Unexplored Possible Climate Balancing Mechanism

This visible image of a 93 mile wide deep-ocean plankton eddy was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite ~ 800 km south of South Africa in the Agulhas current. Image: NASA’s Earth Observatory

Effect of CO2 levels on phytoplankton.

Story submitted by Don Healy

This article opens up a whole new vista into the relationship between CO2 levels, oceanic plant growth and the complex relationships that we have yet to learn about in the field of climate science. If phytoplankton respond like most plant species do, we may find that the modest increases in CO2 levels we have experienced over the last 50 years may actually create a bounty of micro plant growth in the oceans, which would in turn create the food supply necessary to support an increase in the oceans’ animal population.

At the same time, it would explain where the excess atmospheric CO2 has been going; much of it converted into additional biological matter, with only a limited existence as raw CO2.

There may well be a naturally balancing mechanism that explains how the earth was able to survive atmospheric levels of CO2 as high as 7000 mmp in past geologic history without turning into another Venus. Just surmising of course, but this fits with what we know about the response of terrestrial plants to elevated CO2 levels, so it is a plausible theory. Hopefully more studies along this line can clarify the situation.

From the article:

The diatom blooming process is described in the article by Amala Mahadevan, the author of the study and oceanographer at WHOI, as inextricably linked to the flow of whirlpools circulating the plants through the water and keeping them afloat.

“[The study’s] results show that the bloom starts through eddies, even before the sun begins to warm the ocean,” said Ms. Mahadevan.

This study explains the causation of phytoplankton’s phenology—the reasons behind the annual timing of the microscopic plant’s natural cycle—as it is influenced by the ocean’s conditions.

“Springtime blooms of microscopic plants in the ocean absorb enormous quantities of carbon dioxide, much like our forests, emitting oxygen via photosynthesis. Their growth contributes to the oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide, amounting globally to about one-third of the carbon dioxide we put into the air each year through the burning of fossil fuels. An important question is how this ‘biological pump’ for carbon might change in the future as our climate evolves,” said researchers.

WHOI describes the study as being conducted by a specially designed robot that can float just below the surface like a phytoplankton (only much, much larger). Other robots, referred to by WHOI as “gliders” dove to depths of 1,000 meters to collect data and beam it back to shore. Together, the robots discovered a great deal about the biology and nature of the bloom. Then, using three-dimensional computer modeling to analyze the data, Ms. Mahadevan created a model that corresponded with observation of the natural phenomena.

Full story:

http://www.thebunsenburner.com/news/cause-of-north-atlantic-plankton-bloom-is-finally-revealed/

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Science 6 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6090 pp. 54-58 DOI: 10.1126/science.1218740

Eddy-Driven Stratification Initiates North Atlantic Spring Phytoplankton Blooms

Amala Mahadevan, Eric D’Asaro,*, Craig Lee, Mary Jane Perry

Abstract

Springtime phytoplankton blooms photosynthetically fix carbon and export it from the surface ocean at globally important rates. These blooms are triggered by increased light exposure of the phytoplankton due to both seasonal light increase and the development of a near-surface vertical density gradient (stratification) that inhibits vertical mixing of the phytoplankton. Classically and in current climate models, that stratification is ascribed to a springtime warming of the sea surface. Here, using observations from the subpolar North Atlantic and a three-dimensional biophysical model, we show that the initial stratification and resulting bloom are instead caused by eddy-driven slumping of the basin-scale north-south density gradient, resulting in a patchy bloom beginning 20 to 30 days earlier than would occur by warming.

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245 thoughts on “Unexplored Possible Climate Balancing Mechanism

  1. Interesting till you reach to the end of the article…

    “It remains unclear exactly what impact this study will have on global climate change. A better understanding of the cause of the massive plankton blooms could allow climate scientists to unravel the mysteries of global warming. Findings also allow for a better understanding of how carbon dioxide, the main source of climate change, impacts local ocean life.”

  2. I would edit the opening sentence to say, “Springtime phytoplankton blooms photosynthetically fix carbon AND ENERGY and export THEM from the surface ocean at globally important rates.”

  3. Their growth contributes to the oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide, amounting globally to about one-third of the carbon dioxide we put into the air each year through the burning of fossil fuels.
    ============
    How much of the other 95% of CO2 emitted by natural sources do they uptake? Do they also consume 1/3 of those? Or do they somehow magically recognize only fossil fuel CO2?

  4. Their growth contributes to the oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide, amounting globally to about one-third of the carbon dioxide we put into the air each year through the burning of fossil fuels.
    ======
    If they consume 1/3 of our CO2 each year, then if humans were to stop emitting CO2, the persistence time in which 1/2 the CO2 was consumed would be less than 2 years. 1/3 + 2/9 = 5/9 > 50%.

  5. I recall a marine biologist claiming that one really big phytoplankton bloom could potentially consume all the CO2 emitted by man’s activities, so this does make sense.

  6. The only mystery about global warming is how such a blatant fraud keeps on going and going.

  7. “At the same time, it would explain where the excess atmospheric CO2 has been going; much of it converted into additional biological matter, with only a limited existence as raw CO2″

    Yes but the new biological matter is draining the natural CO2 out of the atmosphere and leaving higher concentrations of man made CO2 [/sarc]

  8. The authors made their necessary obeisance to CO2 orthodoxy (“the main source of climate change”), while at the same time reminding the High Priests & Archdruids of the CAGW cult (who are prepared to sacrifice not just first born sons or selected virgins but all humanity on their altar) that science still doesn’t know a great deal about possible carbon sinks, along with much else regarding the mechanics of climate.

  9. it is likely we will find that elevated CO2 levels will help coral reefs rather than destroy them as now hypothesized.

  10. @Hari Seldon:

    In future times, “Ocean Acidification” will be deemed to have only been “psycho”-historical.

  11. Liebig’s Law will apply with phytoplankton. As spring advances, light becomes less limiting and growth takes off, but then nutrients (most likely nitrogen) become the inhibitor of continued rampant growth, even if CO2 is over-abundant. Studies such as this are limited as well — sort of a corollary to LL — because they don’t look at everything over enough time to see the big picture.

  12. Nerd writes “Interesting till you reach to the end of the article…”

    In the years before Isaac Newton wrote his Principia Mathematica, the most important part of any scientific report was the piece that had to be added at the end, which showed why the findings were in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England. These days, when anyone writes a report that has anything vaguely to do with CAGW, it is necessary to genuflect in the Church of the Religion of CAGW. One of these days someone who matters is going to point out how ridiculous this is, and maybe, just maybe, someone in the MSM will notice.

    But until then, we will be forced to hear the strains of Tom Lehrer’s Vatican Rag ” …. genuflect, genuflect, genuflect, genuflect”

  13. Jim Cripwell says: July 10, 2012 at 9:24 am
    Thanks for the reference to Lehrer, haven’t heard that in years. Great satirist.

  14. Isn’t this saying the exact opposite of the study last year that said we’ve killed off 50% of phytoplanton with increased CO2???

    And they wonder why we don’t believe them??

  15. Seems like this is pretty strong evidence that the planet is CO2-starved, since it appears that CO2 is the limiting resource for one of the most important and abundant organisms on the planet.

  16. Anthony should add a poll after the text copied below to see how many readers know what the hell just happened in this exchange:

    PeterB in Indianapolis says:
    July 10, 2012 at 9:12 am
    @Hari Seldon:

    In future times, “Ocean Acidification” will be deemed to have only been “psycho”-historical.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I vote thumbs up on the phytoplankton study. The bow to climate change and future funding is only slightly off-putting.

  17. This is one of those “ya but” situations.

    In theory CO2 should be causing an explosion of growth in the core ocean. However it is very easy to show that the ocean is iron starved. Just dump iron sulfate or nano-particles of iron in the ocean and there is an immediate algae bloom.

    What is happening?

    If you run the numbers, fishing removes more than a megaton of iron from the core ocean each year. Naturally sulfur and other trace minerals are removed as well. These are minerals that have always been in the ocean and no one is replacing them.

    CO2 is rising because of ocean depletion and rainforest destruction. If we stop one or both of these activities we shouldn’t have a CO2 problem.

  18. Weren’t those the wee buggers that created the O2/N2 atmosphere out of mostly CO2 in the first place?

    Hyper-pothesis: the atmosphere’s composition is under the control of phytoplankton. All other influences are secondary.

  19. My evo bio professor spoke of the carbon sinks often and specifically phytoplankton. He was never alarmed about any CAGW

  20. “There may well be a naturally balancing mechanism that explains how the earth was able to survive atmospheric levels of CO2 as high as 7000 mmp in past geologic history without turning into another Venus.”

    “Findings also allow for a better understanding of how carbon dioxide, the main source of climate change, impacts local ocean life.”

    ———————————-

    Or maybe the potential effects of atmospheric CO2 on climate are limited and that increasing CO2 has no further effect. Maybe increasing CO2 is just a result of warming climate and not a cause.

    Real scientists question all of their assumptions. Ms. Mahadevan accepts the climate change dogma without challenging it. QED she is not a real scientist.

  21. I guess my neologism is semi-oxymoronic.
    hypo-thesis = not quite a thesis (theory)
    hyper-thesis = master (super) thesis (theory)

    ;)

  22. Robert Wille says:
    July 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Good point. What’s the betting on the next scare being a shortage of CO2 in the atmosphere? No doubt it will be pedalled by the same charlatans who have brought us the CO2 = CAGW scam.

  23. As I have explained to many doubters on these boards, the data clearly show that atmospheric CO2 concentration is almost entirely determined by temperatures. It follows that the Earth has an active and robust system for sequestering CO2. Many of my detractors have countered with “there are no known processes to explain that,” as if what we don’t know can have no effect. Well, here’s one such process. There are no doubt others.

    Moreover, on the other side, there must be a mechanism for continual replenishment of CO2 into the environment to be sequestered, or we would soon run out of it. I favor undersea volcanoes and deep sea vents, of which there is no comprehensive inventory. But, whatever it is, the data says it must be there. I do not have to know how a bird flies to know that something in the sky is pooping on my windshield. And, I do not need to know all the sources and sinks for CO2 to know that humankind has very little net impact on atmospheric CO2 concentration. The poop says it all.

  24. Sooooooo… the science structure is still corrupt, vide the terminal genuflection.

    Several years ago the oceans expert Floor Anthoni said sorrowfully they’d try to make acidification the scare when CO2 warming alarms failed. He explained to me exactly why acidification simply CANNOt happen – even if we burned all the fossil fuels remaining. No acidification because of a supply-on-tap of Ca++. No manmade CO2 increase because natural processes account for about 97% of the annual turnover – divided fairly equally between dissolving into the oceans, and photosynthesis.

    Current CO2 increase is because of Henry’s Law – as always: (a) recent warming of ocean surfaces due to recent global warming and (b) deep thermohaline rising after the MWP 800 years ago. Of course CO2 levels will rise, and steadily – for a while. Beware when this turns.

    Nice to know that science is thinking about phytoplankton. Decay processes, soil CO2, and leaf breathing next please.

    Not nice to know Science has still forgotten to take Henry’s Law into the reckoning. And all the rest. Check my pages if you want more detail.

  25. My analysis of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and 13CO2/12CO2 ratios suggests that the Arctic Ocean with it’s phytoplankton blooms absorbs all the CO2 that is delivered to it. The signiture of anthropogenic emissions doesn’t show up in the atmosphere until around ten years later. It appears that it has gone through a biospheric cycle. The emission excess is absorbed out of the atmosphere, goes thru a life cycle and decay, and is re-introduced into the atmosphere. More CO2 produces more plant growth. More plant growth produces more decaying matter, and more decaying matter produces more CO2 that has been through a fractionation process .

  26. Some plankton’s light driven proton pump proteorhodopsin matches the local ocean light spectrum to the variety of plankton adapted to the ocean niche. Genes of proteohodopsin in open sea & coastal water of the tropics favor a blue light driven variant as opposed to a proteohodopsin green light driven gene.
    Meanwhile there are estimates the oceans contain at least 10 times more viral biological “pieces” than bacterial life forms. Not only are a lot of different plankton hosts to different strains of virus in different latitudes of the sea but the ocean virus influence the way light refracts.
    The report details springtime blooms and since viral phages take time to lyse there are early on fewer viral “pieces” refracting away the light spectrum local plankton use to drive their proton pump.

  27. Could there be a clinical diagnosis of the green dementia that CAGW alarmists and activists clearly suffer from out there waiting to be described and written up ? I wouldn’t mind contributing towards a research fund for it.

  28. Seeding the oceans with iron has been suggested to mitigate supposedly evil CO2, & has even been tested. No surprise, the Warmer response has been that all the extra plankton will die, sink to the bottom of the sea & decompose, producing the even more evil greenhouse gas, methane. No amelioration by engineering must be allowed. For same reason, nuclear power must be shown to be just as climate-destructive as burning fossil fuels.

  29. Nerd says:
    July 10, 2012 at 8:29 am
    Interesting till you reach to the end of the article…

    “It remains unclear exactly what impact this study will have on global climate change. A better understanding of the cause of the massive plankton blooms could allow climate scientists to unravel the mysteries of global warming. Findings also allow for a better understanding of how carbon dioxide, the main source of climate change, impacts local ocean life.”

    ….I think the authors meant “fundings,” not “findings”….

  30. Just to indicate how bad the problem is: the concentration of iron in the crust is 5%, the concentration of iron in the ocean is 0.00034 ppm (mg/l).

    The total iron in the ocean is 455600000 tonnes – so fishing removes at least 0.22%/yr, or 2.2 %/decade, or 22%/century… and is getting worse. Total catch is increasing even as the species come from further and further down the food chain.

    The Warming Cultists pooh pooh problems like this because, well, they’re full of pooh pooh.

  31. Fred H. Haynie says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “My analysis of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and 13CO2/12CO2 ratios suggests … more decaying matter produces more CO2 that has been through a fractionation process .”

    Fascinating hypothesis. Sounds prima facie quite plausible.

  32. There may well be a naturally balancing mechanism that explains how the earth was able to survive atmospheric levels of CO2 as high as 7000 mmp in past geologic history without turning into another Venus.

    Venus receives twice the solar irradiance in watts per square meter from the Sun (closer orbit), and it has an atmosphere 90 times the total mass of Earth’s atmosphere, beyond the factor of 150000 difference in CO2 compared to earth’s 4E-4 bar CO2 by volume and 6E-4 bar CO2 by mass. At a depth in the Venus atmosphere of 1 atm, at high enough altitude to be under the mass of Earth’s atmosphere, to quote from
    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20030022668_2003025525.pdf :

    Viewed in a different way, the problem with Venus is merely that the ground level is too far below the one atmosphere level. At cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet. As shown in figure 2, at an altitude slightly above fifty km above the surface, the atmospheric pressure is equal to the Earth surface atmospheric pressure of 1 Bar. At this level, the environment of Venus is benign. Above the clouds, there is abundant solar energy. Temperature is in the habitable “liquid water” range of 0-50 [degrees Celsius].

    — which is not at all an impressive magnitude of GHG effect from the CO2, to say the least, considering the solar irradiance difference.

    (In fact, it would be interesting to calculate how expected temperatures at 1 atm in the Venus atmosphere would compare if its composition was primarily nitrogen/oxygen instead of CO2, as well as the general temperature-versus-pressure profile down to temperatures at the surface when considering limited convection, lack of negative feedbacks from any water cycle, relative oversaturation and diminishing returns from CO2 absorption long before 1 atm, and, below that altitude, opaque sulfuric acid clouds which are not white like water vapor clouds).

    With that said, the article is right to point out CO2 boosting phytoplankton growth and how such did well when Earth’s atmosphere had thousands of ppm CO2 in the past.

  33. Back on the topic of phytoplankton, to quote a bit of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytoplankton in this case:

    A 2010 study published in Nature reported that marine phytoplankton have declined substantially in the world’s oceans over the past century. Phytoplankton concentrations in surface waters were estimated to have decreased by about 40% since 1950 alone, at a rate of around 1% per year, possibly in response to ocean warming.[13][14] The study generated debate among scientists and led to several communications and criticisms, also published in Nature.[15][16][17][18] That study has not been substantiated so far.

    Indicators which may be considered contraindicative to that magnitude of decline in the basis of the marine food web having occurred include not observing a comparable percentage decline in fish species which feed on phytoplankton.[19] Another global ocean primary productivity study found a net increase in phytoplankton, as judged from measured chlorophyll, when comparing observations in 1998-2002 to those conducted during a prior mission in 1979-1986.[20] The airborne fraction of CO2 from human emissions, the percentage neither sequestered by photosynthetic life on land and sea nor absorbed in the oceans abiotically, has been almost constant over the past century, and that suggests a moderate upper limit on how much a component of the carbon cycle as large as phytoplankton may have declined, if such declined in recent decades.[21] In the example of the northeast Atlantic, a case where chlorophyll measurements extend particularly far back, the location of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey, there was net increase over a 1948 to 2002 period examined.[22] During 1998-2005, global ocean net primary productivity rose during 1998 followed by primarily decline during the rest of that period, although still slightly higher at its end than at its start.[23]

    Notice how utterly bogus and blatantly wrong of a study got through peer review in Nature, including them issuing a special article like a press release (propaganda) to trumpet it to the news media. As usual, the false claim got widely publicized, and its rebuttals later were after media interest faded. That speaks volumes about how readily a study outright dishonest, as visible under the simplest cross-checking, can make it past peer review in Nature if convenient to the CAGW movement (or rather a broader enviropolitical movement which goes beyond CAGW alone).

    But, anyway, reference #20 is basically http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004JC002620.shtml which remarked, where chlorophyll concentration is an indicator of phytoplankton abundance:

    The analysis of decadal changes from the CZCS [1979-1986] to the SeaWiFS era [1998-2002] shows an overall increase of the world ocean average chlorophyll concentration by about 22%

    During 1999-2009, human CO2 emissions averaged around 27 billion tons a year, which amounted to about 270 billion tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere over a decade (not counting vast other CO2 sources/sinks, not counting CO2 going more in loops within the biosphere). Meanwhile, there was a measured increase in atmospheric CO2 levels of 19.4 ppm by volume, 155 billion tons by mass, an amount 57% of the preceding but only 57% of it. The equivalent of around another 25% goes into the oceans. But the equivalent of the remaining gap goes into increased growth of biomass in plants (and indirectly sometimes soil), with the carbon fertilization effect of higher CO2 levels, amounting over that example decade to around 13 billion tons of carbon within 49 billion tons of CO2, more than a billion tons of carbon a year.

    As a study at http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2002/19/c019p265.pdf notes:

    The observed increase in the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is lower than the difference between CO2 emission and CO2 dissolution in the ocean. This imbalance, earlier named the ‘missing sink’, comprises up to 1.1 Pg C yr–1 [1.1 billion tons of carbon a year], after taking land-use changes into account.” “Stimulation of photosynthesis at higher CO2 concentrations is repeatedly observed in short-term experiments at the single leaf level. A number of biosphere models take this effect into account for calculating the natural terrestrial sink. The results of such calculations are normally in close agreement with the magnitude of the ‘missing sink’.

    A study by the U.S. government’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimated that estimated carbon in global terrestrial vegetation increased from approximately 740 billion tons in 1910 to 780 billion tons in 1990, a major growth in biomass:

    Post WM, King AW, Wullschleger SD, Hoffman FM (June 1997). “Historical Variations in Terrestrial Biospheric Carbon Storage”. DOE Research Summary (CDIAC, U.S. Department of Energy) 34.

    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/pns/doers/doer34/doer34.htm

  34. “….An important question is how this ‘biological pump’ for carbon might change in the future as our climate evolves,” said researchers.
    With Co2 enrichment you would expect the marine diatoms to flourish. Especially if the world is getting windier;-

    http://www.earthtimes.org/climate/world-windier/687/

    …as there must then be an increase in the rate of deposition of dust from land to ocean bringing additional nutrients.
    So more;-
    Stimulation of ice nucleation by marine diatoms

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011NatGe…4…88K

    Biogenic aerosol particles of terrestrial origin, including bacteria and pollen, can act as ice nuclei.
    And
    Plankton production of DMS and its escape to the atmosphere is believed to be one of the mechanisms by which the biota can regulate the climate.

    http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/dimethyl/overview.php

    Wheels within wheels!

  35. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Climate balancing mechanism? Gimme a break. There’s no evidence that small, imperceptible increase in CO2 has any effect whatsoever on climate. So if it doesn’t cause warming, and it can’t simultaneously cause cooling by increasing phytoplankton. There are no positive or negative feedbacks, because there’s NOTHING to feed back upon! The climate is not changing — at least due to CO2!!!!

  36. @Hari Seldon: There’s no such thing as ocean acidification. The ocean is only becoming a little less basic. This nonsense about water turning to acid is false.

  37. @Henry Clark: How do you know the Nature study was wrong and this one correct? I think the Nature study makes more sense. It also explains why temperature rises BEFORE carbon dioxide! Now there’s a novel idea! If you look at past climate, temperature DRIVES carbon dioxide and NOT the other WAY around. When the oceans heat up, they begin to outgas CO2. One mechanism this occurs by is loss of phytoplankton populations. CO2 DOES NOT cause global warming. Global warming causes CO2 to increase!

  38. I am earnestly hoping that future generations will look back on the “ocean acidification” with incredulous laughter. Could their ancestors really really be so dumb as to believe that a pH of 8.1 is acidic??

    They will also understand that higher levels of carbon dioxide (at anything remotely near current atmosphere) would enable animals to breathe better, for current levels make gas exchange too rapid, and starve your tissues of oxygen.

  39. Isn’t the iron rich Aeolian borne dust from Australia an important ingredient in blooms around Antarctica ?

  40. So what did they think caused Phytoplankton to grow so it could feed all those megamonsters that inhabited the primordial seas ?

    This paper would be good to read to the next 4-H club science talk.

  41. Jim says:
    July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    “How do you know the Nature study was wrong and this one correct? … Global warming causes CO2 to increase!”

    Your last sentence is demonstrably correct, so you may be right about the foregoing, too. Some criticisms I have gotten have been to the effect that outgassing/temperature sensitivity of the ocean is not enough to account for the rise in CO2 we have seen. Well, this would be an amplifying mechanism which could resolve that objection.

  42. I still say they have grossly underestimated the Co2 uptake capabilities of the vast Canadian and Russian forests.

  43. The study of the ocean eddies appears new, but when estimates of total atmospheric carbon flux is about 180 – 210 Gt/yr of which 7 – 8 Gt/yr is human generated, the sinks divided by land plants (30%?) and oceans (70%?), then phytoplankton and carbonate consuming biota play an enormous part in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and maintaining ocean pH at current levels, as well as the chemical buffering processes. Much solar energy is consumed by the photosynthesis processes of plants and phytoplankton.

  44. Biologists have known all this for many decades. After a billion years of photosynthesis and bacterial evolution, Earth’s atmosphere is now entirely biological. (Argon excepted). If you want to understand the atmosphere, you must understand the biogeochemical Carbon cycle. The primary characteristic of biology is internal homeostasis. ie, life tries to stay alive. The only questions are in the exact mechanisms of the resulting feedbacks, including water. Any biologist who has studied the global biogeochemical cycle will agree that the current fossil fuel consumption is 100 percent beneficial to life on Earth.

  45. Some time ago we looked at a study (re-)titled “Hungry Shrimp Ate My Homework”. An area of ocean was fertilized with iron.The expected phytoplankton bloom was very short-lived – eaten by zooplankton. I suppose the ultimate result was more food for whales. Run that one by a greenie! :)

  46. Jim says:
    July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    When the oceans heat up, they begin to outgas CO2. One mechanism this occurs by is loss of phytoplankton populations.

    The oceans absorb CO2 when they cool in ice ages and outgas CO2 when they warm (partially with centuries of delay, as it takes time for water thousands of meters deep to warm much to its depths), but there’s no need for such an imaginary mechanism. If you warm a glass of water on your table, solubility of gases in it decreases, and it outgasses. That’s Henry’s Law. The oceans are more complex, like the matter is more complicated than Henry’s Law when there are chemical reactions with the solute, yet such is really a similar basic idea.

    Though limited in concentration relative to the astronomical mass of the oceans (which mass almost on the order of a thousand times the mass of the atmosphere), the oceans contain much more CO2 than the atmosphere. Aside from technicalities like seawater versus plain water, here’s a graph of CO2 solubility in water versus temperature:

    Jim says:
    July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    How do you know the Nature study was wrong and this one correct?

    One? No, there are a variety of ways to cross-check, not just one study (aside from additional studies mentioned in my prior comment like the Continuous Plankton Recorders survey). If you don’t see what is wrong with believing a 40% decline occurred at a rate near 10% a decade with nobody previously noticing, ask yourself when would you have skepticism? Let’s say someone comes up to you and tells you that 99% of photosynthetic plant life in the world died last year while nobody noticed any decrease in fish catches, etc.?

    The quote I included in my prior comment listed several reasons such is blatantly false; follow the links if needed.

    Moreover, carbon dioxide was thousands of ppm in the past, vastly beyond the 400 ppm now or tens of ppm rise in recent decades, and marine life was abundant then, where phytoplankton is the basis of about the whole marine food chain. (For instance, http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/Climate%20Change/PhanerozoicCO2vTemp.png estimates 7000 ppm at times).

    Besides, although not what gets mentioned in enviropropaganda, we know CO2 beyond current levels leads to increased, not decreased phytoplankton growth, from lab experiments in addition to observations in the field.

    Read http://nipccreport.org/reports/2009/pdf/Chapter%207.pdf including section 7.1.3

    There’s fresh enviropropaganda BS every year, part of general opposition by some groups to much of modern industrial civilization. (When not employed in careers producing any physical product, surplus majors in some fields go into trying to spread ideological ideas; meanwhile, very unfortunately, just positively promoting material advancement often doesn’t fit, like almost nobody does massive protests in favor of nuclear power, and they slip into what sells stories and memes: railing against industry and prophesying doom, in a manner which would favor political dominance of their movement over the producers).

    For instance, as a random other example, one of the major groups (I forget their name at the moment) a bit ago claimed peak iron will occur within several decades — the fact that even the average rock in literally millions of trillions tons of Earth’s crust is 5% iron while higher-grade ores are available in utterly astronomical amounts does not prevent some media outlets from respectfully passing on even ludicrous claims like that.

  47. Jim says:
    July 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    @Hari Seldon: There’s no such thing as ocean acidification. The ocean is only becoming a little less basic. This nonsense about water turning to acid is false.
    ============================================================================
    There is an article doing the rounds. The NZ Herald (Ak) published this yesterday:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10818521

    The article is attributed to Associated Press (an American news agency) so it may well have
    been repeated by other (equally ignorant) papers around the globe.

    (As reporters don’t know any chemistry, they can’t know CO2 dissolved in water with a pH > 6.5 only forms the (weakly) acidic carbonic acid momentarily and further dissociates into the bicarbonic (HCO3- and carbonic forms (CO3–)—which are also basic. Ocean water’s pH is already 8.5 (approx) so more CO2 does not acidify. Another rubbish article. )

  48. CO2 is used by microbes, some of which can have been alive for over 450,000 years in deep ocean sediment . Phytoplankton shouldn’t get all the press attention.
    More than 22% of those sediment microbial life forms do “enzymatic CO2 incorporation (e.g., phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase) or autotrophic CO2 fixation”… “most bicarbonate is incorporated through an autotrophic and/or mixotrophic (i.e., CO2 fixation through heterotrophic energy respiration) carbon assimilation pathway.” Quotes source = http://www.pnas.org/content/108/45/18295.full
    The oxygen in the sediment comes from cyanobacteria closer to the ocean surface. However down in the sediment a lot more of the microbes are archae. According to B.B. Jorgensen of Aarhus Univ. Denmark “there are no biological constraints violated by the enigmatic longevity of microbes in the deep biosphere.”

  49. “A better understanding of the cause of the massive plankton blooms could allow climate scientists to unravel the mysteries of global warming.” Such as the mystery of why AGW doesn’t exist.

  50. Googling for information on iron oxide dust from Australia, I came across this rather bizarre example of the econut mindset.

    The article title was,

    Thousands Of Tons Of Potentially Toxic Iron Dust Dumped In Ocean Without Permit

    And begins,

    News filtering out of Australia indicates a massive geoengineering of the Southern Oceans, done without the necessary government approvals, and with no regard whatsoever to potentially adverse ‘ecosystem impacts.’ Iron oxide laden dust, originating from the Lake Eyre Basin area of central Australia, reportedly has blanketed the ocean surface from the Australian coast to New Zealand. The iron-fertilizer-in-the-ocean “dump” came on so suddenly, even Greenpeace was caught off guard. (Otherwise, there surely would have been banners of protest.) At least we can rest assured this poor Trevally fish, a plankton feeder found off Australia’s coast, probably never knew what hit him. New Zealand’s Business Scoop has the gory details.
    ——————-

    At first I thought this was a spoof or satire, because they are describing a natural phenomena (with perhaps some contribution from grazing animals), but the rest of the articles at the site are in the same vein.

    http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/thousands-of-tons-of-potentially-toxic-iron-dust-dumped-in-ocean-without-permit.html

  51. The study concentrates on diatoms. These silica-shelled phytos are the dominant type until they use up the silica; calcareous types can then flourish. If we have increased the oceans dissolved silica levels then diatoms will use up more of the other required nutrients before the calcareous phytos get a chance.

    So here’s what is happening. Large scale agriculture begins using steam, then oil-powered tools. Agricultural silica run-off increases, dust from badly-managed fields increases and falls on the oceans. More dissolved silica is available and diatoms flourish.

    ‘Normal’ calcareous phytoplankton use a carbon fixation pathway called C3, a process which is discriminatory against heavy carbon, 13C and 14C. A calcareous phyto bloom will preferentially pull down light C. Now we change the balance by introducing more silica. Diatoms outcompete the calcareous types, and their own form of carbon fixation, ‘C4-like’, becomes dominant, a process which does not discriminate against heavy C. Diatoms die and sink, but their shells do not pull down carbon, only a small amount of organic matter which contains more heavy C. So, the atmosphere loses less carbon in toto, but what is loses takes down more 14C and 13C. So the atmosphere contains relatively more light C and the total CO2 level rises.

    One hopes that this study has classified the diatom species involved: if they are poor producers of DMS we will see reduced low level cloud cover. And that would mean increasing atmospheric CO2, a light C isotope atmospheric signal and surface warming.

    Sound familiar?

    JF
    (Have a look at Engelbeen’s graphs of atmospheric carbon isotopes. The change does not begin in 1850 as often stated, but in the mid 1700s.)

  52. There is an essential error in the reasoning of Don Healy: contrary to CO2 levels over land, which increased with some 30% over the past 160 years or so, the oceans carbon (CO2 + -bi-carbonate) level hardly increased. That is due to the Revelle factor, the buffer factor caused by the ocean’s chemistry, which makes that the total CO2 solubility of the ocean waters is some 100 times higher than of fresh water. But an increase of 30% CO2 in the atmosphere only adds 3% more CO2 in the oceans surface layer. Or an increase of only 30 GtC over the 1000 GtC already in the mixed layer over the past 1.6 century.

    CO2 is far more abundant in the surface layer than in the atmosphere and thus is not a limiting factor at all. Nutritients are, as already said by several commeners. And of course temperature and sunlight are the main drivers for any bloom.

  53. Julian Flood says:
    July 11, 2012 at 5:42 am

    ‘C4-like’, becomes dominant, a process which does not discriminate against heavy C.

    The C4 process does discriminate against the heavier isotopes, be it less than the C3 type photosynthesis. Thus if the diatoms use a similar process, they incorporate less of the heavy isotopes than of the light one. The average organic matter falling down at the ocean bottom is currently at much lower 13C levels than in the atmosphere or in the suface or deep ocean waters. The page of Anton Uriarte does explain that, but seems not available for the moment:

    http://homepage.mac.com/uriarte/carbon13.html

    But from another source:
    C3 plants have a d13C range from –23‰ to –34‰ (average –27.1 ±2‰), whereas C4 plants range from –8‰to –16‰ (average –13.1 ±1.2‰)

  54. Bart says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

    As I have explained to many doubters on these boards, the data clearly show that atmospheric CO2 concentration is almost entirely determined by temperatures.

    As explained many times, the temperature variability clearly determines the variability in the rate of change of the CO2 increase. That says next to nothing about what causes the increase itself, as by taking the derivative of the trend, you effectively remove the cause of the trend and only look at the residual variability.

    Because there was an upgoing temperature trend, adding an arbitrary bias and factor to the absolute temperature can reproduce the CO2 trend quite reasonable over the Mauna Loa period. But that is completely spurious, as can be proven if you extend the trend back in time. On the other hand, a combination of a factor of the human emissions + the influence of temperature changes on the variability of the rate of change, explains the trend on all time scales.

    Here are Bart’s and mine trends for CO2, calculated on temperature only, resp. emissions + temperature for the period 1960-2005:

    Note that Bart’s original graphs are finer, as he used moving average trends, while here the yearly averages and yearly average changes for each year are used.

    Here are the graphs for the period 1900-2005:

    In both cases the calculation factors were optimised for minimum error in the 1960-2005 period.

    When the absolute temperature drops, the CO2 levels based on temperature only are far too low, even with a moderate drop over a short period. In the case of centuries with a continuous low temperature, like the LIA, that leads to zero calculated CO2, not to be forgotten the case of millennia of very low temperatures during glacial periods…

  55. Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Current CO2 increase is because of Henry’s Law – as always: (a) recent warming of ocean surfaces due to recent global warming and (b) deep thermohaline rising after the MWP 800 years ago.

    Henry’s Law gives an increase of ~16 ppmv/°C for seawater-atmosphere equilibrium. On the other hand, increased temperatures increase the net carbon sequestration by land plants. That causes an average 5 ppmv/°C change over the seasons up to a 8 ppmv/°C change for glacial-interglacial periods. Thus the maximum 1°C increase in temperature since the LIA is good for maximum 8 ppmv increase. Far from the 100+ ppmv increase we measure…

    Deep thermohaline currents from 800 years ago induce the CO2 levels of 800 years ago, mixed with the deep ocean waters. The CO2 levels of 800 years ago were ~280-300 ppmv and the deep ocean carbon content hardly changed over the whole period. Seems to me that the THC should reduce the current CO2 levels…

  56. Ferdinand,

    There are numerous different ocean curents, and the 800 year delay is only an average. One of the very coldest episodes of the entire Holocene happened several hundred years ago, and there is no doubt that it resulted in massive amounts of CO2 being absorbed by the oceans.

    But the basic fact remains that despite the large increase in CO2, temperatures are not rising as predicted:

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0168e55964fe970c-pi

    Thus, CO2 must have a much smaller effect on temperature than is claimed.

  57. Smokey says:
    July 11, 2012 at 8:11 am

    There are numerous different ocean curents, and the 800 year delay is only an average. One of the very coldest episodes of the entire Holocene happened several hundred years ago, and there is no doubt that it resulted in massive amounts of CO2 being absorbed by the oceans.

    The medium resolution ice core from Law Dome shows a dip of ~6 ppmv for a ~0.8°C drop in temperature between the MWP and LIA. The resolution is ~21 years, sharp enough to follow the temperature changes which lasted several centuries. That makes -again- a change of ~8 ppmv/°C, with a lag of ~50 years after the temperature drop.

    The main problem is that most of the deep oceans – atmosphere exchanges are simple circulation: what goes in, goes out, without causing much change in the atmospheric levels. Only if the temperature at the surface changes, that influences the atmospheric levels, but very limited by Henry’s Law… 16 ppmv change in the atmosphere, or 32 GtC (the equivalent of only 4 years of the current human emissions) is all what is needed to compensate for a 1°C increase or decrease in ocean surface temperature. Without taking into account the biosphere, which works in opposite ways.

  58. Smokey says:
    July 11, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Thus, CO2 must have a much smaller effect on temperature than is claimed.

    Completely agree with that…

  59. Ferdinand Engelbeen wrote

    (after I wrote)
    “‘C4-like’, becomes dominant, a process which does not discriminate against heavy C.”

    quote
    The C4 process does discriminate against the heavier isotopes, be it less than the C3 type photosynthesis. Thus if the diatoms use a similar process, they incorporate less of the heavy isotopes than of the light one.
    unquote

    Yes, I was overstating the case. C4 discriminates less strongly against the heavy isotopes. This does not alter the reasoning in my post: the light isotope signal may well be due to an increase in heavy isotope pull-down rather than/as well as a simple increase in light isotope input. A diatom organic product will have proportionately more heavy carbon in it than the equivalent made by a C3 plant.

    I don’t know how this could be tested — I doubt that we have enough information. To further complicate matters, some C3 phytoplankton can turn to C4 when stressed by e.g. starvation, so counting microfossils will not prove anything. Maybe someone should do an experiment using dirt, mud, wellies, wet… You know, science.

    JF

  60. Interstellar Bill says:
    July 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    The only mystery about global warming is how such a blatant fraud keeps on going and going.
    ________________________
    MONEY.

    Money invested in MSM propaganda so money can be made from tax payer funded boondoggles, tax payer funded research grants, tax payer funded NGOs and tax payer funded carbon indulgences. (Tax payer = all the citizens who are the ones fleeced through taxes, higher prices or NGO crocodile tear scams)

    The amount of wealth involved makes the Enron and Ponsi scams look puny.

  61. Urederra says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:09 am

    What is gonna be next? Are we converting fossil fuels into … people?
    _______________________________
    Of course we are.

    Coal + O2 => H2O +CO+ CO2… (water plus carbon monoxide plus carbon dioxide)
    CO2 + Sunlight via plants => Sugars, starches, proteins et al
    Sugars, starches, proteins et al => Animal fats and proteins including humans

    I thought everyone with a ninth grade education knew the carbon cycle.

  62. FerdiEgb says:
    July 11, 2012 at 7:23 am

    All you are showing is that our knowledge of CO2 concentration pre-1958 is really lousy. Tell us something we don’t already know.

  63. Ferdinand

    Surely that figure you give applies to the oceans? I didn’t realise that it was considered correct for surface temperatures as surely it doesn’t take into account that of consecutive years in the lia, one could be very cold whilst the next was very warm without a change in the atmospheric concentration of co2
    Tonyb

  64. And, BTW, I would appreciate it if you would say “Here are my trends and those I derive using my interpretation of Bart’s observation” rather than “Here are Bart’s and mine trends”. These are not “my trends”. I had nothing to do with them.

  65. oriwoggu says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:29 am
    ….. However it is very easy to show that the ocean is iron starved. Just dump iron sulfate or nano-particles of iron in the ocean and there is an immediate algae bloom.

    What is happening?

    If you run the numbers, fishing removes more than a megaton of iron from the core ocean each year. Naturally sulfur and other trace minerals are removed as well. These are minerals that have always been in the ocean and no one is replacing them…..
    ___________________________
    You forgot about rain, streams, rivers and erosion. At one point in time the Appalachian Mountains were higher than the Rockies. Now the highest peak is 6,684 ft compared to 14,440 ft for the Rockies. That is a heck of a lot of minerals carried out to the sea over geologic time spans.

    Why is it that Alarmists always leave out the other part of the story?

  66. And, for any taking notes, Ferdinand and I have had long discussions about this matter. Ferdinand clings to a world of unicorns and pixie dust in which natural dynamics behave in any way he pleases, without any mathematical moorings based on the known evolutionary characteristics typical of natural systems. He further bases his conclusions on gross integrated measures, which of course magnifies errors in the low frequency domain – that is how you get random walks: by integrating noise.

    But, when one plots the CO2 derivatives, one finds that there is little or no correspondence between the rate of change of CO2 and the rate of emissions, whereas the temperature profile fits like a glove.

    Of course, derivatives also magnify error at the high frequency end, which is why CO2 data pre-1958, based on unverifiable proxy “measurements” which have very poor resolution at the high frequency end and significant error in the low, are virtually worthless for identification of the system.

  67. Old England says: @ July 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Could there be a clinical diagnosis of the green dementia that CAGW alarmists and activists clearly suffer from out there waiting to be described and written up ? I wouldn’t mind contributing towards a research fund for it.
    ____________________________
    I am sure Dr. Diederik Stapel, a leading social psychologist, would be very happy to write up the report for you. I hear he is looking for work. Or perhaps we can find one of his students. (That field is almost as bad as Climology)

  68. “””””…..Thousands Of Tons Of Potentially Toxic Iron Dust Dumped In Ocean Without Permit

    And begins,

    News filtering out of Australia indicates a massive geoengineering of the Southern Oceans, done without the necessary government approvals, and with no regard whatsoever to potentially adverse ‘ecosystem impacts.’ Iron oxide laden dust, originating from the Lake Eyre Basin area of central Australia, reportedly has blanketed the ocean surface from the Australian coast to New Zealand. The iron-fertilizer-in-the-ocean “dump” came on so suddenly, even Greenpeace was caught off guard. (Otherwise, there surely would have been banners of protest.) At least we can rest assured this poor Trevally fish, a plankton feeder found off Australia’s coast, probably never knew what hit him. New Zealand’s Business Scoop has the gory details……”””””

    Who are they trying to josh. The Tasman Sea is directly connected (water to land) to millions of tons of iron sands on the West Coast of New Zealand. You only have to go out to Muriwai Beach to see all of the iron sand capable of being leached into the ocean, ad infinitum.

  69. Julian Flood says:
    July 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Yes, I was overstating the case. C4 discriminates less strongly against the heavy isotopes. This does not alter the reasoning in my post: the light isotope signal may well be due to an increase in heavy isotope pull-down rather than/as well as a simple increase in light isotope input. A diatom organic product will have proportionately more heavy carbon in it than the equivalent made by a C3 plant.

    Your reasoning is the opposite of what happens: by incorporating relative more of the light isotope in algues and to a lesser extent in diatoms, more of the heavy isotopes are left in the surface waters and the atmosphere (at equilibrium, which is far from reached). If a part of the diatoms/algues drop out of the surface layer, these drop down to the deep ocean layers and may either form low 13C sediments or are resolved by bacteria back to low 13C inorganic (bi)carbonates. That process thus must give a d13C difference between the oceans top layer and the deep oceans. That is exactly what is measured: the oceans mixed layer has a d13C level of +1 to +5 per mil (higher with high levels of biological activity), while the deep oceans are at 0 to +1 per mil, the atmosphere is at -8 per mil and organic sediments are at -24 per mil, including from diatoms at -13 per mil…

    Further, both the atmosphere and the oceans surface layer show a declining trend, completely in ratio with the burning of fossil fuels:

    It would be very remarkable that any natural process, including algal blooms, would follow the human emissions with such an incredible linear ratio…

  70. Tonyb says:
    July 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Surely that figure you give applies to the oceans? I didn’t realise that it was considered correct for surface temperatures as surely it doesn’t take into account that of consecutive years in the lia, one could be very cold whilst the next was very warm without a change in the atmospheric concentration of co2

    Hi Tony,

    The 1°C temperature change between the MWP and LIA is the maximum one can expect for the oceans surface. That is based on sediments (Saragossa Sea and others), but of course, that is only an estimate, as it is based on proxies. And indeed as good as today, temperature swings from year to year may cancel each out. The main point is that a more permanent temperature change over longer periods (glacials – interglacials, MWP-LIA) gives a change of ~8 ppmv/°C.

    The current temperature swings over short time give ~5 ppmv/°C for the seasonal changes over the globe and ~4 ppmv/°C for short term (1-2 years) changes around the trend (Pinatubo cooling, 1998 El Niño).

    The resolution of the best ice cores is not fine enough to see yearly variations and other proxies like stomata data have a better resolution, but the accuracy (+/- 10 ppmv) is not good enough…

  71. Bart says:
    July 11, 2012 at 9:29 am

    For those who haven’t followed our many exchanges in the past, if I may abstract the discussions (Bart will certainly correct me if I make a mistake):

    - My interpretation is that the increase in the atmosphere is almost entirely caused by human emissions with a small contribution of a more persistent temperature change and that the variability in increase rate is mostly caused by short term temperature variability.

    - Bart’s interpretation is that the increase in the atmosphere and the variability in increase rate is entirely caused by an absolute difference between a base temperature and the real temperature, including its variability.

    My interpretation fits all observations from the past 800 kyr (with very low resolution) to the past 50 years (with very high resolution). That includes the mass balance, that is the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, the carbon increase in the oceans and vegetation. Further the 14C/12C and 13C/12C ratio decline in all compartiments, and the overall oxygen use.

    Bart’s interpretation needs several assumptions, including:
    - human CO2 is almost immediately absorbed somewhere in the carbon cycle.
    - some natural process follows the human emissions with an incredible fixed rate.
    - while the short-term temperature influence over months to years is 4-5 ppmv/°C and the very long term temperature influence over decennia to millennia is ~8 ppmv/°C, the medium term temperature influence over years to decennia would be indefinitely and at least over 100 ppmv/°C.
    - the latter needs a near permanent source of CO2 for a fixed temperature difference with the baseline.

    Besides that all this may not violate any of the observations, the interpretation that temperature is responsible for the variability in the rate of change ánd the trend thus needs a small influence from temperature on fast CO2 processes, a huge influence on medium fast processes and again a small influence over very long periods, including eliminating the result of the medium fast processes.

    Both interpretations show the same long term trend and the same variability over the past 50 years with high resolution. But an extension of Bart’s interpretation shows more and more deviation with reality in the past 105 years, Further expansion would even give zero CO2 over hundred of years in the LIA and surely over 100 kyr in the glacial periods.

    Of course, ice cores don’t show any short term small variability over less than a decade, but that doesn’t change the average or the trends over such and longer periods. Even the current 100+ increase over 160 years would be measurable in the lowest resolution ice core of Vostok if that took place 420,000 years ago.

    One can object to all observations, including ice cores, which don’t fit the prefered model. But that kind of behaviour we know already from the CAGW people. Don’t use that here…

    At last, for a nice explanation of what goes wrong with Nart’s interpretation (he is not the first and not the last), see what someone at the other side of the fence writes:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/salby_correlation_conundrum.html and

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/roys_risky_regression.html

  72. FerdiEgb says:
    July 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    “My interpretation is that the increase in the atmosphere is almost entirely caused by human emissions with a small contribution of a more persistent temperature change and that the variability in increase rate is mostly caused by short term temperature variability.”

    Can’t happen. There is no justification for arbitrarily removing the parts of the temperature correlation you don’t like and replacing them with anthropogenic inputs. The whole temperature record agrees very closely with the CO2 derivative, you have to use either all of it, or none of it. But, the correlation is too high, so you must use all of it. And, that leaves no room for significant anthropogenic influence.

    “My interpretation fits all observations from the past 800 kyr…”

    Not this one.

    “That includes the mass balance…”

    Completely bogus argument, as I have demonstrated many, many, many times.

    “Further the 14C/12C and 13C/12C ratio decline in all compartiments, and the overall oxygen use.”

    Merely consistent with your narrative. Necessary, but not sufficient.

    “But an extension of Bart’s interpretation shows more and more deviation with reality in the past 105 years, Further expansion would…”

    Pre-1958 measurements (actually, estimates) are unreliable and unverifiable. Further “expansion” is not justified, because we do not know how long the relationship has held. This is a nonlinear system. I have linearized it about a current local operating condition justified by the observations. It is always perilous to extend a local model beyond the region of its observable range of validity.

    “Of course, ice cores don’t show…”

    Unreliable, unable to be verified.

    “http://www.skepticalscience.com/salby_correlation_conundrum.html…”

    Not a reliable source, not a particularly gifted analyst.

  73. Ugh. I just looked at the skepticalscience link. It’s basically the equations we went over several conversations ago which I showed you were wrong. The guy who runs that site is not only bombastic, ill-mannered, and duplicitous, he’s not very smart, either. It’s a bad combination.

  74. Bart aays:

    It is a bad combination – but that set of traits is usually a package deal.

  75. Gail Combs says:
    July 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

    It appears you missed the point (and the original post wasn’t as on point as it should have been).

    I looked at the relative element concentrations in the ocean and sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, etc. are all relatively abundant. Iron, which is 5% of the earth’s crust is only .0034 ppm (by weight) of sea water – that’s 3 parts per billion. Iron is the primary limiter of plant growth in the ocean. There is a long time lag between iron flowing down the river and iron appearing in the core ocean. The ocean is mixed but it isn’t that well mixed. We’ve created a iron concentration gradient in the ocean where some areas are nutrient starved.

    The point is that doubled CO2 would cause at least a 50% increase in plant growth. The fossil fuel CO2 is less that 1/16 of the carbon cycle so fossil fuel consumption doesn’t explain why CO2 keeps increasing. You have to generate CO2 and curb CO2 consumption to have the CO2 level rise.

    The solution is to add iron back in.

  76. Ferdinand Engelbeen wrote:

    quote

    JF wrote: A diatom organic product will have proportionately more heavy carbon in it than the equivalent made by a C3 plant. /JF

    Your reasoning is the opposite of what happens: by incorporating relative more of the light isotope in algues and to a lesser extent in diatoms, more of the heavy isotopes are left in the surface waters and the atmosphere (at equilibrium, which is far from reached). If a part of the diatoms/algues drop out of the surface layer, these drop down to the deep ocean layers and may either form low 13C sediments or are resolved by bacteria back to low 13C inorganic (bi)carbonates.
    unquote

    Could you run that by me again? I think that diatoms reject less heavy carbon. Therefore more heavy carbon is incorporated into organic products and exported to the deep ocean. The total amount of carbon exported will be less as diatoms are made of silica.

    So your statement above seems to make no sense. Perhaps I am reading it wrongly, but ‘incorporating relatively more of the light isotope’ is the exact opposite of the situation.

    JF
    Incidentally, I’m sorry to see you quoting Sceptical Science.

  77. Julian Flood says:
    July 12, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Could you run that by me again? I think that diatoms reject less heavy carbon. Therefore more heavy carbon is incorporated into organic products and exported to the deep ocean. The total amount of carbon exported will be less as diatoms are made of silica.

    You need to think about the relative incorporation of 12CO2 vs. 13CO2 into organics by C4 plants vs. C3 plants.

    - C3 plants reduce their 13C/12C ratio compared to the atmosphere at -8 per mil to average -27 per mil.
    - C4 plants reduce their 13C/12C ratio compared to the atmosphere at -8 per mil to average -13 per mil.
    Thus, indeed C4 plants reject less heavy carbon than C3 plants, but still reject heavy carbon compared to the atmosphere.

    If we may assume that the same preferences are at work in the oceans surface layers, that gives a reduction from average +2 per mil in surface waters to -15 per mil in C3 plants and from +2 per mil to -3 per mil in C4 plants.

    Thus even if C4 plants make less distinction between the different isotopes, still relative more 12C is removed from the surface layer than 13C. That increases the 13C level in the surface layer, compared to the deep oceans, which is what is observed. Thus algal blooms, be it coccoliths, chalk free algues or diatoms increase the d13C difference between the ocean surface an the deep oceans and can’t be the cause of the d13C decline, both in the atmosphere and the ocean surface, and thus are not the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and ocean surface…

  78. Bart says:
    July 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Can’t happen. There is no justification for arbitrarily removing the parts of the temperature correlation you don’t like and replacing them with anthropogenic inputs. The whole temperature record agrees very closely with the CO2 derivative, you have to use either all of it, or none of it. But, the correlation is too high, so you must use all of it. And, that leaves no room for significant anthropogenic influence.

    Bart, you are comparing the short term variability of temperature with the short term variability of the increase rate. That shows a high correlation. That simply means that the temperature variability influences the increase rate variability. But that really says nothing about the rest of the equation: nothing about the increase in rate of change and nothing about the trend itself.
    You use some arbitrary term to the temperature range to fit the average increase rate and declare that as part of the whole equation, even if that may be completely spurious and a second, omitted variable may fit that as good or better.

    “My interpretation fits all observations from the past 800 kyr…”
    Not this one.

    Yes it does! Wood for Trees doesn’t have the emissions in its database, neither allows summation of terms and there are no monthly data for the emissions, so I decided to use the yearly values. That gives a less nice fit of the variability for both the temperature-only as for the combined emissions + temperature graph, but both minic the trend ánd the variability in trend quite well.

    “That includes the mass balance…”
    Completely bogus argument, as I have demonstrated many, many, many times.

    What is bogus is that the human emissions just disappear (in space?) and that some unknown natural process exactly mimics the human emissions trend with exactly the same composition in 13C/12C and 14C/12C ratio. And that this process doesn’t use or produce any oxygen for its release.

    “Further the 14C/12C and 13C/12C ratio decline in all compartiments, and the overall oxygen use.”
    Merely consistent with your narrative. Necessary, but not sufficient.

    Agreed, but that is a sufficient condition to reject alternative interpretations if they don’t fit the observations. That rejects the oceans as source (too high in d13C) and the diatom blooms (leaving extra 13C in the surface waters)… And that rejects the biosphere as a whole, because more CO2 is absorbed than released, as seen in the oxygen balance. Thus where is the source of your non-human increase of CO2 in the atmosphere?

    Pre-1958 measurements (actually, estimates) are unreliable and unverifiable. Further “expansion” is not justified, because we do not know how long the relationship has held. This is a nonlinear system. I have linearized it about a current local operating condition justified by the observations. It is always perilous to extend a local model beyond the region of its observable range of validity.

    It is quite simple: the relationship only holds for the past 60 years, because most of the time in that period, temperature and CO2 levels did go up and you simply made it fit by an arbitrary offset, giving a completely spurious correlation (for the trend, not for the variability around the trend). Still impossible to fit that with any offset if you take into account the centuries of cold temperatures during the LIA or the 100 kyr ice ages or glacial-interglacial transitions. In all these cases the emissions + temperature change formula still works.

    “Of course, ice cores don’t show…”
    Unreliable, unable to be verified.

    Bart, as I said before, rejecting data because they don’t fit one’s theory (or model) is what we find objectional if the CAGW people do that. It is as objectional if you do that, because the data don’t fit your theory. Ice core CO2 data are reliable and accurate within +/- 1.2 ppmv for samples within the same core and +/- 5 ppmv for different cores at the same average gas age, whatever their temperature, accumulation rate or dust inclusions. Thus similar values even for very different conditions. The only point is that these are assymetric moving averages of the atmospheric CO2 levels over one decade to several centuries. Thus leveling out the year by year temperature influences.
    Verification is hard to obtain, but historical measurements taken at places where even today “background” CO2 levels are measured, show values around the ice cores over the same period, within the (huge) error margin of the historical measurements. That means about 290 ppmv around 1900. Your theory can’t fit that.

    “http://www.skepticalscience.com/salby_correlation_conundrum.html…”
    Not a reliable source, not a particularly gifted analyst.

    The website and his owner are quite unreliable, but the analyst in this case knows where he is talking about. He nicely shows that your fit of the trend is bogus…

    • To Ferdinand and Bart,
      I suggest that my approach to mass balance satisfies both of your arguements and produces a better statistical fit. Click on my name and leave your comments on my blog. I am in the process of applying this approach to global CO2 data and would appreciate suggested improvements. I hope to develop a model for global atmospheric background CO2 that quantifies both anthropogenic and natural contributions. Both are there and neither is constant.

  79. FerdiEgb says:
    July 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

    “But that really says nothing about the rest of the equation: nothing about the increase in rate of change and nothing about the trend itself.”

    Incorrect. There is a marked trend in the dCO2/dt series, which begets precisely the correct curvature in the integrated CO2. If you add in an anthropogenic component, you no longer match the curvature, because the emissions data also has a trend in it.

    “You use some arbitrary term to the temperature range to fit…”

    The only other term is a bias, which is actually merely a redefinition of the temperature baseline. If the emissions were at a constant rate, then they could take the place of that bias. But, they are not. Hence, there is no room for their contribution to any significant extent.

    “That gives a less nice fit of the variability for both the temperature-only as for the combined emissions + temperature graph, but both minic the trend ánd the variability in trend quite well.”

    It does not match in the fine detail. If you use temperature only, every bump and squiggle matches. If you dilute the temperature input and add in emissions, you no longer match the bumbs and squiggles.

    “What is bogus is that…”

    Arguing where it goes it one thing. But, denying it can go anywhere, which is what your argument boils down to, is quite simply wrong.

    “Thus where is the source of your non-human increase of CO2 in the atmosphere?”

    Deep ocean, decaying vegetation, mineral weathering, microbial activity… There are many possibilities. You are claiming greater knowledge about all these processes than we actually have. Perhaps I cannot explain it right now. Perhaps others can or cannot. But, we know what we have to look for, because it has to be consistent with dCO2/dt proportional to temperature anomaly.

    “…the relationship only holds for the past 60 years…”

    Highly unlikely, impossible without an abrupt shift. If the best, direct measurements of the modern era contradict the indirect and unverifiable measurements, I know where I will (and have) place my bets.

    “In all these cases the emissions + temperature change formula still works.”

    Doesn’t. As I said, you lose the fine detail.

    “…rejecting data because they don’t fit one’s theory (or model) is what we find objectional if the CAGW people do that.”

    And, Hitler loved dogs. Does that make dog lovers Nazis? I reject it because the best, most modern and direct measurements contradict it, at least according to you. I haven’t looked at extending the result beyond the modern era myself. Maybe I’ll take a look as time permits – there are several different temperature measures to choose from. But, a negative result means little – we simply do not have good measurements extending that far back, and they get progressively worse as time retreats.

    “He nicely shows that your fit of the trend is bogus…”

    We went over that. If you want to have the argument again, you can restate it, and I will show you again where it is wrong. But, I’m not going to sully myself again by visiting that website. I always feel like I need to shower after looking at it. And, in any case, it’s not like the jerk would allow me to comment showing where he is wrong because, among his other faults, he does not allow contrary viewpoints to appear unless he can exploit an obvious error in them. And then, if it turns out he is wrong after all, he will modify the comments to make himself look better. A truly loathsome character.

  80. The bottom line is that, in the modern era, the relationship holds: the derivative of CO2 concentration is almost perfectly proportional to temperature anomaly, and CO2 concentration thus lags temperature and is thus the effect, whereas temperature is the cause.

    Of this, there can be no doubt. Whatever magical processes you imagine could have driven CO2 prior to 1958, since 1958, it has been controlled by temperature.

    That relationship leaves no room for significant anthropogenic effect. Period. In the modern era (since at least 1958), temperature is driving CO2 concentration, and humans have very little net impact on it.

    Fred H. Haynie: I do not mean to ignore you. I would like to peruse your site, but I have very little free time – basically what I get here and there waiting for simulation programs to finish. At some point in the future, I will try to get around to it. But, I will say, I would like to reread the old slide show you used to have. Is that available anywhere? I cannot seem to find it.

  81. Bart says:
    July 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    The bottom line is that, in the modern era, the relationship holds: the derivative of CO2 concentration is almost perfectly proportional to temperature anomaly, and CO2 concentration thus lags temperature and is thus the effect, whereas temperature is the cause.

    Of this, there can be no doubt. Whatever magical processes you imagine could have driven CO2 prior to 1958, since 1958, it has been controlled by temperature.

    The bottom line is that indeed the variability of the derivative is almost perfectly proportional to the temperature variability, thus temperature changes are indeed the cause of the variability in the CO2 rate of increase. No doubt about that, But it is impossible that temperature has driven the current increase in absolute CO2 levels, for a lot of reasons.

    - there are only a few natural processes which can absorb or release huge quantities of CO2 in relative short time, based on changes in temperature. That are:

    - the ocean surface layer: limited in capacity, proven net absorber of CO2 and too high in 13C/12C ratio. Thus not the source.

    - the deep oceans: high capacity, limited exchange flows, unknown net mass balance, but too high in 13C/12C ratio. Thus not the source.

    - the biosphere: high capacity, huge exchange flows, but with a limited more or less permanent storage flux and a proven net absorber of CO2 (based on the oxygen balance). Thus not the source.

    - temperature is not the cause of a huge release of extra CO2 from the oceans surface: Henry’s Law gives an increase of 16 microatm for 1°C warmer seawater. 1°C increase is all what you can expect as warming since the LIA, thus an increase of maximum 16 ppmv over several hundred years.

    - the deep oceans have no measurable increase in temperature, as far as measured. And an increase in upwelling flux means also an increase in downwelling flux. With an increase in pCO2 of the atmosphere, downwelling gains more CO2 uptake and upwelling looses release.

    - temperature is not the cause of a huge release of extra CO2 from the biosphere: higher temperatures in general mean more uptake.

    - add to that, that about halve of the extra yearly injection by humans must be stored somewhere, that leaves no room at all for any natural source.

    Thus, sorry, temperature can’t be the cause of the observed increase of CO2 in the atmosphere in modern times.

    • Ferdinand,
      Consider what happens when there is upwelling off the coast of Peru and the rapid increase in SST as it crosses the equatorial Pacific. Also, consider the rapid uptake and transport of CO2 by clouds. These rates change from year to year and are a couple of orders greater than anthropogenic emissions. Working with global averages can be very missleading. Higher temperatures support faster rates of decay.

  82. Fred H. Haynie says:
    July 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    A long note…

    I think I have seen a previous version, but with a fast look I already encounter several problems:

    Carbon dioxide is continually being adsorbed by condensed moisture in clouds and
    released as those droplets evaporate as they fall through warmer air.

    CO2 is only very slightly soluble in fresh water, 100 times less than in seawater. While there is fractionation at the sea-air border and back, there was a kind of equilibrium between air (at -6.4 per mil) and the ocean surface (at +1 to +5 per mil) over millennia, with only small changes in d13C level, even over glacial-interglacial intervals. The drop of currently 1.6 per mil starts around 1850 or even before… As rain and fog are processes which were going on all the time, the current drop is certainly not related to such processes, as we have had warmer and colder periods in the far past, including related changes in moister/rain, without such a drop…

    The shapes of the Arctic carbon dioxide curves are very similar to the Arctic sea ice extent curve.

    Sea ice extent, mid-latitude seawater temperature and vegetation growth (both on land and in the oceans) all are heaviliy dependent of temperature. The latter is the main cause of the d13C increase in spring-summer-fall and d13C decrease in fall-summer-spring, mainly in the NH. The main oceanic exchange over the seasons is in the mid-latitudes, sea ice plays a minor role.

    In fact, the natural exchange rates change with changes in sea surface temperatures. These rates can be an order of magnitude greater than the increased emissions from anthropogenic sources.

    No they are not: while the exchange fluxes are an order of magnitude larger, the changes in (sea) surface temperature cause changes in the net natural sink rate of 4 +/- 2 GtC/year, but human emissions are currently around 8 GtC/year, double the temperature caused natural variability..

    When sea ice forms it covers the water which then can no longer absorb carbon dioxide.

    I thought that the THC got stronger in winter and weaker in summer, only the sink place shifts together with the edge of the ice sheet more southward in winter, but I may be wrong here…

    The observed year to year increase in measured atmospheric carbon dioxide is very likely the result of increases in Arctic SST.

    To obtain that, the Arctic ocean should be near boiling now… The Arctic ocean still sinks a lot of CO2, even more than years ago, as an increase of 1°C gives an increase of 16 microatm in equilibrium with the atmosphere at ~16 ppmv extra, but the increase in the atmosphere is over 100 ppmv now, thus pushing more CO2 into the deep of the Arctic Ocean…

    This is strong evidence that the long term accumulation in atmospheric carbon dioxide (from both organic and inorganic sources) is a natural process.

    That is based on the similarity between the alleged trend in temperature difference between equator and poles and the observed 13C/12C depletion. But that is three bridges too far: there is no resaon to expect that CO2 is massively and repeatedly absorbed and released during its trip between the equator and the poles. Further, the burning of fossil fuels alone already should give three times the observed drop in d13C ratio, if that was not diluted by the deep ocean exchanges…

    The half life of any carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a gas is short, a matter of days rather than years.

    I have heard of residence times of 5 years and beyond, but a matter of days? And where should that be absorbed?
    BTW, the residence time is only about circulating CO2 between the different compartiments, that says next to nothing about the adjustment time needed to remove an excess amount of CO2 above equilibrium out of the atmosphere, which is in the order of 53 years…

    • Ferdenand,
      You are working with longterm global averages that completely miss actual exchange rates. Show me some actual rate data. How long does it take for a molecule of CO2 to go from the ocean surface to clouds? How much is returned to the ocean in rain? How much is delivered to the upper atmosphere in thunder-clouds? How long does it take for CO2 absorbed in the Arctic to get back to the equator? Which are the rate controlling factors and how are they changing? The earth has never been in equilibrium and changes on a daily basis. Have you ever studied the rapid dispersion of a power plant plume? With any wind and a normal lapse rate, they rapidly approach background levels. The reported “residence times” are measures of cycle lengths (oceans, land, and biosphere).

  83. FerdiEgb says:
    July 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    “The bottom line is that indeed the variability of the derivative is almost perfectly proportional to the temperature variability…”

    It fascinates me that you recognize the unlikelihood of matching complex time series via scaling without there being a connection, as here, yet you do not see the glaring unlikelihood of the fact that scaling the temperature anomaly to match all the complex ups and downs of the CO2 derivative also provides a perfect match with the overall trend, and you want arbitrarily to remove that trend from further consideration.

    But, you cannot do that. You cannot just say “I’ll take the variable part, and ignore the rest because it does not conform with my preconceived conclusion.” You must take all or nothing. And, when you do, any significant dependence on human forcing becomes untenable. There isn’t room for anything else but a constant bias in the rate of change. The rate of emissions has not been constant, ergo, there is no room for it.

    “But it is impossible that temperature has driven the current increase in absolute CO2 levels, for a lot of reasons.”

    Then, you have a contradiction. By the nature of reality, contradictions cannot exist. Therefore, if you find one, you must examine your premises. You will find that at least one of them is mistaken.

    Your list of premises is not evidence, it is narrative. It is chocked full of assumptions which only have weight because they have been assumed for so long. When you look closely, you will find that none of them are certain, many based on nothing more than intuition, even if it is the intuition of many people. Human intuition is notoriously bad when dealing with complex systems.

    I will let you have the last word, if you please. But, I urge you to think this through, and consider the reliability of the stones in the foundation you have built for your narrative. Because, most of them are only dried sand, and the data are rock solid.

  84. fhhaynie says:
    July 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    How long does it take for a molecule of CO2 to go from the ocean surface to clouds? How much is returned to the ocean in rain? How much is delivered to the upper atmosphere in thunder-clouds? How long does it take for CO2 absorbed in the Arctic to get back to the equator? Which are the rate controlling factors and how are they changing?…

    Dear Fred, that are questions I would ask you, not reverse. You have extraordinary claims about the fate of (human) CO2 in the atmosphere, thus it is up to you to show that there is a substantial uptake and release of CO2 in rain and fog, which changes the 13C/12C ratio in the same direction and same speed as observed in the atmosphere. For the human emissions, that is easy to show.
    But I don’t think that your natural absorbing and releasing mechanism changed substantially over the past 160 year, ultimately following what one can expect from human releases (which disappear somewhere else, without leaving a trace?).

    BTW, I have left some comment on your blog, as the residence time is not of the slightest interest to know what causes the increase in the atmosphere… And I know what plumes from point sources do, was part of my job to calculate the dispersion of a theoretical chlorine leak into the atmosphere, based on a monitoring network. Fortunately that was never tested in practice…

  85. Bart says:
    July 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    you do not see the glaring unlikelihood of the fact that scaling the temperature anomaly to match all the complex ups and downs of the CO2 derivative also provides a perfect match with the overall trend, and you want arbitrarily to remove that trend from further consideration.

    The difference between the two examples is that the sponges (and ice cores) are showing the direct, measured trends, while in the second example, you are staring at the derivative, which shows a high correlation between temperature variations and CO2 increase variations. But the correlation stays exactly the same, even if you detrend the temperature. The cause of the real trend may be influenced by temperature alone, or a small temperature influence (in the same range as the variability) plus a large part of the human emissions or any mix inbetween (I am working at it to make that visible…).
    The fact that you need to introduce an offset to match the trend (which does change if you want to match other periods in time), makes it already clear.

    The main problem which makes your solution near impossible is that it needs three different temperature-CO2 related processes: a fast one that keeps track of fast temperature changes with a fast, but limited response (of ~4-5 ppmv/°C) over months to a few years, a slower one with a near unlimited response in time (over 100 ppmv/°C) over periods of decades and a very slow one which counteracts the second one and brings everything back to a limited response of ~8 ppmv/°C over periods from 50 years to millenia. If that were true, the third reaction should already working now by overruling the second one…

    Your list of premises is not evidence, it is narrative. It is chocked full of assumptions

    Sorry, but 13C/12C and 14C/12C ratio trends are measured in the atmosphere as well as in the oceans surface. That are not assumptions. Which excludes the oceans (deep as well as surface) as source of any extra CO2. As good as the measured oxygen balanse excludes the whole biosphere as source. Thus there is no known natural source for the extra 140 GtC in the atmosphere (an increase of ~20% over 50 years). Time to have a second look at your theory…

  86. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    “But the correlation stays exactly the same, even if you detrend the temperature.”

    I know I said I’d give you the last word but… What????

    If you detrend the temperature, then the exact same trend in the dCO2/dt series no longer correlates!

    That’s the beauty of the whole thing – when you scale the temperature so that the varying stuff matches, so do the trends!

    Why would you take out something which is a perfect fit in both data sets? How can you possibly think you can justify that?

    You cannot. You must keep it. And, THAT is what makes the human contribution necessarily negligible.

  87. PS: your absolute faith in proxy measurements which cannot be verified is irrational. But, there is no need to look past the modern era, anyway. That is when CO2 rose most. That is when the relationship holds beyond any doubt. That disqualifies significant human impact since at least 1958.

    You can claim something else dominated before then, supremely unlikely as that would be. But, so what? CO2 hadn’t risen vary far, so it doesn’t matter.

    I said I’d give you the last word, but your response was too awful to let pass. Correlation stays the same? Not in this universe.

  88. Bart says:
    July 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    PS: your absolute faith in proxy measurements which cannot be verified is irrational.

    Bart, 13C/12C measurments are modern measurements taken in the atmosphere since the 1970′s and in the oceans since the 1980′s. That is when CO2 levels in the atmosphere rose most. These exclude the oceans as source of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere beyond doubt. To the contrary, they prove that the ocean surface was a net sink for CO2 and the deep oceans exchanges dilute the human emissions “fingerprint” and probably count for the balance of the CO2 removal after the biosphere and the ocean surface.

    Oxygen measurements since 1990 prove beyond doubt that the biosphere as a whole is a net sink for CO2. Thus not the source of the increase in the atmosphere.

    Thus how much you like your theory that temperature is the only driver for the increase in the atmosphere, there is no source in nature which can deliver that. Thus your theory is falsified, however nice the correlation is for the variability part, it is a spurious correlation for the trend part.

  89. Bart says:
    July 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    If you detrend the temperature, then the exact same trend in the dCO2/dt series no longer correlates!

    That’s the beauty of the whole thing – when you scale the temperature so that the varying stuff matches, so do the trends!

    As I said before: one can have the same fit with about the same fine nuances with temperature alone as good as with the emissions causing the trend and temperature causing the variability around the trend. Here the result:

    The difference between your approach and mine:
    - no need to let all the human emissions disappear in an unknown location.
    - no need for an unknown natural process that mimics the human emissions.
    - absolute temperature needs no arbitrary offset, as that has no influence on the long term CO2 increase rate.
    - only the temperature changes have a short time (here one year, in reality 2-3 years) influence.
    - the human emissions are by large responsible for the trend, temperature changes for the variability.

    The difference in correlation is mainly from the 12-month smoothing of the monthly change in temperature (to remove much of the noise and the seasonal influences) and the lag that it causes. The human emissions over a year were linearly interpolated inbetween.

    • Ferdinand,
      At present, the oceans are a net source and not a net sink. The southern equatorial pacific is emitting more CO2 than the Arctic and Antarctic can consume and the atmospheric concentrations are rising. These rates are much greater than anthropogenic emissions and are allways changing in natural cycles of different wave lengths and amplitudes (look at proxie data). Global averaging to filter out “noise” also erases this informative rate data. This is why your mass balance method is giving you missleading information. Thermodynamics only tells you the direction of a reaction. It does not tell you the rate. Your mass balance should be done with rates at the sources and sinks.

  90. In addition, if you take into account a 6 months lag in CO2 level, the correlation between observed CO2 levels and calculated from emissions + temperature changes increases to 0.64.

  91. Fred, I don’t see that the oceans are a net source of CO2.
    Measurements at different places over several years and a lot of ocean areas show an increase of DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) in the surface layer and calculations of the fluxes per area in the different seasons show that the average weighted fluxes are higher from the atmosphere into the oceans than reverse. The difference is about 2 GtC/year larger for the sink fluxes than for the source fluxes (which each are around 90 GtC, partly continuous, partly seasonal). See:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml

    Per mass balance: if the oceans should be a net source of CO2, one need another sink which absorbs the extra releases from the oceans + halve the human emissions. That could be the biosphere, but the oxygen balance only shows a net uptake of about 1.5 GtC/year by the biosphere. Other possible sinks (rock weathering, chalk deposits,…) are much slower…

    • Ferdinand,
      Again, most of the “flux” data that I have seen are based on partial pressure differences (thermodynamics) which tells you little about actual rates. Where do you expect that increase in DIC will go as the surface water warms up crossing the equatorial south pacific? It will either emit to the atmosphere or precipitate as solid calcium carbonate. These rates are what we need to know. Also we need to know transport mechanisms and rates between sources and sinks. These are more likely the controlling factors.

  92. Fred,
    flux = partial pressure difference x flux rate.
    The latter is experimentally measured in seawater filled tanks. Thus that gives a rough idea of the total flux rate, if the partial pressure difference over a certain area and the wind speed is known. There are of course lots of problems with that approach, but the first term, the partial pressure difference is clear: if that doubles, then the flux doubles at the same wind speed.

    The point is that DIC increased everywhere, including the warm Pacific parts. Thus whatever the temperature did, more CO2 was retained there, thus less was emitted into the atmosphere. At the cold side, more CO2 was pushed into the oceans. Thus even without any knowledge of the basic fluxes, we know that the oceans were increasing sinks for CO2…

    • Ferdinand,
      You can’t do a proper mass balance without knowing actual exchange rates, and as you point out what you are using as fluxes are rather shaky. It is even more shaky to assume that natural exchange rates have not changed over year to year when we know they change greatly within a year. There are too many ways that we know they change. About the DIC. Don’t you think that partial pressure of CO2 should rise along with a increase in DIC? At the equator you should expect DIC to be coming from upwelling off the cost of Peru in a la Nina.

  93. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 14, 2012 at 5:49 am

    “As I said before: one can have the same fit with about the same fine nuances with temperature alone as good as with the emissions causing the trend and temperature causing the variability around the trend.”

    Ferdinand, that is scientifically illiterate. You cannot just pick and choose which parts of the temperature you use and which you do not. There is no mechanism in nature which can magically apportion things like that. Nature does not detrend the temperature.

  94. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 14, 2012 at 1:51 am

    “… 13C/12C measurments are modern measurements taken in the atmosphere since the 1970′s and in the oceans since the 1980′s.”

    Modern measurements, sure. But, the model for what they mean cannot be verified. You just have an interpretation, a narrative, of what they mean, but no proof.

  95. Bart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Ferdinand, that is scientifically illiterate. You cannot just pick and choose which parts of the temperature you use and which you do not. There is no mechanism in nature which can magically apportion things like that. Nature does not detrend the temperature.

    First an error in the description: I detrended the temperature changes, not the temperature itself.

    Bart, what you don’t see is that the oceans don’t react as a continuous sink or source on a step change in temperature (an absolute temperature difference). The reaction is fast but limited and ends when a new equilibrium is reached. For the oceans, that is when the atmosphere reaches a change of ~16 ppmv for an average change of 1°C in the oceans surface (and opposite for vegetation). It is the change in temperature which gives a change in CO2 level and thus a temporary (2-3 years) change in the derivative, which then falls back to zero. Thus except for a temporary reaction on temperature changes, the absolute temperature influence on the CO2 increase rate is essentially zero.
    I am not the one which detrend the temperature changes, nature does that itself…

    Thus in summary: absolute temperature has zero effect on the CO2 increase rate and only temperature changes have a temporary effect.

    That is the difference between your approach and mine. My approach is what is observed over months to many millennia, your approach fits only the past 50 years, but is only curve fitting for the part that describes the trend.

  96. Bart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Modern measurements, sure. But, the model for what they mean cannot be verified. You just have an interpretation, a narrative, of what they mean, but no proof.

    Nothing to do with models. The oceans have a positive d13C level of 0 to +1 per mil for the deep oceans and +1 to +5 per mil for the ocean surface. The atmospere is at -8 per mil. Thus any substantial addition of CO2 from the (deep) oceans would increase the d13C level of the atmosphere, but we only see a sharp decline, in ratio with the human emissions… Thus it simply is impossible that the oceans are the cause of the increase in the atmosphere.

  97. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    “Bart, what you don’t see is that the oceans don’t react as a continuous sink or source on a step change in temperature (an absolute temperature difference). The reaction is fast but limited and ends when a new equilibrium is reached.”

    Of course it does not have a continuous response when the input is discontinuous (a step change). This is trivial.

    “Thus in summary: absolute temperature has zero effect on the CO2 increase rate and only temperature changes have a temporary effect. “

    Directly and irrefutably contradicted by the data.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    “Nothing to do with models.”

    And, you then proceed to explain the model. Please, Ferdinand, THINK!

  98. Bart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Of course it does not have a continuous response when the input is discontinuous (a step change). This is trivial.

    Neither does that give an over 100 ppmv/°C response over time while the direct response to short and very long changes is not more than 4-8 ppmv/°C…

    Directly and irrefutably contradicted by the data.

    Pff, pure and irrefutable curve fitting of a trend based on an arbitrary offset, that doesn’t work for other periods of time…

    And, you then proceed to explain the model. Please, Ferdinand, THINK!

    Well, if you expect that if you add a base to an acid solution that the solution becomes more acid, then you need more than explaining that such a “model” will not work…

  99. “…what you don’t see is that the oceans don’t react as a continuous sink or source on a step change in temperature…”

    Perhaps what you meant was that you do not think that a step change in temperature causes a permanent shift in the rate of change of CO2. That is probably true, over a long timeline. But the overall reaction, including oceans and land, is not “fast” and, on a short time scale, not “limited”. It takes a long time for a new equilibrium to be reached, assuming it is at some point.

    That is what the data tell us. You can proclaim what you suppose nature ought to do until you are blue in the face. But, when the data contradicts your hypothesis, you are not describing the real, observable world around us.

  100. “Thus any substantial addition of CO2 from the (deep) oceans would increase the d13C level of the atmosphere, but we only see a sharp decline, in ratio with the human emissions…”

    THAT, Ferdinand, is a model. It assumes uniform distribution in the oceans, with no other effects, and an extremely simple diffusion model in which every region of the oceans, atmosphere, and land are instantly equilibrated.

    It’s pure speculation, even if you do not recognize it as such.

  101. Bart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    THAT, Ferdinand, is a model. It assumes uniform distribution in the oceans, with no other effects, and an extremely simple diffusion model in which every region of the oceans, atmosphere, and land are instantly equilibrated.

    Bart, the take away message is that any substantial addition from the deep oceans would increase the d13C level of the atmosphere. That is not a “model” but simple logic, as good as adding a base to an acid solution will make that less acid or even basic, whatever the mixing speed.

    That has nothing to do with diffusion out or distribution in the oceans, as all parts of the oceans have a higher d13C level than the atmosphere. Thus any extra release of any part of the oceans would increase the d13C level of any part of the atmosphere. And the atmosphere shows a measured near steady decline in d13C, over a 30+ years span, everywhere it is measured. Thus whatever happens with diffusion or mixing speed in the oceans or the atmosphere (which is less than a few years), the oceans can’t be a substantial source of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is what the data say.

  102. Bart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Perhaps what you meant was that you do not think that a step change in temperature causes a permanent shift in the rate of change of CO2. That is probably true, over a long timeline. But the overall reaction, including oceans and land, is not “fast” and, on a short time scale, not “limited”.

    Look again at what your curve fitting does:

    The short term variability in the order of months to 1-2 years gives a variability in CO2 levels of 4-5 ppmv/°C as transient change over these time spans. The overal temperature change over the period 1960-2005 is 0.7°C with as result some 70 ppmv increase over the same time span and the end still is not in sight. With an average speed ranging from 0.75 ppmv per year in 1960 to 2.0 ppmv per year in 2005. Even with a relative constant temperature over the past 15 years, the CO2 increase still increases, which is quite remarkable.
    Thus at least two different processes are at work: a fast limited one that gives the fast swings around the trend and a slower one that gives quasi unlimited changes over time for a small change in temperature.
    Then we have the ice cores and several other proxies which show that the overall reaction on temperature changes over periods from 50 years to many millennia is limited to maximum 10 ppmv/°C, to take a wider margin. Thus a third reaction should reduce the overal rate back to about the same magnitude as the first one now, as we are already in the time frame as seen in ice cores.

    Then we have the problem that human emissions are double what is seen as increase in the atmosphere, thus should go somewhere, we have the oceans which can’t be the source, we have the biosphere which is not the source…

    Thus in my informed opinion, the second reaction doesn’t exist and is only an artifact of the arbitrary offset and a misinterpretation of the real processes in nature. Your approach doesn’t fit other periods in time and doesn’t fit a lot of other points, has no known sources and a missing sink for the human emissions. Thus completely spurious for the trend part.

    My approach is based on known processes and fits all known observations over all time periods…

  103. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    When you cannot even recognize when you are using a model, with all manner of implicit assumptions built in, and cannot readily admit to or point to which assumptions you have made so you can defend their weaknesses, then you are in the position of those pitiful dictators in the East Bloc who came to believe their own propaganda, and never expected to fall.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    “The short term variability in the order of months to 1-2 years gives a variability in CO2 levels of 4-5 ppmv/°C as transient change over these time spans. The overal temperature change over the period 1960-2005 is 0.7°C with as result some 70 ppmv increase over the same time span and the end still is not in sight. With an average speed ranging from 0.75 ppmv per year in 1960 to 2.0 ppmv per year in 2005. Even with a relative constant temperature over the past 15 years, the CO2 increase still increases, which is quite remarkable.”

    Not remarkable at all. In fact, monumentally typical of the performance of dynamic systems, which respond with different gain to different frequency components of driving inputs. That is part of what makes me so certain I am right – I see this type of behavior every day in the systems I design which do, in fact, function as designed in the real world. It is what makes me so certain you are wrong – you are completely unmoored from the mathematically constrained functioning of real world systems. You do not realize, for example, that a stable system which responds to variations, but not to steady inputs, is a high pass system which must exhibit frequency dependent dispersion and will not line up 1:1 in perfect synchronicity with its driving force. It simply cannot replicate correlations of this remarkably high fidelity.

    This is your problem, Ferdinand, even though you do not recognize it as such, because you do not have experience at this level with real world systems. You are imagining how you would like things to be, but they simply cannot be that way in the real world.

    You have no idea what it is like for me to argue with you, and see these mind-numbingly blinkered statements you make, knowing there is no way I can explain to you why they are impossible in a way which you will understand. But, it’s not just you. The greater mass of people who call themselves “climate scientists” have no experience with dynamical systems, and have no clue why they are so far removed from reality that their hypotheses are virtually guaranteed, at some point in time, to fail and be swept aside. I’d feel sorry for them if they were not so overwhelmingly a bunch of clueless know-it-all jerks who have it within their power to adversely impact so many lives, and are insouciantly happy to do so.

  104. Bart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    When you cannot even recognize when you are using a model, with all manner of implicit assumptions built in…

    When you can’t use simple logic to conclude that, whatever the processes involved, the oceans can’t be the source of extra CO2 in the atmosphere, because of too high in d13C, then you suffer from the same problem I have encountered with a lot of very highly intelligent people: masters in theoretical solutions, but very poor in recognizing that the practical implications are quite different from theory…

    Not remarkable at all. In fact, monumentally typical of the performance of dynamic systems, which respond with different gain to different frequency components of driving inputs.

    I am sufficient aware of the implications of different reponses from different processes. That includes that a combination of processes which give a small response on high frequency changes, a huge response on medium frequency changes and again a small response on low to extremely low frequency changes is very unlikely, if not impossible. Further, my remark was that the response increases over time, thus it looks like a runaway reaction, if temperature was the cause of the increase.

    It simply cannot replicate correlations of this remarkably high fidelity.

    I did show you that the same high fidelity in replication can be obtained with a combination of the two driving variables: temperature and emissions. That doesn’t use a near impossible high response to medium frequency temperature changes and is based on known fast processes in the ocean surface layer and the mass balance, without including pure theoretical phantasies with no known corresponding processes in nature. Further that fits all other time periods. See:

    This is your problem, Ferdinand, even though you do not recognize it as such, because you do not have experience at this level with real world systems.

    Another phantasy? I have worked 34 years, halve of the time as chemical process engineer, halve as process automation engineer, implementing processes invented by very intelligent theoretici into the real world. Processes with response times ranging from fractions of seconds to 8 days (the latter the most problematic one to manage). I have encountered about every practical problem one can’t even imagine, including a few runaway reactions… My theoretical knowledge has faded a lot over time, especially since I am retired, but my logic still is sharp enough to recognize where the practical problems are…

    You have no idea what it is like for me to argue with you.

    Oh, yes, I have some idea about your problem: you are so stuck in the real nice theoretical solution that explains the variability of the temperature-CO2 response that you don’t see that the practical implications for the trend part are illogic and near impossible, including non-existing processes that remove the other, more plausible variable which can easely explain the trend…
    A similar problem as that I have encountered many times in discussions with very intelligent people during the implementation of theoretical sound processes where the practical side didn’t follow the theory…

  105. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 15, 2012 at 2:45 am

    “When you can’t use simple logic to conclude that…”

    That’s your problem, Ferdinand. Your logic is simple, or more accurately, simplistic. You say one type of behavior cannot be possible, when you do not have enough information to make that conclusion, and you say other types of behavior are the only alternative, when those latter types are, in fact, physically impossible.

    “…thus it looks like a runaway reaction, if temperature was the cause of the increase.”

    Only over a long timeline. We know that over a long time interval, other limiting factors must come into play. We do not have enough data yet to determine what those limiting factors are. As I have stated before, the coupled differential equations

    dCO2/dt = (CO2 – Co)/tau1 + H
    dCo/dt = -Co/tau2 + k*(T-To)

    with tau1 relatively short and tau2 relatively long is an analogous system description which does not run away, but for which we do not have enough reliable data to resolve tau2. This is a common and ordinary type of system description.

    “I did show you that the same high fidelity in replication can be obtained with a combination of the two driving variables: temperature and emissions. “

    And, as I have tried to explain, it is physically impossible, given the data.

    “Oh, yes, I have some idea about your problem: you are so stuck in the real nice theoretical solution that explains the variability of the temperature-CO2 response that you don’t see that the practical implications … are illogic and … impossible…”

    That about sums up my response to you, the difference being that your pet theory is physically impossible.

  106. Bart,

    I tried to explain you that your solution is physically impossible, to no avail.

    It doesn’t make any sense to go on with this discussion, only the future will show who is right, if the temperature stays flat or goes down during a few years, we will see the real response of the CO2 rate of change…

  107. The difference is, when you say “physically impossible,” you mean “inconsistent with other parts of the narrative which I believe are true”. When I say “physically impossible,” I mean “physically impossible.”

  108. Bart says:
    July 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    When I say physically impossible, that means that it is physically impossible that:

    - human emissions (some 300 GtC) disappear in a black hole without leaving a trace, as you believe.
    - ocean emissions are an important source of the CO2 increase, as you believe, while its d13C levels are much higher than anywhere in the atmosphere and the d13C levels of the atmosphere are constantly declining.
    - that the reaction of CO2 increase to temperature consists of a small response on temperature changes for high frequency changes, a huge response on medium frequency changes, as you believe, and again a small response to low and very low frequency changes, where the low frequency changes largely reduce the medium frequency responses.
    - that any natural process exists that can deliver 140 GtC extra in the atmosphere over 45 years time, the equivalent of burning down 1/3rd of all land vegetation, as you believe, without being discovered.

  109. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 12, 2012 at 5:40 am :

    [I advise that new readers go to the post, and the previous related posts and read through them.}

    Thank you, Ferdinand for your explanation. The only way that it makes sense, in your terms, is if one assumes that the conditions which move the relative numbers of C3 and C4 metabolism plankton around are not new. I think. If one is changing the numbers, as I believe is happening, then you are making no sense.

    Let me try again. Here is my postulate.

    Pollution has changed the plankton population. There are now more C4 plants. These have displaced some 3C plants. C4 plants push less C into the deep ocean, but what they push is heavier, on average. So, total less, isotope weight more. This leaves more C in the atmosphere. Since the export is relatively heavy in the 13C and 14C isotopes, a light signal is left in the atmosphere. More C, light C signal in the atmosphere. In the oceans, less C, relatively more heavy C.

    I cannot make it any simpler.

    JF
    Oh, look, my hypothesis is testable. How often do you see that in climate science?

    JF

  110. Julian Flood says:
    July 16, 2012 at 4:32 am

    C4 plants push less C into the deep ocean, but what they push is heavier, on average. So, total less, isotope weight more. This leaves more C in the atmosphere. Since the export is relatively heavy in the 13C and 14C isotopes, a light signal is left in the atmosphere. More C, light C signal in the atmosphere. In the oceans, less C, relatively more heavy C.

    Julian, the article suggests that the diatom blooming exports more C from the atmosphere to the deep oceans, that is the opposite of what you expect. But that is not the only problem with your reasoning, the main problem is in the relative 13C/12C ratios.

    Compared to the surrounding oceans, both C3 and C4 plants take relative more 12C out of the water than 13C (or 14C). Thus both are lighter in heavy isotopes than the surrounding waters and thus enrich the surface waters, permamently when they drop out and aren’t recycled by other species. The difference is that C3 plants enrich the surrounding waters more in hevy isotpes than C4 plants, for the same C uptake. Thus IF there was a release from the surface waters to the atmosphere, that would enrich the atmosphere with 13C and 14C, be it more from C3 plants than from C4 plants. But we see a steady decline in 13C (and 14C), both in the atmosphere as in the oceans surface waters. Thus the algal blooms are not the cause of the increase in the atmosphere, but may be part of the increasing sink rate, which removes about halve the increase caused by the human emissions…

  111. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 16, 2012 at 2:55 am

    “When I say physically impossible, that means that it is physically impossible that…”

    I believe that is what I said: you mean inconsistent with other parts of the narrative which you believe are true.

    When I say it, I mean physically impossible as in not possible according to the Laws of Nature in this Universe.

  112. “that the reaction of CO2 increase to temperature consists of a small response on temperature changes for high frequency changes, a huge response on medium frequency changes, as you believe, and again a small response to low and very low frequency changes, where the low frequency changes largely reduce the medium frequency responses.”

    A) This is not an uncommon response type – a second order system with non-critical damping behaves this way.

    B) Again, you are relying on unreliable and unverifiable ice cores for the conclusion.

  113. Bart says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

    A) The response of CO2 to high frequencies and low to extreme low frequencies is simple first order linear and for inbetween frequencies it should show a second order behaviour?

    B) There are a few other proxies for CO2 levels, you don’t like either, which show roughly the same CO2 levels. But let’s look at a short period of the stomata data (which are less reliable over longer time spans):

    While the stomata data have their problems, they confirm the trend of the CO2 levels in the pre-Mauna Loa period of the ice cores.
    There is a direct overlap between the ice core data from the Law Dome ice cores of ~20 years with the South Pole data:

    Thus at least over a period of 20 years, the ice core data are reliable. But there are many historical measurements made. Most of them are unreliable, as made at places with nearby huge sinks and sources, but some were made on ships over the oceans, which are still seen as reliable places for background measurements today. Besides the low accuracy (of some) of the historical measurements (best performance +/- 10 ppmv), the ice core data are within the range of the seaside measurements.

    Thus anyway, for the 1900-1980 period, the ice core data are confirmed by two independent methods, even direct measurements.

    Thus one can compare your temperature-only driver with my emissions+temperature change driver with the (8-years smoothed) ice core CO2 levels over the period 1900-2005.

    Your temperature-only driven CO2 increase completely fails for the period 1910-1950:

  114. “Thus one can compare your temperature-only driver with my emissions+temperature change driver…”

    That’s like saying “thus, we can compare your lightning model to my Thunder God model.” Your model is not physically realizable. There is no mechanism in nature which can perform a least-squares detrend of the unfolding process. It would require a non-causal filter, i.e., a process which weighted data from the future.

    Your stomata data has a variability greater than the “error” you claim in the extrapolation. Your Law Dome data “have been corrected for average system enhancement and gravitational fractionation”, i.e., have been adjusted to match the atmospheric sampling. We have no means of verifying that the extrapolation farther back has any validity.

    One interesting matter: I expect you look at the close agreement between the calculation based on emissions and the “observations” (I put that in quotes, because pre-1958 are not actual observations, but estimates) and immediately think “they match.” I look at them and immediately think “they match too closely, the books have been cooked.”

  115. Bart says:
    July 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    The Law Dome data are corrected for gravitational fractionation and system enhancement. Both are in the order of 1% of the measurements. Gravitational enhancement is simply because in stagnant air over ~40 years in firn, the heavier molecules and isotopes relatively increase near the bottom of the air column. The enhancement is calculated on basis of the 15N/14N ratio increase near the bottom at closing depth. Thus nothing to do with “adjusting to match atmospheric sampling”. I have no idea what “system enhancement” is, need to reread the work of Etheridge, but a bias of 1% or 3 ppmv is not really problematic in this case…

    Further, the stomata data have their problems, including a lack of accuracy, but the trend doesn’t show a change over the high-resolution ice cores + overlap + direct measurements. Thus there is nor reason to expect that ice cores perform worse in the pre-Mauna Loa period than during the overlap. While you miss the response of CO2 to the high frequency temperature changes, the average doesn’t change and a 2-3 year averaging of the temperature data should show the same values. But your solution shows a deviation of up to 20 ppmv in the first period…

    But there is another process point that shows the difference between the two approaches:

    Whatever what you think about the ice cores, there is a remarkable correlation between the temperature proxy and the CO2 levels. No matter the lags, the filtering over centuries, the problems with the proxy (d18O vs. dD), which may change the ratio between CO2 and temperature… That there is a fixed ratio between absolute CO2 levels and absolute temperature is clear.
    Thus CO2 = f(T)
    and dCO2 = f(dT)

    Our difference starts in the high frequency range: according to you, the high frequency CO2 response is a function of T, while in my opinion the high frequency response is a function of dT.
    Both are theoretically possible, as a 2-3 year response to a high frequency change in dT has practically the same form as to a high frequency change in T. Because there are practically no consecutive years without temperature change, it is near impossible to make the distinction over the past 50 years.

    The main difference is in the medium frequencies: you approach means that at some point there is a change in response from a function in T to a function in dT (which should be visible by now…). My approach goes fluently from high frequency to very low frequency changes without any change in process type, only some change in coefficients when slower processes come in…

  116. No matter how you slice it, we have no way to confirm CO2 measurements prior to 1958. The stomata data are too variable to be of any use. You appear to present a chance overlap of ~20 years of Law Dome data which has been treated somehow which appears to match the modern record, but this does not mean anything besides that fact that you can take any two slowly varying time series and make them appear affinely similar over some interval. You have no information as to the bounds over which the similarity holds.

    You are chasing phantoms. The notion that we had such incredibly good correlation between the temperature and dCO2/dt since 1958 but that relationship simply ended almost immediately prior to that is really wishful thinking.

    If CO2 = f(T), then by the chain rule, dCO2 = f’(T)*dT, where f’(T) is the derivative of f(T) with respect to T. So, yes, of course dCO2 is a function of T.

    “My approach goes fluently from high frequency to very low frequency changes without any change in process type, only some change in coefficients when slower processes come in.”

    It is, as you say, your “approach”. But, nature has no way of implementing your “approach”. It is impossible to remove the trend in real time without phase dispersion. Your “approach” is not feasible in the real world.

    BTW, I do not get precisely your relationship with the integrated scaled temperature anomaly. Using trapezoidal integration, my plot looks like this.

  117. I do not want to read too much into that integrated temperature anomaly plot. We do not have any way of confirming whether or how well the temperature-CO2 derivative relationship held prior to 1958.

    But, it is a moot question. Since 1958, the relationship has held. And, it explains the increase in CO2 since that time, without any apparent significant impact from human sources.

  118. “The notion that we had such incredibly good correlation between the temperature and dCO2/dt since 1958 but that relationship simply ended almost immediately prior to that is really wishful thinking.”

    “We do not have any way of confirming whether or how well the temperature-CO2 derivative relationship held prior to 1958.”

    These two statements of mine are in conflict with each other. It is an indicator that I am having trouble expressing my precise thoughts. If I get a chance later, I will try to clarify. But, the bottom line is, as I said above, the relationship has held since 1958.

  119. Bart says:
    July 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

    It is, as you say, your “approach”. But, nature has no way of implementing your “approach”. It is impossible to remove the trend in real time without phase dispersion. Your “approach” is not feasible in the real world.

    Bart, you still get stuck in the nice fit of the trend, which can be obtained for temperature only as good as for temperature variability + part of the emissions. My approach doesn’t need fancy processes which don’t exist in nature and no black hole where the emissions disappear.

    It is based on the proven short term, limited capacity of CO2 in the ocean’s surface, which doesn’t allow a continuous sink or source for a limited temperature change, per Henry’s Law. That is where your approach fails, as that is only part of the CO2 variability (in sink capacity). There is no continuous net source from the deep oceans, as there is no temperature connection with the deep oceans and there is no continuous source from the biosphere, as that is a proven sink.

  120. Bart says:
    July 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

    You appear to present a chance overlap of ~20 years of Law Dome data which has been treated somehow which appears to match the modern record

    Everything that doesn’t fit your theory must be manipulated, thus should be discarded…

    The CO2 data from ice cores are direct measurements of what was the ancient atmosphere at the moment of bubble closing, be it smoothed over several years. In the case of the Law Dome, smoothed over 8 years and in average 10 years older than in the atmosphere.

    The adjustments are based on what can be expected from gravitational fractionation over 40 years. If you don’t like that, then there is a difference of some 6 ppmv (higher) with the atmospheric measurements over the same period. But still, the ice core data are parallel with the atmospheric data in the 20-year period of overlap and in all periods before (the corrections remain the same for the same accumulation rate). Thus anyway, the corrected values reflect the real atmospheric composition of the past, including the period before 1960.

    There is no measurable migration in any ice core and even if there was, that would only increase the smoothing over a longer period, without changing the average over that same period. Thus any calculation that tries to backcalculate the CO2 levels of the past must give similar results for the same period.

    Your approach already gives a difference of 20 ppmv in 1900 and only gets worse further back in time…

  121. “The notion that we had such incredibly good correlation between the temperature and dCO2/dt since 1958 but that relationship simply ended almost immediately prior to that is really wishful thinking.”

    What I meant by that was that, imagining that an entirely different mechanism is responsible for CO2 dynamics both prior to and after 1958 is wishful thinking.

    “We do not have any way of confirming whether or how well the temperature-CO2 derivative relationship held prior to 1958.”

    What I mean by that is that the model matches the data since 1958. Before 1958, we do not know if the model was valid. Many things can change, sometimes rapidly. A sudden regime change in the temperature of upwelling water from the ocean depths, for example, could easily alter the equilibrium temperature. For example, here, I put in a step change in the equilibrium temperature to the modern value in 1945.

    The bottom line is, we neither know with certainty what CO2 was doing prior to 1958, nor do we know the range of years in which the modern relationship between temperature and dCO2/dt held. Thus, the Law Dome estimates of CO2 do not serve to validate or invalidate the model.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

    “My approach doesn’t need fancy processes which don’t exist in nature…”

    It needs extra-fancy processes. It requires precise removal of a temperature trend which already accounts for all the CO2, and replacement of it with human introduced CO2 in precisely the same measure. And, it must do this while preserving the phase relationships of the higher frequency temperature variation, i.e., it requires a filtering process which relies on future data.

    If reaching into future time to affect the present isn’t fancy, I don’t know what is.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

    “Everything that doesn’t fit your theory must be manipulated, thus should be discarded…”

    I was simply making the elementary observation that a superficial fit over a short time period does not establish agreement outside the interval of observation.

    “Your approach already gives a difference of 20 ppmv in 1900 and only gets worse further back in time…”

    Again, as I stated above, the model matches the data since 1958. Before 1958, we do not know how far back the model was valid. This is not a trivial matter. You seem to think yourself justified in extrapolating events well beyond intervals of observation. But, in a dynamically changing, some might even call it chaotic, system like the Earth’s climate, there are frequent changes of state which can throw all your tidy little narratives wildly off course.

    The only thing we can be sure of is that which we observe directly. We can be sure that, since 1958, dCO2/dt has been remarkably proportional to temperature and, by extension, that temperature has been driving CO2. We can be fairly certain that before that, it was dictated by temperature, too, but not necessarily with the same parameters or simple model.

  122. Bart says:
    July 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    It needs extra-fancy processes. It requires precise removal of a temperature trend which already accounts for all the CO2, and replacement of it with human introduced CO2 in precisely the same measure.

    It doesn’t need extra-fancy processes. Al what is needed is that dCO2/dt is a function of dT/dt and not of T. That is the whole point. dCO2/dt as function of dT/dt explains the high frequency variability of dCO2/dt and the full change in CO2 levels over all frequencies of all time periods, except for the period since the start of the industrial revolution. But since then the human emissions are responsible for the trend part. It needs fancy processes for any natural release to exactly mimic the trend of human emissions…

    Just look at the solubility curve of CO2 in seawater, based on Henry’s Law: any change in temperature gives a change in pCO2 of about 16 microatm, where the absolute temperature only changes the factor somewhat. But there is no permanent release or uptake for a fixed temperature change. But with the same Law, if the CO2 levels in the atmosphere exceed the equilibrium, more CO2 is pushed into the oceans, as is observed. Be it that the ocean’s surface has a limited capacity for extra CO2.

    Take the same 8 ppmv/°C as observed over ice ages as base for the long-term temperature induced trend, then the error introduced by using the detrended dT/dt as base for the variability around the CO2 trend is ~0.5°C over 45 years or 0.011°C/year or ~0.1 ppmv/year in the rate of change of CO2. Not even measurable.

    Bart says:
    July 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Ah, yes there is.

    Except that the THC has the wrong sign for temperature changes: higher temperatures are alleged to give a reduction of the THC turnover speed, the base for catastrophic filmscenarios like “The Day after Tomorrow”. Moreover, the increased CO2 level in the atmosphere gives less natural CO2 releases at the upwelling places by a reduction in delta pCO2 between seawater and atmosphere and an increase in uptake at the downwelling places by an increase in delta pCO2 between atmosphere and seawater… Thus the THC is a net sink for extra CO2, not a source.

  123. a change in pCO2 of about 16 microatm

    is of course about 16 microatm/°C. A comparable change of ~16 ppmv in the atmosphere is sufficient to compensate for the change. But as the biosphere works in opposite direction for temperature changes, the real average change is ~8 ppmv/°C. That is about 1 year of human emissions for an upgoing temperature change of 1°C…

  124. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 18, 2012 at 12:35 am

    “Al what is needed is that dCO2/dt is a function of dT/dt and not of T.”

    The whole point of looking at the data is that it reveals that dCO2/dt is proportional to temperature anomaly.

    “Just look at the solubility curve of CO2 in seawater…”

    This is what you want to be true. This is where your intuition leads you. But, this is not what the data tells us your intuition is wrong. This is why we do experiments – otherwise, scientists would just sit around and think.

    “Take the same 8 ppmv/°C as observed over ice ages…”

    By the unreliable and unverifiable ice cores.

    “…the increased CO2 level in the atmosphere gives less natural CO2 releases at the upwelling places by a reduction in delta pCO2 between seawater and atmosphere …”

    This is begging the question. You are assuming CO2 is rising independently of the upwelling. And, you are not considering that delta pCO2 is only part of the equation. Henry’s Law depends markedly on temperature as well.

    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.

    If colder water rich in CO2 upwells, it will warm and release that CO2 into the atmosphere. In fact, that could be the mechansim by which dCO2/dt becomes proportional to temperature anomaly. Continuously upwelling ocean water with difference To from the temperature anomaly T causes CO2 to rise proportional to T-To.

    I hasten to say, I am not saying this is THE mechanism, just a possibility. Just one of likely many potential unknowns which have not been considered by the mainstream. This is why scientists do experiments to test an hypothesis. Nature is complex, and does not always evolve according to our intuition. You must mold your hypothesis to fit the data, not the data to fit your hypothesis.

    “Thus the THC is a net sink for extra CO2, not a source.”

    Your intuition again.

  125. Bart says:
    July 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

    If colder water rich in CO2 upwells, it will warm and release that CO2 into the atmosphere. In fact, that could be the mechansim by which dCO2/dt becomes proportional to temperature anomaly.

    Increase of ocean surface temperature since 1960: 0.4°C, subsequent increase in ocean surface pCO2 and hence atmospheric CO2: 6.4 ppmv, whatever the amount of water + CO2 that is upwelling, even if it increased a tenfold. Quantities don’t matter here, surface temperature (and thus CO2 pressure) is what matters.
    Observed increase in CO2 levels since 1960: 70 ppmv. Thus in my informed opinion, whatever the THC fluxes are, since 1960 that results in both more sink and less source of CO2 from the (deep) oceans.

    I have shown a lot of reasons why the (deep) oceans are not the cause of the increase in the atmosphere, neither is the biosphere, but you simply reject them without real counterarguments. You can theorize any alternative possibility for the increase in the atmosphere besides the human emissions, but they all fail on one or more observations. The hypothesis of dT induced variability + emissions induced trend fits the dCO2 data as good as yours, but also fits all known observations over all periods of time…

    Thus again, we are at square one: both on our own viewpoint…

    • Ferdinand Engelbeen,
      The emission rate from a saturated solution is proportional to the rate of increase in temperature, not the temperature. At or near equilibrium there is no change or little change in temperature, thus, little or no emissions. That is why your mass balance (based on a long-term change in “dynamic equilibrium”) produces wrong answers. Yours is not a real argument.

  126. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “…whatever the amount of water + CO2 that is upwelling…”

    Incorrect. Cold water from the depths would heat up at the surface, releasing its dissolved CO2, until equilibrium is reached.

  127. fhhaynie says:
    July 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    The emission rate from a saturated solution is proportional to the rate of increase in temperature, not the temperature. At or near equilibrium there is no change or little change in temperature, thus, little or no emissions.

    That is exactly what I try to say to Bart. There is a limited outgassing or uptake for a change in temperature, not a continuous flow, as Bart thinks.

    But the mass balance must always be obeyed, no matter if that is instantaneous, during fast or slow to very slow changes at equilibrium or not.

    • Ferdinand Engelbeen ,

      My point is that at sources and sinks, there is rarely equilibrium. At the equator, emissions are driven by the around 10 to 15 degree rise in surface temperature as it travels from East to West.
      The ocean water near the poles is always a sink and the sink rate is controlled by the rate of delivery to these sinks. In between the ocean surfaces change from sources to sinks. At some points you will find the partial pressure differences to be near zero, but it won’t remain that way for long.

  128. Bart says:
    July 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    “…whatever the amount of water + CO2 that is upwelling…”

    Incorrect. Cold water from the depths would heat up at the surface, releasing its dissolved CO2, until equilibrium is reached.

    Agreed, the cold deep waters are undersaturated but get oversaturated when heating up at most upwelling places, especially in the tropics. But at the other side of the balance, the downwelling takes CO2 out of the atmosphere. Thus if there is an unbalance between these two (for CO2 fluxes), that will increase with an increased speed of the THC, but the THC is alleged to reduce its speed with increasing temperatures and the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere push far more CO2 back into the oceans than the small temperature increase does the other way out…
    And don’t forget the d13C (un)balance…

  129. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    “the downwelling takes CO2 out of the atmosphere”

    But, not generally at the same rate, hence the balance can be altered.

    “but the THC is alleged to reduce its speed with increasing temperatures”

    We’re talking about a process which takes centuries, and we may well be captive to the conditions which prevailed up to 1600 years ago, such that the water which went down then is coming back up now.

  130. “There is a limited outgassing or uptake for a change in temperature”

    But, change in what temperature? The data say that the rate of change of CO2 obeys an approximate relationship of this sort:

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)

    where T is the current temperature, and To is a nominal equilibrium temperature. Let’s look at this more closely.

    Suppose we have a closed container which we fill half full of water at ambient temperature T before sealing it. It is at temperature T, and CO2 is partitioned between the air and the water to obey Henry’s Law. If we slightly heat the container, CO2 will outgas from the water and its concentration will increase in the air portion. We can express this relationship as

    CO2 =CO2(0) + h*(T – T(0))

    where CO2(0) is the concentration before the temperature changes from T(0) to T and h a constant. That expresses the temperature relationship Ferdinand expects, where dCO2/dt = h*dT/dt.

    Let’s start over again. At time zero, the concentration of the CO2 in the air portion is CO2(0) and the volume of water is V. We now take a volume dV of cold water at temperature To and exchange it with an equal volume of the warmer water in the container (representing the upwelling of the deep ocean). The cold water will heat up to match the ambient temperature, so it will release CO2 to the air proportional to the temperature change T-To. The CO2 in the air filled portion now becomes

    CO2(1) = CO2(0) + h*(dV/V)*(T-To)

    Now, suppose we do this repeatedly with a uniform time step dt. Then, we can say

    CO2(t+dt) = CO2(t) + (h/V) * dV * (T – To)

    But, at each step, the water in the container is becoming progressively more enriched with CO2, so each succeeding addition is a little less, in proportion to the CO2 in the water, which is proportional to the CO2 in the air. Thus, we actually get

    CO2(t+dt) = CO2(t) + (h/V) * dV * (T – To) – CO2(t)*dt/tau

    where tau is a proportionality constant having units of time. Thus

    (CO2(t+dt) – CO2(t))/dt = -CO2(t)/tau + (h/V) * (dV/dt) * (T – To)

    which is to say

    dCO2/dt = -CO2 / tau + k * (T – To)

    where k = (h/V) * (dV/dt). If tau is relatively large, then approximately

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)

    So, here is a relationship which appears approximately to match what the data are telling us. Note that “k” is proportional to the inflow rate, and To is the temperature of the inflow. Neither of these is required to be constant, though they may appear to be approximately so over a finite interval. Furthermore, though tau may be large, over a time span comparable to it, it is going to have a limiting effect.

    There are additional paths to pursue from here to include the dynamics corresponding to Henry’s law, the sequestration of carbon in the land and oceans, and the anthropogenic input. I am working on that. But, it is apparent from the data that this is the dominant relationship. You saw it here first.

  131. fhhaynie says:
    July 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    My point is that at sources and sinks, there is rarely equilibrium.

    You don’t need an equilibrium to obey a mass balance. Humans emit 8 GtC/year as CO2. There is a measured increase of about 4 GtC/year in the atmosphere. 0.8 GtC is dissolved in the ocean surface (based on measurements of DIC and the overall pCO2 difference + the Revelle factor), 1.2 GtC is taken away by the biosphere (based on the oxygen balance) and the rest of the mass balance of app. 2 GtC thus must be captured by the deep oceans. Other sources and sinks are either too slow or too small to have a medium fast effect.

    Thus at this moment there is a total unbalance of 2 GtC between deep oceans sources and sinks, that is more sink than source. No matter what happens underway at the ocean’s surface…

    • Ferdinand Engelbeen,
      The bottom line is that the mass balance method on which you base your arguments is flawed with faulty assumptions and does not agree with observations.

  132. A worthwhile dialogue gentlemen, thank you.

    I think the secrets reside in the data. No surprise there.

    In 2008 I wrote that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature and CO2 lags temperature by ~9 months. I referred to Jan Veizer’s papers and think Jan was generally on the right track.

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

    I also observed in 2008 that there was no similar detailed relationship between variations in fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2 levels – the “wiggles” did not correlate.

    I was recently fascinated by the observation that the urban CO2 data from Salt Lake City exhibited NO human signature – only the natural daily cycle was apparent.

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

    One wonders if these clever Mormons are all driving Chevy Volts – like the Vikings were driving Volvos during the Medieval Warm Period. :-)

    It seems to me there is evidence that the biosphere is CO2-starved or at least CO2-limited. Since we cannot (except perhaps in winter) see the human signature of urban CO2 emissions AT THE URBAN SOURCE OF THESE EMISSIONS, are these humanmade CO2 emissions being captured close to their source and causing increased biomass in the process? Is there any other explanation? And not all that increased biomass decays in the Spring.

    I’m sorry Ferdinand – you are a gentleman and I like you, but I don’t like your mass balance argument. I think atmospheric CO2 concentration is part of a huge dynamic system with biological and physical components on land and in the ocean, and this huge system dwarfs the humanmade CO2 component and is generally unaffected by it. That is what the data says to me.

    Variations in biomass (e.g. deforestation and reforestation) may be the huge variable that would make your mass balance equation work better – I agree that we are not exporting CO2 to other planets.

  133. Bart says:
    July 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    But, change in what temperature? The data say that the rate of change of CO2 obeys an approximate relationship of this sort:

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)

    The same data also say that a combination of the emissions and delta T can be responsible for the observed trend ánd the observed variability around the trend. Both show a reasonable good correlation with the observations. Thus the relationship can as good be expressed as:

    dCO2/dt = k1*(emissions) + k2*dT/dt

    There are two driving forces at work: the emissions and temperature. Both have their influence. In your formula the emissions have negligible influence, even if these are twice the observed increase in the atmosphere. In my formula, both have an influence, but temperature changes mainly on the variability and emissions mainly on the trend.

    But let’s have a look at the other observations. As anyway, the result of both approximations must obey the observations. All of them.

    - The mass balance.
    In all cases the mass balance must be obeyed. No matter can be destroyed or created. Thus the 8 GtC of the emissions must go somewhere. We have quite good measurements of what happens in the atmosphere, the ocean surface and the biosphere. We have little knowledge about what happens with the deep ocean exchanges, but all together, some 2 GtC must be absorbed in a “missing sink”. A lot of sinks do exist for CO2, but most are too slow (e.g. rock weathering), the deep oceans are the most likely sink place.
    That means that the ultimate balance of the deep oceans – atmosphere exchange is negative: 2 GtC more sink than source, increasing from ~0.8 GtC in 1960 to ~2 GtC today and a variability in overall sink capacity of +/- 2 GtC/year, be it near always more sink than source over the past 50 years.

    - The 13C/12C balance.
    The biosphere is a net sink for CO2, thus preferentially 12CO2, thus relatively enriches the atmosphere in 13CO2. Thus that is not the cause of the d13C decline.
    The oceans are higher in d13C, as good in the deep oceans as in the surface, than the atmosphere. Thus any substantial extra release of ocean CO2 would increase the d13C ratio of the atmosphere. But we see a d13C drop in the atmosphere as well as in the ocean surface, including the upwelling places, in exact ratio with human emissions.

    Your approximation doesn’t fulfill both requirements: even if all human CO2 (including the observed increase in the atmosphere, minus the uptake by biosphere and ocean surface) of nowadays 6 GtC/year is absorbed in the deep oceans, then the 4 GtC extra emissions from the deep oceans to the atmosphere still show an unbalance of 2 GtC more sink than source. Thus the deep oceans are a net sink for CO2, not a source. Moreover, the d13C decline shows that the oceans can’t be the source of the increase in the atmosphere.

    BTW, your reasoning doesn’t hold for the continuous emissions in a closed tank:

    The cold water will heat up to match the ambient temperature, so it will release CO2 to the air proportional to the temperature change T-To. The CO2 in the air filled portion now becomes

    CO2(1) = CO2(0) + h*(dV/V)*(T-To)

    When you add a portion of colder water, the pCO2 in the atmosphere of the tank would decrease with the average temperature and get again at the pressure of pCO2 and the old volume of CO2 when T is reached again. Thus at the same temperature as before, there is no net gain of CO2 anymore, as the pCO2 of both water and atmosphere are in equilibrium, no matter how much new water is heated.

    It may hold in open air, as there is no equilibrium at all at the upwelling places, but that is as good the case for the downwelling places and the mass balance shows a 2 GtC deficit for the deep oceans…

  134. Allan MacRae says:
    July 19, 2012 at 5:37 am

    A huge pump delivers a lot of water, some 10,000 liter/minute from a bassin in the base to a fountain. A worker opens a small valve to add water in the main supply line at 10 liter/minute and goes on with some other work, promptly forgetting that he opened the valve. The extra injection is only 0.1% of the main flow, hardly detectable in the normal variability of the main supply. But will that give an increase of the bassin level and even an overflow or not?

    Further, have a better look at the Salt Lake city CO2 levels: the second peak between 05:00 and 08:00, while vegetation starts to absorb CO2 under increasing sunlight. Seems rush hour to me…

    The same can be seen in the data from Diekirch (Luxemburg):

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/co2_patterns.html

    chapter 4.1 where they discuss the diurnal pattern, including the human contribution…

  135. fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Ferdinand Engelbeen,
    The bottom line is that the mass balance method on which you base your arguments is flawed with faulty assumptions and does not agree with observations.

    Dear Fred,

    All what the mass balance says is that humans emit 8 GtC/year and that the increase in the atmosphere is 4 GtC/year. Thus nature absorbs 4 GtC/year. Somewhere. It doesn’t make any difference if the human emissions are absorbed within a minute by the next nearby tree or reside 10 years or longer in the atmosphere before being captured by the oceans. In all cases, the emissions exceed the increase in the atmosphere. That is all what counts. Thus nature is not the cause of the increase in the atmosphere, whatever clever model or construction you or Bart may invent…

    • Dear Ferdinand,
      You illustrate my point with your “mass balance” example. You assume that natural emissions do not increase over the long term. That is a false assumption on any time scale. A statistical analysis of the data not only shows that is a false assumption, but gives you values and probabilities for both anthropogenic and natural emissions over the long run. It is not a clever model that I invented, but is certainly more clever than the model you use.

  136. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 19, 2012 at 5:43 am

    “Both show a reasonable good correlation with the observations.”

    You are leaving out an important part of what you are doing:

    dCO2/dt = k1*(emissions) + k2*dT/dt – trend(dT/dt)

    You cannot take the trend out of dT/dt. Or, rather, you can, but Nature cannot.

    “- The mass balance.”

    This argument has been completely discredited numerous times.

    “- The 13C/12C balance.”

    This argument assumes greater knowledge of the flows than we have.

    “Your approximation doesn’t fulfill both requirements.”

    It certainly fulfills true mass balance. With an all-encompassing model of the diffusion processes, the 13C/12C ratio can be explained. This is a very thin reed of an argument, basically a logical fallacy – you don’t see any way it can be satisfied except your simplistic explanation, therefore your simplistic explanation is correct. In the same way, witch doctors justified virgin sacrifices to the island volcano.

    “Thus at the same temperature as before, there is no net gain of CO2 anymore, as the pCO2 of both water and atmosphere are in equilibrium, no matter how much new water is heated.”

    Now, you are truly violating mass balance. The cold water brought more CO2 in. When the temperature equilibrates to the same as the ambient, that added CO2 cannot disappear.

  137. “Both show a reasonable good correlation with the observations.”

    You also do not appear to be giving full disclosure of what you are doing to manipulate this data. The numerical derivatives of T are very noisy, so you must be filtering them heavily somehow.

    If all the bumps and squiggles line up, as they do, between dCO2/dt and T, then when you take the derivative of T, you should get a 90 deg phase advance, and the bumps and squiggles should no longer line up. So, it also appears that you have shifted data in time to make it line up in phase.

    Perhaps it would help if you list the precise steps you took, so I can check and see if I can replicate what you have produced.

  138. Engelbeen seems like a nice enough guy but he’s ignoring (actually I suspect he’s just not understanding) Henry’s law. Henry’s law of gas-dissolution implies that at least 98% of human CO2 emissions will end up in the oceans and only 2% at most will be left behind in the atmosphere as permanent additions to the CO2 greenhouse. At the Earth’s average surface temperature of 15C Henry’s law sets a fixed partitioning ratio of 1:50 for CO2 between atmospheric CO2 and oceanic DIC. Atmospheric CO2 and oceanic DIC exist in chemical equilibrium with each-other. This means that when you increase PCO2 you create a disequilibrium in the partitioning ratio and force more CO2 down to the oceans in order to restore equilibrium. This phenomena is readily observable whenever you open a fizzy-drink. The fizz that you hear is the decarbonization of CO2 as it rapidly equilibrates with the atmospheric PCO2. So, the idea that humans have increased the atmospheric CO2 level by 110ppmv is at odds with some well-established and universally-accepted tenets of orthodox science, such as Henry’s law and the principle of consistency of conclusions with observational data.

    Henry’s law is very inconvenient to CAGW-advocates and they’ve done their best to try and muddy the waters. They have two central counterarguments against it. Their first is that the surface-ocean is becoming over-saturated and because the atmospheric CO2 equilbirates with the surface-ocean, it can no longer absorb the extra CO2. This is absurd for multiple reasons. But the main reason I see is is because the residence time of oceanic DIC in the surface-ocean before being transferred down to the deep ocean is only 10 years according to the IPCC’s own figures, which means anthropogenic CO2 can only accumulate for 10 years before being transferred down to the deep-ocean. But their main argument comes from the chemical-buffer the Revelle Factor. Likewise the Revelle Factor is plain ludicrous. According to the Revelle Factor as PCO2(aq) increases, this decreases pH, which in turn decreases CO32, and as CO32 decreases, the value of the Revelle Factor increases accordingly. The higher the PCO2(aq), the lower the pH and concentration of CO32, the higher the Revelle Factor. However if the Revelle Factor were true we would not be able to make fizzy-drinks.

    [Double-post. Delete this one, keep the 10:11 version? Robt]

  139. Engelbeen seems like a nice enough guy but he’s ignoring (actually I suspect he’s just not understanding) Henry’s law. Henry’s law of gas-dissolution implies that at least 98% of human CO2 emissions will end up in the oceans and only 2% at most will be left behind in the atmosphere as permanent additions to the CO2 greenhouse. At the Earth’s average surface temperature of 15C Henry’s law sets a fixed partitioning ratio of 1:50 for CO2 between atmospheric CO2 and oceanic DIC. Atmospheric CO2 and oceanic DIC exist in chemical equilibrium with each-other. This means that when you increase PCO2 you create a disequilibrium in the partitioning ratio and force more CO2 down to the oceans in order to restore equilibrium. This phenomena is readily observable whenever you open a fizzy-drink. The fizz that you hear is the decarbonization of CO2 as it rapidly equilibrates with the atmospheric PCO2. So, the idea that humans have increased the atmospheric CO2 level by 110ppmv is at odds with some well-established and universally-accepted tenets of orthodox science, such as Henry’s law and the principle of consistency of conclusions with observational data.

    Henry’s law is very inconvenient to CAGW-advocates and they’ve done their best to try and muddy the waters. They have two central counterarguments against it. Their first is that the surface-ocean is becoming over-saturated and because the atmospheric CO2 equilibrates with the surface-ocean, it can no longer absorb the extra CO2. This is absurd for multiple reasons. But the main reason I see is because the residence time of oceanic DIC in the surface-ocean before being transferred down to the deep ocean is only 10 years according to the IPCC’s own figures, which means anthropogenic CO2 can only accumulate for 10 years before being transferred down to the deep-ocean. But their main argument comes from the chemical-buffer the Revelle Factor. Likewise the Revelle Factor is plain ludicrous. According to the Revelle Factor as PCO2(aq) increases, this decreases pH, which in turn decreases CO32, and as CO32 decreases, the value of the Revelle Factor increases accordingly. The higher the PCO2(aq), the lower the pH and concentration of CO32, the higher the Revelle Factor. However if the Revelle Factor were true we would not be able to make fizzy-drinks.

  140. I suspect what you actually did was:

    dCO2/dt = k1*(emissions) + k2′*(Ta – trend(Ta))

    where Ta is the temperature anomaly. Again, Nature has no way of evaluating trend(Ta).

  141. chipstero7 says:
    July 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Thanks. I myself am not well versed in the actual calculation of the proportionality factor from Henry’s law or, at least, never tried or had the information available to calculate it for the entire oceans and atmosphere. But, I have read intimations of exactly what you have stated elsewhere, and it seems logical and reasonable.

    What I do know is that the data show that, to a relatively high level of accuracy as these things go, atmospheric CO2 levels since 1958, when we started getting reliable measurements, obey the differential equation

    dCO2/dt = k*(Ta – To)

    where Ta is the temperature anomaly. The relationship holds very well with any of the temperature sets, though not necessarily with the same constants “k” and “To”. But, this is merely a manifestation of the fact that all of the temperature sets are essentially affinely related.

    Once, you have the constants, you can integrate the equation to get an estimate of the CO2 level at any given time – human inputs are superfluous. We conclude that human emissions have no significant effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Ta is essentially a constant plus a trend plus various cyclic processes and noise. When we choose the value of k such that the linear trend component of dCO2/dt matches that of k*Ta, we find that the cyclic processes and noise, all the bumps and squiggles, remarkably all line up in effectively perfect proportion as well. Because the rate of human emissions also has a trend, we cannot add it in to any significant degree without changing k, and that will move the bumps and squiggles off scale. Again, we conclude that there is no room for significant human emissions.

    A model, which I believe I am now in a position to derive from first principles, which allows this type of behavior is

    dCO2/dt = (Co – CO2)/tau1 + k1*H

    dCo/dt = -Co/tau2 + k2*(Ta – To)

    CO2 = atmospheric concentration
    Co = equilibrium CO2
    tau1 = short time constant
    tau2 = long time constant
    H = human inputs
    Ta = temperature anomaly
    To = reference temperature offset from Ta
    k1 and k2 = coupling constants

    With tau1 short, the input from H is effectively attenuated to an insignificant level, and CO2 tracks Co to high fidelity. With tau2 long, Co is effectively the integral of the scaled and offset temperature anomaly.

  142. Ferdinand wrote: “Which makes that the total CO2 solubility of the ocean waters is some 100 times higher than of fresh water”.

    What makes you think that the Revelle Factor should only hold true for oceanic water and not fresh water? This is not true. This statement is a clear indication to me that you do not understand how the Revelle Factor works. The Revelle Factor applies to fresh water too. The Revelle Factor is apparently brought about by changes in the relative concentrations of HCO3, CO32 and CO2(aq). The Revelle Factor is expressed as: (dPCO2ml/PCO2ml)/(dDIC/DIC). It express a proportional change in PCO2(aq) corresponding to a proportional change in DIC. Here’s how it works. When you increase PCO2(aq), this decreases pH, which in turn decreases CO32 in accordance with the Bjerrum plot. Calculating the value of the Revelle Factor based on the relative concentrations if DIC is a rather straightforward matter. At the current concentrations of DIC the Revelle Factor comes out at abut 10.2. This means that the oceans can only absorb 10% of anthropogenic CO2. But the Revelle Factor applies to fresh water just as it applies to the oceans. When you increase PCO2(aq) in fresh water, the same thing happens, you decrease pH and you decrease CO32. The Revelle Factor is just a chemical reaction brought about by changes in the concentration of HCO3, CO32 and CO2(aq), all of which are present in fresh water. The only difference is, for fresh water the decrease in CO32 occurs at slightly lower Ph values.

  143. “A model, which I believe I am now in a position to derive from first principles…”

    I say “a model” because, with the diffusion processes involved, the rates of exchange are not generally perfectly modeled by simple time constants. This possibility can be accounted for by designating the various constants as linear operators. But, the essential physical characteristics will remain the same.

  144. Bart says:
    July 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

    You are leaving out an important part of what you are doing:
    dCO2/dt = k1*(emissions) + k2*dT/dt – trend(dT/dt)

    As already said on another occasion, I have detrended dT/dt. That introduces an error over the 45 year time span 1960-2005, where the average temperature increase is 0.6°C. Over time periods of 50 years to millennia, that gives a change of ~5 ppmv. For the 1960-2005 period that gives an error of ~0.1 ppmv per year in the rate of change. Hardly detectable.

    Thus what I have done is bypassing the medium frequency response, which in my opinion is inbetween the high frequency response of 4-5 ppmv/°C and the very low frequency response which is ~8 ppmv/°C. Your model medium frequency response is around 100 ppmv/°C…

    You also do not appear to be giving full disclosure of what you are doing to manipulate this data. The numerical derivatives of T are very noisy, so you must be filtering them heavily somehow.

    As already said in the first message where the trend was shown: I did plot the 12-month moving average of the calculated CO2 levels, as that removes the noise and removes the seasonal changes in temperature, emissions (which are only known as yearly values, I used simple linear interpolation for the monthly emissions) and CO2 levels. I first plotted the three noisy monthly changes, but that is simply a mess where you can’t see the wood for the trees in the noise. The averaging gives a 6-month lag in the plot, compared to the two other series. If you take that into account, the correlation with the observations is slightly better than your calculation…
    But I will make a plot where all three are made with 12-month moving averages, as that gives a better insight of the real changes, without the distracting noise.

    Now, you are truly violating mass balance. The cold water brought more CO2 in. When the temperature equilibrates to the same as the ambient, that added CO2 cannot disappear.

    Now you are violating Henry’s Law: the moment you introduce colder water, the average temperature drops, including at the surface, thus some of the CO2 from the above atmosphere is lost in the colder water. When everything is back to the previous temperature, the same pCO2 in water and air is again at equilibrium, thus the same amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is back. Nothing more and nothing less for the same temperature and air volume (and water composition). That is btw exactly how continuous measurements of seawater pCO2 on seaschips work…

    And I don’t think we will ever agree about mass balances and d13C impossibilities. Simple logic is not the same as simplistic…

  145. fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

    You illustrate my point with your “mass balance” example. You assume that natural emissions do not increase over the long term. That is a false assumption on any time scale. A statistical analysis of the data not only shows that is a false assumption, but gives you values and probabilities for both anthropogenic and natural emissions over the long run. It is not a clever model that I invented, but is certainly more clever than the model you use

    Dear Fred,

    Sorry, but the mass balance must be obeyed at all times, no matter if human emissions increase or are zero or natural emissions increase or decrease or stay the same. We emit 8 GtC/year. The increase in the atmosphere is 4 GtC/year. That means that, to close the mass balance, the natural sink múst be 4 GtC higher than the natural emissions. No matter that the natural emissions are 10 or 100 or 1000 GtC/year or if they halved or doubled since the previous year. The natural sinks simply múst be 4 GtC larger…

    • Ferdinand,
      There is your circular reasoning. Let’s increase the natural emissions by 8GtC/year along with the 8GtC/year anthropogenic and still have only a 4GtC/year accumulation. Input – output= accumulation and input – accumulation = output. In this case, the output = 12 GtC/year. The natural sinks will absorb both emissions proportionally, so in this case, each will contribute 2GtC/year to the accumulation. Now let’s double the natural increase to 16GtC/year and still have only a 4GtC/year accumulation. 24 – 4=20. In this case, the natural increase accounts for 2.67GtC/year and the antropogenic emissions account for 1.33GtC/year. The mass balance has been maintained without assuming anything and the natural sink rate to natural emissions ratio is not a constant.

  146. chipstero7 says:
    July 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Wow, what a revelation…

    There are a few things to be considered in this case:

    There is a close contact between the ocean’s mixed layer, the upper few hundred meters, with the atmosphere. Any change of CO2 in both will be exchanged in 2-3 years back into equilibrium. “Equilibrium” in this case means a lot of continuous exchanges between the hot equator and the cold poles (via the deep oceans) and the seasonal swings back and forth.

    That equilibrium means that an increase of 30% in the atmosphere will give an increase of 30% in dissolved CO2 in the oceans, per Henry’s Law. As good as that is the case in fresh water. But then comes the difference: in fresh water, very little CO2/H2CO3 is dissociated into HCO3- and CO3–. About 3%. 97% still is free CO2/H2CO3.

    Ocean water is alkaline. That forms a buffer for extra CO2, and a lot of CO2 is dissociated into mainly HCO3- and some into CO3–. free CO2/H2CO3 is less than 1% of total DIC. Thus for the same free CO2 level by Henry’s Law, seawater holds about 100 times more CO2 + HCO3- + CO3–.

    Now the Revelle factor. For fresh water, a CO2 doubling in the atmosphere gives a free CO2 doubling in water and that means a near doubling of total CO2, as the Revelle factor is ~1.
    For seawater, a CO2 doubling gives a doubling of free CO2 in water, but in this case the rest of the DIC doesn’t double anymore but increases with 10%, because the pH decreases slightly, and that has a huge effect on the reaction chain, pushing the free CO2 level upwards, so that the new equilibrium is reached much faster. Still, seawater contains 50 times more CO2 than fresh water for a CO2 doubling in the atmosphere.

    So the Revelle factor simply is a buffer factor which decreases with decreasing pH, as the buffer is increasingly used up.

    The Revelle factor doesn’t block any absorption of CO2 at any pressure, it only gives an impression of how much more CO2 will be absorbed at increased CO2 pressure, no matter if that is at 7 bar for a coke (in a highly acidic phosphoric acid solution) or at 0.0004 bar for atmospheric CO2.

    Now the deep oceans:
    The ocean surface thus is in rapid equilibrium with the atmosphere. But the deep oceans are not. Indeed there are exchanges, but these are limited in area and flux. Further, there is a disconection of hundreds of years between the points of downwelling and upwelling. Thus while the 1:50 ratio in total carbon is true, that is only relevant over very long time periods.

    Human emissions are ~8 GtC/year. The atmosphere shows an increase of 4 GtC/year, vegetation absorbs ~1.2 GtC/year, the ocean surface ~0.8 GtC/year, thus the deep oceans are probably responsible for the difference of 2 GtC/year. That is all, for a CO2 increase of 100 ppmv (210 GtC) above equilibrium. Thus that takes a lot of time. All sinks together need ~53 years e-folding time to remove the extra CO2 above equilibrium, or ~40 years half life time…

    BTW, DIC of the deep oceans is higher than of the ocean’s surface, thus any exchange between the two would increase DIC in the ocean’s surface, if not for the fallout from biolife in the surface…

  147. fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    There is your circular reasoning. Let’s increase the natural emissions by 8GtC/year along with the 8GtC/year anthropogenic and still have only a 4GtC/year accumulation. Input – output= accumulation and input – accumulation = output. In this case, the output = 12 GtC/year. The natural sinks will absorb both emissions proportionally, so in this case, each will contribute 2GtC/year to the accumulation.

    Fred,

    You must make a distinction between what adds to the atmosphere and what is simple throughput. In your first case, the natural input increased with 8 GtC/year as did the natural output. Thus all what happened is that the turnover increased from let’s say 150 GtC/year to 158 GtC/year without any effect on the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The only effect on the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere is from the 8 GtC extra… Without these, you would have a loss of 4 GtC/year in the first year, with decreasing sink rates over time, until the old temperature driven equilibrium is reached again…

    Only in the case that the increase in the atmosphere is larger than the emissions alone, then there is a real contribution of the natural fluxes to the atmospheric increase…

    • Ferdinand,
      So you are saying that the sinks can tell the difference between natural and anthropogenic emissions and only increase their rates to equal the rate increase of the natural emissions. It doesn’t work that way. The natural input/output ratio is not a constant as you assume (throughput).

  148. “That equilibrium means that an increase of 30% in the atmosphere will give an increase of 30% in dissolved CO2 in the oceans, per Henry’s Law”.

    How does it all prove that CO2 is building up the the atmosphere because the oceans are absorbing about 30% of human emitted CO2? You are not making any sense to me. Your conclusion does not follow logically from your explanation. On the contrary, Henry’s law demands that the vast majority of anthropogenic CO2 must be absorbed by the oceans. Hence only a small fraction of the human emissions can end up as permanent additions to the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse at equilibrium. As you may have noticed, the ‘partitioning ratio’ between atmospheric and oceanic CO2 is about 1/50 conservatively. This means that, no matter how much CO2 goes into the atmosphere from whatever sources, the system will end up at equilibrium with about 50 times as much CO2 dissolved in the oceans as exists in the atmosphere at the current global mean temperature of about 15C.

    “In fresh water, very little CO2/H2CO3 is dissociated into HCO3- and CO3–. About 3%. 97% still is free CO2/H2CO3.”

    Have you seen the Bjerrum plot? I would recommend taking a look at the ‘Wolf-Gladrow’ version. There really isn’t that much of a significant difference between the relative concentrations of DIC in fresh and sea-water. But of course how much CO2(aq) exists relative to HCO3 and CO32 is dependent on PCO2 anyway, isn’t it?

    “Now the Revelle factor. For fresh water, a CO2 doubling in the atmosphere gives a free CO2 doubling in water and that means a near doubling of total CO2, as the Revelle factor is ~1”

    I am not sure what you are meaning to say here. I can’t quite follow you. Are you meaning to suggest that in fresh water the Revelle Factor is 1 or less? A Revelle Factor of 1 would give us a partitioning ratio between atmospheric CO2 and oceanic DIC of 1:1. In other words, for every molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere one would exist in the water at equilibrium. That is in violation of Henry’s law, isn’t it? Henry’s law ordains that at a temperature of 15C there should exist about 50 times as much dissolved CO2 in water than in the atmosphere at equilibrium.

    “Still, seawater contains 50 times more CO2 than fresh water for a CO2 doubling in the atmosphere”

    I have no idea what you meaning to say here.

    “So the Revelle factor simply is a buffer factor which decreases with decreasing pH, as the buffer is increasingly used up.”

    Exactly. But the Revelle Factor applies the same to fresh water and sea water. Your explanation makes no sense. As PCO2 increases and as the oceanic pH decreases very slightly below its current level of about 8 then the relative concentrations of DIC change. As pH decreases below 8 the concentration of CO32 (carbonate ions) decreases, CO2(aq) increases and the change in HCO3 is essentially inconsequential. Currently about 88.7% of DIC in the oceans exists in the form of HCO3, about 0.5% exists in the form of CO2(aq) and about 10.8% exists in the form of CO32. These occur in the following proportions: [CO2(aq)]:[HCO3]:[CO32] = 1:175:19. We can get an approximate value of the Revelle Factor by simplistically taking the ratio of HCO3, adding it to the ratio of CO32 and then dividing it by the ratio of CO32 again. Hence we get: 175 + 19 = 194/19 = 10.2. A Revelle Factor of 10 is now considered average. As you can see from the above calculation, as CO32 decreases, the value of the Revelle Factor increases. For example if the ratio changed to 2:175:18 the Revelle Factor would increase to about: 175 + 18 = 193/18 = 10.7. Forgetting for a moment that the Revelle Factor contradicts Henry’s law, it applies to sea-water and fresh-water. If you increase PCO2(aq) in fresh water, the pH decreases, CO32 decreases and the Revelle Factor increases. It’s that simple. Of course, if the Revelle Factor were true, no-one would be able to make fizzy-pop. It’s logically absurd.

    “The ocean surface thus is in rapid equilibrium with the atmosphere. But the deep oceans are not. Indeed there are exchanges, but these are limited in area and flux. Further, there is a disconection of hundreds of years between the points of downwelling and upwelling. Thus while the 1:50 ratio in total carbon is true, that is only relevant over very long time periods.”

    Really? Any evidence to support this claim? You state things as matters-of-fact as if you know them without a shadow of a doubt. Is that really so? You have all the answers, but none of the questions. The residence time of CO2 in the surface-ocean before being transferred to the deep-ocean according to the IPCC is a mere 10 years. That’s all. Therefore, this implies that anthropogenic CO2 can only accumulate in the surface-ocean for that very short amount of time before going down to the deep-ocean. So, I don’t see why equilibrium between atmospheric CO2 and oceanic DIC would take hundreds of years, as you claim it does.

    “Human emissions are ~8 GtC/year. The atmosphere shows an increase of 4 GtC/year, vegetation absorbs ~1.2 GtC/year, the ocean surface ~0.8 GtC/year, thus the deep oceans are probably responsible for the difference of 2 GtC/year.”

    Are those the IPCC’s figures? The IPCC themselves admit that their figures for the carbon-cycle end at 1994. I wouldn’t trust them, personally. The last time I checked, they were all based on computer-simulations anway.

  149. fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    So you are saying that the sinks can tell the difference between natural and anthropogenic emissions and only increase their rates to equal the rate increase of the natural emissions. It doesn’t work that way. The natural input/output ratio is not a constant as you assume (throughput).

    The sinks don’t make a differentiation between anthro CO2 and natural CO2, they only react on an increase in total CO2, But if the increase in the atmosphere is known and the emissions are known for a given year, we know the difference between the natural inputs and outputs. It is entirely possible that some inputs increased since the previous year, but as long as that doesn’t lead to a change in increase of the atmosphere higher that from the emissions alone, that doesn’t add to the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere…

    It is like a bankaccount (used several times here): if you add more money per year to your local bank account than the local bank makes as gain after a year, better look for another bank, even (or certainly…) if you know that your neighbour has put more money than you on his local account.

    • Ferdinand,
      Knowing the accumulation rate and anthropogenic emission rate does not make the natural input/output rate ratio constant as you must assume to make your mass balance work. I check my bank accounts each month and the accumulation rate is not constant. Both deposites and spenditures vary from month to month and the ratio is not constant and the longterm trend has been accumulation. Based on your model, you wouldn’t make a very good accountant.

  150. “The sinks don’t make a differentiation between anthro CO2 and natural CO2.

    Actually, according to the IPCC they do. The IPCC say that the oceans are absorbing 70.6 gigatonnes/year of carbon from the natural reservoir of 597 gigatonnes corresponding to 11.8% and the oceans are absorbing 22.2 gigatonnes/year of anthropogenic carbon from the human reservoir of 165 gigatonnes corresponding to 13.4%. So, a discrimination is occuring.

  151. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “But I will make a plot where all three are made with 12-month moving averages,”

    If you did not perform moving averages on the temperature, then you did not compute dT/dt. The numerical derivative of T is very noisy, as one should expect, since the derivative operation amplifies high frequency noise. It looks like this.

    If you had done this properly, with a numerical derivative and then 12 month moving average of the dCO2/dt and dT/dt values, you would have gotten something like this. As can be readily seen in this plot, the derivative of T leads the derivative of dCO2/dt, i.e., they do not match up in phase. Hence, dCO2/dt is NOT proportional to dT/dt, and the effect of T on CO2 is not proportional, either.

    “the moment you introduce colder water, the average temperature drops”

    You’re not thinking this through, Ferdinand. It is very elementary. I have taken out a volume of water with less dissolved CO2, and replaced it with an equal volume of water with more dissolved CO2. Inside the container, there is now instantaneously more CO2 in total. Nothing about the “average temperature” changes that. Now, nothing gets in, and nothing gets out. What happens to the pCO2 in the air portion when the temperature everywhere increases back to ambient?

    fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    You are 100% correct. But, it will not have any effect. It’s been tried.

    As I told you at July 19, 2012 at 10:06 am: “If all the bumps and squiggles line up, as they do, between dCO2/dt and T, then when you take the derivative of T, you should get a 90 deg phase advance, and the bumps and squiggles should no longer line up.” I have just demonstrated I knew what I was talking about.

  152. One more try? Please remove the previous two posts?

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “But I will make a plot where all three are made with 12-month moving averages,”

    If you did not perform moving averages on the temperature, then you did not compute dT/dt. The numerical derivative of T is very noisy, as one should expect, since the derivative operation amplifies high frequency noise. It looks like this.

    If you had done this properly, with a numerical derivative and then 12 month moving average of the dCO2/dt and dT/dt values, you would have gotten something like this. As can be readily seen in this plot, the derivative of T leads the derivative of dCO2/dt, i.e., they do not match up in phase. Hence, dCO2/dt is NOT proportional to dT/dt, and the effect of T on CO2 is not proportional, either.

    “the moment you introduce colder water, the average temperature drops”

    You’re not thinking this through, Ferdinand. It is very elementary. I have taken out a volume of water with less dissolved CO2, and replaced it with an equal volume of water with more dissolved CO2. Inside the container, there is now instantaneously more CO2 in total. Nothing about the “average temperature” changes that. Now, nothing gets in, and nothing gets out. What happens to the pCO2 in the air portion when the temperature everywhere increases back to ambient?

    fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    You are 100% correct. But, it will not have any effect. It’s been tried.

  153. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    As I told you at July 19, 2012 at 10:06 am: “If all the bumps and squiggles line up, as they do, between dCO2/dt and T, then when you take the derivative of T, you should get a 90 deg phase advance, and the bumps and squiggles should no longer line up.” I have just demonstrated I knew what I was talking about. Your “model” does not work.

  154. Bart says:
    July 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    “One more try? Please remove the previous two posts?”

    Just in case that confuses anyone, I botched the tags the two earlier times I tried to post this so it was all just html underlines, and the moderator graciously removed them for me.

  155. chipstero7 says:
    July 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    How does it all prove that CO2 is building up the the atmosphere because the oceans are absorbing about 30% of human emitted CO2?

    The oceans are not absorbing 30% of human emitted CO2…

    Have a look at the amounts:
    The atmosphere nowadays contains ~800 GtC
    The ocean’s mixed layer contains ~1000 GtC
    The amount of free CO2 (that is gaseous + non-dissolved H2CO3) is ~1% of DIC in seawater, thus ~10 GtC.

    A 30% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (+ 240 GtC to 1040 GtC) gives a corresponding 30% increase of free CO2 in seawater, per Henry’s Law. That is an increase of ~3 GtC in the ocean’s surface. Or only 1.25% of the increase in mass of CO2 in the atmosphere… That is all.

    But lucky for us, seawater is a buffer, thus a lot more CO2 is dissociated than if it would have been fresh water: about 10% of the increase in the atmosphere, or 30 GtC. Thus after 2-3 years 10% of the increase in the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean surface and there it stops. The other sinks: semi-permanent storage in the biosphere, and long-range storage in the deep oceans are not or less limited in capacity, but are limited in removal speed. Most plants don’t double in growth with double CO2 and the exchange rate with the deep oceans is limited. That gives that only halve of the emissions in quantity is removed per year, not all of it. And thus the rest stays in the atmosphere as “airborne fraction”.

    the ‘partitioning ratio’ between atmospheric and oceanic CO2 is about 1/50 conservatively.

    The ‘partitioning ratio’ of 1:50 says nothing about the ultimate distribution between the different compartiments: it is only a ratio of the current amounts. Only the pressure differences between atmosphere and oceans (for the deep oceans at the sink and source places) counts, as that is the driving force for uptake and release, not quantities.

    There really isn’t that much of a significant difference between the relative concentrations of DIC in fresh and sea-water. But of course how much CO2(aq) exists relative to HCO3 and CO32 is dependent on PCO2 anyway, isn’t it?

    It is the other way out. The Bjerrum plot shows the relative concentrations for a fixed DIC at different pH units. In reality, what is fixed is pCO2(aq) for a fixed pCO2(atm). The rest of DIC is 3% for fresh water and 99% for seawater. Thus seawater contains some 100 times more CO2 than fresh water for the same pCO2 in the atmosphere…

    Henry’s law ordains that at a temperature of 15C there should exist about 50 times as much dissolved CO2 in water than in the atmosphere at equilibrium.

    Again you are looking at the current ratio of masses in air and water, but that has nothing to do with Henry’s Law, as the bulk of the CO2 mass in the deep oceans is not in contact with the atmosphere and is undersaturated in CO2 at the 5°C in the deep oceans. For the oceans surface, see the above answer…

    But the Revelle Factor applies the same to fresh water and sea water.

    No it doesn’t. You are mistaken by the Bjerrum plot, as that only shows the relative ratio’s, not how much is ultimately dissolved. For fresh water of the same volume as the ocean’s surface layer, that would mean that not more than ~10 GtC can be dissolved at the current atmospheric pCO2, because less than 3% is dissociated and DIC is about the same as the amount of free CO2, not much more. The Revelle factor in this case is ~1.03. Henry’s Law is only applicable for the ratio between pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq) and doesn’t apply for any other dissociated form of CO2. In seawater the same amount of free CO2 can be found, but as 99% is dissociated, the total amount of DIC is 100 times that of free CO2 and thus about 100 times what is found in fresh water. There the Revelle factor still is ~10.

    Forgetting for a moment that the Revelle Factor contradicts Henry’s law, it applies to sea-water and fresh-water.

    The Revelle factor has nothing to do with Henry’s Law. Henry’s Law says something about the ratio between pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq). The Revelle factor says something about the ratio between a change in pCO2(aq) and the resulting change in DIC. Completely independent of each other.

    Of course, if the Revelle Factor were true, no-one would be able to make fizzy-pop. It’s logically absurd.

    pCO2(aq) always follows pCO2(atm) according to Henry’s Law, regardless of the Revelle factor. Thus you can make fizzy-pop from acidic lemon juice as good as from basic seawater. The main difference is that you can push more CO2 in seawater than in lemon juice, thanks to the Revelle factor: that is an indication of how much more CO2 you can dissolve, compared to fresh water. But by pushing more CO2 into the solution, ultimately the pH lowers so much, that the Revelle factor sinks to 1…

    The residence time of CO2 in the surface-ocean before being transferred to the deep-ocean according to the IPCC is a mere 10 years.

    The same problem as always with “residence time”. The residence time is about how much is exchanged per year between the ocean surface and the deep oceans. That is about 10% per year. That doesn’t say anything about how much CO2 is removed out of the ocean surface into the deep oceans… If we may assume that the exchange rate stays about the same at 100 GtC/year, then 10% of all CO2 in the ocean’s surface is exchanged with CO2 from the deep oceans. Now humans add 8 GtC/year into the atmosphere. 4 GtC is somewhere absorbed, 4 GtC increases in the atmosphere or a 0.5% increase in the atmosphere per year. A 0.5% increase in the atmosphere gives an increase of 0.05% in the ocean’s surface, of which 10% is removed into the deep oceans first year, 9% next year, 8.1% third year,… Thus it takes far over hundred years to remove the human emissions from only one year via that route…

    I don’t trust the IPCC either, but the quality of many remarks used by some skeptics is not really good, to say the least.
    But I do trust the data sampled by scientists which are only interested in delivering good data, not influenced by what others may like or wish. Like how much CO2 is taken away by the biosphere, based on the oxygen balance, how much DIC increased in the surface of the oceans taken by continuous sampling in a few places, where the human CO2 is going into the deep oceans and how it spreads, etc…

  156. Bart says:
    July 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    What happens to the pCO2 in the air portion when the temperature everywhere increases back to ambient?

    That increases back to the same pCO2 for the same temperature and the same composition. No matter how much water was exchanged and is heating up. Only the pressure matters and that remains the same for the same temperature and composition.
    As said before, the continuous measurement of pCO2 of seawater is like that: spraying seawater in a small compartiment with air, and measuring temperature and CO2 levels in the air. The spraying gives a fast equilibrium and the temperature can be used to adjust for the temperature increase of the seawater between oceans and spraycell. There is no continuous accumulation of CO2 due to the increase in temperature, only a fixed increase in pCO2 in the air volume.

    The rest is for tomorrow…

  157. Good luck gentlemen and keep up the good work.

    The truth is out there for you to find.

    Since I wrote my January 2008 paper in icecap.us, I’ve ruptured my quadriceps tendon, my wife and I had a preemie daughter at 7 months by emergency caesarian, and I lost about $2 million of net worth in the market crash and ensuing market melee.

    It has been a challenging time at best, and yet life goes on. I turn 65 in one week and hope to live long enough to seen my beautiful daughter well-launched in this wonderful world.

    I think we have clearly demonstrated that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature.

    My bet is that within ten years the hypo I proposed in 2008 will be the accepted wisdom in climate science – that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales and temperature drives CO2.

    Why ten years? Because I’ve proposed similar major changes in other fields of endeavour, and it took ten years for them to be accepted too, even after the facts were obvious to a few capable individuals.

    Please do keep listening to each other and do not be quite so dismissive of the other’s contrary viewpoints – I find the more I listen, the more I think, and the more I learn.

    My best wishes to all of you – now please excuse me, I have a four-year-old daughter who needs my full attention.

    God bless, Allan

  158. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    “There is no continuous accumulation of CO2 due to the increase in temperature, only a fixed increase in pCO2 in the air volume.”

    Looking again, I think maybe this is the source of your misunderstanding. Go back to my discription at July 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm of what is going on:

    Now, suppose we do this repeatedly with a uniform time step dt. Then, we can say…

    CO2(t+dt) = CO2(t) + (h/V) * dV * (T – To) – CO2(t)*dt/tau

    where tau is a proportionality constant having units of time. Thus

    (CO2(t+dt) – CO2(t))/dt = -CO2(t)/tau + (h/V) * (dV/dt) * (T – To)

    which is to say

    dCO2/dt = -CO2 / tau + k * (T – To)

    This is not a one shot deal. It is a repeating process in which a volume of lower CO2 warm water is replaced a like volume of higher CO2 cold water over and over again. Yes, you get “only a fixed increase in pCO2 in the air volume” each time you do it. But, you are doing it continuously, increasing the pCO2 each time.

    This is analogous to the continuous upwelling flow from the deep ocean. And this, I believe, may well account for the approximate integral relationship between CO2 and temperature difference, that temperature difference ultimately being the difference between the water which is currently downwelling versus that which is upwelling.

  159. Allan MacRae says:
    July 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Sorry to hear of your travails, Allan. Not that it is likely to be any comfort, but few have escaped the recent economic tumult unscathed. And, your daughter is well. Not bad really, all things considered, in this crazy world.

  160. Bart says:
    July 20, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Let us look at another approach:

    In a closed system, given sufficient time, there is an equilibrium between the pCO2 of water at room temperature and the pCO2 of the air above it.
    Then we replace some of the water at the bottom with an amount of colder water of the same composition, without affecting the temperature of the water-air surface. The pCO2 of the surface and the atmosphere thus remains the same. The pCO2 of the colder bottomwater anyway is lower than that at the surface. When that heats up to room temperature, the pCO2 of the bottomwater will reach exactly the same pCO2 as the surface water and the pCO2 of the air. Thus no extra flux is generated.

    The difference is in an open system like the tropical upwelling, where the deep ocean waters are richer in CO2 than the surface waters, thus an increase in deep ocean upwelling will give an increase in CO2 releases. But the same increase in deep ocean circulation will give an increase in downwelling at the other side of the earth near the poles… Thus it depends of the unbalance between upwelling and downwelling. Which is more downwelling than upwelling…

  161. Thus it depends of the unbalance between upwelling and downwelling. Which is more downwelling than upwelling…

    Of course that is for the upwelling and downwelling of the amounts of CO2 dissolved in water, not about the amounts of water. Any unbalance in water up/downwelling would give a change in sealevel, which is not observed…

  162. Allan MacRae says:
    July 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Allan, while we disagree on the T or dT/dt point, I hope you will encounter better times in the near future, as life is already short enough…

  163. Bart says:
    July 20, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Sorry, my reaction was not complete:

    In the case of a continuous addition of CO2 enriched deep ocean waters, there is a continuous flow out of the sea surface at the upwelling places, depending of the seawater temperature and thus the pCO2 difference between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. The temperature dependency is about 16 microatm/°C. Thus with an increase of ~16 ppmv in the atmosphere, the extra flux falls back to zero. At the downwelling side, the same change in atmospheric pCO2 pushes more CO2 into the deep, which makes that an overall increase of ~8 ppmv is sufficient to compensate for an overall increase of 1°C of the ocean surface waters, including an enhanced CO2 circulation flow between the upwelling and downwelling places. The extra 8 ppmv is already reached with two years of human emissions (or 4 years minus the sink rate)… Thus still no continuous increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere for an increase in temperature…

  164. Bart says:
    July 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    If you did not perform moving averages on the temperature, then you did not compute dT/dt. The numerical derivative of T is very noisy, as one should expect, since the derivative operation amplifies high frequency noise. It looks like this.

    Indeed it is very noisy, therefore I performed a moving average of the result. By using the monthly dT/dt, I introduce only 1/2 month fase shift, instead of 1/2 year, but also a lot of noise. The 12-month moving average of the result gives an extra shift of 6 months. But ultimately that is the result of the averaging, not of the process. For nature it doesn’t make much difference if the process in the first year of a change in temperature is time limited over 2-3 years or continuous. The difference between the two types of processes should be visible if the temperature remains constant over several years, but unfortunately there are no such periods in the past 50 years…
    The 1992 Pinatubo eruption may be near such period, but that caused a different type of reaction: the scattering of sunlight by the ash in the stratosphere enhanced the photosynthesis by leaves which were normally hidden from direct sunlight for a part of the day. That reduced the CO2 increase rate below what was expected by the T or dT calculations…

  165. fhhaynie says:
    July 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Knowing the accumulation rate and anthropogenic emission rate does not make the natural input/output rate ratio constant as you must assume to make your mass balance work. I check my bank accounts each month and the accumulation rate is not constant. Both deposites and spenditures vary from month to month and the ratio is not constant and the longterm trend has been accumulation. Based on your model, you wouldn’t make a very good accountant.

    Your reasoning is the other way out: what we observe is an increase in the atmosphere which is smaller than the human emissions. Thus whatever the inputs were and however they changed over the year(s) is not important for the mass balance. In all cases the sinks were larger than the sources over the past 50 years. With some small variations, but still more sink than source.

    Any housewive with a houshold budget knows that if she adds 50 dollar in the morning into her wallet and at the end of the day, see finds an “increase” of 25 dollars, then she knows that all expenses and innings of the day were 25 dollar negative. No matter what the transfers during the day were, none of the other transfers is responsible for the “increase”.

    • Ferdinand,

      “Thus whatever the inputs were and however they changed over the year(s) is not important for the mass balance. In all cases the sinks were larger than the sources over the past 50 years. With some small variations, but still more sink than source.” That statement is easily shown to be not true. If the sinks were greater than sources for the last 50 years, concentrations would have been falling. Your approach to “mass balance” assumes that because the accumelation rate is less than the anthropogenic emission rate, anthropogenic emissions are the sole cause and for your mass balance to work you postulate sinks greater than sources. I have shown you with my method of mass balance that there is a natural 200 year cycle change component in the accumulation data. That natural cycle accounts for most of the accumulation. The regression statistics includes both natural and anthropogenic and the R^2 are greater than 0.97. The resulting coefficients for both are highly significant with very narrow confidence limits. These results show your method to be flawed, but apparently, you are so vested in your method (that the IPPC uses) that you are not willing to accept it.

  166. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 20, 2012 at 2:36 am

    “The pCO2 of the colder bottomwater anyway is lower than that at the surface.”

    In my scenario, it isn’t. I have explicitly stated that the cold water I have introduced in has greater CO2.

    For the Earth, the cold water downwells at the poles, and upwells in the tropics. The cold water naturally has greater CO2 content, but what matters is what is going out versus what is going in. So, what matters is the CO2 content of the cold water sinking at the poles versus the upwelling water in the tropics, which depends on the temperature of the upwelling water when it sank versus the temperature of the water currently downwelling at the poles.

    “Thus it depends of the unbalance between upwelling and downwelling.”

    Ah, I see now you got what I just stated. So, if the water currently upwelling sank at a time of colder temperatures than today, we should get a continuous pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 20, 2012 at 3:53 am

    If you do it correctly, you will get a phase mis-match such as I have shown. It is actually elementary. The fact that a derivative gives a 90 degree phase shift is well known. It is manifested obviously when you take the derivative of a sinusoidal term, e.g., d(sin(w*t))/dt = w*cos(w*t). The cosine leads the sine by 1/4 wavelength (90 degrees of phase).

  167. fhhaynie says:
    July 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Dear Fred,

    I was talking about the natural sinks larger than the natural sources. As long as no carbon is lost in space (which is very unlikely), we have a flexible mass balance:

    increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural sources – natural sinks
    of which two are known:
    4 +/- 2 GtC/year = 8 GtC/year + natural releases – natural sinks
    thus
    natural sources – natural sinks = -4 +/- 2 GtC/year.

    In all years since 1960, the natural sinks were larger than the natural sources:

    with a temperature caused variability around the trend of +/- 1 ppmv (~2 GtC).

    Except if you let disappear the human emissions in some black hole and replace it by a natural process that exactly mimics the human emissions in amount and isotopic ratio, that is the single cause of the increase in the atmosphere, besides a small contribution from temperature of maximum 8 ppmv since the LIA.

    Other natural causes may have contributed in the variability in increase rate too, but the net result of all these natural contributions was more sink than source…

    Of course, as the human emissions are quite monotonely slightly exponentially increasing over time, the resulting increase in the atmosphere can be fitted with some polynomial, but that does in no way prove that the increase is non-human…

    Even the IPCC may have it sometimes right…

  168. Bart says:
    July 20, 2012 at 12:30 am

    This is not a one shot deal. It is a repeating process in which a volume of lower CO2 warm water is replaced a like volume of higher CO2 cold water over and over again.

    Sorry, overlooked this one this morning, was 3 AM here before going to sleep…

    If you do that in a closed vessel in equilibrium between air and water with a certain CO2 content, then the CO2 enriched water will release some extra CO2 when warming up, thus increasing the pCO2 of the atmosphere. That process can be repeated, but the release of extra CO2 will reduce with each step, as the pCO2 of the atmospheric part is increasing. Ultimately a new equilibrium will be reached when all old liquid is replaced with the new liquid and no further release of CO2 from newly introduced cold water will occur at warming up to room temperature.

  169. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

    “That process can be repeated, but the release of extra CO2 will reduce with each step, as the pCO2 of the atmospheric part is increasing. Ultimately a new equilibrium will be reached when all old liquid is replaced with the new liquid and no further release of CO2 from newly introduced cold water will occur at warming up to room temperature.”

    Indeed. If you look back at my July 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm post, I specifically addressed this:

    But, at each step, the water in the container is becoming progressively more enriched with CO2, so each succeeding addition is a little less, in proportion to the CO2 in the water, which is proportional to the CO2 in the air. Thus, we actually get

    CO2(t+dt) = CO2(t) + (h/V) * dV * (T – To) – CO2(t)*dt/tau

    Thus,

    dCO2/dt = -CO2 / tau + k * (T – To)

    where k = (h/V) * (dV/dt). If tau is relatively large, then approximately

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)

  170. Note the limit implied by

    “dCO2/dt = -CO2 / tau + k * (T – To)”

    The process stops when dCO2/dt = 0, which implies that CO2 asymptotically approaches tau*k*(T0To). But, along a timeline much less than tau, the equation approximately behaves as an integral without the -CO2 / tau term.

    So, the question is, how long does it take for the process to stop, or deviate significantly from a straight integral? It takes as long as is necessary for the water downwelling at the poles to have the same CO2 content as the water upwelling in the tropics.

  171. “It takes as long as is necessary for the water downwelling at the poles to have the same CO2 content as the water upwelling in the tropics.”

    And, the data tell us we’re not there yet.

  172. Bart says:
    July 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    “It takes as long as is necessary for the water downwelling at the poles to have the same CO2 content as the water upwelling in the tropics.”
    And, the data tell us we’re not there yet.

    Except that the data show that the oceans are a net sink for CO2…

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml

    The average pCO2 of the global ocean is about 7 µatm lower than the atmosphere, which is the primary driving force for uptake by the ocean

    The area weighted average fluxes calculated from the area delta pCO2 and wind speed show a net uptake:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml

    Fig. 6: This map yields an annual oceanic uptake flux for CO2 of 2.2 ± 0.4 Pg C/yr.

    So, dream further that there is somewhere a permanent source of CO2 if you turn up the thermostat…

  173. An average tells you little. What matters is the relative content of upwelling and downwelling THC.

    But, ignore what the data are telling us if you like. Just don’t be shocked when everything you have convinced yourself to believe turns out to be wrong.

  174. Wow. I wasn’t quite expecting such a long reply. *Groans at the thought of having to type-out a mini-essay*

    “A 30% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (+ 240 GtC to 1040 GtC) gives a corresponding 30% increase of free CO2 in seawater, per Henry’s Law.”

    Sorry Ferdinand, but I don’t see how those figures you cited from the carbon-cycle show that the oceans are absorbing 30% of human-emitted CO2. I must say, I am struggling to follow the logic behind your arguments. As I understand, Henry’s law applies to all liquid, both sea-water and fresh-water. We know that on equilibrium the oceans must end up absorbing 98% of human-emitted CO2, as ordained by Henry’s law. This is exactly why there currently exists 50 times as much CO2 in the oceans than the atmosphere, because of Henry’s law. As far as I can tell, your argument is that the ‘equilibrium’ between atmospheric CO2 and DIC would take hundreds of years. I find this unlikely, due to the fact that the residence time of DIC in the surface-ocean is very short, meaning there can be no significant ‘bottle-neck’ as claimed by CAGW-alarmists. The residence time of 10 years for of DIC in the surface-ocean means that all CO2 in the surface-ocean (that includes anthropogenic CO2 too) can only remain there for 10 years, at the most before going down to the deep-ocean. Having considered your arguments (of those I could understand) I remain unconvinced.

    “But lucky for us, seawater is a buffer, thus a lot more CO2 is dissociated than if it would have been fresh water: about 10% of the increase in the atmosphere, or 30 GtC. Thus after 2-3 years 10% of the increase in the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean surface and there it stops.”

    I have no idea what you’re saying here. Sorry, but trying to understand what you write is like trying to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics — crazy confusing.

    “The ‘partitioning ratio’ of 1:50 says nothing about the ultimate distribution between the different compartiments: it is only a ratio of the current amounts.”

    The 1:50 partitioning ratio states that on equilibrium 98% of any CO2 emitted into the atmosphere must be absorbed by the oceans. It’s that simple.

    “Only the pressure differences between atmosphere and oceans (for the deep oceans at the sink and source places) counts, as that is the driving force for uptake and release, not quantities.”

    And what happens when you increase the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere? You create a disequilibrium in the 1:50 partitioning ratio and force more CO2 down to the oceans in order to restore equilibrium. The higher you increase the partial pressure the stronger the driving force of CO2 down to the oceans.

    “In reality, what is fixed is pCO2(aq) for a fixed pCO2(atm)”

    PCO2(aq) is not fixed by PCO2(atm). They are intereated and depedent on each-other. Increase PCO2(aq) and to restore equilibrium CO2 is forced into the atmosphere. Increase pCO2(atm) and CO2 is forced down to the oceans, with the amount being forced down being determined by the partitioning ratio.

    “The Revelle factor has nothing to do with Henry’s Law. Henry’s Law says something about the ratio between pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq). The Revelle factor says something about the ratio between a change in pCO2(aq) and the resulting change in DIC.”

    As far as my limited-capacities are able to judge, the Revelle Factor is in total contradiction with Henry’s law. It’s rather simple to demonstrate this mathematically. For example, if we apply the Revelle Factor to water with low pH and low CO32 concentration, such as a carbonated-drink, the resulting value that we get for the Revelle Factor is ludicrously high. So high, making carbonated drinks would be a physical impossibility. As I have shown with the above calculation, the Revelle Factor applies to all water, more or less the same. The Revelle Factor is simply brought about by changes in the relative concentrations of DIC. I don’t understand why you would say that the Revelle Factor and Henry’s law are “independent of each-other”. Henry’s law gives us a fixed partitioning ratio between atmospheric CO2 and DIC and the Revelle Factor gives us a fixed partitioning ratio between atmospheric CO2 and DIC. Henry’s law gives us a fixed partitioning ratio of 1:50 whereas the Revelle Factor gives us a fixed partitioning ratio of 10:1. If they are independent of each-other then my name is Dancing Wizard Magicus Feeticus. Have you read Segalstad’s papers? He provides some lucid explanations.

    “The same problem as always with “residence time”. The residence time is about how much is exchanged per year between the ocean surface and the deep oceans. That is about 10% per year. That doesn’t say anything about how much CO2 is removed out of the ocean surface into the deep oceans.”

    *Brain melts* But.. it does. The IPCC say that the upper surface-ocean contains about 900 gigatonnes of carbon and the removal rate from the surface to the deep-ocean is about 90 gigatonnes/year. Therefore anthropogenic carbon can only accumulate in the upper surface-ocean for about 10 years before being transferred to the deep ocean. Furthermore, measurements of anthropogenic additions of nuclear-C14 produced through nuclear atmospheric testing in the 1950’s and 1960’s have revealed important information about the circulation-time of chemicals in the upper ocean. Measurements of nuclear-C14 show that the circulation for carbon in the upper ocean is between 10-20 years (Druffel, E.R.M; Williams 1990). The conclusion is simple and straightforward and I don’t see why you’re having such a hard time understanding it: all CO2 in the surface-ocean (be it natural or human) can only stay there for 10 years before being transferred down to the deep ocean. Therefore, there is no significant ‘bottle-neck’ blocking the circulation of CO2. Your claim of 100 years seems a massive exaggeration to me, and again, I am struggling to understand the logic behind your argument.

  175. Sorry, that should read: “They are interrelated” not “intereated”.

    BTW: You’ve said before that you’ve talked to Seglstad. Did you find any of his arguments convincing or worth consideration?

  176. chipstero7 says:
    July 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    “…I am struggling to understand the logic behind your argument.”

    The logic is that the outcome is predetermined: the rise in CO2 is due to humans. It is taken as axiomatic. However the physics must be tortured to support that conclusion, the result has to be right, because otherwise, there is no significant human attribution, and that violates the fundamental axiom.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Considering this further, the estimates are based on measurements of carbon ratios between the ocean and the atmosphere above it. An implicit assumption has been made that the situation is static, and the only exchanges are in line with static laws. But, in fact, what we have here is a transport phenomenon of dynamic flows, in which upper waters of the ocean are flowing to the poles and sinking to the depths, then upwelling again in the tropics.

  177. Bart says:
    July 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    An average tells you little. What matters is the relative content of upwelling and downwelling THC.”

    Look at the graphic here.The upwelling (blue to red) occurs most prominently in the middle of the Pacific, and off the horn of Africa. Where do you see the highest positive flux here?

    Conversely, the downwelling occurs most prominently off the coast of Greenland, and below the tip of South American. And, these are the areas of minimum flux. Coincidence?

  178. chipstero7 says:
    July 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    OK. I will try to make it as clear as can, step by step.

    - The 1:50 ratio is the current ratio in carbon mass between the atmosphere and the oceans as a whole. It may that this will be the utimate ratio that will be reached in equilibrium, thus let us for the moment assume that this is what we will get after some time.

    - The bulk of that carbon is in the deep oceans, which are quite isolated from the atmosphere by the “mixed layer”, which is in close contact with the atmosphere by wind and convection.

    - The mixed layer rapidely gets in equilibrium with the atmosphere for CO2 levels, that process needs only 2-3 year for completion.

    - The mixed layer contains ~1000 GtC, the atmosphere ~800 GtC, thus the ratio between these two is 1:1.25.

    - Henry’s Law says that for a change in pCO2 in the atmosphere, the same change in pCO2 in water must follow (and reverse). But that is not a fixed ratio between pCO2(atm) and DIC, as you think, it is about a fixed ratio between CO2(atm) and free, gaseous, CO2 in water, whatever the concentrations of HCO3- and CO3–. Henry’s Law only considers the solubility of the same gas species between atmosphere and a liquid, not any other species in solution. There is no direct pCO2 from bicarbonate or carbonate: you can dissolve any amount of (baking) soda until saturation, no CO2 will be released (except when heated for baking soda, as you change the equilibria), despite total carbon levels many times exceeding these of the atmosphere…

    - Thus an increase of 30% (~100 ppmv or 210 GtC) in the atmosphere would give a fast increase of 30% in free CO2 in the mixed layer of the oceans, as that is what Henry’s Law says. But as the amount of free CO2 in the mixed layer is only 1% of all CO2 there, that means that the amount of free CO2 increases from 10 GtC to 13 GtC, not really a relief…

    - But seawater is a buffer. That means that some of the increase of pCO2(aq) will further dissociate into bicarbonate and carbonate, depending of the pH. In fresh water that is only 3% (the Revelle factor here is only ~1.03). Thus the 13 GtC only increases to 13.4 GtC, hardly a difference, if the ocean surface was fresh water. In the case of seawater, the Revelle factor is ~10, thus a 30% increase in pCO2 of the atmosphere gives a 30% increase of free CO2 in the ocean surface and a 3% increase in total DIC. That gives a total increase of ~30 GtC in the ocean surface, compared to ~3.4 GtC if that was fresh water. Thus the Revelle factor is not a restraint for the uptake of CO2, it mainly shows how much more can be dissolved in seawater than in fresh water.

    So that was the portion about Henry’s Law and the Revell factor. In summary:
    Henry’s Law gives a fixed ratio between pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq), where pCO2(aq) is only about free CO2, not bicarbonate or carbonate. The Revelle factor shows how much the total dissolved carbon changes for a change in pCO2(aq) and thus indrectly for pCO2(atm).

    Now the removal rate:

    - The exchange rate between the mixed layer and the deep oceans is 10% per year. If we increase the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere with 100%, that gives an increase of 10% in the mixed layer. The exchange rate remains the same, thus the new concentration with 10% more CO2 sinks in the deep and the old concentration comes back. That gives a 1% drop in concentration in the mixed layer, thus the new concentration now is 109%. The next year (if we for the moment may assume that no refilling from the atmosphere takes place) the drop is 0.9%, not 1% anymore, as the extra CO2 in the mixed layer is already reduced. Thus the concentration is reduced to 108.1%, the third year, the concentration drops to 107.3, etc… Thus the removal rate is much longer than the exchange rate, plus that the extra concentration in water is only 10% of that in the atmosphere. Thus to remove the extra 100% from the atmosphere, that takes many times longer than 10 years…

    Measurements of nuclear-C14 show that the circulation for carbon in the upper ocean is between 10-20 years

    You forget that the 14C in the atmosphere is extra fast thinned by the emissions of 14C-free CO2 from fossil fuel burning. Without that, the overall sink rate (ocean surface + deep oceans + vegetation) is ~4 GtC/year for an excess 210 GtC, that gives an e-fold rate of ~53 years or a ~40 years half life time for any isotopic form of CO2 in the atmosphere. In the ocean surface alone it is 2-3 years, but at a maximum of 10% of the excess, as per Revelle factor.

    At last, I have read the works of Segalstad and Jaworoski. And I had a debate with Segalstad at a skeptics meeting in Brussels. Sorry to say it, but I have an uneasy feeling that he omits relevant information, which may give some of his viewpoints a complete different meaning… Where he is completely mistaken e.g. is the mixup of the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere and the “adjustment” time, the time needed to remove an excess of CO2 above equilibrium, as the above example shows…

  179. “Henry’s Law says that for a change in pCO2 in the atmosphere, the same change in pCO2 in water must follow (and reverse). But that is not a fixed ratio between pCO2(atm) and DIC, as you think, it is about a fixed ratio between CO2(atm) and free, gaseous, CO2 in water, whatever the concentrations of HCO3- and CO3–.”.

    But it is a fixed ratio between CO2 and DIC. You’re assuming that CO2(aq) and DIC and independent and that’s not the case. CO32, HCO3 and CO2(aq) all exist in chemical equilibrium with each other. If you increase CO2(aq) you automatically increase CO32 and HCO3 by a corresponding amount. You cannot change CO2(aq) without changing HCO3 and CO32. They all exist in equilibrium.

    “Thus to remove the extra 100% from the atmosphere, that takes many times longer than 10 years”.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain Ferdinand, but unfortunately, I couldn’t follow any of that explanation and it doesn’t makse sense to me. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  180. Bart says:
    July 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Considering this further, the estimates are based on measurements of carbon ratios between the ocean and the atmosphere above it. An implicit assumption has been made that the situation is static, and the only exchanges are in line with static laws. But, in fact, what we have here is a transport phenomenon of dynamic flows, in which upper waters of the ocean are flowing to the poles and sinking to the depths, then upwelling again in the tropics.

    The measurements were done over several decades, over many area’s, thus showing the dynamic for all regions. The flux graphs are only for one year, 1995, which nowadays is used as reference year. Some of the regions changed over time from net sources to net sinks and in general the oceans increased in sink rate. But let’s have a look at what may happen of you change the temperature and/or concentrations of the deep ocean circulation:

    The current exchange rate between the oceans and the atmosphere is ~90 GtC/yr out of the oceans and ~92 GtC/yr into the oceans. A large part is seasonal, especially in the mid-latitudes and another part is via the deep oceans: into the deep via the THC, mainly in the NE Atlantic and out of the deep in the tropical Pacific. My own estimate (based on the dilution of the “human” d13C fingerprint) is that about 40 GtC/year is exchanged between the atmosphere and the deep oceans. The exact height in exchange flux is not that important, but the change in flux is.

    Now have a look at what happens if you have an increase of 1°C over all oceans, including the source and sink places (assuming constant deep ocean upwelling and concentration):

    The current maximum difference in pCO2 between the warm pool and the atmosphere is ~350 microatm. That causes a source flux (into the atmosphere) of 40 GtC/year. With 1°C increase in surface temperature, the difference increases with 16 microatm. Thus the source flux increases to 41.8 GtC/year (CO2 fluxes are directly proportional to the pressure difference).

    At the other side of the earth, the pCO2 difference is 250 microatm, giving 40 GtC/year of sink flux (assuming equilibrium at the start of the process). An increase of 1°C there also gives a change in 16 microatm, but that is at the cost of the sink rate, which decreases from 40 GtC/yr to 37.4 GtC/yr. In sum, there is an extra flux into the atmosphere of 4.4 GtC/yr. The first-year increase in the atmosphere thus is ~2.2 ppmv.

    The following years, the incoming flux decreases somewhat and the sink flux increases somewhat, because of the increase of 2.2 ppmv in the atmosphere. The second-year increase in the atmosphere gets 1.9 ppmv. Ultimately after a few years, the increase in the atmosphere reaches ~16 ppmv, where the new ocean releases and ocean sinks are back into equilibrium, at an equal source/sink flux again of 40 GtC/year. That is without taking into account that the biosphere gives more sink with increased CO2 (which gives an overall average of 8 ppmv/°C)…

    Thus an increase in sea surface temperature of 1°C only gives a maximum increase of 16 ppmv in the atmosphere within a few years.

    Compare that to the continuous one-way release of 8 GtC (4 ppmv) per year from human emissions, surpassing the effect of a change of 1°C of the ocean’s surface within 4 years…

    One can think of an increased circulation of the THC, or an increase of the deep ocean carbon content, but these are largely temperature independent on short term…

  181. chipstero7 says:
    July 21, 2012 at 5:36 am

    But it is a fixed ratio between CO2 and DIC. You’re assuming that CO2(aq) and DIC and independent and that’s not the case. CO32, HCO3 and CO2(aq) all exist in chemical equilibrium with each other. If you increase CO2(aq) you automatically increase CO32 and HCO3 by a corresponding amount.

    No, you are mistaken in the first sentence. Henry’s Law is only for the ratio of pCO2(atm) vs. pCO2(aq). Nothing else. Of course, there is a further dissociation into HCO3- and CO3–, but this dissociation is NOT constant, compared to pCO2(aq) or indirectly to pCO2(atm), because the chemical equilibrium changes, depending of the shift in pH with increasing or decreasing pCO2(aq) and the initial conditions of pH. That is where the Revelle factor comes in.

    I couldn’t follow any of that explanation and it doesn’t makse sense to me

    I know, it seems one of the most difficult points to explain. But think of a factory where you have invested some capital: The residence time is how fast the goods (and thus your capital) is going through the factory, the turnover time of capital and goods in the factory, while the adjustment time is the gain (or loss or break-even) of your money. While the turnover can be 1000% per year, the gain in general is much smaller…

  182. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

    “Thus an increase in sea surface temperature of 1°C only gives a maximum increase of 16 ppmv in the atmosphere within a few years.”

    Completely irrelevant, static analysis. As I have demonstrated, a greater temperature than upwelling THC produces a continuous pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere.

  183. Bart says:
    July 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Completely irrelevant, static analysis. As I have demonstrated, a greater temperature than upwelling THC produces a continuous pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Come on Bart, you are breaking about all laws of chemistry one can think of, to start with Henry’s Law, because of your idée fixe that there must be some continuous source of CO2 with a small increase in temperature…

  184. chipstero7 says:
    July 21, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Think of a saturated solution of baking soda. No CO2 is coming out of the solution at room temperature and DIC is sky high: 96 g/l of baking soda can be dissolved, of which about halve is CO2, thus a DIC of ~50 g/l, and still not saturated in CO2. The solubility of 100% CO2 gas in fresh water at 1 bar and room temperature is only 1.7 g/l, thus completely saturated, thus DIC in this case is only 1.7 g/l.

    Now add some acid to the bicarbonate solution and look what happens: lots of CO2 bubble up from the solution and DIC lowers together with the loss in CO2.

    But in all cases Henry’s Law holds: by lowering the pH of the bicarbonate solution, you push the equilibria towards the creation of more free CO2, which becomes in excess to the ratio with the atmosphere, and CO2 is pushed out of the solution. Thus even within a wide range of DIC, Henry’s Law still holds, but that is limited to the ratio between CO2 in the atmosphere and free CO2 in the solution, not to the rest of DIC…

  185. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 21, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I have explained it to you in detail. There is no violation of any physical law. It is very simple – there is an oceanic conveyer belt which is transporting CO2 to the depths, and bringing it back up after 100′s of years. How much CO2 is being carried down depends on current temperatures. How much is emerging depends on temperatures when it sank. With a continuous incoming flow of past, CO2 rich waters, the atmosphere is naturally accumulating as the CO2 outgases from it at the current higher temperatures.

    Your trivial exposition at July 21, 2012 at 8:53 am ignores everything we have been discussing, and you are just plugging your ears and shouting to avoid hearing what you don’t want to hear.

  186. Bart,

    All the time we were discussing the influence of 0.6°C over the past 50 years since 1960. That should trigger a continuous net input of CO2 into the atmosphere, leading to a total increase of 70 ppmv. Now you think you have found the origin in the ocean waters in combination with the temperature increase as the source.

    Deep ocean waters have a higher CO2 (DIC) content than the surface, thus by heating up, they emit CO2 and the surface waters by cooling down, absorb CO2. That is a continuous stream between the equator and the poles of nowadays ~40 GtC/year.

    The current unbalance, measured over many years and many places is 2 GtC more sink than source. With an increase in temperature, you can temporarely increase the source flux and decrease the sink flux. That indeed leads to an increase of ~16 ppmv/°C, but there it stops, as the inputflows and outputflows, thanks to Henry’s Law, again are at the same disequilibrium with each other as before, all other things being equal. If you want an increase of 70 ppmv, you need a temperature increase of at least 4.3°C and probably double that.

    That is is the fundamental error in your formula: there is no stop, because you only look at the source, without taking into account that other forces will counteract any disturbances of the overall process: any increase in the atmosphere reduces further releases and increases the sinks.

    The problem is in:
    The process stops when dCO2/dt = 0, which implies that CO2 asymptotically approaches tau*k*(T-To).

    In reality, the process stops when pCO2(atm) = pCO2(aq), which is not more than 16 ppmv for a change of 1°C in seawater temperature. That is what makes that the continuous measurements of pCO2(aq) of seawater in a closed volume work. That is the dynamic overall equilibrium all over the earth, where the inputflows at the “warm” side with a huge pCO2 in water are fully compensated by the outputflows at the “cold” side with a very low pCO2 in water.

  187. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    “In reality, the process stops when pCO2(atm) = pCO2(aq)… “

    This is taken account of in my formalism. It is just a matter of parametrizing tau.

    “…which is not more than 16 ppmv for a change of 1°C in seawater temperature.”

    But, you do not know the temperature change. You do not know the temperature of the currently upwelling sea water when it first downwelled.

  188. “This is taken account of in my formalism. “

    Actually, what you are talking about is, again, a static analysis. This is the short term dynamics of what happens when a one-time volume of cool water surfaces. Once everything equlibrates, if another volume of rich-CO2 bottom water surfaces, you will get another jump. When you have a continuous stream surfacing, you get continuous pumping, and the process will not stop until the pCO2(aq_downwelling) = pCO2(aq_upwelling).

    This, at root, is a simple mass balance equation. An actual, real mass balance equation, so it is particularly mystifying that you refuse to get it. If you are continually bringing up more CO2 from the ocean depths than you have sinking to the ocean depths, then that CO2 must go somewhere. It cannot simply wink out of existence. Part of it is going to accumulate in the atmosphere.

  189. This is my best candidate for what is causing the temperature dependence of atmospheric CO2. It must behave as the scaled integral of the temperature anomaly, because that is what the data shows. As I have demonstrated, your model simply does not match up in phase, and cannot explain the observations.

  190. Bart says:
    July 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    But, you do not know the temperature change. You do not know the temperature of the currently upwelling sea water when it first downwelled.

    We know the temperature of the sea surface in 1960 and today. The difference between these two gives the extra increase of 70 ppmv, according to your formula. If we may assume that the deep ocean concentration didn’t change with 10% in 70 years time (a huge change in concentration over such a short time span of the deep ocean circulation is very unlikely), then all change is from the extra temperature increase. The temperature increase gives an extra push of 16 microatm to the releases into the atmosphere (whatever that might have been) at the warm side and an equal restriction to the sinks at the other side of the earth. When the CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase with 16 microatm, the extra push/restriction is gone and the in/out fluxes fall back to the old levels, no matter what downwelled 800 years ago, or how much circulated before the temperature increase.

    Once everything equlibrates, if another volume of rich-CO2 bottom water surfaces, you will get another jump. When you have a continuous stream surfacing, you get continuous pumping, and the process will not stop until the pCO2(aq_downwelling) = pCO2(aq_upwelling).

    Agreed, in the open system as the earth is, except for the pCO2(aq) point. You need to take into account the area involved and the driving forces: pCO2(aq_downwelling) doesn’t need to be equal to pCO2(aq_upwelling), it is far from that: the pCO2(aq) at the downwelling places is down to 150 microatm, at the upwelling places up to 750 microatm.
    What need to be equal is the downwelling flux and the upwelling flux for a dynamic equilibrium. The fluxes are directly proportional to the delta pCO2 between atmosphere and the sink/source ocean surface and the total area of each involved. Expressed in another way, the ocean and the atmosphere are in dynamic equilibrium when pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq) are equal, where pCO2(aq) is the area weighted average of pCO2(aq) all over the earth. At this moment, pCO2(atm) is about 7 microatm higher than pCO2(aq), thus the oceans are a net sink for CO2 (surface + deep together).

    This, at root, is a simple mass balance equation. An actual, real mass balance equation, so it is particularly mystifying that you refuse to get it. If you are continually bringing up more CO2 from the ocean depths than you have sinking to the ocean depths, then that CO2 must go somewhere.

    Well, if you talk about mass balances: your equation shows a one-way increase from the deep oceans of 70 ppmv over 45 years time. The human emissions were 140 ppmv in the same time span. Together 210 ppmv input, while only 70 ppmv increase is measured, the difference of 140 ppmv has to go somewhere…
    We have quite good calculations for the uptake by the biosphere (~40 ppmv), based on the oxygen balance. We have a quite good idea how much is dissolved in the upper ocean layer (~7 ppmv). Thus the rest should go into the deep ocean sinks. Or with other words, the 70 ppmv extra release from the deep oceans must be compensated with 93 ppmv extra sink capacity into the deep oceans to close the mass balance. Looks like the deep oceans are a net sink for a lot of CO2…

    Thus in short, your solution only shows, according to the mass balance, that there may be increased circulation of CO2 from the equator to the poles, but that the deep oceans still are a net sink for CO2 and not the cause of the increase…

    Further, your equation violates the Le Châtelier Principle, as there is no explicite term that takes into account the effect of the increase of CO2 on the source and sink fluxes.

    And your solution violates the isotope balance: 70 ppmv extra from the deep oceans would give an increase in d13C from -6.75 per mil to -5.6 per mil in the atmosphere. But we observe a decrease to -8 per mil.

    A simple explanation why your solution is wrong: temperature only causes the huge variability in year by year increase rate (in fact a variation in sink capacity) and has a limited influence on the trend. That the trend in temperature matches the trend in CO2 is pure coincidence, caused by the parallel increase of both. The trend itself is caused by the human emissions… A combination of temperature variability and human emissions matches all observations.

    I am working on the phase shift (I think it is a matter of sample frequency in a chaotic changing system).

  191. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 22, 2012 at 2:52 am

    “We know the temperature of the sea surface in 1960 and today.”

    The water which is now upwelling downwelled up to 1600 years ago. You are looking at the wrong temperature differential. It is the differential temperature between the currently downwelling CO2 and the upwelling CO2 at the time it downwelled.

    There is a constant stream of new water upwelling with the temperature differential being that between now and when that water originally downwelled. This leads to a constant influx of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    “If we may assume that the deep ocean concentration didn’t change with 10% in 70 years time (a huge change in concentration over such a short time span of the deep ocean circulation is very unlikely), then all change is from the extra temperature increase.”

    Wrong. There is a continual flux of new CO2 into the surface ocean / atmospheric system, and you are looking at only part of the temperature differential.

    “…the pCO2(aq) at the downwelling places is down to 150 microatm, at the upwelling places up to 750 microatm.”

    Which tells you what? Think this through.

    “The fluxes are directly proportional to the delta pCO2 between atmosphere and the sink/source ocean surface and the total area of each involved. “

    Your units do not match. A flux is an amount per unit of time. You must integrate the flux over time to get the right units. That is what creates the integral relationship.

    “Expressed in another way, the ocean and the atmosphere are in dynamic equilibrium when pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq) are equal, where pCO2(aq) is the area weighted average of pCO2(aq) all over the earth.”

    And, those are both increasing in time as CO2 accumulates due to the upwelling having greater CO2 content than the downwelling.

    “Well, if you talk about mass balances: your equation shows a one-way increase from the deep oceans of 70 ppmv over 45 years time.”

    Your formula is inapplicable. You are not using the correct total temperature differential. It is an accumulation due to the temperature differential between current temperatures and the time at which the currently upwelling water downwelled.

    “I am working on the phase shift (I think it is a matter of sample frequency in a chaotic changing system).”

    It is 90 degrees – this is obvious by inspection. It points to an integration over time. It is the result of the rate of change of CO2 being directly proportional to the differential temperature between the currently downwelling CO2 and the upwelling CO2 at the time it downwelled. It is elementary, with readily recognizable signature evident from the simple relationship d(sin(w*t))/dt = w*cos(w*t).

  192. Allow me to repeat this very simple point: If you are continually bringing up more CO2 from the ocean depths than you have sinking to the ocean depths, then that CO2 must go somewhere. Part of it is going to accumulate in the atmosphere.

  193. Bart says:
    July 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

    The water which is now upwelling downwelled up to 1600 years ago. You are looking at the wrong temperature differential. It is the differential temperature between the currently downwelling CO2 and the upwelling CO2 at the time it downwelled.

    Besides that you have no idea what the temperature of that period was – it could be cooler than today – it is about the resulting CO2 flux. The input flux of 800-1600 years ago not only is enriched underway by fallout of biolife but also largely mixed in with other deep ocean waters. That is not the point. The point is that we are discussing the influence of a 0.6°C increase in temperature on that enriched flow over a period of 50 years. That should have caused a 70 ppmv increase in the atmosphere. Which is impossible.

    If we may assume that neither the composition nor the deep ocean circulation changed over the period 1960-current, then the maximum increase in the atmosphere for 0.6°C increase is 10 ppmv. With that increase, the deep ocean fluxes are back to what they were before the temperature increase.

    Wrong. There is a continual flux of new CO2 into the surface ocean / atmospheric system, and you are looking at only part of the temperature differential.

    You don’t see it: the incoming flux in 1960 may have been much higher than that of 1560, due to a change in downwelling temperature since 40 BC, but that is not the point: if the incoming deep water flow didn’t change in amount and composition in the period 1960-current, then all extra CO2 influx increase in that period is from the temperature increase 1960-current, not from the already established flow in 1960.

    Which tells you what? Think this through.

    That tells us that there is a continous flow of CO2 between these two areas (my estimate, based on the dilution of the d13C ratio from burning fossil fuels, about 40 GtC/year). But that isn’t the only factor in fluxes: wind speed mixing and surface area also play a role.

    Your units do not match. A flux is an amount per unit of time. You must integrate the flux over time to get the right units. That is what creates the integral relationship.

    CO2 fluxes are directly proportional to the driving force, no matter what units are used. But the range shown in

    gives fluxes of 11 moles CO2/m2/year as maximum sink rate and 13 moles CO2/m2/year as maximum source rate. Thus also the total area plays a role and the weighted average wind speed.

    And, those are both increasing in time as CO2 accumulates due to the upwelling having greater CO2 content than the downwelling.

    If CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, the upwelling decreases and the downwelling increases, as the delta pCO2 over the upwelling and downwelling areas changes, all other variables staying equal. With 10 ppmv extra CO2 in the atmosphere, the influence of a temperature increase of 0.6°C is fully compensated.

    Your formula is inapplicable. You are not using the correct total temperature differential. It is an accumulation due to the temperature differential between current temperatures and the time at which the currently upwelling water downwelled.

    The mass balance has nothing to do with the temperature or the carbon uptake of 1600 years ago. Neither with the CO2 levels at the time that the coal deposits were formed. It has to do with the carbon balance today, at any moment of time and space. If the deep oceans add 70 ppmv CO2 from the past to the atmosphere today and humans add 140 ppmv from millions of years ago to the atmosphere today and we measure an increase of only 70 ppmv in the atmosphere today, then 140 ppmv must be stored somewhere else today…

    Allow me to repeat this very simple point: If you are continually bringing up more CO2 from the ocean depths than you have sinking to the ocean depths, then that CO2 must go somewhere. Part of it is going to accumulate in the atmosphere.

    Agreed, but if CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, that reduces the CO2 release from the ocean depths and increases the CO2 sink rate into the ocean depths, until everything is back into equilibrium…

    Moreover, the observations show that there is more CO2 sinking into the oceans (deep + surface) than is brought up by the same oceans…

  194. I’m going to try responding to one point only, in the hopes of breaking through the logjam.

    “CO2 fluxes are directly proportional to the driving force, no matter what units are used.”

    If I am driving an automobile at 100 km per hour, then after 1 hour I will have gone 100 km, and after 10 hours, I will have gone 1000 km. The distance traveled is the integral of position flux (a.k.a., velocity). Just so, if I am getting a net flux of X Gt/year of carbon, then after 1 year, I will have accumulated X Gt, and after 10 years, I will have accumulated 10X Gt. You are telling me that, no matter how long I drive, I will always have gone 100 km, and no matter how many years go by, I will have X Gt of extra carbon at the end. This is false.

    There is a continuous supply of extra CO2 coming into the upper oceans every instant, and that will lead to a net positive accumulation in the upper oceans, and hence the atmosphere, over time.

  195. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    “Agreed, but if CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, that reduces the CO2 release from the ocean depths and increases the CO2 sink rate into the ocean depths, until everything is back into equilibrium… “

    When? When will it be back into equilibrium? Not anytime soon according to your own sources, where it is seen that the pCO2(aq) is 5X higher near upwelling regions than near downwelling ones. And, not according to the data, which says that the time constant is so long, we cannot currently see any significant difference between what is going on, and a straight integral of the scaled temperature anomaly.

  196. Don’t you see, Ferdinand? What you have said is true, and I have not only not denied it, I made the point in my original derivation that there is a limit to how far the upwelling ocean can drive the atmospheric concentration.

    BUT, you have to quantify the limit – you cannot just assume it is instantaneously reached. The data indicate that the limit is large, the time constant is long, and we are nowhere near that particular operating region. And, until we are near it, the system is going to behave indistinguishably from a pure integrator, and accumulate the net upwelling CO2.

  197. Bart says:
    July 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    If I am driving an automobile at 100 km per hour, then after 1 hour I will have gone 100 km, and after 10 hours, I will have gone 1000 km. The distance traveled is the integral of position flux (a.k.a., velocity).

    If you drive at 50 km per hour, the distance will be 50 km after one hour, not 100 km. Thus the distance travelled is directly proportional to the speed you drive, no matter the time period in question or units used.
    The in/out fluxes are directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between ocean surface and atmosphere, all other variables staying the same. With a pCO2 difference of zero, there is no net flux at all. That is the direct result of Henry’s Law.

    There is a continuous supply of extra CO2 coming into the upper oceans every instant, and that will lead to a net positive accumulation in the upper oceans, and hence the atmosphere, over time.

    Yes, the extra CO2 coming into the upper oceans is continuous, but the release into the atmosphere isn’t: when the atmospheric CO2 increases, the pCO2 between the upwelling places and the atmosphere decreases and thus the incoming flux to the atmosphere decreases too. Ultimately, the CO2 content of the upper ocean water gets the same as of the deep oceans and the flux gets zero when the pCO2 of the atmosphere and of the water are equal, as is the case for a closed (measuring) system.
    In een open system, which the oceans are, the equilibrium between inflows and outflows is reached again when pCO2(atm) increased enough to decrease the influx and increase the outflux back to equity. For a 10% increase in DIC of the deep ocean upwelling, that needs ~18 ppmv increase. For 1°C ocean surface warming, a 16 ppmv increase in the atmosphere is sufficient to bring the in/out fluxes back into equilibrium. One needs only a few decades with the natural exchanges to approach the new equilibrium. Or 4 years of human emissions…

    where it is seen that the pCO2(aq) is 5X higher near upwelling regions than near downwelling ones.

    Not of interest, only the local area pCO2(atm)-pCO2(aq) difference is of interest. The sign of this difference makes that an area is a sink or a source or a seasonal sink/source. And the height of the difference determines the height of the areal in/out fluxes. When pCO2(atm) = pCO2(aq) then the influxes and outfluxes are in equilibrium, where pCO2(aq) is the global area weighted average.

    And, not according to the data, which says that the time constant is so long

    Wrong variable as cause of the mid-frequency increase and no term for the negative feedback from the increase in atmospheric pCO2 in your formula…

    The real, observed data show that the oceans are a net sink for CO2, where the ocean surface has a limited capacity. Thus the deep oceans are not the cause of the increase, neither is the temperature increase at the upwelling and downwelling areas. The long time constant does exist for the sink rate, not the source rate of the deep oceans and the real cause of the increase in the atmosphere are the human emissions, all other reservoirs are net sinks for CO2…

  198. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

    “…when the atmospheric CO2 increases, the pCO2 between the upwelling places and the atmosphere decreases and thus the incoming flux to the atmosphere decreases too.”

    There is a huge volume which has to approach equilibrium to get a significant decrease, and this takes a very long time.

    “Ultimately, the CO2 content of the upper ocean water gets the same as of the deep oceans…”

    Over eons of time… Time is the key variable here. Physical processes do not happen instantaneously, and 50 years is a blink of an eye in geologic time.

    “Not of interest, only the local area pCO2(atm)-pCO2(aq) difference is of interest. “

    Wrong. There are two areas to consider: where the CO2 rich water is upwelling, and where depleted CO2 water is downwelling. Until those equilibrate, there is a net flow into the atmosphere.

    “The real, observed data show…”

    The real, incontrovertible, observed data show that atmospheric CO2 is directly proportional to the integrated temperature anomaly.

    We are getting nowhere. You have the evidence before you. I have provided a logical, reasonable, and physically viable mechanism which explains the observations, for which you have no explanation. Maybe if you think on it a bit, you will see the light. Until we meet again…

  199. Bart says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:34 am

    There is a huge volume which has to approach equilibrium to get a significant decrease, and this takes a very long time.

    The volumes involved are not of the slightest interest, the pressure difference is. If you shake a coke bottle of 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 liter at the same temperature, you will find the same pressure in the atmosphere at equilibrium (minus the small amount needed to reach that pressure).

    Do the calculation yourself: 16 ppmv increase in the atmosphere is sufficient to fully compensate an increase of 1°C ocean surface temperature back to equilibrium. That can be reached in 1-2 decades by the temperature increase itself or with 4 years of human emissions…

    “Ultimately, the CO2 content of the upper ocean water gets the same as of the deep oceans…”
    Over eons of time…

    Agreed, that kind of time periods is not of interest here, but it is reached within minutes in a small closed system In the open oceans it will never be reached, as there is a continuous exchange of CO2 between water and atmosphere in opposite directions for different parts of the oceans. Of interest is here that in the open ocean system, a new equilibrium between CO2 influxes and outfluxes for a 10% in DIC in the deep upwelling will be reached in 2-3 decades…

    The real, incontrovertible, observed data show that atmospheric CO2 is directly proportional to the integrated temperature anomaly.

    The same real, incontrovertible, observed data show that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is directly proportional to the human emissions and the variability is caused by the temperature variability (only the latter needs some better work-out).

    Any theory that shows a good correlation is proven spurious if it violates one and only one observation. Your theory violates a lot of observations:

    - It violates the mass balance, where an increase of 140 ppmv by human emissions disappears in an unknown sink, without leaving a trace (as mass) in the atmosphere.
    - It violates Henry’s Law, where an increase of 0.6°C only gives an increase of maximum 10 ppmv in the atmosphere to get the old (dis)equilibrium in CO2 fluxes back to the same values.
    - It violates the Le Châtelier Principle, as your formula doesn’t take in consideration any negative feedback that counters the disturbance caused by an extra injection of CO2.
    - It violates the isotope balance as observed in the atmosphere and ocean surface layer.
    - Both the oceans and the biosphere are proven sinks for CO2. There is no known natural source for 70 ppmv extra CO2 in 50 years time.

    You are not the first (and surely not the last) who attributes a good correlation to the wrong variable…

  200. “The same real, incontrovertible, observed data show that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is directly proportional to the human emissions and the variability is caused by the temperature variability (only the latter needs some better work-out).”

    NO IT DOES NOT!!!!! The phase does not match up!!!!!

    You are completely unglued from reality, Ferdinand, and this is now becoming insulting. The view count to my phase comparison shows zero, i.e., you have not even looked. You are just living in your own reality walled off from the world, and making things up as you go along. Be that way.

  201. Bart says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Come on Bart, your theory violates at least four laws of physics and has no known natural source for the increase in CO2. My theory does have problems with the variability of the increase, which is +/- 3% around the trend, but explains the trend and all known observations. That seems a little more realistic to me than the fact that the variability around the trend is for 60% explained by your theory.

    As said before, I am working on that problem, but Dr Tans of NOAA used a response function for temperature anomalies, lasting a few years, which looks much better than my dT/dt response. See:
    http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf slides 19 and 20. Thus your last straw(man) is sinking.

  202. BTW,

    The view count to my phase comparison shows zero, i.e., you have not even looked.

    I did have a look, even several times (and even now two times), so I decided that I should see how to improve that part of the equation, but haven’t done any work on that yet. But the counter still shows zero views…

  203. The only violation of physics is in your belief that CO2 can be continually pumped up from the ocean depths and a static equilibrium established instantaneously with no equal downwelling taking it back out again.

    Dr. Tan has artfully manipulated the data, but his hypothesis is notably ad hoc. He has created a resonance response which will provide the necessary gain and phase shift for the dominant 2-year oscillation, while attenuating the longer term trend. But, that trend happens to integrate precisely into the curvature of the observed CO2, so throwing it away is arbitrary and capricious. If you knew more about systems theory, you would realize how contrived his argument is, and that is: very.

    It is always possible to pile things higher and deeper with improbable assumptions and artifices, but experience tells us that, in general, the likeliest explanation is the simplest one. And, the obvious explanation here, which agrees with all the data, is that the rate of change of CO2 is proportional to the temperature anomaly.

  204. Bart says:
    July 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    The only violation of physics is in your belief that CO2 can be continually pumped up from the ocean depths and a static equilibrium established instantaneously with no equal downwelling taking it back out again.

    Bart, the direct application of Henry’s Law and the influence of changes in pCO2 of the atmosphere shows that any significant change in concentration of the deep ocean upwelling or any change in temperature of the upper oceans is fully compensated in a few decades, back to equilibrium between the in- and outfluxes, even without help of the human emissions. That includes an increase in throughput between upwelling and downwelling areas for any increase in DIC from the deep oceans (whatever that caused). And a simple increase of pCO2 in the atmosphere for a temperature increase gets the fluxes back to what they were before the temperature increase.

    Henry’s Law only shows an increase of 16 ppmv for a global increase of 1°C in sea surface temperature, not 70 ppmv. Thus your attribution of the 70 ppmv trend to a temperature increase is spurious, violates a lot of physical laws and doesn’t fit any other period in time. Your formula doesn’t take into account the change in in/outfluxes caused by the change of pCO2 in the atmosphere…

    You are so overfocused on the look-alike of the trends, that you forget that another, more likely variable, does match the same trend for the full 160-year period without the introduction of unknown and not observed second-order processes.

    It is quite logical that Pieter Tans eliminated the longer term influence of temperature: that influence is maximum 10 ppmv (probably halve of that) for the past 50 years and thus less than 0.2 ppmv/year in the rate of change. Hardly measurable.

    the likeliest explanation is the simplest one.

    The simplest explanation is that the trend is caused by the 2x higher human emissions and that the variability in the sink rate for the other halve of the human emissions is caused by a temperature related process.
    That also fits all other observations beyond the CO2 rate of change and trends, while your explanation violates several of them.

  205. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

    “…the direct application of Henry’s Law and the influence of changes in pCO2 of the atmosphere shows that any significant change in concentration of the deep ocean upwelling or any change in temperature of the upper oceans is fully compensated in a few decades…”

    Nonsense. You are applying Henry’s Law inappropriately and, most egregiously, violating conservation of mass.

    “Henry’s Law only shows an increase of 16 ppmv for a global increase of 1°C in sea surface temperature, not 70 ppmv. “

    Nonsense. A) This is based on your estimate from unreliable and unverifiable ice core data history B) it isn’t atmosphere to sea surface temperature which matters for this particular mechanism, but atmosphere to upwelling ocean water.

    “It is quite logical that Pieter Tans eliminated the longer term influence of temperature…”

    It is arbitrary and capricious, and it makes no sense when the slope perfectly matches the slope of the CO2 rate of change. The quality of the work at the link you provided is, to be kind, very poor. Fundamentally, all he is doing is applying a bandpass filter to the data, and saying “see, the bandpass filter isolates a particular frequency range in the data.” Trivially true, but this isn’t in any way extraordinary or groundbreaking – bandpass filtering principles have been known for centuries, since at least the time London actuaries first started applying filters to sift through mortality data to determine appropriate insurance rates. And, it has no compelling relationship to the problem at hand – it is the equivalent of twisting a lead pipe into a knot, noting that it looks like a pretzel, and concluding that pretzel bakers were responsible for the lead pipe.

    “Hardly measurable.”

    Very evident, rather, in the deviation from linearity of the CO2 concentration.

    “The simplest explanation is that the trend is caused by the 2x higher human emissions…”

    Occam’s Razor specifies the simplest explanation which agrees with all the observations is generally the correct one. It is effectively a statement of probability – the more items which are required to operate as specified to make your concept work, the less likely they are to work successfully in concert, as the probability of success decreases geometrically. Because the rate of change of CO2 is proportional to temperature anomaly, your explanation does not work, and is therefore disqualified.

  206. Bart says:
    July 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Nonsense. You are applying Henry’s Law inappropriately and, most egregiously, violating conservation of mass.

    Bart, you obviously don’t know where you are talking about. Henry’s Law is that for a given temperature and salinity the ratio between CO2 in the atmosphere and in solution is fixed at equilibrium. If there is no equilibrium, the fluxes are in ratio with the (partial) pressure difference. That holds as good for the warm side as for the cold side. Thus any increase in the atmosphere will reduce the inflows at the upwelling side and increase the outflows at the downwelling side. After a few decades, the inflows and outflows are again in equilibrium, even with a continuous stream of increased CO2 at the upwelling side. That is very elementary physics, but that involves a term that doesn’t exist in your formula, as nothing points to the effect of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere on the flux rates as well as on the source side as on the sink side.
    And talking about conservation of mass, where does the human emissions go?

    Nonsense. A) This is based on your estimate from unreliable and unverifiable ice core data history B) it isn’t atmosphere to sea surface temperature which matters for this particular mechanism, but atmosphere to upwelling ocean water.

    A) This is based on the influence of temperature on the CO2 solubility of seawater, see:
    http://my.net-link.net/~malexan/Appendix%20B.htm Fig.2
    B) The deep ocean temperature is rather fixed around 5°C and didn’t change in the past decades (no “hidden” heat content increase found in the deep oceans), neither did the concentration change in such a short time. What changed is the surface temperature: a change of 0.4°C over 50 years. That gives an increase of a few ppmv: 20 ppmv for 5°C increase or 4 ppmv/°C at 380-400 ppmv, according to the solubility curve to get back into equilibrium, but as the deep ocean upwelling is richer in CO2, the real pCO2 of the ocean surface can reach 750 microatm with the higher local temperature, thus a extra higher temperature will have a higher effect, but decreasing over time. Still far from the 70 ppmv you expect…

    It is arbitrary and capricious, and it makes no sense when the slope perfectly matches the slope of the CO2 rate of change.

    Again: a completely spurious correlation for the trend part, not based on any known physical process…
    The influence of temperature is limited in time and effect: maximum a few decades for a temperature change of 1°C and maximum 16 ppmv, completely surpassed by the human emissions in less than 4 years.

    Occam’s Razor specifies the simplest explanation which agrees with all the observations is generally the correct one.

    Your explanation violates a lot of observations: the mass balance, the d13C levels, Henry’s Law, Le Châtelier’s principle and the observation that the oceans are a net sink for CO2. Proven wrong on at least these 5 points. Mine matches the trend and all other observations, only needs a better explanation of the temperature dependent variability of the sinkrate…

  207. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    “Bart, you obviously don’t know where you are talking about.”

    Wow, if that isn’t severe projection!

    “After a few decades, the inflows and outflows are again in equilibrium…”

    You have ZERO basis for that timeline. All the data indicate otherwise, including those provided by your links.

    “That gives an increase of a few ppmv: 20 ppmv for 5°C increase or 4 ppmv/°C at 380-400 ppmv, according to the solubility curve to get back into equilibrium…”

    You just don’t get it. There is a continuous pipeline of CO2 rich water upwelling. You can equilibrate with some elemental volume coming up in a discrete packet, but in this case, the packets keep on coming. And, they do not stop until such a time as you have as much CO2 continuously downwelling as you do upwelling. To insist, as you do, that equilibrium ensues regardless of the balance of inflow and outflow is a gross violation of mass balance principles.

    “Again: a completely spurious correlation for the trend part, not based on any known physical process…”

    Again, you cannot just pick and choose which parts to keep, and which to throw away, based on your predetermined conclusion. This is circular reasoning – that part is “spurious” because it would indicate insignificant human contribution to the overall CO2 level, and there is significant human contribution because those parts you don’t like are “spurious”.

    You have stood the scientific method on its head. You adapt your hypothesis to fit the data, NOT the data to fit the hypothesis!!!

    Furthermore, I have given you a physical process to explain it which you stubbornly refuse to understand or countenance: continuous deep ocean upwelling.

    “Your explanation violates a lot of observations: the mass balance, the d13C levels, Henry’s Law, Le Châtelier’s principle and the observation that the oceans are a net sink for CO2.”

    YOUR explanation does all that. In particular, your jejune invocation of Le Châtelier’s principle could as easily be turned around to say that the system will resist human inputs, the only difference being that is precisely what the data tell us it is doing!

  208. Bart says:
    July 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    And, they do not stop until such a time as you have as much CO2 continuously downwelling as you do upwelling.

    Bart, can’t you read? That is exactly what I have shown: With only 16 ppmv increase (or less, according to the solubility graphs) in the atmosphere, there is a decrease in CO2 inflow and an increase in CO2 outflow, sufficient to bring these two back into equilibrium, for a 1°C temperature increase, regardless of the initial deep ocean upwelling.
    There is no influence from an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere in your formula, thus no feedback resisting the injection of extra CO2 (that is Le Châtelier’s principle) and therefore you can have any unlimited increase in CO2 from a small increase in temperature which doesn’t exist in the real world.

    because it would indicate insignificant human contribution to the overall CO2 level

    There is anyway a significant contribution of humanity, directly injected into the atmosphere, at twice the observed increase. Any significant contribution from a natural process múst me compensated by a siginificant sink process that removes halve the human emissions + the natural contribution in total mass, or you are violating the overall mass balance. In that case, the oceans need to remove more CO2 than the natural contribution delivers to the atmosphere. Which is what is observed. Thus an extra input from the deep oceans is mainly more circulation through the atmosphere and has a limited influence on the observed increase.

    YOUR explanation does all that. In particular, your jejune invocation of Le Châtelier’s principle could as easily be turned around to say that the system will resist human inputs, the only difference being that is precisely what the data tell us it is doing!

    The carbon cycle system will resist all extra inputs, no matter if that is from the deep oceans or from human emissions, in the same way, as the system doesn’t differentiate between the origin of the extra CO2. In all cases, the increase in the atmosphere reduces the oceanic releases (but can’t do that for human emissions or bacterial decay of vegetation) and increases the oceanic and land vegetation uptake. But that mechanism is exactly what lacks in your formula.
    For the rest, you have no known sink for the human emissions and the ocean influx is too high in d13C to be the cause of the increase…

  209. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    “With only 16 ppmv increase (or less, according to the solubility graphs) in the atmosphere, there is a decrease in CO2 inflow and an increase in CO2 outflow, sufficient to bring these two back into equilibrium, for a 1°C temperature increase, regardless of the initial deep ocean upwelling.”

    A temperature rise decreases the outflow. As temperatures rise, the ocean releases CO2, so it carries less CO2 down. That creates an imbalance with what is upwelling, which is a quantity fixed hundreds of years ago by the conditions which prevailed when the water first downwelled. And, that imbalance integrates over time, so it builds up. And, that is why we have an integral relationship between temperature and CO2.

    You do not know what the conditions under which the currently upwelling waters downwelled. You cannot even say when they downwelled with any precision. Whatever those conditions were, you are not going to match the upwelling with the same downwelling until equivalent conditions prevail today (and, I mean equivalent in the sense of partial pressures and temperatures which produce an equivalent downwelling). Since you cannot know these things, you cannot know what conditions are required today to establish equilibrium between the upflow and the downflow.

    No matter how much you wave your arms, and claim to know the unknowable, the data indicate that we are nowhere near such an equilibrium.

    “There is anyway a significant contribution of humanity, directly injected into the atmosphere, at twice the observed increase.”

    Circulus in probando. You are begging the question.

    “Any significant contribution from a natural process múst me compensated by a siginificant sink process that removes halve the human emissions + the natural contribution in total mass, or you are violating the overall mass balance.”

    You do not have a complete inventory of the sinks and their capacities or their elasticity. If you recall, that was exactly an aspect of the problem which was being addressed by the article to which this thread is attached.

    “But that mechanism is exactly what lacks in your formula.”

    Not at all. It is quantified by the time constant tau in

    dCO2/dt = -CO2/tau + K*(T – To)

    The data inform us that tau is very large, so that limiting effects are not discernible in the ~54 year record we have available.

  210. BTW,

    “In all cases, the increase in the atmosphere reduces the oceanic releases (but can’t do that for human emissions or bacterial decay of vegetation) and increases the oceanic and land vegetation uptake.”

    Here is a good English word for you: fungible. No matter the source, the oceans will be forced to absorb the same net CO2 from the atmospheric partial pressure increase, so it makes no difference. The sources are fungible, and you must treat them equivalently.

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