An illustration that CO2 won’t roast the Earth in a runaway tipping point…

…because the Earth has experienced massive CO2 pulses and  recovered before.

From the something you don’t see every day department comes this graph:

Atmospheric CO2 Concentration by Geologic Time Period

GeoCO2

Source: GeoCO2.png Photo by dhm1353 | Photobucket

H/t to Tom Nelson

Here’s the next graph showing the sources:

CO2_Decline

Source: http://s90.photobucket.com/user/dhm1353/media/CO2_Decline.png.html

Data sources here: (thanks to Bill Illis)

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Geocarb_III-Berner.pdf
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/trace_gases/phanerozoic_co2.txt

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/trace_gases/pagani2005co2.xls

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/epica_domec/edc-co2-2008.xls

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/trace_gases/royer2006co2.xls
(Don’t use the Boron or Paleosols method ones, they are unreliable)

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/paleocean/by_contributor/pearson2000

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/ipcc2007/ipcc2007fig61top.xls
(Don’t use the Boron or Paleosols method ones, they are unreliable)

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/pearson2009/pearson2009.xls

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/tripati2009/tripati2009.xls

http://www.snowballearth.org/Bao08.pdf

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/hoenisch2009/hoenisch2009.xls

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n7/extref/ngeo1186-s1.xls
(Don’t use the Boron or Paleosols method ones, they are unreliable)

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/extref/nature11200-s2.xls

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/extref/nature11200-s2.xls

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108 Responses to An illustration that CO2 won’t roast the Earth in a runaway tipping point…

  1. Henry Bowman says:

    Can you provide a link to the original publication?

  2. JohnWho says:

    Whoa! That is really something I don’t see every day!

    So, were the oceans boiling during the Cambrian?

    How about simmering?

    Was the planet at least ice free?

    I mean, there must be something there for the CAGW by CO2 folks to cling to.

  3. Steve Keohane says:

    Not dissimilar to Scotese’s chart:
    http://i46.tinypic.com/2582sg6.jpg

  4. Truthseeker says:

    “Greenhouse Gas” theory disproved right there …

  5. David Archibald says:

    Title: Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California

    Author: Ward, Joy K.; Harris, John M.; Cerling, Thure E.; Wiedenhoeft, Alex; Lott, Michael J.; Dearing, Maria-Denise; Coltrain, Joan B.; Ehleringer, James R.

    Date: 2005

    Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 102, no. 3 (Jan. 18, 2005): p. 690-694.

  6. Bill_W says:

    I see that the last source on the graph (red arrow) is Exxon (close enough). Therefore this whole post can be ignored. :)

  7. David L. Hagen says:

    The abundance of “stored solar energy” (aka stored biomass aka “coal”), indicates that about 4 to 10 times higher levels of CO2 than at present resulted in very productive net primary production and biomass formation – NOT desertification. See Youkon coal and Devonian coal.
    Developing world farmers need all the help they can get from higher CO2 and higherer precipitation to better feed their families.
    Why are “climate scientists” inverting the evidence with systemically biased unvalidated models?

  8. Latitude says:

    C3 plant CO2 starvation…..people do not seem to realize our planet was evolving…and C4 plants evolved from a lack of CO2 and high temps
    Raise hell about something going extinct…and not realize what was happening

    …talk about changing and not being able to adapt

  9. Your graphs show nothing about temperature, so where does the assertion come that CO2 won’t affect temperature? A more meaningful (not to mention honest) illustration would be to show palaeo temperatures plotted with CO2 concentrations.

  10. milodonharlani says:

    Kit Carruthers says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    The Scotese citation from above plots the CO2 curve against reconstructed temperature.

  11. Eric says:

    Bill_W – are you daft? Can you not use Google? It looks like the red dotted line is the line of best fit for the Berner Geocarb III (Orange line). Robert A. Berner from Yale University produced and published this data in 2001. I am not sure what Expon. (Not Exxon) means. Exponential?

  12. greymouser70 says:

    Bill W. You need to get your eyeglasses checked. That last source reads Expon. The red dashed line is the exponential plot of the CO2 trend.

  13. Pieter F. says:

    Would like to see the study using more conventionally accepted geologic timescale terms such as Cenozoic, Holocene, etc. Anthropocene and Tertiary are not recognized as formal geologic time units.

  14. Eliza says:

    AW I think the AGW is finished
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
    This means that probably NH minimum ice is about over. The increase is probably going to be spectacular this year!

  15. JimS says:

    I have presented similar information to CAGWers before. Their response was, “but the world was much different then, and you can not compare the present period with past periods when it comes to CO2.”
    I have also seen a chart done graphing very old CO2 levels with temperature. There is some correlation, but not much. See the link below:
    http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/global-temp-co2-over-geological-time.jpg

  16. Pedantic old Fart says:

    Given that CO2 is the building block for all eucaryoyic life on earth, what does the exponential curve suggest for life in the distant future. Burning all the coal will just put it off for a little while?

  17. OK thank you. Looks like in the past when CO2 concentrations were higher than current, it was also warmer, when they were lower, it was cooler. Generally speaking, of course, and temperatures seem to plateau at 22C avg. It would have been good if Anthony Watts had been open about this in his post, rather than simply showing CO2 concentrations and somehow leaving it up to the reader’s imagination/intuition/prejudice to deduce what he’s trying to show!

  18. Gary Hladik says:

    JimS says (August 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm): ‘I have presented similar information to CAGWers before. Their response was, “but the world was much different then, and you can not compare the present period with past periods when it comes to CO2.”’

    And each of these periods of high CO2 was much different from the others. That tells us that elevated CO2 didn’t melt the planet under a variety of prehistoric conditions. It’s then up to your opponents to specify exactly what unique condition(s) today will for the first time in the earth’s existence lead to climate catastrophe and why. I’m betting they can’t come up with anything.

  19. milodonharlani says:

    There is also material from Pagani, et al, 2005:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/309/5734/600

    They however felt the need to suggest that Antarctic glaciation resulted from lowered CO2, rather than a decline in temperature & cooling of the seas causing the fall in gas concentration in the air.

    There were also biologic & geologic events which contributed to the post-PETM drop in the mid-Cenozoic, such as the Azolla Event, the rise of the Himalayas as India collided with Asia & the separation of Antarctica from South America & Australia by deep ocean channels.

  20. milodonharlani says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Usual Warmunista excuses are a weaker sun & less rapid rise. The latter is either nonsense or a lie, depending upon the state of knowledge of the excuse-maker. The sun has gotten stronger by about one percent per 110 million years. Thus during the Ordovician Glaciation, it was only around 4% less powerful than now, yet CO2 was eight to 20 times higher, so the excuse-making math does not compute.

  21. Pedantic old Fart says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm
    Reply; the problem as I see it is there is way too much calcium buffering mass in the earth planetary body, and it is slowly absorbing all of the CO2, we need to find a way to geoengineer a release of CO2 from the rock, shell, and coral sequestration that is starving the green plants in the long run.

  22. pkasse says:

    *****
    I see that the last source on the graph (red arrow) is Exxon (close enough). Therefore this whole post can be ignored. :)
    *****
    I think the post end with a (sark) face, folks.

    REPLY: I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or not, either way, your point is meritless. The data sources are posted and there’s no Exxon involved. – Anthony

  23. Richard Howes says:

    Eric says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Bill_W – are you daft? Can you not use Google? It looks like the red dotted line is the line of best fit for the Berner Geocarb III (Orange line). Robert A. Berner from Yale University produced and published this data in 2001. I am not sure what Expon. (Not Exxon) means. Exponential?
    greymouser70 says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Bill W. You need to get your eyeglasses checked. That last source reads Expon. The red dashed line is the exponential plot of the CO2 trend.

    Guys,

    I think Bill was being funny.

    Richard

  24. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Uh-oh, the CO₂ level is dropping fast. Won’t be much longer until the plants shut down, then all life expires except a few small critters not using oxygen-based respiration.

    Our path as stewards of the planet is clear. We’ll burn the fossil fuels for now to keep the atmospheric CO₂ high enough that life may grow and prosper, until energy from nuclear sources (including fusion) is so cheap we can afford to break down carbonates like limestone for the desperately needed trace gas of life.

    And insane people want to capture it from power plant exhaust, so they can creatively dispose of it deep underground where they hope it will be gone forever. Don’t they understand this clearly-presented evidence? Why do they want to exterminate virtually all life on Earth? ARE THEY MAD?

  25. Richard Howes says:

    s/funny/sarcastic/p

  26. JimS says:

    @Gary Hladik
    Thanks for the advice, Gary. I may try that next time. Although I have found that when I present this graph:
    http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/global-temp-co2-over-geological-time.jpg
    …they usually have little to say in response.

  27. Master of Space and Thyme says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm
    “Uh-oh, the CO₂ level is dropping fast. Won’t be much longer until the plants shut down, then all life expires except a few small critters not using oxygen-based respiration.”

    I hope you are not serious and that you just neglected to mark the comment as being snark.

  28. MarkUK says:

    It looks like we are heading for no C02 ! that`s scary.

  29. DGP says:

    Richard Holle says:

    Reply; the problem as I see it is there is way too much calcium buffering mass in the earth planetary body, and it is slowly absorbing all of the CO2, we need to find a way to geoengineer a release of CO2 from the rock, shell, and coral sequestration that is starving the green plants in the long run.

    A lime kiln does exactly that and has been in use by man since prehistory. It needs a heat source though.

  30. Mac the Knife says:

    The 1st graph needs a “You Are Here!” label attached to the Mauna Loa CO2 bars…. and a “PPMV” label attached to the Y axis.

  31. The CO2 production from cement making process is temporary, the fresh concrete re absorbs as much CO2 as was released in the slaking process, was the problem with the sealed biosphere building experiment, organic matter decomposed into methane and CO2 then was sequestered back into the concrete, taking the oxygen with it till it got low oxygen content life threatening.

  32. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Yikes! We need more CO2! get burning, folks.

  33. dcardno says:

    Kit Carruthers – the reference is pretty clearly to the “tipping point” argument, that a rise to 600 ppm CO2 would lead to some sort of runaway heat increase. The headline on the post might’ve given it away.

  34. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Richard Holle @ August 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I think I know the project you are talking of, but a link would be useful, for me and oth.ers

  35. Robert of Ottawa says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) asks @ August 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    ARE THEY MAD?

    No, to allow them madness is to forgive them. No, they are hell-bent on hell. They hate humanity; they hate being well-fed; they hate the economic system and technology that provide them food, shelter and clothing.

    Misanthropists should be dealt with by humans.

  36. Rud Istvan says:

    The big dip in CO2 circa 300mya corresponds to the Karoo Ice Age at the end of the Carboniferous. Grist for the ‘but for CO2, the next ice age would have begun’ crowd.
    Silly and not dispositive, since the continents were together as Pangea and differently positioned. A VERY Good ebook on all this is Prof. Uriarte’s Earth Climate History. Worth a gander for anyone seriously interested in climate change facts over the long haul. His paleo CO2 time series are not meaningfully different than in this post, since drawn from the same scientific sources.

    Plants have spent a long time (billions of years) learning how to grow using photosynthesis to convert CO2 to polysaccharides and Oxygen. Until very recently, plants were ‘winning’ so much they almost ran out of CO2. (Gasp, gasp). At least that is what the main post chart says.

  37. AndyG55 says:

    This highlight exactly what I have been saying..

    We MUST, MUST, MUST push the CO2 level back up.

    It is totally essential for continued life on Earth.

    700+ at the very least !!

  38. Gary Pearse says:

    Interesting that the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian, aka “Carboniferous” is very low in CO2 but this was the era when almost all global coal seams were laid down! This means that the very high CO2 previously created these enormous tropical swamps which died down in the Carboniferous sequestering all the C as coal without any help from us. It is just mind boggling that we have spent $2 trillion because of the pathetic CO2 problem illustrated in this graph. It seems as if the Climategate scandal, which put CAGW into a downward spiral, allowed shackled, closeted scientists to come out of the woodwork and release a pent up store of scientific papers.

    Kit Carruthers says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    “Your graphs show nothing about temperature, so where does the assertion come that CO2 won’t affect temperature? A more meaningful (not to mention honest) illustration would be to show palaeo temperatures plotted with CO2 concentrations.”

    True, but it is well known anyway that the swings from min to max throughout the last billion years has only been 8-10 degrees. Note the high (lets give it ~+6 degree C higher to be generous) coincides with 7000 ppm CO2, that’s ~20 times present CO2, that’s just over 4 doublings so Climate sensitivity is 1.5C per doubling, that’s a nice generous figure. Compare this with 5 or 6 degrees by 2100 and you will see why non-members of the club are crying foul with IPCC and the Hockey Team.

  39. Chad Wozniak says:

    A simpler way to reach the same conclusion: visit a commercial greenhouse. Lots of CO2, and lots of water vapor, if you’re thinking feedbacks (ain’t any, of course). No runaway heating here!

    Duhhhh . . . . . .

  40. What are the views today of James Lovelock?

    I am James Lovelock, scientist and author, known as the originator of Gaia theory, a view of the Earth that sees it as a self-regulating entity that keeps the surface environment always fit for life… I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied. We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs. We need take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilization. – Bishop Hill, James Lovelock, 12 December 2012 (in a letter noted by Phillip Bratby) via (WUWT 1/26/2013)

    Lovelock was not so much recanting Climate Change alarmism, but taking issue with some of solutions proposed by the Greens.

    There is an NBC report: ‘Gaia’ scientist James Lovelock: I was ‘alarmist’ about climate from April 23, 2012 that where he is definitely slowing down his alarmism.

    The new book will discuss how humanity can change the way it acts in order to help regulate the Earth’s natural systems, performing a role similar to the harmonious one played by plants when they absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

    [The book] will also reflect his new opinion that global warming has not occurred as he had expected. “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,”..

    “The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now. ,,, The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,”…

    Asked if he was now a climate skeptic, Lovelock told msnbc.com: “It depends what you mean by a skeptic. I’m not a denier.”

    He said human-caused carbon dioxide emissions were driving an increase in the global temperature, … “It (the sea) could make all the difference between a hot age and an ice age,” he said.

    “We will have global warming, but it’s been deferred a bit,” Lovelock said.

    …he said he did not mind saying “All right, I made a mistake.” ….
    Lovelock said he would not take back a word of his seminal work “Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth,” published in 1979. But of “Revenge of Gaia,” published in 2006, he said he had gone too far in describing what the warming Earth would see over the next century. “I would be a little more cautious — but then that would have spoilt the book,” he quipped.

    His 1979 book made the crucial observation that the Sun has gradually warmed as it aged. What kept the Earth comfortable was life’s net consumption of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A negative feedback loop to keep life from using up too much carbon dioxide and thus making the climate cool and slow life down. If it warmed, life would use up more carbon dioxide and restore the balance. The drama of Gaia is that the planet is nearly out of carbon dioxide buffer. Carbon dioxide cannot go down much more without starving plants and we are at a sensitive portion of the logaritmic curve, so ice ages can easily happen. I believed the theory then and it is still a live hypothesis.

    There seems little doubt that Lovelock still believes that rising CO2 levels will result in warming and that humans must do something to stop it. Buy I was struck by this statement:
    “It (the sea) could make all the difference between a hot age and an ice age” This is an important rejoinder to any claims of “Precautionary Principle” because there are TWO possibilities to try to avoid.

  41. Ric Werme says:

    I have a gripe about the first figure. The X-axis follows the geological periods, except for Quaternary, which has Pleistocene epoch broken out and perhaps the Holocene replaced by the silly Anthropocene. However, the explanatory boxes imply that the Anthropocene is represented by MLO data since the 1960s. Therefore it should be the leftmost set of bars, and the “C3 Plant CO2 Starvation period during the last glacial maximum should be the second set.

    OT: Being a software engineer, the La Brea Tar Pits have an almost mythical meaning to us. (Look up the book The Mythical Man-Month, the cover image is of the tar pits in action.) I have made my pilgrimage there. Wasn’t too hard, I was in Santa Monica on business.

  42. Scott says:

    If the whole premise was true that CO2, sunlight and water vapour created a run away warming effect then we have just discovered a free perpetual energy source more powerful than PV cells, wind etc combined. based on that why is it that we havent built reactors to take advantage of such a powerfull free energy source??

  43. Ox AO says:

    Kit Carruthers says:
    said, “where does the assertion come that CO2 won’t affect temperature?”

    Don’t need to we are still in the Quaternary Ice age which means it is colder today.
    And the fact we didn’t turn into another venus as Stephen Hawking said we would if CO2 goes up anymore.

  44. RockyRoad says:

    Scott says:
    August 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    If the whole premise was true that CO2, sunlight and water vapour created a run away warming effect then we have just discovered a free perpetual energy source more powerful than PV cells, wind etc combined. based on that why is it that we havent built reactors to take advantage of such a powerfull free energy source??

    We have–they’re called “forests”.

    Now the Greens don’t want us cutting down and burning anything.

    Are they trying to drive CO2 even lower?

    Are they setting up such a devastating array of CO2-hungry monsters that when fossil fuels are finally outlawed, foodstuff plants will die out, taking us with them?

    Are people with too much time and evil thoughts on their hands going to destroy most of us in their quest for a Green Nirvana?

    Rather looks like it.

  45. Mark Hladik says:

    What is even more interesting is to run a cross-correlation between the Berner & Kothavala GEOCARB III and Veizer’s paleotemperature reconstruction.

    I’ve challenged any number of warmistas (John “Brooksie” Brookes, who used to be a regular at JoNova’s), and just this month challenged the troll ‘blackadderthe4th’, who flatly refused to run any data comparison (again, over at Jo’s website).

    With careful and inferential analysis of the data presented in Geologic Time Scale 2012, and the predecessor 2004, it is possible to extend the record into the Late Proterozoic, the so-called “Snowball Earth” when CO2 levels may have been 13% of the atmosphere, or higher (B. A. 4 linked to one of his myriad videos which claimed a 20% concentration … ). The coefficient is even more interesting when those data are included.

    Note that the Ordovician/Silurian boundary was also an ice-age, and the Carboniferous had major glaciation in Gondwana (south geographic pole). Veizer refers to the Jurassic as “globally cool”, so this may give you an idea of the correlation coefficient (R, not R^2) for the two curves.

    Since the warmistas won’t tell me their correlation coefficients, would WUWT participants be willing to post some results?

    Thanks in advance,

    Mark H.

  46. thingadonta says:

    And there was a proliferation of biodiversity and rapid evolution in the Cambrian….

  47. Tom G(ologist) says:

    Anthrop-obscene!!!!! For a little spot of humour on this curious bit of nomenclatural redundancy, I invite you all to visit my blog post on this subject at http://suspectterrane.blogspot.com/2011/10/anthrop-obscene.html

    Browse around to some of the other comments on Earth-related intellectual buffoonery.

  48. Ric Werme says:

    Tom G(ologist) says:
    August 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    > Anthrop-obscene!!!!!

    My, that’s a fine rant. Feel better now?

    According to Wiktionary.org:

    Etymology

    From anthropo- (“man”) + -cene (“new”); coined by Paul J. Crutzen.

    According to Wikipedia:

    The term was coined recently by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer [oops!] and has been widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological epoch for its lithosphere. To date, the term has not been adopted as part of the official nomenclature of the geological field of study.

    Either way, I figured the term was not invented by a geologist. They’d know better.

  49. bw says:

    This time scale is a big picture of plant evolution. As latitude and Rud Istvan mention, photosynthesis has been removing CO2 from the atmosphere for at lest 2 billion years.
    Plants have been living on the land surface for about the same time scale in the graphic, about 600 million years. The decline in CO2 exactly matches the evolution of plants to compete for CO2 in the carbon cycle. Plants never stop evolving. The cenozoic has produced more sophisticated plant structures and chemistry to survive against disease, predation and drying climates. As CO2 declines, plants evolved more complex leaf structures to enhance CO2 exchange while minimizing loss of water, eg tropical succulents, etc. Mostly in tropical grasses, the C4 pathway is a major and expensive evolutionary development to permit those plants to survive when C3 plants died.
    This occurred in the last 10 to 20 million years. Thats about the same time as the middle Miocene climate transition about 17 million years ago.
    It’s not surpising that CO2 keeps dropping and the major glaciations started to kill off the C3 northern forests, releasing CO2 by decomposition. The tropical C4 plants survive.
    The atmosphere is absolutely in a biological crisis of extrememly low CO2.

  50. Layman says:

    I wonder what happened to ocean acidification when CO2 content was more than 1000ppm.
    Did all the coral reef vanish then? AGW is not only global surface temperature rise.

  51. Mark T says:

    While correlation cannot conclusively demonstrate causal relationships, a lack thereof, on the other hand…

    Mark

  52. Russell says:

    Damn those flowering plants for making the world safe for primate evolution !

  53. Arninetyes says:

    As a geologist who is NOT being funded by the Globalwarmists, I can say that I know of no geologists who take the term “anthropocene” seriously. The changes we’ve made to Earth’s climate and lithosphere pale compared to natural processes.

    However, the apparently rapid extinction rate most certainly can be blamed largely on human activity ranging from over-fishing, over-hunting, habitat destruction, and pollution from toxins and radionuclides. While the Globalwarmists love to scream how global warming is causing rapid extinctions, the reality is more complex, yet could be more controllable, since we are unlikely to ever be able to control atmospheric CO2. After they spend trillions to ‘stop global warming’, the extinction rate is likely to accelerate, because the issues causing extinction are being ignored.

  54. gymnosperm says:

    Anthropocene. Synonym: complete, unbridled arrogance. Hell, the Holocene don’t exist either!

  55. StuartMcL says:

    Arninetyes says:
    August 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    However, the apparently rapid extinction rate most certainly can be blamed largely on human activity
    =======================================
    Care to name 2 or
    three species that have gone extinct in the last 100 years.

  56. richardscourtney says:

    Kit Carruthers:

    Your post at August 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/08/an-illustration-that-co2-wont-roast-the-earth-in-a-runaway-tipping-point/#comment-1384898
    says

    It would have been good if Anth0ny Watts had been open about this in his post, rather than simply showing CO2 concentrations and somehow leaving it up to the reader’s imagination/intuition/prejudice to deduce what he’s trying to show!

    Allow me to correct that for rational people.

    It IS good THAT Anth0ny Watts HAS been HONEST in his post, BY simply showing CO2 concentrations and ALLOWING the reader to INTERPRET THE DATA. Anth0ny Watts DOES NOT TRY TO SHOW THE DATA SUPPORTS HIS imagination/intuition/prejudice AS WARMUNISTS DO WHEN PROGRAMMING THEIR ‘USEFUL IDIOTS’.

    Richard

  57. JimF says:

    Let’s not blame plants for the historical demise of CO2. They have a role, but there is far more CO2 tied up in limestones and dolomites, limey sediments, coral reefs and other lime-rich deposits, than there is in coal, oil and gas deposits. As I have said before, earth has a propensity to consume and store away, mostly permanently, its CO2 heritage. This is a dangerous trend for us animals, because we breath oxygen made for us by creatures that breathe CO2.

  58. Margaret Hardman says:

    Poor old trilobites, having their world destroyed by rising sea levels and increasing temperatures as a result of all that CO2. No, hang on a minute. It is humans that have adapted our world, cities, agriculture, etc, to the low CO2 world and it is that world which is likely to be changed by rising CO2 levels. Pretty graphs showing CO2 in the geological past posted like this are leading the faithful away from the real point. Or is that the point?

  59. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Arninetyes on August 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm:

    However, the apparently rapid extinction rate most certainly can be blamed largely on human activity ranging from over-fishing, over-hunting, habitat destruction, and pollution from toxins and radionuclides. (…) After they spend trillions to ‘stop global warming’, the extinction rate is likely to accelerate, because the issues causing extinction are being ignored.

    Not even for those reasons. For birds and mammals on land, the extinctions are overwhelmingly due to Island Species Sensitivity, as they overwhelmingly occur on islands.

    See here for a recent paper by Loehle and Eschenbach that explains it. From article at link (where link to paper is):

    Results: Only six continental birds and three continental mammals were recorded in standard databases as going extinct since 1500 compared to 123 bird species and 58 mammal species on islands. Of the extinctions, 95% were on islands. (…) Island extinction rates are much higher than continental rates largely due to introductions of alien predators (including man) and diseases.

    On the plus side, as virtually all of the world’s islands are now un-isolated, the extinctions are practically over, the extinction rate will go WAY down.

    Unless you’re a (C)AGW-pusher using numbers from your preferred models that show thousands of never-seen species will now never be seen because (C)AGW killed them off before anyone could ever see them. The model projections say they had to have been there, somewhere. Then the projected extinction rates of the theoretically-existing species will keep going up, and up, and up. You want proof? You’ll never see ANY of those extinct species, that’s the proof!

  60. A Crooks says:

    Thats a great set of graphs,
    Some one with an eye for geology Could plot the great periods of coal formation and then the periods of extinctions and maybe periods of global glaciation. I’m thinking of the carboniferous followed by the Permian? maybe there is a little story there?

  61. Scarface says:

    You might want to add this graph too:

    Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    This graph should be shown by the MSM after any AGW scarestory. End of scare guaranteed.

  62. Aidan Donnelly says:

    I am still confused as to how the alarmist crowd can get away with continually ‘denying’ evolution.

    More particularly the one part of Darwin’s theory that is (almost) universally accepted and completely non-controversial. I refer of course to Natural Selection, by which all life adapts, either to survive a changed ecology or to take advantage of that change (or both)

    It appears to be incontrovertible that plants thrive with much higher Co2 rates than have been naturally present for many years.I am no scientist but then I don’t have to be as it is easy to find the information on this.

    Plants starve under 180 ppmv and thrive best at 1-3000 ppmv. Those plants must have experienced CO2 levels at least as high as the amount they can make best use of.

    So for them to say higher amounts (than the ~260ppmv which was the baseline for all the alarmism) are harmful, while most plants are still limited by Co2 much lower than optimum is to invalidate ‘Micro’ evolution, without which ‘Macro’ evolution is also invalidated.

    So why are eminent persons like Richard Dawkins not screaming foul on these ‘scientist’s’?

  63. Bill Church says:

    I seem to recall a paper suggesting very high populations of herbivores during the Cretaceous over and above what trees and plants could support. Perhaps CO2 levels up at 2,000ppm might have had something to do with it. If only we could get CO2 up to, say, 1,000ppm we might see some very interesting crop yields! Damn, might have to mow the lawn more often though.

  64. Margaret Hardman says:

    Aiden

    They don’t deny evolution. They are just not stupid enough to think that trilobites built cities next to the sea or artificially selected crops adapted to pre-industrial CO2 levels. The point Anthony makes here is totally spurious.

    Margaret

    REPLY: Trilobites cities? And you think MY point is spurious? LOL! – Anthony

  65. Michel says:

    At 2500 ppm,170 Myears ago, there was in the atmosphere approx 2×1016 Kg CO2. This is 15 times the total quantity emitted by human activity between 1750 (beginning of industrial age) an 2011 (source CDIAC), of which about one third remained in the atmosphere to reach a concentration of 390 ppm.
    This carbon had to be fixed in the form of hydrocarbons (which we now burn) or of carbonate sediments. And life has gone on.

  66. DirkH says:

    Kit Carruthers says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    “OK thank you. Looks like in the past when CO2 concentrations were higher than current, it was also warmer, when they were lower, it was cooler. Generally speaking, of course, and temperatures seem to plateau at 22C avg. ”

    And the direction of causation (if any) is…?
    Look into methods of examining time series.
    Granger causality.
    see Beenstock & Reingewertz – 2011 I think.

  67. DirkH says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    August 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm
    “Poor old trilobites, having their world destroyed by rising sea levels and increasing temperatures as a result of all that CO2. No, hang on a minute. It is humans that have adapted our world, cities, agriculture, etc, to the low CO2 world and it is that world which is likely to be changed by rising CO2 levels.”

    Small correction. Long before humans, the world adapted itself to low CO2 levels by bringing forth C4 plants. The C3 plants still hang around though. So no problem there.

  68. “richardscourtney says: SOMETHING SHOUTY”

    Richard HERE IS A GRAPH which SHOW Internet Explorer USAGE WITH time. I will LEAVE YOU TO DRAW your own CONCLUSIONS about HOW IT AFFECTS TEMPERATURE http://www.webdevelopersnotes.com/articles/internet_explorer_usage_statistics-2010-11-02.gif

    Less facetiously, and to answer others, I thought Anthony Watts stood for transparency in this debate. By simply showing CO2 concentrations over different Geological periods, he relates nothing to temperature. I can see the post title is about runaway temperatures, but without containing the evidence in the post, I am having to assess what I see based on prejudice, rather than evidence.

    If the evidence that links CO2 and temperature was shown, then we could at least have a proper scientific discussion about the relationship. As it stands, we can’t, because we’re not presented with all the data, therefore we revert to whatever we already believe. Which means this post is pandering to Watts’ main audience of climate sceptics, and is not transparent, unbiased, or rigorously scientific.

    But that’s JUST ME DRAWING MY OWN conclusions FROM the GRAPH!!!! etc…

  69. Steve Short says:

    So how does this all lead the overwhelmingly dominant senior author on these sources; Dana Royer of Wesleyan University, to the absurd conclusion that climate sensitivity ”for every doubling of CO2″ is “is probably closer to 6°C”; rather than the maximum of 2°C that can be derived for a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 (*). And that 2°C can only be achieved if every bit of warming since 1880 is the result of an enhanced greenhouse effect from anthropogenic CO2. Something we know to be false. What could possibly lead Dr. Royer to continually torture the data until it says what he wants it to say? Maybe it has something to do with him being an environmental activist:

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2008/01/29/ask-a-professor-dana-royer-earth-and-environmental-science/

  70. tty says:

    Stuart McL says:

    “Care to name 2 or three species that have gone extinct in the last 100 years.”

    These are the birds only, and in the United States only, which have gone extinct in the last 100 years:
    Laysan Crake 1944
    Passenger Pigeon 1914
    Carolina Parakeet 1918
    Ivory-billed Woodpecker 1950’s
    Kamao 1983
    Kauai O’o 1985
    Hawaii O’o 1934
    Bachmann’s Warbler 1962
    Nukupuu 1998
    Lanai Hookbill 1913
    Kakawahie 1963
    Poouli 2004
    Laysan Honeyeater 1923
    Kauai Akialoa 1969

  71. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    August 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    ARE THEY MAD?

    No they just have directional thought instead of omnidirectional thought.

  72. Stephen Richards says:

    Being a software engineer, the La Brea Tar Pits have an almost mythical meaning to us. (Look up the book The Mythical Man-Month, the cover image is of the tar pits in action.) I have made my pilgrimage there. Wasn’t too hard, I was in Santa Monica on business.

    Ric, I have found another kin. You have read ‘The Mythical Man Month’. Brilliant Book. I was a lot of things in my career including Senior Project Manager and Software Engineering Instructor and the MMM was my bible. I was severely criticised on one occasion by a feminist loon when I used one of the inter-chapter quotes “If it takes one woman 9 months to have baby how long does it take 9 women” She really blew.

  73. Stephen Richards says:

    tty says:

    August 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Stuart McL says:

    “Care to name 2 or three species that have gone extinct in the last 100 years.”

    Ah but can you name some new species that have been found.?

  74. Gail Combs says:

    David L. Hagen says: @ August 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm
    …. Developing world farmers need all the help they can get from higher CO2 and higherer precipitation to better feed their families.
    Why are “climate scientists” inverting the evidence with systemically biased unvalidated models?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    (I agree with the farmers needing the help of CO2.)

    Why are “climate scientists” inverting the evidence? Because they are paid to do so. If they don’t go along with the political agenda they get the boot.

    …. Zbigniew Jaworowski, past chairman of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, a participant or chairman of some 20 Advisory Groups of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Environmental Program, and current chair of the Scientific Committee of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw…..

    Dr. Jaworowski has devoted much of his professional life to the study of the composition of the atmosphere, as part of his work to understand the consequences of radioactive fallout from nuclear-weapons testing and nuclear reactor accidents….

    After taking numerous ice samples over the course of a dozen field trips to glaciers in six continents, and studying how contaminants travel through ice over time, he came to realize how fraught with error ice-core samples were in reconstructing the atmosphere. The Chernobyl accident, whose contaminants he studied in the 1990s in a Scandinavian glacier, provided the most illumination.

    “This ice contained extremely high radioactivity of cesium-137 from the Chernobyl fallout, more than a thousand times higher than that found in any glacier from nuclear-weapons fallout, and more than 100 times higher than found elsewhere from the Chernobyl fallout,” he explained. “This unique contamination of glacier ice revealed how particulate contaminants migrated, and also made sense of other discoveries I made during my other glacier expeditions. It convinced me that ice is not a closed system, suitable for an exact reconstruction of the composition of the past atmosphere.”

    Because of the high importance of this realization, in 1994 Dr. Jaworowski, together with a team from the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technics, proposed a research project on the reliability of trace-gas determinations in the polar ice. The prospective sponsors of the research refused to fund it, claiming the research would be “immoral” if it served to undermine the foundations of climate research.

    The refusal did not come as a surprise. Several years earlier, in a peer-reviewed article published by the Norwegian Polar Institute, Dr. Jaworowski criticized the methods by which CO2 levels were ascertained from ice cores, and cast doubt on the global-warming hypothesis. The institute’s director, while agreeing to publish his article, also warned Dr. Jaworowski that “this is not the way one gets research projects.” Once published, the institute came under fire, especially since the report soon sold out and was reprinted. Said one prominent critic, “this paper puts the Norsk Polarinstitutt in disrepute.” Although none of the critics faulted Dr. Jaworowski’s science, the institute nevertheless fired him to maintain its access to funding.
    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=25526754-e53a-4899-84af-5d9089a5dcb6

    The whole scam is political and has been from the very beginning. It was never about determining what factors control climate but providing ‘a scientific basis’ for controlling people. The IPCC even comes right out and says so.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation.
    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/

    Pascal Lamy Director-General of the World Trade Organization gives the reasons.

    …In the same way, climate change negotiations are not just about the global environment but global economics as well — the way that technology, costs and growth are to be distributed and shared.….

    Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life?….

    The reality is that, so far, we have largely failed to articulate a clear and compelling vision of why a new global order matters — and where the world should be headed. Half a century ago, those who designed the post-war system — the United Nations, the Bretton Woods system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — were deeply influenced by the shared lessons of history….

    All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty….
    http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=9174

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” ~ H. L. Mencken

    CAGW is an excellent illustration of this statement.

  75. Gail Combs says:

    Kit Carruthers says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Your graphs show nothing about temperature, so where does the assertion come that CO2 won’t affect temperature? A more meaningful (not to mention honest) illustration would be to show palaeo temperatures plotted with CO2 concentrations.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And how will that tell us a darn thing except what this chart already said, The earth had much higher CO2 and life survived.

    The problem is something call ‘Confounding Factors’

    confounding
    when the effects of two, or more, processes on results cannot be separated, the results are said to be confounded, a cause of bias…. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Confounding+factor

    In this case the confounding factor is the placement of the continents, the closing of the Isthmus of Panama and formation of Drakes Passage.

    Drake Passage and palaeoclimate
    J. R. TOGGWEILER1,* and H. BJORNSSON2
    GFDL/NOAA, P.O. Box 308, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
    2
    Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, P.O. Box CN710, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

    …..South America and Australia separated from Antarctica between 20 and 40 million years ago, isolating Antarctica and the South Pole behind a continuous band of ocean water. The palaeoceanographic record shows that this separation led to the accumulation of glacial ice on Antarctica and an abrupt cooling of the ocean’s deep water (Kennett, 1977). Both effects persist to this day. The palaeoceanographic record gives every indication that the isolation of Antarctica was a major step in climate evolution.

    Today, the band of open water around Antarctica is most restricted between the tip of South America and the Palmer Peninsula, a feature known as Drake Passage. In one of the earliest scientific papers written about the output of an ocean general circulation model, Gill and Bryan (1971) showed how a gap such as Drake Passage alters the ocean’s meridional circulation and heat transport. With Drake Passage closed, the ocean transports heat southward by moving warm water poleward near the surface. Cooling at the Antarctic margin leads to deep-water formation and the northward flow of cold water at depth. With Drake Passage open, warm upper ocean water from the north is unable to flow into or across the channel because there is no net east–west pressure gradient to balance the effect of the Earth’s rotation. The ocean’s ability to transport heat southward is thereby diminished….

    The palaeo-temperature record shows an abrupt drop in global temperature after this event happened. No CO2 needed. link

  76. Gail Combs says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Uh-oh, the CO₂ level is dropping fast. Won’t be much longer until the plants shut down, then all life expires except a few small critters not using oxygen-based respiration….

    …insane people want to capture it from power plant exhaust, so they can creatively dispose of it deep underground where they hope it will be gone forever. Don’t they understand this clearly-presented evidence? Why do they want to exterminate virtually all life on Earth? ARE THEY MAD?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    My feeling exactly! But try telling the Tree Huggers that.

    Ain’t propaganda and brainwashing great. /sarc

  77. Gail Combs says:

    Master of Space and Thyme says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm
    “Uh-oh, the CO₂ level is dropping fast. Won’t be much longer until the plants shut down, then all life expires except a few small critters not using oxygen-based respiration.”

    I hope you are not serious and that you just neglected to mark the comment as being snark.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I do not know about kadaka, but I am deadly serious. According to Henry’s Law cold water absorbs CO2. C3 plants were already having a tough time during the last couple Glaciations and C4 grasses took over much of the earth. What in heck do you think will happen during the next glaciations? The earth’s atmosphere and the life adapted to it has made major changes already.

    Doesn’t anybody teach basic geology in high school anymore?

  78. philjourdan says:

    Interesting. We are at the low end of CO2 concentration now.

  79. Ray says:

    Know i know what the the Biblical Admonition to “Replenish the Earth” means.
    Hope we’re not too late.

  80. Margaret Hardman says:

    Dirk H

    Plants adapted, not the world. There is a spurious point being raised: no humans or their activities were affected back in the Cambrian. That is the issue now.

    Margaret

  81. Recourse to very ancient CO2 concentrations – it is not proof. Every supporter of the theory of AGW cite us to the basic knowledge of textbook:
    “Analogy with other stars observed today at different stages of development suggest that the Sun would have been about 25-30% less luminous when the Earth formed, and that its luminosity would gradually have increased to its present level.” (here: The Cretaceous World – Page 85 – Skelton – 2003).

    “…the Boron or Paleosols method ones, they are unreliable …”
    Tripati type of paper (2009) – Boron, yes – indeed: „they are unreliable”. Therefore, these papers are used by the “alarmist” to formulate assertions:„The present CO2 concentration is higher than paleoclimatic and geologic evidence indicates has occurred at any time in the last 15 million years.” (Potsdam report).
    … meanwhile: (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~polissar/teaching/F2012_G9600_Climate_Puzzles_of_the_Neogene/LaRiviere_etal_2012_Suppl.pdf): “… we consider it premature to apply the B/Ca to long (myr) reconstructions of past pCO2, as Tripati et al.9 did. … … the uncertainties associated with these estimates are too large to constrain the pCO2 changes of the past 15 myrs. For this reason we have excluded these estimates …”
    Pagani (2010) and especially Seki (2010. Alkenone and boron-based Pliocene pCO2 records) prove that adequately “treated” – they (Boron) fully reliable (even problems).

    Also appropriately selected “Paleosols method” are completely reliable (Quantifying and understanding the uncertainty of atmospheric CO2 concentrations determined from calcic paleosols, Breecker, 2013.: “… uncertainty is minimized for soils in which CO2 is an evenly balanced mixture between soil-derived and atmospheric components. Evenly balanced mixtures are most likely for paleosols formed in deserts and for weakly-developed paleosols.”).
    There is no reason that the data obtained from this type of proxy (Paleosols) diminish by 2-3 times, as recently doing some researchers (I will not cite them because it not worth).

    The problem is that, for the past few millions years, of which used the other data calibration for method “Boron or Paleosols the method” and Alkenone (than for earlier periods). These are very large “corrections” due to eg the evolution of photosynthesis, upwelling, drought etc. In my view, these “corrections” are strictly necessary – but too much, many times too much. They are so big that … fit the CO2 ice cores as a proxy.

    In the last 2-3 million years should therefore look for evidence (negative feedback) that the climate sensitivity to high concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere is low (and certainly there is one).

  82. Gary says:

    The way I read that chart is that the biosphere as figured out how to exploit the overabundance of atmospheric CO2 to it’s advantage and is at the limit.

  83. Outrageous Ampersand says:

    You know, there is a way to end the debate about global warming, replenish all life on earth, and put an end to nuclear proliferation (trying saying that while drunk). Seems like a win for everybody. Here’s how you do it:

    Find some nice big limestone deposits that don’t have people near by.

    Get some big drills and put an array of deep holes in the limestone. Probably wrangle up a bunch of oil workers to do it.

    Have every nuclear power on earth donate 20% of their arsenal.

    Put the nukes in the holes you’ve just drilled.

    Detonate.

    Voila! You’ll raise CO2 levels to such heights that talk of reducing emmisions will be pointless, rendering the global warming debate moot. Plants around the world will feast. Plus, you’ll get rid of a bunch of the world’s nukes.

    What’s not to like?

  84. Margaret Hardman says:

    Anthony

    I rather think the LOL is on you. My point, any AGW realist’s point, is that the changes now will adversely affect human populations. Of course trilobites didn’t build cities and I thought you would spot that joke for what it was. The dissimulation, though, is clear – it doesn’t matter to those people likely to be affected by climate change what the level of CO2 was in the Ordovician, it matters how it changes now and what the effects of that change will be. I thought my main point was clear – there are humans around now and they have built cities by the sea.

    REPLY:
    “the changes now will adversely affect human populations” Riiight, humans, like trilobites, are incapable of adapting to different a climate. Check. Point out a place on this climate map of the Earth where people have not settled and adapted to the climate there. (Hint: there’s only one place, can you guess it?)

    Your logic is about as good as Bill Mckibben’s, i.e. emotionally based.- Anthony

  85. DirkH says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    August 9, 2013 at 8:01 am
    “Anthony
    I rather think the LOL is on you. My point, any AGW realist’s point, is that the changes now will adversely affect human populations. ”

    Arguable. But I like your concern. What’s for sure is that abortions adversely affect human populations. Haven’t heard much about that from the concerned warmist activists, even though it is of immediate concern and very easily fixed.

  86. DirkH says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    August 9, 2013 at 5:12 am
    “Dirk H
    Plants adapted, not the world.”

    The world.
    The atmosphere has been made by plants.
    I don’t want to sound like Lovelock but the Earth is a homeostatic system with life as part of the governing loop.

  87. Chris R. says:

    To Layman:

    With respect to your question about corals and ocean acidification–
    corals are supposed to have evolved during the Ordovician Era,
    when Co2 levels were above 4000 ppm in the atmosphere. Presumably
    the ocean was about as extremely acidified as it could get. The
    corals dealt with it fine, as evidenced by the fact that they are
    still here.

    The evidence for ocean pH changes causing coral bleaching is
    sketchy, as with most of the claimed effects of higher CO2. What
    DOES seriously hurt corals is ordinary water pollution–industrial
    effluents getting into the ocean. That is a real problem, as opposed
    to the largely fake problem of coral bleaching caused by CO2.

  88. JimS says:

    @Margaret Hardman
    The earth is just around the corner to move from this short 12,000-year interglacial period into another 90,000-year glaciation period. This seesawing has occurred with relative regularity for the last 2.6 million years. There is really nothing going on at the present time to suggest this will change in the future. This brings about a good news-bad news scenario for our coastal cities.
    First, the good news: all of our coastal cities will be saved from flooding as sea levels will lower considerably.
    Second, the bad news: most of our coastal cities north of the 40th parallel will be under at least 2000 metres of an ice sheet near the end of this glaciation period.

  89. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    The phrase “and recovered before” is besides the point and unintentionally adds credence to the AGW nonsense.

    CO2 is not a climate driver. Therefore high CO2 levels are not something to “recover” from.

  90. DO NOT... says:

    very good post, charts are incredible

  91. Ox AO says:

    Margaret Hardman says: “(Nothing matters except this) there are humans around now and they have built cities by the sea.”

    Who cares where buildings are built when Glaciation starts? I believe you have your priorities twisted. We are nearing the end of our interglacial period. To worry about warming at this geological time is like worrying about falling off the edge of the earth a few hundred years ago.
    Why are you are trying to sell Eskimo’s a refrigerator?

  92. phlogiston says:

    For me the most informative graph of CO2 and palaeo temps over the last 600 million years is this one.

    The blue dots are the data. The lines are for political corectness and the reader can asssess for themselves their correspondence to reality.

    In general this figure supports statements here that we are close to the low, not the high, end of the range of CO2 levels safe for the biosphere.

  93. gymnosperm says:

    It’s really, really simple in concept. Temperature drives CO2. Duh. Trouble is, it’s not linear. We yearn for neat little boxes. E=MC squared. Just square it off.

    The sun is a main sequence star. It was probably dimmer 400 mya, but not in a linear way. Paleosols? How many Ordovician soils have you seen lately?

    When the layered differentials are considered (ignoring for the moment the integrals), one begins to fathom the problem we face. The system response was different when the sun was generally dimmer and the CO2 atmospheric component was generally much higher. Nevertheless, there is good evidence in the Honaker Trail formation that The Carboniferous/Permian glacial period was characterized by the same sort of glacial/interglacial oscillations we see in the ice cores and ocean sediments from our modern glacial period.

    Glacial periods are the biological analogues of economic depressions. Every prior glacial period has ended, but the money (Carbon) supply seems to be generally dwindling. One might wonder how many more glacial periods the planet can afford.

  94. Margaret Hardman says:

    JimS says we are in for renewed glaciation. Ox AO says the current interglacial is about to end. We’ve got plenty of time, in the order of 20,000 years to worry about that. Since you and others don’t get my point, I am currently looking across the Bay of Naples at Vesuvius. When it erupted in 79ad, thousands died. A similar eruption today would kill tens of thousands. Our modern world is predicated on a continuation of what we have now. Many changes will be good, many neutral and many bad. No one here denies that climates change. Ameliorating those changes is not a bad idea. It doesn’t matter what causes them, if the climate changes too rapidly, there will be human suffering. End of story. Now do you get t?

  95. TimTheToolMan says:

    Margaret writes “I thought my main point was clear – there are humans around now and they have built cities by the sea.”

    IF CO2 is warming the earth anything like the global warming enthusiasts are predicting, its still going to be over many scores and more likely hundreds of years. Do you think the cities of today are even remotely like those of say 1913 ? Sea level has already been rising and we’ve coped just fine.

    You need some perspective.

  96. Richard M says:

    Kit Carruthers, the charts showing CO2 and temperature (geocarb) have been shown on this site previously. Hence, there has been no attempt to hide anything. I agree that newer readers will not be aware of this fact, however, you shouldn’t make accusations without knowing the big picture.

  97. Richard Vada says:

    We dun got us’nz uh… uHFECKT that’s TOO BIG to CHECK on, and TOO SMALL to MAYzhure with uh… INSturmunt!

  98. ferdberple says:

    Richard Holle says:
    August 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm
    we need to find a way to geoengineer a release of CO2 from the rock, shell, and coral sequestration that is starving the green plants in the long run.
    =============
    plate tectonics. limestone + water + heat + pressure + iron = hydrocarbons + rock

    the hydrocarbons, being lighter than water float upwards from the mantle-crust boundary and are eventually returned to the atmosphere and oxidized by bacteria, producing energy, CO2 and H2O. sometimes instead these hydrocarbons are trapped within rock formations, where they can be harvested by humans and oxidized, also producing energy, CO2 and H2O.

  99. policycritic says:

    Ferdberple,

    ferdberple says:
    August 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

    plate tectonics. limestone + water + heat + pressure + iron = hydrocarbons + rock

    Is this a common plate tectonics formula?

  100. policycritic at 8:21 pm
    Is this a common plate tectonics formula?

    No, it is not.
    Neither it is a commonly accepted formula for the creation of hydrocarbons.

    It isn’t even a formula for the creation of “rock”, as “rock” requires copious amounts of Silicon, Potassium, Aluminum, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, In addition to the iron in the formula (which comes from where, btw?) and the Calcium and Oxygen that could come from limestone and water.

    Even then, these are not enough. In some rocks or there must be minor amounts of Chlorine, Fluorine, Lithium, Sulphur, Titanium, Boron, or Beryllium, and sporadically there must be concentrations of nearly all other metals with atomic numbers from 22 to 92 (except for 43) into rocks we call “ores”

    http://www.mineralseducationcoalition.org/periodic-table-elements
    See also the Bowens Reaction Series (by convention the hottest is on top the coolest on the bottom)

    The vast majority of hydrocarbons in known deposits come from organic matter that is buried, heated, under pressure, and molecularly “cracks” large organic molecules into smaller ones. Plate Tectonics is the mechanism for bending rock and focused migration and trapping of hydrocarbons into commercial accumulations, or “fields”

    That said, there could be a separate, abiogenic process to source light hydrocarbons, principally methane, from the deep crust or mantle.

    The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth’s crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core. — Science Daily July 27,

    Wikipedia: Abiogenic Petroleum Origin

    is a hypothesis that was proposed as an alternative mechanism of petroleum origin. It was popular in the past, but most geologists now consider it obsolete, and favor instead the biological origin of petroleum.

    This is really too kind. We have produced and know the locations of many trillions of barrels of oil and many quadrillions of cubic feet of natural gas (methane + minor amounts of ethane, propane, butane). For the vast majority of these hydrocarbon deposits, we know the age and approximate locations of the rocks containing the original organic material. All these hydrocarbons are most easily explained by from a biologic source.

    Geologists now consider the abiogenic formation of petroleum scientifically unsupported, and they agree that petroleum is formed from organic material.[1] However, the abiogenic theory can’t be dismissed yet because the mainstream theory still has to be established conclusively.[3]

    This last sentence is fundamentally and logically wrong! Even if we conclusively prove the mainstream theory, that does not preclude a second parallel abiogenic process, even if in trivial, non-commercial amounts. Since Wiki has this logical error, let me posit the Wiki has another: that the mainstream theory is now proved.

    The shale oil and shale gas revolutions today proves a biologic source of hydrocarbons. Oil and gas are being produced directly from the source rock, of known age, thermal history, and organic content. Instead of waiting for the hydrocarbons to migrate to a trap over millions of years, we have gone straight to the “source” and produce these from the “kitchen”. These hydrocarbons could not possibly be abiogenic for there is no way they could be created in the mantle and work their way into impermeable shales and not found elsewhere. This case is closed. The vast majority of all oil and gas is biogenic. The theory has worked for 100 years and quadrillions of dollars.

    In today’s shale gas revolution, nothing changed in our theory for the source of hydrocarbons. What changed was our techniques for getting hydrocarbons our theories knew were there out of those tight rocks.

    That doesn’t mean there are no abiogenic hydrocarbons. An theory of abiogenic source for hydrocarbons has to stand on its own. And it has to earn its keep. It would help if some hydrocarbons could be found on earth where a biological source was unlikely, much less impossible.

  101. Watcher says:

    Because we all know–at least those of us who listen mostly to the echo chamber as our primary source–that pat, simplistic illustrations are far better than science to educate us.

  102. policycritic says:

    Stephen Rasey says:
    August 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks for your reply. Have you ever heard this interview? It’s Dr. J.F. Kenney on NPR a few years ago. He makes the point that there are 4,000 Russian articles in the scientific literature and “hundreds of books and many, many monographs” about abiotic oil that haven’t been translated into English. In this NPR interview, Kenney discusses the abiotic mantle origin of petroleum, and makes the point that biological molecules cannot exist at temperatures higher than the critical temperature of salt water, which he says is reached at 3-5 km down depending on whether you’re in continental or marine environment. He said the Russian scientists found CaCO3 was of mantle origin from isotope tests on carbonitite formations in the mantle. And they were able to create oil i the lab with CaCO3, iron oxide, and triple-wet distilled water brought up to pressures of the mantle of the earth.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20111025151824/http://www.gasresources.net/Kenney-NPR.mp3

    The website with all Kenney’s scientific papers doesn’t seem to exist anymore; he may have died.
    But I found these:
    http://www.studien-von-zeitfragen.net/Zeitfragen/Petroleum/petroleum.html
    A list of Russian papers with English names is at the end.
    http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/Energy.html

    Thanks, Stephen

  103. @policycritic at 9:46 pm
    I think my Aug 10, at 11:03 pm establish my stance on the issue

    a. The vast majority of all hydrocarbons are most easily explained by biotic origins
    b. That unconventional hydrocarbon sources (shale oil, shale gas) prove at least these hydrocarbons cannot have be abiotically derived in the mantle.
    c. That even if biotic source hydrocarbons are proved, that cannot logically disprove an separate and parallel abiotic source to some hydrocarbons, especially methane, at trivial amounts.

    In this NPR interview, Kenney discusses the abiotic mantle origin of petroleum, and makes the point that biological molecules cannot exist at temperatures higher than the critical temperature of salt water, which he says is reached at 3-5 km down depending on whether you’re in continental or marine environment.

    BALDERDASH
    The critical point of water is at 374 deg C (705 deg F) and 217.7 atm (or about 3200 psi. High temperature gas wells are at 350-400 deg F and the exploration game is over at 425 deg F.

    Methane is an organic compound, that certainly is created by biologic processes. Wikipedia lists it autoignition temp 537 deg C. Which means that it can exist at least up to that temperature.

    Here is table of autoignition temperatures of many compounds,
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fuels-ignition-temperatures-d_171.html
    Many hydrocarbons have higher autoignition temps above 375 deg C.

    But what is the point of the statement on NPR? That organic molecules like propane couldn’t survive temperatures above 374 deg C and 3200 psi, so the only other possibility is that propane is created in the mantle at higher temperatures and pressures? That is internally inconsistent. Again, balderdash.

    You want to show me some methane seeping out a volcanic vent? Fine Show it. I’ll readily admit methane can come from the mantle. Equilibrium conditions require trace amounts of propane, too. It will be in trivial amounts. That finding cannot disprove biotic sources for almost all methane venting from a well or a body orifice. It is a logical fallacy.

    Commercial hydrocarbon fields derive from biologic organic matter. Whether you might possibly ALSO create some hydrocarbons at mantle conditions cannot invalidate what we know so well.

  104. A slight correction to Stephen Rasey 8/13 12:00 am
    b. That unconventional hydrocarbon sources (shale oil, shale gas) prove at least these hydrocarbons cannot have be abiotically derived in the mantle.

    Make that:
    b. That unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs (shale oil, shale gas) prove at least these hydrocarbons cannot have been abiotically derived in the mantle.

    These hydrocarbons are created in conventional source rocks. It is the same type of source rocks, sometimes the very same rocks, that create hydrocarbons that migrate into conventional, higher permiabile, reservoirs. What is unconventional is that we are horizontally drilling directly through the source rock kitchen. With hydraulic fracturing, we increase the effective surface area of the well bore, shortening the hydrocarbon migration path from miles to inches, and turn the source rock into a commercial reservoir.

    Conventional source rocks with immovable hydrocarbons turned into unconventional reservoirs by fracking. That is why it proves these hydrocarbons are not derived from the mantle.

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