way toward reproducing a representation of the record and seeing what is possible under what assumptions. Great ideas on what factors are important here. This entire question is a matter of a huge collection of rates acting on each other. Probably unbelievably difficult to separate factors, but we do have quite a few “knowns” as well… Fun stuff…

  367. “”””” content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

    Richard S Courtney says:
    August 8, 2011 at 9:57 am
    Ferdinand:

    You say to me:
    “Sorry Richard, but I never heard of one case where Henry’s Law is not applicable. Only that it may take some time to reach an equilibrium, but Henry’s Law still holds for all situations. Including ENSO changes”

    No! Henry’s Law is ONLY applicable to chemical interactions. It says nothing whatsoever about biological responses. The biosphere is a major part of the carbon cycle on land and in the oceans. “””””

    I can’t read his mind; but I suspect that a point that Richard is making here, is that “Henry’s Law”
    (I’m not a Chemist, so I don’t know.) is a law relating to a system in equilibrium . And I’m with Richard, in believing that the ocean chemistry is likely never in equilibrium, and that biological activity, and variation is just one reason why it never can be.

    There iws also that slightly inconvenient factoid, that ocean currents are at most a few knots, while atmospheric wind speeds, can be orders of magnitude higher, so the atmosphere, and the ocean surface, don’t even remain in contact for large scale equilibrium per Henry’s law to establish.
    As John Christy et al reported in 2001, the oceanic surface water Temperatures, and the lower troposphere air Temperatures, are not even in equilibrium; they aren’t even correlated, which is why most of the historic record data of oceanic Temperatures deduced from surface water Temperatures, is simply bogus; the water Temperatures and the air Temperatures are’t the same, so I suspect that something more elaborate than Henry’s Law is necessary to deduce CO2 partitioning between the two media, is required..
    None of which is intended to put words in Richard’s mouth; just my observations of what I read between his lines.

  368. Dave Springer says:
    August 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    150ppm is theoretical offgassing if entire ocean surface to 30 meters rises by 1C.
    Calculations here: http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/CO2-flux.htm

    The author of that article makes a fundamental error: Henry’s Law has nothing to do with quantities, only with a ratio between what is in the liquid and in the gas phase above it for a certain substance. It doesn’t make any difference for a (full) bottle of equally carbonated soda, if it contains 0.5, 1 or 1.5 liter water if they have the same small volume of CO2 above it: at equilibrium, the same quantity and pressure of CO2 will be there at the same temperature, except for a small difference because of the relative loss of CO2 in the water (of course, the more empty the bottle gets, the more the difference will increase).

    Thus whatever the quantities in the oceans, if the oceans in average increase with 1 degr.C, the CO2 pressure, which tend to push that out of the surface, increases with 16 microatm. If the atmospheric CO2 increases with about 16 ppmv, we are just back at the state before the temperature increase. It doesn’t matter where the extra CO2 in the atmosphere comes from: the ocean surface, the deep oceans or human emissions. The latter can provide the necessary quantities in only 4 years.

  369. Michael D Smith says:
    August 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    The problem is, we don’t know where the equilibrium point is because the temperature response of the ocean is so slow. But we do know that the air temperature was lower during the LIA and has been increasing ever since.

    From ice cores, we have a pretty good idea what the equilibrium point is for any given temperature, the slope being 8 ppmv/degr.C. That is about 270 +/- 10 ppmv over the Holocene. The 8 ppmv holds for 800,000 years glacial/interglacial transitions and for the MWP-LIA transition, the latter with a resolution of 30-40 years. That doesn’t hold anymore for the past 160 years:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/antarctic_cores_010kyr.jpg
    That is the result of different ice cores with different accumulation rates and different climatological regimes…

    Thus according to the ice cores, we now sould see an increase of maximum 8 ppmv since the LIA, if the increase was 1 degr.C (probably less).

    The response of the ocean surface is quite rapid: about 1.5 years to level of any differences between the atmosphere and the mixed layer, but other responses (like vegetation and ice sheet area, changes in the deep water flows) react much slower.

    the slope of the reaction is 0.693ppm/mo/°C, or 8.3ppm/YEAR/°C.

    That is also what Salby (and Dr. Spencer in the past) thinks, as you do, he uses this slope to calculate the trend over 50 years, but that is projecting a short term trend (which reverses in the next year(s)) to a long term one. In the real trends you have periods of cooling and periods of strong warming. Despite that, the CO2 levels go up all the way, steadily accellerating. The difference in behaviour between emissions and increase and temperature and increase is striking:
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    and
    ftp://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    In the latter, one can see that a temperature change of near halve the scale has a small influence (indeed of about 4 ppmv/degr.C in one year), but at the same time, the longer term trend would be 80 (and more) ppmv/degr.C over decades, but the very long term trend would be back to 8 ppmv/degr.C for centuries to hundreds of millennia. That would need a lot of explanation.

    The emissions on the other hand explain everything, from the mass balance to the isotope ratios and the increase of biomass and amount of carbon in the upper oceans.

  370. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    To avoid any misunderstanding, in:

    the same small volume of CO2 above it: at equilibrium, the same quantity and pressure of CO2 will be there at the same temperature

    only the pressure is important for Henry’s Law, not the volume or quantity, but the volume/quantity together with the pressure is what governs the amount of CO2 that must be delivered from the water to build up the pressure (or reverse).

  371. Michael D Smith says:
    August 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Michael, to address your points

    3) Answers to your questions (a) straight across at 0.13 ppm per month, (b) 390+0.13*120=405.6. Note that since we have eliminated the upward slope in the first derivative, this now becomes a linear increase in CO2 level, instead of an accelerated one.

    Correct the 50 Quatloos prize goes to you  This tells us that if MSU temperatures fell to the mean temp for the 1981-2010 period and remained there i.e. there was no temperature change (no warming or cooling) the CO2 concentration would still increase by 15.6 ppm over the following decade. This rise cannot be temperature driven because there has been no change in temperature. It is driven by human emissions.

    There are a number of other points I ‘d like to address but am going to resist because there is one particular point where you’ve really lost the plot and it is rather crucial. It relates to this response to me (not e your comments are in bold)

    But in your post of 2:04 am, and I quote “If ocean warming were responsible for the post-1979 increase in atmospheric CO2, the relationship would need to be ~125 ppm/deg C i.e. (50/0.4). Things are no better if we look at the longer term. The post-1900 CO2 increase is ~100 ppm. Temperatures have risen ~0.7 deg over the same period of time. This yields a relationship of ~143 ppm/deg C . These figures are so far removed from reality they are simply not credible.”, you claim that the total effect is somehow out of the bounds were describing, but you left out the YEAR term!

    Firstly, Michael, the ‘YEAR’ term is simply an arbitrary time period. In this case it’s meaningful because of the annual CO2 carbon cycle but as far as the temperature increase is concerned it’s irrelevant. A one deg rise from one year to the next should ultimately give us the same result as a 0.1 deg rise in 10 consecutive years. Let’s look at another of your comments to illustrate the point

    But let’s pretend we don’t care about that, and use your example. Post 1979 is, say, 29 years (my data ends in 2008). So the required rate is 50/0.4/29 or 4.3ppm/°C/year. (good answer, wrong method) Now, the other one… 100ppm/0.7°C/108 years = 1.32ppm/°C/year. You have to apply the rate to the years over which the temperature differential to equilibrium was active in order to integrate this.

    Note your calculations (in bold), i.e.

    50/0.4/29 = ~4.3ppm/degC (i)
    100ppm/0.7°C/108 years = 1.32ppm (ii)

    Michael, you’ve used the delta_T over the entire period – you need to use the annual rate rise . The MSU trend is 0.014 deg per year . The calculation for (i) should be

    50/0.014/29 = 123 ppm/deg C (the ‘year’ term is cancelled out)

    Your calculation assumes there has been a 0.4 deg increase EVERY year. Work it through from scratch. According to you the relationship is 4.3 ppm/deg C. After year 1 we get a temp rise of 0.4 deg so dCO2 is 1.72ppm. Now in year 2 we get another 0.4 deg rise so another 1.72 ppm is added to the atmosphere and so on. After 29 years we’ve got an increase of 50 ppm and a temperature rise of 11.6 deg .

    Oh dear – I had such high hopes for you, Michael.

  372. Michael D Smith says:
    August 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks Ferdinand, Richard, John and everyone else for this interesting discussion.

    You’re welcome, Michael. However, I do strongly urge you read my post August 9, 2011 at 12:54 am.

  373. George E. Smith says:
    August 8, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I can’t read his mind; but I suspect that a point that Richard is making here, is that “Henry’s Law”
    (I’m not a Chemist, so I don’t know.) is a law relating to a system in equilibrium .

    Since Henry’s Law essentially describes how a system establishes equilibrium why would it only apply to a system which is already in equilibrium?

  374. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    “Henry’s Law has nothing to do with quantities… the same quantity and pressure of CO2 will be there at the same temperature … if the oceans in average increase with 1 degr.C…”

    Hmmm…. Wanna’ take a mulligan and try again?

  375. “The emissions on the other hand explain everything, from the mass balance to the isotope ratios and the increase of biomass and amount of carbon in the upper oceans.”

    So does God. So do Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. So does the number “42”.

    Your mass balance argument is foolish. An eminent climate scientist is calling into question your fanciful isotope ratios. The rest is part of the feedback loop sequestering the added carbon. The foundation of your house of cards rests on sand.

  376. George E. Smith says:
    August 8, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I can’t read his mind; but I suspect that a point that Richard is making here, is that “Henry’s Law”
    (I’m not a Chemist, so I don’t know.) is a law relating to a system in equilibrium . And I’m with Richard, in believing that the ocean chemistry is likely never in equilibrium, and that biological activity, and variation is just one reason why it never can be.

    Henry’s Law only says where the equilibrium setpoint is, that is all. What we know from chemistry is that if the real pressure in the atmosphere is higher than that setpoint (as is the case now: 100 ppmv above the temperature dictated equilibrium), the system tries to fight the disturbance in the direction of the setpoint. That is Le Chatelier’s Principle. Thus the system increases the flows out of and decreases the flows into the atmosphere, as far as physically and chemically possible.

    Biological processes in the ocean surface anyway play a role, by altering the chemical composition of the oceans, including free CO2 at the surface, thus by Henry’s Law, changing the setpoint. But millions of measurements simultaneous of ocean water and above air pCO2 show an average 7 microatm difference between air and oceans. Thus the average flow is from the atmosphere towards the oceans, not reverse. See Feely e.a.:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/feel2331.shtml

  377. George E. Smith:

    Thankyou for your post at August 8, 2011 at 10:39 pm.

    I write to assure you that you did not “put words in [my] mouth”. You quoted me accurately and you explained the clear meaning and implication of those words.

    Perhaps wrongly I assumed that everybody could see the troll had deliberately and grossly misrepresented what I had written and had presented that misrepresentation in a defamatory way.

    Your post states the physical facts for the benefit of any who may have been misled by the troll.
    Thankyou.

    Richard

  378. Ferdinand:

    At August 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm you say to Michael D. Smith:

    “From ice cores, we have a pretty good idea what the equilibrium point is for any given temperature, the slope being 8 ppmv/degr.C. That is about 270 +/- 10 ppmv over the Holocene. The 8 ppmv holds for 800,000 years glacial/interglacial transitions and for the MWP-LIA transition, the latter with a resolution of 30-40 years. That doesn’t hold anymore for the past 160 years:”

    Oh dear! So much trust in so unreliable a source.

    There could be no debate about the ice core data if that were all we had: one has to cope with what little one has.

    But the stomata data also exists, and it contradicts the ice core data both in terms of atmospheric CO2 concentration and variability in the past.

    The leaves of plants adjust the sizes of their stomata with changing atmospheric CO2 concentration and this permits the determination of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations by analysis of leaves preserved, for example, in peat bogs.
    (e.g. Retallack (2001), Wagner et al. (2004), Kouwenberg et al. (2003)).

    The disagreement of stomata data with the ice core data is clearly seen in all published studies of the stomata data. For example, as early as 1999 Wagner reported that studies of birch leaves indicated a rapid rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 260 to 327 ppmv (which is similar to the rise in the twentieth century) from late Glacial to Holocene conditions. This ancient rise of 67 ppmv in atmospheric CO2 concentration is indicated by the stomata data at a time when the ice core data indicate only 20 ppmv rise.

    Please note that this discrepancy in the indicted variation at that time is a factor of more than 3.3.

    This not to say that the stomata data can be trusted more than the ice core data. Both should be subject to questioning and doubt. But it is a direct proof that the ice core data are not the incontrovertible evidence of paleo atmospheric CO2 that many (including you) claim it to be.
    And it does show how ‘evidence’ is selected to fit a narrative by many (e.g. the IPCC and you) who fail to mention the stomata data or merely mention it together with unsubstantiated doubts of its validity while proclaiming certainty concerning the ice core data.

    Your statement places complete trust in the ice core data.

    OK then let us put similarly unjustifiable complete trust in the stomata data.
    The stomata data shows that when ice core data indicates a rise of 20 ppmv the stomata data indicates a rise of 67 ppmv and this is a direct factor over of 3.3

    You say the ice core data indicates “what the equilibrium point is for any given temperature, the slope being 8 ppmv/degr.C”.
    Convert that to stomata data variation (by multiplying by 3.3) and you get 26.4 ppmv/degr.C.

    8 ppmv/degr.C or 26.4 ppmv/degr.C, which is right?

    I do not trust either value. You say you trust one and ignore the other.

    Richard

    (full refs. Retallack G, Nature vol. 411 287 (2001), Wagener F, et al. Virtual Journal Geobiology, vol.3. Issue 9, Section 2B (2004), Kouenberg et al. American Journal of Botany, 90, pp 610-619 (2003), Wagner F et al. Science vol. 284 p 92 (1999)).

  379. Thanks Ferdinand. You’re finding the same thing as me. The longer the term, the lower the slope, which I think is being reduced by noise and an equilibrium effect… (your last charts show something like 0.8ppm/C/year). Agree total emissions and total CO2 match well. Should be able to deconstruct some flow rates from all of this, but I won’t have much time this week, then on vacation for 11 days… Mike S.

    PS – please replace ftp: with http: otherwise it asks for authentication…

  380. This is why I read WUWT. I sincerely appreciate the debate/discussion that Ferdinand Engelbeen and Richard Courtney have carried out. It is very educational.

  381. Ferdinand:

    At August 9, 2011 at 2:04 am you say:

    “Biological processes in the ocean surface anyway play a role, by altering the chemical composition of the oceans, including free CO2 at the surface, thus by Henry’s Law, changing the setpoint.”

    Not even close.

    Henry’s Law states:

    ‘At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.’

    We are discussing your calculations for air/ocean exchange rate in a system that is NOT at constant temperature, is NOT at equilibrium, and where the amount of CO2 in the solution is affected by the biota in the solution so never achieves an equilibrium.

    At August 8, 2011 at 1:53 am you wrote:

    “That is true and false and also what Salby expects: any temperature increase (or decrease) has a longer term influence on CO2 levels. But that can’t be right, because it violates Henry’s Law.”

    And at August 8, 2011 at 3:18 am I replied saying:

    “Sorry, but, NO!

    The data clearly proves that Henry’s Law is not applicable in this case. Please read what I wrote.

    The fact is that the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration at times of ENSO changes proves that Henry’s Law does not apply.

    We can argue until ‘the cows come home’ as to why Henry’s Law does not apply in this case, but the data proves it does not. Therefore, any calculations based on Henry’s Law (including yours) are wrong.”

    Indeed, I fail to understand why anybody would think Henry’s Law is applicable in this case.

    I can understand that the matter is way beyond the learning and comprehension of the troll, John Finn, but you surely do understand it.

    Richard

  382. Why don’t we say that Henry’s Law one of many laws that must be factored into the carbon cycle at different times in different places. Henry’s Law only gives us a theoretical equilibrium point in a static system over a great amount of time. The reality of the situation is that the system is far from static with both fast acting (days) and slow acting (millions of years) players of many different kinds and modes of operation throwing the system out of equilibrium. From winds and waves to convection currents to coriolis currents to clouds to ENSO to biology to chemistry both organic and inorganic to volcanoes and solar activity and even position in the galactic orbit and cosmic ray flux. Along with, undoubtedly, things yet to come that are complete surprises. Just about everything has a bearing on how fast or slow Henry’s Law is allowed to work towards a constantly changing equilbrium point.

  383. Dave Springer:

    re: your post at August 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Excellent! Thank you.

    Richard

  384. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 9, 2011 at 2:30 am

    re; stomata

    I’ve been over this before but perhaps not with you unless you were a chearleader for stomata density as a proxy for CO2 concentration. It’s no better at that than tree rings are as a proxy for temperature.

    Too many different things beyond just CO2 have a great influence on stomate density. Here’s an example: water

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2529243/

    Abstract

    Responses of plant leaf stomatal conductance and photosynthesis to water deficit have been extensively reported; however, little is known concerning the relationships of stomatal density with regard to water status and gas exchange. The responses of stomatal density to leaf water status were determined, and correlation with specific leaf area (SLA) in a photosynthetic study of a perennial grass, Leymus chinensis, subjected to different soil moisture contents. Moderate water deficits had positive effects on stomatal number, but more severe deficits led to a reduction, described in a quadratic parabolic curve. The stomatal size obviously decreased with water deficit, and stomatal density was positively correlated with stomatal conductance (gs), net CO2 assimilation rate (An), and water use efficiency (WUE). A significantly negative correlation of SLA with stomatal density was also observed, suggesting that the balance between leaf area and its matter may be associated with the guard cell number. The present results indicate that high flexibilities in stomatal density and guard cell size will change in response to water status, and this process may be closely associated with photosynthesis and water use efficiency.

    There are also phenotype responses at work. Evironmental conditions continuously select for seed with stomal characteristics most successful in prior generations. With everything from sunlight to water to soil to temperature to CO2 concentration playing a role in that selection.,
    Please. Ice cores are much more amenable to isolation of variables.

  385. I can understand that the matter is way beyond the learning and comprehension of the troll, John Finn, but you surely do understand it.

    Richard

    Ok – I accept you lack the guts, knowledge and intelligence to take me on head to head but it’s a bit childish resorting to indirect snide rmarks.

    Richard

    You’ve backed a number of posters against me in recent online discussions. To date they are :

    1. P.Wilson who expects CO2 to continue rising several hundred years even if human CO2 production ceases. It doesn’t seem to bother him (or her) that human emissions are greater than the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere and this is therefore a somewhat dubious assumption. I take it you agree wth him, though.
    2. Dave Springer who quite happily cites a CO2-temperature sensitivity of 150 ppm/deg. I don’t mind people getting calculations wrong but when they are so obviously out of touch with reality I do expect them to question the results (as a sceptic might). All did eventually become clear as Dave provided us with the source for his figures. He’s used what has to be one of the worst climate-related sites on the web.
    3. Michael Smith did show some promise and he does at least accept that sensitivity figures of the order of magnitude that Dave Springer cites are complete garbage, but he has struggled with rates of change and time periods. Using Michaels method of calculation the ~50 ppm rise since ~1979 should have been accompanied by an 11.6 deg rise in temperature.

    You appear to want to silence me in favour of the error strewn nonsense described above. In all my time posting on climate-related blogs only 2 people have attemped to silence me, they are:

    Michael Mann when I challenged him in 2004 on the inconsistency between tree-ring proxy data and actal temperature observations – otherwise known as the ‘hide the decline’ trick. This , though, was 5 years before ‘climategate’. I also had a post removed (after it had been published) due to a ‘technical glitch’. Fortunately Steve Milloy retrieved a cached copy.
    Tamino actually did manage to silence me in that he banned me from his blog for suggesting and continuing to argue that ocean circulation may have contributed to the early and late 20th century warming trends.

    Welcome to the club, Richard.

  386. Henry’s law is thermo (the force that drives toward equilibrium). The kinetics of diffusion, convection, absorption, etc. are the rate controlling factors. Think about how CO2 leaves the saturated warm ocean surface and is soon absorbed by cold unsaturated water in clouds. I think that clouds are controlling the atmospheric concentration of CO2. That is not an easy task to model: certainly not on a global average scale.

  387. Bart says:
    August 9, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Your mass balance argument is foolish. An eminent climate scientist is calling into question your fanciful isotope ratios. The rest is part of the feedback loop sequestering the added carbon. The foundation of your house of cards rests on sand.

    An eminent climate scientist who hasn’t read the relevant literature about carbon isotopes in the past decade? See:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.abstract (free abstract) and

    http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/25_Partition.pdf

    BTW, let’s have the discussion about mass balances and feedbacks on Judith’s blog, I just added some note there…

  388. Dave Springer and John Finn:

    Dave,
    At August 9, 2011 at 11:27 am you say to me:
    “I’ve been over this before but perhaps not with you unless you were a chearleader for stomata density as a proxy for CO2 concentration”.

    Cheerleader? Me?
    Did you read what I wrote at August 9, 2011 at 2:30 am? For example,
    this
    “OK then let us put similarly unjustifiable complete trust in the stomata data.”
    and this
    “I do not trust either value. You say you trust one and ignore the other.”

    If you think that makes me a “chearleader then I am loath to consider what you think a doubter might say.

    John Finn’
    Thankyou for the belly laugh you gave me at August 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm where you write to me,

    “I accept you lack the guts, knowledge and intelligence to take me on head to head but it’s a bit childish resorting to indirect snide rmarks.”

    It seems you really don’t understand, so I will spell it out for you.

    I am tired of amusing the children and I am spending time playing with the grown-ups. Now tidy up your toys and play somewhere else.

    I hope that is now clear to you, John.

    Richard

  389. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    “An eminent climate scientist who hasn’t read the relevant literature about carbon isotopes in the past decade? See: (links)”

    Hmm… I did not see anywhere in those sources where it is claimed that Dr. Salby never read them. But, necessarily, you (and they) have never read Dr. Salby’s analysis, which has not yet been released, n’est-ce pas?

    As for the discussion at Judith’s, there is my riposte. Conclusion:

    The point here is that I have ripped your mass balance argument to shreds. Your claim was that the mass balance proved that the rise was wholly anthropogenic. That claim is revealed as sloppy reasoning and utterly false.

    You really have no possible way of denying this anymore, beyond childish refusal to admit defeat. You made a broad claim, I showed an exception. QED. End of discussion.

  390. Michael D Smith says:
    August 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    Myrrh says:
    August 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the info

    You’re welcome. Sorry I couln’t get back to this earlier.

    The mass of CO2 is meaningless at normal temperatures on earth. Diffusion will mix CO2 (and any other gas, even Xenon) to an even distribution so fast you won’t believe it. It can’t “settle out”, it’s constantly being bounced around and mixed by the property of having temperature. The molecules will be a long way away from where they started before you know it. I could see gravity taking over at something near absolute zero, but, really, for all practical purposes, gravity has nothing to do with it. I don’t remember the substance, but the science teacher opens a bottle of something smelly with a very small molecule size, and you could smell it in the back of the room in a few seconds. The lightest molecules do diffuse the fastest, but they ALL diffuse too fast to prevent rapid mixing.

    Sorry to have to tell you, I’m getting used to not being thanked for it.., that you’re another victim of AGWScience fiction infiltration into the education system. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air by a long way, one and half times heavier, it separates out as a matter of course because it is heavier than air, it displaces air and sinks to the ground. This is observed in ordinary real life in situations such as brewing and mining and around volcanic activity. The demonstration you got at school is typical AGWScience fiction meme dis-explanation by taking a known effect and and substituting the known cause of the effect with a different and illogical and non-physical science fiction explanation. The scent was spread by convection and lighter than air vapour.. And unless your teacher opened a really expensive bottle of perfume, the major ingredient would have been alcohol.

    Two things at play here, scent is mixed with alcohol and water, but it’s the alcohol which is very volatile this means that it evaporates more quickly than water (water being the standard here against which volatility is measured). Water itself is constantly evaporating, and water vapour itself is lighter than air.

    Under typical atmospheric conditions, water vapor is continuously generated by evaporation and removed by condensation. It is lighter than air and triggers convection currents that can lead to clouds.

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

    Alcohol evaporates even more readily than water (related to its lower boiling point), also, alcohol breaks the surface tension of water, speeding up evaporation (see tears of wine), one of the main reasons why cheaper scents have lots of alcohol – because it it evaporates quickly and spreads the scent.
    Gases have volume, they take up space, they expand and contract, they have different weights relative to each other and they interact with each other, attraction etc., they are not characterless dots of the volumeless imaginary ‘ideal’ gas as pushed by the AGWScience meme.. No real gas obeys the ‘ideal gas’ law. We have quite a long history of exploring gases, and real gases do not ‘diffuse through the atmosphere by bouncing off each other in elastic encounters as if ideal, imaginary, gases’. This is AGWScience misinformation. As with the residence time of CO2, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper to see the con.

    While Brownian motion of large molecules is observable under a microscope, small-molecule diffusion can only be probed in carefully controlled experimental conditions. Under normal conditions, molecular diffusion is relevant only on length scales between nanometer and millimeter. On larger length scales, transport in liquids and gases is normally due to another transport phenomenon, convection.

    Therefore, some often cited examples of diffusion are wrong: If cologne is sprayed in one place, it will soon be smelled in the entire room, but a simple calculation shows that this cannot be due to diffusion; the cause can only be convection. If ink is dropped in water, one usually observes an inhomogeneous evolution of the spatial distribution, which clearly indicates convection; diffusion dominates only in perfect thermal equilibrium.

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

    The italics is in the original. This is also as it says, about scale, molecules may well be moving as great speeds, but that doesn’t mean they are all moving at speed over distances. Sound travels as the gas Air is compressed causing the molecules to vibrate and the vibration is passed along through the air, and the molecules return to ‘rest’ – constrained by the density of the molecules around them; similar to a wave passed along in a body of water. The fluid volume water doesn’t itself move far, neither does the fluid gas air when sound moves through it . Air on the move is wind, that is, volumes of the gas air moving in relation to other volumes of air in convective currents caused by temperature differences. Within all that, lighter than air gases will rise, heavier than air gases will sink.

    AGWScience fiction is skilled at taking physical properties and processes out of context, it’s sleight of hand.

    The other example of equal ludicrousness to a heavier than air gas ‘accumulating for hundreds and even thousands of years in the atmosphere, is the deliberate disinformation about the energy we receive from the Sun – the AGWScience fictional teaching is now well on its way to dumbing down this and the next generation, leaving them without a sensible grasp of reality. (See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-710287 for a discussion on this, and especially the summary http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-711886 for NASA’s complicity in this.)

  391. Bart:

    re: your post at August 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm, I am sure you know – but others may not – that the important point is the reliance of the IPCC on the ‘mass balance idea’ because the IPCC uses the Berne Model of the carbon cycle. The Berne Model is basically a mass balance model similar to that developed by Ferdinand.

    Disproof of the ‘mass balance idea’ is a disproof of all – yes, ALL – IPCC ‘projections’.

    Richard

  392. A bit more of interest re scent spreading through the room via alcohol and weight of gases:

    http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5315235_evaporation-cause-cooling.html

    http://www.ucc.ie/academic/chem/dolchem/html/comp/ethanol.html

    Vapor Density (air=1): weight of a gas or vapor compared to weight of an equal volume of air. Density greater than 1 indicates it is heavier than air, less than 1 indicates it is lighter than air. Vapors heavier than air can flow along just above ground, where they may pose a fire or explosion hazard. http://www.poly.edu/labsafety/msds/index.php

    http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/E/EVA/evaporation.html for a look at the history

  393. Actually, Richard, I was not aware of that model. I have, however, looked over simpler models which apparently are based on it. The basic components are all the same: atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial reservoirs, anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic inputs and sequestration outputs.

    The problem I have is not with the basic structure (though I do have qualms about the assumption of non-time varying parameters), but with the lack of uniqueness between model assumptions and agreement of the model output with major observables. When you have more parameters to fit than you have data to fit them, you have to rely on subjective criteria to constrain the problem so that it can be solved. The modelers have constrained it such that the bandwidth of the resulting CO2 regulation is very low. But, a step back to view the forest reminds us that low bandwidth systems are very bad at maintaining an equilibrium within tight bounds.

    I believe it is very likely that the modelers have assumed essentially deterministic behavior, and so have not given thought to the effects of variability and “noise” in the inputs and sink capacities. It is very easy to observe that the measurements do not pick up much if any influence from apparent variations in the recorded emissions – one can do it just eye-balling the data. That could be merely a phantom due to corrupted emissions reporting. However, when I couple that with the tight regulation of CO2 levels as indicated by the ice cores, I naturally reach a conclusion that A) the ice core measurements also are corrupted or B) the regulation of CO2 is, in fact, high enough bandwidth that small input variations from nominal conditions are effectively attenuated below the noise.

    As I stated at Dr. Curry’s site of CO2 levels:

    If there is not a strong feedback holding them in place, the ice core measurements are bunk, and we have no basis for believing current levels are unusual. If there is a strong feedback holding them in place, then the current rise is not anthropogenic in origin.

  394. John,

    BZZZZT. Wrong. John, as soon as you said this: “This rise cannot be temperature driven because there has been no change in temperature. It is driven by human emissions.”, I could tell you haven’t been able to grasp what has been said from any of my longer posts, or you are purposely distorting it to make believe it can’t be true. The only thing I can recommend is that you read them again. The math and units are quite straightforward. Read the one about 1850 being 0.7°C cooler, and try to imagine a temperature increase of 0.7°C occurring over 160 years. Every year (or month), apply the rate of your choice, in ppm/°C/[time] and calculate the effect. Do the same for the next period. Add the effects together. You will see an exponential function emerge. Excel is good for this sort of thing.

    Bonus points: Assume an equilibrium effect, (a rate) such that the new total accumulated ppm for the period in consideration is used to calculate an offsetting factor that serves to reduce the effect of the above function compared to using the full delta T, the distance from month(n) to original temperature at 1850 (-0.7°C in our case). At what rate will the compensating function result in ppm at year 2011 of 390? What are the factors you used? If you can answer this, I’ll be confident you actually get it.

  395. Michael D Smith says:
    August 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Michael, I can only think we are talking at cross purposes as when we look at basic rates of change and sensitivity you seem to be in a different place to me (and everyone else).

    Let’s start from the very basics. Sensitivity (in our context) is estimated (or determined) from the relationship between the change in the dependant variable (x) over the independent variable (y). For example, if you believe that increasing CO2 concentrations are solely responsible for the increase in temperature since 1850, then the sensitivity can be estimated as follows:

    Delta_F = 1.7 w/m2 (forcing due to CO2 since 1850)
    Delta_T = 0.7 deg C (temp rise since 1850)

    Sensitivity due to CO2 = 0.7/1.7 = ~0.41 deg C per w/m2 (note the units).

    Similarly, if you believe temperature is mainly or wholly responsible for the rise in CO2 Concentrations (ppm) since 1850 you can again calculate the sensitivity, i.e.

    Delta_CO2 = 110 ppm (incease in CO2 since 1850)
    Delta_T = 0.7 deg C (temp rise since 1850)

    Sensitivity of CO2/Temp = 110/0.7 = ~157 ppm/deg C (again note the units)

    It’s as simple and as basic as it gets. We have an increase in temperature of 0.7 deg which it’s claimed causes a 110 ppm rise in CO2 concentrations. That ‘s an increase of ~157 ppm for every degree C rise.

    You then say

    The math and units are quite straightforward. Read the one about 1850 being 0.7°C cooler, and try to imagine a temperature increase of 0.7°C occurring over 160 years.

    I just have.

    Every year (or month), apply the rate of your choice, in ppm/°C/[time] and calculate the effect.

    I chose not to use a time period of one month or one year I used a time period of 160 years. Let’s got through your units, i.e. ppm/°C/[time] to illustrate

    ppm = 110
    °C = 0.7 deg/160 years or 0.0044 deg/year if you prefer
    time = 160 years

    Sensitivity = 110/0.0044/160 = ~157 ppm/ degC

    Let’s just check the units – we have

    ppm / degC/yr / yr = ppm * yr/degC / yr

    = ppm/degC ( since the yr units cancel out)

    Yep – all seems fine.

    Do the same for the next period. Add the effects together. You will see an exponential function emerge.

    Whooaa – hold on a minute, Michael, why would YOU expect to see an exponential function emerge. You are claiming that ppm is driven by temperature. Temperature hasn’t risen exponentially – has it? As it happens ppm has risen exponentially but that’s because of the growth in human emissions.

    Why don’t you go through the first few iterations (i.e. first few years) of the exercise you suggest and post the results. I can then see what you’re doing. As it is I’m having to second guess what you’re thinking. It has just occurred to me what you might be doing but I’ll hold fire til you respond.

    Excel is good for this sort of thing

    Thank you for that, Michael. I first used Excel around 20 years ago when the university where I was employed migrated from Lotus 123.

  396. Michael D Smith says:
    August 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    “You will see an exponential function emerge. “

    Michael – correct me if I am wrong, but from light reading of your posts, I am under the impression that what you are arguing is essentially that there is heavy low pass filtering going on and the yearly variations are heavily attenuated, whereas the steady inputs at lower frequency are passed through at full strength.

    That is, if the time constant were 160 years, the annual variations should be attenuated by

    alpha = 1/sqrt( 1 + (2*pi*160)^2) = 0.001

    whereas a ramp would be passed through with just a little phase lag. Thus, in this case, using the sensitivity to annual temperature variations, say, to gauge the sensitivity to steady warming could give you a value underestimated by a factor of 1000.

  397. Bart and Michael Smith:

    Bart,
    re your post at August 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm.

    Yes. Our agreement is in your statement saying;
    “However, when I couple that with the tight regulation of CO2 levels as indicated by the ice cores, I naturally reach a conclusion that A) the ice core measurements also are corrupted or B) the regulation of CO2 is, in fact, high enough bandwidth that small input variations from nominal conditions are effectively attenuated below the noise.”

    All the reservoir models (i.e. Berne, Engelbeen, etc.) assume there are no natural “small input variations from nominal conditions” (or output variations) so the anthropogenic emission acts as an extraneous effect and not a variation. Indeed, they clearly state this assumption because they use accountancy principles to “prove” the anthropogenic emission is accumulating in the air.

    Michael Smith:

    I am amazed and in admiration of your patience but I see it is getting exhausted by John Finn (as mine did).

    Something one says once may be overlooked, it is probably a deliberate oversight if is still ignored when repeated , and when explained yet again but ignored again there is no point in continuing the ‘discussion’. Indeed, I reached the conclusion that John Finn was deliberately trying to disrupt rational discussion.

    Richard

  398. I am amazed and in admiration of your patience but I see it is getting exhausted by John Finn (as mine did).

    Richard

    You don’t seem to be able to post a comment without mentioning my name at least once. This seems a bit surprising since you appear to think I have nothing worthwhile to add to the discussion. Do you have a bit of a crush on me, perhaps?

    Anyway, as it happens, I’m interested in Michael’s line of thinking. I think he’s got something screwed (quite badly) but I’m not sure where. He comes across as fairly numerate so I’m interested in finding out if there is a key factor in his analysis to which he has a ‘blind’ spot.
    ‘Back of the envelope’ calculations suggest he’s miles out.

    Now I fully understand that you’re out of you’re depth with this stuff. That’s ok we can’t all be qualified in the relevant disciplines but in might be best if you just stepped back from this issue, Richard, as you’re not really helping.

  399. Bart says:
    August 10, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I’m not sure Michael is trying to making any of arguments you suggest. It appears to me that he’s got a basic misunderstanding on how to interpret the rates of change. This is from one of his posts

    Post 1979 is, say, 29 years (my data ends in 2008). So the required rate is 50/0.4/29 or 4.3ppm/°C/year. (good answer, wrong method) Now, the other one… 100ppm/0.7°C/108 years = 1.32ppm/°C/year

    The numbers refer to (a) ~50 ppm and ~0.4 temp rise between 1979 and 2008 (29 years) and (b) ~100 ppm and ~0.7 temp rise between 1860 and 2008 (108 years).

    Now in a way he’s not wrong with his calculations. That is, if temp is the sole driver, a ~0.4 deg rise over 29 years does produce an average rate of 4.3 ppm/°C for EVERY year of the rise but that’s a fairly meaningless statistic. He seems to think this is the sensitivity or response rate – it’s clearly not.

    The 0.4 and rise covered 29 years so the sensitivity becomes 4.3 x 29 = ~125ppm/degC

  400. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 10, 2011 at 2:22 am

    All the reservoir models (i.e. Berne, Engelbeen, etc.) assume there are no natural “small input variations from nominal conditions” (or output variations) so the anthropogenic emission acts as an extraneous effect and not a variation. Indeed, they clearly state this assumption because they use accountancy principles to “prove” the anthropogenic emission is accumulating in the air.

    Who said that? Of course there are small natural input variations, but indeed they are small on short term. The influence is visible as a short-term variability of about 4 ppmv/degr around the trend. The very long term variability is visible in ice cores in century to millenia scale: 8 ppmv/degr.C.

    Thus the third reason why there is little variation in ice cores is that there was little natural variability on decadal to century scale, not more than what is seen as natural variability on sub decadal or on century or larger scale…

  401. The problem with the ice cores is that there is no way to actually confirm the model for how CO2 is trapped and held over many thousands of years. I suspect that, if we could actually run a closed loop experiment in the lab, we would find surprising results which differed significantly with the expectations. Because, we always do when we go to the lab…

  402. John Finn says:
    August 10, 2011 at 6:11 am

    “I’m not sure Michael is trying to making any of arguments you suggest.”

    If not, then consider me making them. Where does it lead?

  403. All right, since nobody took me up on that challenge, let’s look at the data Michael has provided.

    In his chart here, I see a temperature component amplitude at one point of about 0.3 degC with a CO2 derivative amplitude of about 0.1 ppmv/month, or 1.2 ppmv/year, and a period of about 2 years. So, frequency in radians is w = 2*pi/2 = 3.14 rad/year.

    Suppose the temperature variation at this frequency is described by dT = A*sin(w*t), and the resulting CO2 derivative variation is described by CO2dot = B*w/sqrt(1+(tau*w)^2) where tau is the time constant of the transfer function. The sensitivity at zero frequency is given by B/A in ppmv/degC. We get

    B/A = (1.2/0.3)*sqrt(1+(tau*w)^2) /w

    With tau = 160 years, we get 640 ppmv/degC.

    Clearly, that’s too much. So, let’s try tau = 30 years. We get 120 ppmv/degC.

    So, if we have a time constant of maybe 30 years, there is enough sensitivity for the temperature to be driving most of the CO2 increase.

    Check my math, and make comments as desired.

  404. Bart says:
    August 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

    The problem with the ice cores is that there is no way to actually confirm the model for how CO2 is trapped and held over many thousands of years.

    Actually it was done: some Japanese group measured the migration of CO2 in “Vostok” conditions, against ambient pressure. There was some modest migration, but not very relevant for the real ice core, as there is little pressure difference between ice at 2,000 m and 1,999 m depth.
    A theoretical calculation, based on CO2 levels near remelted layers in the Siple Dome ice core did show some migration, which gives a broadening of the resolution of 10% at mid-depth and 100% at full depth.

    More important is that there is no flattening of the ratio between CO2 levels during an interglacial and a glacial period over each 100,000 years back in time. If there was even the slightest migration, that difference should fade over each period back in time.

    Thus based on this evidence, an overlap of 20 years with direct measurements and similar levels found in ice cores of complete different places (coastal: high accumulation, higher temperatures, inland: low accumulation and temperatures) for the same period, I suppose that the data obtained from ice cores are pretty accurate.

  405. Note the formula can be simplified for large tau to approximately

    So = CO2dot*tau/dT

    where So is the sensitivity at dc (zero frequency). Again, CO2dot is the amplitude of the derivative of the cyclical portion of CO2 concentration at a given “high” frequency, and dT is the amplitude of the temperature variation at the same frequency with which the CO2 variation is correlated.

  406. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    20 whole years, huh? Theoretical calculations? Uh-huh…

    Did the “Japanese group” travel back in time to measure the ambient CO2, then confirm the measurement when they got back? No?

    Color me unconvinced.

  407. “Actually it was done: some Japanese group measured the migration of CO2 in “Vostok” conditions, against ambient pressure. There was some modest migration, but not very relevant for the real ice core, as there is little pressure difference between ice at 2,000 m and 1,999 m depth.”

    I think it takes about 150 to 200 years for the snowfall precursor to ice layers in the Arctic and Antarctic to become compressed and sealed enough for migration to cease.

    That would account for all that we observe namely:

    i) A hockey stick type rise in CO2 content in bubbles of air in the ice over the past 150 years or so.

    ii) The inconsistency observed pre and post about 1850.

    iii) the apparent lack of variability for many millennia into the past.

    Note that where water is concerned CO2 flows from warmth to cold and maximum cold is in the air above the ice. That is how CO2 can still migrate upward out of the ice when the atmospheric CO2 content is higher. The suggestion that CO2 at 200ppm in air bubbles held within the ice cannot migrate to CO2 at 400pm in the air above is apparently false.

    But nonetheless after 150 to 200 years the air and CO2 held in the ice becomes sealed off from interaction with the atmosphere.

  408. Bart says:
    August 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Bart,

    1. Etheridge (1996) measured CO2 directly in firn from not yet closed air bubbles and in closed bubles in ice, via the normal way (ice crushing under vacuum, CO2 measured over a cold trap). At closing depth ice and firn CO2 were the same. Thus there is no (measurable) change in CO2 level by the closing process.

    2. 20 years overlap show that the highest resolution ice cores track the atmospheric composition, once the ice is completely sealed. Thus once sealed, there is no migration over a short period (contrary to the idea of some persons who expect that CO2 is migrating/pressed out of the ice to the surface, while the pressure increases).

    3. Any migration further down the ice would be faster for ice cores with higher temperatures, but ice cores with large differences in average temperature show the same CO2 levels (+/- 5 ppmv) for the same periods.

    4. Any migration flattens the data over a larger period. The highest CO2 levels are 10-20 kyr long over the interglacials, the lowest levels 100 kyr long over the glacials, thus any migration would lower mainly the highest values. But the CO2 values track the temperature values with a constant ratio over the full 420 kyr Vostok record, recently confirmed by the 800 kyr Dome C record.

    I am convinced, mainly by point 4.

  409. I know you are convinced, Ferdinand. I am not. In industry, before any complex component is released to the buyer, it must undergo a battery of tests, including most importantly the end-to-end tests. In these, the entire integrated product is tested, with real-world inputs which must reproduce expected behavior. Even though all the subcomponents have passed their tests. Even though there is no reason at all to have any doubt that the product will work as planned.

    And, you know what? That is where you find most of the problems. Talk to someone who has endured the ordeal, and you will learn. Experience it yourself, and it will rock your world.

  410. Frankly, I would love to believe that the ice core data is perfect. It would pretty much clinch the argument for strong feedback if it were. Without that well-behaved data, I cannot make that claim, though it would also rip the rug out from under those who claim current CO2 levels are “unprecedented”.

  411. Bart says:
    August 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    With tau = 160 years, we get 640 ppmv/degC.

    Clearly, that’s too much. So, let’s try tau = 30 years. We get 120 ppmv/degC.

    What’s the justification for tau being 30 years?

    Bart says:
    August 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm
    Note the formula can be simplified for large tau to approximately
    So = CO2dot*tau/dT

    Right – that figures. As tau increases (tau*w)^2 will also increase (faster), hence as tau -> infinity sqrt(1+(tau*w)^2) -> tau*w. I can’t quite see the relevance though. For anyone who is remotely interested in this drivel, Bart is effectively saying

    If X is large then sqrt(1 + X^2) ~ = X i.e. the value of 1 becomes less significant.

    Ok, Bart, you’ve shown us how clever you are and I agree that you have a ‘model’ that gives the required sensitivity IF the time constant can be justified. So are you saying tau=30 years is a valid figure?

    Bart says:
    August 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    I know you are convinced, Ferdinand. I am not. In industry…..

    In industry (in the UK at least) we have certain words for people who, when losing the argument, resort to ‘intellectual intimidation’ in an attempt to ‘wrong foot’ their opponents. I say “argument” but there really isn’t one.

    Humans emit ~8GtC into the atmosphere every year. An amount equivalent to approximately half of that is added to the atmosphere every year. Can you think of any reason at all why atmospheric CO2 levels should continue to rise if human emissions suddenly stopped.

  412. Further to my earlier post: in his post on August 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm. Bart says:

    All right, since nobody took me up on that challenge, let’s look at the data Michael has provided.

    In his chart here, I see a temperature component amplitude at one point of about 0.3 degC with a CO2 derivative amplitude of about 0.1 ppmv/month, or 1.2 ppmv/year, and a period of about 2 years…

    I still think you have a problem with dT. In the following year dT 0. Remember the temperature plot uses actual temp anomalies – NOT derivatives. You’ve effectively got a positive signal followed by a negative signal (although steadily positive over time) – but CO2dot remains positive throughout.

  413. Not sure my last post makes sense. It looks like my use of angle brackets to denote “less than” and “greater than” might have screwed the formatting.

  414. During deglaciation the two varied simultaneously,* but during times of cooling the CO2 changed after the temperature change, by up to 1000 years. This order of events is not what one would expect from the enhanced greenhouse effect.
    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap01/icecore.html

    * All studies I’ve seen show Carbon dioxide levels always follow both temperature rises and falls. You’re not dealing with this. The time spans show that Carbon dioxide levels are irrelevant to driving these natural temperature changes. You’re not dealing with this.

    Instead what you propose, that CO2 drives temperature changes, is magic. c800 years in advance of a change, Carbon Dioxide magically decides that it will drive these changes.

  415. John Finn says:
    August 11, 2011 at 1:36 am

    “What’s the justification for tau being 30 years? “

    I don’t know. Why would I need a justification to show the conditions under which an hypothesis is viable?

    “Ok, Bart, you’ve shown us how clever you are…”

    I was just trying to make it easier to see that the reliance on tau was effectively linear. Sorry if that offends you.

    “…we have certain words for people who, when losing the argument…”

    And, we have a celebrity exemplar of losers who insist they are “winning”.

    “Can you think of any reason at all why atmospheric CO2 levels should continue to rise if human emissions suddenly stopped[?]“

    Deep ocean upwelling? Sustained loss of sea plankton? I don’t know. But, I don’t need to know in order to detect patterns.

    “I still think you have a problem with dT. In the following year dT 0.”

    Do the words “amplitude” and “component” not carry the same meanings in Britain that they do in the States? If so, it appears you are not very well versed in signal processing terminology and methods.

    “Not sure my last post makes sense.”

    You got that right.

  416. “Can you think of any reason at all why atmospheric CO2 levels should continue to rise if human emissions suddenly stopped[?]“

    And, of course, Salby has apparently concluded that CO2 levels are dependent on temperature, not emissions. I have merely demonstrated that the sensitivity could easily be in the range necessary to explain the rise in CO2 in the latter half of the 20th century, and so far in the 21st, as a lagged response to increasing temperatures.

  417. Bart says:
    August 11, 2011 at 9:21 am

    If there is such a high response of CO2 to temperature and we had a 30 year slight cooling period 1945-1975, why don’t we see a lagged drop of CO2 in the period 1960-1975 (and beyond)? Or a near stop of CO2 increase in the period 2000-now. All we see in the record is a steady increasing increase of CO2 in all three periods, without any measurable influence of temperature on the increase itself.

  418. “If there is such a high response of CO2 to temperature and we had a 30 year slight cooling period 1945-1975, why don’t we see a lagged drop of CO2 in the period 1960-1975 (and beyond)?”

    I am not arguing that there is a fast response to temperature, in fact, I am postulating something on the order of a 30 year time constant.

    I am arguing a fast response to direct CO2 forcings. I am arguing that the ice core measurements, assuming they are reliable, otherwise would drift considerably.

    Remember the analogous simple system model

    S(k) = S(k-1) + A(k) + d*(So – S(k-1))

    “d” represents a short time constant process, so the system strongly rejects A(k) in favor of remaining close to So. But, So is a function of temperature, which slowly changes. You might hypothesize an additional equation

    So(k) = So(k-1) + d2*(f(T(k)) – So(k-1))

    where “d2″ represents the gain of a long time constant process, and f(T(k)) is an immediate function of temperature at time step k.

    Not saying these equations are valid representations of the actual system, mind you. It is just to illustrate how different responses to different stimuli can come about.

  419. Maybe I should state things a little more explicitly. A 30 year time constant on a lagged response means that the corner (-3 dB) frequency, where the response is attenuated about 30% and increasingly with higher frequency, is at about fc = 0.0053 year^-1, i.e., anything with a duration of less than about 1/fc = 188 years is going to be smoothed with progressively greater smoothing as the duration decreases. So, you would not expect to see much of a response to a 30 year dip.

  420. Bart:

    I am enjoying ‘sitting back’ and watching you ‘wipe the floor’ with those who ‘have the faith’ in an anthropogenic cause for the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. It is good to be able to watch another do it and using some of the same arguments I have presented over the years. Thankyou.

    Before making my point, I again state – as I always do – that I do not know if the anthropogenic emission is or is not responsible for the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but the most likely cause of the CO2 rise is the temperature change that preceded it some decades before.

    I write to add to a point you make at August 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm; viz. yousay,

    “I am not arguing that there is a fast response to temperature, in fact, I am postulating something on the order of a 30 year time constant.”

    Yes, and a “30 year time constant” is what the data indicates as I have repeatedly stated in this thread; e.g. at August 6, 2011 at 6:30 am

    You are doing a fine job. Please keep it up.

    Richard

  421. Bart,

    That all doesn’t add.

    The response of CO2 to temperature is fast, but limited (4 ppmv/degr.C) on periods from interannual to a decade.
    The response of CO2 to temperature is slow and limited (8 ppmv/degr.C) on periods from centuries to millennia, if the ice cores are reliable (the slow response has no problems with the limited natural variability beyond oceans and vegetation). The difference between the 4 and 8 ppmv/degr.C is mainly the slower response to deep ocean changes and vegetation area changes.

    According to Salby (and you), he expects a huge response of CO2 to small temperature changes over decades to centuries. But that conflicts with the ice core data. Thus Salby suspect that the ice core data are wrong. But the ice core data were confirmed by other proxies, recently extended for over 2 million years:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090618143950.htm

    Thus the ice core data are right and the huge response of CO2 on medium term temperature changes doesn’t exist.

    Then the response to an injection of CO2 in the atmosphere. The sink rate is in exact ratio with the emissions, only influenced by the short term year by year temperature changes. The half life time is app. 40 years, slow enough to show an increase in the atmosphere over medium term, but fast enough to make that the ice cores (and other proxies) show little variation around the temperature dictated setpoint, because the natural disturbances (besides oceans and vegetation) where modest in amplitude.
    The alternative explanation is that there is a fast response to CO2 injections by humans, but that another process is responsible for the current increase, but there is no knowledge of such a process, and that process should track the emissions at an incredible fixed ratio, without much variability. The invariability is something not seen in any known natural process.

    Thus while it is theoretically possible, the assumption of a huge medium period response of CO2 to temperature conflicts with the short and long period data and the response to a CO2 injection assumes an unknown fast natural process which exactly tracks the human emissions without much variability, which is very unlikely.

  422. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 12, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Great! I was afraid I was talking to myself there for a while. Interesting that we both hit on ~30 years independently.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 12, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Ferdinand – I’ve made it no secret that I am, at best, agnostic about the ice core data. I find it puzzling that you put such complete and utter faith in them. My conclusions fundamentally are drawn from Michael’s chart, which is of direct measurements from the modern era, and from the lack of agreement in the fine detail between emissions and measured concentrations in the modern era, which we have discussed previously. It would be nice if the ice core data agreed with me, but I do not see it as a strong contradiction if they do not.

    I suspect the model used for analyzing the shells of single-celled plankton buried under the Atlantic Ocean is validated against the ice core data, and so the data are not really independent and confirmatory.

    We’ve probably more or less reached an impasse again, for now. I have other ideas to investigate, though, which could shed more light on the topic which we can take up at another time. I hope you have taken to heart my criticism of the “mass balance” argument, and no longer believe it is proof, in and of itself, of the anthropogenic driver hypothesis. If so, at least we will have accomplished something. Other random comments:

    “…which exactly tracks the human emissions without much variability…”

    You mean, whose accumulation superficially appears to be have a rough affine relationship to the accumulated human emissions. We’ve been down this road before. There’s nothing I see particularly unlikely in constructing an approximate affine relationship between two slightly quadratic yet independent time series – just do a linear least squares regression between them, and you will find the affine parameters which provide a best fit.

    “…but there is no knowledge of such a process…”

    Discovering knowledge is what science is all about.

  423. Bart says:
    August 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Plankton shell boron isotope record was independent of the ice core record, but matches over the past 800 kyr, be it with lower resolution (1 kyr) and less accuracy (+/- 30 ppmv). Anyway, levels of 400 ppmv were not seen, not even for the previous warmer interglacial. Which makes it highly unlikely that mid-term influence of temperature on CO2 levels is any higher than long term sensitivity.

    But indeed, we are – again – at an impasse. But as I replied at Curry’s blog: the mass balance argument still stands strong, as whatever other fast process takes over the increase in the atmosphere, it only replaced the anthro CO2 with natural CO2. That is turnover, not addition.

  424. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Please Stephen, have a look at the relevant literature about ice cores… Etheridge published his work about three Law Dome ice cores already in 1996, that is 15 years ago:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1996/95JD03410.shtml

    Unfortunately behind a paywall.

    He measured CO2 directly in firn top down from the surface to closing depth and in ice at closing depth and below. At closing depth both firn CO2 and ice CO2 were equal. Values of ice core CO2 and atmospheric CO2 at the South Pole overlap some 20 years. They also match with HS-like CO2 increase. Sealing depth is at 72 meter and at 40 years ice age. Average gas age there is 7 years older than atmosphere. Sealing is complete in about 8 years:

    Sealing depth, closing rate, CO2 average age and ice age at closing depth largely depends of the accumulation rate, which is very high at (coastal) Law Dome: 1.2 m ice equivalent per year, much lower at inland Vostok: a few mm per year, hundreds of years ice layers at closing depth, but CO2 levels still near atmospheric. Sealing needs hundreds of years to complete.

    Note that where water is concerned CO2 flows from warmth to cold and maximum cold is in the air above the ice. That is how CO2 can still migrate upward out of the ice when the atmospheric CO2 content is higher.

    Never heard that argument. Vostok ice is average at -40 degr.C and simply reflects the average air temperature above it (that is used in bore hole temperature constructions). Which is near zero in summer and -80 in winter. Thus according to your theory, CO2 migrates up and down over the seasons? Further, at -40 degr.C there is no liquid water in the ice, not even at the ice-air surface, except for some isolated dust inclusions. And during ice ages, the ice temperature was lower. When the warming to an interglacial occured, then you had a (average) migration from the air into the ice? Then the 180 ppmv from the deep glacial was even lower?

  425. Ferdinand.

    Thanks for the information about ice cores. I was just floating some ideas and will consider your points.

    As regards the mass balance issue there is a way that it could be wrong as follows:

    Humans release 100 units leaving 20 units unabsorbed. 80 units go into stimulated local and regional sinks. It could be that all of it gets absorbed locally.

    Oceans absorb less due to higher temperatures from increased solar insolation allowing 30 units more than ‘normal’ to remain in the atmosphere. Or 50 units more if all the human emissions are absorbed locally.

    In each scenario atmospheric CO2 content therefore rises by 50 units which is half the human emissions.

    All 50 units will be C12 according to Salby. Previously the consequent change in the 12C and 13C ratio was thought to be entirely anthropogenic.

    Without the human contribution the local and regional sinks would be less active and the natural system would be a net source producing a solely natural rise of 30 units or 50 units as the case may be.

    In the two examples given the observed increase is half the human contribution which is approximately what we see in the real world. The mass balance argument therefore fails because it is a dynamic system responding locally or regionally with increased vigour to the human input.

    Interestingly one only needs a small change in ocean absorption rates to achieve the effect. Approximately 30% (or 50%) of the size of the human emissions which would probably be just a minute fraction of the total oceanic flux.

    On these figures the human contribution could be easily cancelled out by a very slight increase in oceanic absorption rates so the present setup should be regarded as temporary.

    Likewise a small further decrease in oceanic absorption rates would have a disproportionate effect on atmospheric CO2 without any additional contribution on our part.

    It is likely just a coincidence that for a portion of the late 20th century the effect of the increased solar insolation to the oceans ran roughly parallel to the rate of increase in human emissions.

    The increased solar insolation to the oceans having been caused by a more active sun changing the air circulation so as to draw the jetstreams poleward, reduce global cloudiness (as was observed) and allow more sunlight into the oceans.

    The smoothness of the change at Mauna Loa could be a result of the most dominant process being a longer term change in solar activity levels such as from LIA to date. Being dominant that process would suppress shorter term temperature effects other than the high frequency seasonal variations.

    This reminds me of the mistake that some make as regards economic theory. Some insist that there is only one ‘cake’ of resources of a fixed size (the mass balance idea) and everyone must share it equitably. In reality the size of the ‘cake’ increases with greater economic activity (more human input) so most if not all people get richer.

    If Salby is right and human emissions are irrelevant then that is how it must be happening.

    Also, if Salby is right then the ice cores and various other proxies must be misleading for reasons we have not yet pinned down.

    I note that plant stomata show much more variability but even they may well be under recording.

    I suspect that it is natural and routine for atmospheric CO2 levels to vary by up to 50% over periods of several centuries and somehow the ice cores are not recording it.

    After all a very small change in oceanic absorption rates must have a disproportionately large effect on the atmosphere because of the hugely different CO2 carrying capabilities. I see no reason for doubting that the oceans could cause proportionately large CO2 variations in the air on a regular basis.

    “The observed behavior is what it is.”
    Murry Salby

  426. “…the mass balance argument still stands strong, as whatever other fast process takes over the increase in the atmosphere, it only replaced the anthro CO2 with natural CO2.”

    (facepalm) No, Ferdinand, no. It is just a tautology about the system model. It confirms nothing.

    It’s a one way street. Confirming that you have a slow system confirms that the buildup is anthropogenic hence, trivially, the mass imbalance is from anthropogenic emissions. But, having a mass imbalance confirms nothing in reverse.

    “.Plankton shell boron isotope record was independent of the ice core record, but matches over the past 800 kyr…”

    You seem to have an impression that you just pick out your plankton shell, look at it under a magnifying glass, and read out the number stamped on it giving ambient CO2. That’s not how it works. There is a functional relationship between what you observe, and what was in the air. Somehow you have to determine and calibrate that function. Now, how did they determine it, and what did they calibrate it against?

  427. Ferdinand –

    “The response of CO2 to temperature is slow and limited (8 ppmv/degr.C) “

    How is temperature estimated?

  428. Bart says:
    August 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Ferdinand –
    “The response of CO2 to temperature is slow and limited (8 ppmv/degr.C) “
    How is temperature estimated?

    The temperature record is based on D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) isotope ratio and/or 18O/16O ratio in the ice water molecules. The heavier isotopes relatively increase in ratio to the water temperature at the place of evaporation and again at the place where the vapor is condensing.
    The coastal ice cores receive their precipitation mainly from the nearby coastal oceans, but the inland high altitude cores from near the entire SH oceans. Thus the ice core isotopes of Vostok (and Dome C) largely reflect the SH average temperature. The NH temperature is obtained in different ways, including sediments and for the past 120,000 years in the isotope composition of the Greenland ice core (which mostly reflects the North Atlantic seawater temperature).

  429. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Humans release 100 units leaving 20 units unabsorbed. 80 units go into stimulated local and regional sinks. It could be that all of it gets absorbed locally.

    That is where the problem with your and Bart’s approach lies: even if 100% of all human CO2 is absorbed within minutes by the nearby trees or oceans, that is at the cost of the sink capacity of natural CO2, which should have been absorbed instead. Even if another (natural) process immediately takes over the emissions at the same rate. That process only replaced the human CO2 by natural CO2, but doesn’t add any extra CO2 to the atmosphere. The increase in the atmosphere then is not from an extra natural input, but from the reduced sink capacity by the human imput. Thus directly or indirectly, the human input is fully responsible for the increase in the atmosphere, except if the increase is larger than the human emissions, then you have a real contribution from natural sources.

    Further, the 13C/12C ratio of the oceans is higher than the ratio in the atmosphere (even including the fractionation at the water-air border in both directions). Thus any huge contribution of the oceans would INcrease the 13C/12C ratio, but we measure a DEcrease. This effectively excludes the oceans as source of the extra CO2.

    Further, any temperature change of the oceans gives not more than 16 microatm difference in partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans. Thus an increase of 16 microatm (~16 ppmv) in the atmosphere is sufficient to compensate for the increase of CO2 pressure in the atmosphere. Only 32 GtC is sufficient to do the job, or only 4 years of current emissions. We measured an increase of 100 ppmv in the past 160 years (80 ppmv since Mauna Loa started). That can’t be caused by increased seawater temperatures, the more that the biosphere reacts in an opposite way to elevated temperatures.

    Because the pCO2 in the atmosphere is higher than the average pCO2 in the oceans, the average flow of CO2 is from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse, which is observed by ships surveys and a few long term series (Bermuda and Hawaii).

  430. Bart says:
    August 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    You seem to have an impression that you just pick out your plankton shell, look at it under a magnifying glass, and read out the number stamped on it giving ambient CO2. That’s not how it works. There is a functional relationship between what you observe, and what was in the air. Somehow you have to determine and calibrate that function. Now, how did they determine it, and what did they calibrate it against?

    The boron isotopes show the pH of seawater at the moment of formation of the shell. Further indications are needed to calculate the pCO2 of seawater and the seawater pCO2 need to be in equilibrium with the atmospheric pCO2 to be sure that these are equal over time.

    Therefore they sought a place where the curent seawater pCO2 is in constant equilibrium with the atmospheric pCO2 and used the sediments of that place. Ancient changes were much slower, thus less problems to follow each other.
    To calculate the pCO2, they used several other proxies. That is reflected in the SI sheet, see further:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5934/1551.abstract for the free abstract
    and

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5934/1551.figures-only

    the only figure (also free), which contains all what was used for the calculations. Check of the calculations was against modern day pCO2 levels.
    The supporting information (SI) sheet (free) contains a lot of information how the data were obtained, including the assumptions they used:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/suppl/2009/06/18/324.5934.1551.DC1/Hoenisch.SOM.pdf

    Full article (behind a paywall) at:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5934/1551.full.pdf

  431. Resent global warming and cooling resulted from the relatively close alignment of the Great planets. Now that they are on longer closely aligned, the Earth’s climate will gradually return to normal.
    That is because of a presently unknown Gravitational Thermal Effect. Such information on gravitation and physical anomalies is available at Lulu.com in a book called Matter and Associated Mysteries. It’s worth reading.

  432. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Further, any temperature change of the oceans gives not more than 16 microatm difference in partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans.

    The increase or decrease in pCO2 is about 16 microatm per degr.C. 1 degr.C is the maximum difference between the MWP and LIA, and between the LIA and the current warm period.

    The average increase/decrease over ice ages (and the MWP-LIA change) is about 8 ppmv/degr.C as measured in ice cores, but that includes the opposite movement of the biosphere for temperature changes.

  433. Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air. Whichever way you want to ignore this, you can’t. It means something specific about about the nature of the gases which comprise our atmosphere, the fluid gas air.

    What it means first and foremost is that most carbon dioxide movement will be local to an area. And as AIRS discovered much too their consternation, this makes CO2 levels lumpy, not well-mixed. And their conclusion was that CO2 couldn’t be a player in some kind of ‘background’ well-mixed scenario, and that they would have to go off and do more work on understanding how wind affects the spread.

    The Beck and stomata data are much more sensible to CO2 levels, production is mostly local. The Mauna Loa data is suspect because of this. There are measurements from Scottish mountains giving CO2 in the 300’s when this supposedly ‘background’ used by Mauna Loa was in the 280’s. What? A pristine Scottish mountain top was giving exaggerated readings way before the CO2 belching islands could show their figures any way near that?

    Just how much Carbon Dioxide is produced locally in the Antarctic? There are volcanic eruptions and venting, but a distinct lack of GREEN LIFE around them producing any and from the chain of life depending on this. Just how much are the wind patterns capable of bringing CO2 from elsewhere? The Antarctic cores do not show the responses to the LIA and MWP and others which Greenland does. Why not?

  434. Ferdinand Engelbeen
    You probably mean that “the total of bulk matter must be accounted for”. There are several conservation laws, however the conservation of mass is not amongst them.

  435. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    John Finn:

    Your post at August 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm demonstrates that you are an offensive little oik with less understanding of science than a peanut. Other than that, it is content free.

    Take your nonsense elsewhere.

    Richard

    —————————————

    Yes, John Fiinn, you were very mean to cite Courtney’s law:

    “You need to be aware that Richard has derived a special case of Henry’s Law known as Courtney’s Law. Courtney’s Law quite clearly states that Henry’s Law does not apply when it is inconvenient to the argument proposed by Courtney.
    Actually Courtney’s Law can be extended across virtually any area of climate science, so when you ask Richard for actual evidence for his assertion (as you did in your post) you are violating the very essence of Courtney’s Law.”

    Since Courtney’s law is itself only a special case of “climate ‘skeptic’s’ law”, which states (roughly) that it is permissible to use any set of mutually incompatible arguments, and promptly forget them when it becomes inconvenient, in order to show that global warming is caused by ABC (Anything But CO2).

  436. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 2:24 am

    “… even if 100% of all human CO2 is absorbed within minutes by the nearby trees or oceans, that is at the cost of the sink capacity of natural CO2, which should have been absorbed instead.”

    This is gibberish. The sink capacity is quite elastic. It does not penalize the natural CO2 sequestration in order to sequester the human CO2, it expands to accommodate it. This is how natural systems work pretty much universally. You are hypothesizing a system response which A) would never have attained an equilibrium in the first place and B) is unlike any natural system ever observed in time and space.

    “The increase in the atmosphere then is not from an extra natural input, but from the reduced sink capacity by the human imput.”

    This is mere assertion. The world does not operate by Fernandian fiat. Sorry.

    I am tired of arguing this. You are not even attempting to gain understanding, Ferdinand, just repeating the same mantra over and over again. You have been shown to be wrong both mathematically by me, and verbally by Stephen here and Pekka on the other thread at JC’s. I’m not going to respond any further. Any additional arguments you have to make should be understood to have the following response from Bart: “No, Ferdinand… you just do not understand feedback systems.”

  437. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 2:54 am

    “The boron isotopes show…”

    Again, you fail to show an appreciation for how variable complex systems are, how many possible outcomes there are to such processes, and the potential for unmodeled processes to destroy the neat little narrative concocted to explain them.

    Probabilities decrease geometrically, i.e., very rapidly. If you have an hypothesis of some part of the process which is 75% likely, and10 others of like probability, the likelihood of all hypotheses being right is not 75%, but 4.2%. This is why there are so many surprises encountered in the development of complex systems such as, say, a new aircraft. This is why end-to-end testing is so important in the development of industrial products.

    When you have an hypothesized complex measurement process for which many uncertainties exist at many levels, the odds of high fidelity without end-to-end confirmation are, necessarily, quite small.

  438. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Aha! As I suspected, they calibrated their results against the Vostok ice core. This is not an independent estimate of CO2.

    Presently the reason for this discrepancy remains unresolved. However, it is clear that the use of empirical calibration curves yields high-quality results, as demonstrated by the quantitative replication of the Vostok pCO2 record from boron isotopes in the planktic foraminifer
    Globigerinoides sacculifer (9).

  439. Myrrh says:
    August 13, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air.

    Yes, so what? Does that mean that every molecule of CO2, once mixed in the atmosphere, is rapidely falling down again? Of course not, one finds more or less the same ratio high up to the stratosphere. Only 40 years of lack of wind stirring in an ice core shows a 1% enriching at the bottom, due to gravity.

    AIRS discovered much too their consternation, this makes CO2 levels lumpy, not well-mixed

    Please look at the scale of AIRS. Well mixed doesn’t mean that everywhere at the same moment all levels are equal. That is only the case if there were no sources and sinks at work. CO2 needs 1-2 years to reach the South Pole, as most human sources are in the NH.

    The Beck and stomata data are much more sensible to CO2 levels, production is mostly local. The Mauna Loa data is suspect because of this.

    Many of the historical data and stomata data are suspect, because taken nearby huge sources and sinks, not well mixed and highly variable even over a day. Mauna Loa and 70 other stations, airplane and seaship measurements show very little variability and represent the bulk (95%) of the atmosphere.

    The Antarctic cores do not show the responses to the LIA and MWP and others which Greenland does.

    Depends of the resolution. The medium resolution (40 years) Law Dome ice core shows the difference between the MWP and LIA: 6 ppmv less CO2 for about 0.8 degr.C cooling:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg

  440. Bart says:
    August 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Bart, they compared the results of their completely independent calculations of ancient pCO2 levels with the Vostok and Dome C ice records. Which shows a good match. They didn’t calibrate their calculated pCO2 to the ice core records.

  441. Bart says:
    August 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

    This is gibberish. The sink capacity is quite elastic. It does not penalize the natural CO2 sequestration in order to sequester the human CO2, it expands to accommodate it.

    The sink capacity isn’t elastic enough to remove the extra CO2 which is currently in the atmosphere at any high speed. The current 100 ppmv (200 GtC extra) extra removes only 4 GtC extra CO2 out of the atmosphere per year. That is because the increase in growth rate of vegetation is only average 50% if the atmospheric CO2 doubles. In ideal circumstances, which seldom exist in nature. And the other sinks, the deep oceans, have a limited exchange with the atmosphere. Thus any additional CO2 above the real sink capacity of nature leads to an increase in the atmosphere. No matter if that is directly or by occupation of sink capacity.

    That is what is observed, no theoretical considerations can change that.

  442. George says:
    August 13, 2011 at 4:54 am

    You probably mean that “the total of bulk matter must be accounted for”. There are several conservation laws, however the conservation of mass is not amongst them.

    Indeed it is a question of conservation of matter, not mass, especialy as in this case CO2 is exchanged with the oceans and forms bicarbonates and carbonates and in vegetation where it is used to build a lot of chemicals. Therefore it is more relevant to use GtC as unit, as that must be conserved over all flows and reservoirs, no matter the form it is build in.

  443. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    Myrrh says:
    August 13, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Myrrh – “Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air.”

    Yes, so what? Does that mean that every molecule of CO2, once mixed in the atmosphere, is rapidely falling down again?

    Yes! That’s exactly what it means. Just as lighter than air means that every molecule will rapidly rise up through air. Every molecule of methane will rise up through air, but more importantly here, every molecule of water vapour – lighter than air water vapour is constantly evaporating from water, heat speeds this up and is how we get rain as the warm water vapour rises to condense out in the colder higher air – which is where it picks up carbon dioxide, all rain is carbonic acid – and is in this Water Cycle that the Earth is cooled to the average temp we have, without it the Earth would be 67°C think deserts..

    When larger amounts of carbon dioxide are produced anywhere it can be a great hazard, because it displaces the lighter oxygen and nitrogen molecules – a danger in brewing beer, and especially a danger around volcanic activity where it flows (gases are fluids) into hollows – displacing oxygen, carbon dioxide suffocates. Read up on Lake Nyos in the Cameroons, the explosion sent it high in the air but it rapidly sank and flowed down the slopes suffocating people in the villages around the crater trapped in the thick layer displacing the lighter oxygen – it is one and a half times heavier than air, therefore it will sink rapidly and layer if in large enough quantities. Some who had their heads above the layer boundary survived, while those sleeping nearer the ground, died. Here: http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/Nyos.html

    From which: “The CO2-rich cloud was expelled rapidly from the southern floor of Lake Nyos. It rose as a jet with a speed of about 100 km per hour. The cloud quickly enveloped houses within the crater that were 120 meters above the shoreline of the lake. Because CO2 is about 1.5 times the density of air, the gaseous mass hugged the ground surface and descended down valleys along the north side of the crater. The deadly cloud was about 50 meters thick and it advanced downslope at a rate of 20 to 50 km per hour. This deadly mist persisted in a concentrated form over a distance of 23 km, bringing sudden death to the villages of Nyos, Kam, Cha, and Subum.”

    That’s a heck of a speed travelling down because it’s heavier than air. Anyone know about gas speeds relative to their weight in air?

    Of course not, one finds more or less the same ratio high up to the stratosphere. Only 40 years of lack of wind stirring in an ice core shows a 1% enriching at the bottom, due to gravity.

    Due to gravity is weight. How did it get to the stratosphere? Volcanic eruptions, planes? The “same ratio” is myth, that’s what the AIRS concluded. That is was “lumpy” and not at all well-mixed.

    Myrrh: “AIRS discovered much too their consternation, this makes CO2 levels lumpy, not well-mixed”

    Please look at the scale of AIRS. Well mixed doesn’t mean that everywhere at the same moment all levels are equal. That is only the case if there were no sources and sinks at work. .

    Read their conclusions – it was the AIRS which found it was lumpy! The hype still is that CO2 is well-mixed and can’t be unmixed, the same proportions everywhere – that’s how they get the claim that it “accumulates” in the atmosphere, it can’t accumulate because it’s heavier than air.. Stop moving the bloody goalposts. Of course average means average and doesn’t mean it’s the same levels everywhere, ten inches of rainfall a year doesn’t mean rain falls ten inches every day.. (this is the same scenario as the residence time – IPCC actual figures hidden in the bulk of the reports against the spiel of accumulating for hundreds and thousands of years in the atmosphere – see my post above: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/the-emily-litella-moment-for-climate-science-and-co2/#comment-714003 Their conclusion was that it is lumpy and not well-mixed and they need to understand winds better..

    CO2 needs 1-2 years to reach the South Pole, as most human sources are in the NH.

    Well, here’s the thing. How exactly does it do this (apart from the fact that it is continually sinking to the ground and coming down in the rain when it is not being acted on by other work such as wind)?

    Know any weathermen? S’far as I know, winds stick to their own hemisphere except for a bit of mixing at the equator and most winds are westerlies or easterlies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_prevailing_winds_on_earth.png

    And in the global circulation, the winds come from the poles – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Earth_Global_Circulation.jpg

    “Polar easterlies Main article: Polar easterlies
    The polar easterlies, also known as Polar Hadley cells, are dry, cold prevailing winds that blow from the high-pressure areas of the polar highs at the north and south poles towards the low-pressure areas within the Westerlies at high latitudes. Unlike the Westerlies, these prevailing winds blow from the east to the west, and are often weak and irregular.[41] Because of the low sun angle, cold air builds up and subsides at the pole creating surface high-pressure areas, forcing an equatorward outflow of air;[42] that outflow is deflected eastward by the Coriolis effect.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind

    My bold. So what happened when the wind stopped blowing for 40 years? The local produced CO2 didn’t move away from the pole, volcanic, and formed your 1% enriched layer in the ice core..?

    Myrrh: “The Beck and stomata data are much more sensible to CO2 levels, production is mostly local. The Mauna Loa data is suspect because of this.”

    Many of the historical data and stomata data are suspect, because taken nearby huge sources and sinks, not well mixed and highly variable even over a day. Mauna Loa and 70 other stations, airplane and seaship measurements show very little variability and represent the bulk (95%) of the atmosphere.

    Sigh, they show local production, precisely, because, carbon dioxide, doesn’t travel easily. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it does not rise readily in air. It likes to be where plants can eat it. Stomata are on the underside of leaves because the bulk of carbon dioxide is not in the air where plants don’t live, but at ground level where it will be moved by local winds and warmth, quickly dropping back to start the cycle again, by its own weight and in readily mixing with any water in its local air, rain, dew. Mauna Loa is a joke, as are some of the other stations, they decide when they stop measuring the carbon dioxide falling to the ground from the huge amount of locally produced in the ongoing volcanic activity and thousands of earthquakes a year in the warm seas around the great hot spot creating the islands, and the increased plane traffic day and night – while sitting on the worlds largest active volcano.. What possible ‘well-mixed background CO2′ can they be measuring? You can tell just from the Keeling curve they keep producing that it bears no relation to anything except their agenda – read how they make the choice for cut-off point, they arbitrarily decide when ‘volcanic’ stops…

    Myrrh “The Antarctic cores do not show the responses to the LIA and MWP and others which Greenland does.”

    Depends of the resolution. The medium resolution (40 years) Law Dome ice core shows the difference between the MWP and LIA: 6 ppmv less CO2 for about 0.8 degr.C cooling:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg

    Well, I was thinking of the WUWT discussions on this a little while ago – the Greenland cores show bigger differences and unambiguous relation to the great up and down temps of these periods, as I recall, my question is why the difference? Because more in the thick of life producing CO2 in the land masses around Greenland and, in the wind system?

    Wasn’t it Law Dome where they altered the time frame because they couldn’t get one to agree with other cores? Vague memory of something like that.

    Looking at your diagram. Doesn’t it look strange to you? Is there really that much more CO2 there now compared with the MIA? And of course, my question here – where does it come from?

  444. The ice core data from Greenland had CO2 levels higher than 320 ppmv well before the industrial age and pre-industrial ice core from Byrd Antarctica, (Neftel et al in 1982) showed maximum values above 400 ppmv. These were covienently not used or high data points removed with the intention of supporting the AGW movement later. This then leads to incorrect conclusions claiming that the ocean using ice cores has only shown 8ppmv per 1c temperature rise. When in fact these ice cores did show larger CO2 ppmv values in Greenland and Byrd Antarctica for example. Based on especially these original cores before ignoring or emitting high values, it could be between 40 and 80 ppmv CO2 per 1c. This is down too no different ice cores show the same CO2 data results. Thats why the amended and cherry picked data ice core set which shows no higher than 290 ppmv should be treated with significant caution.

  445. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    “They didn’t calibrate their calculated pCO2 to the ice core records.”

    What part of “Presently the reason for this discrepancy remains unresolved. However, it is clear that the use of empirical calibration curves…” did you not understand?

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    “The sink capacity isn’t elastic enough to remove the extra CO2 which is currently in the atmosphere at any high speed.”

    This is not a statement of fact, but of what you wish to be true.

    “The current 100 ppmv (200 GtC extra) extra removes only 4 GtC extra CO2 out of the atmosphere per year. That is because the increase in growth rate of vegetation is only average 50% if the atmospheric CO2 doubles.”

    No, this betrays a lack of understanding of how influx is partitioned between the oceans and atmosphere.

    Why in the world am I arguing such trifling silliness? You are so out of the ballpark, you are not even in the same city.

    No, Ferdinand… you just do not understand feedback systems. Case closed.

  446. I wish to state explicitly that my lack of response or reference to “Myrrh” should not be construed as support for anything he is arguing. If you wish to argue with Myrrh, you are arguing with Myrrh, not with me.

  447. Bart says:
    August 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    “They didn’t calibrate their calculated pCO2 to the ice core records.”

    What part of “Presently the reason for this discrepancy remains unresolved. However, it is clear that the use of empirical calibration curves…” did you not understand?

    If you omit relevant information, then you can prove anything you want. That is the same tactic Greenpeace often uses. The previous sentences which you didn’t copy simply show that the “empirical calibration curves” have nothing to do with ice cores, but with the calibration of boron isotopes with current day pH and thus with current day pCO2:

    Empirical calibration with live cultured planctic foramins and corals has shown that the isotopic composition of biogenic carbonates falls close to the isotopic composition of borates in seawater (5-8), although the empirical d11Bcarbonate/pH relationship is not as steep as predicted by the isotopic fractionation between borate and boric acid in seawater (3). Presently the reason for this discrepancy remains unresolved…

    What part of “Empirical d11B/pH… isotopic fractionation… in seawater” did you not understand?

    They compared their calculated d11B/pH from live cultures to the real d11B/pH in seawater. Not to any ice core.

    This is not a statement of fact, but of what you wish to be true.
    No, this betrays a lack of understanding of how influx is partitioned between the oceans and atmosphere.

    Whatever the underlying processes involved, the outflux to oceans and vegetation follows the increase in the atmosphere at an exact linear rate. That means that the exchange flows are limited in flexibility and that the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans (and vegetation alveoles) is the main driving force.

    You are much better in theoretical considerations, but I have a lot of experience with real life processes…

  448. Myrrh says:
    August 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    When larger amounts of carbon dioxide are produced anywhere it can be a great hazard

    Completely right for huge quantities of CO2 released at once. But when the wind blows, the CO2 molecules are dispersed in air and remain there, as long as there is turbulence and the CO2 is not catched by a tree or the oceans. Lookup “Brownian motion” for an explanation. Even much heavier particles remain in the air, as long as there is turbulence.

    Due to gravity is weight. How did it get to the stratosphere? Volcanic eruptions, planes?

    To show a difference of 1% in firn, one need 40 years of no wind stirring at all to obtain that difference. Something that doesn’t happen in the above ground air anywhere…

    CO2 reaches the stratosphere simply by air flows: once mixed, it stays mixed and follows the air flows. At the equator up to deep in the stratosphere, but in general everywhere the wind blows.

    The CO2 levels up to 12 km follow the CO2 levels near ground even for seasonal changes, with some delay:

    Read their conclusions – it was the AIRS which found it was lumpy!

    The scale of AIRS is +/- 3 ppmv. That is less than +/-1% of the level. Thus indeed CO2 levels are lumpy on monthly averages within 2% of the real level. Big deal. Still well mixed on a period of 1-2 years.

    How exactly does it do this?

    Wind does blow everywhere, including at the poles. I don’ think that there is any place on earth where the wind doesn’t blow during 40 years. Only when trapped in firn, gravity allows minute fractionation over many years (where the CO2 measurements are corrected for, based on 15N/14N isotopic fractionation). Even if the wind at Antarctica (and the Arctic) at ground level blows away from the poles, what blows away must be compensated by air coming in from other latitudes at height. That is the case for all air flow cells: Ferrel cells near the poles, Hadley cells near the equator are (more or less) closed loop cells, but allow mixing in from other air.
    The ITCZ forms a barrier in exchanges of air (and dust and CO2) between the hemispheres, but still 10% per year of air mass exchange occurs between the hemispheres.

    You can tell just from the Keeling curve they keep producing that it bears no relation to anything except their agenda.

    Thus hundreds of people from different (even competing) labs from different organisations of different countries all work together to produce CO2 curves just out of their mind, without anyone (even retired) to protest against such a manipulation? Thus even the satellite data are manipulated in their overall trend? Please show me some proof of such a conspiracy, before you accuse a lot of people (normally called slander, if without proof).

    the Greenland cores show bigger differences and unambiguous relation to the great up and down temps of these periods, as I recall, my question is why the difference?

    The Greenland ice core is unreliable for CO2 levels: nearby Iceland volcanoes frequently emit acidic dust. Combined with sea salt (carbonates) that gives in situ higher CO2 levels, nothing to do with the real historic CO2 levels.

    Wasn’t it Law Dome where they altered the time frame because they couldn’t get one to agree with other cores? Vague memory of something like that.

    That was a stupid error from Jaworowski (for the Siple Dome ice core): he used the wrong column (age of the ice i.s.o. gas age) in the tabel of Neftel, where both columns were adjacent in the same tabel. CO2 is measured in the gas phase, not in the ice layer…

    Is there really that much more CO2 there now compared with the MIA? And of course, my question here – where does it come from?.

    Humans emitted about twice the quantity of CO2 which is measured as increase in the atmosphere. Maybe that is some clue of why the sudden increase over the past 160 years…

  449. Matt G says:
    August 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    These were covienently not used or high data points removed with the intention of supporting the AGW movement later.

    As said to Myrhh before: Greenland CO2 is not reliable due to acidic dust from Icelandic volcanoes. Extreme values in the Neftel Byrd station ice core were found where also drilling fluid was found in the ice (via cracks). Several measurements over the same ice layers did give a wide range of values, including the similar values in line with samples before and later in depth/time. Normally, one should delete the whole range, as the sample was clearly contaminated and doesn’t show the real values of CO2 of that period, except the lowest values. Neftel decided to keep the lowest values. That is all.

    Of course if one is interested in discrediting the ice cores as valid information of ancient atmospheres, this is an ideal case…

    But see further my take of Jaworowski, who is behind all these stories:

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

  450. To avoid any misunderstanding:

    They compared their calculated d11B/pH from live cultures to the real d11B/pH in seawater. Not to any ice core.

    Should be:
    They calibrated their calculated d11B/pH from live cultures to today’s pCO2 and compared that to the known d11B/pH in seawater. Despite a discrepancy in slope, the calculated pCO2 levels from the empiric data from live cultures matches the ice core data.

    Thus they didn’t calibrate against the isotopic ratio in seawater, nor against ice cores, they only compared the experimental findings with both.

  451. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 14, 2011 at 12:53 am

    “…the outflux to oceans and vegetation follows the increase in the atmosphere at an exact linear rate. That means that the exchange flows are limited in flexibility…”

    Again, this is not a statement of fact, but of what you wish to be true.

    “…the “empirical calibration curves” have nothing to do with ice cores…”

    They have a curve which is empirically derived. That curve necessarily has significant uncertainty in it – there is not a unique fit as it is unmoored from physical principles. They chose the fit which gives them replication of the Vostok ice core. The Vostok ice core is thereby used for validation. Ergo, the result is highly correlated with, essentially a fit to and replication of, the Vostok ice core.

    And, so, I maintain a reasonable wariness regarding the proxy reconstructions. However, I do wish to point out that, while I believe it is likely that the ice core CO2 data record is unreliable, the validity of fast CO2 response does not hinge on the validity of the ice core data. It merely would require a more complicated than mere low pass response. That is, a response in which very fast and very slow inputs are attenuated, but in which medium rate processes are passed through.

    I have been fiddling with this idea and, it turns out that it is very easy to create such a “bandpass” response in a coupled land-ocean-atmospheric model. Indeed, it is difficult not to have some finite band of relative amplification if the parameters of the system are essentially a random draw from a hat. I may post more on this later here or in a future thread when I have had time to work out all the implications.

  452. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 14, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Completely right for huge quantities of CO2 released at once. But when the wind blows, the CO2 molecules are dispersed in air and remain there, as long as there is turbulence and the CO2 is not catched by a tree or the oceans. Lookup “Brownian motion” for an explanation. Even much heavier particles remain in the air, as long as there is turbulence.

    Thank you Ferdinand, I looked up Brownian motion the first time I was given this… It’s bull. Why don’t you look it up? To help you get started see my post above http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/the-emily-litella-moment-for-climate-science-and-co2/#comment-715670 I’m sorry, but you’ve taken an AGWScience meme for granted which is nonsense in real physics. Brownian motion is nanoscale movement of microscopic particles in fluids, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are gases, gases are fluids, fluids in which nanoscale movements of particles happen.

    Now, the air above you and surrounding you is a very heavy sea of the fluid gas air made up of fluid gases, there’s a ton of it pressing down on your shoulders this very minute. Within this fluid gas there are molecules of fluid gas with different weights relative to each other. Lighter molecules of fluid gases such as water vapour and methane rise through this gaseous ocean around you, heavier molecules of fluid gases such as carbon dioxide sink in this ocean. Wind is a volume of this fluid gas air on the move. The atmosphere around you is not empty space, it has volume, real gases have volume.. If it was empty space you would hear no sound. Real gases can be compressed, you hear sound because the fluid air around you can be compressed. Because these fluid gas molecules comprising air have volume and weight, they are also pressing on each other, their range of movement is restricted. They do not travel at great speeds across a room, because the volume of the fluid gas air around them holds them back. Please take a few minutes to read through this page, it’s not long, http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/01/sound-waves.html Note how the molecules are able to vibrate because they have volumes of molecules around them against which to vibrate. Sound does not send the molecules flying across the room.. When they stop vibrating they come back to ‘rest’, when the energy of the sound has been passed along.

    Wind is volumes of air on the move – the carbon dioxide is not “dispersed in air”, it moves with the volume of air it is in.. Wind isn’t a wooden spoon stirring molecules around in empty space, it is fluid volumes of molecules on the move in the gaseous volume around us. So, “the CO2 molecules are dispersed in air and remain there as long as there is turbulence and the CO2 is not catched by a tree or the oceans.” doesn’t make any sense because you miss out that because they’re heavier than air unless there is enough energy to counteract their weight, wind, heat, they will sink. They’re always in air, but heavier than air so when the volume of air they are in stops moving, they will sink displacing the lighter molecules of oxygen and nitrogen.. that’s how they get to the ocean, when they’re not joining with water and forming carbonic acid, which is rain.

    This is what the AIRS data confirmed for themselves, that carbon dioxide is not ‘well-mixed’ (Brownian motion or ideal gas scenario of the AGWScience fiction memes), is not ‘the same ratio everywhere’, ‘same proportion’, ‘homogeneous’ – they found it was lumpy and not well-mixed. It might well travel in the volume of air it is in when it is windy, staying in the lumpy form, but will sink when it stops. It is not always windy.

    It is not well-mixed because it is, as above, and so if in the wind which is a volume of air it is in on the move where does it go?
    Now, most winds are local. It won’t go very far. Is it always windy where you are? Are you always in turbulence? Look at the trees around you, are they moving at the top, the middle, at the ground?

    Significant Findings from AIRS Data

    Carbon dioxide is not homogeneous in the mid-troposphere; previously it was thought to be well-mixed

    The distribution of carbon dioxide in the mid-troposphere is strongly influenced by large-scale circulations such as the mid-latitude jet streams and by synoptic weather systems, most notably in the summer hemisphere

    There are significant differences between simulated and observed CO2 abundance outside of the tropics, raising questions about the transport pathways between the lower and upper troposphere in current models

    Zonal transport in the southern hemisphere shows the complexity of its carbon cycle and needs further study

    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/data/about_airs_co2_data/

    What do you think they’re saying here? A decade nearly gone and they’re still not releasing the data for the upper and lower troposphere…

    The big wind systems do not cross hemispheres. What little mixing there is at the boundary layer get’s sucked into the local systems at the equator. http://www.pilotfriend.com/av_weather/meteo/prv_wnd.htm

    Humans emitted about twice the quantity of CO2 which is measured as increase in the atmosphere. Maybe that is some clue of why the sudden increase over the past 160 years…

    Maybe it makes sense to you, not me. It began rising way before there was any noticeable amount of industrial output from the middle of the 20th century, looks to me as if there’s some sort of flattening effect in older ice.

  453. Matt G. – Thank you.

    Ferdinand – As said to Myrhh before: Greenland CO2 is not reliable due to acidic dust from Icelandic volcanoes. Extreme values in the Neftel Byrd station ice core were found where also drilling fluid was found in the ice (via cracks). Several measurements over the same ice layers did give a wide range of values, including the similar values in line with samples before and later in depth/time. Normally, one should delete the whole range, as the sample was clearly contaminated and doesn’t show the real values of CO2 of that period, except the lowest values. Neftel decided to keep the lowest values. That is all.

    Remind me, where did you say this to me before?

    How does this compare with sulphuric acid levels in Antarctica? And how does this affect carbon dioxide levels?

    WINDY BITS

    Composition
    Air is a mixture of several gases. When completely dry, it is about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. The remaining 1% is other gases such as argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, and others. However, in nature, air is never completely dry. It always contains some water vapor in amounts varying from almost none to 5% by volume. As water vapor content increases, the other gases decrease proportionately.

    Air is matter and has weight. Since it is gaseous, it is compressible. Pressure the atmosphere exerts on the surface is the result of the weight of the air above. Thus, air near the surface is much more dense than air at high altitudes.

    What causes wind?
    Differences in temperature create differences in pressure. For example, local winds along lake and ocean shores are the result of the temperature differences between land and water, which cause a pressure difference and wind. These pressure differences drive a complex system of winds in a never-ending attempt to reach equilibrium. Wind also transports water vapor and spreads fog, clouds, and precipitation.

    Convection currents
    When two surfaces are heated unequally, they heat the overlying air unevenly. The warmer air expands and becomes lighter or less dense than the cool air. The denser, cool air is drawn to the ground by its greater gravitational force lifting or forcing the warm air upward much as oil is forced to the top of water when the two are mixed. The rising air spreads and cools, eventually descending to complete the convective circulation. As long as the uneven heating persists, convection maintains a continuous convective current.

    The horizontal air flow in a convective current is wind. Convection of both large and small scales accounts for systems ranging from hemispheric circulations down to local eddies. This horizontal flow, wind, is sometimes called advection. However, the term advection more commonly applies to the transport of atmospheric properties by the wind, i.e., warm advection; cold advection; advection of water vapor, etc.

    Because of uneven heating of the Earth, surface pressure is low in warm equatorial regions and high in cold polar regions. A pressure gradient develops from the poles to the equator. If the Earth did not rotate, this pressure gradient force would be the only force acting on the wind. Circulation would be two giant hemispheric convective currents. Cold air would sink at the poles; wind would blow straight from the poles to the equator; warm air at the equator would be forced upward; and high-level winds would blow directly toward the poles. However, the Earth does rotate; and because of its rotation, this simple circulation is greatly distorted.

    Coriolis force: it modifies wind direction

    The Coriolis force affects the paths of aircraft, missiles, flying birds, and ocean currents, and is most important to the study of weather and air currents. The force deflects air to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This text concentrates mostly on deflection to the right in the Northern Hemisphere.

    As air is forced aloft at the equator and begins its high-level trek northward, the Coriolis force turns it to the right or to the east.

    Read more: Weather Fundamentals – average, low, world, daily, high, The earths atmosphere, Temperature, Atmospheric pressurethe barometer, Wind http://www.weatherexplained.com/Vol-1/Weather-Fundamentals.html#ixzz1V3GU4onz

    http://www.weatherexplained.com/Vol-1/Weather-Fundamentals.html

    …Things to watch for in AGWScience fiction memes

    The prominent meteorologist William W. Kellogg, for one, told a 1975 World Meteorological Organization symposium not to worry. He noted that industrial aerosols, and also the soot from burning debris where forests were cleared, absorbed sunlight strongly — after all, smog and smoke are visibly dark. They would thus retain heat. He calculated that the chief effect of human aerosols would be regional warming (although he admitted that the calculation relied on properties that were poorly known). Anyway, as Kellogg also pointed out, rains washed aerosols out of the lower atmosphere in a matter of weeks. Eventually the warming due to the increase in CO2 — a gas that lingered in the atmosphere for centuries — must necessarily dominate the climate.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/aerosol.htm

    Hmm, a prominent meteorologist who doesn’t know that rain is the carbon dioxide washing aerosols out of the lower atmosphere in a matter of weeks…?

    It’s when you get down to the basics that AGWScience fiction beomes so amusingly surreal.

  454. A bit of trivia:

    larryo: Asian dust like the spring plumes that sometimes pour across the Pacific towards North America?

    dale.w.griffin: Yes, so we will be venturing out in mid-April which is the peak of the Asian dust season…and yes, they move over the Pacific and impact our air quality………we get Asian dust from one side and African dust from the other

    larryo: I noticed that in reading up on this. Both corners of North America get it. So that keeps you busy.

    dale.w.griffin: Yes, both sides…a bit of trivia…..in the summer in Florida when you take a breath….~50% of the particles you inhale come from Africa

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/dust-storms-microbes-disease.html

  455. Myrrh says:
    August 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Myrrh,

    If Brownian motion works for – relative heavy – particles in a fluid, please give me a reason why it would not work for a molecule of CO2 in a fluid, surrounded by 300 times more molecules of other gases. Have you ever put a few drops of a perfume on a floor and didn’t you smell the scent a few minutes later at the other side of the room, even at 1.5 meters height or wherever your nose is? That is Brownian motion at work, even for scent molecules which are many times heavier than air.

    I have been working in a chlorine factory. To protect workers and the neighbourhood, a network of chlorine monitors was installed, including a program to calculate the spread of any leak. The latter was expected to be thinned with between the 2nd and 3rd power of the distance. If it was only dispersed over the ground, it would be the 2nd power only, but as it is dispersed also in height, the 3rd power is involved, be it not complete. Chlorine is a lot heavier than CO2 (m.w. 71 vs. 44).

    Further, have a look at the data: CO2 levels at 3,400 meter at Mauna Loa exactly follows the Cape Kumukahi CO2 levels at ground level in Hawaii, see the “carbon tracker” overview:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/

    And for yearly averages, all stations, from ground level in the far North (Barrow, Alaska) to Mauna Loa at 3,400 m high to the SH stations at ground level (Samoa) to the South Pole at 3,000 m high follow each other with a maximum lag of a few years, over 50 years now since the measurements started at the South Pole (which was before Mauna Moa, but has a gap of a few years, later on):

    in detail for the period 1995-2004:

    Thus Mauna Loa at 3,400 m lags Barrow at sealevel with some 9 months, while the South Pole lags Barrow with about 2 years.

    The increase in the past 50+ years in all stations is over 80 ppmv. Compare that to the variability discovered by the AIRS satellite: +/- 3 ppmv at mid troposphere (about 5,000 m. Hey, how comes CO2 that high at such a high ppmv level?). The variability in the mid-troposphere is of academic interest, but completely irrelevant for the global increase of CO2 over the years and its long term distribution over the globe…

  456. Myrrh says:
    August 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Remind me, where did you say this to me before?
    August 14, 2011 at 1:57 am, but it is only about the first sentence (reliability of CO2 levels in the Greenland ice cores)

    How does this compare with sulphuric acid levels in Antarctica? And how does this affect carbon dioxide levels?

    Depends of the amount of seasalt/dust in the ice core. Coastal ice cores of Antarctica (Siple Dome, Law Dome) receive far more seasalt/dust than the far inland, high altitude ice cores (Vostok, Dome C). But when one compares CO2 levels in the different ice cores for overlapping periods in time, these differ not more than 5 ppmv from each other.

    Hmm, a prominent meteorologist who doesn’t know that rain is the carbon dioxide washing aerosols out of the lower atmosphere in a matter of weeks…?

    I thought that rain was mainly composed of water, but I may be wrong on this point…

  457. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm
    Myrrh says:
    August 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    If Brownian motion works for – relative heavy – particles in a fluid, please give me a reason why it would not work for a molecule of CO2 in a fluid, surrounded by 300 times more molecules of other gases. Have you ever put a few drops of a perfume on a floor and didn’t you smell the scent a few minutes later at the other side of the room, even at 1.5 meters height or wherever your nose is? That is Brownian motion at work, even for scent molecules which are many times heavier than air.,

    CO2 is the fluid, it’s part of the gaseous atmosphere. Er, The other fluids in the atmosphere are lighter than CO2 – how are they going to bounce it around? The technical description is that it displaces air, the basic oxygen and nitrogen which are around the same weight. It’s dramatically noticeable when in large amounts, but that’s because each molecules has that effect in air. This is a well understood effect, fires can be put out with extinguishers of CO2.

    I said something on ‘scent in air’ above: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/the-emily-litella-moment-for-climate-science-and-co2/#comment-715670

    I’ll put in the extract about diffusion here for ease of reference:

    “While Brownian motion of large molecules is observable under a microscope, small-molecule diffusion can only be probed in carefully controlled experimental conditions. Under normal conditions, molecular diffusion is relevant only on length scales between nanometer and millimeter. On larger length scales, transport in liquids and gases is normally due to another transport phenomenon, convection.

    Therefore, some often cited examples of diffusion are wrong: If cologne is sprayed in one place, it will soon be smelled in the entire room, but a simple calculation shows that this cannot be due to diffusion; the cause can only be convection. If ink is dropped in water, one usually observes an inhomogeneous evolution of the spatial distribution, which clearly indicates convection; diffusion dominates only in perfect thermal equilibrium.”

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

    Like the movement of air in our atmosphere, it’s first and foremost about convection which comes about from temperature differences because of the scale, and work done to spread something, heat, external motion such as fan or movement of people in a room and energy by spraying and so on. Alcohol is very volatile for example, that creates heat and heat makes gases less dense, it’s the major constituent of most scents, and also, it has the effect of breaking the surface tension of water also an ingredient which is already evaporating at room temperature and water vapour is considerably lighter than air – all this helps spread the scent around the room (which is why these ingredients are chosen, more expensive perfumes with less or even no alcohol rely on close up heat from the body to make their point..). But especially remember scale. Brownian motion works on nanoscale – the volume and weight of the fluid it is in will restrict this movement over distance. The particles of dust from Africa reaching Florida haven’t got there by less than millimetre random movements.., but in volumes of wind, volumes of air on the move, through convection – the room is that on a smaller scale. Rooms are heated by convection, as warm air rises and the denser colder air sinks beneath it to be warmed in turn. How long would it take to get to Florida if it was Brownian motion?

    I have been working in a chlorine factory. To protect workers and the neighbourhood, a network of chlorine monitors was installed, including a program to calculate the spread of any leak. The latter was expected to be thinned with between the 2nd and 3rd power of the distance. If it was only dispersed over the ground, it would be the 2nd power only, but as it is dispersed also in height, the 3rd power is involved, be it not complete. Chlorine is a lot heavier than CO2 (m.w. 71 vs. 44).

    As with the scent in the room, there are other things that have to be taken into consideration, its properties and environment. Carbon monoxide monitors are placed on the wall iirc two or three feet above floor level because appliances which can malfunction also give off carbon dioxide and as this readily sinks to the floor it not recommended to plug the monitor into the floor socket because there might be enough CO2 to block the carbon monoxide from getting to the monitor. Breweries monitor carbon dioxide from ground level.

    So, chlorine. It has an atomic weight half that, as there are two atoms in a covalent bond

    “but fluorine, though consisting mostly of di-atomic molecules, contains some mono-atomic ones ; and chlorine, bromine, and iodine, though probably CJ 9 , Br 2 , and I 2 at low temperatures, dissociate into molecules identical with their atoms if the temperature is sufficiently raised. The fact of reduction in the molecular complexity of the molecules of elements prepares us for the existence of elements which in the gaseous state are already mono-atomic ; and many such are known.” http://www.molecularstation.com/wiki/Molecular_weight

    This would have to be taken into consideration in monitoring chlorine (http://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/chlorine_tech.htm etc.). It’s a gas at room temperature, that heat will break it down to a one atom molecule and not much heavier than air, that the force bonding the two atoms is relatively weak, that it’s volatile like alcohol which means that the latent heat released when it turns into gas from liquid has to be considered as well as tthe force which would expel the chlorine from the factory, the height at which this would happen, the amount likely to be expelled, and so on.

    What is at play here is that such examples and demonstrations as scent spread through a room and ink mixing in water to stay ‘thoroughly mixed and can’t be unmixed, same proportion throughout’, while giving the explanation ‘Browninan motion or ideal gas’, must have been originally created by someone or more who know real physics extremely well… The subtle tweaks to real physics, the swapping of properties and processes and cherry picking out of context laws are too consistent to be co-incidence. That this is spread in ignorance by those who take this on trust is the real tragedy in this, a whole generation now with a completely illogical understanding of basic physics and consequently living in a fictional Alice through the looking glass impossible world. No need to slaughter all the teachers and burn all the books, and turn everyone except the elite themselves into controlled serfs, the techniques developed in Marxist inspired ideolgies earlier in the last century being played out on a grand scale. No difference between the Fabians and Fascists and Natzis, between Cameron and Blair – the science doesn’t matter here, the more confusing they can make the better it suits. If you ever see a talk a glassy-eyed Gordon Brown gave in Australia you’ll find other techniques in play, in five minutes so many repetitions of new world order and variations, language never used in his career before becoming prime minister, not one record of such in Hansard. But I digress.

    Will have to come back to this later, but I hope the Brownian motion thing has been explained well enough here now to see how shocked they were in the AIRS to find reality not as the AGWScience fiction memes have been propagated.

  458. Myrrh says:
    August 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Myrrh, please. Brownian motion keeps very heavy particles in the air. Brownian motion keeps very heavy scent molecules in the air. And brownian motion keeps CO2 and chlorine in the air. The movement of these molecules is together with the air molecules by convection and wind. If you were right, then the scent molecules would drop out of the air far more rapid than the minute convection in a room, but that is not the case.

    Further, there may is dissiciation of Cl2 molecules with very high temperatures, but that must be a very small portion at room temperature (actually, your reference gives no dissociation up to 200 degr.C). Chorine molecules don’t attack gold, but when in status nascendi (single atoms) it does. But even so, Cl2 has a molecular weight of 71, a single atom is 35.5, still heavier than oxygen or nitrogen molecules.

    But you haven’t answered the main question: if all CO2 remains at ground level, why it is possible that CO2 levels increase up to 5,000 meter (AIRS) as good as at ground level from near the North Pole to the South Pole at about the same rate?

  459. Ferdinand,
    “But you haven’t answered the main question: if all CO2 remains at ground level, why it is possible that CO2 levels increase up to 5,000 meter (AIRS) as good as at ground level from near the North Pole to the South Pole at about the same rate?”

    Clouds are transporting CO2 both horizontally and vertically at high rates. The cold water in clouds absorbs CO2. Some clouds will tower to over 10,000 meters in an afternoon. That cold water freezes and releases the absorbed CO2. Some of that CO2 gets in jet streams and is rapidly transported horizontally. Neither concentration gradiants or gravity have any significant effect on these transfer rates. Also,the behavior of clouds tends to fractionate C12/C13 and the index signal is increased as the CO2 is being transported from the tropical source to the polar sink.

  460. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 14, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Thanks, the reasons why these were not used/changed were the very same ones I had read about before.

    With me been aware of this thats why I brought this up because with Antarctica, how is it possible to know that errors with drilling only cause them to have higher data results and not lower data results? I thought these sensors only detected CO2 and not O2 or N2 etc.

    With regards to Iceland CO2 levels during recent volcanic eruptions were still around normal over Greenland, only close to Iceland higher values were detected. How do you know these CO2 spikes were from volcanoes many thousands of years ago?

    Finally, not interested in discrediting the ice cores if they reflect the true climate, (only looking for true picture) but with so few cores available with none the same. Claming a data set is automatically the one and ignoring others with these problems only increases my doubts, when there is little evidence to base them on.

  461. Matt G says:
    August 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    The (infrared) measurements show CO2 levels in ratio to the rest of the gases. Only water vapour must be removed down to very low levels to avoid interference. Other gases have no overlap with the CO2 band, or are at very low levels. Some even more sophisticated methods sublimate all ice to an extreme low temperature, fractionating the different gases by selective distillation afterwards. Weight differences are used for the calculation.

    Volcanoes represent only a small contribution (less than 1% of the human emissions) to the natural inflows; Thus the Icelandic volcanoes output is of less importance, even for nearby Greenland. What is important is the dust of the volcanoes, which is highly acidic and that travels over long distances, as the European flights have experienced. With the right wind conditions, that falls in part over the Greenland ice, is incorporated and reacts with ocean dust (carbonates), releasing extra CO2 over time.

    Despite that different ice cores have very different circumstances and resolution, overlapping periods show the same CO2 level over all periods, within 5 ppmv. And recently confirmed by over 2 million years of sediments, as discussed before.

  462. Matt G says:
    August 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I think that I have misinterpreted your question:

    With me been aware of this thats why I brought this up because with Antarctica, how is it possible to know that errors with drilling only cause them to have higher data results and not lower data results?

    If you have a data series and some of the data show values extremely outside the range of the other data, it is prudent to assume that these are outliers, not the reverse, but one need to check if that is plausible. In the case of the Neftel work at the Siple Dome ice core, the layers where the outliers were found were examined in detail and showed contamination with drilling fluid in cracks. Further examination of the same ice layers with smaller samples did show an enormous variation of CO2 levels, including values in the “normal” range. Thus it was clear that the contamination was the source of the extra CO2 levels in some samples. Many years later, a new core was drilled at Siple Dome and no increased values were found over the same ice age where the previous contamination was found…

    That contamination leads to higher results is because the current atmosphere is already 100-200 ppmv higher than what is found in ice core bubbles and drilling fluid may dissolve even more CO2 out of the atmosphere, compared to dissolved O2/N2 (but I haven’t seen any figures yet about the solubility of CO2/O2/N2 in such fluids). The CO2 measurements are done under vacuum, CO2 dissolved in drilling fluids would come out and enrich the levels, if O2/N2 are less soluble.

    It would be quite remarkable that CO2 migrates from lower to higher levels, and at the same time O2/N2 doesn’t migrate, thus decreasing the ratio in the bubbles. I do expect the reverse, if there was any migration at all, as CO2 has more affinity with ice/water than O2/N2, thus migrating less fast or not at all, which should lead to too high levels, which is not observed.

  463. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    Thanks for your responces and it has been explained well, but to be more confident it would have been better to measure the affected ice samples again where especially chemicals influenced the results, so either to improve or deduce the error involved. The ice cores samples are/were still available with only small parts of each section needed. This would be better with all the money invested in the project to make a data set available again to compare with other data sets. (Time maybe a factor more important than money) Rather than dismiss it because of the errors where only another core sample showed different (one), but with expected results automatically becomes the one. This is because during interglaciers would expect a high value(s) to stick out from the rest of the data during a 90,000+ year major ice age.

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