The CO2 – Temperature link

Guest Post By Frank Lansner, civil engineer, biotechnology.

More words on the topic first presented here:

I wrote:

It appears from this graph that CO2 concentrations follows temperature with approx 6-9 months. The interesting part is off course that the CO2 trends so markedly responds to temperature changes.

To some, this is “not possible” as we normally see a very smooth rise on CO2 curves. However, the difference in CO2 rise from year to year is quite different from warm to cold years, and as shown differences are closely dependent on global temperatures. Take a closer look:


For this writing I have slightly modified the presentation of UAH data vs. Mauna Loa data:


The relatively rough relationship between CO2 growth per year and global temperatures (UAH) is:

1979: CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp.anomaly(K) + 0,7

2008: CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp.anomaly(K) + 1,2


CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp.anomaly(K) + 0,95

For 2007, a UAH temperature anomaly approximately – 0,32 K should lead to CO2 rise/year = 0 , that is, CO2-stagnation.

These equations are useful for overall understanding, but so far they don’t give a fully precise and nuanced picture, of course. On the graph, I have illustrated that there is a longer trend difference between CO2 and Temperature. Thus, the “constant” of the equation should be a variable as it varies with time (1979: 0,7    2008: 1,2).

The trend difference means, that from 1979 to 2008 the CO2-rise per year compared to the global temperatures has fallen 0,5 ppm/year, or the other way around: It now takes approx. +0,15 K global temperature anomaly more to achieve the same level of CO2 rise/year as it did in 1979.

How can this be? The CO2 rise/year now takes higher temperatures to achieve?

With the human emissions rising in the time interval 1979-2008, one could imagine that it would be the other way around, that CO2 rises came with still smaller temperature rises needed. But no, its becoming “harder and harder” to make CO2 rise in the atmosphere.

So generally, the human emissions effect appears inferior to other effects in this context at least.

Which effects could hold CO2 rise/year down as we see?

The fact that we today have higher CO2 concentration in the atmosphere than in 1979 does not favour more CO2 release from the oceans. However the fact that we approx 500 million years ago had several thousand ppm CO2 in the atmosphere implies that the 385 ppm today hardly does a big difference.

My guess is, that what we see is mainly the effect of the growing biosphere.

In short: A period with higher temperatures leads to higher CO2 rises/year and thus of course after some years higher CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

In the period of rising temperatures and CO2 concentration, the biosphere has grown extremely much.

The results of trend analyses of time series over the Sahel region of seasonally integrated NDVI using NOAA AVHRR NDVI-data from 1982 to 1999:



Even if we put every European in “Plant a tree”-projects we could never reach a fraction of what mother nature has achieved in Sahel alone over these few years. In Addition, in these areas lots of more precipitation is occurring now. ( If we here have a “point of no return” im not sure Africans would ever want to come back to “normal”. We Europeans want so much to help Africans – but take away the CO2? What kind of help is that? )

In addition, the seas are much more crowded with life, plankton etc.

The biosphere is blooming due to CO2:

So today we have a larger biosphere. Every single extra plant or plankton cell will demand its share of CO2. It takes more CO2 to feed a larger biosphere. More CO2 is pulled out of the atmosphere today than earlier. An enormous negative feedback on CO2 levels. Roughly: Any human CO2-influence would cause bigger biosphere that eventually omits the human CO2-influence.

A rather interesting scenario: What happens if temperatures go down below approx – 0,3 K UAH??

Well first it appears from my rough equation that CO2 levels will go down. We will have negative CO2 rise / year. But the bigger biosphere is still there (!!!) even though temperature and thus CO2 levels suddenly should drop and it will still demand its bigger share of CO2. And more, in these days of Cold PDO and especially more precipitation due to the solar condition, we might see more CO2 washed faster out of the atmosphere.

This adds up to my belief, that a cooling after a longer warming trend, mostly due to the bigger biosphere, could be accompanied by quite rapid fall in CO2 levels. Faster that temperature raise leads to CO2 rise? In short, I postulate: CO2 often falls quicker than it rises:



(I am very aware that the data Ernst-Georg Beck has gathered has had a lot of critic. I will not here be a judge, but I think its fair to show that Becks data to some degree matches my expectations, even though the level of CO2 appears high. But I am no judge of what is too high etc.)

So what to expect now? First of all, how about the present cooling??

We should be able to see the big Jan  2008 dive in global temperature in CO2? Well yes, this dive should 6-9 months appear thereafter. And if we take a look at Mauna Loa data released Aug 3, nicely in the 6-9 months time frame after Jan 2008, we saw a dive.


However, this dive was mostly removed from Mauna Loa data 4 Aug 2008, so its hard to judge anything about 2008.

Antarctic ice core data shows that in the period 1890-1940 there was a flat development approx 8 ppm from 300 ppm to 308 ppm.

We have seen first in this writing, that the CO2 is very responsive to temperature changes 1979-2008. So how come the warmer temperatures 1920-40´s has no effect at all on the extremely straight Antarctic CO2 curve?

Is there a mismatch between extremely flat Antarctic CO2 data on one side and Mauna Loa data/UAH data on the other side? If so, which data sets are correct? Mauna Loa/UAH  or  Antarctic ice cores?


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“Mauna Loa data/UAH data totally wrong or is Antarctic CO2 data totally wrong”
I suspect that the Mauna Loa data might be correct for conditions at Mauna Loa and Antarctica ice might be correct for conditions in Antarctica.
Is there a set of Antarctice atmospheric CO2 data being taken now in the same way that the Mauna Loa data is being taken? If so, what is the difference in the two readings?
Atmospheric CO2 might be at a different level on a mountain on an island in the middle of the ocean than they are in the middle of a continental land mass.
What do real time collection data show? Is anyone collecting real time data in the area where the ice cores were taken?


Hang on. I have to go get my popcorn.
This is going to bring the alarmists raging forward with their graphs and links, I’ll bet.
Even I can see there’s flaws here, and I’m just a skeptic fan who likes to watch.


I suggest you to compare it with the sea temperature instead of the UAH satellite data for the lower troposphere. It is a known fact that a hotter sea will release more CO2 to the atmosphere than a colder sea. The correlation may be better.
You may be able to get the sea temperature anomaly from GISS. They publish land and sea+land temperatures, it should be posible to extract the sea part given that we know it is 70% of the total Earth surface.

Phillip Bratby

Why do we only hear about CO2 data from Mauna Loa? Is there nowhere else in the world where CO2 is being measured and reported in the same way?

Tim L

The science is settled ?
This should bring the cagw believers out.
nice work
WGN Chicago weather man said today there weather is two weeks ahead of “normal”
with below zero weather ( that is Fahrenheit ) at the 45th here we have been in signal digits for two weeks we have been four weeks ahead. this is more like February.

Phillip Bratby (23:21:36) :
Why do we only hear about CO2 data from Mauna Loa? Is there nowhere else in the world where CO2 is being measured and reported in the same way?

Plenty of places, Mauna Loa is the longest record though, will the South Pole do?
Some others:

Jim G

My first thought was:
Mauna Loa, volcano, and CO2 emission.
Hmmm, an intersting place for baseline data.
Then came across this from the Mauna Loa Observatory website:
At night a temperature inversion forms near the ground, trapping volcanic emissions coming from Mauna Loa summit fumarloes in a layer tens of meters thick. Down slope winds sometimes transport these emissions to the observatory, where they are detected as a “noisy” increase above smooth baseline levels for some gases. A volcanic component can be estimated by taking the difference in concentration between periods when the plume is present and periods immediately before and after that exhibit baseline conditions. The most significant volcanic gas is CO2, which has been monitored since 1958 through three eruption cycles Volcanic CO2 is greatest shortly after an eruption and then decreases exponentially over the subsequent years. Right after the 1984 eruption, Mauna Loa emitted as much CO2 as an American city of 40,000 people.

Willem de Rode

I have put the UAH temperature anomaly data together with the Mauna Loa CO2 differences on one time scale graph. And I do not obtain any relationship at all between CO2 and temperature. In my dataset (obtained from the obvious sources on internet) there is no 6-9 month time lag (not positive nor negative) between temperature evolution and CO2 concentration differences. Only around 1998 there is a coincidence between the two parameters.
If there would be a relationship then the plot of the one parameter agains the other would show some trend.
This is not so when CO2 increase is ploted against the temperature anomalies ! One obtain a blop of points spread over the whole area between min and max of the two parameters.
I have found sources where this relationship is claimed with 20 selected points ????!!!! I thought that a scientific claim should held for all observations ?!
I am very critical towards all claims made by the IPCC clerus that are supposed to be believed without any critisism or any scientific foundations. But manipulated and unclear claims as in the first italic sentence make a very negative impression on the scientific serieux of the IPCC critics.

Actually, it could be that both are wrong 🙂

Richard Hill

This is a very interesting proposition. However, I think it is better not to
remark on the preliminary results of any scientific measurement published on the web. You mention an early result of a Mauna Load downtick in August 08, later corrected. People should know that there was a similar uptick in early results for October 08, later corrected. The fact that NASA and other US agencies publish so much data so quickly is a wonderful thing. The last thing that we want is for them to clam up to avoid criticism. For example, is is almost impossible to get any data from the CSIRO in Australia. In fact, there is a CSIRO operated CO2 monitoring station at Cape Grim in Tasmania. An earlier commenter asked about non-Mauna Loa CO2 measurements. I’d like to see the Cape Grim results published as quickly and publicly as the Mauna Loa results, but I think you will find it very hard to get access to them.
Lets congratulate the US Agencies for their work and wish that other countries agencies would be as open.

Allan M R MacRae

For previous work on this subject, please see
MacRae (January 2008)
I am still pondering my conclusions in my paper – as some critics have noted, there are two drivers of CO2 – the humanmade component and the natural component, and both can be having a significant effect – critics suggest the humanmade component is dominant. If Earth cools significantly, perhaps we’ll see.
Following my email to him, Roy Spencer also wrote on this subject at
Prior work, which I became aware of after writing my 2008 paper, includes:
Pieter Tans (Dec 2007)
Tans noted the [dCO2/dt : Temperature] relationship but did not comment on the ~9 month lag of CO2.
Keeling et al (1995)
Nature 375, 666 – 670 (22 June 1995); doi:10.1038/375666a0
Interannual extremes in the rate of rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1980
C. D. Keeling*, T. P. Whorf*, M. Wahlen* & J. van der Plichtt†
*Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California 92093-0220, USA
†Center for Isotopic Research, University of Groningen, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
OBSERVATIONS of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and at the South Pole over the past four decades show an approximate proportionality between the rising atmospheric concentrations and industrial CO2 emissions1. This proportionality, which is most apparent during the first 20 years of the records, was disturbed in the 1980s by a disproportionately high rate of rise of atmospheric CO2, followed after 1988 by a pronounced slowing down of the growth rate. To probe the causes of these changes, we examine here the changes expected from the variations in the rates of industrial CO2 emissions over this time2, and also from influences of climate such as El Niño events. We use the13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 to distinguish the effects of interannual variations in biospheric and oceanic sources and sinks of carbon. We propose that the recent disproportionate rise and fall in CO2 growth rate were caused mainly by interannual variations in global air temperature (which altered both the terrestrial biospheric and the oceanic carbon sinks), and possibly also by precipitation. We suggest that the anomalous climate-induced rise in CO2 was partially masked by a slowing down in the growth rate of fossil-fuel combustion, and that the latter then exaggerated the subsequent climate-induced fall.
Kuo et al (1990)
Nature 343, 709 – 714 (22 February 1990); doi:10.1038/343709a0
Coherence established between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature
Cynthia Kuo, Craig Lindberg & David J. Thomson
Mathematical Sciences Research Center, AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey 07974, USA
The hypothesis that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is related to observable changes in the climate is tested using modern methods of time-series analysis. The results confirm that average global temperature is increasing, and that temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide are significantly correlated over the past thirty years. Changes in carbon dioxide content lag those in temperature by five months.
Best regards to all for the Holidays!

Shear unbelievable crap.
13C and 14C budgets proove its all wrong. O2/N2 data do the same. The sahel lost enormous fractions of biomass in the 70s/80s but still CO2 level rise and rise.
One should better stick here to pictures of weather stations. At least they are focused.

Ron de Haan

Anthony, correct “concentraion” by placing a “t” after the “a” in this scentence
(second line above the “Greening” map.
In short: A period with higher temperatures leads to higher CO2 rises/year and thus of course after some years higher CO2 concentraion in the atmosphere.

anna v

I think I would like to refer here to a link relevant to CO2 I read recently:
In it you will find compilations of CO2 measurements in various places and times.
I am not adopting the arguments of the link, just the data.
From previous discussions and readings and the plots in the link above I have come to the following tentative conclusions:
CO2 concentrations are as badly represented as temperatures and as depended on location as temperatures. People who do not accept that there can be one measure for temperature over the globe should not accept the CO2 measures either.
Let us see what is done:
For temperatures, the climate community has decided on the following algorithm: take high and low for the day , average it, take many stations and get a global average. Then find some time interval whose average is convenient and subtract from the global temperature and voila, the anomaly. This means that as an effect a two degree raise from -60 to -58 in Siberia will show as warming.
For CO2 it was a different school that took hold. They decided to find “stable” points, where updrafts,( more than 100ppm differences, see link) day and night variations ( more than 20ppm diffences) and seasonal variations( more than 20ppm differences) would be minimized , and use those numbers as world numbers, calibrating with icecore data and calling it “world CO2”.
Can you see the fallacy? to be consistent, either we should have 100 points measuring the temperature on a specific hour of the day on mountains and in the ocean, and no average world temperature, or we should do the same with CO2, measure high for the day, low for the day, average, and make a global average from many regions, and then define an anomaly on the same interval as the temperature anomaly in order to be consistent.
Now ice core temperatures are touted as the Lydian stone. Think where ice forms: either in and close to oceans, which are large sinks of CO2, or in huge areas of snow and ice where the only CO2 available is volcanic and geothermal . It is not representative of the vibrant live planet CO2.
Ferdinand in the link above argues that the oceans, which are 75% of the earth have isotropic CO2. I do not buy the argument. If one looks at the ocean/water temperatures there are enormous differences between the tropics, temperate and north, and enormous seasonal variations during the year which will affect CO2 absorption and emission, and there is a lot of biological activity in seas and waters that also are involved. Until the new satellite measurements come in, we are blind on this since AIRS can only see CO2 up in the 5 km range.
New satellite
AIRS has been useful, because it has shown that even at that height there is no homogenization of CO2, and it has shown how the planet breaths.
The data in the link provided above explain also the discrepancies of last century chemical measurements and the sanitized Mauna Loa etc measurements. Location, time of day and season make an enormous difference.

The siting of the most significant C02 measuring center on Mauna Loa is interesting. It’s not just that it is a volcano, but that it is the most active volcano in the world. Not only that, but vog production (the gritty poisonous discharge residents of the Big Island have to wipe off their car windows) has significantly increased in the past two years, so much so as to negatively affect health, agriculture, and real estate prices. Is the major, sustained uptick in vog related to the solar minimum? Maybe, maybe not. Whatever is causing it, it sucks.
I would not be surprised in the least if the difficulty the record keepers are having with this year’s figures was related to increased degassing on Mauna Loa. Again, an interesting place to put an instrument that could affect world history.
The AGWers will likely be able to poke holes in Beck’s work to their hearts’ content. What should happen as a result of his efforts, however, is that concerned parties should begin to measure C02 directly around the world. In the same spirit that Anthony’s Army is correcting faulty temperature recording, C02 measurements should be carefully taken at the local level — worldwide. We would be less easily manipulated if that were to happen on an ongoing level, it seems to me.


Correct to perform a regression between CO2 levels and temperature. Far too often time is used as a variable, as a proxy for CO2 levels.
However, the known physical relationship between CO2 and warming is that its proportional to log (CO2 concentration).
You need to do the regression against this, not against time. Well, you need to both, and see which gives the better fit.
The data does need adjustment to remove volcanic effects, and solar effects before performing the regression.

A while ago I came up with this interesting plot:
This shows the 1-5 year cycles in both temperature (HADCRUT3) and CO2 – temperature clearly leads CO2 at this scale by about 9 months, as you suggest. But note that the CO2 range here is only 1ppm, a tiny fraction of the total change – here is the same CO2 change plotted against the (slightly smoothed) raw CO2 data:

Bill Illis

I saw Frank Lansner’s chart on icecap (and tried it out on my data since I have all these metrics on a monthly basis back to the 1850s.)
There is a strong correlation of temperature increase to a lagged CO2 response back to 1958 when CO2 first started getting measured on a monthly basis. The lag seems to vary somewhat but an average lag of 5 months seemed to be the best fit.
Here is the same chart going back to 1959 (for Hadcrut3 and the CO2 annual increase).
CO2 is still increasing in this chart. Temperature changes just result in slightly less CO2 increase or slightly more.

gary gulrud

I heartily commend Frank’s focus on CO2/Temperature comparison. Following Nylo, the ocean surface temps are best compared with the seasonal signal in CO2 at Mauna Loa. Remember that this is a smoothed presentation. The daily fluctuation is on the order of 10ppm which is consistent with the AIRS data.
In otherwords, at Mauna Loa, the daily fluence of CO2 between the ocean and atmosphere impies a global daily flux, twilight to afternoon, of 80Gtons, or ten times the yearly anthropogenic contribution! Moreover, the seasonal signal is that of the SO surface temperature.
Unlike Beck’s data where CO2 is measured directly, CDIC at Mauna Loa dessicates the air by means of H2SO4 before measuring via IR. Beck’s work indicates this systematically understates CO2 by 20ppm.


Freeman Dyson is right. The state of the science is such that we don’t know enough to make any conclusions. The gaps in knowledge are enormous. Only a complete fool could develop sufficient hubris to declare that he knew what the climate is going to do over the next 100 years.
Some day soon, a response to Algore’s movie is going to show how stupid he and his followers have been. He will be a laughingstock for all time.
And “Hansen” will be the punchline for jokes (e.g. “that guy pulled a Hansen”).

Richard Hegarty

just read this article in science daily and now i understand everything. It turns out that it was a drop in CO2 caused by a drop in human population that caused the LIA so that must mean we caused the warm period before that. Now that’s all arguments covered, so now we know for certain the LIA and MWP did not happen despite the history we all taught we knew but if they had happened it was our fault anyway so it does no matter. i am glad that is cleared up.

If the beneficial aspect of CO2 increases in a lineal manner and the warming effect of CO2 decreases logarithmically, then does it not makes sense that at some point CO2 itself becomes a negative feedback?


A few questions. If the measurements of CO2 at Mauna Loa have a significant anthropogenic component should we not see a drop resulting from the world wide economic slowdown? What drop should we expect? How can we distinguish that drop from the drop caused by a cooling ocean? If there is no significant drop does that not prove the proposition that reduction in CO2 emissions will have no effect?
It seems to me that the world wide recession if the first “experiment” that can test the opposing hypotheses.

Jeff Wiita

Hi Anthony,
I am not a scientist and the equation for your graph is over my head. I desperately want to know how to read the equation as it related to the graph.
1979: CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp. anomaly (K) + 0,7
What is 3,5?
Is it suppose to be a constant and is it suppose to be 3.5?
What is (K)?
And what is 0,7?
Is it a constant, too?
Thanks for the help and anything else that you might share to help a lay person like me.
Jeff Wiita

Jack Wedel

A good post.
All of the commentary has been directed to CO2-global temperature relationships. It might be useful to consider the phenomenon of GW as a train travelling to some unknown destination. But what is the engine, and what is the caboose? To me, given the history of climate change, the answer is less significant than the result. I live in a cold climate – the temperature this morning outside my front door is -28C with a wind chill warning, so let the train to warmer climate proceed!
Of much greaater significance, to my mind, are the data presented about the greening of the Sahel, and its suggested relationship to increased global concentrations of CO2. Now there’s a welcome result from CO2 concentration increases!

Pamela Gray

The best comparison is yet to come. AIRS hopefully will be able to depict the swirling globby mass of CO2 changes in time comparison with the swirling globby satellite temperature changes. We will also hope that 5 years does not a trend make with that comparison. But what the hey, if we can bail out poorly run businesses who send money to our campaign coffers (gee thanks Bush), we can throw money at green businesses who send money to our campaign coffers (gee thanks Obama). Serious scientific study devoid of bias be damned.

Luís de Sousa

I rejoice in seeing Jaworowski’s claims getting confirmed so easily. The flat-line CO2 reconstructions from ice-cores are indeed smoothed and weakened signals, for the firn takes hundreds if not thousands of years to close.
Eye balling these charts I would say the first derivative of CO2 correlates pretty good with tropical temperatures and ENSO 3.4.

Scott Gibson

Jeff Wiita-
Europeans often use commas where Americans use decimal points, so the numbers are 3.5 and 0.7 (Americanized).
K refers to degrees Kelvin.


Question to you all!
I am wondering about the gas concentration of Air. I understand that CO2 is emitted somewhere and think that the CO2 concentration then is locally higher.
But how does it mix with the other gases which are in the Air?
What does wind do? Does it blow heavy gases around?
Where do we measure the CO2 concentration and is that reprensentative?
Is the CO2 concentration higher in the Rockies on top or higher in the valleys?
I would assume that there is no worldwide identical concentration!
We have local hotspots (generators) and probably low spots (rain forests)
Looking forward to some more insight,

Frank. Lansner

@Williem de Rode
You write
” Only around 1998 there is a coincidence between the two parameters.”
“If there would be a relationship then the plot of the one parameter agains the other would show some trend.”
Im not sure I follow you quite. You have made some plots not showing a common trend? Could you provide link for these?
The common trend between CO2rise/year and Global temperatures does rise the question of causality. Which is the case:
1) The CO2 rise/year leads to temperature rise?
2) The temperature leads to CO2 rise/year?
3) Both parameters are caused by a third influence (the sun etc.)
1: This scenario could easily be confused with the normal greenhouse gas thoughts: More CO2 leads to higher temperatures. But don’t make that mistake. CO2 rise /YEAR is a totally different story than total CO2 conc.
The greenhouse effect of CO2 is described as coming very graduate, as a logarithmic function of the entire CO2 concentration. A greenhouse effect corresponding to a rise in concentration/year has never been reported. Thus to believe in scenario 1) is not reflecting any known behavior of a greenhouse gas. It demands a new discovery of greenhouse gas physics.
This I believe leaves us with possible scenario 2 and 3.
There is some noise on the graphs, but if there should be any doubt about causality (I think not), yes, the year 1998 do provide us with a signal so strong that it lifts far beyond the noise level, and tells a clear story.
But never mind which of the 3 scenarios is correct: If there is a common trend between CO2/rise per year and global temperatures, then there is a severe problem for the extreemly flat Antarctic curves. Because the temperature curves are not that flat. For 1000´nds of years we should have had CO2 concentrations between 280ppm and 290ppm.
And the ratio CO2ppmrise/year = 3,5*temp(K) + const, makes it virtually impossible.

JFA in Montreal

Notwithstanding the scientific evidence, this one will be a bitter pill to swallow by the naive environmentalists and watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) of this world: the notion that the biosphere is blooming goes against their emotional deep beliefs, risk shattering their whole raison d’être. You will thus, as with any cult, see a remodeling of their message, part denial, part adaptation, to explain why apocalypse did not happen, and why it is only but postponed, still very near to come.
And considering the influences of institutionalized mysticism (various organized religions, cults, etc) on human life’s organization, such human phenomenon should not be discounted.

Frank. Lansner

Yes i could have used other temperature graphs etc, and i have indeed seen some similar graphs using GISS or RSS, practically same result.
But your Ocean temperature graph might be interesting, can you bring a link?

gary gulrud (05:30:19) :
Unlike Beck’s data where CO2 is measured directly, CDIC at Mauna Loa dessicates the air by means of H2SO4 before measuring via IR. Beck’s work indicates this systematically understates CO2 by 20ppm.

Actually they don’t!
Determinations of CO2 are made by using a Siemens Ultramat 3 nondispersive infrared gas analyzer with a water vapor freeze trap. This analyzer registers the concentration of CO2 in a stream of air flowing at ~0.5 L/min. Every 30 minutes, the flow is replaced by a stream of calibrating gas or “working reference gas”.

Jeff Wiita

Thank You Scott

Frank. Lansner

@Richard Hill
“You mention an early result of a Mauna Load downtick in August 08..”
The corrections right or wrong does to me lead to some uncertainty how to use results of that year. The dip this year was not at all small. Are you sure they make corrections of that size every year?
@Allan M R MacRae
Thankyou for a very nice summary of this subject!
I have also seen it commented by John Daly when he lived.
You quote from “Cynthia Kuo, Craig Lindberg & David J. Thomson” :
“The results confirm that … temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide are significantly correlated over the past thirty years. Changes in carbon dioxide content lag those in temperature by five months.”
Yes, and maybe we need to take these correlations a step further?!?
And merry christmas to you!!
@Georg Hoffmann
You seem to have “seen the light”. Please explain how come we can have 1000 years of non-changing CO2 levels when temperatures and CO2rise/year appears to be strongly correlated.
If you judge my writing as crap, could you bring the answer?
If not, take a look at the Beck graph of actual measurements from my writing.
You mention that in the seventies Sahel lost biomass. Yes but from what level? If there is just a little bit of truth I Becks graph, the seventies CO2 levels where far below 1940´ies. There fore Biomas decrease is not surpricing.
It was colder in the seventies. Don’t forget, it was in the 70´ies that many scientist claimed an iceage to be emerging. This they did because of cooling.


Pinatubo was quite conducive to better plant absorption of CO2 v.v. diffuse light, causing the CO2 dip. See paper I think by Nasa. Opposed Chicon spitted quite a different mix. Temp and CO2 lagging or leading? There’s a 12 month cycle, and it continues to be up. 386.20 was the latest trend figure… and all in those years of global cooling, but only if charts are chopped off showing only after 1.1.2001.
… the 385 ppm today hardly does a big difference.
What were the global temps 500-600 million years ago in an utterly different continental configuration? What was the ozone level back then in the stratosphere… was it conducive to allow live on land?

Frank. Lansner

@Bill Illis
Your graph is very interesting!
Remember the difference in trend from 1979-2008? It showed that in 2008 the same temperature led to 0,5 ppm CO2 rise/year less than in 1979. I suggested, that this was mainly due to bigger biosphere. If so, the difference to some degree reflect size of biomass:
The higher the CO2 rise/year trend is compared to Temperature trend, the smaller biosphere.
The lower the CO2 rise/year trend is compared to Temperature trend, the bigger biosphere.
Bill, you graph thus indicates big biosphere on a falling trend around 1958. The falling trend in biosphere seems to continue to late 1970íes (?). Thereafter the biosphere grows again.
Becks data – unlike Antarctic data – reflects that, we should have had a bigger CO2 levels around 1940. If its true that more CO2 leads to bigger biosphere it definitely makes sense that 1958 shows a bigger biosphere in a falling trend.

Frank. Lansner
Pamela Gray

It wasn’t too long ago when the prevailing science belief was that a melting Arctic would stall the Atlantic current by freshening it and thus cause a deep freeze in the northern hemisphere. That was in what, 2003? But the current didn’t stall and yet we are in a deep freeze. So much for prevailing scientific belief.


My revies of these comments indicates that Mauna Loa is considered to be the sole source of volcanic out-gases (VOG). Kilauea is just south of there and has been continuously erupting for 30 + years. Whenever the trade wins stop blowing, the Kona (southery) wind blows. The Kona wind causes VOG to inundate the Big Island and other islands when prolonged. Kilauea is an intermittent source of CO2 emissions that will corrupt the data gathered at Mauna Loa. I am not aware of any explanation as to if and how the Mauna Loa data is adjusted to offset the Kilauea VOG.
Does any one know?


There are 3 sites from which CO2 data is readily available.
Mauna Loa, Barrow Alaska, and the South Pole Station.
You couldn’t ask for more widely separated sites. They all show essentially the same results with some seasonal variations which are to be expected.
So the intimations that volcanic activity has hurt the integrity of the data don’t seem correct.
This would also show that variations in CO2 concentrations due to local factors are not affecting these measurements.
As far as tracking CO2 regionally, there are satellites that do that. They show the sources and sinks of CO2 world wide. All the red shows up in populated areas like the NE US etc.
Paleo climate studies have shown that GHG’s from volcanic eruptions in Siberia 250M ybp caused global warming, and the domination of sulfide producing bacteria that lead to extinctions. This happened over millions of years. There is no evidence of a self correcting mechanism in this case.
resulted in global

anna v

Frank. Lansner (08:55:36) :
Yes i could have used other temperature graphs etc, and i have indeed seen some similar graphs using GISS or RSS, practically same result.
But your Ocean temperature graph might be interesting, can you bring a link?

for a map:
Maybe if you look around the site there might be global numbers, though from the map it is evident that as far as CO2 goes temperatures in the 30C and temperatures in the -2 at the poles should not be given the same weight without knowing the temperature dependence of CO2 absorption and emission in water.

Frank. Lansner

@David :
You write:
“If the beneficial aspect of CO2 increases in a lineal manner and the warming effect of CO2 decreases logarithmically, then does it not makes sense that at some point CO2 itself becomes a negative feedback?”
The logarithmic relation is a physical proberty, the greenhouse effect as a function of CO2 concentration. This effect is indeed logarithmic. But I this context the focus is on the concentration of CO2 itself – A kind of negative feedback from a CO2-mediated growing biosphere hungry to eat the CO2, pull it out of the atmosphere. A negative feedback not on the effect of CO2 but working to decrease CO2 concentration and thus CO2 effect.
@Jeff Wiita:
You write:
“1979: CO2 growth (ppm/year) = 3,5 * Temp. anomaly (K) + 0,7
What is 3,5?”
The faktor 3,5 is the “best fit” between the correlating graphs of CO2 rise/year and temperature.
K is here like a degree Celcius, a little over 2 Farenheit.
Down to earth: If the global temperatures rise 1 degree Celcius, The CO2 rise per year seems to rise 3,5 ppm faster. That ism the CO2 concentration rises much faster with higher temperatures.
My point is not to describe quantitatively exact correlation as it is not possible. I just want to show, that very valid and respected data right in front of our eyes shows that CO2 varies very easily. This make the extremely flat “official” Antarctic CO2 graph virtually impossible. The would demand toatly constant temperatures for 1000 years.
@Det (08:37:18) :
CO2 concentrations:
– Are slightly higher near the ground than for instance 10 km up in the atmosphere, in the size 10 ppm.
– Are slightly higher in the northern hemisphere than the southern hemispere
– Varies from day to night
– Varies with seasons
– Are measured all over the world. We normaly refer to the Mauna Loa results as this is the longest data series, and Mauna Loa is not that far from the equator and thus to some degree reflects a globe – middle.

Harold Vance

“Between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, both methane and carbon dioxide started an upward trend, unlike during previous interglacial periods,” explains Kutzbach.
According to this guy, the AGW trend (including warming and CO2) is at least 5,000 years old.
I think it’s time to do introduce retroactive carbon taxing, which means we get to tax the bejeezus out of Europe and Asia. lol.

Frank since you are an engineer I assume that you’re familiar with differential equations?
The DE describing the concentration of CO2 is given below (a schematic of Emanuel & Killough’s detailed equation):
Where F is the fossil fuel source term, Fo is the net exchange with the oceans and Fb is the net exchange with the vegetation etc.
How could [CO2] not be a function of T? Also since we are dealing with the difference between large terms why would it not be sensitive to small variations in those terms from year to year?
Modeling Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Global Carbon Cycle With Shifts in Carbon Storage Capacity by Land-Use Change, William R. Emanuel & George G. Killough, Ecology, Vol. 65, No. 3. (Jun., 1984), pp. 970-983.


The grey/blue lines seem to indicate that the rate of temperature increase is faster than the rate of co2 increase. I would expect that if co2 was becoming a less effective forcer, that the slopes would be reversed. That is co2 slope would be > temperature…

Ed Scott

E.P.A. Ruling Could Speed Up Approval of Coal Plants
WASHINGTON — Officials weighing federal applications by utilities to build new coal-fired power plants cannot consider their greenhouse gas output, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ruled late Thursday. Some environmentalists fear the decision will clear the way for the approval of several such plants in the last days of the Bush administration.
The Supreme Court ruled last year that the agency could regulate carbon dioxide, the most prevalent global warming gas, under existing law. The agency already requires some power plants to track how much carbon dioxide they emit.
But a memorandum issued by Mr. Johnson late Thursday puts the agency on record saying that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant to be regulated when approving power plants. He cited “sound policy considerations.”
“The current concerns over global climate change should not drive E.P.A. into adopting an unworkable policy of requiring emission controls” in these cases, he said.
John Walke, a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement, “It’s a marvel to behold an E.P.A. action that so utterly disdains global warming responsibility and disdains the law at the same time.”

gary gulrud

“Actually they don’t!”
Kauffman indicates their protocol does indeed include such dessication, e.g., at:
Your link gives me no clue as to your bona fides as it doesn’t work for me. We have yet to examine the issues with the Siemens black box.

George E. Smith

“” Harold Vance (11:32:24) :
“Between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, both methane and carbon dioxide started an upward trend, unlike during previous interglacial periods,” explains Kutzbach.
According to this guy, the AGW trend (including warming and CO2) is at least 5,000 years old.
I think it’s time to do introduce retroactive carbon taxing, which means we get to tax the bejeezus out of Europe and Asia. lol. “”
I’ve never been able to figure out; is lol = LOL = Lots Of Luck or is it Laughing Out Loud ? I can’t kee p up with the jargon.
I get confused by AMO and am0 = Air Mass Zero, meaning outside the atmosphere.
But to the EPA refusal to label CO2 as a pollutant. The Supreme Court ruled that EPA “MAY” regulate CO2 as a pollutant; I don’t believe they said EPA must.
Since the ENTIRE rationale on which the case was brought to The Court was solely on the claims of global warming/climate change, and no evidence of CO2 having any other polluting properties (being an absolutely essential constituent of the atmosphere) the ONLY basis on which EPA would be able to regulate CO2 would be on the basis of the climate change/global warming threat; and if they claimed that they would have NO ALTERNATIVE but to hold WATER VAPOR in similar contempt, since it demonstrably has a much greater “greenhouse” effect than CO2 or an or all other GHGs.
So until EPA is ready to regulate water vapor as well, they have no basis for regulating CO2.
And trying to argue that water vapor is innocuous because it is removed from the atmosphere much faster than CO2, doesn’t wash, because if that were true on a climate time scale, then earth would be a frozen ball. The fact that we sit at +15C and not -15 C is definitive proof that water vapor is not removed from the atmosphere fast enough to not have an appreciable global warming /climate change effect.
That of course is all IMHO , but there’s an avalanche of lawyers willing to step up if EPA tries to weasel out of the unavoidable H2O/CO2 linkage. Either both are pollutants to be rergulated or neither is.
By the way, CO2 dissolves readily in H2O and moreso in cold H2O, so every time it rains/snows/etc, a whole lot of CO2 is washed out of the atmosphere.
I’ve read that the reason we don’t have 3000 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere any more is because during the Cambrian when everything went nuts, there was so much plant growth, it sucked up all the excess CO2. Well I bet I have my Cambrian mixed up with my Permian or some other dinosphere; but you get the idea. All those ancient Kiwi Tree Ferns, is what cleaned up all that CO2 muck.
I’m not against EPA getting into some stringent controls of real pollution that may be associated with coal fired power; enough is known about clean coal that there is no reason for the (US) to put up with the kinds of gunk we used to. The greenies will have my support on that sort of cleanliness, but till they prove their case on CO2 driven climate change/global warming, we will be in disagreement.
If I understand Frank’s thesis, he still finds that warming (the cause) preceeds CO2 increase (the effect), even if only by 5 months.
A five month lag in a feedback loop is a formula for an oscillator; and not any decadal oscillator either.
I’ve never ever seen any climate feedback equation that includes the time dependent response; just a static condition, without any proof that the feedback system is stable. The Jubilee Diamond at 245.35 Carats is a cushion shaped Brilliant cut, that is so perfectly cut, that it can be balanced on its culet, which is less than 2 mm diameter.
But it isn’t in stable equilibrium in that condition. (interesting aside factoid).
But maybe John Walke needs to go and reread the Supreme’s words again. The “existing law” they referred to relates to pollution, so EPA would have to prove pollution.
Hey if I was the Supremes, I would take those Lawyers/plaintiffs money for a frivolous suit also.
The EPA doesn’t have ANY global warming responsibility, because nobody has EVER PROVED that global warming is harmful to the environment, and all the evidence points to it being harmless or even beneficial.
And for a half degree F out of a nearly 150 deg C range, I don’t see how one could come up with any such proof.
But frankly, if the US EPA wants to pursue that, knowing that it would doom the bulk of the world population to permanent poor status (and those Aussies too); well that will make a lot of friends for the US greenies; who after all really want to see homo sapiens sapiens become just another archeological fossil find, by the intelligent termites of a future green planet.

Frank. Lansner

The short term variation seems rather conclusive, temperature increase leads to CO2 peak. And the variation is just far too big for the flat Antarctic CO2-curves. The long term trend can have more explanations. Biomass growth is reality, its happening. CO2-forcing on a bigger scale, i dont know, its not provable from the graphs nor disprovable. However, the narrowing in between trends happends both before and after the 1970´ies, See Bills graph. Why do you think that is? (If you believe that the CO2 has been steadily rising the whole century). The difference between the graphs around 1960 equals the difference around the mid 1990´ies. This would make total sense if you accept Becks data to some degree, both as a result of Biomass and perhaps some CO2 forcing.