CO2 data might fit the IPCC hypothesis, but it doesn’t fit reality

Opinion by Dr. Tim Ball

I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. – Arthur Conan Doyle. (Sherlock Holmes)

Create The Facts You Want.

In a comment about the WUWT article “The Record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions: 1965-2013”, Pamela Gray, graphically but pointedly, summarized the situation.

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?

The only quibble I have is that the amount illustrates the futility of the claims, as Gray notes, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are focused on trends and attribution. It must have a human cause and be steadily increasing, or, as they prefer – getting worse.

Narrowing the Focus

It’s necessary to revisit criticisms of CO2 levels created by the IPCC over the last several years. Nowadays, a measure of the accuracy of the criticisms, are the vehemence of the personal attacks designed to divert from the science and evidence.

From its inception, the IPCC focused on human production of CO2. It began with the definition of climate change, provided by the UNFCCC, as only those caused by humans. The goal was to prove their hypothesis that increase of atmospheric CO2 would cause warming. This required evidence that the level increased from pre-Industrial times, and would increase each year because of human industrial activity. How long before they start reducing the rate of CO2 increase to make it fit the declining temperatures? They are running out of guesses, 30 at latest count, to explain the continued lack of temperature increase now at 17 years and 10 months.

The IPCC makes the bizarre claim that up until 1950 human addition of CO2 was a minor driver of global temperature. After that over 90 percent of temperature increase is due to human CO2.

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.

 

The claim that a fractional increase in CO2 from human sources, which is naturally only 4 percent of all greenhouse gases, become the dominant factor in just a couple of years is incredulous. This claim comes from computer models, which are the only place in the world where a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase. It depends on human production and atmospheric levels increasing. It assumes temperature continues to increase, as all three of IPCC scenario projections imply.

Their frustration is they control the CO2 data, but after the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) began satellite global temperature data, control of temperature data was curtailed. It didn’t stop them completely, as disclosures by McIntyre, Watts, Goddard, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition among others, illustrated. They all showed adjustments designed to enhance and emphasize higher modern temperatures.

Now they’re confronted with T. H. Huxley’s challenge,

The Great Tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

This article examines how the modern levels of atmospheric CO2 were determined and controlled to fit the hypothesis. They may fit a political agenda, but they don’t fit nature’s agenda.

New Deductive Method; Create the Facts to Fit the Theory

Farhad Manjoo asked in True Enough: Learning To Live In A Post-fact Society,

“Why has punditry lately overtaken news? Why do lies seem to linger so long in the cultural subconscious even after they’ve been thoroughly discredited? And why, when more people than ever before are documenting the truth with laptops and digital cameras, does fact-free spin and propaganda seem to work so well?”

Manjoo’s comments apply to society in general, but are enhanced about climate science because of differing public abilities with regard to scientific issues. A large majority is more easily deceived.

Manjoo argues that people create facts themselves or find someone to produce them. Creating data is the only option in climate science because, as the 1999 NRC Report found, there is virtually none. A response to February 3, 1999 US National Research Council (NRC) Report on Climate Data said,

“Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.

The situation is worse today. The number of stations used is dramatically reduced and records adjusted to lower historic temperature data, which increases the gradient of the record. Lack of data for the oceans was recently identified.

“Two of the world’s premiere ocean scientists from Harvard and MIT have addressed the data limitations that currently prevent the oceanographic community from resolving the differences among various estimates of changing ocean heat content.”

Oceans are critical to CO2 levels because of their large sink or source capacity.

Data necessary to create a viable determination of climate mechanisms and thereby climate change, is completely inadequate. This applies especially to the structure of climate models. There is no data for at least 80 percent of the grids covering the globe, so they guess; it’s called parameterization. The 2007 IPCC Report notes,

Due to the limited resolutions of the models, many of these processes are not resolved adequately by the model grid and must therefore be parameterized. The differences between parameterizations are an important reason why climate model results differ.

Variable results occur because of inadequate data at the most basic level and subjective choices by the people involved.

The IPCC Produce The Human Production Numbers

In the 2001, IPCC Report identified 6.5 GtC (gigatons of carbon) from human sources. The figure rose to 7.5 GtC in the 2007 report and by 2010 it was 9.5 GtC. Where did they get these numbers? The answer is the IPCC has them produced and then vet them. In the FAQ section they ask, “How does the IPCC produce its Inventory Guidelines?”

Utilizing IPCC procedures, nominated experts from around the world draft the reports that are then extensively reviewed twice before approval by the IPCC.

They were called Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) until the 2013 Report, when they became Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP). In March 2001, John Daly reports Richard Lindzen referring to the SRES and the entire IPCC process including SRES as follows,

In a recent interview with James Glassman, Dr. Lindzen said that the latest report of the UN-IPCC (that he helped author), “was very much a children’s exercise of what might possibly happen” prepared by a “peculiar group” with “no technical competence.”

William Kininmonth, author of the insightful book “Climate Change: A Natural Hazard”, was former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre and their delegate to the WMO Commission for Climatology. He wrote the following in an email on the ClimateSceptics group page.

I was at first confused to see the RCP concept emerge in AR5. I have come to the conclusion that RCP is no more than a sleight of hand to confuse readers and hide absurdities in the previous approach.

You will recall that the previous carbon emission scenarios were supposed to be based on solid economic models. However, this basis was challenged by reputable economists and the IPCC economic modelling was left rather ragged and a huge question mark hanging over it.

I sense the RCP approach is to bypass the fraught economic modelling: prescribed radiation forcing pathways are fed into the climate models to give future temperature rise—if the radiation forcing plateaus at 8.5W/m2 sometime after 2100 then the global temperature rise will be 3C. But what does 8.5 W/m2 mean? Previously it was suggested that a doubling of CO2 would give a radiation forcing of 3.7 W/m2. To reach a radiation forcing of 7.4 W/m2 would thus require a doubling again—4 times CO2 concentration. Thus to follow RCP8.5 it is necessary for the atmospheric CO2 concentration equivalent to exceed 1120ppm after 2100.

We are left questioning the realism of a RCP 8.5 scenario. Is there any likelihood of the atmospheric CO2 reaching about 1120 ppm by 2100? IPCC has raised a straw man scenario to give a ‘dangerous’ global temperature rise of about 3C early in the 22nd century knowing full well that such a concentration has an extremely low probability of being achieved. But, of course, this is not explained to the politicians and policymakers. They are told of the dangerous outcome if the RCP8.5 is followed without being told of the low probability of it occurring.

One absurdity is replaced by another! Or have I missed something fundamental?[1]

No, nothing is missed! However, in reality, it doesn’t matter whether it changes anything; it achieves the goal of increasing CO2 and its supposed impact of global warming. Underpinning of IPCC climate science and the economics depends on accurate data and knowledge of mechanisms and that is not available.

We know there was insufficient weather data on which to construct climate models and the situation deteriorated as they eliminated weather stations, ‘adjusted’ them and then cherry-picked data. We know knowledge of mechanisms is inadequate because the IPCC WGI Science Report says so.

Unfortunately, the total surface heat and water fluxes (see Supplementary Material, Figure S8.14) are not well observed.

or

For models to simulate accurately the seasonally varying pattern of precipitation, they must correctly simulate a number of processes (e.g., evapotranspiration, condensation, transport) that are difficult to evaluate at a global scale.

 

Two critical situations were central to control of atmospheric CO2 levels. We know Guy Stewart Callendar, A British steam engineer, cherry-picked the low readings from 90,000 19th century atmospheric CO2 measures. This not only established a low pre-industrial level, but also altered the trend of atmospheric levels. (Figure 1)

clip_image002

Figure 1 (After Jaworowski; Trend lines added)

Callendar’s work was influential in the Gore generated claims of human induced CO2 increases. However, the most influential paper in the climate community, especially at CRU and the IPCC, was Tom Wigley’s 1983 paper “The pre-industrial carbon dioxide level.” (Climatic Change. 5, 315-320). I held seminars in my graduate level climate course about its validity and selectivity to establish a pre-industrial base line.

I wrote an obituary on learning of Becks untimely death.

I was flattered when he asked me to review one of his early papers on the historic pattern of atmospheric CO2 and its relationship to global warming. I was struck by the precision, detail and perceptiveness of his work and urged its publication. I also warned him about the personal attacks and unscientific challenges he could expect. On 6 November 2009 he wrote to me,In Germany the situation is comparable to the times of medieval inquisition.” Fortunately, he was not deterred. His friend Edgar Gartner explained Ernst’s contribution in his obituary. “Due to his immense specialized knowledge and his methodical severity Ernst very promptly noticed numerous inconsistencies in the statements of the Intergovernmental Penal on Climate Change IPCC. He considered the warming of the earth’s atmosphere as a result of a rise of the carbon dioxide content of the air of approximately 0.03 to 0.04 percent as impossible. And it doubted that the curve of the CO2 increase noted on the Hawaii volcano Mauna Loa since 1957/58 could be extrapolated linear back to the 19th century.” (This is a translation from the German)

Beck was the first to analyze in detail the 19th century data. It was data collected for scientific attempts to measure precisely the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. It began in 1812, triggered by Priestly’s work on atmospheric oxygen, and was part of the scientific effort to quantify all atmospheric gases. There was no immediate political motive. Beck did not cherry-pick the results, but examined the method, location and as much detail as possible for each measure, in complete contrast to what Callendar and Wigley did.

The IPCC had to show that,

· Increases in atmospheric CO2 caused temperature increase in the historic record.

· Current levels are unusually high relative to the historic record.

· Current levels are much higher than pre-industrial levels.

· The differences between pre-industrial and current atmospheric levels are due to human additions of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Beck’s work showed the fallacy of these claims and in so doing put a big target on his back.

Again from my obituary;

Ernst Georg Beck was a scholar and gentleman in every sense of the term. His friend wrote, “They tried to denounce Ernst Georg Beck in the Internet as naive amateur and data counterfeiter. Unfortunately, Ernst could hardly defend himself in the last months because of its progressive illness.” His work, determination and ethics were all directed at answering questions in the skeptical method that is true science; the antithesis of the efforts of all those who challenged and tried to block or denigrate him.

The 19th-century CO2 measures are no less accurate than those for temperature; indeed, I would argue that Beck shows they are superior. So why, for example, are his assessments any less valid than those made for the early portions of the Central England Temperatures (CET)? I spoke at length with Hubert Lamb about the early portion of Manley’s CET reconstruction because the instruments, locations, measures, records and knowledge of the observers were comparable to those in the Hudson’s Bay Company record I was dealing with.

Once the pre-industrial level was created it became necessary to ensure the new CO2 post-industrial trend continued. It was achieved when C.D.Keeling established the Mauna Loa CO2 measuring station. As Beck notes,

Modern greenhouse hypothesis is based on the work of G.S. Callendar and C.D. Keeling, following S. Arrhenius, as latterly popularized by the IPCC.

Keeling’s son operates Mauna Loa and as Beck notes, “owns the global monopoly of calibration of all CO2 measurements.” He is also a co-author of the IPCC reports, which accept Mauna Loa and all other readings as representative of global levels. So the IPCC control the human production figures and the atmospheric CO2 levels and both are constantly and consistently increasing.

This diverts from the real problem with the measures and claims. The fundamental IPCC objective is to identify human causes of global warming. You can only determine the human portion and contribution if you know natural levels and how much they vary and we have only very crude estimates.

What Values Are Used for Each Component of the Carbon Cycle?

Dr. Dietrich Koelle is one of the few scientists to assess estimates of natural annual CO2 emissions.

Annual Carbon Dioxide Emissions GtC per annum

1.Respiration (Humans, animals, phytoplankton) 45 to 52

2. Ocean out-gassing (tropical areas) 90 to 100

3. Volcanic and other ground sources 0.5 to 2

4. Ground bacteria, rotting and decay 50 to 60

5. Forest cutting, forest fires 1 to 3

6. Anthropogenic emissions Fossil Fuels (2010) 9.5

TOTAL 196 to 226.5

Source: Dr. Dietrich Koelle

The IPCC estimate of human production (6) for 2010 was 9.5 GtC, but that is total production. One of the early issues in the push to ratify the Kyoto Protocol was an attempt to get US ratification. The US asked for carbon credits, primarily for CO2 removed through reforestation, so a net figure would apply to their assessment as a developed nation. It was denied. The reality is the net figure better represents human impact. If we use human net production (6) at 5 GtC for 2010, then it falls within the range of the estimate for three natural sources, (1), (2), and (4).

The Truth Will Out.

How much longer will the IPCC continue to produce CO2 data with trends to fit their hypothesis that temperature will continue to rise? How much longer before the public become aware of Gray’s colorful observation that, “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.” The almost 18-year leveling and slight reduction in global temperature is essentially impossible based on IPCC assumptions. One claim is already made that the hiatus doesn’t negate their science or projections, instead of acknowledging it, along with failed predictions completely rejects their fear mongering.

IPCC and EPA have already shown that being wrong or being caught doesn’t matter. The objective is the scary headline, enhanced by the constant claim it is getting worse at an increasing rate, and time is running out. Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” We must make sure they are real and not ignored.


[1] Reproduced with permission of William Kininmonth.

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240 thoughts on “CO2 data might fit the IPCC hypothesis, but it doesn’t fit reality

  1. A typical Beck site was Giessen. Ferdinand E has a plot of the daily cycle here, with modern measurements every half hour. They vary during a day from 350 to 500 ppm. You can analyse as accurately as you like, but the answer will depend on what time you sample. This has nothing to do with global CO2.

    Here is a plot of CO2 measured at Mauna Loa, and in ice cores, over the last thousand years, matched with tonnage of emissions and CO2 liberated by land clearing. It’s hard to say human emissions had nothing to do with the CO2 rise.

  2. Sorry Dr. Ball, this is such a bunch of nonsense and misinterpretations that I don’t even know where to start.

    CO2 emissions inventories are not done by the IPCC. The guidelines are made by the IPCC, but the inventories are made by the governments of each country based on production / use of fossil fuels.
    The IPCC doesn’t control these figures, except if clear mistakes were made or clarifications are needed. But still others like oil giant BP give similar overviews.
    That has nothing to do with the future scenario’s used by the IPCC to test the different climate models for what “may” happen with climate for different emissions schemes.

    Their frustration is they control the CO2 data
    this is just nonsense: they don’t control the CO2 data, neither of human emissions nor of the measurements. Or do you really think that they will curb the Mauna Loa and lots of other station data to accommodate with the temperature “pause”? I suppose that the hundreds of people working in different organizations in different countries all measuring CO2 wouldn’t appreciate that.

    Beck did not cherry-pick the results, but examined the method, location and as much detail as possible for each measure, in complete contrast to what Callendar and Wigley did.

    Again sorry, but that was the problem with the late Beck’s interpretation of the data: he didn’t cherry pick the data, he simply lumped them all together: the good, the bad and the ugly. Guy Callendar had pre-defined criteria like “not done for agricultural purposes”. That would remove a lot of suspect data which were used by Beck: all series from Poonah (India) were taken under, above and in between growing crops, which has nothing to do with “background” CO2, but it is one of the two long series used by Beck, which causes his “peak” in CO2 of around 1942.

    Simply said, a lot of data used by Beck and rejected by Callendar were taken over land near huge sources and sinks of CO2. That is the equivalent of temperature measurements on a hot asphalt roof.
    Callendar was right, Beck was wrong: decennia after Callendar, the measurements taken at better places: over the oceans, or at the seaside with wind from the oceans all are around the ice core data for the same time frame.
    See further:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    The 19th-century CO2 measures are no less accurate than those for temperature

    The accuracy of most old wet methods was +/- 10 ppmv (several were much worse), hardly sufficient to see the seasonal variations or a trend in that period. Reason why Keeling was searching for more accurate methods which were also far less labor and maintenance intensive.

    owns the global monopoly of calibration of all CO2 measurements
    Keeling Jr. owns nothing. In the early days Scripps with Keeling Sr. did calibrate all instruments and calibration gases over all the world, because that is what needs to be done by someone somewhere.
    Some years ago, NOAA got the calibration task from he WMO, but still (the Japanese and) Scripps have their own calibration sets. Scripps still measures at Mauna Loa independent of NOAA. If NOAA would change the data, I am pretty sure Scripps would react, as they still are mad that NOAA did get their work.

    If we use human net production (6) at 5 GtC for 2010, then it falls within the range of the estimate for three natural sources, (1), (2), and (4).

    Completely irrelevant: human net production is additional, the natural sources are more than compensated with natural sinks: Nature is a net sink for CO2, not a source.

    Thus sorry Dr. Ball, too many misinterpretations and non-factual remarks not based on actual information…

  3. Anthony……never ever forget the IPCC and global whatever was created to advance Agenda 21 of the UN.Let there be no mistake about that. (and cops at the door again).

  4. … After that over 90 percent of temperature increase is due to human CO2.
    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.

    Author is misreading this I think. What it says it that the IPCC is 95% confident (very likely) that over 50% (Most of) of the increase is anthropogenic. 90% isn’t mentioned anywhere.

  5. “The claim that a fractional increase in CO2 from human sources, which is naturally only 4 percent of all greenhouse gases, become the dominant factor in just a couple of years is incredulous.”

    Incredulous means “skeptical”

    The word you are looking for is “incredible”.

  6. The “adjustment” of historic data on CO2 concentration or temperature in order to justify an extrapolated future extreme warming has implications beyond its immediate effect on the increased taxation we are all experiencing. Those professionals who have to plan future health requirements , agricultural needs or even financial market trends are all involved .
    An example will show what I mean , taken from a short BBC radio news item yesterday. A botanist was explaining that the conversion of CO2 into sugars, and hence the yield of cereals , occurs by 2 mechanisms : the “C3″ route , the original mechanism , and a “C4″ route evolved about 60 M years ago as the climate became warmer and drier . Rice , the staple cereal of about 1/2 the world’s population , is a member of the C3 family , whilst Maize , with its enormously greater yield belongs to the C4 group. Apparently attempts are being made to gene convert rice into a C4 type cereal because of the future hotter global climate that the climate scientists are promising.
    Given that changes in rice variety tend to be irreversible , (think of the success of “miracle rice”), and that a few people think that the future may be not a warmer , but a colder , climate then the lives of those 1 billion people for whom rice is the major calorie source will be badly affected if plant breeding in general is based on what appears to be , from the essay above, a possibly dubious scientific basis.

  7. Actually, this is quite false.

    “Take out just the anthropogenic CO2 and rerun the past 30 years of weather. The exact same weather pattern variations would have occurred.

    As Pamela should know in order to improve the forecast ability of weather models you actually have to model radiative physics and yes that includes C02.

  8. Dr Ball, thanks for the article but please be careful about citing Goddard as an authority. For every 5 clever insights he has on climate, he’ll toss in 5 equally absurd ones. Your opponents will focus on the weakest links in your claims.

  9. Let’s see how ionization of the stratosphere above the polar circle influences the shape of the polar vortex.

  10. “Using the oxygen isotope and Sr/Ca thermometers measured in Barbados corals spanning the last deglaciation, we first concluded that tropical sea surface temperatures were as much as 5 degrees cooler during the last glacial period. Although we have since abandoned the Sr/Ca thermometer based on our coral culture experiments; our sea surface temperature estimates still stand based on the strength of the original oxygen isotope data. Several other proxies, including noble gas paleothermometers, tropical ice cores, and some pollen-based reconstructions, confirmed cool tropical temperatures. Prior to our tropical sea surface temperature results, the CLIMAP sea surface temperature reconstructions based on statistical analyses of microfossil abundances in deep sea cores, indicated constant tropical sea surface temperatures. The assumption of constant tropical sea surface temperatures and polar regions that varied synchronously had a profound influence on the course of research for over two decades. The climate and paleoceanographic communities looked to atmospheric CO 2 and deep ocean currents to transmit climate signals from the north to the south either over (CO 2 ) or under (NADW) the tropics. Recognition that the tropics are not thermostated at present day temperatures but are free to change by more than 5°C shifted the climate community’s focus to the role of the tropics in possibly driving global climate change. This remains one of the most exciting and challenging topics in paleoceanographic research. Our current research is directed toward development and testing new paleotemperature proxies in corals through culture experiments and application of these new proxy thermometers to our coral sample set. In addition, we are preparing a series of papers that reanalyze the global alkenone, Mg/Ca, δ 18 O, and foraminifera transfer function sea surface temperature estimates based on our thermocline/flux model.”

    http://radiocarbon.ldeo.columbia.edu/research/sst.htm

  11. I always enjoy Pamela’s posts. She has a gift for reducing complex assertions into common sense analogies which is sorely lacking in today’s discussions.

    I used to grow tomatoes as a hobby. I only grew the heirloom varieties. My plants didn’t care one iota that July of any given year had an average temperature that was 1 deg warmer or 1 deg cooler than the year before. They also had no knowledge of what the “trend” was. They responded to light cycles from the sun. Days were long enough to provide enough sunlight for that particular type of plant to bear fruit, which has happened for hundreds of years. But I’m given to understand that a shift of 2 deg over a period of 20yrs will be catastrophic. It defies all logic and reasoning.

    3 winters ago in the Northeast, we had a very warm and early spring. All of the golf courses were open for play in March. Two common statements were heard frequently; “I’ve never seen anything like this in 50yrs!” and “This is certainly evidence of global warming.” The former was from local people, who were enjoying a wonderful anommaly regarding typical New England weather. The latter was from all of the local news stations. Last spring almost didn’t happen. It stayed cold for an extended period of time, and it seemed it would never end. I never heard a single “news” station say “Ok…I guess our coverage last year attributing the unusually eary spring weather to Global Warming may have been a bit premature.”
    Of course, the “true believers” wrote this off as “That’s weather, not climate.”
    Given the decline in temps over the past 10 +- years, has anyone noticed trees migrating south?…birds?…have the gardening zones been readjusted to compensate for this cooling? Does Maine not have their traditional Strawberry Festivals in July each year?
    In discussions with friends, when all of this logic and reasoning failed, my go to question that I got from a post many years ago here on WUWT is “Assuming that you could actually CONTROL the temperature of the globe, what would you set the thermostat to?”
    That always gets met with a blank stare.

    Keep on posting, Pamela…your contributions here are much appreciated :)

    Jim

  12. Tim Ball:

    Thankyou for your much-needed essay.

    The single most important fact in your essay is this

    Creating data is the only option in climate science because, as the 1999 NRC Report found, there is virtually none.

    Yes! And people select from what little data exists, revile the remainder, then build mountains of conjecture from their selection before proclaiming their conjectures are facts!

    In reality, as you say, there is almost no data on the carbon cycle and the paucity of data enables almost any conjecture – however ridiculous – to be modelled with agreement to the existing data.
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )

    Richard

  13. Will: Linus Pauling was similar to Goddard. Answering a question on how he comes up with so many good ideas, he explained that he just gets lots and lots of ideas, and then discards all the bad ones.

  14. The claim that a fractional increase in CO2 from human sources, which is naturally only 4 percent of all greenhouse gases, become the dominant factor in just a couple of years is incredulous.
    ==============

    You may be incredulous to hear the claim, but the claim itself is more correctly described as “incredible”.

  15. The ”critical” 8.5W/m2 that would provide the dangerous warming is a grasp at nothing. The Radiation Equilibrium Temperature of 8.5W/m2 is -(minus)160C. A real big help for dangerous warming.

  16. Mayor of Venus:

    “Will: Linus Pauling was similar to Goddard. Answering a question on how he comes up with so many good ideas, he explained that he just gets lots and lots of ideas, and then discards all the bad ones.”

    Except Goddard and Pauling can’t and couldn’t tell good ideas from bad ones. Pauling turned into a crank at the end of his career, publishing pamphlets claiming that mega doses of vitamin C cured the common cold. Apparently giving everyone vitamin C tablets would save billions in health costs and productivity losses… On his blog today Goddard claimed he could detect the rate of change in global sea level rise using a single tide gauge. And nobody was going to set him straight on that. ;-)

  17. Since I cannot sort out the claims and counterclaims, I think it is important for Dr. Ball to address the first 2 comments. This is the beauty of this process.

  18. The situation is worse today. The number of stations used is dramatically reduced and records adjusted to lower historic temperature data, which increases the gradient of the record.

    No-one disputes that do they?

    So let’s push hard on “records adjusted to lower historic temperature data“.
    If it’s justified make them say so and why.
    It will expose how unreliable these records that we are beating, are.

    If it’s not justified…

  19. A nice wrap up of CO2 and where it comes from and is going. I notice some sniping at the edges.
    But the central point remains uncontested.

    That the IPCC organization controls co2 data to fit a pre-set hypothesis?

    That claim seems to have been contested by two commenters above.

  20. It makes no difference where the increased CO2 comes from, so it’s a red herring. The increased CO2 is nothing but a boon to all of life, and especially to man, by helping plants grow. Whatever warming effect it may have had cannot be sussed from what is natural, and only in the twisted, humanity-hating minds of the Warmistas could a small amount of warming be a detriment to “the planet”.

  21. Will Nitschke says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:11 am

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

    While you denigrate Pauling with regards to the use of vitamin C to combat the common cold I ask, have you personally tried it?

    Well I have and I haven’t had a cold in over 15 years to 20 years. Have recommended the same to many in my circles that could not shake a severe cold through the use of antibiotics and it proved effective.

  22. Daniel G. says:August 5, 2014 at 4:35 am
    “That the IPCC organization controls co2 data to fit a pre-set hypothesis?
    That claim seems to have been contested by two commenters above.”

    Yes. Emissions data comes from the US DoE at Oak Ridge. And CO2 measurements come from many sites around the world, but the main player is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

  23. Mayor of Venus says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Will: Linus Pauling was similar to Goddard. Answering a question on how he comes up with so many good ideas, he explained that he just gets lots and lots of ideas, and then discards all the bad ones.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Goddard discard a bad idea. I’m not sure if he’s ever admitted to having a bad idea more than once or twice a year.

  24. A typical Beck site was Giessen. Ferdinand E has a plot of the daily cycle here, with modern measurements every half hour. They vary during a day from 350 to 500 ppm. You can analyse as accurately as you like, but the answer will depend on what time you sample. This has nothing to do with global CO2.

    This is very disturbing, actually. So much for CO_2 being a well-mixed gas. On the other hand, co-analysis of this data with local temperatures and direct measurements of atmospheric radiative spectra similarly sampled should yield a lot of interesting data, given that the daily peaks appear to be order of 500 ppm. I confess that I’m having a real problem even imagining a local uptake/delivery mechanism that could drop levels to a sharp, consistent 350 ppm for half of every day on a planet with a supposed “well-mixed” background of 400 ppm and then spike to over 500 ppm over the other half, though. It would also be interesting to integrate over time to obtain the actual average.

    Note well that your objections also apply to the entire temperature record, everywhere, and most of the other major parameters of interest in climate prediction or reconstruction. Daily temperatures vary by as much as 45-50 C (or as little as 0-1 C). As you say “You can analyze as accurately as you like, but the answer will depend on the time you sample. This has nothing to do with global…” land temperature? rainfall? sea surface temperature? humidity? wind field (often have to get down to the second, there)? cloud cover? albedo? aerosol levels? air pressure?

    It is extremely constructive to contemplate the probable hourly variations in the total greenhouse effect due to direct variation of atmospheric pressure (not partial pressure of CO_2) compared to the variations expected from increasing already-saturated CO_2. One is signal, the other is noise. Do we even have real-time parameters for the signal (increased pressure directly modulating the absorptivity of all of the GHGs by altering the pressure broadening of the absorptive bands) in the models? We certainly put a lot of weight on the expected behavior of the noise…

    The interesting thing is that we somehow imagine that we can go back in the historical record of observations (of almost anything) and “correct” it a century after the fact, with a correction that never seems to come at the cost of estimated precision in the corrected data. I would wax poetic on the Bayesian priors (usually unstated) necessary for this task to proceed, or the posterior probabilities associated with those priors after the fact, but why bother? Unless or until climate scientists are required to actually learn some statistics (and work well within its axiomatic confines when making statements about “confidence” instead of pulling confidence assertions in summaries for policy makers out of the region of nether cheeks with no possible axiomatic, computable justification) we will continue to have disclaimers quietly tucked away in the statistics section of the ARs where nobody will ever read them or understand them if they happen upon them that totally contradict the assertions of “high confidence” in e.g. the attributions of cause in the SPM.

    rgb

  25. rgbatduke says: August 5, 2014 at 5:39 am
    “So much for CO_2 being a well-mixed gas.”

    As with much of Beck’s data, you are seeing a daily cycle dominated by plant respiration/photosynthesis. That is close to the ground in Europe. If you get away from that, as at these sites, for example, you’ll avoid that daily cycle, and the measures are in close agreement, which indicares good mixing.

  26. Steven Mosher, you must be kidding. Take out just the anthropogenic portion of CO2 radiative affects and rerun weather (or if you prefer, climate) models at a 30 year time span (along with the necessary multiple trials). Run them just like the IPCC does. You would not be able to use the difference between the two sets of multiple spaghetti runs to say anything at all about the weather future. And you know that. In those spaghetti graphs, the ups and downs of the scenario results will have such a broad (and broadening) road, you might as well flip a coin to get better results. I stand completely behind my thought experiment and will not give an inch to you. We could have had the same weather, worse weather, or better weather. Anthropogenic CO2 radiative affects do not determine weather, therefore they cannot determine climate.

    Look folks, the thing that determines weather thus climate is geography and your location in it, interacting with large and small scale oceanic/atmospheric teleconnected pressure systems. It is the battle of pressure systems, air heated or cooled, ladened with or not ladened with moisture, and traveling over your geographic location. Which one of these could anthropogenic CO2 substantially change, and even create a trend? It would have to be able to get in that powerful mix and muscle it around. It’s like saying the mouse lifts the elephant and hurls him out of the room instead of the elephant leaving under its own power.

    So back to you Mosher. I am not saying that atmospheric gasses are not capable of reabsorbing and re-emitting longwave infrared radiation. Of course they are. I am saying that the anthropogenic CO2 molecules (a tiny, tiny fraction of all the LWIR absorbing/reemitting molecules present) in the atmosphere at any given time are not capable of changing the weather, thus the climate. Doesn’t have the cojones and the noise of natural forces buries it.

  27. From the original post:
    The reality is the net figure better represents human impact. If we use human net production (6) at 5 GtC for 2010, then it falls within the range of the estimate for three natural sources, (1), (2), and (4).

    Well if the net figure is a better representation then we should use it for the natural sources as well, unfortunately for your thesis it’s overall negative, i.e. about -3GtC, which is why you don’t use it.

  28. The point that the increase of CO2 over the past 30 years could be removed with no significant impact on weather seems valid since weather patterns over the past 30 years are basically indistinguishable from even longer historical trend records.
    However, the assertions that the IPCC is incontrol of CO2 records and other inflammatory and easily disputed/disproven claims only distracts from the issue.

  29. How dead is dead? It’s farcical, who doesn’t agree with the premise that if the forecast does not meet the reality, the forecast is wrong, as is the theory underpinning it. The question now becomes how long can the Post AGW debate stagger on.

  30. I was tempted to add to my article a paragraph predicting who would react immediately and what they would say. They didn’t let me down.

    Two comments by others expose false IPCC assumptions. First, that CO2 is evenly distributed through the atmosphere and second that somehow properties of CO2 don’t apply in air near the ground – insolation and IR pass through the entire atmospheric column.

  31. Pamela Gray,

    You mean something like this?

    Generally model runs with and without anthropogenic forcings have pretty distinctly different trajectories over the last 30 years.

  32. rgbatduke says:
    August 5, 2014 at 5:39 am

    rg, CO2 is not well mixed in 5% of the atmosphere: the first few hundred meters over land near huge sources and sinks. Plants are huge sources at night (respiring up to 60 GtC summed over a year) and huge sinks during daylight (120 GtC intake over a year, but decay from falling leaves etc. add some 60 GtC/year again to the atmosphere).
    CO2 is well mixed in 95% of the atmosphere: on mountain tops, in deserts and everywhere over the oceans or coastal with wind from the seaside.
    Several tall towers measure CO2 at different heights (to calculate in/out fluxes) over land, which shows the difference in variability. Here for Cabauw (The Netherlands):

    The problem with many historical data is exactly that they were taken near ground over land: the middle of towns, under inversion, mountain valleys, forests,… mostly unsuitable to give even an idea of the background CO2 levels of that period.

    Except if there was a lot of wind, then it is possible to estimate the background levels as wind mixes most differences out. Unfortunately, the longest series don’t have enough datapoints at high wind speed to make the calculation.

    The before mentioned station at Giessen (Germany) was one of the cornerstones of Beck’s data. The historical data show a 1-sigma variability of 68 ppmv. In comparison, the modern station halves that (still very high) but Mauna Loa is around 4 ppmv, including the huge seasonal variation.
    Integrated modern monthly data from Giessen are not very good to:

    and show a positive bias against “background” CO2.

  33. Re comments about “World” CO2 being measured at Mauna Loa.

    This has alway stuck me as asinine really.

    Mauna Loa system, including the ongoing thirty years old, Pu`u `O`o, on-going eruption of Kilauea nearby, is the largest, most active volcano on the Planet at the moment. The magma reservoir is again refilling faster than Pu`u `O`o can erupt it and so conditions may soon be right for another large eruption from Mauna Loa itself. Meanwhile fumerols continue to pump out vast amounts of CO2, all across the Big Island’s active zones. Isn’t this what we are measuring? Surely it would make more sense to measure CO2 at some neutral point, like Mount Everest, or Mount Kilimanjaro , or somewhere that CO2 isn’t being emitted from all around the measuring instruments.

  34. If man made CO2 is ~4%…..and it’s cumulative and what’s making CO2 levels rise….

    Then you’re not going to get the straight line linear increase in CO2 that all the measurements show….
    …you would have an exponential increase

  35. Warmist Claptrap says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Isn’t this what we are measuring?

    If the wind is downstream of the slope of the volcanic vents at Mauna Loa, the measurements over an hour show a lot of variability. If that exceeds 0.25 ppmv (1 sigma) the data are not used for daily, monthly and yearly averages. The same happens with upwind conditions in the afternoon, when slightly depleted CO2 levels are measured from the valleys.

    The including or excluding of outliers doesn’t change the average or trend with more than 0.1 ppmv at the end of the year. Here the 2008 raw hourly data + “cleaned” averages from Mauna Loa and the South Pole:

    but mind the scale!

    But there are lots of other places where CO2 is measured, the South Pole started even before Mauna Loa, but misses a few years of continuous measurements (but still had flask sampling). Therefore Mauna Loa is often used as the reference. See:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/

    For the “global” CO2 average, Mauna Loa is not even used, only sealevel stations are used, spread over different latitudes…

  36. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:35 am

    ” Plants are huge sources at night (respiring up to 60 GtC summed over a year) and huge sinks during daylight (120 GtC intake over a year, but decay from falling leaves etc. add some 60 GtC/year again to the atmosphere).”
    ________________________
    Just considering terrestrial plants, such a balance might only be true if one considers leaf mass/other plant material which might completely cycle on an annual basis, but plant CO2 uptake sequesters C in woody mass, as well. Overall, the biosphere sequesters more C each year than it produces, as witness such things as topsoil and tree rings, or measurably, by the known- increasing sink rate. One could say that the natural course of the biosphere as a whole, is to eat itself out of house and home, replenished historically on a geologic time scale, by periodic glaciation events, which more or less, start the whole process over again. Now, here we are with our annual emissions intervening in the slow, but inexorable process of the biosphere bankrupting itself. We can’t say for certain what may result from our inadvertent fertilization of the whole life process, because we’ve never been here before.

  37. rgbatduke, here’s some Japanese measurements that show variations up to 650 ppm http://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/GJ/pdf/4106/41060429.pdf

    If memory serves the level in a corn field can go to zero at midday since the plants use it so aggressively.

    You’re correct about the missing error bars. They’re generally missing in Climate Science(tm) as far I can tell and the ones that do get displayed are ridiculously small. Measuring ocean temps to 0.001 K, really?

  38. “While you denigrate Pauling with regards to the use of vitamin C to combat the common cold I ask, have you personally tried it?
    Well I have and I haven’t had a cold in over 15 years to 20 years.”
    Sorry, but that is hardly a valid argument. I have NEVER taken vitamin C and avoid all citrus
    fruits and haven’t had a cold in 30 years. So much for your “evidence.”

  39. Alan Robertson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

    In a mature forest, as is mostly the case in the tropics, the balance is quite neutral, except for short disturbances like an El Niño. Extra-tropical forests indeed expand and are destroyed by ice ages and interglacials. We may be of some help with our extra CO2…

    The extra uptake is more or less known out of the oxygen balance:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short and

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

  40. Actually, this is quite false.

    “Take out just the anthropogenic CO2 and rerun the past 30 years of weather. The exact same weather pattern variations would have occurred.

    As Pamela should know in order to improve the forecast ability of weather models you actually have to model radiative physics and yes that includes C02.

    Not quite what she said: variation. If you take a particular model, and run it many times, it produces a (usually enormously wide) range of outcomes. What is very interesting is to compare and contrast the distribution of these outcomes, specifically to attempt to resolve:

    a) The marginal probability of observing the actual present behavior of the climate, assuming as a null hypothesis that “this is a perfectly correct model”. The p-value is the basis of a hypothesis test — if it is a very low number (less than 0.05 traditionally) we are justified in rejecting the null hypothesis as our model is probably wrong.

    b) The marginal shift in the probability distribution and/or p-value with CO_2. This is the basis of a Bayesian analysis that can actually estimate the posterior probability of the CO_2-specific component of the model being correct, for example.

    Note well that one cannot legitimately average many (marginally failing) models and expect to get a successful one, in spite of the fact that this is precisely what is done, repeatedly, in climate science and specifically in AR5. Note that it is also a “capital mistake” to assume that it is nature that is in error or doing something “unlikely” rather than the models. Sure, maybe, “p happens” (to quote Marsaglia, a master of the hypothesis test) but in science and physics the second law basically states that “but don’t bet on it”. If a model marginally fails a p-value-based hypothesis test, the best you can say is “Answer cloudy, try again later”. If it decisively fails, it is time to pitch the model.

    One model at a time. Not collectively. You cannot make ten Hartree models equal Hartree-Fock, or a hundred Hartree-Fock models give you the correct correlation/exchange energy for an electron in an atom. An incorrect, or approximate, model, cannot generally be corrected by using lots of equally incorrect, approximate models. The circumstances where this is not true — and they can be so corrected — are both very specific and very unlikely, and as a pure matter of fact are not realized in climate models.

    So sure, Ms. Gray was speaking hastily, and Dr. Ball might have done better than to quote her, but the point is still the same. The variation of climate models in comparison with the observed climate is evidence for the assertion “CO_2 variation is empirically irrelevant to the climate’s variation”, as the actual climate is following the track indicated for no CO_2 increase while CO_2 is increasing. This is evidence for the assertion “this model is wrong” (one model at a time, for most of the CMIP5 models). It is not evidence for the assertion “this model is correct”, one model at a time, for most of the CMIP5 models.

    Note well I say nothing about “proving” or “disproving” the models. Hypothesis testing is not usually that sharp (at least until p-values descend below 0.01 into the range of remote probability). However, “the pause” is certainly not evidence for the correctness of the models, and it is absurd to pretend that its continuation has (or should have) no impact on our confidence that the models are — one at a time — correct.

    rgb

    rgb

  41. Nick Stokes said : ” It’s hard to say human emissions had nothing to do with the CO2 rise.”
    Apparently quite hard, since nobody said such a thing.

  42. The problem with many historical data is exactly that they were taken near ground over land: the middle of towns, under inversion, mountain valleys, forests,… mostly unsuitable to give even an idea of the background CO2 levels of that period.

    Which was precisely my point. This is also true of all of the other climate measures from the historical past. Where/when did they measure temperature? Near ground over land: the middle of towns, under inversion, surrounded by mountains or in forests or agricultural land and at widely variable times of day — mostly unsuitable to give even an idea of the background global average temperatures of that period. Where they did not regularly or accurately sample temperature until the very recent past includes: 70% of the Earth’s surface in one fell swoop (the oceans), 2/3 or thereabouts of the Earth’s continental surface land area (Antarctica, Siberia, much of China, much of Africa, Asia, and South America and even the US and Canadian West), and where they did sample it was corrupted with the “Human Habitation Effect” — humans alter their living environment from a “state of nature” to something that suits humans better. UHI is just one component of the HHE. HHE is overwhelmingly a source of local warming — local to the human habitations — but that is also precisely where things like temperature and CO_2 level and rainfall and wind speed/direction have historically been sampled. People don’t live so much in the middle of the South Pacific or the middle of Antarctica or in the North Atlantic at a depth of 100 meters or along ridge lines of mountains or in deserts.

    The truly laughable thing is that when e.g. GISS corrects for UHI/HHE, it manages to make it relatively warm the present compared to the past by some truly awe inspiring legerdemain. HADCRUT4 doesn’t even bother — they just present UHI/HHE corrupted temperature series with the additional urban/human habitation warming projected onto the entire global average.

    In a way I can respect that — HADCRUT4 at least can be viewed as a time dependent upper bound on the actual global temperature that is strictly increasing (relative to the expected “true” average”) from the historical past to the present. So when HADCRUT4 indicates (say) 0.4-0.6C of warming over the last fifty years we can be certain that the actual number is smaller than this although we cannot really say by how much. Whenever anybody tries to determine how much, it seems as though at least half of the warming observed is HHE error. That leaves only half of the warming to be explained by both CO_2 and natural variation, which might well leave only 0.1-0.2 C of actual CO_2 driven warming, with a total expected sensitivity well under 1 C for the rest of the century.

    That’s one key part of AR5’s repeated SPM assertion that they are ever so certain that at least half of the warming is due to human CO_2. What they really should mean is that half of the warming is due to the HHE and is an error, with the other half attributable in an unresolvable mix to natural and anthropogenic causes. Unresolvable because to resolve it we’d have to be able to solve the Navier-Stokes equation with unknown initial conditions on an absurdly coarse grid a mere five orders of magnitude larger than the Kolmogorov scale for the dynamics, with nothing but highly biased guesses for how to project the microdynamics onto the coarse grained model solvers.

    Truly, the miracle is that they get anybody to believe all of this stuff.

    rgb

  43. It is slightly quadratic:
    ====
    then the hypothesis is not correct

    If nature is able to use a little of it……then nature can use it all

  44. 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.

    Remember to multiply all the factors. China’s portion of the 3% antro to total CO2, then factor in that water vapor is at least 60% of the GHG factor. Then remember that levels of radiative heat transfer, as stated in an engineering manual, – at room temperatures radiative heat transfer can generally be ignored. Evaporation / convection are the major drivers.

  45. Preindustrial CO2 levels were one of the ‘facts’ that sceptics had remarkably not challenged in any significant way. Interestingly, on the the climate facts piece on Portugal :

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/05/surprising-facts-about-climate-change-in-portugal-why-the-climate-catastrophe-is-not-happening/

    I commented this before reading this current thread:

    ” Gary Pearse says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:22 am

    I’m sceptical that CO2 levels were below 285 over the past couple of thousand years. During the MWP, wine grapes were grown in Scotland, farmsteads fluorished in Greenland, etc . Low CO2 doesn’t jibe with this kind of situation. That CO2 is higher today than previously during the last 1000 years or so is the next bit of climate sophistry that is going to bite the dust.”

    I wasn’t aware that it had already gotten underway, starting with Pamela’s comment and Tim’s post (that there was criticism before had been well managed and stifled by the team, as this is the foundation of their theory – sceptics had largely been arguing temperature aspects, but the ‘pause’ best showed the divergence between temp and CO2 so was a natural progression to look more closely at CO2 ‘data’). Yes, this is the final major item that needs rooting out. All the critiques raised concerning temperature leading CO2, CO2 being higher during some ice ages etc, but the fact that CO2 was still bubbling away with temps flat and declining for a period as long as that of the modern day global warming ‘era’ put it in the spotlight. I now look forward to an avalanche of papers on CO2 level proxies and the giving of the little foraminifera thermometers a well deserved rest.

  46. rgbatduke:

    Many thanks for your superb post at August 5, 2014 at 9:38 am which is here. It concludes saying

    Truly, the miracle is that they get anybody to believe all of this stuff.

    I completely agree, and my agreement is not surprising because your post I have here linked can e considered as being an exposition of the point I made in my post at August 5, 2014 at 2:36 am which is here here and concludes y saying with a reference

    there is almost no data on the carbon cycle and the paucity of data enables almost any conjecture – however ridiculous – to be modeled with agreement to the existing data.

    Richard

  47. Gary Pearse:

    At August 5, 2014 at 9:46 am you say

    Preindustrial CO2 levels were one of the ‘facts’ that sceptics had remarkably not challenged in any significant way.

    That depends on what you mean by “significant”.

    For several years many – including me – have been pointing out that the stomata data do not support the low and stable CO2 values indicated by the ice cores. And Jaworowski always disputed the ice core data. (I am fully aware of Jaworowski’s work on ice cores. He and I collaborated for decades prior to his demise and when ill health prevented his attending Heartland 1 he asked me to provide his presentation to the Conference and I fulfilled that honour.)

    Your assertion that such opposition started this week “with Pamela’s comment and Tim’s post” is plain wrong as e.g. WUWT archives show. However, it is pleasing that such reality is at last being considered. My experience is that most sceptics have refused to consider the uncertainties being discussed in this thread and, therefore, have failed to question the assumption of an anthropogenic cause for the recent rise in atmospheric CO2. The cause may be anthropogenic or natural or some combination of both, and the available information cannot demonstrate which.

    Richard

  48. @ S Mosher:

    “Actually, this is quite false.

    “Take out just the anthropogenic CO2 and rerun the past 30 years of weather. The exact same weather pattern variations would have occurred.

    As Pamela should know in order to improve the forecast ability of weather models you actually have to model radiative physics and yes that includes C02.”

    ————————-
    Actually you’re wrong, the OP said “anthropogenic co2″.

  49. Gary Pearse,

    Count me as one who hasd always been skeptical of the assertions of past CO2 levels. If the atmosphere went much below 300 ppm, it would begin to affect plant life, and there is no recent evidence of that happening.

    For the same reason that U.S. government agencies and others ‘adjust’ downward the past temperature record, they have an incentive to adjust downward the past CO2 record: it makes the current rise more scary.

    In general there has been the same outgassing from the oceans, and the same CO2 emissions from decaying vegetation, ground bacteria, etc., as there is now. Thus, CO2 levels would not be appreciably different. But that would conflict with the narrative…

    Next, regarding Beck, it might be a good idea to look at some of his work [click on the letter and/or number in the lower right corner]. More here.

    Dr. Beck recorded many thousands of CO2 samples from all over the world, including from the windward side of ships crossing every major ocean, and on mountaintops, on sparsely populated coastlines, etc. He took steps to avoid human CO2 contamination.

    Beck’s conclusion was that CO2 has been high in the recent past. That conflicts with the IPCC and other ‘authorities’. So Beck is denigrated, because his work does not fit the narrative…

  50. rgbatduke – thank you so much for your cogent and thorough comments. Your latest closing line: “Truly, the miracle is that they get anybody to believe all of this stuff.” is truly a classic.

    But, to paraphrase Lincoln, “… you can fool some of the people all of the time…”

    The fervor with which many believe the proposed quality of our climate records and what can be gleaned from them is truly miraculous.

  51. The first two comments display the distraction and dishonesty in Climate Surmising.
    Nick Stokes and Ferdinand Engelbeen,
    Are you purposefully skipping over and ignoring the most important points?
    Of course you are just as every other deceitful alarmist does.
    Stokes cites tonnage and Ferdinand lectures on what other stuff is irrelevant and quibbles with CO2 measurements.

    Here’s what you avoid.
    “The anthropogenic only portion of atmospheric CO2…… does not have the cojones necessary to make one single bit of “weather” do a damn thing different.
    The claim that a fractional increase in CO2 from human sources, which is naturally only 4 percent of all greenhouse gases, become the dominant factor in just a couple of years is incredulous.
    …….the warming of the earth’s atmosphere as a result of a rise of the carbon dioxide content of the air of approximately 0.03 to 0.04 percent as impossible.”

    One must assume you are deliberately trying to cover up the fatal flaw in your fallacious AGW.
    With the total human greenhouse gas contributions being only about 0.28% of the greenhouse effect there is no way this infinitesimal human contribution has caused anything detectable.

    Talk of gigatonnes of CO2 dumped into the atmosphere and the rest of your verbose deceptions are meaningless.
    Climate scientists have NEVER been able to measured the impact of the infinitesimal % of human contribution as altering anything at all while observations around the globe have contradicted all of their dishonest surmising.

    Steven Mosher’s 1:34 am claiming…..
    “Actually, this is quite false”
    “Take out just the anthropogenic CO2 and rerun the past 30 years of weather. The exact same weather pattern variations would have occurred.
    As Pamela should know in order to improve the forecast ability of weather models you actually have to model radiative physics and yes that includes C02.”

    ….is blatant dishonesty. He knows there is nothing measurable or useful in any climate model which can even identify the role or impact of the infinitesimal share that is anthropogenic CO2. Let alone use it to consider any weather forecasting or climate projections.

  52. dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Gary Pearse,

    Count me as one who hasd always been skeptical of the assertions of past CO2 levels. If the atmosphere went much below 300 ppm, it would begin to affect plant life, and there is no recent evidence of that happening.

    For the same reason that U.S. government agencies and others ‘adjust’ downward the past temperature record, they have an incentive to adjust downward the past CO2 record: it makes the current rise more scary.

    In general there has been the same outgassing from the oceans, and the same CO2 emissions from decaying vegetation, ground bacteria, etc., as there is now. Thus, CO2 levels would not be appreciably different. But that would conflict with the narrative…

    And yet the annual increase in CO2 has grown from about 0.5ppm/yr in 1960 to about 2.5ppm/yr in recent years. Over that period the measured CO2 level has increased from 320 to 400ppm, that’s a growth of 25%. That conflicts with your narrative so you have to reject it.

  53. Nick Stokes says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Daniel G. says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Nick’s graphics are crap. Integrated positive quantities of course yield affinely similar curves, in appearance. The act of integration shears away most of the information. It means nothing.

    To see what is really going on, you need to look at a scale where you can make out the detail, which you can do, e.g., by taking the numerical derivative. When you do that, it quickly becomes apparent that the closest match to atmospheric CO2 activity is with temperatures, and the emissions are, in fact, diverging from the atmospheric concentration.

    Humans have little impact on atmospheric CO2 levels. Our puny inputs are rapidly sequestered. Nature rules.

  54. Has this debate finally come full circle and arrived back at the original and most germane fallacy.
    That the infinitesimal human portion of CO2 and greenhouse effect embellished with no more than surmising on a grand scale to falsely make it mean what it never did and science never demonstrated.

    “It’s the percent, stupid” will be my tag while this ugly chapter of humanity grinds to a halt.

  55. Will Nitschke says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:11 am

    On his blog today Goddard claimed he could detect the rate of change in global sea level rise using a single tide gauge. And nobody was going to set him straight on that. ;-)

    Oh like measuring global CO2 at a single location by one group of people you mean. Yes that would be very stupid.

  56. dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    “If the atmosphere went much below 300 ppm, it would begin to affect plant life, and there is no recent evidence of that happening.”
    ______________
    What we do know is, the biosphere has been greening, since we’ve been able to detect such changes via satellites. The increase in growth is attributed to both higher temps and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We only have data approxymations available before the age of instrumentation, which (conveniently for the climate fearosphere,) only began during the “Little Ice Age”. With an eye to the increasing bioactivity, we could surmise that as far as the entire biosphere is concerned, optimum planetary temperature and CO2/atm have yet to be reached.

  57. dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Dr. Beck recorded many thousands of CO2 samples from all over the world, including from the windward side of ships crossing every major ocean, and on mountaintops, on sparsely populated coastlines, etc. He took steps to avoid human CO2 contamination.

    db, I had years of direct discussion with the late Ernst Beck about the historical data, especially about his 1942 “peak” (which doesn’t exist in any other proxy, including stomata data).
    While I can only admire the enormous amount of work he did do to get all the data out, your last sentence is what he didn’t do.
    He did use all available data, no matter how impossible the data were: in the same year 450 ppmv in Giessen (Germany) and 250 ppmv somewhere in the USA. 350 ppmv at ground level and 800 ppm in balloons at several km height.
    There were measurements at Barrow, Alaska an ideal spot to measure (a current “background” station). Results between 250 and 500 ppmv. Why? The equipment was used to measure CO2 in exhaled air of the researchers (~20,000 ppmv). It was calibrated with outside air. If that was between 250-500 ppmv, the equipment was deemed fit for purpose. No problem for its goal, not of any value for “background” CO2. But still used by Ernst in his compilation.

    Almost all historical data taken on ships board and coastal are around the ice core data for the same period (even so with large variability, where there is hardly any nowadays). That are the main historical data which have some value.

    Thus let Ernst Beck rest in peace, together with his compilation, which is, unfortunately of little value for the history of background CO2 levels on earth…

  58. Alan Robertson says:

    With an eye to the increasing bioactivity, we could surmise that as far as the entire biosphere is concerned, optimum planetary temperature and CO2/atm have yet to be reached.

    I agree. More CO2 is good. At current and projected concentrations, there is no observable downside.

    Ferdinand says:

    I had years of direct discussion with the late Ernst Beck about the historical data…

    Why didn’t you show him the error of his ways?

    Phil. says:

    …That conflicts with your narrative so you have to reject it.

    Wrong, as usual. Re-read what I posted, with an attempt to understand it.

  59. Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Bart’s graphs are crap: he attributes the whole trend in CO2 to an unknown function of temperature, which violates Henry’s Law, while the obvious candidate – human emissions – disappear in space, sorry unknown sinks.

    His temperature/CO2 plot shows the fast changes caused by temperature + the increase caused by human emissions.
    His second plot gives a false impression of a huge change, because he manipulates scales and offsets of one variable against the other. If you plot both on the same scale without offset that gives:

    The dark blue line is simply 53% of the emissions while the red line is the emissions minus the removal function which is in ratio with the extra total CO2 pressure in the atmosphere above equilibrium which is influenced by temperature.
    Both lines still are largely within the natural variability of the sink rate.

  60. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    re your post at August 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm.

    Many people interacted with the late Ernst Georg Beck. I assisted him with his production of a version of his paper in English for publication. I refused any payment for the help so he posted an unsolicited bottle of best German wine to me. I consider him to have been a friend.

    His scientific work was exemplary and should not be ignored because its results do not agree with what you want to be true.

    As you say, his collated data indicates a peak of atmospheric CO2 concentration which does not agree with proxy indications. But, and contrary to your assertion, this is not a reason to ignore his finding: it is a reason to determine why the direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration in the early 1940s provide a difference from the proxy indications for that time.

    Richard

  61. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Re Ferdinand’s plot:

    Of course “both lines are largely within the natural variability of the sink rate”. He scaled them to be there, by applying the best fit with all the data gathered together. And, he doesn’t match the variability of the CO2 line – the match is, at best, a very coarse concurrence of direction (up). Big deal. A coin toss. Proves nothing.

    More to the point, Ferdinand’s graph still cannot hide the fact that the rate of emissions is continuing to increase in the last decade, while the rate of atmospheric concentration is at a standstill, coincident with the standstill in temperatures.

  62. dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Why didn’t you show him the error of his ways?

    I did, but it did cost me a lot of time to convince him. At last he did remove the Barrow series (after looking at the equipment calibration procedures!) and a few other problematic series: the 1925-1927 CO2 measurements of the German “Meteor” research ship. That ship did measure equilibrium pCO2 in seawater at different depths (down to 2000 meter!). Ernst interpreted the “0 m” measurements as measured in the atmosphere while it was from the seawater surface. Which is a hell of a difference if you measure that in polar or equatorial waters…

    But he refused to drop the Poonah and Giessen series which produced his 1942 “peak”…

  63. richardscourtney says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:11 am

    “Gary Pearse:

    At August 5, 2014 at 9:46 am you say

    Preindustrial CO2 levels were one of the ‘facts’ that sceptics had remarkably not challenged in any significant way.

    That depends on what you mean by “significant”.”

    Thank you Richard. I take your point and I’ve been made aware of the past contributors to the question of CO2 levels, but for some reason, it hasn’t had the traction that criticism of temperature adjustments, poor statistics, proxies, and arguments over LIA, MWP, etc, mechanisms, and so on. The overwhelming criticism of consensus climate sci has been just about everything but CO2. I offered my own small reasons for disbelieving the pre-industrial CO2 levels. Perhaps I should have said “effective” instead of significant.

    I do believe the discussions of rising CO2 for 18 years of the “pause” to be the beginning of “effectiveness” in questioning CO2 data before and since the industrial revolution. I think this has the “Team” more animated than anything else. If CO2 levels of yore turn out to have been higher than those of the consensus catechisms, then the theory has been totally demolished. Mosher’s and Stokes’s radiative physics plaints will also be on the scrap heap if CO2 has varied around recent values going back into the past. I suppose they could dust the patina off the volcanic outpourings of CO2 to give us the MWP, etc but I note that Volcanic contributions are small single digit Gt these days.

    Being a geologist and having studied the effects of diffusion of elements in metamorphism in solid rocks, I also have a healthy dose of scepticism concerning the accuracy of the CO2 record in ice. The enormous ice pressures have pressed the underlyiing land surface in Greenland and Antarctica to below sea level. How is it possible that there has been no diffusion of gases in this environment? I can think of a simple experiment to evaluate this. No, I think CO2 is the last stand, the other side of the equation made to fit the CAGW scenario. Oh, and Richard, I take nothing away from those who have tried to raise the CO2 issues to prominence.

  64. Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    “More to the point, Ferdinand’s graph still cannot hide the fact that the rate of emissions is continuing to increase in the last decade, while the rate of atmospheric concentration is at a standstill, coincident with the standstill in temperatures.”
    _____________

  65. Alan Robertson,

    I think maybe Bart was referring to the lack of change in the rate of CO2 concentration: …the rate of atmospheric concentration is at a standstill, coincident with the standstill in temperatures. In other words, there has been no acceleration. The graph you posted shows a steady rise; no acceleration. Anyway, that’s how I read it.

  66. sorry, there was some computer glitch (maintenance) which did me post three times, which all three were posted afterwards…

    Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    More to the point, Ferdinand’s graph still cannot hide the fact that the rate of emissions is continuing to increase in the last decade, while the rate of atmospheric concentration is at a standstill, coincident with the standstill in temperatures.

    There is no reason to hide anything, neither to blow up the differences by using different scales: the first halve of the CO2 data give some 60% “airborne fraction” of human emissions. The second halve about 40%. Big deal. Even if it was 1% or 99%, still humans are responsible for the increase…

    But it is indeed interesting, as that refutes the fear of the IPCC, as according to the Bern model the deep oceans should start to be saturated and thus the airborne fraction should increase, not decrease.

  67. IIRC, didn’t someone actually do an analysis that purported to show the anthropogenic contribution to global warming by removing the supposed portion of anthropogenic CO2 and running models? I’m not touting the validity of the study, but it was implied that it either hadn’t been done or that it had been done but the results were inconclusive. From what I recall, there was a study like this and it was in, I think IPCC AR4. I think they attributed “roughly half” of the warming to human CO2 emissions.

  68. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Why didn’t you show him the error of his ways?
    I did, but it did cost me a lot of time to convince him.

    Ferdinand, I have read your many offerings on CO2 in air and water and have come to regard you as an expert on this molecule, component isotopes and its aquatic chemistry. However, I’m concerned that your stuff may be too much in an erlenmeyer flask. Where on this globe do you think we should be collecting the data?

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=82142

    I suspect there is a CO2 hole at both poles (not shown for antarctica in the image) – possibly in part because of its diamagnetic property (like ozone). In any case it doesn’t look as uniformly distributed as advertized. Also, what do you think the CO2 levels were like in the MWP, Holocene Optimum, etc.

  69. Phil. says:
    August 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

    “dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Gary Pearse,

    Count me as one who has always been skeptical of the assertions of past CO2 levels. …

    Phil. says:

    And yet the annual increase in CO2 has grown from about 0.5ppm/yr in 1960 to about 2.5ppm/yr in recent years. Over that period the measured CO2 level has increased from 320 to 400ppm, that’s a growth of 25%. That conflicts with your narrative so you have to reject it”

    Or so the keepers of the molecule say! Just where on NASA’s globe below would you say we should be collecting CO2 data. From ~ 20degrees N to 90 S, CO2 seems to be a bit thin. And why would you think that pre-industrial levels of CO2 were ~280 or so when in the MWP – warmer than now – wine grapes were grown in Scotland then. Indeed, why wouldn’t it make sense to think that CO2 was even more concentrated than now? It would better fit the CAGW narrative. I know they have been trying to kill off the MWP for a couple of decades now so they haven’t thought the CO2 of the question through. I’m sure there is a paper in the works somewhere putting the CO2 back into years of yore to account for MWP, etc. What does it take to instill a tiny bit of doubt in your mind after all the well publicized shennanigans that have been perpetrated by the climate industrial complex?

  70. richardscourtney says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    it is a reason to determine why the direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration in the early 1940s provide a difference from the proxy indications for that time.

    The reason is quite simple: the 1942 peak in the historical data is mainly based on two series of data: Poonah, India and Giessen Germany. The first series should have been discarded completely (except a few measurements over barren land), because that were measurements of CO2 in growing crops. For the second series we fortunately have a modern station in the direct neighborhood of the old station so that we can compare the local data at a place that didn’t change that much over time (there are more cars today, but wartime also had its “traffic jams”).

    The old data were taken three times a day of which two at the flanks of the (huge under inversion) diurnal changes. Taking samples 10 minutes later or earlier would already give 40 ppmv difference. But even on time, the bias of the three measurements together is ~40 ppmv for the modern station.

    Besides that, the variability of the historical measurements (68 ppmv – 1 sigma) casts doubt on the accuracy of the equipment which was theoretically accurate to 3% ( ~10 ppmv). The modern station variability is around 30 ppmv – 1 sigma.

  71. dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Alan Robertson,

    I think maybe Bart was referring to the lack of change in the rate of CO2 concentration: …the rate of atmospheric concentration is at a standstill, coincident with the standstill in temperatures. In other words, there has been no acceleration. The graph you posted shows a steady rise; no acceleration. Anyway, that’s how I read it.
    ___________________
    You’re right, Bart meant the annual rate of change of CO2atm/T. To me, the graph of the Mauna Loa data set shows a nearly constant rate of change in all years, regardless of T.

  72. Gary Pearse says: August 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    “I suspect there is a CO2 hole at both poles (not shown for antarctica in the image) – possibly in part because of its diamagnetic property (like ozone). In any case it doesn’t look as uniformly distributed as advertized”

    Look again at the scale on that NASA Earth pic. It runs from 390 to 401 ppmv. Yes, there is variability in that range.

    But South Pole (SPO) was one of the stations in this comparison. It matches the others.

  73. Gary Pearse says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    The enormous ice pressures have pressed the underlyiing land surface in Greenland and Antarctica to below sea level. How is it possible that there has been no diffusion of gases in this environment?

    Nature did show us that there was no measureable diffusion of CO2 over 800,000 years in the ice cores:
    Between glacials and interglacials temperatures go up and down and so does CO2 with a lag. The ratio between CO2 and temperature is about 8 ppmv/K. If there was the slightest migration, the CO2 peaks would fade out for each interglacial back in time, thus the ratio should go down, which is not the case…

  74. Ferdinand

    By 1942 they had been taking measurements of co2 for some 110 years. Adherence to stipulated co2 levels in factories were enshrined in British law in 1890 . The guidelines to taking measurements in such situations as cotton factories included taking into account co2 emissions from the internal gas lighting.

    By 1942 a variety of measuring instruments had been patented. Do you really think that a relatively simple thing like a co2 reading would have been wildly inaccurate in 1942, yet by that time scientists were dabbling with the atomic bomb?

    Tonyb

  75. SandyInLimousin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Oh like measuring global CO2 at a single location by one group of people you mean. Yes that would be very stupid.

    That indeed would be stupid, therefore after the first measurements at the South Pole, they expanded the locations and more people and organizations and countries are involved: some 70 “background” stations nowadays and some 400 spread over forests etc. to measure in/out fluxes. Here several stations with their data:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/

  76. Tonyb says:August 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    “By 1942 a variety of measuring instruments had been patented. Do you really think that a relatively simple thing like a co2 reading would have been wildly inaccurate in 1942, yet by that time scientists were dabbling with the atomic bomb?”

    The issue isn’t measurement accuracy. Here again is the daily fluctuation at Giessen. Beck is like a man trying to measure sea level, standing in the waves with a very accurate ruler.

  77. Boy, considering climate science (especially the CAGW portion) is all settled science, this thread must be all hooey.

    Ok, sarc off.

    Looks like our highly educated psychologists and historian “climate scientists” (snicker) have some work to do to defend their choice of CO2 data.

    Ok, now the sarc is really off.

  78. Tonyb says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Hello Tony,

    +/ost wet measurements of that time were accurate to +/- 3%, that is +/- 10 ppmv (during calibration with known mixtures), but that is under strictly controlled circumstances. The problem with the wet methods was that the result was quite dependent of the skill of the operator, the freshness of the chemicals and the (lack of) calibrations. For the latter I have read very little about inter calibration of equipment and gas mixtures for the wet methods. Something Keeling rigorously introduced for all CO2 measurements, still standard for the whole world of CO2 measurements…

  79. Tonyb says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Ferdinand

    By 1942 they had been taking measurements of co2 for some 110 years. Adherence to stipulated co2 levels in factories were enshrined in British law in 1890 . The guidelines to taking measurements in such situations as cotton factories included taking into account co2 emissions from the internal gas lighting.

    By 1942 a variety of measuring instruments had been patented. Do you really think that a relatively simple thing like a co2 reading would have been wildly inaccurate in 1942, yet by that time scientists were dabbling with the atomic bomb?

    Tonyb
    __________________
    …and they kept each other in the loop via Twitter.

  80. Nick

    It wasn’t Beck doing the measuring. It was often done by researchers whose job it was. So they didn’t know about daily fluctuations of a gas known since Roman times a bare three years before the far more onerous and technically difficult job of splitting the atom was achieved?

    IF the measurements had been inaccurate for 110 years it just shows that scientists often don’t know as much as they think and this established and widely practiced science was incorrect. Perhaps that should give us pause for thought about the certainties surrounding many aspects of today’s climate science?
    Tonyb

  81. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    At August 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm I wrote of the 1942 peak in Beck’s data

    it is a reason to determine why the direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration in the early 1940s provide a difference from the proxy indications for that time.

    And at August 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm you have replied saying in total

    The reason is quite simple: the 1942 peak in the historical data is mainly based on two series of data: Poonah, India and Giessen Germany. The first series should have been discarded completely (except a few measurements over barren land), because that were measurements of CO2 in growing crops. For the second series we fortunately have a modern station in the direct neighborhood of the old station so that we can compare the local data at a place that didn’t change that much over time (there are more cars today, but wartime also had its “traffic jams”).

    I am not ‘buying’ that!

    Growing crops consume CO2 so their net effect would be draw down CO2 and not to emit it.
    And
    The recent data is not the same as the 1940’s data. Yes! The reason for that difference is the issue needing to be resolved.
    But
    As usual, your response to data which fails to agree with what you want to be true is to say the data should be “discarded completely”.

    My response is to seek “to determine why the direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration in the early 1940s provide a difference from the proxy indications for that time”.

    Richard

  82. Ferdinand

    Hi Ferdinand, hope you are keeping well.

    Keeling knew nothing of taking co2 measurements when he started his job, yet within a year apparently he was taking measurements to a far greater degree of accuracy than the highly experienced scientists before him stretching back some110 years?

    Tonyb

  83. Tonyb says: August 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm
    “It wasn’t Beck doing the measuring. It was often done by researchers whose job it was.”

    But what was their job? How many of them claimed to be measuring global CO2 levels? They simply reported CO2 in their environment. It was Beck who claimed they were measures of global CO2.

  84. Nick Stokes:

    At August 5, 2014 at 2:57 pm you assert

    It was Beck who claimed they were measures of global CO2.

    No! Beck collated their data to determine global CO2. I suggest you read his work.

    It was Keeling who began the procedure of measuring at one site and claiming he was measuring global CO2.

    Richard

  85. Ferdinand, slightly O/T, but do you have a link to the data for the ongoing 14C measurements at the Jungfraujoch? I saw one about a year or so ago but can’t find it.

    Also, when I looked, the measured 14C appeared to be approaching the asymptote of pre bomb-spike levels. The continuing decline was ascribed to dilution by emitted anthropogenic ‘cold’ CO2. This makes it (i.e. now) a very interesting part of the experiment. If that explanation holds true it should now continue to fall below the pre bomb-spike levels. Any comments?

  86. Nick

    I think you misunderstand Becks role.

    Some 4 years ago I wrote this. Some of the links will be dead ends by now

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/historic-variations-in-co2-measurements/

    It is extensively referenced and the lively comments are worth reading.my purpose in writing it was to determine if co2 readings were embedded in everyday life or were merely taken by a few researchers who had a passing interest in the subject. Ihad no Interest at the outset of the actual levels that were recorded

    I Had no knowledge of Beck at the outset although I quickly became aware of his work. I discounted it until I had finished my own reseach as I did not want to be influenced by his work. At the time I thought him a bit of a crackpot and somewhat obsessive.

    However I got into correspondence with him and he sent me much material and admitted he had released his findings too soon. His later work was much better organised and his second generation website much more professional.

    After reading very many hundreds of papers and realising that taking measurements was a well established everyday occurence through much of the 19 th century enshrined in law by an act of parliament in the 1890’s , it seemed strange to me that many hundreds of clever scientists were apparently incapable of taking measurements after 110 years of trying.

    Ferdinand kindly sent me an article on fractionation of the ice cores and I must say they made me more, not less sceptical, that they make a good co2 proxy.

    Temperatures have varied greatly over the last thousand years in the manner you would expect from high and low levels of co2 .

    Callendar undoubtedly selected low readings for his seminal paper in 1938 which was roundly taken apart by Slocum in 1956 keeling was influenced by callendar. What the truth of past levels of co2 will turn out to be I do not know. It is a shame they can not be properly audited by competent independent scientists as that would put the matter to rest.

    You will see from the comments that beck took part in the debate around my paper. I did not know at the time he was so Ill and suspect it was his last major public appearance.

    Tonyb

  87. Nick Stokes says:

    How many of [Beck's scientific sources] claimed to be measuring global CO2 levels? They simply reported CO2 in their environment. It was Beck who claimed they were measures of global CO2.

    Those were eminent researchewrs who took CO2 measurements. Their reputations were at stake, and there were scientists like Haldane, Bunsen, Krogh, Pettenkofer, Callendar, Warburg, deSaussure, and many others — several were Nobel laureates [when that distinction really meant something]. They truly cared about their reputations. Further, Beck took into account diurnal and seasonal changes, as he indicates here.

    Those scientists took more than 90,000 CO2 readings, in locations that were sparsely populated, and on mountain peaks, and on ocean transits on the windward side of ships. That large number of readings and locations would have smoothed out much of the diurnal and seasonal changes.

    As Ferdinand notes, he had discussions with Dr. Beck, who subsequently altered his data base to take Ferdinand’s concerns into account. Clearly Dr. Beck had good reasons to keep the other data that went into his analysis. Maybe Ferdinand just didn’t have enough conversations with Dr. Beck.

    Finally, to cut through all the hair splitting, what are we left with? We are left with the fact that the IPCC was wrong, and also the fact that the rise in CO2 from 0.03% to 0.04% of the atmosphere has caused no global harm, or damage. Thus, CO2 is harmless at current concentrations, and there is zero evidence that it is harmful at projected concentrations.

    On the other hand, the rise in CO2 has been clearly beneficial to the biosphere. The planet is measurably greening as a direct result, and the ‘carbon’ scare has turned out to be a false alarm. If the alarmist crowd just admitted that much, they would get the respect of skeptics. But they are still crying “Wolf!!” over the rise in harmless, beneficial CO2. So they get no respect.

  88. dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    You read it correctly.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “…the first halve of the CO2 data give some 60% “airborne fraction” of human emissions. The second halve about 40%.”

    This is constructing epicycles. There is no need to kluge together some model that claims the sinks are becoming more powerful. It is much more direct simply to realize that human inputs never had any significant effect. The apparent decrease in the airborne fraction is a misattribution. It is simply the case that temperatures have stagnated.

    Alan Robertson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    “To me, the graph of the Mauna Loa data set shows a nearly constant rate of change in all years, regardless of T.”

    Note the curvature in the plot you referenced. The curve was accelerating in those years in which global temperatures were increasing. Now, with global temperatures stable, no acceleration. Telling, no?

  89. dbstealey says: August 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm
    “Those were eminent researchewrs who took CO2 measurements. Their reputations were at stake, and there were scientists like Haldane, Bunsen, Krogh, Pettenkofer, Callendar, Warburg, deSaussure, and many others”

    Willis Eschenbach at WUWT showed this plot of some of those results. And of it he said (correctly):

    “I do believe them … with a caveat. I think that the Beck data is accurate, but that it is not measuring the background CO2. CO2 measurements need to be done very carefully, in selected locations, to avoid contamination from a host of natural CO2 sources. These sources include industry, automobiles, fires, soil, plants, the list is long. To illustrate the problems, I have graphed the Beck data from his Figure 13, against the Law Dome ice core data and the MLO data.
    [fig]
    There are several things to note about this graph. First, there is good agreement between the Law Dome ice core data and the MLO data over the ~ two decade overlap. Second, there is good agreement between the three separate Law Dome ice core datasets. Third, both the ice cores and the MLO data do not vary much from year to year.

    Now look at the various datasets cited by Beck. Many of them vary quite widely from one year to the next. The different datasets show very different values for either the same year or for nearby years. And they differ greatly from both the ice core and the MLO data.

    Because of this, I conclude that the Beck data, while valuable for showing ground level CO2 variations at individual locations, do not reflect the background CO2 level of the planet. As such, they cannot be compared to the MLO data, to the ice core data, or to each other.”

  90. So, Nick, how many CO2 measurements is that out of 90,000?

    The fact is, you don’t know what CO2 levels were that long ago. No one else does, either. Dr. Beck provides a good approximation, but your typical response is: “Oh, no. Can’t be.”

    Also, you never responded to my comment that there is no evidence of global harm due to the rise in CO2. If that is a fact, then all your arguments and protests mean exactly nothing. CO2 is harmless, and it is beneficial to the biosphere. More is better. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  91. Gary Pearse says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

    “dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Gary Pearse,

    Count me as one who has always been skeptical of the assertions of past CO2 levels. …

    Phil. says:

    “And yet the annual increase in CO2 has grown from about 0.5ppm/yr in 1960 to about 2.5ppm/yr in recent years. Over that period the measured CO2 level has increased from 320 to 400ppm, that’s a growth of 25%. That conflicts with your narrative so you have to reject it”

    Or so the keepers of the molecule say! Just where on NASA’s globe below would you say we should be collecting CO2 data.

    Based on that data Mauna Loa seems like an excellent location, just about the average and at the right altitude too.

    From ~ 20degrees N to 90 S, CO2 seems to be a bit thin.

    Learn to read a graph, the total range is less than 10ppm, also note that the data is taken during the austral winter.

    And why would you think that pre-industrial levels of CO2 were ~280 or so when in the MWP – warmer than now – wine grapes were grown in Scotland then.

    I only referred to modern measurements not to the pre-industrial levels, however grapes were not grown outdoors in Scotland at that time, the furthest north was around Lincolnshire in England and in any case grapes are grown more widely in England now than they were then.

    Indeed, why wouldn’t it make sense to think that CO2 was even more concentrated than now? It would better fit the CAGW narrative. I know they have been trying to kill off the MWP for a couple of decades now so they haven’t thought the CO2 of the question through. I’m sure there is a paper in the works somewhere putting the CO2 back into years of yore to account for MWP, etc. What does it take to instill a tiny bit of doubt in your mind after all the well publicized shennanigans that have been perpetrated by the climate industrial complex?

    A lot more than the fanciful theorizing that I’ve seen here.

  92. Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm
    dbstealey says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    You read it correctly.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “…the first halve of the CO2 data give some 60% “airborne fraction” of human emissions. The second halve about 40%.”

    This is constructing epicycles.

    Nothing wrong with epicycles, they provided an excellent means of predicting the future positions of the planets from the Earth’s frame of reference.

  93. Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm
    ———-
    Alan Robertson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    “To me, the graph of the Mauna Loa data set shows a nearly constant rate of change in all years, regardless of T.”
    ————–
    Note the curvature in the plot you referenced. The curve was accelerating in those years in which global temperatures were increasing. Now, with global temperatures stable, no acceleration. Telling, no?
    __________________
    Well… there are 2 ways of looking at the annual rate of change of the MLO data, which may be seen while looking at the following graph:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/mean:48/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1959/mean:48/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1959/trend

    1) The greatest annual change will be shown by the portion of the line with the steepest slope.
    The steepest slope appears to be during the last decade, while the T trend has been flat, or negative There appears to be no curve in the line in the last decade, the slope appears constant.

    2) The greatest change in the trend of MLO data will be shown by the portion of the line with the greatest change in slope, i.e., the portion of the line which shows the greatest curve.
    The decades 1959-1989 appear to be the decades with the greatest curve upwards, showing increasing slope. The decades 1959-1979 do not show increasing T trend. The decade 1979- 1989 not only shows rising T trend overall, but also has large +/- swings in T trend, while the slope of MLO data continued a slight annual increase in slope, i.e.- curve.

  94. Bruce Cobb says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:50 am

    It makes no difference where the increased CO2 comes from, so it’s a red herring. The increased CO2 is nothing but a boon to all of life, and especially to man, by helping plants grow. Whatever warming effect it may have had cannot be sussed from what is natural, and only in the twisted, humanity-hating minds of the Warmistas could a small amount of warming be a detriment to “the planet”.

    Yes, the watermelon greens are willing to put up with any amount of damage to the ecosphere in order to hurt people. Still, I think human well-being is the key. As long as we keep pointing out that CO2 helps PLANTS, we strengthen the idea that it is a waste product for humans, hence bad.

    The reality is that human physiology evolved (like all others) under conditions much higher in [CO2] than today’s. We need it for a pH buffer in our blood, and goodness knows what else. There are indications that maximum longevity would occur under CO2 concentrations many times higher than today’s. It is important for respiration as lower concentrations cause shallower breathing and less oxygen concentration in our tissues. Asthmatics, COPD and anybody carrying oxygen tanks is probably being harmed because they lack CO2 in those tanks. Indeed, I suspect the fire-hazard oxygen tanks could be dispensed with altogether and higher CO2 substituted for better health outcomes.

    I d not know whether I am right about that, but I am pretty sure nobody is studying such questions. NSF will not fund anything that might shake the CAGW hypothesis, because they believe a good scare makes more science funding. If I AM right, then the lack of interest is murder of people with respiratory problems–and maybe all the rest of us as well.

  95. sturgishooper says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    But they did not explain what was happening in physical reality.

    That wasn’t their purpose, they were like present-day tide tables they allowed accurate prediction of future events wrt the Earth’s frame of reference. They amount to a type of Fourier analysis in the complex plane.

  96. Alan Robertson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    “There appears to be no curve in the line in the last decade, the slope appears constant.”

    Exactly. The T trend has been flat, which means a constant slope in CO2, because the rate of change of it is essentially an affine function of temperature. When temperatures are flat, its rate of change is flat, i.e., it is moving at effectively constant rate.

    Contrast to emissions, for which the slope is not constant.Emissions are accelerating.

    “The decades 1959-1979 do not show increasing T trend.”

    They show a trend, which begets curvature in overall CO2.

    You keep seeming to want CO2 to be affine to temperature. It isn’t. The rate of change is. That is the empirical result.

  97. Phil. says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I will leave it to you to inform NASA that they should return to epicyclic theories to predict the orbits of their space vehicles.

    That’s the problem with theories unmoored from physical principles. They work just fine, right up until the time that they don’t.

  98. Bart, I’m not sure that you have found evidence that CO2 follows a rise in ocean temperatures. I think that you found that you can’t leave a climate scientist alone for 10 minutes with a data base.

  99. richardscourtney says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Several measurements at Poonah were taken below the growing leaves: these easily show levels of 1,000 ppmv and more. Make a pocket hole in the ground and measure CO2: the soil bacteria provide levels of CO2 which may be in the thousands…

    A simple indication for the unreliability of the historical data is by looking at the variability: if the variability is high, then the location was unsuitable for “background” measurements. For Poonah, the range of the measurements was between 300 and 700 ppmv:

    Interesting: the higher the wind speed, the lower the CO2 levels, which shows the better mixing with the bulk of the atmosphere at high wind speeds.

    Anyway, there is not the slightest resemblance between “background” CO2 levels in the bulk of the atmosphere and what was measured at Poonah. Reason why Callendar rejected all measurements taken for agricultural purposes.

    Indeed, Beck compiled an enormous amount of data. His error was that he didn’t use any criteria for the exclusion of data like these of Poonah, which makes that his compilation can’t be used as a base for historical “background” CO2 levels…

  100. I should like to ask Ferdinand his view on the assumption that CO2 is ‘well-mixed’ in the atmosphere, where Beck’s work shows that it might not be so. As I understand it, if this assumption is incorrect, then the value of the Mauna Loa series becomes equivalent to that of a single thermometer series in terms of evidence of climate change.

  101. Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I will leave it to you to inform NASA that they should return to epicyclic theories to predict the orbits of their space vehicles.

    That’s the problem with theories unmoored from physical principles. They work just fine, right up until the time that they don’t.

    It would work just fine since any orbit can be represented by a number of epicycles, just like a curve can be represented by a Fourier series.

  102. TonyN says:
    August 6, 2014 at 1:09 am

    TonyN, CO2 is well mixed in 95% of the atmosphere: that is everywhere over the oceans and above a few hundred meters over land up to 30 km height.
    It is not well mixed near huge sinks and sources, that is in the middle of towns, forests, fields,… especially under inversion at night, when vegetation emits CO2 which accumulates without wind to disperse it. That is the problem with the historical data: many of them were taken at places with huge diurnal, day by day, monthly and seasonal variability. That is the equivalent of taking temperature on a hot asphalt parking lot…

    Well mixed doesn’t mean that CO2 is exactly the same at every moment of the year at every place on earth, but that any huge change is readily distributed over the rest of the atmosphere.
    The variability from Alert (Canada) to the South Pole is not more than 2% of full scale, while the seasonal CO2 exchanges are around 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere. In my opinion, that is well mixed…

    Even if you take only one station as the standard, it doesn’t matter, as all “background” stations show the same trend over the years, where stations at altitude lag ground level stations and SH stations lag NH stations:

    To give an example: at some places (e.g. in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado) regular flights are done, measuring CO2 levels at different heights. Have a look what that gives with inversion in the valley, where they start measuring:

    Up to 500-600 meters you can find high levels of CO2, above that the values were the same for Mauna Loa at a distance of 6,000 km for the same days…

  103. Tonyb says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm
    After reading very many hundreds of papers and realising that taking measurements was a well established everyday occurence through much of the 19 th century enshrined in law by an act of parliament in the 1890’s , it seemed strange to me that many hundreds of clever scientists were apparently incapable of taking measurements after 110 years of trying.

    It’s not that they were incapable of taking measurements (although some of the techniques have flaws) it’s how representative the samples are of the atmospheric value, taking readings in the vicinity of a source or sink is a problem. After all that’s why the measurements were being taken in the factories, because it was recognized that those values would be perturbed from those in pristine air. Regarding the ‘wet’ chemistry methods, titration was normally carried out by pipetting by mouth, I’m sure you can see the potential for error there? There was no established procedure of consistency checks by comparison with standard gas samples unlike now, in my lab at one point I had about 40 different standard gas mixtures for calibration of GCs, spectrometers etc.
    J R Bray (1958) reported that tests of the Pettenkofer method versus standard gas samples showed that the Pettenkofer method measured high, the actual values being from 66-89% of the measurements. The Pettenkofer method was the method of choice in the 19th century.

    Callendar undoubtedly selected low readings for his seminal paper in 1938 which was roundly taken apart by Slocum in 1956 keeling was influenced by callendar. What the truth of past levels of co2 will turn out to be I do not know. It is a shame they can not be properly audited by competent independent scientists as that would put the matter to rest.

    They have been, I’m sure you’ve read Bray’s work, where he gives a detailed analysis of methods, sampling, etc?

    He concludes:
    “The above analyses indicate by a variety of comparative techniques an increase in measured CO, for most comparisons during the past 100 years; in some cases the increase is statistically significant, in others not so. There appear to be several possible explanations for this increase, each of which may be in part correct: I) an atmospheric increase as suggested by Callendar, from industrial activity and from clearing, draining and burning of vegetation; 2) a coincidence of the influence of micro- atmospheres with areas of lower concentration having been sampled by chance in the 19th century and areas of higher concentration sampled more recently; 3) improvement (or change) in chemical technique, with gradually improving techniques having first reduced the measured values from 500 or more ppm to less than 300 by the end of the 19th century and then raised the value to over 300 in the recent century. The second and third possibilities appear less likely since a>an attempt was made to minimize the influence of micro- atmospheres in the selection of data; b) comparisons of identical techniques between two periods show increases with the exception of the earliest comparison, although sufficient studies are not available to establish statistical significance, and the most recent increase is based on questionable values.
    The lack of significant differences in 9 of the 12 comparisons in Table 5 and the possibility that these differences may be related to factors other than an atmospheric increase emphasizes the need, noted by Fonselius et al. (1956), for continuing studies with similar techniques in ideptical locations. Further establishment of permanent CO2 stations might consider some of the criteria noted for selection of data in the present study especially those indicating the importance of local CO2 sources (urban and industrial areas; animals and plants, especially soil organisms) and sinks (plants). Land CO2 stations should be on areas in which the surrounding vegetation can be protected from drastic change and is as close to CO2 equilibrium as is possible. The influence of height above ground deserves attention; as noted by Huber(1952), the degree of daily variation decreases with height.”

    That is exactly what has been done and led to the results we have over the last half century.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.2153-3490.1959.tb00023.x/asset/j.2153-3490.1959.tb00023.x.pdf;jsessionid=284D49AEF8277ABEB470C39B330E96EA.f03t04?v=1&t=hyikoupt&s=02e4169c5831d81b232469c17e74bd86baea5ef0

  104. Tonyb says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Ferdinand, hope you are keeping well.

    After a few repairs, thanks to modern chirurgy (bypasses), again alive and kicking…

    Keeling knew nothing of taking co2 measurements when he started his job, yet within a year apparently he was taking measurements to a far greater degree of accuracy than the highly experienced scientists before him stretching back some110 years?

    Don’t underestimate Keeling! Have a look at his autobiography: from page 31 on his story of CO2 measuring starts where he describes how he was getting involved.

    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/publications/keeling_autobiography.pdf

    He designed/built his own instruments and one of his instrument with an accuracy of 1:40,000 for the calibration of CO2 equipment and calibration gases still was in use until a few years ago at Scripps.

  105. Several measurements at Poonah were taken below the growing leaves: these easily show levels of 1,000 ppmv and more. Make a pocket hole in the ground and measure CO2: the soil bacteria provide levels of CO2 which may be in the thousands…

    OK, so here’s a question for the mathematically inclined part of the group. I probably can answer it for myself, but I’m curious as to whether anyone has already worked it out.

    CO_2 is a strong absorber in the relevant IR bands. The mean free path of photons at concentrations of 300-400 ppm is order of a meter or few (IIRC) making it effectively opaque — the well-known fact that CO_2 is saturated as a greenhouse gas, so that the only variation in Lambert-Beers comes from the very slow, logarithmic increase in absorption with concentration. However, this very same factor means that photons from the surface only penetrate a very few meters as they are emitted upwards before they are absorbed — it is the surface layer itself that is warmed by the ground and that, in turn, radiates some fraction of the absorbed energy back down at the ground to slow its net rate of radiative energy loss, with the rest gradually diffusing upwards until it eventually gets out when the mean free path becomes big enough to reach “infinity” without another aborption/emission.

    What, then, is the net effect of a layer of air on the ground 1-100 m thick where the CO_2 concentration is routinely 500 to 1000 ppm, gradually tailing off into the background “well-mixed” concentration? Note well that this “ground layer” thickness is totally invisible to GCMs, that IIRC typically have a vertical grid dimension of 1 km (and at that, have to neglect all kinds of dynamics in the vertical direction and replace it with approximations). It may be short relative to 1 km but it is long relative to the MFP, effectively completely opaque with absorptivity governed by the higher concentration, not the presumed well-mixed background that re-establishes when one is high enough off of the ground.

    This is relevant to the UHI effect, as many if not most metropolitan areas are active sources of both CO_2 and water vapor from burning stuff — gasoline in cars, natural gas in furnaces and stoves, oil in furnaces, various biofuels (wood, charcoal, animal dung) for cooking and heating (not just in the first world cities), respiring humans. This can easily nonlinearly supplement any heating associated with the replacement of grassland and trees with asphalt parking lots, dark rooftops, etc, trapping heat absorbed during the day on the low-albedo surfaces instead of letting it radiate away as it normally would at night. It is also relevant to non-urban heating (or at least heat retention) in the vicinity of agriculture that generates 1000 ppm CO_2 concentrations in the ground layer. Airports (where “official” weather stations are often located) tend to be places where enormous jets take off and land, dumping huge boluses of CO_2 and water vapor in a very concentrated form directly into the air above weather stations even when those stations are otherwise decently located (usually, they are terribly located e.g. a few meters from asphalt runways that superheat during a summer day and retain heat long into a winter night). It can be confounded in many ways with other phenomena — sunny days are often atmospheric high pressure days, which are in turn days where the absorptivity is modulated upwards due to pressure broadening; cloudy days are often low pressure days and absorptivity is modulated downwards due to pressure broadening.

    The increasing divergence between SSTs, LTTs, and LSTs suggest that a lot of what is being interpreted as global warming is really local warming — basically HHE (human habitation effect) warming in the vicinity of human habitations of all sorts — warming due to agriculture or land use changes, UHI warming, warming due to alterations in local GHG concentrations a factor of 2-3 larger than the average atmospheric concentration in an easily optically thick layer (but one that GCMs cannot resolve or explicitly treat, assuming that we had any way of tracking CO_2 sources at the required spatiotemporal granularity).

    Details like this seem like they would matter a lot, both by introducing a systematic error into the computations of global average surface temperature, which already fail to account for “ordinary” UHI heating anything like accurately and more or less completely ignore the rest of HHE heating. This is an easy explanation for the failure of LTTs and SSTs to track ground surface temperature increases (such as they are) in the major temperature models — the models are simply failing to correctly do the ground averages because they are smearing local HHE warming in the thermometric record out into the non-human habitated countryside and ocean on the one hand, and failing to correctly account for the radiative and other heat transfer dynamics associated with HHE variability at spatiotemporal scales several orders of magnitude smaller than the various grid scales used in GCMs. The former adds a non-physical average warming that increases strictly with human population, the latter means that the models were normalized with an effective CO_2 level (the well-mixed concentration) that is much lower than the real concentration almost anywhere near the surface of the ground for much of the diurnal radiative cycle, and that is correspondingly logarithmically less sensitive to increases.

    To put it in simple terms, consider a resistance model. Imagine we have a capacitor that is being charged with some fixed input current, It is shorted out by three resistors — two in series, both in parallel with the third “shunt” resistor. I know the physical dimensions of the two in series — their conduction cross-section and length — and know the resistivity of one of them and know only that the resistivity and net resistance of the other is considerably larger.

    I then measure the charge on the resistor in equilibrium, neglect the larger resistor, and compute a value for the shunt resistor and based on the assumption that the lower resistance resistor is all there is in the series leg. Since the actual resistance in the series pathway is higher, my value for the shunt resistance that “fits” this equilibrium charge is now too high.

    I then wonder what happens if I add (say) 10% of the resistivity of the lower resistivity material to both resistivities in the series path. Since in my model the shunt resistance is too large and the large series resistance is ignored, I find that the equilibrium charge goes up strongly as I increase the resistivity of the weaker series resistance.

    But what really happens? Suppose that the larger resistivity material initially had an equal total resistance (R) and a resistivity 10x that of the lower resistivity material. The series resistance was actually twice as large as I assumed when evaluating the shunt, so the shunt resistance has to be correspondingly lower for the total parallel resistance to correctly match the observed initial charge. Adding 10% to the resistivity of the lower resistivity material makes its resistance 1.1R, but adding the same absolute amount to the resistivity of the higher resistance only increases it by 1%, it goes to 1.01 times its initial value.

    Instead of increasing the resistance in this leg from R to 1.1R, one has increased the resistance from 2R to 2.05 R. The shunt resistance is correspondingly lower. I’ve increased the resistance of the drain by strictly less than half as much as I computed ignoring the higher resistivity but shorter path. The temperature increases by strictly less than half my previous estimate.

    If the resistance of the shorter path is actually larger than the resistance of the longer path, this problem gets worse.

    This example has perfect analogues in climate — the input current is incoming radiative power from the sun, the shunt resistances are things like albedo, vertical heat transport via convection and latent heat, and the two series resistors are the (neglected) thin but optically thick ground surface layer with CO_2 that is already as much as twice the well-mixed value of the considered outer layer of the atmosphere. The lower the effective thermal resistance of the “shunt” — the more effective the alternative pathways are at dumping heat — the lower the equilibrium temperature. The more important/larger neglected series radiative resistance is compared to the well-mixed estimate, the greater the semi-empirical fit error to both the shunt resistance terms and the corresponding increase in temperature resulting from increasing both the well mixed and much higher component of the atmospheric CO_2 by the same absolute amount.

    rgb

  106. Phil. says:
    August 6, 2014 at 4:46 am

    “It would work just fine since any orbit can be represented by a number of epicycles, just like a curve can be represented by a Fourier series.”

    Sure thing. I want to launch a satellite into a sun synchronous orbit at 900 km altitude with a 3 AM ascending node. Use your epicycles to tell me how to do it.

  107. Phil

    Thanks for your comments. Always appreciate them even if we may disagree. I am sorry you are often given a hard time here.

    As for your link it went straight to a rather scary ‘Forbidden!’ message.

    Do you have an alternative link? Thanks

    tonyb

  108. rgbatduke says:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    What, then, is the net effect of a layer of air on the ground 1-100 m thick where the CO_2 concentration is routinely 500 to 1000 ppm, gradually tailing off into the background “well-mixed” concentration?

    I do have only some basic knowledge about the effect of radiation – collisions – re-radiation by CO2, but fortunately the US army has done a lot of fundamental research work on this topic by measuring the line by line absorbance of a lot of CO2-water-CH4, etc. mixtures in air at different atmospheric pressures, integrating them over height. A simpler form of that program (Hitran) is on line available for experimentation (Modtran):

    http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/

    I have used it to check if 1,000 ppmv in the first 1,000 meter over land would make much difference compared to background 400 ppmv up to the same height. It hardly makes a difference: at maximum 0.1°C extra.
    As the increased levels in general are less high and up to less height, I suppose that the influence of the extra CO2 near ground is negligible.

    Water vapor may be a different story (but can’t be independently changed in Modtran). Here on WUWT were different stories about the influence of irrigation on local temperatures, including one from Dr. Spencer, but sorry, I have no references.

  109. climatereason says:
    August 6, 2014 at 9:40 am
    Phil

    Thanks for your comments. Always appreciate them even if we may disagree. I am sorry you are often given a hard time here.

    As for your link it went straight to a rather scary ‘Forbidden!’ message.

    Do you have an alternative link? Thanks

    No worries. I’ll see if I can find one, that one works fine for me.

  110. Phil

    No, I get ‘forbidden’ on all my three devices. Hope you can find an alternative link.

    Tonyb

  111. Ferdinand, MODTRAN fixes the temperature of the surface, so at best you are modeling the immediate change if a pulse of CO2 were emitted suddenly, not the climate response which occurs throughout the atmosphere, up to the level at which the atmosphere is no longer opaque at line center.

  112. Bart says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Alan Robertson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    “The decades 1959-1979 do not show increasing T trend.”

    They show a trend, which begets curvature in overall CO2.

    You keep seeming to want CO2 to be affine to temperature. It isn’t. The rate of change is. That is the empirical result.
    ____________________
    The T trend in period 1959-1979 is decreasing, yet the curvature of the graph of CO2atm indicates an increasing slope of the line during that period, which indicates an increasing amount of CO2atm. If the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 tracks temperatures, or temperature trends, then wouldn’t the line slope be decreasing in this example? Here’s a closer look at that time period:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/mean:48/from:1959/to:1979/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1959/to:1979/mean:48/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1959/to:1979/trend

  113. Alan Robertson says:
    August 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    You are over-smoothing, and not using the best data set. The “curvature” you see is actually more like a step down, and then back up again. The fit isn’t bad. Moreover, there has always been a better fit with Southern hemispheric temperatures, which may suggest this is primarily an oceanic phenomenon.

    The remaining small discrepancies really just go to show how strong the relationship is. Given a temperature relationship, it is almost certainly not between bulk averaged Southern hemisphere temperatures and CO2, but between some globally weighted sum total of temperature effects to CO2, reflecting the differing contributions of different regions to the outcome. We do not here have the data to estimate a proper weighted sum, just straight averages. Yet, even with those, we get striking correlations.

    Contrariwise, if CO2 is, as claimed, a well mixed gas, and we are responsible for its change, then there should be a 1:1 correspondence between our bulk emissions and observed CO2. But, there isn’t. As even Ferdinand has effectively admitted, to keep alive the hypothesis that we are responsible, we have to assume that nature is currently taking out a greater share of our emissions than it did formerly. And, that is loading up the theory with epicycles in an attempt to rationalize the fact that the two quantities are really just not tracking one another.

  114. Phil

    Thanks for that.

    I corresponded with Beck as I finished my own paper. He was rather dismissive of Bray. At that time he was working on producing a core of several hundred samples that met all the criteria that his critics had put forward. I think they were based on this paper;

    —— ======
    The last outstanding work published from Dr. Francis Massen, Luxembourg with Georg Beck at the “Climate 2009″, Nov 2-6, 2009, earned the first place of all published and reviewed papers

    this is the paper

    http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/CO2_versus_windspeed-review-1-FM.pdf

    “A validation check has been made for 3 historical CO2 series. The overall impression is one of continental European historic regional CO2 background levels significantly higher than the commonly assumed global ice-core proxy levels.

    The CO2 versus wind-speed plot seems to be a good first level validation tool for historical data. With the required caveats it could deliver a reasonable approximation of past regional and possibly past global CO2 background levels.”

    —– ——
    tonyb

  115. climatereason says:
    August 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    IMO ambient CO2 might well have been in the 400s ppm in industrial 19th century Europe, but rained or snowed out before spreading globally. Now CO2 is produced more evenly around the globe, from many sources, including mobile, and deposited at higher altitudes.

  116. Bart says:
    August 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    “… if CO2 is, as claimed, a well mixed gas, and we are responsible for its change, then there should be a 1:1 correspondence between our bulk emissions and observed CO2. But, there isn’t. ”
    _________________
    We know that CO2 is only well mixed 500 meters or so above the surface, but this is only tangential to the discussion. Why should we assume a 1:1 correspondence between emissions and observed CO2? Wouldn’t many assumptions about poorly understood and chaotic systems have to be made for that to be true?
    ————–
    “…to keep alive the hypothesis that we are responsible, we have to assume that nature is currently taking out a greater share of our emissions than it did formerly.
    _____________
    Isn’t there near universal agreement that the biosphere increases growth with increase of CO2atm and temperature in extra- tropical/polar regions? Isn’t that phenomenon measurable and not just an assumption? With the increase in growth rate, isn’t the rate of C sequestration increasing in known and closely associated sinks such as topsoil, peat and woody plant mass?
    These factors are difficult to quantify, along with every other factor in the CO2 balance, but are real, nonetheless.
    Tropical biosphere expansion is limited by available nutrients and is essentially in CO2 equilibrium, but that growth/CO2 equilibrium point is slowly and marginally incrementing upwards with the increase in available CO2. Polar growth expansion is damped by temperature, but nevertheless has been demonstrated as increasing.

    A couple of quick anecdotes about the way in which the warmists twist facts to heighten fear of changing climate: there was a study several years ago in which certain tundra plants were exhibiting greater growth and even retaining flowers later in the growing season. The climate fearosphere used that fact as a point of fear- “oh, but they shouldn’t be flowering so late- that will be really harmful to the plants when they freeze”. Similarly, studies showed increased growth in tropical rainforest plants and instead of seeing that as welcome news, the fearmongers replied- “oh, but the strangler fig vine is growing faster than old growth trees and will overcome them easier”.
    While man’s enhancement of all life on the planet by increasing atmospheric CO2 was initially inadvertent, now that we know the positive effects of our actions, the response of those who claim to represent the interests of all life on the planet are seemingly trying their best to shut down man’s contributions.
    Drill baby, drill.

  117. sturgishooper says:
    August 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Which makes me wonder what its concentration might be in the neo-Dickensian coal-fired cities of China today.
    _____________
    Neo- Dickensian… I like that.

  118. Alan Robertson says:
    August 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    “Wouldn’t many assumptions about poorly understood and chaotic systems have to be made for that to be true?”

    On the contrary, I think it requires more speculative assumptions to assume it is not true.

    I may have confused the issue a bit saying 1:1. What I mean by that is 1:1 modulo affine similarity. If emissions are driving atmospheric concentration, then it out at least to accelerate when emissions accelerate, and decelerate when they decelerate. It ought to be conformal.

    “Isn’t there near universal agreement that the biosphere increases growth with increase of CO2atm and temperature in extra- tropical/polar regions?”

    Yes, but the standard first order assumption would be that it would increase proportionately. Here, we have to assume it is increasing not in tandem with emissions, but by a greater factor than the emissions, that it is soaking up the emissions with accelerating vigor as time goes on. That is really reaching out on a limb, especially when it suggests a self-perpetuating dynamic which would, if left to its own, completely suck every last molecule of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Especially, when there is an alternative explanation which requires no such speculation.

    It is far less speculative to assume that there is nothing exotic going on, and that the obvious, empirical relationship with temperatures indicates precisely what it appears to be indicating: that the driving force in atmospheric concentration is not human industry, but a temperature dependent, natural process.

  119. Bart says:
    August 6, 2014 at 6:53 pm
    Yes, but the standard first order assumption would be that it would increase proportionately. Here, we have to assume it is increasing not in tandem with emissions, but by a greater factor than the emissions, that it is soaking up the emissions with accelerating vigor as time goes on. That is really reaching out on a limb, especially when it suggests a self-perpetuating dynamic which would, if left to its own, completely suck every last molecule of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Especially, when there is an alternative explanation which requires no such speculation.

    Only from someone who has no clue about the physical chemistry involved, Henry’s law for example!

  120. Phil. says:
    August 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Oh, boy… Think, Phil, think! you’re only helping my case, not hurting it.

  121. Bart says:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Oh, boy… Think, Phil, think! you’re only helping my case, not hurting it.

    Good advice, take it, you have no case.

  122. Eli Rabett says:
    August 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Ferdinand, MODTRAN fixes the temperature of the surface, so at best you are modeling the immediate change if a pulse of CO2 were emitted suddenly, not the climate response which occurs throughout the atmosphere, up to the level at which the atmosphere is no longer opaque at line center.

    Thanks Eli, I used Modtran with as initial conditions standard global atmosphere, 400 ppmv and looking down at 1 km height. That gives the outgoing radiation at that height. If you increase CO2 to 1000 ppmv, that shows a small reduction in outgoing energy, which can be compensated with a 0.1°C offset at ground level. As the outgoing radiation at 1 km height with 0.1°C is restored, the rest of the 70 km column doesn’t make a change…

  123. climatereason says:
    August 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    The CO2 versus wind-speed plot seems to be a good first level validation tool for historical data.

    It could be, if there were a lot of datapoints at high wind speed (over 4 m/s). For Giessen that are only some 20 points with a range similar to the range at low wind speed.

    Compare the ranges at Diekirch, which is a small town in a valley with the historical site of Giessen which is a similar small town, and despite that shows hardly any convergence at high wind speeds. Even the authors agree:

    but the high wind speed data suggest a possible CO2 range between 466 and 326 ppm, a range too large to be of much use

    The same problems at Liège, hardly any datapoints at > 4 m/s and Vienna, which has a lot of datapoints but again a non-convergence range which in this case is narrower than at Giessen, thus borderline of value…

  124. Ferdinand

    Although I know your position I would trust you as an independent observer to audit the more reliable of the old figures.

    If I can just organise around 20 million Euros of funding for a two year project will you take it on? :)

    tonyb

  125. Bart says:
    August 6, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    If emissions are driving atmospheric concentration, then it out at least to accelerate when emissions accelerate, and decelerate when they decelerate.

    They do over the full 55 years of Mauna Loa and beyond:

    They don’t for the year-by year rate of change or even not for periods of a few decades, as some natural sinks increased in capacity beyond the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere: land vegetation was a (small) source of CO2 before 1990 and is an increasing sink since then, based on the oxygen balance, thus slightly increasing the sink ratio compared to earlier decades, which were and still are mainly dominated by the oceans.

    That is really reaching out on a limb, especially when it suggests a self-perpetuating dynamic which would, if left to its own, completely suck every last molecule of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

    Sorry Bart, the carbon cycle as a whole is a system in dynamic equilibrium, which setpoint is dictated by temperature. Any change in temperature will change the setpoint: + 17 ppmv/K for the oceans (Henry’s Law), – x ppmv for the biosphere. The average change over 800 kyears is 8 ppmv/K for a combination of all partial processes involved.

    Any disturbance of that cycle will be met with an increase or decrease in uptake/release in ratio to the disturbance (Le Châtelier’s principle). Until now that is met for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the source):

    where the red line is the residual CO2 as result of human emissions minus a function of the pressure difference between what is in the atmosphere and what the temperature dictated setpoint shows. The latter is where the CO2 levels are going over time if humans stop emissions (half life time ~40 years), not zero.

    If you enlarge the scales, as you have done, it looks like that in the second halve the ratio decreased, while 60% or 40% doesn’t make any substantial difference. If temperature was the driving force, even a small change in temperature trend as is seen in the last decade would give a dramatic drop in rate of change of CO2…

  126. climatereason says:
    August 7, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the offer, I would spend that money at travelling around the world (good excuse to do that) and measure the local CO2 variability at all the historical places… And a accuracy check of the old wet methods would be interesting too…

    But I fear that nobody is interested in providing that money…

  127. Bart says:
    August 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Moreover, there has always been a better fit with Southern hemispheric temperatures, which may suggest this is primarily an oceanic phenomenon.

    What Bart suggests is that a more or less linear increase in temperature will give a slightly quadratic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    There is some possibility, if e.g. there was an increase in deep ocean upwelling (either amount or concentration). That gives an increase in CO2 upwelling near the tropics. If the temperature linear increases at the same time, the combination of both has a very small quadratic term (too small, but nevertheless…).

    That implies three coincidences in a row:
    – increase in temperature
    – increase in upwelling
    – in exact lockstep with human emissions: timing and ratio of the quantities emitted

    But there is not any indication in any observation that there was an increase in upwelling (or in fact circulation):
    – no decrease in residence time of CO2, even a slight increase in recent estimates
    – no increase in 13C/12C ratio, only a firm decrease in ratio with human emissions
    – no increased decay rate of the nuclear bomb test 14C spike
    – the land biosphere is an increasing net sink for CO2
    – the oceans are increasing net sinks for CO2

    And he totally forgets the negative feedback of the carbon cycle: increased pressure in the atmosphere will increase the uptake by oceans and vegetation. Here for the oceans only: a step change of 10% more C concentration at year 5 and a step change of 1 K at year 10. Both work out as a combined asymptote to a higher CO2 level and increased in/out fluxes, but not to an unabated increase of CO2 for a step change in temperature and/or concentration.

  128. rgbatduke:

    Thankyou for your post at August 6, 2014 at 8:42 am which I consider to be a valuable ‘follow on’ from your earlier post at August 5, 2014 at 5:39 am.

    I draw attention to your point that says

    The increasing divergence between SSTs, LTTs, and LSTs suggest that a lot of what is being interpreted as global warming is really local warming — basically HHE (human habitation effect) warming in the vicinity of human habitations of all sorts — warming due to agriculture or land use changes, UHI warming, warming due to alterations in local GHG concentrations a factor of 2-3 larger than the average atmospheric concentration in an easily optically thick layer (but one that GCMs cannot resolve or explicitly treat, assuming that we had any way of tracking CO_2 sources at the required spatiotemporal granularity).

    Yes, and the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 may be part of what you call HHE (human habitation effect) which is very localised.

    If (as I have been pointing out for many years) the CO2 from human activities is absorbed very near to its sources then it does not contribute to the observed rise in ‘background’ CO2 and cannot make significant contribution to global warming. This possibility is supported by the observed large, rapid fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 near sources of CO2 emission from human activites.

    And more information is needed to reject or to confirm this possibility.

    Richard

  129. richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 3:24 am

    If … the CO2 from human activities is absorbed very near to its sources then it does not contribute to the observed rise in ‘background’ CO2 and cannot make significant contribution to global warming.

    Hardly possible: human emissions are mainly from three sources: industry, towns and traffic. Traffic, as far as near vegetation, some part may be absorbed locally, towns already a lot less and industry emissions are mostly via stacks far above any vegetation.

    Moreover, if the uptake is limited in capacity (as is the case for the bulk of the uptake) the capturing of a “human” CO2 molecule is instead of the capturing of a “natural” CO2 molecule which adds the same amount to the total increase of CO2. The increase in total uptake of the biosphere is not more than 1 GtC/year out of the 9 GtC/year human emissions…

    Further, the 13C/12C ratio decline shows that at least 1/3rd of human CO2 remains in the atmosphere over time, including the (deep) ocean exchanges which reduce the 13C/12C decline because they have a higher ratio…

  130. Ferdinand Engelbeen says: August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am
    “Hardly possible:”

    Indeed so – just the sheer quantity of emissions. In the West, 10-20 tons CO2 per person per year. About 200 x our mass. If that was somehow being retained in solid or dissolved form near where it was emitted, we’d notice.

  131. Nick Stokes says:
    August 7, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says: August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am
    “Hardly possible:”

    Indeed so – just the sheer quantity of emissions. In the West, 10-20 tons CO2 per person per year. About 200 x our mass. If that was somehow being retained in solid or dissolved form near where it was emitted, we’d notice.
    _______________
    You just haven’t been aware of the apparently accelerating* rate at which birds have been assisting woody growth C sequestration in my property fence line, which is at rate greater than the aggravation point, which is a factor derived from the energy/time required to remove such woody growth.
    * May only be aspect of grey hair circumstance

  132. Bart says:
    August 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Alan Robertson says:
    August 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/mean:48/from:1959/to:1979/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1959/to:1979/mean:48/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1959/to:1979/trend

    —————-
    You are over-smoothing, and not using the best data set. The “curvature” you see is actually more like a step down, and then back up again. The fit isn’t bad. Moreover, there has always been a better fit with Southern hemispheric temperatures, which may suggest this is primarily an oceanic phenomenon.
    ____________________
    Oversmoothing? Ok, change the Mean samples rate from ’48’ to ’12’. Would that change the outcome, or would any sample rate between those points change the outcome? No. The result is the same. The assertion fails. Not using the best data set for what? To prove your assertion?
    The WFT tools are of limited usefulness. Curve fitting to prove hypothesis is an invalid technique.

  133. Phil. says:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Earth to Phil: Bart isn’t arguing that every molecule gets sucked out – he is arguing that the open ended increase in sink vigor would produce such a dynamic, and that is potty. You are agreeing with him.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 2:27 am

    “Any disturbance of that cycle will be met with an increase or decrease in uptake/release in ratio to the disturbance…”

    In steady proportion, not in increasing proportion.

    “…while 60% or 40% doesn’t make any substantial difference.”

    There is a substantial difference between 40% and 60%. You are making epicycles.

    “…even a small change in temperature trend as is seen in the last decade would give a dramatic drop in rate of change of CO2…”

    No, it would stabilize it. As it has.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Thank you for graciously conceding the possibility.

    “That implies three coincidences in a row”

    Ex post facto probability waveforms collapse. I am sitting at my desk at 3:10 GMT. That implies three coincidences:

    – I am at home
    – I have a moment to spare
    – It is 3:10 PM

    Miracles happen every moment.

    “…increased pressure in the atmosphere will increase the uptake by oceans and vegetation.”

    There is no reason to expect it to increase more than proportionately.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am

    “…industry emissions are mostly via stacks far above any vegetation.”

    And, CO2 is a heavy molecule.

    “…if the uptake is limited in capacity (as is the case for the bulk of the uptake)…”

    But, your argument above is that it isn’t, as it has increased from 40% to 60%. You are contradicting yourself.

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 7, 2014 at 5:32 am

    “… just the sheer quantity of emissions…”

    A tiny proportion of natural emissions. Estimates are in the range of 3%.

    Alan Robertson says:
    August 7, 2014 at 6:31 am

    You are oversmoothing, the least squares fit of the curve obscures local behavior and is very sensitive to end points, and you have a very low SNR making it even more sensitive.

    Look, the curves match. The data are not perfect, but even with these bulk measurements, they match very closely. Emissions do not. They are diverging. If I could plot them on WFT, you would see them currently taking off super-linearly, while atmospheric concentration is rising only linearly.

  134. Bart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 8:33 am
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am

    “…industry emissions are mostly via stacks far above any vegetation.”

    And, CO2 is a heavy molecule.

    That remark alone indicates that you can’t be taken seriously in a scientific discussion.
    Try reading a textbook on physics of gases or physical chemistry.

  135. Bart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

    “Look, the curves match. ”
    ______________
    No, they don’t. Temperatures and T trend are decreasing amplitude, averaged over the time frame, while the curve of CO2 atm is increasing slope. According to your assertions, If the curve matched, it would curve in the opposite direction, displaying decreasing slope.

  136. Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 9:50 am

    “That remark alone indicates that you can’t be taken seriously in a scientific discussion.”

    Right back atcha’. It seems your physics are confined to local laboratory settings.

  137. Bart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Alan Robertson says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:06 am

    The curve of CO2 is NOT increasing slope. Look again. Where is the steady curvature you speak of? It’s not there. It’s just bobbling about the trend.

    This curve matches!!!
    ________________
    The curve certainly does increase slope and that is even shown in your graph used as response. I was plotting just raw data, while you plot integrals, etc to achieve a curve fit. In the following graph, I remove the fit, using your same applied integral, with just a tiny change in one parameter.
    An artist could draw a rooster on a boxtop, but that rooster couldn’t crow, while these graphical manipulations certainly do lay an egg.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1959/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1959/scale:0..15/offset:0.10/integral/offset:315

  138. Ferdinand Engelbeen and Nick Stokes:

    I am making this single reply to your posts at August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am and August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am, respectively.

    Ferdinand’s post says

    richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 3:24 am

    If … the CO2 from human activities is absorbed very near to its sources then it does not contribute to the observed rise in ‘background’ CO2 and cannot make significant contribution to global warming.

    Hardly possible: human emissions are mainly from three sources: industry, towns and traffic. Traffic, as far as near vegetation, some part may be absorbed locally, towns already a lot less and industry emissions are mostly via stacks far above any vegetation.

    Moreover, if the uptake is limited in capacity (as is the case for the bulk of the uptake) the capturing of a “human” CO2 molecule is instead of the capturing of a “natural” CO2 molecule which adds the same amount to the total increase of CO2. The increase in total uptake of the biosphere is not more than 1 GtC/year out of the 9 GtC/year human emissions…

    Further, the 13C/12C ratio decline shows that at least 1/3rd of human CO2 remains in the atmosphere over time, including the (deep) ocean exchanges which reduce the 13C/12C decline because they have a higher ratio…

    And Nick Stokes says in total:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says: August 7, 2014 at 4:09 am

    “Hardly possible:”

    Indeed so – just the sheer quantity of emissions. In the West, 10-20 tons CO2 per person per year. About 200 x our mass. If that was somehow being retained in solid or dissolved form near where it was emitted, we’d notice.

    The isotope ratio proves nothing (as Ferdinand knows) and the local sequestration is very possible according to Ferdinand’s refutation of Beck’s data in this thread.

    The main assertion the two of your make is that high local concentrations which appear and vanish in a few hours become well mixed through the entire atmosphere. That is not credible because the world is a big place and it takes time to dissipate the local concentrations.

    The new satellites may enable CO2 emissions to be tracked to determine where they go which – at present – is not known.
    For example, Ferdinand claimed the high CO2 reported by Beck at Poonah was over crops and I replied saying at August 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Growing crops consume CO2 so their net effect would be to draw down CO2 and not to emit it.

    And at August 6, 2014 at 12:28 am Ferdinand said to that

    Several measurements at Poonah were taken below the growing leaves: these easily show levels of 1,000 ppmv and more. Make a pocket hole in the ground and measure CO2: the soil bacteria provide levels of CO2 which may be in the thousands…

    ”In the thousands”. But it is not possible for CO2 to be sequestered locally and not be noticed? So where are the soil bacteria supposed to obtain their carbon, by mail order?

    Richard

  139. Bart says:
    AugBart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:27 am
    Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 9:50 am

    “That remark alone indicates that you can’t be taken seriously in a scientific discussion.”

    Right back atcha’. It seems your physics are confined to local laboratory settings.

    What utter rubbish, you really don’t have a clue. Try checking up on the ‘homosphere':
    “The homosphere and heterosphere are defined by whether the atmospheric gases are well mixed. The surfaced-based homosphere includes the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and the lowest part of the thermosphere, where the chemical composition of the atmosphere does not depend on molecular weight because the gases are mixed by turbulence.[14] This relatively homogeneous layer ends at the turbopause which is found at about 100 km (62 mi; 330,000 ft), which places it about 20 km (12 mi; 66,000 ft) above the mesopause.”
    The first law of holes comes to mind in connection with your posts: ‘when in a hole stop digging’.

  140. richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:52 am
    And at August 6, 2014 at 12:28 am Ferdinand said to that

    Several measurements at Poonah were taken below the growing leaves: these easily show levels of 1,000 ppmv and more. Make a pocket hole in the ground and measure CO2: the soil bacteria provide levels of CO2 which may be in the thousands…

    ”In the thousands”. But it is not possible for CO2 to be sequestered locally and not be noticed? So where are the soil bacteria supposed to obtain their carbon, by mail order?

    What is it about this topic that brings out all the bozos?
    They get it the same way you get yours, it’s called respiration!

  141. Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

    We’re not talking “homosphere”. We’re talking boundary layer. The stacks are, at most, some tens of meters high.

    This isn’t some idealized, average behavior of well-mixed gases over large vertical columns you find in your basic textbooks. This is specific, localized behavior, in a location with relatively large gravity gradient, and additionally, a great big roaring sink for CO2 right below.

    Really, Phil, this is tedious. Your thinking is undergraduate level. And, it’s not really the main thrust of my argument, anyway. I don’t have anymore time for your sophomoric rants. Go away.

  142. Alan –

    Stop cherry picking. If you want to see the curvature, you need to look over a long interval, where the signal-to-noise ratio becomes large.

    You want to see the curvature, look here.

    I have to go. You folks carry on without me.

  143. Bart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

    In steady proportion, not in increasing proportion.
    and
    There is no reason to expect it to increase more than proportionately.

    Depends of the processes involved: the oceans react directly proportionally on pressure (differences) and are less influenced by temperature.
    Vegetation is influenced by a lot of other items than CO2 alone: temperature, precipitation, nutrients, fertilizers,…
    From the oxygen and 13C/12C balances it is known that vegetation was a small net emitter for CO2 before 1990 and an increasing absorber of CO2 after 1990 and largely responsible for the year-by-year variability over the past 55 years. The difference between pre-1990 and today is about 1.5 GtC/year, large enough to explain the increase in uptake from 40% to 60%, if the oceans remained proportional.

    That implies three coincidences:

    That were three coincidences from the same process(or), which may happen seldom, but not really unbelievable. Three non-related events, of which two natural and one human, all working synchronous seems a real miracle…

    And, CO2 is a heavy molecule.

    Even point sources are readily dispersed into the bulk of the atmosphere with a minimum of wind speed.

  144. Phil.:

    Your post at August 7, 2014 at 11:35 am says in total

    Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 11:35 am

    richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:52 am
    And at August 6, 2014 at 12:28 am Ferdinand said to that

    Several measurements at Poonah were taken below the growing leaves: these easily show levels of 1,000 ppmv and more. Make a pocket hole in the ground and measure CO2: the soil bacteria provide levels of CO2 which may be in the thousands…

    ”In the thousands”. But it is not possible for CO2 to be sequestered locally and not be noticed? So where are the soil bacteria supposed to obtain their carbon, by mail order?

    What is it about this topic that brings out all the bozos?
    They get it the same way you get yours, it’s called respiration!

    Phil., I don’t know why you post at this or any other thread, but your every post demonstrates you are a bozo and the one I have quoted is no exception.

    Ferdinand and Nick asserted that anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) CO2 emissions could not be being sequestered locally because the effects would be noticed. My post pointed out that it would not be noticed because – as Ferdinand had admitted earlier in the thread – local carbon transfers and CO2 emissions can be very large and I pointed out what he had said and its implication.

    Phil., I fully understand that these issues are hard for ignorant little trolls like you to understand, but when you get as confused as in this case it is better for you to avoid the issue instead of both proclaiming and demonstrating that you are a bozo.

    Richard

  145. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    “Even point sources are readily dispersed into the bulk of the atmosphere with a minimum of wind speed.”

    No, they aren’t. Provide data, not words, data, to prove me wrong.

  146. Bart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 11:50 am
    Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

    We’re not talking “homosphere”. We’re talking boundary layer. The stacks are, at most, some tens of meters high.

    And the molecular mass of CO2 has nothing to do with it, your comment “And, CO2 is a heavy molecule” was idiotic.

    This isn’t some idealized, average behavior of well-mixed gases over large vertical columns you find in your basic textbooks. This is specific, localized behavior, in a location with relatively large gravity gradient, and additionally, a great big roaring sink for CO2 right below.

    The soil below is a source of CO2 not a sink, a fact that both you and courtney seem unaware of!

    The balance equation for CO2 is as follows:

    d[CO2]/dt = emissions + Source(T, CO2) – Sink(T, CO2)

    Neither of your simplified ‘affine’ relationships make any sense.
    Unfortunately your thinking is barely high school, thank goodness you’re going so that we don’t have to listen to your twaddle any more.

  147. richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

    The isotope ratio proves nothing (as Ferdinand knows) and the local sequestration is very possible according to Ferdinand’s refutation of Beck’s data in this thread.

    The isotope ratio proves a lot of items, like that vegetation is the main cause of the year by year variability in CO2 sequestering and that humans are the cause of the decrease in 13C/12C ratio and that the oceans are not responsible for the increase in CO2,…

    Local sequestration is possible, it is even locally measured in plants around point sources (around volcanic vents: the origin of the CO2 the plants used: volcanic or bulk), but it doesn’t matter that much.
    Some 60 GtC/year is emitted locally by plants at night (respiration), some 60 GtC/year is added by soil bacteria, molds, etc… from the decaying of old leaves etc… continuously over the year(s), more in summer, less in winter. Some 120 GtC per year is absorbed by plants during daylight. The net balance of that cycle is ~1 GtC/year more uptake than decay.

    Humans emit some 9 GtC/year as CO2. Even if all of that was absorbed by the next available trees, that only means that 1 GtC was absorbed, but that there still is a 8 GtC increase in the atmosphere natural CO2 which wasn’t captured, thanks to the extra human CO2 capturing, due to the limited uptake capacity of vegetation.
    Thus direct capturing by nearby plants doesn’t help much in preventing an extra increase in the atmosphere…

    That is not credible because the world is a big place and it takes time to dissipate the local concentrations.

    If I look at the wind speed at my own small weather station, I often see that there is no or little wind at evening/night. It starts again in daylight and is maximal in the afternoon. Thus while the levels get high near ground at night, CO2 is readily dispersed during the day. Something that Keeling Sr. did discover when he measured CO2 in the early years even within forests: the heat/sun in the afternoon did give more turbulence and showed CO2 levels at similar low levels as in deserts and over the oceans…
    And it takes only a few tens of meters to get the extra CO2 out of the reach of plants…

  148. Bart says:
    August 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    No, they aren’t. Provide data, not words, data, to prove me wrong.

    Bart, there are programs on the market which calculate the dispersion of chemical leaks into the rest of the atmosphere, depending of wind speed, buildings and other objects (trees,…) in the wind direction.
    I was personally involved in such a program for a possible chlorine leak and a circle of detectors to calculate the risk of poisoning of our neighbors (fortunately never happened). The dispersion of chlorine (molar weight 71, near 5 times heavier than air) was between the second and third power of the distance. Not completely third power, up to the bulk of the atmosphere, but by far not only creeping over the soil except if there was no wind.

    Smoke stack contains at maximum 20% CO2 (by volume) if they consume all available oxygen and no water is formed (which is never the case, not even for coal) and 80% N2, average molar weight 20, some 40% higher than the rest of the atmosphere. Need not much wind to disperse in the bulk of the atmosphere and hardly will come down even from low house stacks. I haven’t see much smoke (mostly water) coming down out of the stacks…

  149. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    At August 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm you make the untrue assertion

    The isotope ratio proves a lot of items, like that vegetation is the main cause of the year by year variability in CO2 sequestering and that humans are the cause of the decrease in 13C/12C ratio and that the oceans are not responsible for the increase in CO2,…

    Ferdinand, you know that the isotope ratio change proves none of that.

    The isotope ratio change is in the direction expected if the anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) CO2 were causing the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but there is a 50:50 chance that the direction would be that or the other. Importantly, the magnitude of the isotope ratio change is wrong by a factor of 3 if it is caused by the anthropogenic CO2. Also, the discrimination between ocean and biota CO2 is poor because the ocean surface layer cycles all CO2 in and out.

    Therefore, the direct indication of the isotope ratio change is to DISprove the things you say it proves. However, there are possible explanations for all the discrepancies and, therefore, the correct interpretation is – as I said “The isotope ratio proves nothing (as Ferdinand knows)“.

    Richard

  150. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    re your post addressed to Bart at August 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm.

    The issue is “local” compared to “global”. “Local” CO2 absorbtion can be within hundreds of miles of the emission source when the claim is that the emitted CO2 becomes globally well mixed in the atmosphere.

    Richard

    • Nick Stokes says:
      August 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      “So where are the soil bacteria supposed to obtain their carbon, by mail order?”

      Snail mail.

      Thanks a lot! Now I have to clean my monitor! LOL

  151. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    The dispersion of chlorine (molar weight 71, near 5 times heavier than air)

    N2, average molar weight 20, some 40% higher than the rest of the atmosphere.

    The atmosphere has about 78% N2 which has a molar mass of 28 and 21% O2 which has a molar mass of 32. The other 1% make little difference to the resulting average of about 29.
    So N2 is about the same, but very slightly less than the average. And 71 is about 2.45 times heavier.

  152. climatereason says:
    August 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    Phil

    Thanks for that.

    You’re welcome. I thought it was a rather good review by Bray, the analysis of the methods and sampling was thorough.

  153. Werner Brozek says:
    August 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    You can see that it was a long time ago… Counted N and O, not N2 and O2… But Cl2 still a lot heavier than air, while smoke stack is hardly heavier, despite the extra CO2…

  154. richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    The isotope ratio change is in the direction expected if the anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) CO2 were causing the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but there is a 50:50 chance that the direction would be that or the other.

    Richard, that is pure nonsense: if you add some acid to a solution, there is no 50:50 chance that the pH goes down, it is 100% sure that it will go down, even buffered, there will be a change in the right direction.
    If you add low-13C CO2 to the atmosphere from fossil fuels, the atmospheric 13C/12C ratio will go down in that direction, except if other sources supply a lot of high-13 C CO2. Which is partly the case for the biosphere, which is a moderate sink for CO2 and preferably 12CO2, thus leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere.
    The oceans (and near all other CO2 sources) are anyway higher in 13C/12C ratio, even after fractionation at the water-air border (and back). Thus the oceans are not the cause of the 13CO2 decline, but they do reduce the 13CO2 decline caused by human emissions. The difference even can be used to estimate the deep ocean – air carbon cycle:

    which points to an about 40 GtC/year deep ocean – atmosphere carbon cycle. A similar 40 GtC/year exchange rate was deduced from the nuclear bomb test 14C peak decline.

  155. richardscourtney says:
    August 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    The issue is “local” compared to “global”. “Local” CO2 absorbtion can be within hundreds of miles of the emission source when the claim is that the emitted CO2 becomes globally well mixed in the atmosphere.

    As said before, it hardly matters if the human emissions are absorbed locally or get into the bulk of the atmosphere: they are additional. If they are absorbed locally, they simply replace a “natural” CO2 molecule that then not is absorbed and remains in the atmosphere, thus giving the same increase in total CO2.

    The only difference would be that the local CO2 levels would be enhanced a lot by human CO2, therefore increasing the uptake by plants (and waters). But even in (small) towns under inversion the difference between Sunday and Monday rush hours is hardly measurable and fades out in a few hours of sunlight and/or higher wind speeds:

  156. Ferdinand Engelbeen: “As said before, it hardly matters if the human emissions are absorbed locally or get into the bulk of the atmosphere: they are additional. If they are absorbed locally, they simply replace a “natural” CO2 molecule that then not is absorbed and remains in the atmosphere, thus giving the same increase in total CO2.”

    You’re no doubt correct, since you’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot, but to me that conclusion falls short of self-evident. I can’t say I know the mechanisms, but couldn’t high-concentration “artificial” sources spawn local sinks that would not have been there if only “natural” CO2 had been present?

  157. Joe Born says:
    August 8, 2014 at 1:59 am

    It would make a difference if the local human CO2 concentrations were much higher near plants, but as several local measurements show, local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation. The levels are elevated in towns, but these are sparsely “green”. Besides traffic, the bulk from industry and house heating is dispersed above the catch area of plants and already reduced a lot when these reach them…

  158. Tonyb:

    Your post at August 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm asks me

    Richard
    What was your opinion of masses 2007 paper I referenced here?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/05/co2-data-might-fit-the-ipcc-hypothesis-but-it-doesnt-fit-reality/#comment-1703353

    Clearly, I cannot give a full review of the paper here. But I provide this answer.

    The paper is available at

    http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/CO2_versus_windspeed-review-1-FM.pdf

    It is titled
    ‘Accurate estimation of CO2 background level from near ground measurements at non-mixed environments’
    and its authors are Dr. Francis Massen and Dipl. Biol. Ernst-Georg Beck.

    The paper by Massen & Beck relates atmospheric CO2 concentration data from individual sites to data from Mauna Loa and, therefore, it is a significant contribution to understanding of the historical data collated by Beck. It provides much useful information which may be considered to be confirmatory of Beck’s conclusions but – in my opinion – its findings cannot be considered conclusive because they are capable of more than one interpretation. In this respect the findings of Massen & Beck are similar to all other information concerning the carbon cycle; i.e. so little is known, and so little is understood, of the carbon cycle that the little available information on the carbon cycle can be understood to support any one of a variety of interpretations.

    As this thread demonstrates, assessment of the carbon cycle is bedevilled by people who champion different interpretations instead of recognising that the data is consistent with all their interpretations.

    In my opinion, these are the most important statements in the paper.

    The daily pattern of the CO2 mixing ratio depends essentially on the presence and/or the strength of the near ground inversion layer. This layer (which exists mostly at night, during the morning hour s or at late afternoon) prevents a thorough mixing up of the atmosphere and coincides usually with large CO2 peaks (Massen, 2007). During the midday hours, solar heating is normally at a maximum and creates the strongest convective air movements. As a consequence, the atmospheric boundary layer is well mixed up, and CO2 mixing ratios fall to their daily minimum. This minimum is seen as the most representative measure of the regional CO2 background level.

    The inversion periods are much shorter and less intense at the border of open sea or at smaller islands, where a quasi continuous breeze mixes up the boundary layer at most periods of the day. As a consequence, the daily CO2 variation is much lower at these locations; that are considered as the most suitable for background CO2 measurements.

    So, the authors accept that there is a ‘background level’ and they claim the regional CO2 background level is seen as being mostly represented by the daily minimum level.

    They continue saying that to determine the regional CO2 background level relative to the Mauna Loa data

    The authors found that a simple dilution formula like
    CO2 = a +b * e^(-c * windspeed)
    often is adequate.

    They then fit this curve to data from different individual sites.
    It should be noted that they say this is a “simple dilution formula” but there is no evidence that it is a function of dilution: it could be a function of sequestration with distance from source. This possibility is not stated in the paper but is emphasised by their equations 3a and 3b which they say often give a better fit.

    This is problematic. Different curve fitting exercises are appropriate for different sites. But any two time series can be equated if one of them can be adjusted in any possible way. A proper, empirically derived theory of their corrections is required. It seems to me that the different equations are probably evaluating how dispersion being varied by windspeed affects different local sequestration regimes and not mixing, but that cannot be known.

    Massen & Beck illustrate their point saying

    The year 2006 Mauna Loa average was 381.7 ppm. If we assume a latitudinal gradient of 0.06 ppm/degree (as suggested by a prior unpublished study of one of the authors) this would correspond to 381.7 + 0.06*(50 -20 ) = 383.5 ppm for a sea-side station at the latitude of Diekirch. The NOAA CO2 average for the whole globe is 382.5 ppm for 2006.

    Thus, the paper demonstrates that – for very limited data – by use of curve fitting the values obtained at each latitude can be related to the values obtained at Mauna Loa.

    The limited data cover 17 years.

    Furthermore, by using the obtained relationship for a site then – if it is assumed that the relationship has not altered at that site – historical data from the site can be related to CO2 which existed at the Mauna Loa site. This is done for Giessen weather station, for Liege, and for Vienna. Their conclusion is

    It has been shown that the CO2 versus wind-speed plot can represent a valuable tool to estimate continental local background CO2 levels despite of distorted mixing ratios or local influences. Applying the procedure to recent well known data gives results that are relatively close to the yearly average of the observational data at Mauna Loa and suggest a maximum difference of about 10 ppm with the global CO2 background as given by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

    A validation check has been made for 3 historical CO2 series. The overall impression is one of continental European historic regional CO2 background levels significantly higher than the commonly assumed global ice-core proxy levels.

    The CO2 versus wind-speed plot seems to be a good first level validation tool for historical data. With the required caveats it could deliver a reasonable approximation of past regional and possibly past global CO2 background levels.

    These conclusions are valid in terms of the reported work but that work includes some very questionable assumptions: all other conclusions by others concerning carbon cycle work also contain questionable assumptions because so little is known and understood about the carbon cycle that no conclusions can be obtained without use of assumptions.

    I hope these views are adequate and what you wanted.

    Richard

  159. Nick Stokes:

    Thanks for your witticism at August 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm.

    It is the best post in the thread.

    Richard

  160. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    At August 8, 2014 at 1:15 am you quote my accurately having said at August 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    The isotope ratio change is in the direction expected if the anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) CO2 were causing the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but there is a 50:50 chance that the direction would be that or the other.

    And you begin your reply by saying

    Richard, that is pure nonsense: if you add some acid to a solution, there is no 50:50 chance that the pH goes down, it is 100% sure that it will go down, even buffered, there will be a change in the right direction.

    You should know that it is not reasonable to say something is “pure nonsense” when your reason has no relation to the statement you dispute.

    The isotope ratio changing does not alter the pH and I did not mention the pH.

    Richard

  161. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    At August 8, 2014 at 3:19 am you write

    Joe Born says:
    August 8, 2014 at 1:59 am

    It would make a difference if the local human CO2 concentrations were much higher near plants, but as several local measurements show, local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation. The levels are elevated in towns, but these are sparsely “green”. Besides traffic, the bulk from industry and house heating is dispersed above the catch area of plants and already reduced a lot when these reach them…

    Ferdinand, you are almost there and only need to think it through a little more.

    If “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation” then why don’t the nearby sequestration processes sequester the small increase to CO2 from humans?

    Richard

  162. richardscourtney says:
    August 8, 2014 at 4:01 am

    If “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation” then why don’t the nearby sequestration processes sequester the small increase to CO2 from humans?

    The increase in CO2 uptake by the biosphere over the past 20 years is about 1.5 GtC/year. The diurnal + seasonal in/out change of the whole biosphere is ~120 GtC. The 1.5 GtC extra uptake is the result of the 70 ppmv (145 GtC) extra pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere over the same time frame, maybe in part by some local extra concentrations, but mostly by the general increase.

    If the local increase is a few ppmv, that hardly makes a difference in uptake. Something in the order of 50 ppmv would be of interest, but is seldom seen in the human contribution, except in towns and low wind conditions.

  163. Ferdinand Engelbeen: “It would make a difference if the local human CO2 concentrations were much higher near plants, but as several local measurements show, local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation.”

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. What you say makes sense, particularly in response to the question as I posed it, which speculated about local artificial sources spawning additional sinks. (But I have to suspend judgment about how “sparsely green” most urban areas are. Certainly places like, say, Times Square in New York City are sparsely green. On the other hand, the urban area I now live in has many times the tree density of the rural area in which I grew up surrounded by corn and soybean fields.)

    Suppose, though, that the artificial sources don’t cause any added sinks, but the amount of carbon that the sinks sequester depends on the CO2 concentration. That is, the “huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation” could themselves be affected by the concentration changes caused by humans.

    Obviously, I don’t know that’s the way it is; I’m just speculating. And I have no way to quantify the effect; as you say, the most-intense point source emit at some altitude. But, although I’m inclined to defer to your expertise, I’m not yet able to convince myself that I know for sure.

  164. Thanks Eli, I used Modtran with as initial conditions standard global atmosphere, 400 ppmv and looking down at 1 km height. That gives the outgoing radiation at that height. If you increase CO2 to 1000 ppmv, that shows a small reduction in outgoing energy, which can be compensated with a 0.1°C offset at ground level. As the outgoing radiation at 1 km height with 0.1°C is restored, the rest of the 70 km column doesn’t make a change…

    But you’re using my argument backwards. Suppose you already had 900 ppm in the first 1 km, and increased it from 900 to 1000 in the first 1 km and from 300 to 400 in the next 8. The predicted increase in temperature from the system in this case would then be strictly less than the predicted increase in temperature in the system in the case where the same temperature is reached with 300 ppm in the entire atmosphere, which is then increased to 400 ppm.

    The point is that one begins from very different equilibria, and that I’m asking about the marginal change (anomaly), not the absolute temperature. The difference might be only 0.1 C, but I doubt it. Indeed, you’re looking at the marginal difference between 400 ppm all the way and 1000 ppm in the 1st km and 400 the rest of the way and already see 0.1C, but this is likely to be the smaller part of the change.

    rgb

  165. The point is that one begins from very different equilibria, and that I’m asking about the marginal change (anomaly), not the absolute temperature. The difference might be only 0.1 C, but I doubt it. Indeed, you’re looking at the marginal difference between 400 ppm all the way and 1000 ppm in the 1st km and 400 the rest of the way and already see 0.1C, but this is likely to be the smaller part of the change.

    Sorry to quote myself and continue, but I need to point out that Modtran alone isn’t enough to fully answer the question because of the “very different equilibria” bit of this. This is associated with the “shunt resistance” which also has to be fit in even a very simple (in this case two) layer model. If one fixes the initial global average surface temperature at (say) its supposed 1950 value with 300 ppm CO_2 top to bottom of the atmosphere, and then try to balance that with radiation, you’ll need to account for the phenomena the transport heat up through the radiative layers — vertical heat transport in e.g. thunderstorms both as specific heat and as latent heat, for example — as well as for albedo variations and so on that go into the other terms so that one reaches that particular temperature for that particular level of CO_2 top to bottom. These mechanisms will lead to an effective “resistance” to outgoing heat flow in the non-radiative channels. This resistance is implicit in the rise in surface temperature required to rebalance the system when increasing the atmospheric CO_2 to 400 ppm.

    If you initialize with the same initial temperature but with a CO_2 concentration that is already 900 ppm in the first km and 300 in the following nine km (which is exaggerated, sure, but useful for illustrating the point) then you have a larger initial resistance in the radiative channel, and will have to decrease the resistance in the non-radiative channel to achieve the same initial temperature (the same total resistance). When you then move the 900 to 1000, and the 300 to 400, you will then without doubt increase the resistance in the radiative channel, although it will be a strictly smaller fractional increase but that increase is also shorted out by a decreased resistance in the non-radiative channels required to explain the same temperature as a starting point. The change in equilibrium surface temperature will thus be quadratic in the fractional change in CO_2 to lowest order, not linear. That is, it could strongly suppress the gain in average surface temperature because the response is nonlinear, not linear.

    Which is hardly surprising. Note well that I’m not even asserting a fundamental change in the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the shunt (non-radiative) resistance and we already expect a quadratic behavior. What we know about e.g. cloud dynamics and latent heat transport and albedo suggest that the leading order term might even be cubic. That still doesn’t make it “negligible” — as I said, the numbers above are likely exaggerated, but then again, maybe not. After all, over most ocean water there is a surface layer of high GHG concentration in the form of water vapor that is an easy kilometer thick. That’s 70% of the Earth’s surface right there, where the response to added CO_2 might be cubic or even fourth order, as there is likely to be an extra strong latent heat transport and albedo effect there as well. The land tropical band (rain forest) should similarly have a highly suppressed linear response to added CO_2 due to pre-existing non-CO_2 radiation resistance in the lowest atmospheric layer. I wasn’t even aware that similar conditions hold in places like Poona, which is hardly wet most of the year, rather the contrary, in ordinary agricultural plots — this suggests that even comparatively dry temperate zone agriculture should have suppressed responses to added CO_2 due to greater pre-existing ground level CO_2 radiation resistance.

    Basically, this sort of thing — occurring in layers too thin to be properly treated in GCMs and incorrectly balanced in shunt resistance because of where they were initialized (in the 80s reference period and fit to strongly increasing temperatures) — could lead to a very substantial error in even the simplest models.

    rgb

  166. Joe Born says:
    August 8, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Suppose, though, that the artificial sources don’t cause any added sinks, but the amount of carbon that the sinks sequester depends on the CO2 concentration.

    The overall increase of CO2 from 280 ppmv pre-industrial to 400 ppmv today certainly had some influence: from 0.5 GtC/year net loss before 1990 to about 1 GtC net uptake today, out of the 9 GtC/year that humans emit. Thus all other things being equal, more CO2 will give more plant growth. In the best circumstances as is the case in greenhouses (light, water, nutrients), the increase is even average 50% for a CO2 doubling: growers frequently add 1,000 ppmv and more CO2 in their greenhouses.

    But in nature, things are seldom ideal and other items like drought, temperature, nutrients, are also playing their role. Nevertheless more CO2 = more plant growth, with an interesting side effect: with higher CO2 levels, the plants need less stomata and therefore have less water loss, which can be seen in the greening of several semi-arid landscapes.

    Thus where plants grow in the middle of towns, you probably will see more growth, which can be measured, as the human emissions have a lower 13C/12C ratio and no 14C left. Farther away from huge human sources, I doubt that it will be measurable, except for the general increase in total CO2 and the decrease in 13C/12C ratio and drop in 14C.

  167. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    Your posts at August 8, 2014 at 4:22 am addressed to me and at August 8, 2014 at 8:50 am addressed to Joe Born discuss a different issue from that in my post at August 8, 2014 at 4:01 am which posed the question

    If “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation” then why don’t the nearby sequestration processes sequester the small increase to CO2 from humans?

    Please note that you said “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation”. Those “huge diurnal changes” prove that local “vegetation” can sequester all such emitted CO2 because it does. So, how do you answer – n.b. answer and not evade – the question.

    Richard

  168. rgbatduke says:
    August 8, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Quite a lot of questions…

    I do understand what you want to do, but the answer is practically impossible: you need in fact a full GCM, including layer by layer calculations of what (may) happen in the atmosphere for increased CO2/temperatures. But even the GCM’s all fail in one of the most important items in the energy balance: cloud cover, including the extreme thunderstorms in the tropics which remove a lot of energy directly to space…

    The problem is – as Willys Eschenbach repeatedly emphasized here on WUWT, is that the non-radiative “bypass” acts more as a (maximum) temperature cap than as a shunt: If the ocean water temperature increases to a critical point, then cyclones (may) start to show up which remove a lot of energy from the tropics to other latitudes and to space… The same with cloud formation in general: higher temperatures in the afternoon often lead to cloud formation up to thunderstorms…

    This is something you can’t solve with programs like Modtran. Modtran only shows the “resistance” of the radiative part, all other influences being equal (which never is the case…).

    But I have the impression that you overestimate the influence of CO2: the direct influence of a CO2 doubling in the full 70 km air column on the radiation balance gives a change of 2.9 W/m2 in outgoing radiation if you go from pre-industrial 290 ppmv to 580 ppmv. You can restore the radiation output by increasing the ground temperature with 0.9°C. That is all…

    Not that accurate, as Modtran never was intended to use it in that way, but probably not far off. Be it that – again – this is without any positive (according to the models) and negative (according to the skeptics) feedbacks…

  169. richardscourtney says:
    August 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Those “huge diurnal changes” prove that local “vegetation” can sequester all such emitted CO2 because it does. So, how do you answer – n.b. answer and not evade – the question.

    Simple answer: the huge diurnal changes don’t prove that local vegetation can absorb all passing by extra “human” CO2 (or from any other sources).
    That is because the uptake is limited by a lot of other things: in the first place sunlight: less sunlight, less uptake, more sunlight, more uptake. Water, minerals, fertilizers, temperature (too low, too high)… all limit the uptake of more CO2.

    100 ppmv extra (30% above pre-industrial) in the atmosphere increased the uptake with 1.5 GtC/year (0.7 ppmv) or slightly above 1% of the seasonal carbon cycle in the biosphere. Thus one need a lot of extra CO2 in the atmosphere to give a significant difference in uptake…

  170. Richard

    Thanks for your reply.

    As a result of the article on Historic variations in carbon dioxide that I wrote (referenced above) Ernst joined in on the comments and we had a number of conversations privately by email.

    He was quite excited about a forthcoming paper in which he had selected a number of what he considered the most reliable readings, but then shortly after he died.

    Are you aware of the content of what might have been the last paper he wrote?

    tonyb

  171. climatereason:

    At August 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm you ask me concerning Beck

    He was quite excited about a forthcoming paper in which he had selected a number of what he considered the most reliable readings, but then shortly after he died.

    Are you aware of the content of what might have been the last paper he wrote?

    You surprise me that he had completed another paper before he died. I know he was working on calculations of ‘background CO2′ from a variety of sources and this could be considered to be an extension of the paper he co-authored with Massen, but I was not aware that he had completed this. And he did not tell me about another paper.

    Richard

  172. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    re your post at August 8, 2014 at 11:47 am.

    That does not compute. Either the anthropogenic CO2 is a trivial and insignificant addition to the large natural fluctuations or it is important and significant.

    In your original post at August 8, 2014 at 3:19 am you said

    It would make a difference if the local human CO2 concentrations were much higher near plants, but as several local measurements show, local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation.

    Clearly, if “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans” then nearby CO2 sequestration is “hardly influenced by humans”.

    But you now say

    Simple answer: the huge diurnal changes don’t prove that local vegetation can absorb all passing by extra “human” CO2 (or from any other sources).
    That is because the uptake is limited by a lot of other things: in the first place sunlight: less sunlight, less uptake, more sunlight, more uptake. Water, minerals, fertilizers, temperature (too low, too high)… all limit the uptake of more CO2.

    100 ppmv extra (30% above pre-industrial) in the atmosphere increased the uptake with 1.5 GtC/year (0.7 ppmv) or slightly above 1% of the seasonal carbon cycle in the biosphere. Thus one need a lot of extra CO2 in the atmosphere to give a significant difference in uptake….

    If the uptake is significantly limited then your previous assertion of “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans” cannot be true. And if that previous assertion is true then the limitations you now assert cannot be relevant.

    In other words, your two assertions refute each other.

    Richard

  173. richardscourtney says:
    August 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Please Richard,

    – The local biosphere uptake is hardly influenced by local emissions of human CO2, as that depends of the local increase of CO2 caused by humans, which in general is small.
    – The local biosphere uptake may be influenced by the global increase of 30% of CO2, if other necessities are not the limiting factor.
    – The global increase of CO2 is the sum of all local emissions and local uptakes.
    – The global biosphere uptake is influenced by the total increase of 30% of CO2: 1.3% more uptake than release.

    I don’t see any discrepancy between all these items.

  174. Richard

    When the big storm hits us on Sunday you might have some spare time indoors. If so you might be interested to read through the article and the comments in my article here from 2010

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/historic-variations-in-co2-measurements/

    Many regulars joined in including David Hoffer, de witt Payne, Hans Erren and Ferdinand.

    Ernst joined in for the first time at comment 42 . He makes references to a number of his papers including one to his new work, which might of course merely be an amplification of something he had already written.

    Tonyb

  175. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    August 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    richardscourtney says:
    August 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Ferdinand, I fear we are ‘talking pa\st’ each other.

    You say

    The local biosphere uptake is hardly influenced by local emissions of human CO2, as that depends of the local increase of CO2 caused by humans, which in general is small.

    Yes, and that is my point.

    The natural variation is – as you say – so large that

    the local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans compared to the huge diurnal changes caused by vegetation

    . I agree. Ferdinand, please understand that I agree.

    And, again, that is my point.

    As I said

    Clearly, if “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans” then nearby CO2 sequestration is “hardly influenced by humans”.

    Therefore, there does not need to be a change to natural sequestration for ALL the anthropogenic emission to be sequestered locally because the anthropogenic emission is so small that “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans”.

    That is what your words suggest.

    Richard

  176. Tonyb:

    I am replying to your post at August 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm.

    I now don’t go out much except to attend medical appointments and to conduct worship. I will try to read your thread tomorrow.

    Richard

  177. richardscourtney says:
    August 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Therefore, there does not need to be a change to natural sequestration for ALL the anthropogenic emission to be sequestered locally

    Richard, you have it upside down: the local uptake is mainly caused by sunlight and a host of other influences, including the local CO2 pressure. If the local CO2 pressure is hardly increased by human emissions, there is hardly any increase in uptake.

    The 30% increase of global CO2 caused a 1% increase in uptake globally.
    If there was a 30% increase of local CO2 by humans, that in average would cause a 1% increase in local uptake, 99% of the human caused increase remaining in the atmosphere (as the plants make no differentiation in source of CO2).

  178. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    I am replying to your post at August 9, 2014 at 12:20 am.

    I am trying to be clear because it is very apparent that I have failed to communicate my points to you.

    We are discussing a possibility which I have often pointed out and you refute.

    The possibility is that all emissions of CO2 from human activities are sequestered locally and, therefore, do not directly contribute to the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 as measured e.g. at Mauna Loa.

    You may be right in rejecting the possibility, so I could be wrong. I accept that.
    It is why I wrote saying to you, “That is what your words suggest”.
    If I knew you were wrong then I would have used the word “indicate” and not “suggest”.
    But you refuse to consider the possibility that you may be wrong.

    You say to me

    Richard, you have it upside down: the local uptake is mainly caused by sunlight and a host of other influences, including the local CO2 pressure. If the local CO2 pressure is hardly increased by human emissions, there is hardly any increase in uptake.

    The 30% increase of global CO2 caused a 1% increase in uptake globally.
    If there was a 30% increase of local CO2 by humans, that in average would cause a 1% increase in local uptake, 99% of the human caused increase remaining in the atmosphere (as the plants make no differentiation in source of CO2).

    There does not need to be more than “hardly any increase in uptake” for all the human emissions to be sequestered locally. This is because – as you say – the human emissions are so small that “local CO2 concentrations are hardly influenced by humans”.

    Importantly, “local” is wherever the emissions are dispersed by winds: “local” may extend for hundreds of miles from the human emission sources and the human emissions can be sequestered wherever they reach.

    I dispute that a change of plant growth by 1% could be detected. However, we know that crop production has increased by much more than 1%. People emit CO2 and grow crops near where they live.

    Also, plants on land are not the only sequestrations: CO2 is also sequestered by biota in ocean, by ocean waters and by soil.

    The possibility is real that all emissions from human activities are sequestered local to where they are emitted. And if this possibility is true, then the emissions of CO2 from human activities do not directly contribute to the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 as measured e.g. at Mauna Loa.

    Determination of whether the possibility is real or not requires much more empirical data and NOT adoption of assumptions.

    Richard

  179. Richard,

    It seems difficult to show you the reason why most of the human emissions (as mass, not as original molecules) end up in the atmosphere…

    The uptake by plants is for a part influenced by the local CO2 pressure. That is independent of the source of the CO2. If the local CO2 pressure is enhanced the total uptake will increase somewhat, but that depends of the other circumstances.
    In optimal circumstances, the average increase of crop yield is 50% for a CO2 doubling. Take that figure as granted.

    If the human emissions are dispersed over a large area, the local CO2 levels near crops may be increased say with 10% (far overblown, but it shows the possible changes).
    That gives in optimal circumstances an increase of 5% in CO2 uptake by these crops, thus also 5% of the “human” CO2, as for the plants there is no difference in CO2 of whatever origin (except for the isotope composition, but that is a very small percentage). Thus at maximum 5% of the “human” CO2 is extra absorbed, 95% remains in the atmosphere. Again, not as original molecules, but as mass.

    Thus there is no reason that all or even a large percentage of human CO2 is absorbed locally by vegetation. Most of it remains in the atmosphere.

  180. Additional remark:

    Also, plants on land are not the only sequestrations: CO2 is also sequestered by biota in ocean, by ocean waters and by soil.

    Biota in the oceans are hardly influenced by CO2 in the atmosphere, as CO2 in ocean waters is more than abundant present, far more than needed by even algal blooms. CO2 is not a limiting factor in oceans.
    The bio-activity in soils is mostly release of CO2 from the decay of fallen leaves, stems, wood,… of previous years…

  181. Tonyb:

    At August 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm you wrote

    Richard
    When the big storm hits us on Sunday you might have some spare time indoors. If so you might be interested to read through the article and the comments in my article here from 2010

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/historic-variations-in-co2-measurements/

    Many regulars joined in including David Hoffer, de witt Payne, Hans Erren and Ferdinand.
    Ernst joined in for the first time at comment 42 . He makes references to a number of his papers including one to his new work, which might of course merely be an amplification of something he had already written.
    Tonyb

    I have read your essay and the thread. This is my response.

    I note that during the thread discussion Ernst Beck said he was writing a new paper, and he died during the discussion. This fits with my understanding – stated above – that he was preparing but had not completed another paper at the time of his death.

    I found your essay to be interesting and informative. I commend it to all.

    I especially liked a quotation your essay provide from a paper published in 1912 and your comment on it. You say

    As an aside, there was friction even then between the two sides who had their own way of taking samples and who constantly criticised each others science. Kreusler being said to having taken ‘great exception to his critics’ over his methodology to which he retorted they related to ‘but one set of samples which had already been identified as false and withdrawn.’

    The final result is not a demonstration that the results are wrong, but that there is some room for doubt for the reliability of ice core bubble composition to determine older CO2 concentrations in air, and a more reliable method to determine older CO2 atmospheric concentrations is badly needed.”

    Certainly the question marks hanging over the complexities of this aspect of climate science does not enable this proxy method to automatically trump the observations of 130 years of direct measurement from 1830 up to Keeling’s own series of analysis commencing in 1957.

    I agree, and the “friction” gives me confidence that good work was being conducted: the protagonists would have exposed the faults of each other.

    There was good debate in the ensuing thread.

    Davidmhoffer gave a clear and balanced assessment throughout the thread, and people lacking time for a full reading of it may wish to search for his contributions.

    Ernst Beck made good defence of his work until his demise. The thread went off-topic after his demise. His defence is clearly demonstrated by this post where Ernst Beck wrote

    #53 Steve Fitzpatrick
    You wrote:

    But there is no sea surface temperature data that indicates a large increase in the 1940’s that would be required to drive up atmospheric CO2 sharply.

    Of course there is!
    Please read the paper of Schneider et al. They use Kaplan data.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/34/12154.full.pdf fig 1
    and

    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/literature/Schneider_2006.pdf

    fig 3.
    And the ice core o18 temperature data show about + 8°C in 1941 in west Antarctica. There was a US station at Westbase at that time and had measured normal CO2 in winter 1940 and very high CO2 ( 1200 ppm) in summer 1941.
    (http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/070/mwr-070-05-0093.pdf table 1.)
    Schneider pointed out that an large EL NINO is responsible for that events. So Upwelling at the shelfs is the probable reason for these out gassings.
    best regards
    Ernst Beck

    The main opposition to Beck’s views was provided by Steve Fitzpatrick and DeWitt Payne. Their main argument seems to be that high historic CO2 levels in the atmosphere could not have happened because the ice core data says it did not happen and evidence in contradiction (e.g. stomata data) should be ignored.

    Eli Rabbett and Ferdinand Engelbeen joined the thread at a late stage but the real discussion had ended by then and was straying onto e.g. ocean acidification. Neither said anything unexpected.

    In summation, I enjoyed your informative essay and I commend it and the subsequent thread to all. Importantly, I am grateful that you pointed me to some of the last words from Ernst.

    Richard

  182. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    At August 9, 2014 at 4:55 am you write

    Richard,
    It seems difficult to show you the reason why most of the human emissions (as mass, not as original molecules) end up in the atmosphere…

    No, it is not “difficult” because I fully understand your opinion, and I also know why it is wrong as I have repeatedly explained to you.

    But that is not the present discussion.

    However, you would be forced to accept the possibility that your opinion may be wrong if you were to acknowledge the possibility of the present discussion: i.e. the possibility that all emissions of CO2 from human activities are sequestered locally and, therefore, do not directly contribute to the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 as measured e.g. at Mauna Loa.

    Richard

  183. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    The difficulty of getting you to see possibilities other than your opinion is demonstrated by your post at August 9, 2014 at 5:00 am which says in total

    Additional remark:

    Also, plants on land are not the only sequestrations: CO2 is also sequestered by biota in ocean, by ocean waters and by soil.

    Biota in the oceans are hardly influenced by CO2 in the atmosphere, as CO2 in ocean waters is more than abundant present, far more than needed by even algal blooms. CO2 is not a limiting factor in oceans.
    The bio-activity in soils is mostly release of CO2 from the decay of fallen leaves, stems, wood,… of previous years…

    You have everything backwards.

    The issue is NOT the affect of CO2 in the air on sequestration mechanisms.
    The issue IS the affect of sequestration mechanisms on CO2 in the air.

    Hence, for example, it is not relevant whether CO2 is or is not a limiting factor in oceans.

    Richard

  184. Tonyb:

    I have posted my reply to your request that I read your essay and its associated thread. My reply is stuck in moderation (possibly because it names some contributors to the thread) so I write this because you may want to look out for it.

    Richard

  185. Richard

    Thanks for your comments. The article and the comments arguing both sides of the debate remain interesting and relevant. I thought your homing in on the Kreusler quote was especially interesting.

    The jury is still out on this one I feel. I remain concerned about the use of ice cores in the same way as tree ring proxies seem inappropriate as a temperature measure.

    I remain unconvinced that many famous scientists utilising a co2 measurement regime, started decades or centuries before their analysis, could get it so wrong right up to the start of the atomic age. . Yet Keeling apparently got it right immediately.

    tonyb

  186. richardscourtney says:
    August 9, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Richard, you wrote:
    CO2 is also sequestered by biota in ocean, by ocean waters and by soil.
    and now:
    The issue is NOT the affect of CO2 in the air on sequestration mechanisms.
    The issue IS the affect of sequestration mechanisms on CO2 in the air.

    Sequestering in my English means uptake. Biota in the oceans do take CO2 away from the oceans, which have plenty of CO2 available. That may or may not give an extra sink of CO2 (they are sinks for CO2, but mainly from simple solubility), but that is not very relevant for the point under discussion: that human CO2 is captured in the neighborhood of its release, which is hardly the case for the oceans.
    And soil bacteria are a huge source of CO2, not a sink…

  187. Ferdinand:

    Sometimes I think you like to argue for the sake of it.

    We are discussing a possibility. It is a known possibility. It is not a known reality.
    You have not falsified the possibility. And I have said all I intend to on the matter.

    Richard

  188. richardscourtney says:
    August 9, 2014 at 5:07 am

    The late Ernst Beck wrote:
    There was a US station at Westbase at that time and had measured normal CO2 in winter 1940 and very high CO2 ( 1200 ppm) in summer 1941.
    (http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/070/mwr-070-05-0093.pdf table 1.)

    If one reads the rest of the article, one can notice that the accuracy of the measuring method was +/- 300 ppmv! Not really suitable to know the “background” CO2 levels of that time.
    Moreover, the variability of CO2 within three days are gigantic, even with the above accuracy: between 1700 and 200 ppmv which only can be true if the samples were contaminated by local combustion/exhaling.

    Thus simply said, one can’t use these figures to show the real (background) CO2 levels of that period, the more that the first measurements by Keeling at Antarctica were done at the same base “Little America”, showing a few ppmv variation in the samples (and an accuracy of the method of better than 0.2 ppmv)…
    No wonder that Keeling was looking for more accurate and robust methods to measure CO2…

  189. There is a problem with many of the CO2 readings cited by Beck: CO2 content in air near the surface, where the surface has a significant mass of life forms, often deviates from the overall atmospheric background level, as life forms and biomass alternatively source and sink CO2. These deviations are largely unidirectional, and upward. When the regional biosphere is sinking CO2, the sun tends to be shining, and this promotes convection, which keeps the atmosphere stirred up. So, ground-level CO2 tends to not go much below the overall atmospheric level. But when the regional biosphere is sourcing CO2, the sun is usually not shining. Then, there is usually little or no convection, and gtound-level CO2 can be much higher than the overall atmospheric level.

  190. Donald L. Klipstein:

    Re your post at August 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm.

    I draw your attention to my post in this thread at August 8, 2014 at 3:37 am. I provide this link to it tio aid your finding it.

    My post links to the paper of Massen & Beck (2007) and provides my opinion of that paper. I suggest you may want to read the paper. Its authors accept that there is a ‘background level’ of CO2 and they claim the regional CO2 background level is seen as being mostly represented by the daily minimum level. If reading the entire paper is too much then you may want to read all of my linked post.

    My linked post provides my assessment of the paper and summarises my view saying

    The paper by Massen & Beck relates atmospheric CO2 concentration data from individual sites to data from Mauna Loa and, therefore, it is a significant contribution to understanding of the historical data collated by Beck. It provides much useful information which may be considered to be confirmatory of Beck’s conclusions but – in my opinion – its findings cannot be considered conclusive because they are capable of more than one interpretation. In this respect the findings of Massen & Beck are similar to all other information concerning the carbon cycle; i.e. so little is known, and so little is understood, of the carbon cycle that the little available information on the carbon cycle can be understood to support any one of a variety of interpretations.

    As this thread demonstrates, assessment of the carbon cycle is bedevilled by people who champion different interpretations instead of recognising that the data is consistent with all their interpretations.

    Richard

  191. richardscourtney says:
    August 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Richard, if the minima measured in pre-Mauna Loa times are representative for the real “background” CO2 levels of that period, then the ice core data are not far off.
    Here an overview of Beck’s data where all the minima of each data series are compared to the ice core data:

    There is one series which is a lot higher in minima: measured on a mountain slope pocket (where CO2 may collect)…

    richardscourtney says:
    August 9, 2014 at 10:18 am

    The problem is that you don’t see that it doesn’t matter at all if the human CO2 is captured within a minute by the next available tree or after 50 years somewhere in the oceans: it is additional. As long as the local CO2 levels are hardly influenced by the extra human CO2, the local uptake is hardly enhanced and what is captured as human CO2 is not captured as natural CO2. The net result still is the same increase in the atmosphere…

  192. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    re your second point in your post at August 10, 2014 at 2:25 am.

    You say

    The problem is that you don’t see that it doesn’t matter at all if the human CO2 is captured within a minute by the next available tree or after 50 years somewhere in the oceans: it is additional.

    That is wrong because I do see it doesn’t matter.
    You are also wrong that you think it does matter that the anthropogenic CO2 is “additional”.

    The anthropogenic CO2 emission is a completely trivial and inconsequential tiny addition which – if locally sequestered – cannot possibly affect the so-call background. Indeed, that is why “it doesn’t matter at all if the human CO2 is captured within a minute by the next available tree or after 50 years somewhere in the oceans”.

    You would understand these matters if you were not so blinkered that you adhere to your silly mass balance argument.

    Richard

  193. richardscourtney says:
    August 10, 2014 at 6:57 am

    The anthropogenic CO2 emission is a completely trivial and inconsequential tiny addition which – if locally sequestered – cannot possibly affect the so-call background.

    Except that you “forget” that there is an increase of 100 ppmv (with 200 ppmv human emissions), which only gives 0.5 ppmv/year extra uptake by vegetation from the 4.5 ppmv/year human emissions. Thus 4 ppmv/year anyway is not absorbed by vegetation.
    Still as simple math as 4.5 – 0.5 = 4

    Further about the “nearby” absorption: SO2 was once a problem in Scandinavia, while the source was in the industrial areas of the UK and Germany. SO2 is heavier and much more reactive than CO2, thus why shouldn’t it react with the nearby plants and waters?

  194. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    re your post at August 10, 2014 at 7:18 am .

    I forget NOTHING in your silly mass balance argument which is completely circular.

    You ignore almost everything.
    1.
    You assume the system would not change in the absence of the anthropogenic emission.
    2.
    You observe there is an anthropogenic emission.
    3.
    You also observe that the CO2 in the air has increased.
    4.
    You conclude that point 3 derives from point 2, but IT DOES NOT: it derives from the assumption which is point 1.

    Richard

  195. Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    The mass does matter. By your logic, a balloon filled with helium and one filled with CO2, at ambient temperature, should both just drift along in no particular direction. Shrink those “balloons” down to the level of a molecule, with many kajillions of them all vying for space, and you have the situation we are looking at. Some CO2 balloons get pushed higher, but the tendency is down, just as the tendency for the H2 balloons is to go higher. Bulk projections can be made for the entire atmosphere, but these do not hold everywhere. The boundary layer behaves differently. Especially when the boundary, itself, is a sink.

    As for the rest, the relationship is empirical, can cannot be gainsaid by your logical contortions. You cannot modify the data to fit your hypothesis. The data are the data. You must fit your hypothesis to them, not the other way around.

  196. climatereason says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:07 am

    “I remain unconvinced that many famous scientists utilising a co2 measurement regime, started decades or centuries before their analysis, could get it so wrong right up to the start of the atomic age. . Yet Keeling apparently got it right immediately.”

    The difference is that Keeling can be checked by modern, direct measurements. There are no means of verifying the earlier projections. Taking them are valid requires a leap of faith.

  197. Phil and Ferdinand still want to force the data to fit their hypothesis, rather than the other way around. They offer words to rationalize their desired outcome. Not experiment. Not data. Words. That is pre-enlightenment thinking. It is antithetical to the scientific method.

  198. I will leave, for anyone still following this thread, the following fact: there is no argument whether the biological sinks have a profound effect. The 5 ppmv annual variation states unequivocally that they do. During the NH summer, they are clearly taking out CO2 at a much faster rate then is accumulating from other sources.

    The only question is, how fast, or rather how vigorously, do they take it out? The answer, according to the long term data, is very. Phil and Ferdinand argue, essentially, that they are like clockwork mechanisms, always removing, and giving up, the same amount year to year. Yet, there is no physical constraint which demands this. The long term data are telling us that CO2 sequestration processes are more than powerful enough to sequester our inputs, and natural equilibrium processes are dictating the long term behavior.

  199. climatereason says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:07 am
    I remain unconvinced that many famous scientists utilising a co2 measurement regime, started decades or centuries before their analysis, could get it so wrong right up to the start of the atomic age. . Yet Keeling apparently got it right immediately.

    In part because he was looking for a method and location where he could measure CO2 without it being perturbed by local sources and sinks. Many of the other earlier measurements were just trying to measure local CO2 and were interested in diurnal changes etc. In addition the ‘wet’ chemistry methods are subject to error caused by for example contact with the breath of the person using the pipette, common practice back then. Modern measurements also use calibration with standard gas mixtures, not common practice before Keeling.

  200. Bart says:
    August 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm
    I will leave, for anyone still following this thread, the following fact: there is no argument whether the biological sinks have a profound effect. The 5 ppmv annual variation states unequivocally that they do. During the NH summer, they are clearly taking out CO2 at a much faster rate then is accumulating from other sources.

    Only during the growing season during the rest of the year it’s given back, basically only about half of the amount of CO2 released from fossil fuels is removed from the atmosphere each year.

    The only question is, how fast, or rather how vigorously, do they take it out? The answer, according to the long term data, is very. Phil and Ferdinand argue, essentially, that they are like clockwork mechanisms, always removing, and giving up, the same amount year to year.

    Neither Ferdinand nor I have claimed that.

    Yet, there is no physical constraint which demands this.

    But there are constraints like Henry’s Law which limits the amount of new CO2 which can be removed from the air.
    Both the biological sinks and absorption by water are equilibrium processes which depend on [CO2] and T.

  201. Bart says:
    August 10, 2014 at 9:33 am
    Phil. says:
    August 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    The mass does matter. By your logic, a balloon filled with helium and one filled with CO2, at ambient temperature, should both just drift along in no particular direction. Shrink those “balloons” down to the level of a molecule, with many kajillions of them all vying for space, and you have the situation we are looking at. Some CO2 balloons get pushed higher, but the tendency is down, just as the tendency for the H2 balloons is to go higher.

    It’s about time you read up on the physics of gases, your balloon analogy is seriously flawed. There is no segregation of molecules by molecular mass below the stratopause.

  202. richardscourtney says:
    August 10, 2014 at 7:37 am
    Ferdinand Engelbeen:

    re your post at August 10, 2014 at 7:18 am .

    I forget NOTHING in your silly mass balance argument which is completely circular.

    No it is not, ask any chemical engineer.

    dX/dt= Source rate of X – Sink rate of X
    A standard species balance equation, in this case for CO2 in the atmosphere.

    You ignore almost everything.
    1.
    You assume the system would not change in the absence of the anthropogenic emission.

    There is no such assumption, quite the contrary the data indicates that there would be a reduction in pCO2 in the absence of anthropogenic emission under the present conditions.

    2.
    You observe there is an anthropogenic emission.
    3.
    You also observe that the CO2 in the air has increased.
    4.
    You conclude that point 3 derives from point 2, but IT DOES NOT: it derives from the assumption which is point 1.

    Not at all the data shows that on an annual basis Sources exceed Sinks, if the sources are divided into anthro and natural the equation becomes:

    d[CO2]/dt= anthro emission+Source rate [CO2] – Sink rate [CO2]
    d[CO2]/dt= ~anthro emission/2 (Observation)
    Therefore: Source rate [CO2] – Sink rate [CO2] = ~anthro emission/2 – anthro emission
    So: Source rate [CO2] – Sink rate [CO2] = ~anthro emission/2
    That’s an observation based on the data not an assumption.

  203. Phil.:

    Your post at August 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm is merely a long-winded way to say that
    the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to about 50% of the small anthropogenic (i.e. from human activities) CO2 emission of a typical year.

    You could also say
    the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to about 2% the large natural CO2 emission of a typical year.

    Neither statement says anything about the cause of the annual rise in atmospheric CO2.

    Richard

  204. richardscourtney says:
    August 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm
    Phil.:

    Your post at August 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm is merely a long-winded way to say that
    the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to about 50% of the small anthropogenic (i.e. from human activities) CO2 emission of a typical year.

    You could also say
    the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to about 2% the large natural CO2 emission of a typical year.

    Neither statement says anything about the cause of the annual rise in atmospheric CO2.

    No because the net natural CO2 emission is negative as the balance equation shows.
    Your statement is equivalent to saying that the annual growth is a small fraction of the natural growth, the implication of that is that a small annual fluctuation in that growth could lead to either a net annual growth or decay. So the chance of growth would be about 50%, however we’ve observed over 50 consecutive years of growth, rather unlikely don’t you think, 0.5^50! That’s about 1 in 10^15.

  205. Phil.:

    Your post at August 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm demonstrates that you have no understanding of the issue under discussion.

    I refer you to the posts of rgbatduke at August 5, 2014 at 5:39 am here
    and at August 5, 2014 at 9:38 am here.
    Also, on a previous thread I explained the specific matter which you demonstrate you don’t know and that explanation is here.

    Having read those posts you may start to understand the subject. Your post I am answering indicates that you need to read this entire thread before making another comment.

    Richard

  206. richardscourtney says:
    August 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    Phil.:

    Your post at August 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm demonstrates that you have no understanding of the issue under discussion.

    To the contrary it indicates that I do.

    I refer you to the posts of rgbatduke at August 5, 2014 at 5:39 am here
    and at August 5, 2014 at 9:38 am here.
    Also, on a previous thread I explained the specific matter which you demonstrate you don’t know and that explanation is here.

    As both Ferdinand and I have pointed out your ‘explanation’ is incorrect. RGBatduke indicates that he doesn’t understand how efficient leaves are in the process of gas exchange and chemical reaction, but then he’s a physicist so that’s understandable. The instruments and techniques used for measuring CO2 over one hundred years ago are well understood and can be tested as described (see Bray for instance).

    Having read those posts you may start to understand the subject. Your post I am answering indicates that you need to read this entire thread before making another comment.

    There is no need for me to reread this entire thread, you on the other hand perhaps should actually read some of the posts and try to understand them rather than dismiss everything that doesn’t agree with your agenda.

  207. Phil. says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    “It’s about time you read up on the physics of gases…”

    It’s about time you graduated beyond elementary texts. You do not appear to understand the difference between bulk average atmospheric dynamics in a specific regime, and local behavior approaching the boundaries. The PBL is very different from the troposphere.

    Phil. says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    “Source rate [CO2] – Sink rate [CO2] = ~anthro emission/2″

    So very facile, yielding a completely unsupported conclusion. You’re way out of your depth on this.

  208. Bart:

    At August 13, 2014 at 2:24 am you say to the troll who posts as Phil.

    You’re way out of your depth on this.

    Yes, and at August 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm I attempted to inform the troll how to swim in the deep water it had entered but – as is the way with trolls – Phil. replied showing a desire to splash about instead of learning.

    Richard

  209. Bart says:
    August 13, 2014 at 2:24 am
    Phil. says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    “It’s about time you read up on the physics of gases…”

    It’s about time you graduated beyond elementary texts. You do not appear to understand the difference between bulk average atmospheric dynamics in a specific regime, and local behavior approaching the boundaries. The PBL is very different from the troposphere.

    Indeed it is turbulent mixing in the PBL is very strong, here’s a source for you:

    http://kkd.ou.edu/METR4433_Spring_2011/Chapter2.1.pdf

    As that text says:
    “PBL is special because:
    • boundary layer is very turbulent”
    Particularly note Table 1.1, in particular:

    ”Turbulence BL – Almost completely turbulent over its whole depth
    Dispersion BL- Rapid turbulent mixing in the vertical and the horizontal
    Vertical transport BL – Turbulence dominates”

    If it weren’t so why would SF6 (MW 146) be a gas of choice to measure dispersion in the BL?

    http://www.noaa.inel.gov/projects/urban2000/docs/Final%20Report%20Urban2000.PDF

    As I said before the first law of holes applies here, “stop digging’, the more you post the more evident it is that you don’t have a clue!

    Phil. says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    “Source rate [CO2] – Sink rate [CO2] = ~anthro emission/2″

    So very facile, yielding a completely unsupported conclusion. You’re way out of your depth on this.

    Facile? This from a guy who thinks that removing the trend from the CO2 growth curve and shows a small correlation between the fluctuations that remain and the small fluctuation in temperature somehow proves that temperature is the only cause of CO2 increase! That despite being shown over and over again that the fluctuation isn’t capable of producing the magnitude of the change in CO2.

  210. richardscourtney says:
    August 13, 2014 at 2:43 am
    Bart:

    At August 13, 2014 at 2:24 am you say to the troll who posts as Phil.

    You’re way out of your depth on this.

    Yes, and at August 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm I attempted to inform the troll how to swim in the deep water it had entered but – as is the way with trolls – Phil. replied showing a desire to splash about instead of learning.

    As usual courtney your post contains nothing of substance.

  211. Troll who operates as Phil.:

    As usual your post at August 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm fails to recognise that you are being corrected because you are nothing of substance.

    Richard

  212. Phil. says:
    August 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    “If it weren’t so why would SF6 (MW 146) be a gas of choice to measure dispersion in the BL?”

    I expect because its transition from laminar to turbulent flow occurs at a convenient point for making the measurement. Do you even know what a Reynolds number is? Look it up. What physical properties does it depend on? Are you getting a clue?

    ” This from a guy who…”

    … knows how dynamical systems behave. Stop digging, Phil.

  213. Bart says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    “If it weren’t so why would SF6 (MW 146) be a gas of choice to measure dispersion in the BL?”

    I expect because its transition from laminar to turbulent flow occurs at a convenient point for making the measurement.
    You really do want to keep digging that hole don’t you Bart.
    The SF6 is introduced to the atmosphere at 1,000 ppm so it will have no effect on the Reynolds number.

    Do you even know what a Reynolds number is? Look it up. What physical properties does it depend on? Are you getting a clue?

    Yes I do know what a Reynolds number is since I taught Fluid mechanics for many years, I also know that at the level of 1,000 ppm to ppt SF6 will not influence the viscosity or density of the bulk gas.

    Bart claims that he “… knows how dynamical systems behave”, so far he’s failed to demonstrate that here and has just added Fluid mechanics to the list of subjects he doesn’t understand.

  214. Phil. says:
    August 14, 2014 at 7:04 am

    “I also know that at the level of 1,000 ppm to ppt SF6 will not influence the viscosity or density of the bulk gas.”

    No sh*t? We aren’t talking about the bulk atmospheric properties, Phil. That’s what I’ve been trying to get through to you.

    We’re not even talking about small fractional components. We’re talking about smokestack emissions, which are mostly CO2 and water vapor.

    If what you imagine to be true were true, we wouldn’t even have a need for smokestacks – the gases would immediately be swept up and well mixed, and it wouldn’t matter if the stacks were 100 feet or 100 inches tall.

    This is such a stupid conversation. You focus on these large scale, airy general conditions, and their associated textbook results, and utterly fail to realize that we are interested here in specific, local conditions in the vicinity of a large emissions source.

    Smokestacks create lingering, elevated concentrations in their immediate vicinity. There is zero sane argument possible against that. Vehicles burning fossil fuels create large, low altitude concentrations of their combustion products. If that were not the case, cities wouldn’t have smog alerts. The air in LA and Mexico City would be comparable to the Rocky Mountains.

    Get your head out of your tuckus, and concentrate on the specific problem. Leave aside the textbooks for a moment and think.

  215. Bart says: August 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm
    “I expect because its transition from laminar to turbulent flow occurs at a convenient point for making the measurement. Do you even know what a Reynolds number is?”

    This does not sound like someone who knows about fluid mechanics. Phil. is right. At 1000 ppmv, SF6 makes negligible difference to Re or transition.

  216. Nick Stokes says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:20 am

    It makes little difference to the bulk properties of a well mixed parcel. It makes a significant difference to the dynamics of the gas itself, especially near the point of injection, before it has had a chance to mix.

  217. Bart says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm
    Nick Stokes says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:20 am

    It makes little difference to the bulk properties of a well mixed parcel. It makes a significant difference to the dynamics of the gas itself, especially near the point of injection, before it has had a chance to mix.

    No it doesn’t you idiot, read the damned paper, it’s injected mixed with air at 1,000ppm.
    Stop digging, you’ve proved you don’t have clue about what’s being talked about.
    You made a stupid remark about CO2 being a ‘heavy gas’ and your thrashing around trying to justify it isn’t helping, you were wrong, face up to it.

  218. Phil. says:
    August 16, 2014 at 6:32 am

    “No it doesn’t you idiot, read the damned paper, it’s injected mixed with air at 1,000ppm.”

    Then, very unlike the situation we are talking about, you moron.Do you ever stop to think before you write these comments? Ever?

  219. ladylifegrows says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm
    Bruce Cobb says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:50 am

    It makes no difference where the increased CO2 comes from, so it’s a red herring. The increased CO2 is nothing but a boon to all of life, and especially to man, by helping plants grow. Whatever warming effect it may have had cannot be sussed from what is natural, and only in the twisted, humanity-hating minds of the Warmistas could a small amount of warming be a detriment to “the planet”.
    —————————————————
    “Yes, the watermelon greens are willing to put up with any amount of damage to the ecosphere in order to hurt people. Still, I think human well-being is the key. As long as we keep pointing out that CO2 helps PLANTS, we strengthen the idea that it is a waste product for humans, hence bad…”

    ~ Humans eat plants, or eat other animals that eat plants. Most humans understand that.

    “The reality is that human physiology evolved (like all others) under conditions much higher in [CO2] than today’s. We need it for a pH buffer in our blood, and goodness knows what else. There are indications that maximum longevity would occur under CO2 concentrations many times higher than today’s. It is important for respiration as lower concentrations cause shallower breathing and less oxygen concentration in our tissues. Asthmatics, COPD and anybody carrying oxygen tanks is probably being harmed because they lack CO2 in those tanks. Indeed, I suspect the fire-hazard oxygen tanks could be dispensed with altogether and higher CO2 substituted for better health outcomes…”

    ~Humans create CO2 within their bodies during metabolism, which they exhale (and some does fulfill a function within the body in the switch between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, and “goodness knows” in some other ways as well). Carbon from food intake and oxygen from inhalation. What are the ‘indications’ that longevity would be maximized with higher CO2 concentrations in the inhalation side? It is well known that CO2 concentrations above a certain threshold result in eventual suffocation and death in the short term. Hemoglobin carries both oxygen and CO2 (along with other chemicals~ nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide for examples). More CO2 in, given limited hemoglobin bearing blood cells, means less oxygen in. Replacing oxygen in tanks for people who need them with CO2 will very quickly kill them.

    “I d not know whether I am right about that, but I am pretty sure nobody is studying such questions. NSF will not fund anything that might shake the CAGW hypothesis, because they believe a good scare makes more science funding. If I AM right, then the lack of interest is murder of people with respiratory problems–and maybe all the rest of us as well…”

    ~You aren’t right about anything in your post, except that humans may have been around during higher concentrations of CO2 in the air, but that is moot, because humans use mostly aerobic metabolism, and whatever CO2 they require is produced by metabolism.

  220. Bart says:
    August 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 16, 2014 at 6:32 am

    “No it doesn’t you idiot, read the damned paper, it’s injected mixed with air at 1,000ppm.”

    Then, very unlike the situation we are talking about, you moron.Do you ever stop to think before you write these comments? Ever?

    Yes, and unlike you I know what I’m talking about.

    Just when I think you have plumbed the depths of stupidity you come up with something like this:

    We aren’t talking about the bulk atmospheric properties, Phil. That’s what I’ve been trying to get through to you.

    We’re not even talking about small fractional components. We’re talking about smokestack emissions, which are mostly CO2 and water vapor.

    On planet Earth smokestack emissions are mostly Nitrogen (~70%+), just like the air we breathe.
    It contains about 10% CO2 depending on the fuel used and the mean molecular weight is between 29 and 30, compare with air at 29, so you were talking nonsense when you were talking about the Reynolds number differences. Bear in mind that the smokestack emissions which you see are water droplets (10s of microns in diameter) which disperse more slowly than the gases. So to summarize we are talking about the bulk gas properties which are very similar to air itself.
    Go back to school Bart and come back here when you actually know something about what the grown-ups are talking about.

  221. Phil. says:
    August 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

    “Yes, and unlike you I know what I’m talking about.”

    Congratulations on being the world’s leading authority on irrelevant information.

    “On planet Earth smokestack emissions are mostly Nitrogen…”

    The gases emitted through smokestacks largely consist of carbon dioxide and water vapor, though some nitrogen and oxygen are typically present, along with a number of pollutants.

    Stop digging.

  222. Bart says:
    August 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

    “Yes, and unlike you I know what I’m talking about.”

    Congratulations on being the world’s leading authority on irrelevant information.

    “On planet Earth smokestack emissions are mostly Nitrogen…”

    The gases emitted through smokestacks largely consist of carbon dioxide and water vapor, though some nitrogen and oxygen are typically present, along with a number of pollutants.

    No wonder you’re always wrong about everything, you rely on a source called ‘Wisegeek’!
    That source apparently thinks you can burn fuel with air which is about 80% Nitrogen and it doesn’t make it to the smokestack. I’m afraid that any vestige of credibility you might have had just went out the window.
    For a credible source try:

    http://chemengineering.wikispaces.com/Flue+gas

    http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/171355/

    From the latter: “Since ambient air contains about 79 volume percent gaseous nitrogen (N2), which is essentially non-combustible, the largest part of the flue gases from most fossil fuel combustion is uncombusted nitrogen.

    Here’s a paper from Argonne National Labs giving 73% N2 for gas fired power stations
    and 76% N2 for coal fired.

  223. Meh. It’s still rather significantly more than 1000 ppm, something near a quarter of the mass. You don’t really know how the gas behaves when ejected, Phil. Nobody does. Estimates of plume dispersion are notoriously inaccurate, and who knows the ultimate dispensation?

    As for credibility, you blew yours long ago. On this very thread, you have once again put forward a “mass balance” argument which is frankly kindergarten level. I’m talking so far out to lunch that you would figuratively starve. And, your notion that density has no effect in the PBL, especially the idea that it becomes less important in the turbulent zone where inertial forces specifically come to the fore, is cuckoo.

    So, spare me the jibes. The rate of change of atmospheric CO2 is in the doldrums, and the globe is not warming, even as emissions continue relentlessly accelerating. You are wrong about just every important detail, and you better start packing your parachute to bail out from the “cause”, because the salad days are over.

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