CO2 police can now be equipped to rat out cities

From the University of Utah, a way to keep tabs on Kyoto, except there isn’t any new treaties expected to be signed.

Measuring CO2 to fight global warming

University of Utah and Harvard scientists develop way to enforce future greenhouse gas treaty

University of Utah biologist Jim Ehleringer and colleagues at Harvard developed a new method to estimate carbon dioxide emissions and thus verify compliance with a greenhouse gas treaty — if the nations of the world ever agree to limit emissions of the climate-warming gas. Credit: Lee J. Siegel, University of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, May 14, 2012 – If the world’s nations ever sign a treaty to limit emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide gas, there may be a way to help verify compliance: a new method developed by scientists from the University of Utah and Harvard.

Using measurements from only three carbon-dioxide (CO2) monitoring stations in the Salt Lake Valley, the method could reliably detect changes in CO2 emissions of 15 percent or more, the researchers report in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for the week of May 14, 2012.

The method is a proof-of-concept first step even though it is less precise than the 5 percent accuracy recommended by a National Academy of Sciences panel in 2010. The study’s authors say satellite monitoring of carbon dioxide levels ultimately may be more accurate than the ground-based method developed in the new study.

“The primary motivation for the study was to take high-quality data of atmospheric CO2 in an urban region and ask if you could predict the emissions patterns based on CO2 concentrations in the air,” says study coauthor Jim Ehleringer, a distinguished professor of biology at the University of Utah.

“The ultimate use is to verify CO2 emissions in the event that the world’s nations agree to a treaty to limit such emissions,” he says. “The idea is can you combine concentration information – CO2 in the air near the ground – and weather patterns, which is wind blowing, and mathematically determine emissions based on that information.”

Ehleringer did the study with four Massachusetts atmospheric scientists: Kathryn McKain and Steven Wofsy of Harvard University, and Thomas Nehrkorn and Janusz Eluszkiewicz of Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.

While the method can detect changes of 15 percent or more in CO2 levels, determining absolute levels is tricky and depends on certain assumptions, but it can be done, Ehleringer says.

“The model [new method] predicts more CO2 emissions than we see,” based on a federal government survey that previously estimated carbon dioxide emissions based on interviews with gas- and coal-burning utilities and sellers of fuel and natural gas, he says. “That shouldn’t surprise you. People are underreporting.”

Estimating CO2 Emissions

Ehleringer began monitoring carbon dioxide levels in the Salt Lake Valley in 2002 as part of a National Science Foundation-funded study of the urban airshed. The monitoring network measures CO2 from six sites across the Salt Lake Valley and a seventh well above the valley at Snowbird.

“It is the most extensive publicly available and online data set of CO2 concentrations in an urban area in the world,” he says (co2.utah.edu).

The new study created a computer simulation of CO2 emissions in the Salt Lake Valley using three sources of information:

  • CO2 measurements from three sites – the University of Utah, downtown Salt Lake City and Murray, Utah, about halfway south down the valley’s length.
  • Data from weather stations in the valley, crunched through weather forecasting software used to predict wind and air circulation.
  • Satellite data showing what parts of the valley are covered by homes, other buildings, trees, agriculture and so on.

The emissions estimates from the simulation were compared with the results of the government survey that estimates CO2 emissions.

“You come up with estimates for emissions that are within 15 percent or better of the actual emissions for the region,” Ehleringer says.

Even though that is not as precise as desired by the National Academy of Sciences, “it is a very powerful first step,” he adds. “However we would like to be within 5 percent for treaty verification purposes.”

Because urban regions are major sources of CO2, “a large fraction of a country’s emissions likely emanate from such regions, and results from several representative cities over time could provide strong tests of claimed emission reductions at national or regional scales,” the researchers write.

The simulation showed how ground-level CO2 concentrations increased overnight when air was calm, and then decreased in the morning as sunlight mixed the air and plants consumed CO2 due to photosynthesis. Sometimes the simulation failed to catch the exact time this mixing occurred.

That is part of the reason the researchers argue satellite measurements through a mile-thick vertical column of air may better estimate CO2 concentrations and thus emissions by being less sensitive to ground-level variations close and far from emissions sources like smokestacks or intersections with idling vehicles.

Several satellites around the world now make limited CO2 measurements. But the researchers write that “no presently planned satellite has the necessary orbit or targeting capability” for the desired urban CO2 measurements.

Several previous studies looked at CO2 levels in various cities, but none at the full urban scale or with accuracy near what is required for treaty verification, the researchers say. The only study that accurately measured an urban area’s CO2 emissions over time – in Heidelberg, Germany – did so with a method too expensive for routine use.

Ehleringer’s part of the research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The study says his coauthors were funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and – without specifics – “by the U.S. intelligence community,” which would be involved in treaty verification.

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84 thoughts on “CO2 police can now be equipped to rat out cities

  1. Idiotic, if you ask me. All you need to do is keep track of fuel consumption and you can calculate CO2 emission. Keep track of all oil, coal, gas, and refined petroleum fuel consumed in the state and you know exactly how much CO2 was produced.

  2. “The model [new method] predicts more CO2 emissions than we see,”
    The UN will love it.

  3. The emissions estimates from the simulation were compared with the results of the government survey that estimates CO2 emissions.
    “You come up with estimates for emissions that are within 15 percent or better of the actual emissions for the region,” Ehleringer says.
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Outright hooey. They compared the emissions ESTIMATES from the simulation with the emissions ESTIMATES from the survey, Since both are estimates the statement that either is within 15% of actual emissions is bogus. Not have measured actual emissions wih any degree of accuracy, they’re validating one WAG by comparing it to another WAG.

    But let’s not get derailed into the “how to measure it” argument. GISS, Hadcrut, USA and RSS all show flat or cooling temps for the last 15 years. Put that on a billboard and try and get someone to exaplain who it indicates global warming. Since there is no warming being measured, in fact the onset of a cooling trend seems to be appearing, CO2 clearly doens’t drive the climate and there is zero vaule in either measuring or controlling emissions.

  4. ….“by the U.S. intelligence community,…….”

    I’d be worried if I were a US citizen.

  5. What could possibly go wrong.

    (Images of blockades around gas stations, people trudging through long lines carrying gas cans, delivery trucks stopped at regional borders….)

  6. “The model [new method] predicts more CO2 emissions than we see,” based on a federal government survey that previously estimated carbon dioxide emissions based on interviews with gas- and coal-burning utilities and sellers of fuel and natural gas”

    So the new model is within about 50% of the previous guess, which was based on interviewing some folk who have a vested interest. And either of these are supposed to be science? What happened to empirical measurement?

  7. CO2 emissions are greater than reported. So more than 50% is disappearing into the sink, that big black hole that means the atmospheric CO2 proportion is rising at only half the amount of anthropogenic output. The size of the sink is incorporated into the models for their projections. The sink is bigger. What amendments to the models will be required to take this into account?

    JF
    (I’m sure there’ll be no problem, of course. A fiddle here, a fudge there and voila! It’s worse than we thought.)

  8. Climate science has evolved to being anti-human and anti-democratic. Climate scientists are eroding the freedoms our ancestors fought for. A new trend is emerging, there are too many climate/enviro scientists in the world today, all competing for the same funding. As a result we see thousands of bogus & artificial problems being created, that are both costly and prohibitive to citizens at large. The more fanatical the solution, the more likely the scientist gets the funding. Science used to be for the betterment of humankind, nowadays, now it is more likely to be used to abuse hard fought for freedoms.

  9. Don’t these people realize the tide is turning? You’d think people would be jumping OFF the bandwagon, not on. How thick are these idiots?

  10. Oh great.

    I used to take air samples for EPA compliance at the chemical plant I worked at. It was a royal pain in the rear. The real hidden I gottcha is the government lackey who gets a bonus for every non-compliance and he finds CONTROLS the testing.

    “Mad Sheep” is just ONE of several similar horror stories. Many never make it into print.

    “USDA officials claimed in our court hearing that, “The farmers have no rights. No right to be heard before the court, no right to independent testing, and no right to question the USDA.” ~ Linda Faillace: Mad Sheep

    timeline: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/mad_sheep:paperback/timeline

    The FOIA has finally come through showing the sheep that were destroyed were clean: http://foiamadsheepmadrivervalley.blogspot.com/

  11. “Sometimes the simulation failed to catch the exact time this mixing occurred.”
    Never mind. Today the exact time is 06h, 32m, 21s, 3ms, 9µs and 5ns :o)

  12. If you look at the yearly CO2 trend in Salt Lake City it’s pretty obvious that the biggest source of excess CO2 emissions comes from the combustion of natural gas during winter for residential heating. The background CO2 level is about 390ppm in summer and then slowly ramps up in the Fall before peaking at around 480ppm in January.

    http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=1&id=0&img=12

  13. As I said elsewhere already: L Michael Hohmann says:
    May 7, 2012 at 12:19 am
    “I am getting bored. The globe can be getting warmer or colder, but the idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with it is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so says the IPCC itself: http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.com/2011/10/west-is-facing-new-severe-recession.html.
    The ongoing discussion pro and con is becoming akin to the scholastic argument as to how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. Which is, of course, exactly what is intended, in order to achieve worldwide disorientation away from the actual IPCC aims of their monetary and energy policies – and bringing a whole discipline, if not all, of science into disrepute in the process. Even the UK Royal Society has become Lysenkoist.”
    That’s not to belittle the effort by thousands of scientists fighting for the truth in climate research, but I dismay over the practical effect of diverting all this brain power in a direction not at all relevant to the IPCC’s actual and declared political and financial intentions – or more importantly: away from the actual work that needs doing.
    All IMHO, of course. My musings for what they may be worth on my various blogsite entries, and at http://www.lmhdesign.co.uk/sustainability.php and the Planet page on that website.

  14. davidmhoffer says:
    May 15, 2012 at 1:02 am
    CO2 clearly doens’t drive the climate and there is zero vaule in either measuring or controlling emissions.

    The only value they’re looking for is in the contents of your wallet — they want to redistribute it into theirs.

  15. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”
    - Albert Einstein

  16. Brilliant! What a tour de farce! I hope they intend to continue their scientific endeavours with an attack on the problem of animal methane emissions. Perhaps they could combine that with meteorological studies to give us the true value of a fart in a thunderstorm.

  17. “The model [new method] predicts more CO2 emissions than we see,” based on a federal government survey that previously estimated carbon dioxide emissions based on interviews with gas- and coal-burning utilities and sellers of fuel and natural gas, he says. “That shouldn’t surprise you. People are underreporting.”

    Translation: “That’s how we explain the dichotomy between what we see and what the model predicts.”

  18. This is of great use to the military. Tracking troops and the like in far off countries. RADAR, Visible, Thermal and now CO2 emissions.

    Of course, selectivity is imperfect. Come WW3 the CIA will order a strike on a Chinese column and wipe out the world’s wildebeasts.

  19. I see the sentiment of the article and several comments indicating that there is a fear of regulation of emissions. Some comments float ideas that the field of climate climate science is anti-democratic, anti-human, or socialist.

    Why is there such a distinct fear? What evidence is there that a vast group of people would make up a need for emissions reduction in order to gain social control or fascist-like power?

  20. This does not separate emissions from fossil fuel and emissions from renewable fuels, so this is completely useless as a tool for verification no matter how accurate they can make it.

  21. ‘“The model [new method] predicts more CO2 emissions than we see,” based on a federal government survey that previously estimated carbon dioxide emissions based on interviews with gas- and coal-burning utilities and sellers of fuel and natural gas, he says. “That shouldn’t surprise you. People are underreporting.”’

    With no current limits wouldn’t the producers of CO2 emissions have an incentive to OVER report their emissions? So that if limits are imposed they will be starting from an inflated position.

  22. Using measurements from only three carbon-dioxide (CO2) monitoring stations in the Salt Lake Valley, the method could reliably detect changes in CO2 emissions of 15 percent or more…

    So could a philodendron.

  23. Boy they sure are making this complicated. Why not just take one measurement at the airport and call it good; works for temperature.
    /sarc

  24. davidmhoffer says: May 15, 2012 at 1:02 am
    But let’s not get derailed into the “how to measure it” argument. GISS, Hadcrut, USA and RSS all show flat or cooling temps for the last 15 years. Put that on a billboard and try and get someone to exaplain who it indicates global warming. Since there is no warming being measured, in fact the onset of a cooling trend seems to be appearing, CO2 clearly doens’t drive the climate and there is zero vaule in either measuring or controlling emissions.
    ==================
    Have you not heard of a noisy signal?!
    The co2 effect is burried in noise but it is there (unless you subscribe to the gravity effect) as CO2 increases so will temperature, so will water vapour content. It may not be visible in the noise but it is there forever increasing the temperature. If you drip water slowly into a containerer and if the evaporation (==radiation to space) is less than the drip will the container eventually overflow?
    But if the volume of the container is continually changed by compressing the sides elastically the height of water will move up and down but the average volume remains the same so over enough time the the height will still eventually overflow the container – the input is still greater than the output – it has not changed.

    here are 2 plots showing that using all cycles (the temperature is controlled by cycles only)
    and one that shows an underlying trend. Even the underlying trend shows stable temperature until 2023 then it gets back on track at the next upswing of the major 60 year cycle.

    To ignore the dripping tap is not wise!

    Here’s one showing what happens if you extend the same set of trend plus cycles +2C by 2090!

  25. Anything to keep the funding stream alive.

    It’s good to know that our scientists are developing useless tools for useless future agenda goals.

    “computer simulation of CO2 emissions ” OUCH! Science just left the building. Once they have one of these, they start putting less or no emphasis on the facts or the input. Now, when the EPA wants to target a company, they can just have the simulation generate the “evidence” of criminal activity. No need for a trial (where the evidence would not hold up), just march the perps to the nearest wall and a last ciggy—after all “We’re the government and we’re here to oppress you.”

  26. When it is proven that CO2 has little effect on the worlds temperature, the experts will be on the news saying EVERYONE thought that it was the culprit. Experts always include everyone when they are wrong.

  27. Sorry I don’t know where to put an off-topic post, but I thought Anthony Watts would be interested in this (also cross-posted to fakegate.org).

    You may be interested to know that you appear in the latest (Vol 17 No.2 ) of Skeptic Magazine. Article by Donald R. Prothero pp14-22

    The article cites Gleick’s “leak” including the fake document (which is apparently taken as being real).

    Here is the quote:

    In February 2012, leaks of documents from the denialist Heartland Institute revealed that they were trying to influence science education, suppress the work of scientists, and paid off many prominent climate deniers, such as Anthony Watts, all in an effort to circumvent the scientific consensus by doing an “end run” of PR and political pressure. Other leaks have shown 9 out 10 major climate deniers are paid by ExxonMobil[30].

    Footnote 30 reads:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/science/earth/in-heartland-institute-leak-a-plan-to-discredit-climate-teaching.html?pagewanted=all%3Fsrc=%3Dtp&smid=fb-share

  28. “The model [new method] predicts more CO2 emissions than we see,” based on a federal government survey that previously estimated carbon dioxide emissions based on interviews with gas- and coal-burning utilities and sellers of fuel and natural gas, he says. “That shouldn’t
    surprise you. People are underreporting.”

    This fails a simple logic test. If we predict more CO2 than we are getting, it would be because we are OVERREPORTING, not UNDERREPORTING.

    Thanks to plants, not all CO2 produced goes directly into the atmosphere in a day. Some of that extra CO2 is converted to oxygen and to plant material thanks to photosynthesis.

    I kind of LIKE the idea of studying CO2 changes over a day all over the world, rather than assume a pristine Mauna Loa. It was earlier argued that Mauna Loa gave more rreliable results than those around farms or cities, because there was less diurnal fluctuation due to plants.
    After giving this a little thought, I realize that the whole world balance of CO2 and O2 is completey regulated by plants- a natural background balance excluding daily plant dynamics is an absurdity.

  29. otter17 says:
    May 15, 2012 at 3:47 am

    I see the sentiment of the article and several comments indicating that there is a fear of regulation of emissions. Some comments float ideas that the field of climate climate science is anti-democratic, anti-human, or socialist.

    Why is there such a distinct fear? What evidence is there that a vast group of people would make up a need for emissions reduction in order to gain social control or fascist-like power?

    Otter17 – I suggest you look up Agenda 21 on the UN site. Or for a primer you could go to http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/foia-agenda-21/

  30. There’s another side to this story, and it’s happening at universities across the land. A spin-off company started by research faculty using research grants and university facilities for the foundation, resulting in wonderful profits for professors in addition to both their regular salaries and profits from research grants. I know, I watched several of them start up.

    http://innovationutah.com/carbonengineering.html

    Notice at the bottom… CB BioEnergy? A closer look: http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1tbz4/2011AnnualReportTech/resources/27.htm

    They use taxpayer funded university facilities for the research, taxpayer funded research grants to develop the technology, … and don’t forget the complimentary grad student indentured servant/low cost labor…. then pay a pittance percentage of the patents back to the U. But wait, there’s more. They get to bask in the limelight while driving their wheelbarrows of money to the bank.
    The universities love the income and the great notoriety (also spelled PR), so it’s no wonder they’re so defensive and protective. Just like they protect their athletes and coaches.

  31. Maybe the fuel-based model does not take into account urban and suburban concentration of human breath. In rural areas, everybody drives. Even kids. It probably nears 100%. In urban areas, that percentage is likely to fall. Therefore, emission models should include human breath as part of the emission calculation.

    As soon as that has been accomplished, and my hope is that we skeptics will catch that change in the model, people will begin to realize that population control, Chinese style, will follow.

    We must, we must, vote these people out and clean up all the institutions they have flocked to. That includes the Dept of Ag, our National Forest Service, NOAA, NASA, and Ivory Towers everywhere. It’s time we got back to the business of manufacturing quality goods (like pencils that work! Geesh!), and providing the kind of jobs needed to buy the quality goods we make.

  32. I wonder how so many ‘smart’ people get involved in so many truly stupid and worthless projects.
    I am now well over my ‘Three score years and ten’, so I won’t have to witness the rest of you smashing up all those bird choppers, and watching the army of labourers, polishing the dust off of those desert panels. What a terrible legacy my generation is leaving yours, I genuinely feel deeply ashamed of what we have done.

  33. jjthoms says:
    May 15, 2012 at 5:11 am
    …as CO2 increases so will temperature, so will water vapour content. It may not be visible in the noise but it is there forever increasing the temperature.

    …as temperature increases so will CO2. It may not be visible to the naked eye but it is there forever either increasing or decreasing, generally following the temperature at an 800-year lag rate.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  34. When our elected politicians think we need an international organization to manage and police the affairs of the US then it is time to change elected politicians to ones that believe we are a sovereign nation capable of governing under the US Constitution.

    And that would be elected politicians that would make no treaty that would violate any part of the constitution or infringe on the rights of US citizens.

  35. jjthoms says:nonsense at May 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

    CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales; there has been no net global warming for 10-15 years; probable global cooling soon; finally, the system is not static, it is dynamic, so your rmodel fails.

    Alan D McIntire says:part of the story – oceans matter too – at May 15, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Read Veizer GSA Today 2005

    Murry Salby video 2011

  36. wayne Job says:
    May 15, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I really hope the Mormons are not getting involved in this CO2 nonsense.

    Naaah… We’re watching the desert “blossom as the rose” (and now we know why):

    “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose”–Isaiah 35:1

    I’m deeply embarrassed for my alma mater.

  37. I think this study gives new impetus for skeptics to support wind turbines. What we can do is use those gargantuan eyesores, run ‘em in reverse, and blow that CO2 away from these measuring stations and thus be in compliance. However it might be beneficial not to interfere with any measurements taken in proximity of the White House, Air Force One (no more vacations Michele), Maurice Strong’s penthouse in Beijing, and a certain mansion in Tennessee.

  38. It’s a funny old world. Someone who is so mentally challenged as to believe that one can string together a number of estimates, add them together, and come up with an accurate answer is employed by the public purse. That is good. It is humane. Where is the man who would see him starve for want of human empathy. What is more difficult to grasp is that there are so many out there, so very many, who will see meaning in his numbers and extrapolate to the point of catastrophe, and dictate to us, his tolerant benefactors, trials and tribulations that we should go through to save us from spurious predictions. It’s a funny old world.

  39. Just another clear example that the skeptical climate voice is being totally ignored. The fact that there is no international treaty to enforce, is also ignored. Finally the fact that climate empirical evidence shows no increase in GMT for 15 yrs – isn’t even on their radar. Policy and actions seem to based only on some idealist’s opinion. How depressing and foolish for us all! GK

  40. Let me know where they are, my friends and I will make it a point to go and breath on them regurally.

  41. This CO2 measuring device is about as useful as a flux capacitor. Think of all of the money, time, and resources spent on a device that would be used to measure a trace gas, which will be used enforce a treaty that will never be ratified here. Does Dr.Erhleringer know something we don’t?

  42. Meaningless. Except that someone approved funding of this ‘study’, using money basically stolen from the taxpayer for this purpose. With each new instance of such hateful science-for-policy, I feel a general sense of foreboding. That there are people in the world who think this type of thing is good, is very frightening indeed: they will seek the power, and if they are your neighbor, they will be phoning hotlines to report you while smiling and waving across the hedge. It sends shivers down my spine.

  43. Am I to understand they are modeling the emissions instead of measuring them?

  44. jjthoms says:
    May 15, 2012 at 5:11 am
    …as CO2 increases so will temperature, so will water vapour content.

    That is the assumption that is built into all models. Unfortunately it does not bear out when tested in the real world.

  45. For better sampling, these devices could be mounted on the city vehicles prowling our Salt Lake neighborhoods in search of violators of ‘garbage separation and minimum fill regulations’ of our various types of trash bins.

  46. Pamela Gray says:
    May 15, 2012 at 6:23 am
    We must, we must, vote these people out and clean up all the institutions they have flocked to. That includes the Dept of Ag, our National Forest Service, NOAA, NASA, and Ivory Towers everywhere.
    =======
    Stop your government from using fear to borrow money in your name to fund the very same agencies that promote fear to gain more funding. So long as you allow yourselves to be manipulated by fear you have lost control of your government.

    The quickest way to take control of politics is to prevent the government from borrowing money to give to their friends. Otherwise, the folks with money give it to the politicians to spend on getting elected, and once elected the politicians pay it back to their friends 10 fold from your pocket. So long as politicians can borrow in your name, the corruption will continue to grow. Look at the US debt and calculate how much longer before the day of reckoning:

  47. jjthoms;
    Have you not heard of a noisy signal?!
    The co2 effect is burried in noise but it is there >>>>

    I was going to jump all over this, but several other commenters have already eviscerated your argument. Yes, I know about noise. I hear it from people like you all the time.

  48. Why aren’t open path FTIRs built for the CO2 band being used, or better yet using night sky as a background?

  49. “People are underreporting.”

    Power plants burning fossil fuel are required by law to report their GHG emisssions, either by using a factor based on fuel usage or by actual concentration and mass flow rate going up the stack. There are myriad quality control checks, calibrations, etc. required and the reports are submitted and required to be truthful under penalty of law. So the law is ineffective in preventing underreporting? Or has the study made an error in causation in the comparison of the model results and real numbers? You choose……

  50. “The simulation showed how ground-level CO2 concentrations increased overnight when air was calm, and then decreased in the morning as sunlight mixed the air and plants consumed CO2 due to photosynthesis.”

    This is probably wrong, too. As I understand Utah is mostly arid environment, so plants would be mostly succulent, running CAM metabolism, therefor binding CO2 during the night, not during the day.

    [CAM:Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, is a carbon fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions. In a plant using full CAM, the stomata in the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is stored as the four-carbon acid malate, and then used during photosynthesis during the day. The pre-collected CO2 is concentrated around the enzyme RuBisCO, increasing photosynthetic efficiency.]

  51. Hmmm. . . . . .In the Brave New World we’re headed into I can see each Environmental Protection Agent carrying a CO2 Breathalyzer to identify miscreants who are releasing too much CO2 into Gaea’s atmosphere. . .

  52. “a new method to estimate carbon dioxide emissions and thus verify compliance with a greenhouse gas treaty”. An estimate is now verification?

    Why go to all the effort? Dart boards have been around since the Medieval warm period.

  53. Bill Tuttle says: May 15, 2012 at 6:33 am

    …as temperature increases so will CO2. It may not be visible to the naked eye but it is there forever either increasing or decreasing, generally following the temperature at an 800-year lag rate.
    ==============
    Brilliant – can you possibly give an explanation for the current CO2 increase?
    Can you possibly say what causes a 800 year lag (- this is your theory to explain) there must be a physical explanation for this delay – it’s not solar, it’s not cosmic rays, it’s not plant growth (look at the spring autumn swings in the CO2 levels – the delay is months)
    With an 800 year lag you would expect a very slow rise time in CO2. Most of the current increase is since 1930s (80 years!)

    =====================
    MarkW says: May 15, 2012 at 8:06 am
    And if the rising trend line is not caused by CO2 at all, but something else?

    ===========
    Well first you need to find a change in the energy balancing mechanism that is not cyclical – care to suggest one?

    ====================
    Allan MacRae says: May 15, 2012 at 6:40 am
    CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales; there has been no net global warming for 10-15 years; probable global cooling soon; finally, the system is not static, it is dynamic, so your rmodel fails
    =====================
    Not my model. Not meant to be a projection. But it just shows how temperature can remain static
    with a 60 year cycle and a continually rising trend.
    ============
    ddpalmer says: May 15, 2012 at 5:37 am
    So the temperature increase due to CO2 is going to be exponential even though it is well known that the effects of CO2 are logarithmic?
    ================
    I believe the exponential-like curve is simply there to provide a fit to the *current* data. Who is able to predict the future. Co2 increase leads to higher temperatures which leads to h20 increase
    which leads to higher temps which leads to mor h20 etc. + may lead to CH4 release +leads to more LWIR to space. + more clouds leading to cooling/heating etc. etc.

  54. @jjthoms
    “I believe the exponential-like curve is simply there to provide a fit to the *current* data. Who is able to predict the future.”

    So you don’t even understand the graph you linked to?
    A straight line would better fit the *current* data, the real exponential part isn’t until after the present.
    And I agree, who can predict the future? But your link is to a prediction of the future, so you obviously think it is possible. You just can’t explain it. I guess we can just say it is magic.

  55. jjthoms says:
    May 15, 2012 at 10:37 am
    @ me, May 15, 2012 at 6:33 am
    Brilliant – can you possibly give an explanation for the current CO2 increase?

    The same mechanisms that caused CO2 to increase in the past, just before it plummeted — about 800 years after the temperature did.

    Can you possibly say what causes a 800 year lag (- this is your theory to explain) there must be a physical explanation for this delay – it’s not solar, it’s not cosmic rays, it’s not plant growth (look at the spring autumn swings in the CO2 levels – the delay is months)

    It’s not my theory to explain at all — it’s what’s been observed. You’re really, really *new* at this, aren’t you?

    With an 800 year lag you would expect a very slow rise time in CO2. Most of the current increase is since 1930s (80 years!)

    Geez, you *are* new at this. I suggest you read this:

    http://www.biocab.org/carbon_dioxide_geological_timescale.html

    and look at the prevailing carbon dioxide levels in comparison to the reconstructed temperatures in the graph. For a nice discussion on the CO2-temperature correlation, there’s this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/04/a-new-paper-in-nature-suggests-co2-leads-temperature-but-has-some-serious-problems/

  56. /SATIRE/

    Sometime in the future, on a tv screen near you…

    Air-head-idiot-repeater:
    ‘Jimmy Airlinger gave testimony today about his role in the deaths of millions of human beings who could not afford to eat or to heat their living spaces following the price rises driven by the Carbon Taxation schemes which he helped to enforce. Sentencing for Crimes Against Humanity will begin later this afternoon with Hans Jameson and Michelle Boy expected to receive the death penalty for their role in the tragedy. Their defense? The Team were heard to scream, “I was only doing my job” and, “I was only following orders”, as they were led from the witness box earlier today.’

    /SATIRE/

  57. “University of Utah biologist Jim Ehleringer”

    Sorry, he is not a climate scientist (or even a chemist), so how can he be qualified to work on measuring CO2?

    /

  58. I think that they need credit for a decent attempt at data collection at http://co2.utah.edu/
    The SLC valley is similar in topography to Canberra airport valley where inversion at night in winter occurs, and the ground temperature plummets. Look at Rose Park daily CO2 and CO2 swings from 395ppm at 4pm to 480 at midnight. This is telling me that the valley is pooling still air at night, and, far from mixing, CO2 is separating out. So rather than Brownian motion mixing this gas, it will separate out given the right conditions. This is an important finding.
    We should not get steamed up at an attempt at good data collection, it is the very essence of good science and that has been the reoccurring message here at WUWT. Good data can be looked at in many ways, not always to benefit the original reason for collection.

  59. Daniel H says:
    May 15, 2012 at 2:33 am

    If you look at the yearly CO2 trend in Salt Lake City it’s pretty obvious that the biggest source of excess CO2 emissions comes from the combustion of natural gas during winter for residential heating. The background CO2 level is about 390ppm in summer and then slowly ramps up in the Fall before peaking at around 480ppm in January.

    Wouldn’t decomposition be a more likely reason. All those leaves that fall off the trees (and other bio-stuff) give up their carbon and the level increases.

  60. Jay
    May 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    “University of Utah biologist Jim Ehleringer”

    Sorry, he is not a climate scientist (or even a chemist), so how can he be qualified to work on measuring CO2?

    /
    ####

    Then he ought to know that plants release CO2 at night. Guess he’s not much of a biologist either.

  61. DesertYote says:
    May 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Then he ought to know that plants release CO2 at night. Guess he’s not much of a biologist either.

    Which is probably why he’s jumping on the AGW gravy train.

  62. What??? Am I to understand, according to Professor Ehleringer, that the EPA’s CO2 emission estimates for the State of Utah are produced by “interviews” with utilities” See where he states:

    “previously estimated carbon dioxide emissions [are] based on interviews with gas- and coal-burning utilities…”

    (Sarcasm on) Gee… all this time I was under the impression that the EPA CO2 emissions data is collected by CEMS instrumentation installed on each electrical generating unit using data collection standards established by EPA (Sarcasm off). Use of the instrumentation is required under the Clean Air Act and is part of each utilities emission permit.

    The EPA emissions data in use is certainly not the result of “interviews” and his suggestion that utilities are “… are underreporting” is both factually inaccurate and morally repugnant.

    Kforestcat

  63. Kforestcat says:
    May 16, 2012 at 11:05 am
    The EPA emissions data in use is certainly not the result of “interviews” and his suggestion that utilities are “… are underreporting” is both factually inaccurate and morally repugnant.

    So, his rationale for starting this project is based on — lies.

    Anybody else starting to discern a pattern in this field?

  64. Kforestcat says: @ May 16, 2012 at 11:05 am
    The EPA emissions data in use is certainly not the result of “interviews” and his suggestion that utilities are “… are underreporting” is both factually inaccurate and morally repugnant.
    ——————————–
    Bill Tuttle says: @ May 16, 2012 at 11:52 am
    So, his rationale for starting this project is based on — lies.

    Anybody else starting to discern a pattern in this field?
    _____________________________
    Follow the money and you find lots of lies covering up the transfer of tax money to private pockets?

  65. Bill Tuttle says: @ May 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Bill per your statement:

    “So, his rationale for starting this project is based on — lies.”

    Not only is the rational based on lies; the lies are easily proven. Simply go to the EPA “Air Markets Program Data” site here:

    http://ampd.epa.gov/ampd/

    Press “Start” under “Create a Query”
    Under programs Select the “Acid Air Program”
    Under emission below programs select “Emissions” and “Unit Level”
    Press “Next Step”
    Pick the “time frame” you want (hourly, daily, monthly, quarterly, or annual – I’d suggest “annual” to limit the query time).
    Under “Criteria” Pick the” State”, then select “Utah” & press the right arrow.
    Press “Next Step”
    Under “Variables” add “Unit Type” and “Fuel Type – Primary” to identify if the unit is a coal or gas unit.
    Press “Next Step” again and… all the data you want will be right in front of you. (Hit the “Download Selected” button to get an Excel version of the data.)

    Please Note: While the data is for the “Acid Rain Program”, CO2 emissions are included in the data set. By recollection, the EPA began collecting Utah’s CO2 data around 2005.

    Regards,
    Kforestcat

  66. Billy Liar says: May 15, 2012 at 11:47 am
    Take a look at the observed Rose Park data in SLC:

    http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=2&id=0&img=30

    Thank you Billy.

    This daily CO2 data profile is very interesting.

    Please examine the Daily CO2 and Weekly CO2 tabs for all measurement stations.

    These are current CO2 readings taken in May 2012.

    Peak CO2 readings (typically ~470ppm) occur during the night, from midnight to ~8am, and drop to ~400 ppm during the day.

    1. I assume that human energy consumption (and manmade CO2 emissions) occur mainly during the day, and peak around breakfast and supper times.
    2. I suggest that the above atmospheric CO2 readings, taken in semi-arid Salt Lake City with a regional population of about 1 million, are predominantly natural in origin.

    IF points 1 and 2 are true, then this urban CO2 generation by humankind is insignificant compared to natural daily CO2 flux, in the same way that (I have previously stated) annual humanmade CO2 emissions are insignificant compared to seasonal CO2 flux.

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

    IF these results are typical of most urban environments (many of which have much larger populations, but also have much greater area, precipitation and plant growth), then the hypothesis that human combustion of fossil fuels is the primary driver of increased atmospheric CO2 seems untenable. Humanmade CO2 emissions are lost in the noise of the much larger natural system, and most humanmade CO2 emissions are probably locally sequestered.

    There may be some large urban areas (perhaps in China) where concentrated human activities overwhelm natural CO2 daily flux, but on a global scale these areas are miniscule. In winter, when plant growth is minimal, concentrated human activities may also overwhelm natural CO2 daily flux.

    These observations, if correct, suggest that human combustion of fossil fuels is NOT the primary driver of atmospheric CO2.

    These observations are consistent with my 2008 paper, which notes that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time sales.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    In what has become “mainstream climate science”, there are many inconsistencies that have been resolved by data fabrication and contortions of logic.

    There appears to be a much simpler explanation. Temperature primarily drives atmospheric CO2, not the reverse.
    ___________

    Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor, Latin lex parsimoniae) is the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness. It is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect.

    Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.

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