Premature 400 PPM fail-a-bration

It seems we didn’t reach 400PPM last week after all. The data has been revised. Ooops.

‘Carbon dioxide measurements in the Earth’s atmosphere did not break the symbolic milestone of 400 parts per million at a Hawaiian observatory last week, according to a revised reading from the nation’s climate observers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its May 9 reading at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, saying it remained fractions of a point below the level of 400 ppm, at 399.89′

Source: LA Times

Oh well, there’s always next week…or maybe not, since spring in the Northern Hemisphere tends to reduce CO2 as plants suck up all that CO2 that some claim is not plant food.

Still time to get t-shirts though.

H/t to Marc Morano

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106 Responses to Premature 400 PPM fail-a-bration

  1. Steven Rosenberg says:

    Question raised by this post I’ve always wondered about: does the composition of the atmosphere vary much with the seasons? In other words, is there more CO2 and less O2 in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, etc. due to there being fewer leaves at work?

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    I’m sure the msm will cover this retraction, not.

  3. Jimbo says:

    No wonder there wasn’t a climate Thermageddon last week. Here’s hoping.

  4. Lance Wallace says:

    Steve Rosenberg–

    Keeling (of Mauna Loa fame) published an article 20 years ago showing the seasonal variation of oxygen using precise measurements of the O2/N2 ratio. As expected, it varies out of phase with CO2, but he found that it seemed to vary a bit more (about twice as much) than if CO2 variation alone was the cause. However, only three sites were examined, and one (near the Antarctic) gave very different values, so probably more is known now.

    http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/3_Seasonal.pdf

  5. mwhite says:

    “180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

    There’s so much here, but

    “There is no constant exponential rising CO2-concentration since preindustrial times but a variing CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.”

    Who knows it may start to fall despite mans efforts?

  6. Chris @NJ SnowFan says:

    Well on the bright side we will just have to have another 400 ppm C02 Beer Party when C02 realy hits 400 ppm. Al Gores 400 ppm donaters may want a refund again or will he just pump his followers for another round of donations..

  7. Vince Causey says:

    Praise the Lord – we’re saved!

  8. Robertv says:

    I would understand it if the EPA would be in favor of more CO2 not less.

    http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm?action=browse&Rbutton=detail&bmp=126

    A greener Amerika will need much more CO2 .There is no logic in the EPA’s way of thinking. Save nature by starvation.

  9. aaron says:

    So now we likely need to wait ’til next year.

    But that’s more time for planning merch.

    I suggest green “I Survived 400ppm” on grey long-sleeve thermal t-shirts.

    I’d also like to see “2000ppm by 2100″ t-shirts. Pro-Green.

  10. Gary Pearse says:

    Hmmm… so they will get to keep re-announcing this emotional number. CO2 demand from summer growth will likely bob up and down on this figure until September then will jump up worse than we thought (IWTWT)

  11. petermue says:

    I still wonder why MLO data should be the measure of all things.
    It is also obviously, that CO2 content of the atmosphere is *not* well mixed.

    Looking for some CO2 land measurements I found those curious stations:

    An almost constant mean value here
    http://umweltluege.de/images/co2Puszcza-Borecka-Diabla-Gora-IOEP.png

    or a constant value of 341 ppm here
    http://umweltluege.de/images/co2beobulgaria.png

    Both datasets are from the WMO WDCGG website.

  12. Chris @NJ SnowFan says:

    “mwhite says:

    May 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

    “180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

    There’s so much here, but

    “There is no constant exponential rising CO2-concentration since preindustrial times but a variing CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.”

    Mount Tambora 1815 Volcanic Eruption right arount same time in early 1800’s when C02 was estimated above 400 ppm. Interesting.
    With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 km3 (38 cu mi), Tambora’s 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora

  13. vukcevic says:

    As the sun is winding down and the oceans cool, the impending doomsday may be delayed till the next solar highs due about 2100 .
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm

  14. Bob Mount says:

    Is the ~400 ppm figure simply that which has been measured at Mauna Loa? If so, what is the actual proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere? Does anybody know?

  15. Rob Potter says:

    Steven Rosenberg (May 13, 2013 at 10:55 am)

    Not sure if anyone has really answered you, but yes, there is an annual pattern of reducing CO2 in the NH summer which you can see if you look at monthly graphs of Maua Loa numbers – something like this:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/csiro/CSIROCO2MAUNALOA.JPG

    What I find so interesting about this is that it shows just how big the net effect of annual agriculture is – 7-8 ppm every year – something like 2% (at 400 ppm…..). So, with just the net effect of annual crops (remember that there are annual crops which are harvested in off seasons as well as a fair amount of SH annual crops), we are already swamping the yearly increases due to anthropogenic causes. I know it is all about accumulation, but really – we need to put things in a bit of perspective here (especially the panic over “400”).

  16. oldseadog says:

    Maybe Mann has been holding his breath.

  17. Dave Cochrane says:

    Maybe he’s put a cork in it.

  18. Rhoda R says:

    MWhite: Thank you for that link. The historical CO2 info they found was — enlightening, to say the least. We’ve been assuming and need to question the assumptions about CO2 measurement. Keeler et al may be right – but this study is enough to open the issue. Was it ever published?

  19. Bruce Cobb says:

    Premature enumeration then?

  20. philjourdan says:

    Big Beer is going to get you for bursting that bubble!

  21. wayne says:

    “Many scientists have warned that carbon dioxide readings must be brought down to 350 ppm to avoid severe climate impacts and stall “feedback loops” that will exacerbate the rise.”

    Don’t know about your location on this globe but here in midUS it’s just fine and at 400 ppmv. So much for the 350, 350org, and the man-made “feedback loopity loops” hogwash. Good riddance.

  22. Well, considering that the CO2 level bounced around the “upper safe limit for humanity” (350ppm) for about two years, and Hansen and McKibbin didn’t see a need to act till about 20 years after this life-threatening milestone was reached, we’ll hear several “urgent” appeals over the next couple of years.

    That means we can see the t-shirts change several times: “I survived 400ppm – again”, with the dates we reach each “milestone”.

  23. Wamron says:

    If I were a billionaire….

    I would buy a rig to float in international waters (or the territorial strip of some piddly-squat client stated and establish a facility devoted to generating CO2. My goal would be to see how quickly it could be emitted and if we could manage a better output than all declining indistries of the West combined. Our target would be 4000 PPM in my lifetime.

    Could it be done? What new technology specifically and solely for generating CO2 emissions would need to be devised? How much would it cost?

    What the feck could anyone do about it?

  24. jorgekafkazar says:

    Steven Rosenberg says: “…is there more CO2 and less O2 in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, etc. due to there being fewer leaves at work?”

    At the same time that SH Spring is bringing salubrious weather there, raising oceanic surface temperatures and allowing more CO2 to be evolved, Fall is descending on the NH, killing leaves, and causing less CO2 to be used in photosynthesis, so CO2 goes up. And vice versa 6 months later. I suspect the more powerful mechanism is the oceanic temperature change.

  25. This way they get to have two celebrations — and two screaming headlines in the New York Times.

  26. TerryMN says:

    This way they can make headlines again next month (or this fall if we’re into the summer CO2 decline). I don’t think the readers of USA Today will remember.

  27. TerryMN says:

    Gah! Nobless Oblige beat me to it as I was typing…

  28. Laughable article: “CO2 at All Time High”

    Is she a low-information fear-monger, or a liar?

  29. Bill Parsons says:

    Rob Potter says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

    The seasonal variation in northern hemisphere CO2 is due to more than agriculture. It’s much bigger. It has more to do with the annual die-off and decay of the total biomass of photosynthesizing land plants in the north. What percentage of that is agricultural would be interesting to know. Since our crops aren’t allowed to keel over and lie rotting in the fields, they aren’t contributing to that biomass. Maybe there’s a spike from the sudden loss of CO2-absorbing plants?

  30. A climate metric revised downward ??? Stop the presses!

  31. RockyRoad says:

    So we’re destined to repeat this disaster twice?

    Whatever…

  32. elmer says:

    In Minnesota yesterday CO2 levels dropped from over 400ppm to 362ppm in just one day! http://m4gw.com/minnesota-co2-drops-from-over-400ppm-to-362ppm-in-one-day/

  33. Sean says:

    Atmospheric CO2 did not reach 400 ppm last week?

    Ah, well that explains why the world did not come to an end.

  34. Robertv says:

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.8 million civilians work for the Federal Government, excluding the Post Office

    5733 ppm

  35. Greg Goodman says:

    Oh great. So the alarmists can have another fit in a month or two.

  36. Ken Gregory says:

    I update CO2 content and global temperatures from satellite measurement almost monthly for this graph on the Friends of Science website. It shows the seasonal CO2 variations.
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=453

  37. AndyG55 says:

    Hey, does that mean I can take off my oxygen mask ??

    Is it safe again?

  38. March says:

    Celebration back on?
    According to SCRIPPs..
    http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/special-note-on-may-9-2013-reading/

    Special note on May 9, 2013 reading
    May 10, 2013
    May 10 Comment:
    NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9.

  39. Joe Public says:

    Oh dear. This gives the MSM a second opportunity to report the bad news when it finally breaches the symbolic figure.

  40. goldminor says:

    Well, who would want a 400 t-shirt now.. Maybe they can add ‘so near, but so far’ somewhere on those t-shirts.

  41. Björn says:

    Steve Rosenberg
    Lubos Motl did a post at his blog few months back discussing som aspects of the annual seasonal variations in the carbon dioxide concentration in the athmosphere, it was mostly about fitting a mathematical function to thaht could mimic the actual data but the post contains a quick and short and very readable overview of how the CO2 variaies throughot the year. The url of the that post is:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/02/mauna-loa-carbon-dioxide-fit.html

    One intriguing conclusion he drew from that exercise was contained in the paragraph I copied and paste here below:
    quote: ” ………
    Let me mention that between May and September, the seasonal variations contribute the drop by 3.12+3.58=6.70 ppm of CO2. If you could make plants thrive in the winter as well, you could easily subtract something like 13 ppm of CO2 from the atmosphere every year, well above the 2 ppm by which we are increasing the concentration every year (it’s 1/2 of 4 ppm we are adding; the other half is already being absorbed by the enhanced consumption of CO2 due to the elevated concentrations).
    …….” end of quote.

    In other words with our current yearly human additions of co2 to the athmosphere then if we had an endless summer season in the northern hemispehere , the plants would be devouring the co2 so fierecly that with we would be loosing 11 ppm/year and so would reach the 140 ppm mark ( the total biosphere extinction mark ) in less than a quarter of a century.

  42. clipe says:

    Speaking of carbon dioxide…

    http://earthengine.google.org/#intro/ColumbiaGlacier

    Watch Sahel greening.

  43. Lance Wallace says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    However, only three sites were examined, and one (near the Antarctic) gave very different values, so probably more is known now.
    http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/3_Seasonal.pdf

    Indeed, more data and better detection methods for O2 (still a huge challenge to measure less than 1 ppmv on 200,000 ppmv!) are available nowadays. Here the results for 1993-2002 (fig. 5):
    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
    In the introduction they give more background info.

  44. mwhite says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

    “180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”
    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

    and
    E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm

    Please, not again… There was no peak of CO2 around 1942. Not in ice cores (8 years resolution), not in stomata data, not in coralline sponges or any other proxy.
    The problem with many of the historical data is less the method (most were accurate to +/- 10 ppmv) but the places where was measured: near huge CO2 sinks and sources like forests (600 ppmv at night, 250 ppmv on a sunny day) and midst of towns. Completely unsuitable to know what the “background” CO2 levels of that time were. It is the equivalent of taking temperature readings near A/C exhausts, barbecues or on an asphalted parking lot. See further:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

  45. Bob Mount says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Is the ~400 ppm figure simply that which has been measured at Mauna Loa? If so, what is the actual proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere? Does anybody know?

    Mauna Loa is only one of the stations (be it with the longest continuous record), but all stations from near the North Pole (Alert, Canada) to the South Pole show similar levels, be it with some lag with altitude and between SH and NH. The official “global” CO2 level is taken from a mix of stations at sealevel and is lower than Mauna Loa:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/global_means.html
    another reason to wait several years to celebrate the 400 ppmv…

  46. Myrrh says:

    Special note on May 9, 2013 reading
    May 10, 2013
    May 10 Comment:
    NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9.

    “partly reflects different reporting periods”?

    “If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9″

    It’s worse than we thought.

  47. goldminor says:

    Here is an interesting little fact from ASU from there database on European temps from 1956 to present. The highest temperature in that period of time took place in 10/07/1977, which is the beginning year of the return to a warming pattern.

    So how is it that this terrible record breaking warming pattern has not generated a new European high temp since 1977??????? Is this a possible clue to the real climate change?

  48. BruceC says:

    Rhoda R says:
    May 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    MWhite: Thank you for that link. The historical CO2 info they found was — enlightening, to say the least. We’ve been assuming and need to question the assumptions about CO2 measurement. Keeler et al may be right – but this study is enough to open the issue. Was it ever published?

    Yes.

    http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf

  49. vukcevic says:

    I did a quick plot of CO2 (Mauna Loa) against the Pacific SST (SE of Hawaii)
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-CO2.htm
    It appears that two are linked, with CO2 trailing by about 3 months.
    (phytoplankton thriving in cooler seas, taking more CO2 ?)

  50. Bill Marsh says:

    Well this is great for them. They’ll wait until it happens for real and celebrate all over again, ignoring that they look like fools for celebrating prematurely. The American public has a short memory anyway, nobody will notice.

  51. Shades of Harold Camping…… The Co2 rapture has been rescheduled

  52. vukcevic says:

    Correction ( or maybe not, it is rather late 11.pm)

  53. phlogiston says:

    Its a good thing we’ve reached about 400 ppm, this puts us around the bottom end of the “safe” range of CO2 concentrations – judging by the history of the phanerozoic – which extends to a maximum of at least 7000:

    http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/289/logwarmingpaleoclimate.png

    The dangerous region is below 400ppm.

  54. John Morrow says:

    Guess the missing small fraction of a PPM of CO2 explains why it is still so abnormally cool this late in Spring in the Kansas City area. (Sarc off)

  55. Greg Cavanagh says:

    Imagine if we took traffic counts like they do temperature readings (or CO2 readings apparently), invisible traffic jams?. Or how about student head counts for schools, occupied hospital bed counts.

    Yea, I sent the nurse around last week, she counted 200 occupied beds, but I’ve revised that figure down. We actualy had 180 occupied beds. What ?

  56. tz2026 says:

    Oh, and Mann was on Democracynow.org today explaining how we’re all going to be dead from hockey stickyness…

  57. William McClenney says:

    Bait and Switch. It’s what climatology is all about.

  58. Ian H says:

    How clever. It means we can have another commotion about passing 400ppm next year.

  59. BruceC says:

    To be honest, I like Paul Whitefield’s report better (made me laugh louder):

    Global warming ruins SoCal Mother’s Day

    News flash: Global warming hits California!

    That’s right — the Golden State has become the Golden Baking State, with temperatures soaring into the triple digits. For example, in Johnny Carson’s “beautiful downtown Burbank” on Sunday, the thermometer hit 103 — hot enough to melt Ed McMahon’s smile.

    And on Mother’s Day no less! Apparently it really isn’t nice to fool with Mother Nature.

    You may think this is just a “heat wave.” But you’re wrong. This is Al Gore Vindication Day. This is climate Armageddon.

    Read the rest of the comedy sketch here; http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-global-warming-california-heat-wave-20130513,0,6113996.story

  60. mwhite says, on May 13, 2013 at 11:09 am, in part:

    >“180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods
    >(Short version)”

    >http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

    This is the Beck stuff. That has a shortcoming, shown well to exist in the
    “Wisconsin Tower Story”. (Web search “Wisconsin Tower” CO2.) The
    cited CO2 measurements were mostly over land with active biomass, which
    alternates between CO2-courcing and CO2-sinking. The land tends to
    sink CO2 when the sun is shining, and ground-level air tends to be
    convecting with air from above that has CO2 close to “background”.
    When the sun is down or it is cloudy, the land is usually sourcing CO2,
    and there is usually little or no convection – so the land-sourced stays
    close to the surface.

    The result of this is that surface CO2 concentrations deviate upward
    from “background” a lot more easily than downward.

  61. eric1skeptic says:

    jorgekafkazar (May 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm) At the same time that SH Spring is bringing salubrious weather there, raising oceanic surface temperatures and allowing more CO2 to be evolved, Fall is descending on the NH, killing leaves, and causing less CO2 to be used in photosynthesis, so CO2 goes up. And vice versa 6 months later. I suspect the more powerful mechanism is the oceanic temperature change.

    The production of CO2 comes from warmer waters as you point out, but more importantly perihelion so the entire earth’s waters are warmer on average (along with the atmospheric temperature). But there is a lag. The warmer water comes first with perihelion in January. Then the peak in CO2 comes a few months later. I’m not sure which is mechanism is more powerful, but they overlap and may be hard to tell apart.

  62. petermue says, on May 13, 2013 at 11:36 am:

    >I still wonder why MLO data should be the measure of all things.
    >It is also obviously, that CO2 content of the atmosphere is *not* well mixed.

    >Looking for some CO2 land measurements I found those curious stations:

    >An almost constant mean value here
    >http://umweltluege.de/images/co2Puszcza-Borecka-Diabla-Gora-IOEP.png

    I see irregularities being mainly upward deviations from the background
    level reported by Mauna Loa and other sites reporting attempt at the
    background level. See my recent previous comment about how surface
    CO2 concentration deviations from atmospheric background are
    disproportionately upwards.

    >or a constant value of 341 ppm here
    >http://umweltluege.de/images/co2beobulgaria.png

    This is a mere 2 years. It’s easy to cherrypick a 2 year period. Note the
    large swings compared to Mauna Loa report of “background CO2″- this is
    typical of surface measurements without filtering for local surface CO2
    deviating from a pattern of trend and pattern of local weather conditions
    indicating that the CO2 concentration is close to that of the atmosphere
    as a whole.

    It is also easy to cherrypick for low readings. Surface CO2 concentration
    deviating from that of the atmosphere as a whole is only generally mostly
    upward, not exclusively upward. For example, vegetated areas don’t
    always experience convection when they experience sunlight, or sufficient
    daylight to make them CO2 sinks.

    Both datasets are from the WMO WDCGG website.

  63. Daryl M says:

    Great, they get to take another run at it.

  64. Marian says:

    “Vince Causey says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:17 am
    Praise the Lord – we’re saved!”

    Phew. That nearly 1ppm less CO2 sure makes a difference. The doomsday clock has been reset. :-)

  65. Chuck Nolan says:

    That explains why the earth didn’t burn up last week.
    Just wait till it hits 400ppm.
    cn

  66. Ken Gregory says, on May 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm:

    >I update CO2 content and global temperatures from satellite
    >measurement almost monthly for this graph on the Friends of Science
    >website. It shows the seasonal CO2 variations.
    >http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=453

    I note that they appear as skeptic of manmade global warming, but
    they cite Mauna Loa CO2 determinations.

    Something else I note: They said, “The temperature spikes in 1998
    and 2010 were caused by strong El Ninos, which are unrelated to
    global warming.”
    They would appear more balanced if they said that the 2000, 2008,
    and 2011-2012 dips were caused by La Ninas, unrelated to lack of
    global warming.

    I can cite both a strong El Nino and a strong La Nina in the
    1982-1986 stretch. I would want neutrality for these, unless limiting
    comment to the century-class 1998 El Nino.

    So, I advise filtering for all cited events, and estimating the true rate
    of global warming as a result of increase of CO2. Also, consider that
    there are some manmade greenhouse gases other than CO2, whose
    atmospheric increrase was largely stalled in the 1990’s.

    Also, consider a periodic natural cycle that shows up in long term
    surface indices of global temperature, best-shown in HadCRUT3.

    After that, figure out (or estimate) how much the CO2 increase is
    warming the globe. The amount is more than zero, but I see a lot less
    than advocates of existence of manmade global warming are expecting.

  67. RoHa says:

    You mean we’re not doomed?

    How disappointing.

  68. Wamron says:

    ~It reminds me of the withdrawal of US marines from Grenada. The BBC reported half had just left. the next day another half left. a few days later only half remained. This went on for about two weeks. Who says the USMC dont do things by halves. or the BBC.

  69. March says, on May 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm:

    >Celebration back on?
    >According to SCRIPPs..
    >http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/special-note-on-may-9-2013-reading/

    >Special note on May 9, 2013 reading
    >May 10, 2013 … May 10 Comment:
    >NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported
    >399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA
    >uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr
    >reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA,
    >we would report 400.08 for May 9.

    When will we get a monthly report of a whole month averaging 400-plus
    PPMV CO2? I expect in 2014, maybe as late as 2015.

    And, when would we get our first year averaging 400-plus PPMV? That
    will probably be 2016, maybe 2017. When will we get our first year with
    every month averaging 400-plus PPMV? I expect that to be 2018, maybe
    2019.

    What is CO2 likely to be at 2030? I expect around 430 PPMV, maybe
    lurching towards 450. And what is global climate likely to be then? I
    expect close to 1997-to-now average, maybe Antarctic warming a little
    and maybe Arctic cooling a little after 2012. The CO2 increase will
    probably hardly or almost overcome a natural cycle downturn, as I see it.

    And when the natural cycles re-uptick from ~2035 to ~2070. CO2 will
    probably be above 500 PPMV before 2070, and may push or surpass
    600 PPMV around 2080. I expect maybe 1 degree C warming from the
    recent warm decade, mostly in the 2035-2080 stretch.

    As for tipping points: I see earth history and atmospheric physics
    indicating that the feedbacks get less positive as the world warms in
    interglacial temperatures. I even see the feedbacks going negative
    as the world warms towards its historical higher temperatures.

    Now that we have Antarctica centered close to the South Pole, I
    see 1200 PPMV of CO2 having low chance of destroying most of
    its year-round ice cover.
    The Americas continents getting connected around 3 million years
    ago, as said in a different thread, may be a factor.

  70. Louis says:

    “Oh well, there’s always next week…or maybe not, since spring in the Northern Hemisphere tends to reduce CO2″

    All the alarmists hyperventilating over this news might just push CO2 over 400 despite the advent of spring.

  71. Bill H says:

    I have always wondered why CO2 is taken in close proximity to a CO2 producing exhaust pipe. IT really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense except for the local area to do this..

    I am surprised we dont do it out in the ocean on a marker away from such things to get a more static level of atmospheric mixtures.

  72. Bill H says:
    May 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I have always wondered why CO2 is taken in close proximity to a CO2 producing exhaust pipe. IT really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense except for the local area to do this..

    In fact, the measurements with the new very accurate NDIR method started at the South Pole, about one year before Mauna Loa. But because they lack a few years of continuous measurements (but infilled them with regular flask samples), Mauna Loa has the longest continuous record.

    It is quite simple to detect if there is local contamination downwind from volcanic vents at the station: that causes a high variability within an hour. The criteria for volcanic contamination used are:
    CO2 SD 1.0 ppm; wind direction sector 135°-225°; wind speed 1.35 m s-1.
    In 1994 there were 24 hours influenced by volcanic vents, in 1995, 9 hours.
    http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/www.cmdl.noaa.gov/publications/annrpt23/chapter1_1.htm

    Seeing the graphs of Mauna Loa over the last days, the 400+ ppmv looks as an outlier and probably caused by volcanic vents. Volcanic contaminated data are excluded from daily, monthly and yearly averages. Probably the reason that NOAA didn’t make the 400 ppmv official…

  73. stewgreen says:

    - first of all here is a direct link to the LA times story

  74. stewgreen says:

    - Some idiot posted about this 3 days ago on Bishop-Hill unthreaded — ME

    I had been closely watching the Keeling twitter feed. So on Friday morning I was astonished to see that BBC was reporting the that Thursday level had gone above 400ppm. I then saw the BBC were quoting NOAA not Scripps, which is strange cos they are using the same instruments. That’s when I first saw that Special note @March mentioned (so it is not a case of “Celebration back on” cos the figures were revised down after then.)
    – but it is a bit fuzzy how from the same instruments 2 different organisations can give 2 different readings. They say it is not as straightforward as all being due to timezone “The difference partly reflects time zone differences. ”
    -I wrote : ” but that same page gives information about how they are having difficulty with the measuring equipment. So no wonder they are not giving any info on the margin of error. Seems to me CO2 is around 400ppm, but may not certainly be above 400ppm”
    – but I also wrote : “I predicted that Co2 might not reach 400ppm this year
    but I forgot that in Climate Science figures can be magically ADJUSTED upwards after the event” ..wrong about the direction of adjustment

    latest figs from NOAA
    Keeling’s latest figs are on their Twitter feed
    ..both figures tend to be about 72 hours late for some reason

  75. stewgreen says:

    @vukcevic says: “CO2 from ocean”… no no no
    Ssays a recent update on the Scripps website saying Ocean CO2 doesn’t make it into the atmosphere.
    – They are the experts, and normally I trust experts.. but when it comes to Climate Science, that’s not enough as there have been so many cheats in the past.

    – They are pretty certain about it (certainty with evidence is a sign of poor science):
    “At all sites, there is an accelerating upward trend in CO2 levels driven mostly by fossil fuel burning. ”
    …hang on I just checked the signature at the bottom : “Kelley Gallagher is a fourth-year student “

  76. stewgreen says:

    certainty withOUT evidence I meant

    – I forgot to say that maybe the activists so wanted the 400 limit to be crossed just before a weekend : to allow maximum impact from their churnalist friends in the greendream media

  77. John Law says:

    I thought it was a bit cold!

  78. Macattack says:

    More bbq, beers and bonfire nights for me, lets get the those CO2 vs temperature lines diverging people :-)

  79. stewgreen says:

    Is this story TOO BAD to be true ? only the LA Times reported it upto now
    – Yes the official daily records all seem to below 400
    – but are we sure there is no other explanation ?
    – you’d expect a fairly prominent message of the NOAA website ..saying that 400ppm reading has been adjusted downwards … are the GreenDreamTeam all playing dumb in the hope that the 400 limit will be crossed in a few days anyways. ?. I suppose there is a possibility that the reading could be re-adjusted upwards again for genuine reasons

  80. rust says:

    Lance Wallace says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am
    Steve Rosenberg–

    Keeling (of Mauna Loa fame) published an article 20 years ago showing the seasonal variation of oxygen using precise measurements of the O2/N2 ratio.

  81. stewgreen says:
    May 14, 2013 at 9:37 am

    The difference between the people managing the Mauna Loa (and many other stations) data with the Mannians of this world, is that the CO2 people in the first place are interested in the best, most accurate measurements of CO2. Far less interested in the political, hyped stories as result of what they publish. The best indication of honest data processing indeed is that if necessary, and only if necessary, they adjust the data in either direction: higher and lower, which in general is within a few tenths of a ppmv. As I did see the data around the “record” day, it seems to me that either there was volcanic influence (which ocasionally occurs), and then the data aren’t used for any averaging. Or there was a problem with the equipment. In that case the data aren’t used either. In both cases there was no official new record…

  82. rustneversleeps says:

    Lance Wallace says:
    May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Keeling (of Mauna Loa fame) published an article 20 years ago showing the seasonal variation of oxygen using precise measurements of the O2/N2 ratio.
    ===============================================================

    Actually, the Keeling that published on atmospheric O2 concentrations is Ralph Keeling, son of the late (Charles) David Keeling. It’s the father that is more closely associated with the Mauna Loa and eponymous Keeling Curve. Although, as Director of the Scripps CO2 Program, Ralph is certainly involved with the ongoing research at Mauna Loa today.

  83. mwhite says:

    Rhoda R says:
    May 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Would appear to have been published in the journal Energy and Environment editor: Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen

    http://www.multi-science.co.uk/ee.htm

    Originally found on Dr Tim Balls website

    http://drtimball.com/2011/ernst-georg-beck-a-major-contributor-to-climate-science-effectively-sidelined-by-climate-deceivers/

  84. mwhite says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    May 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    “near huge CO2 sinks and sources like forests”

    Volcanoes don’t count then????

  85. mwhite says:

    And if the Pacific ocean isn’t the biggest CO2 sink/source I don’t know what is???

  86. mwhite says:
    May 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Volcanoes don’t count then????

    As I said May 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm, there are simple criteria which show that some of the volcanic vents reach the station at Mauna Loa. That was during 24 hours of the 8400 hours of measurements (one hour per day is used for calibration of the instrument), or 0.3% in 1994. In 1995 it was 9 hours. Not a big deal.
    In contrast, one of the main series that makes the late Beck’s 1942 peak was at an agricultural station where CO2 was measured inbetween, under and above growing crops at Poona, India. Very interesting for knowing what happens between CO2 and plants, but not of the slightest value for “global” or even regional CO2 levels. The second and longest series that makes the 1942 peak was at Giessen, Germany, then and now a semi-rural surrounding, mid-West Germany. Interesting point is that there is a modern continuous (half hour samples) station at Linden/Giessen, not so far from where the historical data (3 times a day) were taken. Here we plot the raw, uncorrected and unfiltered data, including all (volcanic and vegetation caused) outliers, from Giessen with those of Barrow, Mauna Loa and the South Pole over a few days in summer:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/giessen_background.jpg

    I see quite good reasons to choose Mauna Loa as a “baseline” station and reject any data from Giessen for representing the CO2 levels in the bulk of the atmosphere over any time frame, including the 1942 “peak”.

  87. SteveB says:

    “Hi Boss. Sorry, can’t make it to the office today because C02 hit 400 ppm.”

    “Well C02 is only 399.41 ppm, so you have no excuse. I’ll have to doc your wages.”

  88. stewgreen says:

    Wey hay : Scripps crossed 400ppm on May 13th 400.07
    ..on their website now http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html
    – that figure is 0.0175% over 400 so I would still say that is not outside the margin of error

  89. stewgreen says:

    oops I meant NOAA not Scripps

  90. stewgreen says:

    - hang on, I just checked the Scripps reading for the same day using the same instruments “May 13, 2013 reading not available Data too variable” .. so will the NOAA reading stand ?

  91. Laurie Bowen says:

    Haven’t read all the comments . . . but, am just curious . . . . How many places in the world do we take CO2 PPM measurements and what does that data set look like . . . over time . . . . averaged . . . etc.??
    any good links for that.? And what is the graph for the increase in the number of detectors over time.

    And . . . any unusual volcanic activity around there that may affect the measurements? any good links for that.?

    I know . . . I know, just showing my laziness, my ignorance, or both . . . But, they don’t keep the dang library open 24/7.

  92. Laurie Bowen says:
    May 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Best start at:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/
    you can click on one of the stations on the map and ask for the carbon cycle data and further for CO2, flask samples or contiunuous data (if available) and the plot of the data on screen, on a pdf or download the data.

    The South Pole was first in 1958, Mauna Loa in 1959, the number increased over the years and a few years ago there were some 70 at “pristine” area’s, that is with minimum contamination from the neighbourhood. Many of these are located on islands in the oceans, or coastal. Some are in deserts. Some 400 others are located on land near sources and sinks. While these are not used for “background” measurements, the data are of interest for calculating the CO2 fluxes over vegetation and towns.

    While Mauna Loa is on the flank of an active volcano, the CO2 emissions from the volcano are easely detected from a huge variability within an hour, the wind direction/speed (downslope) and the presence of SO2. Most others (including the South Pole) have no volcano in the wide area and little to no vegetation (which also influences the measurements).

  93. stewgreen says:

    - just checked again the NOAA May 12th reading has been downgraded to 399.4
    – but now they report May 14 as the first day EVER over 400 at 400.03
    Scrips’s/Keeling say May 14 399.58 : parts per million (ppm) CO2 in air
    – so it wouldn’t surprise me if the NOAA May 14th is soon downgraded also

  94. stewgreen says:

    oops I blinked ..yes it has been re-adjusted downwards so CO2 has STILL NOT crossed the 400ppm line
    NOAA Last 5 days of preliminary daily average CO2
    May 15 – 399.59 May 14 – 399.97 May 13 – 399.98 May 12 – 399.48 May 11 – 399.45
    notice how the official page says PRELIMINARY
    Scripps/Keeling Twitterfeed also all below 400ppm

  95. Laurie Bowen says:

    Ah! ha! Thankyou Ferdinand, but given this “Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, carbon dioxide released by man near ground level sinks in air relatively quickly” . . . and lighter than water
    http://ocii.com/~dpwozney/carbondioxide.htm
    and given that the earth is not exactly a completely closed system when it comes to heat.

    Isn’t this really “good news” for plants and rather insignificant to man since it’s still a PPM issue? Unless of course you are a really short human and live near a CO2 sink.

  96. Laurie Bowen says:
    May 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I know that CO2 is not readily mixed with the rest of the atmosphere if the emissions are higher than wat wind speed/turbulence can mix. That indeed is the case for the African “killer lakes”, where sometimes huge “blobs” of CO2 come out of the lake and kills humans and animals.
    That is also the case in e.g. forests, where at night under inversion and little wind, near ground levels may increase to 600 ppmv and decrease to 250 on a sunny day thanks to photosynthesis and more turbulence.
    That is also the main problem with many of the historical measurements: taken on land, near huge sources and sinks, completely unsuitable to have an idea of the real “background” CO2 levels of that time. But if the data were taken on ships over the oceans or coastal with wind from the sea, these show data around what the ice cores show for the same period of time.
    See further: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    But in the bulk of the atmosphere, that is everywhere over the oceans and above a few hundred meters over land, the speed of change is less than the speed of mixing: the same levels are found everywhere within 2% of full scale (+/- 8 ppmv), where the largest differences are over the NH seasons and the lag of the SH vs. the NH. Here the yearly averaged data of several (coastal and mid-0cean stations + the South Pole) stations over the years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.jpg
    The stations are between 7 m above AMSL (Barrow) to 3400 m (Mauna Loa) and from near the North Pole to the South Pole…

    The point is that, once mixed, CO2 stays mixed in the atmosphere, except if catched near surface by some plant, mineral or by water.
    That is the result of the “Brownian motion” which keeps heavier particles in motion by random collisions of molecules. We even frequently find Sahara sand/dust, 100 times heavier than air, on our cars, transported over a distance of 3000 km…

  97. Laurie Bowen says:

    I’m sorry, but, so? http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_carbon_dioxide_would_kill_you

    Are they wrong . . . if not, we have a very long way to go. All I am saying is that Air is mostly nitrogen and we are not dead.

  98. Phil. says:

    Laurie Bowen says:
    May 16, 2013 at 10:44 am
    Ah! ha! Thankyou Ferdinand, but given this “Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, carbon dioxide released by man near ground level sinks in air relatively quickly”

    It’s certainly not a given it will only happen in relatively enclosed and sheltered places and even there diffusion will mix it irreversibly with the rest of the atmosphere, this is a slower process than turbulent mixing but it will continue until the composition is uniform.
    . . . and lighter than water
    http://ocii.com/~dpwozney/carbondioxide.htm

    Mr Wozney has made a number of errors in his blog, first he states that “Add more CO2 at the left and the equilibrium balance is driven to the right”, without considering that producing more H+ pushes the equilibrium back towards the left by Le Chatelier’s principle. The graph showing this is known as a Bjerrum plot. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Carbonate_system_of_seawater.svg

    Secondly he doesn’t consider that in much of the ocean conditions are such that CaCO3 is soluble (see Carbonate compensation).

    Finally he doesn’t consider the rates of the processes, just because a reversible reaction exists it isn’t necessarily fast enough to reach equilibration with a rapid input, for example we’re adding CO2 faster than the addition of Ca++ by weathering.
    An example of this effect is the proteins in our bodies, they’re all unstable to hydrolysis by water in our bodies, but the hydrolysis is rate limited, so fortunately for us those proteins don’t immediately fall apart! Some uncatalysed halflives are hundreds of years.

  99. Laurie Bowen says:
    May 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Are they wrong . . . if not, we have a very long way to go. All I am saying is that Air is mostly nitrogen and we are not dead.

    Agreed, but I was reacting on the story of David Wozney, you did link to… It contains too many errors and only confuses people…

  100. Laurie Bowen says:

    I was just using the article for that reference . . . don’t know what errors he made but, his chemistry bedazzled me. . . . . as I am not a chemist, and would have to go back to school to fact check . . . I think that is why our society specializes AND why it is so imperitive that we do not get “bamboozled” by a “concensous” of “scientist”! Integrity is imperative, for trust. And no ONE can be expected to be infallable. And that is my “big picture” opinion. . . . . And . . . on that perspective I will always be redundant. (as so many real scientists are)! Or maybe it’s just a German thing or . . . and age thing? Need another study! /sarc . . . . I think*

    *some people say: only sometimes!

  101. stewgreen says:

    FIRST CORRECTED DAILY reading above 400ppm EVER
    – Now keeling/Scripps have re-adjusted upwards their May13 reading
    ” was subsequently changed on May 15 to a value of 400.17 ”
    – from their special note http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/special-note-on-may-13-2013-reading/

  102. stewgreen says:
    May 17, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Thanks for the regular updates! At last the magic 400 ppmv was officially past. Not that the world did collapse or so, but the hype was only a few days too early, not a full year…

  103. stewgreen says:

    - Unbelievable after answering YES to my question saying “is the May 13th the first ever reading over 400ppm ,cos NOAA had readjusted the May9th figure ?” Keeling/Scripps have now gone back and erased the “yes” comment and replaced it with “Our May 9 reading for the 24-hour period used by NOAA remains unchanged at 400.08. All readings posted are preliminary.”
    – But we know from the LA Times story and the NOAA website it was adjusted downwards.
    – So the Keeling/Scripps Twitter readings have been over 400 on 3 days May 13th, 16th, 17th but as he says “All readings posted are preliminary” so they may be adjusted later

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