Pro-AGW Economists Try to Discredit Skeptics, Succeed in Discrediting Fellow Warmists!

Guest essay by James McCown

Oxford economists Felix Pretis and David Hendry (henceforth Pretis), published a critical paper, with a very patronizing and sanctimonious tone, in 2013 in Earth System Dynamics to comment on earlier research by Beenstock, Reingewertz, and Paldor (2012), (henceforth Beenstock) in the same journal. Amazingly, they didn’t bother to note that their criticisms, if accurate, also invalidate the results of previous researchers who support the AGW theory. 

Beenstock’s research concerns the issue of whether or not there is a statistical relation between the radiative forcing of greenhouse gases (GHG), and atmospheric temperatures, using advanced statistical methods that were developed by economists. There have been a number of researchers who have previously used this methodology to discern a relation between the GHGs and temperature, including both climatologists and economists. The latter include James Stock at Harvard, one of the foremost experts at time series econometrics.

Beenstock’s paper was in response to earlier papers by pro-AGW researchers Stern and Kaufman (2000), Kaufman and Stern (2002), Kaufman, Kauppi and Stock (2006), and Liu and Rodriguez (2005), and several others, who claimed to have found an equilibrium relation between radiative forcing from GHGs and atmospheric temperatures. The main contribution of Beenstock was to show that there cannot be an equilibrium relation between temperatures that are integrated of order one, I(1), and GHGs integrated of order 2, I(2), unless they are polynomially cointegrated. And Beenstock show they are not polynomially cointegrated.

Beenstock’s conclusion (from their abstract) is:

…greenhouse gas forcing, aerosols, solar irradiance and global temperature are not polynomially cointegrated, and the perceived relationship between these variables is a spurious regression phenomenon.

Pretis criticize Beenstock’s use of spliced data for atmospheric CO2 and N2O, and criticize them for not stating that this data comes from a variety of different sources. However, they do not criticize the previously mentioned pro-AGW researchers who used the exact same data.

Pretis criticize Beenstock for finding the time series properties of the radiative forcing of the three human-emitted GHGs to be integrated of order 2, I(2), even though the pro-AGW researchers came to the same conclusion. And they don’t bother to mention that the pro-AGW researchers also found the GHGs to be I(2).

Pretis’ comment shows dismayingly flawed logic. To give an analogy to what they have done: Suppose that Kaufman claimed to have built a house, from the foundation to the roof. Beenstock claim that Kaufman could not have done so, by proving that they never shingled the roof. Pretis reply that Beenstock are in error, because Pretis prove that the foundation was never laid. Therefore Beenstock must be wrong and Kaufman is right! The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it sounds.

Pretis point out there is a structural break in the annual data for CO2 at 1957 (Hardly surprising since that is the point at which the data were spliced from the different sources), then they run Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF) unit root tests (Said and Dickey, 1984) on the first differences of the data for the two subperiods from 1850 – 1957 and 1958 – 2011 (See Table 1 of Pretis), and conclude that the CO2 radiative forcing series cannot be I(2). However, Pretis omitted tests of the levels of the series, which would enable the researcher to determine whether the GHGs are I(1), which could potentially be cointegrated with the I(1) temperature series, as the warmist researchers have claimed.

I tested the CO2 radiative forcing for the two subperiods in levels, first differences, and second differences. I used the ADF test, and also the test by Kwiatkowski, Phillips, Schmidt, and Shin (1992) (KPSS). For the latter 1958 – 2011 period, I conclude the series is I(1), as did Pretis. However, for the earlier 1850 – 1957 period, which uses CO2 data from ice core measurements by Etheridge et al (1996), I got the following results:

ADF with Trend & Constant ADF D-lag KPSS with Trend & Constant
Levels -3.496* 2 0.126
1st Difference -3.807* 0 0.078
2nd Difference -13.288** 0 0.039
* Rejects null hypothesis of a unit root at 95% confidence
** Rejects null hypothesis of a unit root at 99% confidence

The ADF D-lag is the number of lags included in the ADF test, selected using the Schwarz criterion.

The KPSS test has the null hypothesis of stationarity with a trend and constant, versus the alternate hypothesis of a unit root. The results fail to reject the null hypothesis of stationarity at 95% confidence or higher.

The results of both tests indicate that time series of the levels of CO2 radiative forcing from 1850 to 1957 is well-modeled by a trend stationary process with no unit root. That is, I(0). An ordinary least squares regression of the series on the year gives the following relation:

RFCO2  = -9.935203+0.005346 x YEAR

 

where RFCO2 is the radiative forcing from the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, converted to radiative forcing using the method of Myhre et al (1998). This regression has an adjusted R-square of 0.988 and the slope coefficient has a t-statistic of 41.34.

The CO2 radiative forcing series is very close to a straight line. Since it does not have a unit root, it cannot be cointegrated with the nonstationary temperature data for the period from 1850 to 1957. See the following graph of the series:

image

Kaufman and Stern (2002) give their economic justification for the nonstationary time series of global average temperatures:

…changes in radiative forcing might introduce a stochastic trend in temperature if the radiative forcing variables have a stochastic trend. This is likely because the concentrations of trace gases and sulfate aerosols are driven by anthropogenic emissions, which are determined by the stochastic trends that characterize many macroeconomic time series.

But as can be seen in the graph above, and the tests of stationarity of CO2 I have conducted for the 1850 – 1957 period, the GHG that is widely viewed by the warmists as the primary culprit has a trend-stationary process. This leads me to believe that if the CO2 concentration is accurately measured by Etheridge et al (1996), then it is more likely the result of a natural process than from industrial sources.

The editors of Earth System Dynamics did not allow Beenstock to publish a response to Pretis’s comment. Beenstock made an informal response here: http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/C118/2013/esdd-4-C118-2013-supplement.pdf.

The last two sentences of Beenstock’s response are telling:

The main difference between this [warmist] literature and our paper is that we do not think that greenhouse gas emissions have a long term effect on Earth’s climate. Perhaps this is why HP waited until 2013 to voice their criticisms rather than 1997 when this literature was pioneered by Stern and Kaufmann.

Pretis have opened up a can of worms through their comment, and have likely done more damage to the warmist cause than help.

Furthermore, as an economist who has done research on pre-World War II data, I am struck by something I don’t see in the above chart. If the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused by burning fossil fuels, which has increased significantly during the industrial era, then why don’t we see any decrease, or at least a deceleration, during the great depression of 1929 to 1933?

The great depression had severe effects on two of the largest industrial economies: the USA and Germany. Industrial production in the USA, from 1929 to 1932, dropped by 46%. Coal production in the USA dropped from 608 million short English tons in 1929 to 359 million in 1932. In Germany, industrial production dropped by 42% from 1929 to 1932. German coal production dropped from 163 million metric tons in 1929 to 104 million in 1932.

And yet, according to Etheridge et al (1996), the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased from 307.2 ppm in 1929 to 308.9 ppm in 1933. And the concentration kept increasing every year after that until 1942. There was no deceleration in the increases. Either the theory that burning fossil fuels adds to the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is flawed, or perhaps Etheridge’s estimates of the concentration of this GHG are inaccurate. I don’t know which is the case.

References

Beenstock, M., Y. Reingewertz, and N. Paldor (2012). Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming. Earth Syst. Dynam., 3, 173–188.

Etheridge, D. M., Steele, L. P., Langenfelds, L. P., and Francey, R. J.: 1996, ‘Natural and anthropogenic changes in atmosphericCO2 over the last 1000 years from air in Antarctic ice and firn’, J. Geophys. Res. 101, 4115–4128.

Liu, H. and G. Rodriguez (2006), Human activities and global warming: a cointegration analysis. Environmental Modelling & Software 20: 761 – 773.

Kaufmann, A., Kauppi, H., and Stock, J. H.: Emissions, concentrations and temperature: a time series analysis, Climatic Change, 77, 248–278, 2006.

Kaufmann, R. K. and Stern, D. I.: 2002, ‘Cointegration analysis of hemispheric temperature relations’, J. Geophys. Res. 107, D210.1029, 2000JD000174.

Kwiatkowski, D., Phillips, P. C. B., Schmidt, P., and Shin, Y.: Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root, J. Economet., 54, 159–178, 1992.

Myhre, G., Highwood, E. J., Shine, K. P., and Stordal, F.: New estimates of radiative forcing due to well mixed greenhouse gases, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 2715–2718, 1998.

Pretis, F. and D. F. Hendry (2013). Comment on “Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming” by Beenstock et al. (2012) – some hazards in econometric modelling of climate change. Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 375–384.

Said, S. and Dickey, D.: Testing for unit roots in autoregressive moving average model with unknown order, Biometrika, 71, 599–607, 1984.

Stern, D. I., and R. K. Kaufmann, Detecting a global warming signal in hemispheric temperature series: A structural time series analysis, Clim. Change, 47, 411 –438, 2000.

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James McCown an economist with Toltec Group, an economic consulting practice in Oklahoma and has  a PhD in economics from Ohio State. You can see some of his research here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=154208.

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92 Responses to Pro-AGW Economists Try to Discredit Skeptics, Succeed in Discrediting Fellow Warmists!

  1. Michael 2 says:

    I love a detailed report that treats me with the dignity of assuming I know what all those words mean. Now I shall have to learn some new words to understand this but in the meantime I “get” that the great depression ought to show up as a non-linearity of the CO2 graph. I also sense that CO2 doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for a thousand years by seeing that dip at 1940. That’s a pretty substantial dip at a time of intense industrial (war-making) activity.

  2. mpcraig says:

    “…then why don’t we see any decrease, or at least a deceleration (of CO2 levels), during the great depression of 1929 to 1933?”

    That’s the first time I’ve heard of that question being asked and I’m looking forward to any answers.

  3. richard says:

    AGW = All Gone Wrong!

  4. philjourdan says:

    It is amusing the contortions to perpetuate the alarmist agenda. They are basically stabbing each other in the back now. It will only get bloodier as the panic increases.

  5. Willis Eschenbach says:

    An outstanding analysis, my thanks. There is one missing equation that should appear between the following lines, viz:

    An ordinary least squares regression of the series on the year gives the following relation:

    where RFCO2 is the radiative forcing …

    I’ll need to re-read this, but very well done.

    w.

    REPLY: Yes that was a transfer error from MS-Word, fixing now. Thanks – Anthony

  6. ICU says:

    ”Also, their criticisms apply to the existing literature [...]”.

    “First, Beenstock et al. (2013) inappropriately reference the existing literature claiming a “standard result” that is not standard (see section 1.2). Second, our criticisms of working with this data would then naturally extend to other papers making the same strong assumptions as Beenstock et al. (2012) make. This particular point raised by Beenstock et al. (2013) re-enforces the fact that our critique is relevant to their work. Most of the papers cited here do not make this strong claim of all anthropogenic series being I(2) and do not over-rely on this assumed property.”

    http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/C233/2013/esdd-4-C233-2013-supplement.pdf

    “Also, their criticisms apply to the existing literature which we reviewed in our paper, including Kaufmann, Kauppi and Stock (2006, 2010). The main difference between this literature and our paper is that we do not think that greenhouse gas emissions have a long term effect on Earth’s climate. Perhaps this is why HP waited until 2013 to voice their criticisms rather than 1997 when this literature was pioneered by Stern and Kaufmann.”

    Or, perhaps, just perhaps, the calender year 1997 is 15 years BEFORE the 2012 POS Beenstock paper. And, perhaps, just perhaps, 2013 is one year AFTER the 2012 POS Beenstock paper.

  7. richardscourtney says:

    James McCown:

    Thankyou for your very fine analysis. It concludes saying

    And yet, according to Etheridge et al (1996), the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased from 307.2 ppm in 1929 to 308.9 ppm in 1933. And the concentration kept increasing every year after that until 1942. There was no deceleration in the increases. Either the theory that burning fossil fuels adds to the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is flawed, or perhaps Etheridge’s estimates of the concentration of this GHG are inaccurate. I don’t know which is the case.

    There is a third possibility which you have not mentioned and we investigated in one of our 2005 papers
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )

    The possibility you do not mention is that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium. Some processes of the carbon cycle have rate constants of years or decades and, therefore, the system takes decades to adjust to a new equilibrium.

    Using that assumption we demonstrated it is possible to model the atmospheric CO2 rise indicated by the Mauna Loa data as being caused by any one of several mechanisms with either a natural or an anthropogenic cause. Each of our models matched the data to within reported measurement error for each year.

    The assumption of anthropogenic CO2 overloading the carbon cycle induces the IPCC to use its Bern Model which requires unjustifiable 5-year smoothing to obtain agreement between that model’s output and the empirical data.

    Also, the dynamics of the seasonal variation indicate that the carbon cycle can sequester all of the emitted CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic) of a year but it does not. This apparent paradox is explicable by the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium.

    If the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium is correct, then the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is a result of whatever has caused the equilibrium to change. The most likely cause is the rise in global temperature which is observed as recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA), but other causes are possible and the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is one of them.

    Hence, it is possible (although unlikely) that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 while it is also possible that Etheridge’s estimates are correct.

    Richard

  8. Latitude says:

    Either the theory that burning fossil fuels adds to the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is flawed, or perhaps Etheridge’s estimates of the concentration of this GHG are inaccurate. I don’t know which is the case.
    =====
    Yep….and I think the same every time I look at this

    http://drtimball.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Callendar-circle.gif

  9. Doug Proctor says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve

    Have a look at the details of the Keeling CO2 curve. There is a very odd SINGLE cycle to the rise and fall during the year. The peak is in late April, and the lowest level, in end September, beginning October. The annual rise is the difference between the rise and fall, of course, and attributed to power-plant, fossil fuel use. The cycle is attributed to “natural causes”. Yet what processes start net CO2 production in September and end net production in May? And why only one?

    Planet Earth has a two-hemisphere biotic environment of plant growth and decay. The two hemispheres are opposite in time, though. As the Northern Hemisphere comes out of winter in March through June, the south is going into winter. There is a non-equal distribution of land, sea and rock to the two hemispheres, but one would expect a double peak and valley, not just the slight change in ONLY the rise (February).

    What I see here is a regional dominance of the planetary C02 cycle. Does plant matter really rot DURING THE WINTER of the Northern Hemisphere. Or are we seeing degassing of the oceans based on both temperature and phytoplancton activity? And if it is the ocean, then are we witnessing the dominance of a particular patch of ocean that degasses from late September until May, and then absorbs CO2 from Jay until late September?

    If we can’t pin down where this “natural” CO2 is coming from to give us this nice cyclicity, then how can we know that “most” of the rise is man-made, and now a function of natural (oceanic) processes at this time?

  10. David L. Hagen says:

    James
    Succinctly stated.
    Suggest explaining polycointegration of Ln(CO2) vs of CO2
    where CO2 = Anthropogenic(t) + Natural(t) + Preindustrial

  11. RACookPE1978 says:

    The great depression had severe effects on two of the largest industrial economies: the USA and Germany. Industrial production in the USA, from 1929 to 1932, dropped by 46%. Coal production in the USA dropped from 608 million short English tons in 1929 to 359 million in 1932. In Germany, industrial production dropped by 42% from 1929 to 1932. German coal production dropped from 163 million metric tons in 1929 to 104 million in 1932.

    And yet, according to Etheridge et al (1996), the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased from 307.2 ppm in 1929 to 308.9 ppm in 1933. And the concentration kept increasing every year after that until 1942. There was no deceleration in the increases. Either the theory that burning fossil fuels adds to the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is flawed, or perhaps Etheridge’s estimates of the concentration of this GHG are inaccurate.

    I find it suspicious that the plot above stops at 1960 .. right AFTER the 1945-1975 COOLING trend of land-based temperature anomalies was changing. Thus, he is plotting the rise in temperatures 1915 – 1945, the “static” temperatures 1940-1950, and the slight cooling 1945-1960. But ignoring the continued decrease 1960-1975, the “significant-> catastrophic” warming 0f 1975 – 1998, and the static temperatures 1996 – 2014. Those time-frames will show some significant trend differences in supposed warming “forcings” that will be instructive.

    Also, but very difficult to extract from the yearly NH-SH heating/cooling trends, the significant change in “forcings” due to the monthly CO2 changes should be visible as well: If a change in CO2 from 1945 to 2014 is “significant” then the change in temperatures compared should also be visible when compared between years.

  12. John Slayton says:

    Doug Proctor: Yet what processes start net CO2 production in September and end net production in May?
    No natural processes come to mind, but there is the matter of all those Northern Hemisphere residents who respond to cold weather by firing up their furnaces, or otherwise burning stuff to keep warm.

  13. James McCown says:

    Hi David L. Hagen:

    All of the researchers mentioned use the methodology of Myhre et al (1998) to convert the GHG concentrations to radiative forcing. And they are logarithmic functions. But actually it shouldn’t make any difference for cointegration tests, so long as the function is a monotonic transformation.

    In a phone conversation Hu McCulloch raised questions about Myrhe’s conversion functions. He said they should be something more like Rf(x) = 1 – e^(-x), since the radiative forcing will cease when the GHG is absorbing 100% of the radiation in some band of the infrared spectrum. If we used that for the conversion, and then did unit root and cointegration tests, they would likely yield different results.

  14. MarkW says:

    Doug Proctor says:
    June 24, 2014 at 11:15 am
    —-
    Plant matter does indeed continue to rot during northern hemisphere fall and winter.
    Even in the coldest days of winter, most of the southern tier of states in the US are still above freezing, sometimes well above. This should be true for Europe and Asia as well, though I don’t know by personal experience. Even as you get up towards the Canadian border, the land isn’t frozen all of the time. In fall there are a number of weeks after plants go dormant but before the first frost.. Similar in spring, snows have melted weeks before the first buds appear.

  15. James McCown says:

    Richardscourtney:

    Thanks, I shall read your paper.

  16. bobbyv says:

    Why don’t we see comensurate acceleration of levels now?

  17. Ian W says:

    John Slayton says:
    June 24, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Doug Proctor: Yet what processes start net CO2 production in September and end net production in May?
    No natural processes come to mind, but there is the matter of all those Northern Hemisphere residents who respond to cold weather by firing up their furnaces, or otherwise burning stuff to keep warm.

    And there is the small matter of all those Northern Hemisphere residents who respond to warm weather by firing up their air conditioners to keep cool. In the South the most expensive season of the year for electricity is summer.

  18. Ron Voisin says:

    Yet what processes start net CO2 production in September and end net production in May?

    A much better way to ask the same question is: What CO2 sequestering process slows beginning in September and doesn’t recover till May?

    And the answer would be photosynthetic sequestering of vegetation in the NH.

  19. JJM Gommers says:

    Ron Voisin”;
    The CO2 sequestering in that period for the SH slows because temperature starts to rise and the SH is mainly ocean. This might be an explanation.

  20. cnxtim says:

    Learned lunatics all, or should that be solatics? Get a life gentlemen, your education and skills not to mention the benefactors purse are be wasted.

  21. TrueNorthist says:

    I credit the denizens of this site (and at CA) that I now have a fairly decent working understanding of statistics and can comprehend the important parts of Mr McCown’s essay — even some of the more esoteric stuff! If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would one day be able to even loosely understand a conversation between statisticians, I would have laughed out loud.
    An edifying read, thanks.

  22. Christopher Hanley says:

    The global carbon emission estimates according to the U.S. Department of Energy show a vast increase post WW2:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/graphics/global.total.jpg

  23. Matthew R Marler says:

    ICU: http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/C233/2013/esdd-4-C233-2013-supplement.pdf

    thank you for the link. That should definitely be read by anyone interested in McCown’s essay.

    The Beenstock et al paper is worth reading for anyone interested in these attempts to use advanced vector autoregressive models in causal analyses of what are probably nonstionary data (in any differences — differencing adds problems along with solving problems.) ESDD seems to have put up a vigorous and informed debate over the Beenstock paper and the criticism of it. That looks like something that we should encourage.

  24. Robert of Texas says:

    That 1940 drop really, really bugs me. How can CO2 drop in the middle of the European and Asian (Japan/China) wars? Wouldn’t there be LOTS of burning stuff, and LOTS of fuel and coal being used?

    So I went looking for something in 1940…Hmm, weird:

    “Sunspot cycle…There is another well-known, super-imposed variation of annual sunspot numbers, of about 85 years. This irregular variation affects the length of the sunspot cycle, ranging from 9.8 to 12.0 years. Maxima of sunspot-cycle length occurred [SIC] in 1770, 1845 and 1940.”
    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap02/sunspots.html

    Sure enough there appears to be a dip around 1845 as well – hard to tell from the graphs I can find but there is at least a deceleration around that year. I can’t find any good information about 1770 – maybe just a coincidence since this seems rather obvious and SOMEONE would have looked at it.

    But then WHY would CO2 levels go down in 1940? Measurement error? Different methods? How the heck could it go down if it isn’t ocean temperature?

  25. Randy says:

    you know we actually have direct co2 measurements pre 1957. These are ignored in favor of icecore data. They seem to imply co2 followed the temps up in the early warming of that century, and then back down to where it was in 57, to rise from there. I could never find satisfactory answers as to why all this was ignored. Wouldnt it be hilarious if temps dropped in future decades and pulled co2 levels down as well?? lol, after all this “undeniable” nonsense we hear.

  26. James McCown says:

    Randy:

    Can you please give me a link to the direct CO2 measurements pre-1957? Thanks.

  27. Randy says:

    @ james… http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/ This link is to prof. becks site. He has a few published papers on the topic. If you dig though, you can find the raw data he used to come up with his charts.

  28. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Doug Proctor says:
    June 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve

    Have a look at the details of the Keeling CO2 curve. There is a very odd SINGLE cycle to the rise and fall during the year. The peak is in late April, and the lowest level, in end September, beginning October. The annual rise is the difference between the rise and fall, of course, and attributed to power-plant, fossil fuel use. The cycle is attributed to “natural causes”. Yet what processes start net CO2 production in September and end net production in May? And why only one?

    Good question, Doug. You are looking at the net respiration of our green friends in the northern hemisphere. Starting the spring we get growth, growth, growth, with a corresponding decrease in CO2 starting in April, as the CO2 is converted to leaves and stems and such.

    By the fall, however, growth slows or stops, and we get the rotting and decomposition of the results of the growth cycle. This, of course, frees up the CO2 that was bound up in the earlier growth, and so the CO2 levels rise until April, when the season starts over again.

    You also ask, is that the only cycle? By no means. It’s just the biggest one. The carbon cycle has lots of pathways.

    Regards,

    w.

  29. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Randy says:
    June 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    you know we actually have direct co2 measurements pre 1957. These are ignored in favor of icecore data. They seem to imply co2 followed the temps up in the early warming of that century, and then back down to where it was in 57, to rise from there. I could never find satisfactory answers as to why all this was ignored.

    Randy, those measurements are not “ignored”. The problem is that they are LOCAL measurements, made in areas where there are significant local CO2 sources (industry, plants, roads, cities, etc.)

    As a result, they are not useful for estimates of the “background levels” of CO2, meaning the levels at a large distance from the CO2 sources.

    Georg Beck, who made many of the measurements you refer to, actually stated this in a post which I’d written about CO2 levels. He commented to say that his measurements were not suitable as estimates of the background levels, for the reason I list above. I was much impressed.

    w.

  30. Randy says:

    We came to different understandings regarding becks work willis. He seems to think the measurements were from others. http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/persons.htm He also seems to clearly make the case he expects co2 to follow temps, not lead them. http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/statements.htm He clearly does not think the ice core data truly represents historical co2 levels. Guy callendar seems to have been the guy who set the modern stance on these earlier measurements.

  31. P@ Dolan says:

    @ Doug Proctor says:
    June 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

    All good questions. But why does the cause have to be biotic, and why confined to either hemisphere? The Earth reaches perihelion in December. The peak could be a process, the results of which have a lag from the event, and the source of the CO2 rise could be sub-oceanic basalt volcanoes reacting to the increase in the sun’s gravitational effect due to the reduced distance between the Earth and the Sun. Other apparently chaotic effects in the cycle could be modulation of the signal by the gravitational effects of the other planets as their configuration constantly changes due to their motions in the solar plane.

    I’ve no evidence at all to point to at the moment; this is just a notion at the moment, sparked by one of Willis’ posts the other day that I’m still mulling over.

    But it’s no secret that not much is known, certainly not enough, about the output or behavior of sub-oceanic volcanoes, it is well established that gravitation varies as the square of the distance, and as we can plainly see from tidal effects, and the very motions of the planets, the most powerful force at work in the solar system is not the sun’s radiation, but it’s gravity.

    It’s simply not as obvious…

    Again, just thinking out loud, and haven’t thought any of it through yet.

  32. P@ Dolan says:

    Sorry: and the most obvious artifact of the power of gravity is the thermodynamic processes of the sun which result in the radiation in the first place. And as long as there is fuel for that process, it will achieve equilibrium with gravity. But once the fuel starts to run out, gravity will win.

  33. Ron Voisin says:

    …certainly not enough, about the output or behavior of sub-oceanic volcanoes.

    Here, here!

  34. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,

    I follow you with great respect…but this is BS:
    Randy, those measurements are not “ignored”. The problem is that they are LOCAL measurements, made in areas where there are significant local CO2 sources (industry, plants, roads, cities, etc.)

    Most all relied-upon CO2 measuring sites are local under your same definition. The excuse for this is given as: homogenization of Co2 is very rapid – and indeed, it is.

    Those prior measurements were accurate to 3% and more reliable for accuracy than what we rely upon today as regards data older than infrared absorption.

    It’s the temporal sampling limitations and inter-layer diffusion of CO2 that enormously bias the ice-core records.

  35. Michael Ejercito says:

    The big issue is that climate is influenced by the equivalent of a black box- various factors beyond our control whose effect on climate can not be predicted. By extremely sharp, contrast, the effect of changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on global temperatures is easily predicted by a simple equation.

    If we could somehow isolate the black box, and make carbon dioxide concentration the sole determinant of temperature, then an increase of concentration from 300 to 400 would yield an increase of 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit- no more, no less. But in the real world, we can not isolate the black box and thus can not predict climate change.

  36. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    June 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Willis,

    I follow you with great respect…but this is BS:

    Randy, those measurements are not “ignored”. The problem is that they are LOCAL measurements, made in areas where there are significant local CO2 sources (industry, plants, roads, cities, etc.)

    Most all relied-upon CO2 measuring sites are local under your same definition. The excuse for this is given as: homogenization of Co2 is very rapid – and indeed, it is.

    Thanks for the reply, Ron. When you agree with me I get “great respect”, but when you don’t I’m spouting “BS” … funny how many people look at the world that way. Next time it happens, you might at least consider the possibility that you’re wrong.

    For example, you’re wrong when you claim the “relied-upon CO2 measuring sites are local “, unless you consider e.g. the South Pole as being “local”. The main CO2 measuring sites are Barrow, Alaska; Mauna Loa, Hawaii; Samoa (another Pacific island), and the South Pole. All of these were carefully chosen because they are not local, they are remote from centers of industry, and so measurements of the background CO2 levels can be obtained there by using appropriate precautions.

    Those prior measurements were accurate to 3% and more reliable for accuracy than what we rely upon today as regards data older than infrared absorption.

    The problem is not the accuracy, it’s the contamination of the record from local sources. Look, as I said above, Ernst-Georg Beck amassed many of the measurements you are referring to, and he himself said they were not a measure of background CO2 because of local contamination. Is there some part of that you didn’t get? I’m not making this up, and it’s not “BS” in any sense. It’s the claim of the man who amassed the data. Here it is:

    Ernst Beck says:
    June 5, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Dear Willis,

    I agree, the near ground [CO2] data listed in my first paper do not reflect background data. …

    So if you have a complaint about Beck’s CO2 data being “ignored”, you should go tell him that he’s wrong.

    It’s the temporal sampling limitations and inter-layer diffusion of CO2 that enormously bias the ice-core records.

    Ice-core records have problems, but I wouldn’t say that they are “enormously biased”. Where the Ice core records overlap with the instrumental observations, the correspondence is good.

    You might enjoy taking a look at a couple of my posts discussing Beck’s CO2 measurements, among other CO2 questions.

    Under the Volcano, Over the Volcano

    Some people claim, that there’s a human to blame …

    Regards, and please … lay off the accusations of “BS”, and at least consider the possibility you might be wrong …

    Here’s how it stands. I’ve been at this game a while, I don’t make things up, I’m skeptical as hell, I do my utmost to call them as I see them, and I have a good nose for bad numbers. Yes, I might be wrong, I have been more than thrice … but it is likely a mistake to declare BS on my claims unless you have researched the subject very, very well. I go to great lengths not to be wrong, and I’m usually successful. Not always, no one is … but I’d advise you not to bet against me unless you’re triple-sure of your facts.

    Anyhow, read the linked posts, and the comments, you should find them interesting.

    All the best to you,

    w.

  37. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Randy says:
    June 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    We came to different understandings regarding becks work willis. He seems to think the measurements were from others. http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/persons.htm

    Well spotted, Randy. Re-reading, I see that you are right, I had erroneously said that he TOOK the measurements, whereas in fact it’s obvious that he COLLECTED the measurements … be hard for him to have taken a CO2 measurement in 1900, for example, and some of his measurements are from well before then.

    He also seems to clearly make the case he expects co2 to follow temps, not lead them. http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/statements.htm

    As well he should, since CO2 does follow the temps in the long term. In the short term, however, it moves in opposition to temperatures because increasing temperatures lead to plant growth which depresses CO2 levels … go figure.

    He clearly does not think the ice core data truly represents historical co2 levels.

    Mmmm … all data contains both errors and biases, and is only sampled at discrete times, so I’m not sure what you mean by “truly represents”.

    Guy Callendar seems to have been the guy who set the modern stance on these earlier measurements.

    CIte? Thanks.

    Regards,

    w.

  38. richardscourtney says:

    Willis Eschenbach:

    At June 25, 2014 at 12:15 am you say

    … CO2 does follow the temps in the long term. In the short term, however, it moves in opposition to temperatures because increasing temperatures lead to plant growth which depresses CO2 levels … go figure.

    Sorry, but that is not true.

    Changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature at all time scales.

    At the shortest time scales the lag is by between five and eight months depending on latitude. The first determination was by Cynthia Kuo, Craig Lindberg & David J. Thomson which they published in Nature magazine on 22 February 1990 (Nature v.343, pp.709 – 714). Their paper was titled Coherence established between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature and its Abstract says

    The hypothesis that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is related to observable changes in the climate is tested using modern methods of time-series analysis. The results confirm that average global temperature is increasing, and that temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide are significantly correlated over the past thirty years. Changes in carbon dioxide content lag those in temperature by five months.

    This does not mean that CO2 has no affect on temperature, but it shows the effect of temperature on CO2 is discernible at all time scales.

    Richard

  39. DirkH says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 25, 2014 at 12:03 am
    “So if you have a complaint about Beck’s CO2 data being “ignored”, you should go tell him that he’s wrong.”

    Unfortunately, Mr. Beck is no longer amongst us.

  40. Duster says:

    richardscourtney says:
    June 24, 2014 at 10:26 am

    If the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium is correct, then the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is a result of whatever has caused the equilibrium to change. The most likely cause is the rise in global temperature which is observed as recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA), but other causes are possible and the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is one of them.

    Hence, it is possible (although unlikely) that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 while it is also possible that Etheridge’s estimates are correct.

    The problem lies in the word “equilibrium.” There is no geological evidence at any time scale of a planetary equilibrium state in either atmospheric CO2 or planetary mean temperature, nor is there any historical (last two millennia) evidence of such an equilibrium. One seriously important issue that I have not seen addressed is that CO2 in all available geological field derived data lags d-O18, suggesting that the most probable driver for changes in atmospheric CO2 is ocean temperature. The scale of the lag, minimally several centuries, indicates a great inertia marine temperature changes great enough to affect atmospheric CO2. Empirically, it is reasonable to hypothesize that human CO2 sources might affect isotope mix without seriously affecting the efficiency of the planetary carbon sinks. The simplest explanation based solely on empirical evidence without modeling is that recent increases in modern CO2 levels is that we are seeing the rebound associated with Medieval Warm Period.

  41. richardscourtney says:

    Duster:

    At June 25, 2014 at 1:20 am you say to me

    The problem lies in the word “equilibrium.” There is no geological evidence at any time scale of a planetary equilibrium state in either atmospheric CO2 or planetary mean temperature, nor is there any historical (last two millennia) evidence of such an equilibrium.

    Yes, but I see no “problem” because I never said there was.

    I said the carbon cycle system adjusts towards an equilibrium state (i.e. the state of minimum energy) and, of course, that can only be true. But it does not mean the system ever achieves equilibrium. As I said, and you quote me having said

    If the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium is correct, then the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is a result of whatever has caused the equilibrium to change. The most likely cause is the rise in global temperature which is observed as recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA), but other causes are possible and the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is one of them.

    So, I am saying that the observed continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration demonstrates that equilibrium has not been achieved and “the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium”.

    And I fail to understand your saying

    The simplest explanation based solely on empirical evidence without modeling is that recent increases in modern CO2 levels is that we are seeing the rebound associated with Medieval Warm Period.

    I stand by my statements that said

    The most likely cause is the rise in global temperature which is observed as recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA), but other causes are possible and the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is one of them.

    Richard

  42. Tim Hammond says:

    This illustrates a problem with Economics as much as with Climate science – an over-reliance on increasingly “sophisticated” statistical methods.

    Meanwhile, what use have economists been in predicting what will happen in the real world?

    Pretty much zero. If your statistics can’t predict the future they are wrong..

  43. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar says:

    Thanks John Slayton for saying:

    “No natural processes come to mind, but there is the matter of all those Northern Hemisphere residents who respond to cold weather by firing up their furnaces, or otherwise burning stuff to keep warm.”

    Let’s kill that one dead: The change from Fall to Spring is about 5 ppm, not so? That is FAR greater than any human emissions variation could accomplish. It takes years to change it by 1 ppm.

    When water droplets form in the atmosphere, they absorb CO2 within a few seconds. When the freeze or evaporate, they release it. Snow and ice forms in the NH from October to April. It kicks out the CO2. Then there is warming in the Southern Ocean which may emit CO2 then absorb it again later.

    The CO2 mass change in 6 months is massive. Airborne water droplets (like clouds) transport CO2 from place to place. Does it leave the south to be released in the north when it is cold? Doesn’t seem likely. Case open.

    I have seen several ideas floated about how ‘mankind’ creates the annual fluctuation, none of which hold water. We are CO2 Lilliputs.

  44. James McCown says:

    Duster said

    The simplest explanation based solely on empirical evidence without modeling is that recent increases in modern CO2 levels is that we are seeing the rebound associated with Medieval Warm Period.

    I have heard this before. It makes me wonder what the time lag is between the warming of the oceans and the release of CO2. Obviously, some glob of water can’t release its CO2 if its one mile below the surface. So, the oceans have to turn over before the amount of dissolved CO2 can equilibrate. And how long does that take?

    I’m just speculating here, but it seems to me would be more of a gradual process, just like warming of the oceans from the atmosphere would be a gradual process.

  45. Jimbo says:

    Economics is known as the inexact science for good reason dontcha know.

    BBC – 19 April 2013
    The student who caught out the profs
    This week, economists have been astonished to find that a famous academic paper often used to make the case for austerity cuts contains major errors. Another surprise is that the mistakes, by two eminent Harvard professors, were spotted by a student.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22223190

    BBC – 10 January 2014
    “Only days before the 1929 stock market crash, one of the best known economists of the time, Professor Irving Fisher of Yale University, announced that “stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau”. Even after the crash occurred, Fisher insisted it was only a market correction that would soon be over. Losing most of his own fortune, the distinguished economist was as deluded as nearly everyone else. In case you’re wondering who anticipated the crash, two who did were the mobster Al Capone, who described the stock market in the boom years as a racket, and Charlie Chaplin, who unsuccessfully pleaded with his friend, the songwriter Irving Berlin, to sell out the day before the market collapsed.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25680144

  46. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,
    I will be more diplomatic going forward…sorry. You might consider a thicker skin.
    I might be wrong.
    Have you evaluated Murry Salby’s work? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ROw_cDKwc0&feature=player_embedded

  47. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    June 25, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Willis,
    I will be more diplomatic going forward…sorry. You might consider a thicker skin.
    I might be wrong.
    Have you evaluated Murry Salby’s work? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ROw_cDKwc0&feature=player_embedded

    Thanks, Ron. Unfortunately, writing for WUWT has abraded off most layers of my epidermis … and in any case, telling someone that their claim is “BS” when your level of knowledge is not up to the task is a mistake regardless of the thickness of my hide.

    Regarding Salby, do you have something written by him? I don’t waste my time on videos for a couple reasons.

    One is that movies, tv, and video are all passive media, and I don’t like looking at science with my brain turned off. I get sucked in by the graphics and the action and my critical thinking goes out the window.

    Another is that they are generally neither detailed, concise, nor cited and referenced. Next, they are usually more in the nature of advertisements, trying to change our minds, rather than science. Finally, they are slooooooow … I get bored.

    So I just give them a pass unless I’m told that they are truly extraordinary.

    w.

  48. basicstats says:

    The fact this paper was Hendry and Pretis, not the other way round, makes its awfulness even stranger. Particularly, the notorious figure 4, plotting temperature against CO2 forcing in a textbook case of ‘spurious’ correlation between time series where at least one is an integrated series. Prof Hendry was one of the pioneers in the 1970s in the development of detailed theory for these sorts of issues. He has authored textbooks on the subject. It’s like an experienced driving instructor blithely going through red traffic lights!

    A case of AGW ‘red mist’ and an urge ‘to do something’?

  49. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,

    Murry Salby has the entire weight and strength of AGW working to stop the publishing of his paper.

    I strongly suspect that you will find his presentation compelling and extraordinary.

    The link starts with an introduction in German. The presentation is in English.

  50. talldave2 says:

    This is a great piece, glad you are uncovering this kind of “selective enforcement” as I think it is one of the larger problems in climate science. (And now work, really this time.)

  51. Randy says:

    @ willis… I still have to disagree in part. Beck lays out what you siad directly on his site, while continuing to make the case these older records discredit the modern stance on bridging pre 57 data to modern data. I got the impression guy callendar (and keeling) was key in this based on becks site, which he covers in detail. I mean its pretty obvious he makes this case when hes got a section like this… “the falsified history of co2″ http://www.biokurs.de/eike/daten/berlin30507/berlin1e.htm
    or this published paper…(I believe its published anyway) http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/literature/evidence-var-corrRSCb.pdf
    “1. Introduction
    A recent review of historical literature of gas analysis of air near ground has provided a different view of the evolution of concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. In contrast to the published literature, the review indicates that atmospheric CO2 (chemically measured since 1812) has not monotonically risen since preindustrial times but has fluctuated. The fluctuations show maxima in the order of 350 to 400 ppm that peak around 1825, 1857 and 1942 [Beck 2007]. Discussion of this variability raised the question of causes of such decadal carbon dioxide enrichment. This study gives a closer look at the data, the locations and the methods, and it considers possible causes for the observed atmospheric CO 2 variation in the northern hemisphere especially for the period 1920 to 1950. “

  52. Randy says:

    oh and if anyone cares, beck links the actual raw data right on the site, I linked several times.

  53. rishrac says:

    To Doug Proctor… ratio of isotopes … that’s how you can tell which co2 came from where and how much.

  54. Rational Db8 says:

    @Randy & @Willis;

    Stomata records also contradict the ice core records of CO2 levels pretty drastically, and seem to be more in line with Beck’s collections of historically measured data, iirc. I haven’t looked at these links in awhile, but had them noted:

    CO2: Ice Cores vs. Plant Stomata

    The CO2 Record in Plant Fossils

    And then there are the ice core CO2 issues written about by Prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski, which I always found intriguing and worth consideration:
    Climate Change: Incorrect information on pre-industrial CO2 Statement written for the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation March 2004

    I’ve also read recently that the raw ice core data supposedly includes notably higher CO2 measurements than generally shown, but those are thrown out as outliers – I have no idea how correct, or wrong, that claim is (but would be interested if anyone knows for sure, or has links to such info handy).

  55. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    June 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Willis,

    Murry Salby has the entire weight and strength of AGW working to stop the publishing of his paper.

    I strongly suspect that you will find his presentation compelling and extraordinary.

    The link starts with an introduction in German. The presentation is in English.

    Thanks, Ron, but I’ll wait for the book … truly, is the video the only thing of his that you recommend? Has he no paper, no précis of his ideas?

    Thanks for any recommendations,

    w.

  56. Rational Db8 says:

    Dear Mr. McCown,

    Thank you for the intriguing article, although I admit much of it is greek to me and I need to bone up a bit to understand it better. It’s certainly spawned a great set of interesting debate in the comment section that I’ve enjoyed reading also (thanks to everyone who commented). I was particularly stricken, however, with your comment “why don’t we see any decrease, or at least a deceleration, during the great depression of 1929 to 1933?” because I don’t think I recall ever seeing that mentioned before either. I can’t help but also wonder why there is no notable increasing during WWII years of 1939-45 when industrial production was massively increased for the war effort, along with a tremendous amount of transportation and fuel burning in the conduct of the war itself…

    I admit that I have tended to ignore pre-1945 or ’50 CO2 data for the most part (with the exception of the question of just how accurate the oft quoted 280 ppm really is or isn’t), because man’s emissions really didn’t take off until around 1950 or so. But your point is really intriguing, and adds a notable question to the issue of the origin of the recent increases in CO2 levels – just how much is from our emissions versus natural sources?

    I have wondered for years now if much of the CO2 increase we’ve seen isn’t from the Medieval Warm Period – after all, considering the average lag seen in the historical record is something on the order of 1200 +/- 400 years, we would be right on schedule for that. Of course, many would automatically launch into the isotopic ratio issue which supposedly “proves” that much of the increase is from fossil fuel burning – and yet I’ve seen some papers which throw even that into serious question. Then we’d also have to wonder how the lag period would work for the MWP, when we had the intervening LIA, and yet I would bet that other historic lag periods also had at least a few intervening cold periods…

    So thanks again for the interesting article!

  57. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Rational Db8 says:
    June 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    @Randy & @Willis;

    Stomata records also contradict the ice core records of CO2 levels pretty drastically, and seem to be more in line with Beck’s collections of historically measured data, iirc.

    Thanks, Rational. Unfortunately, these stomata are in what is perhaps the worst place for CO2 measurements, right in the middle of the greenery. Remember that trees and plants breathe in CO2 during the day, and they exhale it at night. As a result, measurements of CO2 taken from within the foliage of a plant can have a very high value. In any case, whatever it is that stomata are measuring, clearly it’s not the CO2 background measurements.

    And because of this, it is not surprising that they tend to agree more with Beck …

    I graphed Beck’s results, hang on …

    I’m sure that you can see the problem with Beck’s list of measurements … they are measurements of the local CO2 levels, which vary all over the world, rather than measurements of the background levels. Not only that, but look at the brown colored data … it varies widely over only a few years. Clearly that has nothing to do with the background CO2 levels, and because of their large variations they are of little use in estimating what those background CO2 levels might be.

    w.

  58. Rational Db8 says:

    re post by: rishrac says: June 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    To Doug Proctor… ratio of isotopes … that’s how you can tell which co2 came from where and how much.

    Are you sure of that? Is it really that well established?

    Doubting Oxygen [and Carbon] Isotopes (this is the one link I have handy on possible problems with the isotopic ‘conclusion.’)

  59. Rational Db8 says:

    @Willis

    They’re not measuring CO2 in the plant leaf. The number of stomata vary based on average ambient CO2 levels – they are counting the stomata in the leaves, which can be done quite accurately even in fossilized leaves. This can be calibrated well against modern living foliage, unlike ice core data (we haven’t GOT any background levels from the time periods were the ice is not only already firned, but has been there for x years with more and more compression from above, etc.).

    I suggest you take a read of the links I provided and associated references/citations – you might be surprised.

  60. Rational Db8 says:

    @Willis

    Another thing you have to recall when looking at grab samples (e.g., direct chem. measurements of CO2 such as Beck collected) and the stomata data is that both are very high resolution (the direct measurements even more so than the plant stomata which are modified more slowly) versus the ice core data which is very very low resolution.

  61. philjourdan says:

    They can predict the future, based upon certain inputs. However, Economists do not control those inputs (in the final analysis, no one person does – hence the social part of the science).

    We can model what will happen based upon inputs of X, Y and Z. But we do not control those inputs, and they are not based upon any natural or scientific laws, but on the whims (and insanity?) of people. Try predicting which person you are going to see drive by on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 10am.

    That is what you are demanding of economists. They can tell you what will happen based upon a set of actions. But neither you nor they control the actions.

  62. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,

    I strongly suspect that you will find his presentation compelling and extraordinary. Very possibly the single most important piece of climate science ever.

  63. DD More says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: June 25, 2014 at 12:03 am
    The problem is not the accuracy, it’s the contamination of the record from local sources. Look, as I said above, Ernst-Georg Beck amassed many of the measurements you are referring to, and he himself said they were not a measure of background CO2 because of local contamination. Is there some part of that you didn’t get? I’m not making this up, and it’s not “BS” in any sense. It’s the claim of the man who amassed the data. Here it is:

    Ernst Beck says:
    June 5, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Dear Willis,

    I agree, the near ground [CO2] data listed in my first paper do not reflect background data. …

    So if you have a complaint about Beck’s CO2 data being “ignored”, you should go tell him that he’s wrong.

    DD asks – Why didn’t you include the rest of his comment?

    I agree, the near ground data listed in my first paper do not reflect background data. Meanwhile I have found additional data which reflect CO2 background at that times. ( e.g. 1890 measured on islands at Baltic Sea or 1935 measured as a vertical profile over Helsinki)
    Near ground concentrations are connected to the CO2 background (or MBL) over the vertical profiles. (please see our latest paper on http://www.realCO2.de: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/CO2_versus_windspeed-review-1-FM.pdf). We can calculate annual background averages from near ground data.
    You will find a graph of historical CO2 background based on that methods and updated historical station list on http://www.realCO2.de (http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/stations.htm.)
    I have also prepared a new paper on the reconstruction of the CO2 background which is in peer review.

    best regards
    Ernst Beck

    His was not wrong, he just had his data and comments cut for some reason. What was yours?

    Willis Eschenbach says: June 25, 2014 at 12:15 am
    Guy Callendar seems to have been the guy who set the modern stance on these earlier measurements.

    CIte? Thanks.

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

    Under the summary section at end.

    In total over 90 000 measurements within nearly every year since 180 year gave the following results:
    1. There is no constant exponential rising CO2-concentration since preindustrial times but a variing CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.
    2. Historical air analysis by chemical means do not prove a preindustrial CO2- concentration of 285 ppm (IPCC),as modern climatology postulates. In contrast the average in the 19th century in northern hemisphere is 321 ppm and in the 20th century 338 ppm.
    3. Todays CO2 value of. 380 ppm, which is considered as threatening has been known
    several times in the last 200 years, in the 20 th century around 1942 and before 1870 in
    the 19th century. The maximum CO2-concentration in the 20th century roses to over 420
    pmm in 1942.
    4. Accurate measurements of CO2 air gas contents had been done from 1857 by chemical
    methods with a systematical error of maximal 3%. These results were ignored reconstructing the CO2 concentration of air in modern warm period.
    5. Callendar and Keeling were the most important founders of the modern greenhouse theory (IPCC) beside Arrhenius. Literature research confirmed that they ignored a big part of available technical papars and selected only a few values to get a validation of their hypothesis of fuel burning induced rise of CO2 in air. Furthermore these authors discussed and reproduced the few selected historic results by chemical methods in a faulty way and propagated an unfounded view of the quality of these methods, without having dealt with its chemical basis.
    6. To reconstruct the modern CO2 concentration of air icecores from Antarctica had been
    used. The presented reconstructions are obviously not accurate enough to show the
    several variations of carbon dioxide in northern hemisphere.

  64. bobuk says:

    Swedish scientist replicates Dr. Murry Salby’s work, finding man-made CO2 does not drive climate change

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/swedish-scientist-replicates-dr-murry.html

  65. James McCown says:

    @Willis

    From your graph, it looks like the Law dome ice core measurements of CO2 match up well with the Mauna Loa measurements. But I hope we don’t have another “hide-the-decline” episode and it turns out that the CO2 measurements from Law dome actually declined back below 300 ppm after the year 2000. LOL.

  66. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,

    Don’t know if you’re still there? Curious if you took in Murry Salby’s presentation. Salby, I think, provides a rigorous, quantified explanation. It runs counter to intuition. For an intuitive explanation, see: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygv83mwpytn4p65/AN%20ENGINEER%E2%80%99S%20TAKE%20ON%20MAJOR%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20F.53.pdf

    You may likely take issue with the Major Climate Change hypothesis. However, may I point you to the treatment of CO2.

    Ron, ronaldvoisin@gmail.com

  67. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    June 28, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Willis,

    Don’t know if you’re still there? Curious if you took in Murry Salby’s presentation. Salby, I think, provides a rigorous, quantified explanation. It runs counter to intuition.

    Thanks, David, I persevere on all my threads, I’m still here.

    As I said above, I don’t bother watching videos about science, they are far too engrossing and far too uncited. However, I did take a look at the document you just provided. It makes what I think is Murry Salby’s claim, that the CO2 rise is from temperature changes. For example, your citation says:

    The current spike in atmospheric CO2is largely natural (~98%). i.e. Of the 100ppm increase we have seen recently (going from 280 to 380ppm), the move from 280 to378ppm is natural while the last bit from 378to 380ppm is rightfully anthropogenic

    As someone who has run the numbers and looked at all the evidence, I find that a totally untenable claim. There are a couple of lines of evidence you might consider.

    The first is that IF the ~ 100 ppmv rise in atmospheric CO2 in the last century or so is almost entirely due to the ~ 1°C of warming that has also occurred, that gives us a rise of 100 ppmv / °C. The problem, of course, is that the globe swings a couple of degrees warmer and cooler each and every year … so why is there no corresponding 200 ppmv swing in the CO2??

    The second is that from the ice age until now the global temperatures have warmed on the order of 5°C … but there is no sign of a corresponding 500 ppmv change in CO2.

    There’re other lines evidence as well, all of which lead to the same conclusion, but that will do for now.

    Best regards,

    w.

  68. richardscourtney says:

    Willis Eschenbach:

    I do not know if the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a natural cause, or an anthropogenic cause, or a combination of anthropogenic and natural causes, but I want to know.

    At June 28, 2014 at 9:25 am you say

    The first is that IF the ~ 100 ppmv rise in atmospheric CO2 in the last century or so is almost entirely due to the ~ 1°C of warming that has also occurred, that gives us a rise of 100 ppmv / °C. The problem, of course, is that the globe swings a couple of degrees warmer and cooler each and every year … so why is there no corresponding 200 ppmv swing in the CO2??

    I refer you to my above posts at June 24, 2014 at 10:26 am and June 25, 2014 at 1:45 am which are here and here.

    The first of those posts includes these statements

    The possibility you do not mention is that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium. Some processes of the carbon cycle have rate constants of years or decades and, therefore, the system takes decades to adjust to a new equilibrium.
    {snip}
    Also, the dynamics of the seasonal variation indicate that the carbon cycle can sequester all of the emitted CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic) of a year but it does not. This apparent paradox is explicable by the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium.

    If the carbon cycle system has been disturbed by the temperature rise from the Little Ice Age (LIA) then the answer to your question is
    (a) “IF the ~ 100 ppmv rise in atmospheric CO2 in the last century or so is almost entirely due to the ~ 1°C of warming that has also occurred” then it is happening as a result of the processes with long rate constants (years and decades)
    and
    (b) the ‘seasonal variation’ of CO2 within each year happens as a result of the processes with short rate constants (hours, days, weeks and months).

    And you say

    The second is that from the ice age until now the global temperatures have warmed on the order of 5°C … but there is no sign of a corresponding 500 ppmv change in CO2.

    True, but that assumes the system is the same now as in the ice age. And that assumption cannot be true because the biosphere is very different. The transition from the ice age altered the carbon cycle such as to create a different carbon cycle system. It cannot be known if equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) was the same for the ice age carbon cycle system as it is for the present carbon cycle system.

    As an addition, I point out that our 2005 paper referenced in my first post above said everything that Salby later said except that Salby also assessed effect of soil moisture.

    I really wish there were a definitive method to determine the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Salby says it is certainly natural and Engelbeen says it is certainly anthropogenic. There is not sufficient data for either to provide an overwhelmingly convincing case.

    Richard

  69. levi pearson says:

    One part of the explanation for CO2 levels in 1929-1932 would be the huge increase in Soviet coal use in this time period. It included both an intensification in the western USSR and a vast expansion of industrial capacity in the eastern parts of the country. I don’t know that it would have been enough to offset the depression declines in much of the rest of the world. And I don’t thnk that any statistical data from the USSR would be credible. I would also expect that the huge Japanese Empire (including Korea and Manchuria) might have created a partial offset.

  70. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,
    The first is that IF the ~ 100 ppmv rise in atmospheric CO2 in the last century or so is almost entirely due to the ~ 1°C of warming that has also occurred, that gives us a rise of 100 ppmv / °C. The problem, of course, is that the globe swings a couple of degrees warmer and cooler each and every year … so why is there no corresponding 200 ppmv swing in the CO2??

    This line of thinking presumes no increase of vegetative sequestering in response to elevated CO2.

    I’m going to guess that you skimmed my reference, jumping to the summary. Might I ask that you read it all and comment on it all?
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygv83mwpytn4p65/AN%20ENGINEER%E2%80%99S%20TAKE%20ON%20MAJOR%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20F.53.pdf

    RonaldVoisin@gmail.com

  71. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    June 30, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Willis,

    The first is that IF the ~ 100 ppmv rise in atmospheric CO2 in the last century or so is almost entirely due to the ~ 1°C of warming that has also occurred, that gives us a rise of 100 ppmv / °C. The problem, of course, is that the globe swings a couple of degrees warmer and cooler each and every year … so why is there no corresponding 200 ppmv swing in the CO2??

    This line of thinking presumes no increase of vegetative sequestering in response to elevated CO2.

    Thank for your response, Ron. You seem to misunderstand the burden of proof here.

    I’ve raised an objection to your claim that CO2 is rising because of temperature, and provided the calculations and details. My objection is that IF temperature changes are driving the rise in CO2, we would see huge swings in CO2, ≈ 200 ppmv, as the globe as a whole changes temperature by a couple of degrees during every year. (In fact this is a large UNDERestimation, because the Northern Hemisphere swings about 13° per year, but let’s set that aside).

    You say, without the slightest sign of calculations or details, that my objection is met by a purported large increase in vegetative sequestering … sorry, but waving your hands and saying “vegetative sequestering” does not explain away a 200 ppmv annual swing that (if your theory is right) we should be seeing every year.

    The estimates of the increase in vegetative sequestering since pre-industrial times are on the order of 5-10%. This is far, far from being large enough to wipe out a 200 ppmv annual swing that would result from your claimed relationship.

    Now, either you can explain that or you can’t. However, as near as I can tell it doesn’t depend on whether I read your reference. Here’s the problem. I took two shots at reading it, and gave up both times. The problem is that the author keeps just throwing out bogus statements, with no citations or support, as though they were true. Here’s an example:

    At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect(if at all).

    Now, this is total nonsense. The atmosphere is not “saturated”. The strength of the greenhouse effect depends on the number of times an average photon is absorbed on its way out to space. If we add more CO2, the photon is absorbed more often. It’s not like say muddy water, where beyond a certain point zero light gets through it. There is no re-emission of light when it’s absorbed by muddy water, but there is in the atmosphere. Almost all of the thermal IR photons are absorbed in the first kilometre of atmosphere, but despite that, photons eventually make it through the atmosphere. There are literally dozens of places on the web that explain this in great detail, along with discussions of such things as pressure broadening.

    Your author, however, not only doesn’t realize that there is a rich literature on the subject … he just claims he’s right and keeps on going.

    So I’m sorry to say, Ron, that your citation is … well … let me call it far from being grounded in reality. He goes off the rails in the very first paragraph:

    The thinking is that a small increase in atmospheric CO2 will trigger a more consequential increase in atmospheric Green-House-Gas water vapor. And then the combination of these two enhanced atmospheric constituents will lead to run-away,or at least appreciable and unprecedented–often characterized as catastrophic-global warming.

    Say what? I don’t know anyone who is claiming that CO2 plus water vapor will lead to run-away global warming, that’s tin-foil hat thinking. He goes on to say:

    And the current spike in atmospheric CO2 is clearly not primarily human caused. Factually, atmospheric CO2 cannot be beneficially changed by human behavior, regardless of what actions we might take.

    From there, he goes on to make the oft-falsified claim that the rise in CO2 is a result of the change in temperature … but as I point out above, if the ~ 100 ppmv rise in CO2 is the result of the ~ 1°C rise in temperature, and we know the earth’s temperature swings by ~ 2°C every year … then where is the resulting 200 ppmv swing in CO2? Or for that matter, where is the 500 ppmv increase in CO2 due to the ≈ 5°C warming as we came out of the last ice age?

    Waving your hands and saying “vegetative sequestering” and “read my reference” doesn’t explain anything. It’s up to you to show, not claim but show, that somehow every year the vegetables magically swallow the 200 ppmv annual temperature-driven increase in CO2 required by your theory, and then return it to the atmosphere again, in such a controlled manner that the CO2 levels only swing a few ppmv. And it’s up to you to show, not claim but show, that the vegetables ate the 500 ppmv increase in CO2 required by your theory at the end of the ice age.

    Thanks for continuing the conversation,

    w.

  72. richardscourtney says:

    Willis Eschenbach:

    Your post at June 30, 2014 at 9:23 am ignores all my posts including my post addressed to you at June 28, 2014 at 10:08 am.

    If the carbon cycle system is slowly adjusting to an altered equilibrium then your assertion concerning “a 200 ppmv annual swing” is mistaken.

    Richard

  73. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richardscourtney says:
    June 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Willis Eschenbach:

    Your post at June 30, 2014 at 9:23 am ignores all my posts including my post addressed to you at June 28, 2014 at 10:08 am.

    Thanks, Richard. I wasn’t responding to you, I was responding to Ron. Let me move on from that to address your points. You say:

    The possibility you do not mention is that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium. Some processes of the carbon cycle have rate constants of years or decades and, therefore, the system takes decades to adjust to a new equilibrium.

    Sure, that’s possible. It’s also possible that I’ll win the lottery. IF you think that carbon cycle disturbance and change is more than a possibility, it’s YOUR responsibility to provide evidence. I admit it’s possible. The rest is up to you.

    Also, the dynamics of the seasonal variation indicate that the carbon cycle can sequester all ofthe emitted CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic) of a year but it does not. This apparent paradox is explicable by the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium.

    Sorry, not following that. Seasonal variation is from the plant growth cycle. Unless you think that cycle is infinitely expandable, the plants can only take in what they are taking in …

    Look, Richard, if the claim that the recent CO2 rise is temperature driven were true, the sensitivity of CO2 to temperature changes is on the order of ~100 ppmv per degree C.

    But the globe changes by a couple of degrees C each year, and we don’t see a 200 ppmv variation. What’s more, the globe has warmed on the order of 5°C since the ice age, but there’s no sign of a 500 ppmv change in CO2.

    Now, you’re free to wave your hands and say “it’s all explained by changes in the carbon cycle” … but that is about as convincing as waving your hands and saying “it’s all explained by change in the biosphere”, or “it’s all explained by increases and decreases in plankton”. Sure, any of those are possible … but until you explain in detail how they wipe out the 200 ppmv variations expected from the “temperature roolz CO2″ theory, it’s just handwaving.

    Until you come up with the evidence for your claims, I fear they will meet the same fate as your comments you point to above that I didn’t respond to. I didn’t respond to them because at this point, that’s just picking a theory out of the air, there’s nothing there for me to respond to other than “carbon cycle disturbance mumble mumble”. You know me, my friend … I like facts and evidence.

    All the best, thanks for the comment,

    w.

  74. richardscourtney says:

    Willis Eschenbach:

    Willis:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at June 30, 2014 at 10:47 am. You say

    Sure, that’s possible. It’s also possible that I’ll win the lottery. IF you think that carbon cycle disturbance and change is more than a possibility, it’s YOUR responsibility to provide evidence. I admit it’s possible. The rest is up to you.

    Been there. Done that. The refusal to acknowledge it is yours.
    I refer you to my above post at June 24, 2014 at 10:26 am which is here.

    I report there

    Using that assumption we demonstrated it is possible to model the atmospheric CO2 rise indicated by the Mauna Loa data as being caused by any one of several mechanisms with either a natural or an anthropogenic cause. Each of our models matched the data to within reported measurement error for each year.

    The assumption of anthropogenic CO2 overloading the carbon cycle induces the IPCC to use its Bern Model which requires unjustifiable 5-year smoothing to obtain agreement between that model’s output and the empirical data.

    Also, the dynamics of the seasonal variation indicate that the carbon cycle can sequester all of the emitted CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic) of a year but it does not. This apparent paradox is explicable by the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium.

    If the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium is correct, then the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is a result of whatever has caused the equilibrium to change. The most likely cause is the rise in global temperature which is observed as recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA), but other causes are possible and the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is one of them.

    Simply, the Mauna Loa data agrees with the possibility I mention and does NOT agree with the assumption that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is overloading the system: in some years almost all the anthropogenic CO2 is sequestered and in other years almost none.

    The possibility of altered equilibrium fits all the observations without need for any adjustments. Parsimony suggests it is the most probable explanation.

    That is NOT “hand-waving”. It is application of the scientific method.

    And our paper which I cited
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )
    does discuss how the carbon cycle system adjusts.

    Importantly, and contrary to your implication, much of the biosphere is in the oceans, most of the CO2 involved in the carbon cycle is in the deep ocean, and the ability of exchange with deep ocean is not known.

    A summary of our considerations of the biosphere follows.

    Richard

  75. richardscourtney says:

    Willis:

    This is the summary of the existing carbon cycle which I promised to provide.

    Mechanisms of the carbon cycle

    The IPCC reports provide simplified descriptions of the carbon cycle. In our paper, Rörsch et al. (2005), we considered the most important processes in the carbon cycle to be:

    Short-term processes

    1. Consumption of CO2 by photosynthesis that takes place in green plants on land. CO2 from the air and water from the soil are coupled to form carbohydrates. Oxygen is liberated. This process takes place mostly in spring and summer. A rough distinction can be made:
    1a. The formation of leaves that are short lived (less than a year).
    1b. The formation of tree branches and trunks, that are long lived (decades).

    2. Production of CO2 by the metabolism of animals, and by the decomposition of vegetable matter by micro-organisms including those in the intestines of animals, whereby oxygen is consumed and water and CO2 (and some carbon monoxide and methane that will eventually be oxidised to CO2) are liberated. Again distinctions can be made:
    2a. The decomposition of leaves, that takes place in autumn and continues well into the next winter, spring and summer.
    2b. The decomposition of branches, trunks, etc. that typically has a delay of some decades after their formation.
    2c. The metabolism of animals that goes on throughout the year.

    3. Consumption of CO2 by absorption in cold ocean waters. Part of this is consumed by marine vegetation through photosynthesis.

    4. Production of CO2 by desorption from warm ocean waters. Part of this may be the result of decomposition of organic debris.

    5. Circulation of ocean waters from warm to cold zones, and vice versa, thus promoting processes 3 and 4.

    Longer-term process

    6. Formation of peat from dead leaves and branches (eventually leading to lignite and coal).

    7. Erosion of silicate rocks, whereby carbonates are formed and silica is liberated.

    8. Precipitation of calcium carbonate in the ocean, that sinks to the bottom, together with formation of corals and shells.

    Natural processes that add CO2 to the system:

    9. Production of CO2 from volcanoes (by eruption and gas leakage).

    10. Natural forest fires, coal seam fires and peat fires.

    Anthropogenic processes that add CO2 to the system:

    11. Production of CO2 by burning of vegetation (“biomass”).

    12. Production of CO2 by burning of fossil fuels (and by lime kilns).

    Several of these processes are rate dependant and several of them interact.

    At higher air temperatures, the rates of processes 1, 2, 4 and 5 will increase and the rate of process 3 will decrease. Process 1 is strongly dependent on temperature, so its rate will vary strongly (maybe by a factor of 10) throughout the changing seasons.

    The rates of processes 1, 3 and 4 are dependent on the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The rates of processes 1 and 3 will increase with higher CO2 concentration, but the rate of process 4 will decrease.

    The rate of process 1 has a complicated dependence on the atmospheric CO2 concentration. At higher concentrations at first there will be an increase that will probably be less than linear (with an “order” <1). But after some time, when more vegetation (more biomass) has been formed, the capacity for photosynthesis will have increased, resulting in a progressive increase of the consumption rate.

    Processes 1 to 5 are obviously coupled by mass balances. Our paper (4) assessed the steady-state situation to be an oversimplification because there are two factors that will never be “steady”:
    I. The removal of CO2 from the system, or its addition to the system.
    II. External factors that are not constant and may influence the process rates, such as varying solar activity.

    Modeling this system is a difficult because so little is known concerning the rate equations. However, some things can be stated from the empirical data.

    At present the yearly increase of the anthropogenic emissions is approximately 0.1 GtC/year. The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption (i.e. consumption processes 1 and 3 minus production processes 2 and 4) is at least 6 ppmv (which corresponds to 12 GtC) in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the natural processes here listed 1-5 can cope easily with the human production of CO2. A serious disruption of the system may be expected when the rate of increase of the anthropogenic emissions becomes larger than the natural variations of CO2. But the above data indicates this is not possible.

    The accumulation rate of CO2 in the atmosphere (1.5 ppmv/year which corresponds to 3 GtC/year) is equal to almost half the human emission (6.5 GtC/year). However, this does not mean that half the human emission accumulates in the atmosphere, as is often stated. There are several other and much larger CO2 flows in and out of the atmosphere. The total CO2 flow into the atmosphere is at least 156.5 GtC/year with 150 GtC/year of this being from natural origin and 6.5 GtC/year from human origin. So, on the average, 3/156.5 = 2% of all emissions accumulate.

    The above qualitative considerations suggest the carbon cycle cannot be very sensitive to relatively small disturbances such as the present anthropogenic emissions of CO2. However, the system could be quite sensitive to temperature. So, our paper considered how the carbon cycle would be disturbed if – for some reason – the temperature of the atmosphere were to rise, as it almost certainly did between 1880 and 1940 (there was an estimated average rise of 0.5 °C in average surface temperature).

    It is that temperature effect I have been reporting in this thread.

    But the effect of temperature on atmospheric CO2 emission would be very different in an Ice Age because all the processes 1 to 7 and processes 8 and 10 would be different. There is no data which indicates seasonal variation in the last Ice Age and, therefore, the relationship of temperature and CO2 cannot be determined for that climate state.

    Richard

  76. milodonharlani says:

    levi pearson says:
    June 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Stalin’s first Five Year Plan (1928-32) was cut short at four years because of the horrendous suffering & disruption it caused, but the regime claimed to have raised coal production from 35.4 to 65.4 million long tons during that time. Even if accurate, the alleged increase could not compensate for the drop in use in the much larger economies of developed Western countries after 1929. For instance, US coal production crashed from over 600 million short tons to under 400 million early in the Depression.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/dunayevskaya/works/1942/russian-economy/ch01.htm

    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/052504_coal_peak.html

  77. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richardscourtney says:
    June 30, 2014 at 11:24 am
    Willis Eschenbach:

    Willis:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at June 30, 2014 at 10:47 am. You say

    Sure, that’s possible. It’s also possible that I’ll win the lottery. IF you think that carbon cycle disturbance and change is more than a possibility, it’s YOUR responsibility to provide evidence. I admit it’s possible. The rest is up to you.

    Been there. Done that. The refusal to acknowledge it is yours.
    I refer you to my above post at June 24, 2014 at 10:26 am which is here.

    I report there

    Using that assumption we demonstrated it is possible to model the atmospheric CO2 rise indicated by the Mauna Loa data as being caused by any one of several mechanisms with either a natural or an anthropogenic cause. Each of our models matched the data to within reported measurement error for each year.

    The assumption of anthropogenic CO2 overloading the carbon cycle induces the IPCC to use its Bern Model which requires unjustifiable 5-year smoothing to obtain agreement between that model’s output and the empirical data.

    Thanks for that, Richard, and anything’s possible, I’d have to look at it, but guess what … it’s paywalled. Which is why I haven’t read it the other times you’ve referred to it.

    I’ll read it if you post it. I look forward to your explanation of how if temperature drives CO2 we didn’t get a 500 ppmv increase after the ice ages.

    w.

    PS—You make the argument that if there are annual fluctuations in a system of an amplitude X, that means that the system is capable of handling an ADDITIONAL input of X … as in, CO2 varies by X annually, and therefore it can sequester an ADDITIONAL amount X of CO2 annually … I’ll leave that for the reader to determine if your argument makes sense.

  78. richardscourtney says:

    Willis Eschenbach:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at June 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm.

    As you know I am now on the Editorial Board of E&E so I cannot by-pass the publisher’s paywall. However, my paper to the Heartland 1 Conference is almost entirely a ‘copy & paste’ from the paper and I will send you a copy of that. I need to access my main computer to do that and my health issues prevent me doing that until tomorrow when I will do it.

    I apologise for the delay until tomorrow.

    You conclude saying to me

    I’ll read it if you post it. I look forward to your explanation of how if temperature drives CO2 we didn’t get a 500 ppmv increase after the ice ages.

    I did explain that in my posts you say you are answering.

    I wrote

    It is that temperature effect I have been reporting in this thread.

    But the effect of temperature on atmospheric CO2 emission would be very different in an Ice Age because all the processes 1 to 7 and processes 8 and 10 would be different. There is no data which indicates seasonal variation in the last Ice Age and, therefore, the relationship of temperature and CO2 cannot be determined for that climate state.

    Your “500 ppmv increase after the ice ages” assumes the relationship of temperature and atmospheric CO2 was the same in the Ice Ages as now but the only thing we know about that with certainty is they would NOT be the same.

    Richard

  79. richardscourtney says:

    Willis Eschenbach:

    I am making a separate reply to the PS to of your post at June 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm.

    It says

    PS—You make the argument that if there are annual fluctuations in a system of an amplitude X, that means that the system is capable of handling an ADDITIONAL input of X … as in, CO2 varies by X annually, and therefore it can sequester an ADDITIONAL amount X of CO2 annually … I’ll leave that for the reader to determine if your argument makes sense.

    That is NOT what I said.

    I wrote

    At present the yearly increase of the anthropogenic emissions is approximately 0.1 GtC/year. The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption (i.e. consumption processes 1 and 3 minus production processes 2 and 4) is at least 6 ppmv (which corresponds to 12 GtC) in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the natural processes here listed 1-5 can cope easily with the human production of CO2. A serious disruption of the system may be expected when the rate of increase of the anthropogenic emissions becomes larger than the natural variations of CO2. But the above data indicates this is not possible.

    I said the natural fluctuation is “more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production” and that is very different from saying the natural fluctuation and the additional input are each equal to X.

    The fluctuation is net sequestration for half the year. Hence, it is obviously true that the net sequestration of the fluctuation “strongly suggests that the dynamics of the natural processes here listed 1-5 can cope easily with the human production of CO2″.

    Also, if the anthropogenic addition were overloading the sequestration processes then the increase to CO2 remaining in the air should increase with the increase to the addition. As I explained, it does not; i.e. I said

    Simply, the Mauna Loa data agrees with the possibility I mention and does NOT agree with the assumption that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is overloading the system: in some years almost all the anthropogenic CO2 is sequestered and in other years almost none.

    And the dynamics of the seasonal variation also deny such overloading at all locations; i.e. Estevan, Alert, Shetland, etc.. This is the Keeling Curve of atmospheric CO2 obtained at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. since 1958
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/sio-mlo.html
    At all locations the seasonal variation is a saw-tooth and not a a sine wave (this saw-tooth is least noticeable at Mauna Loa so it is not a cheat to show it). There is no reduction to sequestration rate as ‘sinks’ fill: the seasonal cycle switches from a rate of sequestration to a rate of accumulation. Clearly, the sinks do not fill. As I said,

    Also, the dynamics of the seasonal variation indicate that the carbon cycle can sequester all of the emitted CO2 (both natural and anthropogenic) of a year but it does not. This apparent paradox is explicable by the assumption that the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system has been disturbed and the system is adjusting to the new equilibrium.

    and as I also said

    If the carbon cycle system has been disturbed by the temperature rise from the Little Ice Age (LIA) then the answer to your question is
    (a) “IF the ~ 100 ppmv rise in atmospheric CO2 in the last century or so is almost entirely due to the ~ 1°C of warming that has also occurred” then it is happening as a result of the processes with long rate constants (years and decades)
    and
    (b) the ‘seasonal variation’ of CO2 within each year happens as a result of the processes with short rate constants (hours, days, weeks and months).

    Fday

    Richard

  80. richardscourtney says:

    Oops, I don’t know where Fday came from. It has no meaning.

    Richard

  81. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richardscourtney says:
    June 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Willis Eschenbach:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at June 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm.

    As you know I am now on the Editorial Board of E&E so I cannot by-pass the publisher’s paywall. However, my paper to the Heartland 1 Conference is almost entirely a ‘copy & paste’ from the paper and I will send you a copy of that. I need to access my main computer to do that and my health issues prevent me doing that until tomorrow when I will do it.

    Thanks, Richard. Actually I was unaware you were on the Editorial Board, or I wouldn’t have asked. Thanks for your offer, please send me the copy, and you have my best wishes regarding your health issues.

    w.

  82. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,

    I’m asking for a favor. Would you read my reference all the way through and comment.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygv83mwpytn4p65/AN%20ENGINEER%E2%80%99S%20TAKE%20ON%20MAJOR%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20F.53.pdf

    There are many things you don’t like about it as you have already said. Nonetheless, it just might surprise you with some of its insight.

    RonaldVoisin@gmail.com

  83. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    July 1, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Willis,

    I’m asking for a favor. Would you read my reference all the way through and comment.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygv83mwpytn4p65/AN%20ENGINEER%E2%80%99S%20TAKE%20ON%20MAJOR%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20F.53.pdf

    There are many things you don’t like about it as you have already said. Nonetheless, it just might surprise you with some of its insight.

    RonaldVoisin@gmail.com

    Ron, I’m very sorry to say this, and I invite you to take it in the positive spirit in which it is offered, as I am not your opponent and I enjoy your comments … but your prose is simply too dense, too long, too tangled, too detailed, and too unclear to follow. I’ve tried to read it three times now, and stopped from a combination of ennui, frustration, and impatience. If you ever want your ideas to get traction in this world, you need to boil it down, boil it down again, and then boil some more.

    I find it important to convert my ideas into either an “elevator speech” or a “matchbook speech”. The “elevator speech” is the speech you’d give if you have the length of an elevator ride (call it 30 seconds) to convince someone of the validity of your theory. The “matchbook speech” is even shorter, just the main ideas that you could write on the back of a matchbook.

    So let me invite you to make your elevator speech to us about your hypothesis. Read it out loud before you post it, and trim it to where you can read it in thirty seconds. It is an important exercise, because it will force you to discard the dross and concentrate on the gold.

    Obviously, you’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’m not trying to either diss or dissuade you, as I enjoy your interest and your point of view. It’s just that your cited work is well over my TL,DR limit.

    All the best,

    w.

  84. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,
    Here is the 730 word elevator ride:

    Hypothesis Summary to a Geo-Reactor Explanation of Major Climate Change

    Any attempt to confine the scope of major climate change drivers to CO2 or solar phenomena (or both) is bound to run afoul of “first principles”. There simply is no climate “hammer” to be found in these areas. Without a “hammer” we become compelled to search for powerful positive feedback amplifiers to explain major change driven by small perturbations. But such amplifiers always and intrinsically lead to an unstable and precarious system and therefore, most likely don’t exist. Somewhere there must be a “hammer” – a powerful and overriding, yet limited in extent, driver that comes and goes without feedbacks, positive or negative. Otherwise we would not be here to debate this issue.

    An examination of the ice core data reveals that this hypothetical climate “hammer” is able to move the nominally equilibrated mean temperature of the Earth by as much as 10-12OC as its modulating effect comes in and out of play. I propose that this temperature modulation arises from a core geo-reactor that takes on two primary states. In one state, its fissionable materials are relatively scattered such that the reactor kinetics are characterized by little chain-reaction. It is in this state that the Earth experiences major glaciation. In the other state, the core geo-reactor’s fissionable materials are highly proximate and appropriately moderated such that the reactor kinetics are characterized by a great deal of chain-reaction. It is in this state that the Earth experiences the warming of an interglacial period.

    I further propose that in the early history of the Earth, when the nuclear fuel available to power this geo-reactor was more abundant, the geo-reactor’s duty-cycle was characteristically in the “on” state, with only sparsely spaced shorter periods of scattered low activity. Collectively these epochs are known as the “hot house”. As time passed and fuel availability diminished the geo-reactor’s duty-cycle shifted over time to the state of affairs observed over the last several million years (most likely many). This more recent duty-cycle is characterized by generally being in the “off” state with only sparsely spaced shorter periods of high activity. Collectively this more recent period of time is also known as the “ice-house”. (Fuel availability may have shifted the duty-cycle rather abruptly ~25M years ago.)

    I further propose that the impetus for generating these recent, sparsely spaced, shorter periods of high activity has become synchronized to the celestial mechanics of the 100k year Milankovitch Cycle of orbital eccentricity (for the last 1My or so). And while the classic interpretation of Milankovitch Theory has been confounded in that it expects glacial events to fall on eccentricity maxima, when empirical data show them falling on eccentricity minima the proposal herein resolves this matter. According to the proposal herein, eccentricity maxima incite high geo-reactor kinetics for a limited period of time (an interglacial), leaving the longer glacial period to exist during eccentricity minima.

    Further, during the 4My prior to the last 1My, I propose that the intermediate fuel availability of this period allowed the synchronization to be paced by the smaller, more rapid celestial perturbations of obliquity and/or precession.

    If the foregoing statements are true, there should be a significant correlation to be discerned between rates of tectonic activity and large scale Earth temperature swings. In order to determine rates of tectonic activity over time it is required to accurately date sub-ocean crust samples. However, the current state-of-the-art regarding oceanic crust sample dating is very limited. Least count time resolution of this type of sample dating has, until recently, been limited to a few million years leaving no opportunity to observe a tectonic activity rate relationship to the 100ky orbital eccentricity cycle. Recent work at the Univ. of Wyoming has provided an improved, albeit laborious and expensive, dating technology for sub-oceanic crust samples. The new technique yields a least count time resolution of ~10ky which should be readily capable to resolve the proposed relationship.

    In the event that the proposed relationship can be definitively established, I further propose that this would constitute substantial and compelling evidence of major climate change being primarily driven by geo-reactor energy output variability. Only a very short time ago we considered solar activity to be substantially invariant. We now know otherwise. It may well be so that the core geo-reactor is similarly highly variant, but yet more consequentially so; and currently synchronized to orbital eccentricity.

  85. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    July 2, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Willis,
    Here is the 730 word elevator ride:

    Thanks, Ron, that’s very clear. Let me give you my three main objections to your hypothesis:

    1. Lack of evidence.

    2. Lack of evidence.

    3. Lack of evidence.

    As near as I can tell, you have no evidence for your hypothesis.

    Now, let me look at the other side, what we do have evidence for.

    The main piece of evidence we have against your theory is the known thermal conductivity of the earth. In order for the heat to be coming up from below, it has to pass through the earth. But with the known thermal conductivity of the earth, for there to be a significant amount of heat passing through it, the core would have to be unimaginably hot.

    Here’s a thought experiment. ASSUME that there is a 1 W/m2 forcing from geothermal heat at the surface. There isn’t, there’s only about a hundredth of that, let’s call it a tenth of that to be really conservative … so IF we had a 1 W/m2 forcing at the surface, how much hotter would the core have to be to maintain that flow?

    Well, the thermal flow varies linearly with ∆T, the temperature difference between the core and the surface. So the answer is, of course, that the core would have to be ten times hotter than it is today … do you find that reasonable? And that’s just to get a measly 1 W/m2 increase in forcing, an amount so small that it would be lost in the noise.

    Here’s a curious fact … the temperature of the core of the earth is about the temperature of the surface of the sun. Your claim says that in the recent past it was ten times the temperature of the sun … seems extremely doubtful.

    Next, if there is a varying amount of heat coming up through the earth, it would pass as a “wave” through the crustal rock. This is the basis of using boreholes to detect past temperatures, for example.

    So if there were a varying impulse of geothermal heat from the core, we’d see it as a change in the temperatures of the earth in the deep boreholes. As far as I know, no one has ever claimed to have seen such a signal.

    Anyhow, that’s just off of the top of my head. In addition, you’d have to explain how the geo-reactor got synchronized with the Milankovitch cycles which are known to initiate the ice ages … and I’m sure there are more issues with the hypothesis.

    Short answer? I’m not seeing how it would even be theoretically possible.

    Sorry, but that’s my honest opinion …

    w.

  86. Ron Voisin says:

    Willis,

    There is a great deal of literature for an Earth geo-reactor. It’s size is what has been debated.

    As insufferable as you find my essay, each of your concerns with the hypothesis is dealt with in the essay (though not necessarily to your liking).

    Ron

  87. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ron Voisin says:
    July 3, 2014 at 5:42 am

    Willis,

    There is a great deal of literature for an Earth geo-reactor. It’s size is what has been debated.

    As insufferable as you find my essay, each of your concerns with the hypothesis is dealt with in the essay (though not necessarily to your liking).

    Ron

    Thanks, Ron. Regarding your claim … yes and no. There has been lots of literature about small local natural geo-reactors, particularly since the first discovery of the remains of a natural geo-reactor in Gabon in 1972. Since then, about a dozen of them have been found. They have all been short-lived and of modest power, putting out about 100 kilowatts or so for a couple hundred years.

    There has NOT been much discussion of the earth as a global-scale reactor which influences the climate and is responsible for things like ice ages.

    Next, is your essay “insufferable”? Nope. It’s just too many words for too little gain. I’m 67, I don’t have hours to waste prospecting for diamonds.

    In any case, if there’s lots of literature on a natural global-scale climate-influencing geo-reactor such as you describe, please cite the three main studies in the field, so I can get a handle on what you’re talking about.

    Many thanks,

    w.

  88. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Thanks for the links, Ron, much appreciated. Having the documents in hand makes things much clearer.

    Is there a global geo-reactor? Possibly, although none of the three papers make that claim. Instead, they point out that it is theoretically possible. They speculate that the geo-reactor affects the magnetic field.

    However, I don’t see any of the three papers saying that the theoretical geo-reactor changes either the global temperature or the heat flow of the earth. Actually, middle paper says the opposite, viz:

    Results and Discussion

    Terrestrial heat flow is about 45 TW. Geophysicists believe that not more than about 10 to 11 TW comes from the core, and most geophysicists are more comfortable with a figure of about 4 or 5 TW. Part of the core’s heat flow is thought to represent power dissipated by the geo-dynamo that is thought to produce the geomagnetic field (1).

    The uranium fission geo-reactor simulation discussed in the present paper was constrained to operate at a constant power level of 3 TW. Additional heat production from the natural radioactive decay of 235U and 238U would increase the power level at the time of Earth formation to 4.3 TW, decreasing over time to a present-day level of 3.5 TW.

    Now, there are 5.11E+14 square metres on the surface. So we can convert their figures to per-square-metre figures, bearing in mind that about 240 W/m2 enter the planet constantly from the sun. I’ll quote their data with conversions:

    “Terrestrial heat flow is about 45 TW.” This converts to about 0.09 watts per square metre (W/m2 ), and is about the value I cited to you from memory in the discussion above.

    “The uranium fission geo-reactor simulation discussed in the present paper was constrained to operate at a constant power level of 3 TW.” This converts to about 0.01 W/m2.

    As you can see, even if the reactor were to wuickly double its output during some periods, and go almost to zero at other periods (which none of the papers claims is happening), the difference in heat flow at the surface would only be ± 0.01 W/m2 … lost in the noise.

    To summarize: Theoretical calculations indicate that it is possible that there is a planetary geo-reactor. However, we have little evidence for its existence … but in any case, the change in heat flow IF such a reactor exists would be a heat gain or loss at the surface of plus or minus a hundredth of one watt per square metre.

    Thanks again for providing the links, they turn a discussion into a scientific discussion.

    Regards,

    w.

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