The record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions: 1965 -2013

Ed suggested this would be a good addition to the new WUWT CO2 reference page, and I agree, but thought it should get front page attention first. It is a condensed version of an essay published earlier this year. – Anthony

Guest essay by Ed Hoskins

The following calculations and graphics are based on information on national CO2 emission levels worldwide published by BP[1]in June 2014 for the period from 1965 up until 2013. The data is well corroborated by previous similar datasets published by the CDIAC, Guardian [2] and Google up until 2009 [3]. These notes and figures provide a short commentary on that CO2 emissions history.

clip_image002

The contrast between the developed and developing worlds is stark in terms of their history of CO2 emissions and the likely prognosis for their future CO2 output.

Since 1980 CO2 emissions from the developed world have shown virtually no increase, whereas the developing world has had a fourfold increase since 1980: that increase is accelerating.

clip_image004

Similarly the CO2 output per head is declining in the developed world whereas it is accelerating the developing world.

These notes divide the world nations into seven logical groups with distinct attitudes to CO2 control:

developed

§ United States of America, attempting CO2 emissions control under Obama’s EPA.

§ The European Union, (including the UK), currently believers in action to combat Global Warming.

§ Japan, the former Soviet Union, Canada and Australia are developed nations, rejecting controls on CO2 emissions.

developing

§ South Korea, Iran, South Africa, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan: more advanced developing nations, still developing rapidly, (KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW).

§ China and Hong Kong: developing very rapidly.

§ India: developing rapidly from a low base.

§ Rest of World (~160 Nations): developing rapidly from a low base.

In summary the current CO2 emission and emissions per head position in 2013 was as follows:

hoskins summary table

 

clip_image006

These graphs of total CO2 emission history show that up until 2013:

§ There is stabilisation or reduction of emissions from developed economies since 1980.

§ The USA, simply by exploiting shale gas for electricity generation, has already reduced its CO2 emissions by some 9.5% since 2005[4]. That alone has already had more CO2 emission reduction effect than the entire Kyoto protocol[5] [6].

§ CO2 emissions from the developed economies rejecting action on CO2 have hardly grown since 2005.

§ The European Union (27) has reduced its CO2 emissions by ~14% since 2005.

§ CO2 emissions from the developing world as a whole overtook the developed world in 2007 and are now a third larger than the developed world’s CO2 emissions.

§ there has been a very rapid escalation of Chinese CO2 emissions since the year 2000[7].

§ China overtook the USA CO2 emissions in 2006, and Chinese emissions are now ~62% greater than the USA, the escalation in Chinese CO2 emissions continues. Chinese emissions have grown by +75% since 2005 and China continues to build coal fired powerstations to supply the bulk of its electricity as demand grows.

§ India has accelerating emissions[8], growing from a low base by +63% since 2005. India too is building coal fired powerstations to increase the supply of electricity as 25% of its population still has no access to electric power.

§ there is inexorable emissions growth from the Rest of the World economies, from a low base, they have grown by +30% since 2005.

clip_image008

So any CO2 emissions reduction achieved by the Developed Nations will be entirely negated by the increases in CO2 emissions from Developing Nations.

clip_image010

Probably more significant than the total CO2 emissions output is the comparison of the emissions/head for the various nation groups.

§ The EU(27) even with active legal measures have maintained a fairly level CO2 emission rate but have managed to reduce their CO2 emissions/head by ~16% since 2005. Much of the recent downward trend is largely attributed to their declining economies.

§ The USA has already reduced its CO2 emissions/head by ~22% since in 2005, mainly arising from the use of shale gas for electricity generation. And now Mr Putin is actively involved in backing anti-fracking campaigns in Europe so as to protect his large Gasprom market and to have an energy stranglehold on the West, as he has demonstrated recently in the Ukraine[9].

§ Russia, Japan, Canada and Australia have only grown their emissions/head by ~1% since 2005.

§ China’s CO2 emissions/head have increased ~11 fold since 1965. China overtook the world-wide average in 2003 and surpassed the rapidly developing nations in 2006. China’s emissions / head at 7.0 tonnes / head are now approaching the level of the EU(27) nations.

§ India’s CO2 emissions have grown by 4.7 times over the period and are now showing recent modest acceleration. That increasing rate is likely to grow substantially with increased use of coal for electricity generation[10].

§ The eight rapidly developing nations have shown consistent growth from a low base in 1965 at 5.6 times. They exceeded the world average CO2 emissions level in 1997.

§ The Rest of the World (~160 Nations), 36% of world population, have grown CO2 emissions consistently but only by 2.6 times since 1965, this group will be the likely origin of major future emissions growth as they strive for better standards of living.

§ Overall average world-wide emissions/head have remained relatively steady but with early growth in the decade from 1965. It amounts to 1.6 times since 1965.

clip_image012

When the participating nations particularly EU(27) are compared with Chinese CO2 emissions/head, an interesting picture arises:

§ Chinese CO2 emissions at 7.01mt/head for its 1.3 billion population are already ~43% greater than the worldwide average. Those emissions are still growing fast.

§ At 5.5mt/head, France, with ~80% nuclear electricity generation, has the lowest CO2 emission rates in the developed world and is at only ~12% above the world-wide average.

§ China’s CO2 emissions/head exceeded France’s CO2 emissions/head in 2009 and are now 22% higher.

§ China’s emissions per head are now very close to the UK and are rapidly approaching the EU(27) average.

§ The UK at 7.2mt/head is now only ~48% higher than the world-wide average and only about ~3% higher than China. So China is likely to overtake the UK in the near future.

§ Germany, one of the largest CO2 emitters in Europe, has emissions/head ~100% higher than the worldwide average and is still ~49% higher than China. Germany’s emissions/head have increased recently because they are now burning much larger quantities of brown coal to compensate them for the “possibly irrational” closure of their nuclear generating capacity.

This must question the logic of Green attitudes in opposing Nuclear power. Following the Fukushima disaster, the German government position of rapidly eliminating nuclear power in a country with no earthquake risk and no chance of tsunamis should not be tenable.

If CO2 emissions really were a concern to arrest Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming / Man-made Climate Change, these results particularly from France show starkly the very real advantage of using Nuclear power for electricity generation.

The underdeveloped nations are bound to become progressively more industrialised and more intensive users of fossil fuels to power their development and widen their distribution of electricity.

clip_image014
This point is re-emphasised above, by cross comparing the annual growth in emissions from China and India with the full annual emissions from key European countries. Chinese CO2 emissions growth in some years can exceed the total UK and French emissions level and even approach the German level on occasions.


 

REFERENCES:

[1] http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2#data

[3] https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AonYZs4MzlZbdFF1QW00ckYzOkZqcUhnNDVlSWc&hl=en#gid=1

[4] http://www.c3headlines.com/2013/07/a-fracking-revolution-us-now-leads-world-in-co2-emission-reductions-.html

[5]http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/project_syndicate/2012/09/thanks_to_fracking_u_s_carbon_emissions_are_at_the_lowest_levels_in_20_years_.html

[6] http://www.oilandgasonline.com/doc/u-s-fracking-has-carbon-more-whole-world-s-wind-solar-0001

[7] http://www.pbl.nl/en/news/pressreleases/2011/steep-increase-in-global-co2-emissions-despite-reductions-by-industrialised-countries

[8] http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-10/global-warming/29642669_1_kyoto-protocol-second-commitment-period-

[9] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10911942/Russia-in-secret-plot-against-fracking-Nato-chief-says.html

[10] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/India-invokes-right-to-grow-to-tell-rich-nations-of-its-stand-on-future-climate-change-negotiations/articleshow/36724848.cms

About these ads

96 thoughts on “The record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions: 1965 -2013

  1. Also interesting: lifetime emissions since 1850 since they are used to claim “climate reparations”.

  2. Great info Ed, well organized. THANKS.

    But it took me a while to figure out that “ZA” is South Africa :^). You do spell it out in an early sentence:

    § South Korea, Iran, South Africa, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan: more advanced developing nations, still developing rapidly, (KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW).

    Ira

  3. It appears to me that we look as if we are trying to blame China for something bad. So take a backyard pool, cover it tight, fill with air taken from the … air … and capture the CO2 molecules. Then try to find just the anthropogenic CO2 molecules. And then try to find … say … China’s CO2 molecules. An entire reference page plus articles about what is essentially the hair on a gnat’s ass, and the size of a single hair cell on the shortest ass hair.

    When will we finally truly do the math? The anthropogenic only portion of atmospheric CO2, let alone China’s portion, does not have the cojones necessary to make one single bit of “weather” do a damn thing different. Take out just the anthropogenic CO2 and rerun the past 30 years of weather. The exact same weather pattern variations would have occurred. Or maybe because of the random nature of weather we would have had it worse. Or it could have been much better. Now do something really ridiculous and take out just China’s portion. I know, the post isn’t meant to paint China as the bad guy. But. Really? Really? All this for something so tiny you can’t find it? Not even in a child’s balloon?

    Talk of anthropogenic CO2 is a fad, nothing more. Hell and damnation I wish we were out performing China!!!!!!!

  4. There is an easy solution. Sell all our wind turbines to the developing world. Let them deal with the issues.

  5. Sooo, the developing nations are going to have better-growing plants of the vegetable variety, as well as growing “plants” aka “factories”?

    Well, so long as they clean up the genuinely toxic emissions, more power to ‘em. Literally.

  6. Ed Hoskins:

    I should hope that WUWT does not become a blog where nuclear power generation is advocated as a means to curb anthropogenic CO2.

  7. Two points: 1) you don’t factor in the relocation of heavy energy intensive industry and manufacturing from the EU to China and other ‘developing’ countries – thus rendering the reduction of emissions in the EU completely meaningless (and economic growth, particularly in England, that relies heavily on financing growth in developing countries, lowers emissions per unit of GDP but this is also an illusion).

    2) When will you commentators wake up to the ‘possibly irrational’ slur you cast on opponents of nuclear power. Get to think a little more rationally yourself….look at the the latest estimates for a SOLAR tsunami, and then ask you local nuclear operator how long the reactor would remain stable if there were no grid and no diesel supplies for a period of months or even years (check out the US National Academy of Science report and the Congressional hearings on these issues of lost grid and services). Then go back to the 1970s and 1980s when all those irrational but scientific and engineering critics of nuclear power (e.g. American Physical Society and Rasmussen report) pointed out the consequences of land contamination. Maybe these irrational Germans took a look at the way the wind was blowing at Fukushima and calculated the lost land had it been onshore!

    There is nothing ‘irrational’ about deciding not to take these risks and to bear the consequences for electricity production. The Germans can get away with it at 20% of supply – but not the French, at 85%. And by the way….please note that the French system is a state monopoly, backed by jackbooted gendarmes who killed protestors in order to push through the programme. Is that ‘rational’?

    I am beginning to think that ‘climate scepticism’ leads to as much wilful blindness as climate alarmism!

  8. Great article, many thanks. Might help me write an essay for uni about the prospects for the next big climate conference. Since the uni people are global warming advocates, it’s very difficult to write anything about “CO2 reduction” and “global warming” when you think it’s a load of bollocks.

  9. All images in this article seem to be saved under an https url, and I don’t see the need… they are images. Plus, it happens that there must be something wrong with the SSL, because my Google Chrome is not loading the images and gives a warning message instead, saying that it is unable to establish a secure connection with wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com.

    Would you mind to save and link the images under normal http?

    Thanks

  10. To mention Hong Kong as implicitly separate from China and developing but included in the emissions total is somewhat misleading. It takes a very large stretch of the imagination to describe HK as developing. It has an advanced post-industrial economy – post industrial that is apart from the government’s compulsive concrete pouring. The great majority of industry long ago migrated across the border. Any CO2 emissions come mostly from population growth and can in no way be compared to the increases in the mainland. The city is, in relative terms a mere gnat’s bite on the backside of China.

  11. The graphs above show clearly that until now China and India are in a completely different league.
    Only ignorant people mention them in one breath reg. climate change.

  12. mpainter says:

    August 3, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Ed Hoskins:

    I should hope that WUWT does not become a blog where nuclear power generation is advocated as a means to curb anthropogenic CO2.

    It appears to me, when taken in the overall context of WUWT, whenever nuclear power generation is advocated here by the primary topic blog posters, it is primarily because nuclear power generation is a good idea. Mentioning that it also reduces anthropogenic CO2 should add to the appeal by CAGW Alarmists.

    WUWT really does not often impose any control on what a “reply” post may advocate.

    Just an observation.

  13. Pamela well put. I have found it interesting that all this bs about man’s c02 emissisions always leaves out the ratio between anthropogenic and natural.

    Huge anthropogenic tonnage numbers sounds impressive by themselves but where are the natural numbers? Using those numbers would deflate all the man is bad arguments I guess.

  14. Very well put Pamela Gray. I would add that ALL of the data presented in this article is implied to be empirical data, when it is actually questionable estimations. There is absolutely NO way to measure emissions. In addition, we certainly cannot determine the global CO2 level.

  15. Reactor safety isn’t a science issue, it’s an engineering and economic issue.

    If the utilities didn’t have to waste so much time fighting legal and political issues based on neo-luddite fears of radiation, maybe older designs would be replaced or updated to safer designs. The reactor systems that I know the details of, all have redundant operational mechanisms to address a grid-down situation.

  16. China is building conventional gen 3 nuclear as well as coal althoughnnot at the rate of one new unit every two weeks or so as at present. The China mix will likely shift increasingly toward nuclear as 2020 approaches. There are two reasons to expect this. First, a number of knowledgable sources (e.g. Caltech’s Rutledge, Utah’s Li, Uppsala’s Aleklett) predict peak Chinese steam coal production by then (China is already past peak for metallurgical coal, and importing from Australia). Second, their R&D efforts on more advanced nuclear (beyond their own version of the AP1000) will have matured, and a reproducible design will have emerged. Those efforts include a Pilot scale molten salt thorium reactor slated to come online next year. And Bill Gates has said TerraPower is negotiating with China to build the first TWR at about 1000MW, since the regulatory environment in the US and the EU is impossible. Either solution would free China from foreign uranium dependency while virtually eliminating rad waste problem. Far better that subsidy dollars wasted on intermittent renewables went into advanced gen 4 nuclear, while shale gas/CCGT substitutes economically for coal (no regulatory involvement) in the interim where that is possible.

  17. Lucid presentation Mr Hoskins, appreciated.

    Psst: … 18 years of nothing … maybe tail wag dog?

  18. “Since 1980 CO2 emissions from the developed world have shown virtually no increase, whereas the developing world has had a fourfold increase since 1980: that increase is accelerating.” is a disingenuous comparison. 4x very little remains well below the ostentatious consumption of the ‘developed’ world.

    This photo sums it up:

  19. mpainter says:
    August 3, 2014 at 7:29 am
    Ed Hoskins:

    I should hope that WUWT does not become a blog where nuclear power generation is advocated as a means to curb anthropogenic CO2.

    Why not? The whole world going nuclear would be a great idea. And not just central stations. Nuclear home heating/cooling and water heating is very doable.

  20. Jean Parisot says:
    August 3, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Reactor safety isn’t a science issue, it’s an engineering and economic issue.

    I’d think security and political issues play large roles as well, along with our own ignorance of nature’s limits.

    We have a few hundred years of detailed records about a body over 4 billion years old, and even where we do have recent, detailed accounts of nature’s fury – such as was the case at Fukushima – we go ahead and ignore them with the by-now-familiar litany of rationalizations, justifications, and – let’s face it folks – denial about what Mother Nature can dish out. That’s why a little study in Geology goes a long way.

    Joe Public says:
    August 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

    This photo sums it up:

    No it doesn’t; the photo is cropped to exclude China.

  21. Interesting information – thanks.
    ————————————-

    It seems CO2 has the property of fungibility.
    When I buy work boots made in China the accounting of the CO2 should show up in the column for USA, not China or any other where components (leather, rubber, brass) are sourced. Does a USA made boot have leather processed in the USA or elsewhere? What nation is responsible for growing the hide, from which the leather is made?

    The developed world should declare success.
    Since the end of the “Peace Action” in Korea the developed world has responded with money and talent to the call to help the developing world. Sixty years ago missionaries and others (your mother?) visited every congregation and community center in the US to ask for contributions to both feed and improve the societies – remember “eat your food, people in Africa and Asia are starving”? They still are – and the eco/green/UN types seem to want to keep it that way. Get them out of the way and declare success.
    In terms of the per person data, more needs to be attributed to demographics – the word destiny comes to mind.

  22. Peter Taylor says:
    August 3, 2014 at 7:33 am
    ///////////

    The substantial issue with nuclear waste is not from generation, but rather from military applications. Even if nuclear was not used for power generation, we would have almost the same problem of what to do with nuclear waste since the vast majority of nuclear is used not commercially but rather militarily.

    Whilst disaster scenarios are something to consider, I personally would sooner see an expansion of nuclear over an expansion of wind. Of course, nuclear should be built in remote areas, and not in areas prone to earthquakes or tsunamis, but with that caveat, I envisage that we will be able to successfully contain any mishap such that the disaster scenario is an extremely remote risk.

    Presently in the UK, the last 5 to 10 years have seen betweenn 25,000 to 40,000 premature winter deaths caused by harsh winter conditions, poor, old and damp housing and unaffordable energy prices. That is a lot of deaths and is a known and substantial risk inherent in the energy policy being pursued by the UK government. This number is likely to increase with the ever growing reliance being placed on wind with its vagrancies, particularly in cold winter conditions when a blocking high may be sitting over the UK and Northern Europe with the result that there is little wind and hence windfarms are generating all but no power in these conditions..

    In all matters there is a balance to be struck. On the one hand known risks that we can see happening today, or remote theoretical risks that are unlikely ever to come to pass. I am not sure that I would be rushing for nuclear, at this stage, given that there is now shale, and it may well be more sensible, to first exploit the shale reserves for all they are worth, and continue research into nuclear with perhaps a long term goal of going fussion. There appears to be enough shale for at least 50 years of energy production (and probably more) and by that time, we are likely to see significant advances in other forms of energy production.

  23. Nuclear power generation has big problems that the advocates ignore. They cover their eyes and ears when one brings up past disasters, or problems of waste disposal, or the foibles of for-profit nuclear power generation. What was done at Three Mile island was criminal, Chernobyl was faulty training (which also contributed to the near disaster at ThreeMile Island) and miscalculation in the Fukushima disaster. The advocates of nuclear power pretend that such things cannot happen.

  24. I heard that thorium reactors are the way to go if nuclear is the energy of the future. Anyone know about thorium as nuclear fuel? Pros and cons?

  25. This is a certainly a good post.
    However, my frustration with not understanding why water vapor continues to be so disproportionately of little interest and mention pleads for explanation.
    Googling the topic reveals how poorly this AGW trigger has been covered. Or in the case of alarmists how the AGW catalyst, water vapor, has been obscured, ignored and suppressed.
    Their hair on fire movement essentially never touts how CO2 is increasing water vapor as predicted.

    Unless I am all wet, this layperson finds the neglect of water vapor by skeptics to be a huge error.
    Perhaps someone can dry me off?

  26. Steve, the greatest contributor to the increased CO2 is the warmer oceans since the little ice age. As the globe warmed, more CO2 was released from the oceans. The increase in CO2 is due to natural variation in the climate, in this case a warmer climate.

  27. Steve Oregon at 9:22am:
    The alarmists have their daemon in CO2. One demon is enough and they seem to do pretty well with it. Why would you want to make water a problem?

  28. Hans Erren: Apples and oranges. Would you ban passing gas because you cut one in class?

    Gary Meyers says:
    August 3, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I heard that thorium reactors are the way to go…

    I heard it was angel farts. According to a recent poll, 77% of Americans believe in angels, so we may be able to tap those heavenly emissions, real soon now.

    But until then, it’s probably a good idea to continue pouring money down the Thorium pit, because you heard it was the way to go, but more importantly because, you know, we don’t have anything else.

  29. The conclusion to draw here is that developed, wealthy economies are stable, not increasing emissions and not increasing populations rapidly.
    Poorer nations are always looking to develop and have more children to ensure that some survive.
    So preventing nations from becoming wealthy and developed leads to more problems and a larger increase in population. I don’t think there’s an overpopulation problem but it’s part of the globalists’ ethos, and the contradiction between the stated problem and their methods exposes their true motives for reducing population particularly in the third world. Nazi-esque reasons rather than environmental equilibrium reasons.

  30. Steve Oregon, I think water vapor is a self-limiting issue. The water vapor concentration can only get so high before it rains back out. Even if the water vapor warms the air so that the air can hold more moisture, it clearly can’t do this indefinitely — well, not until the ambient temperature reaches 100C/212F. And it would take an impressive amount of energy to raise all the oceans to the boiling point.

  31. Hans Erren:

    No, but I would ban nuclear power. Some idiot advocates here generation of nuclear power in the home.

  32. Very good research, Ed. I would classify classify Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong as ‘developed’ and the former Soviet Union as ‘developing’. This is based upon their per capita GDP from the CIA World Fact Book:

    USA #14 $52,800
    Hong Kong #15 52,700
    Taiwan #28 39,600
    South Korea #42 33,200

    Russia #77 18,100 (And the other countries of the former soviet union are no better. Moldova is #177 at $3,800)

  33. Latitude says:
    August 3, 2014 at 7:58 am

    the economies of the developed world are that bad…………
    ###

    That was my reaction also :(

  34. Practical fusion is just around the corner. http://www.generalfusion.com
    If not General Fusion, then one of several others who are on the cusp of success. Probably fusion power would have been here by now if tokamak hadn’t been a black hole for funding for so many years- similar to the “scientists” sucking up the global warming gravy train and producing nothing but hot air.

  35. mpainter, care to cite total deaths or mitigation dollars spent regarding nuclear power generation accidents as compared to anything else? your comments are not making much sense.

  36. how do they get the actual #’s? is there someone standing outside of every facility that emits CO2 with a CO2 discharge detector?

  37. Marcos:

    At August 3, 2014 at 10:21 am you ask

    how do they get the actual #’s? is there someone standing outside of every facility that emits CO2 with a CO2 discharge detector?

    Good question.

    Each country knows its uses of fossil fuels (i.e. oil,coal and gas) and its production of cement. These are obtained both for taxation purposes and also to control imports and exports. Hence, the CO2 generated from fossil fuel usage and cement manufacture can be calculated.

    Richard

  38. Steve P says:

    Gary Meyers says:
    August 3, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I heard that thorium reactors are the way to go…

    I heard it was angel farts. According to a recent poll, 77% of Americans believe in angels, so we may be able to tap those heavenly emissions, real soon now.

    But until then, it’s probably a good idea to continue pouring money down the Thorium pit, because you heard it was the way to go, but more importantly because, you know, we don’t have anything else.

    Steve, I did not advocate thorium reactors, I merely brought it up as a point for discussion. Angel farts, really?

  39. mellyrn says:August 3, 2014 at 9:57 am
    “Steve Oregon, I think water vapor is a self-limiting issue. The water vapor concentration can only get so high before it rains back out”.etc.

    Yes I get that.
    My frustration and query is over the lax treatment of the central AGW role of water vapor.
    Now I am also wondering why I need to elaborate here of all places.
    Again if I am all wet I’d gladly accept any drying off.

    It’s my understanding that the catalyst of the AGW theory and climate models is the reliance upon the trace greenhouse gas CO2 triggering a sufficient increase in atmospheric H2O as to cause the predicted catastrophic warming which CO2 alone cannot produce.

    By everything I have read the atmospheric water column has not and is not cooperating.
    From my layperson perspective that appears to be what should be an an iron clad end to the CO2 hysteria.
    Increased CO2 is simply not doing what the team supposed it was doing. At all.

  40. Steve P,
    Here is one for you to chew on for a while. Why not build a huge geothermal network to tap all of the geothermal energy of Yellow Stone? This is just another point for discussion. I am not advocating anything but discussion.

  41. Gary Meyers says:
    August 3, 2014 at 9:17 am

    “Anyone know about thorium as nuclear fuel?”

    Wikipedia is actually good for some things, like looking this up. If we could speed up the timetable for Gen IV reactors in general, it would go a long way to making the planet cleaner, even if CO2 generation is not genuinely a concern.

    mpainter says:
    August 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I sympathize with your concerns. While I think the Fukushima accident is actually heartening – it was a Gen II design, and it held up pretty well, considering the 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami – the thing that worries me most is nuclear waste which could be used in improvised dirty weapons, or more powerful weapons by rogue states which would be able to get access to the waste.

    But, if the money being poured into solar and wind power, two sources which do not have the energy density to satisfy the world’s appetite on any practical level, were to be poured into Gen IV, these concerns could be substantially mitigated.

  42. Peter Taylor says:
    August 3, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Yes, the developed world has not so much mitigated its industrial pollution problem, as outsourced it. The pell mell rush to “green” is doing little but sending production of nasty byproducts to places where there are fewer controls. A classic example of doing more harm than good by giving into panic, and the OCD neurosis for “green” it has engendered.

  43. Gary Meyers:

    Nuclear power will not mitigate concerns about safety but will instead exacerbate them.As far as your claim of a cleaner world, how clean is Chernobyl 26 years later?

  44. mpainter says:
    Gary Meyers:

    Nuclear power will not mitigate concerns about safety but will instead exacerbate them.As far as your claim of a cleaner world, how clean is Chernobyl 26 years later?
    My claim of a cleaner world? Where did you get that? I brought up thorium reactors as a point for discussion, that’s all. BTW, Chernobyl was not a thorium reactor. A thorium reactor would not self destruct as did the Chernobyl reactor.

  45. Steve Oregon said
    By everything I have read the atmospheric water column has not and is not cooperating.
    From my layperson perspective that appears to be what should be an an iron clad end to the CO2 hysteria.
    Increased CO2 is simply not doing what the team supposed it was doing. At all.

    The CO2 hysteria should have ended many years ago, for many reasons. To the warmists, facts are nothing but irrelevant irritants that tend to get in their way.

  46. Gary Meyers says:August 3, 2014 at 9:17 am
    “Anyone know about thorium as nuclear fuel?”

    You’re new here, right?

  47. Bart says:
    August 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I sympathize with your concerns. While I think the Fukushima accident is actually heartening – it was a Gen II design, and it held up pretty well, considering the 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami…

    A triple melt-down equates to “…held up pretty well”? Nothing like ‘the ol’ college try’ when it comes to nuclear reactors, I guess.

    The enthusiasm for Thorium reactors is not shared by all:

    Thorium: Not ‘green’, not ‘viable’, and not likely

    In this Briefing, we examine the validity of the optimistic claims made for thorium fuel, MSRs and the LFTR in particular. We find that the claims do not stand up to critical scrutiny, and that these technologies have significant drawbacks including:
    [...]
    3.4 Safety
    Claim: LFTRs are intrinsically safe, because the reactor operates at low pressure and is and incapable of melting down.
    Response: the design of molten salt reactors does indeed mitigate against reactor meltdown and explosion. However, in an LFTR the main danger has been shifted from the reactor to the on-site continuous fuel reprocessing operation – a high temperature process involving highly hazardous, explosive and intensely radioactive materials. A further serious hazard lies in the potential failure of the materials used for reactor and fuel containment in a highly corrosive chemical environment, under intense neutron and other radiation.

    My bold

    http://nuclearfreeplanet.org/thorium-not-green-not-viable-and-not-likely-oliver-tickell-june-2012-.html

  48. It sounds as though,from this article anyway, that thorium reactors have some serious considerations to take into account. As technology improves and research into solving these problems goes ahead, maybe thorium reactors will become viable. We certainly need an alternative source of safe and cheap(relatively) energy going forward as fossil fuels are finite and won’t last forever.

  49. This article should be rewritten taking in to account the out sourcing of heavy industry to developing countries that also have less stringent or non existent environmental controls.

    There are serious pollution and health problems in many of these developing countries that are manufacturing goods and products for consumers in the developed world.

    A far more informative and honest appraisal would be per capita/C02 emissions that take into account the total CO2 produced manufacturing and transporting goods and services to developed countries and their consumers. The picture would be very different.

  50. Mike McMillan says:
    August 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm
    Gary Meyers says:August 3, 2014 at 9:17 am
    “Anyone know about thorium as nuclear fuel?”
    You’re new here, right?

    If by your above comment above you are saying that this has been previously hashed out here, I must have been sick that day and stayed home. No, I am not new here. I mostly lurk and only post now and then. Thanks for asking. :- )

  51. Gary Meyers says:
    August 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Yes, nothing lasts forever, but by many estimates, we’ve got reserves of coal and other fossil fuels in such great abundance that there is no danger of any shortage for perhaps hundreds of years.

    Because the CAGW conjecture is bust, there is no reason to limit our CO2 emissions, demonize carbon, nor penalize coal. In any event, as the article shows, our misguided efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions will have little impact on overall totals because of growth elsewhere.

  52. In regards to the 4th graph from the top that shows China’s CO2 emissions taking off around 2002-2003, Clinton and congress (majority Republicans) granted China PNTR in Oct of 2000 which lead to an exodus of US jobs to China. It’s cost us a third of our manufacturing base, the largest ever loss of US manufacturing jobs on record.

    The following graph clearly shows the loss of US manufacturing jobs after PNTR:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?s%5B1%5D%5Bid%5D=MANEMP

    I imagine that China is employing many more women now which means they will be more busy and hence, have less time for having children. In a sense, development could be a way to reduce population.

    Maybe that’s why so much of climate change has to do with redistributing wealth from the rich nation to the poor nations? Just a thought…

  53. Here is the message for those who come to hawk their thorium and G this and that nuclear power reactors: we are skeptics and not so easily taken in by your slick touts.

  54. Steve P.
    I completely agree about the CAGW bust and no need to limit CO2 emissions. CO2 is GOOD!
    An abundant source of clean cheap energy would do the economies of the world a great big favor.

  55. I reject the conclusion that human beings are the source of any of the CO2 in the atmosphere. The source of the carbon in man’s CO2 is fossil fuels. The source of the carbon in fossil fuels was prehistoric plant matter, and the source of the carbon in prehistoric plant matter was the atmosphere. Man burning fossil fuels is but a very small part of the age old natural carbon cycle. Man is simply facilitating getting the CO2 back into the atmosphere, whence it came.

  56. Russell Klier,
    That sounds OK by me. The earth conveniently tucked away all of that CO2 in the form of fossil fuels and calcium carbonate (cement), for man to use as energy and building material to replenish the life giving CO2 in the atmosphere for plants to consume and flourish.

  57. To quote something from the Micro$oft web site when looking up a bug in their product:
    “This behavior is by design”….

    Where is the surprise in this?

    Maurice Strong is a major driver in all this. He’s run off to China (along with his money). The Warmunists have loads of “investments” in ‘green’ tech, a lot of it in China. Well connected Democrats, like Warren Buffet (who makes a load of money via shipping USA coal to China on his rail road) make a boat load of money out of China investments.

    (Full Disclosure: I am a ‘Class A’ share holder in Berkshire Hathaway – the major investment vehicle of Warren Buffet. He has made me a ‘boat load’ of money over the years. But ‘the truth just is. -E.M.Smith'; so while I make money off the insider scams, I don’t have to like them… or endorse them.)

    The bottom line is that this is the desired outcome. To move jobs, industry, and most importantly, profit, to “developing nations” where the controls are less and the profits higher. Along with money and profit goes CO2 generations, since the two are ‘joined at the hip’.

    I am conflicted on this. On the one hand, it makes me money. But on the other hand, it really is ‘just wrong’. It is the lying part that I can’t swallow. Just say up front that it is more profitable to bring in guys from India on an H1B visa than to hire Americans to do computer stuff. Just say up front that you can buy off a Chinese ‘indulgence’ for less than the cost of operation in the USA or EU. Profit is a good thing….

    Sure, a few toys from China will have lead paint. Sure, you can’t really understand the ‘support guy’ from India… (not like it matters…. computer jargon being worse than Greek to most folks anyway…) and never mind that those windmills made in China are only harvesting Subsidy Payments from gullible governments…. as long as profits are higher…

    Look, as long as you can get the Rubes to buy into the idea that CO2 matters, and so they shut down the competition in the “Developed World”, and especially if you make them think that they ought to attach some kind of charge or tax on CO2 there, that does not exist in India or China, well, nor your fault they are stupid, right? Just make sure you have your investments in place in China and India first, then get the “protocol” signed to they get a free ride while the competition gets a load of taxes and ‘remediations’ and ‘government oversight’….

    Sigh.

    Like I said, I’m conflicted on this. It makes me money via my coat tails ride on BRKA… but I don’t like the slime of it….

  58. Forgive me for my venturing away form the CO2 topic but the more I research the more curious I get.
    Essentially this is how the AGW Team pitches their CO2 emissions=warming theory.
    “Increased CO2 triggers feedback processes. When it gets warmer, there are more water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn increases temperatures, which in turn release more carbon dioxide from the oceans.”

    OK so CO2 has to first cause warming which then increases water vapor etc.

    Scouring the internet there is much of this sort of thing which tries hard to support the pitch.

    http://www.lmd.ens.fr/wavacs/Lectures/Randel-3.pdf

    But in that powerpoint are Trenberth water vapor graphs ending in 2002.
    They are not very supportive so some handy massaging follows in the powerpoint.
    Other assertions from that 2009 presentation are made about more hefty rainfall events, more severe droughts etc.
    However, this is 2014 and from what I can tell much of that massaging and those assertions are now complete bunk and the atmospheric water vapor in the last 12 years has cooperated even less by declining.
    The entire pitch relying on water vapor is simply not happening.
    As I ponder this I wonder if Trenberth et al are getting increasingly nervous about this particular angle of their adventure because it may very well expose their notion of the “hidden heat” being impossible because there has not been sufficient water vapor to have caused any heat in the first place.
    Meaning that which could not have occurred and does not exist cannot be hidden.
    I see evidence of their worry within their many mentions of how tough it is to confidently measure atmospheric water vapor. When it’s convenient they don’t know much and can’t be too sure. .

  59. So, you’re saying it would be really foolish and futile for the US to double our power costs in an effort to reduce global CO2 emissions?
    Would someone please tell the President.

  60. “I should hope that WUWT does not become a blog where nuclear power generation is advocated as a means to curb anthropogenic CO2.”

    Nuclear power generation is a continually improving, safe, clean, reliable and economically competitive form of energy production. The fact that it produces no CO2 is a benefit of interest only to Warmistas, who are also frequently the same people who believe that it makes us all glow in the dark.

    WUWT does a superb job of running a free science debate forum.

  61. Could we have a chart showing what % of total CO2 emissions has occurred since which dates ie emissions since 1950 are x% of all CO2 emissions, since 1960 its y%, etc etc. Particularly interested in the figure for post 2000, which eyeballing the total missions chart must be a fairly high number, as thats the stat I want to throw at people I’m arguing with about AGW – a large % of all CO2 ever emitted is post 2000, and yet temperatures have cooled since then.

  62. Steve P says:
    August 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    ‘A triple melt-down equates to “…held up pretty well”?’

    Unquestionably. The partial meltdowns which occurred were relatively minor, especially given the circumstances. Have you ever been in a 9.0 earthquake? The most I have experienced is 6.7, and let me tell you, I thought the entire city could not fail to slide off into the ocean. And, the Fukushima reactor was only Gen II. Modern Gen III reactors would have held up much better. Gen IV reactors would have no problem at all.

    As the designs for Gen IV are a work in progress, finding any potential weak points is a process to be encouraged, and should not be considered a final pronouncement on how they will eventually pan out. Particularly not when the criticism is being leveled by something called “nuclearfreeplanet.org”. The name alone should tip you off that the criticisms they might offer are rather likely to be biased and unrealistic.

  63. Bart says:
    August 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The partial meltdowns which occurred were relatively minor,

    Ah so. These are not the meltdowns we need to fear; they were only partial and relatively minor.

    Not according to Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Response HQ, which stated in June 2011 that reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced “a full meltdown.”

    June 7, 2011 5:56 a.m. EDT

    Tokyo (CNN) — Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday.

    The nuclear group’s new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

    The announcement will not change plans for how to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the agency said.

    Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a full meltdown, it said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/06/06/japan.nuclear.meltdown/

    But that’s not the end of it. Not only have the cores melted down, but even worse, they’ve melted through the containment vessels:

    Nuclear fuel has melted through base of Fukushima plant

    The nuclear fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and is pooling in the outer containment vessels, according to a report by the Japanese government.

    The findings of the report, which has been given to the International Atomic Energy Agency, were revealed by the Yomiuri newspaper, which described a “melt-through” as being “far worse than a core meltdown” and “the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8565020/Nuclear-fuel-has-melted-through-base-of-Fukushima-plant.html

    Finally, I must tell you that attacking the source is not a worthy enterprise. All issues must be judged on their own merits, irrespective of the source where they appear.

  64. Bart:

    Let us hear from you again when they have Gen XLVII type reactors up and running. In the meantime go look in the mirror and repeat 20 times “I must get the facts straight..
    I must get the facts straight..”

  65. The first two graphs say strongly that screaming about global warming is GENOCIDE.
    Alarmists hate human beings–and anything else alive. Notice again that they point to melting glaciers as a disaster. What do those pictures show? Trees! What a disaster. catastrophe. something is alive.
    I am a carbon-based life form; I LIKE life (most of the time, anyway) and my purpose is making MORE living things.
    Only “fossil” fuels make more living things on Earth. They are a BLESSING.

    Nuclear reactors threaten the well-being of Earth’s creatures. The challenge is NOT technology. Those problems have been (almost) solved, except for waste. The problem in nukes–including Thorium–is psychology. Nuclear engineers are LIED to about the dangers. A dozen years ago, I read a library book on nuclear safety, written for the industry. It said two people died at Chernobyl. Two plant engineers were exposed to thousands of roentgens and died almost immediately, 30 more were exposed to levels over 600 roentgens; two survived. Thousands of clean-up crew died, and there were many, many thyroid cancers. It is guessed that a million people died from Chernobyl. The Russian economy and life expectancy dropped at that point also, and the loss of a little bit of electricity cannot account for that.
    I also read a book that year by a Russian nuclear scientist about the reactor design. I think it was a sound design, and the industry wants to avoid facing the real issues by blaming a design they need not use gain.
    Chernobyl happened when a test was being prepared that should have been done before the reactor was started in the first place. It was skipped because of enormous Soviet incentives to open the plant on time, and now they were shutting the reactor down for refueling–a good time to do the test. [b]Almost every safety system was shut down for that test.[/b] Only–things went wrong and caused delays. You’ve probably heard that there was gruesome operator error in that disaster. Indeed. Chernobyl happened at two o’clock in the morning to a day crew that was up very very late the second night running. I am sure Soviet nuclear people were lied to about the dangers as well. They took chances.

    I have another reason for opposing nuclear energy that you have never heard before. It is our starship fuel and should not be wasted here on Earth. Both the soviets and the Americans developed nuclear-driven spaceships during the moon race. The only nations with nuclear power plants should be those with a space program, currently the US, Russia, and China.

    England and Israel should join America’s space program, and the rest of Europe should join Russia’s. The rest of the world should join China’s. We should have a three-way race for building two each nuclear-powered shuttles from Earth-orbit to moon-orbit and Earth-orbit to Mars orbit with some fancy prize for the winners. The shuttles throw down
    materials for building a moon colony and a Mars colony. Russia picks their sites first as a prize for Sputnik, America chooses second as a prize for Apollo 11, and China chooses third. Low elevations are not allowed on Mars, because we are going to mine the asteroid belts for water and build seas on Mars.

    These nations need nuclear engineers. America should be building two nuclear plants each decade, no more and no less.

  66. Ed suggested this would be a good addition to the new WUWT CO2 reference page, and I agree, but thought it should get front page attention first. It is a condensed version of an essay published earlier this year. – Anthony

    I’ve added a new section to the WUWT CO2 Reference Page, “Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions By Geography/Country” and included Ed’s graphics below there. Ed, if you have any suggested changes to the graphs or labels, please let us know.

    1965 – 2013 CO2 Emissions Developed World vs. Developing World:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    1980 – 2013 CO2 Emissions and Emission Per Capita/Head Developed World vs. Developing World:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    1965 – 2013 Cumulative CO2 Emissions Developed World vs. Developing World:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    1965 – 2013 CO2 Emissions For Selected Countries:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    1965 – 2013 CO2 Emissions Per Capita/Head For Selected Countries:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    1965 – 2013 CO2 Emissions Per Capita/Head For Selected Countries:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    1965 – 2013 Annual CO2 Emissions Growth vs. Total For Selected Countries:

    Ed Hoskins – British Petroleum Statistical Review – Click the pic to view at source

    Thanks

  67. Is there a trend graph somewhere showing relative proportions of all major sources of CO2 including man made? If we contribute 3-4% then where does the remainder come from?

  68. Steve P says:
    August 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Definitions vary, and not all reports have been accurate. But, bottom line, how many people died? Only one death potentially due to direct radiation exposure (and, they’re not really sure of direct attribution for that one), 6 people who exceeded lifetime dosage guidelines (for which, there is really no particularly sound basis), and a few hundred who got higher than usual doses. Compared to the 15,000 or so who died or went missing from the earthquake and tsunami itself… pffft…

    Compared to the number of people who experience respiratory failure every year because of air pollution from fossil fuel combustion, not really many at all. Not really all that many even compared to the number in China who have been poisoned by the toxic waste from manufacture of solar cells.

    Compared to the number of highway deaths every year, miniscule. I live about 20 miles from a Gen II reactor which supplies power to my region. I’m far more worried every time I get on the highway than I am about that. There are risks all over the place in modern industrial society. Fixating on nuclear power as a threat, when other activities we routinely engage in carry far greater risk, is irrational.

  69. Bart@6:38pm says

    You seem unconcerned to have been found presenting such twisted tales as facts.

  70. mpainter says:
    August 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Why do you have this irrational fear? Why do you think there is no difference between the generations? You’re like the first caveman warning others that fire is bad, and we should just avoid it no matter what precautions we take. “Hey, Og: talk to me when you have Gen XLVII fire.” It’s ridiculous.

    It was a freaking 9.0 earthquake, guys. And, today’s stuff is better, and tomorrow’s will be even better. Get a grip.

  71. There is another aspect to all this which I find curious. The claim is mankind’s emission amounting to about 4% of natural emissions is causing atmospheric CO2 levels to continuously ramp up, doubling in about a century and even if we stopped emitting right now the elevated levels would remain for 1000 years or more. That implies a completely open loop system, no stabilising feedback. After all, the output variable is atmospheric CO2 and how much feedback does it take for a 100% change in the output variable to change the input balance by 4%. Yet the same people claim CO2 levels were stable for 10,000 years before mankind started emitting. That means emission and absorption were exactly balanced to better than 0.01% for the preceeding 10,000 years (if 4% gives a 280ppm change in 100 years for a linear system with no feedback 0.01% over 10,000 years would give 70ppm change). Really!!! A natural system with all the vagaries remains balanced to 1 part in 10,000 or better. What about volcano’s, were they part of the emission/absorption balance? How does that work given the variation in size and timing of erruptions? Did such a precarious balance come about by pure chance? After all the slight change in either the emission or absorption processes in the absence of feedback would cause the atmospheric CO2 levels to either ramp down to 0 or up to Venus type levels. Was it maybe set by god?

    Then again, the NASA satellites show a 30% greening of the planet in the mid latitudes. Greening means more plant matter and part of that plant matter is fixed carbon. Where did the additional carbon come from and why is greening occuring? The cabon could not have come from the atmosphere and the extra growth could not have been from increased atmospheric CO2 because that would be negative feedback and we just declared there is no feedback. Or are we maybe saying the increased carbon absorbed is balanced by more carbon emitted by decaying vegetation in which case one can say the same of all vegetation on Earth with the conclusion that vegetation on earth emits as much CO2 as it absorbs. That of course means there is no mechanism to absorb animal emissions and as we have declared atmospheric CO2 levels have been stable for 10,000 years there must be no animal emissions and hence there must be no animal life on earth.

    A bit flippant? Probably but when a proposition is so absurd, “reduco ad absurdum” seems to be the only answer and in this case the required step is a miniscule one.

  72. nc says:
    August 3, 2014 at 7:47 am

    “Pamela well put. I have found it interesting that all this bs about man’s c02 emissisions always leaves out the ratio between anthropogenic and natural…..”

    That ratio is quite well known, though it’s very inconvenient for the global warming cult.

    Nature emits roughly 30 times more CO2 than mankind. So, if CO2 is a pollutant, Nature is by far the biggest polluter.

    It does seem odd that CO2 has increased by around 50% after mankind increased total emissions by just 3%, particularly as the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is probably just a few years.

    In the BBC Horizon program a few years ago (“Science Under Attack”) the NASA climate scientist told an outrageous lie. As the main part of his ‘proof’ of global warming, he stated that mankind emitted 7 times more CO2 than Nature. The sad thing is that the great majority of the audience wouldn’t know any better and would simply assume he was telling the truth.

    How appropriate that his ‘proof’ should depend on an outrageous and completely provable lie.
    And, yes, science is under attack. But the attack doesn’t come from the sceptics, who are fighting to regain the integrity of science. The attack comes from scientists who care more about their own vested interests and green fantasies.
    Chris

  73. Slightly off-topic but I’m not sure where else to comment: “Diesel ‘deadlier than petrol'”, http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1396924.ece

    “YEARS of official efforts to encourage motorists to switch to diesel cars have backfired spectacularly, according to new evidence from government scientists.

    They have found that the engines are responsible for most of the pollution that is causing 29,000 premature deaths a year in Britain and which has left the country facing legal action by the European Commission.”

    All this to reduce CO2 “pollution”. I wonder how many premature deaths the extra CO2 from petrol engined cars would have caused had the car buyers bought petrol engined instead of diesel; anyone good with stats care to suggest a number?

  74. I don’t think it is fair to say ‘that increase is accelerating’ looking at the first chart.

  75. Chris, I believe he was referring to the yearly increase in the CO2 measurement. It is thought that most of that increase is anthropogenic, meaning that were it not for humans, CO2 would show a flat up and down rhythm. I disagree with that notion but I think that is where that scientist got such a statistic.

    The very slight yearly increase is far too steady to be tied to the ups and downs of human industrial endeavors related to fossil fuel use. In fact, the lack of noise in the data is an odd thing in nature and is in contrast to just about everything else we measure in-situ.

  76. That’s a good point Chris. I rarely see Henry’s law mentioned when people discuss if the increase in CO2 is manmade or natural but I think it’s potentially important. Henry’s law governs the dissolution of gases in water and states that the concentration of a gas in water is proportional to its partial pressure adjacent to the solvent. At the average surface temperature of 15C Henry’s law implies that there must exist about 50 times more CO2 in the oceans than the atmosphere. This is often described as the 1:50 ‘partitioning ratio’. This implies that if you increase CO2 in the atmosphere – when equilibrium is reached – the oceans must absorb 98% of human CO2. I have seen arguments that because of dissociation constants it takes a while for this equilibrium to be established, but if that were true then brewery manufacturers would be out of business and soda siphons would not work. Open a bottle of coke and the CO2 in the water reaches a new equilibrium with the CO2 in the air within hours as the drink goes flat. By my understanding when CO2 dissolves in a bottle of coke it dissociates into HCO3 (bicarbonate ions) and CO32 (carbonate ions) as it does in the oceans also. I have yet to see a reasonable argument as to how human CO2 can accumulate in the atmosphere for centuries without obeying the fast-equilibrium of Henry’s law. The IPCC argue that the oceans cannot absorb CO2 because of the Revelle Factor, but the Revelle Factor seems wrong to me. For one thing it appears to be discriminating between natural and human CO2. The Revelle Factor implies that at the current DIC ratio the surface oceans can only absorb ~10% of anthropogenic CO2. But according to the IPCC’s figures in AR4 the oceans are annually re-absorbing 99% of all natural CO2 they outgas. So on one hand they can only absorb a small fraction of human CO2 due to this ‘chemical back-pressure’ from the Revelle Factor but on the other hand they are re-absorbing practically all of the natural CO2 that they are outgassing. Natural CO2 obeys the fast-equilibrium of Henry’s law but human CO2 appears not to. When the IPCC tested for the Revelle Factor they re-discovered Henry’s law but deleted the results from the final IPCC report as Jeff Glassman explains: “Neither Salby nor the IPCC refers to the solubility of CO2 in water, or to Henry’s Law. In trying to rehabilitate the Revelle Factor for AR4, an IPCC author showed that it was temperature dependent, and as can be seen, resembling Henry’s coefficient for CO2 in water. Expert reviewer Nicolas Gruber explained that this dependence was a “common misconception”. Thereupon the IPCC editor deleted the figure for the final report “in order not to confuse the reader”, supposedly with uncomfortable solubility effects”.

  77. michael hammer says:
    August 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    “A natural system with all the vagaries remains balanced to 1 part in 10,000 or better.”

    Spot on. I’ve been pounding that drum for some time. A model of a rock solid equilibrium, with simultaneous high sensitivity such that our puny emissions send it right off, is completely inconsistent with basic stability theory.

  78. All atmospheric gases: 100.00%
    Total CO2: 000.04% (now +/- 390 ppm so this is a generous estimate)
    Estimated change in atmospheric CO2 since onset of the Industrial Revolution:
    000.012% (+120 ppm, or 280 ppm pre-industrial era increased to now 400 ppm or so)
    And the problem is……………………………………..what?????????

  79. The problem with academic classification of countries like this is that developed and developing are not complimentary categories. They should use undeveloped and developed, or undeveloping/static/developing. Or better yet, three or more GDP per capita classes.

    Another problem is countries never move out of the undeveloped category. Why is S Korea there? Taiwan had chip foundries in the 1990s. China recently caught up with them.

  80. There is an article in the Aug issue of “Chemistry world” ( house journal of the Royal society of Chemistry) by a certain James Hansen whose name may be familiar to some of you .
    It is written from a smog encircled Beijing and argues for the return of nuclear energy to create a carbon- free world .
    He complains of the loss of US nuclear research into fast breeders due to decisions by Carter and Clinton primarily and points out that just one of the 2 AP-1000 nuclear plants being built in China by Westinghouse yields as much electricity as 10 of the Ivanpah solar plants recently opened in the US South West , with a much lower land footprint.
    The article is entitled , with to my mind a touch of unconscious irony: ” The energy to fight injustice”

  81. chipstero7 says:
    August 4, 2014 at 7:46 am

    I rarely see Henry’s law mentioned when people discuss if the increase in CO2 is manmade or natural but I think it’s potentially important.

    It is important, but in a different way than you see it:
    Henry’s Law is for pressure differences, not for quantities. It doesn’t matter if the amounts in the (deep) oceans are 50 times that in the atmosphere, it matters what the pressure difference is between CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 in the ocean surface.
    Take a Coke bottle of 0.5, 1 and 1.5 liter, shake them at the same temperature and if they are filled from the same batch, you will find hardly any difference in pressure under the screw cap.

    Currently the pressure in the atmosphere, as area weighted average, is slightly higher than in the ocean surfaces. That means that in average more CO2 is entering the oceans than is released by the oceans:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml and following pages

    Further, while the ocean surface is quite fast equilibrating with the atmosphere, the deep oceans exchanges are quite limited. The ocean surface can absorb only 10% of the change in the atmosphere, due to constraints in buffering (the Revelle/buffer factor), that is about 0.5 GtC/year of the 9 GtC emissions. That factor is in fact how much more CO2 can dissolve in seawater than in fresh water: in fresh water only 1% of the atmospheric change shows up, due to the low pH of the solution and no buffering.
    No problem for the deep oceans, but the exchange rate is much slower and the change in pressure difference over time only shows some 3 GtC/year extra uptake by the deep oceans.

    The difference between the huge seasonal exchanges (mainly from the ocean surface) and the uptake of extra CO2 is that the seasonal exchanges are temperature dependent, while the extra uptake is pressure dependent. Temperature increases drives CO2 out of the ocean surface at high speed, but up to maximum 17 ppmv/°C before reaching a new equilibrium (yes, Henry’s Law). Because the temperature change is only over half a year and vegetation acts in opposite way, the amplitude is about 5 ppm/°C, where the (NH extra-tropical) vegetation is dominant, not the oceans. But still the exchanges are huge. The difference after a full seasonal cycle is what matters for any removal, and that is mainly pressure (difference) dependent, less temperature dependent.

    The remaining difference between human emissions and what is found as increase in the atmosphere is taken away by (land) plants (sea plants have plenty of CO2 available): some 1 GtC/year:

    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

    That makes that about halve of the extra CO2 induced by humans is taken away (as mass, not as original molecules) by different other reservoirs. Not fast enough to remove all extra CO2 within short time, but fast enough to follow temperature over MWP-LIA or ice ages.
    The estimate of the average e-decay rate of any extra CO2 in the atmosphere is over 50 years:
    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm or a half life time of ~40 years.

    Much faster than the IPCC hundreds to thousands of years, as these are based on the Bern model, which implies a saturation of the deep oceans, for which currently is not the slightest indication.

  82. michael hammer says:
    August 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    That implies a completely open loop system, no stabilising feedback. After all, the output variable is atmospheric CO2 and how much feedback does it take for a 100% change in the output variable to change the input balance by 4%. Yet the same people claim CO2 levels were stable for 10,000 years before mankind started emitting.

    That is a matter of decay rate: a decay rate of ~52 years (~40 years half life time) is too slow to accommodate for the human emissions, but by far fast enough to accommodate for the hundreds of years MWP-LIA transition or the thousands of years glacial-interglacial transitions. Even if the latter gives a change of ~100 ppmv, the rate of change was not more than 0.02 ppmv/year. Doesn’t need a huge feedback…

    The natural short term year by year variability is around +/- 1 ppmv over the past 55 years, but averaging out after 2-3 years. No big deal from that. Long term changes were around 8 ppmv/°C and mainly deep ocean dominated.

    While volcanoes were huge players in certain periods of time (Deccan Traps), they aren’t today. Even the Pinatubo eruption doesn’t show up in the CO2 record, except strongly negative: more CO2 uptake (probably by more photosynthesis due to diffuse sunlight).

    In summary: there is a quite effective feedback by the deep oceans and vegetation, but both need time to remove the extra CO2 out of the atmosphere…

  83. Pam;
    We need a letter- writing campaign to thank the Chinese for their contributions to near- and mid-term plant growth, notably in their own arid regions, and to encourage them to redouble their efforts. cc the newspapers and EPA.

Comments are closed.