MIT scientists baffled by global warming theory, contradicts scientific data

Many people have pointed me to this story, I wanted to read about it a bit before posting it.  Almost two years ago, when this blog was in its very first month, I posted this story on the puzzling leveling off of global methane concentrations. FYI Methane has a “global warming potential” (GWP) 23-25 times that of CO2.

CDIAC has an interesting set of graphs on methane, the first of which shows that indeed global concentrations of CH4 through 2004 have leveled off:

This one on latitude -vs- concentration would surely seem to point to anthropogenic sources of CH4:

So here is yet another addition to the puzzle, which seems to point in the opposite direction:

MIT scientists baffled by global warming theory, contradicts scientific data

From: TG Daily By Rick C. Hodgin

Boston (MA) – Scientists at MIT have recorded a nearly simultaneous world-wide increase in methane levels. This is the first increase in ten years, and what baffles science is that this data contradicts theories stating man is the primary source of increase for this greenhouse gas. It takes about one full year for gases generated in the highly industrial northern hemisphere to cycle through and reach the southern hemisphere. However, since all worldwide levels rose simultaneously throughout the same year, it is now believed this may be part of a natural cycle in mother nature – and not the direct result of man’s contributions.

Methane – powerful greenhouse gas

The two lead authors of a paper published in this week’s Geophysical Review Letters, Matthew Rigby and Ronald Prinn, the TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, state that as a result of the increase, several million tons of new methane is present in the atmosphere.

Methane accounts for roughly one-fifth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, though its effect is 25x greater than that of carbon dioxide. Its impact on global warming comes from the reflection of the sun’s light back to the Earth (like a greenhouse). Methane is typically broken down in the atmosphere by the free radical hydroxyl (OH), a naturally occuring process. This atmospheric cleanser has been shown to adjust itself up and down periodically, and is believed to account for the lack of increases in methane levels in Earth’s atmosphere over the past ten years despite notable simultaneous increases by man.

More study

Prinn has said, “The next step will be to study [these changes] using a very high-resolution atmospheric circulation model and additional measurements from other networks. The key thing is to better determine the relative roles of increased methane emission versus [an increase] in the rate of removal. Apparently we have a mix of the two, but we want to know how much of each [is responsible for the overall increase].”

The primary concern now is that 2007 is long over. While the collected data from that time period reflects a simultaneous world-wide increase in emissions, observing atmospheric trends now is like observing the healthy horse running through the paddock a year after it overcame some mystery illness. Where does one even begin? And how relevant are any of the data findings at this late date? Looking back over 2007 data as it was captured may prove as ineffective if the data does not support the high resolution details such a study requires.

One thing does seem very clear, however; science is only beginning to get a handle on the big picture of global warming. Findings like these tell us it’s too early to know for sure if man’s impact is affecting things at the political cry of “alarming rates.” We may simply be going through another natural cycle of warmer and colder times – one that’s been observed through a scientific analysis of the Earth to be naturally occuring for hundreds of thousands of years.

Project funding

Rigby and Prinn carried out this study with help from researchers at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Bristol and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Methane gas measurements came from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), which is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Australian CSIRO network.

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pkatt

I love it when a plan comes together:)

Gary Gulrud

The methane broken down by OH in the presence of sunlight is converted to CO2.
The worm has turned: now engineers doing science profess to be “baffled” by the idiocy that is AGW. Like Rattus rattus leaving the holed bilge.
Anyone watching for icebergs?

Anthony, how DOES one contact you to point you to stories? No e-mail or contact form?
I thought this might amuse you:
http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=209153
Aloha from Maui,
– Erik
REPLY: Comments are best, I already get dozens of emails a day, and I can’t even answer all of those. So no email link will be forthcoming. – Anthony

Dave Andrews

Wow, things happen and the researchers/scientists don’t know why. Hasn’t it always been thus?
How do you square this with ‘consensus’ and the ‘science is settled’?

kuhnkat

CO2 continues to rise. Now methane is on the rise again.
Yet, temps are going DOWN.
Wrong tipping point!!

Ray

“The next step will be to study [these changes] using a very high-resolution atmospheric circulation model… ”
Here we go again… the results from such models will be taken a better than the real life data.
It would be interesting if this could be correlated to the increase in vegetation seen around the world for the past 10 years.

Could someone point me to the studies that examine climate change ex-anthropogenics? It seems to me that it would be a well funded exercise either way.

Robert Wood

Matthew Rigby and Ronald Prinn, a conversation:
No, Matthew, you can’t write that. Think of the consequences.
Ron, I must write what I see, I cannot say the sky is green, when it is indeterminate.
But, Mat, we will lose our good standing amongst the IPCC. I agree with you, but can’t you show a little political acumen and hedge with some phrase like: “More study is urgent to prevent the on-coming cataclism”. We do “study”; you know that, Mat, of course?
OK Ron, I will agree. More study is necessary; and it is so urgent that we must receive vast funds so I can put my kids through school.

With no disrespect of Matthew Rigby and Ronald Prinn, who I have never met or come across before. The target was rich.

Robert Wood

kuhnkat , clever name, almost like Schroedingerskhat.

George E. Smith

Not sure that I am that baffled by either of those graphs Anthony; let’s just say, my mind is creative enough to offer a thesis (yet to be tested).
It is argued that for some decades prior to maybe 1995, the planet has experienced a period of warming that has been noticed locally in one fashion; that namely the arctic permafrost regions have been melting. Nothern forests growing in permafrozen ground suddnely found themselves awash, and trees blowing over in water ponds, and also more northern Tundra territory started growing some really substantial plants that soak up quite a bit of CO2.
But those permafrost regions, are largely peat bogs in the making, frozen in time by earlier cool periods, and once warmed to melting, the bacteriald ecay of the peat materials took off again becoming a principal source of methane GHG.
But then comes the 1995-8 time frame when seemingly the warming cycle decided to end, and recooling began; to where now it seems rather obvious.
So I opine, that somewhere since that 1995 warming doldrums period, the permafrost regiosn have started to shut down again, and return to a frozen in time decay work in progrss to be resumed later.
That the flattening dates from the 2004 time frame is not inconsistent with the last ten years of GISStemp and lookalikes, and a refreezing permafros thesis.
Well it’s just a thought. And once again we see that it is the models that are in disagreement with the measured data, and not verse vicea.
George

The methane concentration is roughly 2 ppm(volume) which should mean 1ppm(mass), if I am not wrong so late. This should correspond to 5*10**12 kg or 5 billion (US) tons in the atmosphere.
‘Several million tons of new methane’ (as quoted from above) means adding 1 ppb (pars per billion (US)) to the 1000 ppb present.
The world production of natural gas, also known as methane, is of order 1 billion tons (US). A mere 1% loss during transportation (pipelines or liqiud methane tankers) would result in blowing 10 million ton of methane into the atmosphere per year.
A cow is producing of order 50 kg of methane per year.
Australia, Argentina and especially nowadays Brasil are producing a lot of beef. Remember, there are nowadays of order 1 billion more beefeaters in the world.
So, you actually wonder why there is so little increase in the methane content, in view of the ‘fact’ that also the thawing permafrost areas throw out ever more methane.

Neven

Could this have something to do with melting permafrost or collapsing clathrates I read about a while ago?

Retired Engineer

Methane reflects the sun’s light back to the earth? Then it should also reflect incoming light back into space. Unless we have a one-way mirror. Now that would be worthy of several Nobel prizes.
Fascinating concept, a gas that reflects light. Must be that new silver plated methane. Absorb, yes. Reflect? Hmmm.

So umm, uhhh, errr, ahhh does this mean the theory must be wrong? Why is this news to anyone that science is not exact, is iterative, nor does it fit theory that some scientists want it to. Is that why it’s called science.
Nothing seems to be working out for the climate theoreticians and modelers. Looks like we have little understanding of what is really going on, which is one theory I can believe. Maybe we should concentrate on the sun’s output and it’s interaction with cosmic rays, and other forces of the universe.
Pay more in taxes so government can pretend to control the weather — Couldn’t you see through this from the get go.

The story looks awfully light on detail. A couple of MIT scientists noted that methane suddenly increased and out of that, the article’s author attacks the strawman that humans are the only emitters of greenhouse gases? We are? Since when? We’re one of the biggest sources, but we’re hardly the only one. Claiming that the theories behind global warming say what they don’t say and refuting them by mentioning a few trivia facts about methane in the atmosphere is disingenuous at best.
As for the dropping temperatures to which one of the comments refers, how come one researcher playing around with a bunch of models eliminated the one degree of warming but thousands of climatologists have not? Has the entire scientific community has become deluded, doesn’t have the right qualifications or is organizing a conspiracy of some sort? Like a wise man said “when it’s you against the world, bet on the world.”

John M

I’ve read several summaries of this work, but they all seem to be based on the same press release. Some of the stories say the methane levels have “shot up”.
Does anyone know how much “shot up” refers to in terms of ppm?

Graeme Rodaughan

Hi gfish,
Could you please back up the “We’re one of the biggest sources, but we’re hardly the only one” with a breakdown of the actual numbers for CO2 emissions.
Say over a year (any recent year), use Gigatonnes…
I would like to know what percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere is from human sources – could you please help me out.
Thanks

DR

gfish, another wise man said “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong. ” 🙂

iceFree

Well just a stab in the dark here, but a lot of methane is burned off naturally by lightning is it not ? Then converted to ozone.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40101

Mike Bryant

gfish,
I checked out your website. Keep plugging along man. This is America the land of opportunity. Someday I bet you’ll post something that gets more than one comment.
Don’t ever quit,
Mike Bryant

Richard deSousa

The more we think we know the less we understand.

Bill Illis

The trend in Methane concentrations does not correlate to any known natural phenomenon.
But it does correlate to the market value of Natural Gas (which is roughly 98% Methane) and the oil and gas industry’s awareness of the problems of and engineering capability in plugging leaks of Natural Gas.
The oil and gas industry used to just release Natural Gas (Methane that is) to the atmosphere. The industry used to just burn off Natural Gas on-site in big stacks, most often very incompletely. The oil and gas industry was not really concerned about plugging leaks in the infrastructure since Natural gas was so cheap and so plentiful.
Now that it has a geniune market value, now that energy can be derived on-site to power lots of other processes, now that leaks in consumer-delivery infrastructure is completly verbotten, there is almost NO direct release of Methane into the atmosphere by the oil and gas industry.
That explains the logarithmic chart of Methane concentrations better than anything else.
What explains the 2007 ten parts per billion increase is that oil prices increased so rapidly that oil production was rushed into service and a few more leaks of Methane occured as a result.
Why it happened all over the world simultaneously is a little harder to explain but oil and gas production does happen all over the world and is not concentrated in Russia or the Middle East only of course. There is less in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere but at over $100 per barrel price for oil, lots of rapidly increasing oil production resulted in more Methane releases than normal.
No climate change variables need to be invoked to explain this.

Steven Hill

The more we think we know the less we understand…..
Now that is a excellent quote!

Graeme,
Ask and ye shall receive. About 26 Gt is nothing sneeze at. Volcanoes produce less than that. How much we actually produce varies by greenhouse gas.
Mike,
I appreciate the putdown based on a few of my posts. Very classy thing to get into personal insults in the middle of a scientific discussion. Way to class it up sir.

agesilaus

To Retired Engineer:
I suspect you’ll find that incident light from space/sun is shifted in wavelength when it is re-radiated back to the sky. To infrared and these green house gasses will absorb the ir radiation but allow the visible incoming radiation to pass.
As for the methane, maybe something is changing the OH radical concentration. Reducing it and that would give methane a longer residence time and effectively increase the concentration of methane. Maybe the OH concentration is influence by solar activity?

Mike Bryant

You’re welcome. 🙂

Bruce Foutch

Here is the story as posted from MIT:
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/methane-tt1029.html

DR

gfish,
Dr. Roy Spencer discussed this very issue some time ago.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/
It helps to take the blinders off and consider that possibly your sources may be just a tad bit biased.

Jeff L

Once again, more data showing we aren’t even close to understanding the complexities of the climate system & any claims that we do (or to assign all causality to one variable such as CO2) is just pure arrogance. It argues strongly for continued open dialog on the subject, not “the debate is over”.

Robert Bateman

agesilaus:
How marvelous indeed it would be to discover that the Sun’s recent spate of Solar Misactivity is causing a beam-splitter or dielectric film effect in our atmosphere. They wouldn’t dare do anything that ingenious, would they?
The Sun’s output, while never changing in TSI by very much, causes important changes in our atmosphere to trap or release heat in total disproportion to total output. Smoking gun.

JimB

Hey…non-scientist here…
Is methane released from volcanoes?…could there have been an increasespike in underwater volcanic activity somewhere around that timeframe that wasn’t picked up by anything?…not sure how or even IF that sort of thing is measured/monitored.
Jim

Phil's Dad

To agesilaus (18:51:55) :
WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008) — A University of Waterloo scientist says that cosmic rays are a key cause for expanding the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole — and predicts the largest ozone hole will occur in one or two weeks.
Could the same cosmic rays be hitting the OH?

doug janeway

“However, since all worldwide levels rose simultaneously throughout the same year, it is now believed this may be part of a natural cycle in mother nature – and not the direct result of man’s contributions.”
And here’s why natural sources are suspect.
Methane emmissions come from both anthropogenic and natural sources. Approximately 60% of global methane emmissions come from anthropogenic sources and roughly 40% from natural sources. Landfills are the largest single anthropogenic source for this GHG, making up some 34% of the contribution from human sources, followed by NG prodduction, mining, livestock enteric fermentation and manure management, wastewater treatment and rice cultivation averaging roughly 562 Tg per year on an eight year average. Emmissions from these sources remain relatively stable.
There is much more uncertainty about contributions from natural sources and variability from year to year due to environmental variables such as tempurature and precipitation. The best available information estimates roughly 200 Tg per year, wetlands giving up some 76% of that total followed by termite digestive emmissions (11%), oceans (8%) and hydrates (5%).
However, natural emmissions can vary greatly from year to year and on a multi year level due to unexpected large releases from natural sources, i.e., lakes and oceans for example, which can increase yearly Tg estimates greatly and unexpectedly. Higher global tempuratures would lead to higher natural releases which correlates with the first graph above. Notice that as temps have leveled off so has the methane concentrations and seem to be treding downward. Methane emmissions from natural sources have always been highly suspect in the warming puzzel, much more so due to its heightened potential over C02.

DR,
Ok, this discussion is becoming political and not scientific. When we start talking about “biased sources” and are using vaguely explained obscurities that don’t really deal with the topic at hand, I can feel the science being sucked out of the room. The insinuation that I’m wearing blinders and being biased only adds to this feeling.
My apologies, but those charts and explanations of a 0.122376% variation of an isotope of carbon from somewhere nondescript don’t tell me a great deal. The posts attack me with a barrage of charts and numbers and a quick reference to how much carbon humans [don’t] pump out just materializing in the middle of the text. To drown a skeptic in detail is not to prove one’s point per se. It boggles my mind how mainstream scientific media is considered worthlessly biased. If they’re that bad, what else are they horribly biased about?
But now I must be a clueless, stupid “AGW sheep” and my comments may be discarded as worthless…

Old Coach

My memory is a bit foggy, but…
I have read that the bulk of atmospheric methane is produced by methanogenic bacteria. They live in most environments, globally. Cow bellies, termites, and rotting vegetation get the most pub. Also, nearly 80% of Earth’s biomass is bacteria, which are very sensitive to minute changes in local chemistry and temperature. Whenever oceans, bogs, soils, (you name it) undergoes a change in chemistry or temperature, the bacterial nearly instantaneously react. Like everything else, “when stress is added to the system, the system reacts in such a way as to relieve the stress”. In a lab environment, if we add CO2 and take away photosynthesis, we see an increase in methanogenic activity.
Biosphere chemistry is so complex that I can’t draw any conclusions from these concepts. But, I would LOVE it if someone smarter than I would try to incorporate the enormous role bacteria has on our atmospheric chemistry. It is potentially much greater than any other factor, plant, animal, anthropogenic, volcanic, etc…

AussieRon

These scientists are not bemused by any global warming theory they categorically state that it is human intervention, see link below,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/10/30/eapolar130.xml

G Alston

gfish — yes your commentary is certainly discarded as worthless in a certain sense (at least by me); that is, the subject of CO2 concentrations by mankind have been noted and filed accordingly on this site numerous times. The answer is some 3% or so based on scientific analysis of atmospheric carbon isotope ratios. This is an interesting number given that many warming believers claim that atmospheric CO2 is long lived.
I’ll spell this out for you, and in crayon: what this means is that if CO2 is long lived, the 3% number isn’t an annual figure, but rather the sum total of mankind’s contribution since the industrial revolution.
Mankind is *not* responsible for “the majority” of CO2 release. The oceans are, and this is a well understood phenomenon.
Which brings us back to the 3% number. If CO2 is short lived as others claim and the oceans are emitting the most recently absorbed CO2, then once again this represents the sum total of man’s contribution since the industrial revolution. Funny how that works.
Now, given that I’ve been kind enough to have spelled this out for you and in ways in which you can easily track, I’ll leave it up to you to do your own homework.

Mongo

Not sure you and I read the same article gfish…………..but I do know that articles supporting AGW are just as spurious as you seem to claim.
And “thousands” of climatologists is not just a bit of stretch? And it’s not just the one researcher that has noted a decrease in temp, but I’m sure you can find that the process of determining temperature is pretty convoluted.
These guys are talking about going back to the models? ack…They aren’t predictive, but can only codify what was, not why………superficial understanding doesn’t begin to describe our knowledge. I suppose uncertainty is now a deadly sin in the world of AGW science?

Diatribical Idiot

I have no good reason for posting this oldie-bit-a-goodie, but it just came to mind as I looked at these charts with the subsequent discussion:
http://borkweb.com/story/global-warming-causes-pirate-population-decrease

P Folkens

Not mentioned (so far) are the ocean methane hydrates. A paper in Nature a while back suggested the super-greenhouse of the Late Paleocene as caused by the release of methane from a warming ocean. Following the K-T boundary event, immense quantities of methane settled onto the oceans’ surface and settled to the bottom as methane hydrates. As the oceans warmed, much of this methane was re-released.
To the present point, methane hydrates still exist in the oceans releasing methane. The release increases with warmer oceans while methane is sequestered during colder times.
I don’t know for if this process is involved in the present issue, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

G Alson,
Yeah, funny how things work. You’re discarding and critiquing comments that were never made by the person you’re trying to demean. Did I ever say that humans are responsible for the majority of CO2 release? I must have because I asked for more detail than just pontifications and toxicity towards my question, right? And an even more hilarious thing, after “being kind enough to spell it out for me,” and asking me to go “do my homework,” you showed me that you haven’t done yours.
Yes, humans emit 3.4% of all CO2, but that’s a red herring. The issue is that this tiny percentage of human emissions disrupts the natural exchange of CO2 because the other 770 Gt of carbon being emitted have a place to go. Some 17 Gt of extra CO2 emissions being produced by humans have no place to go. Oceans can’t absorb them, plants don’t need them, bacteria have enough. So it stays in the air and builds up slowly. (a href=”http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm” target=”_blank”>reference)
If you have a 1.5 liter bottle of water with a hole designed to drain 1.1 liter of water over a period of 5 minutes, you can pour one liter of water every 5 minutes into an empty bottle every time. Pour in 1.03 liters every 5 minutes and your water level at refill time will keep going up bit by bit. Your system can handle the overflow of 0.01 liter, but there’s an extra 0.02 liters of water with nowhere to go but collect in the bottle. Two hours later at fill-up number 24, your bottle overflows as you pour 1.03 liters on top of 0.48 liters pooling there. This is how humans could warm up the planet. It’s not the emission of CO2, it’s that about half of it has nowhere to go.
But of course, you could just consider my reference biased and full of evil “AGW” cooties and discard it to start at ground zero. Because that’s what makes good science. Discard what you don’t like to see and focus on just half of the picture, the one where you like the data… And the source…

OzzieAardvark

“The more we think we know the less we understand”
Do I detect the paraphrasing of a Don Henley lyric? Now there’s an ironic WattsUpWithThat contribution 🙂
Working the theme:
“The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness”
This is pretty clearly what Hansen is pursuing, but of course:
“They’re the very things – we kill I guess”
And we can all hope that at some point he’ll arrive at:
“All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again”
I wouldn’t put money on this outcome however…
Sorry, a big Eagles fan here. If Don nicked the quoted lyric from some esteemed philosopher I attribute my ignorance to a largely technical education 🙂

Kohl Piersen

gfish – “This is how humans could warm up the planet. It’s not the emission of CO2, it’s that about half of it has nowhere to go.”
Sorry old mate, don’t really follow! So what if half of it has no where to go? (Not admitted but allowed for sake of argument). The levels have been much much higher in the past and….well….nothing much really – trees and plants thrived, animals evolved, fishes swam in the water and the earth turned. Furthermore, the levels were higher at the same time as the earth was….colder! Yes, you got it! And right now, whilst the levels have continued to rise at about 4/5% per year, global average temperature (whatever that means) has been…..flat! or maybe falling! Yes, you got that too.
And in any case, there are a lot of people who hate the winter and would like to see things a bit hotter! So? The earth turns on it’ axis and all is right with the world. Great isn’t it?

Kohl Piersen

Oh, and I just noticed another thread re record colds in the US and early snow in London – looks like those who want the thermostat turned up a bit are going to be disappointed. -21 in Alaska? Bloody hell! That’s too cold for me.

cohenite

gfish; no offence, but you are talking rubbish; you say;
“humans emit 3.4% of all CO2.” Actually it’s much less; you also say; “Some 17Gt of extra CO2 emissions being produced by humans have no place to go.” This is absurd; natural sinks have great unused capacity. Consider these 2 official sources from the US DOE;
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/FTPROOT/environment/057304.pdf
Table 3 is the relevant data.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/glob_c2.pdf
Exhibit 2-1 is relevant
Combining the data from the 2 sources we see that since the start of the Industrial revolution the increase in CO2 levels of about 103 ppm are 97% due to natural increases and 3ppm anthropogenic. Furthermore, the absorption by nature of 98.5% of ALL CO2 means that of the annual ACO2 emissions, only 1.5% stays behind in the atmosphere for a year; this was 346 MT in 2004, which is equivalent to just 0.04% of the total annual CO2 emissions from nature and man combined. The only thing increasing in this AGW debate are the egoes of the pro-AGW spruikers.

Kohl,
And since your claims are all totally un-sourced and didn’t account for the variations in Earth’s orbits and their role in Ice Ages and cooling periods or anything of this nature… You know it would take me a lot less time and effort to write each rebuttal if I just started throwing things out without sources and fact checks.
At any rate, something that stuns me here is how many people attack strawmen rather than actually address what I said. I outlined how humans could warm the planet by producing tiny bits of excess carbon dioxide which has nowhere to go but stay in the air both with a reference and a mathematical example.
I did not say it was a horrible thing…
I did not say it was the end of the world…
I did not say we will all drown when the ice caps melt…
I did not say life will go extinct…
I did not say that the AWG theory was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt…
What I did say is that a lot of pundits are playing fast and lose with a whole lot of obscure and confusing data and loading their political agendas into the discussion. If there’s a problem with this assertion, by all means go ahead and attack it. Because I actually made this statement.
Take issue with me on what I say, not what you think I want to say because you’ve painted me as this evil, ignorant AGW nut when I’m anything but. I am not Al Gore, I am not here to deride you, curse you or force you to buy carbon credits. The smugness and the occasional ad homonyms are also totally unnecessary.

kim

gfish (22:36:21) How amusing that you think the carbon cycle has no place to put the extra carbon. Why, the increase in CO2 will simply increase the processes, age-old ones at that, that virtually permanently sequester carbon underground in the form of carbonates and hydrocarbons. CO2 is not a plant fertilizer for nothing, after all.
==========================================

Frank. Lansner

In the article above we learn that
it is now believed this may be part of a natural cycle in mother nature – and not the direct result of man’s contributions
REUTERS EDITION – Spread out to the whole wolrd:
http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE49T0AD20081030
Here there is no mention of the conclusion from above.
Is this to some degree a severe twist of the story?

Flanagan

The simultaneity of the increase in the NH and SH is really fascinating… It obviously looks like there’s a global effect, but which one? Decrease of OH, release of methane by oceans and/or melting ice? Does anybody remember that some researchers thought warming oceans would release not only more CO2 but also more CH4?

Mangan

Good that this is revealed, because this has apparently been a misconception among scientists. (Media focus on this is as likly as……?)
Also there is a misconception among ordinary people that almost all – or all! – CO2 emissions stays in the atmosphere. The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is only half the annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions, so on an annual basis the oceans have to absorb at least half the emitted CO2.
Models where precisely half of the emitted CO2 is absorbed each is also wrong. Some of the CO2 emitted previous years has (any particular year) to be absorbed too, and a 25 times larger than anthropogenic CO2 emissions natural absorption and emissions of CO2 into and from the oceans controls the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Between 4 and 5 percent of the CO2 in the atmosphere is fossile CO2 due to isotop analysis.)
I hope accumulation int the atmosphere of anthropogenic CO2 will be accurately described in the media, so that misconceptions vanish. I don’t think it will happen, or e.g that the result on water vapor and clouds from the Aqua satellite will be presented in the media. This just the wrong message in the eco-chic societal environment of today. This will also not be further discussed among scientists and in scientific reports. Science on this was settled by Hansen decades ago.