Moderators note: This is reposted from an essay that Jim sent to me. Jim was the State Climatologist for California for many years, and still does consilting work for the Californiua Dept. of Water Resources on rainfall studies. Jim has a command of simplicity in presentation, as you’ll read below. Jim’s presentation lends some insight into why CO2 increases lag temperature in historical and proxy climate records. Jim has also done another essay I’ve posted which relates The Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Sunspots, and Length of Day variances to rainfall patterns in California which you can read here.
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Variation
California State Climatologist (retired)
jdgoodridge [at] sbcglobal dot net
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is commonly modeled with the measurements from NOAA”S Mauna Loa observatory; the annual rate of increase in this data set is 1.4 parts per million.
This increase fluctuates 6.3 ppm on an annual cycle with the highest in May and the lowest values in October.
The solubility of carbon dioxide in water is listed in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics as a
declining function of temperature.
The rising values of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the time of the Mouna Loa measurements could clearly be a function of reduced solubility of CO2 in the oceans of the Planet.
The source of heat needed to drive the increasing carbon dioxide from the oceans of Earth into the atmosphere is the Sun. The solar irradiance has been measured from orbiting satellites since 1978. Irradiance was highly correlated with the historic sunspot numbers.
Schove’s index of sunspot numbers dated from the year 1500. Combining Schoves index with the Royal Belgium Observatory’s measurements an index 1749 a 500-year index of irradiance was developed.
If we are to believe that the irradiance and sunspot numbers correlate for the 3 sunspot cycles from 1975 to 2005 them it can be assumed that a correlation for the 1500 to 2005 follows. It is common to think of individual sunspot cycles to be independent events. This was not the case during the Maunder Minimum of sunspot activity from 1650 to 1710 when Earth was in the middle of the Little Ice Age.
The sunspot record needs to be examined in its entirety rather than as individual sunspot cycles. The method to do this is by calculating the accumulated departure from the average of all the sunspot numbers of the entire 500-year index. This reveals the cooling during the Maunder Minimum and the current “global warming”. The current warming of 15 watts per square meter began in 1935, based on the sunspot record.
The reason oxygen is 600 times as abundant as carbon dioxide is due to the robustness of microorganisms. The oxygen-carbon dioxide balance on the Planet has for billions of years been a function of the photosynthesis process.