Dr. Vincent Gray on historical carbon dioxide levels

NZCLIMATE TRUTH NEWSLETTER NO 312 JUNE 4th 2013

CARBON DIOXIDE

There are two gases in the earth’s atmosphere without which living organisms could not exist.

Oxygen is the most abundant, 21% by volume, but without carbon dioxide, which is currently only about 0.04 percent (400ppm) by volume, both the oxygen itself, and most living organisms on earth could not exist at all.

This happened when the more complex of the two living cells (called “eukaryote”) evolved a process called a “chloroplast” some 3 billion years ago, which utilized a chemical called chlorophyll to capture energy from the sun and convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis. These substances provide all the food required by the organisms not endowed with a chloroplast organelle in their cells.

This process also produced all of the oxygen in the atmosphere

The relative proportions of carbon dioxide and oxygen have varied very widely over the geological ages.

Oxygen_earths_atmosphere_historical

CO2_temperature_historical

It will be seen that there is no correlation whatsoever between carbon dioxide concentration and the temperature at the earth’s surface.

During the latter part of the Carboniferous, the Permian and the first half of the Triassic period, 250-320 million years ago, carbon dioxide concentration was half what it is today but the temperature was 10ºC higher than today . Oxygen in the atmosphere fluctuated from 15 to 35% during this period

From the Cretaceous to the Eocene 35 to 100 million years ago, a high temperature went with declining carbon dioxide.

The theory that carbon dioxide concentration is related to the temperature of the earth’s surface is therefore wrong.

The growth of plants in the Carboniferous caused a reduction in atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide, forming the basis for large deposits of dead plants and other organisms. Plant debris became the basis for peat and coal., smaller organisms provided oil and gas, both after millions of years of applied heat and pressure from geological change; mountain building, erosion, deposition of sediments, volcanic eruptions, rises and fall of sea level and movement of continents. Marine organisms used carbon dioxide to build shells and coral polyps and these became the basis of limestone rocks

The idea promulgated by the IPCC that the energy received from the sun is instantly “balanced” by an equal amount returned to space, implies a dead world, from the beginning with no place for the vital role of carbon dioxide in forming the present atmosphere or for the development or maintenance of living organisms, or their ability to store energy or release it.

Increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by return to the atmosphere of some of the gas that was once there promotes the growth of forests, the yield of agricultural crops and the fish, molluscs and coral polyps in the ocean.

Increase of Carbon Dioxide is thus wholly beneficial to “the environment” There is no evidence that it causes harm.

Cheers

Vincent Gray

Wellington, New Zealand

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115 thoughts on “Dr. Vincent Gray on historical carbon dioxide levels

  1. What a great and simple and factual explanation which even the dimmest of our politicians should understand.
    However I won’t hold my breath.

    kayelsea

  2. The interesting context for me is how close we are to the minimum CO2 concentration (~180ppm) to support photosynthesis. So much carbon has been locked up as fossil deposits in limestone, coal, oil, gas, and etc. that we would need a program to release carbon if not for energy generation with carbon based fuels.

  3. The CO2/temperature graph above doesn’t look much like Al Gore’s graph. Why is that? I thought the science was settled.

  4. Please excuse quibbling and nit-picking, but a chloroplast is not a process. It’s a structure, an organelle or plastid, within some eukaryotic cells, ie those with nuclei or the ancestors of which contained nuclei & other organelles. (The other type of cell to which the good doctor refers is called prokaryotic, of which there are two kinds, the familiar bacteria & less well-known archaea, which tend to be extremophiles.)

    Chloroplasts are thought to have been incorporated into eukaryotic cells via endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria, which had previously “invented” photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria (aka blue-green “algae”, which they aren’t) evolved possibly as long ago as 3.6 billion years. Eukaryotes captured them by 2.7 billion years ago.

  5. I must have misunderstood, but to me the explanation of the function of chloroplast implies that the process generated most or all of atmospheric oxygen? In fact, the article claims “This process also produced all of the oxygen in the atmosphere”.

    Obviously, atmospheric elemental oxygen did not start appearing with eukaryotes. Cyanobacteria (which are prokaryotes) had utilized sunlight as a source of energy, to convert CO2 and H2O into useful compounds while liberating O2. Cyanobacteria have existed at least since Paleo-Archean (3500 million years ago), while first eukaryotes appeared in early Proterozoic (possibly as early as 2700 mil. years ago, but probably 2100-1600 mil. years ago).

    So what have I missed?

  6. The chart does not seem to support the the statement that CO2 levels were 1/2 current levels 250 million years ago.

  7. You forgot one very important point Dr. Gray.

    CO2 is absolutely vital for the health of humans.

    CO2 Heals Lung Damage and Lung Injury
    Hyperventilation (routinely found during medical investigations in lung patients) can cause additional lung damage or injury to lung tissue and worsen any chronic condition, including lung cancers (lung tumor), chronic obstructive lung disease, lung fibrosis, lung nodules, lung carcinoma, blood clots in the lung, fibrosis of the lung, fluid in the lung, cystic fibrosis, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and many others. However, these pathological changes can be prevented or treated with a supplementary therapy that involves breathing training. Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the lungs can heal lungs and prevent complications due to these conditions. As a result, many patients can avoid lung transplantation so that there is less need for lung transplants….

    CO2, Blood pH and Respiratory Alkalosis: Causes and Effects

    Blood pH is tightly regulated by a system of buffers that continuously maintain it in a normal range of 7.35 to 7.45 (slightly alkaline). Blood pH drop below 7 can lead to a coma and even death due to severe acidosis. This causes depression of the central nervous system. High blood pH (above 7.45) is called alkalosis. Severe alkalosis (when blood pH is more than 8) can also lead to death, as it often happens during last days or hours of life in most people who are chronically and terminally ill.

    Hyperventilation is the most common cause of respiratory alkalosis. Note that overbreathing is exceptionally common in people with chronic diseases (for clinical studies, see the Homepage of this site).
    The main mechanisms for blood pH maintenance and control

    – Carbonic Acid-Bicarbonate Buffer System
    – Protein Buffer System
    – Phosphate Buffer System
    – Elimination of Hydrogen Ions via Kidneys

    Carbon dioxide plays one of the central roles in respiratory alkalosis. Note, however, that tissue hypoxia due to critically-low carbon dioxide level in the alveoli is usually the main life-threatening factor in the severely sick. As we discussed before, CO2 is crucial for vasodilation and the Bohr effect…..

    So CO2 is not only NOT a pollutant, it is vital to human health and well-being.

  8. Malthusian thought would suggest that plants could consume most of the CO2 in the atmosphere unless something else restricted their growth.

  9. “The idea promulgated by the IPCC that the energy received from the sun is instantly “balanced” by an equal amount returned to space, implies a dead world, from the beginning with no place for the vital role of carbon dioxide in forming the present atmosphere or for the development or maintenance of living organisms, or their ability to store energy or release it.

    Could this energy being used to build plant material be Trenberth’s missing heat? Trenberth’s diagrams all assume that the heat energy either creates a rise in temperature or is radiated out to space. He has missed the locking up of energy by photosynthesis. How much energy is needed to build a tree or a blade of grass – or a forest? The more plant-life the more energy is used. Animals then use that energy to form their own bodies and we can see vast limestone and chalk deposits all required chemical energy to build as the shells of formanifera – energy which is now locked up as calcium carbonate deposits.

    The Earth energy budget equation is missing a term. Life

  10. Percentage of CO2 and O2 in the atmosphere is not enough information if the sea-level atmospheric pressure also changes over time. So Partial Pressure of CO2 might be the key component.

    Some of this was discussed in “So Dinasaus Could Fly, Part I”. The size of flying dinosaurs is evidence of a thicker, more dense, atmosphere in the Mesozoic. The Power to stay aloft is inversely proportional to sqrt(air density).

    I conclude that [if the Power of an animal is proportioinal to Weight^(x), then max weight of a flying organism is proportional to AirDensity^(1/(3-2x))
    If x = 1, then Max weight is proportion to air density.
    If x = 0.8, then Max weight is proportional to AirDensity^(0.71)

  11. Ian W has it right. I have looked and not found, what percent of sunlight is used by photosynthesis.
    true, it will be recycled in time, but not on small timescales. be nice to know, as this is a negative
    feedback. the hottest places on earth are the deserts, no vegetation.

  12. tmitsss says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:24 am
    “Malthusian thought would suggest that plants could consume most of the CO2 in the atmosphere unless something else restricted their growth.”

    That is not Malthusian thought but Liebig’s Law.
    C3 plants stop photosynthesizing below 150 ppm CO2. C4 plants (grases) are generally less efficient but have the advantage of being able to photosynthesize down to 0 ppm CO2.
    Corn is for instance a C4 plant and will remove all CO2 from the surrounding air given enough sunshine, water and nutrients.

  13. @Mišo Alkalaj says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:16 am
    ———————————–

    Very small amounts of oxygen were generated abiotically in the primordial atmosphere by the breakdown of water vapor, but it was taken up by geologic features such as the iron-rich red beds, ie by rusting & other chemical processes, so it couldn’t build up in the air. So it might not be precisely correct to say “all” O2 is of biological origin, but effectively, this is true.

  14. Mišo Alkalaj:

    I was going to make a similar comment about chloroplasts, but now I recall that when Dr. Gray was young (and even when I was young), we were taught that cells called “eukaryote” evolved a process called a “chloroplast”, just like they evolved a nucleus and other compartmentalised processes. Back then, we knew nothing about Archaea, and only the very few of us suspected that mitochondria were symbiotically acquired.

    The last 20-30 years’ update: now we know for sure that mitochondria are bacterial endosymbionts, and we also know that about chloroplasts. They are cyanobacteria:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC153454/

    The origins of eukaryotes themselves are not known. One theory has it that various bits acquired by a prokaryotic cell from its endosymbionts fell together to form a nucleus. But it is just a theory, like many others.

    What seems to be certain is that the atmospheric oxygen was evolved from a great variety of living cells’ photosystems, eubacterial and eukaryotic. Oxygen is too reactive to remain in the atmosphere without a constant evolution from photosynthesis.

  15. @ RICHARD CLENNEY says:
    June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    About 45% of the sunlight spectrum is used for photosynthesis, which of course is a separate issue from the energetic efficiency of the process.

  16. Curious: How did herbivores survive in Triassic period if co2 levels were half what they are today…isn’t 180ppm a cut off point for successful plant development?

  17. Where the draw down in CO2 is leading is probably a reprise of the P/T “boundary” (e.g. extinction event). That will liberate enough CO2 as a byproduct of decay, to milk a little more life out of the biosphere. However, it is clearly trending toward the ultimate death. The death of all life on Earth.

  18. Well, as far as I can see from the second chart, 40-45 million years ago during the Eocene Epoch, the global temperature was approximately 23 C, as compared to the current of 14 C. That is 9 degrees C higher, and yet the oceans did not boil away which apparently is the nightmare Jim Hansen has. We have a long, long way to go before reaching such a warmer temperature state.

  19. Another observation from the second chart, apparently for the past 600 million years of earth’s geological history, CO2 concentrations have been considerably higher than our current atmospheric levels for about 95% of the time. So what is all the fuss about, really? Did Dyno the Tyrono drive an SUV?

  20. Excellent discussion, but one critically important point. The chart is essentially impossible to discern by those of us with genetic defects that leave us color insensitive. I have red/green color insensitivity, essentially my Red and Green receptor chromophores are too close together and I cannot distinguish 40 of the 46 color test patterns. So, pleas be aware of this when preparing charts that only use color to define the legend. Thanks from the genetically impaired.

  21. For those above. Only about 45% of sunlight wavelengths are photosyntheticly active radiation (PAR). For a variety of reasons detailed in the world biofuels chapter of my first book, the actual net average efficiency is about 1% in the tropics. (there is a wide range depending on C3 or C4 pathway, etc). So less in temperate zones, most which are in northern latitudes, whichnis why the Keeling curve has annual seasonality with CO2 peaking in spring, just before the seasonal biological sequestration ( plant food) begins. That seasonality allows a calculation of the percentage of annual emissions being sequestered through photosynthesis.

    This seems to be a day with a lot of suspect posts. The conditions of the Earth and it’s biosphere in the Carboniferous or the Permian are NOT good indicators of conditions or how they might change in the Holocene or the ‘anthropocene’. Different biome, with continents in different positions. That is at best a very weak argument against AGW. To my mind it weakens rather than strengthens the overall sceptical case. Ditto the posting on glaciers, which even if true confused them with stable ice sheets, and completely got wrong the Greenland Ice cores. Ditto the posting on temp and CO2, which took the obvious fact of Henry’s law and Gore got the sequence wrong to assert no anthropogenic CO2 last 100 years. The rate of exchange is several centuries depending on who read which ice core. So the Keeling curve represents anthropogenic CO2 from burning fossil fuels, after some additional dissolving in seawater ( proven by ‘acidification’) and some additional biological sequestration ( e.g. the recent desert greening post).
    Accepting ‘bad arguments’ against AGW is not much better than those who accept bad arguments for AGW. WUWT should be about finding and strengthening good arguments.

  22. Further to Gail’s post http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/dr-vincent-gray-on-historical-carbon-dioxide-levels/#comment-1326044

    More on carbon dioxide the basic foodstuff of carbon life – http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/Sci/CO2&Health.html

    We are Carbon Life Forms.

    The idea that a trace real gas drives global temperatures is absurd, even if we didn’t have extensive research through ice cores, stomata to show how it lagged temperature, always an effect, never the cause, that carbon dioxide is claimed to be a “thermal blanket trapping heat” when it is practically 100% hole in atmosphere shows clearly that all the arguments about “degree of sensitivity” have lost touch with reality. But that was the object of exercise, to produce a fake fisics changing all the properties and processess in order to push the AGW narrative and to that end the argument between CAGWs and AGWs created, the protagonists on both sides so caught up in it that neither side wants to be reminded that there have never been shown any empirical science for the claims about carbon dioxide; both sides dismiss any mention of this with a general handwaving in the direction of the past garbling reposts that ‘there are countless experiments to prove it’, but never producing any. And neither side notices there is no rain in their CAGW/AGW carbon cycle.

    Shrug, why should they? They haven’t even noticed their energy budget is missing the whole of the Water Cycle.

  23. Volcanic eruptions expel large volumes of CO2, from the Earth’s interior.
    Expert opinion appreciated on the following two points:

    Does CO2 signature identify its origin either as of interior chemical reactions or less likely organic from subduction process ?

    Are the volumes of ejected lava and CO2 related?
    Thanks.

    p.s. if you are in the UK, BBC4 on Voyager space probes now on.

  24. Rud Istvan says:
    June 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    For those above. Only about 45% of sunlight wavelengths are photosyntheticly active radiation (PAR). For a variety of reasons detailed in the world biofuels chapter of my first book, the actual net average efficiency is about 1% in the tropics. (there is a wide range depending on C3 or C4 pathway, etc). So less in temperate zones, most which are in northern latitudes, whichnis why the Keeling curve has annual seasonality with CO2 peaking in spring, just before the seasonal biological sequestration ( plant food) begins. That seasonality allows a calculation of the percentage of annual emissions being sequestered through photosynthesis.

    This seems to be a day with a lot of suspect posts. The conditions of the Earth and it’s biosphere in the Carboniferous or the Permian are NOT good indicators of conditions or how they might change in the Holocene or the ‘anthropocene’. Different biome, with continents in different positions. That is at best a very weak argument against AGW.

    Interesting input – perhaps you can describe how continental drift alters CO2 infrared absorption in the atmosphere and the hypothesized water vapor feedback?

  25. Mišo Alkalaj says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I must have misunderstood, but to me the explanation of the function of chloroplast implies that the process generated most or all of atmospheric oxygen? In fact, the article claims “This process also produced all of the oxygen in the atmosphere”.

    I may be getting lost in the proper terminology myself, but I would have said “Photosythesis is the process that produced essentially all the oxygen in the atmosphere.” (I’m a software engineer – it’s hard to get me to use absolutes!)

    However, there are also processes like http://www.thefreedictionary.com/process which says “6. Biology: An outgrowth of tissue; a projecting part: a bony process.” I much prefer organelle.

    I’d be reluctant to call these endosymbionts any longer. (I hadn’t heard that word before, but I sort of like it.) I read somewhere that humans have more DNA for controlling mitochondria than there is DNA in mitochondria. They really have become part of us!

  26. While I am somewhat embarrassed that I had never considered the energy locked up in biomass, so I googled “heat of combustion cellulose”.
    Update for Combustion Properties of Wood Components
    and
    Wood Combustion Basics (PDF)
    were the first two results. The second one, presented at an EPA workshop points out that the heat of combustion will be equal to the energy stored from the light and indicates about 20,000 to 21,000 joules per kg of dry wood. The first goes into much more detail. but lists biomass as about 20,000 joules per kg. If we consider how much biomass would correspond to 1 w per sq meter, we get 1 j/sec *3600 sec/hr * 24 hr/day * 365 day /year = 31,536,000 j/year. dividing by 20,000 j/kg, we get about 1577 kg/year. With 5.1*10^14 sq meters of surface this would be roughly 8*10^17 kg or 8*10^14 tons per year. Wikipedia estimates 1.46*10^11 tons/ year on their biomass page.

    Unless I have really botched it by a few decimal places, biomass does not look like it can account for much of the energy. When I got to the 1577 kg/yr per sq meter, I knew that I was not talking about even close to what my yard produces.

  27. vukcevic says:
    June 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    Volcanic eruptions expel large volumes of CO2, from the Earth’s interior.
    Expert opinion appreciated on the following two points:

    Does CO2 signature identify its origin either as of interior chemical reactions or less likely organic from subduction process ?

    Are the volumes of ejected lava and CO2 related?
    Thanks.

    As with everything else in the AGW narrative, this aspect too has been butchered to present the narrative in sound bite memes overriding the facts, some from Timothy Casey:

    http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

    “Based on this brief literature survey, we may conclude that volcanic CO2 emissions are much higher than previously estimated, and as volcanic CO2 contributions are effectively indistinguishable from industrial CO2 contributions, we cannot glibly assume that the increase of atmospheric CO2 is exclusively anthropogenic.”

    And some examples of the skullduggery as with temperature manipulations:

    “2.0 Calculated Estimates: Glorified Guesswork
    The estimation of worldwide volcanic CO2 emission is undermined by a severe shortage of data. To make matters worse, the reported output of any individual volcano is itself an estimate based on limited rather than complete measurement. One may reasonably assume that in each case, such estimates are based on a representative and statistically significant quantity of empirical measurements. Then we read statements, such as this one courtesy of the USGS (2010):

    Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (Gerlach, 1991). This estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes, about in equal amounts.

    “In point of fact, the total worldwide estimate of roughly 55 MtCpa is by one researcher, rather than “scientists” in general. More importantly, this estimate by Gerlach (1991) is based on emission measurements taken from only seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. Yet the USGS glibly claims that Gerlach’s estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes in roughly equal amounts. Given the more than 3 million volcanoes worldwide indicated by the work of Hillier & Watts (2007), one might be prone to wonder about the statistical significance of Gerlach’s seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. If the statement of the USGS concerning volcanic CO2 is any indication of the reliability of expert consensus, it would seem that verifiable facts are eminently more trustworthy than professional opinion.”

    So much for their much vaunted “pristine sites for measuring” their mythical “well mixed background man made”, which are surrounded in huge volcanic production which somehow magically they can tell apart from man-made..

  28. @Ian W at 11:25 am
    How much energy is needed to build a tree or a blade of grass – or a forest? The more plant-life the more energy is used.
    This is a MAJOR point!
    CO2’s spurring of plant growth (and the energy plants absorb) is a negative feedback, or a direct negative effect on temperatures.
    Despite no demonstrated connection between CO2 & climate temperatures, the warmists maintain that CO2 directly causes temperature changes, and that a positive feedback of water vapor then triples the alleged effect. Right, is my response. Water vapor is probably a negative feedback. Now we add that plant growth will absorb heat. For all we know, the net effect of an increase in CO2 would decrease temperature. Yes, and that’s consistent with the evidence, and that evidence is that there is no causal correlation between CO2 & temperatures!! None. See and share this short video that beautifully makes this point obvious and calls out Al Gore for his disingenuous bullshit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&info=GGWarmingSwindle_CO2Lag

  29. Interesting history, bears repeating. Daniel Rothman (PNAS, April 2, 2002) also surveyed the behavior of carbon dioxide for the last 500 million years and concluded that “The resulting CO2 signal exhibits no systematic correspondence with the geologic record of climatic variations at tectonic time scales.” Nicely obfuscated for activists who don’t know what a tectonic time scale is.

  30. Ian W says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:25 am
    “The idea promulgated by the IPCC that the energy received from the sun is instantly “balanced” by an equal amount returned to space, implies a dead world, from the beginning with no place for the vital role of carbon dioxide in forming the present atmosphere or for the development or maintenance of living organisms, or their ability to store energy or release it.

    Could this energy being used to build plant material be Trenberth’s missing heat? Trenberth’s diagrams all assume that the heat energy either creates a rise in temperature or is radiated out to space. He has missed the locking up of energy by photosynthesis. How much energy is needed to build a tree or a blade of grass – or a forest? The more plant-life the more energy is used. Animals then use that energy to form their own bodies and we can see vast limestone and chalk deposits all required chemical energy to build as the shells of formanifera – energy which is now locked up as calcium carbonate deposits.

    The Earth energy budget equation is missing a term. Life

    I posted several comments about this some time ago. Though the available numbers are somewhat variable the middle estimate I found for daily caloric intake per capita globally was
    about 2800 Calories. Last time I looked the human population was estimated at about 7.1 billion
    which gives about 2×10*13 calories per day. Dietary calories are actually kilocalories which convert to Joules by multiplying by 4184 giving 8×10*16 joules per day. Estimates of spoilage and waste in the global food supply range from 30 to 50 percent so figure something north of 10*17 joules per day or about 4×10*19 joules per year. Not in itself a really significant number, but in terms of biological throughput humans are a relative drop in the bucket. I haven’t been able to find even an estimate of what that fraction is, but if it is a hunderdth or as I suspect even a thousandth of total biochemical energy converted from solar insolation by life on the planet, which is mostly if not entirely removed from the Earth’s radiative energy budget, the numbers start to look not quite so negligible.

    Besides life there is another significant neglected factor I see as causing problems for the notion that solar input and radiative output must balance. The earth’s atmosphere and oceans, and almost everything else for that matter, are in constant motion which requires massive amounts of kinetic energy. That energy comes from many sources, gravity, the Coriolis effect, etc., but some portion, and I suspect a not insignificant portion, comes from the conversion of incoming solar radiative energy to kinetic energy, which again removes it from the radiative energy balance.

    There may be other such factors that I haven’t recognized, but these two by themselves suggest to me that if the TOA energy was actually in balance it could only happen if the Earth was cooling.

  31. The science debate is very interesting to people who really care about science. Do you really believe that the ‘Goreites” succumb to their own drivel. It has nothing to do about saving the earth,it is about power and rule.

  32. I am a geologist and I could not agree more with the point of this article. I have at least 2-5 more examples of published papers in reputable peer reviwed geological magazines, dealing with smaller scale time series (i.e., Miocene time – from about 23 million to aout 5 million years ago, etc) where there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature. If you choose the right scale, the right sampling, and what not, you can come up with some correlation (mathematical correlation that is) for that particular time interval regardless of what your variables are. Yes, I understand that in geologic time, there are processes that no longer act like the they did in the past. Yes, I understand, the configuration of the continents, ocean currents, mountain belts, and a whole slew of other factors that will affect our weather (and thus it 30-years smoothing curve climate) have changed through time, but that is not the point. The point is that AGW croud singles out the CO2 as the drivers of feaver our planet is supposed to have. But, the one thing that graph drives home and can’t be argued with: CO2 and T on that graph are from proxies (and some error bars would be in order), and there is no correlation beteen CO2 and T.
    Cheers,
    Adrian

  33. “without carbon dioxide, which is currently only about 0.04 percent (400ppm) by volume, both the oxygen itself, and most living organisms on earth could not exist at all.”

    Nonsense. It’s just a trace gas and can’t have any significant effects on anything.

  34. RICHARD CLENNEY says on June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm:

    “- – – – – – – – -. the hottest places on earth are the deserts, no vegetation.”
    = = = = = = = = = = =

    What about Antarctica? That’s one big desert – as far as I can see

  35. FTA: “The theory that carbon dioxide concentration is related to the temperature of the earth’s surface is therefore wrong.”

    Correction: The statement that carbon dioxide concentration is directly related to the temperature of the earth’s surface is therefore wrong. The rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere is, however, directly related to temperature.

    Natural systems generally evolve according to differential relations, not to memoryless, instantaneous input/output relations. It is calculus, not algebra.

  36. The growth of plants in the Carboniferous caused a reduction in atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide,

    Should not that be “an increase in oxygen”?

  37. There is no evidence that CO2 levels effect climate, either long term as dealt with in this paper, medium term, like over the Holocene, or short term, like over the last 150 years. The so called greenhouse effect is dominated by water vapor. There is theory and evidence that any possible effects of added CO2 is negated by negative H2O feedbacks for example clouds in the lower atmosphere. If CO2 has any effect at all then it acts as a radiative thermal insulator. As such added CO2 will cause increases in temperature in the lower troposphere but decreases in temperature in the upper troposphere where SWIR is radiated out to space. If temperatures drop so does H2O content which negates the effect of added CO2. I do not think that this constitutes a smoking gun against AGW but it constitutes a substantial theoretical and evidential basis against the idea of AGW. I have been looking for but have not found a smoking gun basis for AGW. Some claim that solar forcing alone does not account for the warming that we have been observing over the past 100 years. But if one just turns up the solar activity climate warming gain by assuming a relationship between solar activity and albedo then CO2 based warming is not required to account what we have been observing.

  38. So there is a ceiling and floor to temps ~2-3C below the present temp and 7-8C above the present temp and it likes to periodically go up and down to these temps. This should be considered the starting point for investigation of climate – we definitely have to start all over again (what to do with the unbelievable 100,000+ papers on the subject – nearly all based on Willis’s discovery of the simple black box equation that charts a course to nowhere?).

    One thing I would like to point out about this CO2 – temp thing, though, we would have started off with a hot earth, very high CO2, water vapor, etc in the earliest atmosphere and condensation of the water into oceans with CO2 dissolving in the oceans as things cooled and this leading to removal of some CO2 in the form of precipitated limestones; this followed by the beginnings and development of life, biological absorption of CO2, splitting off and release of oxygen, etc. and finally bringing CO2 gas down to near present levels about 200 million years ago – the process taking a few billion years. This might be considered a new, longer term equilibrium in which CO2 morphed into gas plus life forms (both live and sequestered dead) plus inorganically and biochemically precipitated calcium carbonate. The new equilibrium, if the max and min temp levels established since the proto-earth cooled hold up, is dealing with a fraction of the earlier available CO2. Anything prior to 200 million years ago is now largely out of the equation. (I think it started out as a more beautiful thought than this).

  39. help me ! http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/waste-recycling-environment/sustainability/eco-eastleigh.aspx

    If any of you have a similar attitude towards ‘climate change’ as I do you will want to help me put this perspective over at this event.

    I have asked one question for the event already and would love it if some of you could email one of the questions below to giles.gooding@eastleigh.gov.uk and then come along perhaps to watch them squirm.

    1. Fleming Park leisure centre was fitted with Solar panels a few years ago, it takes at least 10 years for these to make any real savings, now with the leisure centre possibly being knocked down — what is to happen to them, was climate change tackled and was it worth it ?

    2. ‘Tackling Climate Change’ is the public relations mantra of EBC, have the revelations of ‘Climategate’ where the world’s top experts have been caught fiddling the data, picking only sympathetic collegues to peer review their work, and repeatedly denying other researchers their raw data to hide their biased interpretations at all changed the councils position.

    3.The BBC recently announced they would give no airtime to alternative views on ‘climate change’ as it is ‘settled science’ are ‘settled science’ other words for religion ?

    4.At a recent LAC planning meeting a councillor said there was a cataclysmic shortage of housing and the committee voted in favour of a massive housing development of hundreds of detached houses on a ‘greenfield’ site, at the same meeting the Councillors laughed at plans for a high rise. Is building thousands more detached and semi-detached houses across the borough sustainable?

    5. A housing developer recently told me that the council’s own sustainability criteria (code level 4) made development of brownfield sites uneconomic so firms are now only interested in greenfield sites, however energy efficient the houses are, isn’t the net impact an increase in emissions?

    6 You have been ‘Tackling Climate Change’ for some time, has the CO2 output of the borough gone down, and can you prove that?

    7. With 500 new houses built every year there is an increasing requirement for water and sewerage, has the capacity of our water system been correspondingly improved by larger or more reservoirs or sewers in the last 25 years ? And if not, are the saving water campaigns just a way of keeping an old system going and money rolling in for what are now private companies?

    8. What new discovery could instantly disprove anthropogenic global warming, and if it is not falsifiable, how can we be sure it is right — remember if the earth is getting warmer wouldn’t the great ball of fire in the sky be a good place to start?

    .

  40. Myrrh says on June 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm:

    “As with everything else in the AGW narrative, this aspect too has been butchered to present the narrative in sound bite memes overriding the facts, some from Timothy Casey:

    http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/”

    = = = = = = =

    Thanks Myrrh, once upon a long time ago, I taught myself a bit of French in order to be able to read the writings of Fourier – That’s the guy who is supposed to be the “Father of the ‘Greenhouse theory”. – I managed to do it – after a fashion – and of course it became obvious to me that that according to Fourier – IR or the dark radiation from the ground/surface could not possibly have anything at all to do with rising or lowering the temperature of this planet.

    And then along comes Timothy Casey – a guy who has found all, or most of the translations and writings of the deep thinkers and experimenters from the 19th Century. – Clever guy this Timothy Casey fellow and I wish all the good people who write and contribute here on WUWT would set aside some time to read all his writings – or at least some of it – Once again, yesterday in fact, I performed a simple little experiment that proves that IR radiation cannot penetrate solid, transparent glass and Fourier’s further claim that nor can it penetrate H2O or water is painfully evident in nature. So evident is it – in fact – that no additional experiments should be necessary.

  41. It remains amazing that the warmers and lukers are still hung up on CO2. The “magic gas” that can heat the planet. I suspect they will support it forever–CO2, that toxic gas!

    The last 15 years of temps must be cloaked in a shield they cannot see….

  42. 3rd para: “convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis”

    Is that correct ??? Should it read CO2 & H2O ?

  43. We haven’t even answered the most basic question: is the present increase in the atmosphere coming FROM the ocean or coming FROM human and animal activities on land? The pattern, on the current cycle just like the past cycles, would suggest that it’s mainly outgassing from the ocean in response to a warming ocean.

  44. Rud Istvan says (June 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm): “This seems to be a day with a lot of suspect posts. The conditions of the Earth and it’s biosphere in the Carboniferous or the Permian are NOT good indicators of conditions or how they might change in the Holocene or the ‘anthropocene’. Different biome, with continents in different positions. That is at best a very weak argument against AGW.”

    I think the message of the chart (assuming it’s largely correct) is that over a variety of geological, atmospheric, and biological conditions, all with temperatures higher than today’s, the Earth never slipped into a catastrophic warming phase. That raises the question of what’s unprecedented about today’s conditions that will produce a result unprecedented in 3 billion years, and why.

    To put it another way, the Earth has already performed a number of experiments for us–uncontrolled, to be sure–with higher temperatures than today, yet has not demonstrated the result the IPCC fears. Why would the current experiment, duration less than two centuries, produce a new outcome?

    Has the IPCC answered that question?

  45. I’m having a hard time believing the oxygen content reconstruction. At much above the current level, wouldn’t the oxygen be oxidizing everything it could get its hands on, whether by combustion or not?

  46. Dr. Bob says June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Excellent discussion, but one critically important point. The chart is essentially impossible to discern by those of us with genetic defects that leave us color insensitive. I have red/green color insensitivity, essentially my Red and Green receptor chromophores are too close together and I cannot distinguish 40 of the 46 color test patterns. So, pleas be aware of this when preparing charts that only use color to define the legend. Thanks from the genetically impaired.

    I have to concur; anything Red/Green is not viewable as intended by the author if the audience member is R/G ‘color insensitive’. I mentioned this in a posting mos/yrs back but …

    Should be some sort of ‘checklist’ an author can spin through when creating graphics, maybe prompting the author to ‘spin one’ that the small population of 5 to 8% of males can see.

    .

  47. @Ian W. Sure. Continental drift moves the landmasses (continents) into more or less favorable global positions for net annual bio sequestration of carbon dioxide. Antarctica does about zero all year long, and the Arctic does a little in the summer and none in the winter. Lore Lindu National forest on Sulawese does about as much as mother nature allows all year long.
    Today, roughly half of biological carbon sequestration is oceanic and half is terrestrial. Read my first book, or just Google. So mere continental position is capable of affecting up to half (more realistically maybe half of half) of natural sequestration.
    Now that does not sound like a lot. But in the Carboniferous (coal) and Permian ( one of, not the only, petroleum forming era –Texas’ Permian basin got its name for a reason) there was little net ‘desequestration’ since we were not around to burn the coal and oil that was being formed. So continental position has a huge impact on the geological rate of net removal and rate of net oxygen formation, so on all the charts above.
    You can probably do water vapor feedback from there yourself. Hint, transpiration is more ‘potent’ than evaporation, which is why the Amazon rain forest has so much rain.
    Note the huge temperature dip between the Carboniferous and Permian, which is why I chose them for the post. That epoch is called ‘Snowball Earth’ and makes the Pleistocene look downright toasty by comparison. I recommend Prof. Uriarte’s ebook Earth’s Climate History, written by a geologist, if you have further questions.

  48. @Gary Hladik. The number is right for terrestrial tropical rain forest, but based on the Keeling curve CO2 seasonality, also an upper limit for the biosphere as a whole.
    Missing the life term is a huge mistake. For example, the positive water vapor feedback is usually thought to be a simple question of evaporation, and that mostly from oceans covering about 70% of the planet. Wrong, because plant transpiration loses more water to the atmosphere than evaporation, so in places like the Amazon or Southeast Asia there are more thunderstorms and rain. Yes, but those same convective processes convey humidity to the upper troposphere where the positive water feedback is most important. So literally, plant distributions can affect the positive water vapor feedback and undoubtedly have over geological time. One hypothesis for the snowball earth epoch is that Gondwanaland had not yet begun to break up into the continents, the whole thing got too far south of the equator, plants did less well, and…
    Is more likely than the Sun stopped shining or Earths orbit shifted. But who knows?
    Regards

  49. “Has anybody looked at whether any of the missing heat is locked up in biomass?” [Robert in Arizona at 12:18]

    There is some discussion of that in this recent WUWT thread (link below). E.g., “Figure 3 outlines the primary sources of natural CO2 release in decreasing order of quantity of carbon emitted: oceanic release, microbial decay,… .” [Ronald D. Voisin]

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/an-engineers-take-on-major-climate-change/#more-87577

  50. Rud Istvan says:
    June 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm
    ———————————–

    The “Snowball Earth” events did not occur in the Paleozoic Era (of which the Carboniferous & Permian are the last two periods) of our current Phanerozoic Eon, but in the preceding Neoproterozoic Era of the Precambrian or Proterozoic Eon. The Cryogenian Period (635 to 850 million years ago) takes its name from these cold events. It preceded the Ediacaran Period, last of the Neoproterozoic Era & Proterozoic Eon, which preceded the Cambrian Period, first of the Paleozoic Era.

    The supercontinents of the Cryogenian and Ediacaran (Rodinia & Pannotia) were organized quite differently from the more recent Pangaea. In Rodinia, it appears that part of Gondwanaland (India, Madagascar, East Antarctica & Australia) existed, but was located north of the equator. It lacked Africa, South America & West Antarctica, but the other parts were drifting south.

  51. A.D. Everard says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Very nice. Very important, too. I wish they taught this is school!
    ###
    They used to. Its amazing what they do not teach any more, and why!

  52. @polistra. Actually, that question has been answered to reasonable certainty, which is why I objected to the conclusions of a previous guest post here earlier today. Henry’s law must be obeyed, which means generally that absent large perturbations like the Industrial revolution, CO2 lags temperature and Gore was flat wrong. But the process of reaching stasis takes several hundred years. So there is literally no way known to physics and chemistry that the Keeling curve is a result of temperature increases on a mere century time scale.
    And it is also true that mainly biological processes sequester carbon dioxide via photosynthesis. That is apparent from the annual variation in the Keeling curve. Ah, but the Keeling curve slopes up anyway. That is the unmistakeable signature of anthropogenic CO2 from burning sequestered carbon, aka fossil fuels, converting photosyntheticly generated oxygen and photosyntheticly sequestered CO2 back into atmospheric CO2.
    To debate that is a waste of time, you will lose, and only cheapens the powerful other arguments sceptics have against (C)AGW.

    What is not settled is how much this century’s temperature increase (itself debatable, you know Anthony’s UHI and such) is caused by that increase. And how much is just natural variation. This the attribution problem. It is fundamental. Willis’ most recent post gave a pretty rock solid reason why climate models cannot sort that out like the AGW gang asserts. Trenberth’s missing heat is just the latest travesty to try to avoid the fact that the modellers themselves said 15 years of no statistical temperature increase would falsify the models. They never thought that would happen, and now it has. Such arguments ( provided as illustrations, not a complete set) carry much more weight thtry erroneously asserting CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, or that atmospheric concentrations have not increased because of the industrial revolution. Those lose.
    The winner is, so what?

  53. @ John Tillman. I cannot say you are wrong, but will say I am certain that Prof. Uriarte’s book applied the term to roughly 290 million years ago and to the vary obvious dip in temperature in the posted graphic this thread between the Carboniferous and Permian. Because just checked.
    Perhaps we are both right, and have found an area of scientific linguistic imprecision?
    Regards

  54. Great paper – geologic arm waving in the best traditions of the science. What fascinates me is the Oxygen Content graph. We geologists know that oxygen had a rough time in the first few billions of years of Earth’s existence – little to be had, lots to react with, particularly a world ocean full of soluble reduced iron (Fe++). Life began to take hold, generate O2, and finally enough was available to rid the oceans of its iron content in the form of massive iron formations deposited over millions of years, precipitating out iron and silica on an epic scale (that we mine today to provide most of the world’s iron and steel).

    At some point, life burgeoned and the O2 content of the atmosphere zoomed up to the levels most creatures have prospered in, and even higher by a good deal (35% compared to 21% today). But according to this graph, around 260MYBP, the content of atmospheric O2 plummeted more than 50%. Imagine waking up one morning and having the air being like standing on top of Mt. Everest (I’ll let someone else do the math; I’m an exploration geologist). Imagine the chaos.

    That downturn seems to correspond grossly with the Great Permian Extinction event. What the heck happened? We know that Permo-Triassic rocks exhibit “red beds” (clastic rocks in which all the iron has been oxidized from Fe++ (generally gray or green rocks) to Fe+++ (generally red and pink rocks) in profusion. There was also going on one of the largest single volcanic eruptive events that we can identify. So what caused the oxygen depletion, and how did it affect life on Earth? There is still one science that isn’t settled.

  55. If Prof. Uriarte calls the Carboniferous-Permian glaciation a Snowball Earth incident, he is mistaken. However, as the copied material below show, at least in this version of his book available on line, he, like everyone else, refers to the Neoproterozoic glaciation as “Snowball Earth”.

    While the Carboniferous glaciation was severe and lasted longer than the preceding Ordovician, its ice sheets and sea ice did not extend to the equator from both north and south, as hypothesized for the Cryogenian, either in its Snowball or Slushball Earth versions.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1186.summary

    The highest latitude I have seen estimated for the Carboniferous ice sheet on Gondwana is 40 degrees South. Estimates of its extent vary, but “Snowball Earth” applies only to the Cryogenian, not the Carboniferous.

    Below are relevant passages from what I assume is a summary of his book:

    http://www.herbogeminis.com/IMG/pdf/historia_del_clima_de_la_tierra_anton_uriarte.pdf

    As you can see, he uses the term “Snowball Earth” for the Cryogenian but not for the Carboniferous glaciation.

    Glaciaciones Neoproterozoicas

    Al final del Proterozoico (Neoproterozoico), en rocas datadas entre hace unos 750 y 580 millones
    de años, se observan señales de nuevas glaciaciones. Y no fueron unas glaciaciones normales, sino probablemente las más intensas que ha habido nunca. Estas glaciaciones fueron probablemente varias y duraron varios millones de años cada una (Bodiselitsch, 2005; Macdonald, 2010). Hubo probalemente tres episodios glaciales importantes: Sturtiense, hace unos 710 millones de años; Marinoense, hace unos 635 millones de años y Varangiense, hace unos 600 millones de años.
    Existen pruebas geológicas de que afectaron a todos los continentes, de tal forma que las regiones heladas se extendieron hasta latitudes tropicales. Lo que está aún en debate es si durante su transcurso la superficie del mar se heló por completo, o casi por completo.
    Durante estas glaciaciones de mediados del Neoproterozoico, o Criogénico, el planeta casi dejó de ser apto para la vida. En muchas series sedimentarias de localidades situadas entonces en los trópicos aparecen estratos correspondientes a una fase tan fría que hace pensar que cesó la actividad biológica marina.
    Los análisis muestran que el carbono de esos estratos de carbonatos inorgánicos es muy pobre en su isótopo carbono-13, lo que indica falta o pobreza de actividad biológica marina. Ocurre que los organismos fotosínteticos oceánicos prefieren absorber dióxido de carbono con carbono-12 antes que con carbono-13, por lo que, cuando la vida es prolífica, suelen hacer que en el agua sea alta la concentración isotópica del carbono-13 sobrante. En consecuencia sube también la concentración del carbono-13 en los carbonatos inorgánicos, ya que estos se forman a partir del carbono disuelto en el océano. Por eso, la concentración pequeña de carbono-13 en los sedimentos carbonatados de las última fases de las glaciaciones neoproterozoicas indican lo contrario, que la actividad fotosintética marina fue entonces mínima.

    Fig. Los geólogos Paul Hoffman y Daniel Schrag en Namibia se apoyan en una capa de sedimentos glaciales entre los que se observa una gran roca suelta que cayó al fondo del mar tras ser acarreada hasta allí por icebergs a la deriva en la fase glacial. El estrato está culminado por una capa de carbonatos sedimentados tras la glaciación (cap carbonates).

    http://www-eps.harvard.edu/people/faculty/hoffman/snowball_paper.html

    Otra segunda huella de las glaciaciones del Neoproterozoico son las formaciones masivas de
    minerales de hierro que aparecen en los estratos geológicos de aquella época. Estas formaciones se presentan en forma de arcillas ferruginosas bandeadas, en las que se superponen capas grises de sílex y otras de material rojo, rico en hierro.

    Fig. Formación de hierro en bandas con una roca suelta transportada por icebergs (“dropstone”)
    incrustada entre ellas, en Mackenzie Mtns, Canada.

    http://www-eps.harvard.edu/people/faculty/hoffman/snowball_paper.html

    La alternancia entre sedimentos sin hierro y con hierro tendría la siguiente explicación. Durante las glaciaciones, las aguas profundas de los océanos, cubiertas y separadas del aire por una capa de hielo de varios kilómetros de espesor, no se ventilaban, y la respiración biológica de los organismos que habitaban en ellas agotaba el oxígeno disuelto en el agua. De esta forma, el hierro, que emanaba de las fuentes termales del fondo del mar, se iba disolviendo en el agua marina, sin oxidarse ni precipitar. De ahí el color gris de los sedimentos depositados durante las glaciaciones. Por el contrario, durante las desglaciaciones, el deshielo de la superficie permitía de nuevo la ventilación del agua. Entonces, el hierro disuelto que se había ido concentrando en el agua se oxidaba y precipitaba masivamente en capas de arcillas ferruginosas rojas, que sucedían a los sedimentos grises anteriores.
    Grandes depósitos de dióxido de manganeso como los que hoy se explotan en el Kalahari
    probablemente se formaron de la misma manera, por una oxidación brusca de los iones de
    manganeso que habían permanecido disueltos en el agua marina (Kirschvink, 2002).
    Sobre estas gigantescas glaciaciones persisten bastantes incógnitas. La teoría más extrema
    (Snowball Earth) es que fueron glaciaciones globales o casi globales, en las que la Tierra llegó a
    convertirse en una gran “bola de nieve”. Según esta teoría todos los mares, o casi, estuvieron
    cubiertos por una banquisa helada que podía tener un espesor de hasta mil metros de hielo.
    Pero una incógnita aún no dilucidada es cómo, a pesar del frío, los animales multicelulares, que ya habían aparecido en los océanos anteriormente, lograron sobrevivir. Quizás no se congelaba toda el agua sino solamente una fina capa superficial, que permitía la penetración de la luz solar y la continuación de la vida fotosintética bajo ella. El hielo superficial aislaría térmicamente el agua subyacente que de esta forma se habría mantenido siempre en estado líquido, sin llegar a congelarse. Además, la actividad hidrotermal en los fondos marinos seguiría funcionando, aún en los tiempos más fríos, ayudando a conservar el calor de las aguas profundas (McKay, 2000).
    Otra teoría, menos radical, es que quizás las glaciaciones no fueron del todo globales y que quedaba un cordón ecuatorial oceánico sin congelar, que sirvió de refugio en los tiempos más duros a los animales multicelulares.

    5. Glaciación de final del Carbonífero

    Hace unos 300 millones de años, al haber sido ya secuestrado en los sedimentos una enorme
    cantidad de carbono orgánico absorbido por la vegetación y procedente del CO2 atmosférico, los
    niveles de este gas invernadero en el aire disminuyeron hasta un nivel muy bajo, semejante al
    actual. En un proceso paralelo, la concentración de oxígeno probablemente alcanzó su nivel
    máximo: un 35 % (Berner, 1999).
    Hacia finales del Carbonífero y principios del Pérmico el clima se enfrió y se entró en un nuevo
    período glacial, en el que un manto de hielo en las latitudes australes de Gondwana, en lo que es hoy Sudáfrica, creció y se encogió en diversas fases sucesivas. Por ese motivo el nivel del mar bajó y subió repetidamente, provocando gigantescas transgresiones y regresiones marinas durante toda esa época final del Paleozoico.

    I haven’t edited the relevant sections. I can translate if anyone be interested. Apologies for such lengthy text copying in Spanish.

  56. Myrrh,

    As Ferdinand has been at some pains to point out human combustion is distinguishable from volcanic CO2 by its preponderance of 12C as opposed to a normal isotopic distribution from volcanoes. Subduction zones in extremely carbonate rich areas have been shown to affect the isotopic composition of volcanoes, but most carbonate appears too buoyant to subduct and gets scraped off the descending ocean floor and accreted.

    For a discussion of Carbon isotopes and a thesis apropos this thread please see:

    http://geosciencebigpicture.com/2012/07/15/carbon-isotope…-the-biosphere/

  57. Biologists have been examining the global carbon cycle for decades.
    Earth’s current atmosphere is entirely a product of biology (except Argon).

    But you still need to look at global geo-chemical (abiotic) carbon exchanges/fluxes if you want to call clouds and oceans abiotic.

    Both geologists and biologists are needed to understand the atmosphere as an evolving product of very long time scales.

    No physicist will ever understand the atmophere of the living Earth without consulting a biologist.

  58. gymnosperm says:
    June 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm “…most carbonate appears too buoyant to subduct and gets scraped off the descending ocean floor and accreted….” Subducted, obducted, or accreted, the fact is that CO2 is systematically being removed from the gaseous phase to a much more passive existence in the form of rocks. There has to be some of it in the atmosphere or much of life dies. That’s what really bugs me about this whole CO2/carbon witch hunt: we are close to the lower limit of livable CO2 abundance and the AGW crowd want to limit it even more. Idiocy abounds.

  59. RICHARD CLENNEY says: June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The percent of sunlight that is used by photosynthesis is about 2%.
    Which oddly enough is about same efficiency as most solar panels.

  60. bw says:
    June 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Biologists have been examining the global carbon cycle for decades.
    Earth’s current atmosphere is entirely a product of biology (except Argon).

    ——————————————–

    Our atmosphere is still 78% nitrogen, which came originally from volcanism, rather than biological processes.

  61. Why does the misleading and debunked graphic #2 keep appearing over and over? That graphic doesn’t include other varying forcings, particular solar irradiation, that must be considered in analysis in order to provide a more complete & accurate paleo-picture of the correlation between CO2 and surface temperature.

    Royer 2006: http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2%28GCA%29.pdf

    “Abstract
    The correspondence between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and globally averaged surface temperatures in the recent past suggests that this coupling may be of great antiquity. Here, I compare 490 published proxy records of CO2 spanning the Ordovician to Neogene with records of global cool events to evaluate the strength of CO2-temperature coupling over the Phanerozoic (last 542 my). For periods with sufficient CO2 coverage, all cool events are associated with CO2
    levels below 1000 ppm. A CO2 threshold of below 500 ppm is suggested for the initiation of widespread, continental glaciations, although this threshold was likely higher during the Paleozoic due to a lower solar luminosity at that time. Also, based on data from the Jurassic and Cretaceous, a CO2 threshold of below 1000 ppm is proposed for the initiation of cool non-glacial conditions. A pervasive, tight correlation between CO2 and temperature is found both at coarse (10 my timescales) and fine resolutions up to the temporal limits of the data set (million-year timescales), indicating that CO2, operating in combination with many other factors such as solar luminosity and paleogeography, has imparted strong control over global temperatures for much of the Phanerozoic”

  62. @ John@EF says:
    June 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm
    —————————————-

    Correlation is not “control”. As with Gore’s baseless claim for CO2 levels “causing” warmer & cooler cycles during Pleistocene glacial & interglacial phases, cause & effect are easily confused for the whole Phanerozoic as well.

    Naturally, glacial “ice house” intervals show lower CO2 levels in reconstructions, since cooler water retains more soluble gas. “Hot house” intervals, such as during the Cretaceous Period, similarly tend to favor higher concentrations of carbon dioxide. The Cretaceous was however too hot to be explained even by rigged, GIGO climate models based on the false assumptions of the Church of CO2ology.

  63. Donald Mitchell says:
    June 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    Unless I have really botched it by a few decimal places, biomass does not look like it can account for much of the energy. When I got to the 1577 kg/yr per sq meter, I knew that I was not talking about even close to what my yard produces.

    Indeed, some decimal places look they’re missing. :) The hardwood usually has ~15 MJ/kg not “20,000 joules per kg”…

    We can check if we take into account the energy needed to split C=O bonds in the CO2 to produce carbon and O2 (which is equal to the energy of burning them back together).
    The standard enthalpy of formation for CO2 is -393.5 kJ/mol, CO2 molar mass is 44.01 g/mol and the CO2/C mass ratio is 3.67 and therefore you need 393500 x (1000/44.01) x 3.67 = 32814019 Joules to get one kilogram of carbon (used then to build the carbohydrates) from the CO2 (and the 2.67 kilograms of O2).
    – Just to see the relation the 32814019 Joules in the PAR (photosynthesis active radiation ~53% of the solar spectra) fraction is very roughly equivalent to 32814019 x(1/0.53) / 3600 / 238 = 72 hours/3days average 1 square meter surface insolation (1361 W/m^2 /2 [half of the Earth surface insolated] /2 [the circle-half sphere area ratio]) x (1-0.3) [albedo] = 238 W/m^2) and therefore even if the photosynthesis efficiency would be 100% in the given spectral band, you in average could yield like 365 / 3 x 2 = ~243 kilograms of wood (containing 50% of carbon) from square meter per year (a purely rule of thumb illustration example). But given the photosynthesis light energy->biomass stored energy real efficiency the biomass yield is likely at order of 50-1000 times less, which brings the possible global numbers back at orders of magnitude of the Wikipedia biomass production estimate you mentioned.

    According to the Wikipedia Photosynthetic efficiency page the net leaf efficiency of the photosynthesis is 5.4% of light energy converted, however not all of it results in usable biomass, large part of the energy is lost to roots growing and other processes and generally the light energy-biomass energy conversion efficiency is in range of 0.1-2%, some effective plants as sugarcane however can yield considerably more.

    This anyway shows the photosynthesis in the green flora cover is still relatively effective in converting the shortwave solar spectra light energy into chemical energy (i.e. than possibly could be the efficiency of the CO2 atmospheric content in converting the longwave radiation back in heat and return it back to the surface by a GHE backradiation), and on the well planted areas can in average yield in biomass (and other photosynthesis products as oxygen) order of several Joules per 1 square meter per second (an equivalent to W/m^2) chemical energy. This yields moreover demonstrably rise with the CO2 concentration in air. On the other hand a pollution can significantly impede the green flora growth and so the biological carbon sink.

    It is nevertheless estimated that 0.84-1.26% of the total incoming solar shortwave spectra reaching the Earth’s surface is converted by photosynthesis to chemical energy.

    Moreover it is also estimated that only the Cyanobacteria species are sequestering 25GtC/year – roughly 2.5 times more than are the estimated total anthropogenic carbon emissions.
    All the green flora both on land and in the ocean as it is estimated can sequester as much as ~75-125 GtC/year – rougly as much as order of tenfold what the anthropogenic carbon emissions currently are!
    -This estimation only, if true, would show not only that the photosynthesis is a key element in the Earth’s carbon budget, but that the cause of the observed CO2 atmospheric concentration rise could possibly be rather the rising surface temperature, especially the ocean temperature (likely due to the slight but likely very significant Total solar irradiance rise during the 20th century – see here) and other factors as volcanic eruptions or the mentioned pollution (especially of the ocean) which could impede the biological carbon sink rates in normal case well countering its natural release into the air, not vice versa.

  64. tmitsss says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:24 am
    Malthusian thought would suggest that plants could consume most of the CO2 in the atmosphere unless something else restricted their growth.

    ==========================================================================

    Big dinosaurs?

    Look at the sizes the largest grew to: 45 yards long, 25 tons.
    They were all herbivores. They only grew that big because the
    plant growth rates could support their grazing. The plants grew
    so fast because of lots of CO2.
    The size of those dinos must havehad some impact, restricting
    the plants. Herbivores tend to flock in herds.

    Today, the largest herbivore is that itty bitty squitty li’l elephant. There ain’t
    the food to support anything larger.

  65. Plants continuously produce CO2 through respiration. In sunlight, their production of O2 through photosynthesis dominates. Does anyone here happen to know whether the balance of these two processes is sensitive to temperature? Could it be that net CO2 contribution from plants increases fractionally with temperature? Just curious…

  66. Olav Henry Dahlsveen says:
    June 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    Once again, yesterday in fact, I performed a simple little experiment that proves that IR radiation cannot penetrate solid, transparent glass and Fourier’s further claim that nor can it penetrate H2O or water is painfully evident in nature. So evident is it – in fact – that no additional experiments should be necessary.

    Not sure how you got that – there is a very large industry producing glass and film for windows which prevent entry to the direct heat rays from the Sun, longwave infrared aka thermal infrared aka radiant heat, and maximise entry to visible light – to save on air conditioning costs.

    Perhaps they should be sued for misrepresentation as according to AGWScienceFiction fisics no such heat rays reach the Earth because they can’t get through some unknown to traditional science “invisible barrier like the glass of greenhouse at TOA”, and worse, are actually producing windows which in maximising entry of visible light are according to AGWSF heating the room…

    So Herschel never found the invisible heat rays of longwave infrared through his solid glass prism?

    Visible light cannot heat matter, it works on the much smaller, because it is much smaller, electronic transition level.

    This is not a heat generating level which requires the whole molecule to be moved into vibration.

    So visible light cannot physically heat land and water as per the comic cartoon missing real heat AGW energy budget of KT97 and ilk.

    Shortwaves from the Sun do not heat matter, cannot move the whole molecules into vibration and so you have no heat at all from the Sun in your AGW “Greenhouse Effect”.

    Visible light energy on the electronic transition level can have several effects.

    It can result in reflection/scattering when the visible light is absorbed by the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in our atmosphere which are briefly energised and then return to ground state and emit the same energy they took in. Mostly blue because it is more energetic than red, meaning it moves more quickly and so is bounced around more, which is how we get our blue sky. This is non-ionising radiation, visible light is not powerful enough to knock the electron out of orbit, as do some of the other shortwaves like UV rays, which are divided into ioning and non-ionising.

    UV rays are capable of wrecking the DNA because of this ionising effect, which is why our bodies produce melanin to absorb it, which gives us a tan. This is not conversion to heat energy, UV does not move the whole molecules into vibration which is what it takes to heat up matter. UV rays are harnessed in water purification plants, for drinking water and swimming pools for example, and a simple way of purifying water in hot countries is to leave a bottle of water out in the Sun for a few hours, the UV will destroy the DNA of the microbes and they will be unable to reproduce.

    It can result in conversion to chemical energy, which is not heat energy, in the creation of sugars in photosynthesis when mainly blue and red visible is absorbed by the plant, again, this is not conversion to heat energy as it is not moving the whole molecule into vibration.

    It can result in sight, again this is not conversion to heat but to electrical impulses via chemical as it stimulates nerve impulses.

    Visible light from the Sun is benign, it neither wrecks our DNA as does some UV, nor does it cook our retinas.

    The Herschel experiment is much touted in the AGWSF meme world as “proof that visible light is hot” – we have moved on since then.. we now divide the invisible infrared rays which Herschel discovered into thermal and non-thermal; longwave infrared is thermal and shortwave infrared is not thermal.

    That’s how exact we are now with our more precise measurements which Herschel couldn’t do as he physically moved the glass prism at the edge of his table..

    We now know that there is a great difference in sizes between the difference wavelengths, photons which are packets of particles, and that is what the primitive measurements emulating Herschel’s are showing, that the bigger invisible heat waves of longwave infrared are spilling into the visible and that is what is being measured – visible does not have a temperature, it is not hot, it cannot move the mercury’s molecules into vibration which is what it takes to heat matter.

    That is simply a physical fact. That is why people pay good money to buy expensive glass and film for their windows to maximise visible light from the Sun and reflect the powerful invisible heat rays, which is longwave infrared.

    This is Trenberth’s missing heat, the real heat energy from the Sun capable of heating matter, land and water. Water is a great absorbed of radiant heat from the Sun, and this is how we are heated internally, by the longwave infrared direct from the Sun travelling in straight lines penetrating our bodies and moving the molecules of water in us into vibration. We can of course also feel this great heating power on our skin as the invisible radiant heat from the Sun moves the molecules of our skin into vibration. Rub your hands together, that is mechanical energy moving the molecules of your skin into vibration and heating them up. This is what the direct longwave, thermal infrared from the Sun does, we cannot feel shortwave infrared – which is not hot, which is classed in with visible as Reflective not Thermal, as Light and not Heat. Reflective shortwave infrared is used in cameras which capture them being reflected back from the object, like visible light cameras. These cameras are not measuring internal heat being radiated out.

    We know a lot more since Herschel’s time, and we who still have traditional physics basics can see that we are being conned by the AGWSF energy budget which has taken out the direct invisible powerful radiant heat from the Sun travelling in straight lines and claims that visible light is this and doing its work.

    Why is it saying this? So it can pretend that any real world downwelling invisible radiant heat energy measured is from “the atmosphere”, not from the Sun, for their claimed “backradiation from greenhouses gases”.

    A simple but clever sleight of hand, a magician’s trick to deceive the mind by deceiving the eye.

    Why I think this is difficult for so many to grasp is because they balk at the implications, that this has been brainwashed into the general population through the education system, and taught and defined at the highest levels. That’s something you have to come to terms with, because it is simply a fact that this was done.

    Traditional physics does not teach it, as I have showed before the NASA quote. That’s why in traditional modern up to date physics our clever unbrainwashed applied scientists designed glass and film for windows which maximise entry of visible light while preventing entry to the direct longwave infrared heat waves in order to keep rooms cool.

    Traditional science understands the difference between heat and light rays from the Sun.

    Traditional up to date physics can see the sleight of hand deception of the direct missing heat from the Sun in the AGWScienceFiction’s fake fisics energy budget..

    That there are some who are so upset at this that they try to get every mention of it erased is the problem here. This is what happened to the traditional teaching from NASA, there was a scuffle there.., it disappeared for a week but brought back, though out of the loop of links from its website it can still be retrieved.

    Unless you understand this, generic you who subscribe to the AGWSF fake fisics, you are unable to understand what those glass and film for windows producers are actually doing, what you cannot understand you cannot pass on as knowledge. The next generation you, generic AGWs, are educating could not design such glass and film from scratch.

    Nor could you design the different equipment for photovoltaic and thermal panels…, because you think there is no direct heat energy longwave infrared from the Sun and you think visible light can heat water, when in the real world of physics we know water is a transparent medium for visible light and is transmitted through unchanged, not absorbed even on the electron level.

    The direct heat we feel from the Sun is the invisible longwave infrared, we cannot feel shortwaves at all, they are not hot. They cannot move our molecules into vibration which is what we can feel as heat, because it is heat. It takes powerful heat energy to heat matter, land and water and us, and to cook your dinners..

    If you can grasp this you will then be able to see the memes AGWSF meme producing department created to distract you, for example, making you think that “all electromagnetic energy from the Sun is the same and all creates heat when absorbed” – it’s obviously a lie if you know visible light can’t do this and its energy is not converted to heat but to chemical, as in the creation of sugars in photosynthesis, and to electrical as in stimulating nerve impulses in sight.

    If electromagnetic energy from the Sun was “all the same” it wouldn’t have been given different names, and put into different categories and sets depending on their individual properties and processes, because traditional physics first understands the great differences between them.

    This is the NASA page that attempt was made to take out of view completely, do yourself and so all of us a favour, understand what it is saying – it falsifies the AGW Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget. It shows that energy budget to be a science fraud, a scam to delude the general public into believing the “backradiation Greenhouse Effect” – the sooner you see this the sooner we can all come back to real science being taught..

    Longwave infrared is the same invisible heat we feel from a campfire which is the materials’ thermal energy radiating out to us. This is heat transfer by radiation. Heat is actually being transferred as photons which are packets of particles in the wavelengths of longwave infrared, that is why it is called thermal infrared. Because these are the wavelengths of HEAT.

    Not the wavelengths of LIGHT.

    Trenberth’s missing heat is that missing from his comic cartoon energy budget, it has excised the direct invisible heat of longwave infrared we feel as heat from the millions of degrees burning hot Star which is our Sun.

    The Sun, that huge millions of degrees hot campfire in the sky which is so big and hot its powerful heat energy reaches us in 8 minutes, 93 million miles away..

    This is what NASA used to teach in its main pages, the real scientists at NASA are still teaching this empirically understood real physics about the difference between thermal longwave infrared and non thermal shortwave infrared, that the heat we feel from the Sun is longwave infrared, that we cannot feel shortwave infrared because it is not hot:

    From the Real Scientists at NASA:

    “Infrared light lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared light has a range of wavelengths, just like visible light has wavelengths that range from red light to violet. “Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic.

    “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared. The temperature-sensitive nerve endings in our skin can detect the difference between inside body temperature and outside skin temperature

    Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.”

    from: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html

    The shortwaves of the AGWSF’s Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget of KT97 and ilk, are not thermal energies, they are not hot, we cannot feel them as heat, they are incapable of heating matter, they are not big enough to move whole molecules of matter into vibration which is what it takes to heat up matter. Heat energy heats matter.

    That is why glass and film for windows maximise visible light and minimise thermal infrared direct from the Sun, to keep rooms cool.

    Bring back the missing heat from the Sun.

  67. gymnosperm says:
    June 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm
    As Ferdinand has been at some pains to point out human combustion is distinguishable from volcanic CO2 by its preponderance of 12C as opposed to a normal isotopic distribution from volcanoes.

    Hmm, so why do they decide what the difference between volcanic and the mythical man made background by volume?

    Which they cherry pick when volcanic stops and the mythical “well mixed background” begins simply by deciding when the cut off point is by volumes being measured.

    There is no difference even attempted and this applies to their other so called “pristine” sites that are subject to great input from local volcanic production.

    The Keeling Curve is manufactured, deliberately choosing a low figure from anyway discredited studies, and ignoring the great variations. Carbon dioxide is lumpy, some places produce practically zilch, some produce lots, and it is a real gas so it is heavier than air so it will always tend to be local, and it is washed from the atmsophere every time it rains..

    Why is there no rain in the AGW’s carbon cycle?

    So you don’t notice it’s missing.

  68. Richard Brown says:
    June 5, 2013 at 12:41 am
    “Could it be that net CO2 contribution from plants increases fractionally with temperature?”

    If not at extreme conditions (which clearly isn’t zero something rise in temperature anomaly, but could be in case of unsufficient greenhouse venting during cloudless days for example) then no. Generally -higher temperature (going together with more insolance) -> faster photosynthesis -> more CO2 sequestered, not produced. The efficiency also usually increases with the CO2 concentrations in air – not so much because of more CO2 food, but due to more closed stomata meaning less water loss and with more water available. (simplified: carbon dioxide + water + photons -> carbohydrate + oxygen – the resulting oxygen molecule origin is in the water molecule not in the carbon dioxide molecule in the photosynthesis!) There are even special plant species which sequester the CO2 even at night – so called CAM plants, usually growing in tropical conditions with arid periods, which must close most of the stomata during sunny day to prevent water loss so they store CO2 at night and use it during day. Some plants can even switch between C3, C4 and CAM metabolism according to actual conditions.
    What impedes photosynthesis more than the rising temperature (except extremes of course) is the lack of water and too excess solar light (causing photosynthesis cycle saturation) which usually occur together causing plant stress. Generaly the plants use several mechanisms to counter such stresses:
    -redundant leaves well spatially distributed
    -succulent leaves and stent water storage
    -chlorophyl fluorescence
    -non-photochemical quenching basically converting the excess light to heat

  69. “I wish they taught this is school!”

    In school we teach them the importance of nitrogen for life. We also teach them about prokaryotic photosynthesis. This is a really goofy essay. If you find a teacher teaching this to your kids you should be upset confront them about it, because it is loaded with simple factual errors.

  70. tumetuestumefaisdubien1 says:
    June 5, 2013 at 3:09 am

    “Generally -higher temperature (going together with more insolance) -> faster photosynthesis -> more CO2 sequestered, not produced.”

    Thanks for the detailed reply – I realize this is much more complex than I first thought. However, I note that “The C3 plants, originating during Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras, predate the C4 plants and still represent approximately 95% of Earth’s plant biomass”, and “C3 plants cannot grow in hot areas because RuBisCO incorporates more oxygen into RuBP as temperatures increase. This leads to photorespiration, which leads to a net loss of carbon and nitrogen from the plant and can, therefore, limit growth. In dry areas, C3 plants shut their stomata to reduce water loss, but this stops CO2 from entering the leaves and, therefore, reduces the concentration of CO2 in the leaves. This lowers the CO2:O2 ratio and, therefore, also increases photorespiration.” (both quotes from Wikipedia). Suggests possible different process?

  71. @John Tillman says:
    June 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm
    ============================
    Gray included only two graphics in his post. His second graphic is designed to convey a very specific but false point. He follows the graphic with this reinforcing comment.

    “It will be seen that there is no correlation whatsoever between carbon dioxide concentration and the temperature at the earth’s surface.”

    That graphic is know to be intentionally misleading. Monckton and others used versions of the same graphic in climate change presentations around the world. They were called out for using it because important factors, like the variability of of solar radiation, were not considered, as shown in the Royer 2006 paper I linked.

    My question is this. When are skeptics going to actually be skeptical and stop allowing some of their favorite sources to post nonsense?

  72. John@EF says:
    June 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm
    —————

    If you are going to get your information from Royer, then you are going to be misled.

    For example, Royer’s insistence on using Paleosol CO2 estimates in all his papers which have been shown to depend mostly on precipitation and vary considerably throughout the season so the estimate derived from Paleosols/Fossil Soils/Pedogenic Carbonates is a function of the time of year, and precipitation at that time and thus do not represent a true CO2 estimate at all. And, furthermore, Paleosols produce many estimates of Zero CO2ppm which is not physically possible. Most climate scientists have abandoned this method but not Royer.

  73. >>milodonharlani says:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:15 am
    Please excuse quibbling and nit-picking, but a chloroplast is not a process.<<

    Possibly he had this alternative definition from Merriam-Webster in mind. I don't know, of course:

    "Process …
    4: a prominent or projecting part of an organism or organic structure

  74. “Ryan says:

    June 5, 2013 at 5:11 am

    “I wish they taught this is school!”

    In school we teach them the importance of nitrogen for life.”

    Kids are taught to pee in the backyard?

  75. @Bill Illis says:
    June 5, 2013 at 6:17 am
    ———————————
    The graph used by Gray to make his point does not include consideration of variance of solar luminosity, albedo, continent distribution/drift, among other important factors. The graph is designed to leave a misleading impression. When are folks like you, Bill Illis, going to take a real skeptic’s position and discourage use of that type of non-comprehensive, misleading material? Focus, for one moment, on what Gray presented.

  76. Like an earlier poster, I was struck by the mention of oxygen levels of up to 35%.
    I used to work in the industrial gas business where we were constantly reminded of the dangers of oxygen enrichment. If memory serves, in an atmosphere of over 25% there is a serious risk of spontaneous combustion of materials like cotton, plastics, oil/grease, even hair!
    Surely levels of 35% in a world full of high-carbon materials – dead wood, leaves, grasses, etc – would have meant massive conflagrations?

  77. John@EF says:

    June 5, 2013 at 6:04 am
    They were called out for using it because important factors, like the variability of of solar radiation, were not considered, as shown in the Royer 2006 paper I linked.

    It is the point that with high CO2 (about 2200) the temperature was low at the beginning of the Silurian and with CO2 low the temperature was high in the Triassic. The low sun idea does not account for this.

  78. John@EF says:
    June 5, 2013 at 7:31 am
    The graph used by Gray to make his point does not include consideration of variance of solar luminosity, albedo, continent distribution/drift, among other important factors. The graph is designed to leave a misleading impression. When are folks like you, Bill Illis, going to take a real skeptic’s position and discourage use of that type of non-comprehensive, misleading material?
    —————————

    You haven’t been around here very long have you. This website has doen nothing but discuss all those issues every time it comes up. Dr. Gray’s graphs are quite comprehensive. Here are all the reliable CO2 estimates going back through time (at 3.0C per doubling) versus the highest resolution of temperature estimates.

    Solar luminosity was lower in the past but go back to 550 Mya for example, it would only be equivalent to -2.3C. CO2 was at 6,000 ppm which should have produced temperatures at +14.0C. The continents in Super-continent Pannotia had just moved off the south pole and the last Snowball Earth episode was over as a result. Temps were only about +5.0C at the time, so your theory that CO2 controls temperature does not work.

  79. @ Jim Strom says:
    June 5, 2013 at 6:26 am
    ———————————-

    Chloroplasts don’t project or form promontories from the cell.

  80. John@EF says:
    June 5, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Re solar strength:

    As a rule of thumb, the sun’s radiance loses about one percent for each 110 million years back in time you go. Thus, during the Ordovician Ice Age, it was only about 4% weaker than now. Yet CO2 concentration was eight to 20 times higher.

    This lame excuse from CAGW cultists is typical of their unscientific, nay, anti-scientific, knee jerk reactions to confrontation with objective reality.

  81. Rud Istvan says:
    June 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    @polistra. Actually, that question has been answered to reasonable certainty, which is why I objected to the conclusions of a previous guest post here earlier today. Henry’s law must be obeyed, which means generally that absent large perturbations like the Industrial revolution, CO2 lags temperature and Gore was flat wrong. But the process of reaching stasis takes several hundred years. So there is literally no way known to physics and chemistry that the Keeling curve is a result of temperature increases on a mere century time scale……
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You forgot the 800 year lag time. 1970-800= 1170

    The Medieval Warm Period (MWP), Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly was a time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region that may also have been related to other climate events around the world during that time, including in China[1] and other countries,[2][3][3][4][5][6][7] lasting from about AD 950 to 1250. (WIKI)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/22/more-evidence-the-medieval-warm-period-was-global/

    Research paper, “Evidence for a ‘Medieval Warm Period’ in a 1,100 year tree-ring reconstruction of past austral summer temperatures in New Zealand.”http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/CookPalmer.pdf Tree ring data shows Sierras survived 500 years of drought during the Medieval Warm Period. http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2010/03/18/sequoias_endured_500_years_fire_and_drought/

    More studies world wide at Medieval Warm Period Project

  82. “As a rule of thumb, the sun’s radiance loses about one percent for each 110 million years back in time you go. Thus, during the Ordovician Ice Age, it was only about 4% weaker than now. Yet CO2 concentration was eight to 20 times higher.”

    There is evidence of a drop in CO2 during the Ordovician Ice Age which isn’t picked up in Gray’s low resolution chart.

    In any case, 8x higher CO2 would be a 11wm-2 warming forcing.
    4% weaker sun would be a 10wm-2 cooling forcing.

    Now take into account CO2 being even lower. There is no obvious inconsistency here.

  83. If you want a nice simple explanation for both the Ordovician Ice Age and the Carboniferous Ice age, here it is. No CO2 changes need to be involved at all.

  84. Bill Illis says: “Solar luminosity was lower in the past but go back to 550 Mya for example, it would only be equivalent to -2.3C. CO2 was at 6,000 ppm which should have produced temperatures at +14.0C.”

    I find different numbers. A 5% fainter sun 550 Mya would produce a 12wm-2 cooling forcing.

    CO2 at 6000ppm, about 4.5 doublings would produce a forcing of : 16.6wm-2.

    The fainter Sun is hugely significant. It takes a huge chunk out of the greenhouse effect back then. Any analysis must take that into account and adjust the global temperature record for a fainter sun before even being able to think about drawing any conclusions.

  85. The Sun’s impact on Earth’s climate is = (TSI * (1-Albedo)/4 / 5.67e-8)^.25 = (1366*(1-0.2983)/4/5.67e-8)^.25 = 255.0K today

    If you run all the numbers on how TSI has varied over time, it has followed very close to a straight line increase of about 29% since the Sun reached main sequence star status about 4.6 Bya (not exactly a straight line but close enough – Kasting 2003 in the final word on this).

    http://cips.berkeley.edu/events/planets-life-seminar/kasting.pdf

    So TSI 550 Mya = 1366 * (550/4600) * (1-0.71) = 1318.6 W/m2 550 Mya

    = (1318.6*(1-0.2983)/4/5.67e-8)^.25 = 252.7K (assuming Albedo was the same as today)

    or 2.3C less than today.

  86. @Seb says:
    June 5, 2013 at 11:13 am:

    Please state your evidence for lower CO2 during the Ordovician. I’d be interested in this evidence. I’ve looked for it for years, but maybe not hard, long or recently enough.

    All I’ve ever read is hand-waving, claiming that since we only have data points ten million years apart, CO2 might have been lower in between them.

  87. { DirkH says:
    June 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    C4 plants (grases) are generally less efficient……..}

    ………Below a certain temperture generally given as between 28 and 30 degrees Celsius.

  88. gareth says:
    June 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    3rd para: “convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis”

    Is that correct ??? Should it read CO2 & H2O ?
    ————–
    No response to this, and a bit of web searching fails to show nitrogen involved in photosynthesis or chloroplasts. I’m an engineer, not a biologist, but this looks like a significant factual error right at the beginning of the article. If I’m right, what else in the piece is wrong? I wouldn’t want folks pointing to an erroneous post as “typical” of the “deniers” at WUWT.

    Can anyone confirm or correct me? TIA.

    • gareth says:

      > 3rd para: “convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis”
      >
      > Is that correct ??? Should it read CO2 & H2O ?
      > ————–
      > No response to this, and a bit of web searching fails to show nitrogen involved in photosynthesis or chloroplasts.

      It does not need to be involved in photosynthesis. Many of the photosynthetic organisms are also nitrogen-fixing, including huge masses of marine bacteria. Look up Cyanothece, for example. They photosynthesise during the day and assimilate nitrogen at night.

  89. gareth says:
    June 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Sorry I missed your first comment.

    You are correct that photosynthesis uses light energy to make carbohydrates out of carbon dioxide and water. “Polymers” is correct for polysaccharide carbohydrates, but sugars are mono- & disaccharides.

  90. Myrrh says on June 5, 2013 at 2:51 am

    “Olav Henry Dahlsveen says:
    June 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    Once again, yesterday in fact, I performed a simple little experiment that proves that IR radiation cannot penetrate solid, transparent glass and Fourier’s further claim that nor can it penetrate H2O or water is painfully evident in nature. So evident is it – in fact – that no additional experiments should be necessary.

    Not sure how you got that, – there is a very large industry producing glass and film for windows which prevent entry to the direct heat rays from the Sun, —“

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Myrrrh, – what my mentor from the past, Fourier wrote in 1824 was as follows:
    “The heat of the sun, coming in the form of light, possesses the property of penetrating transparent solids or liquids, and loses this property entirely, when by communication with terrestrial bodies, it is turned into heat radiating without light.
    This distinction of luminous and non-luminous heat, explains the elevation of temperature caused by transparent bodies. The mass of waters which cover a great part of the globe, and the ice of the polar regions, oppose a less obstacle to the admission of luminous heat, than to the heat without light, which returns in a contrary direction to open space. The pressure of the atmosphere produces an effect of the same kind: but an effect, which, in the present state of the theory, and from want of — – – – – – – “
    – – – – – –
    Therefore, what scientists today call IR radiation is what Fourier saw as “heat radiating without light.”
    Today’s “scientists” make no distinction between what radiate from the Sun and what radiates from the surface of the Earth. —- Call me stupid if you like but I think the difference is somewhere around 6000 deg. Celsius

    Herschel, by the way, was fascinated by the newfangled thermometer and only claimed that the thermometer showed that dark spots on the earth’s surface was warmer than the lighter colored ones. – In other words, he was interested in absorption rates – That’s all.

  91. “- – – – – and so you have no heat at all from the Sun in your AGW “Greenhouse Effect”.

    Myrrh, —- I am beginning to think you mistake me for someone who believes that CO2 has got magical powers that can trap heat – or trap the energy that produces heat – Well, I do not believe anything of the sort, – too many people have tried “falsely”, or by slight of hand, that CO2 has indeed got those powers, but they have all failed.

    I learnt as far back as in the year of our lord 1952 that Arrhenius and his Uppsala team were wrong in stating that Carbonic Acid had it’s properties could avert the next inevitable ice age.

    I do, of course now know that we do live in an “Ice Age” but that we are presently lucky enough to be living in an intermediate “warm period”

  92. Years ago, flowers and plants were removed from hospital wards, as it was thought that they expelled CO2 at nighttime. They don’t do that any more? I always tell my alarmist friends, without CO2 we would die, and actually we are basically nitrogen junkies. CO2 is expelled from plants and all organics including us, but – is reabsorbed. More trees and plants, more CO2, they look after themselves without much help from us. Considering the small percentage of CO2 in our atmosphere, what is it less than 4%, you would think we are in danger of suffocation.

  93. Bill Illis says:
    June 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm
    “The Sun’s impact on Earth’s climate is = (TSI * (1-Albedo)/4 / 5.67e-8)^.25 = (1366*(1-0.2983)/4/5.67e-8)^.25 = 255.0K today”

    As of “today” the last to me known TSI measured on May 29.875 2013 was 1325.7145 ±0.464 for real Earth by satelite (see SORCE 10th column) so the S-B formula gives
    (1325.7145*(1-0,2983)/4/0.0000000567)^0.25 = 253.069 K
    which would look we should have the 2 degrees less…
    But ooups, on January 6.375 2013 the TSI measured was 1408.2540 ±0.4929 so the formula gives:
    (1408.2540*(1-0,2983)/4/0.0000000567)^0.25 = 256.919 K
    2 degrees more…
    Better let’s average SORCE-TIM measurements over last year (2012.306-2013.306) – I get 1361.6106 ±yourpotus and the formula gives:
    (1361.6106*(1-0.2983)/4/0,0000000567)^0.25 = 254.765 K
    Let’s look at the last decade (2003.306-20013.306) TSI average: 1361.2628
    (1361.2628*(1-0.2983)/4/0.0000000567)^0.25 = 254.749
    …0.016 K off , nothing special
    but what if the albedo would be 0.30 as the Wikipedia states: “The average overall albedo of Earth, its planetary albedo, is 30 to 35%, because of the covering by clouds, but varies widely locally across the surface, depending on the geological and environmental features.”
    (1361.2628*(1-0,3)/4/0.0000000567)^0.25 = 254.594
    …0.155 K off
    or even the 0.35
    (1361.2628*(1-0.35)/4/0.0000000567)^0.25 = 249.921
    oups 4.8 K off…OMG, not this way buddy
    …looks like our temperature not only depends on proper solar constant (which is not constant and waries some ~100 W/square meter during the year) but has exceptional climate sensitivity to the albedo’s proper value…But who knows whether it is 0.2983 or 0.35, how it really depends on clouds, sun+cosmic rays, soot&smog, ocean surface temperature, humidity, che..ouups contrails…

    Some say it doesn’t matter don’t ask, but then immediately claim there’s CO2 climate sensitivity several Watts per square meter (just don’t know how much, so they’ve the 97% consensus) and 0.4 something K global warming last half century which stalled 15 years ago is a global catastrophe and oceans will boil out soon because you breath etc. and therefore debate is over, go ki*l yourself iddleeater and don’t forget to pay the carbon tax before.

  94. Olav Henry Dahlsveen says:
    June 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm
    Myrrh says on June 5, 2013 at 2:51 am

    “Olav Henry Dahlsveen says:
    June 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    Once again, yesterday in fact, I performed a simple little experiment that proves that IR radiation cannot penetrate solid, transparent glass and Fourier’s further claim that nor can it penetrate H2O or water is painfully evident in nature. So evident is it – in fact – that no additional experiments should be necessary.

    Not sure how you got that, – there is a very large industry producing glass and film for windows which prevent entry to the direct heat rays from the Sun, —“

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Myrrrh, – what my mentor from the past, Fourier wrote in 1824 was as follows:
    “The heat of the sun, coming in the form of light, possesses the property of penetrating transparent solids or liquids, and loses this property entirely, when by communication with terrestrial bodies, it is turned into heat radiating without light.
    This distinction of luminous and non-luminous heat, explains the elevation of temperature caused by transparent bodies. The mass of waters which cover a great part of the globe, and the ice of the polar regions, oppose a less obstacle to the admission of luminous heat, than to the heat without light, which returns in a contrary direction to open space. The pressure of the atmosphere produces an effect of the same kind: but an effect, which, in the present state of the theory, and from want of — – – – – – – “
    – – – – – –
    Therefore, what scientists today call IR radiation is what Fourier saw as “heat radiating without light.”
    Today’s “scientists” make no distinction between what radiate from the Sun and what radiates from the surface of the Earth. —- Call me stupid if you like but I think the difference is somewhere around 6000 deg. Celsius

    Olav, Casey’s look at Fourier and Arrhenius from what I could gather.., is that Arrhenius misunderstood Fourier in not realising that Fourier was talking about conducted heat flow, and that Fourier had included raditiative in his calculations, which was minimal.

    However, what Casey has not done is look at the words being used by Fourier which is what Arrhenius “got” and which was appropriated by the AGW narrative, that it is ‘visible light which changes to invisible heat’ – and on reading Fourier this is exactly what I would have got out of it as in your quote above.. Because, although Fourier mentions both heat and light incoming from other celestial bodies in the same paragraph in the quote below, it appears here and elsewhere that Fourier is actually saying that visible light from the Sun converts to heat. From Casey, quoting Fourier is in blockquotes:

    “2.1 Misattribution versus What Fourier Really Found
    Contrary to what Arrhenius (1896, 1906b) and many popular authors may claim (Weart, 2003; Flannery, 2005; Archer, 2009), Fourier did not consider the atmosphere to be anything like glass. In fact, Fourier (1827, p. 587) rejected the comparison by stipulating the impossible condition that, in order for the atmosphere to even remotely resemble the workings of a hotbox or greenhouse, layers of the air would have to solidify without affecting the air’s optical properties. What Fourier (1824, translated by Burgess, 1837, p. 12) actually wrote stands in stark contrast to Arrhenius’ claims about Fourier’s ideas:

    “In short, if all the strata of air of which the atmosphere is formed, preserved their density with their transparency, and lost only the mobility which is peculiar to them, this mass of air, thus become solid, on being exposed to the rays of the sun, would produce an effect the same in kind with that we have just described. The heat, coming in the state of light to the solid earth, would lose all at once, and almost entirely, its power of passing through transparent solids: it would accumulate in the lower strata of the atmosphere, which would thus acquire very high temperatures. We should observe at the same time a diminution of the degree of acquired heat, as we go from the surface of the earth.”

    ….

    “The earth receives the rays of the sun, which penetrate its mass, and are converted into non-luminous heat: it likewise possesses an internal heat with which it was created, and which is continually dissipated at the surface: and lastly, the earth receives rays of light and heat from innumerable stars, in the midst of which is placed the solar system. These are three general causes which determine the temperature of the earth.”

    “Fourier’s fame has, in fact, nothing to do with any theory of atmospheric or surface temperature. This fame was earned years before such musings, when Fourier derived the law of physics that governs heat flow, and was subsequently named after him. About this, Fourier (1824, p. 166; Translation by Burgess, 1837, p. 19) remarks:

    “Perhaps other properties of radiating heat will be discovered, or causes which modify the temperatures of the globe. But all the principle laws of the motion of heat are known. This theory, which rests upon immutable foundations, constitutes a new branch of mathematical sciences.”

    “As you can see, Fourier admits that his work is constrained to the net movement of heat. In fact, nowhere does Fourier differentiate between radiative and, for example, “kinetic” heat transfer, because the means to tell the difference were not available when Fourier studied heat flow. What this tells us is that Fourier’s Law, and only Fourier’s Law, can describe the transfer of heat between bodies in thermal contact. Thus the distribution of heat between the atmosphere and the surface of the earth, with which it has thermal contact, cannot be correctly calculated using the radiative transfer equations derived from Boltzmann (1884) because the thermal contact of these bodies makes this a question of Fourier’s Law. However, to better understand this it is necessary to explore the motion of heat and the modes of heat transfer more thoroughly than did Arrhenius.” http://greenhouse.geologist-1011.net/

    Casey has Fourier’s 1824 work here: http://fourier1824.geologist-1011.mobi/

    This is the mistake Arrhenius made in misreading Fourier, that Fourier was talking about heat flow in the atmosphere (if I understand it .., in establishing the heat differences through the atmosphere less that tranferred by convection, i.e. lapse rates), but at the same time picking up from Fourier the erroneous “visible light converts to invisible heat”.

    Now, we know clearly now, that visible light does not convert to heat; that it is the invisible heat rays travelling with the visible which do all the heating. Fourier has to be read bearing that in mind.

    Invisible heat does travel through glass – look at thermal imaging of buildings showing where invisible heat is escaping – the windows are the greatest areas of heat loss – but what Fourier was referring to was the experiments of de Saussure, using the glass analogy. Arrhenius not understanding the principle Fourier was establishing in conduction of heat saying that ‘it would take the nonsense that the atmosphere was solid glass to prevent heat from conducting’, thought Fourier was saying the atmosphere was like solid glass preventing invisible heat from escaping as radiation. And the rest is the AGW narrative continuing to confuse this by selective extracts. Much like they say Arrhenius proved carbon dioxide raised temps when he was actually measuring carbonic acid, that is, including water and at the time his work was torn to pieces because of this.

    Herschel, by the way, was fascinated by the newfangled thermometer and only claimed that the thermometer showed that dark spots on the earth’s surface was warmer than the lighter colored ones. – In other words, he was interested in absorption rates – That’s all.

    Oh come on.. Herschel discovered the invisible infrared!

    This was momentous in the history of science.

    Until that time no one knew that there were invisible heat rays from the Sun, they thought that visible light was heat. Herchel was the beginning of that exploration, his measurements were crude because he was moving the solid glass prism by hand at the edge of the table through which he was measuring the invisible heat rays – which he called at the time “dark light” and we now call “infrared” – his measurements were not exact. We now know there is a huge difference in size. Tyndall who explored Herschel’s great discovery said of the visible light, I paraphrase, that’s its use can only be for sight because the great heat is all in the invisible”.

    What we cannot do here, and which is being done continually by AGWScienceFiction for its AGW narrative, it to take these past experiments and conclusions as if they define the current state of knowledge – AGW deliberately uses the confusions in the beginning understanding of science to claim that it is proved from them.

    So, as interesting as these are, and as interesting as it is to put the past jigsaw together to show the history in context of the growth of understanding, bearing in mind that communication then was not as rapid as it is now…, what we have to do is see that the AGW claim that Arrhenius and Fourier proved the claims made for AGW, is what is nonsense here. They didn’t for a complication of reasons, and, most importantly, it has never been proved since.

    I have lost count of the times I have been told that Arrhenius and Fourier proved it and that there are tons of experiments done in the 20th century proving it, but whenever I ask for these to be fetched I get silence. There are no experiments proving the AGW narrative. It is all built on deliberate fake fisics and taking past writings out of context.

    It is deliberate fake fisics to say that shortwave from the Sun heats the Earth’s land and water, that Fourier gave that impression and that Arrhenius thought this is what was happening is NOW irrelevant. Which is the point I am making.

    The AGWScienceFiction’s Energy Budget claims that “shortwave mainly visible and the two shortwaves either side, near IR at 1% of this total, heats the Earth’s surface”, and claims that “no invisible heat from the Sun gets through TOA so plays no part in heating the land and water”.

    This is scientific gobbledegook, but it is also a deliberate fraud. Created by someone/several who knew what real physics says about this and clever enough to twist it by giving the properties of one thing to another and pretend there twists were real by taking past work out of context.

    As I’ve said, we now know that Herschel’s “dark light” which he measured direct from the Sun, through a solid glass prism, as invisible heat, is further divided into thermal and non-thermal. The non-thermal we call shortwave infrared and class in with visible light which we now also know to be non-thermal. These are not hot.

    Thermal means “of heat”, AGWSF pretends this means “of heat source” deliberately to confuse the unwary and those who don’t know modern up to date traditional physics that is using this to describe the actual properties of the wavelengths, nothing to do with the source of them.. The thermal “dark light” which we now call “infrared”, are the longwaves of infrared, in other words, the longwave infrared are called thermal because that is what they are, “the wavelengths of heat not the wavelengths on non-thermal light”.

    Hence traditional science simply calls these heat and light from the Sun, because it’s the basic empirically well understood difference between visible light waves and the the invisible heat waves.

    So, shortwave visible, infrared and uv of the AGW energy budget are not thermal, they are not hot, they are not wavelengths of heat.

    They are classed in with Light, not in with Heat.

    The longwave infrared we get from the Sun is HEAT. Whatever we call it in the different science contexts today, aka thermal infrared, aka radiant heat, aka thermal energy on the move in heat transfer by radiation (compare conduction and convection), it is all the same thing, heat, the state of matter in vibration.

    This direct heat we get from the Sun is what AGWSF has removed completely from its energy budget.

    Since visible light and these shortwaves from the Sun cannot, cannot physically, heat matter, cannot physically move whole molecules into vibration which is what it takes to heat matter, this means that the AGW narrative has no heat from the Sun

    That is the state of play today. With up to date real physics as still taught in traditional science which understands the differences, which understands the properties and processes from the differences.

    The difference between heat and light from the Sun is basic bog standard traditional physics, elementary, that the great heat we feel from the Sun is the invisible thermal infrared, longwave infrared, and that we cannot even feel, let alone feel as heat, the shortwaves, which we know cannot heat matter because they work on the much tinier electronic transition level not on the bigger molecular vibrational level.

    The AGWScienceFiction’s Energy Budget is completely fake fisics. That’s the bottom line here.

    And the ludicrous explanations given for this great invisible heat from the Sun not reaching us are a lesson in brainwashing…

    Repeat a lie often enough and it will be taken as the truth.. But as the man who said this noted, the truth is the enemy here and all means must be employed to stop it spreading..

    So, what do they give as reasons for no direct from the Sun invisible thermal infrared, longwave infrared, reaching us?

    First there’s the unknown to traditional up to date science “an invisible barrier like the glass of a greenhouse preventing the entry of longwave infrared at TOA”.

    Well, I’ve given the real scientists from NASA saying this isn’t true, and I’ve explained it further in terms of electronic transition v molecular vibration, and it is simply a well understood well tested physics fact as used in real science industries, that the heat we feel direct from the Sun is the longwave infrared which AGWSF has completely excised from its energy budget – real physics knows there is no such “invisible barrier” preventing us from receiving the Sun’s heat direct.

    That should be enough to knock the whole AGWS nonsense out of science discussions, but when I gave this before I had the reply that only CAGWs believe this, that (the implication was) the cleverer AGWs “knew that the Sun produced insignificant amounts of longwave infrared so there was insignificant of insignificant reaching us”.

    Does this make sense to you? That a hot fire gives off no heat? Because that is what this is actually saying…

    How was this calculated? Another sleight of hand deception from AGWSF, it ‘uses’ the planckian graph to estimate the heat of the Sun from the narrow band of visible light atmosphere around the Sun, which is only 300 miles wide. So it says that this layer of atmosphere defines the heat of the bulk mass of the Sun as 6000°C – if you can’t see how ludicrous that is when we know the bulk of the Sun is millions of degrees hot, then go back to what I first said, that this is saying that a hot fire gives off no heat.

    As with the fake fisics meme “shortwave from the Sun heats land and water of the Earth’s surface”, it is the continual repetition of the fake fisics that the “Sun is only 6,000&degC;” which is confusing everyone here. A brainwashed meme has great power..

    Because it becomes the paradigm on which subsequent thinking is based, so in effect, subsequent thinking is always seeking to prove it. Unless one has real basic empirically tested and understood physics, as in my example of glass and film for windows, one can’t appreciate the contortions these ‘proofs of the paradigm’ produce.

    So, I can be amused that AGW say there is no heat from the Sun, whichever way they chose to justify that, but those using the AGW meme paradigms can’t see that because they can’t extrapolate from real physics facts to see the absurdities.

    So, bring back the real heat Trenberth is missing, the direct invisible longwave infrared from the millions of degree hot Sun which we feel as heat because it is heat which is why we call it thermal, the electromagnetic wave of heat, which is the wavelength which actually physical can and does heat both land and water and us, and the rest will fall into place.

  95. Does Heat Travel Through a Vacuum?

    Does heat travel through a vacuum, and if so how? If not, how does the Sun heat the Earth?
    Heat travels through a vacuum by infrared radiation (light with a longer wavelength than the human eye can see). The Sun (and anything warm) is constantly emitting infrared, and the Earth absorbs it and turns the energy into atomic and molecular motion, or heat.

    Dr. Eric Christian

    http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sp_ht.html

  96. gareth says: @ June 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    3rd para: “convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis”….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It should be plants use carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. Nitrogen is needed to form amino acids/proteins but is not used in photosynthesis, it is part of the Nitrogen Cycle “… In plants, much of the nitrogen is used in chlorophyll molecules, which are essential for photosynthesis and further growth…” (WIKI) That is the nitrogen/photosynthesis connection.

    Assimilation [edit]
    Main articles: Assimilation (biology) and Nitrogen assimilation

    Plants take nitrogen from the soil, by absorption through their roots in the form of either nitrate ions or ammonium ions. All nitrogen obtained by animals can be traced back to the eating of plants at some stage of the food chain.

    Plants can absorb nitrate or ammonium ions from the soil via their root hairs. If nitrate is absorbed, it is first reduced to nitrite ions and then ammonium ions for incorporation into amino acids, nucleic acids, and chlorophyll.[5] In plants that have a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia, some nitrogen is assimilated in the form of ammonium ions directly from the nodules. It is now known that there is a more complex cycling of amino acids between Rhizobia bacteroids and plants. The plant provides amino acids to the bacteroids so ammonia assimilation is not required and the bacteroids pass amino acids (with the newly fixed nitrogen) back to the plant, thus forming an interdependent relationship.[9] While many animals, fungi, and other heterotrophic organisms obtain nitrogen by ingestion of amino acids, nucleotides and other small organic molecules, other heterotrophs (including many bacteria) are able to utilize inorganic compounds, such as ammonium as sole N sources. Utilization of various N sources is carefully regulated in all organisms. For example, proteins are energeticaly expensive to build and thus may not be broken down for nitrogen assimilation in the presence of readily available sources such as ammonium. Such regulation is evident in some cases even at the whole community scale for both naturally occurring[10] and some xenobiotic materials…. (WIKI)

  97. Gail Combs says: @ June 6, 2013 at 10:57 am
    Thanks for the explanation Gail.
    So the article as written has at least one significant factual error. Chlorophyll does not “capture energy from the sun and convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis”
    A yard of comments and nobody much bothered or even noticed
    I do wish we would leave talking rubbish to Messrs Cook, Nuccitelli, Gore et all.
    4/10, must try harder…

  98. Gaia evolved mankind so it could save the plants by liberating massive amounts of sequestered CO2. We should get on with it.

  99. Our atmosphere is full of nitrogen, I don’t know why people keep thinking CO2 (with two atoms of Oxygen) is a bad thing. But plants evolve too, like humans and mammals. But plants came first on land. Years ago one troll did not know the composition of gases in our atmosphere (air). They thought they would die if carbon dioxide increased to 21%. (Don’t they do science or even horticulture in schools?) Volcanoes spew out at lot of noxious gases, that kill humans and animals,and are not very good for anyone’s health. Some idiots in a British university, recommended seeding clouds with sulphur dioxide to cool the planet. What?! Yep, and they got a grant to pursue that idea? When will this madness end? Well – when the coalition in Oz (Liberals and Nationals) win the next election, Tim Flannery will be sacked, and probably resign with superannuation before then if he is wise, and then or if not, complain regarding unfair dismissal. I’d like to see that, wouldn’t you?

  100. How is it that space is freezing cold? The planet is generating heat from the sun, but from what I know is that deserts fluctuate greatly with no cloud cover. In their winter months, it can be 40 C during the day and minus during the night. So luv ‘em clouds, eh?

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