Earth’s CO2 sinks increasing their uptake

Readers may recall these WUWT stories:  Earth’s biosphere boomingCalifornia’s giant redwoods inconveniently respond to increased carbon dioxide, and Forget deforestation: The world’s woodland is getting denser and change could help combat climate change. NASA satellite imagery pointed this out long ago.

Now confirmation from another source: From the University of Colorado at Boulder

The SeaWiFS instrument aboard the Seastar satellite has been collecting ocean data since 1997. By monitoring the color of reflected light via satellite, scientists can determine how successfully plant life is photosynthesizing. A measurement of photosynthesis is essentially a measurement of successful growth, and growth means successful use of ambient carbon. This animation shows an average of 10 years worth of SeaWiFS data. Dark blue represents warmer areas where there tends to be a lack of nutrients, and greens and reds represent cooler nutrient-rich areas which support life. The nutrient-rich areas include coastal regions where cold water rises from the sea floor bringing nutrients along and areas at the mouths of rivers where the rivers have brought nutrients into the ocean from the land.

Earth absorbing more carbon, even as CO2 emissions rise, says CU-Boulder-led study

Planet’s carbon uptake doubles in past 50 years, researchers ponder how long trend can continue

Despite sharp increases in carbon dioxide emissions by humans in recent decades that are warming the planet, Earth’s vegetation and oceans continue to soak up about half of them, according to a surprising new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The study, led by CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Ashley Ballantyne, looked at global CO2 emissions reports from the past 50 years and compared them with rising levels of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere during that time, primarily because of fossil fuel burning. The results showed that while CO2 emissions had quadrupled, natural carbon “sinks” that sequester the greenhouse gas doubled their uptake in the past 50 years, lessening the warming impacts on Earth’s climate. 

“What we are seeing is that the Earth continues to do the heavy lifting by taking up huge amounts of carbon dioxide, even while humans have done very little to reduce carbon emissions,” said Ballantyne. “How long this will continue, we don’t know.”

A paper on the subject will be published in the Aug. 2 issue of Nature. Co-authors on the study include CU-Boulder Professor Jim White, CU-Boulder doctoral student Caroline Alden and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists John Miller and Pieter Tans. Miller also is a research associate at the CU-headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

According to Alden, the trend of sinks gulping atmospheric carbon cannot continue indefinitely. “It’s not a question of whether or not natural sinks will slow their uptake of carbon, but when,” she said.

“We’re already seeing climate change happen despite the fact that only half of fossil fuel emissions stay in the atmosphere while the other half is drawn down by the land biosphere and oceans,” Alden said. “If natural sinks saturate as models predict, the impact of human emissions on atmospheric CO2 will double.”

Ballantyne said recent studies by others have suggested carbon sinks were declining in some areas of the globe, including parts of the Southern Hemisphere and portions of the world’s oceans. But the new Nature study showed global CO2 uptake by Earth’s sinks essentially doubled from 1960 to 2010, although increased variations from year-to-year and decade-to-decade suggests some instability in the global carbon cycle, he said.

White, who directs CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, likened the increased pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere to a car going full throttle. “The faster we go, the more our car starts to shake and rattle,” he said. “If we drive 100 miles per hour, it is going to shake and rattle a lot more because there is a lot more instability, so it’s probably time to back off the accelerator,” he said. “The same is true with CO2 emissions.”

The atmospheric CO2 levels were measured at 40 remote sites around the world by researchers from NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., including stations at the South Pole and on the Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii.

Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes, said Ballantyne. “When carbon sinks become carbon sources, it will be a very critical time for Earth,” said Ballantyne. “We don’t see any evidence of that yet, but it’s certainly something we should be looking for.”

“It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”

Despite the enormous uptake of carbon by the planet, CO2 in the atmosphere has climbed from about 280 parts per million just prior to the Industrial Revolution to about 394 parts per million today, and the rate of increase is speeding up. The global average of atmospheric CO2 is expected to reach 400 ppm by 2016, according to scientists.

The team used several global CO2 emissions reports for the Nature study, including one by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. They concluded that about 350 billion tons of carbon — the equivalent of roughly 1 trillion tons of CO2 — had been emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning and land use changes from 1959 to 2010, with just over half moving into sinks on land or in the oceans.

According to the study, the scientists observed decreased CO2 uptake by Earth’s land and oceans in the 1990s, followed by increased CO2 sequestering by the planet from 2000 to 2010. “Seeing such variation from decade to decade tells us that we need to observe Earth’s carbon cycle for significantly longer periods in order to help us understand what is occurring,” said Ballantyne.

Scientists also are concerned about the increasing uptake of CO2 by the world’s oceans, which is making them more acidic. Dissolved CO2 changes seawater chemistry by forming carbonic acid that is known to damage coral, the fundamental structure of coral reef ecosystems that harbor 25 percent of the world’s fish species.

The study was funded by the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation and NOAA.

A total of 33.6 billion tons of CO2 were emitted globally in 2010, climbing to 34.8 billion tons in 2011, according to the International Energy Agency. Federal budget cuts to U.S. carbon cycle research are making it more difficult to measure and understand both natural and human influences on the carbon cycle, according to the research team.

“The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely. When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”

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235 thoughts on “Earth’s CO2 sinks increasing their uptake

  1. Wait till the cooling from this Grand Minimum kicks the ocean temperature down a notch or 2. When the oceans start absorbing more CO2 it should fall to the dismay of the plants and the warmists.

  2. The authors have provided so much speculation and fact-free comparisons (. . . likened the increased pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere to a car going full throttle.) that science suffers in the telling.

    It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.

    out of equilibrium

    I wonder what and when equilibrium was?

  3. “Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes,”

    This is a load of hooey, ……

    “The good news is nature is helping us out” . Translation; we haven’t got clue one.

  4. “According to the study, the scientists observed decreased CO2 uptake by Earth’s land and oceans in the 1990s, followed by increased CO2 sequestering by the planet from 2000 to 2010″

    During the 90s and up to 2000 the oceans were gaining energy as a result of more sunlight reaching the oceans during a period of reducing global cloudiness. That reduced their capacity to hold CO2 so the rate of uptake decreased.

    After about 2000 cloudiness began to increase, ocean energy gain seems to have stopped and they now say that uptake has been increasing since 2000 which suggests that the oceans may now be cooling.

    The above scenario is consistent with ocean temperature changes being in control of CO2 amounts in the air and not human emissions.

    Furthermore the above extract appears inconsistent with:

    “natural carbon “sinks” that sequester the greenhouse gas doubled their uptake in the past 50 years”

    So which is it:

    i) A decrease in uptake up to 2000 then a rise in uptake since then

    or

    ii) A doubling of uptake over the past 50 years.

    or possibly they mean that despite the 90s decrease the trend over 50 years has been a doubling ?

    Either way the ocean would be in control because of the cooling period of the 50’s 60s and 70s which would have naturally increased the ocean uptake due to lower ocean temperatures.

    The cooler oceans pre 1990 plus the cooler oceans since 2000 must have more than offset the effect of the warming oceans in the 90s for a net doubling of uptake over the 50 year period despite the reduction in uptake of the 90s.

    Looks like atmospheric CO2 could be tightly related to ocean SSTS as modulated by the positive or negative Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation with a longer term solar induced ocean warming trend in the background as we recover from the low levels of solar activity of the Maunder Minimum and Little Ice Age.

    Thus there may well be proportionately large natural swings in atmospheric CO2 between times such as the MWP and LIA and the current warm period but for some reason it is hardly picked up by the ice core record at all but picked up slightly better (but not completely) by the stomata record.
    Maybe it is all completely natural ?

  5. From the abstract:

    Although approximately one-half of total CO2 emissions is at present taken up by combined land and ocean carbon reservoirs[2], models predict a decline in future carbon uptake by these reservoirs, resulting in a positive carbon–climate feedback[3]. Several recent studies suggest that rates of carbon uptake by the land[4, 5, 6] and ocean[7, 8, 9, 10] have remained constant or declined in recent decades. Other work, however, has called into question the reported decline[11, 12, 13]

    Will be interesting to read. The abstract sounds much less alarming than the press release.

  6. After all, the CO2 we are releasing into the atmosphere is not new but recycled. Why should not the carbon cycle react to the increasing levels as it has in the past? I really do not see why it would not. Just think of the early Carboniferous when CO2 levels were much higher than today. Huge amounts of Limestone were deposited to remove the excess CO2 and large deposits of coal removed carbon from the atmosphere. Rather than the greenhouse effect taking over, an Ice Age started in the late Carboniferous! In fact compared to other geologic times, the earth’s current atmosphere is CO2 impoverished. Just think of the methane and CO2 levels in the Precambrian. The earth did not heat up and destroy itself, plant activity was stimulated, extracting CO2 and pumping oxygen into the atmosphere.

  7. According to Alden, the trend of sinks gulping atmospheric carbon cannot continue indefinitely. “It’s not a question of whether or not natural sinks will slow their uptake of carbon, but when,” she said.

    “We’re already seeing climate change happen despite the fact that only half of fossil fuel emissions stay in the atmosphere while the other half is drawn down by the land biosphere and oceans,” Alden said. “If natural sinks saturate as models predict, the impact of human emissions on atmospheric CO2 will double.”

    It is sad that a researcher cannot find something they didn’t know about or fully understand, and then turn right around and say that if the new fact were not true, things would be worse than they are. It must be very hard on these people to continuously have their core believe system attacked from all sides.

  8. “What we are seeing is that the Earth continues to do the heavy lifting by taking up huge amounts of carbon dioxide, even while humans have done very little to reduce carbon emissions,” said Ballantyne. “How long this will continue, we don’t know.”

    Uh huh, we provide the food, the plants respond by growing. And considering that we are, geologically speaking, living in a period of extreme poverty of atmospheric CO2, the more we get into the atmosphere, the better.

  9. “Planet’s carbon uptake doubles in past 50 years…”

    The reason for this is that plants are growing quicker, bigger and are able to resist disease better. They are also less prone to drought problems as at higher levels of CO2 they use water more efficiently.

    What’s the betting that these ‘saviours of the planet’ double their carbon uptake once again, but in just half the historic period, or 25 years? We just need to keep burning as much fossil fuel as possible to help them achieve this goal. Thriving vegetation is a prerequisite of a thriving, diverse biosphere. We need to celebrate the extra CO2, not denigrate it.

  10. A couple hundred million years of non saturating carbon sinks vs. one wild-assed guess that there is such an event. Guess who has burden of proof?

  11. “The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely. When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”,

    This is one of the most idiotic statements I’ve seen in quite a while. This professor of geology ought to talk to his colleagues in the biology department about how CO2 concentrations are not far above starvation levels for plants.

  12. I’m amazed at what the esteemed Dr Ballantyne seems to be saying by this comment: “It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”

    Does that mean that he thinks that carbon is created from burning fossil fuels? He seems to be confusing carbon compounds. I thought the big beef the warmists had was with CO2, not C as an element. If it’s carbon they want to eliminate then I think we’re all done for.

  13. If they are right, there is a lag and mother nature will catch up and start sequestering CO2 like crazy.

    If the whole world jumped ont he shale gas bandwagon and cut CO2 by 40% (due to gas producing less CO2 per joule of energy), CO2 would go down.

    I wonder if there is an opposite lag? Would CO2 drop to low levels for a while?

  14. Quoting Ashely Ballantyne: “But the new Nature study showed global CO2 uptake by Earth’s sinks essentially doubled from 1960 to 2010, although increased variations from year-to-year and decade-to-decade suggests some instability in the global carbon cycle, he said.”

    No Ash, despite your beliefs, variability (what you describe here) does not immediately imply instability. Demonstrate for me a divergent trend (and no, not with a simplistic model), and then we can discuss instability. I swear, climate scientists should have to pass advanced control systems courses to get their credentials, because not enough understand the facts about closed loop systems and how we measure/quantify their performance.

  15. @orkneylad – well phrased. “CO2 we are releasing into the atmosphere is not new but recycled”
    This means that the WORLD survived the huge amount of CO2 or we wouldn’t be here.

    “Recycled” gets a new meaning ;-)

  16. If people are only adding 3-5% of the total amount of CO2 to the total load each year, and all the carbon sinks have doubled their uptake, seems to me the CO2 concentration should be dropping. Or have all the natural sources of CO2 also doubled their output?
    To claim that the CO2 sinks are probably very near their saturation point and imply that mankind is nearing the brink of extinction at any moment now doesn’t square with history. The carbon sinks managed to gobble up all the extra CO2 even when the world was at 6000ppm and life continued to flourish.

  17. So human emissions have quadrupled in the last 50 years and human emissions account for less than 4% of the total CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Yet, carbon sinks have doubled their intake of CO2 in general, or just doubled the intake of human emitted CO2? Smart sinks?

  18. “Despite sharp increases in carbon dioxide emissions by humans in recent decades that are warming the planet, …”

    It makes me wanna puke if I read such an outright crap.

  19. Mathematically
    If X = mans CO2 output and Y = natures CO2 output and Z= natures CO2 sinks
    then net rise in CO2 = X +Y-Z
    since warmists imply that all the increase in CO2 is due to man and the world would be at equilibrium if not for man, then Y =Z.

    Now if X increases to at most only .05 of Y, but Z doubles, then
    .CO2 concentratiopn change -> 05Y +Y -2Z => 1.05Y – 2Y = -.95Y. CO2 would be dropping fast!

  20. It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”

    What would Tans call the chalk hills of shells of plankton/diatoms if not that they are a carbon sink? These diatoms add a large percentage of the oxygen to the atmosphere and in doing so sequester carbon in their shells which then sink to the bottom of the sea. Perhaps NOAA should have people get out a little and understand nature.

    The problem with the early world is that nature got too good at removing CO2 from the atmosphere and plants that used it for food suddenly found there was insufficient CO2.

  21. Although admitting that some CO2 will be taken up by increasing vegetation,
    I think the real chemistry for “carbon sinking” is a bit different.
    Remember there are giga tons and giga tons of carbonate dissolved in the oceans, mostly as bicarbonate.
    In the past, due to warming, we had
    (more) heat + HCO3- => CO2 (g) + OH- (outgassing)
    I calculate that overall warming started just about seriously when regular CO2 monitoring began. (Manoa Loa)
    Most recently, due to cooling, since 1995 (as viewed by energy input: maxima)
    or since ca. 1998 (as viewed by energy out put from earth: means)
    the situation will change:
    (more) cold + CO2 + 2H2O => HCO3- + H3O+
    The carbon dioxide is simply sinking (=dissolving) in the oceans.
    To prove that this is true watch the NOAA station (Burrow, Barrow?) that is monitoring CO2 in ALASKA: the CO2 has been flat for quite some time.
    Note my results for Anchorage, in the tables, here

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    it is beginning to look a bit frightening is it not?

  22. A paper referenced by WUWT
    So Dinosaurs Could Fly ! – Part I
    Posted on June 2, 2012 by Anthony Watts
    estimated sequestered CO2 in limestone at 2.9E20 kg which is 290 thousand trillion tons.
    At 35 billion tons per year, the earth has already sequestered 8 million years worth of anthropogenic CO2.
    I won’t bother to go into the amount which is sequestered in tar, oil and gas deposits since that estimated number seems to be increasing almost daily
    From the post:
    “The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely. When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”

    Of the three quoted sentences I agree with the first and third, especially the third. IF photosynthesis stops, we are in so much trouble that I would not worry about whether or not limestone deposition continued.

  23. Surely part of this “Carbon Sink” process is how we got oil and gas buried deep underground in the first place!

    Billions of marine micro-organisms take carbon from the atmosphere/ocean to make their bodies and then die, sink to the bottom of the ocean, get covered by sediments and in a “few” million years, OIL!! (We did this at junior school! Anyone remember the Carbon Cycle?)

    Unless someone goes and disturbs these deep sea sediments I’d guess that we’ve got a near infinite sink capability….

    Just think of it as laying down future reserves….

  24. Not quite new !
    Wolf Knorr (Bristol UK) published a paper : (7 Nov. 2009).

    Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21710, doi:10.1029/2009GL040613.

    The answer is NO. The airborne fraction is the same from at least 1850…

  25. Sounds to me like we might be saving our planet’s O2 producing vegetation and our primary food sources by driving bigger SUVs and trucks as well as staving off the coming glaciation! Think I’ll change our house over from propane to coal heating, probably cheaper too.

  26. Observations that disagree with computer models are not helpful.

    Computer models all agree that the warming oceans sequester less CO2. It is obvious to the most expert ecologist that:
    1. The warming land harms plant growth.
    2.
    3. The warming land increases methane-belching insect populations.
    4. The warming ocean causes more intense or more frequent cyclones, which release CO2 from the oceans.
    This is all based on peer-reviewed, consensus-based cluster modeling.

    None of the computer model ‘observational data’ agrees with in-the-field instrument-based observations. Therefore, it is clear that the field observations are wrong and require adjustments.
    QED

    /sarc

  27. For a better perspective of Carbon Dioxide Sources and Carbon Dioxide Sinks this key peer-reviewed, and never really refuted, scientific paper puts things in perspective. It reveals that the Western Hemisphere sequesters more than all the CO2 that Nature or Man emits combined on those continents.

    If Eurasia emits net CO2, its Eurasia’s problem not ours.

    The Greens at WWF, Sierrra Club, UCS, yadda, yadda should go hector them and and stop wasting our time. Our bio-sequestration has finished the “work” these eco-know-nothings wanted, long before they even supposedly recognized a need to do anything. That’s waht happens when you do planned flora & fauna husbandry, growing plants for food, fiber, lumber, paper and forage.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/282/5388/442.abstract

  28. I agree with Henry P on this issue.

    Temperature linked variation in the net absorption activity of the oceans dwarfs every other aspect of the carbon cycle.

    The variability of the sea surface temperatures on mutidecadal and centennial timescales is only now becoming appreciated.

    The atmospheric CO2 effects of such variability have not thus far been fully incorporated into descriptions of the carbon cycle.

  29. alcheson says:
    August 2, 2012 at 8:31 am
    Mathematically
    If X = mans CO2 output and Y = natures CO2 output and Z= natures CO2 sinks
    then net rise in CO2 = X +Y-Z
    since warmists imply that all the increase in CO2 is due to man and the world would be at equilibrium if not for man, then Y =Z.

    Now if X increases to at most only .05 of Y, but Z doubles, then
    .CO2 concentratiopn change -> 05Y +Y -2Z => 1.05Y – 2Y = -.95Y. CO2 would be dropping fast!

    But as they’ve told you Z has increased by X/2 and therefore CO2 increases at a rate of ~X/2.

    Since the major sink is absorption by the oceans which is governed by Henry’s Law you’d expect CO2 absorption proportionally with the increase in CO2. This will not continue if the water temperature goes up, for the ocean the concentration dissolved in equilibrium with the atmosphere will halve for a 16 K increase in temperature.

  30. The new Greenpeace slogan:

    Cut back on your CO2 emissions and kill a tree!
    You know it makes sense…

  31. Starting from false premises the “researchers” have built a worse-than-Rube-Goldberg climate model, searched unceasingly for model runs that “proved” they were right, and then the universe refuses to behave. It’s enough to make one lie on the floor and kick ones feet while screaming.

  32. Tomorrow’s Fishwrap of Record newspaper below the fold story:
    “NYC Mayor Bloomberg repeals his ban on super size cups used for CO2 Big Gulps … upholds restriction on hospital issued baby formula citing importance of all available empty baby bottles for use as CO2 sinks … reassures public his drastic measures will stop sea from rising & acidic water won’t get into elevator shafts eating the cables … “

  33. We keep reading these obvious and repetitive findings, often contradictory to the conclusion, cloaked in alarmist jargon. One begins to wonder if these scientists are really as intellectually mundane as they appear.

  34. He he he he !!!

    Stay focused! What are they really saying and why do they express themseves as they do?

    They admit 1. That there is an unbalance in the earth carbon sinks and that there are
    2 “some natural sources and 3 They DONT relate the level of co2 in the atmosfhere to temperature it self. They are simply trying to create another interpretaion af what Murry Salby discovered and the pure “hit the bullshit botton” is this::

    “It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”

    Well you know temperature itself does that and when theese “scientists” can calculate at what temperature the global sinks is in “eqilibrium” they are wecome , because they dont have a clue what they are talkning about or how the “natural processes work” or how much of the co2 increase comes from humans or natural. skeight “unbalance” in the natural corbon sinks

    This is what they are aware ofand trying to get around but doesnt sucëed:

  35. Just a reminder CIRES is involved in USGCRP 2012-2021 report on using education and the social sciences and communication to redesign the American economy anyway, whatever the temps. I suspect that means our students and the average citizen listening to the nightly news will hear lots more about “shaking and rattling” and “pushed out of equilibrium.”

    The scientific illiteracy and fallacies being officially encouraged and mandated via Common Core will help spread the sense of popular alarm. I can also guarantee none of you will like the math activities being developed for the Common Core by the Freudenthal Institute which has relocated there. I do not think there are very many scientists on board with Realistic Mathematics and its accessible to all emphasis.

    The 3 most prevalent points you read in all the blueprints I have read on restructuring the economy around sustainability and educating for sustainability as a core component of getting the US ready for our designed new future always are these:

    1) the Earth’s climate is a closed system;
    2) nature wants to be in equilibrium and policies must aid that be they economic or climate or biodiversity (that one always seems to forget that wayward meteor); and
    3) the 2nd law of thermodynamics (usually mentioned just like that).

    Doesn’t it make you feel good to know those are the foundations for gutting the transmission of knowledge and centrally planning a society and an economy and monitoring and restricting individual behaviors?

  36. From this post:
    “The study, led by CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Ashley Ballantyne, looked at global CO2 emissions reports from the past 50 years and compared them with rising levels of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere during that time, primarily because of fossil fuel burning. The results showed that while CO2 emissions had quadrupled, natural carbon “sinks” that sequester the greenhouse gas doubled their uptake in the past 50 years, lessening the warming impacts on Earth’s climate. ”
    Since anthropogenic CO2 is only a few percent of the carbon cycle, if the carbon sinks had doubled their uptake, they would have cleansed the atmosphere of CO2 in fairly short order. If Ballantyne meant sinks that sequester only anthropogenic CO2 , I would be very interested in the nature of those sinks and the mechanism by which they identify anthropogenic CO2. My first reaction is that this “postdoctoral researcher” either lacks sufficient language skills to express thoughts or lacks the cognitive ability to place those thoughts in a broader perspective.
    Of course it is possible that Ballantyne was taken out of context by whoever put the post on the university web site. I, however, would think that anyone would want to proofread a story before it was published.

  37. …Despite sharp increases in carbon dioxide emissions by humans in recent decades that are warming the planet,….

    They lost me right there. Humans are tagged with about 3% of the total emissions and there is no evidence of those human CO2 emissions actually causing any warming.

    Papers that start off with deliberately misleading statements like the above should not make it past the editor’s wastepaper basket. Universities that encourage this type of deceit should have their tax payer funds cut off and be publicly pilloried by the rest of the scientific community.

    I am really getting sick and tired of “Post-Normal” aka propaganda pseudo-science. One has no way of knowing how badly the paper, methods and data have been corrupted by the very evident political bias.

  38. They don’t know how the sinks work but they are obsessed with the belief that the sinks are going to fail real soon now. This is an irrational industry that would not exist without government handouts.

  39. They concluded that about 350 billion tons of carbon — the equivalent of roughly 1 trillion tons of CO2 — had been emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning and land use changes from 1959 to 2010

    1 trillion tons over 50 years sounds like a lot, but every year 0.75 trillion tons (750 Gt) are released into the atmosphere (and re-absorbed by carbon sinks) from natural sources.

  40. Jim G says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Sounds to me like we might be saving our planet’s O2 producing vegetation and our primary food sources by driving bigger SUVs and trucks as well as staving off the coming glaciation! …
    __________________________________
    That deserves a bumper sticker

    SAVE the PLANTS: BURN COAL

  41. “The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely. When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”

    These Boulder people are obviously hell-bent on getting Californian electricity prices. How many alarmist quotes can they cram into a press release. It diminishes my opinion of todays institutionalized science another notch. Fire them all. You can’t afford them anyway, and they’re not only useless, they’re harmful.

    speaking from Germany… another hellhole populated by crazy warmist parasites, I know…

  42. he said. “If we drive 100 miles per hour, it is going to shake and rattle a lot more because there is a lot more instability

    I wonder what sort of junker this guy drives… I’d recommend checking the tire pressures, getting the wheels balanced, and check for separated belts in the tires.

  43. Where does this notion of the sinks “saturating” come from? The atmosphere is the smallest of the main carbon pools. You could think of the system of carbon pools as a set of communicating vessels, with the atmosphere being the smallest (thinnest) of them by a large margin. The amount being added through fossil fuel combustion is rather minuscule in comparison with the total in the system. The leveling out of these vessels may be a bit delayed, but you can be sure that most of whatever you add to the atmosphere will eventually have to move to the other, much larger pools (barring some very large increase in ocean temperatures). At current or similar temperatures, the oceans and the biosphere will continue to take most of the extra CO2 we add to the atmosphere. We couldn’t “saturate” them even if we wanted to. Does the author suppose that plants are scheming to go on a diet or a hunger strike of some kind? He seems to be making a big effort to spin things in the most alarmist way possible: Oh, yes, our friends the plants and the oceans are “helping us out” but if one day they get “fed up….”

    Yes, the oceans and the biosphere are taking more CO2 from the atmosphere than before, simply because there is more of it available. And yes, they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And there is nothing particularly surprising about any of this.

  44. Henry@Stephen Wilde
    Thx for ur comment earlier. What do you think of my lastest tables and what I conclude from them? Warm rgrds. H

  45. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I agree with Henry P on this issue.

    Temperature linked variation in the net absorption activity of the oceans dwarfs every other aspect of the carbon cycle….
    _____________________________

    Do not forget the work of Fred H. Haynie a Retired Environmental Scientist who worked for the EPA. This is his detailed CO2 data analysis @ http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf

    He finds evidence of the periodic nature of CO2 sequestering.

    Slide 54 shows a graph of the SST and CO2 relationship.

    Slides 28 – 34

    …The smooth fit data depicts the long term 308 year cycle that is common to all the carbon dioxide data as well as the sea ice extent data. It is evidence that the decreasing solubility in the Arctic ocean is the primary, if not the only cause of accumulation in atmospheric carbon dioxide. It affects organic and inorganic sources similarly.
    ____________________________________________
    This plot shows the effect of latitude on the Scripps measured isotope depletion. There is little, if any, seasonal effect in the Southern hemisphere. The seasonal effect in the Northern hemisphere increases with latitude. Latitude has no effect on the long term behavior in either hemisphere. The long term behavior is an indicator of the relative accumulation from organic sources, both natural and anthropogenic….
    _________________________________________
    I adjusted the measured values by factoring out the seasonal effect and slight line displacements between sites. Five sine wave cycles are statistically significant, accounting for better than 84% of the variability. The standard deviation is 0.023. The cycles in the regression are 307.9, 88, 19.98, 9, and 5.5 years. Three of these cycles are common with regression fits for concentrations of carbon dioxide….
    _______________________________________
    Scripps started collecting depletion index data at the south pole in 1977. I calculated the depleted fraction from the index and regressed it on the periods emissions data as well as the observed natural cycles. The natural cycles were annual, 9, 20, and 308 years. All of the natural cycles were statistically significant but emissions was not. The sign of its coefficient was negative and when included in the regression had the effect of reducing the significance of the 308 year cycle…

    Slide 42:

    Most of earth’s energy comes from the sun. SSTs are expected to be related to solar influx such as the reported 10.7 cm data. These data are linearly related to sun spot numbers that have been recorded as far back as 1750. I have calculated the logarithm of solar influx from sun spot numbers and determined the best statistical fit to data back to 1900 for three sine function cycles, each with one harmonic. These cycles are 10.6, 40.2, and 321.6 years. This regression accounts for nearly 88% of the variability. They are similar to the long term cycles calculated from the Greenland ice core data.

    And slide 36 :

    This analysis is strong evidence that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide have not measurably contributed to accumulation in the atmosphere. The half life of any carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a gas is short, a matter of days rather than years. It is readily adsorbed by an abundance of condensed moisture in clouds, fog, and dew. It readily reacts with basic materials such as limestone, slate, marble, concrete, and galvanized steel. It is returned to the atmosphere as a gas when moisture droplets evaporate. Much of it will go through many of these cycles before it returns to the ocean or reacts with some material on land. Of course plants consume carbon dioxide, but in a mature forest, they produce as much as they consume. The driving force for weather and resulting climate change is the temperature differences between the equatorial latitudes and the poles. Heat flows from hot to cold via wind and ocean currents. Most of that heat is transported as evaporated moisture. It gives up that heat when it condenses. Condensed moisture transports carbon dioxide toward the poles where it is readily sequestered by frigid sea water. Thus, the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide is a function of the integrated dew point (SSTs as proxies) differences between global sources and sinks. Ice core data, although inaccurate as to time and magnitude, strongly indicates that the relationship exists and is a natural process.

    I figure Hayne’s work was a nice break allowing the cleansing of the palette after reading the above nonscience tripe.

  46. So, U of C is a party school or what?

    Unless otherwise stated, which I didn’t see, it would be darn tough to have monitored the world’s carbon sinks for the period. So I assume that this result is based on modeling.

    GIGO fed into the PR system for announcing ‘new consensus science’ and voila! We are treated to an announcement that new research insists that A) Carbon sinks have doubled their uptake of CO2. B) Carbon sinks have saturation points which only man can cause.

    How odd, if there is a seriously major carbon sink, (aka oceans), that doubled it’s uptake of CO2 over the last half century, I would seriously consider this as proof that the oceans were cooling.

    So my takeaway from this research announcement (besides there must’ve been a lot of alcohol involved) is that there is NO AGW/CAGW because the oceans are definitively cooling in order to take up twice the CO2, not warming.

    Or, I suspect that the real reason for this PR release of research is that they’re constructing a priest hole, also known as an escape hole.

  47. “The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely.”

    A new warmie meme! Gaia as “exasperated altruist”…

  48. Phil. says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

    But as they’ve told you Z has increased by X/2 and therefore CO2 increases at a rate of ~X/2.

    Oh, then instead of natural sources doubling their uptake as the headline claims, they actually increased their uptake by about 1% in order to absorb 50% of the relatively small amount of CO2 put into the atmosphere by man. Thus they would lead us to believe then that our earth is SOOOOO close to the edge, that a mere 1% increase in CO2 uptake is going to overload the system.

  49. Mike M says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:26 am
    OT – Is it just me?
    [link snipped] It now says that I am not authorized.

    I got the same “Access Denied” message, Mike — it may just be an artifact. Clicking one of the links on the left will get you in through the back door.

  50. If the capacity was anywhere near ‘saturated’ we wouldn’t see as dramatic a reduction in CO2 occur every summer mainly due I suppose from the NH vegetation coverage, (cooling SH ocean too a little ?). http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_trend_mlo.png

    For the other half of the year that chart strikes me every time I look at it – humans can only be responsible for ~3% of that high rate of increasing CO2 and 3% is likely a gross exaggeration as it is.

  51. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 2, 2012 at 7:10 am

    The above scenario is consistent with ocean temperature changes being in control of CO2 amounts in the air and not human emissions.
    Furthermore the above extract appears inconsistent with:
    “natural carbon “sinks” that sequester the greenhouse gas doubled their uptake in the past 50 years”
    So which is it:
    i) A decrease in uptake up to 2000 then a rise in uptake since then
    or
    ii) A doubling of uptake over the past 50 years.

    I agree that the explanation is not very clear, but what happened in reality, is that the NET natural sinks doubled their uptake, in the same period that human emissions doubled. The increase of the net uptake by biosphere and oceans was slightly less in the ’90s and more since 2000, but in all cases, nature was a net sink for CO2, not a source. Temperature only regulates the sink rate around halve of the human emissions. That is all… See:

  52. Fred Allen says:
    August 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

    So human emissions have quadrupled in the last 50 years and human emissions account for less than 4% of the total CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Yet, carbon sinks have doubled their intake of CO2 in general, or just doubled the intake of human emitted CO2? Smart sinks?

    This is such a common arror against all logic under many sceptics…

    True that humans emit only 3% of the natural emissions. But the natural carbon cycle is not only emissions, it is also sinks: and humans provide 0% of the natural sinks. Thus all what humans emit is additional and what nature emits is more than compensated by natural sinks. Against 97% natural emissions stands 98.5% natural sinks…

  53. What would greenhouse producers say to all this CO2 knicker twisting? Maybe the issue here is that scientists don’t know how to make a buck with CO2. Or with anything else for that matter. Maybe we should require scientists to spend 3 years working in private industry actually trying to make money prior to their placement in the Ivory Tower.

  54. “What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”
    If I remember by high school biology correctly, the “equilibrium” of the “global carbon system” includes sequestration of CO2 in organic matter and its subsequent conversion to hydrocarbon stocks. Seems like the system is working the way it is supposed to. Increasing use of the hydrocarbon stocks leads to greater conversion to organic matter just as it did in the past when CO2 was higher, and organic matter covered more of the planet. Is he saying that the process of converting organic matter to hydrocarbon stocks is out of whack? What is his evidence?

  55. Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:26 am
    Temperature linked variation in the net absorption activity of the oceans dwarfs every other aspect of the carbon cycle….
    ////
    But if you look at the changes in CO2 during the glacial/interglacial cycles of the last 400,000 years or so, what you see is that very large changes in temperature (in the order of about 8 deg C) are needed to produce a mere 90 ppm increase or decrease. So the very modest warming that has occurred since the canonical pre-industrial 280 ppm could not possibly be the main cause of the increase to current levels. It also seems to me that if the net result is that half of our emissions are accumulating, then those emissions have to be the main reason for the increase because, without them, the concentration would not only fail to increase, but would actually start decreasing. Unless I am missing something.

  56. alcheson says:
    August 2, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Mathematically
    If X = mans CO2 output and Y = natures CO2 output and Z= natures CO2 sinks
    then net rise in CO2 = X +Y-Z
    since warmists imply that all the increase in CO2 is due to man and the world would be at equilibrium if not for man, then Y =Z.

    Now if X increases to at most only .05 of Y, but Z doubles, then
    .CO2 concentratiopn change -> 05Y +Y -2Z => 1.05Y – 2Y = -.95Y. CO2 would be dropping fast!

    Real figures are:

    net rise in CO2 = X +Y-Z
    where the net rise is currently ~4 GtC/year and X ~8 GtC/year thus:
    4 = 8 + Y – Z
    or
    Y-Z = -4 GtC/year.

    Thus the natural sinks were 4 GtC higher than the natural sources in the past year.
    In 1960, the figures were 1 GtC sink capacity and 2 GtC emissions per year, see the forementioned link to the emissions/increase/sink rates over the past 50 years.

  57. Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes, said Ballantyne.

    No Ballantyne. CO² is emitted into the air primarily by natural processes 97% primarily. Plonker. Find a new job you are useless at your current day job.

  58. Frank says:

    August 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Not missing something, assuming too much. The evidence for past co² levels is very suspect and cannot be exact. Don’t come back with the old ‘we measure in the ice cores’. Doesn’t wash I’m afraid.

  59. The UN/IPCC’s own figures show about 3% of CO2 is from human sources. That is less than the interannual variability. So the planet can easily handle it. The biosphere is currently starved of CO2. Thus, at current and projected concentrations, there is no downside to an increase in harmless, beneficial CO2. More is better.

  60. ATheoK says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Unless otherwise stated, which I didn’t see, it would be darn tough to have monitored the world’s carbon sinks for the period. So I assume that this result is based on modeling.

    No, simple math: net natural sink = human emissions – increase in the atmosphere

    No need to know any individual natural source or sink. But even then, these are searched for too, by using tall towers which monitor the in/out fluxes over wide areas over land.

    How odd, if there is a seriously major carbon sink, (aka oceans), that doubled it’s uptake of CO2 over the last half century, I would seriously consider this as proof that the oceans were cooling.

    No need for cooling: any 1°C increase or decrease in average ocean surface temperature would give an average increase or decrease of 16 microatm in pCO2 (partial pressure of the dissolved CO2 in seawater at that temperature and salt content). According to Henry’s Law, a similar change in the atmosphere of ~16 ppmv would be sufficient to bring everything back into equilibrium. But the real increase is near 100 ppmv (70 ppmv over the past 50 years of accurate measurements). Thus more CO2 is pushed into the oceans, even if the oceans should warm. But the ocean temperature does influence the sink rate…

  61. Phil. says: @ August 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

    ….Since the major sink is absorption by the oceans which is governed by Henry’s Law you’d expect CO2 absorption proportionally with the increase in CO2. This will not continue if the water temperature goes up, for the ocean the concentration dissolved in equilibrium with the atmosphere will halve for a 16 K increase in temperature.
    ________________________
    That is only half the story. First the overall trend is down in temperature not up since we are at the end of the holocene and the incoming solar has declined . Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ca 11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes…. This is supported by the Greenland ice core data(Graph) and the
    and Vostok, Antarctica Ice Core data (Graph)

    Where the oceans get their heat is the other half. IR energy is not absorbed by the oceans.

    graph energy absorbed by the ocean -1

    graph energy absorbed by the ocean -2

    Graph Solar incoming energy

    Graph of energy from incoming solar vs outgoing earth IR

    Couple those graphs with Fred H. Haynie’s work I mentioned above and you have CO2 concentration dependent on ocean temperature which is in turn dependent on the incoming solar energy.

    NASA is finding the incoming solar energy is not constant but varies especially in the wavelengths visible and above.

    Graph: Total Solar Irradiance Monitoring 1978 to present

    NASA:
    Solar Variability>/a>

    NASA: SORCE’s Solar Spectral Surprise
    …In recent years, SIM has collected data that suggest the sun’s brightness may vary in entirely unexpected ways. If the SIM’s spectral irradiance measurements are validated and proven accurate over time, then certain parts of Earth’s atmosphere may receive surprisingly large doses of solar radiation even during lulls in solar activity.

    “We have never had a reason until now to believe that parts of the spectrum may vary out of phase with the solar cycle….

    SIM suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did — while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall.

    The steep decrease in the ultraviolet, coupled with the increase in the visible and infrared, does even out to about the same total irradiance…..

    NASA: EVE: Measuring the Sun’s Hidden Variability

    …”Solar minimum is a quiet time when we can establish a baseline for evaluating long-term trends,” he explains. “All stars are variable at some level, and the sun is no exception. We want to compare the sun’s brightness now to its brightness during previous minima and ask: is the sun getting brighter or dimmer?”

    The answer seems to be dimmer. Measurements by a variety of spacecraft indicate a 12-year lessening of the sun’s “irradiance” by about 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV wavelengths.

  62. Smokey says:
    August 2, 2012 at 11:28 am

    The UN/IPCC’s own figures show about 3% of CO2 is from human sources. That is less than the interannual variability.

    No Smokey, humans currently emit ~8 GtC/year, the net natural sinks are ~4 GtC/year and the interannual variability in sink capacity is also ~4 GtC/year around the increase in the atmosphere, thus only halve the human emissions, which show mainly a continuous increasing increase, even despite any economical crisis.

    That the interannual variability is quite small for a natural process, in my opinion is mainly due to the opposite influence of temperature variations on oceans and land vegetation uptake of CO2…

  63. Cold arctic waters absorb CO2, warm tropical surface water releases CO2(you can see some indications of this in the AIRS satellite images http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA12339_modest.jpg). Below 200-300 Meters depth the waters are near if not below freezing. I’ve calculated that at those temperatures the cold deep waters would hold 2,000-3,000 times the entire 650 Gton carbon cycle of CO2. I had no way to calculate how much CO2 would transfer from the thermocline, to deep waters, but the surface area is approximately 70% of the Earths surface, it would have to be substantial.

  64. Saturation of CO2 sinks? That’s what their models claim? More circular reasoning from the AGWers. Who created the models? What was their premise and their assumptions?

    Saturation is based on the KNOWN response of each and every variable. How do they know when plants have exhausted their ability to colonize open ground like the Gobi or Sahara Desert or up mountain sides or open spaces between existing plants or plankton coverage on the ocean’s surface? How about the response of plant height to increasing CO2 availability? i.e. the vertical increase of carbon storage potential over a unit area, not just plant density over that unit area. Honestly, does anyone really think they actually even included such variables?

    This is yet another example of a Mannian hockey stick program created to give an intended result. Prove me wrong.

  65. Ferdinand Engelbeen says
    ……70 ppmv over the past 50 years of accurate measurements). Thus more CO2 is pushed into the oceans, even if the oceans should warm. But the ocean temperature does influence the sink rate…

    Henry says:
    my question is: how much of that 70 ppm’s was due to natural warming?

    I repeat my previous post:Although admitting that some CO2 will be taken up by increasing vegetation,
    I think the real chemistry for “carbon sinking” is a bit different.
    Remember there are giga tons and giga tons of carbonate dissolved in the oceans, mostly as bicarbonate.
    In the past, due to warming, we had
    (more) heat + HCO3- => CO2 (g) + OH- (outgassing)
    I calculate that overall warming started seriously just about when regular CO2 monitoring began. (Manoa Loa)
    Most recently, due to cooling, since 1995 (as viewed by energy input: maxima)
    or since ca. 1998 (as viewed by energy out put from earth: means)
    the situation will change:
    (more) cold + CO2 + 2H2O => HCO3- + H3O+(=sinking)
    The carbon dioxide is simply sinking (=dissolving) in the oceans.
    To prove that this is true watch the NOAA station (Burrow, Barrow?) that is monitoring CO2 in ALASKA: the CO2 has been flat there for quite some time.
    Note my results for Anchorage, in the tables, here

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    it is beginning to look a bit frightening is it not?

  66. Matt E says:
    August 2, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Increasing use of the hydrocarbon stocks leads to greater conversion to organic matter just as it did in the past when CO2 was higher, and organic matter covered more of the planet.

    Take into consideration the time needed to reduce the CO2 content of the atmosphere from 10-12x current to what it is today: tens of millions of years. Even the glacial-interglacial transitions needed some 5,000 years to increase CO2 with some 100 ppmv. We needed only 100 years to build that up…

    There are different processes that can sequester CO2: several are very fast, but limited in capacity, others have huge capacities, but are much slower.

    Take the ocean surface and the yearly seasonal growth and decay of leaves in vegetation: these are very fast (halve a year) to a few years (for the whole mixed layer in the oceans), but limited: most of what was sequestered comes back the same year in another season. The oceans mixed layer is limited for another reason too: for a 100% increase in the atmosphere, only 10% more is sequestered by the ocean surface, that is the buffer capacity which is working, but seawater is a weak buffer (a strong one would give a 100% increase).

    Then we have the deep oceans and the more permanent storage in plants, both have a huge storage capacity (oceans) to unlimited (land plants), but both are much slower: plants don’t double their carbon sink capacity if CO2 doubles, the average is ~50%, in ideal circumstances, which don’t often exist in nature. And the exchange rate between the atmosphere and the deep oceans is limited.

    The current real yearly sink rate for the different compartiments thus is ~10% in the ocean surface layer (measured at a few stations), ~15% in the biosphere (calculated from the oxygen use) and ~25% in the deep oceans (the difference). All other sinks are either too slow or too limited in capacity.

    Where Pieter Tans is right is that what got into the more permanent storage may come back: even root systems may rotten over decades, only peat and (brown)coal would give a real permanent storage, if we didn’t use it… And deep oceans storage comes back too, even if it costs centuries…

  67. Mike M says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    OT – Is it just me? I can’t view….
    _______________________
    I get the same access denied message. Guess they do not want the citizens who paid for the work picking through it and finding all their errors.

  68. HenryP says:
    August 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Henry says:
    my question is: how much of that 70 ppm’s was due to natural warming?

    For an increase of ~0.6°C over the past 50 years, the oceans are responsible for maximum 10 ppmv and probably halve of it, as vegetation was an increasing sink over the same period…

    To prove that this is true watch the NOAA station (Burrow, Barrow?) that is monitoring CO2 in ALASKA: the CO2 has been flat there for quite some time.

    Barrow still is strongly going up, despite flat temperatures since 2000, see:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/ and click on Barrow in the map.

    And globally, the link between the emissions and the CO2 increase is much stronger than between temperature and CO2 increase, which even shows a negative correlation over the period 1945-1975:

  69. Wow, comments growing quickly.

    So they measured 40 locations and came to a giant conclusion. Guess I need to read the paper to see how those Forty (40) points are able to represent the whole earth.

    Great comments.

    As I sit here in Calgary, Alberta waiting for an appointment, it is 15 degrees C on August 2, 2012. The “normal” temperature is around 24 C. Where’s my global warming? I need to cut hay. Just kidding. Supposed to get back to “normal’ in a week. Seems like normal weather.

    Slabadang said: 1) the Earth’s climate is a closed system;
    2) nature wants to be in equilibrium and policies must aid that be they economic or climate or biodiversity (that one always seems to forget that wayward

    1)
    I don’t believe the Earth’s climate is a CLOSED system. We are shedding atmosphere all the time as we travel through space like a comet travelling toward the sun. The density of the atmosphere has gone down significantly since the days of flying dinosaurs according to those that study them who suggest they would not be able to fly in today’s atmosphere. We receive lots of space debris and radiation. We do not live in a closed system.

    2)
    Nature is never in equilibrium. Carnivores are always after the plant eaters upsetting the balance, the plant eaters are after plants, the plants need bacteria, viruses attack bacteria and other living things … there are volcanoes, tornadoes, floods, land slides, droughts … whatever scale you want to look at, there is never equilibrium. The old saying “Nature abhors a vacuum” applies. Even in chemistry, we only get “equilibrium” by controlling the environment around our experiment. Allow temperature, pressure or other parameters like varying gas concentrations to change and change occurs. La plus la change, la plus la meme chose.

  70. Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:43 am

    “Papers that start off with deliberately misleading statements like the above should not make it past the editor’s wastepaper basket. Universities that encourage this type of deceit should have their tax payer funds cut off and be publicly pilloried by the rest of the scientific community.”

    My youngest son spent one semester in engineering at CU-Boulder, got a 4 point and transferred to another school of engineering due to the “cultural” situation he encountered among the other students. Being from a small town in WY he did not appreciate the “values” of the students there and knew immediately that he did not prefer to adapt. He graduated with honors from another university in Mech Eng. CU-Boulder is getting exactly what it caters to on the left end of the spectrum. I found this interesting as my experience in engineering school 40 years ago was that both students and faculty were fairly conservative, on the whole. The times they are a changin!

    I Like “Burn Coal Save a Tree” for the bumpersticker.

  71. Ferdinand Engelbeen says: @ August 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

    …..This is such a common arror against all logic under many sceptics…

    True that humans emit only 3% of the natural emissions. But the natural carbon cycle is not only emissions, it is also sinks: and humans provide 0% of the natural sinks. Thus all what humans emit is additional and what nature emits is more than compensated by natural sinks. Against 97% natural emissions stands 98.5% natural sinks…
    ___________________________

    First Geology shows the natural carbon cycle is not in equilibrium but is => zero CO2. The earth started out very high in CO2. Photosynthesis broke the molecule into C and O2. The O2 was released to the air and the C was laid down as coal, limestone, marble…. Humans are now releasing that stored CO2. (And if plants had voices they would be thanking us)

    Humans are also increasing natural sinks through cultivating plant varieties for maximum growth, using fertilization and irrigation to turn marginal land into productive land, and replacing mature forests with high growth young forest that are much better carbon sinks.

    By using modern methods we have gone from 100 bushels from 5 acres of wheat to 100 bushels from 3 acres of wheat,, From 100 bushels from 2-1/2 acres of corn to 100 bushels from 1-1/8 acres of corn. And from 100 pounds from 2/5 acre of lint cotton to a 100 pounds from 1/5 acre of lint cotton.

    About 40% of the earth’s land is farmland with less than half that as cropland and the rest pasture according to University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists who used satellite data to determine where cultivation is occurring with good spatial accuracy. link

    Given about 40% of the earth’s land is farmland and about 20 percent of arable land is irrigated (FAO), your second statement is wildly inaccurate. (World bank has 37.9% of land area under cultivation as 2009)

  72. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    Y-Z = -4 GtC/year.

    Thus the natural sinks were 4 GtC higher than the natural sources in the past year.
    In 1960, the figures were 1 GtC sink capacity and 2 GtC emissions per year, see the forementioned link to the emissions/increase/sink rates over the past 50 years.

    Since 8 is at most .05Y then the equation can be written
    4 = 8+160-164
    Z, the sinks, went from 160 to 164gtc per year. An increase of 2%… Nothing close to doubling.
    Now, warmists want to claim that the system is nearing saturation and CANT absorb any more.
    Plenty of experimental evidence and history to prove this fear irrational.
    1) Green house at 1000ppm CO2 show plants grow much faster and bigger than they do at 380PPM so the plants are clearly NOT at their saturation capacity at 380ppm.

    2) Simple experiments and well established fact that at 1000ppm more ,CO2 dissolves in water than at 380ppm. Stupid to say that if we release more CO2 in the air, the oceans wont absorb more.

    3) Chemical kinetics. As CO2 concentration goes up, the conversion rate to carbonate also goes up.

    It is quite obvious the systems abilty to respond is NOT MAXED out at current level of CO2.

    Now, if you want to claim that we should be worried that if the oceans warm and no longer act as a sink and mass amounts of CO2 will be released… you should also consider:

    1) If the oceans cool and our CO2 level drops, ( just barely above plant starvation level now) what will happen to life on earth?
    2) Geologically speakinng, the earth is on the verge of entering another ice age. I think we should be more worried about that prospect since at 6000ppm life on earth was flourishing so not much to worry about on the high side. Any bets on how well life on earth is going to do with CO2<100ppm?

  73. Pamela Gray says: @ August 2, 2012 at 11:05 am
    Maybe we should require scientists to spend 3 years working in private industry actually trying to make money prior to their placement in the Ivory Tower.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I will second that idea. If I recall correctly RIT insisted all their instructors have industrial experience in the 1970s. I took several courses there after I got my BS in Chemistry and all of them were very worthwhile and reality grounded. Some of the most worthwhile college courses I ever took.

  74. Any day now Trenberth’s missing heat is going to suddenly show itself, and then you’ll be sorry you didn’t listen to us. Any day now Gaia is going to refuse to take up anymore excess CO2, and then you skeptics are going to be so sorry. Any day now the human population on this planet is going to reach a point where we can’t produce enough food to feed everyone — at least without additional CO2 to increase crop yields (oops, scratch that last part.)

    Any day now people are going to wise up to the exaggerated claims of political activists masquerading as climate scientists. Then everyone will be sorry they wasted tax money on useless, self-serving propaganda peddled in the name of science.

  75. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”

    I wonder what the equilibrium was when co2 level in the atmosphere was 10 times higher than today? How did the Earth get through this disaster.

    Pssst. Greenhouse growers – 1,000ppm. ;-) Maybe we got some way to go yet.

  76. Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Very nice Gail I had not seen this before. Thanks for posting it.

  77. Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Given about 40% of the earth’s land is farmland and about 20 percent of arable land is irrigated (FAO), your second statement is wildly inaccurate. (World bank has 37.9% of land area under cultivation as 2009)

    Gail, you forgot a few things:
    – what humans are cultivating today was mostly occupied by nature before. In general, clearing forests for human/animal food/feed is a net CO2 source (especially for the root systems), at least in the first years.
    – what humans are cultivating today is fast circulating back to the atmosphere directly by burning the rests, eating crops and seeds and exhaling CO2, or slower by composting, and dying…

    The difference is that we are adding CO2 buried millions of years ago, the result of the high CO2 levels of that time, to the atmosphere of today. The addition is clear in the increase, the effect of the addition on climate is a complete separate discussion…

  78. Why is it that every single press release from these goombas reads as if written by the same person? Or is that just me?

  79. This is such a stupid paper. The biosphere absorbs 20 times more CO2 each year than mankind produces. Yet they are arguing that the biosphere will saturate?

    If nature stopped emitting 778 billion tons of CO2 per year mankind would not even be capable of matching 10% of that. Mankind is not even rounding error on global CO2 emissions.

  80. Frank says:
    August 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:26 am
    Temperature linked variation in the net absorption activity of the oceans dwarfs every other aspect of the carbon cycle….
    ////
    But if you look at the changes in CO2 during the glacial/interglacial cycles of the last 400,000 years or so, what you see is that very large changes in temperature (in the order of about 8 deg C) are needed to produce a mere 90 ppm increase or decrease….. Unless I am missing something.
    _______________________________
    You can look at Haynie
    or Jaworowski for the alternate views.

    Remember when dealing with the “official” CO2 ice core data you are looking at the poles and despite what Engelbeen says, CO2 is NOT well mixed.

    The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) averages CO2 data over time and space and STILL comes up with bands of CO2

    On top of the poles being lower in CO2 naturally, the ice core data is inherently ‘Averaged’ and this ‘Clips’ off the high frequencies in the data just as the AIRS satellite does. The distribution of averages ALWAYS has a tighter distribution when compared to the distribution of individual data.

    Add in the fact that CO2 from the bubbles only does not agree with stomata data but CO2 measurements from the whole sample (bubble plus ice) generally does. Given the fact that the bubbles only data shows lower CO2 and therefore is more “Politically Correct” I think your assumption is on fairly shaky ground. Stomata CO2 data compared to Ice Core (includes more links)

    I am not going to go into it further since the argument has been done to death at WUWT. Just check out some of the back WUWT articles on CO2 for more information.

    Here is a different CO2 graph

  81. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 2, 2012 at 11:03 am
    This is such a common arror against all logic under many sceptics…
    True that humans emit only 3% of the natural emissions. But the natural carbon cycle is not only emissions, it is also sinks: and humans provide 0% of the natural sinks. Thus all what humans emit is additional and what nature emits is more than compensated by natural sinks. Against 97% natural emissions stands 98.5% natural sinks…

    You need to take a course in logic. Nature does not discriminate as to source — *all* carbon dioxide molecules are grist for 100% of the sinks.

  82. Alcheson says:
    August 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Since 8 is at most .05Y then the equation can be written
    4 = 8+160-164
    Z, the sinks, went from 160 to 164gtc per year. An increase of 2%… Nothing close to doubling.

    The researchers were talking about the NET sink rate, not the the total sink rate, that doubled in the past decades from 2 to 4 GtC/year, as good as the emissions doubled from 4 GtC to 8 GtC. Of course their fault that they didn’t make that clear.

    Green house at 1000ppm CO2 show plants grow much faster and bigger than they do at 380PPM so the plants are clearly NOT at their saturation capacity at 380ppm.

    As said before: plants don’t double their growth with 2xCO2. They increase average 50% in the best circumstances of water, sunlight, temperature, nutritients. Many of these may be the limiting factor in nature. The real increase in nature is that plants remove about 15% of the yearly human emissions (in quantity). See:

    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

    Simple experiments and well established fact that at 1000ppm more ,CO2 dissolves in water than at 380ppm. Stupid to say that if we release more CO2 in the air, the oceans wont absorb more.
    and
    3) Chemical kinetics. As CO2 concentration goes up, the conversion rate to carbonate also goes up.

    The total amount of free CO2 in the ocean’s surface layer is only ~30 GtC, the atmosphere contains ~800 GtC. If the oceans were fresh water, a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere would give a doubling to ~60 GtC in the oceans surface. That is all. But as the oceans contain buffer salts, the real content of the mixed layer is ~1000 GtC, mostly bicarbonate and some carbonate. The ocean surface layer content for a doubling in the atmosphere would increase to ~1100 GtC.
    The point is that the rest of the dissociation is a equilibrium reaction which gives more H+ at the end, which pushes the equilibria back to free CO2. The net effect is that for a 100% increase in pCO2(atm) and thus pCO2(aq) – according to Henry’s Law, the conversion rate to (bi)carbonate is only 10%, the buffer factor for a weak buffering solution.
    The buffer factor is also called the Revelle factor.

    The deep oceans are fed by the low temperatures near the poles and are far undersaturated in CO2, thus these can buffer far more CO2 and I don’t see any reduction in CO2 uptake in the foreseeable future, here I differ with the NOAA guys… The same for permanent storage in the biosphere. But these are much slower processes…

  83. Wow, this means the earth has a negative feedback system that tries to keep the climate stable.

    Who would have thought! ;-)

  84. Translation: “Look, we found these really inconvenient facts, and too many people know about them to suppress them, but please, please, don’t cut off our grants. We’ll try and be good in future.”

  85. Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    You can look at Haynie
    or Jaworowski for the alternate views.

    I had a background discussion with Fred Haynie about his findings: most what he does is curve fitting and using that to explain the increase in the atmosphere. But the observations show that not the oceans ice cover is the cause of the huge seasonal fluxes in the NH, but the fast sink rate of the mid-latitude vegetation in spring (as shown by the 13C/12C ratio). Further, the oceans can’t be the source of the increase: the 13C/12C ratio is higher than in the atmosphere and we see a fast sink in ratio with the human emissions…

    And about Jaworowski: his knowledge of ice cores ended in 1992 and many of his objections were already refuted in 1996 by the work of Etheridge e.a. on three Law Dome ice cores. See:

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

    The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) averages CO2 data over time and space and STILL comes up with bands of CO2

    Come on Gail, bands of CO2 which have a range of +/- 2% of full scale, while the back-and-forth exchanges with the biosphere and oceans is +/- 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere. The average CO2 levels at Barrow and the South Pole over a year differ with no more than 5 ppmv, mainly because most of the emissions are in the NH and it takes 18 months ot level that out.

    Add in the fact that CO2 from the bubbles only does not agree with stomata data but CO2 measurements from the whole sample (bubble plus ice) generally does.

    Gail, where did you find that nonsense? The mostly used grating technique only measures CO2 in bubbles, while the sometimes used sublimation technique measures all CO2. Both give identical CO2 levels. Stomata data have much more troubles, like a land bias which can be corrected for by calibrating against ice cores over the past century, but there is no guaranty that the bias didn’t change over the centuries due to land use changes in the main wind direction…

  86. The 2011 Iceland volcano, Grimsvotn, was reported to have released more CO2 in the first few days than all fossil fuels used ever. How was the alleged equlibrium affected then and with the continued volcanic eruption?

  87. If CO2 continues to increase, it will still be a very minor trace gas. While it may have a small effect, any warming due to CO2 is still too insignificant to measure.

    And if the rise continues, it will make even less difference than it may have had.

    Finally, it appears that there is not enough fossil fuel carbon to double CO2 levels from here. But I will defer to Ferdinand for a definitive answer on that [so long as he once again acknowledges that the rise in CO2 has been harmless and beneficial.☺]

  88. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm
    ….Gail, you forgot a few things:
    – what humans are cultivating today was mostly occupied by nature before. In general, clearing forests for human/animal food/feed is a net CO2 source (especially for the root systems), at least in the first years…..
    __________________________________
    Actually it depends on the time frame.

    You forget that coal came into use mainly because most of the trees got cut down to be used as fuel. New England has become “reforested” only within the last generation or two. The buffalo who had a great influence on the ecology of the North American great plains got almost wiped out in the mid to late 1800’s They ranged from from the Yukon to Florida. The elephant met the same fate in the 1800s due to the ivory trade and the settling of South Africa. You can not ignore those details and the forty percent of the land surface in use for crops and pasture. There is no way in heck you can say humans have had no effect on at least one ‘Natural CO2 sink’

    Heck even more primitive cultures used fire to manage land.

    It often seems that the common impression about the American West is that, before the arrival of people of European descent, Native Americans had essentially no effect on the land, the wildlife, or the ecosystems, except that they harvested trivial amounts that did not affect the “natural” abundances of plants and animals. But Native Americans had three powerful technologies: fire, the ability to work wood into useful objects, and the bow and arrow. To claim that people with these technologies did not or could not create major changes in natural ecosystems can be taken as Western civilization’s ignorance, chauvinism, and old prejudice against primitivism–the noble but dumb savage. There is ample evidence that Native Americans greatly changed the character of the landscape with fire, and that they had major effects on the abundances of some wildlife species through their hunting (Botkin 1990: 169).

    http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/biblio_indianfire.htm

  89. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    You need to take a course in logic. Nature does not discriminate as to source — *all* carbon dioxide molecules are grist for 100% of the sinks.

    Yes, but all sinks are natural, the few human sinks are negligible. Thus even if all human CO2 is captured within a minute by the next nearby tree or remains in the atmosphere forever, that doesn’t matter: the natural sinks are as large as the natural sources + halve the human emissions in quantity, whatever the exact mix which is removed.

  90. Jack says:
    August 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    The 2011 Iceland volcano, Grimsvotn, was reported to have released more CO2 in the first few days than all fossil fuels used ever. How was the alleged equlibrium affected then and with the continued volcanic eruption?

    Maybe the human emissions of one day… All CO2 from volcanoes or volcanic fields long after the last eruption are estimated at 1% of the human emissions. Even the largest eruption of the past century, the Pinatubo, did show a dip in CO2 increase, as the cooling absorbed -temporarely- more CO2 in the oceans (and vegetation, by light scattering) than the amount of CO2 released…

  91. Ron says:
    August 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Why is it that every single press release from these goombas reads as if written by the same person? Or is that just me?
    _______________________________
    No it is not you.

    Stan Greenburg, husband of Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct) has a multiyear contract do to PR for Global Warming. Somewhere I have some old links.

    AHHhh here is a new one: Stan Greenberg … a strategic consultant to the Climate Center of the Natural Resources Defense Council on its multi-year campaign on global warming. from a Harvard University Program on Survey Research no less, titled “”Learning about Bold Leadership: In the trenches with Clinton, Mandela, Blair, Barak and de Lozada” with Stan Greenberg’

    GEE, now we know where all those horrible biased polls come from too.

  92. I know that carbon is especially sticky to oxygen, but is it possible that there are natural ways of separating the two of which we are not aware? I mean our scientists are really smart people, but clearly they don’t know everything else nothing new would ever be discovered. Just saying…

  93. Gail Combs says:
    August 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Land for agriculture came into use for about 6000 years and may be responsible for the slight increase of CO2 and CH4 over the Holocene, while temperature in average was slightly cooling. Don’t forget the population explosion since these ancient times and while the West reforested, the South destroyed far more (mostly to feed the West…). In general the estimates are far more releases for land use changes than sinks. I don’t use them in my calculations, as the estimates are far too unsure, compared to fossil fuel use, which are based on sales…

  94. -Hmm…. models show! How come they didn’t show that the planet was taking up half of the CO2?
    -How can some say that the takep-up of CO2 has slowed in certain parts of the world if they didn’t know it was happening until today?
    – Why does the good news of these folks get twisted around to be a disaster waiting to happen?
    -Do they now, logically, reduce their models calcs of how much CO2 is going to be in the atmosphere by 2100?
    -Do they now reduce projected temps by half?
    – Wouldn’t models shows that if the earth cooled that the oceans would take up more than half?

  95. Even accepting the main claim of human responsibility for CO2 rise, there is another way of looking at all this. Since carbon is the basis of life, the size of the biosphere is more or less determined by the amount of carbon in it. Many millions of years ago an accident of nature caused a significant fraction of the biosphere carbon to become sequestered (locked up and made unavailable) thereby greatly diminishing the fecundity of life on earth (a way out suggestion – could this be the reason or a factor in the demise of the dinosaurs. No I dont suggest it seriously but it is an interesting idea to speculate on). Since then the vibrancy and extent of life on earth has remained diminished. What man is now doing is to slowly and gradually reverse that accident returning the carbon that used to be in the biosphere back to where it belongs and in the process returning the biosphere to its original fecundity and glory.

    I would have thought the environmentalists would be rejoicing. I will stick my meck out and make a prediction. Long after we have found real viable alternative energy sources which are not based on chemical energy a time will come when environmentalists will start advocating that we burn more fossil fuel simply to return the carbon to the biosphere so as to enhance plant growth. Its probably a necessity anyway if we are to keep feeding the words population.

  96. My chemistry is extremely rusty, so, I have a some questions. First, CO2 reacts with water to yield carbonic acid (H2CO3), which is however, unstable in the presence of water. It reverts to CO2 and water. The oceans also happen to carry a whopping load of dissolved calcium bicarbonate, which IIRC should act as a buffering agent as regards pH change and should also react with CO2 to yield CaCO3. Since the marine Calcite Compensation Depth (CCD) is something like 3,500 m, would that not mean that at least some of the CO2 is being precipitated out as flocculent CaCO3 in the oceans down to the CCD?

  97. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    The difference is that we are adding CO2 buried millions of years ago, the result of the high CO2 levels of that time, to the atmosphere of today. The addition is clear in the increase, the effect of the addition on climate is a complete separate discussion…

    It seems to me that you did not take in anything from Prof. Murray Salby’s presentation. Perhaps you did not watch it.

  98. Not read all the comments here but…
    Here is a testable experiment.
    Take a small body of water, a bottle perhaps, at standard temperature and pressure and the current CO2 levels in the atmosphere above it.
    Double the CO2 levels in this enclosed system an see what happens.
    Does the CO2 in the atmosphere level double? I doubt it will.

    DaveE.

  99. “… When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”

    Wow. The deciples never cease to amaze me.

  100. There is little doubt that rainforests etc have expanded in the past in response to warming – mainly because the equatorial climate belt gets larger. However, I have difficulty understanding how this is going to happen with the current aforestation that is occurring.

  101. Fred Allen says:

    August 2, 2012 at 8:19 am
    Yet, carbon sinks have doubled their intake of CO2 in general, or just doubled the intake of human emitted CO2? Smart sinks?
    Not smart,Fred,just money hungry. A carbon sink gives two rat’s patooties about where the CO2 comes from.It is ALL chemically the same.Or didn’t our esteemed “scientists” get by grade 4 chem???

  102. The absorption of Carbon by plants, oceans and soils shows no sign of slowing down. If anything it is even accelerating.

    Total human emission last year were 9.1 billion tons Carbon and the CO2 content of the atmosphere only increased 1.85 ppm (or 4.0 billion tons Carbon). [These numbers do vary some however from source to source and day to day.

    The absorption amount was the highest recorded in history and it appears to be increasing at an exponential rate.

    It is more likely to be a function of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere above the equilbrium level of 275 ppm (1.8% per year of the excess seems to work), than it is related to how much we put into the atmosphere each year but no climate scientist wants to challenge the prevailing doom scenario that it will eventually decline. We can’t have any “no doom” scenarios published.

  103. I don’t think much of what happens on plant earth has or will have much of an impact on long term climate change… other than the clouds. It may affect weather, but not the climate. Henrik Svensmark has given the world a thoroughly convincing theory of what changes earth’s climate. His theory is backed by both empirical evidence and experiment. His theory has been further strengthened by the CLOUD experiment at CERN led by Dr Jasper Kirkby. The theory explains nicely the changes in past climate. The evidence of 30 years of satellite data also provides convincing short term evidence to support his theory. It seems more than likely that earth’s climate is controlled by galactic cosmic rays reaching earth’s atmosphere, vital to cloud formation. The solar magnetic activity influences the amount of cosmic rays reaching earth’s atmosphere. More clouds means cooler temperatures and vice versa. The clouds are not a consequence of climate. It is the climate that is as a consequence of clouds.

    Ocean activity, vegetative growth, carbon dioxide, etc etc etc can vary as much as they want. But they are not a basis for climate change theory in the same manner as Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory. In fact, Henrik Svensmark’s latest published paper entitled “Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth”, a culmination of years of effort, shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years.

    It is time for scientists to take a reality check and delve into the most convincing theory behind climate change that has ever been put forward.

  104. I wonder how they think all that chalk, limestone, coal, oil and gas got there in the first place.
    Was it brought by Father Christmas, or by the Tooth Fairy?

    If the authors want discuss equilibrium, fine. Perhaps they would like to consider how oceans became supersaturated with Calcium ions that precipitates as chalk, limestone, coral, or in the carbonates forming exoskeletons of other marine life-forms.

    A large company that lost 50% of it’s revenues every year to an unknown ‘sink’ would go bankrupt, and the directors would likely end up having to explain themselves in court.

  105. Droughts (according to some models) “might” become the norm & we can relax because there will be less need for CO2 sinks, seeing how ~20% of CO2 soil respiration occurs in the temperate climes. As a fall-back measure anthropogenic paving could always be accelerated to put a bigger dent in the ~67% CO2 soil respiration occurring in the tropics. I say don’t mess with the boreal landscaping’s ~12% CO2 soil respiration until further environmental impact consensus.

  106. “We’re already seeing climate change happen despite the fact that only half of fossil fuel emissions stay in the atmosphere while the other half is drawn down by the land biosphere and oceans,” Alden said.

    Mental midgetry aside, why can they not accept that if a factor is changing less than they claim or assume, and nothing is happening, maybe that factor is not the cause. They are trying to claim the factor must be even more powerful than they thought as “climate change” is happening even though the planet is absorbing so much CO2. Of course, let’s not forget that they have a very overblown idea of the effect or importance of man’s emissions.

    When investigating a murder, if one ignores everything in the room but the moth on the drapes, then one can only conclude, however unlikely, that the moth is the murderer. Yep, that’s climate science!

  107. Anthropomorphism:

    “The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely.”

    A more accurate anthropomorphism is:

    Mother Nature is a heartless bitch.

    Only when one recognizes that, can the species’ survival in its struggle against nature be assured. Why help that which would destroy you? Only when tamed is Nature of any use to us.

  108. Don’t have time to comment much, but I see Ferdinand Englebeen is pushing his fanciful notions of the carbon cycle again, which completely contradict causality and nearly every other established principle of physics.

    All anyone needs to know about atmospheric CO2 concentration is contained in this plot. The rate of change is directly proportional to temperature anomaly relative to a baseline established by the upflow and downflow of ocean currents and perhaps other processes. To predict CO2 concentration at any time since modern, reliable measurements began in 1958, all you have to do is integrate the scaled temperature anomaly. Human inputs are completely superfluous in this era beyond any doubt, and likely in any other era by extension.

    What this means is that the current state of the Earth’s climate system establishes the equilibrium level of CO2 to which the system converges, and human inputs are rapidly removed via numerous sequestration mechanisms which are poorly quantified. It is a system which is analogous to the differential equation

    dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau + a*H

    where H is human input, a is the fraction which remains in the atmosphere after the oceans take their share, and tau is a relatively fast time constant. In such a system, sensitivity to H is low, and the CO2 level tracks CO2eq, which is in turn set by temperature, ocean currents, and other processes.This plot by itself disqualifies any other interpretation.

  109. I will have little time to look back at this thread before it goes stale, so let me say preemptively, in case Ferdinand ripostes, that we have already argued this out extensively on other threads. I am right, and he is wrong.

  110. So, they didn’t expect for carbon uptake to change, but they are sure it can’t continue. Riiiggghhhhttttt.

  111. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    The point is that the rest of the dissociation is a equilibrium reaction which gives more H+ at the end, which pushes the equilibria back to free CO2. The net effect is that for a 100% increase in pCO2(atm) and thus pCO2(aq) – according to Henry’s Law, the conversion rate to (bi)carbonate is only 10%, the buffer factor for a weak buffering solution.
    ———————————

    Ferdinand, guess how you make a Ca(HCO3)2 (calcium bicarbonate) solution? Ca(HCO3)2 isnt stable as a solid at room temperature so you dont make it by adding solid Ca(HCO3)2 to water. Turns the way to make it is by bubbling CO2 into a CaCO3 slurry. CaCO3, not being very water soluble (although Ca bicarbonate is extremely soluble in water at ~160g/liter) is readily dissolved in just a few minutes by bubbling CO2 to make your Ca(HCO3)2 solution. Its the same way stalagmites and stalagtites are made in caves. Rain, enriched in CO2 disolves the CaCO3 minerals in the soil and redeposits them in the cave when the water dries out and the Ca(HCO3)2 turns back iknto CaCO3 and water vapor and CO2 gas. Also, guses what the pH of Ca bicarbonate solution is? Ph = 8.2. Imagine that, pretty much the same pH as the ocean.which shouldn’t be too surprising as it is the buffer of the ocean. Any guess as to how much CaCO3 (limestone) there is in the world? Orders of magnitude more than there is CO2 which could be produced by burning all the known fossil fuels on the planet.You can be quaranteed that at equilibrium, if ALL of the CO2 (inclulding the as of yet unburnt fossil fuels in the ground) the pH of the ocean would still be >7, ie basic. (Note I said at equilibrium, you could of course turn parts of it acidic for short periods of time in a non equilibrium state).

    Also, because the ocean is buffered, the pH remains nearly constant at equilibrium. Thus as more CO2 is dissolves into the ocean the CO3– concentration increases! Great for the shell producing sea animals. This is shown by the equilibrium equation Ka = [H][CO3]/[HCO3] => Ka/[H]= [CO3]/[HCO3]. Since pH is constant, Ka/[H] is a constant and therefore, as [HCO3] increases due to higher CO2 in the air, [CO3--] in the ocean also must increase. If it ever starts looking like the atmospheric CO2 is to high and leads to non equilibrium pH problems, can always spread around tons of crushed limestone pebbles on shallow sensitive areas of the ocean and that should take care of that. Way less expensive than multi trillion dollar taxes and fees being proposed by the CAGW types.

  112. Walter H. Schneider says:
    August 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    It seems to me that you did not take in anything from Prof. Murray Salby’s presentation. Perhaps you did not watch it.

    Murry Salby is wrong:
    – The current variability of temperature introduces a variability of CO2 of 4-5 ppmv/°C over short time (seasons to years).
    – The (very) long term reaction of CO2 to temperature changes (glacials-interglacials and MWP-LIA) gives some 8 ppmv/°C over decades to multi-millennia.
    – The intermediate reaction of CO2 to temperature changes, according to Salby (and Bart) should give some 100 ppmv/°C at a rate of about 1.5 ppmv/year over the past 50 years, for a change of ~0.6°C.
    – The same change of 100 ppmv over a glacial-interglacial transition needs some 5,000 years (and 15,000 years to go back). Thus a rate of 0.02 ppmv/year for a change of ~10°C.
    – The fast-medium-slow responses are theoretically possible, but there is no known natural process that performs the medium response and the slow responses should completely overrule the medium responses, back to a low ratio.
    – If the medium response was true, that would imply that for colder temperatures the CO2 levels could go to zero.

    Further:
    – The biosphere is a proven net sink for CO2, based on the oxygen balance.
    – The ocean surface is a proven CO2 sink, based on ships surveys over the past decades and a few fixed stations with continuous monitoring.
    – Rests the deep oceans, but these have a too high 13C/12C ratio (around zero per mil d13C), compared to the atmosphere (at -8 per mil). Any substantial addition of CO2 from the deep oceans should give an increase of d13C in the atmosphere, but we see a decrease in ratio with the human emissions.
    – Last but not least, even if there was a natural source as cause, that implies that the human emissions disappear in a black hole and that the natural source exactly mimics the human emissions in strength and 13C/12C ratio. Quite remarkable for an independent natural process…

  113. “If we drive 100 miles per hour, it is going to shake and rattle a lot more because there is a lot more instability, so it’s probably time to back off the accelerator,” he said. “The same is true with CO2 emissions.”

    Only if drive beat up VW bus.
    So that reminds me, let’s increase the speed limit to 90 mph.
    And only get people who can actually build smooth roads.

    to topic:
    “The team used several global CO2 emissions reports for the Nature study, including one by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. They concluded that about 350 billion tons of carbon — the equivalent of roughly 1 trillion tons of CO2 — had been emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning and land use changes from 1959 to 2010, with just over half moving into sinks on land or in the oceans.”

    So we ever increasing amount CO2 emissions, and ever increasing the amount being adsorb by the life processes. So what happens when China runs out Coal- will life process continue to suck up large amount of CO2. And cause thereby cause serious shortage of Global CO2!

  114. “It’s not a question of whether or not natural sinks will slow their uptake of carbon, but when,” she said.

    You cannot make a statement like this! We don’t know! Scientists don’t know if this is true. It’s a rubbish statement!.

    “If natural sinks saturate as models predict, the impact of human emissions on atmospheric CO2 will double.”

    As models predict??? A model only knows what scientists know. They do not think for themselves!
    They are of as much use as the scientists who build them!

  115. Bart says:
    August 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    All anyone needs to know about atmospheric CO2 concentration is contained in this plot.

    As we have been there already several times, that plot only shows that the variability of the rate of change in CO2 uptake is directly related to temperature (changes). That says next to nothing about the cause of the trend, as your offset is completely arbitrarely and a similar plot can be obtained by completely removing the temperature trend and adding a % of the emissions.

    And it doesn’t work for any other period of time than the current one, simply because we had a near parallel increase of temperature and CO2 rate of change, that gives a completely spurious correlation.

    Any temperature change of the oceans has a limited effect of maximum 16 ppmv/°C, no matter if that comes from the ocean surface alone or the deep oceans. In the latter case, the exchange flows are increased or decreased until the CO2 levels are back into equilibrium, but again limited in level and time. There is no known natural process that gives (near) unlimited CO2 releases for a small permanent increase in temperature.
    And vegetation works in opposite direction…

    See further the rest of the arguments in my previous message to Walter H. Schneider…

  116. alcheson says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    What you say is right, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ca(HCO3)2 is a weak buffer, where much of the buffer capacity is already used. That gives that any addition of CO2 will lower the pH (some 0.1 point since the industrial revolution) and thus a 100% increase in the atmosphere will give only a 10% increase in the ocean surface waters.
    The deep oceans are a different question, as these are far from saturated.

    But a better – chemical – explanation of the buffer/Revelle factor in the oceans can be found here:

    http://www.eng.warwick.ac.uk/staff/gpk/Teaching-undergrad/es427/Exam%200405%20Revision/Ocean-chemistry.pdf

  117. Well the general result is well known. The increased CO2 has caused an increase in plant growth. But it’s not enough.
    ——quote
    Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes, said Ballantyne. “When carbo
    ——–end quote
    And this is wrong and badly explained. The general yearly turnover of CO2 is a lot higher than the anthropogenic increment.

    The problem is that half the anthropogenic increment is staying in the atmosphere and is accumulating over time like a bank savings account.

  118. Stephen Wilde says
    During the 90s and up to 2000 the oceans were gaining energy as a result of more sunlight reaching the oceans during a period of reducing global cloudiness. That reduced their capacity to hold CO2 so the rate of uptake decreased.
    ———-
    I reckon you just made this up and that the measurements of CO2 flux into the oceans over this period say you’re wrong. Would you like to look up the measurements to prove me wrong?

  119. David Ball says:
    August 2, 2012 at 7:03 am

    “Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes,”

    This is a load of hooey, ……

    Indeed. A measure of the poor data behind such claims:

    Cardellini et al’s 2011 empirical work on measuring the co2 emission from old lava fields in central Italy at 9 Giga-tons a year is a case in point. This calls into question the assumption that humans are responsible for all the increase in airborne co2 since the 50?s, which is based on theoretical calculations which put the global emission of co2 from volcanic sources at 0.138 giga-tons a year – nearly 100 times less than a small part of Italy.

    Them’s some error bars!!

  120. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm
    Yes, but all sinks are natural, the few human sinks are negligible. Thus even if all human CO2 is captured within a minute by the next nearby tree or remains in the atmosphere forever, that doesn’t matter: the natural sinks are as large as the natural sources + halve the human emissions in quantity, whatever the exact mix which is removed.

    Fred, we’re not *making* brand-new CO2 — we’re releasing 100% natural CO2 that was 100% naturally sequestered in the 100% natural past. We can’t overload the sinks because the CO2 we’ve been releasing (and nature’s been releasing) came from those sinks in the first place.

  121. LazyTeenager says:
    August 3, 2012 at 1:42 am
    The problem is that half the anthropogenic increment is staying in the atmosphere and is accumulating over time like a bank savings account.

    Did you forget that means half the *naturally* occurring CO2 is also staying in the atmosphere, or did you just choose to ignore it?

  122. “Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes”, said Ballantyne.
    This statement is clearly calculated to give the impression that most emissions are due to humans. In fact natural emissions are around 30 times greater than human emissions.
    I’m reminded of the NASA climate scientist who told an outrageous and demonstrable lie on the BBC program ‘Science Under Attack’. The ‘scientist’ stated clearly that mankind emits 7 times more CO2 than nature. The sad thing is that most ordinary people probably know very little about climate science, and they would naturally assume that the scientist had told the truth. Even Paul Nurse, who hosted the program, was clearly ignorant and he swallowed the lie. Ironically, he went on to ask why some people doubted it.
    Mr Nurse, people doubt it because it’s a lie. You should be ashamed.
    The program’s name, ‘Science Under Attack’, is appropriate. Science clearly is under attack. But it’s the scientists themselves who are attacking science, either through outright fraud or by staying silent.
    I’m proud to be a sceptic, and I try to follow the Royal Society’s ancient motto: ‘Take no one’s word’.
    It’s the sceptics who are fighting for the integrity of science.
    Chris

  123. “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely. When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”

    Are these guys suggesting that photosynthesis is magically going to stop? Is there no hint of common sense that could stop this kind of idiocy before it makes it out of the ol’ pie hole?

  124. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    What you say is right, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ca(HCO3)2 is a weak buffer, where much of the buffer capacity is already used. That gives that any addition of CO2 will lower the pH (some 0.1 point since the industrial revolution) and thus a 100% increase in the atmosphere will give only a 10% increase in the ocean surface waters.
    ————————————–

    First off thanks for the lively discussion. That said, what you say above is what is proposed byCAGW theory scientitsts. However, if you take a large home aquarium and sprinkle in some finely crushed calcium carbonate and then seal the atmosphere over the tank and then increase the CO2 to your 100% level, the increase you get will be way larger than 10%. This setup is more appropriate to test the theory than just relying on a calculation. The experiments I have seen done to date do NOT use any sources of limestone in the water…. they at best take sea water (minus any sources of limestone) and then do an experiment. SORRY… but experiments like that are NOT mimmicking the real world.

    Putting the limestone in the water in finely crushed form of course speeds up the reaction to equilibrium MUCH faster than found in nature…. but the equilibrium is the same. I just dont think we need to wait a year or two to get to the equilbriium point for the experiment.

  125. Henry says:
    my question is: how much of that 70 ppm’s was due to natural warming?
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says
    For an increase of ~0.6°C over the past 50 years, the oceans are responsible for maximum 10 ppmv and probably halve of it, as vegetation was an increasing sink over the same period…

    Henry now asks:
    You tested this? How? Where are the results?

    Duster asks:
    What about the (bi) carbonate falling out as calcium carbonate?

    Henry says
    It happens a lot, but it is also governed temperature, as are the chemical reactions as shown in my previous post. More (natural) heat into the oceans meant less calcium carbonates. Which is why the coral reefs suffered, because they need calcium carbonate.
    Lucky enough (for the coral reefs, at least) the natural global warming has now come to an end.

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

  126. CORRECTION ON PREVIOUS POST
    Duster asks:
    What about the (bi) carbonate falling out as calcium carbonate?

    Henry says
    It happens a lot, but it is also governed BY temperature, as are the chemical reactions as shown in my previous post.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/02/earths-co2-sinks-increasing-their-uptake/#comment-1050039

    More (natural) heat into the oceans meant less calcium carbonates. Which is why the coral reefs suffered, because they need calcium carbonate.
    Lucky enough (for the coral reefs, at least) the natural global warming has now come to an end.

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

  127. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:47 am

    we’re not *making* brand-new CO2 — we’re releasing 100% natural CO2 that was 100% naturally sequestered in the 100% natural past. We can’t overload the sinks because the CO2 we’ve been releasing (and nature’s been releasing) came from those sinks in the first place.

    We are releasing very old, buried carbon that still would have been buried if we didn’t dig it up and burn it. We can’t overload the sinks, as what we release today will some day be buried again as coal or oil or chalk, even if that takes – again – millions of years. But we can overload the sink rate, as that has a limited capacity. If that wasn’t the case, there shouldn’t be any increase in the atmosphere…

  128. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 3, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Did you forget that means half the *naturally* occurring CO2 is also staying in the atmosphere, or did you just choose to ignore it?

    In fact the estimated exchange rate with other reservoirs is 150/800 or roughly 20% per year. Thus 80% of all original natural and human CO2 stays in the atmosphere and part comes back in another season. Only what is absorbed in the deep oceans will not return until a few centuries later. That doesn’t say anything about the quantities, as we add 8 GtC/year as CO2 and only 4 GtC/year is removed from the ~210 GtC (100 ppmv) over equilibrium. That is 50% of the total amount released by humans, but represents only 2% of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere or 0.5% of the total CO2 content in the atmosphere…

  129. alcheson says:
    August 3, 2012 at 7:40 am
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    What you say is right, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ca(HCO3)2 is a weak buffer, where much of the buffer capacity is already used. That gives that any addition of CO2 will lower the pH (some 0.1 point since the industrial revolution) and thus a 100% increase in the atmosphere will give only a 10% increase in the ocean surface waters.
    ————————————–

    First off thanks for the lively discussion. That said, what you say above is what is proposed byCAGW theory scientitsts. However, if you take a large home aquarium and sprinkle in some finely crushed calcium carbonate and then seal the atmosphere over the tank and then increase the CO2 to your 100% level, the increase you get will be way larger than 10%. This setup is more appropriate to test the theory than just relying on a calculation. The experiments I have seen done to date do NOT use any sources of limestone in the water…. they at best take sea water (minus any sources of limestone) and then do an experiment. SORRY… but experiments like that are NOT mimmicking the real world.

    Sorry but yours does not mimic the real world, ocean surface water has a much more complex composition. For your experiment starting at atmospheric composition the pH will be 8.27 and the Ca^2+ concentration will be 0.47mM. Increase the Pco2 by about a factor of 3 to 10^-3 atm and the pH becomes 7.96 and Ca^2+ concentration will be 0.66mM, an increase of ~40%.
    The real case of ocean water has an ionic composition of about 550 mM Cl^-, 470 mM Na^+, 28 mM SO4^2-, 53 mM Mg^2+, 10 mM Ca^2+ , 10 mM K^+, 2 mM HCO3^-……
    These values are borne out by experiment

  130. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 3, 2012 at 8:27 am
    @ me (August 3, 2012 at 2:47 am):
    But we can overload the sink rate, as that has a limited capacity. If that wasn’t the case, there shouldn’t be any increase in the atmosphere…

    So far, it appears the sink rate slowly increases in synch (couldn’t resist that) with the increase — if the sink rate remained constant, there would have been no CO2 left in the atmosphere during those times when the CO2 level plummeted.

  131. alcheson says:
    August 3, 2012 at 7:40 am

    However, if you take a large home aquarium and sprinkle in some finely crushed calcium carbonate and then seal the atmosphere over the tank and then increase the CO2 to your 100% level, the increase you get will be way larger than 10%.

    Such a test is far from reality as doing that, you alter the equilibrium because pure limestone is undersaturated in CO2 and you increase the pH and thus the buffer capacity…
    At every point of the oceans the equilibrium reactions are at work. For any part of the ocean surface, the temperature, pH and salt content gives the value for pCO2(aq). If that is higher than in the atmosphere, then CO2 is released (as happens near the equator), if that is lower, then CO2 is absorbed (as happens near the poles). Temperature is the most important driver for pCO2(aq), but if the pCO2(atm) increases for the same average temperature over the globe, then more CO2 is absorbed.

    pCO2(aq) is frequently measured over the oceans surface and as area weighted average it is 7 microatm lower than pCO2(atm). Thus the oceans (surface + deep) are a net sink for CO2. See:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml and following pages.

  132. Henry@Ferdinand
    There are no “results” reported in the link you suggested. You cannot “calculate” that which has not been measured first.
    This is what went wrong with this whole theory claiming that more CO2 causes warming.
    There are no results. It is all a fairy tale/scam.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

    Show me a graph with a correlation coefficient and I will believe you, that if you have a good fit and a good correlation, that you can calculate everything in between your measurements;
    here is an example on how to do things scientifically:

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

  133. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

    So far, it appears the sink rate slowly increases in synch (couldn’t resist that) with the increase — if the sink rate remained constant, there would have been no CO2 left in the atmosphere during those times when the CO2 level plummeted.

    In fact the sink rate in average (besides the influence of temperature variations) is in ratio to the distance to the equilibrium dictated by the average (seawater) temperature. That the emissions/sink ratio is quite constant over the past 160 years or so (and certainly over the past 50 years), is a result of the slightly exponential increase of the emissions over time, which results in a slightly exponential increase in the atmosphere (and thus of the distance to the equilibrium) and a slightly exponential increase of the sink rate. The net result is a near constant ratio between the “airborne fraction”/sink rate and the emissions:

  134. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Such a test is far from reality as doing that, you alter the equilibrium because pure limestone is undersaturated in CO2 and you increase the pH and thus the buffer capacity…

    ——————————————————

    So you admit then, that a body of water (in my case the aquarium example in the above discussion) in contact with an enormous source of limestone would give a much different result that an isolated body of water that has no limestone (think all of the CAGW experiments) since the undissolved limestone greatly increase the buffer capacity.

    Well, the ocean is in contact with many millions of gigatons of limestone….. the source of almost all the buffer capacity in the ocean. Yet, you claim that by doing (and referencing to) experiments that totally NEGLECT the limestone are valid and mimic the real world.

  135. HenryP says:
    August 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

    From the link I provided:

    Equation 4:
    The constant KH is called the Henry’s Law constant. The Henry’s Law relation shows that carbonic acid concentration is directly proportional to atmospheric CO2 partial pressure.

    From CDIAC ( http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/co2sys/CO2SYS_calc_DOS_Original/co2sys.txt ):
    K0 [note: KH in the above equation 4], the solubility of CO2 in seawater, is from Weiss (1974), who combined the measurements of Murray and Riley (1971) with some of his own and fit the resulting data. Estimates of the accuracy of K0 vary from 0.2% (Weiss 1974) to 0.5% (Dickson and Riley 1978).

    Thus the formula to calculate the solubility of CO2 in seawater was established near 40 years ago and is based on real measurements…

  136. Alcheson says:
    August 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    So you admit then, that a body of water (in my case the aquarium example in the above discussion) in contact with an enormous source of limestone would give a much different result that an isolated body of water that has no limestone (think all of the CAGW experiments) since the undissolved limestone greatly increase the buffer capacity.

    If you have an aquarium with fresh water and you add limestone and CO2, you will have a complete different experiment than with seawater, which is already in equilibrium with limestone. Adding limestone tp seawater will have no effect.
    Adding CO2 to seawater with and without limestone also are different experiments which will show different results (but many experiments used limestone…).
    And worse, adding a strong acid to lower the pH (as was done in several experiments) is not comparable at all with adding CO2…

  137. Dear Ferdinand
    I commend you on your persistence. But as I pointed out to Duster, all the chemical reactions involving the oceans’ water and carbondioxide, including the final one, forming calcium carbonate, are dependent on temperature. The natural global warming that occured from ca. 1945-1995-as seen from the energy input by the sun – was due to more SW coming through, mostly absorbed into the waters/
    I noticed from my own swimming pool, if I have the pump off during the day, that this heat accumulates in the top layer(s). You cannot use “average* temps. with Henry’s law because the reality is much, much different.
    Sorry, but you have not shown me how much of that 70 ppm’s was due to natural warming…

  138. Slabadang says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:29 am

    What are they really saying and why do they express themseves as they do?
    They admit 1. That there is an unbalance in the earth carbon sinks and that there are
    2 “some natural sources and 3 They DONT relate the level of co2 in the atmosfhere to
    temperature it self. They are simply trying to create another interpretaion af what
    Murry Salby discovered and the pure “hit the bullshit botton” is this::
    “It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra
    carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It
    hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been
    pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”
    Well you know temperature itself does that and when theese “scientists” can calculate at
    what temperature the global sinks is in “eqilibrium” they are wecome , because they dont
    have a clue what they are talkning about or how the “natural processes work” or how much
    of the co2 increase comes from humans or natural.

    Salby gave another seminar at the Sydney Institute.

    http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/speaker/murry-salby/

    It pulls the rug out from under climate models and CO2 in them.

  139. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm (but many experiments used limestone…)
    ——————————————————
    Please be so kind as to link a couple references. None I have read so far used limestone. I would like to read a couple and evaluate them.
    I do agree that adding a strong acid is not comparable at all to adding CO2, and I never claimed it was.

    I strongly disagree that solid limestone sources are no longer of any importance to ocean chemistry as you imply above.
    As CO2 goes up, pH changes or ocean temperature changes, carbonates can either dissolve or deposit. As I showed earlier, if you hold the pH constant, you can readily change the CO3^2- by adding CO2 so long as you have carbonate solids (limestone or other sources) available. Remember Ka = [H][CO3]/[HCO3] => Ka/[H]= [CO3]/[HCO3]. Since pH is constant, Ka/[H] is a constant and therefore, as [HCO3] increases due to higher CO2 in the air, [CO3--] in the ocean also must increase.
    At pH 8.2, if you bubble in sufficient CO2 into a limestone solution, CaHCO3 is soluble to the tune of 160g/liter so to say that limestone deposits are no longer of concern to ocean chemistry and CO2 is unlikely to be an accurate statement.

    Therefor, you must have excess limestone in your experiments, as you find in the ocean, if you want to run a valid experiment in my opinion.

  140. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 3, 2012 at 1:05 am

    “… a similar plot can be obtained by completely removing the temperature trend and adding a % of the emissions.”

    Can’t. Phase doesn’t match. The temperature leads CO2, which means that you are proposing an anti-causal relationship, which is not possible in this particular universe.

    “And it doesn’t work for any other period of time than the current one…”

    A) These are the most reliable CO2 measurements we have, and we have no way to verify proxy reconstructions before 1958. The relationship has held in the modern era since 1958 and, since that is the time in which the greater part of the rise in CO2 occurred, it follows at the very least that human CO2 production is not responsible for that greater part of the rise in CO2.

    B) CO2eq is not necessarily, or even generally, a constant. We do not know its value or values pre-1958, we only know that it was close to a particular range of values proportional to the temperature anomaly since then. And, that information is enough to exonerate human culpability for the lion’s share of the rise in CO2.

    “…simply because we had a near parallel increase of temperature and CO2 rate of change, that gives a completely spurious correlation.”

    You have no basis for claiming the correlation is spurious, and the odds that it is a spurious correlation, given that all those years matched so closely, are infinitesimal.

    “Any temperature change of the oceans has a limited effect of maximum 16 ppmv/°C, no matter if that comes from the ocean surface alone or the deep oceans.”

    That violates mass balance. If new CO2 rich waters are constantly entering the surface system, then CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere until such as time as CO2 downwelling matches CO2 upwelling. Current data show that upwelling content is much greater than downwelling. Before long, the atmosphere, land, and oceans are doing Lucy’s bit with the chocolates.

    Everything anyone needs to know to determine that CO2 concentration is being regulated naturally is contained in this plot.

  141. Correction to Bart @ August 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm:

    “We do not know its value or values pre-1958, we only know that it was close to a particular range of values proportional to the integral of the temperature anomaly since then.”

  142. Henry@Bart
    That was an interesting plot. I knew/figured that temperature leads CO2, of course, but I had not seen that plot. Now you might be interested in something else I figured (but I don’t have the plot, yet)
    I think the global warming- and subsequent global cooling periods of ca. 50-51 years each are caused by decreasing and increasing ozone levels, respectively. Lower ozone allows more SW of higher energy (<0.3 um) through which get absorbed in the oceans and is transferred to heat. We are now entering a period of cooling as ozone levels are increasing again.
    Obviously, it seems that this is all happening because of changes on the sun. Either more ozone is produced or the atmosphere is shrinking a bit, causing said increase.

  143. HenryP says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    You cannot use “average* temps. with Henry’s law because the reality is much, much different.
    Sorry, but you have not shown me how much of that 70 ppm’s was due to natural warming…

    At any place of the sea surface, an increase of 1°C will give an increase of ~16 microatm in pCO2 of the surface waters. The ~16 microatm changes somewhat with the local temperature, salinity and pH, but that doesn’t make the bulk of the change.

    For the hot equatorial waters, that would give an increase of ~16 microatm on top of the maximum 750 microatm already measured there. For the cold polar waters, the 16 microatm comes on top of 150 microatm minimum measured there.

    The net effect is that the driving force which pushes more CO2 into the atmosphere from the hot Pacific waters is increased from 750 – 400 = 350 microatm to 365 microatm, thus giving an increase of 4% in differential pressure and thus 4% more CO2 input flow (input to the atmosphere).

    The reverse happens at the poles: the sink rate in the cold polar waters is reduced with 11%:
    400 – 250 = 150 is reduced to 400 – 265 = 135 microatm partial pressure difference.

    The increase of inflow at one side and the decrease of outflow at the other side gives an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, but that increase ends when the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere increases so much that the initial pressure differences are reached again. That is with an increase of 16 microatm in the atmosphere, or ~16 ppmv.

    It doesn’t matter much that at some areas the seawater temperature will increase more than at other places, but to compensate for such differences, the area weighted averages are used for temperature, pCO2, average wind speed and fluxes.

    • @Ferdinand Engelbeen August 4, 2012 at 2:17 am

      Thank you so much for that calculation. Knowing a little bit about factors affecting CO2 solubility I’ve longed to come up with such figures, but always struggled with the complexity of it.

  144. Alcheson says:
    August 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Direct from nature:

    http://www.co2.ulg.ac.be/recifeng.htm

    But this is not my usual point of study…

    At pH 8.2, if you bubble in sufficient CO2 into a limestone solution, CaHCO3 is soluble to the tune of 160g/liter so to say that limestone deposits are no longer of concern to ocean chemistry and CO2 is unlikely to be an accurate statement.

    If you bubble pure CO2 into a solution, the pCO2 is 1 million microatm, quite a difference for the equilibria, compared to an atmospheric CO2 doubling where you go from 300 microatm to 600 microatm. In your experiment, the pCO2 pressure is 1700 times higher than an atmospheric CO2 doubling…

    Just read somewhere that at the temperature and salt/carbonate content of the North Sea, only at 1000 ppmv in the atmosphere CaCO3 will start to dissolve…

  145. Bart said:

    “If new CO2 rich waters are constantly entering the surface system, then CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere until such as time as CO2 downwelling matches CO2 upwelling. Current data show that upwelling content is much greater than downwelling.”

    Could Ferdinand address that point please ?

    With both sinks and sources for CO2 varying greatly over time I cannot really envisage such a simple scenario as a 1C water temperature rise always giving a maximum 16ppm CO2 rise in the atmosphere.

    Simply put, if the absorption capacity of water falls as a result of warming then CO2 in the air will be blocked from entering the water as fast as would otherwise have been the case.

    If, in the meantime, the wide variety of other natural sources of CO2 in the air are speeding up due to that warming then we have to add together the extra CO2 left in the air by the warmer water plus the additional excess being produced by the sources.

    Furthermore Murry Salby doesn’t limit his findings to the ocean surface. He also introduces the soil moisture content across the globe. Warming over land during the day and in summer or during a general long term warming trend such as that from LIA to date being much greater than warming over oceans the CO2 response from warmer soil moisture would be larger than that from the oceans.

    I cannot see how that would all be capped at 16ppm per 1C temperature rise.

    Is Ferdinand only considering the response to the initial warming of a static parcel of water and ignoring the the disproportionate effect involving soil moisture and the response of the other CO2 sources to that warming (especially biosphere acceleration) ?

    That extra 1C doesn’t just slow down the water uptake of CO2 as Ferdinand seems to think. It also perks up all the natural sources to cause a much bigger backing up within the system than just 16ppm.

  146. Ferdinand Engelbeen says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/02/earths-co2-sinks-increasing-their-uptake/#comment-1051232

    I appreciate your comment as I am always willing to learn. Unfortunately I believe the reality is different.
    First of all, what I learned from my initial tables, is that global warming was driven by increasing maxima, not increasing minima. If CO2 had anything to do with the global warming it would have been minima pushing up the means.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    Next I learned that there have always been periods of 50 or 51 years where there is this natural global warming and global cooling cycle.

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    Hence the significance of 50 year periods in the Jewish faith. (7 x7 +1 Jubilee year) – Moses must have picked this up from the Egyptians who were experts on the sun’s cycles.
    Obviously, being in a global warming cycle, earth has its own balancing system to keep things in check (so we might have life – at all- or afterall ): …..the weather….

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/24/willis-publishes-his-thermostat-hypothesis-paper/

    (if you have never read this paper, you should plan for it to read it sometime)
    More global warming simply meant more storms, and more and/or bigger weather systems, developing over the oceans to equalize the heat over all the earth. Now, I am not sure if you have ever seen what happens with a storm over the sea,
    but at the centre the pressure is so low that the water boils, thereby vaporising the water…… and this is exactly what happens when we boil water in a kettle.
    Now, any chemistry student knows that the first smoke from the (warmed) water in a kettle is the CO2 being released. In fact, we were taught even to boil de-ionised water to remove the CO2. Exactly the same thing happens in “the weather”.
    So here we come to cause and effect, get it? Smoking causes cancer but cancer does not cause smoking. My conclusion: Natural warming also causes an increase in CO2. How much is that? How much (of the 70 or 80 ppm’s increase since 1960) was that, exactly?
    I believe given the number of variables and untested factors, you would be wise to say that it is simply incalculable.

  147. Well as the token lay person.
    The way i see it is that Mother Nature her name isnt Giha its Goldylocks.
    Basically she dosent like it too hot or too cold.Basically shes always got her hand on the Thermostat keeping things just right..
    3 Bears ?

  148. Bart says:
    August 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Can’t. Phase doesn’t match. The temperature leads CO2, which means that you are proposing an anti-causal relationship, which is not possible in this particular universe.

    Temperature indeed leads CO2 with a few months, see in more detail:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:60/mean:12/scale:0.2/from:1990/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/mean:12/from:1990

    Your plot doesn’t show the same lead, as you compare the derivative of the CO2 levels to the temperature plot. For the same detail, even seems to precede the temperature in some cases:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean:12/from:1990/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1959/scale:0.3/offset:0.1/from:1990

    But the derivative of the temperature, again shows the same lag as expected:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean:12/from:1990/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1959/scale:5/offset:2/from:1990/derivative/mean:12

    That shows the same variability of CO2 as result of temperature variability, without any substantial influence on the trend itself. Because the latter is caused by the human emissions, not the temperature trend…

    A) These are the most reliable CO2 measurements we have, and we have no way to verify proxy reconstructions before 1958.

    Of course, if you ignore data you don’t like… Ice core data are reliable, direct measurements of ancient air, be it averaged over several years to many centuries. For the period 1850-1960 with sufficient resolution (~8 years in two Law Dome ice cores), including an overlap of ~20 years (1960-1980) with direct measurements at the South Pole. The reproducability is within 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) for different samples at the same gas age of the two cores (+ a third core with less resolution) and the atmosphere for the overlapping period:

    The relationship has held in the modern era since 1958 and, since that is the time in which the greater part of the rise in CO2 occurred, it follows at the very least that human CO2 production is not responsible for that greater part of the rise in CO2

    The relationship is real for the variability in sink rate, but completely spurious for the trend. It violates the mass balance (where does the human CO2 get?) and there is no known natural process that can deliver a continuous stream of CO2 for a small increase in temperature (see further for the deep ocean upwelling).

    B) CO2eq is not necessarily, or even generally, a constant. We do not know its value or values pre-1958

    Whatever you think about ice cores, there is a strong relationship between the temperature proxy and the direct CO2 measurements over the past 800 kyear. That relationship didn’t change over the full 800 kyr period, neither over more detailed periods like the MWP-LIA. It is constrained around 8 ppmv/°C. Even if the resolution is wide (560 years in the Dome C record, 21 years in the Law Dome DSS record), any higher frequency variability would be problematic for plants at the low side during 100 kyr of glacial periods, thus quite unlikely.

    Thus CO2eq is quite stable over periods from a few decades to many millennia, even if the real ratio (temperature in this case is a proxy for the SH oceans) may be somewhat higher or lower.

    You have no basis for claiming the correlation is spurious, and the odds that it is a spurious correlation, given that all those years matched so closely, are infinitesimal.

    – There is no known natural process that produces 70 ppmv CO2 from a temperature increase of 0.6°C.
    – The same close relationship can be obtained by the sum of two variables: temperature changes and emissions. The latter alone gives a much better correlation with the trend than temperature alone over the past 104 years:

    and

    In the latter trend one can see that a fast interannual temperature change of halve the scale has a small effect on the CO2 levels, but the whole trend would give a huge change in CO2 over the past 104 years, while a change over 50 years (MWP-LIA) with a 21 years resolution only shows a 6 ppmv change for a drop of ~0.8°C over a few centuries:

    That violates mass balance. If new CO2 rich waters are constantly entering the surface system, then CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere until such as time as CO2 downwelling matches CO2 upwelling. Current data show that upwelling content is much greater than downwelling.

    The carbon content of the current upwelling waters is certainly higher than of the downwelling waters, because the deep oceans are enriched by sinking organic and inorganic carbonates from biolife at the surface. But there are no data which show that the total upwelling fluxes are greater than the downwelling fluxes, to the contrary: the overall average weighted flux is that the oceans are a net sink for CO2:

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

    “This map yields an annual oceanic uptake flux for CO2 of 2.2 ± 0.4 GtC/yr”. Figures are for the reference year 1995. That includes as well as the ocean surface as the deep ocean upwelling/downwelling.

    Then your notion that the enriched deep ocean waters are constantly increasing the atmosphere: as already explained to HenryP, that is only as long as the increase in the atmosphere is not reducing the inflows and outflows back to what it was before the temperature rise. 16 ppmv is enough to do that for a global area weighted 1°C temperature rise.

    It doesn’t matter what the ancient CO2 level at the downwelling side was 800-1600 years ago. If it was (much) higher or (much) lower, the flux at the upwelling side would increase/decrease accordingly, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere would follow accordingly and at halve the ancient change in CO2 level (for which there is no proof), the in/out fluxes are again in equilibrium… Except if you expect that the ancient air was 200 ppmv higher than today and the upwelling of today changed with that amount in 160 years, without much smoothing during the 800-1600 years of transport… But even so, that has nothing to do with a current temperature effect.

  149. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Simply put, if the absorption capacity of water falls as a result of warming then CO2 in the air will be blocked from entering the water as fast as would otherwise have been the case.

    First the static case:
    For a given temperature and salt content, there is a fixed ratio between pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq), according to Henry’s Law.
    If you increase the seawater temperature with 1°C, the pCO2(aq) increases with ~16 microatm. Thus releasing CO2 to the atmosphere until the atmosphere also increased with 16 microatm (~16 ppmv, a small difference is by water vapour content in air).
    The real increase in temperature since the LIA is at maximum 1°C (depending of what reconstruction you prefer) thus may have caused an increase of 16 ppmv at maximum in the atmosphere. But we measure an increase of 100+ ppmv (70 ppmv since Mauna Loa). That not only proves that the oceans are not the cause of the increase, but also shows that the oceans did become a net sink for CO2, as the pCO2 of the atmosphere now is higher than of the oceans for the current temperature.

    For the dynamic case:
    Besides the seasonal changes, which are not of interest here (largely in equilibrium after a full cycle) and a limited uptake by the ocean surface waters, there is the continuous release of CO2 in the tropics, the continuous uptake of CO2 near the poles and the continuous exchange of these fluxes via the deep oceans and the atmosphere. Any disturbance in flows and/or content and/or temperature will result in a change of fluxes in/out the atmosphere and/or levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. But these are all limited in time for a limited change in one of these components: the moment that the CO2 level in the atmosphere is enough to increase/decrease the in/outfluxes back to equilibrium.

    Furthermore Murry Salby doesn’t limit his findings to the ocean surface. He also introduces the soil moisture content across the globe. Warming over land during the day and in summer or during a general long term warming trend such as that from LIA to date being much greater than warming over oceans the CO2 response from warmer soil moisture would be larger than that from the oceans.

    We have a quite reliable measurements of the total uptake for the whole biosphere, as well over land as in the oceans: the oxygen use. That shows that the biosphere as a whole is an increasing net sink for CO2. That includes bacterial breakdown of buried carbon in soils (as that also needs O2)… The increased pCO2 pressure in the atmosphere also pushes more CO2 into plant alveoles water, which results in increasing plant growth. The earth is greening…

    It also perks up all the natural sources to cause a much bigger backing up within the system than just 16ppm.

    The real temperature-CO2 ratio seems more restricted to 8 ppmv/°C, as the biosphere in general increases in uptake with higher temperatures, opposite to the oceans. Moreover, over longer periods of warming, the total bio area over land increases as land based ice sheets retreat and ice is replaced by tundra and tundra is replaced by forests…

  150. “the biosphere in general increases in uptake (of CO2) with higher temperatures, opposite to the oceans”

    I don’t think that is correct.So my question is as to how well we know the net global CO2 response of the entire biosphere to a rise in temperature of 1C.

    I have in mind a scenario whereby the Earth’s surface is currently rather cold for biosphere activity as compared to the Carboniferous period.

    Thus a bit more warmth makes a substantial difference to the entire biosphere (on land and in oceans) such that it ramps up a great deal in response to small temperature changes with a lot more CO2 pumped into the air during warmer spells as compared to cooler spells.

    Photosynthesis burns oxygen and produces CO2 but only occurs when there is light.

    When there is no light plants consume oxygen and release CO2 (respiration).

    The balance between oxygen consumption and CO2 production depends on the amount of light:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/science/organisms_behaviour_health/food_chains/revise4.shtml

    Now long term the amount of light is pretty stable since TSI from the sun is largely constant but we all know that plants and ocean organisms grow more at a higher temperature because the amount of energy needed (from photosynthesis) per unit of growth is reduced.

    So what happens if the temperature rises but the amount of light does not ?

    The same amount of photosynthesis takes place but the amount of respiration increases due to the larger surface area of the larger or more numerous plants and ocean organisms.

    A warmer temperature without more sunlight therefore increases CO2 production from respiration as compared to oxygen produced from photosynthesis.

    So, maybe the warmer oceans do only add 16ppm of CO2 to the air per 1C temperature rise.

    But how much extra CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere by plants and ocean organisms as a result of a 1C temperature rise in the absence of any additional light to fuel more photosynthesis ?

    I think that figure would produce quite a surprise.

    As a separate issue the figure of 16ppm per 1C in relation to the oceans might be inadequate anyway because soil moisture on the land masses would release CO2 upon being warmed which is another factor that you have not taken into account.

    My guess is that the carbon cycle (and the amount of CO2 in the air) is much more responsive to small temperature changes than has hitherto been apreciated especially on centennial timescales such as MWP to LIA to date and the scale of that variability has for whatever reason not found its way into the ice core record.

    Stomata data does show more variability than the ice cores but I suspect that even they do not reveal the full extent of natural CO2 variability in the atmosphere.

  151. HenryP says:
    August 4, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Now, I am not sure if you have ever seen what happens with a storm over the sea,
    but at the centre the pressure is so low that the water boils, thereby vaporising the water…

    Having been a sailor (engine room) for a few years instead of (then obliged) military service, I never saw the waters boiling that way, but indeed heavy foaming at gail force 11…
    To boil water at the center of a storm at 900 mbar, one still needs 90°C…

    Natural warming also causes an increase in CO2. How much is that?
    16 ppmv/°C, certainly not more, probably less because of increased sinks, if the other Henry’s Law still works as proven so many times…

  152. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I have in mind a scenario whereby the Earth’s surface is currently rather cold for biosphere activity as compared to the Carboniferous period.

    Agreed, but I you may agree that the higher temperatures during the Carboniferous and the higher CO2 levels caused an increase in uptake by the biosphere, which is what we are digging up and using today…

    But how much extra CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere by plants and ocean organisms as a result of a 1C temperature rise in the absence of any additional light to fuel more photosynthesis ?

    Higher temperatures and more CO2 do increase the CO2 uptake by plants, all other necessities, including sunlight, being equal. That is what is done in greenhouses: more CO2, more heat (and more light in many cases). But here are the real figures:

    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

    The oxygen use shows that the biosphere as a whole is a net sink for CO2. The measurements of the pCO2 differences and calculated fluxes over the oceans show that the oceans as a whole are a net sink for CO2. There is only one clear, continuous increasing source: the human emissions.

  153. Ferdinand.

    Thanks for your replies but you have not dealt with the main point.

    TSI has remained much the same but the temperature has risen for other reasons.

    If that happens, biosphere respiration involving production of CO2 increases relative to consumption of CO2 for the process of photosynthesis.

    The paper you linked to said this:

    “high atmospheric CO2 growth rates during most El Nino events are due to a
    large land source”

    Which confirms my proposal that higher temperatures without more sunlight will produce greater CO2 release from the biosphere because El Nino events warm the atmosphere without altering the amount of light available to fuel photosynthesis.

    Given that temperatures have been increasing since the LIA without a large increase in raw TSI (the temperature rise having been a result of other aspects of solar variability) would that not explain why atmospheric CO2 has been rising without the need to invoke human emissions ?

    The oceans are a net sink. They always are but the strength of that sink varies.

    However the biosphere is not always a net sink.

    When the globe is cooling then biosphere activity slows down despite TSI remaining approximately constant so that the biosphere becomes a net sink.Photosynthesis exceeds respiration.

    When the globe is warming then biosphere activity speeds up despite TSI remaining approximately constant so that the biosphere becomes a net source. Respiration excedds photosynthesis.

    So, MWP to LIA the biosphere progressively moves from source to sink. LIA to date the biosphere moves progressively from sink to source.

    I think the current rise in CO2 is due to a combination of :

    i) Reduced ocean absorption due to higher ocean temperatures.

    ii) Increased biosphere release due to rising temperatures without an increase in light.

  154. “The oxygen use shows that the biosphere as a whole is a net sink for CO2.”

    Not necessarily.

    All that is needed to account for recent observations is for respiration to increase relative to oxygen consumption so at a time of active sun one could have an increase in oxygen consumption but a greater increase in respiration because the effect of the higher temperature on growth rates is larger than the effect of more light on growth rates.

  155. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 8:41 am

    All that is needed to account for recent observations is for respiration to increase relative to oxygen consumption so at a time of active sun one could have an increase in oxygen consumption but a greater increase in respiration

    You can’t have it both:
    At night, respiration of plants is high and CO2 is released, but that comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates and in general uses oxygen (it may do temporarely without oxygen, but that is like oxygen starved muscles under heavy use, not really good for you or the plants). During daytime, photosynthesis is at work, CO2 is incorporated into carbohydrates (and a lot of other stuff), releasing O2 at the same time. The overall balance since the 1990’s is that more oxygen is released and thus more CO2 is incorporated than reverse…

  156. “The overall balance since the 1990′s is that more oxygen is released and thus more CO2 is incorporated than reverse…”

    That doesn’t necessarily follow.

    The active sun reduced global cloudiness which would allow more light to the surface hence an increase in oxygen production.

    However the air temperature rose which has its own separate effect on plant growth.

    All that is necessary to skew the balance in favour of CO2 production is for the effect on growth of the higher temperature to have a larger influence than the effect on growth of the higher light levels.

    Can you demonstrate that that did not happen ?

  157. Note that a particular light level in a low temperature situation can produce more oxygen than CO2 but that the same light level in a high temperature situation can produce as much or more CO2 than oxygen.

    It is a matter of balance between the different effects on growth of light and heat and nowhere have I seen a proper analysis of the changing relationship in the real world.

  158. “As we have been there already several times, that plot only shows that the variability of the rate of change in CO2 uptake is directly related to temperature (changes). That says next to nothing about the cause of the trend, as your offset is completely arbitrarely and a similar plot can be obtained by completely removing the temperature trend and adding a % of the emissions.”

    No, it’s not temperature change but temperature level, and it’s not only variability of the change in CO2 – it’s total accumulation over a period observation.

  159. Ferdinand Engelbeen says
    To boil water at the center of a storm at 900 mbar, one still needs 90°C…
    Henry says
    You don’t know the force of nature. It goes much lower than 900 mbar, in the centre, that is, where it sucks up all the water vapor.

    ////

    Natural warming also causes an increase in CO2. How much is that?

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    16 ppmv/°C, certainly not more, probably less because of increased sinks, if the other Henry’s Law still works as proven so many times…

    Henry says
    yes, well, I will also keep my eyes on Henry.

  160. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

    All that is necessary to skew the balance in favour of CO2 production is for the effect on growth of the higher temperature to have a larger influence than the effect on growth of the higher light levels.

    Stephen, both processes increase the uptake of CO2: higher temperatures in general stimulate plant growth and more sunlight stimulates plant growth and as an extra bonus, higher CO2 levels stimulate plant growth. In all three cases, more CO2 is sequestered by the plants and more oxygen is released.

    Higher temperatures may give a -temporarely- increase in vegetation decay (as happens in summer vs. winter and some natural oscillations like an El Niño may give a temporarely drought in normally high growth areas, too high temperatures combined with drought may even kill a lot of plants in some area, but the global average is more CO2 uptake and more O2 release for all processes combined.

    The oxygen use is measured, what human used for fossil fuel combustion is calculated and the difference shows that the biosphere is a net source of oxygen, thus a net sink for CO2, whatever the processes (decay, temperature, precipitation or sunlight) involved.

  161. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 3:49 am

    “Is Ferdinand only considering the response to the initial warming of a static parcel of water and ignoring the the disproportionate effect involving soil moisture and the response of the other CO2 sources to that warming (especially biosphere acceleration) ?”

    Yes. He neglects the continuous inward flow of new CO2 versus the current outward flow. If the former is greater than the latter, then you will accumulate more and more of the gas in the surface system, including the atmosphere. Period, full stop. Any other assumption violates mass conservation. His argument against this accumulation relies on a nebulous assertion of rapidly evolving opposing forces, apparently without realizing that, if these ethereal reactions truly existed at such levels, they would operate with equal strength to oppose the introduction of human generated input.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 4, 2012 at 6:03 am

    “But the derivative of the temperature, again shows the same lag as expected:”

    You are showing the derivative of the temperature and the derivative of the CO2. Of course that is going to have the same phase relationship as the temperature and the CO2. This is trivial. What we see, though, is that the phases match when you plot the temperature and the derivative of the CO2. Temperature is driving CO2. The relationship could not be clearer, and you are sticking your head in the sand.

    “Of course, if you ignore data you don’t like…”

    And, of course, so do you. But, I have good reason to ignore the data I do not like, because they are fundamentally unverifiable, and made using inferior means. Besides which, the question is moot. If the proxy data are truly faithful, then there was simply a shift in the relative inflows and outflows sometime before 1958. Such sudden shifts in the climate states are not in any way rare or unusual.

    You, however, are in the position of denying the best and most modern data in favor of unverifiable, inferior data from proxies. Because the best and most modern data without question soundly contradict your thesis.

    “The relationship is real for the variability in sink rate, but completely spurious for the trend.”

    You have no basis for this assertion. Zero. Zip. Nada.

    “There is no known natural process that produces 70 ppmv CO2 from a temperature increase of 0.6°C.”

    It’s not the temperature increase on the surface driving it. It is the difference with the equivalent temperature of the ocean currents which downwelled rich in CO2 centuries ago.

    “The same close relationship can be obtained by the sum of two variables: temperature changes and emissions. “

    Can’t. The phases of the variations do not align.

    “But there are no data which show that the total upwelling fluxes are greater than the downwelling fluxes…”

    Your own link contradicts you. Look at the content of the waters upwelling in the tropics, versus those downwelling at the poles.

    “…that is only as long as the increase in the atmosphere is not reducing the inflows and outflows back to what it was before the temperature rise.”

    No, until there is a match between the equilibrium conditions of the upwelling and downwelling waters from back at the time the currently upwelling waters initially downwelled.

    “It doesn’t matter what the ancient CO2 level at the downwelling side was 800-1600 years ago. “

    It most assuredly does, and you are violating mass balance to claim it does not.

  162. Edim says:
    August 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

    No, it’s not temperature change but temperature level, and it’s not only variability of the change in CO2 – it’s total accumulation over a period observation.

    No, it is a change in temperature which causes a change in pCO2 of the oceans, which leads to an increase of CO2 level (thus pCO2) in the atmosphere for an increased temperature. Once these are again equal in area weighted average, that is in overall, dynamic equilibrium (the sum of all inflows together and the sum of all outflows together are equal) there is no influence of the newly reached temperature anymore.

    Temperature is variable, which causes the huge variability in the CO2 sink rate (average 4-5 ppmv/°C) and of course there is a residual trend of ~0.6°C over the past 50 years which, according to Henry’s Law, should give a 10 ppmv increase in the atmosphere at maximum (16 ppmv/°C). That will not even be reached as the biosphere goes the other way out with higher temperatures…
    Even over glacial – interglacial transitions, the gain of a ~10°C increase over 5,000 years time is not more than 80 ppmv.

    Thus the 70 ppmv increase over the past 50 years (at 100 ppmv/°C!) should be sought somewhere else. As humans emit about twice the observed increase in the atmosphere and the increase in the atmosphere follows the emissions at an incredible constant rate (not seen in any natural process), I don’t think you need to look any further…

  163. Hi Henry.

    I find your tables interesting and supportive of my general overview.

    We just need some time to pass to validate or rebut both of our positions.

    Stephen.

  164. “The increase in the atmosphere follows the emissions at an incredible constant rate ”

    Really ?

    The rate of increase in the atmosphere is pretty steady but the rate of human emissions varies significantly.

    We need to seek the cause of such a steady increase somewhere else.

  165. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

    “No, it is a change in temperature which causes a change in pCO2 of the oceans, which leads to an increase of CO2 level (thus pCO2) in the atmosphere for an increased temperature… Thus the 70 ppmv increase over the past 50 years (at 100 ppmv/°C!) should be sought somewhere else.”

    It is being sought elsewhere.This is not a closed system, and a change in surface temperature is NOT the only driving force.

    You have a continuous inflow of CO2 laden waters from deep ocean upwelling, and a continuous outflow from downwelling. When the former is greater than the latter, you will accumulate CO2 in the atmosphere. It is NOT a change in surface temperature only which drives respiration from the oceans. It is a change in the relative equilibrium between inflowing and outflowing, which depends on more than just surface temperature.

    I explained how the integral relationship comes about mathematically here.

  166. Ferdinand.

    You have ignored the fact that:

    i) When it is dark there is no photosynthesis so oxygen is taken in and CO2 is given out.

    ii) In a dim light the two process approximately cancel out

    ii) In a stronger light carbon dioxide is taken in and oxygen is given out.

    So if one increases temperature without increasing the available light that will skew the balance in favour of CO2 production and because increased temperatures reduce ocean absorption then CO2 will accumulate in the air.

    If light increases as it did fractionally during the late 20th century warming period due to decreased global albedo then that will produce more oxygen and atmospheric oxygen may well increase but at the same time the temperature increase will nonetheless skew the overall balance in favour of more CO2.

    We get more oxygen absorbed but even more CO2 respired because the effect of the temperature rise on plant growth is greater than the effect of the increase in light.

    Now we know that the oceans are always a net sink. All that varies is the power of the sink.

    You aver that the biosphere is a sink too.

    If both oceans and biosphere are net sinks where do you think the natural CO2 in the atmosphere comes from ?

    If both oceans and biosphere are natural sinks all the time then pretty soon no CO2 and no biosphere.

    The truth is that the oceans vary as a net sink and the biosphere varies between a net sink and a net source depending on the temperature at any given time.

    As far as I can see your oxygen increase data comes from an analysis comparing the O2 / N2 balance.

    Where are figures for the O2 / CO2 balance ?

    I say that both O2 AND CO2 increase in a warming world with an active sun and both decrease in a cooling world with a less active sun but in both cases the CO2 response is the larger.

    As yet the oceanic buffer is hiding the effect of the less active sun but if the inactivity continues long enough then the data will follow.

  167. Bart said:

    “You have a continuous inflow of CO2 laden waters from deep ocean upwelling, and a continuous outflow from downwelling. When the former is greater than the latter, you will accumulate CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    I have said several times that a period of high sea surface temperatures such as the MWP and low sea surface temperatures such as the LIA will introduce horizontal temperature variations along the entire length of the thermohaline circulation and are bound to have an effect on the CO2 balance when they emerge some 800 to 1000 years later.

    However it is not the CO2 content of those waters that matters, it is the temperature.

    During the MWP the surface waters were warm and would have contained LESS CO2 when they were subducted.

    During the LIA the surface waters were cooler and would have contained MORE CO2 when they were subducted.

    However, the resurfacing of the fractionally warmer MWP waters some 800 to 1000 years later would add to the warmth injected into the surface waters by solar activity or rather would cool those waters less than water from the LIA would have done and the effect would be to reduce sea surface absorption capability, add to the strength of El Nino relative to La Nina and lead to more CO2 production over land areas as per the link that Ferdinand helpfully referred us to.

    That link clearly shows that warm sea surfaces such as during an El Nino lead to a significant increase in CO2 production by vegetation over land areas.

    I have explained why that happens but Ferdinand cannot accept the implications of his own link.

  168. Stephen Wilde says
    I find your tables interesting and supportive of my general overview.
    We just need some time to pass to validate or rebut both of our positions
    Hi Stephen.
    Thanks. I remember that it was you who gave me the idea to cut up the results to look at the speed of warming in successive sun cycle periods. Indeed the results turned out different than I had expected myself. I most certainly did not expect to find that it already has been cooling for so long. Don’t forget we are still looking at extremely small change.Most recently I am not too sure anymore of the satellite results, as far as accuracy, precision and global representativity is concerned.
    Overall, yes, noting the nature of the relationship of the speed of warming/cooling in degrees C per annum versus time, I do think that I will now have to go with my idea that the whole global warming and global cooling cycle is governed by the UV-O2-O3 cycle. Most recently I heard that there is some shrinkage going on in the upper atmosphere? Do you know anything about that and why? (a shrinking atmosphere would also be a cause of an increase in ozone concentration)

  169. goldie says:
    August 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    There is little doubt that rainforests etc have expanded in the past in response to warming – mainly because the equatorial climate belt gets larger. However, I have difficulty understanding how this is going to happen with the current aforestation that is occurring.
    _________________________
    Old trees are CO2 neutral while young trees sequester CO2. I am not a biologist so I am not up on the amount of CO2 up take of non-trees vs trees but the seasonal variation says it is big. I do know that forest margins and cut forests add greatly to “Biodiversity” from a talk by a biologists (The Greenpeace and Sierra club drones trying to close down the trails in ALL the state parks left in a huff.)

    Englebeen is missing the point that at least in the USA we DOUBLED our harvests per acre since the early 1900s and the grain/food/cloth from that DOUBLED harvest is now sequestered in the greatly expanded human population. Think about it Humans sequester CO2 by increasing in number (snicker)

    Englebeen also misses the point that humans by interfering are pushing plants towards maximum growth. For example I mow my pastures which not only puts down mulch that traps moist but stimulated additional young growth. If I do not mow the grasses “bolt” seed and quit growing. On top of that I over-seed in the fall with a second “crop” of grass giving me a tri-model growth curve with peaks in the fall, spring and summer instead of just one short summer peak. Not only do I get more overall growth I also get much higher protein levels through out the year.

    “Climate Scientists” dismiss the annuals etc as not sequestering CO2 without taking into account the addition animal population supported per acre. Managing pastures correctly will DOUBLE the number of animals per acre. That is not pie in the sky either since my carefully managed pastures supports twice the pounds per acre the USDA “officially” says it will.

    All of these management changes in both crops and livestock management is NEW within the last century or less. Which is what I originally tried to point out to Engelbeen but as usual he waved away.

    OH, and Engelbeen, the CO2 in bubbles vs CO2 in ICE + Bubbles with CO2 in ICE + Bubbles ~ stomata data is from Jaworowski and Segalstad. I have typed part of a different article out below. (Could not find the specific one)

    …Wigley (1983) claimed that ‘the most compelling support for a (low) 270 ppm pre-industrial CO2 level comes from direct measurements of CO2 in the ice-cores’ and cited Neftel et al. (1982). Their data indicated rather a decreasing trend during the last 2000 years. The found that CO2 concentrations in air bubbles from 150-year-old ice ranged from 300 to 2350 ppm.

    Ironically, those who found CO2 concentrations of between 270 and 390 ppm in 180-year-old ice also preferred values close to the lower end of the range because these were ‘within the range estimated (by Callendar) pre-industrial atmospheric content of 290 ppm’ (Berner et al., 1978 for similar statements see also Raynaud and Barnola, 1985, and Pearman et al., 1986).

    Because of uncertainties in 19th century air measurements, studies of CO2 in glacier ice became the cornerstone of the current greenhouse warming edifices and a basis for studies of the global carbon cycle (e.g., Broecker et al., 1985; Boin et al., 1989). It is astonishing that these studies have been so credulously accepted (e.g., IPCC 1990), and were never critically evaluated, except by Jaworowski et al. (1990a) Though validation of these studies is much required…In this paper we present a more detailed discussion of the reliability of these determinations…

    The validity of current reconstructions of pre-industrial and ancient atmospheres, based on CO2 analyses in polar ice depends on three speculative assumptions:

    (1) that the ages of the gases in the air bubbles is much lower than the age of the ice in which they are entrapped (e.g., Oeschger et al.,1985);

    (2) that ‘the entrapement of air in ice is essentially a mechanical process of collection of air samples, which occurs with no differentiation of gas components’ (Oeschger et al., 1985); and

    (3) that the original air composition in the gas inclusions is preserved indefinitely.

    The main argument in support of the last two assumptions is another assumption that no liquid phase occurs in the polar ice at a mean annual temperature of -24C or less….

    As will be seen in the discussion below, all these assumptions are invalid…. entrapment of air in ice is not just a mechanical process, but one that leads to substantial chemical and isotropic changes in the composition of the gas inclusions. (Segalstad and Jaworowski…..

    Two important observations were made in these early studies. It was found that the CO2 content of the air trapped in pre-industrial and ancient ice is rather high, and has a very wide concentration range of about 100-7400ppm (Table 1). Even more important was the finding that several physical and chemical processes (such as melting, the presents of liquid brines in capillary-like interstitial voids, the presence of carbonates, over-pressure in the air bubbles, and solid deposition of super-cooled fog, combined with large differences of solubility of different gases in cold water, and mobility of CO2 in ice) lead to differentiation of the original atmospheric ratios of N2 O2 Ar and CO2, and to depletion or enrichment of CO2 in the ice (coachman et al., 1958; Hemmingsen 1959; Scolander et al., 1961; Matsuo and miyake, 1966: Raynaud and delmas, 1977)….

    Three different methods of gas extraction were used, and they produced different results. This is illustrated in Fig.2. It can be seen that in air from the same section of a pre-industrial ice core, after 7h ‘wet’ extraction of melted ice, the CO2 concentration was up to about 1000 ppm, and it was 1.5-4.5-times higher than after the 15 min ‘wet’ extraction. The ‘dry’ extraction, consisting in crushing or shaving the ice samples at about -20c, produced results similar to the 15 min ‘wet’ extraction. The short ‘wet’ and the ‘dry’ extractions recovered about a half or less of the total CO2 present in the ice….

    http://www.co2web.info/stolen92.pdf

    Why do I dot believe the simplistic assumptions spouted by ‘the Team’ CO2 to be fed to the believing masses and instead think Segalstad and Jaworowski make sense? Because I am a chemist and have done enough work at the ppm level to understand what Segalstad and Jaworowski are talking about. I realize the four assumptions mentioned are complete and utter crap.

    For those who are not chemists here is some simple kitchen chemistry that will cast doubt on assumptions (2) and (3)

    (2) that ‘the entrapement of air in ice is essentially a mechanical process of collection of air samples, which occurs with no differentiation of gas components’ (Oeschger et al., 1985); and

    (3) that the original air composition in the gas inclusions is preserved indefinitely.

    Take a glass jar of raw crushed garlic, a glass jar of dill pickles and a plastic jar of grape gatoraide. See how long it takes you to get rid of the smell in each of those vessels. the Second experiment is to take a sealed from the factory plastic bottle of soda pop and save it for a year or two. See whether ther is any CO2 fizz left when you finally open it.

    When you start talking ppm (odors) the chemistry gets much more difficult. Analytical chemists often use only brand new glass because you just can not get the glass ‘clean’ when you start talking parts per billion and cross contamination can really muck-up the results.

  170. Bart says:
    August 4, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Yes. He neglects the continuous inward flow of new CO2 versus the current outward flow. If the former is greater than the latter, then you will accumulate more and more of the gas in the surface system, including the atmosphere. Period, full stop.

    No problem at all with that. Where you go wrong is that you expect that the unbalance goes on for a very long period. But what you don’t realise is that the equilibrium is regained quite fast.
    – The input and output flows are directly proportional to the partial pressure difference of CO2 between the atmosphere and the ocean surface.
    – Any increase in temperature will increase the pCO2 of the ocean surface waters.
    – Any increase of the pCO2 in the atmosphere with the same change will restore the previous (un)balance.
    – An increase with 1°C of the global surface waters will give a pCO2(aq) increase of ~16 microatm.
    – An increase of 16 microatm (~16 ppmv) in the atmosphere will restore the previous (un)balance.
    – An increase with 16 ppmv in the atmosphere is reached in a few decades with the change in (un)balance caused by the temperature increase. No problem if you have 5000 years for a change of 10°C. Or much faster with only 4 years of human emissions…

    without realizing that, if these ethereal reactions truly existed at such levels, they would operate with equal strength to oppose the introduction of human generated input.

    They do. At a rate of 4 GtC/year, for an unbalance of 210 GtC above equilibrium. Or an e-fold time of ~53 years. Or a half life time of ~40 years.
    An increase with 1°C gives a new setpoint at 16 ppmv (32 GtC) above the initial setpoint. After ~40 years the increase in the atmosphere would be 8 ppmv, after 80 years 12 ppmv, etc…
    With the help of humans, the new equilibrium will be reached (in fact already largely surpassed) in only 4 years…

    You are showing the derivative of the temperature and the derivative of the CO2. Of course that is going to have the same phase relationship as the temperature and the CO2.

    Of course that is what I am showing: temperature changes drive the CO2 rate of change changes. Your approach shows zero lag between a change in temperature and the rate of change which implies processes with extreme fast responses, quite rare in the carbon cycle… But still that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the trend itself…

    It’s not the temperature increase on the surface driving it. It is the difference with the equivalent temperature of the ocean currents which downwelled rich in CO2 centuries ago.

    No matter how rich the waters were in the far past, what counts is the pCO2 at the upwelling places. That will get higher if there is a higher carbon content in the upwelling. But we are not discussing that, we are discussing the influence of a temperature increase on the continuous input of enriched seawater. If we may assume that neither the enriched carbon content, nor the deep ocean flows did change over the past 50 years, then a 1°C temperature increase will give an increase of 16 ppmv over the pCO2 pressure difference between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. Or an increase from 350 to 366 microatm difference at the upwelling places or an increase of 4.6% in inputflow, whatever that may be. That will increase the CO2 content of the atmosphere until the atmosphere reaches an increase of 16 ppmv. At that moment the pCO2 difference is again the same as before the temperature increase and so are the inputflows.

    Your own link contradicts you. Look at the content of the waters upwelling in the tropics, versus those downwelling at the poles.

    The carbon content of any water residing at the surface doesn’t add or abstract any CO2 to/from the atmosphere if the pCO2 of both is in equilibrium. To drive a CO2 flux, there must be a pCO2 pressure difference, together with the mixing speed caused by wind, that is what gives the local flux over a year. The global balance of fluxes is what drives the CO2 content of the atmosphere. And that is negative: the outgoing fluxes into the oceans are larger than the incoming fluxes, despite the higher carbon content of the upwelling seawater near the equator. The oceans (surface + deep) are net sinks for CO2.

    No, until there is a match between the equilibrium conditions of the upwelling and downwelling waters from back at the time the currently upwelling waters initially downwelled.

    You are moving the goalpost from the influence of a temperature change which is fixed, whatever the upwelling carbon content, to the influence of some completely unknown change in the far past…

    “It doesn’t matter what the ancient CO2 level at the downwelling side was 800-1600 years ago. “
    It most assuredly does, and you are violating mass balance to claim it does not.

    Again, no matter what is upwelling, if that changes in composition, that will change the CO2 content of the atmosphere, until the pCO2 difference with the CO2 source and sink places has changed enough to restore the equilibrium in input and output fluxes. That will be at about halve the difference with the intitial CO2 level and that of the far past (as far as not leveled off by the passage via the deep oceans).
    Any influence of a temperature change on the pCO2 of seawater is additional and (practically) independent of a composition change of the upwelling waters and can be fully compensated by an equivalent change in pCO2 of the atmosphere.

  171. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

    The rate of increase in the atmosphere is pretty steady but the rate of human emissions varies significantly.

    I was not talking about the year by year changes (which are heavily influenced by temperature changes), but what is seen in the atmosphere and what human emitted over the years:

    and

    And see what the correlation with temperature:

  172. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “However it is not the CO2 content of those waters that matters, it is the temperature.”

    It is relative temperature and partial pressure, as well as any processes occurring in the depths which would cause greater or lesser CO2 concentration when the waters reemerge at the surface. If we consider the case of constant partial pressure across 800-1600 years and assume nothing appreciable happens to change concentrations in the depths, then what would matter is the temperature differential between downwelling waters now and those at the time the currently upwelling waters downwelled. This is where Ferdinand goes astray – he is comparing temperature changes only over the last ~50 years, and ignoring the difference between now and then, “then” being centuries in the remote past.

  173. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    That link clearly shows that warm sea surfaces such as during an El Nino lead to a significant increase in CO2 production by vegetation over land areas.

    From the same link:
    At the same time, drying of tropical regions leads to a net CO2 flux from the land biosphere to the atmosphere

    That is an indirect effect of the El Niño on rain patterns in the tropics, which lead to more vegetation decay than uptake globally.
    On the other side, the temperature increase of 0.6°C over the past 50 years (and the increase of 70 ppmv CO2 over the same period) did give that until ~1990 the biosphere was a small source of CO2 up to neutral, but since 1990, it is an increasing sink for CO2…

  174. Gail Combs says:
    August 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    “Englebeen is missing the point that at least in the USA we DOUBLED our harvests per acre since the early 1900s and the grain/food/cloth from that DOUBLED harvest is now sequestered in the greatly expanded human population. Think about it Humans sequester CO2 by increasing in number (snicker)”

    A lot of glib self-styled experts miss this important point. Just because CO2 returns to the atmosphere from decaying vegetation does not mean that growth in vegetation has no net effect. Maintaining a greater stock of vegetation locks up more carbon in that reservoir. Just because such a reservoir is dynamic, and tends toward equilibrium left to its own, does not mean it has a fixed capacity.

    It is the same principle behind the “greenhouse effect”. Some hard-core skeptics believe CO2 cannot warm the atmosphere because, they reason, ultimately the inbound flux of energy has to balance the outbound flux, or the planet would fry to a crisp, and would have done so in the remote past. But, in the time it takes to reestablish equilibrium, the system gains the integrated differential of energy before that equilibrium is reestablished. So, all things being equal, an increase in CO2 should result in greater retained energy, hence an increase in temperature. All things are decidedly NOT equal, and we have seen that Nature is stubbornly refusing to abide by the hypothesis of CO2 induced global warming. But, the existence of mitigating feedbacks does not invalidate the fundamental premise that, all things being equal, increased CO2 concentration should result in increased temperatures.

  175. Gail Combs says:
    August 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Dear Gail, I do appreciate your hard work to defend the undefendable works of Segalstad (with whom I had a discussion in Brussels at a skeptics conference) and the late Jaworowski.

    To be mild: what they said is at least completely passé, as Jaworowski’s knowledge of ice cores ended in 1992, and he obviously didn’t read (or didn’t like) any subsequent work on ice cores, the change in drilling techniques and in handling of the cores and the huge changes in analytical methods.

    To begin with the work of Etheridge e.a. of 1996, drilling three cores with three different drilling techniques, wet and dry (no differences found), measuring CO2 in open pores, top down from the surface to closing depth and in the high accumulation (high resolution) ice cores from closing depth to resp. 150 and 1000 years ago (in gas age).

    The found that CO2 concentrations in air bubbles from 150-year-old ice ranged from 300 to 2350 ppm.

    The high levels were found where contamination with drilling fluid was present. Such values have nothing to do with the real CO2 levels of the past and that part of the ice core should be removed from the data. But the 1996 work of Etheridge not only confirmed the low values, but extended them to 1000 years back in time, followed by a lot of other cores of difference temperature and accumulation rate which all confirm the same CO2 values for the same average gas age.

    (1) that the ages of the gases in the air bubbles is much lower than the age of the ice in which they are entrapped (e.g., Oeschger et al.,1985);

    Proven by Etheridge in 1996:

    (2) that ‘the entrapement of air in ice is essentially a mechanical process of collection of air samples, which occurs with no differentiation of gas components’ (Oeschger et al., 1985);

    Not completely right, as the smallest molecules/atoms (O2. Ar) show a small last-moment deficit, but CO2 doesn’t, at least it is not detectable within the accuracy of the measurements.

    (3) that the original air composition in the gas inclusions is preserved indefinitely.

    Probably not indefinitely, but very, very, very long: the 800 kyr Dome C ice core shows a near constant 8 ppmv/°C ratio between glacials and interglacials. If there was a substantial migration of CO2 through the ice, that ratio would fade over time with each interglacial back in time…

    Three different methods of gas extraction were used, and they produced different results. This is illustrated in Fig.2. It can be seen that in air from the same section of a pre-industrial ice core, after 7h ‘wet’ extraction of melted ice, the CO2 concentration was up to about 1000 ppm, and it was 1.5-4.5-times higher than after the 15 min ‘wet’ extraction. The ‘dry’ extraction, consisting in crushing or shaving the ice samples at about -20c, produced results similar to the 15 min ‘wet’ extraction.

    What Segalstad/Jaworowski “forget” to tell you is that the ice used was from Greenland. Greenland ice is frequently dusted by highly acidic volcanic ash from Iceland. Combined with sea salt (carbonates) that gives higher CO2 levels in situ and in solution, higher the longer you let the reactions go on. Greenland ice cores are therefore not used for ancient CO2 levels, as not reliable.

    Thus please Gail, don’t use the “arguments” of Jaworowski or Segalstad anymore. They are completely obsolete, some are quite misleading by omission of relevant information and some are simply stupid, like the objections against the difference between the age of the surrounding ice and the average gas age of the enclosed air bubbles, as good as another remark of Jaworowski, that CO2 migrates from the low levels within the core to the higher levels outside…

  176. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    “Where you go wrong is that you expect that the unbalance goes on for a very long period. But what you don’t realise is that the equilibrium is regained quite fast.”

    A) you have no basis for making that conclusion. Your analysis is flawed, as I explained here long ago:

    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.

    “They do.”

    Your reasoning is flawed. If an arbitrarily large constant influx of CO2 rich waters from the depths could be brought to a standstill “quite fast”, then the system would equally quickly bring the influx of human CO2 to a standstill. This is like saying a traffic wall would stop tractor trailer careening out of control at top speed, but would collapse if a Smart Car bumped into it.

    “Of course that is what I am showing: temperature changes drive the CO2 rate of change changes.”

    That is not what you are showing at all. Your link is plotting the temperature change and the CO2 rate of change, period. Not the “rate of change changes”.

    “But we are not discussing that, we are discussing the influence of a temperature increase on the continuous input of enriched seawater.”

    We are discussing the effect of temperature relative to a baseline. And, that baseline is determined by the CO2 concentration of the upwelling waters.

    “The carbon content of any water residing at the surface doesn’t add or abstract any CO2 to/from the atmosphere if the pCO2 of both is in equilibrium.”

    They are never in equilibrium. The cool waters upwelling in the tropics are always going to release CO2 to the warm air there. The frigid water at the poles is always going to pull CO2 out of the air there. To compare apples to apples, you must look at one of the nodes where the loop is continuous. What matters ultimately is the concentration of the water downwelling now versus the concentration of the waters which downwelled long ago, and are now resurfacing in the tropics.

    “You are moving the goalpost from the influence of a temperature change which is fixed, whatever the upwelling carbon content, to the influence of some completely unknown change in the far past…”

    I set no goal posts. I have stated clearly the mechansim from the very beginning, though perhaps you are only now realizing what I have been driving at. It is an unfortunate fact that the past, even the deep past, influences the present. The broken bones of my youth are causing arthritis in the present, even though that time is so far in the past I can barely remember it. As the old rock stars say, if I’d have known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself ;-)

    “Any influence of a temperature change on the pCO2 of seawater is additional and (practically) independent of a composition change of the upwelling waters and can be fully compensated by an equivalent change in pCO2 of the atmosphere.”

    It is not a one-time deal. The upwelling waters are constantly pumping more CO2 into the system. The process will not equilibrate until the amount of CO2 downwelling is the same as that upwelling. The data confirm that we are nowhere near that point.

  177. Bart says:
    August 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    …. But, the existence of mitigating feedbacks does not invalidate the fundamental premise that, all things being equal, increased CO2 concentration should result in increased temperatures.
    ____________________________
    I have no problem with that. Few here at WUWT do. What we have a problem with is the cut and dried ‘Cartoon Science’ the ‘Team’ is trying to ram down our throats. Nature is a lot more complex than the assumptions made by the ‘Team.’ The fact that data and methods are hidden, data is messaged and cherry picked is all one needs to know we are looking at propaganda dress-up to look like science.

    Also you do not spend thirty plus years in chemical plants troubleshooting problems without getting a good appreciation for just how badly the Ivory Tower research types can screw up. Blown up reactor vessels and blown out walls leave a lasting impression. So does the arrogant we KNOW attitude. One blown vessel was because an arrogant PhD Chemist would not listen to me and the plant foreman (Chem Engineer) and her PhD trumped our BS degrees in the eyes of the plant owners. Luckily no one was killed thanks to the plant foreman.

  178. Gail Combs says:
    August 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I read you loud and clear, and agree wholeheartedly. I was just trying to point out that one cannot believe in the warming effect of CO2 without also believing in the ability of the biosphere to sequester CO2 in increasing amounts.

  179. One of these days, I am going to sit down and write out all of the equations, maybe even submit it to Anthony for a post. I am pretty sure that, considering three reservoir states for land, sea, and atmosphere, as well as human inputs and deep ocean forcing, I can derive an analogous model based on first principles which is effectively

    dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau1 + a*H

    dCO2eq/dt = -CO2eq/tau2 + k*(T-To)

    CO2 = current atmospheric concentration
    CO2eq = instantaneous CO2 equilibrium level
    H = rate of human inputs
    a = fraction of human inputs instantaneously (or, at least, rapidly) flowing into the atmosphere
    tau1 = short time constant
    tau2 = long time constant
    T = temperature
    To = baseline effective temperature
    k = coupling constant

    With tau1 short, the effect of H is rapidly attenuated. With tau2 long, the second equation effectively becomes an integral over relatively short timelines. “To” can vary to adjust the baseline in line with observations. This set of equations can qualitatively describe all of the observations to date, whereas the hypothesis of majority human forcing of atmospheric CO2 levels cannot do so.

  180. Bart says:
    August 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    If we consider the case of constant partial pressure across 800-1600 years and assume nothing appreciable happens to change concentrations in the depths, then what would matter is the temperature differential between downwelling waters now and those at the time the currently upwelling waters downwelled.

    It is quite different of what you expect:
    Assuming that we start at equilibrium, where CO2 influxes = outfluxes.
    Suppose that the temperature at the downwelling places 800 years ago was average 1°C lower than today.That would increase the ancient CO2 outflux to the deep oceans with about 10%.
    For an unchanged deep ocean waterflux, the CO2 content thus increased with 10%.
    Assuming that the ocean waterfluxes remained the same and no further enrichment, the new current upwelling thus is enriched in carbon with some 10%.
    A 10% increase in CO2 at the upwelling places with the current temperatures will give a pCO2 which is a lot higher than without the enrichment (need to check how much exactly). Thus let’s say a substantial increase in pCO2 difference between the oceans and the atmosphere, leading to an increase of 10% in CO2 influx.
    That will give an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, as the downfluxes in first instance remain the same.
    But the increase in the atmosphere decreases the pCO2 difference between the upwelling places and the atmosphere and increases the pCO2 difference between the atmosphere and the downwelling places. The net result is that the upwelling fluxes decrease and the downwelling fluxes increase over time. Until both are again in equilibrium at a 5% higher level than original and a CO2 level in the atmosphere that is somewhat higher than before (around 10 ppmv).

    Summary: the ancient lower temperature at the sinks increases the CO2 levels of today with about halve of what is expected from the temperature change, but in opposite direction of the historical change.

  181. HenryP says: @ August 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm
    ….Don’t forget we are still looking at extremely small change. Most recently I am not too sure anymore of the satellite results, as far as accuracy, precision and global representativity is concerned.
    Overall, yes, noting the nature of the relationship of the speed of warming/cooling in degrees C per annum versus time, I do think that I will now have to go with my idea that the whole global warming and global cooling cycle is governed by the UV-O2-O3 cycle. Most recently I heard that there is some shrinkage going on in the upper atmosphere? Do you know anything about that and why? (a shrinking atmosphere would also be a cause of an increase in ozone concentration)…
    _______________________________
    Henry, do not forget that at this time we are at Solar Maximum for cycle 24 even though it is nothing much. A slight upward trend of the satellite data would be expected. the phase shift between total solar irradiance and global temperature is exactly one quarter of the solar cycle, 90 degrees, or 2.75 years. and see NASA: Solar Variability

    The Shrinking Atmosphere

    NASA: Deep Solar Minimum
    …A 50-year low in solar wind pressure: Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft reveal a 20% drop in solar wind pressure since the mid-1990s—the lowest point since such measurements began in the 1960s. The solar wind helps keep galactic cosmic rays out of the inner solar system. With the solar wind flagging, more cosmic rays are permitted to enter, resulting in increased health hazards for astronauts. Weaker solar wind also means fewer geomagnetic storms and auroras on Earth.

    A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996. The changes so far are not enough to reverse the course of global warming, but there are some other significant side-effects: Earth’s upper atmosphere is heated less by the sun and it is therefore less “puffed up.”….

    Do not forget the effects of the solar wind/cosmic rays Solar Wind Loses Power, Hits 50-year Low (see also articles on Solar Accumulation Theory)

  182. Bart,

    I think that the base for our discussion is the speed of reaction against a change in CO2 upwelling.

    There are two points to consider:
    – The carbon content and the temperature of the upwelling waters at the surface, these two give the pCO2 of the water at the surface, all other variables being constant.
    – The pCO2 difference between Co2 in water at the upwelling place and CO2 in the above atmosphere. That gives the flux into the atmosphere, all other variables being constant.

    Where you go wrong is that you only look at the first point, but the second point is as important: A 10% increase in pCO2 of the upwelling waters, either caused by an increased carbon content or an increased temperature, or both, doesn’t lead to an increased influx, if the pCO2 of the atmosphere increases with the same absolute amount in pCO2, thus ultimately giving the same pCO2 difference and thus the same influx.

    Such an increase in the atmosphere is easely reached by a huge change in natural influx and very fast by the human emissions…

  183. Ferdinand Engelbeen says: @ August 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    “Where you go wrong is that you expect that the unbalance goes on for a very long period. But what you don’t realise is that the equilibrium is regained quite fast.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Bart says: @ August 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm
    A) you have no basis for making that conclusion. Your analysis is flawed….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I wil certainly agree with that. There can be no equilibrium in a chemical system with constantly changing sinks and sources. A dynamic system like the CO2 cycle can NEVER be in equilibrium. Also a dynamic system can NEVER be well mixed.

    These are two of Engelbeen’s assumptions that are flat out wrong. I worked in a ‘continuous process’ Chemical plant and no chem engineer in his right mind would ever make such foolish assumptions. You make sure the stuff is mechanically mixed and then drive the chemical reaction to X% completion and suck off the residuals hopefully for recycle.

    For some reason Engelbeen seems to see the carbon cycle as static with plenty of time for mixing and equilibrium to be reached before any changes are made. Not only is there a day/night photosynthesis cycle but the rate of photosynthesis varies over the course of a 24-hour cycle.

    As I said before the The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)… sweeps the ground creating a scan ‘swath’ that extends roughly 800 km on either side of the ground track… Ninety ground footprints are observed each scan. One spectrum with all 2378 spectral samples is obtained for each footprint. A ground footprint every 22.4 ms. The AIRS IR spatial resolution is 13.5 km at nadir That AVERAGED data is then compiled and reported as a monthly average and NASA still finds the CO2 varies despite averaging over space and time. AIRS Carbon Dioxide image for July 2003. Unfortunately Engelbeen does not understand that an average has less variation than individual values.

    An example of what I am talking about is Dr. Roy Spencer’s Global Temperature Graphs. The blue line is the monthly (average) data and the red is the 13 month average. Each time the data is averaged the high minus the lows value (range) is decreased. It is amazing that Engelbeen can not understand something that simple.

  184. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    “The net result is that the upwelling fluxes decrease and the downwelling fluxes increase over time. Until both are again in equilibrium at a 5% higher level than original and a CO2 level in the atmosphere that is somewhat higher than before (around 10 ppmv).”

    Each year that you have more CO2 outflowing, the atmospheric concentration decreases, too, as there is less CO2 left in the surface system. At the end of the cold spell, your atmospheric content may have decreased precipitously, proportional to the number of years your temperature stayed low times the flux imbalance. Now, when you go back to normal temperatures, your content will start climbing again, as the upwelling water in the pipeline has a concentration consistent with your previous high level, and the pCO2 may be elevated much higher than 10% relative to equilibrium. Depending on the timing, you can then get socked with the upwelling of the rich CO2 waters coming back up again.

    And, this doesn’t happen just once. The process has been going on for eons. Delays inserted into systems like this tend to lead to oscillations, with the frequency and amplitude of the oscillations dependent on the governing parameters. Without other dynamics coming into play, there is theoretically no limit to how low the concentration can go, or how high, subject to the fundamental limit of all the CO2 in the combined surface and deep oceans system becoming concentrated at the surface all at once. So, the ocean currents theoretically can become segregated into a bead-like formation of extra-high CO2 and extra-low CO2 bubbles.

    There really is no limit to the possibilities. But, in real science, we start with data, and then form our hypotheses. And, the data say that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are almost entirely governed by temperatures, and that human inputs have little consequence. How, precisely, the system works to produce the data is the question at hand, not looking for excuses to ignore the data.

  185. Ferdinand, the correlation holds for longer periods too. Average decadal accumulation in CO2 depends on the average decadal temperature. You can take any period length. If the temperatures were lower since ~1960, the atmospheric CO2 would be lower now.

    We’ll see when the cooling gets going. I predict a decline in CO2 annual change, in spite of the record emissions.

  186. Gail Combs says:
    August 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I worked in a ‘continuous process’ Chemical plant and no chem engineer in his right mind would ever make such foolish assumptions.

    Gail, I too worked 17 years as a chemical process engineer in a batch plant (including a near explosion of a reactor due to a runaway process…) and 17 years as process automation engineer in a continuous process plant…

    Even if there are continuous changes in a process system, one can calculate what will happen if one of the reaction inputs changes, all other variables remaining constant (or constantly changing as before the one variable of interest changed).

    Of course one must work with averages, or it is near impossible to find out anything which is going to happen. That includes that the day-night cycle or the seasonal cycle of CO2 is not of the slightest interest to know what will happen if you add 8 GtC/year from an outside source to the carbon cycle…

  187. Ferdinand said:

    “the day-night cycle or the seasonal cycle of CO2 is not of the slightest interest to know what will happen if you add 8 GtC/year from an outside source to the carbon cycle…”

    How about the millennial temperature cycle from MWP to LIA to date (probably solar induced) and temperature irregularities along the horizontal path of the thermohaline circulation caused by that millennial solar cycle ?

    The effects of such factors would make our 8Gt completely insignificant.

    Higher temperature without more light skews plant activity towards more CO2 production as compared to CO2 consumption.

    The figures being produced as regards the relative balances of individual components within the carbon cycle are mere guesses without adequate validation.

  188. Bart says:
    August 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    At the end of the cold spell, your atmospheric content may have decreased precipitously, proportional to the number of years your temperature stayed low times the flux imbalance. Now, when you go back to normal temperatures, your content will start climbing again, as the upwelling water in the pipeline has a concentration consistent with your previous high level, and the pCO2 may be elevated much higher than 10% relative to equilibrium.

    If the atmospheric CO2 content in/decreased in the past, the inflow and outflow of that period would have been adjusted in accordance, with a maximum of 16 ppmv/°C change in (area weighted) average equilibrium in the atmosphere, according to Henry’s Law. That translates to some 10% change in outflow for a global (and local) change of 1°C.

    The long-term equilibrium changes with about 8 ppmv/°C over many millennia, long enough to show even a change of a 5 ppmv over a period of 600 years (or 50 ppmv over 60 years) in the worst resolution ice cores. Thus a much higher than 10% change in CO2 level, either in influx or outflux, needs a lot more temperature (change/offset) than the 0.6°C we have seen in the past 50 years.

    But the main point of difference is that a new equilibrium in in/outflows is reached medium fast (without human help) to very fast (with human help) for any increase in inflow, no matter if that is caused by an increase of carbon content from the past outflow or from a temperature increase today.

  189. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 5, 2012 at 1:26 am

    How about the millennial temperature cycle from MWP to LIA to date (probably solar induced) and temperature irregularities along the horizontal path of the thermohaline circulation caused by that millennial solar cycle ?

    According to the Law Dome DSS ice core, with a resolution of ~21 years, there was a drop of ~6 ppmv in atmospheric CO2 content for a drop of ~ 0.8°C between the MWP and LIA with a lag of ~50 years after the temperature drop:

    6 ppmv is equivalent to a drop of 12 GtC, that is about the quantity currenlty released by humans over 1.5 years.

    Further, from Bender e.a.:
    From 1994–2002, We find the average CO2 uptake by the ocean and the land biosphere was 1.7 ± 0.5 and 1.0 ± 0.6 GtC/yr respectively

    The temperature increase 1994-2002 was about 0.2°C. Despite the temperature increase (which was even more since 1960), the biosphere evolved from near neutral before the 1990’s to an increasing sink for CO2, with the exception of a few El Niño years, which causes droughts in tropical areas.

  190. Edim says:
    August 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Ferdinand, the correlation holds for longer periods too. Average decadal accumulation in CO2 depends on the average decadal temperature. You can take any period length. If the temperatures were lower since ~1960, the atmospheric CO2 would be lower now.

    That is what you expect. But how do you explain the past? We have had some 0.8°C decrease in temperature between the MWP and LIA and a similar increase since the LIA. Each taking some 500 years long. Going back from the current baseline, at about 0.5°C below current temperature, that would imply that we had a ~600 years period at 0-0.3°C below the baseline. At a rate of 100 ppmv/°C/50 years, where would that end?
    And think about the consequences of such a scenario for the 10,000 years long interglacials and 100,000 years long glacials…
    And it doesn’t even fit for the period 1900-1960, (rightly) assuming that the ice cores show the right CO2 levels (be it 8-year smoothed):

    We’ll see when the cooling gets going. I predict a decline in CO2 annual change, in spite of the record emissions.

    Despite the non-increasing of the temperature over the past 10-15 years, there is no leveling in the rate of change of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere. That still is average increasing in ratio with the emissions (as the subject of this article states).

  191. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2012 at 12:48 am
    ….. Gail, I too worked 17 years as a chemical process engineer in a batch plant (including a near

    Of course one must work with averages, or it is near impossible to find out anything which is going to happen. That includes that the day-night cycle or the seasonal cycle of CO2 is not of the slightest interest to know what will happen if you add 8 GtC/year from an outside source to the carbon cycle…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If you worked as a chemical process engineer, then you know darn well you do not use AVERAGES to determine if a batch is WELL MIXED. Only multiple point source data can answer the question“Is this well mixed?” The whole concept of AVERAGES completely obscures the answer to that question as you very well know. The fact you have been dancing around that very simple issue here at WUWT for years in your defense of the Warmist team’s version of the CO2 storyline, tells me you are not nothing but a Trojan Horse Warmist using baffle gab to confuse the issue.

    Muller should have taken lessons from you.

  192. I should add to my August 5, 2012 at 4:02 am comment. The reason I hammer at “Well Mixed” is that it is the assumption underpinning the entire edifice of ‘Mankind is causing increasing CO2.’ If the assumption that ‘CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere’ is not true, then the scrapping of all that other data pointed out by Jaworowski, Segalstad and Beck can not be justified. The tossing out of “Outliers” by Mauna Loa Observatory can not be justified. All of a sudden we have data showing CO2 varied between 100-1000ppm in preindustrial times and the current data measurements are nothing to get excited.

    No wonder Engelbeen guards that assumption as if it was his first born!

  193. Ferdinand, it’s the temperature level that drives the change in CO2, not temperature change. I don’t accept ice core records, for many reasons. It’s just physically implausible. Assuming linear relationship between the temperature and annual change in CO2, and using HADCRUT3 temperature anomaly, I get (approx.):

    delta(CO2) = 2*Ta + 1.2, (ppm/year)

    This also holds for other periods (longer than one year) – average annual change is driven by average temperature.

  194. Ferdinand Angel’s Leg says
    with a maximum of 16 ppmv/°C change in (area weighted) average equilibrium in the atmosphere, according to Henry’s Law. That translates to some 10% change in outflow for a global (and local) change of 1°C.
    Henry says
    yes, we heard you the first time.
    I am not too sure about your calculation
    and I think you that you have no idea what happens in a big storm
    Nevertheless, just to throw another spanner in your wheel,
    We know from recent observations (flying was suspended) that there has been increased volcanic activity from the mid atlantic rif and earlier on we had more volcanic activity from the pacific rif. So how did you calculate, exactly, how much CO2 was added to the atmosphere by the noticable increased volcanic activity, directly from beneath the ocean floors?

  195. Anyone interested in this paper?
    Plass, G. N. (1956) The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change

    The CO, equilibrium between atmosphere and oceans is calculated with and without CaCO, equilibrium,assuming that the average temperature changes with the CO, concentration by the amount predicted by the CO, theory. When the total CO, is reduced below a critical value, it is found that the climate continuously oscillates between a glacial and an inter-glacial stage with a period of tens of thousands of years; there is no possible stable state for the climate

    Tellus A, Vol. 8, No. 2, 140-154.

  196. As a geologist familiar with the diffusion of elements (Si, Mg, Mn, Fe, Na, K, Fe, Mn, etc) in solid rock (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary) resulting in changes in bulk composition and mineralogy of pre-existing rocks without melting, I need a heavy dose of convincing that CO2 can remain quiescent as kilometres of ice accumulates on top of it. Here is a picture of garnets that have grown in what were originally mud that underwent compaction, folding, squeezing, attendant heating:

    http://www.google.ca/search?sourceid=ie7&q=garnet+schist+picture&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7TSCA&redir_esc=&ei=JHkeUIqDBIHX6wGb94GIBQ

    Intrusion of a limestone by granite results in a skarn “halo” around the intrusion without melting in which the limestone becomes recrystallized locally as marble and minerals diffusing from the granite create a variety of alumino-silicate minerals in the skarn – garnets, pyroxenes, micas, etc. Have a basic rock intrude the same limestone and you could get sapphires, rubies, etc growing in the skarn.

    Has anyone done the heavy lifting to determine that CO2 would not migrate under pressure or is this area left untouched so as not to spoil the picture?

  197. Gail Combs says:
    August 5, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Come on Gail, didn’t you ever discard an 8-sigma outlier from a regular series of measurements? If you want to control any process with a noisy input, you filter the input, or you end in the sky.

    All the raw Mauna Loa data are available on line and show the same avarage and trend, no matter if you include or exclude the outliers.
    And again, the remarks of Jaworowski and Segalstad are completely obsolete, some are misleading and the worst are simply stupid. Or do you have some knowledge that CO2 migrates from lower levels to higher levels? Or that there is no difference between the average age of the ice and the enclosed bubbles at the same depth in the ice?
    About the late Ernst Beck: I admire the tremendous amount of work he has done. But where he did go wrong is to lump all known historical measurements together: the good, the bad and the ugly, without any quality control of methods (some were accurate to +/- 150 ppmv…) or siting. The latter even worse than the siting problem for temperatures in the US. Measurements from the middle of Vienna, or within and under leaves of growing crops: all were averaged as the historical CO2 levels of the past…

    The fact you have been dancing around that very simple issue here at WUWT for years
    Well that is because I have studied that simple problem for years now, a problem any housewive with a household budget recognizes without problems: if you add some money into your wallet in the morning and you end the day with the same amount + half that extra, every housewive knows that she has spent more than earned that day and that the extra money comes solely from the extra addition in the morning …
    But it seems that some who call themselves skeptics are not very skeptic when anyone comes with an alternative theory, no matter how badly that violates the mass balance and/or several other observations…

  198. Edim says:
    August 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

    delta(CO2) = 2*Ta + 1.2, (ppm/year)

    We have reasonable temperature records back to about 1850. Please use these to backcalculate what the theoretical CO2 level was at that year with the help of your formula…

    My formula works for today and back to ice ages:
    delta(CO2) = 0.55*(emissions) + k1*dT
    where k1 = 4 for seasons to years and k1 = 8 for decennia to multi-millennia.

    The formula only needs some better formulation for the short-term…

  199. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2012 at 2:25 am

    “But the main point of difference is that …”

    Is that you have little experience with complex dynamical equations and do not understand how they evolve. So, you dream up contrived, simplistic models which artificially and arbitrarily constrain your viewpoint in order to avoid dealing with the facts.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but I am compelled to point out that you are in over your head.

    Edim says:
    August 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

    “Ferdinand, it’s the temperature level that drives the change in CO2, not temperature change.”

    From the earlier discussion with Ferdinand I linked to earlier, I made the following graphs. All of the temperature sets are more or less affinely related so any one will do. For GISTEMP, I used the integrated temperature anomaly to project this level of CO2. To Ferdinand, this is damning evidence that, pre-1958, the relationship diverges, as the level does not match up with the ice core proxy.

    There are at least two utterly reasonable and possible explanations for the divergence, though:

    A) the ice core proxies are wrong.

    B) there was a state change some time before 1958 which has to be accounted for in the parameterization of the model. Here, I put in an equilibrium temperature shift in 1945, and this results in better agreement with the ice core proxies.

    In any case, the question is moot. The relationship holds without question in the post-1958 era, and it precludes any significant human impact on CO2 levels.

  200. HenryP says:
    August 5, 2012 at 4:43 am

    We know from recent observations (flying was suspended) that there has been increased volcanic activity from the mid atlantic rif and earlier on we had more volcanic activity from the pacific rif.

    The undersea volcanic activity is largely unknown, but as the deep oceans at the local temperature and pressure are largely undersaturated in CO2, I don’t think that much of it will directly reach the atmosphere. Most will be dissolved in the deep ocean waters, which already contain an enormous amount of CO2. To be the cause of (or even to contribute substantially to) the 30% increase in the atmosphere, the deep ocean CO2 content should have increased accordingly… Still the oceans (surface an deep) are proven CO2 sinks…

  201. Philip Mulholland says:
    August 5, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Anyone interested in this paper?

    The effect of a CO2 doubling in that paper is way too high. Based on the radiation spectra as can be seen in Modtran, the real effect of a CO2 doubling before any feedbacks is 0.9°C. With water vapour feedback (as far as real) 1.3°C.
    From then on, we only have climate models, which are proven wrong, because of too high (and only positive) feedbacks. But more water vapour gives more clouds, which is a negative feedback…

  202. “B) there was a state change…”

    I would like to point out that, the equilibrium temperature appears to wander about in occasional sharp jumps even in the post-1958 record, but they are small enough that an average value works fairly well. Either that, or the temperature records themselves have occasional spurious sharp jumps.

    The equilibrium temperature is governed by dynamics which are effectively chaotic, and the temperature records are governed by human processing which also is effectively chaotic.
    So, such behavior is utterly reasonable and not particularly noteworthy, certainly not to the level that it significantly impacts the conclusion that human inputs have little effect. If I had the time, I would process the data to produce an estimate of the equilibrium temperature and its variation, and fit the data to the model even better than it already fits.

  203. “In fact, it’s already happening, in perfect lock-step with the temperature rise slacking off in the last decade.”

    Even as human inputs keep rising at least super-linearly. That alone should be indication enough that humans are not driving it.

  204. Gary Pearse says:
    August 5, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Has anyone done the heavy lifting to determine that CO2 would not migrate under pressure or is this area left untouched so as not to spoil the picture?

    I don’t know much about how rocks were formed in the past, but as far as I remember, most changes occured while still mud and/or under extreme pressures and/or temperature.

    Ice is build up slowly to very slowly layer by layer from snow deposits. The pressure of the layers on top of the others compact the snow to ice, where underway the pores become smaller and smaller, until closing depth. Once the pores are closed, the air is trapped in isolated bubbles.

    There are a few factors to be considered:
    – “warm” (-20°C) ice cores still contain some liquid-like water at the air-ice surface, which may hide a few molecules of CO2 (not a problem, as at measuring time, vacuum is applied). The ice-ice crystals interface contains some unordered watermolecules, which may or may not pass some CO2, but that is not very clear. And inclusions of dust and salts definitively gives liquid islands which may extent to the bubbles in either direction.
    – “cold” (-40°C) ice cores don’t show any water, except at huge dust/salt inclusions.
    – As far as I remember, there was an article from some Japanese researchers, which tried to estabish the migration of CO2 through ice at the temperature and pressure conditions of the Vostok ice core, but that was against ambient pressure, quite different than for a migration over the differential pressure under 2000 meter and 2001 meter of ice…
    – There was one investigation that calculated the theoretical migration of CO2 in a “warm” core, based on the migration measured over remelt layers:

    http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/3773250

    The results are that at medium depth the migration broadens the resolution from 20 to 22 years and at full depth (~70 kyr gas age) the resolution doubles to 40 years. No big deal at all.
    – The most important point against a substantial migration in the cold ice cores, in my opinion, is the near constant ratio between the CO2 measured in the gas phase and the temperature “proxy” (dD and d18O) measured in the ice layer over 800 kyr in the cold Vostok (420 kyr) and Dome C ice cores. If there was a huge migration, the ratio should fade away for each interglacial/glacial period back in time.

  205. Bart, I know it’s already happening, but it will get more clear if the cooling really gets going and the annual change drops to ~1,5 or ~1.0 ppm/year and lower.

  206. Edim says:
    August 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Bart, I know it’s already happening, but it will get more clear if the cooling really gets going and the annual change drops to ~1,5 or ~1.0 ppm/year and lower.

    Some years ago, I had the same discussion with the late Ernst Beck, who did predict that the CO2 levels should get even or even fall down some 5 years after the 1998 peak (thus rate of change zero or even negative). All based on his 1942 “peak” of some 80 ppmv, caused by a temporarely temperature rise (1910-1945) and decrease (1945-1975). Seems that his prediction didn’t materialize…

  207. Ferdinand, the global temperature anomaly (HADCRUT3) needs to drop to approx. -0.6 °C (~1910s level) for the zero rate of change. More realistic is 0.0 to 0.2 °C by 2020 and that would be 1.2 to 1.6 ppm/year. Roughly.

  208. Ferdinand E says
    Some years ago, I had the same discussion with the late Ernst Beck, who did predict that the CO2 levels should get even or even fall down some 5 years after the 1998 peak (thus rate of change zero or even negative). All based on his 1942 “peak” of some 80 ppmv, caused by a temporarely temperature rise (1910-1945) and decrease (1945-1975). Seems that his prediction didn’t materialize…

    Henry@ Edim, Ferdinand

    He was right about the peak of 1998, and from my results I would (also) expect a levelling off of the CO2 or at the very least a decrease in the increase from 1998. However, my results show that we have come through a continuous warming period, from about 1944 or 1945 until 1995, when viewed by energy input, which would equal ca. 1998 when viewed from the energy output by earth, following the appropriate parabolic rate during this period.
    Someone fiddling with the results or “trying to make certain theories fit’ is coming to my mind. “We cannot show that CO2 is dropping, now can we? (Just think of how much money we would lose???)

    OTOH he seemed wrong about the 1910-1945 rise in temps. My results seem to suggest a general cooling period from 1895 to 1945. Remember the hunger winter of 1944?

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

  209. It was snowing in Pretoria (South Africa) yesterday. I have never seen that happening here, ever. It was also freezing cold.

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