Important paper strongly suggests man-made CO2 is not the driver of global warming

Fig. 1. Monthly global atmospheric CO2 (NOOA; green), monthly global sea surface temperature (HadSST2; blue stippled) and monthly global surface air temperature (HadCRUT3; red), since January 1980. Last month shown is December 2011.

Reposted from the Hockey Schtick, as I’m out of time and on the road.- Anthony

An important new paper published today in Global and Planetary Change finds that changes in CO2 follow rather than lead global air surface temperature and that “CO2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the observed changes in the amount of atmospheric CO2” The paper finds the “overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere,” in other words, the opposite of claims by global warming alarmists that CO2 in the atmosphere drives land and ocean temperatures. Instead, just as in the ice cores, CO2 levels are found to be a lagging effect ocean warming, not significantly related to man-made emissions, and not the driver of warming. Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.

The highlights of the paper are:

► The overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere.

► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.

► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5-10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.

► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.

► Changes in ocean temperatures appear to explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.

CO2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the observed changes in the amount of atmospheric CO2, and changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

The paper:

The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature

  • a Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
  • b Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), P.O. Box 156, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
  • c Telenor Norway, Finance, N-1331 Fornebu, Norway
  • d Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway

Abstract

Using data series on atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011. Ice cores show atmospheric COvariations to lag behind atmospheric temperature changes on a century to millennium scale, but modern temperature is expected to lag changes in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric temperature increase since about 1975 generally is assumed to be caused by the modern increase in CO2. In our analysis we use eight well-known datasets; 1) globally averaged well-mixed marine boundary layer CO2 data, 2) HadCRUT3 surface air temperature data, 3) GISS surface air temperature data, 4) NCDC surface air temperature data, 5) HadSST2 sea surface data, 6) UAH lower troposphere temperature data series, 7) CDIAC data on release of anthropogene CO2, and 8) GWP data on volcanic eruptions. Annual cycles are present in all datasets except 7) and 8), and to remove the influence of these we analyze 12-month averaged data. We find a high degree of co-variation between all data series except 7) and 8), but with changes in CO2 always lagging changes in temperature. The maximum positive correlation between CO2 and temperature is found for CO2 lagging 11–12 months in relation to global sea surface temperature, 9.5-10 months to global surface air temperature, and about 9 months to global lower troposphere temperature. The correlation between changes in ocean temperatures and atmospheric CO2 is high, but do not explain all observed changes.


 

See: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2012.08.008

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559 Responses to Important paper strongly suggests man-made CO2 is not the driver of global warming

  1. YFNWG says:

    Ole Humlum is the guy behind the climate4you.com website which I highly recommend as a good source of weather info/graphs etc.

  2. Juraj V says:

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/CO2%20MaunaLoa%20Last12months-previous12monthsGrowthRateSince1958.gif
    Rate of the CO2 increase is slowing down, resembling the global SST very much.

  3. GoCanucks!!! says:

    I would like to know when Dr. Murry Salby’s paper will be published. His theories would seem to be bolstered by this new paper.

  4. Steven Mosher says:

    “Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.”

    follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics. The issue is not whether or not IR warms the oceans. The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly

  5. YFNWG says:

    While the Hockey Schtick does have a tendancy to link to deniers of the GH effect among others, let’s concentrate on the paper in hand.

  6. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    There is nothing new under the Sun. I draw attention to

    Kuo, C., Lindberg, C., Thompson, D.J., 1990. Coherence established between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature. Nature 388, 39-44.

    In 1990 that paper reported atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature cohere such the changes to the CO2 lag changes to the temperature by 9 months. Subsequently, other papers indicate that the time of the lag varies with latitude.

    This Norwegian paper reports that the finding made in 1990 by Kuo, Linberg & Thompson still remains true.

    Richard

  7. Rud Istvan says:

    Steve M has both the physics and the fact trace on the assertion correct. There is a additional statistical problem in this lead/lag analysis. The data is sufficiently noisy that there is almost no statistical significance. This is as bad as Dessler’s 2010 paper (quoted by NASA as definitive) that found a positive cloud feedback. The scatter plot looked like a shotgun pattern, and the r^2 was 0.02. Means nothing at all.

  8. vukcevic says:

    Absolutely.
    Main players on decadal and multi decadal scale Sun and Earth in concert
    Sun > Earth > Oceans > Land & Atmosphere
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

  9. pochas says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    “GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly”

    ERL – Environmental Research Laboratory?, Extraterrestrial Remote Lander? Oh, that radiating level. l can see that if the atmosphere warms it will expand, so that the radiating level will be higher, if that were the only consideration. But it will not gain mass, so the tau (transparency) will remain constant. As for CO2, it may contribute a small amount to downwelling radiation at the surface but it will also increase the emissivity of the upper atmosphere. So, warming at the surface (greatly moderated by convection) and cooling above. Your IPCC fairy story is just another fabrication of the politicians of the UN who have nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics.

  10. Gail Combs says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    “Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.”

    …..Rhe issue is not whether or not IR warms the oceans. The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly
    _____________________________
    STRAWMAN!
    The statement is CO2 and other greenhouse backradiation can not warm the oceans by penetrating the oceans.

    So how about the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado @ Boulder? Is that highbrow enough for you???
    Here is their graph. I am not embedding it so everyone can see it is a link to LASP @ Colorado
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/images/instruments/sim/fig01.gif

  11. Bart says:

    The relationship is blatantly obvious. The rate of change of CO2 atmospheric concentration is affinely related to temperatures. The correlation is especially prominent in the summer hemisphere, suggesting a strong oceanic link related, quite likely, to the fact that that’s where CO2-rich deep ocean currents upwell.

    The temperature relationship leaves no room for significant human influence on overall concentration. Our puny input is plainly sequestered rapidly by the Earth’s systems with barely a pause in stride.

  12. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Steven Mosher on August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm:

    follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics.

    That post was authored by “MS”, from a comment above I gather that’s Murry L. Salby. I can see on Amazon that he authored “Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, Volume 61 (International Geophysics)” in 1996, edited by Roger A. Pielke Sr. and Renata Dmowska, available for Kindle and apparently still in print, and recently authored “Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate” which appears to be a well-respected textbook going by the editorial review and the quotes from academia.

    Which mere “lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics” are you referring to?

  13. Vince Causey says:

    I read somewhere that they “proved” the rising co2 levels were from fossil fuels based on carbon isotope analysis. Either their proof is somewhat overreaching, or this analysis is incorrect.

  14. Kasuha says:

    It’s interesting and it’s very similar to Dr. Salby’s findings as presented here on WUWT in April. But neither does explain one thing.
    If you undo all the math, remove all temperature changes and remove all subsequent CO2 changes, there’s still a steady slope at which the CO2 raises and the temperature would have to reduce dramatically to make it stop. But that’s not what was in the past, the temperature was not that dramatically lower than today and the CO2 concentrations were not so steadily (and definitely not at such rate) growing throughout the holocene – so if it’s not by humans, where is it all coming from?

  15. James Allison says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    ====================

    True to type warmest response eh? Perhaps a similar scientific background to Al Gore then?

    You and your warmist mates missives are getting weaker and weaker……..

  16. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Vince Causey says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm
    IIRC it was Salby that showed that was a load of inflated BS ?

  17. Gale Combs says:

    Here is information from NASA with an animation of earth greening and changes in CO2
    Watching Earth breathe: An animation of seasonal vegetation and it’s effect on Earth’s global

    … Note that there is roughly a three-month lag between the state of vegetation at Earth’s surface and its effect on carbon dioxide in the middle troposphere….

    So there is another lag where CO2 response to Mother Nature and not the other way round.

  18. davidmhoffer says:

    Steven Mosher;
    GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Lack of precision in your statement makes it difficult to respond to. As a system that includes the atmosphere, your statement is false as GHG’s do not change the temperature of earth at all. What they change is the temperature profile from earth surface to TOA. May we presume you meant temperature at earth surface and you are excluding the armosphere as being part of the earth for this statement? If your intent was in regard to earth surface, then your following statement is also false because the earth radiates to space very little from earth surface but mostly from the atmosphere. So in that part of your response, I presume that you mean earth to include the atmosphere? Then you say it cools less rapidly which I presume is going back to a definition of earth as meaning earth surface and excluding the atmosphere? Three sentences and each one raises more questions about what the heck you mean that take more time to understand than the point you are trying to make.

    Oh yeah… What the heck is ERL?

  19. Joe Postma says:

    Wow look at the usual suspects leaping out of their spider holes to defend the greenhouse effect. This paper hardly touches on it…the main point of the paper is the CO2 lags. But they jump on board to re-frame the argument and create a straw-man to sow confusion, and also to defend the greenhouse effect. Typical tactics of a badly losing pseudoscientific religion.

    But, there is the underlying question posed – with CO2 not actually being responsible for any changes in warming/cooling, can it be responsible for setting any temperatures in the first place? That premise seems to be impossible to measure with empirical data since none has ever actually been presented for the climate showing so; that is, not outside of the mere inferences made within the particular constraints of certain assumptions and model boundary conditions. No real-time measurements show CO2 leading temperature change. You can IMAGINE CO2 causing temperature change and creating temperature increases within the constraints of certain models and approximations, but you can’t actually measure it empirically in the system in real time. Talk about a major problem. This would be the first science that continued to exist in modern times despite never actually having ever had empirical data to support it. Of course, that’s why alarmism and the whole negative orientation towards the concept of climate change in general is Pseudoscience.

    They just took something which is normal and happening naturally all the time and pretended it was new and unknown and suddenly manifest and entirely unheard of before but required the end of capitalism and new massive taxation & regulations to comprehend. Neat trick. Major fail.

  20. richardscourtney says:

    Vince Causey:

    At August 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm you say:

    I read somewhere that they “proved” the rising co2 levels were from fossil fuels based on carbon isotope analysis. Either their proof is somewhat overreaching, or this analysis is incorrect.

    That “proof” is bunkum. The change in the isotope ratio is in the correct direction for its cause to be the anthropogenic emission but its magnitude is out by a factor of 3 from expectation if the anthropogenic emission is its cause.

    Indeed, Roy Spencer provided two articles on WUWT about this so-called proof. The latter is at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/
    and it concludes saying;
    “BOTTOM LINE: If the C13/C12 relationship during NATURAL inter-annual variability is the same as that found for the trends, how can people claim that the trend signal is MANMADE??”

    Richard

  21. davidmhoffer says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/14/new-paper-on/

    Another paper that does a VERY deep dive into the data and shows no relationship between CO2 and temps.

  22. Mr. Causey:

    Dr. Spencer’s analysis of CO2 carbon isotope ratios might interest you:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/

  23. Gale Combs says:

    Vince Causey says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I read somewhere that they “proved” the rising co2 levels were from fossil fuels based on carbon isotope analysis. Either their proof is somewhat overreaching, or this analysis is incorrect.
    _________________________
    Isotope Analysis is dicey, let me see if I can dig out Fred’s PDF…. Oh good here is a link to both his papers. Fred H. Haynie, a retired EPA research scientist, has devoted the past four years to a study of global climate change, and in particular the relationship to CO2. One of the papers goes indepth into the isotope Analysis.

    More References on CO2:
    Articles by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD
    THE ACQUITTAL OF CARBON DIOXIDE

    GAVIN SCHMIDT’S RESPONSE TO THE ACQUITTAL OF CO2 SHOULD SOUND THE DEATH KNELL FOR AGW (rebuttal of the rebuttal)

    ON WHY CO2 IS KNOWN NOT TO HAVE ACCUMULATED IN THE ATMOSPHERE & WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH CO2 IN THE MODERN ERA

    Lucy Skywallker pulled together information from all over the net and consolidated it in these two links:
    Questioning the CO2 Ice Hockey Stick

    CO2 figures, cycle, solubility, GHG effect, oceanic scale, and biosequestration includes Do isotopes show fossil fuel use?

  24. R Taylor says:

    A lagging entity can have a significant effect on a leading entity only if it is empowered by voodoo, or perhaps “climate scientists” are suggesting that CO2 molecules travel at speeds faster than light.

  25. Matt G says:

    CO2′s affect on the climate is a classic example of circular reasoning. Evidence shows climate behaves only one-way with CO2 and it is not the ideas without taking any feedbacks into account in the laboratory (where there is no ocean). CO2 naturally in the atmosphere is just an indication of how much the ocean has out gassed previously. It is there because of the chemical nature of oceans warmed by the nearest star, not because adding CO2 determines the absolute ocean temperature. CO2 atmospheric concentration is therefore an effect of temperature not the cause of temperature on the planet scale. It has so unnoticeable effect that the difference between the poles and the tropics at the near surface can be more than 90 degrees c at any one time. (Yet CO2 levels at both sites are similar) Massive differences occur all the time on the planet, yet some of us are worried by a fraction of a degree over a long period.

    This paper goes into a bit more detail than other observations already well known, but pro CAGW’s ignore with continued circular reasoning. It is impossible for a climate system to behave the same way in both directions with cause and effect or the planet would have frozen or fried many millions of years ago. If you add the cause you can increase the effect, but if you add the effect (CO2) you can’t increase the cause. You can’t have oceans increasing energy, which in turns increases CO2, which increases energy, which increases CO2. It is circular reasoning and when would it ever end?

    That’s why the climate has not warmed, as it was to believe by pro CAGW’s, the planet system only behaves one way at a time and is prevented from becoming too cold or hot by feedbacks that reduce or eliminate the change. (Key player here being albedo)

    The ERL has not changed over recent decades measured by LWR’s. This gives no indication that GHG’s have had any effect on the planet during this period for cooling to be less rapidly.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/olr.php?num_months=12

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/teleconnections/olr-s-pg.gif

  26. icarus62i says:

    Important paper strongly suggests man-made CO2 is not the driver of global warming.

    Actually, no. What it suggests is that short term fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 are driven largely by nature rather than man. Is anyone surprised by this? I don’t think so. We all know that the annual amount of CO2 absorbed and emitted by nature (oceans and biosphere) is considerably larger than annual anthropogenic emissions, but the net natural change is much smaller than our emissions – hence the large annual cycle in atmospheric CO2 but the very small net natural change in atmospheric CO2 over centuries and millennia. Over the Holocene (last 10,000 years or so) until the industrial revolution, atmospheric CO2 changed at a maximum of around 0.002ppm per year. Now we’re raising it at around 2ppm per year – 1,000 times faster than the natural rate. That is what’s causing the current very rapid global warming (that and the other greenhouse gases we’re emitting). It should be blindingly obvious to everyone that:

    (1): Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are indeed driving global warming;

    (2): The paper in question does not in any way contradict (1) – it merely adds detail to what we already knew.

  27. John Eggert says:

    Steve Mosher: “You state: The issue is not whether or not IR warms the oceans. The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly.”

    I don’t understand this. CO2 absorbs radiant energy and hence warms the atmosphere. The heat flux is dependant on the concentration of CO2 and the distance. Increasing the concentration of CO2 increases the amount of radiant energy absorbed by the atmosphere. I would suggest that you have it backwards. As CO2 levels increase, the level at which nearly all of the energy that will be absorbed decreases. That is if we consider (say) 200 bar.cm (the units used in most engineering texts), absorption will be nearly complete (yes yes, absorption will eventually go to 100%, just not on this planet. Also, at very high levels of CO2 the curve seems more hyperbolic that logarithmic with the asymptote nearly parallel to the x axis). As the partial pressure of CO2 increases, the altitude that this occurs at decreases rather than increases. That is, I would suggest that the “ERL” decreases as CO2 increases, not the other way around. The earth cools less rapidly because the atmosphere is warmed (slightly). Well. The earth cools at the same rate no matter what. It does it at a (slightly) higher temperature. If the earth were radiating at a lower rate (cooling less rapidly), it would be getting very hot very quickly.

  28. Smokey says:

    Icarus,

    What is “blindingly obvious” is the fact that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature on all time scales, from years to hundreds of millennia.

    That is irrefutable scientific evidence showing conclusively that the rise in CO2 is an effect of the previous rise in temperature, not a cause of rising temperature.

    It is hard to argue with definitive empirical evidence, but I’m sure you will give it a try.

  29. The paper is behind a paywall unfortunately.

    Its worth reminding people that, excepting statistical chance, correlation is always proof of causation.

    If sea surface temperatures lead CO2 concentrations and they are correlated then,

    Either, sea surface temperatures (in part) cause CO2 concentrations,

    Or, they both have some common cause or causes.

    And the statement downward LWR cannot warm the ocean is true in the sense that roof insulation cannot warm your house. Of course your house is warmer with roof insulation, because the insulation slows the loss of heat, as does downward LWR in the atmosphere.

  30. davidmhoffer says:

    ERL – Effective Radiation Level?

  31. John Douglas says:

    HOW DOES MAN MAKE CO2?
    BY DEFINITION ALL THE CARBON IN FOSSIL FUELS HAS BEEN SEQUESTERED FROM THE ATMOSPHERE , BURNING THESE COMPLETES THE CARBON CYCLE ie RECYCLES THE CARBON,WHATS WRONG WITH THAT?
    PS In the late fifties in 6th form grammer school we were forced to study LOGIC , Medieval disputations etc. A crippling disadvantage in this Brave New World.

  32. Gunga Din says:

    I’m a simple guy. I don’t have letters to put behind my name to impress anybody. But I do know that water is wierd. The hotter water is, the more of a solid it will disolve. The colder water is, the more of a gas it will disolve. CO2 is a gas. The oceans hold lots and lots of CO2. As the oceans warm, they release that CO2. It takes a lot of hot air for a long time before the oceans warm and release their CO2.
    (Unless you still believe Mann and Hansen.)

  33. Bart says:

    Kasuha says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    …the temperature was not that dramatically lower than today and the CO2 concentrations were not so steadily (and definitely not at such rate) growing throughout the holocene…”

    It’s a puzzle. Consider this simple thought experiment.

    Suppose that temperatures were dramatically lower during the Little Ice Age, so that ocean waters downwelling to the depths at the time contained significantly more CO2 than today’s surface waters do.

    Suppose those waters started rising to the surface again around the turn of the 20th century. As the waters heat to surface levels, they release that stored CO2. Since the waters currently downwelling are relatively CO2 depleted, it starts to accumulate at the surface and outgas to the atmosphere, in proportion to the difference between surface temperatures now versus surface temperatures then.

    The downwelling waters may have picked up additional CO2 during their long trek through the depths due, e.g., to undersea volcanic vents. In effect, this would equivalently shift the temperature at which they downwelled even lower.

    This is my favored working hypothesis. Current atmospheric CO2 levels depend not just on temperature differentials in the near past, but in the distant past as well, when currently upwelling ocean waters first descended into the depths.

  34. davidmhoffer says:

    John Eggert;
    I would suggest that you have it backwards. As CO2 levels increase, the level at which nearly all of the energy that will be absorbed decreases.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I’ve lost track of how many threads there have been over the years on this issue!

    John, Mosher is right. Consider a photon travelling upward toward space. Either it has a clear path to escape, or it doesn’t. Increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the chance that it will get absorbed and re-emitted before escaping increases. Since being absorbed and re-emitted happens at a higher altitude than the photon originated from, the average height at which a photon escapes is higher, not lower, as CO2 increases.

  35. richardscourtney says:

    Philip Bradley:

    At August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm you assert:

    Its worth reminding people that, excepting statistical chance, correlation is always proof of causation.

    It is worth informing you that correlation is NEVER a proof of causation.

    Any two time series are likely to show periods where they correlate if they are long enough.

    However, in the event that a causal link is demonstrated to exist between two parameters then the correlation of the two parameters describes how a change to one effects a change to the other.

    Coherence is indicative when considering causality because if changes to A follow changes to B then it is not possible for the changes in A to be the cause of the changes to B (in the absence of a time-machine).

    Richard

  36. Gail Combs says:

    Kasuha says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm
    ….. But that’s not what was in the past, the temperature was not that dramatically lower than today and the CO2 concentrations were not so steadily (and definitely not at such rate) growing throughout the holocene – so if it’s not by humans, where is it all coming from?
    ________________________
    What makes you think the “Team” has not messed with the CO2 measurements as they did with the temperature measurements???

    CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time: Statement written for the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    Climate Change: Incorrect information on pre-industrial CO2

  37. Ian W says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    “Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.”

    follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics. The issue is not whether or not IR warms the oceans. The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly

    A one club golfer – only surface radiation being scattered is considered… Yet….

    Most of the heat energy leaving the Earth’s surface is carried up toward the troposphere by convection of water not by radiation. Have a look at http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html. All that infrared radiation from latent heat of fusion and condensation. You can see when the weather systems are building strongly by the heat radiation. Latent heat release due to water state change does not follow Stefan Boltzmann.

    Hurricanes and storms in the ITCZ can carry liquid water up to 40,000ft or more in 100kt updrafts where it rapidly freezes releasing huge amounts of heat energy. Look at (currently) Hurricane Kirk and tropical storm Leslie. Go to http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html look at method 1 the energy released by a hurricane due to cloud and rain formation per day. “equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity” Nothing to do with Stefan Boltzmann.

    Now go back to GOES East and look at that long frontal system part of the Ferrel cell circulation. The huge amount of energy being released from latent heat of fusion and condensation. Nothing to do with Stefan Boltzmann.
    And more importantly nothing to do with GHGs scattering infrared radiation

  38. ntesdorf says:

    Excellent paper which brings yet more bad news to the pseudo-scientific religion adherents of CAGW. They will have to dig deep for strawman arguments to offset the latest revelations. The time lag between temperature of the world and the level of CO2 shows exactly what is and i not happening.

  39. H.R. says:

    @davidmhoffer says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    (Responds to Steven Mosher and then asks):
    “Oh yeah… What the heck is ERL?”

    In my neck of the woods, “erl” is what you put in your car when you’re “down pert-near a kwart.”
    (I’m not kidding and it drives me nuts to hear it.)

  40. Andrew W says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    If sea surface temperatures lead CO2 concentrations and they are correlated then,

    Either, sea surface temperatures (in part) cause CO2 concentrations,

    Or, they both have some common cause or causes.

    Might I suggest the El nino – La nina cycle?

  41. Tony B (another one) says:

    Smokey says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm
    Icarus,

    What is “blindingly obvious” is the fact that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature on all time scales, from years to hundreds of millennia.

    That is irrefutable scientific evidence showing conclusively that the rise in CO2 is an effect of the previous rise in temperature, not a cause of rising temperature.

    It is hard to argue with definitive empirical evidence, but I’m sure you will give it a try.
    =================================================================

    It is also hard ro reason with the psychologically and intellectually hamstrung, even when the empirical evidence is blindingly obvious.

    Oh wait, no…..reasoning does not play any significant part in religion, does it?

    Good sport, though.

  42. Ian W says:

    It would appear that this paper has rediscovered Henry’s Law:

    At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.”

    If the liquid temperature is raised the solubility of the gas in the liquid reduces. This is high school physical chemistry. Its why people like cold beer rather than warm beer.

    The surface overturning layer about 700 meters will outgas relatively rapidly. The deep water, below the thermoclyne does not mix much with the upper layers. The overturning and outgassing would take centuries – and this is what is found. The Earth’s surface is 2/3rds water so Henry’s Law will rule on soluble gases like CO2.

  43. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    It’s not the paper, couldn’t find that. But it is a long and informative April 2012 article by the authors about all of this, with more data and graphs. In Norwegian.
    http://www.forskning.no/artikler/2012/april/319336

    Google Translation to English.

    Very interesting.

  44. Stephen Wilde says:

    “follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics.”

    That would be me then.

    Well trained in logic and the weighing of evidence plus a lifetime’s study of weather and climate from long before many of the current protagonists knew the difference between wet and dry.

    Sounds like a good mix to me.

    And a heck of a lot of other participants have their primary knowledge base in areas other than climatology.

  45. icarus62 says:

    It’s also worth pointing out that the imbalance between outgassing and geological sequestration of carbon – i.e. the rate at which the total carbon in the climate system changes – is even slower than natural changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration, amounting to only about 0.0001ppm per year. In other words, we’re currently returning carbon to the climate system via fossil fuel combustion 40,000 times faster than the natural rate. That is the source of the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2, and that’s what is driving global warming.

  46. Oh my God, not again…

    What the paper shows is that the rate of change of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is heavily influenced by temperature fluctuations. But that says next to nothing about the cause of the increase.

    - Humans emit twice the amount of CO2 that is seen in the trend. Thus nature is a net absorber of CO2, not a source.
    - The (deep) oceans are not the cause of the increase, because of too high 13C/12C ratio and measurements all over the oceans show that the (deep) oceans are a net sink for CO2. See:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml
    - Henry’s Law shows an increase of some 16 microatm if seawater warms with 1°C increase. Thus the maximum 1°C warming since the depth of the LIA may be responsible for maximum 16 ppmv in the atmosphere (in fact less, because vegetation works in opposite direction), while we see an increase of 100+ ppmv (70+ ppmv since the accurate measurements at the South Pole started).
    - The biosphere is not the cause of the increase, as the oxygen balance shows: more oxygen is released by the biosphere than used, thus more CO2 is absorbed and thus the biosphere is a net sink for CO2.

    Thus whatever the influence of temperature on the current CO2 levels, it influences the year by year sink rate, without any net contribution to the increase… See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg

    Thus please, this repeated discussion about the origin of the CO2 increase, which is confirmed human by all available observations, makes that skeptics loose all credibility where it is needed: the real (lack of) influence of CO2 on temperature…

  47. Ally E. says:

    Philip Bradley says:

    August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Its worth reminding people that, excepting statistical chance, correlation is always proof of causation.

    *

    WTF? Have you actually LOGICALLY thought about that statement? Sheesh, I used to wonder if you believed what came out of your mouth, now you’ve convinced me you are deliberately seeking to misinform. An intelligent person simply wouldn’t accept such a claim, never mind advance it.

    I can only guess you are after those readers who don’t know any science and don’t exercise much in the way of logical thought. Well, you’re not going to find many of those here. I’m pretty sure you won’t capture any open minds scanning the alarmists’ sites with that line, either, come to think of it, so you’re not doing yourself any favours at all.

  48. Jim G says:

    Google “co2 lags temperature” and see how many hits you get attempting to refute it. When one throws a stone at a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one you hit. This is a very weak spot, amongst many, for the warmista crowd.

  49. icarus62 says:

    Smokey: You’re aware that most of the warming from glacial maximum to interglacial occurs *after* atmospheric CO2 has started to rise, yes?

  50. old construction worker says:

    “icarus62i says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    (1): Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are indeed driving global warming”

    Here, let me correct your statement: Anthropogenic CO2 drives the climate, but what proof do you have.
    Increase in CO2 ppm has always lagged “temperature”. There is no “hot spot”, can’t find the “extra heat” in the oceans, no increase in “heat trapping clouds”, can’t explain away “Roman Warm Period and the cooling period afterwards, tried to hide the MWP, LIA and got caught , so where is your proof? All you got is a computer model based on increase CO2 which has never been V&V. And you want me to live in a “cave” based on that!

  51. FerdiEgb says:

    Bart says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    This is my favored working hypothesis. Current atmospheric CO2 levels depend not just on temperature differentials in the near past, but in the distant past as well, when currently upwelling ocean waters first descended into the depths.

    We have been there already a few times, but your working hypothesis violates several observations:

    - The 13C/12C ratio of the deep oceans (and the oceans surface) is higher than that of the atmosphere. Thus any substantial contribution of extra CO2 from the (deep) oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio, but there is a steady accelerating decline in d13C ratio as well as in the atmosphere (ice cores – firn – atmosphere) as in ocean surface, completely in ratio with fossil fuel use:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
    - As proven by millions of measurements over the oceans, the oceans are a net sink for CO2, not a source.
    - The human contribution (in mass, not in individual moleculres) is for 10% absorbed in the ocean surface (Revelle factor), some 15% in vegetation (based on the oxygen balance), some 50% resides in the atmosphere, thus 25% must be absorbed somewhere else. Add to that the extra CO2 released from the deep upwelling places near the equator, that means that the deep ocean sinks near the poles must absorb the 25% human emissions plus all of the deep ocean upwelling CO2. Thus anyway the deep ocean sinks are larger than the deep ocean sources…

  52. Doug Proctor says:

    And then Gavin says ….. and then Tamino ….

  53. Funny thing about that bright glowing gasbag in the sky. It warms things. Very well. I cannot imagine how backscatter from a gas with the concentration of 390 ppm could contribute in a meaningful way to the onslaught from Sol. It’s basically insignificant. If the climate is so tenuously in ‘balance’ that a trace gas can cause it to topple, then it must have been essentially constant throughout earth history….and we know that is not the case.

    So, to the Moshers of the world who dream up bizarre quotes from political science organizations to support their dreamstate, kindly get a life. The Earth really doesn’t give a Sh*t.

  54. John Finn says:

    Smokey says:

    August 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Icarus,

    What is “blindingly obvious” is the fact that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature on all time scales, from years…..

    Smokey

    The link you gave shows negative values for CO2 in several years. Bearing in mind, mean annual CO2 concentrations have never fallen over the history of the ML record. Could you explain your link?

    PS I can but I suspect you (nor TonyB (another one)) understands the plot you’ve linked to.

  55. Gail Combs says:

    FerdiEgb says:
    August 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    ….We have been there already a few times, but your working hypothesis violates several observations:….
    _____________________________
    Ok answer me this,

    The CO2 during the Cambrian Period was nearly 7000 ppm. Earlier, the atmosphere was even higher in CO2 and there was little or no oxygen. Obviously the Earth’s carbon cycle could not only handle that amount of CO2 but was able to scrub it from the atmosphere and lay it down as rock.

    So how come the Earth’s carbon cycle is now so delicate it can not handle mankind’s puny 3-4% per year added especially since the plant life on land and in the sea is gobbling it down as fast as it can? “I observed a 50 ppm drop in within a tomato plant canopy just a few minutes after direct sunlight at dawn entered a green house (Harper et al 1979)” link and Plant response to CO2

    Graph showing steady decrease in CO2 over time.

  56. John Finn says:

    davidmhoffer says:

    August 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    John Eggert;
    I would suggest that you have it backwards. As CO2 levels increase, the level at which nearly all of the energy that will be absorbed decreases.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I’ve lost track of how many threads there have been over the years on this issue!

    John, Mosher is right. Consider a photon travelling upward toward space. Either it has a clear path to escape, or it doesn’t. Increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the chance that it will get absorbed and re-emitted before escaping increases. Since being absorbed and re-emitted happens at a higher altitude than the photon originated from, the average height at which a photon escapes is higher, not lower, as CO2 increases.

    Thank goodness you responded to John Eggert. I thought I might have to step in to support Steve.

    I wonder if it might help if, as far as climate is concerned, people thought of the earth AND it’s atmosphere as a single entity. Then consider this

    If the outgoing LW energy from the earth (including it’s atmosphere) is emitted from a higher, colder layer then, according to the S-B law, the energy emitted is reduced. So, now the earth (including it’s atmosphere) will be receiving more energy from the sun than it will be emitting to space. We will therefore have an imbalance where incoming energy is GREATER than outgoing energy. This will result in the earth (and it’s atmosphere) becoming warmer – until an equlibrium is reached whereby the outgoing LW energy is equal to the incoming solar energy.

    I’m not sure this is a particularly good explanation but from regular reading of the posts and comments on WUWT, I know this is a subject where there is significant confusion. It would be useful if someone like Steve Mosher or yourself (David) could put together a guest post to explain the issue in simple ‘laymens’ terms.

  57. Gunga Din says:

    Philip Bradley says:

    August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Its worth reminding people that, excepting statistical chance, correlation is always proof of causation.
    ===========================================================================
    Everytime I come home from work, my dog wants a treat.
    Therefore if I never went to work, my dog would never want a treat.

  58. John Finn says:

    Ian W says:

    Most of the heat energy leaving the Earth’s surface is carried up toward the troposphere by convection of water not by radiation

    Right – but we are concerned about the heat energy which leaves the earth’s atmosphere . It is only by radiation that the earth (including it’s atmosphere) gets rid of energy to space.

  59. Greg House says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm:
    “The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly”
    ======================================================

    This notion is so absurd (shock).

    What do you mean by “earth”? You can not mean the solid earth/the surface of the solid earth, because the solid earth has no higher “ERL” (effective radiating level). And what does the solid earth radiate from? Right, FROM THE SURFACE! And where has the alleged “global warming” been “measured”? Right, ON THE SURFACE, too! And what do you need to get higher temperatures ON THE SURFACE? Right, you need more energy coming TO THE SURFACE. And what your higher colder zone in the atmosphere has to do with more energy coming TO THE SURFACE? Right, absolutely nothing.

    So, what you are talking about does not fit together, it is an absurd word salad.

  60. davidmhoffer says:

    mods – someone left off a close italics thingy

    [Thanks, fixed. ~dbs, mod.]

  61. H.R. says:

    @Mods:
    Missing a close italics in this comment -

    Andrew W says:
    August 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    [Thanks, fixed. ~dbs, mod.]

  62. John Eggert says:

    davidmhoffer says:

    August 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Consider a photon travelling upward toward space. Either it has a clear path to escape, or it doesn’t. Increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the chance that it will get absorbed and re-emitted before escaping increases. Since being absorbed and re-emitted happens at a higher altitude than the photon originated from, the average height at which a photon escapes is higher, not lower, as CO2 increases.

    David:

    Ah yes. The absorption and re-emission . . . stuff.

    Yes. Consider a photon >>originating at the surface<>originating at the surface<< will be absorbed at a low altitude INCREASES as the level of CO2 increases. Indeed, I can't believe that this is still a matter of debate.

    You are also dead wrong about one thing. The following is not semantics. Read the next two sentences a few times and decide if you disagree with either of them. Your entire premise hinges on them both being wrong. Photons are NEVER re-emitted. NEW photons are emitted.

    Not always at the same wavelength as they were absorbed at. A cold gas will, on average, emit longer wavelength photons than are emitted, on average, by the hot surface. (The gases are not black bodies by any stretch of the imagination, but they do emit over the entire Black Body Emissive Power Spectrum) So "re-emission" may result in new photons that have a much lower probability of being absorbed by CO2 than the original photon.

    Also. A CO2 molecule will become energized by absorbing a photon, but photon emission is not the only means available to dissipate that energy. It may collide with an oxygen or nitrogen molecule and transfer energy. These will then have more energy and hence be hotter, thus bringing the entire system back into equilibrium. Indeed, we must assume a fairly large amount of energy is transferred to the other molecules, else how does the atmosphere warm? If they are warmer than absolute 0, they will emit a photon. That emission might be at a radically different wavelength than the original photon that has a much lower probability of being absorbed by CO2. Eventually a steady state is reached by radiant transfer to space. And the atmosphere is warmer. The lower atmosphere is warmed by conduction, radiation from the surface and solar insolation. The upper atmosphere is warmed primarily by solar insolation and convection. Most(NEVER ALL!) of the absorbable radiant energy from the surface has been absorbed by the lower atmosphere.

  63. Bart says:

    FerdiEgb says:
    August 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    “The 13C/12C ratio of the deep oceans …”

    Already refuted upthread here and here.

    “…the oceans are a net sink for CO2…”

    Inferred based on assumed carbon cycle. Circular reasoning.

    “…the deep ocean sinks near the poles must absorb the 25% human emissions plus all of the deep ocean upwelling CO2…”

    …for your narrative to work. This, again, is circular reasoning.

    Your hypothesis, however, requires something which is prohibited by the fact that temperature leads CO2 by a substantial amount (90 degrees of phase), and effect cannot precede cause.

  64. old construction worker says:

    “davidmhoffer says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    John, Mosher is right. Consider a photon travelling upward toward space. Either it has a clear path to escape, or it doesn’t. Increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the chance that it will get absorbed and re-emitted before escaping increases. Since being absorbed and re-emitted happens at a higher altitude than the photon originated from, the average height at which a photon escapes is higher, not lower, as CO2 increases.

    Wow davidmhoffe. You and Mosher make a few assumptions. First, the co2 molecule is a 1½ of KWART (sorry, I couldn’t pass it up) low from a ERL leak and will absorb protons. Second, air current is going to carry them higher than normal.

    If what you say is true then we would already have evidence of a “hot spot”, but we don’t.

  65. Francisco says:

    Conclusions from this paper by physicist Denis Rancourt

    Radiation physics constraints on global warming
    http://tinyurl.com/6py3tpb
    [...]
    The radiation balance steady state temperature of Earth’s surface is approximately two orders of magnitude more sensitive to changes in solar constant and planetary albedo than
    to changes of atmospheric concentration of greenhouse effect CO2.

    Virtually the same results (as eqs.24 and 25) are obtained for our single-layer atmosphere model (eq.7), and the same results were previously obtained for a model where the atmosphere was treated as an inert (non-thermalizing and non-radiative) infra-red greenhouse filter (i.e., like a pane of greenhouse glass that acts only to transmit or reflect back some fraction of the longwave emissions from the planet surface).

    In view of the above model sensitivity calculations and given the physical simplicity of the model with no free parameters and based on established physical principles, it is clear that many factors will have a larger effect on surface-temperature-determining radiation balance than CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. For example, such factors as changes in albedo from aerial mineral dust variations due to land use changes, changes affecting cloud dynamics (albedo), effective solar irradiance variations, and many more, are expected to have larger impacts than CO2 concentration under present saturation absorption conditions.

    Anyone wishing to focus on CO2 concentration as a climate driver should have the onus to explain ignoring the above straightforward demonstration of an approximately two order of magnitude irrelevance of CO2 relative to solar irradiance (of known seasonal variation) and albedo and emissivity (both under-studied and significantly more complicated than the effect of CO2).

  66. davidmhoffer says:

    John Finn;
    It would be useful if someone like Steve Mosher or yourself (David) could put together a guest post to explain the issue in simple ‘laymens’ terms.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Well I’m flattered. But the problem is that there is no way that I have ever been able to find to truly reduce this to “laymen’s terms”. It is one of those issues best described by one of my favourite quotes “Complex difficult problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers”.

    John Eggert responds to me that I’m wrong because a photon is not “re-emitted” it is actually a new photon. Well he’s right. It is a technicality that doesn’t change my answer, but push comes to shove, he’s right, and my answer was an over simplification. Then he goes on forever about all the different ways that molecules absorb and emitt and resulting frequency shifts and related processes such as conduction…. and he’s right about those things as well. Which also doesn’t change my answer but it would take 5 pages of writing and a few diagrams to explain why. Then there’s Greg House who jumps in with his usual cold things can’t send energy to warm things argument which is half right and it takes another 5 pages to deal with that issue correctly, which ALSO doesn’t change my answer, and at the end of it he’ll still say I’m wrong as will a lot of other people.

  67. Ian W says:

    John Finn says:
    August 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Ian W says:

    Most of the heat energy leaving the Earth’s surface is carried up toward the troposphere by convection of water not by radiation

    Right – but we are concerned about the heat energy which leaves the earth’s atmosphere . It is only by radiation that the earth (including it’s atmosphere) gets rid of energy to space.

    Glad you agree – but you also say in a previous post:
    If the outgoing LW energy from the earth (including it’s atmosphere) is emitted from a higher, colder layer then, according to the S-B law, the energy emitted is reduced.

    But the emissions due to latent heat of fusion and condensation are NOT governed by S-B law so that radiation is NOT reduced. Not only that but the radiation is often above or close to the ERL (which is not a hard limit) especially where there is most convection in the Hadley cells of the tropics.

  68. John Eggert says:

    Ahhg. Bloody html formatting.

    The thing that says

    “Yes. Consider a photon >>originating at the surfaceoriginating at the surface<<

    Would make more sense as:

    Yes. Consider a photon originating at the surface. You state that the probability that a photon would be absorbed at a lower altitude DECREASES as CO2 increases. How else to interpret: "Since being absorbed . . . happens at a higher altitude than the photon originated from". I assert that the probability that a photon originating at the surface will be absorbed at a low altitude INCREASES as the level of CO2 increases. Indeed, I can't believe that this is still a matter of debate.

    Sorry about that.

  69. davidmhoffer says:

    old construction worker;
    If what you say is true then we would already have evidence of a “hot spot”, but we don’t.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    See what I mean John Finn?

    Well old construction worker, I was responding to the question of what happens to the mean emission height due to CO2 increases in the absence of secondary effects. From that perspective, I stand by my answer. The fact that we do NOT see the putative hot spot is a good indication that feedbacks are negative and serve to largely cancel the effects of CO2. Doesn’t change the fact that a photon that otherwise would have escaped straight to space stands a larger chance of having that journey interrupted part way as CO2 increases. (yes, yes, I know, its a NEW photon that finishes the last leg of the journey, not the SAME photon. sigh.)

  70. Merovign says:

    Effects cannot precede cause? Tachyons, my dear boy! Tachyons!

  71. Mike Mellor says:

    After two months I’m still a newbie to climate science, but please bear with me…

    There is a well-studied planet in the solar system with lots of CO2 in the atmosphere. Give that man in the back row who said “Mars” a big round of applause. The actual surface temperature of Mars is about 8K higher than the Stefan-Boltzmann equilibrium temperature. Water vapor is present at a concentration of 210ppmv.

    The guys who wear the white lab coats and the polka-dot bow-ties have calculated the optical thickness of CO2 and of water vapor. If we drop their values into a simple climate model we get surface temperatures very close to actual, for both Mars and Earth.

    In this comments thread some climate experts are saying that CO2 has no greenhouse effect. I don’t understand the physics, but I do understand the Vostok ice cores. Provided that the dating protocol is valid (and the Vostok people are warmists, thus unlikely to use a false method harmful to their cause), then CO2 does not drive temperature, it follows temperature.

    Now I’m wondering why CO2 warms Mars, but it doesn’t warm Earth.

    Off topic, wouldn’t it be wonderful if all visitors to this forum came to share and to learn? WUWT isn’t as bad as jonova but a discussion that goes, “Warmist FAIL!!” — “Skeptic LOSER!!” only proves that your shoe size is bigger than your IQ (and a heck of a lot bigger than your manhood). Thankyou to the commenters who display good etiquette. I listen to you and I learn from you.

  72. davidmhoffer says:

    John Eggert;
    You state that the probability that a photon would be absorbed at a lower altitude DECREASES as CO2 increases.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I said no such thing.

  73. Gunga Din says:

    Greg House says:
    August 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm
    And what does the solid earth radiate from? Right, FROM THE SURFACE! And where has the alleged “global warming” been “measured”? Right, ON THE SURFACE, too! And what do you need to get higher temperatures ON THE SURFACE? Right, you need more energy coming TO THE SURFACE.

    ===========================================================================
    Or you could measure surface temperature by placing your thermometer in a parking lot or next to an airport runway or an incinderator or an air conditioner or …

  74. Jack Simmons says:

    YFNWG says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Ole Humlum is the guy behind the climate4you.com website which I highly recommend as a good source of weather info/graphs etc.

    Ole is a ‘just the facts’ sort of guy.

    He has thoroughly falsified the AGW model of CO2 driving the climate. This has been done by simply graphing the CO2 versus Temp for the earth.

    Now it is simply a political show. Some people want taxes and power, which explains why they keep pushing this nonsense of carbon driven climate.

    If you believe otherwise, I truly feel sorry for you as you are the victim of a huge propaganda machine.

    Cheer to all.

    Jack

  75. Jack Simmons says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    The paper is behind a paywall unfortunately.

    Its worth reminding people that, excepting statistical chance, correlation is always proof of causation.

    Bears cause winter by hibernating?

    Colorado winter resorts cause winter by preparing for skiers?

    Your assertion is pure nonsense.

    Correlation is NOT proof of causality.

  76. Pamela Gray says:

    Hell I have a better one. I have always naturally woken up before the Sun rises above the horizen. Therefore I make the Sun…

    Sacrificial goddess gifts gladly accepted at my cave entrance and services are Sundays at Sun-up.

  77. dlb says:

    Gail Combs,
    the graph you link to from the University of Colorado appears to show that near IR radiation from the sun is absorbed in the first 10m of the ocean, which is what I would expect. I’m more curious to know what the upper ocean is doing to thermal radiaiton of a much higher wavelength?

  78. Pamela Gray says:

    and even before it rises above the horizon.

  79. Bennett says:

    “There is a well-studied planet in the solar system with lots of CO2 in the atmosphere. Give that man in the back row who said “Mars” a big round of applause.”

    We have barely scratched the surface of Mars, and the little we do know about the planet is hardly enough to use to shore up or counter any argument about Earth’s atmosphere or climate.

    “Now I’m wondering why CO2 warms Mars, but it doesn’t warm Earth.”

    Other than as an atmosphere in general, please show me the published studies are that pinpoint CO2 as being responsible for “warming Mars”.

    Thanks in advance.

  80. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    August 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm:
    “Then there’s Greg House who jumps in with his usual cold things can’t send energy to warm things argument”
    =====================================================

    No, this is not true.

    My argument is that apparently nobody has proven experimentally, that colder things can either warm warmer things or slow down cooling of the warmer things by means of infra-red radiation. Simply because no warmist I talked to on various blogs has been able to present a link to such a scientific experiment.

    All I got was ad hominem, unrelated stuff and obfuscation. And, of course, repeated distortion of my position, like this one of davidmhoffers.

  81. davidmhoffer says:

    OK, let me see if I can super simplify this thing. For the record, I’m ignoring secondary responses (feedbacks) and I’m ignoring conduction and convection and I’m ignoring the argument about it being a new photon or the same photon. Anything I’ve forgotten to list as being ignored, I am also ignoring, which should cover a lot of territory.

    Suppose we have just four photons. Suppose we have no CO2 (and no other radiatively active gases) so there is a 0% chance of absorbing any given photon between ground and top of atmosphere. Let’s suppose that distance is 10 meters.

    Release the photons!

    All four photons go straight through.

    Average emission height = 0 meters.

    Now we add enough CO2 that there is a 50% chance that any given one will get absorbed and re-emitted (or a new one disguised as the old one take your pick).

    Release the photons!

    Two photons goes straight through. One photon gets absorbed at 2.5 meters and then once re-emitted, goes straight through. The other one gets to 7.5 meters before being absorbed and re-emitted and then goes straight through.

    Average emission height = 2.5 meters

    Now we double CO2 which raises the chance of any given photon being absorbed to…. 75%. CO2′s effects are logarithmic, not linear. Yes, yes, I know, that’s not the exact right value but itz good enough for this illustration.

    Release the photons!

    One photon goes straight through.
    One photon goes 5 meters, is absorbed and re-emitted and goes straight through from there.
    Two photons get absorbed at 2.5 meters, and again at 7.5 meters, and then go straight through.

    Average emission height = 4 meters

    And so on and so forth. Of course for the model to be accurate we’d have to include the fact that photons get released in random directions, so some go back down before they come back up and escape, but the net effect is the same. Then we’d have to add in water vapour which competes with the CO2…. but more so at high temps close to water and less so at low temps and dry areas. Then we’d have to add in the conduction and the convection and the kvetching and complaining about the few hundred other factors that I left out….

    But this should be good enough to illustrate the issue.

  82. Gunga Din says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm
    Hell I have a better one. I have always naturally woken up before the Sun rises above the horizen. Therefore I make the Sun…

    Sacrificial goddess gifts gladly accepted at my cave entrance and services are Sundays at Sun-up.
    =========================================================================
    You live in a cave?
    No wonder the Greenies worship you!

  83. SAMURAI says:

    As this paper suggests, it’s the SUN, stupid; not CO2.

    Dr. Solanki’s paper (Nature, Oct 2004) shows that the solar cycles between 1930′s to the late 90′s were the strongest in 11,400 years. When this 70-year string of solar cycles in 11,400 years ended, so did global warming.

    During high sunspot activity, UV radiation increases by as much as 16%, which CAUSES ocean warming. CO2 has little to do with it. Add to this the Svensmark Effect (higher sunspots=less cloud cover/higher global temps), the 0.6C of warming in the 20th century is basically accounted for.

    Why this CAGW “debate” is still taken seriously following roughly 16 years of flat temperature trends, in spite of RECORD levels of man-made CO2 emissions during that time, is simply proof of the political drive behind CAGW dogma, rather than its validity.

  84. The analysis shown in the paper isn’t novel, and it isn’t any good. It will be panned as the previous incarnations were.

    The increasing trend in CO2 concentrations is likely responsible for the increasing trend in temperatures. Nobody believes that variability around the trend in CO2 concentrations causes variability around the trend in temperatures, but this is what their analysis on detrended data is testing. They are testing a straw man.

    The fluctuations around the trend are dominate by El Nino. All this paper has found without realising it is that El Nino causes large positive anomalies in temperature, and a lagged response in CO2 concentrations. This has been known for years, and is mainly because of drought over the Indonesian forests reducing their uptake of CO2.

    #Moderator: This is a repost as the first attempt never appeared
    [it was posted to the wrong thread, and thus off topic ~mod]

  85. Konrad says:

    Greg House says:
    August 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm
    ———————————————–

    Greg, you are very persistent with your claims regarding the inability of LWIR emitted from a cooler object to slow the cooling of a warmer object. Sadly you are incorrect. I have conducted several empirical experiments into an issue discussed elsewhere on this thread concerning the ability of LWIR to slow the cooling rate of liquid water.

    I have found that LWIR incident on the surface of a most warm materials CAN slow the cooling rate of those materials (even if emitted from a cooler matter). However if that material is liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool then LWIR has no measurable effect.

    Early claims about global warming centred on increased DWLWIR, however as this has no effect over 71% of the Earth’s surface (and probably only over dry deserts) the pseudo scientists have moved on to claims relating to absorption, thermalisation and radiation from the atmosphere. The good news is that these claims such as the ERL claim raised by Mosher are also junk, unsupported by empirical evidence.

    First to absorption and thermalisation causing warming. Take two insulated boxes with a double glazed SW and IR transparent windows in their upper surface. Enclose identical matt black aluminium target plates on the floor. Add identical circulation fans and k-type thermometer probes shielded from incoming and outgoing radiation. Ensure an small 5mm bleed hole in the base of each box so both boxes remain at 1 bar. Fill one box with dry air and one with 100% CO2. Illuminate the target plates in each box with identical SW sources. The temperature rise in each box is identical. Cut the SW sources. Both boxes cool at the same rate. The reason? CO2 can absorb and re radiate LWIR, however it also radiates IR from energy it has acquired conductively. In the constant pressure boxes the warming ability of CO2 is matched by its cooling ability. This is why the ERL claim was was proposed in a storm of wrist endangering hand waving.

    The first problem with the ERL hand waving is that CO2 at altitude is not just radiating at the local air temperature. It is also being illuminated by IR from the increased CO2 below. The second problem is that CO2 is heavier than air and the “well mixed” argument does not hold at the altitudes in question. The third and most serious problem for the ERL argument is that it is indeed testable in the lab. A gas column similar to the boxes described in the experiment above is placed on a centrifuge arm, without the bleed hole and with the addition of a cryo cooled matt black upper cap with a small window for incoming SWR. The centrifuge can then create a pressure gradient along the chamber from the SWR illuminated black target plate to the cooled black sky. This device can make the ERL claim vaporise, but there will just be a new claim until warmest funding runs out.

    Greg, there is no way anthropogenic emissions of CO2 can cause dangerous or catastrophic global warming even if we burnt all known and projected geological hydrocarbon reserves. However your claim that LWIR emitted from a cool object cannot slow the cooling of a warmer object is incorrect.

  86. Allan MacRae says:

    This post and paper are timely – I am reposting the following entry from a few days ago.

    I personally discovered the relationship between dCO2/dt and temperature in late 2007 and published the paper below on icecap.us in January 2008. This dCO2/dt is the source of the 9 month lag in CO2 after temperature, also demonstrated in my paper ( but the latter fact was previously noted by Kuo et al in 1990, Keelng et al in 1995, and Veizer in 2005 ).

    The correlation between dCO2/dt and temperature is far more robust than stated by one of the previous commentators – all the data and calculations are available in Excel at icecap.

    The evidence suggests that varying atmospheric CO2 is not a cause of climate change, it is an effect.
    __________________

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/27/how-ocean-currents-affect-global-climate-is-a-question-oceanographer-may-be-close-to-answering/#comment-1066653

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/18/time-lags-in-the-climate-system/#comment-1012683
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/20/premonitions-of-the-fall-in-temperature/#comment-991087

    Re: Time lags and cycle lengths – I’ve written comments like the following since 2008.

    Excerpt::

    The ~~4 year cycle in this 1997 paper is associated with a lag of atmospheric CO2 after atmospheric temperature T of ~9 months, and the rate of change dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with T. This CO2 cycle is caused by biological (photosynthesis, etc.) and physical (shallow water dissolution and exsolution) factors.

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

    Then there is the much longer ~~800 year lag of CO2 after T (as measured in ice cores), which I suspect is associated with the upwelling of deep ocean currents. Note that ~800 years ago was the Medieval Warm Period.

    It appears that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    Each temperature cycle has its own CO2 delay, and its own approximate period (cycle time length).

    There may also be one or more intermediate cycles between the above two (the late Ernst Beck believed there was), and other shorter cycles.

    I think there is ample evidence of a daily localized cycle, driven by photosynthesis..
    http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=2&id=0&img=30

    The evidence suggests that varying atmospheric CO2 is not a cause of climate change, it is an effect.

    I further believe that humanmade CO2 emissions are relatively small compared to natural daily, weekly, seasonal and millennial CO2 flux, and are probably insignificant in this huge dynamic system.

    No small irony here – if I am correct, both sides of the rancorous “mainstream” global warming debate are wrong. Both sides assume that humanmade CO2 is the primary driver of temperature, and are only arguing about the amount of warming (climate sensitivity to CO2, feedbacks positive or negative, etc.). If I am correct, both sides of the mainstream debate have “put the cart before the horse”. I think Veizer (2005, GSA Today) already understood most of this.

  87. davidmhoffer says:

    One photon goes straight through.
    One photon goes 5 meters, is absorbed and re-emitted and goes straight through from there.
    Two photons get absorbed at 2.5 meters, and again at 7.5 meters, and then go straight through.
    Average emission height = 4 meters
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Aw cr@p. Should be 5 meters. Physics Im good with. Arithmetic not so much.

  88. gymnosperm says:

    Vince Causey says:

    August 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    “I read somewhere that they “proved” the rising co2 levels were from fossil fuels based on carbon isotope analysis. Either their proof is somewhat overreaching, or this analysis is incorrect.”

    The carbon isotope would be 12C because fossil fuels are biological (living things select 12C when they can because it’s lighter). But guess what? The oceans are also enriched in 12C from paleobiological carbonate as well as recent human contributions.Warm the oceans by any means and you get disproportionate 12C.

  89. Gary Hladik says:

    davidmhoffer says (August 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm): “(yes, yes, I know, its a NEW photon that finishes the last leg of the journey, not the SAME photon. sigh.)”

    :-) I admire your patience.

  90. gymnosperm says:
    August 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    But guess what? The oceans are also enriched in 12C from paleobiological carbonate as well as recent human contributions.Warm the oceans by any means and you get disproportionate 12C.

    The oceans have a 13C/12C ratio that is a lot higher than in the atmosphere: deep oceans are at a d13C level of zero to 1 per mil, the oceans surface, due to biological depletion of 12C, are at +1 to +5 per mil. The atmosphere is currently at -8 per mil, decreasing from -6.4 per mil since the start of the industrial revolution. Fossil fuel burning is average at -24 per mil. Thus any substantial contribution of the (deep) oceans would INcrease the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere, but we see a steady and accellerating DEcrease… Thus the oceans are NOT the cause of the increase in the atmosphere.

    Neither is the biosphere, as the net balance is more oxygen production than oxygen use, thus a net CO2 uptake and thus preferential 12CO2, thus that is not the cause of the CO2 increase or d13C decline…

  91. Richard111 says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    August 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm
    ————————————–

    It is in the nature of the carbon dioxide molecule and the behavior of the interacting electron shells that control which photons will get absorbed and/or emitted. To assume that CO2 in the atmosphere can absorb any photon in the range emitted by a surface at 15C is misleading to say the least.

  92. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The oceans are also enriched in 12C from paleobiological carbonate as well as recent human contributions.Warm the oceans by any means and you get disproportionate 12C”

    Very helpful comment.

    I’ve been looking for a simple way to show why the isotope ratio isn’t helpful in determining how much of the ‘new’ CO2 is due to humans.

    Is the answer really that simple ?

  93. Allan MacRae:

    At August 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm you say

    No small irony here – if I am correct, both sides of the rancorous “mainstream” global warming debate are wrong. Both sides assume that humanmade CO2 is the primary driver of temperature, and are only arguing about the amount of warming (climate sensitivity to CO2, feedbacks positive or negative, etc.). If I am correct, both sides of the mainstream debate have “put the cart before the horse”. I think Veizer (2005, GSA Today) already understood most of this.

    Well, I make no such “assumption”.
    Indeed, my refusal to adopt that assumption is the reason for the disagreement between Ferdinand Engelbeen and myself which has been raging for over a decade. Ferdinand asserts his ‘side’ of the argument in this thread where he says at August 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Thus please, this repeated discussion about the origin of the CO2 increase, which is confirmed human by all available observations, makes that skeptics loose all credibility where it is needed: the real (lack of) influence of CO2 on temperature…

    But I say the AGW-hypothesis is based on three assumptions; viz.
    1. The recent rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations is mostly an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration that has an anthropogenic cause.
    2. The anthropogenic cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is mostly or entirely accumulation in the atmosphere of CO2 emitted by combustion of fossil fuels.
    3. Increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration causes significant rise in global temperature when atmospheric CO2 concentration is greater than 280ppmv.

    If any one one of those assumptions were shown to be incorrect then the AGW-hypothesis would be shown to be incorrect. And there are reasons to doubt each of these assumptions.

    Importantly, although ‘assumption 1′ may be correct, it is certain that ‘assumption 2′ is wrong.

    This certainty has much evidence and one piece of this evidence is the lag of CO2 changes behind temperature changes. Another is that if simple accumulation were the cause of the CO2 rise then the rise should directly relate to the anthropogenic emissions. But there is no such direct relationship: in some years almost all the emissions seem to be sequestered from the air, and in other years almost all the emissions stay in the air.

    And although ‘assumption 2′ is wrong it is possible that the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion may be the major cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This is because the recent rise in the CO2 is probably a result of the climate system moving towards an altered equilibrium state, and the anthropogenic emissions may be significantly altering the equilibrium state.

    Each of the assumptions 1 to 3 deserves scientific investigation.

    Richard

  94. Stephen Wilde says:

    “If the outgoing LW energy from the earth (including it’s atmosphere) is emitted from a higher, colder layer then, according to the S-B law, the energy emitted is reduced”

    What if the effective radiating height is NOT colder, just higher ?

    If the atmosphere holds more energy for whatever reason then it will expand and the height at which any given temperature occurs will rise.

    However, the adiabatic lapse rate stays the same because there has been no change in atmospheric mass or insolation.

    So why is it suggested that the effective radiating height will be any colder ?

    It might be from a height that was colder before the atmospheric expansion but that height would have become warmer, surely ?

    The net outturn would be that the increased heights arising from the expanded atmosphere would leave the surface temperature just the same and the adiabatic lapse rate just the same but the atmospheric heights a little further up and energy out would still equal energy in.

    So the change in height compensates for the increase in energy in the air with no change in surface temperature required.

    Unless I’ve missed something obvious.

  95. FerdiEgb says:

    Several have linked to the 13C/12C ratio articles of Roy Spencer, but forget to look at the discussion there. My reaction at that time starts here.

    The change in 13C/12C ratio is not proof that human CO2 is the cause of the CO2 increase, but it adds to the evidence. More important, it excludes the oceans as main source. That is where Dr. Spencer and others are wrong. The 13C/12C ratio of the (surface and deep) oceans is higher than of the atmosphere, thus any substantial contribution of the oceans would increase the atmospheric d13C/12C ratio, but we see a continuous and accellerating decline, completely in ratio with the human emissions.

    As the other probable source of low d13C, vegetation decay is surpassed by additional vegetation growth, the biosphere as a whole is a net sink for CO2 and preferably 12CO2, thus leaving more 13CO2 in the atmosphere, thus not the cause of the d13C decline either.

    Most of all other inorganic CO2 sources like volcanic releases, carbon rock weathering, etc. are higher in d13C than the atmosphere, thus not the source of the d13C decline.

    That leaves only human emissions as the only source of the decline.

    As Richard Courtney said, the decrease of d13C in the atmosphere is only 1/3rd of what may be expected from the releases from fossil fuel burning. That is true, but one may not forget that the current atmospheric composition in part sinks near the poles, but what is upwelling has about the composition of the sinks many centuries ago, thus at a higher d13C level. It is possible to estimate the deep ocean exchanges, based on this d13C “thinning”:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg

  96. John of Kent says:

    “Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    “Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.”

    follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics. The issue is not whether or not IR warms the oceans. The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly”

    Nonsense, Steven. “Back” scattered IR radiation cannot heat the earths surface or atmosphere. The radiation is a consequence of that temperature, not the cause. Heat only flows from warm to cold, NEVER the other way round. Clearly Steven Mosher knows nothing about radiation physics!

    Listen to Jo Posthma, he knows his stuff!

    regards

    John

  97. tallbloke says:

    icarus62 says:
    August 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    Smokey: You’re aware that most of the warming from glacial maximum to interglacial occurs *after* atmospheric CO2 has started to rise, yes?

    Yes, and?

    You’re aware that co2 levels continue to fall for 800-2800 years after the temperature starts to rise at the end of a glacial period, yes?

    Therefore the natural cyclic driver of temperature (change in insolation due to cyclic change in orbital parameters) is easily overcoming the alleged negative forcing of the drop in co2 and is therefore stronger, yes?

    And this despite the fact that due to the approx logarithmic nature of the alleged temperature response to co2, yes?

    How then is co2 going to suddenly, magically, cause the majority of the warming from glacial to interglacial temperatures when it eventually and laggardly starts to increase?

    Especially considering that we know that its alleged effect on temperature would decrease logarithmically with increased concentration.

    And especially considering that natural cyclic forcings then make the temperature fall into a new glacial despite the fact co2 continues to increase for another 800-2800 years.

    So natural forcings stronger than the alleged co2 effect end a glacial, and natural forcing stronger than the alleged co2 effect begin the following glacials. But you would have us believe that natural forcing goes all weak at the knees in between those events and co2 becomes the stronger driver?

    Even though the lags of co2 behind temperature are around equal at both the beginning and end of glacial periods, when due to the logarithmic response of the alleged co2-T relationship, there should be a big difference in the length of the lags, yes?

    Your story doesn’t stack up icarus.

  98. FerdiEgb says:

    Bart says:
    August 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    “The 13C/12C ratio of the deep oceans …”
    Already refuted upthread here and here.

    Not refuted at all, see my previous comments…

    “…the oceans are a net sink for CO2…”
    Inferred based on assumed carbon cycle. Circular reasoning.

    Sorry, measured in millions of samples taken by ships surveys over decades:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml
    “The yellow-red colors indicate a region characterized by a net release of CO2 to the atmosphere, and the blue-purple colors indicate a region with a net uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. This map yields an annual oceanic uptake flux for CO2 of 2.2 ± 0.4 GtC/yr.”

    “…the deep ocean sinks near the poles must absorb the 25% human emissions plus all of the deep ocean upwelling CO2…”
    …for your narrative to work. This, again, is circular reasoning.

    No, that is a simple mass balance: what is released into the atmosphere must be absorbed somewhere or should show up in the atmosphere, no matter if that is by humans or by nature. As only 50% of the human emissions as mass show up in the atmosphere, the other halve plus all natural releases (again as mass) must be absorbed by natural sinks. The sinks in the biosphere and the ocean surface are known as measured/calculated, thus the difference must be going into the deep oceans, as all other possible sinks are either too small or too slow.

    Your hypothesis, however, requires something which is prohibited by the fact that temperature leads CO2 by a substantial amount (90 degrees of phase), and effect cannot precede cause.

    As far as I know, I always insisted that dCO2 lags dT, which is what the current article shows: a lag of about 9 months between temperature changes and CO2 rate of change changes. That indeed is a phase change and is exactly what I expected, if dCO2 reacts on dT and not T. Your approach doesn’t show a lag, thus your approach is wrong, besides that it violates a lot of observations…

  99. John Finn says:

    Ian W says:
    August 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    John Finn says:
    August 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    If the outgoing LW energy from the earth (including it’s atmosphere) is emitted from a higher….

    But the emissions due to latent heat of fusion and condensation are NOT governed by S-B law so that radiation is NOT reduced. Not only that but the radiation is often above or close to the ERL (which is not a hard limit) especially where there is most convection in the Hadley cells of the tropics.

    But latent heat and condensation don’t remove energy from the “climate system” (i.e. the earth’s surface AND it’s atmosphere). They do move energy to higher altitudes where it can be more effectively radiated away but it is only by radiation that the “climate system” loses energy.

    It is the incoming/outgoing radiation budget that is key. The earth (including it’s atmosphere) receives ~235 w/m2 (after albedo reflection). It must therefore radiate ~235 w/m2 to retain a relatively stable temperature. This outgoing radiation is emitted directly to space from all layers of the atmosphere including ~40 w/m2 which is emitted directly from the earth’s surface via the ‘IR window’. A significant proportion is emitted directly to space from CO2 molecules in the higher, colder, drier regions of the troposhere. As far as the earth’s radiation budget is concerned it’s largely irrelevant how heat energy reached the uppermost CO2 molecules. Some may have gone through multiple absorptions and emissions, some via convectoion etc. The point is radiation is the ultimate ‘cooling’ mechanism.

  100. John Finn says:

    Allan MacRae says:

    August 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    This post and paper are timely – I am reposting the following entry from a few days ago.

    I personally discovered the relationship between dCO2/dt and temperature in late 2007 and published the paper below on icecap.us in January 2008.

    Could you not give us a single rough figure for the relationship. Because …..

    What I think what you may have ‘discovered ‘ is that atmospheric CO2 increases more in ‘warm’ SST years than it does in ‘cold’ SST years. However, the key point to note here is that it never goes down – not even in ‘cold’ SST years. That’s because, even though the oceans absorb more and emit less during cold years, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning exceed the net natural exchange.

    Even if there were no fossil fuel burning atmospheric CO2 levels would still fluctuate by up to about +/- 2ppm per year, but the fluctuation would be about some equilibrium level of, say, 300 ppm. In an El Nino year (warm) CO2 levels might be 302 ppm while in a La Nina year they might be 298 ppm. CO2 levels over the past 50 years or so have underlying upward trend which cannot be explained by temperature.

    For example

    dCO2 (since 1982) = 50 ppm
    dCO2 (since 1998) = 25 ppm

    Now tell us what the temperature changes are that have ’caused’ these increases.

  101. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand:

    Thankyou for your mention at August 31, 2012 at 1:14 am of a point I made earlier in this thread.

    As many know, you and I have been having a mutually respectful but strong and heated debate of these issues for a long, long time. Indeed, parts of those exchanges have been on WUWT. People wanting to see them can search the Salby threads on WUWT. So, I think it would be a distraction for me to engage in a reprise of those arguments in this thread.

    I think I stated the basic disagreement between us in my post at August 31, 2012 at 1:01 am, and people can assess our arguments for themselves. If the research I want is conducted then one day there will be additional data so the future will reveal to what degrees each of us is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

    However, if you insist on repeating our arguments here then my responses will be to copy from posts I made on earlier WUWT threads. I would prefer that those who want to compare those arguments refer to the earlier threads so this thread is not disrupted.

    Richard

  102. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand:

    In retrospect, I think my reply to you could be misinterpreted as being a ‘fob off’. So, although I intend to not repeat our disagreements here, I write to demonstrate good faith by making a specific response to your statement which mentioned me. You said;

    As Richard Courtney said, the decrease of d13C in the atmosphere is only 1/3rd of what may be expected from the releases from fossil fuel burning. That is true, but one may not forget that the current atmospheric composition in part sinks near the poles, but what is upwelling has about the composition of the sinks many centuries ago, thus at a higher d13C level. It is possible to estimate the deep ocean exchanges, based on this d13C “thinning”:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg

    Your assertion that “It is possible to estimate the deep ocean exchanges” is correct. However, I was refuting the claim that the atmospheric carbon isotope changes “prove” the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic.

    The fact that one can adopt assumptions which enable the data to ‘fit’ an anthropogenic cause does not alter the fact that the isotope changes do NOT prove the anthropogenic cause. Indeed, a factor of 3 difference between the assumed cause and the expected isotope change is a big difference.

    Your estimate merely shows that the isotope changes do not provide a definitive proof that the atmospheric CO2 rise is not anthropogenic.

    Having said that, I again say that I think a repeat of our arguments would be a distraction to this thread.

    Richard

  103. Eric H. says:

    This statement appears to be of importance on a lay man common sense level…

    “The overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere.”

    So, arguments against the greenhouse effect aside, let’s assume that water vapor and other gasses do raise the ERL and following the moist adiabatic lapse rate down from a higher ERL we get more DWLWIR to the ocean surface (which from the statement above is the catalyst for surface temperatures over land). Let’s also assume that this increase in DWLWIR is absorbed in the surface of the ocean (50 microns?) and reduces the cooling rate of the ocean surface.

    We know that the oceans are warming.

    So, in this scenario we have CO2 causing a slight warming of the very top surface of the ocean. BUT we also have a downward trend in lower level cloudiness which is certain to allow more SWR into the ocean and thus heat the ocean.

    A few questions:
    1) For those that believe that CO2 is the cause of the warming ocean, what is the mechanics to get the small amount of heat from the surface to build up in the vast ocean to cause the current warming trend?
    2) Are the clouds driving the ocean temperature or are they a feedback, if a feedback what is causing the downward trend in cloudiness?
    3) Can anybody quantify how much of the ocean warming trend is caused by these two factors?

    I know I have made several assumptions but I don’t believe that I have gone outside of any known published studies.

    PS…Be nice!

  104. John Finn says:

    John of Kent says:

    Nonsense, Steven. “Back” scattered IR radiation cannot heat the earths surface or atmosphere. The radiation is a consequence of that temperature, not the cause. Heat only flows from warm to cold, NEVER the other way round. Clearly Steven Mosher knows nothing about radiation physics!

    Listen to Jo Posthma, he knows his stuff!

    Sorry, john mate, Steve’s right and Jo (whoever he is) is wrong. Initially many of us intuitively thought like Jo but after a few minutes of thinking things through we began to understand the basics.

    Firstly the atmosphere does not heat the earth – The sun does. However the atmosphere can slow down the rate of cooling. Basic thermodynamics tells us that if the Outgoing LW energy is less than the Incoming solar energy then the earth will warm.

    Steve’s right – if the height of the ERL is raised then the rate of outgoing IR will drop and since incoming solar energy should remain fairly constant, this will create an imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy and thus result in warming. To try to put it in simple terms (and probably failing): As CO2 molecules accumulate in the atmosphere, the average height at which IR emission to space occurs will increase. This means energy will be emitted from a higher (i.e COLDER) level. We know from S-B Law that this will result in a reduction in energy emission.

  105. John Finn says:

    Konrad says:
    August 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm
    .
    The first problem with the ERL hand waving is that CO2 at altitude is not just radiating at the local air temperature. It is also being illuminated by IR from the increased CO2 below. The second problem is that CO2 is heavier than air and the “well mixed” argument does not hold at the altitudes in question.

    Regarding the “second problem” in particular. Could you explain the key features of the following emissions spectrum graph

    http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page19.htm

    I’m particularly interested in the funnel centred around the wavenumber 600cm-1 to 700 cm-1 (or about 15 micron).

    You might also care to comment on this post by Steve McIntyre (a noted sceptic) who, while referring to an emissions spectrum graph states the following:

    The large notch or “funnel” in the spectrum is due to “high cold” emissions from tropopause CO2 in the main CO2 band. CO2 emissions (from the perspective of someone in space) are the coldest. (Sometimes you hear people say that there’s just a “little bit” of CO2 and therefore it can’t make any difference: but, obviously, there’s enough CO2 for it to be very prominent in these highly relevant spectra, so this particular argument is a total non-starter as far as I’m concerned. )

  106. John Finn says:

    Re my post
    John Finn says:
    August 31, 2012 at 3:27 am

    The link to the Steve McIntyre quote is at

    http://climateaudit.org/2008/01/08/sir-john-houghton-on-the-enhanced-greenhouse-effect/

  107. Allan MacRae says:

    richardscourtney says: August 31, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Well, I make no such “assumption”…

    But I say the AGW-hypothesis is based on three assumptions; viz.

    1. The recent rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations is mostly an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration that has an anthropogenic cause.

    2. The anthropogenic cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is mostly or entirely accumulation in the atmosphere of CO2 emitted by combustion of fossil fuels.

    3. Increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration causes significant rise in global temperature when atmospheric CO2 concentration is greater than 280ppmv.

    [end of excerpt]

    Understood and agreed Richard – well said.

    I am saying that the only point of disagreement between warming alarmists and most climate skeptics (in what I term the “mainstream” climate debate”) is your Assumption 3 above, which is essentially an argument about climate sensitivity to CO2, positive versus negative feedbacks, and whether the alleged humanmade increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause major or minor warming.

    In this Assumption 3, I have strongly sided with the climate skeptics – I think climate sensitivity to CO2, if it exists at all, is so small as to be practically insignificant.

    However, as you rightly point out, your Assumptions 1 AND 2 must also be true for the AGW hypothesis to be correct, and there are significant questions about the validity of both these assumptions.

    This puts both of us outside the scope of the “mainstream climate debate” as I have defined above – but in scientific matters I’d rather be correct than popular. :-)

    P.S.

    I want to acknowledge that, to my recollection, it was you Richard who pointed out to me (probably in 2008) the papers by Kuo et al (1990) and Keeling et al (1995) – thank you.

    Also, thank you for so clearly stating your three assumptions, which are generally ignored in the mainstream climate debate and yet are the very foundations on which the shaky AGW hypothesis is built.

    Although I do not agree with his “mass balance” and C13/C12 arguments, I want to acknowledge Ferdinand Engelbeen’s always interesting posts. Somewhere in our dialogue lies the truth, and this respectful and healthy debate is both interesting and constructive.

    Finally, I recently misquoted the source of Veizer (2005) – it is not GSA Today, but Geoscience Canada Volume 32 Number 1.

  108. ERL? you’ve got me there.
    If a gas gets heated at height in the atmosphere then that heat will radiate to space earlier than from the surface thus reducing the radiation getting to the surface. Any gas molecule that is heated will reradiate energy at a lower level than that received so lowering the energy levels reaching the surface.

  109. FerdiEgb says:

    richardscourtney says:
    August 31, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Importantly, although ‘assumption 1′ may be correct, it is certain that ‘assumption 2′ is wrong.
    and
    But there is no such direct relationship: in some years almost all the emissions seem to be sequestered from the air, and in other years almost all the emissions stay in the air.

    There is not the slightest reason that the year by year variability in CO2 increase rate should correlate with the emissions rate. By the same reasoning, there is no decrease or increase of sealevels, as the tides over a day and months are several orders of magnitude larger than the small changes in average sealevel. It takes 25 years to filter any change in sealevel out of the noise. Similarly, it takes only 2-3 years to filter out the influence of the human emissions out of the noise caused by temperature changes. The correlation between the accumulated emissions and the trend in the atmosphere is obvious:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    while the temperature-CO2 trend is less obvious:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_co2_1900_2004.jpg

    We are talking of a multivariate system, where the two variables: emissions and temperature both influence the year by year increase and the trend. The year by year variability is largely caused by the temperature changes, but the trend is largely caused by the emissions…

  110. FerdiEgb says:

    richardscourtney says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Sorry, my previous response was before I did see your comment, indeed we have been there a number of years, thus everybody can look at the arguments used in previous discussions

  111. David Wells says:

    Icarus62 specifically but generally speaking clearly there is a desperate need for more jobs in the economy otherwise there is a great risk that all this hot air will do more heat the planet more than co2 ever could. This nonsense proves only one thing that there isn’t a single solitary soul on the planet that has any idea exactly what is happening and why but there are a lot of smart guys and governments that are using the climate anxiety and debate to empty all of our pockets of as much cash as possible. There is nothing worse than a back room lawyer or a pseudo scientist or indeed a scientist so loaded up with guff and learnt by wrote gibberish who then strives to empower themselves with a knowitall pontificating attitude. As John Christy said to Senator Boxer in a recent hearing ‘we really don’t know, its a wicked problem,. For goodness sake find something positive to do with your lives instead of wittering on about what causes what and why because little will change until someone manages to persuade politicians that ripping us of on the basis of co2 is just one big scam. That is the issue and nothing else matters at all. I am only taking interest today because I am waiting for the morphine to kick in to control arthritus pain in my neck but frankly reading your pretentious bullcrap is more painful than my neck. In intellect terms there is in reality little between you and George Monbiot, its all gibberish!

  112. Ferdinand:

    re: your posts to me at August 31, 2012 at 4:06 am and August 31, 2012 at 4:15 am. No problem and no misunderstanding from me. As Alan MacRae says;
    “Somewhere in our dialogue lies the truth, and this respectful and healthy debate is both interesting and constructive.”

    I only wish everybody who disagrees about these things as strongly as you and me would also post their views without rancor and as forcefully as we do.

    Richard

  113. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Steve Mosher is absolutely correct. The only significant energy input into the oceans is short wave solar energy. However, the rate that energy leaves the ocean is partially determined by long wave radiation directly to space (in the absorption window), and by the radiation heat transfer by absorption and re-radiation. Conduction to and convection by air, and evaporation and condensation at altitude also carry some of the energy from the oceans to higher altitudes. There is no heating by back-radiation, but the back radiation slows net radiation heat transfer up, and thus the accumulating solar radiation heats the water more. Eventually the convection and latent heat transfer make up the lost radiation heat transfer to restore equilibrium. The mechanism is through the raising of the altitude of radiation to space, which is initially cooler due to the lapse rate, but eventually the temperature increase is felt all the way through the atmosphere, which warms to restore the balance.

  114. Eric H. says:

    Leonard,
    Sounds plausible, but can you quantify the amount of warming (heat buildup) in the ocean to a certain amount of CO2? How much ocean heating is due to clouds which have a direct effect on SWR reaching the ocean?

  115. wayne Job says:

    The PPM of CO2 in our atmosphere will never amount to a hill of beans as far as it effects temperature, totally irrelevant. Man made global warming seems to be artifact of thermometers in inappropriate places rather than a few misplaced photons smooging up to CO2 molecules and warming the cockles of their heart..

    Mosher has been saying a lot about the magical qualities of photons and their strange affinity for CO2 molecules, firstly Mosher I have yet to find a physical proof of a photon, talk of a photon hitting your eye and that enables you to see falls in the face that it is actually an electron that hits your eye and lets you see. That would make the photon an electron, thus an electron at a lower level of energy than the electrons in the CO2 molecule would have a snowballs chance in hell of entering the CO2 molecule and heating it. Sadly heat flows one way, I could make a lot of money using my freezer as a welder if it did not.

    That the world has been impoverished for CO2 and the flora on a starvation diet seems not to bother those of a green or warmist bent, that N.A.S.A have revealed the wonderful increase of biomass on the world in recent times is a success of a few extra parts per million of CO2.

    This year I shall endeavour to give to our planet all the CO2 I can afford.

  116. Stephen Wilde says:

    ” but the back radiation slows net radiation heat transfer up, and thus the accumulating solar radiation heats the water more.”

    I don’t think that is so, having spent a lot of time trying to unravel that very issue. see here:

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/ftp/TheSettingAndMaintainingOfEarth.pdf

  117. Venter says:

    Mosher says

    ” follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics.”

    Yeah, as opposed to an English Major who has no formal qualifications in physics or science who thinks that applying dubious statistics to a pile of crap data and averaging it would make it gold standard, isn’t it? And yeah, the same english major whose collaborative work with BEST was done on the basis of science by press release but ended up in the crappy paper getting rejected, isn’t it?

    Pot, meet kettle.

  118. old construction worker says:

    “davidmhoffer
    Two photons get absorbed at 2.5 meters, and again at 7.5 meters, and then go straight through.
    Average emission height = 4 meters”

    I understood what you were saying. What I’m saying at 2.5 meters there should be a “hot spot” if the back traveling LWR proton from 7.5 meter CO2 molecule is doing or causing any “extra work” that can be measured in the 2.5 meter CO2 molecule.

    Let me put this another way: You go to your favorite Steak House, the chef sets your steak under a infra red “heat lamp” which is 18 inches above the counter. We know the steak will not stay as hot as it was on the grill. We know that the “heat lamp” will kept the steak from cooling down faster than not having a “heat lamp”. At some point in time, the steak will reach an equilibrium “temperature” regardless of any LWR being radiating out of the steak. We place a second steak 60 inches away from same “heat lamp”, the second steak will cool down faster than the first steak. It too will reach an equilibrium but be cooler than the first steak regardless of any LWR being radiating from the steaks. The question is: Does the LWR from the second steak cause any measurable “work” in the first steak.? If you add 9 more steaks at 60 inches, will that increase the LWR “work” in the first steak. Maybe somebody really good in math could say what that “increase” in “work” should be, but can that “work” be isolated and be measured? I don’t care how fast LWR is reaching the kitchen walls.

    So, Average emission height is meaningless.

  119. Eric H. says:

    Stephen,
    Your article says that any increase in IR on the ocean’s surface would result in more evaporation, negating heating of the surface. In this article they measure ocean skin temps during cloudy conditions with an increase in skin temperature and DWIR during cloudy conditions.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

    Do you think that the experiment in the RC article was accurate? Could it be possible that because of a decrease in SWR during cloudy conditions that evaporation slowed and caused the ocean surface to warm?

    Thanks, Eric

  120. Stephen Wilde says:

    Eric H

    I don’t think the RC article is accurate for the reasons stated.

    Clouds do reduce evaporation by increasing humidity beneath them. I think that is the main reason that the water surface temperature rises and not any increase in downward IR (and also reduce SWR into the oceans) but in global terms that just introduces a greater temperature and humidity differential between cloudy and clear areas which gets offset by an increase in horizontal windflow so zero net effect globally.

    Note that SWR doesn’t cause immediate evaporation because it penetrates past the evaporative layer. It only affects evaporation when the energy from the SWR rises back to the surface again.

    The important thing is that the oceans can only hold so much energy as is necessary to release energy to the air as fast as it gets in from SWR. That requires a specific oceanic energy content beyond which the oceans will release any extra energy by way of evaporation.That quantity of energy is set by pressure at the surface plus insolation as per my article.

    However, internal ocean movements do change the rate of energy release over time so the system cycles around the equilibrium set by atmospheric pressure and insolation.

  121. davidmhoffer says:

    John Finn;
    means energy will be emitted from a higher (i.e COLDER) level. We know from S-B Law that this will result in a reduction in energy emission.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    No. At any given level at which photons that otherwise would have passed straight through are instead intercepted and absorbed, the temperature at that level is elevated. When it cools, it therefor cools from a higher temperature than it otherwise would have been at.

  122. Eric H. says:

    Stephen,
    Thanks for the reply, I will continue to ponder and learn.

  123. davidmhoffer says:

    old construction worker;
    I understood what you were saying. What I’m saying at 2.5 meters there should be a “hot spot” if the back traveling LWR proton from 7.5 meter CO2 molecule is doing or causing any “extra work” that can be measured in the 2.5 meter CO2 molecule.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    To which I agreed. In the absence of all other processes, that is roughly what we’d expect to see. But the real world isn’t absent those processes.

  124. Greg House says:

    Konrad says:
    August 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm:
    “Greg, you are very persistent with your claims regarding the inability of LWIR emitted from a cooler object to slow the cooling of a warmer object. Sadly you are incorrect. I have conducted several empirical experiments into an issue discussed elsewhere on this thread concerning the ability of LWIR to slow the cooling rate of liquid water.
    I have found that LWIR incident on the surface of a most warm materials CAN slow the cooling rate of those materials (even if emitted from a cooler matter).”
    =================================================

    Konrad, I have just written about distorting of my position by davidmhoffer and you immediately are doing the same thing (sad). Again, I do not claim “the inability of LWIR emitted from a cooler object to slow the cooling of a warmer object”. I do claim that apparently nobody has proven experimentally, that colder things can either warm warmer things or slow down cooling of the warmer things by means of infra-red radiation. Simply because no warmist I talked to on various blogs has been able to present a link to such a scientific experiment. I hope you can understand the difference.

    Now, even if you honestly believe that you proved that experimentally you need to understand, that a pure claim “I did it” is not sufficient in a scientific debate. Just imagine another use would just claim he proved the opposite.

    So you need first to publish an exact description of your experiment with all the data so that scientists could verify it. Then we can look at your conclusions and see whether they are supported by your data. And so on. Unfortunately, what we have now is only your claim and that, as I said, is not enough.

  125. davidmhoffer says:

    orld construction worker;
    Maybe somebody really good in math could say what that “increase” in “work” should be, but can that “work” be isolated and be measured?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes it can. Stefan and Boltzmann derived the SB Law equation from doing exactly that.

  126. Bart says:

    FerdiEgb says:
    August 31, 2012 at 1:36 am

    “Not refuted at all, see my previous comments…”

    You admittedly don’t even know why the ratio is what it is. You just make after-the-fact rationalizations. Semi-plausible rational explanation is not proof, Ferdinand. Contrary-wise, though mainstream scientists do not recognize it as such yet, this is proof that humans are not the main driver of atmospheric CO2 levels.

    “Sorry, measured in millions of samples taken by ships surveys over decades…

    Inconsistent with this, therefore the assumptions made to arrive at the numbers and their error bars are invalid. It is merely an estimate which has been made with an eye to confiriming what is already believed, a.k.a., confirmation bias.

    “The sinks in the biosphere and the ocean surface are known as measured/calculated…”

    The sinks are not know with any accuracy at all. We have argued this same issue on several WUWT threads which were specifically related to new discoveries about sinks and sources. New ones are discovered with regularity.

    “As far as I know, I always insisted that dCO2 lags dT…”

    Hardly. You have argued that they are coincident, and that short term variations in CO2 are due to temperature. They are not. Short term variations in the rate of change of CO2 are coincident with temperature. Integrating an affine function of temperature then produces a precise replication of the CO2. There are no arbitrary constants which can be adjusted in the relationship which allow significant human influence to be added in, because the integrated CO2 estimate so obtained necessarily diverges from from the true CO2 record.

    John Finn says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:23 am

    “Could you not give us a single rough figure for the relationship. Because …..”

    Right here.

    “Now tell us what the temperature changes are that have ’caused’ these increases.”

    It is not just the temperature change between 1982 and 1998. It is the total absolute temperature offset between current conditions and equilibrium conditions. My hypothesis for how this comes about is explained here.

  127. Phil. says:

    wayne Job says:
    August 31, 2012 at 6:39 am
    The PPM of CO2 in our atmosphere will never amount to a hill of beans as far as it effects temperature, totally irrelevant. Man made global warming seems to be artifact of thermometers in inappropriate places rather than a few misplaced photons smooging up to CO2 molecules and warming the cockles of their heart..

    Nonsense, time to learn some physical chemistry!

    Mosher has been saying a lot about the magical qualities of photons and their strange affinity for CO2 molecules, firstly Mosher I have yet to find a physical proof of a photon, talk of a photon hitting your eye and that enables you to see falls in the face that it is actually an electron that hits your eye and lets you see.

    Time to read up on basic science, try the photoelectric effect for starters, that persuaded much more brilliant minds of the existence of photons. You’re wrong about the eye response too, a photon hits a receptor cell which then sends a synaptic response which in turn sends a signal to retinal ganglion cells this results in progressive amplification of action potential which is transmitted to the brain. Experiments have shown that the most sensitive cells (rods) are capable of detecting individual photons.

    That would make the photon an electron, thus an electron at a lower level of energy than the electrons in the CO2 molecule would have a snowballs chance in hell of entering the CO2 molecule and heating it. Sadly heat flows one way, I could make a lot of money using my freezer as a welder if it did not.

    Total nonsense.

  128. Phil. says:

    R Taylor says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm
    A lagging entity can have a significant effect on a leading entity only if it is empowered by voodoo, or perhaps “climate scientists” are suggesting that CO2 molecules travel at speeds faster than light.

    Hardly, have you ever heard the squealing sound of ‘feedback’ in a PA system? The sound emitted by the speakers is picked up by the microphone and amplified and a louder sound emitted by the speakers which is then amplified and so on………

  129. Allan MacRae says:

    John Finn says: August 31, 2012 at 2:23 am
    ___________

    Modern CO2 data collection at Mauna Loa started in ~1958.

    Despite the huge quantities of manmade CO2 emissions, atmospheric CO2 did decrease year-over-year in some of the global cooling years from 1959-1974*.

    Annualized Mauna Loa dCO2/dt has “gone negative” a few times in the past (calculating dCO2/dt from monthly data, by taking CO2MonthX (year n+1) minus CO2MonthX (year n) to minimize the seasonal CO2 “sawtooth”.)

    These 12-month periods when CO2 decreased are (Year and Month ending in):
    1959-8
    1963-9
    1964-5
    1965-1
    1965-5
    1965-6
    1971-4
    1974-6
    1974-8
    1974-9

  130. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:03 am

    “The sound emitted by the speakers is picked up by the microphone and amplified and a louder sound emitted by the speakers which is then amplified and so on………”

    Sorry, but you have not hereby discovered the long sought after verification of transluminal speeds. Unfortunately, we still cannot create a warp drive through microphone feedback. Cause and effect still only flow in one direction. It’s a bit ironic – you squashed one guy’s pseudo-science in the preceding comment, then went on to advance your own in this one.

  131. richardscourtney says:

    Allan MacRae:

    At August 31, 2012 at 9:28 am you refute a falsehood by citing real world empirical data.
    sarc on
    Don’t you know that in climastrology model output refutes empirical data?
    /sarc off

    Richard

  132. Bart says:

    In all the talk of colder objects heating warmer objects by radiant energy, I don’t see anyone addressing the real reason it is impossible. Firstly, the 2nd law of thermodynamics pertains to averages. On average, a colder object (I will assume here that both objects are blackbodies for simplicity) cannot heat a warmer object above its own temperature. Instantaneously, when the colder object emits a photon toward the warmer object, and the warmer object absorbs it, the warmer object’s temperature increases.

    But, it then releases another photon back at the colder object which cools the warmer object and heats the colder object back up. If they were exchanging equal numbers of photons, their relative temperatures would remain the same on average. But, the warmer object is releasing more photons, so it will cool and the cooler object will heat up, until both are at the same temperature, exchanging equal numbers of photons.

    That is what happens for a system of two objects in isolation. Do we have such a system here? No. We have three objects: the Earth, its atmosphere, and the Sun. The Sun, being much hotter than the Earth, absolutely can heat it. It heats it to the point where incoming radiation and outgoing radiation balance. The Sun is an active power source. If you could turn off its fusion generator, then the Sun and the Earth would exchange photons until both were at the same temperature (again, an idealization, because there are other bodies, as well as deep space, involved in reality).

    The atmosphere impedes the solar radiation from leaving the Earth. Thus, it makes it hotter not by its own power, but by modulating the sunlight absorbed by the Earth. So, while it is true that the colder atmosphere cannot heat the Earth by itself, it can influence the Sun to heat the Earth more than it already is.

    That scenario, in and of itself says that (and this really is “settled” science) all things being equal, the addition of a homogenous “greenhouse” gas to a planet heated by a nearby star will tend to increase the equilibrium temperature of the planet. But, all things are not equal, as the atmosphere of the Earth is not homogenous, and there are feedback responses from the Earth’s climate system which tend to mitigate the response. It is in those latter qualifications that the weaknesses of the AGW theory are to be found, not in the fundamental postulate of “greenhouse” warming.

  133. Bart says:

    “The Sun is an active power source. “

    Having an active power source is what changes all the rules. Every day, millions of people use their microwave ovens to heat food. Once the food is heated, you can put your hand on the magnetron cover, and you will find it is quite cool. How did this cooler object heat the food? It did it by modulating the energy from the source electricity. It is that energy which heated the food, not passive radiation from the magnetron assembly itself.

  134. DR says:

    @John Finn,
    What role does convection play? You have not mentioned that important form of heat transfer which dominates at the surface through the troposphere. Convection removes excess heat from the surface, not radiation.

    Of course radiation ultimately cools the planet by releasing it to space, but I fail to see how it is any more important than convection when discussing the movement of heat from the surface to above the troposphere. It seems convection spoils the party of the greenhouse effect.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/self-regulation-of-the-climate-system-by-deep-cumulus-convection/

  135. davidmhoffer says:

    talk of a photon hitting your eye and that enables you to see falls in the face that it is actually an electron that hits your eye and lets you see.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Oh. My. God.

  136. Jeff Koenig says:

    Does cold ocean water hold more CO2 than warm?

  137. old construction worker says:

    “davidmhoffer says:
    August 31, 2012 at 8:39 am
    orld construction worker;
    Maybe somebody really good in math could say what that “increase” in “work” should be, but can that “work” be isolated and be measured?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes it can. Stefan and Boltzmann derived the SB Law equation from doing exactly that.”

    Under “Steak House” Condition”?

  138. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:29 am
    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:03 am

    “The sound emitted by the speakers is picked up by the microphone and amplified and a louder sound emitted by the speakers which is then amplified and so on………”

    Sorry, but you have not hereby discovered the long sought after verification of transluminal speeds. Unfortunately, we still cannot create a warp drive through microphone feedback. Cause and effect still only flow in one direction. It’s a bit ironic – you squashed one guy’s pseudo-science in the preceding comment, then went on to advance your own in this one.

    Really? So you believe that positive feedback can not occur?

  139. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Eric H. 6:38 am,
    The amount of increased heating in the oceans depends on several factors besides CO2 increase. Feed-backs such as cloud changes also affect the final trend. I think feed-backs such as cloud changes tend to reduce the CO2 alone effect, but this is actually the big issue in the AGW debate. However, this issue is not resolved to anyone’s satisfaction. If CO2 were the only factor, there would be an increase in ocean temperature until the radiation balance was restored at a slightly higher temperature than before the CO2 increased. The number generally accepted is about 1 to 1.2 C increase per doubling of CO2 (but in fact it may be somewhat smaller, based on some models). However, this would be a very near surface increase, along with surface atmosphere increase, and would be much smaller with increasing depth in the oceans.

  140. FerdiEgb says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 8:57 am

    As said many times, the correlation between temperature changes and rate of change changes is impressive, but that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the trend. Even if you detrend the temperature, the correlation remains the same. Thus the trend itself can be mostly from the (small) temperature trend, as you think, or it can be from the human emissions, as I think.

    You have a theory, which essentially says that the human emissions are rapidely absorbed, while natural emissions are the cause of the trend. Any theory must be conform all known observations. If a theory violates even only one observation, the theory is rejected. Now, your theory violates several observations, but you refuse to acknowledge that. Your defense now is that the observations are wrong, because you are sure that your theory is right based on one graph, which is in part right (the variability part), but completely bogus for another part (the trend part), as the latter is based on an arbitrary bias and factor, simply said, curve fitting.

    Hardly. You have argued that they are coincident, and that short term variations in CO2 are due to temperature. They are not. Short term variations in the rate of change of CO2 are coincident with temperature.

    Bart, I always said that the CO2 change is temperature change dependent, on all time scales, from seasonal to multi-millenial. On very short term, leading to about 4 ppmv/°C change, on very long term to about 8 ppmv/°C. There are no natural processes which produces 70 ppmv in 50 years time, with only an offset of a few tenths of a degree C.

    There are no arbitrary constants which can be adjusted in the relationship which allow significant human influence to be added in, because the integrated CO2 estimate so obtained necessarily diverges from from the true CO2 record.

    Human emissions don’t disappear in space, thus must be absorbed somewhere. That implies that any natural + halve of the human emissions must be absorbed somewhere and that the natural sinks, wherever they are, must be larger than the natural emissions. Thus temperature variations have an influence on the sink rate, not the source rate…

    It is the total absolute temperature offset between current conditions and equilibrium conditions.

    Your theory is that the current increase is caused by the return of deep ocean waters which were enriched in CO2 during colder times in the past. It is entirely possible that the current upwelling is enriched in CO2, but the influence of e.g. a 1°C cooling during the LIA enriches the downwelling waters with not more than 16 microatm. When that is upwelling, that increases the CO2 pressure of the (local) surface waters with not more than 16 microatm again. If the atmosphere increases with ~8 ppmv, that brings everything back into equilibrium: the outgassing in the equator decreases and the absorption near the poles increases, the net result being that source and sink fluxes are the same as before the extra CO2 upwelling.

    Thus the current 70 ppmv increase since 1960 is only possibly from the far past, if the levels were about 140 ppmv higher or the earth’s average temperature was ~9°C colder…

  141. Edim says:

    The correlation between global temperatures (anomalies) and changes (accumulations) in atmospheric CO2 is very remarkable. Many forget, it’s not changes in global temperatures (warming or cooling) but temperature levels that cause changes in CO2. There is also a global temperature level (or whatever we’re measuring with the global temperature indices) at which d(CO2)/dt = 0. Lower than this, the change gets negative (decline in atmospheric CO2).

    It’s like a pump, when it’s warm, it pumps the CO2 out of the oceans (and other reservoirs) and when’t it’s cold, vice versa.

  142. Bart says:

    Jeff Koenig says:
    August 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

    “Does cold ocean water hold more CO2 than warm?”

    Quite substantially. That is why soda in an open can goes flat rapidly if you leave it in the open, but can keep for days if you put it in the refrigerator.

  143. Edim says:

    GHE, is of course far from sure. The heat transfer problem at the surface and at TOA is not solved. On the face of it, CO2 cooling effect is more likely. Non-radiative fluxes dominate at the surface and at TOA there’s only radiation. CO2 emits, but the cooling effect is probably not significant. The bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) insulates, the radiatively active gases cool the atmosphere by radiating to space. Then there’s clouds…

  144. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Stephen Wilde, August 31, 2012 at 6:49 am
    Stephen, you make claims that have no basis in radiation heat transfer. I would be glad to discuss the issue with you. The simple fact is that the only source of energy absorbed by the oceans is short wavelength sunlight (neglecting volcanoes and internal Earth heating), and the temperature it goes to is based only on the ease in which that energy is removed. The ways it is removed are NET long wave radiation from the surface, evaporation from the surface, and conduction followed by convection to the atmosphere. An instant changer in CO2 would only affect NET radiation out, so the water would warm a small amount to increase all methods of energy removal until a new equilibrium level is reached. Notice the use of the word NET with radiation. Back radiation reduces NET radiation, but never directly heats the water. It only slows loss of energy.

  145. george e smith says:

    Well I have a problem with their well mixed global CO2 plot; a more noise free signal one could not hope to find in ‘climate’ data. That p-p annual signal looks to be less than 5 ppm, and it is known that the ML signal is about 6 ppm. So everything south of Hawaii, is going to have less than 6 ppm p-p, but in the arctic, north of around +60 degrees Lat, the CO2 p-p signal is more like 18-20 ppm.

    So I don’t find their CO2 graph to be representative in any way. But it does show that 5 ppm down step happening in five months, or about 1 ppm per month, ort more than 3 ppm per month in the arctic.

    So the present 120 ppm excess CO2 could be gone in three or four years at that rate. So much for 200 year residence times for CO2.

  146. FerdiEgb says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Despite the huge quantities of manmade CO2 emissions, atmospheric CO2 did decrease year-over-year in some of the global cooling years from 1959-1974*.

    The overall CO2 releases in the period 1959-current increased from about 2.5 GtC/year to 8 GtC/year. The natural variability didn’t change much in amplitude over time and is about +/- 2 GtC/year around the trend, which increased from ~1.3 GtC in 1960 to ~4 GtC nowadays. Thus it is entirely possible to find some 12-month periods in the early period where there was a net sink of CO2, not an increase, as good as periods where almost all of the emissions remain in the atmosphere (as mass). But the emissions inventory is only known for full calendar years, which all show a net increase over the past 50+ years…

    In the first decades since the start of the industrial revolution, the natural variability certainly was larger than the influence of the emissions, since about 1900, the average increase over a decade is already above the natural noise and since 1960 even 2-3 years are sufficient.

  147. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    Kasuha says:
    August 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    …the temperature was not that dramatically lower than today and the CO2 concentrations were not so steadily (and definitely not at such rate) growing throughout the holocene…”

    It’s a puzzle. Consider this simple thought experiment.

    Suppose that temperatures were dramatically lower during the Little Ice Age, so that ocean waters downwelling to the depths at the time contained significantly more CO2 than today’s surface waters do.

    Suppose those waters started rising to the surface again around the turn of the 20th century. As the waters heat to surface levels, they release that stored CO2. Since the waters currently downwelling are relatively CO2 depleted, it starts to accumulate at the surface and outgas to the atmosphere, in proportion to the difference between surface temperatures now versus surface temperatures then.

    You would do well to study Henry’s Law (c=k*p).
    The CO2 dissolved in the surface waters during the LIA which were at a lower temperature but also the partial pressure of CO2 during the LIA was about 60% of today’s. According to Henry’s Law the amount of CO2 is linearly dependent on pCO2 whereas the dependence on temperature is non-linear (van’t Hoff equation: k(T)=k(To)*exp(C(1/T-1/To). Equilibrium pCO2 doubles for a 16K increase in seawater temperature so your thought experiment fails because the upwelling seawater from the LIA still is undersaturated because the atmosphere it encounters on return to the surface is now higher. So not only did you fail to consider the dependence on pCO2 but you assumed a linear dependence on temperature which is incorrect.

  148. FerdiEgb says:

    Jeff Koenig says:
    August 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Does cold ocean water hold more CO2 than warm?

    See the solubility graph here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/20/basic-geology-part-2-co2-in-the-atmosphere-and-ocean/

    The graph is for fresh water, which can hold far less CO2 than seawater, because the latter has a higher pH and contains buffer salts (carbonates, boron). In general, the equilibrium between seawater and the atmosphere changes with about 16 ppmv in the atmosphere for a change of 1°C in seawater.

  149. Bart says:

    FerdiEgb says:
    August 31, 2012 at 10:55 am

    “Even if you detrend the temperature, the correlation remains the same.”

    Nature has no ability to “detrend” the temperature. It must act on it as a whole.

    “Any theory must be conform all known observations.”

    To the degree that the observations are rock solid. It does not have to conform to observations which are themselves very dicey.

    “…which is in part right (the variability part), but completely bogus for another part (the trend part), as the latter is based on an arbitrary bias and factor, simply said, curve fitting.”

    It cannot be right in part for one and not for the other, as the same scale factor matches both perfectly. There is no reason to dismiss the need for a bias and scale factor. The bias of the temperature anomaly itself is arbitrary, based on an agreed-upon baseline. And, of course there is a coupling constant between temperature and CO2 – at the very least, you have to match up units.

    The trend in dCO2/dt is not an artifact of the bias and scale factor. It exists quite independently. Likewise, the trend in temperature. When you scale and offset the temperature anomaly to match the CO2 rate of change, and integrate that, the trend integrates into a quadratic, i.e., induces curvature. That curvature is precisely what is needed to match the two series, CO2 and the integrated scaled temperature anomaly. If you add human inputs into that integration, you will change the curvature, to the point that the output no longer matches it. Thus, this is a quantity which is not added arbitrarily in, but results from the need for the scale factor to match the variations, and when you do that, there is no more room to put in a significant contribution from human inputs.

    “There are no natural processes which produces 70 ppmv in 50 years time, with only an offset of a few tenths of a degree C.”

    My hypothesis explains this. It isn’t just the few tenths of a degree in 50 years time, it is degrees of change in the centuries of time since ocean water downwelled at lower temperatures than today when it is upwelling again.

    “That implies that any natural + halve of the human emissions must be absorbed somewhere and that the natural sinks, wherever they are, must be larger than the natural emissions.”

    Or, it implies natural minus a little + all of the human emissions are absorbed somewhere. This is a semantical game you are playing. Carbon is carbon. It gets sequestered no matter its source.

    “When that is upwelling, that increases the CO2 pressure of the (local) surface waters with not more than 16 microatm again.”

    It will not be in equilibrium until equivalent global climate conditions which prevailed at the time it downwelled prevail again. Until then, it will keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere continuously.

  150. george e smith says:

    “””””…..Edim says:

    August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

    GHE, is of course far from sure. The heat transfer problem at the surface and at TOA is not solved. On the face of it, CO2 cooling effect is more likely. Non-radiative fluxes dominate at the surface and at TOA there’s only radiation. CO2 emits, but the cooling effect is probably not significant. The bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) insulates, the radiatively active gases cool the atmosphere by radiating to space. Then there’s clouds…..”””””

    Why do you say at TOA, there’s only CO2 radiation; what about ALL of the roughly BB radiation from the surface, that is completely outside the CO2 bands (and other GHGs) that also goes out the TOA.
    So N2 and O2 “insulate”, what does THAT mean ? We are told they don’t ABSORB or EMIT Infra-red. So they don’t absorb ir, but they insulate, so that just about limits it to “reflects”.

    Actually they radiate IR just fine, but not in specific frequency molecular resonance spectra; just continuum thermal spectra due to their (collision) Temperature. CO2 spectra on the other hand, are not Temperature dependent (first order), but depend on molecular structure. Since gas molecular densities are much lower than liquid and solids, their absorption coefficients are much lower and so is their emissivity. But I suspect if you calculate the emissivity per molecule, you would find not much difference with phase; perhaps a collision frequency effect.

  151. Bart says:

    Edim says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

    “The bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) insulates, the radiatively active gases cool the atmosphere by radiating to space.”

    Don’t forget that CH4 is also a significant GHG, which radiates at much higher energy levels than CO2. I believe that it is quite possible that, by radiating away additional energy at lower levels, added CO2 can actually decrease the amount of excitation of the CH4, which would actually result in a lower surface temperature, all things being equal. This is what I was alluding to when I mentioned that our atmosphere is not homogeneous.

  152. davidmhoffer says:

    Phil.
    Really? So you believe that positive feedback can not occur?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    He didn’t say that. He said your example doesn’t support the argument you were trying to make at the time.

  153. davidmhoffer says:

    GHE, is of course far from sure.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    And yet another Oh My God moment. This thread has really fallen apart.

  154. davidmhoffer says:

    Bart;
    In all the talk of colder objects heating warmer objects by radiant energy, I don’t see anyone addressing the real reason it is impossible. Firstly, the 2nd law of thermodynamics pertains to averages.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The 2nd Law and SB Law can only co-exist if the exchange of energy is two way. Your answer goes on to talk about net transfer, and correctly describes it, but you neglect to consider the results in the absence of the colder object at all. If there is no colder object to consider, then the warmer object is simply radiating directly to space which has an effective temperature approaching absolute zero. A colder object is blazing hot by comparison to no object at all.

  155. Phil. says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:41 am
    Phil.
    Really? So you believe that positive feedback can not occur?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    He didn’t say that. He said your example doesn’t support the argument you were trying to make at the time.

    Actually he babbled away incoherently, you must be psychic to get any sensible interpretation from “Sorry, but you have not hereby discovered the long sought after verification of transluminal speeds. Unfortunately, we still cannot create a warp drive through microphone feedback.”

  156. Edim says:

    GHE by the radiatively active gases I mean. The bulk (N2/O2), which cannot radiate (cool) to space (according to the consensus explanation), does insulate and acts kinda like the cover (and walls) in a greenhouse, working as a barrier to air flow and therefore the convective cooling.

  157. mkelly says:

    Leonard Weinstein says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:16 am
    “Back radiation reduces NET radiation, but never directly heats the water. It only slows loss of energy.”

    Could you be so kind as to explain this please.

  158. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:37 am
    Don’t forget that CH4 is also a significant GHG, which radiates at much higher energy levels than CO2. I believe that it is quite possible that, by radiating away additional energy at lower levels, added CO2 can actually decrease the amount of excitation of the CH4, which would actually result in a lower surface temperature, all things being equal.

    CH4 absorbs/emits at around 1300 cm-1 whereas CO2 absorbs/emits at around 667 cm-1, why do you believe that absorption in the CO2 band from the Earth’s LWIR would deplete the CH4 band at 1300 cm-1?

  159. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leonard Weinstein says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hi Leonard.

    I agree with this:

    “The simple fact is that the only source of energy absorbed by the oceans is short wavelength sunlight (neglecting volcanoes and internal Earth heating), and the temperature it goes to is based only on the ease in which that energy is removed. ”

    and this:

    “The ways it is removed are NET long wave radiation from the surface, evaporation from the surface, and conduction followed by convection to the atmosphere”

    But what you have missed is the energy cost of a specific amount of evaporation which is set by atmospheric pressure because atmospheric pressure sets the ratio between the amount of energy required to cause evaporation and the enthalpy of evaporation which is 1 to 5 respectively at standard atmospheric pressure.

    Thus, if 1 unit of energy from more CO2 in the air is applied to the ocean surface to cause one molecule of water to evaporate earlier than it otherwise would have done then 4 more units of energy need to be extracted from the local environment.

    The easiest place for that energy to be extracted is from the extra energy from the CO2 in the air so the process of increased evaporation will proceed until all the extra energy from more CO2 is used up and then it will stop.

    The effect on the background rate of energy flow from water to air being zero.

    If you wish to discuss this with me direct then please feel free to contact me via climaterealists.com and we will see if we can resolve any misunderstandings either way.

  160. FerdiEgb says:

    Edim says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

    The correlation between global temperatures (anomalies) and changes (accumulations) in atmospheric CO2 is very remarkable. Many forget, it’s not changes in global temperatures (warming or cooling) but temperature levels that cause changes in CO2. There is also a global temperature level (or whatever we’re measuring with the global temperature indices) at which d(CO2)/dt = 0. Lower than this, the change gets negative (decline in atmospheric CO2).

    That is exactly the theory of Bart and it is wrong. There are no natural processes that can continue pumping CO2 out of the oceans for a small permanent offset in temperature. In two steps:

    - Static:
    If the temperature of seawater increases with 1°C, the equilibrium with the atmosphere increases with about 16 ppmv. No matter how much CO2 is in the (deep) oceans. An increase with 16 ppmv in the atmosphere is sufficient to compensate for a 1°C increase in ocean surface temperature. For most of the oceans surface layer, that process is quite rapid (1-2 years to equilibrium).

    - Dynamic:
    If the temperature of seawater increases everywhere with 1°C, the pCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) of seawater at the deep upwelling sources increases (from ~750 microatm to ~766 microatm). Therefore the CO2 source flux into the atmosphere increases substantially, as the pressure difference, that is the driving force of the fluxes, increases for the same atmospheric CO2 content (at 400 ppmv, which is about 400 microatm).
    At the other side, an increase in temperature at the downwelling places increases the pCO2 (from ~150 to ~166 microtatm), thus decreases the pressure difference with the atmosphere, substantially reducing the sink flux.
    Both lead to an increase of CO2 into the atmosphere. But as the CO2 level in the atmosphere increases, the pressure difference at the upwelling places gets smaller, thus the source flux gets smaller and the pressure difference at the sink places gets larger, thus the sink flux gets larger. The final result is that with an increase of 16 ppmv in the atmosphere, the source and sink fluxes are again in equilibrium for 1°C increase in global seawater temperature.

    Thus whatever the static or dynamic (dis)equilibria were before the temperature changes, an increase of 1°C in global seawater temperature gives an increase of maximum 16 ppmv in the atmosphere, to reach the same (dis)equilibrium as before.

  161. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am

    It will not be in equilibrium until equivalent global climate conditions which prevailed at the time it downwelled prevail again. Until then, it will keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere continuously.

    No it won’t, see Henry’s Law and van’t Hoff’s equation.

  162. davidmhoffer says:

    Edim says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm
    GHE by the radiatively active gases I mean. The bulk (N2/O2), which cannot radiate (cool) to space (according to the consensus explanation), does insulate
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Gasp! How do gasses that you have defined as NOT being radiatively active accomplish this? Incoming SW goes right through. Out going LW goes right through. Where does the “insulation” part happen? To insulate, you have to STOP the energy from passing straight through! Which is what radiatively active gasses do! By definition!

  163. Greg House says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:59 am:
    “In all the talk of colder objects heating warmer objects by radiant energy, I don’t see anyone addressing the real reason it is impossible.”
    =================================================

    For the third time on this thread, my point is very simple. Warmists mean that that is possible and actually works in case of alleged greenhouse warming, but there is apparently no experimental proof of that.

    And in the science it is not so that a statement is considered valid until the opposite is proven, it is exactly the other way round.

  164. Edim says:

    “There are no natural processes that can continue pumping CO2 out of the oceans for a small permanent offset in temperature.”

    Ferdinand, a small permanent offset is actually only the averaged story. In detail, there are latitudes and annual temperature cycles. There might be some kind of ‘pumping’ effect. I don’t suggest anything, I only comment on the correlation.

  165. Greg House says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:59 am
    “Firstly, the 2nd law of thermodynamics pertains to averages. On average, a colder object (I will assume here that both objects are blackbodies for simplicity) cannot heat a warmer object above its own temperature. Instantaneously, when the colder object emits a photon toward the warmer object, and the warmer object absorbs it, the warmer object’s temperature increases.
    But, it then releases another photon back at the colder object which cools the warmer object and heats the colder object back up. If they were exchanging equal numbers of photons, their relative temperatures would remain the same on average. But, the warmer object is releasing more photons, so it will cool and the cooler object will heat up, until both are at the same temperature, exchanging equal numbers of photons.”
    =======================================================

    First you need to revise your understanding of the term “average” and also look up the term “net (result)”.

    The 2nd law of thermodynamics was formulated on the basis of experiments and there were back then apparently no experiments confirming your notion of “average”, so no, it is not about “average”. If you mean otherwise – prove it.

    The notion of photon was invented to explain certain experimental observations, so in this case too first come experiments. Your “photon calculation”, as I said before, is apparently not supported by any scientific experiments.

    And generally, dear warmists, please do not confuse products of your imagination (even if they are to a degree logical) with scientifically proven facts.

  166. FerdiEgb says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Nature has no ability to “detrend” the temperature. It must act on it as a whole.

    Your fit is based on a temporarely trend in temperature, which by accident fits the trend in CO2 increase, but doesn’t fit in other periods (like the 1945-1975 cooling period). Let even be for the MWP-LIA or glacial periods with ~ 100 kyr of below “baseline” temperatures.

    To the degree that the observations are rock solid. It does not have to conform to observations which are themselves very dicey.

    It gets quite problematic if the theory violates a lot of observations… Take e.g. 13C/12C ratio of the oceans. Everywhere, except near estuaria, observed as higher than in the atmosphere. Deep oceans and even more at the surface. No models involved, simple, direct measurements. Thus any substantial contribution of the (deep) oceans to the atmosphere should increase the d13C level of the atmosphere. But we see a steady accelerating decline, not caused by vegetation decay either…
    Thus your deep oceans upwelling theory from the past violates the d13C level observations…

    Or, it implies natural minus a little + all of the human emissions are absorbed somewhere. This is a semantical game you are playing. Carbon is carbon. It gets sequestered no matter its source.

    I was talking about total mass that must be sequestered, not which molecules are sequestered. The point is that anyway the natural sinks are larger than the natural sources. That means that there is no net contribution from the natural cycles. No matter if the human CO2 is immediately absorbed by the next available tree are resides for decades in the atmosphere.

    The human contribution + natural contribution leads to an increase in the atmosphere that is higher than of the human contribution alone. But as we only observe an increase that is equal to halve the human emissions, the sinks must absorb a total amount which is equal to the natural contribution + halve the human contribution. No matter which exact molecules are sequestered. Carbon is carbon…

  167. davidmhoffer says:

    Bart;
    You’re wasintg your time with Greg House. Every explanation you provide will end with the same result, which is him declaring it not proof. I’ve given up on him as have many others including Robert G Brown.

  168. Phil. says:

    Greg House says:
    August 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm
    davidmhoffer says:
    August 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm:
    “Then there’s Greg House who jumps in with his usual cold things can’t send energy to warm things argument”
    =====================================================

    No, this is not true.

    My argument is that apparently nobody has proven experimentally, that colder things can either warm warmer things or slow down cooling of the warmer things by means of infra-red radiation. Simply because no warmist I talked to on various blogs has been able to present a link to such a scientific experiment.

    Well it’s easy to put an end to this, read an undergraduate text on radiation heat transfer, Hottel and Sarofim would be a good choice. There you’ll see many examples of experiments which show this and how engineers the world over use radiation heat transfer calculations involving this effect in their design calculations. Then we won’t have to put up with this fallacious argument any more.

  169. davidmhoffer says:

    Phil.
    Well it’s easy to put an end to this, read an undergraduate text on radiation heat transfer, Hottel and Sarofim would be a good choice.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    He’ll find some reason to claim it isn’t applicable, he always does. He’s been referred to text books before. I’ve also suggested that he look at experiments that are part of university physics courses that are designed for the express purpose of verifying SB Law and he ignores those as well. Simple google search shows they aren’t hard to find:

    http://sampa.if.usp.br/~suaide/LabFlex/blog/files/amjournalphys46.pdf
    http://media.paisley.ac.uk/~davison/labpage/stefan/stefan.html
    http://iopscience.iop.org/0031-9120/10/1/005/
    http://fiziks.net/lifesciencesD/exp54.htm
    http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/Tahani_Al-Beladi/Documents/EXPERIMENTS%20SHEET/Exp.1%20.pdf
    http://www.nikhef.nl/~h73/kn1c/praktikum/phywe/LEP/Experim/3_5_01.pdf

    He’s drowning in evidence, but the bottom line is that he understands neither SB Law nor 2nd Law, doesn’t understand the math, and doesn’t understand how these exact experiments speak directly to what he claims isn’t proven, and so he just claims they aren’t proof.

  170. Kasuha says:

    Gail Combs says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    What makes you think the “Team” has not messed with the CO2 measurements as they did with the temperature measurements???
    __________________________________________

    The analysis is only concerned about Mauna Loa measurements so the way how ice core data were spliced to it is irrelevant and so is it to my argument.

    ====================
    Bart says:
    August 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    This is my favored working hypothesis. Current atmospheric CO2 levels depend not just on temperature differentials in the near past, but in the distant past as well, when currently upwelling ocean waters first descended into the depths.
    ___________________________________________

    Your hypothesis looks intriguing but I am not sure there were significant enough changes in the past to explain the current trend this way. Ice core data don’t seem to support it … but again, there’s the known smoothing effect so who knows. Some analyses of deep ocean water CO2 contents might help there, especially comparison of upwelling currents vs downwelling currents, but I am not aware of any such. Sea level measurements may not tell much because deep sea CO2 may be quickly absorbed by phytoplankton when it gets close enough to the surface, delaying actual emission by unknown amount and spreading it over a long time.

  171. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    August 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm:
    “Bart;
    You’re wasintg your time with Greg House. Every explanation you provide will end with the same result, which is him declaring it not proof.”
    ==================================================

    Right, if a scientific experimental proof was asked for but only an “explanation” has been presented, then yes, the “explanation” is not the proof in question. This must be easy to understand.

  172. Edim says:

    “Gasp! How do gasses that you have defined as NOT being radiatively active accomplish this? Incoming SW goes right through. Out going LW goes right through. Where does the “insulation” part happen? To insulate, you have to STOP the energy from passing straight through! Which is what radiatively active gasses do! By definition!”

    The atmosphere gains it’s energy from the surface by the non-radiative fluxes too and they’re actually dominant. The dominant planetary (at TOA) cooling flux is actually from atmospheric radiation, not surface radiation.
    http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/images/Erb/components2.gif

  173. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    August 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm:
    “He’s been referred to text books before.”
    ===================================================

    Come on, nobody is going to buy your “text books” just to discover that they do not contain what you claim they do, in particular no layman, including journalists and politicians reading here. As I said before, repeated claims do not constitute a scientific proof and do not make a fact out of a tale.

    It is a key assertion of the AGW concept I am questioning, and if there is an experimental proof of that then there must be a detailed description of the experiment somewhere on the internet, at least on the warmists sites. If there is nothing, then highly probable nothing exists. And until now I have not seen any valid link.

    As for your references, the last time I checked your link it turned out to be unrelated stuff: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/why-we-need-debate-not-consensus-on-climate-change/#comment-1059271 .

  174. Smokey says:

    Greg House,

    I know you mean well. But you need to understand that the 2nd Law is statistical. I recommend Four Laws by Peter Atkins. It is an excellent intro to the Zeroth Law through the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics, and it’s only 124 pages long. Amazon probably has used copies for a few dollars. Sincerely recommended.

  175. davidmhoffer says:

    Edim,
    The non radiatively active gases warm up until they are in thermal equilibrium with the surface, then they’re involvement in the overall energy balance ceases.

    Bart, Phil,
    Re Greg House… see?

  176. Edim says:

    Davidmhoffer, no they’re constantly gaining energy from the surface and can only lose it by transfering it to the radiatively active gases, which can radiate it to space.

  177. davidmhoffer says:

    Edim;
    The dominant planetary (at TOA) cooling flux is actually from atmospheric radiation, not surface radiation.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    To explain it better, you’re focused on only half the process. If there were no radiatively active gases in the atmosphere, then there would be no radiance from atmosphere to space. 100% of the cooling would come directly from the surface. But once you inject radiatively active gases into the atmosphere, while it is true that they radiate to space, they only radiate what the absorbed from the surface in the first place. So while you see cooling processes from atmosphere to space, they only exist because of warming processes that occurred first from surface to atmosphere. Hence, the warmer temps of an atmosphere with radiatively active gases versus one without.

  178. Bart says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

    At no time in either case does the warmer object on average get warmer than it was initially. But, as I stated later, that is beside the point, because there is an additional consideration: the active energy source in the mix. Then, the effect you highlight is what modulates the emissions of the warmer body induced by the active energy source, causing surface temperature to rise.

    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    “CH4 absorbs/emits at around 1300 cm-1 whereas CO2 absorbs/emits at around 667 cm-1, why do you believe that absorption in the CO2 band from the Earth’s LWIR would deplete the CH4 band at 1300 cm-1?”

    The equilibrium temperature of the surface results from a complex interplay of where the major emitters in the atmosphere are, and where the emissions spectrum overlaps their excitation frequency. The emissions spectrum is not a monotonic function. Hence the partial derivatives of surface temperature with respect to changes in the relative atmospheric constituents are not generally monotonic, either. It is quite possible to have negative sensitivity due to a particular constituent.

    FerdiEgb says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    This comes down to a simple mass balance equation. If more CO2 is continuously coming up than going down, it will accumulate at the surface, and it will proportionately be taken up by the atmosphere. This is a simple statement of fact, actually a tautology. There is no way around it.

    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Think!

    Greg House says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    “The 2nd law of thermodynamics was formulated on the basis of experiments and there were back then apparently no experiments confirming your notion of “average”, so no, it is not about “average”. “

    Statistical mechanics postulates that, in equilibrium, each microstate that the system might be in is equally likely to occur, and when this assumption is made, it leads directly to the conclusion that the second law must hold in a statistical sense. That is, the second law will hold on average, with a statistical variation on the order of 1/√N where N is the number of particles in the system. For everyday (macroscopic) situations, the probability that the second law will be violated is practically zero. However, for systems with a small number of particles, thermodynamic parameters, including the entropy, may show significant statistical deviations from that predicted by the second law. Classical thermodynamic theory does not deal with these statistical variations.

    FerdiEgb says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    “Your fit is based on a temporarely trend in temperature, which by accident fits the trend in CO2 increase…

    Doesn’t help you. During that “temporary” interval, the climate system has to respond to it. And, since that “temporary” interval happens to be the one over which the most significant increase in CO2 occurred over the last century, it accounts at the very least for the most significant increase in CO2.

    “… but doesn’t fit in other periods (like the 1945-1975 cooling period).”

    A) it fits since 1958

    B) if we had reliable measurements prior to 1958, it would be possible to determine if there were a shift in the climate state at an earlier time, requiring an update of parameters in the model

    C) we do not have reliable measurements prior to 1958

    “Let even be for the MWP-LIA or glacial periods with ~ 100 kyr of below “baseline” temperatures.

    We do not have reliable measurements prior to 1958. I choose to base my opinion on the best, most modern, most reliable and direct measurements of the physical quantities, not on unverifiable, indirect proxy measurements.

    “It gets quite problematic if the theory violates a lot of observations…”

    There is definitely a problem in that the observations are skewed toward those things people decided to observe, based on the hypothesis they were working on. It might violate a number of the dodgy observations you have available, but you have no idea how it comports with observations which were never made.

    “The point is that anyway the natural sinks are larger than the natural sources. “

    It does not follow. You have no data whatsoever which can verify that. Like I said, you could as easily have said: “it implies natural minus a little + all of the human emissions are absorbed somewhere.” With just a minor change in wording, I have absorbed all of the human emissions, and the natural sources are larger than the natural sinks. Yet, the two statements are equivalent. You can always play such games when the underlying variables are indeterminant, i.e., unobservable, given the data at hand.

  179. davidmhoffer says:

    Edim says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    Davidmhoffer, no they’re constantly gaining energy from the surface and can only lose it by transfering it to the radiatively active gases, which can radiate it to space.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I thought the same at one time. The reason that this is not the case is that the same rules that govern how energy is transmitted radiatively between gas molecules also applies to conduction. Since gas molecules can only exist at very specific energy levels, they cannot exchange energy with other molecules unless those molecules have those exact same energy levels. Since the non radiatively active gases do not have the specific energy states required to transfer energy to or from the radiatively active gases, there is no on going process of energy exchange between them in the atmosphere.

  180. Chris R. says:

    To Mike Mellor:

    You stated: “I’m wondering why CO2 warms Mars but doesn’t warm Earth…”

    But it does! Much of the skeptic population here accepts the belief that greenhouse gases (of which the most important is water vapor, not CO2) result in the Earth’s surface temperature raised by approx. 33 degrees C. over the theoretical black-body temperature of an object in Earth’s orbit. (See http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/gases.html.)

    However, most of the skeptic community represented here believe that CO2′s influence on global temperature–the “climate sensitivity”–is overstated. The reasons why vary wildly.

    Many accept that all else being equal, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in a rise in temperature of a bit over 1 degree C. The IPCC’s “consensus forecast” states 3 degrees C. for this doubling, mostly based on water vapor feedback effects. Many here believe that particular feedback is wildly overstated and might even be negative.

    Some here have beefs about the radiation physics. They believe that the atmosphere is a more complicated place than a laboratory bench–a fair point. This leads them to postulate that other atmospheric effects shield, or overwhelm, the effects of CO2′s absorption & re-emission spectra.

    If you keep looking and reading, you will find a number of other skeptic viewpoints.

  181. Bart says:

    Kasuha says:
    August 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Perhaps you can help me develop the hypothesis to a higher level. Or, even come up with another entirely. The fundamental constraint is that it must conform with the empirical fact that the rate of change of CO2 is affinely related to temperature. Human attribution for even a majority of the rise in CO2 does not satisfy that constraint, hence is ruled out.

  182. Greg House says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm:
    “Statistical mechanics postulates that, in equilibrium, each microstate that the system might be in is equally likely to occur, and when this assumption is made, it leads directly to the conclusion that the second law must hold in a statistical sense. That is, the second law will hold on average, with a statistical variation on the order of 1/√N where N is the number of particles in the system. ”
    ================================================

    This Wikipedia quote does not support your statement.

    Look, it is not enough to find a word or two in a text, sometimes the are used in a very different sense. Just reread your initial statement and try to see any relation to your quote: there is none or, let us say, very little.

    Again, you can not add or subtract photons just like that like an accountant, it is physics. I understand how nice it might be like “2photones-1photon=1photon”, but there is apparently no experiment supporting this calculation. Maybe you could consider dropping the tale and serving as a good example for warmists. I am still curious who will be the first one.

  183. richardscourtney says:

    davidmhoffer:

    At August 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm you say:

    …Since gas molecules can only exist at very specific energy levels, they cannot exchange energy with other molecules unless those molecules have those exact same energy levels. Since the non radiatively active gases do not have the specific energy states required to transfer energy to or from the radiatively active gases, there is no on going process of energy exchange between them in the atmosphere.

    Sorry, but that is incorrect.

    Radiatively active molecules can be rotationally and/or vibrationally excited by absorbing a photon or by collision with another molecule. And they can be de-excited collisionally, too. Indeed, it is collisional de-excitation which enables excited GHG (i.e. H2O, CO2, CH4, etc.) molecules to warm the ‘inert’ nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) molecules which comprise most of the atmosphere.

    Kinetic energy of a collection of gas molecules is observed as temperature.

    There are far more N2 and O2 molecules in the air than GHG molecules and the GHG molecules can be radiatively excited, but the N2 and O2 molecules cannot be radiatively excited. The energy of the ‘inert’ N2 and O2 molecules is entirely kinetic while the energy of the GHG molecules is kinetic and also energy of radiative excitation. Therefore, on average, the GHG molecules will be more energetic than the N2 and O2 molecules.

    Hence, the net effect of collisions is much more collisional de-excitation than collisional excitation of GHG molecules with the effect that on average the N2 and O2 molecules are warmed as a result the radiative absorbtion by GHG molecules.

    Richard

  184. Greg House says:

    Chris R. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm:
    “Much of the skeptic population here accepts the belief that greenhouse gases (of which the most important is water vapor, not CO2) result in the Earth’s surface temperature raised by approx. 33 degrees C. over the theoretical black-body temperature of an object in Earth’s orbit.”
    ====================================================

    Really? My impression is quite the opposite. But I can understand why you have yours.

    The majority of commentators here have expressed their scepticism about the so called “greenhouse effect” and actually think that it is a complete BS invented for political reasons, but it is the other side who write the majority of the comments, and their comments are often long, so if we counted words then yes, my estimation were like 80-90% come from the other side.

    No, I did not really count, it is just my guess.

  185. richardscourtney says:

    davidmhoffer:

    As an afterthought, I consider that I should have added another point in my post to you.

    The probability of collisional de-excitation increases with gas pressure. This is because if a GHG molecule absorbs a photon it will de-excite by emitting a photon if it is not involved in a collision with an ‘inert’ molecule first. Pressure is an indication of the frequency of collisions. And this is one reason why radiative emission to space increases with altitude.

    Richard

  186. Allan MacRae says:

    richardscourtney says: August 31, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Yes Richard – how could I forget these famous comments:

    “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
    - Prof. Chris Folland,
    Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

    “The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”
    - Dr David Frame,
    climate modeler, Oxford University

    * Source: http://www.green-agenda.com

  187. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    “CH4 absorbs/emits at around 1300 cm-1 whereas CO2 absorbs/emits at around 667 cm-1, why do you believe that absorption in the CO2 band from the Earth’s LWIR would deplete the CH4 band at 1300 cm-1?”

    The equilibrium temperature of the surface results from a complex interplay of where the major emitters in the atmosphere are, and where the emissions spectrum overlaps their excitation frequency. The emissions spectrum is not a monotonic function. Hence the partial derivatives of surface temperature with respect to changes in the relative atmospheric constituents are not generally monotonic, either. It is quite possible to have negative sensitivity due to a particular constituent.

    That would require a huge sensitivity to CO2, we wouldn’t be living on this planet in that case!

    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Think!

    Not what I said but good advice, your model is wrong as I pointed out specifically in
    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

  188. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I just noticed this comment wedged up there.

    “The CO2 dissolved in the surface waters during the LIA which were at a lower temperature but also the partial pressure of CO2 during the LIA was about 60% of today’s.

    Although I consider the ice core data highly suspect (because they are impossible to verify), it makes perfect sense that pCO2 of the atmosphere during the LIA would be less than today. It was colder then. When temperatures get colder, more goes into the ocean, in accordance with your relation

    c = k*p

    k increased, but the total c and p are constrained, so c had to increase while p decreased.

    Today, that c is coming back up again. It is displacing the c in today’s equation, so we can say dc/dt is greater than zero. Since, to the degree that “k” is actually constant,

    dc/dt = k * dp/dt

    and k is greater than zero, you also have dp/dt is greater than zero.

    It won’t stop until the temperature decreases to the point at which the “c” of the waters coming up matches the “c” of the waters going down.

  189. davidmhoffer says:

    richardscourtney;
    I shall delve into the collisionaly de-excitation thing again, it has been a very long time since I had a deep dive into the topic. But if you say I’m wrong, I’m inclined to believe you. Sort of a “trust but verify” thing.

    Question – how significant is the process? IE of the energy given up by GHG’s in this fashion versus radiance, is it 1%? 10%? etc?

    Question Supplemental – does the process go the other way? Can a GHG molecule be bumped into a higher energy state by a collision with a non GHG molecule?

  190. Leonard Weinstein says:

    mkelly, Aug 31 at 12:05 pm,
    Radiation between surfaces or volumes of absorbing and radiating materials pass photons both ways if the properties and temperature are in suitable ranges. For a simplified case of two flat surfaces with coefficients (absorbing and radiating) of 1, the equation of Net radiation energy transfer is from the hotter to colder surface, and has an equation E=5.73E-8(Thot ^4-Tcold^4), in Watts per m2, where T’s are in K. The constant is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, and both the hotter and colder surface contribute to the net value. Both T’s can increase individually, but the net effect (difference) is the only result that is important for the resultant energy flow. In the case of the oceans and atmosphere it is more complicated. The so called greenhouse gases only absorb and radiate in narrow spectral ranges (wavelengths). In those ranges, they act close to black body (coefficients =1), but do not absorb or radiate outside the selected wavelengths. The net result is that some of the radiation from the oceans (which act close to full spectrum black bodies in the thermal range), which is not in the special ranges, passes either directly through the atmosphere to space, or may be intercepted by clouds (which act like the ocean). For simplicity ignore cloud effects as this makes the discussion more complicated. Part of the radiation is absorbed, mainly by water vapor, and to a lesser extent by CO2 and some other gases. The absorbed energy transfers to surrounding N2 and O2 by collisions and slightly warms it. However, the N2 and O2 has a range of velocities (Boltzmann distribution), and the more energetic collisions with the greenhouse gases cause them to sometimes radiate photons. This cools the surrounding gas. Generally the warming and cooling are in close balance, so incoming at a particular level and outgoing nearly balance. However, the atmosphere has a temperature gradient (the lapse rate), so the atmosphere absorbing the photons from the ocean is generally slightly cooler than the ocean. Thus, in addition to the photons that directly passed to space, there is an in-balance of back radiation from the atmosphere to the ocean compared to the upward radiation. This results in a NET radiation heat transfer up from both the passed through photons, and the NET imbalance of radiation in the atmospheric absorption range. While some photons do get absorbed by the ocean surface, only the NET flux heats a surface. Think of two (black body) surfaces at the same T facing each other. Both are emitting and absorbing photons continually. Neither heats or cools! If the surfaces (or surface and gas volume) are different temperatures only the NET energy flux results in heating or cooling.

  191. Bart says:

    richardscourtney says:
    August 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    “…the N2 and O2 molecules cannot be radiatively excited…”

    …significantly by emissions emanating from the Earth, I think you mean. Their excitation energy is well in the tail of the emissions spectrum. Hence, they are not GHGs on the Earth.

    “The energy of the ‘inert’ N2 and O2 molecules is entirely kinetic…”

    Not sure that is true. Incoming sunlight does overlap.

  192. Bart says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    “It won’t stop until the temperature decreases to the point at which the “c” of the waters coming up matches the “c” of the waters going down.”

    Or, the “c” of the waters coming up tails off to match the “c” of the waters going down.

  193. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Stephen Wilde,
    I do not have an account on climaterealists.com and Twitter. You need a more easily accessed entry. However, I can explain your basic error quickly. The enthalpy to evaporate water vapor is VERY weakly dependent of total atmospheric pressure or CO2 content. It depends almost entirely on the local water temperature, and is nearly constant for small temperature ranges. The rate of removal by evaporation also depends on the partial pressure of vapor above the water. There is a limit to how much can evaporate in some cases, due to local saturation and slower or faster removal of the saturated vapor by wind mixing. Since warmer air can hold more vapor before saturation, a warmer temperature generally allows more removal. However, it is always the absorbed solar energy that sets the limits. There is no special energy in the CO2, it is just a gas vibrating like the N2 and O2, and H2O vapor. The CO2 and H2O do take part in the radiation heat transfer process, but in no way affect evaporation other than the way I stated.

  194. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Gregg House,
    There are many non-scientific commentators on both sides of the issue. However, the scientific skeptics almost all agree with the so called greenhouse effect, with a 33 C increase due to water vapor, clouds, and CO2 (in that order). I have seen many supporters of CAGW (the case for extreme results) blame everything from increased prostitute sex to polar bear deaths (which has been disproved), and thousands of other effects, which are just crazy. Most scientific skeptics just want the facts, not myths, lies, and models (which are a joke if you try to look decades ahead, due to the spreading uncertainty band swamping the small trend).

  195. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Stephen Wilde says: August 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    Stephen,
    Only the temperature affects the partial pressure of saturated water vapor. The enthalpy to evaporate is essentially independent of atmospheric pressure over modest partial pressure ranges and temperatures. Your talk of CO2 effects are wrong. See my response to mkelly.

    I tried to enter your site, but it required Twitter or a password, which I did not have. You need a friendlier entry (like e-mail) rather than password.

  196. Leo G says:

    Cloud cover acts to reduce mixing depth in the well-mixed oceanic layer, and therefor offsets the direct warming effect of insolation.
    The paper prompts questions about the influence of changes in global oceanic cloud cover on surface ocean temperature and consequently surface air temperature. The fifty years to 1996 corresponded to a trend increase in that cloud cover (an increase of more than 7%) and was followed by a decrease of about 1.5% over 10 years.

  197. Chris R. says:

    To Greg House:

    Chris R. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm:
    “Much of the skeptic population here accepts the belief that greenhouse gases (of which the most important is water vapor, not CO2) result in the Earth’s surface temperature raised by approx. 33 degrees C. over the theoretical black-body temperature of an object in Earth’s orbit.”
    ====================================================

    Really? My impression is quite the opposite. But I can understand why you have yours.

    The majority of commentators here have expressed their scepticism about the so called “greenhouse effect” and actually think that it is a complete BS invented for political reasons, but it is the other side who write the majority of the comments, and their comments are often long, so if we counted words then yes, my estimation were like 80-90% come from the other side.

    The issue is that there really are 2 “greenhouse effects” under discussion:

    (1) The natural one I referred to which has been in in existence for most of forever. A majority
    of posters here believe this greenhouse effect exists.

    The average temperature for a body in the Earth’s orbit, having the Earth’s average
    albedo, would be some 255 degrees K. This is a easy calculation; in fact my under-
    graduate statistical mechanics textbook gave this as a problem. A majority of the
    sceptic community here accept this natural greenhouse effect exists, and is caused
    mainly by water vapor and the first few parts-per-million of CO2 and some other
    greenhouse gases. Since the absorption by greenhouse gases is logarithmic, the
    greatest change occurs as the gas is most dilute.

    (2) A claimed man-made “greenhouse effect”, mainly starring CO2, which is stated to
    be increasing “catastrophically” is the atmosphere due to man’s burning of fossil
    fuels.

    This is the group that you seem to have your impression of. Very few of the posters
    here believe that this “man-made greenhouse effect” has the power to catastrophically
    change the Earth’s temperature as stated by the IPCC. I already alluded to the
    diversity of views on climate sensitivity among this community in my previous post.

  198. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leonard Weinstein said:

    “The enthalpy to evaporate is essentially independent of atmospheric pressure over modest partial pressure ranges and temperatures”

    Less energy is required for any given amount of evaporation at the top of Everest as compared to at the ocean surface. .A kettle boils at a lower temperature than 100C if pressure is reduced.

    Therefore, the ratio changes between the amount of energy required to provoke evaporation and the amount of energy taken up by the phase change (the enthalpy of vapourisation).

    It is that ratio which determines the energy cost of any given amount of evaporation and in turn that determines how warm the oceans must become before energy out equals energy in.

    Then once that level of warmth has been attained the oceans cannot warm up any further. Instead the rate of evaporation varies to maintain the balance.So more CO2 (or any GHGs) in the air will only affect the rate of evaporation and not the temperature of the ocean bulk.

  199. Greg House says:

    Leonard Weinstein says:
    August 31, 2012 at 7:24 pm:
    “Gregg House, …the scientific skeptics almost all agree with the so called greenhouse effect, with a 33 C increase due to water vapor, clouds, and CO2 (in that order).”
    =======================================================

    I humbly hope to have refuted such statements: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/consensus-argument-proves-climate-science-is-political/#comment-972119

    A have read your explanation about “net radiation” and allow me once again to point out that apparently it is not supported by any real scientific experiment. Looks good on paper, though…

  200. Greg House says:

    Chris R. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm:
    “To Greg House:
    The issue is that there really are 2 “greenhouse effects” under discussion:
    (1) The natural one I referred to which has been in in existence for most of forever. A majority
    of posters here believe this greenhouse effect exists.”
    ====================================================

    Well, as I said, my impression is different and I explained why. So, you have yours and I have mine, no problem.

    I still do not quite understand why you have raised this issue twice today. You are not implying hopefully that the science is settled, are you?

  201. Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    This comes down to a simple mass balance equation. If more CO2 is continuously coming up than going down, it will accumulate at the surface, and it will proportionately be taken up by the atmosphere. This is a simple statement of fact, actually a tautology. There is no way around it.
    and
    The CO2 dissolved in the surface waters during the LIA which were at a lower temperature but also the partial pressure of CO2 during the LIA was about 60% of today’s.

    You forget that the CO2 mass flows are influenced by the current CO2 levels in the atmosphere: if these increase, the pressure difference between the pCO2 at the upwelling places and the atmosphere reduces, which proportionally reduces the CO2 flux from the oceans to the atmosphere. Near the poles, the opposite happens, increasing the downwelling CO2 flux.

    Thus whatever the CO2 pressure in the past was, an increase of about halve the pressure difference with the past CO2 pressure would fully compensate for the change in historical uptake. That means that for the current 70+ ppmv (and accellerating) increase the past CO2 levels must either have been 140 ppmv higher or 9°C colder (for 16 ppmv/°C, according to Henry’s Law). Both are highly unlikely.

    Human CO2 emissions are not influenced by the current CO2 levels in the atmosphere, they are simply additional.

    Another constraint is that in reality, the temperature at the THC sink places doesn’t change that much over the centuries, only the sink places change to where the waters become heavier than the bulk of the ocean waters at these places. That is at the edge where ice is formed at minus a few °C: ice formation excludes salts, which concentrate in the remaining water, that becomes heavier and sinks to the bottom.
    As the pCO2 at that time was 60% lower than today, the current upwelling waters are probably around 60% lower in CO2 content than what sinks today…
    With other words: the CO2 flux difference between the current upwelling and downwelling waters should reduce the CO2 content of the atmosphere, which is what is observed…

  202. FerdiEgb says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    There is definitely a problem in that the observations are skewed toward those things people decided to observe, based on the hypothesis they were working on. It might violate a number of the dodgy observations you have available, but you have no idea how it comports with observations which were never made.

    13C/12C ratio measurements are real observations, which show that non-organic carbon has a higher ratio (around zero per mil d13C) than organic carbon (either living or fossil). The (enormous) bulk of carbon in the oceans is near entirely made of inorganic carbonates, where biolife in the upper ocean layers even reduces the 12C content, thus increasing the 13C/12C ratio. Whatever you think of some other possible biased observations, the d13C measurements of the oceans are what they are and effectively exclude the oceans as the main source of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

    It does not follow. You have no data whatsoever which can verify that. Like I said, you could as easily have said: “it implies natural minus a little + all of the human emissions are absorbed somewhere.” With just a minor change in wording, I have absorbed all of the human emissions, and the natural sources are larger than the natural sinks.

    Again, you don’t get it. It doesn’t matter which molecules are absorbed. It does matter that the total natural sink flux is larger than the total natural source flux. The human emissions are one-way additional, there are hardly any human sinks. The natural sources are NOT larger than the natural sinks, however you rearrange the wording, as the “minus a little” is halve the human emissions anyway.

  203. FerdiEgb says:

    Kasuha says:
    August 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Bart’s theory is based on a continuous permanent CO2 release for a sustained samll difference in temperature. That seems to hold for a small period, but completely fails if you extend that period to previous periods, including the 1900-1960 period, and at fortiory the LIA-current period and much longer periods like glacials/interglacials.

    My main point is that the short term (seasonal to interannual) reaction of CO2 on temperature changes is 4-5 ppmv/°C while the very long term reaction (decades to multi-milennia) of CO2 on temperature is ~8 ppmv/°C. The intermediate reaction should be, according to Bart’s theory, more than 100 ppmv/°C. Which is very unlikely for a natural process: the long term processes then should remove the medium-term reaction back to quite modest CO2 level changes…

    Further, Bart’s theory violates the mass balance, violates the d13C balance (seawater has higher d13C than the atmosphere, but we see a steady decline) and violates the seawater flux estimates.

    Bart’s reaction is by rejecting all observations which oppose his theory, that is the ice core measurements, the seawater flux observations, the d13C measurements and the mass balance…

    The alternative theory is that the CO2 levels are dT dependent and not T-anomaly dependent, thus have a limited influence over time for a limited temperature change for all periods over the past 800 kyear while the emissions are largely responsible for the recent increase in CO2 levels. That fits all known observations…

    If one doesn’t ignore the high resolution ice core measurements of Law Dome (average resolution of only 8 years), then his theory is obvious wrong for the period 1900-1960:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_T_dT_em_1900_2005.jpg
    and even worse for long periods below the “baseline” temperature like the LIA or the 100 kyr glacials…

  204. John Finn says:

    DR says:

    August 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

    @John Finn,
    What role does convection play? You have not mentioned that important form of heat transfer which dominates at the surface through the troposphere. Convection removes excess heat from the surface, not radiation.

    Of course radiation ultimately cools the planet by releasing it to space, but I fail to see how it is any more important than convection when discussing the movement of heat from the surface to above the troposphere. It seems convection spoils the party of the greenhouse effect.

    I’m not suggesting convection is irrelevant or shouldn’t be considered. It should and as far as I know – it is. However, it is the radiation energy balance (incoming v outgoing) which ultimately determines whether the system (i.e. the earth) as a whole warms or cools.

    I’m basically trying to get people on WUWT to acknowledge the basic principle that if outgoing LW energy is reduced while incoming solar energy remains constant then the earth ( including it’s atmosphere ) will warm. I’m not speculating as to how much it will warm (I think probably not that much) or trying to analyse how each process within the atmosphere might change. I accept that convection removes heat from the surface – but then what??

    You stated that “Of course radiation ultimately cools the planet by releasing it to space”
    – Right – so if the rate of cooling is reduced the planet will warm. Simple!

  205. John Finn says:

    davidmhoffer says:

    August 31, 2012 at 8:34 am

    John Finn;
    means energy will be emitted from a higher (i.e COLDER) level. We know from S-B Law that this will result in a reduction in energy emission.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    No. At any given level at which photons that otherwise would have passed straight through are instead intercepted and absorbed, the temperature at that level is elevated. When it cools, it therefor cools from a higher temperature than it otherwise would have been at.

    Yes, David, but that is still at a LOWER temperature than the layer they were initially emitted from had they passed through directly to space.

  206. Stephen Wilde says:

    “but that is still at a LOWER temperature than the layer they were initially emitted from had they passed through directly to space.”

    I have a query on that:

    If the atmosphere expands then all the temperature heights rise too.

    The radiating level might be higher but at the same temperature wouldn’t it ?

  207. Stephen Wilde says:

    “I’m basically trying to get people on WUWT to acknowledge the basic principle that if outgoing LW energy is reduced while incoming solar energy remains constant then the earth ( including it’s atmosphere ) will warm”

    But if the atmosphere expands then outgoing LW is greater so the Earth doesn’t need to warm.

    You just get a faster loss of LW offsetting the warming that would otherwise have occurred.

    GHGs might slow down energy loss to space but then the atmosphere expands to increase LW out to offset the effect of the initial slowdown.

  208. davidmhoffer says:

    John Finn;
    Yes, David, but that is still at a LOWER temperature than the layer they were initially emitted from had they passed through directly to space.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You are conflating two different issues.

  209. richardscourtney says:

    davidmhoffer and Bart:

    I am replying here to your respective posts at August 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm and August 31, 2012 at 6:46 pm. I intend no slight to either of you by this: my purpose in providing this single post is to collate answers to issues you each raise pertaining to a single (OK, with an addendum) comment which I made.

    David:

    Thankyou for writing

    I shall delve into the collisionaly de-excitation thing again, it has been a very long time since I had a deep dive into the topic. But if you say I’m wrong, I’m inclined to believe you. Sort of a “trust but verify” thing.

    Yes! Please do that. I always tell people,
    “Please do not accept what I say. Check it for yourself. If you do that then you will have reason to accept it or you will be able to tell me why I should not accept it.”
    And it pleases me that soon after I said it to Monckton of Brenchley he started to say it, too.

    Concerning collisional de-excitation, you ask;

    Question – how significant is the process? IE of the energy given up by GHG’s in this fashion versus radiance, is it 1%? 10%? etc?

    I answer, “How long is a piece of string?”
    The answer depends on temperature, pressure and gas composition. This is not an evasion because S-B obtained their equation by study of interstellar gas where collisions are extremely rare so there was debate some decades ago about whether S-B is applicable to the relatively very dense atmosphere of Earth. I am not aware that the issue has ever been quantitatively resolved. In the early 1990s Jack Barrett calculated that collisional de-excitation completely dominates de-excitation of CO2 in the lowest 100 m of the atmosphere but he soon retracted that.

    A good discussion of the matter is on Climate Audit at
    http://climateaudit.org/2008/01/21/radiative-forcing-1/
    Tom Volk says there

    Take for instance the asymetric stretching mode of the CO2 molecule that is IR active (001 at 2349 cm^-1) .
    This mode stands in very strong resonance with the IR inactive vibration mode of the N2 molecule at 2331 cm^-1 .
    In LTE there will be the same number of excited N2 molecules deexciting as the number of deexcited N2 molecules exciting through collisions with CO2 molecules .
    Both the number of 001 CO2 molecules and (1) N2 molecules is given by the Boltzmann distribution and is constant .
    This example shows among others that one has to be VERY cautious when talking about Kirchhoff’s law (and other macroscopical laws) in processes dominated by quantum mechanics .
    The process in which a CO2 molecule absorbs 2349 cm^-1 radiation and excites an N2 vibrationnal mode as well as its symetry clearly doesn’t obey the Kirchhoff’s “law” despite the fact that energy is conserved .

    Now you double the number of CO2 molecules .
    Then you double the number of 001 states (increased absorption at 2349 cm^-1) and you double the number of collisions with N2 molecules .
    So you double the number of excited (1) N2 molecules .

    End result ?
    Part of the 2349 cm^-1 IR radiation was transferred to an IR inactive N2 vibration mode and is not available for reemission by CO2 .
    This is an example of intermolecular V-V (vibration-vibration) energy transfer .
    Beside that you have many V-T (vibration – translation) energy transfers where an excited IR active mode stands in thermal equilibrium with the translation continuum .

    The same applies of course also for H20 which largely dominates the radiative transfer anyway .

    Again a word of caution .
    This sort of argument shows the sensibility of purely radiative/collisional processes to a doubling of CO2 and it is shown that the result can’t be obtained by considering CO2 alone .
    It doesn’t say what is the radiation itself in LTE and more specifically it doesn’t mean that radiation energy somehow “disappears” .
    Once the gas is in LTE , it is at constant temperature , the energy states are populated as per Boltzmann law and everything that is excited must be deexcited and vice versa by all available processes .

    You also ask me:

    Question Supplemental – does the process go the other way? Can a GHG molecule be bumped into a higher energy state by a collision with a non GHG molecule?

    I answer, yes, I said that.

    Bart:

    You rightly point out some simplifications in what I wrote (there are others, too) but I was explaining how collisional excitation effects exist and occur. It was not my intention to provide a detailed treatise. If I oversimplified then I apologise. I reply to your specific points.

    You quote my saying;
    “…the N2 and O2 molecules cannot be radiatively excited…”
    And reply;

    …significantly by emissions emanating from the Earth, I think you mean. Their excitation energy is well in the tail of the emissions spectrum. Hence, they are not GHGs on the Earth.

    I answer, yes, I agree. But in context I don’t think I oversimplified because the effect is too small for it to be significant to my explanation.

    And you quote my saying;
    “The energy of the ‘inert’ N2 and O2 molecules is entirely kinetic…”
    And reply;

    Not sure that is true. Incoming sunlight does overlap.

    I answer, yes, I agree that, too. Perhaps I did oversimplify here but – on balance – I don’t think I did because that important detail would have reduced the clarity of my explanation.

    I hope these answers are more helpful than I think they are.

    Richard

  210. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Stephen Wilde says: August 31, 2012 at 8:59 pm
    Steven,
    I am very sorry but you seem to not understand the thermodynamics. The boiling point of water is the temperature where the partial vapor pressure of the water equals the atmospheric pressure. The partial vapor pressure is strongly temperature dependent (at 0 C it is about 5 torr; at 20 C it is about 18 torr; at 100 C it is 1 atmosphere). Lower atmospheric pressure results in a lower boiling point temperature, not lower energy to evaporate a given mass. There is a partial pressure even if there is no boiling. It takes about 540 cal per gram to evaporate water TO ITS PARTIAL PRESSURE at all temperatures and atmospheric pressures. Boiling is a special case and not needed for partial pressures to exist.

  211. old construction worker says:

    “richardscourtney says:
    September 1, 2012 at 4:41 am
    The answer depends on temperature, pressure and gas composition. This is not an evasion because S-B obtained their equation by study of interstellar gas where collisions are extremely rare so there was debate some decades ago about whether S-B is applicable to the relatively very dense atmosphere of Earth. I am not aware that the issue has ever been quantitatively resolved.”
    —————————————————————————————————–
    It seems that NASA needed to tweak the S-B formula to land on the moon.

    http://objectivistindividualist.blogspot.com/2010/06/moon-effect-called-greenhouse-effect-on.html

    “Let us return to the much simpler case of the moon. It has no atmosphere, no vegetation, and no oceans to muck things up. There is a paper by Martin Hertzberg, Hans Schreuder, and Alan Siddons called A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon?, which Dr. Hertzberg was kind enough to draw my attention to in early June and I have had in mind discussing its very important results ever since. The paper notes that NASA scientists needed to calculate the expected temperatures on the moon’s surface prior to a landing. Taking into account the changing radiation on a point on the surface and assuming no heat was absorbed into the surface, the first result is:”

  212. DocTor says:

    So for once I can be proud to be a Norwegian.

  213. Allan MacRae says:

    Hello Richard,

    I would be interested in your thoughts on this small piece of evidence:

    Preamble:

    In 2008 I wrote that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature and CO2 lags temperature by ~9 months. I referred to Jan Veizer’s papers and think Jan was generally on the right track.
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

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

    Here is the interesting bit:

    I was recently fascinated by the observation that the urban CO2 data from Salt Lake City exhibited NO human signature – only the natural daily cycle was apparent.
    http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=2&id=0&img=30

    This suggests that humanmade CO2 emissions are being ~immediately sequestered close to their source.

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

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

  214. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 1, 2012 at 1:09 am

    “bottom.
    As the pCO2 at that time was 60% lower than today, the current upwelling waters are probably around 60% lower in CO2 content than what sinks today…”

    You are making the same mistake Phil did. If the pCO2 of the atmosphere was 60% lower, the current upwelling waters are likely as much as 60% higher than what sinks today.

    FerdiEgb says:
    September 1, 2012 at 1:28 am

    “It does matter that the total natural sink flux is larger than the total natural source flux. “

    Again, you don’t get it. You have no data whatsover to tell you that.

    “The human emissions are one-way additional, there are hardly any human sinks. “

    A sink is a sink. It does not discriminate between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic.

    FerdiEgb says:
    September 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

    “Further, Bart’s theory violates the mass balance, violates the d13C balance (seawater has higher d13C than the atmosphere, but we see a steady decline) and violates the seawater flux estimates.”

    Doesn’t, doesn’t, and doesn’t.

    “The alternative theory is that the CO2 levels are dT dependent and not T-anomaly dependent…”

    CO2 levels are 180 degrees out of phase with the rate of change of temperature, so that doesn’t work. CO2 levels are 90 degrees out of phase, with phase lagging, from temperature, so that doesn’t work.

    “If one doesn’t ignore the high resolution ice core measurements of Law Dome (average resolution of only 8 years), then his theory is obvious wrong for the period 1900-1960:”

    A) the measurements are dubious

    B) if we assume for the sake of argument they are accurate, regime change in the upwelling can easily explain the discrepancy.

    richardscourtney says:
    September 1, 2012 at 4:41 am

    I have no disagreement with what you wrote in general. I was just trying to tie off some loose ends for you.

  215. Bart says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    September 1, 2012 at 7:48 am

    “…CO2 data from Salt Lake City exhibited NO human signature – only the natural daily cycle was apparent.”

    Not sure I see it. My first thought was, is this a natural cycle, or is it workers going to work at 8:00 AM and returning home between 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM? And, the dips in-between could just be diffusion into the surrounding countryside.

    So, I went to the weekly chart to see if things were different on weekdays and weekends. There’s actually more, in this weekly snapshot, on Saturday and Sunday than there is on Wednesday. Hmm… Does that tell us anything?

    Do we actually have a way of comparing the “natural” cycle to what we are seeing? Data from rural surrounding areas, perhaps?

  216. richardscourtney says:

    Allan MacRae:

    You ask my opinion on your views in your post at September 1, 2012 at 7:48 am.

    Firstly, I am certain that – as you suggest – local sequestration of CO2 is more than capable of sequestering ALL locally emitted CO2 both natural and anthropogenic. At issue is why it does not when its ability to do it is demonstrated by the dynamics of sequestration at all observed sites.

    Indeed, I have published this (it was part of Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005). And I have repeatedly discussed it on WUWT. Indeed, I remind that you and I both posted to the thread at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/19/what-you-mean-we-arent-controlling-the-climate/
    where I linked to the thread at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/the-emily-litella-moment-for-climate-science-and-co2/
    where at August 5, 2011 at 6:41 am I wrote

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

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

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

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

    And you say

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

    The mass balance argument is circular logic which proves nothing (listen for the drum roll announcing the entrance of Ferdinand to the discussion).

    And I share your opinion that the anthropogenic emission is a trivial addition to the system of the carbon cycle which is always adjusting towards an equilibrium that it never achieves. However, that is an opinion: it is not fact. The equilibrium state may be altered by many things and it is possible that the anthropogenic emission has altered (or is altering) the equilibrium state with the result that it has induced the observed recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    In summation, I share the opinions which you state in your post.

    Richard

  217. richardscourtney says:

    old construction worker:

    Thankyou for the link you provided in your post addressed to me at September 1, 2012 at 7:38 am.

    I did not know that. Thankyou.

    Richard

  218. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leonard Weinstein said:

    “Lower atmospheric pressure results in a lower boiling point temperature, not lower energy to evaporate a given mass”

    Consider the situation where atmospheric pressure is zero.

    Any water will immediately convert to vapour with zero energy added and become extremely cold in the process probably going straight to ice crystals.

    The higher the pressure the more energy one needs to add in order to provoke evaporation because it is pressure that sets the amount of energy required to break the bonds between water molecules.

    At standard atmospheric pressure the amount of energy required to provoke evaporation is one fifth of the energy required by the phase change.

    At two atmospheres the amount of energy required to provoke evaporation will be more than one fifth. I don’t know exactly how the numbers scale up but you must see the point.

    So atmospheric pressure must affect the amount of energy required to evaporate a given mass.

  219. Allan MacRae says:

    Bart says: September 1, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Allan: “…CO2 data from Salt Lake City exhibited NO human signature – only the natural daily cycle was apparent.”

    Bart: Not sure I see it.

    Hi Bart,

    The CO2 peak typically occurred earlier in the day when I made this observation in June 2012 (days were longer then), but it is still clear that we are looking at a predominantly natural signal.

    Why are CO2 levels rising steadily after sunset and dropping again at sunrise? This suggests a cycle dominated by photosynthesis and respiration of plants.

    If this were a predominantly humanmade signal, I expect we would see an increase in CO2 starting at morning rush hour about 8am, a moderate decline during the day, and another peak at evening rush hour. We’ll see if the human signature is more visible in the winter when photosynthesis is less active.

    It is interesting that the annual global CO2 sawtooth appears to be clearly visible in the yearly data.

    ______

    Here is an excerpt of my previous post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/02/what-can-we-learn-from-the-mauna-loa-co2-curve-2/#comment-1000472

    Here is recently observed Rose Park data at Salt Lake City:
    http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=2&id=0&img=30

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

    Peak CO2 readings (typically ~500ppm) occur during the night, from midnight to ~8am, and drop to ~400 ppm during the day.

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

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

  220. Bart says:

    Bart says:
    September 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

    “If the pCO2 of the atmosphere was 60% lower, the current upwelling waters are likely as much as 60% higher than what sinks today.”

    While this is a valid point that the pCO2 of the atmosphere and the concentration of CO2 in the surface layer of the oceans tend to vary inversely with temperature, the conversation should not be straight-jacketed into such a narrow paradigm.

    This is a nonlinear feedback system with significant transport lag. Such systems tend to develop oscillatory behavior, generally with a period comparable to the length of the lag. Nonlinearities can then induce subharmonic oscillations and the formation of “beads” (distinct regions of high concentration separated by lower concentration gaps). So, while we can look back at the LIA and speculate on what back-of-the-envelope formulas for equilibrium suggest, the actual dynamics have been unfolding for eons, and the resulting dynamics can be very complex.

    We see evidence of such behavior in the proxy CO2 record. It happens that we are at a point in history when the cycle should be tending toward higher CO2 levels. The proxy data, based on assumed calibration parameters, suggests even so that we should not be seeing the levels we are, but there are unverifiable assumptions built into that calibration. Moreover, the character of the oscillations can change over time as, e.g, two large beads coalesce becoming one extra-large one.

    So, we really do not know what level of CO2 is in the pipeline, nor how it should manifest itself today. What we do know, however, is that since 1958, the rate of change of CO2 has been affinely related to temperature, and this relationship precludes significant human forcing. The only thing remaining is figuring out how that behavior comes about.

  221. Allan MacRae says:

    Hi Richard,

    Re Roy Spencer’s two articles in January 2008 on wattsup

    I sent Roy two emails on December 31, 2007 regarding the close correlation of dCO2/dt with temperature, that he was kind enough to acknowledge at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

    “But first, some acknowledgements. Even though I have been playing with the CO2 and global temperature data for about a year, it was the persistent queries from a Canadian engineer, Allan MacRae, who made me recently revisit this issue in more detail.”

    Best, Allan

  222. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Stephen Wilde says: September 1, 2012 at 9:42 am
    Stephen,
    No. It takes essentially the same amount of energy to evaporate water at all temperatures in the range of interest. If you start from ice, there is an additional amount for direct evaporation (sublimation) due to solid/liquid phase change. If you had a small amount of water and exposed it to a vacuum, the energy to evaporate (540 cal.gram) comes from the remaining water, and thus quickly lowers its temperature. It turns to ice. The vapor will be a gas, but some splatter from boiling makes droplets, which then freeze due to surface evaporation removing energy and cooling the core of the drops. This is the source of ice flakes and frozen residue from this exposure.

  223. Leonard Weinstein says:

    that was 540 cal per gram.

  224. Leonard Weinstein says:

    BTW, it should be obvious that removing this huge amount of energy to evaporate cools the water, and only input short wave solar energy will keep it from continuing to cool.

  225. phlogiston says:

    Bart says:
    September 1, 2012 at 11:21 am
    Bart says:
    September 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

    “If the pCO2 of the atmosphere was 60% lower, the current upwelling waters are likely as much as 60% higher than what sinks today.”

    While this is a valid point that the pCO2 of the atmosphere and the concentration of CO2 in the surface layer of the oceans tend to vary inversely with temperature, the conversation should not be straight-jacketed into such a narrow paradigm.

    This is a nonlinear feedback system with significant transport lag. Such systems tend to develop oscillatory behavior, generally with a period comparable to the length of the lag. Nonlinearities can then induce subharmonic oscillations and the formation of “beads” (distinct regions of high concentration separated by lower concentration gaps).
    ….
    Moreover, the character of the oscillations can change over time as, e.g, two large beads coalesce becoming one extra-large one.

    Thanks for this illuminating explanation of the involvement of nonlinear dynamics.
    Could the bead coalescence that you refer to, be analogous to the bead coalescence seen in this video:

    (at 1 min 42 sec from start)

  226. phlogiston says:

    This is a great paper from Humlum and his Norwegian colleagues – a serious challenge to AGW orthodoxy. Ice core CO2 lag confirmed by the same at the present day.

    OT but according to BOM, as referenced at the WUWT ENSO page, the Pacific equatorial subsurface warm pool appears to have just collapsed, especially on the western side:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/sub_surf_mon.gif

    this, if it continues, would kill off any chance of el Nino and confirm neutral ENSO for the time being.

  227. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leonard Weinstein said:

    “If you had a small amount of water and exposed it to a vacuum, the energy to evaporate (540 cal.gram) comes from the remaining water, and thus quickly lowers its temperature. It turns to ice”

    I think I see where we are having a problem.

    Your 540 cal.gram is the energy required to break the bond between water molecules and of course that does remain constant since the strength of the bond it is a physical property of water molecules.

    My point relates to the ratio between the amount of energy required to start the process which is affected by atmospheric pressure.

    So, if there is a vacuum then no energy is required to initiate the process. It just happens straight away and all the energy comes from the water which cools as you say and as I said previously.

    If there is not a vacuum then the freedom of the molecules to evaporate is diminished because the atmospheric pressure reinforces the bonds between the molecules and so one needs an additional parcel of energy to kick start the process and that parcel comes from the surrounding environment and not the water.

    The higher the atmospheric pressure the more energy is required from the surrounding environment to cause the evaporative process to begin.

    At 1 standard atmosphere only about one fifth of that 540 cal. gram is required to cause evaporation to occur but at a higher pressure it will be more than that.

    It is that ratio which determines the net energy cost to the system of a given amount of evaporation and therefore the temperature that the oceans must achieve in order to reach equilibrium.

  228. old construction worker says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 1, 2012 at 9:19 am
    old construction worker:
    Thankyou for the link you provided in your post addressed to me at September 1, 2012 at 7:38 am.
    I did not know that. Thankyou.
    Richard
    —————————————————————
    Your are welcome. I too was surprised . Now you know why I said: Was that under “Steak House Conditions” ?

  229. richardscourtney says:

    Allan MacRae:

    re your post addressed to me at September 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Well done!

    Richard

  230. Allan MacRae says:

    Thank you Richard,

    Who else spends New Years Eve Day playing with numbers?

    I need to get a life. :-)

  231. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Steven W.
    You still are wrong. The evaporation of water to a given (saturated) partial pressure gas for a given temperature takes approximately the same amount of energy to complete at all reasonable total pressures, including initial near vacuum (the energy required is weakly temperature dependent, but not much over normal Earth temperatures). The level of the partial pressure is due to hydrogen bond strength in the water, liquid molecular motion and molecular velocity in the gas above, but the energy to vaporize each gram is the same at all of these pressures. The actual evaporation rate is reduced if the water vapor partial pressure is near saturation, and maximized if the partial pressure is far below saturation. However, it still takes the same amount of energy per gram in all cases.

  232. Allan MacRae says:

    Bart says: September 1, 2012 at 11:21 am
    “This is a nonlinear feedback system with significant transport lag. Such systems tend to develop oscillatory behavior, generally with a period comparable to the length of the lag.”

    Bart, your above statement seems consistent with the following observations, which I have been posting since early 2008:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/27/the-unbearable-complexity-of-climate-2/#comment-274521

    Allan M R MacRae (01:31:52)
    [excerpt]

    I pointed out two years ago that that global CO2 lags temperature by about 9 months in a cycle time of ~3-6 years.

    We also know that CO2 lags temperature by ~800 years in a cycle time of ~100,000 years(?)

    There may be other intermediate cycles as well – Ernst Beck postulates one.

    A fine puzzle for someone to sort out.

    Jan Veizer may have already done so.

  233. George E. Smith says:

    “””””…..Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Think!

    Greg House says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    “The 2nd law of thermodynamics was formulated on the basis of experiments and there were back then apparently no experiments confirming your notion of “average”, so no, it is not about “average”. “…..”””””

    Well all of thermodynamics is about macro systems, which by their very nature can only be described in statistical terms; “heat” whatever one thinks that is, is entirely the statistical average of a large assemblage of randomly interracting “particles”.

    So it is not just the second law that is about averages, it is all of thermodynamics. There is no thermodynamics of a single particle.

  234. George E. Smith says:

    “””””…..richardscourtney says:

    September 1, 2012 at 4:41 am

    davidmhoffer and Bart:…..”””””

    Kirchoff’s Law applies only to systems in thermal equilibrium with the radiation field. Nothing in earth’s atmosphere is in thermal equilibrium.

  235. Stephen Wilde says:

    “However, it still takes the same amount of energy per gram in all cases.”

    I know it does as regards the actual phase change but higher pressure delays or inhibits the phase change by supplementing the natural bonds between the water molecues.

    Thus at zero pressure in a vacuum evaporation occurs immediately with no need for any energy in the surrounding environment.

    At 1 atmosphere you need energy in the local environment equivalent to a temperature of 100C.

    At more than 1 atmosphere you need more energy in the local environment.

    At less than 1 atmosphere you need less energy in the local environment.

    I’m willing to be educated on how I might better express the issue but it is clearly not wrong.

  236. Stephen Wilde says:

    Clearly, to boil one needs a temperature of 100C but not to evaporate. However, evaporation is the same process of phase change where only the topmost molecules of the water are involved rather than the whole or a deeper portion of the body of water.

    The same principle applies,though, in that the air above the water in the local environment needs to be at a higher temperature for evaporation to occur when pressure is higher.

    Of course the partial pressure of the atmospheric gases is also important but in the real world open to a sky humidity is always being removed by wind and because water vapour is lighter than air the more humidity the faster it gets removed by convection on a global basis.

    That rate of convection is also pressure dependent so overall and averaged globally the influence of the partial pressure between water and air is negated by the convective process leaving the temperature of the local environment plus surface pressure of the atmosphere on the water surface in control.

    So, you would be right if the Earth system were in a closed container with limits on convection. In that case partial pressure is paramount and at a given level of humidity evaporation would stop whatever the temperature rose to.

    But in a system open to the sky with convective freedom the bottom line is that the rate of evaporation globally depends on atmospheric surface pressure and the temperature of the local environment.

    Therefore atmospheric surface pressure determines the rate at which evaporation can occur at a given level of insolation which in turn determines the temperature that the oceans must reach to achieve equilibrium with insolation.

  237. richardscourtney says:

    George E. Smith:

    I assume your post at September 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm is intended to add emphasis and to clarity my post. If so, then thankyou.

    In the unlikely event that there are others still reading this thread who may not know, I point out that “LTE” in my post is “thermal equilibrium” in your post.

    Richard

  238. Allan MacRae says:

    Hi Richard,

    Here is our emailed correspondence from 31Dec2007 on dCO2/dt versus T, with Jan Veizer’s excellent response. This, in part, is why I have always been so impressed with Jan Veizer.

    Best, Allan
    ________________________________________

    From: Jan Veizer
    Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 9:13 AM
    To: Allan MacRae; Jan Veizer; Chris Landsea; Roy Spencer
    Subject: RE: Need help please – delta CO2 vs. LT temperature anomaly

    Dear Allan,

    See 2007JD008431_Dec4.pdf‎(925KB)‎ . It is your explanation No.1, but it is both (more photosynthesis/respiration on land putting more CO2 into the atmosphere) and less uptake by warmer oceans. Please wait until the paper is published, which should be within days, before making it public.

    All the best in 2008

    Jan
    ________________________________________

    From: Allan MacRae
    Sent: December-31-07 7:32 AM
    To: Jan Veizer; Chris Landsea; Roy Spencer
    Subject: FW: Need help please – delta CO2 vs. LT temperature anomaly

    Good morning Gentlemen,
    Same question as below.
    Best Wishes and Happy New Year, Allan

    ________________________________________

    From: Allan MacRae
    Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 7:24 AM
    To: Tim Patterson; Sallie Baliunas
    Subject: Need help please – delta CO2 vs. LT temperature anomaly

    Dear Friends,

    In the attached Excel spreadsheet I have plotted the rate of annual increase of atmospheric CO2 (ppm/year) with the Lower Troposphere Temperature anomaly (degC).

    There seems to be a fairly good correlation.

    Could you kindly review my conclusions and comment, and suggest if this is a worthwhile or a trivial observation.

    Also, if it is non-trivial, what should I do with it?

    Best wishes and Happy New Year, Allan

    CONCLUSIONS
    Rate of annual increase in CO2 correlates with Lower Troposphere (LT) temperature anomaly.
    therefore, either:
    1. Incremental CO2 level is caused by surface warming, prob. due to ocean exsolution of CO2.
    or
    2. Incremental CO2 level is driving LT temperature anomaly.
    but
    Global LT temperatures have been essentially level since ~1997, while CO2 has risen.
    LT correlates with delta CO2, not with CO2, contrary to greenhouse theory.
    This suggests 1 above is more likely true than 2.

  239. dikranmarsupial says:

    I wish the conclusions of this paper were correct, but unfortunately they are not.

    This paper makes a fundamental mathematical error, and hence the conclusions are not supported by the method used (and indeed easily shown to be incorrect). No correllation, no matter how strong, with the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 can explain the linear component of the long term rising trend in CO2. This is because the linear component of the long term trend corresponds to the mean value of the annual increase. The correllation is mathematically independent of the mean value (if you look at the mathematical formula for a correlation, wherever the observations appear in the equation they have their mean value subtracted). Thus the correlation explains the variability of the annual increase around its mean value, but not the mean value itself and it is the mean value that is responsible for the long term trend. This is a mistake that has been made before, and I expect it will be made again, but it is a shame for all concerned that this one has slipped through peer review.

    The effect of sea surface temperatures on the annual increase in CO2 is well known, and has been for 30+ years (Bacastow 1976) and is described in the IPCC reports. The analysis of this in the paper is essentially correct, but entirely uncontraversial. The suggestion however that anthropogenic emissions has little effect on atmospheric CO2 is howerver incorrect (as multiple lines of evidence suggets) and the conclusion relflects the authors error in not considering the effect of anthrpogenic emissions on the mean value of the annual increase, which is not measured by te correlation coefficient, and is what actually causes the long term trend.

    A full explanation requires equations and diagrams, which I can’t include here, but you can find a full explanation here:

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

    and a regression based example here

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

  240. cba says:

    “Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    “Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.”

    follow the cite and you end up with a blog post by a lawyer who has nothing of scientific interest to say about radiation physics. The issue is not whether or not IR warms the oceans. The mechanism is quite simple: GHGs raise the temperature of the earth by raising the ERL. When the ERL is raised the earth radiates from a higher colder zone. That means it cools less rapidly


    Geez, I thought you were more knowledgable than this. This is nonphysical claptrap from early hansen pop writings. There is no such thing as ERL. Radiation comes from the surface and all atltitudes depending upon wavelength. As one goes higher the pressure drops and the absorption bands get narrower around ghg absorption lines so are no longer affected as much. Narrower absorption lines also increase the intensity of emission for a given T as one gets closer to the center of the line away from the declining edges. If you go back to stefan’s law and the origins of hansen’s guff, and think about what adding ghgs mean to a parcel of atmosphere, you’d also realize that it increases the emissivity and that very slight increase in absoption also causes a slight increase in emission for a given T.

    In other words, practically no energy is radiated from your ERL. That radiation which is transparent comes from below, much from the surface or cloud tops. That which tends to be absorbed, will do so again and again above your ERL.

    That 3.7W/m^2 added atmospheric absorption for clear skies (and only for clear skies) is at the tropopause and the actual absorption increase is spread over the troposphere. By the time one gets to 70km altitude it is only about 2.7 W/m^2 . And the results will be a lapse rate that exhibits conservation of energy (including convection and conduction as well as radiation) by altitude. In the arena of stefan’s law, one also has a shell of gas at an altitude with an outer surface and an inner surface and it has a tiny emissivity based upon the absorption characteristics. That means if the continuum radiation received by the shell were for a moment at the same T as the shell of gas, the gas would radiate that same amount of power outward and that same amount of power inward – leading to a massive loss of power leaving the shell no choice but to make up for it by a drop in T, causing the lapse rate to exist. With an increase in ghgs one then has the similar problem with a shell or parcel in that there is a small increase in absorbed power but there is also a small increase in emitted power downward and emitted power upward due to the increased emissivity. Without additional power coming, that shell cannot sustain the added efficiency in emission at the original T.
    Look for that missing extra warmth to be increasing evaporation, generating clouds, blocking sunlight and operating as a setpoint control system with massive negative net feedback and regulating temperatures very nicely except for those nasty glitches where surface albedo (in the form of new snow and glaciers) periodically short circuits the system.

  241. Allan MacRae says:

    richardscourtney says: September 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Allan MacRae:
    You ask my opinion on your views in your post at September 1, 2012 at 7:48 am.

    Firstly, I am certain that – as you suggest – local sequestration of CO2 is more than capable of sequestering ALL locally emitted CO2 both natural and anthropogenic. At issue is why it does not when its ability to do it is demonstrated by the dynamics of sequestration at all observed sites.

    _______________

    Hello Richard,

    In response to your point, the answer on a global scale may be deficiency of water – please see the following quotation from Jan Veizer (Geoscience Canada, Volume 32 Number 1 March 2005).

    “During photosynthesis, a plant has to exhale (transpire) almost one thousand molecules of water for every single molecule of CO2 that it absorbs. This so-called “Water Use Efficiency” (WUE), is somewhat variable, depending on the photosynthetic pathway employed by the plant and on the temporal interval under consideration, but in any case, it is in the hundreds to one range (Taiz and Ziegler, 1991; Telmer and Veizer, 2000). The relationship between WUE and NPP deserves a more detailed consideration. In plant photosynthesis, water loss and CO2 uptake are coupled processes (Nobel, 1999), as both occur through the same passages (stomata). The WUE is determined by a complicated operation that maximizes CO2 uptake while minimizing water loss. Consequently, the regulating factor for WUE, and the productivity of plants, could be either the atmospheric CO2 concentration or water availability. From a global perspective, the amount of photosynthetically available soil water, relative to the amount of atmospheric CO2, is about 250:1, much less than the WUE demand of the dominant plants, suggesting that the terrestrial ecosystem is in a state of water deficiency (Lee and Veizer, 2003).”

    Apologies if you have already noted this point elsewhere.

    Best, Allan

  242. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    In your post at September 2, 2012 at 4:18 am you assert

    This paper makes a fundamental mathematical error

    but does not state the error. Instead, you ‘arm wave’ about variations around mean values.

    Such assertions of unstated mathematical errors are a standard tactic of ‘warmers’ when confronted with analyses they cannot fault but which provide results they don’t like. Indeed, the same tactic is being used in the current ‘Monckton’ thread.

    Then you say

    The suggestion however that anthropogenic emissions has little effect on atmospheric CO2 is howerver incorrect (as multiple lines of evidence suggets)

    This assertion of “multiple lines of evidence” is another common tactic of ‘warmists’ who always make the assertion when – as in this case – there is no such evidence (none, zilch, nada) which is why you do not state any.

    You then advertise and link to a propagandist ‘warmist’ blog which I would not touch with your barge pole. A better assessment than anything on that blog is provided in this thread by Allan MacRae in the post immediately before yours (i.e. at September 2, 2012 at 3:39 am).

    Richard

  243. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, it is a pity that you should take such an attitude rather than work through the mathematics. Do you agree that the correlation coefficient is independent of the mean values of either signal?

  244. Leonard Weinstein says:

    cba,
    ERL is the “effective radiation level” of radiation to space. The actual radiation does leave from a range of locations, including from the ground, from clouds, and from a range of altitudes from near ground to TOA (from absorbing and radiating gases). An integrated average of these altitudes does give a value for ERL, and use of this average to calculate a black body radiation to space is an effective simplification to balance outgoing radiation to absorbed solar radiation. The altitude of the ERL does determine the so called greenhouse effect, by coupling with the lapse rate. Thus adding absorbing gases like CO2 would raise the location of the ERL, and thus raise the ground temperature once (average) equilibrium is established. The effect is changed by feedbacks such as change in cloudiness, but that is not what Steven Mosher was referring to, or considering. He is correct as far as what he said. I disagree with Steven on some points, but not this one.

  245. richardscourtney says:

    Allan MacRae:

    Thanks for your post addressed to me at September 2, 2012 at 6:41 am which reports a comment of Jan Veizer about transpiration efficiency.

    Firstly, I was aware of the possibility but, secondly, I have good reason to doubt it although I am personally not capable of assessing it. I explain this as follows.

    As you know, Arthur Rorsch, Dick Thoenes and I have done much work on these issues: we make a good multidisciplinary (and international) team. Dick used his chemical engineering expertise to assess the dynamics of local sequestration(s) which showed the sequestration processes can easily sequester all the CO2 (natural and anthropogenic) at each locality. However, the global rise in atmospheric CO2 shows that the local sequestrations do not absorb all the emissions.

    Arthur is a biologist and he, too, suggested the transpiration limit. But that is improbable. If the water were exhausting then that would show in the dynamics of sequestration, but it does not.

    It seems the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle is altering (or has altered) so the system is adjusting. The probable largest direct mechanism of the rise in atmospheric CO2 is reduced oceanic sequestration. The oceans emit much more CO2 than the annual atmospheric rise each year, and they take that oceanic emission back each year. A reduction to the ‘taking back’ would provide the observed rise (n.b. the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is the residual of the seasonal variation).

    It is often claimed that Henry’s Law prevents the oceans emitting sufficient CO2 to provide the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This is false because it assumes the system is stable and in equilibrium. But the carbon cycle system is not stable (as the seasonal variation demonstrates), it is not in equilibrium (as the seasonal variation demonstrates), and the oceans can emit more than sufficient CO2 to provide the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 (as the seasonal variation demonstrates).

    The unresolved issues are
    (a) what is the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle?
    (b) how does the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle vary?
    (c) what causes the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle to vary?
    (d) does the anthropogenic CO2 emission induce the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle to vary discernibly?

    I hope that answer is sufficient and please feel free to copy it to Jan Veizer for comment if that is your desire.

    Richard

  246. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    At September 2, 2012 at 6:57 am you say to me

    Richard, it is a pity that you should take such an attitude rather than work through the mathematics. Do you agree that the correlation coefficient is independent of the mean values of either signal?

    I answer.

    1. My “attitude was appropriate for reply to your post.

    2. You made the assertion of “a fundamental mathematical error”. I did not. So, you – not I – need to “work through the mathematics” and show me your workings if you wish me toaccept your claim.

    3. I “agree that the correlation coefficient is independent of the mean values of either signal”, but so what?

    Richard

  247. Greg House says:

    George E. Smith says:
    September 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm:
    “””””…..Phil. says: August 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm:Think!
    Greg House says:
    August 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm:
    “The 2nd law of thermodynamics was formulated on the basis of experiments and there were back then apparently no experiments confirming your notion of “average”, so no, it is not about “average”.
    “…..”””””
    Well all of thermodynamics is about macro systems, which by their very nature can only be described in statistical terms; “heat” whatever one thinks that is, is entirely the statistical average of a large assemblage of randomly interracting “particles”.
    ====================================================

    It is not what Phil meant with his “average”. I have already answered that on this thread in my “August 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm”-comment.

    Anyway, if you mean that a colder body affects the temperature of a warmer body by means of IR radiation because of your “statistical average of a large assemblage of randomly interracting “particles””, then I am looking forward to an experimental proof of that. I have been looking forward to it for a long time on this blog, but still…

  248. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard wrote: ‘I “agree that the correlation coefficient is independent of the mean values of either signal”, but so what?’

    I am proceding through the mathematics step by step, we agree on the first. So you would agree then that the correlation between temperature and the annual change in atmospheric CO2 (diff12 CO2 for short) does not explain the mean value of diffCO2, which is about 1.7ppmv per year?

  249. Greg House:

    At September 2, 2012 at 7:44 am you say

    I have been looking forward to it for a long time on this blog, but still…

    When looking for something without success there comes a time when it is worth looking somewhere else. Have you considered moving to another blog to put your points? Perhaps you may there obtain what you seek and have failed to obtain here.

    Richard

  250. dikranmarsupial says:

    Greg House, the inside of a Dewar flask is normally given a reflective coating so that it reflects heat back inside the flask. If I put some nice hot tea into the flask, then the tea is warmer than the outer wall of the Dewar flask. If the outer wall did not have a reflective coating, my tea would cool faster than if the reflective coating were present. This is because the reflective coating reflects some of the IR radiation emitted by the tea back into the flask, where it is reabsorbed. This is an experiment that has already been performed, and we know the result as it explains why the manufacturers of Dewar flasks add the reflective coating.

  251. Bart says:
    September 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

    You are making the same mistake Phil did. If the pCO2 of the atmosphere was 60% lower, the current upwelling waters are likely as much as 60% higher than what sinks today.

    You are completely violating Henry’s Law: for an equal temperature, a 60% lower level in the atmosphere will give a 60% lower CO2 level in the sinking waters. If the temperature was substantially lower for the same atmospheric pCO2 level, then the pCO2 of the sinking waters would increase, but that means some 9°C below freezing point, which is impossible, and even 18°C below freezing point if the CO2 levels were 60% lower at that time. The only possibility to have higher upwelling CO2 levels today from the far past, is that the far past levels were 140 ppmv higher than today, compared to 1960 or 200 ppmv higher than today, compared to 1850…

    Again, you don’t get it. You have no data whatsover to tell you that.
    A sink is a sink. It does not discriminate between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic.

    We have the inventory of emissions data and we measure the increase in the atmosphere. That is enough. It doesn’t matter at all where and how large the natural sources or sinks of CO2 are, all we need to know is the difference between these two. In figures:

    Increase in the atmosphere = emissions + natural sources – natural sinks
    with nowadays figures:
    4 GtC/yr = 8 GtC/yr + X – Y
    thus X-Y = -4 GtC/yr.

    It doesn’t matter at all if all the human emissions are captured within a fraction of a minute, or float around for decades, what counts is that the total natural sources are less than the total of natural sinks. Thus it is physically impossible that any natural source is the cause of the increase in the atmosphere, or the increase in the atmosphere must be larger than the emissions alone. Indeed carbon is carbon and if there was an additional natural source plus the additional human emissions, that would need an extra sink to obey the observed mass balance: 4 GtC increase in the atmosphere per year in average (with a +/- 2 GtC/yr temperature related wiggle, but since 1960 always positive and less than the emissions).

    Starting from equilibrium, where X = Y, one can calculate what happens with an extra natural source of say 10 GtC/yr in any year:
    4 GtC/yr = 8 GtC/yr + X + 10 GtC – Y – Y1
    where X = Y and Y1 the necessary balance in mass equation:
    Y1 = 4 – 8 – 10 = -14 GtC/yr.
    All what happened is that an extra natural source must be fully compensated by an extra natural sink to close the mass balance.

    Thus any extra natural CO2 source has no effect on the increase in the atmosphere, as long as the net increase in the atmosphere is less than the human emissions.

    doesn’t

    Please explain in layterms how any extra (deep) ocean CO2 flux with a 13C/12C ratio of zero to +5 per mil d13C will DEcrease the atmospheric d13C level, currently at -8 per mil…

    CO2 levels are 180 degrees out of phase with the rate of change of temperature, so that doesn’t work. CO2 levels are 90 degrees out of phase, with phase lagging, from temperature, so that doesn’t work.

    The CO2 rate of change levels follow the temperature changes with a ~9 months lag, seems quite good to me…

  252. Allan MacRae says:
    September 1, 2012 at 11:06 am

    …CO2 data from Salt Lake City exhibited NO human signature – only the natural daily cycle was apparent.”

    Rush hour data in the Diekirch (Luxemburg) valley are clearly visible, if there is nightly inversion, because any emissions are captured near ground and not readily mixed with the rest of the atmosphere. See:
    http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/co2_patterns.html
    Fig. 12 says it all.

    For all: local hourly to seasonal levels are mainly influenced by local to seasonal natural sources and sinks. Indeed, the human contribution is small and in most cases undetectable. But that doesn’t prove that there is no contribution. As good as the contribution of a sealevel change is completely dwarfed by the waves and tides. One needs 25 years of continuous gauging to statistically draw a conclusion of the sealevel change in between the noise. One only needs 2-3 years to see the effect of human emissions on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere…

  253. Bart says:
    September 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

    This is a nonlinear feedback system with significant transport lag. Such systems tend to develop oscillatory behavior, generally with a period comparable to the length of the lag.

    Agreed, but it is a damped oscillation, as the final result of a historical change (with whatever length) is halved when it gets back into equilibrium in the current period. A current non-oscillatory change of ~100 ppmv over 150 years time in the past would even be visible in the Vostok ice cores with a resolution of ~600 years and even an oscillatory change certainly over the past 1000 years for the Law Dome DSS core with a resolution of ~20 years. But none such levels are measured, while the recent increase is, even with an overlap of 20 years with the direct measurements.

    So, we really do not know what level of CO2 is in the pipeline

    The problem with this theory, besides the d13C levels, is that you have an unknown change in CO2 upwelling at one side, but your whole relationship is based on a temperature anomaly. The latter should explain the trend without the need of an unknown variable, or it should explain the CO2 increase without the influence of the temperature variable. Both together is a little too much of coincidence, the more that the accumulation in the atmosphere completely mimics the accumulated human emissions. Plus the addition of humans which disappears without leaving a trace? If carbon is carbon, it shouldn’t matter for the sinks that the human emissions and any extra natural additions are both injected into the same atmosphere, thus the sink rate counts for both and should remove a total CO2 mass equal to halve the human emissions + all the extra natural additions…

  254. Allan MacRae says:
    September 2, 2012 at 3:39 am

    1. Incremental CO2 level is caused by surface warming, prob. due to ocean exsolution of CO2.
    or
    2. Incremental CO2 level is driving LT temperature anomaly.
    but
    Global LT temperatures have been essentially level since ~1997, while CO2 has risen.
    LT correlates with delta CO2, not with CO2, contrary to greenhouse theory.
    This suggests 1 above is more likely true than 2.

    Sorry, but 1. is wrong: incremental CO2 level is caused by the human emissions, which are modulated by temperature (changes). Temperature variations modulate the SINK rate, not the increase rate, as about halve the emissions in mass are removed from the atmosphere.

    2. may be right, independent of 1., but its influence seems small and overwhelmed by natural variability.

  255. richardscourtney says:
    September 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

    It is often claimed that Henry’s Law prevents the oceans emitting sufficient CO2 to provide the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This is false because it assumes the system is stable and in equilibrium.

    Richard, the system indeed is not in equilibrium, it is already 100 ppmv above equilibrium, if we may believe the ice core record over the past 800 kyrs and it is in global area weighted average ~7 ppmv above equilibrium for the ocean surface, based on millions of ships samples. Thus the oceans are currently a net sink of ~2 GtC/year for CO2, not a source at all…

  256. Bart says:

    phlogiston says:
    September 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Amazing video. Some might quibble that this is a non-Newtonian fluid. But, the same principle holds: transport lags coupled with nonlinearities tend to generate oscillatory, for want of a better word, clumping.

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 2, 2012 at 4:18 am

    “No correllation, no matter how strong, with the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 can explain the linear component of the long term rising trend in CO2.”

    But, it does rule out significant human influence, because it adds too much curvature to the CO2 absolute level if included.

    richardscourtney says:
    September 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

    “This is false because it assumes the system is stable and in equilibrium. But the carbon cycle system is not stable (as the seasonal variation demonstrates), it is not in equilibrium (as the seasonal variation demonstrates), and the oceans can emit more than sufficient CO2 to provide the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 (as the seasonal variation demonstrates).”

    I second that motion. As in military affairs, one has to be aware of the hazard of engaging the enemy on ground of their own choosing. When we allow the warmist to artificially constrain the space over which the debate may occur, we cede to him the high ground, from which he can lob ordnance into our positions at his leisure.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 2, 2012 at 9:02 am

    “You are completely violating Henry’s Law: for an equal temperature, a 60% lower level in the atmosphere will give a 60% lower CO2 level in the sinking waters.”

    You are completely wrong. The relationship is

    1) c = k*p

    but c and p are constrained by the total amount of the carbon in the system. We can express this constraint as

    2) a*c + b*p = g

    where a and b are weighting factors and g is total carbon in the system. Assuming for simplicity that g is a constant, that gives

    3) a*dc/dT + b*dp/dT = 0

    From (1), we get

    dc/dT = p*dk/dT + k*dp/dT

    Making the appropriate substitutions

    dp/dT = (b*p/(b+a*k)) * dk/dT

    dc/dT = -(a/(b+a*k)) * dk/dT

    Thus, the change in p due to decrease in k is negative, while the change in c due to a decrease in k is positive. And, k decreases with a decrease in temperature. QED.

    “We have the inventory of emissions data and we measure the increase in the atmosphere. That is enough.”

    It isn’t. You don’t know the input from all sources. You do not know the output from all sinks.

    “Please explain in layterms how any extra (deep) ocean CO2 flux with a 13C/12C ratio of zero to +5 per mil d13C will DEcrease the atmospheric d13C level, currently at -8 per mil…”

    I don’t care to make an effort, because it requires assumptions about unquantified processes and atmospheric mixing dynamics. We here simply do not have enough information at present to explain it. Your insistence on knowledge of all the parameters affecting the system yields you a result which you claim to be consistent with your hypothesis, but consistency is not proof.

    “The CO2 rate of change levels follow the temperature changes with a ~9 months lag, seems quite good to me…”

    It’s a full quarter wavelength for the oscillations. It is quite bad. As in, completely inconsistent with the data.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    “Agreed, but it is a damped oscillation…”

    …exicted by continuous random processes. Neglecting the excitation provided by an external source is the same mistake fringe skeptics make when they assert that colder atmospheric CO2 cannot heat the warmer surface by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    “…but your whole relationship is based on a temperature anomaly.”

    But, a temperature anomaly relative to what? Even our temperature anomalies are relative to an arbitrarily chosen baseline. Everything is relative.

    But, it does not matter with regard to contradicting significant influence of human contributions. As noted to dikranmarsupial above, the trend in dCO2/dt resulting from temperature cannot combine with the trend in human rate of emissions and produce the correct curvature when integrated. Since the temperature relationship accounts for both that curvature and all the shorter term variation in perfect phase sync with those shorter term variations, the human contribution is the variable which gets kicked out of the mix.

  257. Bart says:

    Small erratum which makes no difference to the conclusion: dc/dT = -(a*p/(b+a*k)) * dk/dT

  258. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    At September 2, 2012 at 8:13 am you ask me

    So you would agree then that the correlation between temperature and the annual change in atmospheric CO2 (diff12 CO2 for short) does not explain the mean value of diffCO2, which is about 1.7ppmv per year?

    Sorry, but I do not understand your question. This reply is merely my failure and not an evasion.

    For an understanding of my problem please see my answer to Allan MacRae at September 2, 2012 at 7:17 am and note its points (a) to (d).

    Richard

  259. dikranmarsupial says:

    No problem Richard. Colloquially, we could say that a high correlation between X and Y suggests that the variations in X “explain” the variation in Y. However, we agree that the value of the corellation coefficient does not depend on the mean value of X or Y. So the correlation coeffcient measures the extent to which (X – mean(X)) “explains” (Y – mean(Y)).

    We could therefore decompose X into two components, one that is explainable by a correlation, (X – mean(X), and a component that cannot be explained by a correlation, namely mean(X), and likewise for Y.

    Would you agree with that?

  260. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    I am replying to your post addressed to me at September 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Richard, the system indeed is not in equilibrium, it is already 100 ppmv above equilibrium, if we may believe the ice core record over the past 800 kyrs and it is in global area weighted average ~7 ppmv above equilibrium for the ocean surface, based on millions of ships samples. Thus the oceans are currently a net sink of ~2 GtC/year for CO2, not a source at all…

    We have been over this many times.

    The issue is that you insist on (a) calling a ‘net annual sink’ a ‘sink’ and (b) calling a ‘net annual sourced’ a ‘source’. But the oceans are a source for ~half the year and a sink for ~half the year.

    For half the year their output is two orders of magnitude greater than the annual emission.

    Clearly, if (as you say) “the system indeed is not in equilibrium, it is already 100 ppmv above equilibrium” then the oceans would not be such a large source for half the year: instead, they would be a sink with varying uptake.

    The reality is that the ocean surface layer is pumping out and sucking in the CO2 of the seasonal variation with an effect close to temperature equilibrium for the (ocean surface layer):(atmosphere) interface.

    But that interface is not the total system. Of more importance is the equilibrium between deep ocean and the surface layer. The transfer rate between surface and deep layers will be much slower than between air and surface. And if the total system equilibrium changes then the transfer between surface and deep layers will change. The slow transfer rate will require decades (perhaps centuries) to establish an altered equilibrium state. During that time the annual atmospheric CO2 concentration will rise or fall depending on the sign of the change.

    And I have ignored effects of biological activity in the ocean surface layer and on land.

    In summation, Henry’s Law is not applicable.

    Richard

  261. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    Thankyou for your question to me at September 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm, but I regret that I am unable to answer it.

    Clearly, pointing to my earlier post was not an adequate explanation of my difficulty. I will try to state it succinctly.

    The lack of agreement between anthropogenic emissions and and the rise in atmospheric CO2 and the observed ability of sequestration to cope with total (natural and anthropogenic) emissions suggest that the anthropogenic emissions are not the cause of the rise. But the anthropogenic emissions may be the cause of the rise.

    This is because the system may be adjusting to an altered equilibrium. The most likely cause of the alteration to the system equilibrium is response to global warming. However, it is possible that the alteration may have been induced by the anthropogenic emission, and we proved this possibility numerically in three different ways
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)).

    Therefore, I would not expect an observable relationship between the anthropogenic emission and the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration whether or not the rise were induced by the anthropogenic emission: the rate and form of the rise would be determined by the rates of system adjustment whatever the cause of the change to the equilibrium state of the system.

    Perhaps it would help to understand what I am saying by reading my very recent post to Ferdinand. He, like you, thinks of the issue in terms of accountancy of sources and sinks, but I don’t. And he, like you, is sure the rise is caused by the anthropogenic emission, but I don’t know if it is or not. Please note that Ferdinand and I have been arguing (often ferociously) about this for many years but I hold him in high regard in this subject.

    Richard

  262. Greg House says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 2, 2012 at 8:57 am:
    “Greg House, the inside of a Dewar flask is normally given a reflective coating so that it reflects heat back inside the flask. If I put some nice hot tea into the flask, then the tea is warmer than the outer wall of the Dewar flask. If the outer wall did not have a reflective coating, my tea would cool faster than if the reflective coating were present. This is because the reflective coating reflects some of the IR radiation emitted by the tea back into the flask, where it is reabsorbed. This is an experiment that has already been performed, and we know the result as it explains why the manufacturers of Dewar flasks add the reflective coating.”
    =====================================================

    I know, there are some other examples with reflective coating too like this light bulb e.g.: http://www.pegasuslighting.com/par38-halogen-ir-light-bulbs-48w-flood-25-degree.html, and some people even claim that a blanket warms by trapping IR radiation.

    The problem is, that if people honestly believe that the back IR radiation warms (even if it in fact possibly does not), they can also honestly “use” this “effect”. At the same time, a vacuum flask will work also without the reflective coating, a blanket warms anyway by suppressing convection and the light bulb will produce light also without the reflective coating.

    We should not confuse science and marketing. If you mean that someone proved it in a scientific experiment, then present a valid link to this experiment, which includes detailed description and all the data. And even then we should look at it closely and check, if the conclusions are justified. Again, we have been talking about science, and unfortunately I have not seen the experimental scientific proof yet.

  263. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, you (rather intemperately) questioned my post pointing out the mathematical error in the paper by Humlum et al. I am happy to discuss the physics of the carbon cycle with you, but only AFTER we address the mathematical error in Humlum et al. that we are discussing essentially at your request.

    The question I asked was not complicated, the answer should be fairly obvious from inspection of the formula for a correllation coefficient. Does the correlation coefficient between X and Y allow you to determine anything about the relationship between X and the mean value of Y?

  264. dikranmarsupial says:

    Greg House – the silvering has nothing to do with marketing. Dewar constructed the original flasks for his own scientific research, they were only patented later by someone else. This was more than a century ago, so perhaps unsurprisingly there isn’t a convenient link to the experiment.

  265. Bart says:
    September 2, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Bart, Henry’s Law says:

    c = k*p

    p was 60% lower during the LIA. To compensate for that, k must increase a lot, which can be obtained by a lower temperature. The solubility of CO2 in fresh water changes with some 30% for 10°C change, thus you need 20°C cooler water at the sink places only to compensate for the loss in pCO2 of the atmosphere. In seawater, the change is somewhat higher, good for 16 ppmv/°C. Thus only to compensate for the lower atmospheric pCO2 (assuming 100 ppmv lower than today, that is 30%, not 60%), you need a cooling of ~6°C, while the temperature at the sink places today is and historically was already near freezing point. To obtain and increase of 70 ppmv nowadays, the temperature at the sink places needs to be even much lower. That is physically impossible. A vast ice sheet doesn’t sink much CO2…

    but c and p are constrained by the total amount of the carbon in the system. We can express this constraint as

    Another error I have seen many times. The only constraint is that the pCO2 of air and water at the surface are in ratio with each other, where the temperature says what that ratio is. It doesn’t matter if you heat and shake a coke bottle of 0.5 or 1.0 or 2.0 liter: at the same temperature the same CO2 pressure in the atmosphere above will be measured (minus the small percentual loss out of the liquid, assuming all were filled at the same concentration). Even if you would continuously refresh the coke in the bottle and bring it to the same temperature as the other samples, the same pressure will be reached and there will be zero net flux between coke and atmosphere at that pressure.

    Of course, near the upwelling places, there is no equilibrium at all, neither is at the downwelling places. But assuming that the ocean waterflux between downwelling and upwelling didn’t change too much over the centuries, then the carbon flux out of the oceans and into the oceans is only dependent of the local temperature and the local difference between pCO2 in seawater and the total atmosphere. No matter how much total carbon is in the deep oceans or in the atmosphere.

    As said before, any substantial change of CO2 levels and/or temperature of the past will give a change in current upwelling carbon flux, which will increase/decrease the current CO2 levels with halve that amount back to the previous (dis)equilibrium. Any current increase of temperatures at the upwelling and downwelling places, will release more CO2 and sink less CO2, which will be fully compensated with an increase of 16 ppmv/°C.

    There was not a 140 ppmv higher level than today in the past 1,000 years, neither an over 10°C cooling then or a 10°C warming in the past 50 years, which can explain the 70 ppmv increase…

    It isn’t. You don’t know the input from all sources. You do not know the output from all sinks.

    The natural inputs and outputs are only roughly known, but they are not of the slightest interest, because we know the difference quite exactly over the past 50 years: more sink than source. That is all we need to know: there is no substantial contribution of the natural cycles to the atmospheric increase, only a substantial contribution to the “missing” sinks, only known with large margins of error, but still a net sink, not a net source.

    I don’t care to make an effort, because it requires assumptions about unquantified processes and atmospheric mixing dynamics.

    Come on Bart, this has nothing to do with processes or mixing dynamics: at all places in the oceans (except near fresh water discharges) at all depths, the d13C/12C ratio of the oceans is substantially higher than in the atmosphere at all places and all heights of at least 95% of the atmosphere (except over land near huge CO2 sinks). Thus any substantial release of CO2 from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere. But we see a steady, accellerating, decline completely in ratio with the human emissions.

    the human contribution is the variable which gets kicked out of the mix.

    Since the human contribution is already twice the observed increase in the atmosphere, then there is hardly any contribution of temperature to the trend, only a direct influence of temperature variations on the variability in the sink rate of change…

  266. Greg House says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm:
    “Greg House – the silvering has nothing to do with marketing. Dewar constructed the original flasks for his own scientific research, they were only patented later by someone else. This was more than a century ago, so perhaps unsurprisingly there isn’t a convenient link to the experiment.”
    ====================================================

    Or there was no experiment at all.

    I can only say it again: a claim that something works certain way alone is not the scientific proof. Even well known scientists made scientifically unsupported claims. A very interesting example is “discovery” of non-existing N-rays by a well known scientist. Before it was debunked about a 100 scientific papers on the N-rays were published.

    It looks like concerning “greenhouse gases warming” we do not have a scientific fact, just a claim by certain scientists.

  267. dikranmarsupial:

    re your post addressed to me at September 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    There is no error in the paper. You have not shown any reason to suspect one exists.

    The answer to your specific question is yes. But I took the trouble to explain why your question is meaningless. But your response is “intemperate” and offensive.

    We are not discussing at my request. I gave you the courtesy of responding to your nonsense.

    Discuss properly or I will not assist you.

    Richard

  268. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, O.K. so you accept that a correlation coefficient between X and Y does not explain the relationship between X and the mean of Y, just (Y – mean(Y)). In this particular case, the correlation between temperature and diff12CO2 only explains the relationship between temperature and (diff12CO2 – mean(diff12CO2)). Do you agree with that?

  269. richardscourtney says:
    September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    For half the year their output is two orders of magnitude greater than the annual emission.

    Yes and no.
    The oceans give a continuous input of CO2 near the equator where the deep oceans are upwelling and a continuous output near the poles into the deep oceans. As long as these two flows are in equilibrium, there is no decrease or increase of the CO2 level in the atmosphere.
    The oceans give a seasonal input and output of CO2, depending of the temperature changes in the different seasons, mainly in the mid-latitudes. As long as the net balance after a year shows equal outputs and inputs, there is no decrease or increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.
    Vegetation gives a seasonal input and output of CO2, opposite to the oceans, depending of the temperature changes in the different seasons, mainly in the mid-latitudes. As long as the net balance after a year shows equal outputs and inputs, there is no decrease or increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.

    The seasonal change in temperature is about 1°C globally, where the NH and SH act in opposite direction and the temperature change in the NH is dominant. The seasonal CO2 change is about 5 ppmv globally, again with the NH (vegetation) as the dominant influence. Thus the reaction of CO2 on the seasonal temperature changes is about 5 ppmv/°C. While the fluxes are two orders of magnitude larger than the human emissions, the net effect is of the same order of magnitude and the net result at the end of the full seasonal cycle is halve the human contribution, as is the interannual variability.

    The annual contribution of humans is about 4 ppmv/year, the observed increase in the atmosphere is about 2 ppmv/year. Thus after 2-3 years, the trend signal is already beyond the temperature changes over the seasons and beyond the interannual variability.

    The variability in rate of change is clearly influenced by the variability in temperature, but the trend is hardly influenced by temperature: 4-5 ppmv/°C for the short term variability from seasons to interannual and 8 ppmv/°C from multidecades to multimillennia. The latter includes glacials and interglacials, including changes in deep ocean – atmosphere exchanges and profound changes in vegetation extent and growth.

    Thus while the ocean surface follows the atmosphere quite rapidely, and therefore the global average pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface is only 7 microatm, the difference between the overall equilibrium for the current temperature taking into account the deep ocean mixing is already 100 microatm (100 ppmv)…

    In all cases, Henry’s Law holds anyway, only the dynamism of the entire carbon cycle shows a long term equilibrium around 8 ppmv/°C, including the biosphere, while the oceans alone show 16 ppmv/°C, according to Henry’s Law.

  270. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
    See what happens when you use data-driven science? Truth breaks out!

  271. Doug H says:

    I’m no climate scientist, but my 2 cents: it seems to me that what the authors did was smooth out the data and look at year-to-year temporal correlations in a system where year-to-year variations far exceed year-to-year changes due to the long-term trend. However, it’s the long-term trend that’s the problem, not the variations. They implicitly assume that the short-term variations have the same causes as the long-term trend. To use an ironic analogy, it’s as if they’re conflating weather with climate. The authors’ conclusion that, “Changes in ocean temperatures appear to explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980,” should be amended to include the words “short-term” before both uses of the word “changes”. I think Richard Telford (August 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm) is probably right.

  272. george e smith says:

    “””””……richardscourtney says:

    September 2, 2012 at 12:42 am

    George E. Smith:

    I assume your post at September 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm is intended to add emphasis and to clarity my post. If so, then thankyou……””””

    You’re welcome Richard; I’m sure you’d do as much for me.

    George

    PS It’s good to see your regular participation.

  273. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand:

    Thankyou for your post at September 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm in response to my post at September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm.

    The two posts explain why I think Henry’s Law does not apply and your response explains why you think it does. We have been arguing this for years so I am sure our repeating those arguments here will resolve nothing.

    Hence, I am willing to let our two posts stand so others can assess our views for themselves (and it gives you the ‘last word’).

    Richard

  274. Bart says:
    September 2, 2012 at 11:29 am

    But, it does rule out significant human influence, because it adds too much curvature to the CO2 absolute level if included.

    Thinking of the curvature of the temperature trend, the basic assumption in that case is that the medium-term (3-50 years) influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change is the same as the short-term (0.5-2 years) influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change. But that are quite different processes. The short term influence is mainly seasonal to interannual and there the oceans surface (and fast vegetation reactions) are involved. But the oceans surface layer has a limited capacity to induce atmospheric CO2 changes (as are the seasonal changes in vegetation growth and decay). Longer term processes involve the deep oceans (and more permanent carbon storage on land: peat, lignite, coal). Even in your working hypothesis, the medium term trend is mainly from the deep ocean upwelling near the equator, while the fast response to seasonal and interannual temperature changes comes mainly from the mid-latitudes ocean surface layer and land vegetation.

    That means that the trend in the temperature series doesn’t necessary has the same CO2/temperature factor as for the fast temperature variability, as different processes and different time constants are at their base.

    Further, once you said that nature doesn’t detrend the temperature series. In fact it does better, as the trend in the natural cycle is negative: taking into account the human emissions, the trend of the net yearly natural cycle shows an increasing sink capacity in ratio with the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

  275. Peter Foster says:

    Re C13/C12 debate. Oceans may have a slightly higher proportion of C13 but if the oceans are degassing then C12, being lighter would degas perferentially as it would take less energy to go from water to atmosphere than C13. Similar to O18/O16 water. Hence a lower proportion of C12 in the atmosphere is to be expected.

  276. phlogiston says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm
    richardscourtney says:
    September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    For half the year their output is two orders of magnitude greater than the annual emission.

    Yes and no.
    The oceans give a continuous input of CO2 near the equator where the deep oceans are upwelling and a continuous output near the poles into the deep oceans. As long as these two flows are in equilibrium, there is no decrease or increase of the CO2 level in the atmosphere.

    But the question of where upwelling and downwelling is not so simple, according to new research posted just the other day here at WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/27/how-ocean-currents-affect-global-climate-is-a-question-oceanographer-may-be-close-to-answering/

    which suggests significant upwelling may be occurring in the Southern ocean around Antarctica. Not necessarily all in the tropics as previously thought.

    It raises an interesting question – does the latitude of upwelling and downwelling affect the CO2 budget, since water of different temperature has different CO2 solubility? Could changes over time in the latitude of upwelling in particular have an effect on CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere? (Downwelling by its nature will never be too far from the poles I guess.)

  277. Allan MacRae says:

    Here is an interesting article about Japanese satellite results, at
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/japanese-satellites-say-3rd-world-owes-co2-reparations-to-the-west/

    Japanese Satellites say 3rd World Owes CO2 Reparations to The West
    Posted on 31 October 2011

    [excerpt]

    “ It seems that the Japanese have a nice tool on orbit and set out to figure out who was a “maker” and who was a “taker” in the CO2 production / consumption game. Seems they found out that CO2 was largely net absorbed in the industrialized ‘west’ and net created in the ’3rd world’. “

    See also Murry Salby’s video at time 10:38 – the major global CO2 sources are NOT in industrial areas – they are in equatorial areas where deforestation is rampant.

    As I’ve posted to Ferdinand Engelbeen in the past:
    “Variations in biomass (e.g. deforestation and reforestation) may be the huge variable that would make your mass balance equation work better.”

    As Richard Courtney ably summarizes above:
    “The unresolved issues are
    (a) what is the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle?
    (b) how does the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle vary?
    (c) what causes the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle to vary?
    (d) does the anthropogenic CO2 emission induce the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle to vary discernibly?”

    To summarize:

    This is an important scientific debate about the carbon cycle and the primary sources of increasing atmospheric CO2. It is entirely possible, some say it is probable, that increasing atmospheric CO2 is NOT primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, others say it IS, and the scientific debate goes on.

    To be clear, however, the only significant apparent impact of increasing atmospheric CO2 is beneficial, because CO2 is a plant food.

    The claim that increasing CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming is being falsified by these facts:
    - there has been no net global warming for 10 to 15 years, despite increasing atmospheric CO2;
    - predictions of catastrophic global warming are the result of deeply flawed climate computer models that are inconsistent with actual observations;
    - the leading proponents of catastrophic global warming hysteria have been shown in the Climategate emails to be dishonest.

    A decade ago, we wrote:
    “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

    Since then there has been NO net global warming.

    Also a decade ago, I (we) predicted global cooling would commence by 2020 to 2030. When this cooling does occur, many of these scientific questions will be answered.

    In the meantime, society should reject the claims of the global warming alarmists, because they have a demonstrated track record of being wrong in ALL their major climate alarmist predictions.

    In science, such an utter failure on one’s predictive track record is a fair and objective measure of the falsification of one’s hypotheses.

    Repeating, from 2002, with ten more years of confirming data:
    “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

  278. richardscourtney says:

    phlogiston:

    Thankyou for your post at September 3, 2012 at 4:05 am.

    I write to add that your post illustrates why I am willing to allow my post September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm and Ferdinand’s post at September 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm to stand without my further contribution to the debate.

    As you illustrate, the arguments cannot be resolved because there is insufficient data. We know little about processes in the carbon cycle and we keep finding new pieces of the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ that each suggest the ‘picture’ of the puzzle is not what we think it is.

    Any debate leads to an unending series of exchanges each saying, “Yes, but…”.
    Your post demonstrates this perfectly. Thankyou.

    Richard

  279. FerdiEgb says:

    Peter Foster says:
    September 3, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Re C13/C12 debate. Oceans may have a slightly higher proportion of C13 but if the oceans are degassing then C12, being lighter would degas perferentially as it would take less energy to go from water to atmosphere than C13. Similar to O18/O16 water. Hence a lower proportion of C12 in the atmosphere is to be expected.

    Agreed, but the equilibrium for the pre-industrial times was about -6.4 per mil in the atmosphere, compared to zero to 1 per mil in the deep oceans and 1 to 5 per mil for the ocean surface. That only changed a few tenths of a per mil over glacials and interglacials, according to the ratio measured in ice cores air, thus including huge changes in vegetation and (deep) ocean flows. See page 3 at:
    http://scar2012.geol.pdx.edu/doc/abstracts/Session_3.pdf

    Both ocean surface as the atmosphere start to decrease the d13C level since the use of fossil fuels, where the ocean surface lags the atmosphere with 2-3 years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
    The current -8 per mil in the atmosphere is unseen over the recent glacials/interglacials, work at the Dome C ice core will extend that to 800 kyr…

  280. FerdiEgb says:

    phlogiston says:
    September 3, 2012 at 4:05 am

    It raises an interesting question – does the latitude of upwelling and downwelling affect the CO2 budget, since water of different temperature has different CO2 solubility? Could changes over time in the latitude of upwelling in particular have an effect on CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere? (Downwelling by its nature will never be too far from the poles I guess.)

    It is quite sure that the place of upwelling affects the CO2 budget, if that changes (or the flow distribution changes). At the current upwelling places, the average temperature is near 30°C and the partial pressure of CO2 is around 750 microatm. Every drop of 1°C gives a drop of 16 microatm in pCO2(aq), thus an upwelling at colder places will give less and less outgoing CO2 flux, in ratio with the pCO2 difference between seawater and the atmosphere. With 400 ppmv in the atmosphere and a drop of 16 microatm/°C, the break even point is at about 10°C, below that temperature, the upwelling does become a net sink… Even earlier, as much of the extra CO2 is captured by the biosphere, because the upwelling is rich in nutritients, which are in high demand…

    The most important changes as well as in oceans flows as in vegetation growth/area are the changes over glacial/interglacial periods. These show a quite linear relationship between CO2 levels and temperature changes of about 8 ppmv/°C. Thus it looks like that even the worst change in conditions and (deep) ocean flows has only a modest influence on long term CO2 levels.

  281. cba says:

    “Leonard Weinstein says:
    September 2, 2012 at 7:03 am
    cba,
    ERL is the “effective radiation level” of radiation to space. The actual radiation does leave from a range of locations, including from the ground, from clouds, and from a range of altitudes from near ground to TOA (from absorbing and radiating gases). An integrated average of these altitudes does give a value for ERL, and use of this average to calculate a black body radiation to space is an effective simplification to balance outgoing radiation to absorbed solar radiation. The altitude of the ERL does determine the so called greenhouse effect, by coupling with the lapse rate. Thus adding absorbing gases like CO2 would raise the location of the ERL, and thus raise the ground temperature once (average) equilibrium is established. The effect is changed by feedbacks such as change in cloudiness, but that is not what Steven Mosher was referring to, or considering. He is correct as far as what he said. I disagree with Steven on some points, but not this one

    ********
    Sorry Leonard but there is nothing physical about this ERL. Also, the lapse rate will change as the concentrations of ghgs change according to conservation of energy. Increasing the ghg concentrations will change the emissivity and provide more emission for a given T. Except for where there are clouds and solids and liquids present, there is no continuum present in the atmospheric emissions. One can achieve some meaning or useful information from gross simplifications in some cases but not in this case.
    The spectrum emitted is not that of a black body but rather what appears as a composite of different bb curves at different Ts depending upon wavelenth. Stefan’s law was derived empiracally but was later shown to be Planck’s law integrated over all angles and wavelengths. There is spectral emission leaving the Earth at every wavelength including the deepest absorption line bottoms. That power is based upon the T of the layer emitting that precise wavelength.
    Assuming one can emit a continuum at an altitude in the atmosphere, that spectrum is not emitted as it would be a spectrum based upon the T of that emitter and would require a different T value to emit the same amount of power as would actually be emitted. Since there would be a change in the lapse rate due to the change in ghg concentration and due to changes in the energy transfers, assuming there is an altitude based on the current lapse rate and that it would be constant for a different concentration is even in error.
    Note that for clear skies there is a substantial excess of emissions over what is required to balance the incoming average power, about 270 vs 240 w/m^2. It takes cloud top emissions at lower temperatures for there to be a balance at 240 w/m^2. Without some accomodation for clouds and atmospheric effects one cannot even achieve a balance between incoming and outgoing that is close to what we observe for averaged condition.

  282. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    “A vast ice sheet doesn’t sink much CO2…”

    That’s not how the overturning circulation works. The water is flowing up from the tropics, where it gets cold, gains salinity, and sinks.

    “Another error I have seen many times.”

    No error on my part. The whole point of the discussion, the whole point of citing the LIA as a point at which cold water may have downwelled, was to point out that colder temperatures would increase oceanic concentration and, pari passu with respect to the coupling constant, decrease atmospheric pCO2. You were suggesting they would co-vary with temperature change, which is incorrect.

    “But assuming that the ocean waterflux between downwelling and upwelling didn’t change too much over the centuries…”

    Your assumption is equivalent to your answer. This is circular reasoning at its most profound.

    “That is all we need to know…”

    I and others keep telling you no, that is not all you need to know. I have explained it to you in minute detail in the past. There is a fundamental error in your logic, but I despair of making you see it.

    “Since the human contribution is already twice the observed increase in the atmosphere, then there is hardly any contribution of temperature to the trend, only a direct influence of temperature variations on the variability in the sink rate of change…”

    Nature cannot ignore the trend in temperature as you suggest, and the variations are 90 degrees out of phase with the CO2 level.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    “As long as these two flows are in equilibrium…”

    Again, circular logic. You cannot just assume they are in equilibrium, and then claim this shows they are in equilibrium.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 3, 2012 at 3:51 am

    “That means that the trend in the temperature series doesn’t necessary has the same CO2/temperature factor as for the fast temperature variability, as different processes and different time constants are at their base.”

    They do have the same factor, though. That is what is evident from the data. The notion that such agreement is happenstance, when the agreement is continuous across all frequencies, is a pipe dream. The odds are infinitesimal. It follows that there is a common response which is driving atmospheric CO2 levels.

    “…as the trend in the natural cycle is negative: taking into account the human emissions, the trend of the net yearly natural cycle shows an increasing sink capacity in ratio with the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…”

    Again, this is faulty logic, addressed earlier in this response.

  283. Bart says:

    phlogiston says:
    September 3, 2012 at 4:05 am

    “Could changes over time in the latitude of upwelling in particular have an effect on CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere?”

    Peter Foster says:
    September 3, 2012 at 3:57 am

    “…but if the oceans are degassing then C12, being lighter would degas perferentially as it would take less energy to go from water to atmosphere than C13.”

    Those are a couple of very astute observations, IMHO. I think the answer in both cases is yes, the only question being the magnitude of the effect.

  284. Bart says:
    September 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

    That’s not how the overturning circulation works. The water is flowing up from the tropics, where it gets cold, gains salinity, and sinks.

    If the current upwelling is a lot richer in CO2, causing the increase of 70 ppmv over the past 50 years, then either the historical CO2 levels were 140 ppmv higher, which is contrary to lower temperatures, or the seawater was over 10°C colder, which means completely frozen at the sink places. Both are not seen in any proxy…

    You were suggesting they would co-vary with temperature change, which is incorrect.

    You were introducing the mass of CO2 in Henry’s Law equations, but mass doesn’t play much role, only pressure (difference) plays a role, as long as there is enough mass available. Thus if the water temperature changes, that gives a change in uptake, directly proportional to the change in pCO2 difference between the water side (at ~16 microatm/°C) and the atmospheric side, thus increasing the uptake at the sink places, but as that gives a subsequent drop in the atmospheric CO2 content/pressure, a drop of 16 ppmv in the atmosphere brings the CO2 content in the sinking waters again at the previous level. Even with a slow tau (estimated at ~53 years e-fold time), that would be reached within a few decades. Thus the 60% (must be an error, probably 30%?) lower CO2 levels in the LIA, would show up with a 60% (30%?) lower CO2 content at the upwelling places…

    Your assumption is equivalent to your answer. This is circular reasoning at its most profound.

    Besides temperature and CO2 levels of the past, the total water mass sinking at that time could give changes in total CO2 releases today. I only excluded that one, because nothing is known of that variable in the past and even very little today… But it is not of interest, as the discussions are about temperature influence, not ocean flows, see further.

    I and others keep telling you no, that is not all you need to know. I have explained it to you in minute detail in the past. There is a fundamental error in your logic, but I despair of making you see it.

    I always wonder why brilliant people have so much problems with simple logic and simple math. If you add twice what is measured as increase in the atmosphere, it is quite simple logic that this addition is the sole cause of the increase. No matter if every single human induced CO2 molecule is captured in the next available tree or not and replaced by some other, unknown process that completely mimics the human emissions over the past 160 years…

    They do have the same factor, though. That is what is evident from the data.

    Pure coincidence. Whatever the change in CO2 content of upwelling waters, the effect of a temperature increase today will give 16 ppmv/°C temperature change, nothing more, independent of the change in upwelling CO2. That is the result of Henry’s Law. There may be more upwelling from the deep oceans, but that is not the result of a temperature increase, which effect is limited and independent of any extra CO2 inflows out of the oceans. The fast reactions of the CO2 rate of change on temperature and the slope of the CO2 rate of change have different causes. Thus could be as good (or even more logic) from human emissions as from deep upwelling…

  285. Bart says:
    September 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Those are a couple of very astute observations, IMHO. I think the answer in both cases is yes, the only question being the magnitude of the effect.

    Any shift of the upwelling to colder places than the main upwelling today would give less CO2 releases…

    The historical 13C/12C ratio changes over glacials/interglacials and over the Holocene is known: independently measured in ice cores, firn, direct measurements, tree wood and sponges. These show very little variation over even the highest temperature changes, maximum 0.4 per mil over an ice age – interglacial, +/- 0.2 per mil over the Holocene in air and the same between 1400-1850 in the ocean surface (sponges) with a resolution of 2-4 years. Since 1850 we see an accellerating drop of 1.6 per mil as well as in the atmosphere as in the oceans surface, where the oceans lags the atmosphere with 2-3 years…

  286. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    At this point I think it useful to remind of all I said in my post addressed to phlogiston at September 3, 2012 at 4:05 am.

    In particular, I draw attention to my comment in that post saying

    As you illustrate, the arguments cannot be resolved because there is insufficient data. We know little about processes in the carbon cycle and we keep finding new pieces of the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ that each suggest the ‘picture’ of the puzzle is not what we think it is.

    Any debate leads to an unending series of exchanges each saying, “Yes, but…”.

    Considering the subsequent debate in this thread it is now reasonable to state
    Quod Erat Demonstrandum

    It is a scientific stance when confronted with insufficient data to say (as I do with respect to the cause of recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration),
    “I don’t know, but I want to know”.

    Richard

  287. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, if man is a net contributor of CO2 into the atmosphere, and the natural environment is also a net contributor of CO2 into the atmosphere, then can you explain why the observed annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is always less than the anthropogenic contribution?

    Note, as Murry Salby rightly points out, we have reliable observations of atmospheric CO2 and we have reliable estimates of anthropogenic emissions, so we do have enough information to know that this is the case.

  288. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    At September 4, 2012 at 5:41 am you ask me

    Richard, if man is a net contributor of CO2 into the atmosphere, and the natural environment is also a net contributor of CO2 into the atmosphere, then can you explain why the observed annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is always less than the anthropogenic contribution?

    Yes, of course I can answer that.

    Firstly, the anthropogenic and natural CO2 emissions are NOT both net contributors of CO2 to the atmosphere. Please remember that nature emits 34 molecules of CO2 for each CO2 molecule of CO2 emitted by all anthropogenic activities. Therefore, the natural emission is a negative net emission to the atmosphere when the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is – as it is – less than the anthropogenic emission. But, of course, that is merely a mathematical fact because the sequestration from the atmosphere does not significantly discriminate between anthropogenic and natural CO2.

    The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is because the system of the carbon cycle is adjusting in such a manner that the total of all emissions (both natural and anthropogenic) is being sequestered at a lesser average rate than the average rate of the total of anthropogenic and natural emissions. But so what?

    That tells us nothing about what the change in atmospheric CO2 would be in the absence of the anthropogenic emission. That change (i.e. absent the anthropogenic emission) may be more, less, the same, or of opposite sign to what is observed with the anthropogenic emission.

    At issue is the cause of the adjustment to the system of the carbon cycle. There is inadequate data to determine that cause.

    Richard

  289. dikranmarsupial says:

    Thank you for your reply. Just to be clear, are you saying that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, i.e. the oceanic and terrestrial reservoirs absorb more CO2 from the atmospheric reservoir each year than they emit into it?

  290. richardscourtney says:
    September 4, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Richard, I am very pleased to see that we agree that nature is not a net contributor to the increase in the atmosphere. At least not in the past 50 years. Thus we may say that the human emissions are the sole cause of the increase over that period.

    Of course we can’t be sure what nature would have done without the human emissions, but we have a pretty good idea, because ice cores show a nice relationship between CO2 and temperature (proxies), of about 8 ppmv/°C, where we are now at about 100 ppmv higher levels for the current temperature. Thus if we stop the human emissions today, I expect a drop of CO2, slowly decreasing to the old dynamic equilibrium CO2 level for the temperature of the moment.

    Without knowing any of the current natural releases and uptakes, one can calculate the half life time of such a decrease to equilibrium:
    The current sink rate in average is ~4 GtC/year (2 ppmv/year) for a level of 210 GtC (100 ppmv) above equilibrium. That gives an e-fold time of ~53 years or a half-life time of ~38 years.

    I know, the IPCC has a more complicated formula, because of taking into account the saturation of the deep oceans, but that still is far ahead of us, as that needs 10-20 times more carbon than today and there is no practical limit in the more permanent carbon storage by land vegetation…

  291. Bart says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

    “As you illustrate, the arguments cannot be resolved because there is insufficient data.”

    I have to disagree. Ferdinand and dikranmarsupial are hung up on a fundamental error in logic, this faux “mass balance” argument, and are not experienced enough in systems theory to understand what the data compel. If, in the 16th century, you had said that the data were unclear as to whether the Sun revolved around the Earth or the Earth around the Sun, you would have been wrong. The data were clear to Copernicus, but his contemporaries refused to believe them.

    I have demonstrated the fundamental error in logic of these two on many occasions. I have even provided simulation results which have illustrated it for Ferdinand. In the simulation, I chose the parameters so that it happened that the accumulation in the atmosphere was on average equal to the half the human input, yet they are not the driver of the rise in the simulations, or at least, not in the simulations where I did not make them so.

    I have been over it so many times, it makes my eyes water just thinking about it. To someone intimately familiar with feedback systems, it is a trivial problem.

    The entire conundrum is summed up in the two phrases Ferdinand and I used earlier. Ferdinand said:

    “…the sinks must absorb a total amount which is equal to the natural contribution + halve the human contribution.”

    I said:

    “…it implies natural minus a little + all of the human emissions are absorbed somewhere.”

    The two statements are equivalent: there are natural inputs and anthropogenic inputs. Both go into the sinks. A little bit is left over to accumulate. Yet, the first implies that the human contribution is responsible for the rise, while the latter implies that the natural input is responsible for the rise. There is nothing magical or at all dispositive about the fact that the rise is approximately half the accumulated human emissions. It could have been one third, or 3/2 – the latter might have given the “mass balance” enthusiasts some pause, but I suspect they would just then say that all of the human produced CO2 was hanging around, and nature was providing half again more. But, there would be no more support for that interpretation than that human inputs were being rapidly sequestered, and all of the rise were natural.

    Less actually, in the present circumstances, because we do have tie-breaking data to consider. The data are clear as to which interpretation is the correct one. The rate of change of CO2 matches, in both coarse and fine detail, long term and short term, the variations in the scaled temperature anomaly with respect to a particular baseline. In the long term, all three, CO2 rate of change, rate of human emissions, and temperature are on average linear trends.

    But, the human emissions do NOT match in every detail, they just happen to have a similar very simple morphology of a linear trend over the long term. But, there is nothing rare or unusual in a slowly evolving time series evidencing a linear trend – it is probably the most common functional morphology in the universe.

    Far more, far far more, rare and unusual is to have a match between both trending behavior and all the short term variation. And, the same scale factor which matches all the short term variation is the same scale factor which mathes the trend for the CO2 and temperature data. And, that scaling leads to an all but perfect match in the integrated scaled temperature anomaly and the CO2 measurements from the best, most modern, and most direct measurements we have since 1958. There is no room for human inputs to have a significant impact.

    The evidence is clear: the cause of the rise in CO2 over the last 60 or so years is temperature, not humans. Copernicus would have seen it right away.

  292. Bart says:

    Let me attempt to illustrate with some simple formulas. The CO2 rate of change can be represented by the equation

    dCO2/dt = a + b*t + p(t)

    a linear trend in time “a + b*t”, plus a functional term for short term variation in time p(t).

    The temperature can be represented by a similar expansion

    T = c + d*t + q(t)

    The rate of human inputs can be represent by a third such expression

    dh/dt = e + f*t + r(t)

    a,b,c,d,e and f are constants.

    There is a scale factor k1 such that b = d*k1. A similar factor k2 makes b = k2*f. When plotted with appropriate offsets, dCO2/dt, k1*T, and k2*dh/dt all look similar, and all integrate into a similar, approximately quadratic, function.

    BUT… within reasonable limits for the quality of the data, p(t) = k1*q(t), whereas k2*r(t) is nothing like p(t).

    That is the deciding factor: simple scaling matches both “b” and “p(t)” to “d” and “q(t)”. Simple scaling does not match “b” and “p(t)” to both “f” and “r(t)”.

  293. dikranmarsupial says:

    Bart, I suspect you have misunderstood Ferdinand’s comment “…the sinks must absorb a total amount which is equal to the natural contribution + halve the human contribution.”. He is saying that the total amount of C02 absorbed by natural sinks is equal to the total amount of CO2 emitted by natural sources plus half of the amount of CO2 emitted from anthropogenic sources. He is NOT saying that natural sinks are absorbing all of the molecules of CO2 from natural sources but only half of the molecules emitted by anthropogenic sources. This would be impossible as there is no physical mechanism by which CO2 molecules from natural sources can be differentiated from CO2 molecules from anthropogenic sources (for a given isotope). The mass balance argument does not assume such a mechanism exists, and if you think it does, that is because you don’t understand the argument.

  294. dikranmarsupial says:

    Also, he is not saying that there is a rule in the carbon cycle somewhere that says that the total amount of natural uptake will always be equal to the total amount of natural emissions plus about half the amount of anthropogenic emissions. It is a deduction we can make from the observation of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 and of anthropogenic emissions if we assume that the carbon cycle obeys the principle of conservation of mass.

    It is true that the increase in atmospheric CO2 has closely followed 0.45 times cumulative anthropogenic emissions, but this is largely due to anthropogenic emissions having risen approximately exponentially, as described in my paper (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ef200914u). If anthropogenic emissions rose (say) linearly, the airborne fraction would probably no longer be constant.

  295. Bart says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I understand the argument perfectly. You, and he, are wrong.

    We’ve been over it before. I demonstrated where your reasoning was wrong in excruciating detail. If you wish to make the argument again using the language of mathematics, I will show you where you are wrong, again.

  296. Bart says:

    “…but this is largely due to anthropogenic emissions having risen approximately exponentially, as described in my paper (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ef200914u). If anthropogenic emissions rose (say) linearly, the airborne fraction would probably no longer be constant.”

    It may or may not be exponential, or similar to an exponential. At this stage, it hardly makes any difference – the rate of change of emissions has risen approximately linearly and the accumulation of the emissions, wherever they may be, is therefore approximately quadratic. But, there is no statistically significant difference between either of these series and a slowly evolving exponential which would be evident at this time.

    The reason for the approximately 50% atmospheric rise is put down to rapid partitioning with the oceans. In the orthodox interpretation, the entire surface carbon reservoir is essentially fixed, and the added human inputs accumulate with little loss. This, of course, begs the question of how an equilibrium ever got established in the first place, but that conundrum is assiduously avoided. In any case, under the orthodox interpretation, the partition would be the same regardless of the functional form.

  297. dikranmarsupial, Ferdinand and Bart:

    I am replying to all of you in this one post for clarity. I do not intend any insult to any of you by not providing individual responses: you each replied to my single post at September 4, 2012 at 7:11 am so I am making a combined answer to your replies in hope of avoiding a disjointed answer.

    dikranmarsupial, at September 4, 2012 at 7:27 am you ask me

    Thank you for your reply. Just to be clear, are you saying that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, i.e. the oceanic and terrestrial reservoirs absorb more CO2 from the atmospheric reservoir each year than they emit into it?

    Yes, of course I am saying that. And I thought I was clear. However, I obviously was not because at September 4, 2012 at 7:36 am Ferdinand says to me

    Richard, I am very pleased to see that we agree that nature is not a net contributor to the increase in the atmosphere. At least not in the past 50 years.

    The fact – which I stated – that nature is a net sequestration of CO2 from the air does NOT imply, does NOT suggest, and does NOT indicate that nature is “not a net contributor to the increase in the atmosphere”. My post I explained why it does not.

    And, in addition to that misinterpretation of what I said, Ferdinand, you unfortunately immediately follow that statement with the completely illogical deduction which – in fact – is merely a restatement of the misrepresentation

    Thus we may say that the human emissions are the sole cause of the increase over that period.

    My post explained why that cannot be inferred from the available information.

    Bart, at September 4, 2012 at 8:53 am you also disagree with me. However, you claim the data indicates that the human emissions are not the cause of the increase of the rise in atmospheric CO2. I could merely point out that your claim is the exact opposite of the claim from dikranmarsupial and Ferdinand which proves the data is not sufficient for a definitive indication. But, in courtesy, I choose to point out that I do not accept your analysis for the same reason that I do not accept the ‘mass balance’ argument of dikranmarsupial, Ferdinand and others.

    In conclusion, I repeat what I wrote in the post you have each replied because it explains why I don’t agree with any of the definitive conclusions on this subject wherever they are from.

    The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is because the system of the carbon cycle is adjusting in such a manner that the total of all emissions (both natural and anthropogenic) is being sequestered at a lesser average rate than the average rate of the total of anthropogenic and natural emissions. But so what?

    That tells us nothing about what the change in atmospheric CO2 would be in the absence of the anthropogenic emission. That change (i.e. absent the anthropogenic emission) may be more, less, the same, or of opposite sign to what is observed with the anthropogenic emission.

    At issue is the cause of the adjustment to the system of the carbon cycle. There is inadequate data to determine that cause.

    Richard

  298. Bart says:

    Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Or, if you have a link to the discussion where we went over it before, when you were using your proper name, you can just look over it again and see where I explained it before.

  299. dikranmarsupial says:

    Bart wrote: “You, and he, are wrong” and the IPCC (the mass balance argument is mentioned in their reports), and e.g. Raupach et al. (who also use the mass balance argument – see my paper for the exact reference) and pretty much every scientist that actively works on carbon cycle. it may be that you are a Gallileo and the current scientific paradigm is due for re-writing, but the chances are against it.

    BTW, your model is making exactly the same mistake as Humlum et al. There is a correlation between temperature and the annual increment in atmospheric CO2. It has been known about since the mid 1970s (Bacastow) and is entirely uncontraversial. The problem is that the correllation only explains the variability in DIFF12 CO2, not its mean value, and it is the mean value of DIFF12 CO2 that gives rise to the long term increase.

  300. Bart says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

    “I could merely point out that your claim is the exact opposite of the claim from dikranmarsupial and Ferdinand which proves the data is not sufficient for a definitive indication.”

    You are correct. It is. Which is why we must pull in other information to resolve the question.

    That is why I point out that “we do have tie-breaking data to consider”, and proceed to support that statement in words, and mathematically in the succeeding comment.

  301. Bart says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 4, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Arguments from authority do not impress. I have shown you where you are wrong in the past. I recommend you review that discussion.

    “The problem is that the correllation only explains the variability in DIFF12 CO2, not its mean value, and it is the mean value of DIFF12 CO2 that gives rise to the long term increase.”

    See the comment above. It rules out human culpability.

  302. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, thank you for the clarification; it was an important point and I just wanted to be completely clear that we were in agreement. However, it would seem to me that if the natural environment were a net carbon sink it would be actively opposing the rise in atmospheric CO2, rather than causing it, as it is taking more CO2 out of the atmosphere each year than it puts in.

    If natural uptake exceeds natural emissions, then it seems to me that the natural environment is putting downward pressure on atmospheric CO2 levels.

    BTW, if you accept that the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 being greater than anthropogenic emissions establishes that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, then you have accepted the mass balance argument, as that isjust what the mass balance argument tells us.

  303. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    August 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I just noticed this comment wedged up there.

    “The CO2 dissolved in the surface waters during the LIA which were at a lower temperature but also the partial pressure of CO2 during the LIA was about 60% of today’s.

    Although I consider the ice core data highly suspect (because they are impossible to verify), it makes perfect sense that pCO2 of the atmosphere during the LIA would be less than today. It was colder then. When temperatures get colder, more goes into the ocean, in accordance with your relation

    c = k*p

    k increased, but the total c and p are constrained, so c had to increase while p decreased.

    The total c and p are not constrained so your argument is flawed, Gtonnes of fossil Carbon have been added to the active system over that period. The change in temperature over the period in question is insufficient to increase the pCO2 to the amount observed.

    Today, that c is coming back up again. It is displacing the c in today’s equation, so we can say dc/dt is greater than zero. Since, to the degree that “k” is actually constant,

    k is not constant, it’s a function of temperature, (van’t Hoff equation as shown above, did you miss that too?)
    Rising seawater which absorbed CO2 from an atmosphere which had a pCO2 60% lower than today’s and a temperature 2ºC lower will absorb CO2 when it reaches the surface because of Henry’s Law and the van’t Hoff equation.

  304. Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

    The reason for the approximately 50% atmospheric rise is put down to rapid partitioning with the oceans. In the orthodox interpretation, the entire surface carbon reservoir is essentially fixed, and the added human inputs accumulate with little loss.

    I thought we were there already before… That statement is wrong:

    While the ocean surface is in rapid equilibrium (2-3 years) with the atmosphere, a 100% change in the atmosphere only gives a 10% change in total carbon level of the surface waters. That is the result of a small decrease in pH from the increasing CO2/bi/carbonate content in solution. Thus some 90% of the change stays in first instance in the atmosphere and is removed by much slower processes into the deep oceans and land vegetation.

  305. Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

    That is the deciding factor: simple scaling matches both “b” and “p(t)” to “d” and “q(t)”. Simple scaling does not match “b” and “p(t)” to both “f” and “r(t)”.

    Simple scaling does match “b” to “f” and “p(t)” to “r(t)”, without violating the mass balance or the 13C/12C ratio trend or the 14C/12C ratio trend and none of the other observations…

    Again, the fast response and the trend are caused by different processes: the ocean surface and fast vegetation responses are the main source of the short term variability, while the trend is the result of the emissions and the much slower sink rates in the deep oceans and more permanent carbon storage by vegetation…

  306. Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I think that Dikran said it all…

    The two statements are equivalent: there are natural inputs and anthropogenic inputs. Both go into the sinks. A little bit is left over to accumulate. Yet, the first implies that the human contribution is responsible for the rise, while the latter implies that the natural input is responsible for the rise.

    As I wrote at September 1, 2012 at 1:28 am:

    Again, you don’t get it. It doesn’t matter which molecules are absorbed. It does matter that the total natural sink flux is larger than the total natural source flux. The human emissions are one-way additional, there are hardly any human sinks. The natural sources are NOT larger than the natural sinks, however you rearrange the wording”…

    Thus the natural cycle is a net sink for CO2, not a source…

  307. Sorry, made an error in the symbols…

    Simple scaling does match “b” to “f” and “p(t)” to “r(t)”
    must be:
    Simple scaling does match “b” to “f” and “p(t)” to “q(t)”

    With different scaling factors, as that are two separate processes: temperature changes are responsible for the bulk of the fast responses and the emissions are responsible for the bulk of the trend…

  308. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    At September 4, 2012 at 11:27 am you say to me

    BTW, if you accept that the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 being greater than anthropogenic emissions establishes that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, then you have accepted the mass balance argument, as that isjust what the mass balance argument tells us.

    No! I have not, and it does not.

    The ‘mass balance’ argument assumes the system does not vary. This assumption of invariance is – to be polite – implausible. I refuse to accept that implausible assumption when it has no supporting evidence.

    Once one accepts the possibility of natural variability then one has to accept that the mass balance argument is merely a circular argument. That so-called argument only informs that its user has adopted the implausible assumption.

    Richard

  309. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

    “While the ocean surface is in rapid equilibrium (2-3 years) with the atmosphere, a 100% change in the atmosphere only gives a 10% change in total carbon level of the surface waters.”

    I appear to have overstated the case, while you have understated it. The IPCC estimates that some 30% of the atmospheric CO2 increase has gone into the ocean.It doesn’t really affect the point I was making to dikranmarsupial – the airborne fraction still does not depend on the morphology of the input.

    Phil. says:
    September 4, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Read the comment here for a better understanding. Cooler temperatures mean more CO2 in the downwelling water. Lower atmospheric CO2 due to temperature implies an increase in the oceanic fraction. When that water rises in a warmer climate, it must release the CO2 it has stored.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “Simple scaling does match “b” to “f” and “p(t)” to “q(t)”’

    You have to match both terms from the same source together. You cannot mix and match. Nature has no ability to separate the terms.

  310. Bart says:

    Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “You have to match both terms from the same source together. You cannot mix and match. Nature has no ability to separate the terms.”

    This is the nub of what I am saying. When you choose k1 such that b = d*k1, you also get a match between p(t) = k1*q(t) and conversely – if you choose k1 such that p(t) = k1*q(t), you also get a match with b = d*k1.

    If the k1 you got from matching p(t) = k1*q(t) were smaller, such that b were significantly greater than d*k1, then there would be room for a significant human contribution. But, because everything matches up with just the temperature dependence included, you don’t need the human inputs, indeed, cannot accept them, as there is no room.

  311. Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I appear to have overstated the case, while you have understated it. The IPCC estimates that some 30% of the atmospheric CO2 increase has gone into the ocean.

    On different time scales: 10% very fast in the ocean surface layer, 20% in the deep oceans at a much slower rate (combined e-fold time ~53 years). Essentially different processes with different time constants.

    You have to match both terms from the same source together. You cannot mix and match. Nature has no ability to separate the terms.

    It does, if the processes involved are different. The fast processes involves only 10% of the increase and most of the variability, the slower processes involve a small bit of the variablity and most of the trend…

  312. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    “It does, if the processes involved are different. The fast processes involves only 10% of the increase and most of the variability, the slower processes involve a small bit of the variablity and most of the trend…”

    It doesn’t work. That would require high-pass filtering of the temperature series, creating phase distortion at lower frequencies which is not observed.

  313. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    “On different time scales…”

    I don’t really want to argue this point as it is not germane to the topic at hand. But, you might review this:

    The oceans currently remove approximately 30% of the anthropogenic CO2 released yearly into the atmosphere [Sabine et al., 2004].

    And now, I really must concentrate on work…

  314. Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    But, because everything matches up with just the temperature dependence included, you don’t need the human inputs, indeed, cannot accept them, as there is no room.

    If we look at the oceans alone (similar points apply for vegetation), there are two separate processes involved: the ocean surface and the deep oceans.
    The ocean surface reacts very fast on CO2 changes in the atmosphere and also very fast on ocean surface temperature changes. The latter with 16 ppmv/°C change in temperature. But that involves only 10% of the changes in the atmosphere.
    The 90% of any CO2 injection (natural or human) stays in first instance in the atmosphere, increasing the CO2 level. That increases the sink rate near the poles. But that is a much slower process, only following the increase in total CO2 and the limited exchange fluxes between atmosphere and deep oceans. A change in temperature at the sink places will give a small (7%) change in sink rate, which is already small (~2 GtC/year). That hardly influences the CO2 levels in the atmosphere on short term. But it influences the integrated sink quantity over several years, while the surface temperature has no measurable influence on CO2 levels anymore after 2-3 years.

    Thus yes, there is plenty of room for human inputs, as the fast response is mainly from the limited capacity ocean surface and the slow response is from the deep oceans with limited exchange rates, but these are net sinks, not CO2 sources…

  315. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “But that involves only 10% of the changes in the atmosphere.”

    Widely acknowledged 30% – see above.

    “Thus yes, there is plenty of room for human inputs, as the fast response is mainly from the limited capacity ocean surface and the slow response is from the deep oceans with limited exchange rates…”

    You cannot mix and match. It’s a long stretch in the first place, given the incredibly excellent agreement of the scaled trend in temperature with the trend in the CO2 rate of change. But, the data are inconsistent with high pass filtering, which would give an additional phase advance at low frequency, and phase distortion in the transition region. There is nothing like that evident in the data.

    “…but these are net sinks, not CO2 sources…”

    No evidence at all for that.

    I think we have run out of things to say.

  316. Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Widely acknowledged 30% – see above.

    Widely acknowledged (and measured as the increase of DIC over the past 20 years at a few places), that the seawater surface follows the atmosphere with not more than 10%, with a rapid adjustment time of 2-3 years. If the oceans were fresh water, it was only 1%, due to the low pH. The buffering by carbonate salts increases that to ~10%, due to a higher pH. That is called the Revelle factor or buffer factor. Look that up…
    The rest is going into the deep oceans with an adjustment time of ~50 years.

    You cannot mix and match. It’s a long stretch in the first place, given the incredibly excellent agreement of the scaled trend in temperature with the trend in the CO2 rate of change.

    All of your reasoning is based on the premisse that only one overall process influences the temperature-CO2 changes, but that is wrong.

    The fast oceans surface mixing process responsible for the variability only works on 10% of the increase, its long term trend doesn’t change much after 2-3 years, at a maximum of 16 ppmv/°C. The longer term deep ocean processes hardly influence the year by year variability, but are persistent over the years, again with an overall maximum of 16 ppmv/°C. Thus no matter which ocean process is involved, the maximum influence of temperature on CO2 levels by the oceans is 16 ppmv/°C. But that are two different processes each with their own adjustment rate.

    Any more deep ocean upwelling (from the past) or downwelling (of the present) is a process that is independent of the current temperature variations, except for the short to medium term influence of temperature at 16 ppmv/°C. Thus an increase of 70 ppmv in only 50 years can’t be caused by the current temperature change. The consequence is that the same factor for the past 50 years for a short and medium response of CO2 to temperature is pure coincidence.

    The other fast to medium term processes in land vegetation work the opposite way out, thus decreasing the 16 ppmv/°C to ~8 ppmv/°C over very long term.

    No evidence at all for that.

    Proven by millions of seawater pCO2 samples over decades: a net sink of 2 GtC/year.
    And a consequence of the mass balance: with 8 GtC/year of human emissions and a 4 GtC/year of increase in the atmosphere, the overall natural sink rate is 4 GtC/year. Of which 1.2 GtC/yr goes into land vegetation (based on the oxygen balance) and 0.8 GtC into the ocean surface layer (based on the buffer factor). The rest into the deep oceans, as other natural sinks are either too small or too slow.

  317. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard wrote: “The ‘mass balance’ argument assumes the system does not vary.”

    No, this is not correct, the mass balance argument makes no such assumption, and it is easily demonstrated that this is not the case. The magnitude of the net environmental sink inferred by the mass balance argument exhibits considerable year-to-year variability and has been slowly gaining in magnitude for the last fifty years. If the mass balance argument assumed the system does not vary this would be impossible. See this figure from Ferdinand’s website (similar results have been given in the litterature) http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg

    We have agreed that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, so please explain how the natural environment is causing the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 while at the same time taking more CO2 out of the atmosphere each year than it puts in.

  318. dikranmarsupial:

    Your post at September 5, 2012 at 12:54 am is addressed to me and begins

    Richard wrote: “The ‘mass balance’ argument assumes the system does not vary.”

    No, this is not correct, the mass balance argument makes no such assumption, and it is easily demonstrated that this is not the case. The magnitude of the net environmental sink inferred by the mass balance argument exhibits considerable year-to-year variability and has been slowly gaining in magnitude for the last fifty years. If the mass balance argument assumed the system does not vary this would be impossible. See this figure from Ferdinand’s website (similar results have been given in the litterature) http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg

    My statement is correct and your response displays a complete failure of logic. I explain this as follows.

    The fact that there is year-to-year variability does not change the fact that invariance of the system has to be assumed over time for the mass balance to indicate any specific change as a ’cause’ of long-term variance of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The mass balance is accountancy applied to CO2 entering and leaving the atmosphere. As proponents of the mass balance argument often assert, it is similar to accountancy applied to a bank account. So, I will use that analogy to demonstrate your misunderstanding.

    A person has an income which is mostly his salary that his employer pays into his bank account each month. The bank account fluctuates as the salary is paid in each month and the person makes withdrawals to pay his living expenses. Thus, the account fluctuates but over time it is constant. (This is similar to the seasonal fluctuation varying the CO2 in the atmosphere).

    Then the owner of the bank account obtains additional income; for example, he is poor so the government gives him a Winter Fuel Allowance (this happens in the UK). Assuming no other change, then the bank account starts to rise over the following years. (This Winter Fuel allowance is similar to the anthropogenic CO2 providing an input of CO2 to the atmosphere).

    But there may be other changes. For example, the addition of the Fuel Allowance to his income increases his total income, and this increase may make him eligible for payment of income tax or make him ineligible for receipt of invalidity benefit. Hence, the addition of fuel allowance may result in his bank balance decreasing over time. Alternatively, he may not spend his Fuel Allowance on needed fuel but, instead, he chooses to invest his Fuel Allowance to gain a return on it: in this case his bank balance will increase by MORE than the amount of the Fuel Allowance over time.

    Similarly, it cannot be known what effect addition of the anthropogenic CO2 (i.e. Winter Fuel Allowance) will have on the CO2 in the atmosphere (i.e. the bank balance) because the total system of the carbon cycle is not known. We do know it has some effects (e.g. additional CO2 in the air increases biological activity which sequesters CO2 from the air) but all its effects are not known. Therefore, the system’s response to the anthropogenic emission cannot be known.

    Furthermore, in the above analogy the system does not vary over time except for effects of the Winter Fuel Allowance (i.e. the anthropogenic CO2). In reality, we know it does. So, we need to extend the analysis.

    Consider that there are changes to income tax levels and/or rates (e.g. CO2 sequestrations) then the proportion of the salary which is paid into the bank account (i.e. the amount of CO2 input to the atmosphere) will vary. This will happen for many reasons such as a change of government (i.e. a variation in CO2 upwelling from deep ocean) and it will alter the increase or reduction of the bank balance (i.e. the CO2 in the atmosphere).

    It is not known if the change has happened. But it will directly affect the bank balance (i.e. CO2 in the atmosphere) and the effects of the Winter Fuel Allowance (i.e. the anthropogenic CO2) on the bank balance. The change may alter whether the Fuel Allowance makes him eligible for payment of income tax or makes him ineligible for receipt of invalidity benefit. Hence, the external change may cause the bank balance (i.e. CO2 in the atmosphere) to increase or decrease whether or not there was a Winter Fuel Allowance (i.e. the anthropogenic CO2), and the Winter Fuel Allowance may increase or may reduce the effect of the external change on the bank balance.

    However, one can
    1.
    mistakenly assume the system which determines the bank balance does not change over time,
    2.
    assess the change in the bank balance and, thus,
    3.
    decide the Winter Fuel Allowance causes the observed changes in the bank balance.

    In reality, as the analogy describes, the unaccounted – and unknown – changes of the system may be entirely responsible for the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 and the effect of the anthropogenic emission may have been to increase or to reduce the observed rise. In the absence of adequate knowledge and understanding of the carbon cycle then the cause of the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 cannot be known. And we lack both the knowledge and the understanding of the system of the carbon cycle.

    Importantly, the dynamics of the seasonal variation in atmospheric CO2 indicate that the system of the carbon cycle can easily sequester all the emitted CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic), but the observed rise in the atmospheric CO2 indicates that not all the total emission is being sequestered over time. At issue is why not all the total CO2 emission is sequestered when we know the system can – and could be expected to – sequester all of it: we lack both knowledge and understanding of the carbon cycle system sufficient to determine why not all the total CO2 emission is sequestered. (This is like observing that the balance in the bank account is rising because the electricity company does not take the money it is owed although it has a Direct Debit facility for taking the money, and we don’t know why the electricity company is not taking the money).

    You conclude by asking me

    We have agreed that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, so please explain how the natural environment is causing the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 while at the same time taking more CO2 out of the atmosphere each year than it puts in.

    I have repeatedly explained this in different ways in this thread. I have again tried in this thread. The problem arises from your mistaken assumption that the system does not vary over time. As I said, that is an implausible assumption.

    I hope this answer is adequate.

    Richard

  319. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, I also like banking analogies. The problem I have with yours is that it is difficult to tell what quantities in the analogy relate to which quantities in the carbon cycle. Here is an analogy where this is made explicit.

    Say I share a savings jar with my wife, and it is guarded by a cadre of loyal ninja, so I know that nobody can make withdrawals or deposits other than my wife and I. My deposits represent anthropogenic emissions, and I put 8 euro in the jar each month. I make no withdrawals as at the moment, which would represent anthropogenic uptake, as mankind is not at the moment performing any meaningful amounts of carbon sequestration. My wifes deposits represent natural emissions from all sources (whatever they are, whatever mechanisms are involved); she puts in 90 euros a month. Her withdrawals represent natural uptake into all natural sinks (whatever they are, whatever mechanisms are involved). Her withdrawals are 94 euros a month.

    I think we can both agree that in this example, my wife is taking four more euros out of the jar each month than she is putting in, and so the rise of 4 euros a month in the balance is due to my activities, and is being opposed by hers.

    Say I didn’t know that she deposited 90 euros a month and took out 94 euros a month. I would still know that she is spending 4 euros a month more than she saved if I observe that the balance is rising by four euros a month less than I am putting in.

    The mass balance argument is similar. We don’t need to know the value of natural emissions or natural uptake to know that the natural environment is a net sink. All we need to do is observe that the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is always less than anthropogenic emissions.

    Now you can say that this analogy is too simple, in which case, feel free to extend it, provided you specify where the extensions map on to the carbon cycle. However, since the analogy already includes all natural sources and sinks and anthropogenic sources and (lack of) sinks, what else is there?

  320. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 5, 2012 at 12:26 am

    “That is called the Revelle factor or buffer factor. Look that up…”

    Indeed. It is the subject of the paper I linked. And, the correct figure is 30%.

    “All of your reasoning is based on the premisse that only one overall process influences the temperature-CO2 changes, but that is wrong.”

    The data show it is correct. There is no indication of separate processes in the dominant respose. The dominant response acts uniformly across frequency such that the derivative of CO2 matches temperature.

    “Proven by millions of seawater pCO2 samples over decades: a net sink of 2 GtC/year.”

    You are mistaken. Oddly, you had agreed at one point with what I explain to dikranmarsupial below, but then you slid back into misunderstanding.

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 5, 2012 at 12:54 am

    “No, this is not correct, the mass balance argument makes no such assumption, and it is easily demonstrated that this is not the case.”

    It is easily demonstrated that it is the case. It all comes down to how powerful the sinks are relative to the sources. The faux mass balance argument depends on the sinks being weak and flaccid. The data show they are not.

    This really is a trivial feedback problem. It amazes me you guys, and apparently many others, can be so far removed from reality.

  321. richardscourtney says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    re your post at September 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

    OK, I tried. But you have ignored what I said (again). Believe whatever you want, but I see no point in my again and again explaining the same realities in different ways merely for you to ignore my efforts.

    Richard

  322. dikranmarsupial says:

    Richard, no problem, thank you for the discussion.

  323. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:20 am
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 5, 2012 at 12:26 am

    “That is called the Revelle factor or buffer factor. Look that up…”

    Indeed. It is the subject of the paper I linked. And, the correct figure is 30%.

    It is indeed the subject of the paper but apparently you didn’t read the paper because it explicitly states: “Revelle and Suess calculated that R had a value of about 10. Because of an improved global data set we know that the Revelle factor currently ranges from about 9 in low-latitude tropical waters up to 15 in the southern ocean off Antarctica”

  324. dikranmarsupial says:

    Bart wrote “It is easily demonstrated that it is the case. It all comes down to how powerful the sinks are relative to the sources. The faux mass balance argument depends on the sinks being weak and flaccid. The data show they are not.”

    No, that is not correct. The mass balance analysis, when applied to the observations, shows that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, and that the difference between total natural emissions and total natural uptake is increasing. However this could be because natural sinks are strengthening, or because natural sources are weakening, or both natural sources and sinks are strengthening, but sinks more so than source, or that both natural sources and sinks are weakening, but sinks less so than sources. The mass balance argument does not tell you WHY the gap is widening, it just shows that it is.

    As it happens, if you read the IPCC report, you will find that the mainstream view is that both sources and sinks are strengthening, but the sinks more so than the sources. Thus your assertion regarding the assumption that the sinks being weak and flaccid is the exact opposite of the mainstream view.

  325. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    September 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm
    Phil. says:
    September 4, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Read the comment here for a better understanding. Cooler temperatures mean more CO2 in the downwelling water. Lower atmospheric CO2 due to temperature implies an increase in the oceanic fraction. When that water rises in a warmer climate, it must release the CO2 it has stored.

    That comment shows no understanding and merely perpetuates your misunderstanding.
    I’ve corrected your statement below:
    “When that water rises in a warmer climate, it must release the CO2 it has stored” as long as the atmospheric pCO2 is lower than the equilibrium pCO2 given by Henry’s Law at the temperature of the sea surface. If the equilibrium pCO2 given by Henry’s Law at the temperature of the sea surface is higher then the water will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

  326. dikranmarsupial says:

    BTW, if you want a page reference for what I wrote in the last paragraph, read section 7.3.1.2 of the AR4 WG1 report, page 514, and note figure 7.3, where the red arrow indicate the changes in the land-air and ocean-air fluxes since pre-industrial times. They show that the land sink is thought to have STRENGTHENED by 2.6 GtC per year, the oceanic sink has STRENGTHENED by 22.2 GtC per yeas and oceanic emissions have STRENGTHENED by 20 GtC per year.

    Note the natural sinks are thought to have STRENGTHENED relative to natural sources to the tune of 4.8 GtC per year, so clearly the sinks are not assumed to be weak or “flaccid”.

  327. Bart says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Indeed. It is the subject of the paper I linked. And, the correct figure is 30%.

    Have a look at the Revelle factor at your reference to the IPCC (page 531):

    Revelle factor (or buffer factor) = (Δ[CO2] / [CO2]) / (Δ[DIC] / [DIC]) (7.3)

    All over the oceans, the Revelle factor is between 8 and 13, that means that in average the total carbonate (DIC, CO2 + bi + caronate) in the oceans changes with 10% when CO2 in the atmosphere changes with 100%. But that is only the case at equilibrium.

    The ocean surface is in rapid equilibrium with the atmosphere (the IPCC even says within 1 year). Thus only 10% of the change in the atmosphere is rapidely absorbed by the oceans surface layer (the ocean surface layer contains near as much carbon in mass as the atmosphere).

    The situation of the deep oceans is quite different: at the sink places, the seawater is highly undersaturated (150 microatm, the atmosphere at ~400 microatm), and so are the deep ocean waters at the temperature down there. Thus while the IPCC shows a 30% uptake by the oceans, they don’t specify where it happens, but as the oceans surface is saturated by a 10% increase, the rest must have been captured by the deep oceans. While the deep oceans can absorb enormous quantities of CO2, the air – deep ocean exchanges are limited, thus the capturing of CO2 by the deep oceans is much slower…

  328. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    BTW, the same graph 7.3 of estimated change in fluxes/reservoirs since the industrial revolution, referenced by Dikran, shows an increase of 18 GtC in the oceans surface layer and an increase of 100 GtC in the intermediate layer, or a ratio of 18:100 in increased carbon storage.

  329. Bart says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

    “The mass balance analysis, when applied to the observations, shows that the natural environment is a net carbon sink…”

    No, that is not correct. I have shown you mathematically why it is not correct. You do not have enough information.

    It is a trivial problem for someone versed in feedback theory. You only know N – U, and part of U is a response to the anthropogenic input, and so does not represent only natural output. If you removed the anthropogenic inputs, U would decrease, and N-U would no longer necessarily be negative.

    These are dynamic variables, to which you are trying to apply a static analysis. That is an elementary analytical error, and it is leading you to an erroneous conclusion.

  330. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I’m tired of arguing this point. The paper clearly states 30% within a year. You say 10%. I don’t really care, because you’re both wrong anyway.

    You are whipping out these back-of-the-envelope calculations, without writing out your equations so we can see where you got them I might add, in a desperate attempt to avoid confronting the fact that the data say that the rate of change of CO2 is affinely related to temperature, and this relationship forecloses the possibility of significant human attribution.

    You can sing and dance around the facts all you like, but you are grasping at straws. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are determined by temperatures, and that is that.

  331. Bart says:
    September 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I’m tired of arguing this point. The paper clearly states 30% within a year. You say 10%. I don’t really care, because you’re both wrong anyway.

    Bart, please… The paper says that 30%/year of the (mass of the) human emissions are absorbed in the oceans. Not where and how in the oceans these are absorbed.

    Only the surface is in direct contact with the atmosphere and is going rapidely in equilibrium. But the Revelle factor says that a 100% increase in the atmosphere gives only a 10% increase in the ocean waters at equilibrium. Thus the increase in the atmosphere is followed by the oceans surface waters by taking 10% away, nothing more.

    The rest is absorbed by the deep oceans, not because these react to the small increase over a year, but because the overall increase over the years gives enough extra pressure difference at the sink places to give an extra sink flux into the deep oceans: from 150 (300-150) microatm in pre-industrial times to 250 (400-150) microatm today. Taking into account the opposite reaction at the upwelling side, the deep oceans moved from near neutral to a substantial sink over the years. That is the background of the physics involved.

    The essence is that the deep ocean sinks are a lot slower than the ocean surface, reason why the CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere: the fastest sinks are limited in capacity, while the near unlimited sink capacities are limited in flux…

  332. Bart says:

    “The essence is that the deep ocean sinks are a lot slower than the ocean surface, reason why the CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere: the fastest sinks are limited in capacity, while the near unlimited sink capacities are limited in flux…”

    Whether true or not at some level, it is beside the point. The data do not show any significantly segregated response. The dominant process, whatever it may be, is temperature driving CO2.

    You are hand-waving, and trying to cobble something together which will allow you to avoid the issue. In the words of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective:

    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sherlock Holmes

    You have the data which say that CO2 rate of change is affinely related to temperature. Build your theories on that, don’t twist it to suit your theories.

  333. dikranmarsupial says:

    Bart, you asserted that the mass balance argument assumed the sinks were weak and flaccid. I gave a page reference to the IPCC, who use the mass balance argument, that shows that actually the sinks are generally accepted as having strengthened and strengthened faster than the sources. I aslo pointed out that this is consistent with the mass balance argument which only tells you that the gap between sources and sinks is widening, but tells you nothing of their magnitudes. You would have been better off admitting your error rather than evading the issue by asserting the mass balance is a static analysis, which isn’t true either, as has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

    If you will admit that you were wrong, and that the sinks are not assumed to be weak or flaccid, then I will continue the discussion, the choice is yours.

  334. Bart says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 6, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I have demonstrated that the so-called “mass balance” argument is flawed in elementary terms. If the sinks are arbitrarily powerful, then the net contribution from human inputs can be made arbitrarily small. Only by assuming they are relatively weak can you make the argument for significant human influence.

    Your intransigence on this matter is not painting you in a particularly flattering light. If you will admit that the “mass balance” argument has no bearing on culpability for the rise in atmospheric concentration, then I will deign to continue the conversation. Otherwise, I see no particular benefit to be gained.

  335. Bart says:

    The key mental block you (and Ferdinand) have erected for yourself is in considering the sinks to be all natural. They are, in the one sense that all the sinks arise from natural processes, but they are not, in the sense that they respond dynamically to both natural and anthropogenic forcing.

    You can only say that Nature is a net sink if the response to natural forcing alone, assuming on anthropogenic forcing at all, is negative. But, you have no information on that account. You only have the difference between natural forcing and sink activity induced from all forcings.

    It is subtle, but essential for understanding why the “mass balance” argument is useless for assigning responsibility for the rise in atmospheric concentration.

  336. Bart says:

    ”…assuming noanthropogenic forcing at all…”

  337. dikranmarsupial says:

    O.K., so you are not willing to accept that your assertion that the mass balance argument assumes that natural sinks are weak and flaccid is contradicted by the IPCC WG1 report. There is little point in continuing the discussion.

  338. tallbloke says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    The essence is that the deep ocean sinks are a lot slower than the ocean surface, reason why the CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere: the fastest sinks are limited in capacity, while the near unlimited sink capacities are limited in flux…

    Thanks Ferdi, that turned on the light for me. The increasing sources are outweighing the increasing sinks, and so the airborne fraction increases.

    So the main culprit will be a source which is much larger than the human contribution which has increased. I think I know what that is.

    Remember my post a couple of months ago where it turned out the IPCC has been using a ludicrously low value of 0.138Gt/year for all global volcanic sources? And it turned out that some Italian field researchers had found that the old lava fields in central Italy alone were producing around 75 times that figure?

    Well it occurred to me that the recent papers on cloud diminishing over Spain, and China, and worldwide since the 60′s as measured by ground observation, and the ISCCP satellite project, and the Earthshine project means that more sunshine has been hitting the lava fields over the last 50 years. It’s low albedo stuff is frozen lava. And it’s porous. And when it get’s warm, it releases lots of co2.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/uncertainty-the-origin-of-the-increase-in-atmospheric-co2/

  339. tallbloke says:

    Ah, my mistake, the figures are 0.26Gt globally according to the IPCC ‘preferred estimate’ and 35 times that figure from Central Italy alone according to people who actually went and measured in the field.

    The projected 2010 anthropogenic CO2 emission rate of 35 gigatons per year is 135 times greater than the 0.26-gigaton- per-year preferred estimate for volcanoes. But if central Italy alone produces 9Gt per annum from it’s lava fields,the true worldwide figure will be many times the human contribution.

    I’m sure you get the point.

  340. Bart says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    OK, so you are unwilling to read what I wrote and comprehend it, and are unwilling to admit that your reasoning has been flawed. This isn’t even a close argument, even remotely subject to differing or ambiguous interpretations. The facts are elementary. The “mass balance” argument has no bearing on attribution whatsoever without knowledge of the feedback potential of the sinks.

    Little point, indeed.

  341. Bart says:

    “…your assertion that the mass balance argument assumes that natural sinks are weak and flaccid is contradicted by the IPCC WG1 report.”

    “…you are unwilling to read what I wrote and comprehend it…”

    One. More. Time. “Weak” is a relative term. You must define a standard against which “weak” can be measured. For human attribution to hold up, the sinks must have a weak feedback potential. Otherwise, human inputs will be rapidly sequestered and have little effect on atmospheric concentration (which, in fact, is the case).

    Since the IPCC attributes the rise almost entirely to humans, their assumption of feedback potential of the sinks is that they are weak and flaccid with respect to human inputs. It’s really a tautology, and cannot be contradicted.

  342. tallbloke says:

    Bart: take a look at my response to Ferdi just above. It’s important.
    Here the link to the abstract of the relevant paper, but read the post at my site too.
    http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/EGU2011-7778-1.pdf:

  343. Bart says:

    Thanks, Rog. This does, indeed, fit with the data, in which you have temperature modulating a rate of change of CO2. Combined with deep ocean upwelling and perhaps other processes which have not been recognized or fully accounted for, such temperature dependent processes are necessarily what is responsible for the rise of CO2 in the past century, not the insignificant input of humans.

  344. Stephen Wilde says:

    Rog (tallbloke).

    Interesting point about degassing from non eruptive volcanic regions. Surprising amounts involved.

    Consider too the implications of what Murry Salby suggested, namely that soil moisture on land will also degas in a warmer world and there is lots of soil moisture lying around being constantly replenished by rainfall with a higher CO2 content because it forms at a height cooler than the surface.

    I don’t think there is anything like a good enough grip on the carbon cycle to claim that human emissions are at all significant.

    Of course it then follows that ice core samples are far too coarse a technique to reveal the actual short term swings in atmospheric CO2 levels. Plant stomata show much larger short term swings but they are likely too coarse too because the slow rate of genetic changes in response to environmental variability.

    Atmospheric CO2 could well be far more variable naturally than ever previously thought.

    Note too that the densest plumes of CO2 are downwind of oceans and not downwind of inhabited areas:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9508

    “Evidence that Oceans not Man control CO2 emissions “

  345. Bart says:
    September 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

    If the sinks are arbitrarily powerful, then the net contribution from human inputs can be made arbitrarily small. Only by assuming they are relatively weak can you make the argument for significant human influence.

    The natural sinks don’t make a differentiation between human inputs and natural inputs. If they are extremely powerful, they are extrmely powerful for human inputs, volcanic inputs and deep ocean inputs alike.

    And on September 6, 2012 at 10:01 am

    They are, in the one sense that all the sinks arise from natural processes, but they are not, in the sense that they respond dynamically to both natural and anthropogenic forcing.

    The natural sinks respond dynamically to the sum of both natural and anthropogenic forcing, but still are 100% natural sinks.

    You can only say that Nature is a net sink if the response to natural forcing alone, assuming on anthropogenic forcing at all, is negative. But, you have no information on that account.

    Here you have a clear mental block: we never said or meant that the net sink is a response to the natural forcings alone, only that the net cause of the increase are the human emissions, because all natural sinks together are larger than all natural sources together. Thus nature is a net sink for CO2, not a source, even if all human CO2 is instantly exchanged by natural CO2. But an exchange doesn’t change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Only a flux difference does and that is negative for the natural fluxes over the past 50 years…

    It is not of the slightest intererest what the natural carbon cycle would do without the human contribution. Because the observed natural contribution with the anthropogenic contribution is a net sink over the past 50 years.

    But Le Châtelier’s principle says that a disturbance of a system in equilibrium is counteracted by the system, in this case by a decrease in some of the (ocean) sources and an increase of some of the sinks (oceans surface, deep oceans, vegetation).

  346. tallbloke says:

    Bart: you are very welcome, and as soon as I saw your plot, the temperature driving co2 link became obvious to me and got me thinking about a source which was temperature sensitive. Lava and soil degassing fit the bill nicely. Then Ferdi’s comment about the slow rate at which the deep ocean sinks operate made it all click.

    Stephen: According to Tom van Hoof, the stomata density indicated swings in co2 matched nicely with the Greenland cores, until they got recalibrated to the Antarctic cores.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/tom-van-hoof-historical-co2-records/

    Also, I wouldn’t be too sure that changes in stomata density are slowly evolving genetic modifications. Experiments found that one orchid variety tested, ‘switched on’ about 500 dormant genes when the co2 level rose above 500ppm. This is epigenetics we’re talking about.

  347. Bart says:
    September 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

    One. More. Time. “Weak” is a relative term. You must define a standard against which “weak” can be measured. For human attribution to hold up, the sinks must have a weak feedback potential. Otherwise, human inputs will be rapidly sequestered and have little effect on atmospheric concentration (which, in fact, is the case).

    OK, here some real life figures:

    - the overall global setpoint of the temperature – CO2 equilibrium changes with 8 ppmv/°C
    - 10% of all extra CO2 (human or natural) above setpoint is sequestered within a 1-3 years in the ocean surface layer. That is very fast, but limited in quantity.
    - 100% of all extra CO2 (human or natural) above setpoint (including the extra from the ocean surface layer) is sequestered with a half life time of ~40 years in the deep oceans and semi-permanent carbon storage on land.

    The first is very fast but limited, the second is slower but practically unlimited (it is not unlimited if humans would burn all available oil and a lot of coal).

    The first allows the permanent accumulation of 90% of all extra inputs (human and natural). The second allows the temporarely accumulation of a continuous extra input (human and natural), where the accumulation depends of the speed and change in speed of the input.

    Independent of the human and some natural inputs (like volcanoes), there is the influence of temperature on the equilibrium setpoint. For the ocean surface, any increase or decrease gives an immediate change in setpoint of 16 ppmv/°C (leading to an overall global reaction of 4-8 ppmv/°C, depending of the time frame). For the deep oceans, there is hardly a response, as the pCO2 difference at the sink places is already 250 microatm (350 microatm at the upwelling places), thus a 1°C change only changes the in/out fluxes with a few %, until a new (dis)equilibrium is reached.

    The current disequilibrium of the atmospheric CO2 levels is about 100 ppmv above the temperature dictated equilibrium (70 ppmv since 1960), no matter if that is caused by natural or human factors. That means that the CO2 sequestering reactions are slow enough to allow substantial accumulation in the atmosphere over decades from any extra input, but fast enough to follow temperature changes over centuries to millennia.

  348. tallbloke says:

    Erratum, switched on ~50 genes, when co2 hit 500ppm
    I’ll try to find the article.

  349. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Thanks Ferdi, that turned on the light for me. The increasing sources are outweighing the increasing sinks, and so the airborne fraction increases.

    So the main culprit will be a source which is much larger than the human contribution which has increased. I think I know what that is.

    There is a little problem with that reasoning: the mass balance doesn’t fit…

    Let us assume that the volcanic degassing for some reason (earthquakes, lunar spring tides,…) increased in one year with some 20 GtC extra, compared to the previous year. That gives the following mass balance:

    increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural sources + 20 GtC – natural sinks
    we know the human emissions and we measure the increase in the atmosphere, thus:
    4 GtC = 8 GtC + natural sources + 20 GtC – natural sinks
    or natural sources = natural sinks – 24 GtC
    or any extra natural supply by any natural process must be compensated by an equal natural sink to obtain the mass balance, as long as the increase in the atmosphere is less than the human emissions.

    With other words, even if volcanoes have a much higher contribution than estimated, that is fully compensated by the higher total amount of sinks. Even the 1992 VEI 6 impact of the Pinatubo didn’t show a peak in CO2 rate of change, to the contrary, the resulting cooling was stronger in absorption, thus showing a dip in the rate of change…

  350. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Roger, the 9 Gt/y is CO2, not carbon. As carbon that would be 12/44*9 = 2.45 GtC/yr, but as that is estimated to be 10% of all volcanic degassing, the total still is impressive at ~25 GtC/yr.

    Despite that this is larger than the human emissions, there is no reason to assume that these increased over time at the same rate as the human emissions. Further, almost al volcanoes have a 13C/12C ratio that is higher than that of the atmosphere. Thus any substantial addition from volcanoes should increase the 13C/12C ration in the atmosphere, but we see a continuous decrease in ratio, completely parallel with human emissions…

  351. tallbloke says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm
    Independent of the human and some natural inputs (like volcanoes), there is the influence of temperature on the equilibrium setpoint

    Careful Ferdi, you need to differentiate between volcanic co2 emitted in eruptions, and volcanic co2 degassed from lava and the lava decomposed into soils. The rate of emission from the latter will be temperature dependent.

    There is a little problem with that reasoning: the mass balance doesn’t fit…

    Let us assume that the volcanic degassing for some reason (earthquakes, lunar spring tides,…) increased in one year with some 20 GtC extra, compared to the previous year. That gives the following mass balance:

    No Ferdi, lets suppose the increase in degassing is due to more sunshine hours, for which there is plenty of evidence. Then you have increases and decreases in the rate which match temperature variation very well, because sunshine hours fits temperature change a lot better than co2 level does.

    increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural sources + 20 GtC – natural sinks
    we know the human emissions and we measure the increase in the atmosphere, thus:
    4 GtC = 8 GtC + natural sources + 20 GtC – natural sinks
    or natural sources = natural sinks – 24 GtC
    or any extra natural supply by any natural process must be compensated by an equal natural sink to obtain the mass balance, as long as the increase in the atmosphere is less than the human emissions.

    All of your mass balance and isotope balance arguments are moot with the new discovery by Cardellini et al. You are going to have to rethink your argument structure in the light of the new empirical evidence.

    With other words, even if volcanoes have a much higher contribution than estimated, that is fully compensated by the higher total amount of sinks. Even the 1992 VEI 6 impact of the Pinatubo didn’t show a peak in CO2 rate of change, to the contrary, the resulting cooling was stronger in absorption, thus showing a dip in the rate of change…

    I don’t think the amount of co2 gas emitted in sporadic isolated eruptions is anything like as much as the amount constantly being emitted from the decomposition of solidified lava into volcanic soils worldwide, so this argument doesn’t work.

  352. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    “If they are extremely powerful, they are extrmely powerful for human inputs, volcanic inputs and deep ocean inputs alike.”

    But, the sources are not equally small, and the dominant input will be what creates the dominant output.

    “…only that the net cause of the increase are the human emissions, because all natural sinks together are larger than all natural sources together.”

    It. Does. Not. Follow.

    The “natural sinks” are not sequestering only natural inputs. Apparently, you agree with this. What you do not seem to understand is that the sink rate increases in response to the anthropogenic input.

    This is a natural feedback system. The ocean absorbs more due to an increase in partial pressure in proportion to the increase. Plants grow more. Animals feed off the plants. Carbon is sequestered at an increasing rate. That is feedback. If it is powerful enough, it will take the increase right back out again with only a small percentage rise.

    If you take the anthropogenic input away, the natural input will stay the same, but the natural sink rate will shrink. At that point, you would see the input rate from natural sources exceeding the output rate from natural sinks.

    But, by comparing natural input rate to natural sink rate including the sink response to anthropogenic inputs, you are putting your thumb on the scale.

    You must compare only the natural sink rate in the absence of anthropogenic input to natural source input to determine if nature alone is a net source or a net sink.

    You simply cannot determine culpability for the increase on this basis with the information you have. Your “mass balance” argument is a chimera. It does not support your point of view, it merely fails to disprove it. What does disprove it is the affine relationship between temperature and CO2 rate of change.

  353. Friends:

    I interrupt your conversation to draw attention to the post by Stephen Wilde at September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm. He draws attention to the need to understand the carbon cycle.

    You each seem so determined to argue your case that you are forgetting the importance of data. In this case – as I repeatedly said above – data which we do not have.

    For example, the mass balance argument must now be wrong if it were right before the new information on volcanoes cited by tallbloke.

    As I said in my post at September 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

    It is a scientific stance when confronted with insufficient data to say (as I do with respect to the cause of recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration),
    “I don’t know, but I want to know”.

    Richard

  354. Bart says:

    Honestly, Ferdinand, your “mass balance” argument is very simple. You know it is very simple – that is why you are perpetually astounded that I seem to fail to “get it.” But, I DO get it, Ferdinand. I really do. And, it is insufficient, for the reasons I have stated.

  355. tallbloke says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm
    Friends:

    I interrupt your conversation to draw attention to the post by Stephen Wilde at September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm. He draws attention to the need to understand the carbon cycle.

    You each seem so determined to argue your case that you are forgetting the importance of data. In this case – as I repeatedly said above – data which we do not have.

    Richard, I’ve been very impressed by your input to this debate, having read the whole comments thread before sticking my oar in. And I really don’t want to fall out with you on more than one topic at once, because you have formidable powers of argument and I do on occasion have logic failures since the serious accident I was in six years ago.

    So maybe you can explain to me what flaw you see in Bart’s argument regarding the relationship between the rate of change of airborne co2 levels as measured at Mauna Loa and the temperature series from HADcru used. Bart contends that since they match so well, the source of the airborne increase must be temperature driven, and that there is no room left for a major proportion of non-temperature related co2 source such as that from human emission.

    I think I can see one scenario in which the human emission might still be an important factor in the increase in the airborne fraction, and if it is the case, then it would help us to accurately calibrate residence times and so understand the carbon cycle better. That would be a situation in which the rate of increase of human emission coincidentally happened to match the non-linear rate of the natural, temperature driven increase in the airborne fraction. In such a situation, the choice of scaling of the rate of increase of change in airborne co2 levels to fit the temperature series would automatically include the human contribution, and would still match the temperature series well.

    However, if the human contribution were very significant, a persistent error would appear in the size of the fluctuations of co2 level compared to the size of fluctuations in the temperature series, and this is not observed. If I understand Bart correctly, that the departures from the mean are scaled in the same way as the overall angle of the trend, then the implication is that human input to the increase in airborne fraction is small compared to the natural contribution from temperature dependent sources.

    I’d be grateful if both you and Bart would let me know if I have understood the situation correctly as it applies to each of your arguments.

    Thanks

    Rog TB

  356. tallbloke says:

    Erratum, a persistent error would appear in the size of the fluctuations of co2 level rate of change compared to the size of fluctuations in the temperature series,

  357. richardscourtney says:

    tallbloke:

    I am replying to your post at September 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm because I, too, regret we have fallen out on another thread. I only interrupted this conversation (with my post at September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm) to make one point, and I had not intended to return to this discussion. I am only replying to your post in hope that it may assist our ‘making up’.

    You ask me

    So maybe you can explain to me what flaw you see in Bart’s argument regarding the relationship between the rate of change of airborne co2 levels as measured at Mauna Loa and the temperature series from HADcru used. Bart contends that since they match so well, the source of the airborne increase must be temperature driven, and that there is no room left for a major proportion of non-temperature related co2 source such as that from human emission.

    Bart and I had a strong disagreement about this on a previous thread. In essence, our disagreement is as follows.

    Bart assesses all the fluctuations in the Mauna Loa CO2 time series and the fluctuations in the mean global temperature time series. He assesses how these time series correlate and he notes how they cohere.

    But I point out that Bart does not consider measurement error and assesses fluctuations which are within the measurement uncertainties reported by the providers of the Mauna Loa data set. Hence, his finding that “there is no room left for a major proportion of non-temperature related co2 source” could be an artefact of the CO2 measurement method.

    Bart asserts that my argument amounts to my claiming the rapid fluctuations in CO2 measurements are “random”, but that is exactly the opposite of my point. For example, the fluctuations may result from variations of the measurement method because these variations alter the indicated CO2 within the measurement error. As illustration of this possibility, I give an hypothetical example of such a case.
    1.
    A device measures temperature and is calibrated to +/- 1K.
    2.
    Temperature indications provided by the device vary with air pressure
    3.
    The variation to indications provided by changes in air pressure is within a range +/-0.5K.
    4.
    This effect of air pressure on the temperature indications provided by the device does not matter because it is within the calibration range of the device and, therefore, the effects of air pressure are ignored.
    5.
    But the device does indicate variations of temperature when temperature remains constant but pressure varies.
    6.
    Simply, the device provides indications of temperature variation of less than 1K but these indications may be a result of change to air pressure.
    7.
    Therefore, an analysis of the indications of temperature change provided by the device have no validity – and may be very misleading – if the analysed indications are less than +/-1K (i.e. the calibrated accuracy of the device).

    Bart is assessing fluctuations in the CO2 time series to temperature, but they may result from the measurement procedure. In reality, we cannot know the cause of fluctuations which are within the calibration error.

    Bart replies that the calibration error is “huge” so should be ignored. I say the calibration error is what it is and cannot be ignored.

    And Bart says the coincidence of the fluctuations in the time series is an indication of a relationship between them. But that cannot be known. For example, it may be that the scientists measuring the CO2 use their coffee maker more often in warm weather, and switching on the coffee maker in the lab. affects the measurement method within the calibration error. And an infinite number of other possibilities exists.

    A result which could be an artefact of the measurement method has no validity.

    This is not to say that Bart’s conclusion is wrong: it may be right. But his method is incapable of showing whether it is right or wrong.

    (Incidentally, and purely for side-interest, this is exactly what Wegman found about the MBH ‘hockey stick’: i.e. the conclusion of the analysis may be right but the method does not show if it is right or wrong.)

    Therefore, it cannot be known whether or not “there is no room left for a major proportion of non-temperature related co2 source”

    And you say

    I think I can see one scenario in which the human emission might still be an important factor in the increase in the airborne fraction, and if it is the case, then it would help us to accurately calibrate residence times and so understand the carbon cycle better. That would be a situation in which the rate of increase of human emission coincidentally happened to match the non-linear rate of the natural, temperature driven increase in the airborne fraction. In such a situation, the choice of scaling of the rate of increase of change in airborne co2 levels to fit the temperature series would automatically include the human contribution, and would still match the temperature series well.

    There is no need for any “coincidence”.

    The annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is close to linear with time and only exists since 1958. Therefore, within the measurement errors, almost any curve can be fitted to the data. We fitted six different relationships to the data: 3 assumed a natural cause of the CO2 rise, and 3 assumed the anthropogenic emission is the cause of the CO2 rise.

    In each case the data were a perfect fit (within the measurement errors) for each annual datum.

    These perfect fits were achieved by assuming the system of the carbon cycle is adjusting towards an altered equilibrium. And 3 of our models each postulated that the rise in global temperature had induced the changed equilibrium in a different way, while 3 of our models each postulated that the anthropogenic emission had induced the changed equilibrium in those different ways.

    The annual rise is the residual of the shorter term fluctuations over a year.

    Our analyses assessed the annual rises. Bart’s analysis does not assess the annual rise alone, and also assesses the shorter term fluctuations. However, excepting the seasonal variation those shorter term variations could be artefacts of measurement method (as I explain above in this post).

    I hope these answers are clear.

    Richard

  358. tallbloke says:

    Richard, thankyou for your detailed and clearly written response, which makes sense to me. Perhaps if co2 continues to rise while temperature levels off we will get a clearer idea of what is happening. Though analysis of the Mauna Loa data shows that it seems to be ‘on autopilot’ in recent years. More on that soon on my blog.

  359. Bart says:
    September 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    But, the sources are not equally small, and the dominant input will be what creates the dominant output.

    Depends of the original equilibrium: if the sources and sinks both are huge, but in equilibrium, then there is no change in CO2 level of a reservoir. Even a small extra input will create an increase.

    What you do not seem to understand is that the sink rate increases in response to the anthropogenic input.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that the sink rate increases in response to the total extra level above the equilibrium, no matter if that is caused by the anthro input or a natural input or a mix of both. If there was an extra injection from volcanoes or the deep oceans, that would give the same response of the sinks as to the anthro input, as long as the level is above the dynamic equilibrium. Only the difference of the CO2 level with the equilibrium level is important.

    If it is powerful enough, it will take the increase right back out again with only a small percentage rise.

    If it is powerful enough, there wouldn’t be an increase at all from anthro or volcanoes or deep ocean upwelling, except from the temperature increase since the LIA at 16 ppmv/°C, far too small to explain the 100+ increase in CO2 levels (70+ since 1960).

    If you take the anthropogenic input away, the natural input will stay the same, but the natural sink rate will shrink. At that point, you would see the input rate from natural sources exceeding the output rate from natural sinks.

    If you take the anthro input away today and the natural input stays the same, the natural output will shrink, but not immediately back to zero. The current CO2 levels are 100 ppmv above the temperature dictated equilibrium, that is removed at a slow rate with an e-fold time of ~53 years.

    You must compare only the natural sink rate in the absence of anthropogenic input to natural source input to determine if nature alone is a net source or a net sink.

    Again, the sink rate is not influenced by the yearly emissions, it is only influenced by the total CO2 level (caused by anthro as well as natural inputs) above equilibrium. That shows that at the current disequilibrium the sink rate is about halve the anthro emissions. That proves beyond doubt that in the current natural cycle is a net sink for CO2…

  360. richardscourtney says:
    September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    For example, the mass balance argument must now be wrong if it were right before the new information on volcanoes cited by tallbloke.

    Richard, may I respectfully disagree?

    The mass balance must be always obeyed, no matter which carbon flows are involved or how they changed over the years.

    The beauty of the mass balance argument is that the natural flows in and out of the atmosphere don’t matter at all: as long as the increase in the atmosphere is less than the human emissions, we know with certainty that the natural sinks were larger than the natural sources and thus that the natural cycle over a year didn’t add one gram of CO2 to the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere, it circulated a lot of CO2 through the atmosphere, but the net balance only removed CO2 out of the atmosphere.

    We don’t need to know any of the many CO2 flows in/out the atmosphere, we only need the difference at the end of a full seasonal cycle. And that is exactly what we know.

    If it is proven that e.g. volcanoes are emitting 100 time more CO2 than first estimated, no problem, that only proves that the sinks must have absorbed that extra amount somewhere else in an unknown place (call it the “missing sink”). In all cases, the difference between natural sources and sinks over the past 50 years was:
    natural sources = natural sinks -2 to -4 +/- 2 GtC/year.

    Where the +/- 2 GtC/year is the remarkably small natural variability in sink rate (not in source rate!).

  361. If you take the anthro input away today and the natural input stays the same, the natural output will shrink, but not immediately back to zero.

    Written too fast: of course the natural output would shrink, but not to zero, only back into equilibrium with the total inputflow…

  362. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Careful Ferdi, you need to differentiate between volcanic co2 emitted in eruptions, and volcanic co2 degassed from lava and the lava decomposed into soils. The rate of emission from the latter will be temperature dependent.

    I have read somewhere that CO2 emissions around vocanoes increase before an eruption, show a huge peak during an eruption and then rapidely fall back to some “bakground” continuous release from volcanic vents. But it is really not that important.
    What I don’t see is that the lava itself will release important quantities of CO2 at “normal” temperatures: lava is discharged at enormous high temperatures, thus any CO2 dissolved into it gets into the atmosphere when reaching the normal pressure at the surface. What stays dissolved is probably too small to have any impact. With or without extra sunlight. As far as I know, all CO2 (and sulfur) from volcanic vents/fields comes out of the deep.

    All of your mass balance and isotope balance arguments are moot with the new discovery by Cardellini et al. You are going to have to rethink your argument structure in the light of the new empirical evidence.

    The mass balance argument is not influenced by the new paper by Cardellini et al. All that proves is that some of the sinks are larger than expected and need new estimates… The 13C/12C ratio argument still stands strong: as far as I remember, the Sicilian outgassing has a near zero per mil d13C level (comparable to carbonate sediments, which are decomposed by subduction volcanoes), while the atmosphere is at -8 per mil. No force on earth or heaven can get a decrease in 13C/12C ratio by mixing in huge quantities of CO2 with a higher ratio…

  363. Bart says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 7, 2012 at 3:56 am

    “In reality, we cannot know the cause of fluctuations which are within the calibration error.”

    Filtering a time series can reveal information below the level of “calibration error”. I showed this in the reconstruction of a heavily quantized signal here.

    Richard argues a bridge too far – that independent measurements which match incredibly well in every detail are affected by a time varying error which happens to appear in precisely equal measure in both.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

    “Depends of the original equilibrium: if the sources and sinks both are huge, but in equilibrium, then there is no change in CO2 level of a reservoir. Even a small extra input will create an increase.”

    No. That is quite simply not how a feedback system works. It is dynamic. It does not reach an equilibrium and then just stop. The equilibrium is established because the forces are continually pushing against each other.

    “If it is powerful enough, there wouldn’t be an increase at all from anthro or volcanoes or deep ocean upwelling, except from the temperature increase since the LIA at 16 ppmv/°C, far too small to explain the 100+ increase in CO2 levels (70+ since 1960).”

    You cannot say that without knowing the relative sizes of those inputs. The level of increase from each will be in proportion to the forcing.

    “If you take the anthro input away today and the natural input stays the same, the natural output will shrink, but not immediately back to zero.”

    That is precisely a function of how powerful the sink feedback is. You don’t know how powerful it is, and are asserting an a priori assumption that it is weak.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    “Written too fast: of course the natural output would shrink, but not to zero, only back into equilibrium with the total inputflow…”

    You. Do. Not. Know. That. You have no information available to tell you.

    Let me give an example. Suppose you have one of those old fashioned sinks with separate hot and cold running faucets. Someone has turned the faucets on at a constant rate and water has collected in the sink and is rising. There is a drain in the sink which is taking out part of what is in the sink in proportion to the pressure at the drain.

    You measure the rate H of hot water flowing in, and you measure the rate in the level L of the water, finding that L = 0.5 * H. Can you say what the relative proportion of rate of cold water C entering is?

    Answer: only if you know how the efficiency of the drain.

    The drain rate is D = a * (H + C), where a is a constant of proportionality between zero and unity. This is because the pressure at the drain is proportional to the height of the water column above the drain, and that is proportional to the rate at which water is flowing in.

    The level rate L is L = (1-a) * (H + C).

    L = 0.5 * H = (1-a) * (H + C)

    Thus, H = (2* (1 – a) / (2*a – 1) ) * C

    The minimum value for “a” such that L = 0.5 * H is a = 0.5. At this point, C = 0, and there is no cold water flowing in at all. At the other extreme (powerful drain feedback), a = 1, the hot water input is zero, and the drain is immediately removing everything. Plot the function (2* (1 – a) / (2*a – 1) ). You will see the ratio of cold to hot can be anything. If you know the temperatures of the hot and cold water, Th and Tc, you can use the function to calculate the temperature of the water in the sink, and it can range anywhere between Tc and Th, depending on the feedback factor.

  364. Bart says:
    September 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

    No. That is quite simply not how a feedback system works. It is dynamic. It does not reach an equilibrium and then just stop. The equilibrium is established because the forces are continually pushing against each other.

    Of course that is how a feedback system works in reaction to a disturbance, depending of the kind of disturbance: one-shot, continuous, exponential… If the disturbance is one-shot, the equilibrium goes assymptotical back down to the old level of equal inputs and outputs. If the disturbance is continuous, a new equilibrium will be approached when the outputs reach the sum of the inputs + the disturbance, thus at a higher CO2 level in the atmosphere. With an about exponential increase as we have today, no new equilibrium will be established ever.

    It doesn’t matter for the equilibrium how it is disturbed: an increase of one of the inputs, a decrease of one of the outputs or by an external input to the system.

    And I was talking about a dynamic equilibrium, where temperature is the driving factor for a change in setpoint. If the temperature changes, some of the inputs and outputs will change accordingly, others are independent of temperature changes. If the CO2 level in the atmosphere changes for whatever reason, some sinks will increase rapidely, others will increase more slowly and a few will hardly increase at all.

    You cannot say that without knowing the relative sizes of those inputs. The level of increase from each will be in proportion to the forcing.

    You are still confused between the influence of a temperature change and a change in influx. The influence of temperature on seawater is a matter of pressure (differences), not of quantities. No matter if you look at the static or dynamic properties: the influence of an increase with 1°C in seawater surface temperature over the whole globe will give not more than 16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere, no matter the inflows or outflows of the (deep) oceans. Any temperature related change in influx or outflux is fully compensated by a change in CO2 level in the atmosphere at a ratio of 16 ppmv/°C. Nothing more.

    That is precisely a function of how powerful the sink feedback is. You don’t know how powerful it is, and are asserting an a priori assumption that it is weak.

    We know exactly how powerful the sink feedback is: 4 GtC/year for a CO2 level today at 210 GtC above temperature dictated dynamic equilibrium. That translates into a e-fold time of ~53 years. You can discuss the 210 GtC above equilibrium, because that is based on 800 kyr of ice cores (and a few less reliable proxies), but that is a lost case…

    You. Do. Not. Know. That. You have no information available to tell you.

    We have 800 kyr of information from ice cores which show a quite linear 8 ppmv/°C ratio between CO2 and temperature (proxy). We have Henry’s Law which restricts the ocean – atmosphere temperature influence to 16 ppmv/°C, whatever the input or output fluxes.

    You measure the rate H of hot water flowing in, and you measure the rate in the level L of the water, finding that L = 0.5 * H. Can you say what the relative proportion of rate of cold water C entering is?
    Answer: only if you know how the efficiency of the drain.

    Wrong question. The real question is what is responsible for the increase in the old sink.
    Answer: even without knowing anything about C or drain D, as long as L is smaller than H, only H is responsible.
    If you close H, the level will fall down to a new equilibrium, with negative L, proportional to the ratio between C and D.

  365. Stephen Wilde says:

    I think this is a matter of flow rates constantly varying in different locations so that there are effectively two separate carbon cycles in action namely the local / regional and the global.Or more likely a single global carbon cycle but multiple local carbon cycles each contributing only a minute fraction to the overal global carbon cycle.

    If the global natural sinks are steadily becoming more effective whilst global natural sources are also becoming more effective (but faster) for example as a result of warming then couldn’t you get a net increase smaller than the amount of human emissions but the cause is nonetheless the change in relative efficiencies between sources and sinks ?

    I have in mind that the human contribution is so small relative to the natural fluxes that everything that humans produce gets quickly absorbed locally or regionally by the surrounding biosphere.

    Meanwhile there is a bigger picture involving the global biosphere and global oceans that is large enough to go its own way and it may well be that at any given moment the net increase in the global picture could be less than the human emissions

    For example:

    i) Human CO2 emissions get quickly sequestrated nearby and the local biosphere is energised more than the global biosphere for a negligible offset or supplement to the behaviour of the global biosphere depending on what it is doing globally at the time.

    ii) Meanwhile the bigger picture is that the sinks are globally losing ground to the sources as a result of more naturally caused warmth. More natural warmth increases the vigour of the biosphere so sinks get more effective but more warmth also causes the oceans to release more CO2 than they absorb and the latter effect on the ocreans is bigger than the biosphere response until warming stops and / or the biosphere catches up.

    The entire system is speeding up (both sources and sinks) as a result of more warmth but sources (oceans) are steadily outstripping sinks (biosphere) whilst the human contribution is just along for the ride and only affects local carbon cycles of negligible impact in global terms.

    That would explain the observations discussed here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9508

    where the big picture is that the densest plumes of CO2 are downwind of oceans presumably because the human emissions are stripped out locally for a negligible effect on the global carbon cycle as evidenced by the absence of CO2 plumes downwind of human population centres.

  366. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 7, 2012 at 11:56 am

    “Answer: even without knowing anything about C or drain D, as long as L is smaller than H, only H is responsible.”

    Completely wrong. If you turn the hot water off, you will settle to a new rate of increase

    L = (1-a) * C = (a – 0.5) * H(old)

    where H(old) was the rate at which the hot water was formerly coming in. If a is greater than 0.5, then the level is going to continue increasing.

    Before signing off, I do want to say for anyone watching that this model is for demonstration purposes only, is valid only for a snapshot of time, and is not entirely analogous to the situation with the real world CO2 system where we do not have a step change in the anthropogenic (hot water) input. The point was merely to show how first impressions can be deceiving, and everything depends on the strength of feedbacks.

    Ferdinand, thank you for your civility, but you are making things up as you go along, and my patience is exhausted. Until we meet again…

  367. richardscourtney says:

    Stephen Wilde:

    In your post at September 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm you say

    I have in mind that the human contribution is so small relative to the natural fluxes that everything that humans produce gets quickly absorbed locally or regionally by the surrounding biosphere.

    Yes! As I have repeatedly explained e.g. in this thread, the dynamics of local sequestration show that the local sequestration processes can easily sequester all the emissions (both natural and anthropogenic). However, the observed rise in global atmospheric CO2 shows they don’t, and the only important question is why they don’t.

    You suggest that global warming may be changing the carbon cycle. I could have said the same myself: in fact,I have said the same in this thread and many other places.

    And your explanation is only one of several possibilities. The possibility I find most interesting is variation of sulphur (S) emissions from undersea vulcanism. The sulphate ions would be carried by the thermohaline circulation for decades or centuries. And then they would rise to lower the pH of the ocean surface layer. The resulting change to ocean surface layer pH need only be an indiscernible 0.1 for it to cause the observed rise in atmospheric CO2. And this is an effect of volcanic S which has nothing to do with change to inputs of CO2 to the carbon cycle.

    Then there is the possibility that …

    Simply, WE DO NOT KNOW.

    Richard

  368. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Human CO2 emissions get quickly sequestrated nearby and the local biosphere is energised more than the global biosphere for a negligible offset or supplement to the behaviour of the global biosphere depending on what it is doing globally at the time.

    Even if human CO2 emissions get quickly sequestrated into the next nearby trees within minutes after release, that doesn’t change its impact on the total CO2 increase in the atmosphere. The uptake of CO2 by trees (or oceans) is limited thus any human CO2 absorbed is at the cost of a natural CO2 that is not absorbed, thus still resides in the atmosphere. The net result is that the same increased amount of CO2 resides in the atmosphere.

    Indeed the total increase is a matter of local to regional releases and sinks, but based on the oxygen balance, the biosphere is a net sink for CO2 and based on a lot of measurements, the oceans are a net sink for CO2. Thus in all cases the sinks are outstripping the sources, even if the oceans are warming. The latter is a matter of what is more important: the increase in temperature since the LIA is good for maximum 16 ppmv increase in CO2, according to Henry’s Law. But the human emissions since the start of the industrial revolution were good for a ~200 ppmv increase, but we see only a 100+ ppmv increase, the rest is absorbed by oceans and vegetation.

    That would explain the observations discussed here:
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9508

    The AIRS data are from the mid-troposphere, not of the surface and is already mixed in over the whole round earth, but still mainly within latitude bands. Further it is from one month, July. If you look at the 2002-2009 time series:
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/news_archive/2010-03-30-CO2-Movie/
    you will see that the same places of huge sources in summer become huge sinks in winter and vv.

    The main movements of CO2 are natural, but these mostly go back and forth, with a net sink as result if one looks over a full cycle after a year. The human input is one-way additional…

  369. tallbloke says:

    I think I’m with Richard here. We don’t know. But what we do now know is that if Cardellini et al have done their work accurately, the human proportion of the cycle is considerably smaller than previously thought, and that makes a difference to the debate.
    The consulting Geologist Tim Casey also observes that the isotope ratio is not the same for all volcanogenic emissions.

    “A brief survey of the literature concerning volcanogenic carbon dioxide emission finds that estimates of subaerial emission totals fail to account for the diversity of volcanic emissions and are unprepared for individual outliers that dominate known volcanic emissions. Deepening the apparent mystery of total volcanogenic CO2 emission, there is no magic fingerprint with which to identify industrially produced CO2 as there is insufficient data to distinguish the effects of volcanic CO2 from fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    For now, I’m filing this under case unsolved, with a note to say that the primary suspect is to be treated with kid gloves.

  370. Bart says:
    September 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Completely wrong. If you turn the hot water off, you will settle to a new rate of increase
    L = (1-a) * C = (a – 0.5) * H(old)

    Completely wrong: if L was 0.5 * H then the drain was
    D = -0.5 * H – C

    If you turn off H, D doesn’t change immediately and your increase falls back to a decrease of -0.5 H

    As long as the increase was less than H, the increase will fall back to a decrease:

    L = 0.99 * H
    D = -0.01 * H – C

    For H = 0 at time zero:
    D = -0.01 * H – C
    L = C – 0.01 * H – C = – 0.01 * H

  371. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ferdinand said:

    i) “and based on a lot of measurements, the oceans are a net sink for CO2.”

    With all those plumes downwind of warm ocean surfaces that is looking unlikely at present though it may well be so at other times. I suspect a solar induced cyclicity and not a stable setup either way.More sunshine into the oceans beneath the widening subtropical high pressure cells of recent years appears to be creating those plumes or making them more intense than they would be when there is less sunshine entering the oceans.

    ii) “Even if human CO2 emissions get quickly sequestrated into the next nearby trees within minutes after release, that doesn’t change its impact on the total CO2 increase in the atmosphere. The uptake of CO2 by trees (or oceans) is limited thus any human CO2 absorbed is at the cost of a natural CO2 that is not absorbed, thus still resides in the atmosphere. The net result is that the same increased amount of CO2 resides in the atmosphere”

    Incorrect because the uptake by trees and other elements of the biosphere is increasing in a warmer and / or a more CO2 rich world so even after sequestration of the human output the total CO2 uptake still increases but the ocean release increases even faster.

    In fact I suspect that the human emissions of CO2 cause growth and uptake that would not have occurred without it so the net effect of human emissions on the net balance of global CO2 is zero or pretty near it. You completely ignore the flexibility of the biosphere response to any extra CO2 from any source.

    If human CO2 emissions simply provoke biosphere activity that would not have occurred without it then it will have zero effect on the natural global CO2 balance.

    Good evidence of that actually happening is the observed faster growth of vegetation over the past 50 years and the absence of any left over CO2 plumes downwind of human centres of population.

    iii) “the increase in temperature since the LIA is good for maximum 16 ppmv increase in CO2, according to Henry’s Law”

    You appear to be ignoring varying biosphere activity, wind movement of the air and ocean circulations plus precipitation which continually adjust the vapour pressure in any given location over time so that, in an atmosphere with vegetation, oceanic overturning, varying windiness and precipitation, changes in the rate of release from the oceans can be maintained over time to give a much larger cumulative effect and still comply with Henry’s Law.

  372. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The AIRS data are from the mid-troposphere, not of the surface and is already mixed in over the whole round earth, but still mainly within latitude bands.”

    But you see those plumes downwind of warmed ocean surfaces primarily under the subtropical high pressure bands where the sun is most persistent on the ocean surfaces .If one proposes a widening and contracting of the subtropics over multidecadal timescales (as observed) then the rate of release will change along with total sunshine hours onto the changing width of the latitude bands.
    We know that cloudiness reduced up to at least 2000 with widening tropics so there must have been stronger plumes during that period than at other times when there were more clouds and narrower tropics

    ” Further it is from one month, July. If you look at the 2002-2009 time series:
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/news_archive/2010-03-30-CO2-Movie/
    you will see that the same places of huge sources in summer become huge sinks in winter and vv.”

    That is smply seasonal shifting of the climate zones latitudinally.Throughout the year the regions of maximum CO2 are beneath or downwind of the subtropical high pressure cells over water so we must assume that the primary influence on the oceanic contribution to the CO2 balance is sunlight on water in those regions.

    As for the isotope balance issue it seems likely that the CO2 release from the oceans contains more of the fossil fuel type isotope (was it C12 or C13 ?) than previously thought. Probably due to biosphere activity within the oceans.

    Anyway, I have given you a scenario where the mass balance approach becomes irrelevant with evidence in support (no extra CO2 downwind of human activity). Essentially, human emissions provoke an additional biosphere response locally that would not otherwise occur and so the human emissions are negated locally with little or no influence on the global carbon cycle.

  373. Stephen Wilde says:

    Richard Coutney said:

    “The resulting change to ocean surface layer pH need only be an indiscernible 0.1 for it to cause the observed rise in atmospheric CO2. And this is an effect of volcanic S which has nothing to do with change to inputs of CO2 to the carbon cycle.”

    That is an intriguing possibility but then we would see plumes of CO2 downwind of areas producing volcanic sulphur.

    Instead we see plumes downwind of sun warmed water beneath the subtropical high pressure belts.

    Would any of the other possibilities you mention produce such a pattern ?

  374. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Nope.

  375. Stephen Wilde:

    I tried to resist, but I have given in to the temptation to give a brief reply to part of your post addressed to me at September 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm. Before saying what I am writing to say, I state that nothing I write here can be implied to be a change to my position; i.e.

    I want it to be clearly understood that I refuse to ‘get off the fence’ on this subject.
    As this thread illustrates, there are strong views on either side of the ‘fence’: on one side there are people certain that the recent rise of atmospheric CO2 emission is caused by the anthropogenic CO2 emission, and on the other side there are people equally certain that it is not.

    I do not know if the anthropogenic emission is or is not the cause of the rise in part or in whole because the available data is not capable of resolving the matter. And that makes me unpopular with both ‘sides’.

    The sulphur hypothesis cannot be resolved from the available data. Is it contributory – in part or in whole – for the debated recent rise in atmospheric CO2? Possibly. The matter does not require “plumes of sulphur” or “plumes of CO2 downwind of areas producing volcanic sulphur” . On the contrary, it requires a small change to the dissolved sulphate ions in the ocean surface layer. And it only requires the sulphur to transfer across the interface between deep ocean and ocean surface layer. Also, where that transfer between layers will occur cannot be known with the existing very limited understandings of both deep ocean currents and the exchange mechanisms between ocean layers. Please note that not all deep ocean currents will interact with volcanism and not all undersea volcanoes are known. Hence, the patterns of oceanic CO2 emission cannot resolve whether the sulphur hypothesis has importance or is irrelevant.

    Similarly, other possibilities cannot be resolved from available data. I introduced the sulphur hypothesis to demonstrate the degree of our ignorance. It may be fun to throw every possibility into the thread but – in my opinion – that would cause even more confusion to the thread’s discussion than already exists.

    Richard

  376. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thanks Richard, that is perfectly clear.

    The AIRS data is very new and does show interesting patterns. I’ll go with Occams Razor until someone has a better idea.

    Sunshine on water under the subtropical high pressure cells is well worth a punt.

  377. Bart says:

    I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’m going to give this one more try. It is so obvious and straightforward, I just do not know how anyone can fail to understand it, even with heavy blinders on.

    I would really appreciate it if someone out there could tell me they understand what I have been trying to explain to Ferdinand and that you agree. Maybe if he realizes he is in a minority, he will reexamine his premise (or, I will find I am in the minority, in which case I will weep for humanity).

    It is this simple:

    1) if the sinks are powerful enough, they will take out almost everything, leaving only a small fraction of the combined inputs, natural and anthropogenic, as a lingering residual in the atmosphere

    2) If they are powerful enough that they can take out more than half of the anthropogenic inputs, then there is a deficit that has to be made up somewhere, because we observe a rise which, purely by chance, happens to be about 1/2 the level of the accumulated anthropogenic inputs

    3) That deficit has to be made up by a natural input powerful enough that even the small fraction remaining after the action of the sinks is enough to provide a lingering residual equal to half the anthropogenic input – if the sinks are very powerful, then that natural input has to be enough to leave almost the full 1/2 as a residual

    It all depends on how powerful the sinks are. Surely, somebody out there gets this.

  378. Stephen Wilde says:

    Bart,

    I think that agrees with the scenario I posited namely:

    The sinks of the biosphere are powerful enough to mop up all the CO2 that humans produce by absorbing it in enhanced local or regional biosphere activity that would not have occurred naturally.

    Despite the power of those sinks the natural source in the oceans can nonetheless trump their power when extra sunlight penetrates the ocean surfaces at a time of lowered global albedo.

    I agree with Richard that on present data we cannot yet prove that that scenario is the right one but the mere fact that one can propose it means that the mass balance approach is not valid.

  379. tallbloke says:

    I would suggest that another important factor in this is that reduced fish stocks might indicate a lack of food. Photosynthesising surface biota are reduced when the surface warms and there is less nutrient upwelling. Less photosynthesis means less co2 absorption.

  380. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    i) The oceans are a net sink for CO2. That is measured. The (sub) tropical oceans are a net source for CO2 and the mid-latitudes are sources or sinks, depending of the season. The poles are net sinks for CO2. The exact place of sources and sinks shifts with the seasons. That is what AIRS shows. The resolution of AIRS (+/- 10 ppmv) is not high enough to know the exact CO2 balance, but the ocean pCO2 measurements are, even so within large margins of error: the driving force, the pCO2 difference is quite accurate, but the flux depends of the mixing speed by wind, where the average wind speed and area are involved, but have quite substantial error margins.
    See: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/maps.shtml

    ii) The average increase in uptake by the biosphere doesn’t double with 2xCO2, in average increases with 50% in the best circumstances. Thus a small increase in the atmosphere, isn’t immediately absorbed by plants, as a lot of other constraints (fertilizers, minerals, water, sunlight) all may cause real limits to growth. The current extra growth of the full biosphere (land + oceans, calculated from the extra O2 production by plants) is 1.2 GtC/yr for an increase of 210 GtC above the “old” equilibrium CO2 level. Far from taking away every single CO2 molecule above equilibrium.

    iii) Every change in (deep) ocean circulation, volcanic emissions, cloud and rain patterns, biosphere growth,… will have its impact on CO2 levels. But independently of this impact, an increase of 1°C in ocean surface temperature will give at maximum 16 ppmv extra in CO2 increase of the atmosphere, nothing more.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    As for the isotope balance issue it seems likely that the CO2 release from the oceans contains more of the fossil fuel type isotope (was it C12 or C13 ?) than previously thought. Probably due to biosphere activity within the oceans.

    It is the opposite: more biological activity increases the 13C/12C ratio of the oceans surface, as preferentially more 12C is build in, leaving more 13C in the surface waters. Part of the organics drop out of the surface layer and reduce the 13C/12C ratio of the deep oceans, or get into organic sediments. The deep oceans are at zero to +1 per mil, the ocean surface waters at +1 to +5 per mil and the atmosphere currently is at -8 per mil and declining. Even including the ocean-air fractionation of the isotopes (both ways), any substantial extra emissions from the (deep) oceans will lead to an INcrease of the d13C level in the atmosphere, but we see a DEcrease in exact ratio to fossil fuel use…

  381. Bart says:
    September 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Bart, your own water sink example shows that you are wrong. But you still fail to see it. Here the next attempt to show where you are wrong:

    1) if the sinks are powerful enough, they will take out almost everything, leaving only a small fraction of the combined inputs, natural and anthropogenic, as a lingering residual in the atmosphere

    With that we can theoretically agree, but there is no proof whatever that shows that all the sinks are powerful (the fast response to ocean surface temperature variations is limited in capacity, maximum 10% of any long term change). The observed sink rate is – by coincidence – only half the mass of the human input, not all of it.

    2) If they are powerful enough that they can take out more than half of the anthropogenic inputs, then there is a deficit that has to be made up somewhere, because we observe a rise which, purely by chance, happens to be about 1/2 the level of the accumulated anthropogenic inputs

    Here we strongly disagree. There is no deficit in the inputs, there is a deficit in the natural balance (inputs minus outputs), as halve the human emissions (as mass, not as original molecules) still show up as an increase in the atmosphere. Even if 99% of the human emissions would show up in the atmosphere, that only shows that the natural carbon balance is near in equilibrium.

    3) That deficit has to be made up by a natural input powerful enough that even the small fraction remaining after the action of the sinks is enough to provide a lingering residual equal to half the anthropogenic input – if the sinks are very powerful, then that natural input has to be enough to leave almost the full 1/2 as a residual

    The deficit is from an unbalance, not necessary from an input change. Any combination of natural and anthro inputs minus total outputs must give the observed increase. For any situation (even at a 99% airborne fraction) where the increase in the atmosphere is smaller than the anthro input alone, the equation is:

    increase in the atmosphere = anthro inputs + natural inputs – natural outputs
    where
    increase in the atmosphere = f * anthro inputs and f between 0 and 1 thus

    f * anthro inputs = anthro inputs + natural inputs – natural outputs
    or
    natural outputs = natural inputs + (1 – f) * anthro inputs.
    where 1-f is between zero and 1.

    It doesn’t matter at all how huge the carbon sources and sinks are, or how fast the response times of the sinks are. The total natural sinks flux in all cases is larger than the total natural sources flux and thus there is no net contribution of the natural carbon cycle to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

    In summary:
    - Only 10% of any natural or anthro extra contribution of CO2 will be sequestered by fast ocean surface (and vegetation) processes, the rest by much slower processes.
    - The increase in the atmosphere is not caused by a natural process, as the natural sink fluxes were continuously higher than the natural source fluxes over the past 50 years.
    - The three main reservoirs of CO2 (vegetation, ocean surface and deep oceans) with relative fast and huge exchange rates with the atmosphere are proven net sinks for CO2.
    - The 13C/12C trend shows that the (deep and surface) oceans can’t be the cause of the increase in the atmosphere.
    - The oxygen balance shows that vegetation is a net sink for CO2.

  382. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    As you know, I want much more quantitative data concerning activity in the carbon cycle.

    The oceans are a net sink for CO2. That is measured.

    Measured? Globally? How? With what confidence limits?

    I would be grateful if you were to state answers to these questions.

    Anyway, so what?

    Richard

  383. richardscourtney says:
    September 8, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Measured? Globally? How? With what confidence limits?

    According to near a million of samples of seawater pCO2 over the past decades (since then millions by commercial seaships and buoys): “An annual oceanic uptake flux for CO2 of 2.2 +/- 0.4 GtC/yr”

    See “Uptake and Storage of Carbon Dioxide in the Ocean: The Global CO2 Survey”:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/maps.shtml
    for the calculation methods and limits and the next page at:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml
    for the average uptake, regionally and globally.

  384. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 8, 2012 at 5:01 am

    “Here we strongly disagree.”

    You and your pseudo-math. The thing I loved about math in my studies was that there was no subjectivity, no grey area. You cannot agree or disagree. There is no room for compromise or negotiation. You are either right, or you are wrong.

    You are wrong, Ferdinand. But, you have worn me down. I give up. For now.

  385. Ferdinand:

    Thankyou for your replies to my questions in your post at September 8, 2012 at 8:04 am which says

    According to near a million of samples of seawater pCO2 over the past decades (since then millions by commercial seaships and buoys): “An annual oceanic uptake flux for CO2 of 2.2 +/- 0.4 GtC/yr”

    See “Uptake and Storage of Carbon Dioxide in the Ocean: The Global CO2 Survey”:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/maps.shtml
    for the calculation methods and limits and the next page at:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml
    for the average uptake, regionally and globally.

    Please note that I did not ‘jump in’ making assertions about the data but, instead, asked you to cite the information of your choice. However, I admit that I suspected you would cite Freely et al., and you did.

    The first issue is sampling. Figure 3 in one of your links says this as part of its figure caption

    Figure 3. Distribution of climatological mean sea-air pCO2 difference (DeltapCO2) for the reference year 1995 representing non-El Niño conditions in February (a) and August (b). These maps are based on about 940,000 measurements of surface water pCO2 from 1958 through 2000

    So, over 42 years there were 940,000 measurements. Or to put that another way less than 32 measurements per day.

    And daily measurements are needed because the effects vary throughout the year.

    Indeed, the effects differ between day and night (e,g. because of photosysnthesis in the ocean surface layer) so night-time and day-time measurements need to be obtained. Assuming half the measurements were by day and half by night then that is that is two sub-sets of 16 measurements per day and 16 measurements per night.

    And these 16 measurements per day were predominantly obtained from shipping lanes which cover a trivial proportion of ocean surface.

    Of course, if effects did not vary across the oceans then 16 measurements per day from a non-random distribution may be adequate. But effects differ greatly from place-to-place and with the weather from day-to-day. However, one of your links says

    The distribution of winds can also influence the calculated gas transfer velocity. This is because of the nonlinear dependence of gas exchange with wind speed; long-term average winds underestimate flux especially for strongly non-linear dependencies. To avoid this bias, the relationships are adjusted by assuming that the global average wind speed is well represented by a Rayleigh distribution function. As noted by Wanninkhof et al. (2001), this overestimates the flux. A more appropriate way to deal with the issue of wind speed variability is to use short-term winds. If the NCEP 6-hour wind products are used, the global flux computed using the W&M-99 cubic wind-speed formulation decreases from –3.7 to –3.0 Pg C yrto the minus 1 for the NCEP 41-year winds and from –3.0 to –2.3 Pg C yrto the minus 1 for the NCEP 1995 wind data.

    The relative importance of the major ocean basins in the ocean uptake of CO2 may be assessed on the basis of the CO2 fluxes obtained from our pCO2 data and W-92 gas transfer velocity (Table 2 and Figure 6). The Atlantic Ocean as a whole, which has 23.5% of the global ocean area, is the region with the strongest net CO2 uptake (41%). The high-latitude northern North Atlantic, including the Greenland, Iceland and Norwegian seas, is responsible for a substantial amount of this CO2 uptake while representing only 5% of the global ocean in area.

    (emphasis added: RSC)
    And the analyses make assumptions to compensate for these effects.

    And, as you say, they report their findings to be “An annual oceanic uptake flux for CO2 of 2.2 GtC/yr” to an accuracy of “+/- 0.4 GtC/yr”.

    A determination of 2.2 GtC/yr to an accuracy of “+/- 0.4 GtC/yr estimated from 16 measurements per day obtained from a small and non-representative sample of the oceans when for half the year the oceans enmit and for the other half of the year they sequester!

    This is a clear demonstration of my statements saying we lack adequate data.

    Richard

  386. Bart says:
    September 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

    You cannot agree or disagree. There is no room for compromise or negotiation. You are either right, or you are wrong.

    Agreed, this time I specially appreciated the

    If you turn the hot water off, you will settle to a new rate of increase
    L = (1-a) * C = (a – 0.5) * H(old)

    where you simply forgot that there also was a drain, which turned the new rate of “increase” into a decrease… Or you may have studied another kind of math than me…

  387. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

    “a” is the drain, H(old) = (2* (1 – a) / (2*a – 1) ) * C, in accordance with the formula prior to the hot water being turned off, and you are not comprehending the example.

  388. Stephen Wilde says:

    The idea that the oceans are always a net sink is a proposition that I find inherently implausible.

    We know that the biosphere is a net sink because it locks CO2 away long term to form fossil fuel deposits under land and limestone under water.

    If the oceans AND the biosphere were always net sinks the air would be devoid of CO2 apart from occasional outgassing from volcanos.

    So, if the biosphere is always a net sink, yet atmospheric CO2 remain higher than volcanic emissions can account for, the only place that the atmospheric CO2 can come from is the oceans.

    Clearly the oceans release CO2 from warmer waters and absorb it into cooler waters but those waters change temperature over time both in absolute terms and relative to one another. Furthermore windiness varies greatly both globally and regionally over time and Ferdinand’s links clearly acknowledge windiness as a factor relevant to rates of CO2 absorption and release.

    What we must have here is variability in the ratio between the effectiveness of the oceanic absorbing and oceanic releasing regions which swing the net oceanic contribution between net release and net absorption over time.

    I think the controlling factor then is the amount of solar energy entering the equatorial oceans which varies over time as the climate zones shift in response to top down solar influences on the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere.

    An active sun allows more solar energy into the top 200 metres or so of the ocean surfaces either side of the equator and the rate of CO2 release increases.

    The speed of the air circulation also changes as a result so that the increased rate of CO2 flow from the oceans is removed to other regions quickly allowing more to be released from the source region.That gets around the constraints of Henry’s Law.

    The increased flow of CO2 from the equatorial oceans outstrips the absorption into the polar oceans and atmospheric CO2 increases. Meanwhile the entire biosphere is energised to take advantage but doesn’t catch up until the rate of release from the oceans slows down again.

    Meanwhile the human contribution is absorbed locally by its own nearby bubble of energised local biosphere which works faster than it would have done in the absence of the human contribution. Thus the human portion has no effect on the mass balance of the global carbon cycle because the additional CO2 from human CO2 is cancelled by faster local biosphere activity.

    Over a period of time such as the period from the end of the LIA to date the cumulative effect appears to be surprisingly large in proportion to the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere at the beginning of the proces during the earlier cooler period.

    When the sun becomes less active for long enough , allowing for a currently unknown lag time, the process goes into reverse and atmospheric CO2 declines once more.

    It must be the case that the ice core records are too coarse to reveal those large, natural proportionate swings in atmospheric CO2 on the timescale shown from MWP to LIA to date.

    Note that the CO2 changes will vary by way of rising for 500 years or so then falling for 500 years or so in pace with the changes in solar activity which accounts for the background trend at Mauna Loa during the late 20th century which was a period of relatively high solar activity.

  389. richardscourtney says:

    Stephen Wilde:

    I your argument at September 9, 2012 at 4:18 am you say

    That gets around the constraints of Henry’s Law.

    Yes, I have repeatedly said (e.g. above) that Henry’s Law is not applicable.

    We need data – not assumptions – to constrain our hypotheses. And if this thread helps people to understand that we lack adequate data then it will have been valuable.

    Richard

  390. Philip Mulholland says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 9, 2012 at 4:18 am
    While I agree with this sentiment contained in your statement, “that the oceans are always a net sink (of carbon dioxide) is inherently implausible”, can you please acknowledge the following geological fact? Namely that 50% of all the limestone in the earth’s sedimentary strata are inorganic precipitates and not primarily derived from organic processes. The inorganic carbonate precipitates in question include oolitic grainstones formed in the swash zone of tropical coastal beaches and exposed marine carbonate sand banks. These rounded (egg shaped) sand grains of inorganic carbonate precipitate form in the warmest & shallowest sea water and have an onion ring structure. In morphology they can be considered as the limestone lithic equivalent to atmospheric water ice hailstones.
    Oolites accrete inorganically around a core seed crystal of aragonite, now while the aragonite crystals are often a bioclastic excretion, resulting from the coral feeding activities of parrot fish, this does not make the resulting grainstone an organic deposit. The precipitation of insoluble calcium carbonate from calcium bicarbonate dissolved in marine water necessarily releases carbon dioxide gas. Within the biological processes of coral polyps this released carbon dioxide becomes available to the algae living within the body of the polyp and forms one of the key benefits for the alga of the symbiotic relationship. However under the process of inorganic precipitation of oolitic grains at the beach swash zone, there is no biological component to the process and the released carbon dioxide is free to escape directly into the atmosphere from the warmed waters of the swash.
    With regard to the sequestration of reduced carbon, whether on land in the formation of peat (& ultimately coal), or in marine sediments as sapropel these processes too are controlled by geochemistry. The key component for preserving organically produced reduced (hydrogenated) carbon is the lack of oxygen which produces reducing (oxygen lacking) conditions, either in water logged soils on land and in lake margin fens or as deep marine colloidal muds in isolated ocean basins and enclosed seas (for example the Black Sea).
    The point I wish to make is that it is the geosphere and not the biosphere that is the ultimate control on the sequestration of carbon, in both oxidized and reduced states, into the rocks of the earth’s lithosphere.

  391. Bart says:
    September 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    OK, back to basics…

    Your original drain was:
    D = a * (H + C)
    but a in this case a is not between zero and unity, as the observed increase in L is less than H alone, thus in reality:
    L = (1-a) * (H + C) where L is less than H,
    thus at minimum:
    L = 0 and a = 1 and D = H + C
    at maximum:
    L = H and a = C / (H + C) and D = C
    (thus a is not zero)

    In all cases between minimum and maximum, the latter not included, if you close H, L will get negative for any value of C.

    The essential point is that you didn’t include the constraint that the observed increase is less than the known input.

    A similar reasoning follows for the human input: if the human CO2 input stops, in all cases, whatever the natural cycle, the CO2 levels will drop.

  392. Pamela Gray says:

    Ferdinand, in order for human CO2 input to halt, you would have to stop population increase. We create CO2 from oxygen and carbon intake, which is a closed neutral cycle as long as each component does not increase. This would not be a closed neutral cycle if we continue to increase in number. You would also have to stop all other animal life forms from increasing their population as well. How is this represented in the calculations?

  393. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 9, 2012 at 4:18 am

    If the oceans AND the biosphere were always net sinks the air would be devoid of CO2 apart from occasional outgassing from volcanos.

    Wait a minute, I never said that the oceans and the biosphere were always sinks. Only that both are currently sinks, because we are a lot above the “normal” equilibrium.

    The equilibrium over decades to multi-millennia is temperature dictated and at the current temperature, the CO2 level in the atmosphere should be around 290 ppmv, but we are already near 400 ppmv. It is that difference that drives extra CO2 into the oceans and plant alveoles.

    If humans would stop the emissions, the CO2 levels would slowly drop down to 290 ppmv, at a half life time rate of ~40 years.

    If we may assume that some of the previous interglacials (the Eemian, 2°C, forests growing up to the Arctic Ocean, half Greenland ice melted) were warmer than today, that the Holocene Optimum (6000-7000 years ago), the Roman Warm period and probably the MWP were warmer than today, then there is no reason to expect CO2 levels today that exceed 8 ppmv/°C, which is what is seen over 800 kyear of data…

    The decrease of less than 1°C from the MWP to the LIA caused a drop of 6 ppmv in the medium resolution (21 years) ice core of Law Dome a similar increase in temperature since the LIA is at maximum good for 8 ppmv increase, not 100+ ppmv.

    Further, whatever the changes in wind or sunlight, Henry’s Law always holds. If the temperature increases at the equator, or the wind speed increases, that will give an unbalance in CO2 fluxes, increasing its level in the atmosphere. But as that increases, the pCO2 difference between ocean surface and atmosphere decreases at the equator and increases at the poles, thus the fluxes are brought back into equilibrium, at a rate of 16 ppmv/°C, according to Henry’s Law. But currently we are at CO2 levels far beyond what temperature, sunlight or wind speed can provide…

    Last but not least, the CO2 uptake by the biosphere can be calculated from the deficit in oxygen use from fossil fuel burning. That shows that until ~1990, the whole biosphere (sea + land plants, bacteria, animals, humans, forest fores,…) was near neutral, but since 1990 a slowly growing sink for CO2. Currently a quantity equal to some 20% of the human emissions are extra absorbed. 10% go rapidely in the ocean surface and 20% in the deep oceans. Thus even if all extra absorbed CO2 is only molecules from human origin (which is not the case), that is only 1/5th of the total release.

  394. richardscourtney says:
    September 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I do agree that there is undersampling of the oceans to give firm conclusions, but the indication of the samples is that the oceans are a net sink for CO2. Further:

    So, over 42 years there were 940,000 measurements. Or to put that another way less than 32 measurements per day.

    Most of the measurements were done over the same area with an interval of several years. That gives a good indication of the evolution over the years, better than a few measurements per year. The measurements intensified over the past decade from near a million to over three million. See:
    http://www.mendeley.com/research/climatological-mean-decadal-change-surface-ocean-pco2-net-sea-air-co2-flux-global-oceans-2/

    And these 16 measurements per day were predominantly obtained from shipping lanes which cover a trivial proportion of ocean surface.

    No, most were from specific routes by research ships, only recently fully automated seawater pCO2 (pH, DIC, temperature,…) equipment is build into commercial ships, preferentially in “wild” routed ships, so not always following the most intensively used routes.
    See: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/background.shtml

    Besides that, fixed stations at a few (but increasing number of) places is measuring the pCO2 at a semi-continuous rate, including Hawaii and Bermuda. The latter measures most of the Atlantic Gyre and shows an increase in DIC (total inorganic carbon) and a decreasing pH:
    http://www.bios.edu/Labs/co2lab/research/IntDecVar_OCC.html

    This also contradicts the lower pH by volcanic sulfur releases theory: if the reduction of pH was from a strong(er) acid, then that would release CO2 to the atmosphere and thus reduce total CO2 (DIC) in seawater, but if CO2 gets into seawater from the atmosphere, DIC will increase while the pH reduces.

    Another point, as mentioned before, is that the d13C level of the oceans is too high to have caused the increase in the atmosphere. Everywhere in the oceans (except near estuaria) compared to everywhere in the atmosphere (except near ground over land near huge sinks).

    Thus all available evidence points to the oceans as a net sink, not a source…

  395. Pamela Gray says:
    September 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Ferdinand, in order for human CO2 input to halt, you would have to stop population increase. We create CO2 from oxygen and carbon intake, which is a closed neutral cycle as long as each component does not increase. This would not be a closed neutral cycle if we continue to increase in number. You would also have to stop all other animal life forms from increasing their population as well. How is this represented in the calculations?

    You need to make a differentiation between “recent” CO2 and “fossil” CO2.
    What human, animals and bacteria use and exhale is CO2 that was captured a few months to a few decades before by vegetation directly out of the atmosphere. That kind of CO2 recycling doesn’t substantially affect the total CO2 level in the atmosphere. But the use of fossil fuels, captured many millions of years ago, at much higher CO2 levels of that time, does affect the current CO2 levels…

  396. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

    “thus in reality:
    L = (1-a) * (H + C) where L is less than H,
    thus at minimum:
    L = 0 and a = 1 and D = H + C
    at maximum:
    L = H and a = C / (H + C) and D = C
    (thus a is not zero)”

    L is always 1/2 of H. That is the observational constraint.

    For minimum C, a = 1/2 and C = 0. For maximum C, take a = 1 – epsilon, where epsilon is a small number. Then

    L = epsilon*H + epsilon*C = 0.5*H

    which means

    C = (0.5/epsilon – 1) * H

    As epsilon approaches zero, C approaches infinity.

  397. Bart says:

    In order to satisfy the constraint, a must be in the interval [1/2,1). Mathematicians use a square bracket to indicate a closed interval, and a parenthesis to indicate open meaning 1 is a limit point which is never quite attained (else, the level would be zero, which violates the constraint. If a = 1/2, the drain is taking away 1/2 of the input, 1/2 is left, hence the cold water is off.

    If a is arbitrarily close to unity, the sinks are taking out almost everything but a small residual, and the cold water has to be coming in extremely rapidly in order to maintain the level at 1/2 of the hot water input. If the hot water is shut off, it makes hardly any difference to the overall flux. The water keeps on rising.

  398. Stephen Wilde says:

    Philip Mulholland says:
    September 9, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Duly acknowledged Philip. Interesting material.

    I contend that increased sunlight primarily in the tropics when the sun is more active causes the necessary change in the oceanic absorption / release balance for CO2 so it doesn’t matter to me whether the system response to the increased sunlight is organic or inorganic.

  399. Bart says:

    “…in order to maintain the level rate at 1/2 of the hot water input…” It is easy to forget all the variables we are talking about here are rates.

  400. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ferdinand, I appreciate your points but observations must prevail.

    According to the AIRS data CO2 ‘plumes’ are appearing downwind of warm oceans beneath the sunny subtropical high pressure cells thus the ocean is the source and we must try to ascertain how and why the facts you point to appear not to support that proposition.

    I suspect that there are unknown or underappreciated aspects of the carbon cycle that provide the answer.

    Likewise, according to the AIRS data there is no enhancement of CO2 downwind of human population centres so it must all be getting mopped up pretty much in situ.

    That new information throws the entire debate into a melting pot and the suppositions that you have relied on so far cannot hold unless you can supply equally plausible reasons for the CO2 distribution as revealed by the AIRS data.

  401. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

    “The essential point is that you didn’t include the constraint that the observed increase is less than the known input.”

    As I stated above, L is always 1/2 of H. Always. So the constraint is built into the statement of the problem.

    Just to drive the point home, let’s assume epsilon = 0.01, so a = 0.99.

    Now, L = 0.01*(H + C) is the observed rise. But, this is equal to 0.5*H. Therefore

    H + C = 50*H

    C = 49*H

    There are 49 parts of C for every one of H. With the hot water flowing, the rise is L = 0.5*H. With the hot water off, the rise is L = 0.01*C = 0.49*H(old).

    If epsilon is 0.0001, similar reasoning will show that there are 4999 parts of C for every H, and with the hot water off, the rise is L = 0.0001*C = 0.4999*H(old)

    The close “a” gets to unity, the more of the rise is due to C, and not to H. We can keep going until there are 49999999999999999 parts of C for every H, and turning the water off yields L = 0.49999999999999999*H(old). And more.

    It all depends on the response of the sinks.

  402. tallbloke says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

    According to the AIRS data CO2 ‘plumes’ are appearing downwind of warm oceans beneath the sunny subtropical high pressure cells thus the ocean is the source

    Stephen, I suspect this is simply due to lots of co2 dissolving into the colder high latitude oceans, and coming out again as currents take it across the tropics, where it is then absorbed by biomass and re-emitted by the herbivores and omnivores etc. Also, the volcanic soils will be emitting, this is why the ‘ring of fire’ is also a co2 hotspot.

    As you say, co2 plumes downwind of industry are not in evidence. This will be because the new discovery of the true scale of volcagenic emission along with other natural sources dwarfs the human contribution by far more than the IPCC says.

  403. Bart says:
    September 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

    L is always 1/2 of H. That is the observational constraint.

    No, that isn’t a constraint. The data show L between 0 and 1 * H. The average is ~0.5 * H (by coincidence, as result of the increasing inflow of H and the resulting increasing level in the sink), but there is nothing that says that this is a “must”. This is the basic error you did make in the assumptions.

    For maximum C, take a = 1 – epsilon, where epsilon is a small number. Then
    L = epsilon*H + epsilon*C = 0.5*H

    The observations show that L is not fixed at 0.5*H (it may be 0.001*H or 0.999*H) and a is at minimum C/(C+H), or L would be larger than H, which is not observed and at maximum = 1, or L would be negative, which isn’t observed either. For a = 1, L = 0 * H and D = H + C
    Thus if a = 1 – epsilon
    then
    L = epsilon*H + epsilon*C = epsilon2*H
    where epsilon2 = epsilon * (H + C) / H
    also very small and C doesn’t need to go to infinity to fulfill the result and is hardly of interest.

  404. Bart says:
    September 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Some addition:

    Assuming the cold waterflow constant, and starting with L = 0 (thus D = C) and you gradually increase, slightly exponential, the hot waterflow, starting from zero, over time. How will L react on that?

  405. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Stephen, I suspect this is simply due to lots of co2 dissolving into the colder high latitude oceans, and coming out again as currents take it across the tropics, where it is then absorbed by biomass and re-emitted by the herbivores and omnivores etc. ”

    Yes, I agree that recirculating ocean waters bring CO2 rich water back to the tropics.

    Then the amount of sunshine reaching the ocean surface determines how much CO2 is released as the sunshine warms the top 200 metres or so.

    If one then has decreasing cloudiness and widening of the tropics as we saw when the sun was more active it is inevitable that the release / absorption balance will be skewed in favour of more release

    Thus the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere follows the water temperatures which follow the amount of sunlight which follows the shifting of the climate zones which is caused by the top down solar effect on the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere.

    Now we need to know why the ice core record fails to reveal the detail of the process on centennial timescales and resolve the isotope issue which must involve an adjustment to one or more of the prior assumptions about how the two isotopes are processed within the carbon cycle.

    I’m sure the volcanic contribution comes into it but the real point is that human emissions are dwarfed and quickly disposed of almost in situ with a corresponding local increase in biosphere activity which results in little or no effect on the mass balance calculation globally.

  406. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Stephen and Roger,

    Think about the mass flows:

    The human contribution is one-way 8 GtC/year.
    The continuous fluxes between the warm upwelling places and cold downwelling places of the deep oceans are at ~40 GtC (my own estimate, based on the d13C “thinning” of the fossil signal).
    The seasonal flux between the oceans and atmosphere is ~50 GtC and ~60 GtC between land vegetation and atmosphere.

    Thus on average, the human contribution is less than 5% of the natural flows. No wonder that the human contribution isn’t visible in the AIRS data, simply because it is too small, compared to the natural flows.

    Does that prove that humans are not the cause of the increase? Not at all. All natural flows are part of a cycle: what comes in goes near completely out, as well as for the permanent sources/sinks of CO2 of the oceans as the seasonal sources/sinks of oceans and vegetation, besides occasional and permanent sources like volcanoes and wildfires and permanent sinks like carbonate sedimentation and rock weathering.

    What is important is the balance at the end of the year: humans add 8 GtC/year. In average the measured increase is 4 GtC/year. Thus some 4 GtC/year extra must be sequestered somewhere. Even when volcanoes are and if oceans were net sources for CO2, then all extra CO2 of these sources + 4 GtC/year extra must be stored in vegetation or rock weathering, making these sinks even larger. The net result must be that the total natural cycle is a net sink for CO2, not a source. Thus nature doesn’t contribute to the observed CO2 increase…

  407. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “No, that isn’t a constraint. “

    Yes, it absolutely is in this thought experiment.

    I am not trying to replicate the climate. I am trying to show you why, in a feedback system, simple accounting such as you are trying to use simply does not work.

    So, start there. Assume it is a constraint. Your logic tells you the hot water must be driving the rise. I have demonstrated that it all depends on the feedback.

  408. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    “Assuming the cold waterflow constant, and starting with L = 0 (thus D = C) and you gradually increase, slightly exponential, the hot waterflow, starting from zero, over time. How will L react on that?”

    It depends on the feedback. If the feedback is arbitrarily rapid, L will react with an arbitrarily small proportional response.

  409. Bart says:

    And, I am using “feedback” and power or strength of the sinks interchangeably to describe how quickly the system reacts to sequester the input CO2 away, in case that is causing any confusion.

  410. Bart says:

    The key element here is that the sinks respond in proportion to the inputs. If this were not the case, if the sinks were completely static, inelastic and insensitive to the amount of the input, then we would have to conclude the rise was very probably from human inputs.

    But, because the sinks do respond, and increase their uptake in proportion to the inputs, we cannot resolve attribution without knowing exactly how powerful the sink capacity is to respond. And, we have to know it very, very precisely indeed to convict human activity, since the relative flows of human origin are so proportionately small.

  411. Bart says:
    September 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Yes, it absolutely is in this thought experiment.

    Bart, if you use illogical constraints, that leads to illogical conclusions.

    Even in the water example, there is no reason why the increase in waterlevel of the sink must always be halve the hot water input.

    In all cases, the sink flux and thus the increase in level, L, reacts on the total sources flux, cold and hot alike. Thus with a huge drain with a fivefold surface, you will see a small L, no matter if that is caused by C or H. With such an enlarged drain, the “sink borne hot water” would be 10% for the same total water influx, not 50%. Thus a stronger feedback leads to a lower increase rate, compared to H, no matter what C and H are.

    Thus in your thought experiment, you are constraining the real feedback for H + C to its fivefold, which leads to the illogical conclusion that C must be very high to solve the equation.

    About the CO2 levels in the atmosphere: the net sinks are quite exactly known: 4 +/- 2 GtC/year for a pressure difference of 100 ppmv above temperature dictated dynamic equilibrium. Humans add 8 GtC/year. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  412. tallbloke says:

    Hi Ferdi and thanks for your reply to Stephen and myself. I think the easiest way to demonstrate how it could be possible that the rise in co2 is a natural response to the higher temperature would be to draw up a plausible budget which shows it. I’ll have a go and report back.

  413. Stephen Wilde says:

    “humans add 8 GtC/year. In average the measured increase is 4 GtC/year. Thus some 4 GtC/year extra must be sequestered somewhere.”

    Or:

    i) The entire 8GtC/year is rapidly absorbed locally by a biosphere response that only occurred because of the presence of that human CO2

    and at the same time:

    ii) The ocean sources are running ahead of the biosphere sinks to the extent of about 4GtC/year as a result of decreased cloudiness, wider tropics and more sunlight into the oceans.

    “The net result must be that the total natural cycle is a net sink for CO2, not a source. Thus nature doesn’t contribute to the observed CO2 increase…”

    Or:

    The total natural cycle is currently a source because of increased solar input to the oceans and humans don’t contribute to the observed CO2 increase because it gets sequestered locally by an enhanced local biosphere response.

    Now we do know that there was reduced cloudiness and wider tropics during the late 20th century and we know that warmer water holds less CO2.

    Is it actually proposed that the increased sunlight into the oceans during that period had no effect ?

    Or that the effect was actually negative so as to absorb half the human output ?

    I don’t think so.

  414. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    “Thus with a huge drain with a fivefold surface, you will see a small L, no matter if that is caused by C or H…”

    It is all relative. All you need is a more huge C.

    “Seems pretty straightforward to me.”

    I am sorry that you are unable to process what I have explained to you.

  415. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Thus on average, the human contribution is less than 5% of the natural flows. No wonder that the human contribution isn’t visible in the AIRS data, simply because it is too small, compared to the natural flows.”

    CO2 being a well mixed gas the AIRS sensors are actually displaying very small variations so my understanding is that they do reveal regions involving 5% variations or less.

    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/AIRS_CO2_Data/About_AIRS_CO2_Data/

    “The high spectral resolution and stability of AIRS allows a measurement accuracy between 1.5 ppm and 2 ppm, making it ideal for mapping the distribution and transport of carbon dioxide levels in the free troposphere.”

    2 ppm is less than 5% of 390 is it not ?

  416. Bart says:
    September 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    It is all relative. All you need is a more huge C.

    That is your idée fixe from the beginning of our discussions. You started with the idea that the increase in the atmosphere was always at a fixed 50% of the human input. With that idea, of course you may need a huge natural input to explain the increase if the sinks are fast reacting. Besides that violates about all known observations, the basic assumption was wrong from the beginning.

    Thus if the feedbacks are fast, that simply would show up as a very small increase for a huge disturbance, for natural and human changes alike. Of course, that can be compensated by a very huge change in natural input, but such a change needs to be orders of magnitude higher than the human emissions, which are already about twice the observed increase in the atmosphere.

    The estimates for the total natural input and output flows are about 150 GtC/year back and forth, about 20 times the human emissions. To compensate for a huge feedback of the sinks which remove near all the human input, the extra natural input needs to be orders of magnitude higher, even orders of magnitude higher than the regular natural input, or you violate the equal reaction of the sinks to natural and human excess input.

    I am sorry that you are unable to process what I have explained to you.

    While I am a lot slower these days than I was in the past, what you wrote is perfectly clear:
    Either you are right and there must be some unknown enormous inflow of extra CO2 in the past 160 years, by coincidence mimicking the human emissions at a perfect rate. Or I am right and the feedback is quite modest, simply too slow to react on fast temperature changes and too slow to remove all human emissions at once, but more than fast enough to follow the huge temperature changes over glacials/interglacials.

    Last remark:

    In my (and a lot of others) opinion there are at least two main processes at work: a fast one, which removes 10% of the CO2 increase (whatever the cause) into the ocean surface and in fast vegetation responses and a slow one which removes 90% of the CO2 increase into the deep oceans and more permanent carbon storage by vegetation.
    That would explain both the fast response to temperature changes and the slower response to the emissions, as the oceans surface immediately responds to temperature changes, but the deep oceans or permanent vegetation sinks are far less influenced by temperature.

    Just give it a try…

  417. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    “The high spectral resolution and stability of AIRS allows a measurement accuracy between 1.5 ppm and 2 ppm, making it ideal for mapping the distribution and transport of carbon dioxide levels in the free troposphere.”

    Be aware that the “free troposphere” is above the inversion layer near ground (in general zero to over a few hundred meters during the day, up to 1000 m at night), thus most of the CO2 movements near the surface are already mixed in. AIRS measures average mid-troposphere that is at about 5000 meter height. Thus most of what is measured is already distributed at least over a broad band in the main wind direction.
    Even for direct measurements near huge human sources, the peaks in CO2 near ground are already leveled out at 200 m height:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/cabauw_day_week.jpg

    The human emissions are about 4 ppmv per year or 0.4 ppmv per month. The monthly averaged AIRS data may have an accuracy of +/- 1.5-2 ppmv, but that is not accurate enough to detect the human contribution, even if these are concentrated in NH bands.

  418. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    i) The entire 8GtC/year is rapidly absorbed locally by a biosphere response that only occurred because of the presence of that human CO2

    No, the oxygen balance shows that not more than 20% of the human emissions in total mass is sequestered by the whole biosphere (land and sea plants, animals,…).

    The ocean sources are running ahead of the biosphere sinks to the extent of about 4GtC/year as a result of decreased cloudiness, wider tropics and more sunlight into the oceans.

    If the ocean sources exceed the ocean sinks with 4 GtC/year for whatever reason, then the biosphere must sequester the full human contribution of 8 GtC as extra sink, which is proven false by the oxygen balance.

    The total natural cycle is currently a source because of increased solar input to the oceans and humans don’t contribute to the observed CO2 increase because it gets sequestered locally by an enhanced local biosphere response.

    Even if you shuffle the cards, that doesn’t change the mass balance: if the increased solar input emits 4 GtC extra from the oceans and the biosphere sequester 8 GtC extra, that is all human input, still the total natural cycle has a deficit of 4 GtC and is not a net contributor to the increase…

  419. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand:

    In case there are onlookers who do not know, I point out that you state one side of the mass balance dispute when you write (at September 10, 2012 at 1:02 am)

    Even if you shuffle the cards, that doesn’t change the mass balance: if the increased solar input emits 4 GtC extra from the oceans and the biosphere sequester 8 GtC extra, that is all human input, still the total natural cycle has a deficit of 4 GtC and is not a net contributor to the increase…

    The alternative view is, So what?
    It says nothing about what the “deficit” would have been in the absence of the anthropogenic emission, or in the absence of a change to the volcanic emission, or in …etc.

    At issue is how and why the carbon cycle is changing. You cannot start from an assumption that it is accumulation of a single emission (such as increase to the volcanic emission, or the anthropogenic emission) and conclude the assumption is right because a mass balance shows a “deficit” in the sequestration. That is circular reasoning.

    Richard

  420. Stephen Wilde says:

    Unfortunately I’m not confident that the assumptions based on the Oxygen balance are right either.

    There is so much that is uncertain or unknown about the multitude of interacting chemical balances of the biosphere that any assumptions are tentative at present and not really suitable for diagnostic purposes.

    On the other hand we do know that more sunlight warms water and that warmer water releases more CO2. And, so it appears, do lava fields, and soil moisture on land.

    I don’t think one can ignore the overriding physical phenomenon of more warmth releasing more CO2 just because we don’t know enough about the Oxygen / Nitrogen ratio to explain why it seems not to fit with the huge natural process that is staring us in the face.

    Much more likely that other assumptions are defective or incomplete.

    It takes quite a leap of faith to rely on any ‘evidence’ that appears to show the unlikely conclusion that more suinlight does NOT cause more CO2 to be released or even more unlikely that the sign of the system response to more sunlight is negative but that is what you are suggesting and seeking to ‘prove’ by reference to the Oxygen balance which is very speculative.

    One of the advantages of my legal training is the appropriate weighting to be attached to different pieces of information. I rank the assumed causes of the Oxygen balance as currently estimated far lower in value than the simple known fact that more sunlight releases more CO2 from water.

    “if the increased solar input emits 4 GtC extra from the oceans and the biosphere sequester 8 GtC extra, that is all human input, still the total natural cycle has a deficit of 4 GtC and is not a net contributor to the increase…”

    Surely that extra 4 GtC is a surplus not a deficit ?

    Humans produce 8 and the local biosphere gears up to absorb that 8 = 0

    Oceans produce 4 more than the global biosphere can take up (because it is magnitudes bigger than the human input) = 4 extra , not a deficit.

  421. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The human emissions are about 4 ppmv per year or 0.4 ppmv per month. The monthly averaged AIRS data may have an accuracy of +/- 1.5-2 ppmv, but that is not accurate enough to detect the human contribution, even if these are concentrated in NH bands.”

    Those figures are averaged globally but the main human population centres would give far, far higher local outputs well within the range of the sensing ability of AIRS.

    We would expect to see something visible downwind of the largest conurbations such as Western Europe, North East USA and parts of China.

    But there is nothing.

    Meanwhile there are vast regions with higher CO2 readings downwind of sunshine illuminated oceans.

    What we have here is huge sunshine related natural variations in the CO2 absorption / release balance between equator and poles.

    Sometimes net release overall (as now) sometines net absorption (probably as in the LIA) with the human contribution barely discernible and lost in the natural ebbing and flowing of CO2 in the air.

    If other indicators seem to run against that most obvious scenario then we most likely have an imperfect understanding of those other indicators and we must direct our attention to them.

  422. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 3:26 am

    There is so much that is uncertain or unknown about the multitude of interacting chemical balances of the biosphere that any assumptions are tentative at present and not really suitable for diagnostic purposes.

    There is little uncertainty in the oxygen balance: every biological process that incorporates CO2 releases oxygen at a fixed rate. Every process that breaks down carbohydrates to CO2 uses oxygen at a fixed rate. The main uncertainty is in the oxygen measurements themselves, which are at the edge of the analytical possibilities: less than 1 ppmv on 200,000 ppmv oxygen…

    Thus even including the uncertainty of the oxygen measurements, there is little doubt that the current CO2 sink in the biosphere is only a fraction of the human emissions.

    Further, if all human emissions would be captured by the most nearby tree, there wouldn’t be a drop of the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere. Plants use by preference 12CO2, thus an increase in uptake would leave more 13CO2 behind, thus the drop caused by fossil fuel burning (which is low in 13C) would be fully compensated, but that is not what is observed.

    It takes quite a leap of faith to rely on any ‘evidence’ that appears to show the unlikely conclusion that more suinlight does NOT cause more CO2 to be released or even more unlikely that the sign of the system response to more sunlight is negative

    Nobody says that more sunlight doesn’t (indirectly) causes an extra release of CO2. There is no direct reaction of CO2 on sunlight, but more sunlight does increase the surface water temperature. That increases the pCO2 of the seawater relative to the atmosphere, leading to more CO2 releases. But the system response is of course negative: any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the source) leads to an increase of the uptake of CO2 at the sink places into the deep oceans and in the biosphere: the biosphere doesn’t make a differentiation if CO2 comes from humans or from a warmer ocean. The net result for a 1°C increase of a global ocean surface temperature is not more than 16 ppmv (Henry’s Law). The net result, including the biosphere is not more than 8 ppmv/°C (measured over the past 800,000 years in ice cores). That is all.

    Surely that extra 4 GtC is a surplus not a deficit ?
    Humans produce 8 and the local biosphere gears up to absorb that 8 = 0
    Oceans produce 4 more than the global biosphere can take up (because it is magnitudes bigger than the human input) = 4 extra , not a deficit.

    I still find it strange that a lot of smart people don’t understand what many housewives/men know for sure from their household budget.
    The human emissions are one-way, the natural inputs and outputs are mostly two-way, thus the bulk of the “transcations” is simply passing through the atmosphere (the turnover of a bussiness) and don’t add to the total. The gain (or loss) at the end of a year is the net result of your bussiness. If you have added a lot of your own money into your bussiness and the result at the end of the year is less gain than the amount of money that you have invested, do you still think that you have earned a lot of money and have a good bussiness?

    The total natural cycle, that is all natural input minus all natural outputs, is negative. That is what is important. No matter that some parts of the natural cycle are extra sources and other parts are extra sinks.

  423. richardscourtney says:
    September 10, 2012 at 2:46 am

    The alternative view is, So what?
    It says nothing about what the “deficit” would have been in the absence of the anthropogenic emission, or in the absence of a change to the volcanic emission, or in …etc.

    We don’t know for sure what the natural cycle would have done without the human emissions, but that is not of interest. Volcanic vents/eruptions are part of the natural cycle and that has a negative balance, no matter how one shuffles the desk. The main point is that all natural inflows and outflows together were negative over the past 50 years, which makes that the human contribution is the sole cause of the increase…

  424. Stephen Wilde says:

    i) “The human emissions are one-way”

    You missed my proviso that the human emissions themselves provoke a biosphere response that would otherwise not have occurred. On that basis they would not be one way.That makes all the difference. In the business analogy the increase in turnover comes from more business (not an injection of capital) but with extra expenses too for a zero contribution to profit or loss.

    ii) “But the system response is of course negative: any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the source) leads to an increase of the uptake of CO2 at the sink places into the deep oceans and in the biosphere”

    But it takes time, so one can get cyclicity over time whereby at some times ocean release runs ahead of system absorption and at other times runs behind it with the arbiter being the amount of solar energy getting past the changing level of global cloudiness to influence the rate of release in the first place.

    iii) “Thus even including the uncertainty of the oxygen measurements, there is little doubt that the current CO2 sink in the biosphere is only a fraction of the human emissions”

    For the reasons given I think we currently have a net CO2 source which will fade away over time if the quiet sun continues to lead to increased cloudiness and less energy into the oceans.The net source appears to be about half of the current level of human emissions.

    I agree that at the moment I cannot prove this any more than you can disprove it but I am content to wait and see whether the rate of CO2 increase levels off in response to falling ocean heat content. There is some evidence that it is already doing so but it is early days yet.

    If it does level off or in due course start to fall then my case will be proved.

  425. Stephen Wilde says:

    The main objections to my proposals are as follows:

    i) The isotope ratio.

    But not all absorption is by plants. There are many non organic processes involved too as a previous contributor pointed out and we have no idea of the respective proportions.

    ii) Henry’s Law.

    But the speed of air circulation is capable of causing regional variations and it all takes time so increased wind taking CO2 away from warmed ocean surfaces will allow more out of the oceans before it can all be absorbed elsewhere leading to a ‘backing up’ of the CO2 exchange in the atmosphere which I think is what we are seeing now.

    iii) Ice cores:

    But they appear not to record atmospheric CO2 variations that last less long than about 800 years. We need to know why.

    My main point being that there are too many unproven assumptions being used to overlay the obvious observation that sunlight onto surfaces and into the oceans must be the primary driver of both temperature and CO2 quantities in the atmosphere.

  426. tallbloke says:

    Very cogent Stephen, I agree. I think Ferdinand is making several unsupportable assumptions in his argumentation, and keeps repeating them after they’ve been pointed out to him. A couple of points worth flagging up again:

    1) The stomata data from Tom van Hoof agreed well with the Greenland cores *before* they got recalibrated to match the Antarctic cores. This suggests co2 variation is considerably higher than the currently preferred estimates. This means that Ferdi’s Henry’s law argument could be out by a large factor.

    2) The volcagenic estimate preferred by the IPCC of 0.26Gt/year globally is based on notoriously unreliable ways of treating data which contains a lot of uncertainty due to inadequate sampling. Recent direct empirical measurement suggests central Italy alone is degassing 9Gt/year. The Mass balance argument is out of the window.

    3) If the sources are much (much) bigger than previously thought, then so are the sinks. Since we don’t know what their relative contributions to absorption are, the isotope ratio argument is out of the window too.

    4) Since the cloud data as measured by ISCCP shows a bigger drop in the cloud over the tropics than the high latitudes, it is to be expected that the loss of shade in the warm areas will have a bigger effect on the outgassing of co2 than on its re-absorption in the Antarctic southern ocean.

    5) Since the fall of co2 behind temperature change at the end of interglacials lags the temperature by as much as the lag of the rise of co2 at their beginning, it is clear that major sinks and sources take a long time to react to temperature change. Clearly, the outgassed co2 is going to hang around in the atmosphere at the end of a warming period of whatever length, before the system restores the balance through re-absorption.

    Incidentally, if the warming effect claimed for co2 were real, then due to the approximately logarithmic response of temperature to co2 this should mean the lag at the end of the interglacial will be different to the lag at the start, but so far as I know, it isn’t.

  427. vukcevic says:

    Hi Tb
    There is now strong indication that atmospheric changes in CO2 to a large part could be due to the oceanic out-gassing. Here is quote from JC’s Climate etc blog
    vukcevic | September 10, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    Dr. Pratt
    You say : The good news however is that the thermal impact of CO2 felt in 2100 will be that of the level back in 2085, not 2100, since the delay appears to be around 15 years.

    At one or two previous threads we discussed possibility that the Earth’s core oscillations may be source of the multidecadal (and I’ve demonstrated of the decadal too) temperature oscillations.
    Your 15 year delay, I found some time ago is also a delay between ‘oceanic floor- to- surface oscillations’ and the natural temperature oscillations.
    This would suggest to me that variability of atmospheric CO2 is from the oceanic emissions and stimulated by oceanic oscillation.
    Here is a screen shot of an article I wrote some time ago and it appeared as a pre-print last week.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSO-AMO.htm

  428. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 5:24 am

    i) “The human emissions are one-way”
    You missed my proviso that the human emissions themselves provoke a biosphere response that would otherwise not have occurred.

    - No matter what causes an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, the reaction of the biosphere is exactly the same: more uptake. Thus an increase caused by the oceans or by human emissions would have the same response. CO2 is CO2, no matter what the origin is.
    - A CO2 doubling doesn’t induce a doubling of the uptake. The current 30% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (+210 GtC) causes a 1.6 GtC increase in sink rate in vegetation, by far not enough to remove all extra CO2, even not from one year, in a short time.
    - If you have 8 GtC from humans and add any extra amount from another natural source, and you find an increase in the atmosphere of only 4 GtC, then the natural sinks must adjust to accomodate the extra amount from the natural sources + 4 GtC from humans. Be aware, that is the total extra quantity that needs to be removed by the sinks, no matter which exact molecules from which origin are removed.

    ii) Henry’s Law.
    But the speed of air circulation is capable of causing regional variations and it all takes time so increased wind taking CO2 away from warmed ocean surfaces will allow more out of the oceans before it can all be absorbed elsewhere leading to a ‘backing up’ of the CO2 exchange in the atmosphere which I think is what we are seeing now.

    Wind speed plays a role, but you have no indication that the average wind speed increased over the upwelling zones. Wind speed is far higher at the sink area in the NE Atlantic, so much that there is no distinct surface layer. But anyhow, wind speed can’t explain an increase of 100 ppmv in the atmosphere, the equivalent of a global seawater temperature increase of 6°C…

    iii) Ice cores:
    But they appear not to record atmospheric CO2 variations that last less long than about 800 years. We need to know why.

    Depends of the ice core. The best resolution ice cores have a resolution of less than a decade, but are going back only 150 years. That is sharp enough to see any continuous change of 2 ppmv over 10 years or a peak of 20 ppmv in one year.
    The interesting one is the medium resolution ice core of Law Dome with a resolution of ~20 years. That shows that the MWP-LIA cooling did give a change of ~6 ppmv in the ice core:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg

    The long term ice cores have a resolution of 500-600 years, but even these would show a non-cyclic behaviour like the increase of 100 ppmv over the past 160 years, but they don’t. Further, it is known that wind speeds were much higher during the cold glacial periods than during the warmer interglacials, thus contrary to your theory of an increased wind speed in current times…

  429. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Your (and a lot of others) opinion does not matter. Your opinion is uninformed by what is compelled by the data. Why would I give your flight of fancy “a try” when I know that it is contradicted by the record?

    Bottom line: I have demonstrated that your “mass balance” argument has no teeth. It does not constrain the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the last century to have been human induced. None of your arguments are dispositive, they only serve to construct a narrative of how things might be. But, the affine relationship between temperature and CO2 rate of change contradicts them.

  430. tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

    1) The stomata data from Tom van Hoof agreed well with the Greenland cores *before* they got recalibrated to match the Antarctic cores.

    The Greenland ice cores CO2 data are unreliable: ice cores, especially coastal, contains some seasalt dust, including carbonates. That is normally not a problem for the CO2 measurements in Antarctica, but that is a problem for the Greenland cores, where frequently highly acidic dust from Icelandic volcanoes is settled. That causes in-situ increase of CO2 levels, which renders the data useless. Thus the Greenland ice core CO2 data are not recalibrated, they are simply not used, because of unreliable.

    Stomata data have their own problems… Including a local/regional bias of the CO2 levels and a large margin of error. The bias can be taken into account, by calibrating the stomata data against ice cores and direct measurements over the past century, but that doesn’t assure you that the bias didn’t change over previous centuries, because of huge changes in landscape and land use in the main wind direction. Even the main wind direction may have changed between the MWP and LIA…

    2) The volcagenic estimate preferred by the IPCC of 0.26Gt/year globally is based on notoriously unreliable ways of treating data which contains a lot of uncertainty due to inadequate sampling. Recent direct empirical measurement suggests central Italy alone is degassing 9Gt/year. The Mass balance argument is out of the window.

    The mass balance is not at all affected by the new findings. All what this proves is that since this natural source is larger than estimated, some of the sinks must be larger than estimated. Which ones is not important, as we know the difference at the end of the year: 4 +/- 2 GtC/year more sink than source.

    3) If the sources are much (much) bigger than previously thought, then so are the sinks. Since we don’t know what their relative contributions to absorption are, the isotope ratio argument is out of the window too.

    Sorry to disappoint you, there are mainly two sources of low 13C carbon: fossil organics and new organics. All the other sources, like volcanic vents/eruptions, (deep) oceans, carbonate sediments, rocks and their weathering all have higher d13C levels than the atmosphere. Thus can’t be the cause of the observed decrease.
    We know from the oxygen balance that the whole biosphere is a net source of oxygen, thus a net sink for CO2 and thus a net sink for preferentially 12CO2. Thus that leaves relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus the biosphere is not the cause of the observed decrease in the atmosphere, which BTW is in exact ratio with human emissions of fossil fuels.

    4) Since the cloud data as measured by ISCCP shows a bigger drop in the cloud over the tropics than the high latitudes, it is to be expected that the loss of shade in the warm areas will have a bigger effect on the outgassing of co2 than on its re-absorption in the Antarctic southern ocean.
    There is no mechanism that releases more CO2 by more sunshine. More sunshine causes warming of the oceans and that causes more CO2 releases. But not more than 16 ppmv/°C.

    5) Since the fall of co2 behind temperature change at the end of interglacials lags the temperature by as much as the lag of the rise of co2 at their beginning, it is clear that major sinks and sources take a long time to react to temperature change. Clearly, the outgassed co2 is going to hang around in the atmosphere at the end of a warming period of whatever length, before the system restores the balance through re-absorption.

    The lag during a glacial-interglacial transition is 800 +/- 600 years. The lag during the last interglacial-glacial transition was near 5000 years, that is quite a difference. But the transitions themselves did also take 5000 years for a CO2 change of 100 ppmv. Now we have had 150 years for a 100 ppmv change. That is an enormous difference in speed…

    BTW, I don’t think that the influence of CO2 on temperature is that high, probably a lot less than the minimum of the climate models / IPCC. But that doesn’t include that we aren’t responsible for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

  431. Stephen Wilde says:

    “None of your arguments are dispositive, they only serve to construct a narrative of how things might be. But, the affine relationship between temperature and CO2 rate of change contradicts them”

    That is pretty much how I see it.

    More sunshine into larger areas of water all around the globe, as was observed, just has to have the expected consequence of more CO2 leaving the water.

    All further consideration of the issue must recognise that simple fact and any propositions that deny it must be suspect.

    All Ferdinand’s counterpoints, if correct, would infer that more sunshine into larger areas of water has either a zero effect or a negative effect which I aver is not possible.

    Thus there must be faults in his preferred narrative.

  432. Bart says:
    September 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Bart, a simple calculation shows that your argument is nonsense:

    The human emissions are 8 GtC/year. According to your theory, there is no room for a human contribution. But let us assume that only 1% of the trend is caused by the human contribution and 99% by some natural extra source.

    That would imply that the extra natural input is 99 times larger than the human input to fulfill the huge sink capacity that is responsible for the near complete disappearance of the human input. Thus the extra source is good for 792 GtC. And the extra sink is good for 788 GtC.

    The current estimates of the carbon cycle are 150 GtC back and forth. Thus some natural source alone would suddenly give 5 times the estimated total carbon cycle, and a similar increase in sink capacity, leaving only 1% of the difference in the atmosphere.

    Well I wish you good luck to find that extra source and the correspondenting sinks…

  433. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

    More sunshine into larger areas of water all around the globe, as was observed, just has to have the expected consequence of more CO2 leaving the water.

    Please Stephen, show me the mechanism that gives more CO2 releases directly from more sunlight. Such a mechanism doesn’t exist (CO2 molecules may warm up extra by certain IR wavelengths, but these are not in sunshine). What happens is that the surface waters heat up with more sunlight and higher temperatures give a higher pCO2 in seawater and thus a higher release of CO2 where the upwelling places are and less uptake where the sink places are.

    Thus I fully agree that less clouds will give more CO2 releases and thus more CO2 in the atmosphere, but not more than 16 ppmv/°C, or you are violating Henry’s Law. Thus not 100 ppmv from the maximum 1°C increase in sea surface temperature since the LIA. That is the whole point…

  434. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ferdinand.

    In providing those figures you make a shedload of assumptions that are questionable.

    When sunlight penetrates the ocean surface waters by up to 200 metres then sure it warms the water beneath the surface and CO2 must be released from the surface.

    However one also sees faster upward conduction and more and faster evaporation from the surface and that extra evaporation sucks energy out of the water and converts it into latent form for little or no change in the temperature of the air at the surface.

    So you can have a significant amount of CO2 ejected from the ocean surface waters without a large temperature response in the air.

    That is only one way in which your calculations may not reflect reality but there are many others as I touched on previously.

  435. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I estimate somewhere between 3-6% of the trend is human induced, and all the math works out. What I have stated is that there is no room for significant human forcing. Less than 10% is insignificant.

  436. vukcevic says:
    September 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

    vukcevic says:
    September 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Hi Tb
    There is now strong indication that atmospheric changes in CO2 to a large part could be due to the oceanic out-gassing. Here is quote from JC’s Climate etc blog

    The whole discussion at JC’s blog is about the cause of the temperature changes, but there is hardly any indication that the influence of temperature on CO2 levels is huge. Ice cores show 8 ppmv/°C over 800,000 years and over the MWP-LIA transition for the whole earth. Henry’s Law gives 16 ppmv/°C for seawater alone. Far from sufficient to cause the 100 ppmv increase over the past 160 years…

  437. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Thus not 100 ppmv from the maximum 1°C increase in sea surface temperature since the LIA. That is the whole point…”

    The cooling effect of more evaporation ?

    And taking into account the solar effect to a 200 metre depth around the entire globe 100ppm would not be difficult.

    So more sunlight acting on 200 metres of depth ejects 100ppm but evaporation which occurs only at the surface involves an enthalpy of 5 (the energy required by the phase change) to 1 (the energy required to provoke the phase change) keeps the surface temperature only 1C higher.

    “the molecules in liquid water are held together by relatively strong hydrogen bonds, and its enthalpy of vaporization, 40.65 kJ/mol, is more than five times the energy required to heat the same quantity of water from 0 °C to 100 °C (cp = 75.3 J K−1 mol−1)”

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

    Lets see, 16ppm per 1C multiplied by 5.39 = 86.24ppm.

    Not far out given the tentative nature of the numbers.

    So the sun would have warmed the ocean surface by 5C but for more evaporation and the CO2 comes from the entire 200 metre depth below that surface.

    Sounds entirely plausible to me.

  438. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    Several here suggest that the delay of atmospheric CO2 behind global temperature is 15 years.

    I think the delay is ~30 years.

    Please see
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png
    and compare those decadal averages shifted back in time ~30 years
    to
    mean global temperature (e.g. HadCRUT, see
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ ) .

    So, on the basis of that, if there is a direct global temperature effect on the atmospheric CO2 then we have ~15 years to wait before the present temperature stasis is observed as a halt to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Richard

  439. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

    So you can have a significant amount of CO2 ejected from the ocean surface waters without a large temperature response in the air.

    Sorry Stephen, but that can’t be true. More water is evaporated by sunlight (because water absorbs several fractions of sunlight in the skin layer), without changing the temperature (even somewhat cooling). That is because water is a liquid and it costs a lot of energy to get it into gaseous form. Dissolved CO2 is already a gas and doesn’t need any transition. All what is important is the temperature (and salt content) as that affects how many CO2 molecules are leaving the water vs. how many return. That is what Henry’s Law is about…

    I am a little tired of these continuous recurrent discussions. Even if you don’t like any pillar of the AGW hypothesis, you are doing a disserve to the credibility of the skeptics by hammering on a point where the “consensus” is very strong. Humans have emitted twice the amount of CO2 as observed as atmospheric increase. It would be an incredible coincidence that any natural release would mimic the human releases, both accumulation and 13C/12C ratio and all other observations, in exact ratio to the human emissions, while the human emissions simply disappear into some unknown sinks. If you believe that, then I have some tendency to believe that the Lewandowsky Survey was not that far off… (be reassured, only a tendency…).

  440. Bart says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

    “Several here suggest that the delay of atmospheric CO2 behind global temperature is 15 years.”

    The delay is 90 degrees of phase, reflecting the integral relationship. That implies a variable delay which depends on frequency. When a particular frequency component appears prominent, you should observe approximately the delay associated with that frequency.

    Unfortunately, your links are not working for me. But, if you can determine a rough period P for the component you are looking at, the delay should be roughly pi/2 (90 deg) divided by 2*pi/P, or P/4 (a quarter wavelength).

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “It would be an incredible coincidence that any natural release would mimic the human releases, both accumulation and 13C/12C ratio and all other observations, in exact ratio to the human emissions, while the human emissions simply disappear into some unknown sinks.”

    Not really. It’s essentially a coin flip. Considerably less likely a coincidence is that the temperature and rate of change of CO2 match in almost every detail without this being the dominant influence.

  441. Bart says:

    It is probably not a coincidence, BTW, that 15 years is 1/4 of the wavelength of the ~60 year oscillation in temperature.

  442. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    And taking into account the solar effect to a 200 metre depth around the entire globe 100ppm would not be difficult.

    - Again there is NO, NONE, ZERO solar effect on CO2 molecules, dissolved or not, from sunlight.
    - There is a huge effect of sunlight on water molecules in liquid form. A lot of that energy is absorbed, some in the skin, some at a few meters depth, some over a few hundred meters.

    - As long as the temperature of the water-air surface doesn’t change, there is no more release of CO2.

    - You are making the same mistake as many before you that the CO2 content in the whole water column is important. Only the pCO2 concentration is important. It doesn’t matter if you shake a 0.5 or 1.0 or 2.0 liter bottle of coke: at the same temperature, the same pressure below the cork will be reached in equilibrium with the concentration in the coke, regardless of the total CO2 content.

    Thus for a 1°C increase in sea surface temperature since the LIA, the maximum release is 16 ppmv of CO2. No matter how much extra sunlight is penetrating the oceans.

    BTW, some interesting comparison: during glacials, there was far less evaporation and precipitation everywhere, thus far less clouds. That led to far more dust settling down in Antarctic ice cores, including the deep inland cores. But far less clouds means far more sunlight all over the globe. That should have lead to increased CO2 releases, if we may believe your theory. But we only see a direct, surprisingly linear relationship between temperature (proxy) and CO2 levels…

  443. tallbloke says:

    This graph seems to support our position:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/land-use-modification-co2.png

    Despite the title of the image, I suspect this graph has less to do with land use modification than with tropical ocean outgassing of co2.

  444. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ferdinand, one step at a time.

    The sun warms down to 200 metres. The lower layers know nothing of the evaporative cooling at the top and will behave as if there were none.

    So the CO2 in that 200 metres will be driven off at the rate of 5.39C of warming for every 1C warming of the evaporative layer.

    That gets us mighty close to observations based on Henry’s Law as I said in my above post.

  445. Stephen Wilde says:

    ” You are making the same mistake as many before you that the CO2 content in the whole water column is important. Only the pCO2 concentration is important. It doesn’t matter if you shake a 0.5 or 1.0 or 2.0 liter bottle of coke: at the same temperature, the same pressure below the cork will be reached in equilibrium with the concentration in the coke, regardless of the total CO2 content.”

    Ok, I’m not 100% sure of my proposition, just putting it forward to be knocked down or not.The answer may well be helpful to others either way since there are ‘many before me’.

    There is no cork on an ocean so I’m not sure that the bottle analogy is helpful.

    If solar energy hits water at say 200 metres depth will it raise the temperature and reduce the concentration of CO2 at that depth or not ?

  446. Stephen Wilde says:

    The point I’m trying to resolve is whether or not it is reasonable to multiply the 16ppm per 1C warming of the surface by 5.39 in order to arrive at the true potential for solar input to a depth of 200 metres to release CO2 to the surface.

    I’m not sure but it seems reasonable, and the fit to observations is intriguing.

  447. Bart says:
    September 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I estimate somewhere between 3-6% of the trend is human induced, and all the math works out. What I have stated is that there is no room for significant human forcing. Less than 10% is insignificant.

    OK, let us assume 5% as a reasonable estimate.

    Thus the current increase in the atmosphere over a year is from the human 8 GtC + 160 GtC from a natural source. Thus an extra input of 168 GtC and an extra sink of 164 GtC, leading to an increase in the atmosphere of 4 GtC.

    Besides the fact that 160 GtC from the 168 GtC inputs (164 GtC output) is simply throughput and there still is no real contribution of the natural cycle to the increase in the atmosphere, there are some other problems:

    The 160 GtC can’t come from the biosphere, as that is about 30% of all land vegetation (per year!). Or it should be source and sink, but that is already accounted for in the regular seasonal cycle.
    They can come only from the deep oceans, as even the ocean surface only contains 1000 GtC and can’t be the source of 160 GtC/year, year after year (or it should be source and sink, but that is already accounted for in the regular seasonal/permanent cycle).

    Thus the deep oceans provide the extra CO2 input (and output?).
    Let us see what then happens with the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere:

    Starting at the current -8 per mil d13C level of the 800 GtC in the atmosphere, -24 per mil for 8 GtC from human emissions and zero per mil for 160 GtC from the deep oceans:
    The human addition alone gives a DEcrease from -8 per mil to -8.2 per mil in the atmosphere. The combination of the two extra CO2 injections gives an INcrease to -6.8 per mil. But we observe a DEcrease…

    As someone else may have said: only one observation that doesn’t fit a hypothesis, kills even the most beautiful hypothesis…

  448. John Finn says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Friends:

    Several here suggest that the delay of atmospheric CO2 behind global temperature is 15 years.

    I think the delay is ~30 years.

    Please see
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png
    and compare those decadal averages shifted back in time ~30 years
    to
    mean global temperature (e.g. HadCRUT, see
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ ) .

    Uhh?? You are comparing dCO2 (i.e. the rate of growth) with temperature.

    If your “30 year delay” holds water the CO2 growth should have stopped in ~1975 (i.e. 30 years after 1945) . After that growth should have been NEGATIVE until around 2000 due to the 1945-70 ‘cooling’..

    The fact that Mauna Loa data shows that atmospheric CO2 levels have increased year on year without interruption since measurements began in 1958 means there’s either no delay or temperature has had very little influence on CO2 levels. Actually since 1958 sits slap bang in the middle of the post-war cooling period – both conditions are probably true.

  449. Stephen Wilde says:

    “during glacials, there was far less evaporation and precipitation everywhere, thus far less clouds. That led to far more dust settling down in Antarctic ice cores, including the deep inland cores. But far less clouds means far more sunlight all over the globe. That should have lead to increased CO2 releases, if we may believe your theory”

    In that situation the sources would be very small compared to now and the the sinks very large compared to now because of the ice caps encroaching towards the equator and causing a substantial narrowing of the equatorial (source) climate zones whilst the more equatorward polar (sink) zones covered a larger geographical area than today. Thus despite the greater sunshine amounts the carbon cycle would have been much reduced and the power of the sources much less compared to the sinks.

  450. richardscourtney says:

    Bart:

    You say to me

    Unfortunately, your links are not working for me. But, if you can determine a rough period P for the component you are looking at, the delay should be roughly pi/2 (90 deg) divided by 2*pi/P, or P/4 (a quarter wavelength).

    The links are working for me but I copy them here in hope that will help.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    I repeat, if you compare
    (a) the decadal averages of CO2 in the first link shifted back in time ~30 years
    to
    (b) the HadCRUT global temperature time series in the first link
    then that implies the CO2 follows the temperature by ~30 years.

    What the delay “should” be is not relevant to what it is observed to be (assuming the delay exists).

    And you say

    It is probably not a coincidence, BTW, that 15 years is 1/4 of the wavelength of the ~60 year oscillation in temperature.

    30 years is 1/2 of the ~60 year oscillation in temperature. But so what? I don’t see why those data need to relate in any way.

    Richard

  451. richardscourtney says:

    Stephen Wilde:

    I offer a hint. You cannot assume 5.39 all the way down because the energy absorbtion varies with wavelength: the most energetic wavelengths are absorbed all the way down to ~200m but less energetic wavelengths are totally absorbed in lesser depths.

    Richard

  452. Stephen Wilde says:

    “You cannot assume 5.39 all the way down”

    I agree but can you multiply the 16ppm released at the surface by 5.39 as a result of temperature increases lower down reducing CO2 concentration at each level and thereby pushing CO2 towards the surface ?

    Does CO2 migrate through water in a temperature dependent fashion or not ?

  453. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    There is no cork on an ocean so I’m not sure that the bottle analogy is helpful.

    Indeed most of the oceans surface is not in equilibrium with the atmosphere, because there is no cork on it to let the water and atmosphere get into equilibrium. But the CO2 release or uptake is in direct proportion to the pCO2 difference between water and atmosphere, thus the pCO2 (directly related to the CO2 concentration and temperature) at the surface determines how much CO2 is exchanged with the atmosphere, not the total quantity that resides below the surface.

    If solar energy hits water at say 200 metres depth will it raise the temperature and reduce the concentration of CO2 at that depth or not ?

    It surely will increase the temperature at that depth and increase the local CO2 pressure, but there is no way that CO2 can escape to the atmosphere, except by mixing by wind and temperature induced convection. Only when reaching the atmosphere, the temperature and the CO2 concentration at the surface will give a release or uptake in ratio with the pCO2 difference between water and atmosphere.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    The point I’m trying to resolve is whether or not it is reasonable to multiply the 16ppm per 1C warming of the surface by 5.39 in order to arrive at the true potential for solar input to a depth of 200 metres to release CO2 to the surface.

    The factor 5.39 is for the phase transition of water to vapour. For CO2 there is no phase transition at all. The 16 ppmv/°C is the real, measured, equilibrium CO2 level change for seawater in the air above it. Thus no, there is no factor in play.

  454. richardscourtney says:

    John Finn:

    re. your comment to me at September 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm.

    Either I was insufficiently clear in what I wrote or you are misleading the graph at
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png

    You say to me

    If your “30 year delay” holds water the CO2 growth should have stopped in ~1975 (i.e. 30 years after 1945) . After that growth should have been NEGATIVE until around 2000 due to the 1945-70 ‘cooling’..

    No, “stopped” and “negative” would not be expected. The long time delay could be expected to smooth the CO2 emission rate and – because the overall trend is positive – that would result in a period of much reduced emission.

    In the histogram the decadal average centred on 1995 is lower than the decadal averages before and after it.
    i.e. the growth rate is shown to reduce in the decadal average of the NOAA data.
    Indeed, the growth rate progressively reduces from 2.3 ppmv/y in 1987 to 0.4 ppmv/y in 1993 and it then progressively recovers until 1997 (or arguably 2002).

    Displaced 30 years forward and the ‘low’ decadal period centres to 1965 which is during the temperature decline after ~1940. That is reasonable agreement (assuming the delay exists).

    Richard

  455. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Flailing…

    richardscourtney says:
    September 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    “But so what? I don’t see why those data need to relate in any way.”

    15 years is 1/4 wavelength. That is the expected delay time for a cyclic input at 60 years^-1. The delay is what it should be. It is tautological with the observed integral relationship.

    Integration of a Fourier basis function results in a 1/4 wavelength delay. It does not matter if you accept the relationship as being cause and effect or not – the data show that the CO2 output is equivalent to that of an integration of the scaled and offset temperature. You will necessarily get a 1/4 wavelength delay. The delay is not uniform across frequency – it is inversely proportional to frequency in the Fourier decomposition of the input function.

  456. richardscourtney says:

    Stephen Wilde:

    re your questions to me at September 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm.

    I am worried that you may be ‘pulling me off the fence’ which I am determined to stay on.

    A couple of years ago I did some ‘back of an envelope’ calcs. similar to yours. I assumed that Henry’s Law applied at each level. If that assumption is made, then all the CO2 ‘driven off’ by the radiation escapes the surface. But I do not know if the assumption is valid although it is reasonable. And, as Ferdinand says, he rejects it.

    Data, empirical data, my kingdom for empirical data! (with apologies to W. Shakespeare)

    Richard

  457. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ok,

    i) ” temperature induced convection”

    So the CO2 down to 200 metres can migrate upwards as a result of heating at that level and also at all intermediate levels.

    ii) Meanwhile at the surface the CO2 already at the surface is released to the air at the rate of 16 ppm per 1C of warming.

    iii) But that other CO2 is coming up, in addition, to add to the vapour pressure of CO2 in the water at the surface so the combination must be more than 16ppm.But how much more ?

    iv) When the surface temperature rises by 1C that is the net rise after taking the cooling effect of the phase change of increased evaporation of the water surface into account so the extra energy being supplied by the sun to support the phase change for the water must be equivalent to warming of the water surface of 5.39C in the absence of more evaporation.

    v) So although the surface only warms by 1C the actual amount of energy being supplied by the sun to that 200 metres of depth is equivalent to 5.39C if no extra evaporation were occurring.

    vi) The rate of migration upwards of CO2 from below would then be that which would be expected from a warming of 5.39C and the amount of outgassing would be that much more than 16ppm

    Or would it ?

  458. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Data, empirical data, my kingdom for empirical data! ”

    Thanks Richard but don’t get off the fence just for me.

    That said I think we do have some empirical data now:

    i) The AIRS chart showing CO2 coming out of the sunny oceanic regions but no sign of any coming out of the largest human conurbations.

    ii) The fact that we have seen a rise of about 100ppm which isn’t far off the figure to be expected from multiplying 16ppm by 5.39. The shortfall may be due to error margins or impurities in the seawater.The low sea surface temperature rise is a consequence of increased evaporation and not representative of any shortage of solar energy required to achieve the observed outcome.

    As for Ferdinand’s other objections I remain of the view that one or more of his underlying assumptions are wrong or incomplete in relation to each objection.

  459. richardscourtney says:
    September 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    In the histogram the decadal average centred on 1995 is lower than the decadal averages before and after it.

    Richard, the only reason that the CO2 rate of change in that decade is less than in the previous decade, is the 1991 eruption of the Pinatubo. That caused a temperature drop which increased the CO2 uptake of that year and the following year.

    Nothing to do with previous temperature changes…

  460. tallbloke says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm
    The 160 GtC can’t come from the biosphere, as that is about 30% of all land vegetation (per year!). Or it should be source and sink, but that is already accounted for in the regular seasonal cycle.
    They can come only from the deep oceans,

    Or from additional degassing from volcagenic soil sources receiving extra sunshine due to diminished cloud post 1960. For which there is empirical evidence which is far more persuasive than the IPCC’s ‘preferred estimate’.

    I can see why they, and you, prefer it though.

  461. tallbloke says:

    Stephen, if the Antarctic ice cores suffer all the problems of diffusion etc that Jaworowski flagged up, and the scaling is wrong, as the stomata data indicates, then the figure Ferdi gets via henry’s law of 16ppm is wrong anyway.

  462. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Stephen, I have the impression that you haven’t stolen your name: you make a lot of really wild assumptions…

    i) ” temperature induced convection”
    So the CO2 down to 200 metres can migrate upwards as a result of heating at that level and also at all intermediate levels.

    And by wind and waves. Therefore it is called the “mixed layer”.

    i) Meanwhile at the surface the CO2 already at the surface is released to the air at the rate of 16 ppm per 1C of warming.

    No the CO2 is not released at a rate of 16 ppmv/°C. the CO2 is released in ratio with the pCO2 difference between water and atmosphere. Near the equator, there is a release, near the poles there is uptake. An increase of 1°C of the sea surface will increase the release at the equator somewhat and decrease the uptake at the poles somewhat, the net effect being that the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase until the new level indeed is increased with 16 ppmv/°C.

    iii) But that other CO2 is coming up, in addition, to add to the vapour pressure of CO2 in the water at the surface so the combination must be more than 16ppm.But how much more ?

    The upcoming CO2 doesn’t “add” to the vapour pressure. The vapour pressure of the surface water decreased because it released some CO2 to the atmosphere, that is replaced by new water of the deeper layers. That will reach the same pCO2 as before, if the concentration and temperature are the same.

    vi) The rate of migration upwards of CO2 from below would then be that which would be expected from a warming of 5.39C and the amount of outgassing would be that much more than 16ppm

    Even if the mixing of the surface waters was instantaneously, the total amount of CO2 mixing up is of little interest, only the CO2 pressure at the surface is of interest and that is only a matter of concentration and temperature. The temperature didn’t increase with a 5-fold. The CO2 pressure at the surface has nothing to do with any heating factor. Only the real temperature change is of interest for the CO2 pressure at the surface and thus for the CO2 releases.

  463. tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Or from additional degassing from volcagenic soil sources receiving extra sunshine due to diminished cloud post 1960. For which there is empirical evidence which is far more persuasive than the IPCC’s ‘preferred estimate’.

    Roger, I don’t see that lavafields after cooling down from 1200°C will release any more CO2 when heated by sunlight from 10°C at night to 80°C or so during the day. A lot of CO2 comes from the deep magma, driven by the decomposition of subducted carbonate sediments.

    But if we assume that the volcanoes are the real culprit. How do you explain that the CO2 and d13C levels in the atmosphere follow the human emissions with an extremely straight ratio over 160 years? And where are the extra sinks?

    The increase in the atmosphere is 4 GtC/year. If volcanoes add 160 GtC and humans add 8 GtC/year, still some 164 GtC/year extra (besides the already working natural cycle) need to be dissolved somewhere.

    And last but not least, all extra addition from volcanoes is mainly turnover: 160 GtC extra comes in from a natural source, 164 GtC goes out into a natural sink (wherever that may be) , thus 160 GtC of the natural cycle goes straightforward from source to sink and doesn’t add to the increase in the atmosphere. The difference is that 8 GtC extra leads to 4 GtC increase in the atmosphere. The 8 GtC all human…

    BTW, have you seen the effect of the Pinatubo eruption: a net dip in the rate of change of CO2. For the largest eruption including its CO2 release in many decades…

  464. John Finn says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    At what point would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to actually fall.

  465. tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Stephen, if the Antarctic ice cores suffer all the problems of diffusion etc that Jaworowski flagged up, and the scaling is wrong, as the stomata data indicates, then the figure Ferdi gets via henry’s law of 16ppm is wrong anyway.

    Please Roger, let the late Jaworowski rest in his grave. It was told to me that he was a nice person, but that doesn’t change the fact that his knowledge ended in 1992 and that since then a lot more is known of the behaviour of ice cores and its content…

    As you may know, stomata are parts of leaves, which by definition grow on land (sea plants have more than enough CO2), where CO2 levels largely vary over day and night, growing seasons, wind speed and direction, changes in landscape and land use over the centuries… All local/regional problems the Antarctic ice cores don’t need to take into account…

    And the 16 ppmv/°C for seawater is simply measured, no matter if ice cores are wrong and stomata are right. The difference is that 16 ppmv/°C is for the oceans alone, while 8 ppmv/°C is what the ice cores give for all influences combined, thus including the opposite reaction of vegetation, (deep) ocean current changes, ice sheet formation and vegetation area changes…

  466. Bart says:
    September 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Flailing…

    A little childish as reaction, don’t you think.

    The main point is that regardless of the enormous increase in natural sources and sinks, the net contribution of the natural cycle to the increase in the atmosphere is negative: a net sink. Only the throughput/turnover increased enormously. Thus despite all your theoretical considerations, the natural cycle is not the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere. Thus the contribution of temperature to the increase is minimal and the same coefficient for fast changes and the trend is pure coincidence.

  467. tallbloke says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm
    tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Or from additional degassing from volcagenic soil sources receiving extra sunshine due to diminished cloud post 1960. For which there is empirical evidence which is far more persuasive than the IPCC’s ‘preferred estimate’.

    Roger, I don’t see that lavafields after cooling down from 1200°C will release any more CO2 when heated by sunlight from 10°C at night to 80°C or so during the day. A lot of CO2 comes from the deep magma, driven by the decomposition of subducted carbonate sediments.

    Cardellini and Casey know more about this than me, or I suspect, you.

    But if we assume that the volcanoes are the real culprit. How do you explain that the CO2 and d13C levels in the atmosphere follow the human emissions with an extremely straight ratio over 160 years? And where are the extra sinks?

    Don’t know, but wherever there are complex issues over isotopes, there is a way of making the data fit the theory.

    The increase in the atmosphere is 4 GtC/year. If volcanoes add 160 GtC and humans add 8 GtC/year, still some 164 GtC/year extra (besides the already working natural cycle) need to be dissolved somewhere.

    Yes. Big problem for theorists who thought they already knew the sinks sufficiently well to posit arguments and believe them conclusive. Not a problem for me.

    And last but not least, all extra addition from volcanoes is mainly turnover: 160 GtC extra comes in from a natural source, 164 GtC goes out into a natural sink (wherever that may be) , thus 160 GtC of the natural cycle goes straightforward from source to sink and doesn’t add to the increase in the atmosphere. The difference is that 8 GtC extra leads to 4 GtC increase in the atmosphere. The 8 GtC all human…

    You are thinking statically again. We are talking of an INCREASE in degassing over the last five decades due to the DECREASE IN CLOUD COVER AND MORE SUNSHINE HOURS.

    BTW, have you seen the effect of the Pinatubo eruption: a net dip in the rate of change of CO2. For the largest eruption including its CO2 release in many decades…

    Yes. I think this is partly where the IPC went wrong with their ‘preferred estimate’ of 0.26Gt/year globally as the volcanic contribution. They are thinking, like you, in terms of co2 from eruptions. But the really big volcagenic emissions are from vast soil areas not craters. And so the extra cloud cover caused by cloud seeding particulates from pinatubo and stratospheric sulphates perhaps, meant cooler surface conditions and less soil degassing for a couple of years. Your observation supports our hypothesis nicely, thanks. ;-)

  468. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Really, Ferdinand… give it up. You’ve got nothing to go on but gut feel. The “mass balance” argument is dead. Let it rest in peace.

  469. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ferdinand, I can see the points you have got wrong in your interpretation of what I’ve said but I can see you won’t accept the principle whatever I say so I’ll leave it for now, give it more thought as to how I can better express it, and use it elsewhere in the future.

    Richard gets the point , apparently it had occurred to him in the past, so lots of others will get it too.

    In, essence (for those with open minds), the amount of CO2 driven upward and out from the surface by more solar energy entering the top 200 metres does not need to be proportionate to the temperature rise at the surface because of the confounding effect of evaporation from the surface.

    Instead, it is proportionate to the amount of solar energy exciting the molecules within that 200 metres thereby driving the CO2 upwards and reducing concentration of CO2 throiughout that 200 metre depth.

    That amount of solar energy, due to the enthalpy of vaporisation, is 5.39 times the amount of energy required to raise the surface temperature by the amount actually observed so it has to be factored in as regards the application of Henry’s Law from layer to layer throughout the depth affected by the incoming solar radiation.

    Thus has the potential for outgassing as a result of changes in insolation from cloudiness changes been grossly underestimated.

  470. Stephen Wilde says:

    Here is a chart of ocean heat content anomaly showing a step change in the rate of increase around 2002 by which time cloudiness had started to increase again:

    http://oceans.pmel.noaa.gov/

    It goes to 700 metres instead of 200 metres and so not perfect for my point but good enough.

    Here is a record of the annual mean growth rate for C02 in the atmosphere:

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

    The mean growth rate has levelled off since around 2000.

    Mere coincidence ? I think not.

    There have been previous periods of levelling off or decline in the CO2 growth rate but in each case I suspect a link to ENSO conditions at the time and of course ENSO states would affect the temperature of the top 200 metres and so influence the rate of outgassing.

    The 1997/8 super El Nino shows a nice peak in CO2 growth rate and the subsequent deep La Nina shows a nice deep trough in CO2 growth rate..

    So we can see that already the recent change in trends has affected both ocean heat content accumulation rate and CO2 rate of increase in the atmosphere.

    Now we just need to see what happens if the sun stays quiet, jets remain meridional and higher cloudiness continues to reduce solar energy getting into the oceans to fuel the system.

  471. tallbloke says:

    I’ve worked out the answer to the isotope argument.

    If we are right about lots of extra co2 being naturally emitted from volcagenic solis and oceans due to reduced tropical cloud cover, then the airborne fraction would have increased even if there were no human emissions.

    So the fact that the ratio of D13 to D12 isotope has changed because plants preferentially absorb one rather than another doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s the human emission which is primarily responsible for the increase, given it’s small scale compared to the natural carbon cycle.

    Ferdi claims the drop in the ratio is ‘just right’ to account for the human emission being responsible for all the increase. These ‘goldilocks’ calculations always arouse my suspicion that creative accounting brought about by confirmation bias is at work. The discovery that volcagenic emission is vastly greater than the IPCC ‘preferred estimate’ confirms it. Also, we must bear in mind Casey’s observation that given the woeful undersampling of volcagenic sources, it is always possible that isotope ratio outliers in the volcagenic fraction actually dominate.

  472. richardscourtney says:

    John Finn:

    At September 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm you ask me

    At what point would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to actually fall.

    Clearly, you have not been paying attention.

    I do not “expect” anything. My point – from which I have refused to waiver – is that we lack sufficient data on the carbon cycle to determine the causality of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    The future trajectory of the CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be predicted when we do not know why the CO2 in the atmosphere is changing.

    Please read the thread before jumping in with silly questions near the end of two weeks of continuous debate.

    Richard

  473. richardscourtney says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    At September 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm you say to me
    Richard, the only reason that the CO2 rate of change in that decade is less than in the previous decade, is the 1991 eruption of the Pinatubo. That caused a temperature drop which increased the CO2 uptake of that year and the following year.

    Nothing to do with previous temperature changes…
    I tend to agree, and that is why whenever I mentioned it I included the caveat “(assuming the lag exists)”.

    However, that was not my point. It had been repeatedly asserted that there is a delay and the lag is 15 years. My point was that the data indicates if the lag exists then it is 30 years (i.e. not 15).

    Please note that Bart has responded that the lag must be 15 years (for reasons which I fail to understand).

    Richard

  474. Stephen Wilde says:

    “it is always possible that isotope ratio outliers in the volcagenic fraction actually dominate”

    Or indeed any non organic fraction.

  475. John Finn says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 11, 2012 at 1:15 am
    John Finn: At September 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm you ask me

    At what point would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to actually fall.

    Clearly, you have not been paying attention.

    I do not “expect” anything. My point – from which I have refused to waiver – is that we lack sufficient data on the carbon cycle to determine the causality of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    It is you who suggested – with some confidence – that there is a “30 year delay”. You provided ‘evidence’ which showed that when cooling takes place atmospheric CO2 levels don’t rise as fast as when it is warming – though it does keep rising . I, therefore, asked the quite reasonable question as to when (and under what conditions) would levels actually fall. You don’t have an answer for this which suggests you haven’t thought things through properly – or at all .

    The future trajectory of the CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be predicted when we do not know why the CO2 in the atmosphere is changing.

    We do know why it is changing. We (humans) have introduced an additional source of atmospheric CO2 via fossil fuel burning. While the biosphere has increased it’s CO2 uptake to partly offset the man-made emissions there is an excess each year following the annual carbon cycle.

    That, Richard, is why atmospheric CO2 levels have increased through both warming AND cooling periods.

    Please read the thread before jumping in with silly questions near the end of two weeks of continuous debate. </i.

    I have read the thread and the only 'silliness' I've noted comes from those who are desperate to show that the increase in CO2 levels over the past 100 years or so is not influenced by human activity. I've read your ill-thought out nonsense about a 30 year delay which supposedly explains the 'noise' at a decadal level while the actual trend is apparently explained by some unknown, never before seen, phenomenon which, coincidentally, just happens to have kicked in at the same time and at the same pace as human industrialisation. I've also read Stephen Wilde's laughable attempts to show that Henry's Law supports a 100ppm/1deg increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Look – I don't have a problem with it – but we stick around 8GtC into the atmosphere every year which is equivalent to a ~4ppm rise. If we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow then 8GtC (~4 ppm) less would end up in the atmosphere and CO2 levels would start to fall.

    Richard

  476. Stephen Wilde says:

    I don’t think there is a lag as regards the commencement of a change in CO2 emission rates from the equatorial oceanic sources because as soon as sunlight increases then so does the emission rate.

    However, there would be a lag in terms of the time it takes to reverse any pre existing trend thus it might take 15 years to change a net gain to a net loss and another 15 years to consolidate the new trend until it starts to reverse again.

    So what I think we have is an underlying background trend of increasing ocean emissions since the LIA and overlain on that is variations in the rate of change imposed by ENSO on an interannual timescale and PDO (or Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation as preferred by Bob Tisdale) on an approximate 60 year timescale.

    I think that fits the mean growth rate trend reasonably well.

    There is also a possibility that returning MWP water from the Thermohaline Circulation could be influencing water temperatures and the CO2 vapour pressure some 800 to 1000 years later but the primary influence would be current levels of insolation.

  477. tallbloke says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Form the Cardellini reference:

    …highlights the presence of two large CO2 degassing structures… …that, for the magnitude and for the geochemical-isotopic features, were related to a regional process of mantle degassing.

    Thus the degassing of CO2 in Italy comes from the mantle, several km deep, not from lavafields and completely unaffected by sunlight. The carbon isotopes ratio says something about the origin of the CO2: if it was from subduction of carbonate sediments, the 13C/12C ratio would be around zero per mil, deep mantle CO2 has a lower 13C/12C ratio, but in general still above the ratio in the atmosphere. See:
    http://univ-lyon1.academia.edu/NicolasColtice/Papers/115851/Carbon_isotope_cycle_and_mantle_structure
    The Italian earth degassing seems to be from carbonate subduction, as the d13C level is quite high (at +0.5 per mil):
    http://reading.academia.edu/AntonioCosta/Papers/568893/Non-volcanic_CO2_Earth_degassing_Case_of_Mefite_dAnsanto_southern_Apennines_Italy

    So the fact that the ratio of D13 to D12 isotope has changed because plants preferentially absorb one rather than another doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s the human emission which is primarily responsible for the increase, given it’s small scale compared to the natural carbon cycle.

    First, you underestimate the influence of fossil fuel burning on the isotope ratios. Even since ~1870 the carbon dating needed correction tables to correct for the use of zero 14C fossil fuels. The point is that we see a firm DEcrease in 13C/12C ratio, while the extra growth of the biosphere causes an INcrease in 13C/12C ratio, thus the biosphere can’t be the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Neither are the oceans or volcanic eruptions or deep earth CO2 releases, as these have a higher 13C/12C ratio than the atmosphere…

    In fact, it is possible to estimate the deep ocean circulation through the atmosphere, as what goes down in the deep oceans near the poles is the current isotopic composition (minus the fractionation at the air-water border) and what is released in the tropics is the historical composition (plus any underway changes and the fractionation at the water-air border). Without such a “thinning” of the human signal, the d13C level would have dropped from pre-industrial -6.4 per mil to -11 per mil. The observed drop is to -8 per mil, which means that about 2/3rd of all human induced CO2 was exchanged by natural CO2 from the deep oceans. No exchanges with the oceans surface and vegetation wer taken into account, that gives a (rather small) deviation with reality. See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg

  478. vukcevic says:

    richardscourtney says: September 10, 2012 at 11:35 am
    Friends:
    Several here suggest that the delay of atmospheric CO2 behind global temperature is 15 years. I think the delay is ~30 years.

    Bart says:
    September 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    The delay is 90 degrees of phase, reflecting the integral relationship.

    I am not into the CO2 radiative physics, but what I found in the N. Atlantic’s oscillation may be of some interest.
    Solar input may vary a bit but it is the Earth core oscillations that compromise integrity of the thermo-haline layers, allowing the greater or lesser absorption of the incoming energy.
    Atmospheric pressure in the far N. Atlantic (home of the AMO) reacts more or less simultaneously, while temperature peak follows about 15 years later.
    See the screen copy of an article I wrote while ago and it is available on line since few days ago
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSO-AMO.htm

    This appears to be confirmed by the oscillating exchange of energy between ocean surface and the cumulative atmospheric pressure
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAO-SST-ea.htm
    with phase difference (pi)/2 =15-16 years for the potential difference, and (pi)=32 years for the energy.

  479. John Finn says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Here is a chart of ocean heat content anomaly showing a step change in the rate of increase around 2002 by which time cloudiness had started to increase again:
    http://oceans.pmel.noaa.gov/
    It goes to 700 metres instead of 200 metres and so not perfect for my point but good enough.

    Here is a record of the annual mean growth rate for C02 in the atmosphere:

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

    The mean growth rate has levelled off since around 2000.

    Mere coincidence ? I think not.

    What is this supposed to mean?? The mean growth rate since 2000 is ~2ppm per year which is the highest rate for any decade since ML measurements began. The graph in your link shows us that each decade has seen an increase in growth rate since the 1960s. The only exception being the 1990s when growth rates fell relative to the 1980s, but, as ferdie has pointed out, this was due to the Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

    You appear to be confused. The growth rate, i.e. the trend, since 2000 is 2ppm/year. However this is just an average. There is some variation (or noise) which is the result of (mainly) ENSO conditions.

    The mean atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2000 was 369.52ppm
    The mean atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2011 was 391.57ppm

    That’s 22ppm in 11 years. The so-called ‘levelling off’ you seem to imagine is happening is because annual global CO2 (fossil fuel) emissions, though increasing, have been broadly similar over the decade and any increase in growth rate is being obscured by the noise.

  480. tallbloke says:

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 2:32 am

    you haven’t thought things through properly – or at all
    Stephen Wilde’s laughable attempts
    those who are desperate

    Yawn.

  481. Stephen Wilde says:

    John Finn said:

    “I’ve also read Stephen Wilde’s laughable attempts to show that Henry’s Law supports a 100ppm/1deg increase in atmospheric CO2 levels. ”

    If it is laughable (or just plain wrong) I’d be the first to appreciate knowing why that is so in order that I can henceforth ignore the idea.

    When solar energy excites a water molecule at 200 metres depth what do you think then happens to the CO2 concentration at that depth ?

    To give a 1C surface temperature rise at the surface the total amount of energy required to achieve that rise needs to take into account the enthalpy of vaporisation doesn’t it ?

    If not, why not ?

  482. Smokey says:

    John Finn,

    Can you move beyond the obvious? CO2 is rising. Some of the increase is due to human emissions, and some to ocean outgassing. But the only measurements show that CO2 follows temperature. However, rising CO2 does not seem to affect global temperature. Thus, your arm-waving is misplaced.

    Based on empirical evidence, the putative causation between rising CO2 and subsequent rising temperature is falsified. The fact is that CO2 follows temperature, not vice-versa.

    The CO2=CAGW conjecture is falsified. Back to the drawing board.

  483. Stephen Wilde says:

    John Finn said

    “The mean growth rate since 2000 is ~2ppm per year which is the highest rate for any decade since ML measurements began. The graph in your link shows us that each decade has seen an increase in growth rate since the 1960s.”

    Solar input to the oceans due to poleward shifting climate zones with expanding tropics and reducing cloudiness increased each decade from the 60s.That is the more likely explanation.

    During the past decade, although at a high level, the rate of increase appears to have stopped accelerating in correlation with now increasing cloudiness.That is despite still accelerating CO2 emissions on a decadal timescale.

    Whether it is mere noise can be determned by observing what happens next provided the sun stays quiet and global cloudiness remains higher than it was in the late 20th century.

    If I turn out wrong then so be it but weighing the various bits of evidence against one another I remain moderately confident.

  484. Bart says:
    September 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Really, Ferdinand… give it up. You’ve got nothing to go on but gut feel. The “mass balance” argument is dead. Let it rest in peace.

    Bart, all you are staring at is one graph which by coincidence shows the same factor for the fast responses and the slower response. Every other single piece of evidence shows that the slower response can’t be caused by temperature, but that doesn’t change your mind.

    OK, that is your opinion, I have mine…

    BTW, the mass balance still is alive and kicking, as it shows that your argument of fast sinks simply gives more throughput without any net input of the natural flows and humans still fully responsible for the increase in the atmosphere.

  485. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 11, 2012 at 6:40 am

    When solar energy excites a water molecule at 200 metres depth what do you think then happens to the CO2 concentration at that depth ?

    Nothing, the CO2 concentration can’t change, because it can’t escape at that depth… What happens is that the pCO2 (the tention to escape) increases, as the excitation (temperature) of the water molecules is spread over all molecules at that depth. But as long as the CO2 molecules aren’t moved to the surface, nothing will happen.

    To give a 1C surface temperature rise at the surface the total amount of energy required to achieve that rise needs to take into account the enthalpy of vaporisation doesn’t it ?

    Yes it does, but that has nothing to do with what CO2 needs to escape: only a temperature change causes a change in pCO2, the amount of energy needed to get the temperature change is not of importance for CO2.

  486. Stephen Wilde says:

    i) “But as long as the CO2 molecules aren’t moved to the surface, nothing will happen.”

    Previously you conceded that they would move upward via convection within the water and of course the more solar energy penetrating the water the more upward convection there would be.

    ii) “but that has nothing to do with what CO2 needs to escape: only a temperature change causes a change in pCO2, the amount of energy needed to get the temperature change is not of importance for CO2.”

    In order to escape from the water faster there needs to be more CO2 vapour pressure in the water. If CO2 is moving up from below then the vapour pressure at the surface will rise and more will be released.

    The amount of energy involved is important because it is that energy which causes the rise upward from depth and because of the enthalpy of evaporation the surface temperature of water is not an accurate reflection of the amount of energy actually involved.

    So saying that 1C gives 16ppm release is not good enough because the water surface temperature is misleadingly low as a result of evaporation. Instead one must look to the amount of energy driving the process which is 5.39 times as much as one would expect from a surface temperature rise of 1C.

  487. richardscourtney says:

    John Finn:

    At September 11, 2012 at 2:32 am you say to me:

    We (humans) have introduced an additional source of atmospheric CO2 via fossil fuel burning. While the biosphere has increased it’s CO2 uptake to partly offset the man-made emissions there is an excess each year following the annual carbon cycle.

    That, Richard, is why atmospheric CO2 levels have increased through both warming AND cooling periods.

    OK. Do me a favour and prove it. I have tried to prove it and failed. Indeed, the more I have tried the more evidence I have found that it is not possible to determine the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    I want to know the cause of that rise.
    You say you know the cause.
    So, convince me with solid argument supported by clear evidence which explains the problems with your assertion; e.g. why is the rise happening although the dynamics of sequestration indicate that all emissions (both natural and anthropogenic) are easily sequestered by the sequestration processes?

    Don’t assert it. Prove it.

    Richard

  488. Stephen Wilde says:

    “your argument of fast sinks simply gives more throughput without any net input of the natural flows and humans still fully responsible for the increase in the atmosphere.”

    Fast sinks locally that are only energised when human CO2 reaches them give more total throughput but need have no effect on the natural net throughput that still occurs as before with no necessary effect on the natural net balance from the human contribution.

    The natural global net balance is as it would have been anyway and the human emissions are absorbed locally by a response provoked by those emissions for a zero net effect overall.

    As per your earlier business analogy. More turnover (emissions) less more expenses (local absorption) comes to zero and the natural underlying balance remains unaffected.

  489. Bart says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 11, 2012 at 1:40 am

    “Please note that Bart has responded that the lag must be 15 years (for reasons which I fail to understand).”

    The lag for a 60 year cycle in temperature has to be 15 years, and there happens to be a strong ~60 year component in the temperature record. For other components of the driving temperature input, it is different, in inverse proportion to the frequency. For other inputs which cause transient events, it is not so constrained.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 11, 2012 at 2:33 am

    “I don’t think there is a lag as regards the commencement of a change in CO2 emission rates from the equatorial oceanic sources because as soon as sunlight increases then so does the emission rate.”

    Indeed, the dominant CO2 rate is coincident with the temperature. The level itself therefore lags 90 degrees in phase.

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 2:32 am

    “I have read the thread and the only ‘silliness’ I’ve noted comes from those who are desperate to show that the increase in CO2 levels over the past 100 years or so is not influenced by human activity.”

    And, the Earth is obviously flat, and disease is caused by evil spirits, and volcanoes erupt because not enough virgins have been sacrificed. Simple folk demand simple answers. This brings to mind that scene in “A FIsh Called Wanda” when Otto asks, “Do monkeys read Nietzsche?”, and Wanda replies, “Yes! But they don’t understand it!”

    No, John. The rise is entirely due to temperatures. That is compelled by affine relationship between temperature and CO2 rate of change.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

    “BTW, the mass balance still is alive and kicking, as it shows that your argument of fast sinks simply gives more throughput without any net input of the natural flows and humans still fully responsible for the increase in the atmosphere.”

    The argument is dead. It has been shown that it does not constrain humans to have been the source of the rise.

  490. vukcevic says:

    [ richardscourtney says:September 11, 2012 at 1:40 am
    “Please note that Bart has responded that the lag must be 15 years (for reasons which I fail to understand).” ]
    ……………….
    Richard
    It is a common property for the energy exchange within oscillating events.
    Example:
    Take a long swing which takes 3 seconds to go forth and 3 seconds to come back, its period is 6 seconds. It takes ½ of 3 seconds to ‘fall’ from the highest point (where potential energy is at maximum and kinetic energy =0) to the lowest point (where potential energy =0 and the kinetic energy is at maximum), i.e. ¼ of 6 seconds or ¼ of its period.
    If analogy is applied to the North Atlantic SST oscillation with period of 60 years (actually it is closer like 64) then 15 years is ¼ of its 60 year period.
    Now if the CO2 had a 60 year cycle than analogy would be complete, it does not as far as I know, but I am not into CO2 radiative physics..
    The full analogy is found between cumulative atmospheric pressure and the SST in the north Atlantic as it is demonstrated here
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAO-SST-ea.htm
    During these oscillations ocean may be out-gassing CO2.
    I hope I got that right.

  491. John Finn says:

    Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

    No, John. The rise is entirely due to temperatures. That is compelled by affine relationship between temperature and CO2 rate of change.

    Why do you keep comparing temperature with the CO2 rate of change. All your link does is illustrate the well known fact that CO2 increases more in warm SST (e.g. El Nino) years than it does in ‘cool’ (e.g La Nina) years.

    To put it another way the rate of change/temperature plot explains the ‘noise’ – it does not explain the trend

  492. John Finn says:

    Re: John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Regarding my earlier post.

    Bart, I’ll ask you the same question I asked Richard Courtney, i.e.

    At what point and under what conditions would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to actually fall?

  493. Smokey says:

    John Finn,

    The trend in CO2 follows the trend in temperature. Look at this graph, and you will see that is a fact. That cause and effect relationship occurs on all time scales, out to at least 400,000 years.

    There is no measurable evidence showing that changes in CO2 cause changes in temperature. None. Therefore, your entire belief system is falsified. Quit wasting everyone’s time with your pseudoscience.

  494. Stephen Wilde says:

    “To put it another way the rate of change/temperature plot explains the ‘noise’ – it does not explain the trend”

    The background trend is supplied by the increasing solar insolation in the equatorial regions since the LIA during which period the increasing level of solar activity has been making the equatorial air masses wider with more zonal / poleward jets allowing more sunlight into the oceans.

    Throughout the period since the LIA the strength of El Ninos has been gaining over the strength of La Ninas.

    Once solar activity really starts dropping and for long enough (cycles 24 and 25 might just be a low blip for all I know as yet) the process will go into reverse for the subsequent 400 to 500 years and atmospheric CO2 should then show a long term falling trend in the background.

  495. richardscourtney says:

    vukcevic:

    re your post addressed to me at September 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Thankyou.

    Richard

  496. Stephen Wilde says:

    vukcevic says:
    September 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Yes you got it right.

    As I said above:

    “However, there would be a lag in terms of the time it takes to reverse any pre existing trend thus it might take 15 years to change a net gain to a net loss and another 15 years to consolidate the new trend until it starts to reverse again.”

  497. Bart says:

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

    ” it does not explain the trend “

    Sure it does. That’s the integral of the offset. There has to be an offset. After all, the temperatures themselves are anomalies, and relative to an arbitrary baseline, so why shouldn’t there be an offset?

    More importantly, it explains the curvature. And, that is what rules out significant human attribution.

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “At what point and under what conditions would you expect atmospheric CO2 levels to actually fall?”

    Either when temperatures fall enough, or there is a regime change in the state of the sources which brings the equilibrium temperature higher, or both. With current conditions, I would not expect CO2 levels to fall until temperatures had decreased a sizable fraction of a degree, e.g., the correlation here suggests it would not actually reverse course until lower troposhperic temperatures fell 0.6 deg. However, those conditions could change.

  498. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 11, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Stephen, again, energy and temperature are related, but are completely different things.

    Previously you conceded that they would move upward via convection within the water and of course the more solar energy penetrating the water the more upward convection there would be.

    Maybe, maybe not, depends of where most of the sunlight is absorbed (which is just under the surface, not at 200 m depth) but that is completely besides the question you asked: what happens to the CO2 concentration at 200 m depth. The only straightforward answer is “nothing”.

    In order to escape from the water faster there needs to be more CO2 vapour pressure in the water. If CO2 is moving up from below then the vapour pressure at the surface will rise and more will be released.

    Depends where the highest temperature is. If water is rising by wind/waves and the temperature at the surface is higher than from the depth, then the surface will cool and less CO2 is released… That is in general the case:
    http://www.marine.csiro.au/~gronell/cookbook/csiro.htm
    Or you can have the opposite that the deeper water warms up by mixing with the warmer surface water and releases more CO2…
    But that all has little to do with sunlight, except for its influence on temperature.

    So saying that 1C gives 16ppm release is not good enough

    Stephen, you may not like it, but the energy content of the water has nothing to do with how much CO2 is released. The latter is only dependent of the temperature (and salt content of the seawater). The 16 ppmv is what is measured by shaking seawater and air at different temperatures until in equilibrium (which is within minutes). Further the 16 ppmv is not release, but pressure. Release depends of pressure differences with the atmosphere…

  499. Stephen Wilde says:
    September 11, 2012 at 7:59 am

    As per your earlier business analogy. More turnover (emissions) less more expenses (local absorption) comes to zero and the natural underlying balance remains unaffected.

    More turnover = more balanced inputs and outputs, but the net balance is more own money than is seen as gain at the end of the year. No matter how fast your own money goes into the drain, your bussiness makes a loss…

  500. John Finn says:

    Smokey says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

    John Finn,

    The trend in CO2 follows the trend in temperature. Look at this graph, and you will see that is a fact. That cause and effect relationship occurs on all time scales, out to at least 400,000 years.

    Smokey
    I realise you struggle with this stuff but data prior to the last 150 years is not terribly relevant to what’s happening at the moment. Basically we (humans) are providing an additional source of atmospheric CO2 which is totally independent of temperature. The other natural exchanges are still taking place – as we can see from the small annual fluctuations (i.e the CO2 rates of change) but the the long term trend of ~2ppm per year is due to the burning of fossil fuels.

  501. Bart says:

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

    “Basically we (humans) are providing an additional source of atmospheric CO2 which is totally independent of temperature.”

    Attribution on that basis employs the logical fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

    However, the fact that it is independent of temperature is what allows us to discount its effect on overall atmospheric levels, because that level is temperature dependent.

  502. John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Bart is 100% convinced that some unknown natural source (maybe the deep oceans) is responsible for a continuous increasing trend of now 100+ ppmv in the atmosphere (70+ since 1960). By using a completely arbitrary offset, the same factor gives both the short term variability and the trend. He doesn’t accept in any way that the trend may be completely spurious, despite that this violates about all known observations. Thus in his opinion, these observations must be wrong.

    - It violates the mass balance.
    - It violates the 13C/12C balance.
    - It violates the measured uptake by the oceans.
    - It violates the calculated uptake by the biosphere (oxygen balance).
    - It should include processes which are quite modest on rapid changes (4-5 ppmv/°C), give huge responses (over 100 ppmv/°C) for medium speed changes and back to modest (including eating away the medium fast responses) for medium to very long time changes (8 ppmv/°C). Quite remarkable for natural processes.

    Where he goes wrong is that he thinks that one process is responsible for both the fast response and the medium response (in that case, the same variable may be responsible for variability and trend). But the fast response is from the ocean surface layer (and fast changes in vegetation), which only can absorb 10% of the change in the atmosphere, 90% is going into much slower processes: deep oceans, more permanent sequestering in land carbon,…

    And last but not least, there are two variables at work: temperature and human emissions. The latter alone is already average twice the observed increase… That leaves no room for fantasies of a continuous increasing inflow of CO2 from an unknown proces from a sustained temperature difference of a few tenths of a °C…

  503. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 11, 2012 at 11:37 am

    “By using a completely arbitrary offset, the same factor gives both the short term variability and the trend.”

    Your way doesn’t match in phase.

    “He doesn’t accept in any way that the trend may be completely spurious…”

    You have no evidence that it is, and it is quite impossible when the correlation is seamless across all frequency components.

    “It violates the mass balance.”

    As we have demonstrated ad nauseum in this thread, this argument is completely fallacious.

    “It violates the 13C/12C balance.”

    There are many possible explanations for the balance, as others have brilliantly commented on this thread.

    “It violates the measured uptake by the oceans.”

    Measurements which are low accuracy, were never intended for the purpose, and which do not measure the pertinent information.

    “It violates the calculated uptake by the biosphere (oxygen balance).”

    Of which we do not have a full accounting.

    “It should include processes which are quite modest on rapid changes…”

    Your own strawman.

    “Where he goes wrong is that he thinks that one process is responsible for both the fast response and the medium response…”

    It is not what I think. That is what the temperature-CO2 rate of change data indicate – the response is seamless across frequency.

    “The latter alone is already average twice the observed increase…i>

    Again with the mass balance fallacy. Your edifice is built on a foundation of sand.

  504. Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

    However, the fact that it is independent of temperature is what allows us to discount its effect on overall atmospheric levels, because that level is temperature dependent.

    In your fantasy, based on a completely arbitrary offset. The correlation with the human emissions is a near fit, while temperature is far more variable:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_co2_1900_2004.jpg
    and
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg

    Maybe just coincidence, but I don’t know of any natural process that can mimic the human emissions both in ratio of quantity and d13C level in such a linear way…

  505. John Finn says:

    Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 10:09 am
    ” it does not explain the trend “

    Sure it does.

    No it doesn’t. The clue should be in the rate of temperature change which is positive some times and negative others, i.e.

    Temp goes UP -> CO2 goes UP
    Temp goes DOWN -> CO2 goes UP

    There is a disconnect between Temperature and CO2. This becomes obvious when we look at the data over several years or decades, e.g. between 1982 and 2102 (i.e. 30 years)

    Temp change = ~0.5 deg
    CO2 change = 50 ppm (341ppm -> 391ppm)

    Perhaps you think the 0.5 deg temp rise has produced a CO2 rise of 50ppm – giving a relationship of 100 ppm per deg C ?? Ok what about the 1998-2012 period

    Temp change = ~0.1 deg
    CO2 change = 25ppm (366ppm->391ppm)

    Now we‘ve got a relationship of 250ppm per deg C.

    You’ve got a blind spot with this stuff. The comments in the rest of your post suggests you think that if temperatures dropped by say half a degree (roughly to1970s levels) then CO2 would continue to rise indefinitely, i.e. they would continue to rise above the current 391ppm level and that this would have nothing to do with fossil fuel burning. This implies you don’t acknowledge that some equilibrium level would eventually be reached – despite what all the evidence tells us. Sheeesh!!

  506. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

    “The correlation with the human emissions is a near fit, while temperature is far more variable”

    Those are not “near fits”. They are coarse measures of integrated variables. Integration is a low pass filtering operation, which severely attenuates the fine detail, and you are left with easy to fit low order polynomials. It’s a coin toss at that point – emissions are going up. If CO2 happens also to be going up, you will get a similar result via scaling.

    You cannot say anything about the goodness of the fit unless you can match other detail which is far less likely to match unless there is a genuine relationship. And, that is what the temperature-CO2 rate of change relationship does.

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    “The clue should be in the rate of temperature change which is positive some times and negative others, i.e.

    Temp goes UP -> CO2 goes UP
    Temp goes DOWN -> CO2 goes UP “

    Does anyone here understand calculus?

    The relationship is

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

    The integral of the scaled and offset temperature is, to a very high degree of accuracy, an almost perfect replication of the CO2 record.

    “This implies you don’t acknowledge that some equilibrium level would eventually be reached – despite what all the evidence tells us.”

    Read what I wrote again, Sparky.

  507. John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Temp change = ~0.1 deg
    CO2 change = 25ppm (366ppm->391ppm)
    Now we‘ve got a relationship of 250ppm per deg C.

    What Bart says is indeed what you calculated:

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

    No matter how long the period: the rate of change of CO2 is positive as long there is an offset with an arbitrary baseline temperature level. No response from increased levels in the atmosphere. No response from increasing sinks. The sky is the limit…

    Think of the 5000 years of increase in temperature between a glacial and an interglacial period or the 10,000 years above the base temperature during an interglacial or the 100,000 years of a glacial below the baseline…

    But of course the ice core data are not accepted by Bart…

  508. Bart says:

    As I have shown before, there is an excellent fit between the differential equation temperature model and CO2. This plot was using GISTEMP. As others have noted (I think it was Tallbloke), the agreement in the derivative is even better using the satellite measurements. And, since there is a 1-1 mapping between the derivative and the integral of the derivative, the agreement in the integrated value would likewise be better.

    But, I’m not going to do that exercise for you (meaning Ferdinand and John Finn). It is not my job to spoon feed you to make up for the deficiencies in your educations. I have shown you that Ferdinand’s arguments are shaky at best, and totally wrong at worst (e.g., the silly “mass balance” argument). I have shown you that the correlation with temperature explains every significant quality about the CO2 rise. If you choose to ignore what I have patiently (and, I am getting very impatient now) explained, then just go ahead and do it. It’s not my problem, it is yours.

  509. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Now, you are being completely disingenuous. You know quite well that the full model is

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

    where “tau” is a long time constant. You know I have explained at length about the non-stationarity of the model, and the potential for regime changes. If you have sunk so low in desperation that you are willfully misrepresenting my position to make headway with random observers, then we really have reached the end of the road.

  510. Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Now, you are being completely disingenuous. You know quite well that the full model is
    dCO2/dt = -CO2/tau + k*(T-To)

    It doesn’t matter that you include the -CO2/tau with a long time constant, the effect is the same: a continuous increase of CO2 as long as there is a temperature difference with the baseline. While the human emissions should disappear rapidely.

    But that includes that the extra natural inputs are extremely high, as good as the extra natural outputs. The net effect is a lot of extra throughput, but still no substantial contribution of the natural cycle. That is what the mass balance shows. Even if you ridicule that, it simply proves that your theory is bogus and that the trend is not caused by temperature, but by a different process.

    But that all indeed is repeatedly said to no avail…

  511. John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    For an alternative view of the increase, based on observations, see the estimates of the contribution of temperature and precipitation in the rate of change of the CO2 increase by Pieter Tans, at his speech during the festivities of 50 year Mauna Loa CO2 measurements, page 11 and following:
    http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf

  512. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    I write to provide a reality check.

    The data does not enable a definitive conclusion as to the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration because it allows several understandings of the cause.

    Therefore,
    (a) it is very reasonable for anybody to say what he thinks is the cause and why he thinks that,
    but
    (b) it is unreasonable to say others must be wrong about the cause because they weight the same data differently.

    Richard

  513. Stephen Wilde says:

    “(a) it is very reasonable for anybody to say what he thinks is the cause and why he thinks that,
    but
    (b) it is unreasonable to say others must be wrong about the cause because they weight the same data differently.”

    Agreed.

    The position should become clear in due course when we have had time to observed the response of both ocean heat content trends and atmospheric CO2 trends during the later stages of solar cycle 24.

    I don’t think we will need to wait as long as 15 years. Probably less than 5 years since there seem to be changes in the rates of acceleration already.

  514. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    “It doesn’t matter that you include the -CO2/tau with a long time constant, the effect is the same: a continuous increase of CO2 as long as there is a temperature difference with the baseline. “

    Wrong!

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

    You do not know what you are talking about. You are just not qualified, and further discussion is futile.

    richardscourtney says:
    September 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    “The data does not enable a definitive conclusion as to the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration because it allows several understandings of the cause.”

    I’m sorry, Richard, but you are wrong. The data are very clear. But, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a raving lunatic spouting nonsense that he can “see”, whatever that means.

  515. John Finn says:

    Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Now, you are being completely disingenuous. You know quite well that the full model is

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

    where “tau” is a long time constant. You know I have explained at length about the non-stationarity of the model, and the potential for regime changes.

    Ahhh I see – I’m guessing the “potential for regime changes” is the catch all for periods when the model doesn’t work (which are probably quite plentiful). Brilliant! – derive a simple first order differential equation which fits the available data for a given period then when the model is shown to be complete cobblers for other periods in earth’s history it can simply be put down to “regime changes”.

    Tell me, Bart, has anyone actually been convinced by your ‘model’?

  516. Bart says:

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    What a stupid comment. This is a nonlinear, non-autonomous system. Of course there are different operating conditions, which lead to different linearized models. We don’t have enough information to say how it behaves in the large. But, we do have enough to know how it behaves right here and now, or at least since 1958. And, that behavior rules out human attribution.

  517. Tim Folkerts says:

    I’m “late to the party” but let me see if I can shed a little light by going back to the actual CO2 derivative. The data shows three clear drivers of CO2 — plants, people, and climate.

    1) Here is the actual derivative of CO2 vs time (along with scaled temperature anomalies).
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/from:1979/plot/uah/scale:0.25
    There are HUGE swings every year in the CO2 derivative. This, of course, is the annual uptake/release of CO2 by plants (one of the things Al Gore got right in his movie). So it you want to know the slope at any given time, the best single predictor is the time of year.

    So what BESIDES the annual growth/death of plants drives CO2?

    2) Here is the smoothed derivative of CO2 vs time.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean:12/from:1979/plot/uah/scale:0.25/plot/none
    By averaging over 12 month, the intra-annual changes disappear, leaving only the interannual changes.

    Perhaps the single most important feature is that the smoothed derivative is ALWAYS POSITIVE. That means that year-in and year-out, the CO2 is sloping up. There has never (in the data available) been a 12 month period where the CO2 has dropped. Furthermore, the smoothed slope is slowly increasing over all. What would cause this trend — where CO2 is increasing at an accelerating rate? Burning of fossil fuels comes to mind. Perhaps some other natural process ALSO happens to be putting out more and more CO2 over the last 50 years. But Occam’s Razor suggests that fossil fuels are a more logical answer (and I am pretty sure isotope analysis also supports this, but I don’t have enough expertise off-hand to be more sure).

    So if you want the best estimate of slope for CO2 BESIDES plants, the next best predictor is a steady, slowing increasing function of time (matching the increasing use of fossil fuels).

    So what BESIDES plants and the burning of fossil fuels drives CO2?

    3) Here is the smoothed and offset derivative of CO2 vs time.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean:12/from:1979/offset:-.14/plot/uah/scale:0.25
    Smoothing removes the effect of plants. The offset removes the long-term effect of fossil fuels. What is left is the third (and smallest) effect — that response of nature to temperature. To be sure, the effect shows a strong correlation and is almost certainly real. Yes, nature DOES respond to temperature increases by pumping up CO2. There is indeed a feedback where temperature drives CO2.

    That does not in anyway negate the possibility that CO2 could drive temperatures as well. By fiddling with averaging and slopes and offsets, it would be simple to smooth the upward (but jagged) trend in temperature to be and upward but smooth trend that matches CO2 quite well, too.

    I am rather sure that BOTH (CO2 drives temperature) and (temperature drives CO2) are real and both are important, since both are pretty clear in the data.

  518. Bart says:

    Tim Folkerts says:
    September 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    “What would cause this trend — where CO2 is increasing at an accelerating rate? Burning of fossil fuels comes to mind. Perhaps some other natural process ALSO happens to be putting out more and more CO2 over the last 50 years. But Occam’s Razor suggests that fossil fuels are a more logical answer …”

    Not possible. Emissions over time are not constant. They would add additional curvature. There is no room for that when you have removed the part due to temperature.

    The temperature you are plotting already has an arbitrary baseline subtracted out from it. The odds that it is the appropriate baseline for determining the effect of temperature are vanishingly small. Hence, you have another variable to match. When you do, the temperature relationship is all you need to accurately reconstruct CO2.

  519. Bart says:

    “I am rather sure that …CO2 drives temperature…”

    Where is this evident? Nowhere in these plots. The rate of change of CO2 precisely matches the scaled and re-baselined temperature anomaly. Thus, the integrated CO2 level always lags the temperature. The at-least-dominant arrow of causality points necessarily in the direction of: temperature to CO2.

    Put another way, it would be absurd to claim that CO2 rate of change drives temperature. Again, the at-least-dominant arrow of causality points necessarily in the direction of: temperature to CO2.

    How can this be, when we know, all things being equal, that an increase in CO2 must cause a temperature rise? Because all things are not equal. This is a complex system, with many active feedback paths, which is necessarily stable with dominant negative feedback. Such systems generally resist attempts to move them from where they want to be.

  520. Bart says:

    It is also worth noting that, if it were true that higher temperatures drive CO2 higher (which we can see to be true by inspection of the plots) and that added CO2 raises temperature, then this would set up a classic self-reinforcing cycle of positive feedback, which would have seared the surface of the Earth ages ago if the dynamic were not being severely attenuated in some fashion.

  521. Tim Folkerts says:
    September 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Tim, the main discussion between Bart and me is that Bart thinks that near all medium-term extra CO2 comes from an offset between the observed increase in temperature over time and an arbitrary offset with a baseline temperature.

    It is easy to fit both curves, inclusing their curvatory, simply because temperature over the period 1960-2012 in general is upgoing. That doesn’t leave much room for any human influence.

    But the trend part is even better reconstructed by a linear relationship of the increase in the atmosphere above equilibrium (where the equilibrium is what the ice cores show as CO2 levels for the past temperatures). That leaves not much room for the temperature influence.

    These diametrically opposite positions are now going back and forth for a few years.

    The position of Bart violates about all known observations, but he rejects them all, including ice core measurements, the isotope ratio’s, etc.

    If you look at the mass balance, if Bart is right, then near all human CO2 is fastly removed, but that implies that near all of the natural input is removed too (the total mass removed is the natural input + halve the human input), thus at the end, there is a lot of throughput, but still no net input from the natural carbon cycle. See here and here

    The main point is if the fast response to fast temperature changes and the response to longer term variations have the same cause. Nature has a lot of CO2 sources and sinks, some fast (ocean surface, fast vegetation responses, 1-3 years half life time), others are slower (deep ocean exchanges, more permanent carbon storage via the biosphere, ~40 years half life), and others are very slow (rock weathering, sedimentation).

    The interesting point is that the fast processes are limited in capacity: a CO2 change of 100% in the atmosphere gives only a change of 10% in the oceans surface layer (and plant alveoles water?), that is the Revelle factor or buffer factor. Thus only 10% of any change in the atmosphere is captured by the oceans surface. The rest is removed by slower processes.

    In my informed opinion, the fast processes are responsible for the fast response of CO2 rate of change to temperature changes. The slow processes, like deep ocean exchanges, are far less influenced by temperature changes and mainly respond to the overall change in CO2 levels, compared to the equilibrium level.

    Bart’s one-factor-fits-all implies that the same fast processes are responsible for both the variability of the rate of change and the height and trend of the rate of change.

    But such fast processes don’t exist…

  522. Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    It is also worth noting that, if it were true that higher temperatures drive CO2 higher (which we can see to be true by inspection of the plots) and that added CO2 raises temperature, then this would set up a classic self-reinforcing cycle of positive feedback, which would have seared the surface of the Earth ages ago if the dynamic were not being severely attenuated in some fashion.

    Depends of the factors involved: if the response of CO2 levels to temperature is modest and the response of temperature to CO2 levels is modest, the mutual increase is modest too. As long as the overall gain is less than 2, there is no runaway. Here a plot of the difference between no feedback of temperature on CO2 levels and with a small feedback, both with CO2 lagging temperature changes:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/feedback.jpg

  523. John Finn says:

    Bart says:
    September 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    John Finn says:
    September 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    What a stupid comment. This is a nonlinear, non-autonomous system. Of course there are different operating conditions, which lead to different linearized models. We don’t have enough information to say how it behaves in the large. But, we do have enough to know how it behaves right here and now, or at least since 1958. And, that behavior rules out human attribution.

    No it doesn’t, Bart. We know that CO2 levels have remained in a narrow range during the 800 or so years before ~1900 despite temperature fluctuations over that time.

    But let me guess …… you don’t believe ice core data. How convenient!

  524. John Finn says:

    Tim Folkerts says:
    September 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    2) Here is the smoothed derivative of CO2 vs time.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean:12/from:1979/plot/uah/scale:0.25/plot/none
    By averaging over 12 month, the intra-annual changes disappear, leaving only the interannual changes.

    Perhaps the single most important feature is that the smoothed derivative is ALWAYS POSITIVE. That means that year-in and year-out, the CO2 is sloping up. There has never (in the data available) been a 12 month period where the CO2 has dropped.

    You are, of course, correct. However, Bart would disagree with you. Bart, you see, has developed a ‘model’ (no sniggering, please). The dominant term for the prediction of CO2 growth in Bart’s model is as follows

    k*(T-To)

    Where (I assume) T is the temperature; To is some arbitrary baseline temperature (apparently ~0.6 deg below current temps) and k is a constant. Bart also includes a term representing a slow CO2 decay in his model, so in the case where T=To CO2 levels would actually fall ….very slowly.

    But it is the value of T which is key to the ‘success’ of his model since as long as T is greater than To the model predicts that CO2 levels will grow and since temperatures have, since 1958, been higher than To, Bart’s on to a winner. You might note that there is a certain circular logic in the selection of To. Basically, providing To is below any temperature since 1958, it’s pretty easy to fix it so his model works.

    In fact the value To is essentially determined using the assumption that the model works.

    So to summarise with an example if T=To+0.5, say, and that this temperature results in a 2ppm rise in CO2 levels then Bart’s model predicts a 2ppm for every year that T remains at that level. If it remains constant at To+0.5 for 10 years then CO2 will rise by 2ppm or 20ppm in total – regardless of human CO2 emissions (even if they were ZERO) .

    As Ferdinand Engelbeen has expertly pointed out Bart’s model flies in the face of all the available evidence. In particular

    (i) The CO2 response to temperature is fairly immediate, i.e. it is fully realised within a couple of years.
    (ii) His model fails for virtually every other period in earth’s history, e.g. 1000-1850, ice ages, pre-glacials, post-glacials … you name it and the model turns out to be a crock.

    Bart gets round these minor inconveniences in 2 ways, i.e. he denies the validity of contradictory evidence or he introduces ‘regime changes’. Tactics all mathematical modellers should learn to adopt.

    Have fun!

  525. Bart says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    September 12, 2012 at 12:30 am

    “Depends of the factors involved: if the response of CO2 levels to temperature is modest and the response of temperature to CO2 levels is modest, the mutual increase is modest too.”

    Then you have “severely attenuated in some fashion” the positive feedback. Show your equations.

    John Finn says:
    September 12, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I’m not “getting around” anything. I am adhering to what the data tell us. Reality is not open to negotiation. If you can’t face it or understand it, that is your problem.

  526. Bart says:

    John Finn says:
    September 12, 2012 at 12:43 am

    “We know that CO2 levels have remained in a narrow range during the 800 or so years before ~1900 despite temperature fluctuations over that time. But let me guess …… you don’t believe ice core data. How convenient!”

    I do not know what conditions prevailed outside the interval of modern observation. You do not know what conditions prevailed outside the interval of modern observation. The data from the ice cores is tenuous at best – there are no means to verify them. But, if they are accurate, it just means a different relationship prevailed during those times. Regime changes in climate are not at all rare.

    But, we do not need to resolve those issues to know what has been the prevailing dynamic since at least 1958, the era in which we have the best, most modern, and most direct measurements. And, inter alia, the era in which CO2 measurements have indicated the lion’s share of the rise in atmospheric CO2.

    Your arguments are consistently woven from logical fallicies, in this case, the argument from incredulity. You seem to think that telling us how you cannot imagine something being the case reflects poorly on the argument, rather than on your own willfully enforced inability to think outside the box.

  527. Bart says:
    September 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Then you have “severely attenuated in some fashion” the positive feedback. Show your equations.

    Forgot where I placed the calculations, but as far as I can see, the CO2 “gain” was 0.8 and the temperature gain with feedback was 0.1. Further, the no-runaway overall gain is maximum 1, not 2…
    See further: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_feedback#Basic_positive_feedback