Bad week for hardware: Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite burns up

Satellite to Study Global-Warming Gases Lost in Space

By Alex Morales, Bloomberg News

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — A satellite launched from California failed to reach orbit today, crashing into the sea near Antarctica and dooming a $273 million mission to study global-warming gases.

“The mission is lost,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration spokesman Steve Cole said in a telephone interview from the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The NASA satellite was to orbit 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth and observe how carbon dioxide enters and leaves the atmosphere, helping scientists predict future increases in the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. Instead, the satellite fell in the ocean near Antarctica though the mission manager said at no point did the craft pass over land.

“It’s a huge disappointment for the entire team who have worked very hard for years and years and years,” NASA Launch Director Chuck Dovale said in a briefing from California. “Even when you do your very best, you can still fail.”

Today’s malfunction follows a Feb. 11 collision of U.S. and Russian satellites almost 500 miles above the planet, the first crash of its type, which created a space debris field of more than 300 pieces that could damage other satellites.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite didn’t reach orbit after a 1:55 a.m. launch because the “payload fairing” failed to separate, NASA said. The fairing covers the top of the satellite during launch and needs to come off so the satellite can detach from the rocket and enter orbit.

“It’s disappointing because it was giving us novel information to help us move our understanding forward on global warming,” Alan O’Neill, science director of the Reading, U.K.- based Centre for Earth Observation, said in an interview.

Orbital Sciences

Both the satellite and launch rocket were built by Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. John Brunschwyler, Orbital Sciences’s mission manager, said “over the past 10 years, we’ve flown a nearly perfect record — 56 out of 57 vehicles and we’ve not had any problems with this particular fairing design.”

NASA’s investment was $273 million for the design, development and launch operations. Insurance details on the mission may be given later today, NASA said.

The craft contained a monitoring device designed to collect 8 million measurements every 16 days. Scientists hoped to use the data to find out how much CO2 is absorbed by the forests, grasslands and oceans, which are collectively known as “sinks.”

Man-made CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is largely produced by power plants, vehicle engines and factories.

The data gleaned from the satellite was intended to help guide government global-warming policy, NASA said.

Understanding ‘Carbon Sinks’

“An improved understanding of carbon sinks is essential to predicting future carbon-dioxide increases and making accurate predictions of carbon dioxide’s impact on Earth’s climate,” NASA said on the mission Web site. “If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become less efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would increase.”

On Jan. 23, Japan launched what it said was the world’s first satellite, Gosat, to measure greenhouse gases from 56,000 points around the globe over five years.

Today’s satellite was expected to have a minimum three-year life. Similar spacecraft have lasted five to 10 years, David Steitz, a NASA spokesman, said yesterday.

While launch and separation of the rocket’s first stage went as planned, a clamshell-shaped “fairing” covering the satellite failed to open, meaning it was too heavy to reach orbit, Brunschwyler said on NASA’s online television station.

“As a direct result of carrying that extra weight, we could not reach orbit,” Brunschwyler said. Indications are the satellite “landed just short of Antarctica, in the ocean.”

Earlier this month, the collision of Russian and U.S. satellites destroyed an Iridium Satellite LLC communications craft and a defunct Russian Cosmos 2251, NASA said.

At least 18,000 satellites, debris and other space objects orbiting the Earth are tracked by the U.S. Joint Space Operations center. The Soviet Union put the first satellite, Sputnik 1, into space in 1957.

h/t to Gary and Steve

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261 thoughts on “Bad week for hardware: Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite burns up

    • Certainly not that human contribution to CO2 is miniscule compared to the huge amount naturally present in the atmosphere.

    • It may have confirmed two studies from 2000 and 2005 which indicated the greatest source of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 is from Third World home fires. The study released in 2000 noted that a high source was the Indonesian peat fires in addition to home fires in Africa. The 2005 study noted a concentration in rural China.
      I am disappointed in the loss of the mission as it would have provided empirical evidence of the real sources of CO2 rather than having to suffer though Hansen and Mann computer models presented as data.

      • The really annoying thing is now were going to have to suffer another few years of ramped up uncensored Hansen alarmism so that NASA can justify another one going up.

      • At first I laughed but you are right. Raw Data is always good. I used to despise databases that fudged your data to conserve space … pi, mops, industrial sql … even when data storage was becoming cheap.
        So on that note I guess we’ll have to do more modeling in the absense of science. Ugh 🙁

    • “help us move our understanding forward on global warming” ??
      What’s there more to know? The science is sorted, remember?

      • Justified or not, this global warming thing has done a lot of harm to science, scientists and people proclaimed as experts. This fiasco will not quickly be forgotten by the general public who have been made to feel guilty for all of the wo’s of the world.

  1. Bummer – too bad about the satellite. I reckon Mann et al will have to get busy and “interpolate carefully instead of just using the back of an envelope” to create the data that the satellite would have provided.

  2. This is tragic. I sure hope they had a backup!
    Now, if I were ACTUALLY a conspiracy theorist… I’d suggest that they blew it up to prevent us from learning the truth…. However, I’m not. This is a major setback. Personally, I was looking forward to seeing the CO2 cycle being exposed in the same way that Argo bouys have demonstrated that the ocean is not heating up in some catastrophic manner.
    A bad week, indeed.

  3. 273 million for this project.Just think what the tax payer could have done with 273 MILLION to help in this recession the democrat’s brought on.Now before you say that was caused by President Bush remember, because the liberal media will never tell you this, the DEMOCRAT’S have been in control of congress since 2006 and they were the ones that said nothing was wrong with fannie and freddy .Go check you tube and look at the c- span .

    • Psst… terry46… we’re not supposed to notice the long hours and hard work they put into trashing the economy… it’s not PC to point out the obvious… much easier and lazier to just Blame Bush and continue the meme that he was the worst President ever… I swear, some of these people would have all the world’s firstborn killed if they thought it would advance their agendas…

    • Let’s see – fund one Air Force 1 trip for Obama, rebuild one school, and give everyone 15 cents.
      Alternatively, it employed a whole lot of skilled engineers and technicians in hundreds of companies, and the goods and services THOSE people bought while ALSO paying their payroll taxes were spread out among tens of thousands of people and shops and suppliers.
      On the whole, I’d rather see the money go to even a failed satellite shot (which will have been insured, BTW, so there’s essentially no loss other than time) than be passed to the black hole that’s Congress’s handling of the money supply any more…

      • You need to look up Bastiat’s “Broken Window Fallacy”.
        Additionally, the fact that the satellite was insured does not mean that no money was lost. It just means that the insurer, and by indirection all the people who buy insurance are out that money, instead of the taxpayers. (On the other hand, the two populations are almost identical.)

    • Actual data are a good thing, but would we have seen actual data. I expect we would have seen data after a few adjustments for this and that (and the other).

      • I don’t like to presume that people are going to fiddle with the data until it actually happens, and I don’t think it serves the purpose of this site to do so. We should presume that scientists will act like scientists until proven otherwise, not the reverse. Some of the groups responsible for other climate-related satellite data have been very responsive to issues with their data.

  4. I don’t know if this ultimately is a good thing or a bad thing to have happened. Of course, any additional data on fluxes is a good thing, but CO2 is so politicized that it would have been used first to advance the AGW agenda and then later to understand climate better. $273M is (well, used to be) a heft chunk of change and to get nothing for it is a shame. The models will just have to continue running on approximated data…

  5. If you want to predict future CO2 levels in the atmosphere, you can do this with a ruler and a Mauna Loa CO2 graph. It is cheaper and more accurate than the poor calculations which brought down the satellite.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7907570.stm
    “Our whole team, at a very personal level, is very disappointed in the events of this morning.”
    He added: “The fairing has considerable weight relative to the portion of the vehicle that’s flying. So when it separates off, you get a jump in acceleration. We did not have that jump in acceleration.
    “As a direct result of carrying that extra weight, we could not make orbit.”

    • The primary mission of the satellite was not to predict future CO2 levels at Mauna Loa, it was to study the carbon cycle over the entire world.
      Poor calculations (vis-a-vis fuel requirements) didn’t bring down the satellite, the failure to eject the fairing once above the atmosphere was the culprit. There’s little point in taking the fairing into orbit, as it would just add to the space debris already there and cost a lot of extra fuel, rocket size, etc.

      • Mary Hinge,
        The early news stories this morning did not describe the failure mechanism, and I misinterpreted the quote. My bad. You happy?
        Ric,
        Regardless of what the stated mission of the satellite was, you can make an accurate projection of future CO2 levels from the Mauna Loa data.

    • It was not poor calculations that brought down the satellite. It was the failure of the heat shield to seperate when it was supposed to. As a result the satellite was too heavy for the final stage to lift into orbit.

      • It’s obvious why it crashed, it didn’t have the power to burst through all that nasty, heavy, clagging carbon dioxide. If only it had never been built, just that small reduction in atmospheric CO2 would have been enough to allow it to fly.

      • Steve, am I happy the satellite launched failed?…definately not.
        Am I surprised you didn’t double check the facts before jumping to what is a quite ridiculous conclusion?…definately not.

  6. Since the science isn’t actually settled, we should all recognize the seriousness of this loss before we start the snarky comments about NASA’s lack of can-do.
    It’s possible this satellite might have told us more about the carbon cycle — where atmospheric CO2 really comes from and where it actually goes.
    From the description of what the OCO was supposed to do, I think it may have given us better measurements of the actual levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. I have always considered it ridiculous that we measure CO2 only at Mauna Loa and use that measurement as a global number.

    • I fully agree. Given the massive policy decisions being made, the cost of obtaining more data to improve the robustness of the economic decisions required is really a no brainer.
      What I found quite interesting though, is the admission that they’re not sure where 30% of man-made CO2 is going. Whether their models account for this 30%, or assume that the production to absorption is linear I’d love to know. Anyone?

    • John Galt.. Who are you?
      Note the quote in the article “giving us novel information to help us move our understanding forward on global warming,” Alan O’Neill,”
      Not ‘understanding of the earth’s climate’, but specifically ‘global warming’. Playing to his audience? Or an agenda? Dunno, but an interesting choice of words.
      -b

    • Who is John Galt? He is the hero of the Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, who more or less disengaged from a society in disarray.
      Sorry John. I have an email friend who has retired to Galt’s Gulch.
      The tragedy of the failed orbit is that the data will be denied to climatologists such as Dr. William Gray and Dr. Roy Spencer.

  7. It’s a conspiracy! It was shot down by Al Gore’s black helicopter to keep us from the truth! ::: inseert X-Files music here :::

  8. “Man-made CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is largely produced by power plants, vehicle engines and factories.”
    … and rockets. 😉

    • Are you sure?
      Although, no question that the industry responsible for creating something as advanced as a rocket (ie. mining, foundries, fabrication, transport) has emitted almost uncountable tons of CO2… but hey, we’ll just let that go.
      The actual rocket isn’t much of a CO2 emitter… then again, during the “Energy Crisis” of the 70s they shortened the Indy 500… as if the amount of fuel used by the racers was not massively dwarfed by the fuel used for the teams and fans to get to the track in the first place…
      Logic is not the strong point for alarmists…

    • There’s the problem, they rationed the fuel to avid excess emissions.
      Does anyone know what the missions of the two satellites which collided last week were?

      • Some use hydrogen and oxygen, others use kerosene, and some use more exotic stuff. The Shuttle burns hydrogen (that was a hydrogen tank that blew up) but it’s boosters burn ammonium perchlorate and aluminum and make a pretty light tan smoke trail.
        Don’t know what kind of rocket they used for this launch. Bummer at any rate.

    • As opposed to the non-man-made CO2 which doesn’t trap heat and is largely produced by non-evil things?
      Of course they couldn’t have left off the “man-made” because then it couldn’t have been followed by “is largely produced by power plants, vehicle engines and factories” It would have had to say: “CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is largely produced by the environment.
      G

    • ” .. Man-made CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere .. ”

      Only “Man-made CO2” traps heat in the atmosphere? hmmm…

  9. It seems odd that there are still those who say the ‘science is settled’ when they launched a spacecraft designed to operate for many years trying to gather new data so that some additional science could be brought to bear on some of the remaining unanswered questions.
    It sure sounds like we lost a significant opportunity in data collection capability…

    • Jim, I like your comment. It is very simple and logical. If the science is settled then why do we need more data. Yesterday in Mechanics Illustrated there was an article about the satellite. I have include a paragraph below where a particulat statement caught my eye.
      “Only 40 percent of the carbon humans have emitted since 1750—a whopping 466 billion tons—remains in the atmosphere. The destination of the remaining 60 percent CO2 vexes atmospheric researchers. “We can’t figure out exactly where it’s going,” says Mike Miller, vice president of science and technology satellite programs for Orbital Sciences, which built the observatory. The missing portion presumably has been absorbed by carbon sinks, Miller says—oceans and land-based vegetation that sequester, or take in, carbon from the atmosphere. “It’s the way the Earth breathes,” Millers says. About half of the missing carbon has been traced to the oceans, but scientists have an incomplete understanding of how land sequesters the other half. If the observatory can locate the missing carbon sinks, he says, it could not only help climate modelers more accurately predict how fast the Earth will warm, but it would indicate which natural areas are in need of the greatest protection.”
      The sentence towards the end “it could not only help climate modelers more accurately predict how fast the Earth will warm” tells me that this is an admission that they have to really twist the parameters to get the models to predict reasonably because something is out of balance. If something is lost then they have to compensate with an artificial compensation. This is an admission to what I believe most informed modellers (and that includes those outside the climate modelling circle) believe that all the physics are not accounted for and there is a lot of analytical guestimation and simplification of complex systems.
      I would rather have seen the 273 million be devoted to developing one climate model from scratch and have it done to standards that are used in other industries. Making predictions from ensembles of models like has been done just shows that none of them work.
      Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. I feel better now.

      • I’d like to see the money spent on natural global warming research. If we fund both sides of the issue, I’ll bet we see less support among researchers for the AGW banner.

      • So, 40% of the CO2 we’ve put into the atmosphere is persistent for 250 years is it? Is there something particularly sticky about “man-made” CO2 we don’t know about? The whole statement from whomever reeks of garbage science.

      • We don’t have to know EVERYTHING about our climate know that, in all probability, human activity is mostly responsible for recent warming. We can at the same time know this to be true, and yet still be searching for answers about climate change. This is especially true, given that most arguments against anthropogenic global warming are the result of a misunderstanding of the very basics of how our climate system works.
        I’m not sure why it has to be that the scientists are “compensating with an artificial compensation”. We know how much is emitted and how much is in the atmosphere. Is it not sensible to assume that the most probable carbon sinks are absorbing the missing CO2?

      • I second John Galt.
        Natural climate change is far more interesting & causes more variation than we ever could.
        It would be really good if we could predict what is really going to happen or at least make a reasonable guess.
        We know we can’t control it but it’s best we prepare for the right thing, either way, hot or cold.
        DaveE.

      • Reasic (12:24:09) :

        . . . in all probability, human activity is mostly responsible for recent warming.

        Really? Interesting hypothesis. How do you know this?
        /Mr Lynn

  10. The cynic in me would be concerned that it would report biased data. The story seems to be the usual foregone conclusion – particularly the part about “the data being gleaned from the satellite was intended to help guide government global-warming policy”, and the paragraph that follows that assumes the default AGW scenario. While hopefully the data acquisition algorithms (gawd, how that word has changed!) were free of skew, how would we know?
    This is the legacy of Hansen, Mann et al. Millions to acquire to data with little confidence in it.

  11. Yes, really a sad moment there for science… I suppose there were a lot of sensors on that guy, so he could have brought loads of info…
    I noticed some people are complaining about the cost… $273 millions can you imagine how much every American paid for this?
    Oh, 90 cents really? Ok…

    • Flanagan,
      That is 90 cents on top of the $3,000/capita from last week’s “stimulus” package. Isn’t it fun spending other people’s money?
      Schoolteachers should explain to children that society is stealing trillions of dollars from their future, in order to pretend to be protecting them from an increase of 0.00005 in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

      • Steven,
        Could you explain this calculation for me? My understanding is that CO2 has increased from about 284 ppm to 384 ppm, which would be more like a 35% increase.

      • Reasic,
        50ppm is 0.00005. If the US ceased to emit any CO2, the impact would be less than that over the next century.

      • Ah, so you’re not comparing apples to apples… got it. You’re comparing the carbon dioxide versus the entire atmosphere, because it looks so much smaller that way! GOSH! How could such a small thing make such a big impact! /sarcasm

      • “Ah, so you’re not comparing apples to apples… got it. You’re comparing the carbon dioxide versus the entire atmosphere, because it looks so much smaller that way! GOSH! How could such a small thing make such a big impact! /sarcasm”
        Not as though the actual increase calculated from CO2 & the ‘projected’ increase bears any relationship.
        Disputed feedbacks come to mind anyone?
        DaveE.

    • The AIRS gives the CO snapshots at the lowest of 5000meters. The new satellites, the destroyed one and the GOSAT of Japan that was launched in January successfully, would be reporting on the ground CO2.
      As Beck has shown, there are large variations in the measurements of ground level CO2, much larger than the sanitized versions of Mauna Loa and company.

  12. I really wonder what the impact of this satellite would have been had the launch been a success. I wonder if the data would have been liberating or manipulated to toe the line on AGW. I guess there’s not much of a point in spending to much energy pondering this further!

  13. A sad day for the OCO mission. The data loss will be deeply felt.
    Also a sad day for OSC’s Taurus XL with its 75% track record. The failure was attributed to lack of payload fairing detachment though which could have any number of reasons.

  14. Scientists hoped to use the data to find out how much CO2 is absorbed by the forests, grasslands and oceans, which are collectively known as “sinks.”

    If they don’t know what forests, grasslands, and oceans are doing then how are they predicting what they’re going to do? What data are they putting in their models if they don’t know how forests, grasslands, and oceans behave?

    • My understanding is that they have to “correct” the co2 data at Mauna Loa when the wind blows air up from the woods and fields below.

  15. That’s a shame. Am I correct in thinking that the CO2/C/O2 cycle is poorely understood quantitatively. This would have help nail it down. Does anyone ahve any links?

  16. “helping scientists predict future increases in the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. ”
    But they said it was supposed to measure CO2 not water vapor ?
    Maybe they should have bought more carbon offsets.

      • Reasic – you’re only half right. Additional C O 2 warms the atmosphere slightly, allowing it to hold more water vapor which in turn warms the atmosphere more, making it a positive feedback of the additional C O 2 (IPCC). However, water vapor is a so-called greenhouse gas in its own right and is the most potent of the greenhouse gases, accounting for around 70% (I believe that’s the correct per centage) of the normal greenhouse effect on earth.

      • Said Reasic:
        “Yes, Fred. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. Water vapor is a feedback.”
        According to Working Group 1 of the IPCC, the total greenhouse effect is 324 watts/meter^2. It’s in the cartoon from Trenberth and Kiehl, showing the earth-atmosphere radiation budget.
        According to the same people, this greenhouse effect warms the earth by 33 C (59F). (Commonly cited in textbooks.)
        And, according to the same people, the” total radiative forcing” (their term) due to ALL manmade greenhouse gas is 1.6 watts/meter^2. That’s a whole lot less than 324 W/M^2. Using the proportionality of 324W/M^2 to 33 deg C, that total manmade greenhouse gas is responsible for 0.16 C (0.3 F).
        So I don’t understand how 1.6 W/M^2 of manmade warming is due to the “main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming” and 322.4 W/M^2 due to the natural greenhouse effect (which includes a tiny amount of natural CO2) is “feedback.”
        Would Reasic please explain how a flea on the tail wags the dog? A reference would be much appreciated.
        Richard Savage

      • “According to Working Group 1 of the IPCC, the total greenhouse effect is 324 watts/meter^2. It’s in the cartoon from Trenberth and Kiehl, showing the earth-atmosphere radiation budget.”
        That isn’t the greenhouse effect, that’s backradiation which in large part would exist with or without a greenhouse effect.

  17. re: “the satellite “landed just short of Antarctica”
    I can see the ironic headline, “CRASHING CO2 SATELLITE MELTS ANTARCTIC ICE”

    • Even funnier…”Doomed Global Warming Satellite Crashes in Record High Antarctic Ice”
      par⋅a⋅dox
         /ˈpærəˌdɒks/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [par-uh-doks] Show IPA Pronunciation
      –noun
      1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
      LOL

  18. How much more money are we going to keep wasting on this grossly exagerated hoax… man made global warming.
    Enough is enough.

  19. the conspiracist in me says they blew it up themselves because they know it would prove their figures were lying, and thereby stop nasa getting its money from the government.
    the realist says it is a blow, to have the facts dashed out of our hands.. that we need some proof, that we are right. of course even if it was in orbit (i dont know the sensors), but it wouldnt sample the entire planet of c02, or global warming. if it was global warming with this new set of sensors, dedicated to this data gathering.. then it could only say its right from here to here..
    (and the comment about insurance, it means insurance companies will have to pay out, which means the agencies ned to make that money back either by scking staff, or increasing polices..)

    • The counter to that of course is that Exxon had it blown up because it would have revealed the truth…

  20. Sometimes fate has a way of helping. If this satellite had been used in any way to bolster the case for AGW, it’s probably better that it burned up.

  21. “It’s disappointing because it was giving us novel information to help us move our understanding forward on global warming,” Alan O’Neill, science director of the Reading, U.K.- based Centre for Earth Observation, said in an interview.
    The rocket’s stated mission was thus in the service of AGW pseudoscience and not science. It would have been one step forward for AGW, and one giant step backward for science, and for all mankind. Good riddance, I say.

    • It may have been ‘karma’. The potential data could have been mis-used, would have, just look at what is done with other data. However, having data is better than not having it. The satellite would have been asking the atmosphere; “What is going on here with CO2 ?” We should never be afraid of asking a question for fear that we will not like the answer.
      Besides, without the ‘intent’ to prove severe anthropogenic climate change do you think the mission would have been funded?

  22. It was sent up to ‘study’ CO2 forcing.
    “helping scientists predict future increases in the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.”
    The data was to be used specifically for that purpose.
    Predetermined outcome is to predict feedback mechanisms of an overheating Earth giving off more CO2.
    The assumption is that the Earth is warming, not cooling, and that more & more CO2 will be released by the oceans, etc. in an acclererating feedback loop.
    How is that science if the question of warming/cooling is not settled?

    • I think the purpose was to study carbon sinks and their respective capacities, which would help us correlate future carbon emissions to future atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

  23. First, why do we need such a satellite? Isn’t the science settled? The debate over?
    Second, anybody else see the irony of a global warming satellite crashing near the antarctic … where ice levels are at a 30 year high?

  24. We need a satellite that measures the Earth’s albedo to complement those that measure the energy input from the sun. We would know the energy balance and where we are going, without the need for models. Models could then be used to explain the results instead of predicting them.

  25. JLawson:
    Government satellites, both military and civilian, are never insured. Oh, the government “insures” it, but ultimately any losses are passed on to the taxpayers.
    tallbloke:
    Cosmos 2251 was a dead Russian communications satellite, and Iridium 33 was an active communications satellite for global cell phone service.

  26. This should have been named the Carbon Tax Satellite.
    Here is the mission description:
    http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/
    Translation:
    Find out who is producing CO2, and tax them!
    Cap-and Trade, Tax, and no way to check for
    “Sensor Drift!”
    I’m sorry; I just don’t trust them anymore.

  27. That does it!
    I’m having another thick juicy steak this week, and with a bottle of semi-dry Australian red wine transported all the way from Australia.

  28. “The rocket’s stated mission was thus in the service of AGW pseudoscience and not science. It would have been one step forward for AGW, and one giant step backward for science, and for all mankind. Good riddance, I say.” Excellent stuff!
    They should give this kind of money to real scientist to study real problems. None of this phoney science, less of this PC ‘global warming’ hoax.
    Lefties are always spending money on fake issues.

    • Very good! I also noticed that. But unless you knew what to look for you would think by all the detail in it that it was quite accurate. Of course it is not. It has only a computer generated illusion of accuracy.

  29. A disaster. The satellite probably would have brought the “truth” regarding CO2.
    I have a hard time believing that we can impact atmospheric CO2 concentration meaningfully by changing our energy habits (since the human contribution is so small compared to the natural one). However, whatever the “truth” is — the “truth” is what I wanted to know.

    • I see a lot of this misunderstanding on this blog. The comparison of natural vs. man-made carbon emissions is irrelevant. So many “skeptical” arguments focus on totals, rather than changes.
      Before the industrial revolution, the planet’s carbon cycle was largely in balance. Then, as man began to emit carbon dioxide, an excess began to build because the carbon sinks could not keep up. Now, we are in a situation in which the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by 35%. This increase is due to the addition of human emissions, not an increase in natural emissions.

      • Nope. A good portion of the CO2 increase is from natural emissions — caused by warming — which is caused by natural cycles in the ocean and in the sun.

      • I see, the CO2 increase couldn’t be due to the ocean warming up and not absorbing as much CO2 ( Henry’s law). Is an increase from .0285% to .0384% of the atmospheric volume really a 35% increase?

      • Seems to me the burden of proof is yours, Reasic. You’ve made an unsupported claim that atmospheric CO2 buildup is the result of human activity. Apparently you are not aware of the difference between your desire to believe this, and any sort of evidence. We deal with science here, not belief systems.
        Personally, I’d like to see how you explain CO2 sinks (which include plants and oceanic algae) that never increase their capacity. If you have an ideal location with food and water and no predators, a rabbit population will grow until they start dying of starvation. It’s no different with algae and plants. That’s part of what LIFE is…
        The fact that LIFE is involved in atmospheric gas regulation ensures that sinks are effectively infinite, if required.

      • Reasic (12:47:50) :
        I see a lot of this misunderstanding on this blog. The comparison of natural vs. man-made carbon emissions is irrelevant. So many “skeptical” arguments focus on totals, rather than changes.
        Before the industrial revolution, the planet’s carbon cycle was largely in balance. Then, as man began to emit carbon dioxide, an excess began to build because the carbon sinks could not keep up. Now, we are in a situation in which the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by 35%. This increase is due to the addition of human emissions, not an increase in natural emissions.
        What you state is BS (Bad Science).
        There is NO such thing as a CO2 Balance.
        There is a minimum where plant life suffers starvation > 200 ppm (and we have been close to this level).
        As CO2 levels increased so did the total amount of biosphere and this will continue. More CO2 simply means a more abundant plantlife, better crops, healthier plants.
        Having an abundance of CO2 available is a life insurance.

      • Maybe you should read up on the longer term CO2 levels and the correlation to temperature as I don’t see the “balance” that you speak of:
        “http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html#anchor147264”
        Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were hot- approximately 20° C (68° F). However, cooling during the Middle Carboniferous reduced average global temperatures to about 12° C (54° F). As shown on the chart below, this is comparable to the average global temperature on Earth today!
        Similarly, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm (parts per million), but by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm — comparable to average CO2 concentrations today!
        Earth’s atmosphere today contains about 380 ppm CO2 (0.038%). Compared to former geologic times, our present atmosphere, like the Late Carboniferous atmosphere, is CO2- impoverished! In the last 600 million years of Earth’s history only the Carboniferous Period and our present age, the Quaternary Period, have witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm.
        Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time
        “http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif”width=660>
        Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time (315 mya — 270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600 million years when both atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were as low as they are today (Quaternary Period ).
        There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.
        The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.

      • Reasic is correct, the evidence is overwhelming that virtually all of the recent co2 rise is due to human activities.
        Warming oceans do emit more co2, but the oceans role in the 20th century has been to absorb more co2 than it emits, so it has actually limited the amount of rise due to human emissions rather than complement it.

  30. I can see it now:
    “The failure of the fairing separation is believed to be caused by unanticipated high temperatures in the upper layers of the atmosphere. The high temperatures caused expansion of the material around the gasket, preventing it from fully deatching. The satellite has become a casualty of global warming.”
    I have an informal $5 bet with a coworker that someone in NASA is going to blame this on AGW

    • Funny…and btw, I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist, but I have a $5 bet (unprovable) that there was a fingernail punture in that fairing.
      JimB

  31. “NASA said on the mission Web site.
    “If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become less efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would increase.””
    Nice spin, eh? Would it not be just as accurate to say
    “If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become MORE efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would DEcrease.”?

    • No, that would not be as accurate. The trend so far has been that as the sinks absorb more carbon dioxide, they have become less efficient. There is a limit to their capacity, as witnessed by their inability to trap all of the extra carbon dioxide that has been emitted by humans, thereby resulting in a 35% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

      • Virtual science, designed by consumption-detesting enviornmentally-conscious marketing types with Wharton MBAs.

  32. The cynic in me thinks the Global Warming leaders did not want this bird up there to disprove their hoax. Push the RED button…

  33. Uhmmm is this our first satellite launch, I thought we had this one pretty much figured out. I mean really how many times have you heard “if we can put a man on the moon” in regards to Global Warming.
    How much confidence do you have now?
    Just a thought…

    • Sorry, we can’t put a man on the moon. We used to be able to, but that was nearly 40 years ago.
      Besides, the early rocket launches blew up, we’re doing better in that regard, but satellite launches don’t become routine until we start launching multiple copies of the same satellite, e.g. Iridium or GPS.

  34. Dateline 2-24-2009
    James Hansen, Nobel Peace Prize recipient announces that the cause of the failed orbital insertion of the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory was due to Global Warming. The elevated temperatures experienced by the launch vehicle caused the faring to bind, directly causing this incident. “It is as if the atmospheric carbon dioxide knew that this would detrimental to it’s continued existence and caused the malfunction to protect itself.” quote Hansen.
    In all seriousness I was hoping for the data to flow from this instrument. It is too bad that it was not successful.

  35. I have the missing carbon sinks growing all over my 5 acres here in So. CA. It’s called chaparral brush, and it’s near impossible to kill it by slashing or with droughts, floods, cold or fire. This stuff grows year-round, summer and winter. You can almost see it sucking up the CO2, don’t need a satellite to figure this one out.

    • And it can suck up way more C02 than our current atmosphere has. Has anyone calculated how much C02 forests could breathe in if given the opportunity? Travel north from Winnipeg, Manitoba, using google earth and see how much forest there is on your way to Hudson’s bay. Split that distance in half and then travel east to west across Canada (her midsection) to get an idea of the amount of forest there is in Canada alone. The amount of lakes in northern Manitoba is also quite amazing, as well.

    • I have to buy CO2 to help the plants in my aquarium grow. I raise to CO2 level in my aquarium to 30ppm to keep the algae at bay. I go through a 10lb bottle every 6 months. The plants really like the extra CO2 and grow like mad. The reduction of the PH caused by the CO2 injection doesn’t effect the snails or shrimp either I have a healthy colony of both living in the tank.

  36. People nowadays take everything for granted.
    The space industry is a risky business.
    The insurance company will pay for the loss.
    They will find out what caused the failure and make another try.
    That’s it.
    I am looking forward to the next launch.

  37. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but isn’t seem a little more than just coincidence that when the globe is starting to cool, 2 of the satellites that might confirm that Global Warming is over suddenly aren’t working????

  38. Re:Hitler’s Vegitarianisum : I remember a fight over the FDR memorial in Flagstaff Az. See, it showed FDR with his signature cigarette
    holder.That was too much for the environmentally correct crowd.So, a local offered this A comteporary of FDR was A. a non smoker,B.Loved Animals and Children(ok, blonde blue eyed ones) and was really, really concerned about population control….

  39. “If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become less efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would increase.”
    No amount of hardware can cure stupidity.

  40. What abut the Japanese IBUKI satellite launched in January to observe greenhouse gasses? Does anyone know of any news of findings yet?

  41. “An improved understanding of carbon sinks is essential to predicting future carbon-dioxide increases and making accurate predictions of carbon dioxide’s impact on Earth’s climate,” NASA said on the mission Web site. “If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become less efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would increase.”
    Yes indeed
    Atmospheric increase = 3.2 (±0.2)
    Emissions from fossil fuels +6.3 (±0.4)
    Net emissions from changes in land use + 2.2 (±0.8)
    Oceanic uptake – 2.4 (±0.7)
    Missing carbon (sink) – 2.9 (±1.1)
    (one Pg [petagram]=one billion metric tonnes=1000 x one billion kg)

  42. “Man-made CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is largely produced by power plants, vehicle engines and factories.”
    Natural emissions of CO2 obviously do not trap heat in the atmosphere in the opinion expressed in the above example of begging the question.

    • Sure, natural carbon emissions also technically trap heat, but it is the addition of human emissions that is the cause for the increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and therefore, the CHANGE in heat trapped. Take out human emissions, and there would be no increase to cause global warming. Therefore, it is “man-made CO2” that is the focus. Not begging the question — just stating fact.

      • Well he’s definitely a ‘believer’. We’re mostly non-believers here, Gaia-rapists, hopelessly addled by red meat. You should see DA’s launch, picture in a Tim Blair contest some months back.

      • It may seem unproven to one who has not looked objectively for information on the subject. Have you followed the research on varying carbon isotopes in the atmosphere? Do you really think it’s just a coincidence that CO2 concentrations shot up to the highest level in 650,000 years at the same time that man began emitting carbon dioxide?

      • And the sun has no effect I suppose? It is all about CO2. Dihydrogen Monoxide is far worse. It should be banned.

      • The ratio of natural CO2 emissions to man-made CO2 emissions according to the DOE as of October, 2000, was 5.76 to 1. Is there some reason to believe that natural CO2 emissions ceased as of October, 2000? I seriously doubt that natural emissions of CO2 have ceased to contribute to the increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Nature is not a static system as some would believe. Of the increase of CO2 concentration of 2 ppm per year, only 0.35 ppm is man-made. Any temperature increase due to that amount is miniscule.

      • Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of frequencies, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM). This means that most of the heat producing radiation escapes it. About 8% of the available black body radiation is picked up by these “fingerprint” frequencies of CO2.
        Heinz Hug* showed that carbon dioxide in the air absorbs to extinction at its 15µM peak in about ten meters. This means that CO2 does whatever it’s going to do in that amount of space. Twice as much CO2 would do the same thing in about 5m. There’s no significant difference between 5m and 10m for global warming, because convectional currents mix the air in such short distances.
        But humans could not double the CO2, because they only put 3% of the CO2 in the air. If they put twice as much in, it would do whatever it does in 9.7m instead of 10m. If humans stopped putting any CO2 in the air, it would do whatever it does in 10.3m instead of 10m. In other words, nothing humans do with CO2 could be of the slightest relevance to global warming, even if oceans were not regulating it.
        http://nov55.com/ntyg.html
        http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm

      • Again Reasic is correct.
        Nature cleans up it’s own carbon emissions. Ie it absorbs as much as it emits. So it doesn’t matter than nature emits 100000x more than man (or whatever the number is), it’s cleaning that up and so co2 level would remain stable.
        Enter human emissions and now you have more going into the atmosphere than coming out, so co2 rises. Rises dramatically – a 33% increase in the past 200 years to levels not seen for over 650,000 years.
        People quoting “human co2 emissions are only 3% of natural emissions” are either deliberately or unintentionally misleading.

  43. Just curious about something for the scientists out their to answer:
    From this previous story
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/16/earths-ionosphere-drops-to-a-new-low/
    And from this posted by Stephen Goddard above:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7907570.stm
    “Our whole team, at a very personal level, is very disappointed in the events of this morning.”
    He added: “The fairing has considerable weight relative to the portion of the vehicle that’s flying. So when it separates off, you get a jump in acceleration. We did not have that jump in acceleration.
    “As a direct result of carrying that extra weight, we could not make orbit.”
    The upper layers of the atmosphere have compressed significantly due to the solar minimum and lack of solar UV and ion radiation, correct.
    Could this compression of upper atmosphere affect the amount of friction drag at different altitutudes, which could have affected the lauch in anyway, such as projected speeds, velocities, ambient tempuratures, trajection, or other factors, etc?

  44. They should have a backup but it seems they don’t. Backups help when debugging and/or correcting malfunctions of the satellite in orbit.
    And building two doesn’t cost twice as much.
    No conspiracy, satellite launches still have a high failure rate. It used to be 50% and maybe it is only 1% now. But if your brakes failed 1% of the time you would call that a high failure rate.

  45. Someone earlier asked where the ‘unknown 60% of co2 goes to’.
    That is a question I’ve often asked-perhaps into sinks but then I hear intriguing suggestions that it ‘leaks’ into space eventually. When I investigated further I understood that co2 can ‘leak’ if it obtains sufficient velocity and becomes attached to another molecule but that was dependent on a number of unexplained factors. It would be good if anyone here could give a simple answer-are there any circumstances whereby co2 leak into space? If so how much of the total ‘we’ produce has disappeared in this manner?
    tonyB

  46. CO2 Absorption Spectrum
    There is no Valid Mechanism for CO2 Creating Global Warming
    http://nov55.com/ntyg.html
    Scientists who promote the global warming hype try to work around this fact by claiming something different happens higher in the atmosphere, which they claim involves unsaturation. The difference due to height is that the absorption peaks get smaller and sharper, so they separate from each other. Near the earth’s surface, the absorption peaks for water vapor partially overlap the absorption peaks for CO2. Supposedly, in some obfuscated way, separating the peaks creates global warming. There is no real logic to that claim. It is nothing but an attempt to salvage global warming propaganda through obfuscation of complexities.
    ————————————
    The Climate Catastrophe
    – A Spectroscopic Artifact?
    by Dr. Heinz Hug
    Laboratory measurements of the infrared absorption of carbon dioxide using an FT-IR spectrometre suggest that the radiative forcing for CO2 doubling must be much less than assumed by climate scientists until now. A reduction factor of 80 is likely.

  47. It is a shame that the OCO satellite failed. This satellite would come closer to solving the theory of staying strength of CO2 in the lower and upper troposphere.
    To date, we have to rely on the measurements from the Keeling Towers. Problem with the towers is that it is one location. CO2 measurements are based on the theory of algorithms. Allocating CO2 measurements in a grid form based on a number of distributions. This is only estimates and assumptions. A shame that these measurements were used by IPCC.
    NASA satellite Aura recorded the density of water vapors in the atmospheres. This indicated the tremendous effects that water vapors have on the distribution of CO2s. CO2s, meaning nature/anthropogenics are difficult to separate. This is a failure of Keeling.

  48. Could this failed launch be the result of the newly discovered
    hangorchu effect; more commonly known as “be careful watt you wish for”

  49. Not to despair. The Japanese satellite seems on track.
    http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/index_e.html
    Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (GOSAT)
    “First Light” Acquired by Onboard Sensors
    February 9, 2009 (JST)
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that we successfully acquired the “First Light” by the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (GOSAT) during the course of its initial functional check. The data was acquired by the onboard sensors of the IBUKI, the Fourier Transform Spectrometer (TANSO-FTS) and the Cloud and Aerosol Imager (TANSO-CAI), which were just activated. The IBUKI was launched by JAXA at 12:54 p.m. on January 23, 2009, (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. Its initial functional check, including checking the attitude control system and communication system, has been carried out on schedule, and the satellite is in good condition.
    The attached diagrams and images show the observation results by the TANSO FTS and TANSO-CAI when the IBUKI passed over Japan at around 1:00 p.m. on February 7, 2009 (JST).

    http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2009/02/20090209_ibuki_e.html

  50. The OCO satellite took eight years to build so work started in 2001 whilst we were still in the warming phase. Now we are cooling, it would be bad for AGW to show that CO2 had either been on the rise (no CO2 forcing) or fall (no AGW link).
    That superglue on the fairing worked well for AGW, lets all just forget about actually measuring CO2 and get back on message.
    The science is settled.

  51. Here is the web site missing from my previous post.
    —————————–
    The Climate Catastrophe
    – A Spectroscopic Artifact?
    by Dr. Heinz Hug
    http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm
    Laboratory measurements of the infrared absorption of carbon dioxide using an FT-IR spectrometre suggest that the radiative forcing for CO2 doubling must be much less than assumed by climate scientists until now. A reduction factor of 80 is likely.

  52. It was obvious that the whole AGW/ CO2 theory wasn’t ‘fairing’ well. In reality it didn’t fly !!!
    Now as part of the carbon sink on the ocean floor there is a fitting end !

  53. It is my understanding (reported on NPR this afternoon) that the Japanese already have a satellite with similar equiptment doing a similar job already.

  54. I find it rather ironic that NASA, through its Goddard Institute for Space Studies spends a lot effort studying earth’s climate, surely tangential to their basic mission statement, and yet cannot put a satellite safely into orbit. It’s as if they’ve lost their mojo.

  55. From the WSJ
    “Scientists lamented the loss of the global warming satellite”
    Does this mean the satellite would cause global warming?
    Perhaps the humanization of technology by scientists should be discussed?
    I am really starting to wonder about our society as a whole…
    Seriously I hope that its “failure to launch” will simply allow for the deployment of another more comprehensive ( and expensive) replacement and perhaps with a longer term monitoring project, The US is writing “blanks cheques” for climate change so spend away NASA worker bees, stimulate the economy please!

  56. Even without the satellite we can still rely on the NASA simulations of the data to write our scientific papers, can’t we?

  57. Reasic (12:51:25)

    “The trend so far has been that as the sinks absorb more carbon dioxide, they have become less efficient.”

    Got a citation for that?

  58. I’m disappointed. I really am.
    But gotta tell ya, someone on TWC last night actually said it was going to study sources and “so-called” carbon sinks.
    What is ‘so-called’ about carbon sinks? LOL

    • What is ’so-called’ about carbon sinks?
      The IPCC cannot account for around 30% of emissions annually,(where they go to)

      • All that means is that they don’t completely understand the nature (pun?) of carbon sinks, not that they don’t know whether such a thing as carbon sinks exist.

    • It is “so-called” because they don’t know what they are. It is like dark matter except less well defined as to where the CO2 is going.
      How about this, maybe there is a mistake in the CO2 estimation and they are over guesstimating so they are looking for a Phantom Sink. The CO2 concentration is not uniform vertically and areally so how does one integrate volume and obtain an accurate answer. The same thing goes for the average temperature of the atmosphere.

  59. More than likely that was not it’s real mission. To claim it was for global warming data collection just get them off the hook. No questions asked.

  60. Neil Crafter (12:59:21) :
    I find it rather ironic that NASA, through its Goddard Institute for Space Studies spends a lot effort studying earth’s climate, surely tangential to their basic mission statement, and yet cannot put a satellite safely into orbit. It’s as if they’ve lost their mojo.

    Space launches have always been a bit risky. Our overall success rate since 1957 is 93.6% of launches successfully insert the payload into its intended orbit. So we lose on average about 1 payload out of every 16 launches. For almost 20 years India had failures on about half of their launch attempts
    http://www.aero.org/publications/crosslink/winter2001/03_table_1.html
    It is too bad they lost that bird but certainly not unexpected.
    Larry

  61. Well as a Taxpayer at both the Federal and now newly exhorbitant CA State level, I consider it a giant waste of 273 million dollars. They build a fancy machine, and they can’t get the celophane wrapping to peel off properly.
    So what is the carbon footprint of that fiasco.
    But in any case; remember what it was going to be used for; to figure out where the carbon dioxide comes and goes from (thought that was settled).
    Has it dawned on anybody, that even putting such a satellite in orbit suggests that there is a presupposition that the source of the CO2 matters.
    That is the fallacy. If CO2 plays no major role at all in earth climate; whereas Water, the main GHG does; then who the blazes cares where the CO2 comes and goes from/to.
    The AGWers keep telling us they know it is fossil carbon because they can tell real carbon from fossil carbon by the C13/C12 signature or the C14/C12 signature; or that atmospheric O2 is declining proving that combustion is happeneing.
    So is not firewood, peat, coal cow dung, and so on all biological carbon of the good natural kind that doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for 200-1000 years like the manmade fossil carbon comes from oil wells or maybe natural gas.
    This satellite would simply have been a diversion; ok the data would be nice to have if you don’t have anything better to do with your time and my tax money; but I would rather see the money spent establishing that it is water and the ocean/cloud sytem that is in total control of the earth’s mean surface temperature, and CO2 plus all the other GHGs add a negligible amount to the total GHG molecules, which are mostly water that absorbs over a much wider total energy spectral range than all the other GHGs combined.
    So let’s get back to the main problem; showing that CO2 is quite innocent of global warming; the total global daily temperature range still spans a range of at least 120 deg C and can be as much as 150 deg C, so who cares about a 1/2 degree change in 100 years.
    I finally figured out the fallacy of GISStemp and HadCRUT, while reading a bunch of nonsense over at the Wonkroom.
    Quite apart from the scandalous sloppiness that Anthony has exposed in the official stations with their errant owl boxes; the entire process is an exercise in self delusion.
    Now I do believe those places are useful to weather forecasters; but remember that climate is “The long term average of weather” and as we were told last year the wild Jan 2007 to jan 2008 GISStemp anomaly drop, isn’t significant; it’s just weather because a year does not a climate make.
    So why doesn’t Hansen just give us one number for the long term average of the weather which climate is supposed to be, instead of the graphs which he passes off as climate.
    Just asking.
    George

  62. Reasic (14:33:46), did you even read Dr. Hug’s experiment? Any of it? At all?
    It is only your opinion that the experiment cited is, in your words, “bogus,” but that means nothing at all.
    I suspect that what bothers you is the experiment’s Summary:

    Laboratory measurements of the infrared absorption of carbon dioxide using an FT-IR spectrometre suggest that the radiative forcing for CO2 doubling must be much less than assumed by climate scientists until now. A reduction factor of 80 is likely.

    Replicate the experiment described, and show us where Dr. Hug went wrong. If you can. In other words, falsify the experiment. That’s how science is done.

  63. As often happens in a situation like this, there will be other opportunity to fly the sensor package or one like it on another satellite.
    There is enough demand for this type of data that that I’m sure they will find another opportunity to either modify a satellite that is in the planning stage or build and launch a replica of this satellite.
    They may have built a second set of sensors for ground calibration so a re flight may not be too much of a problem.

  64. Do not bother engaging Reasic in a debate. You cannot argue with a True Believer(tm). I tried on his blog briefly and found nothing but regurgitaion of ReallywrongClimate bilge.
    Stop feeding him, and he’ll go away…

  65. I can’t imagine what James Hasen would have done with 500,000 CO2 data points per day.
    First, the code to handle it would be full of nothing but errors. Second, there would be all kinds of “adjustments” needed for the data. Third, it would produce results that are five or six times higher than the IPCC. Fourth, the Nature paper describing the results would have “dangerous climate change is 101% proven” in it two dozen times.
    I’ll take the Japanese satellite data thank you.
    Why would they launch a satellite that can only collect three years worth of data?
    Something as complicated as CO2 concentrations across the planet and across the height of the atmosphere would require 10 years of data to form adequate conclusions. The data even depends on things like El Ninos and La Ninas since CO2 growth is affected by temperature.

  66. A bit of a worry re AMSU recent rise (was this possibly an artifact?). BTW amsu temperatures now back to 2007 levels (cooling) or below. Maybe D Archibalds predictions (which seem to be ALL coming true re solar ect) that April May may be 0.4 c below may come to pass! (Correct if wrong thanks)
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

  67. OT: I don’t know if it’s been noticed, but there’s a sun spotlet. It’s at about 10:45 (320 degrees-ish) and 60% of the way out from center.

  68. I know I’m late to the party, but this has REALLY been a bad week for Climate Doomsdayer’s. Al Gore has had to pull a misleading slide from his doom and gloom presentation. OK. That’s progress. Now if we can just get him to cut all the misleading information from “An Inconvenient Truth”, well, would there be anything left to show besides the flattering cinematography and hokey hero worship of Al Gore… by Al Gore????

  69. “Man-made CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is largely produced by power plants, vehicle engines and factories.”
    Interesting that “man-made CO2” traps heat in the atmosphere. The stuff that comes from brush fires in areas where brush clearing isn’t allowed apparently behaves differently than that pesky man-made stuff. And here all this time I was laboring under the illusion that the carbon and oxygen atoms on this planet were put here by God and that we are neither making nor destroying any of them…

      • Dammit. When will you ignoramuses learn that, ONLY USofA & EU generated CO2 is BAD?
        I’m so tired of this misconception that CO2 per-sé is bad, it really isn’t true!
        Ask any member of Greenpeace! They will put you right.
        DaveE.

  70. The Sun also launched something today: A whiter shade of sunspeck. Only it sucessfully ejected the stage shield which can be seen on the Mt. Wilson drawing today as a minor sunspeck. It’s in lower Sun orbit which is why the thing is so ghostly pale.
    The Sun mocks us.
    So, you think you control the heat, eh?

  71. These numbers about CO2 concentrations really are mind-numbingly confusing.
    A previous poster said:-
    ‘Could you explain this calculation for me? My understanding is that CO2 has increased from about 284 ppm to 384 ppm, which would be more like a 35% increase.’
    Not sure over how long a period this increase has occurred – but I’ll guestimate since 1850- about 150 years ~ 0.75 ppm per annum.
    Given that the veracity of the quote above is undisputable and, as as a given that man, currently, contributes approx 3% of CO2 content to the atmosphere. It would, as a median guess, seem that over the previous century and a half, and ignoring increasing CO2 outpourings from the oceans recovering from the little ice age, it may not be totally unreasonable to suggest that the 1.5% (median) per annum anthropogenic CO2 should have led to a CO2 increase from 284 ppm to a current (01.5 * 284* 150)=639 ppm concentration of CO2.
    Maybe my ignorance of the nature of Carbon Sinks, Cloud albedo, my utilisation of simple-interest as opposed to objective, non-peer reviewed, back-of-envelope calculations, compounded by personal mathematical stupidity, renders me incapable of adding to the debate- the debate that is over- so what does it matter anyway?
    Actually, it does matter. By saying that Mankind has been the prime-suspecr in raising CO2 levels by 35% over the last 150 years- when, according to the IPPC – mankind is, at best, a bit (3%)player in the CO2 production and manufacturing global sector, is to blame the sock for being smelly!
    Nope, I’m wrong- it’s worse than that! The Co2 level is blamed for the elevated temperatures experienced by humanity that have given rise to the impending catastrophe that our children have been told that they face thanks to the profligacy of their parents!!!
    Jeesh! How sad.#

  72. “If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become less efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would increase.”
    B-but I thought Mann proved that increased tree ring widths World-wide were the result of “climate change” = GW.

  73. RoyfOMR,
    I am having the hardest time trying to figure out your math there. Could you explain for me in more detail how you arrived at your equation?
    Here’s what you people who harp on the “man contributes 3% of CO2” claim need to understand:
    Natural carbon emissions are absorbed by the natural carbon sink. Before man began emitting CO2, levels were relatively stable. With the addition of human emissions, CO2 concentrations have increased to the highest level in 650,000 years. Man is emitting CO2 faster than the sink can absorb it.

  74. Steven Goddard (08:22:55) :
    “If you want to predict future CO2 levels in the atmosphere, you can do this with a ruler and a Mauna Loa CO2 graph. It is cheaper and more accurate than the poor calculations which brought down the satellite.”
    Where are other CO2 sensors around the planet and why is mauna loa considered the be-all-end-all?

  75. It is a real shame this satellite was lost. It could have provided some interesting data.
    For example, recent studies show that tropical forests have increased their capacity to “sink” more carbon by 0.63 tons/hectar/year.
    It has also been found that old forests are carbon sinks. Until now, the climate models have treated old forests as carbon neutral. This has now been proved wrong.
    So the science is far from been settled. The lost satellite could have given some valuable info about where the extra CO2 goes and where the CO2 is emitted.
    Nature seems to be able to cope pretty well with the small amount of extra CO2. There is no justification for carbon tax, global warming hysteria etc. before the science really is settled.

  76. So, Reasic, let me get this straight. Since natural carbon sinks are eating away at atmospheric CO2, then had man not put all that CO2 in the air these sinks would have dropped atmospheric CO2 to ZERO and we would all be dead. Looks like manmade emissions have saved every living creature on the earth.
    Or, maybe CO2 sinks are more naturally balanced than the simple GCMs have pre-programmed. Just maybe this infant called climate science doesn’t understand quite all the facts it needs to go off predicting catastrophes.

  77. Ron de Haan
    “Before the industrial revolution, the planet’s carbon cycle was largely in balance. ”
    On what planet?
    Our planet’s atmosphere, except for a couple of excursions, has been continuously depleted of CO2 for millions and millions and millions of years. How do you think we got to as low as the magic number 260PPM?
    The carbon cycle has never been in balance.

  78. For anyone just joining this thread and scratching his head at the seemingly disconnected posts, Anthony changed from the experiment with the ‘threaded’ to the ‘linear’ format in mid-thread, so many responses to posts now appear out of context.
    For those with time on their hands, it’s an interesting exercise to reconstruct the arguments. . .
    /Mr Lynn

  79. Reasic
    “Man is emitting CO2 faster than the sink can absorb it.”
    So?
    Go out and plant a tree and then start a movement to study how we can get more nitrogen into the soil.
    It’s called the Greening of the Planet. How can you be against that?!?!?

  80. So a satellite to study carbon sinks crashes in the ocean in the Antarctic which is the planets biggest carbon sink.
    It’s too bad though, more data is needed to improve the science. But there are those who don’t want this, so…….

  81. Reasic (18:53:38) :
    RoyfOMR,
    I am having the hardest time trying to figure out your math there. Could you explain for me in more detail how you arrived at your equation?
    Here’s what you people who harp on the “man contributes 3% of CO2″ claim need to understand:
    Natural carbon emissions are absorbed by the natural carbon sink. Before man began emitting CO2, levels were relatively stable. With the addition of human emissions, CO2 concentrations have increased to the highest level in 650,000 years. Man is emitting CO2 faster than the sink can absorb it.

    2ppm per year to 280 ppm is less than 1% increase per year.
    Take a field.
    Cultivate it and sow some seeds. There is some natural fertilizer. Call it 100%
    Next year spread 1% extra of the total natural fertilizer on the field.What do you think happens?
    More green by 1%.
    Actually artificial fertilizers are spread much much higher in percentages to the natural existing ones, to increase the fertility.
    That is the level we are with CO2, it increases the fertility of all green stuff, because it is a fertilizer.The levels are so low (greenhouses regularly go to 1000ppm CO2 to be productive) that it will be centuries before any ceiling is reached ( in the 10000ppms?). By that time humanity will be burning nuclear or dark matter for all we know, so there will be no excess coming out from us.
    What all the alarm models are not taking into account is that LIFE expands to fill the food source available. It takes some time, but it does.

  82. Reasic
    “Man is emitting CO2 faster than the sink can absorb it.”
    Yes and what sinks are those?
    The Ipcc has failed to quantify these,can you?
    Indeed the quantification of the carbon cycle is a significant failing of the IPCC.

  83. To all who are interested in natural CO2 cycles (there are several):
    Please examine the 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4
    It is difficult to see the impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power.
    In the animation, does anyone see the impact of industrialization? USA? Europe? India? China? Anything related to humanity?
    The animation does make it look like we Canadians and those pesky Russians (our favorite hockey victims) have lots of heavy industry emitting megatonnes of deadly CO2 in the far northern Arctic. NOT!!! It’s natural!
    Still, as Ferdinand Engelbeen points out, annual CO2 concentration keeps increasing at ~1.5ppm/year – even as CO2 fluctuates by up to 16ppm/year in its natural seasonal sawtooth pattern. Ferdinand’s makes this “material balance argument” and I suspect it is deeply flawed. Richard Courtney explains its shortcomings better than I do.
    Questions for discussion:
    1. IF atmospheric CO2 declines in the coming years contemporaneous with global cooling (or soon thereafter), what does this demonstrate, if anything?
    2. IF atmospheric CO2 continues to increase in the coming years contemporaneous with global cooling, what does this demonstrate, if anything?
    3. If CO2 drives temperature as the IPCC alleges, how is it that the only signal apparent in the data is that CO2 lags temperature by ~9 months? See
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf
    4. Is the aforementioned ~9 month lag in CO2 after temperature consistent with the ~600 year average lag in CO2 after temperature as observed in ice core data?
    Best regards, Allan 🙂

  84. “Just think what the tax payer could have done with 273 MILLION to help in this recession the democrat’s brought on”
    I didn’t think people thought in such small numbers nowadays ! 🙂
    Unfair to blame the Democrats, most of the world is blaming bankers and greedy house buyers, ie the public!

  85. From Richard Savage:

    According to Working Group 1 of the IPCC, the total greenhouse effect is 324 watts/meter^2. It’s in the cartoon from Trenberth and Kiehl, showing the earth-atmosphere radiation budget.
    According to the same people, this greenhouse effect warms the earth by 33 C (59F). (Commonly cited in textbooks.)
    And, according to the same people, the” total radiative forcing” (their term) due to ALL manmade greenhouse gas is 1.6 watts/meter^2. That’s a whole lot less than 324 W/M^2. Using the proportionality of 324W/M^2 to 33 deg C, that total manmade greenhouse gas is responsible for 0.16 C (0.3 F).
    So I don’t understand how 1.6 W/M^2 of manmade warming is due to the “main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming” and 322.4 W/M^2 due to the natural greenhouse effect (which includes a tiny amount of natural CO2) is “feedback.”
    Would Reasic please explain how a flea on the tail wags the dog? A reference would be much appreciated.

    A rough back-of-the-envelope calculation that easy to derive from the Stefan-Boltzmann law (see any recent atmospheric science book) is:
    dT = 0.25*PG*Te/PS
    where PG is the greenhouse radiative forcing, Te is the black body equilibrium temperature of the earth w/o anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, and PS is the incident solar radiation. If you plug in the numbers, you end up with something like 0.3C, which is within a factor of 2 of the observed change.

  86. National Post: Obama asks for unity in the face of crisis
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1323503
    Excerpt:
    In his first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, President Obama urged the nation to unite as it confronts a myriad of challenges that range from skyrocketing unemployment to plummeting house prices to an increasingly imperilled financial system.
    Highlighting long-term goals once the U.S. emerges from recession, Mr. Obama vowed to “truly transform” the economy and fight global warming with a dramatic push to develop alternative sources of energy…
    … Mr. Obama vowed to spend US$15-billion a year to develop alternative energy sources like wind and solar power and asked Congress to send him legislation placing a market-based cap on carbon pollution.
    *************************************************
    I caught bits of Obama’s address to Congress tonight, and it was painful.
    Based on what I heard, his energy plan not only won’t work, it will likely prevent other more suitable plans from being implemented.
    As I’ve said for years and as the British found out this winter, wind power won’t be there when you need it most.
    Corn ethanol is probably also a poor substitute for real energy.
    Energy sources that require ongoing operating subsidies are generally not economic.
    Research and start-up assistance can work, but ongoing subsidies cannot.
    As regards CO2 abatement programs, that nonsense should pretty well finish off the ailing US economy.
    By the way, Earth is cooling, not warming.
    God bless America! I will think about you tonight, and hope for better days.
    Regards, Allan
    P.S. If anyone is interested in US monetary supply, check out the Adjusted Monetary Base at
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BASE
    The US Adjusted Monetary Base ~doubled from mid September 2008 to end January 2009. It took since 1776 to reach $874 billion, and then 4.5 months to reach $1750 billion. What does this mean for the average American?

  87. Well, I’m sure we can’t blame Jody Foster for the OCO sat failure, as I’d bet that she was in Japan making sure that their rocket got off OK. Good job, Sparks. 8^)

  88. Steven: $3.000 for the Obama stimulus plan… What exactly is the connection with the satellite? In any case, the money isn’t gonna come from citizens – are you about to give $3000 to the government newt month? I don’t think so…
    On the other hand, did you already calculate how much it has cost per capita to send troops in Irak and Afghanistan? Did you already count how much more debt per capita there is now in the US thanks to the previous conservative government?

  89. This in incredible. Incredible stupidity. US government agency (NASA!) buys insurance for satellite launch from private company, which company in turn is insured (and consequently bailed out, like AIG) by US government. Its like husband and wife buy from each other gambling insurance before their trip to Vegas (Simply put: if they win something, their insurance is useless waste of time and money spent on paperwork. If they loose small, they just exchange some money between two pockets. If one of them loose big (which will most probably will happen, because their “insurance”), they both screwed).
    BTW, same idiotic misunderstanding what insurance is and when it stops working (CDS for money creating institutions, anyone?) is at the hart of current financial crisis.

  90. As CO2 levels increased so did the total amount of biosphere and this will continue. More CO2 simply means a more abundant plantlife, better crops, healthier plants.

    So why do plants produce less stomata when CO2 levels are higher? Could it be that plants are adapted to lower CO2 levels? Could it be that higher CO2 levels without the extra water, nitrogen, phosphates etc are actually detrimental to the plants, hence the need to reduce CO2 input?

  91. Allan M R MacRae
    “As I’ve said for years and as the British found out this winter, wind power won’t be there when you need it most. ”
    Except we didn’t find out at all, there were no power cuts due to lack of electricity generation capacity.
    What are you talking about? There seems to be some fallacy going about the UK has gone renewable and is now suffering. Well, if you wish to believe that because it backs up your view on wind power then feel free to live in fantasy land :p
    Regards
    Andy

  92. The rocket they launched it on (Taurus XL), has a pretty awful reliability rate, 2/8 flights since its 1994 inception have failed. NASA’s first (& I’ll bet last) flight with it too.

  93. “Here’s what you people who harp on the “man contributes 3% of CO2″ claim need to understand:”
    Yeah, all levels of CO2 natural or man made, a total of 0.04% of the air.
    So Humans are 3% of that or “0.0016 ppm” of the air…. over 90% of so called greenhouse gas is water vapor, old news .
    “Natural carbon emissions are absorbed by the natural carbon sink. Before man began emitting CO2”
    Before man? We have been here from the beginning of time in one way or another. We didn’t just get created… we as a life form, came up through the ranks in the back ground of the dinosaurs and before that. If you believe in evolution then nothing can de-evolve and it means that life that survives today is timeless.
    Something came from something, it just didn’t get created a few thousand/million years ago.
    Everything living thing on earth today, is the best of it’s said “gene pool” to date.
    Despite what they tell you, people today live longer then ever and our kids will live longer then us.
    That is the pattern, unless AGW shortens life by??…..Making you get diseased from all the crops you grow? : P
    CO2 IS LIFE, LIFE LOVES CO2.

  94. Mary Hinge,
    Anytime you feel that I or any other authors have their facts wrong, you are free to post your complaint here. That is one thing which makes this site different from some well known AGW sites.
    I’m not sure that you understand the difference between scientific debate and ad hominem attack.

  95. Richard M (20:09:56) :
    So, Reasic, let me get this straight. Since natural carbon sinks are eating away at atmospheric CO2, then had man not put all that CO2 in the air these sinks would have dropped atmospheric CO2 to ZERO and we would all be dead. Looks like manmade emissions have saved every living creature on the earth.

    ??? Where are you getting this from? The point I was making was that before manmade emissions, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was stable (at around 280 ppm. Since man’s industrial activity, CO2 concentrations have increased at an unprecedented rate to a level not seen in the past 650,000 years.

  96. Response to AndyW (01:20:33) who said:
    There seems to be some fallacy going about the UK has gone renewable and is now suffering…
    Andy, I don’t have time to find you all the backup material- but one article is included below from the Times. I’m pleased that you were warm during the recent cold snap.
    Your statement is inconsistent with everything I’ve seen on UK energy. In summary, I understand that Britain is rushing to add nuclear and conventional power capacity. During the January cold snap, there was no wind (a common occurrence with such weather ) and insignificant wind power. If you have different information let’s see it, with sources.
    GERMAN COMPANIES TO BUILD 4 NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS IN BRITAIN
    The Times, 15 January 2009
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/utilities/article5519752.ece
    Robin Pagnamenta, Energy and Environment Editor
    Germany’s two largest power companies joined forces yesterday and announced an ambitious plan to build at least four nuclear reactors in the UK at an estimated cost of £20 billion.
    The plants, the first of which is set to enter service within ten years, will provide at least six gigawatts of new generating capacity, the equivalent of 10 per cent of the generating capacity of all Britain’s existing power plants.
    E.ON and RWE, which jointly operate three nuclear stations in Germany, are expected to propose building at Wylfa, on Anglesey, where RWE has recently been granted approval for a connection to the National Grid, and at Oldbury, beside the River Severn in Gloucestershire, where E.ON has obtained similar permission.
    Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said that the 50-50 joint venture would also explore the possibility of building reactors on other nuclear sites. These could include former British Energy sites such as Bradwell, in Essex, and Dungeness, in Kent, which EDF, British Energy’s new owner, may dispose of in the months ahead.
    The Government, which has been eager to foster competition in the market for nuclear new build after EDF’s £12.5 billion takeover of British Energy, welcomed the announcement. Mike O’Brien, Minister for Energy, said that it was good news for Britain and offered proof that new nuclear plants were an attractive investment.
    The joint approach would help both companies to reduce the risk and to exploit shared expertise and available funding, Dr Golby said. It could lead to the construction of nuclear plants with the same, or possibly greater, electrical power than EDF’s proposal to build four new reactors on two sites formerly owned by British Energy. These are expected to be at Hinkley Point, in Somerset, and Sizewell, in Suffolk.
    In a blow for Areva, the French nuclear reactor designer, E.ON and RWE backed away from a commitment to any specific technology, despite an earlier memorandum of understanding signed by E.ON to back Areva’s EPR reactor design, which has been picked by EDF for the four reactors that it plans to build in Britain.
    The decision represents a victory for Toshiba-Westinghouse, the Japanese-owned reactor designer, whose AP1000 is in competition with Areva’s EPR. RWE is understood to be minded to back the Japanese reactor.
    Copyright 2009, The Times

  97. Re my above post:
    The biggest problem I see with wind power is the “substitution capacity”, the percentage of conventional power generation that can be permanently retired when new wind power is put into service. This number is typically less than 10%.
    The best report I’ve found on this subject is:
    E.On Netz Wind Power Report 2005, Germany
    http://www.eon-netz.com/Ressources/downloads/EON_Netz_Windreport2005_eng.pdf
    Simply, the wind often does not blow when we need the peak power – so we need a ~same-size conventional power station over the hill, spinning and ready to take over when the wind dies… …the fact that wind power varies as the cube power of the wind speed is a further problem – power variations in the grid due to varying wind speed can cause serious grid upsets, even shutdowns.
    Regards, Allan

  98. anna v,

    What all the alarm models are not taking into account is that LIFE expands to fill the food source available. It takes some time, but it does.

    Ah, the convenience of a simplistic argument. Our planet is not a greenhouse. A CO2 concentration of 1000 ppm would lead to much warmer temperatures, which would result in higher sea levels, forcing people to move to higher elevations. If would also result in increased drought and famine, extinction of a sizable percent of species, mass bleaching of corals, reduced production of cereals, etc.
    I’m not going to argue that the biosphere can’t grow and slowly increase it’s capacity to absorb CO2. My argument is that man is also increasing carbon emissions, and is doing so at a rate such that the biosphere cannot keep up, as evidenced by increasing atmospheric concentrations and increasing ocean acidification. If this were simply a natural process, there wouldn’t be a problem. The problem lies in the fact that there is now an unnatural source that is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere faster than the natural sink can catch up.

  99. maksimovich (21:48:03) :
    Reasic
    “Man is emitting CO2 faster than the sink can absorb it.”
    Yes and what sinks are those?
    The Ipcc has failed to quantify these,can you?
    Indeed the quantification of the carbon cycle is a significant failing of the IPCC.

    That’s exactly what this satellite was supposed to help clarify. Just because every sink is not precisely quantified does not mean that we cannot know that CO2 concentrations have risen drastically since industrial activity. Law Dome measurements show CO2 concentrations to be relatively stable for hundreds of years before recent measurements show an unprecendented spike in the last 150 years.

  100. anna v (21:24:34) :
    See this link to see how life expands to the fertilizer available:
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/in-the-news/qualitative_thoughts_on_co2/
    Click on the plot:
    You see how the rate of change of CO2 follows the temperature short term, up and down. That is also the BIO cycle at work, IMO.

    Right, some civil engineer has found something that actual climate scientists missed. Why is it that you “skeptics” doubt actual science, and yet accept unpublished conjecture? Lansner is trying to go back and reinvent the wheel, ignoring the work of such previous climate science pioneers as Callendar and Keeling.

  101. Lance:

    Yeah, all levels of CO2 natural or man made, a total of 0.04% of the air.
    So Humans are 3% of that or “0.0016 ppm” of the air…. over 90% of so called greenhouse gas is water vapor, old news .

    Yeah, old irrelevant news. Water vapor is a feedback. It has an extremely short atmospheric lifetime, compared to carbon dioxide. Also, the percentage of GHGs to the rest of the atmosphere is irrelevant, as they still warm the earth. It’s called the greenhouse effect.

    Before man? We have been here from the beginning of time in one way or another. We didn’t just get created… we as a life form, came up through the ranks in the back ground of the dinosaurs and before that. If you believe in evolution then nothing can de-evolve and it means that life that survives today is timeless.

    You’ll notice I didn’t just say “before man”. I said “before man began emitting CO2…”, in reference to the industrial revolution.

  102. Mary Hinge
    Are you confusing C4 plants such as corn with C3 plants such as soybeans (C3 plants are far more common than C4)? A recent study out of the University of Illinois showed soybeans at higher levels of CO2 (at least 550) had 90 genes used in the respiratory mechanism that switched on only in the presence of higher CO2. This means in the relatively recent past, these plants were selective for higher CO2.

  103. Lance,
    “Before man? We have been here from the beginning of time in one way or another. We didn’t just get created… we as a life form, came up through the ranks in the back ground of the dinosaurs and before that. If you believe in evolution then nothing can de-evolve and it means that life that survives today is timeless. ”
    Thanks for the reminder of evolution and our kinship with every living creature. My bet is that sincere-dedicated-pseudoscientific-AGWfollowers began with a deep concern about how humans have managed their/our little plot of Earth, e.g., wetlands in-filled, watersheds ignored, rampant over-development of relatively fragile ecosystems, etc. They used to be called conservationists, perhaps rational environmentalists. They now have found a hook on which to hang their fears — rampant, voracious, dangerous CO2 — and are afraid to let go, even though their current political leaders are only in the campaign for wealth, power, and control.
    IMO, only the clear, emotionally and intellectually available science of CO2 will rescue the retinue whose minds are in thrall to manipulators.

  104. AndyW (01:20:33) :
    “What are you talking about?”
    Texas has already had blackouts when the wind stops that threaten to cascade through the system. I’ve heard Texas gets anywhere from 7 to 17% of its power from wind turbines. I don’t know the exact figure.

  105. From Joe (23:09:11):
    “A rough back-of-the-envelope calculation that easy to derive from the Stefan-Boltzmann law (see any recent atmospheric science book) is:
    dT = 0.25*PG*Te/PS etc”
    However, the numbers were offered in response to Reasic’s comment (which seemed unreasonable to me) that man-made carbon dioxide is the “driver” and H2O is “feedback”. Even using Joe’s calculation for the sensitivity of dT to radiative forcing (which is widely disputed), a change of 0.3 C (due to humanity) seems trivial in comparison to the natural greenhouse effect, 33 C or 100 times as much. That’s the fundamental point I tried to make.
    Sherwood Idso derived (empirically) several estimates of sensitivity, starting back in 1981; his value is 0.11. There have been recent estimates offered by James Hansen and by Roy Spencer. It is, perhaps, the most fundamental unknown in climate science. One might also question whether the 33 C is all due to radiative heat retention. After all, atmospheric and ocean currents transfer a lot of heat from equator to poles; they contribute to what we call “the greenhouse effect.”
    Of course, whatever the real sensitivity, dT gets wildly amplified in the climate models, which incorporate (I’m told) lots of positive feedback. Perhaps Reasic was referring to such model feedback in his remark. Whether such feedback is important in the real world is unknown.

  106. Steven Goddard (05:39:53) :
    Anytime you feel that I or any other authors have their facts wrong, you are free to post your complaint here. That is one thing which makes this site different from some well known AGW sites.
    I’m not sure that you understand the difference between scientific debate and ad hominem attack.

    If you took a bit more time checking details before writing/posting then you would have less chance of some major errors appearing. I am not attacking you per se but how can I not mention the author when they continually make howling errors? Your assertion that it was NASA making a basic error with their trajectory as the nosecone was too heavy was plainly ridiculous. Your other statement on this thread

    “Schoolteachers should explain to children that society is stealing trillions of dollars from their future, in order to pretend to be protecting them from an increase of 0.00005 in atmospheric CO2 concentration”.

    is equally ridiculous and false and a poor attempt to try to blame the global recession/depression on AGW!
    If you don’t want critiscism don’t write anything! If you want to write on an emotive subject then be prepared to take critiscism, just don’t try to hide behind the ‘Ad Hominem’ umbrella. [snip – Mary that remark was uncalled for – Anthony]

  107. Richard Savage:

    From Richard Savage:
    According to Working Group 1 of the IPCC, the total greenhouse effect is 324 watts/meter^2. It’s in the cartoon from Trenberth and Kiehl, showing the earth-atmosphere radiation budget.
    According to the same people, this greenhouse effect warms the earth by 33 C (59F). (Commonly cited in textbooks.)
    And, according to the same people, the” total radiative forcing” (their term) due to ALL manmade greenhouse gas is 1.6 watts/meter^2. That’s a whole lot less than 324 W/M^2. Using the proportionality of 324W/M^2 to 33 deg C, that total manmade greenhouse gas is responsible for 0.16 C (0.3 F).
    So I don’t understand how 1.6 W/M^2 of manmade warming is due to the “main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming” and 322.4 W/M^2 due to the natural greenhouse effect (which includes a tiny amount of natural CO2) is “feedback.”
    Would Reasic please explain how a flea on the tail wags the dog? A reference would be much appreciated.

    It helps if you first get your facts and figures right. The forcing due to ALL manmade GHGs is 2.30 W/m^2. Secondly, this number is the combined radiative forcing due to INCREASES in these GHGs, which pretty much renders your calculation useless.

  108. Reasic:

    Right, some civil engineer has found something that actual climate scientists missed. Why is it that you “skeptics” doubt actual science, and yet accept unpublished conjecture? Lansner is trying to go back and reinvent the wheel, ignoring the work of such previous climate science pioneers as Callendar and Keeling

    Right, some patent office clerk has found something that actual physicists missed. Pffft… named it after his family too, relatives or something. That’s just pseudoscience, will never amount to anything, and couldn’t possibly be either practical, provable, or useful.
    Maybe YOU can explain why you alarmists are irrationally obsessed with “peer review” and “consensus”, both easily demonstrated to be useless to actual science. Perhaps a review of the Scientific Method is in order for you, and possibly some history lessons.

  109. Whatever caused the launch failure; I’m mildly perturbed that researchers have been denied a new source of raw satellite data to work with. The information thus garnered might even have helped shut down the shrill ‘CO2 rules the climate’ crowd and their alarmists in arms in Government and the Media.
    Then again, perhaps I was being a smidgeon over optimistic.

  110. Mary that remark was uncalled for – Anthony

    Apologies for crossing the line that time Anthony, will try to stay the right side of it in future.

  111. Reasic (06:20:45) :
    That’s exactly what this satellite was supposed to help clarify. Just because every sink is not precisely quantified does not mean that we cannot know that CO2 concentrations have risen drastically since industrial activity. Law Dome measurements show CO2 concentrations to be relatively stable for hundreds of years
    We actually do need to know where the flows are going to ,how and why.These are called initial conditions,and specific properties(parameters) are a prerequisite foe any biogeochemical model.
    EG Falkowski et al.
    First, in the recent history of Earth, the carbon cycle did not operate in a vacuum and was not constrained to a specific reservoir. Natural changes in the inventories of carbon, as inferred from the ice core records of glacial-interglacial transitions, are linked to other biogeochemical and climatological processes. Those linkages continue to the present, but the quantitative impacts in the coming century are obscured by simultaneous alterations of numerous biogeochemical cycles through human activities. Second, the scientific community has generally approached problems such as glacial-interglacial transitions from a disciplinary perspective. This approach has not produced completely satisfactory explanations for what is clearly a large natural perturbation in the global carbon cycle. Because of the disciplinary nature of research, interactions between components of the Earth system are not incorporated into present biogeochemical or climate models. When changes in isolated processes are considered, we usually understand the signs of feedbacks, if not the magnitudes of the responses. It is when processes interact that we have significant problems in reproducing the phenomena quantitatively. Clearly, a systems approach is needed. Third, reconstructions of the carbon cycle (for example, during glacial-interglacial transitions) provide testable hypotheses about the Earth system. Consensus on how a 100-ppmv change in atmospheric CO2 can occur naturally within a 100,000-year time frame (62) would imply some understanding of the feedbacks within the Earth system. Knowledge of these feedbacks does not give us predictive capability for the coming decades or centuries,

  112. Mary Hinge (01:13:56) :
    As CO2 levels increased so did the total amount of biosphere and this will continue. More CO2 simply means a more abundant plantlife, better crops, healthier plants.
    So why do plants produce less stomata when CO2 levels are higher? Could it be that plants are adapted to lower CO2 levels? Could it be that higher CO2 levels without the extra water, nitrogen, phosphates etc are actually detrimental to the plants, hence the need to reduce CO2 input?
    Increased UV-B also restrict water loss by plants through stomatal decrease
    Plant Physiol, October 1999, Vol. 121, pp. 489-496
    Characterization of Stomatal Closure Caused by Ultraviolet-B Radiation1
    Salvador Nogués,2 Damian J. Allen,3 James I.L. Morison, and Neil R. Baker*
    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, United Kingdom
    The effects of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation on stomatal conductance (gs) in pea (Pisum sativum L.), commelina (Commelina communis L.), and oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plants were investigated. Plants were grown in a greenhouse either with three different high ratios of UV-B to photosynthetically active radiation or with no UV-B radiation. Pea plants grown in the highest UV-B radiation (0.63 W m-2) exhibited a substantial decrease of adaxial and abaxial gs (approximately 80% and 40%, respectively). With growth in 0.30 W m-2 of UV-B adaxial gs was decreased by 23%, with no effect on abaxial gs, and lower UV-B irradiance of 0.21 W m-2 had no effect on either surface. Although abaxial gs increased when leaves were turned over in control plants, it did not in plants grown with the highest UV-B. Adaxial gs in commelina and oilseed rape also decreased on exposure to high UV-B (0.63 W m-2). For previously unexposed pea plants the time course of the effect of UV-B on gs was slow, with a lag of approximately 4 h, and a time constant of approximately 3 h. We conclude that there is a direct effect of UV-B on stomata in addition to that caused by changes in mesophyll photosynthesis

  113. Syl (07:11:33) :
    I think I read somewhere that some leguminous plants have these genes as they have the ability to fix the nitrogen required for extra growth. As leguminous plants are only a small fpercentage of the plant species I doubt this won’t make too much of a difference to the flora of tropical forests. If you have any references it would be interesting to read them

  114. Mary Hinge,
    How many trillions of dollars do you think it will cost to reorganize the world into the imagined non-carbon based economy? That is the direction which the US government is headed, currently lacking in any checks and balances.
    Did Dr. Hansen double check his facts before announcing that “Obama has four years to save the planet?” Did Al Gore check his facts before declaring that the glacial record shows that high CO2 levels always correlate with rising temperatures?
    Perhaps you could try being more objective and less offensive? No one is attacking you.

  115. Syl (07:20:35) :
    said, responding to AndyW (01:20:33) :
    “What are you talking about?”
    Texas has already had blackouts when the wind stops that threaten to cascade through the system. I’ve heard Texas gets anywhere from 7 to 17% of its power from wind turbines. I don’t know the exact figure.
    ****************************
    Allan’s comment:
    As I said above:
    The best report I’ve found on this subject is:
    E.On Netz Wind Power Report 2005, Germany
    http://www.eon-netz.com/Ressources/downloads/EON_Netz_Windreport2005_eng.pdf
    Quoting from page 8:
    The feed-in capacity can change frequently
    within a few hours. This is shown in FIGURE 6,
    which reproduces the course of wind power feedin
    during the Christmas week from 20 to 26
    December 2004.
    Whilst wind power feed-in at 9.15am on
    Christmas Eve reached its maximum for the year
    at 6,024MW, it fell to below 2,000MW within only
    10 hours, a difference of over 4,000MW. This corresponds
    to the capacity of 8 x 500MW coal fired
    power station blocks. On Boxing Day, wind power
    feed-in in the E.ON grid fell to below 40MW.
    Handling such significant differences in feed-in
    levels poses a major challenge to grid operators
    Also:
    FIGURE 5 shows the annual curve of wind
    power feed-in in the E.ON control area for 2004,
    from which it is possible to derive the wind power
    feed-in during the past year:
    1. The highest wind power feed-in in the E.ON grid
    was just above 6,000MW for a brief period, or
    put another way the feed-in was around 85% of
    the installed wind power capacity at the time.
    2. The average feed-in over the year was 1,295MW,
    around one fifth of the average installed wind
    power capacity over the year.
    3. Over half of the year, the wind power feed-in
    was less than 14% of the average installed wind
    power capacity over the year.
    What this really means is that in Germany the average wind power generated is about 20% of installed capacity, for half the time it is less than 14%, and at some times it is zero. Huge drops in wind power can occur on very large grids over a matter of a few hours, and this can disrupt the entire power grid. A crash in the grid in mid-winter could be disastrous in a cold climate. Sooner or later this will happen, there will be loss of life, a public enquiry and this whole house of cards will come tumbling down.
    As you may have gathered, I am not at this time a big “fan” of wind power.
    My suggested slogan for the wind power industry:
    “Wind power – it doesn’t just blow, it sucks!”

  116. “Barely a Puff from Wind Energy”.
    “A little over a week ago, Britain’s fleet of coal-fired power stations supplied
    50% of the nation’s electricity, up from the average 35%. Gas-fired power
    stations supplied 31% and nuclear stations 16%. While coal plants were being
    ramped up to shoulder the lion’s share of our electricity demand during the
    prolonged cold snap, wind energy provided only 0.4% of our total demand.
    There were periods in January 2009 when wind hardly registered at all.”
    “Wind energy’s failure to deliver during the continual cold period should be a
    wake-up call”
    Tony Lodge, Letter to the Times, February 16, 2009.

  117. Reasic (06:36:35) :
    anna v (21:24:34) :
    See this link to see how life expands to the fertilizer available:
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/in-the-news/qualitative_thoughts_on_co2/
    Click on the plot:
    You see how the rate of change of CO2 follows the temperature short term, up and down. That is also the BIO cycle at work, IMO.
    Right, some civil engineer has found something that actual climate scientists missed. Why is it that you “skeptics” doubt actual science, and yet accept unpublished conjecture? Lansner is trying to go back and reinvent the wheel, ignoring the work of such previous climate science pioneers as Callendar and Keeling.
    ***********************
    Please see how dCO2/dt follows temperature and CO2 lags by ~ 9 months at
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf
    After writing this paper, I found that Keeling et al had noted the lag of CO2 with temperature, but apparently not the closer dCO2/dt relationship, in 1995. Kuo et al preceded Keeling with the same conclusion in 1990.
    This part of the science may not be quite as complicated as some people are saying – but it gets really complicated if you try to explain it in terms of CO2 driving temperature, because you creat an elaborate fabrication with multiple feedback loops, etc. Try explaining it more in terms of temperature driving CO2, possibly with some recent contribution from humankind (or not).
    See the AIRS animation at
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4
    Allan MacRae, P.Eng.

  118. From Reasic (09:56:29) :
    “It helps if you first get your facts and figures right. The forcing due to ALL manmade GHGs is 2.30 W/m^2. Secondly, this number is the combined radiative forcing due to INCREASES in these GHGs, which pretty much renders your calculation useless.”
    I was quoting from FAQ 2.1, Figure 2; the bottom line of the figure/table, captioned “Total net human activities” shows a value of 1.6 W/m^2, with error bars. The increase of GHG is offset in the table by manmade cooling, including aerosols and clouds. The max error value of “total net human activity” is 2.3; the minimum is 0.6. Why is the maximum the “right” value?
    Yes, the number is the combined forcing due to INCREASES of GHG. It’s the contention of AGW proponents that the increases of GHG’s come from human activity and cause warming.
    The calculation tells me that the increase of GHG due to humanity (i.e., AGW) causes 0.16 C of warming (or 0.3 C if we use Joe’s sensitivity value). Either number – representing warming due to humans, an increase in the greenhouse effect – is trivial in comparison with the natural greenhouse effect (33 C). A warming of 0.16 C is too weak to be considered a “driver”.
    And, BTW, they’re not “my” facts and figures. They’re from IPCC Working Group 1.
    I also note Joe’s comment “If you plug in the numbers, you end up with something like 0.3C, which is within a factor of 2 of the observed change.” Joe seems to agree that this forcing is the cause, and the approximate magnitude, of AGW. We differ on the proper sensitivity value, which is a major unknown and many have tried to estimate.

  119. The data gleaned from the satellite was intended to help guide government global-warming policy, NASA said.

    Well, I guess it all comes down to politics, just like other issues on the face of the Earth. (sigh)
    Nonetheless, NASA should try to make a clear statement of what its focuses will be. Seems like the US government already spelled it out that they want the research priorities to be on climate change, but that should mean NASA must accept that shift of direction too.
    Ironically, the failure might have brought more attention to the issue than the success. People and media covered this in different, interesting ways: http://www.newsy.com/videos/launch_fails_for_nasa

  120. NASA has also performed a successful launch.
    I think that this satellite will provide us with more important data because it will investigate interstellar boundary.
    “October 21, 2008 NASA has launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, which will observe the edge of our solar system from a 200,000-mile Earth orbit and determine whether or not we’re, well, doomed. Over the next two years, the 23-inch high octagonal craft will study the area of space where solar wind hits the wider galaxy – hopefully it will also find out why the solar wind, which shields us from harmful cosmic rays, has decreased by 25% in the last ten years”.
    http://www.gizmag.com/nasa-launches-ibex-probe/10223/

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