Bombshell from Bristol: Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? – study says "no"

Controversial new climate change results

University of Bristol Press release issued 9 November 2009

bristol_university_logo

New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.

This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.

The results run contrary to a significant body of recent research which expects that the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans to absorb CO2 should start to diminish as CO2 emissions increase, letting greenhouse gas levels skyrocket. Dr Wolfgang Knorr at the University of Bristol found that in fact the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has only been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, which is essentially zero.

The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.

This work is extremely important for climate change policy, because emission targets to be negotiated at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen early next month have been based on projections that have a carbon free sink of already factored in. Some researchers have cautioned against this approach, pointing at evidence that suggests the sink has already started to decrease.

So is this good news for climate negotiations in Copenhagen? “Not necessarily”, says Knorr. “Like all studies of this kind, there are uncertainties in the data, so rather than relying on Nature to provide a free service, soaking up our waste carbon, we need to ascertain why the proportion being absorbed has not changed”.

Another result of the study is that emissions from deforestation might have been overestimated by between 18 and 75 per cent. This would agree with results published last week in Nature Geoscience by a team led by Guido van der Werf from VU University Amsterdam. They re-visited deforestation data and concluded that emissions have been overestimated by at least a factor of two.

###

Here is the abstract from GRL:

Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started losing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change.

This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.

Knorr, W. (2009), Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21710, doi:10.1029/2009GL040613.

According to Pat Michaels at World Climate Report:

Dr. Knorr carefully analyzed the record of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and anthropogenic land-use changes for the past 150 years. Keeping in mind the various sources of potential errors inherent in these data, he developed several different possible solutions to fitting a trend to the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. In all cases, he found no significant trend (at the 95% significance level) in airborne fraction since 1850.

(Note: It is not that the total atmospheric burden of CO2 has not been increasing over time, but that of the total CO2 released into the atmosphere each year by human activities, about 45% remains in the atmosphere while the other 55% is taken up by various natural processes—and these percentages have not changed during the past 150 years)

Here is Figure 1 from the Knorr paper:

knorr_figure1

Figure 1. The annual increase in atmospheric CO2 (as determined from ice cores, thin dotted lines, and direct measurements, thin black line) has remained constantly proportional to the annual amount of CO2 released by human activities (thick black line). The proportion is about 46% (thick dotted line). (Figure source: Knorr, 2009)

The conclusion of the Knorr paper reads:

Given the importance of the [the anthropogenic CO2 airborne fraction] for the degree of future climate change, the question is how to best predict its future course. One pre-requisite is that we gain a thorough understand of why it has stayed approximately constant in the past, another that we improve our ability to detect if and when it changes. The most urgent need seems to exist for more accurate estimates of land use emissions.

Another possible approach is to add more data through the combination of many detailed regional studies such as the ones by Schuster and Watson (2007) and Le Quéré et al. (2007), or using process based models combined with data assimilation approaches (Rayner et al., 2005). If process models are used, however, they need to be carefully constructed in order to answer the question of why the AF has remained constant and not shown more pronounced decadal-scale fluctuations or a stronger secular trend.

Michaels adds:

In other words, like we have repeated over and over, if the models can’t replicate the past (for the right reasons), they can’t be relied on for producing accurate future projections. And as things now stand, the earth is responding to anthropogenic CO2 emissions in a different (and perhaps better) manner than we thought that it would.

Yet here we are, on the brink of economy crippling legislation to tackle a problem we don’t fully understand and the science is most certainly not settled on.

UPDATE: A professional email list I’m on is circulating the paper, read it here: Knorr 2009_CO2_sequestration

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Frank
November 10, 2009 7:33 pm

Smoking gun.

savethesharks
November 10, 2009 7:38 pm

The smoking CANNON.
Love this quote:
The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

kim
November 10, 2009 7:48 pm

They don’t rely on climate models from superconfusers.
H/t Peter Bocking.
======================

austin
November 10, 2009 7:53 pm

Now we are getting somewhere.
The Pinatubo artifact in the CO2 PPM time series has always bothered me. No one has explained that.
It is easy to fill a test tube with a gas solvent in water and then put that tube into water, upside down, and watch the water climb up the tube. Ammonia is an easy one. But so is CO2.

November 10, 2009 7:59 pm

Hardly a week goes by recently where the whole global warming propoganda is proven to be false

David Archibald
November 10, 2009 8:01 pm

That’s easy. CO2 has a half life of seven years in the atmosphere and is highly soluble in water. It is in equilibrium with the top 100 metres odd of the oceans with a lag of a few years. It is in equilibrium with the whole ocean with a lag of 800 years. You could not expect the anthropogenic proportion of the atmospheric CO2 to increase.

Jeff L
November 10, 2009 8:15 pm

Related link from ICECAP:
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/11/10/airborne-fraction-of-human-co2-emissions-constant-over-time/#more-393
If this link doesn’t work (as it wrapped in the text box here), go to the ICECAP site – it’s on the front page.
I am going to copy / paste a key bit from the article, including a comment from Joe Romm. So much can be seen a about the pro-AGW crowd with this – instant ad hom attack against anyone who dares question the “theology” vs engaging in a civil argument with a presentation of facts to support a position. If a person who knew nothing about climatology at all were reading this , they would say, just based on tone & tactic that Joe Romm was clearly on the wrong side of the argument – because these are the techniques used by people who are on the losing end of any argument because they have no facts to back up their position (thus resort to an ad hom attack). Can anyone who reads this blog regularly imaging Anthony acting this way? Not in a 100 years! Again – very telling of which side of the argument has the facts on it’s side. If the facts are on your side, there is no need for ad homs. Here’s the snippet:
A couple of months back, there was a discussion taking place over at Joe Romm’s ClimateProgress blog concerning a report that the earth’s ability to take-up atmospheric carbon dioxide was declining. A declining CO2 sink, of course, meant that things climatological were going to be even worse than expected, because a growing proportion of anthropogenic CO2 emissions were going to remain in the atmosphere, thus pushing the rise of CO2 concentrations and the degree of climate change higher.
At the time, an alert reader pointed out to Joe Romm that there was in fact, no indication from data and observations that a larger percentage of human CO2 emissions were ending up in the atmosphere. In fact, the data showed that the fraction of CO2 emitted into the atmospheric by human activities has remained constant for the past 40 years.
This fact runs directly counter to the idea that the earth’s natural CO2 sinks are weakening—instead it indicates that natural sinks have been expanding as anthropogenic CO2 emissions have increased. After all, in order to keep the airborne fraction of CO2 emissions constant over time, increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions must be countered by an increasing CO2 sink.
Joe Romm was a bit dismissive (to say the least) of this line of argument.
Here was one such exchange (Comment 13 of this thread):
Comment 13. Chip Knappenberger says:
March 30, 2009 at 5:15pm
Mr. Romm,
I am not sure how you justify this statement:
“At the same time that CO2 emissions are soaring, CO2 sinks are saturating.”
Take your numbers for the rate of CO2 increase each year and divide them by the numbers for the annual global CO2 emissions each year (available from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ ftp/ ndp030/ global.1751_2005.ems) and see what you get.
Hint: the ppm/emissions ratio shows no trend at all which means that there is no decline in the CO2 sink—otherwise, this ratio would be increasing.
-Chip Knappenberger
[JR: It is Dr. Romm, Chip, and, hint, it is what the scientific literature says. Try reading it, some time. Start with the Global Carbon Project.]
Back to my commentary :
I have to say, most every AGW Alarmist I have met follows this same pattern that JR displays. I lived in Australia for 4 years & a friend of mine is friends with a prominent local TV met, who is now a prominent Alarmist (& apparently heavily invested in alternative energy). I will leave it to the Aussie readers to figure out who I am talking about. My friend asked me to explain my skepticism in AGW because his friend the AGW Alarmist was saying just the opposite – my friend was just trying to sort it all out. So, I put together a 5 page or so note full of scientific observation, references to papers & major problems with the AGW hypothesis – I could have written far more, but that is all I had time for. Just to rile things up (which my friend is notorious for), he fwded my note to the Alarmist. I had dozens of scientific objections listed – the Alarmist didnt try to refute a single one, but instead wrote a 1 page ad hom attack back to me – Nice! – it kind of left you speechless – how can you engage someone in an intelligent debate if all they will do is launch ad homs?? Again, a classic strategy for the losing side of a debate.

BradH
November 10, 2009 8:18 pm

OK, then I don’t understand what Mauna Loa is measuring.
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

carrot eater
November 10, 2009 8:22 pm

The press release tries to be controversial; I don’t know if the paper itself is all that controversial. The airborne fraction has been roughly stable (if extremely noisy from year-to-year); recently a couple papers saw slight hints of an increase in airborne fraction: Canadell (2007) suggested a trend of 2.5% +/- 2.1% per decade. Small trend, big uncertainty, and Canadell himself acknowledged it wasn’t significant using the standard tests. So Knorr digs in and finds no trend over that time period.
Given that the previous work found a statistically insignificant trend, and the models with an active carbon cycle don’t show much of a trend over that time period either, exactly why is this finding of no trend so controversial?

Editor
November 10, 2009 8:25 pm

…it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models….
How dare they! The evidence from computer models is the only valid source of information. Only Criminal Denialists would stoop so low as to cite empirical data.

KimW
November 10, 2009 8:28 pm

Look, I simply refuse to believe these facts. The media and respected members of Greenpeace and the Save the Pandas have told me over and over and over again that the science is settled. How can I forget Al Gore risking his life savings bringing me the message that we are all doomed unless we live in harmony with nature. Mere facts cannot trump computer models – and some of these models have been run many times and they always give the same answer – we are doomed. That $69 Billion funding respected Climate Scientists who believe in AGW surely cannot have been wasted.
That was sarcasm by the way. The AGW scam is the biggest con job in all of History.

Tim
November 10, 2009 8:30 pm

I don’t mean to be dense or downplay the apparent significance of this, but aren’t we still looking at a pretty steadily rising atmospheric CO2 ppm, and isn’t that the causal factor in climate change, as per the global warmers?
I mean, if the warmers are right and increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 drive increasing temperatures, does it matter what proportion the anthropogenic fraction is? Isn’t the simple fact that CO2 ppm is rising enough?
Again, sorry to be dense, but can someone please ‘splain it to me?

November 10, 2009 8:33 pm

Couple this with the revelations about our misunderstanding of the thermohaline current, is this combo a climate model killer?

November 10, 2009 8:34 pm

I like the red spin quote:
”…rather than relying on Nature to provide a FREE SERVICE, soaking up our WASTE carbon, we need to ascertain why the proportion being absorbed has not changed.”
My kids have heard this one before…
NATURE says: ‘What do you think I am? A SLAVE!? Or a dunny roll to wipe the WASTE off your bum with?’
(But the kids know that there will be no change, that he will keep on doing it, because he really loves to do it.)

Ron de Haan
November 10, 2009 8:38 pm

This certainly is a bomb right in the core of the AGW Doctrine.
Do you think it will make a difference?
I don’t think so, not with the current crowd in power because they are after us, not the climate.

carrot eater
November 10, 2009 8:46 pm

BradH: This paper uses the Mauna Loa data. That data is fine. Perhaps you misunderstand the paper?
Of the CO2 being emitted, around 40%-45% of it accumulates in the atmosphere (the airborne fraction, ‘AF’). The rest accumulates in the oceans, soil or in living things. This paper suggests that there is no detectable trend in the AF over time; of course the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been going up – that part isn’t in question.
The airborne fraction is important: if the oceans or trees become less effective at soaking up CO2 (thus raising the AF), then the concentration in the air will go up faster for a given rate of emissions.
A couple papers saw hints of a slight trend in recent decades; this author does not. Very well, that’s science. Let’s see how it unfolds.

philincalifornia
November 10, 2009 8:53 pm

Tim (20:30:12) :
Simple question on its face Tim.
I suspect that I will be beaten to it but, if not, I will take a stab at the vastly more complex answer when I’m not so tired.
For a primer though on attempts to alter natural cycles, you could Google “King Canute”. It would be good if we had someone so wise in power today.

Cindy
November 10, 2009 8:53 pm

@ Jeff L.:
You’ve just described the feelings I got on my very first visit — and on every visit — to JR’s blog. When I first learned about AGW, I was reading arguments from both sides. I tried to take JR seriously — but just couldn’t stomach his style and language. He sounded much more like a scary preacher than the scientist he claims to be.
In any case, I notice that there are many more comments here than on many other blogs about climate. And I’m so glad that discussion has been kept this open, in the spirit of science.

November 10, 2009 9:02 pm

I always knew that plants (including algae) and bacteria evolved through lengthy periods of time when there was much more CO2 in the atmosphere; therefore they would have, written in their genetic memory, an ability to absorb much more CO2 than there is presently.
Biosphere is an adaptation mechanism by its very nature: it constantly adapts to changes of the CO2 concentration by absorbing more of it when there is more of it, thereby counterbalancing these changes. This is so easy to understand.
What is difficult to understand is how people who don’t take this simple feedback mechanism into account dare to call themselves “scientists”?

November 10, 2009 9:20 pm

Another carbon sink story: Antarctica glacier retreat creates new carbon dioxide store:
http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1041
Yes, negative feedback!
And as reported by AFP (including an iconic pic familiar to WUWT readers):
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ioKN-6tqKqccbLbVgmtkNuDRgo7w

Steve S.
November 10, 2009 9:27 pm

This could be the real heart breaker for the Team, their congregation and Obama.
Mmm Mmm Mmm

carrot eater
November 10, 2009 9:35 pm

Based on the tone of the comments, I think some people misunderstand the paper. In short, CO2 is still going up, and man is still doing it. None of that changes in the least. The implications of the paper are minor, I think.
You know, staring at their Figure 1, it looks like their constant AF line runs a bit low through the more recent data. Of course, eyeballing a graph isn’t a statistical method; we’ll see how the work is received.
Ugh, I just read that description above from JeffL of the conversation with Joe Romm. One should indeed take his advice – to read the scientific literature. But you needn’t read Romm.

John F. Hultquist
November 10, 2009 9:51 pm

Won’t this just fuel the notion that the ocean is going to become acidic in a few years? If not by heat then by acid – we are still doomed they say. Not so, but their stool still has more than three legs.
Will someone fix this from the post:
“have been based on projections that have a carbon free sink of already factored in.”
I’ve seen enough poorly written material that I can usually make sense of it but not this.

LarryOldtimer
November 10, 2009 9:52 pm

f you have the facts, argue the facts. If you don’t have the facts, argue the “theory”. If the “theory” is falsified, pound on the table.

Ron de Haan
November 10, 2009 9:54 pm

Steve S. (21:27:25) :
“This could be the real heart breaker for the Team, their congregation and Obama.
Mmm Mmm Mmm”
The AGW clan new from the beginning that they were going to make their case based on hot air, computer models and semi science.
Now we have the best cards to win the game we must not forget that they have been cheating from the beginning.
It’s hard to win a game from a bunch of cheats.

`Tor Hansson
November 10, 2009 9:56 pm

Yet another indication of a carbon-eating biosphere.
Fancy that.

Graeme From Melbourne
November 10, 2009 10:09 pm

If the Anthropomorphic component of Atmospheric CO2 is not increasing with increased human CO2 emissions, than why would anyone expect decreasing human CO2 emissions to decrease the Anthropomorphic component of Atmospheric CO2?
Cap and Trade anyone? ETS anyone???

maksimovich
November 10, 2009 10:25 pm

Alexander Feht (21:02:32) :
I always knew that plants (including algae) and bacteria evolved through lengthy periods of time when there was much more CO2 in the atmosphere; therefore they would have, written in their genetic memory, an ability to absorb much more CO2 than there is presently.
Indeed, Henderiks and Rickaby (2007) conclude in an interesting paragraph.
In terms of underlying genetic mechanisms, currently, little
is known about genetic controls on calcification (e.g.
Marsh, 2003; Nguyen et al., 2005), or the detailed photosynthetic
mechanism of coccolithophores. Coupling of calcification
with species-specific Rubisco specificity provides
a tangible means to preserve the CO2/O2 composition at the
time of origin of photosynthetic phyla (Giordano et al., 2005;
Tcherkez et al., 2006). The preservation of calcification ability
at high pCO2 in C. pelagicus may occur through genetic
redundancy (Wagner, 1999), or variance in genetic expression
whilst the adaptation of E. huxleyi and C. leptoporus to
the modern low pCO2 niche could be associated with gene
inactivation of pathways associated with high pCO2 (Hittinger
et al., 2004). The high proportion of duplicate genes
within plant and algae genomes is indicative of a high rate
of retention of duplicate genes (Lynch and Connery, 2000).
Gene duplications contribute to the establishment of new
gene functions, and may underlie the origin of evolutionary
novelty. Duplicate genes can exist stably in a partially redundant
state over a protracted evolutionary period (Moore
and Purugganan, 2005). A half-life to silencing and loss of
a plant gene duplicate is estimated at 23.4 million years such
that remnant duplicate genes, which can be reactivated by
environmental conditions to encode calcification within coccolithophores
under “ancestral” conditions representative of
60 Ma, appears reasonable.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/4/323/2007/bg-4-323-2007.pdf

Ron de Haan
November 10, 2009 10:40 pm

There are two developments with the potential to get the momentum in our side.
Thanks to the current crises Governments have to cut their budgets leaving more room
for Universities and Media to go their own way. No money, no services.
The fact that the University of Bristol and the VU (Free University) of Amsterdam, both embedded in the AGW heartlands of Great Britain and the Netherlands deliver the bombshell under the AGW doctrine is remarkable.
One year ago, when budgets were plentiful this would have been a lot more difficult.
The same is happening with our media.
The second development is a direct consequence of the publication of the Kerry Boxer Bill. people have started to study the fine print in the proposed legislation
which is quite sobering.
“Senators David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) today called attention to a remarkably broad delegation of authority to the President in the Kerry-Boxer and Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bills that would require shutting down the U. S. economy beginning in 2015”.
This is bad news for any private enterprise because many of them plan their strategies and investment over much longer periods of time.
The uncertainty of a possible shutdown also makes the free carbon credits, made available by the Administration to drum up support, entirely worthless.
I think this will trigger a lot of opposition, especially because the risk of forced shutdown also applies to the companies that belong to the “Climate Industrial Complex ( http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/ClimateComplex.htm )
The year 2015 is around the corner if you realize that many (big) industrial companies make plan their investments over a period of 50 years, you will know that the announcement of a premature forced shut down of their operations in unacceptable.
This reality check will turn many believers among our industrial complex into realists overnight and they will think twice before they decide to support their own downfall.
http://www.globalwarming.org/2009/11/10/senators-vitter-and-barrasso-warn-big-business-supporters-of-energy-rationing-kerry-boxer-will-shut-down-u-s-economy/

Norm in Calgary
November 10, 2009 10:45 pm

Question: If CO2 is currently 385ppm, and AGW CO2 is only 3% of that amount, then most of the CO2 rise is non-AGW. So, how long would it take the world CO2 to rise to 450 (some kind of tipping point) if we suddenly stopped making any AGW CO2 whatsoever?
In other words, sooner or later, depending on nature and NOT AGW, we will reach the magic tipping point of no return whether we do anything or not. And if we did do the maximum (shut down everything) we’d only delay the tipping point by 3% of the time to reach said tipping point.
Do I have that right?

D. King
November 10, 2009 10:49 pm

Who is the keeper of the holy atmospheric CO2 data?
What method are they using and do we trust them?

Ron de Haan
November 10, 2009 10:52 pm

John F. Hultquist (21:51:52) :
Won’t this just fuel the notion that the ocean is going to become acidic in a few years? If not by heat then by acid – we are still doomed they say. Not so, but their stool still has more than three legs.
Will someone fix this from the post:
“have been based on projections that have a carbon free sink of already factored in.”
I’ve seen enough poorly written material that I can usually make sense of it but not this.
John, the warmist are getting entangled in their own “CLIMATE LIES”.
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION is one of them.
Dozens of scientific reports have debunked the risk of ocean acidification.
Simply search for “Ocean Acidification” at WUWT, ICECAP.US and Climate Depot and you find a whole binch of them.

Ron de Haan
November 10, 2009 11:03 pm
rbateman
November 10, 2009 11:05 pm

The Earth at one time had a lot of C02 in the atmosphere, and yet it took it out.
Biology uses it 24/7. So if the Earth puts out 97% of the carbon dioxide it wants to, nothing we do will make a dent in it, anthropogenic fasting or not.
AGW is now available freeze-dried, ready for display on the mantle of failed predictions. Didn’t happen.
As long as we can keep lunatics from panic-injecting S02 (and whatever other nefarious and ill-fated concoctions they have in mind) into the atmosphere, Earth will eat C02, deposition will continue, oceans and other sinks will continue to exist and function as normal. Bio-systems will continue to function, unless madmen poison the skies and cause acid-rain to destroy the foundations of life on Earth. No, no, no. You must not kill all organisms that we depend on just to satisfy the urge to experiment with Climate.

H
November 10, 2009 11:08 pm

The more we learn, the more we realise we have to learn. Unless, of course, the science is settled.

Chris Schoneveld
November 10, 2009 11:08 pm

I am confused. If the proportion of manmade CO2 remains the same while the total amount of CO2 is rising steadily doesn’t this mean that at the same time natural CO2 must be rising as well to keep that proportion stable? What is then the source of that extra natural CO2?

4 billion
November 10, 2009 11:22 pm

Ron de Haan (22:52:58) :
Dozens of scientific reports have debunked the risk of ocean acidification.
Simply search for “Ocean Acidification” at WUWT, ICECAP.US and Climate Depot and you find a whole binch of them.

From one of the papers linked at ice cap
“The oceans are becoming more acidic due to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems is unclear, but it will likely depend on species adaptability and the rate of change of seawater pH relative to its natural variability.”
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/309/5744/2204
So it seems acidification is not the question, what rammifications is the question.

Feedback
November 10, 2009 11:28 pm

The IPCC says:
“The ocean’s capacity to buffer increasing atmospheric CO2 will decline in the future as ocean surface pCO2 increases (Figure 7.11a). This anticipated change is certain, with potentially severe consequences.”
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter7.pdf
So maybe it’s not so certain after all.
BTW is it only me, or is that last sentence in the quote somewhat out of place in the context of a review of the scientific literature?

November 10, 2009 11:58 pm

It seems that there is some confusion about the meaning of this study…
The study is about how much of the human emissions stay in the atmosphere as quantity, not as individual molecules. And it confirmes that there is little or no statistical change in this fraction. That is the core of the difference between reality and models: models predict that the oceans get saturated and that the extra growth of the biosphere is limited, so that the absorption rate of ever increasing emissions are reducing. In reality there is no sign of this in the data. The fraction is about constant over time:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_2004.jpg
Why is that? Despite the fact that many CO2 releases and absorptions in the natural world are quite non-linear, nature as a whole acts and reacts like a simple first order linear process on disturbances, be it temperature or human emissions. That means that a direct injection of CO2 (whatever the source) in the atmosphere will be absorbed over time with a decay rate of about 38 years for halve the extra amount. If we should fix the human emissions to a constant rate, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere would force more CO2 into the oceans (and biosphere), ultimately leading to a new equilibrium (at a higher CO2 level). But as we are emitting more and more CO2 each year (near exponentially), the CO2 levels increase more or less linearly, which leads to a more or less fixed ratio of what remains of the injection into the atmosphere.
The models on the other hand are programmed to show a saturation of the oceans and vegetation. In that case, the airborne fraction would increase. That may happen if we should burn near all fossil carbon available, because only then the deep oceans (where most of the current CO2 absorption happens) will increase in CO2/bi/carbonate content to an appreciable amount, which returns to the surface after some 800 years. In contrast, the total amount released by humans since the start of the industrial revolution is only a small fraction of the deep ocean CO2 content. That is why the models are wrong and the long residence time of CO2 (for the last fraction) proposed by the models (and IPCC) are wrong too…

Sandy
November 10, 2009 11:59 pm

It seems to me that whatever proxy they are using for anthropogenic CO2 is not actually measuring Man’s emissions. The ratio seems bullet-proof enough that we could either double or eliminate our emissions without much effect.
I suppose the idea that the total global CO2 exchange each year is orders of magnitude higher than current (alarmist?) estimates, and hence Man’s guilt smaller, is probably not popular right now.
When the forests of Asia burned in the early 90’s the blip in CO2 sorted itself out within 2 years.
The idea that Man can alter CO2 concentrations looks increasingly unlikely to me. The biosphere will grab all the CO2 it can before the ocean decides what the equilibrium figure for atmospheric CO2 will be.

November 10, 2009 11:59 pm

Co2 has always been present in the atmosphere at around 380ppm according to tens of thousands of scientific records dating back to Saussure in 1830.
It also varies substantially which is not surprising as the amount of co2 in the carbon cycle far exceeds the input from man, so we would expect to see the natural cycle varying according to temperatures and outgasing of oceans, land use changes etc. Instead we have a steady rise from Manua Loa that clearly isn’t measuring the overwhelming impact from nature.
There is no evidence from our historic temperature records to suggest man is having an impact on temperatures through co2 -they were highly variable well before man had any impact on carbon levels as can be seen in my collection of historic instrumental temperature data sets
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/invisible-elephants/#more-5984
The only warming man is responsible for is due to the Urban Heat Island effect-a factor we knew about in Roman Times but still fail to acknowledge properly in our increasingly urbanised and misleading ‘global’ temperatures
(which are nothing of the sort)
tonyb

Richard111
November 11, 2009 12:05 am

Google algal blooms. Seems to be an unprecedented rise in ocean algae blooms causing havoc to bird life. I am not a scientist, but I don’t think algae and ocean acid can exist at the same time.

November 11, 2009 12:08 am

D. King (22:49:02) :
Who is the keeper of the holy atmospheric CO2 data?
What method are they using and do we trust them?

CO2 data are sampled continuous and with flask samples on a lot of places (70+ for “good” places, 400+ on a lot of other places) by several organisations. See: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/
NOAA is the maintainer of the 10 “base” stations, meant to measure more or less global values. They also maintain the rigorous calbration and quality assurance procedures for all CO2 measurements all over the world. See e.g. the procedures for Mauna Loa:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

Jimmy Haigh
November 11, 2009 12:10 am

I think so. Except that there is no tipping point.

Jimmy Haigh
November 11, 2009 12:11 am

Jimmy Haigh (00:10:06) :
I think so. Except that there is no tipping point.
Sorry – that was for Norm in Calgary (22:45:33) : (Dodgy keyboard on the CTRL + ‘v’ front.)

November 11, 2009 12:12 am

“better than we thought”, who would expect that?
If the 800 years lag between temperature-CO2 is real, when should we see its rise after the MWP? Or 1 deg C fluctuation is not enough and only truly glacial/interglacial 10 deg C changes are needed?

michel
November 11, 2009 12:32 am

“I don’t mean to be dense or downplay the apparent significance of this, but aren’t we still looking at a pretty steadily rising atmospheric CO2 ppm, and isn’t that the causal factor in climate change, as per the global warmers?”
The answer is, yes, that is supposed to be the causal factor in climate change. But what is it due to, how serious is it, and what can we or should we do about it?
The paper bears on the seriousness question in this way: it suggests that the ability of the planet to absorb CO2 has remained constant. So there is no reason to think that any more of the CO2 which we emit will remain in the atmosphere than in the past. So there is no reason to think the problem, if it is one, is going to get worse. The more we emit, the higher the concentration, but only about 50% or so is going into the atmosphere now, and there is no reason to think any more will in future.
The paper does not bear particularly on what we can or should do. If we stop emitting CO2, then the levels in the atmosphere will, as far as anything in this paper says, fall.
It is not a bombshell. It is simply a finding that things are not going pear shaped at an accelerating pace. CO2 levels are still increasing, still probably due to human emissions. Its just that the fraction retained in the atmosphere is not suddenly going to rise sharply. It is, in short, not ‘worse than we had thought’, its about the same as it always was.
Whether that is good or bad is a different question.

Nick Stokes
November 11, 2009 12:39 am

People should listen to Carrot Eater (and Tim) above. This is not a bombshell. Anthropogenic CO2 in the air is increasing. About half the CO2 we emit goes elsewhere (eg sea), as it always has. It is not a tenet of AGW that this ratio will change.
Pat Michaels gave the appropriate caution, quoted in the post:

(Note: It is not that the total atmospheric burden of CO2 has not been increasing over time, but that of the total CO2 released into the atmosphere each year by human activities, about 45% remains in the atmosphere while the other 55% is taken up by various natural processes—and these percentages have not changed during the past 150 years)

November 11, 2009 12:41 am

Comments about RealClimate.ORG (and David Archer’s) previous wrong statements about the airborne fraction; explanation why this research is obviously valid given Henry’s law of chemistry; and what it means for CO2 concentration projections, see:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/11/airborne-fraction-of-co2-stays-constant.html

Anne van der Bom
November 11, 2009 12:53 am

Graeme From Melbourne,
As far as I can make up from the post, they are talking about ‘airborne fraction’, not ‘anthropogenic fraction’. Makes quite a difference.
My interpretation of this paper is that the carbon sinks are not saturating. I think it has been suggested that this would happen, but I don’t know who did it when and where and how.
The paper doesn’t say CO2 levels are not increasing.
The paper doesn’t say CO2 levels will stop increasing.
The paper doesn’t say increasing CO2 is not caused by human emissions.
The paper doesn’t say increasing CO2 will not cause warming.

Tenuc
November 11, 2009 1:08 am

Isn’t the biosphere a marvellous place – give it plenty of warmth, carbon and water and it thrives. With less of any of these vital factors it just survives.
Every day more and more facts are coming to light which show how little the IPCC consensus of scientists understand our climate and the effects on life. Every day Joe Public in every country of the world becomes more and more disenchanted by the politicians who created this big lie, and the shamocracy that supports them.
I can smell revolution in the air.

Stacey
November 11, 2009 1:19 am

Our Gav says he’s not bothered.
Our Gav says we knew that all along.
Our Gav says too much signal and not enough noise doesn’t fit with the models.
Our Gav says its to do with diurnal cobbling earth wobble on a decadal time scale.
Our Gav’s a genius.

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 1:30 am

4 billion (23:22:59) :
Ron de Haan (22:52:58) :
Dozens of scientific reports have debunked the risk of ocean acidification.
Simply search for “Ocean Acidification” at WUWT, ICECAP.US and Climate Depot and you find a whole binch of them.
From one of the papers linked at ice cap
“The oceans are becoming more acidic due to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems is unclear, but it will likely depend on species adaptability and the rate of change of seawater pH relative to its natural variability.”
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/309/5744/2204
So it seems acidification is not the question, what rammifications is the question.
No 4 billion,
Why is it that we create problems where non exist?
Mark the word “likely” in the report and the lack of hard facts.
The first corals emerged when CO2 levels were 10 times higher than today.
Ocean Acidification is a non item, jut like CO2 levels in our atmosphere
http://ilovecarbondioxide.com/2009/04/here-comes-ocean-acidification-scam.html

CodeTech
November 11, 2009 1:54 am

I see the warmists are here… trying to spread the doom and gloom…
Our CO2 emissions increase, the ability of the biosphere to remove CO2 from the atmosphere increases. Whatever the lag time is, you can’t say and I can’t say, but the difference between us is that I won’t be foolish enough to claim I know.
A dramatic increase in CO2 will result in a dramatic increase of the biosphere to handle it. Seriously, how difficult is that to understand? There is no tipping point. It is not possible for there to be a tipping point. The very concept of a tipping point is the source of great amusement for those of us with some science knowledge.

Thomas J. Arnold.
November 11, 2009 1:56 am

Since 1850 there must have been an increase in Biomass, pity that we are not able to quantify such.
Man’s propensity for deforestation in the rain-forests of the Equatorial regions, and indeed all over the world does not seem to faze Gaia, it seems mother Earth likes CO2, no surprise there.
It is once again a little arrogant to presume that the ‘sink ability’ of the planet is finite, its a living and ‘breathing system’ is it not?
It is another nail in the coffin of AGW, more CO2=less earth absorption= more atmospheric CO2 = warming? = Not proven!
With Lindzen’s paper on heat being radiated out into space – the ERBE data, the ‘consensus grows’ by the day, THAT THE MODELS ARE INCREASINGLY FLAWED but then we knew that.

November 11, 2009 2:03 am

Loads of peer-reviewed studies last century, before the scare stuff, all said that CO2 only stayed a few years in the air. Prof Segalstad listed them all and wrote about it – I mirrored his page here with his permission because I regarded this as prime information.
Dear Ferdinand, you and I know I’m not happy with your conclusions that the rise is totally due to us – I still prefer oceanic outgassing as per Henry’s Law, and argue for a biosphere that grows to meet the CO2 supply – but I concede there may be a human proportion in the mix.

November 11, 2009 2:11 am

Note the “don’t miss next episode” (implication: grants needed) remark:
So is this good news for climate negotiations in Copenhagen? “Not necessarily”, says Knorr. “Like all studies of this kind, there are uncertainties in the data, so rather than relying on Nature to provide a free service, soaking up our waste carbon, we need to ascertain why the proportion being absorbed has not changed”.

Nev
November 11, 2009 2:29 am

There’s a battle royal underway downunder it seems based on my RSS alert – some of the senior IPCC authors have given a media briefing on AR5 and they cut off challenging questons. Can some of the science bods cast your eyes across this?
http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/11/nz-climate-scientists-run-from-challenging-questions.html

November 11, 2009 2:53 am

Sandy (23:59:20) :
It seems to me that whatever proxy they are using for anthropogenic CO2 is not actually measuring Man’s emissions. The ratio seems bullet-proof enough that we could either double or eliminate our emissions without much effect.
Sandy, man’s emissions are measured in another way: the taxes we pay for using fossil fuels give a rather good idea (maybe a little underestimated) of how much fossil fuels are used each year. With rather known burning efficiency figures for each fuel, one can calculate the CO2 emissions (expressed in gigaton carbon) per year. Currently (despite the economical crisis), fuel use emissions reach about 8 GtC/yr, of which roughly half remains in the atmosphere.
The absorption by vegetation is limited, plants grow somewhat faster, but don’t double in carbon sequestration for 2xCO2 levels. And the speed with which CO2 is absorbed in the cool polar ocean surfaces is limited too by the diffusion speed, which depends on the pressure difference between atmosphere and ocean surface, but also by ocean flows (down to the deep) and wind speed which mixes the upper layers. Thus if we double the emissions, the absorption will only double if the CO2 pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans (and plant alveoles) doubles, which only can happen by increasing the atmospheric CO2 level (the other items remaining more or less equal)…

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 2:53 am
Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 3:04 am

CodeTech (01:54:18) :
A dramatic increase in CO2 will result in a dramatic increase of the biosphere to handle it. Seriously, how difficult is that to understand? There is no tipping point. It is not possible for there to be a tipping point. The very concept of a tipping point is the source of great amusement for those of us with some science knowledge.
Right, people forget we are living on a volcanic planet.
The fact that we are here is the proof that our planet always has recovered from extreme events.
The entire focus on CO2 is laughable.
Shutting down our economy to control our emissions hysterical.

November 11, 2009 3:11 am

Thomas J. Arnold. (01:56:32) :
Since 1850 there must have been an increase in Biomass, pity that we are not able to quantify such.
There were made some attempts to quantify the amount of extra biomass produced by increased CO2 levels. These are based on oxygen use: biomass growth sets O2 free, biomass decay uses oxygen. The oxygen use by burning fossil fuel is more or less known, the difference between what is calculated and what is measured in the atmosphere is what the biomass has produced or used as oxygen. This calculation was only possible since about 1990, as we need an extreme good resolution of oxygen measurements to see the difference.
The results: of the about 3.4 GtC/yr absorbed by nature (1990-1997), about 1.4 GtC/yr was absorbed by plant life and 2 GtC/yr by the oceans. Before 1990, plant life was probably not a sink for CO2. See:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/287/5462/2467 and
http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

MattN
November 11, 2009 3:19 am

Actual MEASUREMENTS?!?!? Real OBSERVATIONS?!?!?
Cannot possibly be correct…..

DaveE
November 11, 2009 3:20 am

I recall reading a small essay, (I got the link here,) about mans total emissions compared to the increase in atmospheric concentrations.
The implication was, (from Henrys law), that atmospheric concentrations were increasing faster than they would from mans emissions alone, so where’s the rest coming from?
Anyone remember posting the link?
DaveE.

November 11, 2009 3:28 am

TonyB (23:59:57) :
Co2 has always been present in the atmosphere at around 380ppm according to tens of thousands of scientific records dating back to Saussure in 1830.
It also varies substantially which is not surprising as the amount of co2 in the carbon cycle far exceeds the input from man, so we would expect to see the natural cycle varying according to temperatures and outgasing of oceans, land use changes etc. Instead we have a steady rise from Manua Loa that clearly isn’t measuring the overwhelming impact from nature.

Hi Tony, of course we still disagree on this. Some of the historical CO2 data were taken at “ideal” places, far from huge CO2 sources or sinks and these show the same low levels (280-300 ppmv) as found in ice cores. Most were taken at completely unsuitable places for CO2 measurements: in the middle of towns, forests, rice/soy fields… Completely worthless for “global” averaging. See my take on the historical data here:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html
If you (rightfully!) disagree with the way “global” temperature data are obtained, you need to be consequent: the raw average historical CO2 level is equivalent to taking a few months temperature at Oslo in winter, then add a series of Rome, measured on a hot asphalt roof and again a few months in winter from Alaska. Form the combined series one can conclude that the middle period was much warmer…
Without very stringent a priori selection criteria (as Calendar did), the historical CO2 data have no value at all for “global” CO2 levels.

November 11, 2009 3:30 am

I agree with carrot eater (20:46:23) : . The findings in this paper are old hat. It’s been well accepted for a while that only about half (the paper says 45%) of man made emissions remain in the atmosphere. Whether this remains the case indefinitely is another matter and is probably an issue which the Bristol study is seeking to address.
To those who think there is a problem with the data. There isn’t. The data is what it is but given the level of emissions we might expect the CO2 level to be higher. The ‘mystery’ , here, is why the oceans and biosphere decide to absorb more CO2 just because more is available.

Rereke Whakaaro
November 11, 2009 3:32 am

When I was at school, in the days before computers were common place, we did an experiment.
We grew two trays of mustard cress, both in sealed containers. One container had normal air passed through it at a fixed rate. The other container had a mixture of air and carbon dioxide passed through it at the same rate (I can’t remember the proportions of air to carbon dioxide).
The result was that the mustard cress in the second container grew higher than the the mustard cress in the first container.
At the end of the experiment we cut the cress from the soil in each tray, and weighed it. The increased weight (biomass) was in the same proportion as the additional carbon dioxide (whatever that was).
I find it gratifying that Dr Knorr has been able to verify our empirical research.
I just just regret not having applied for a patent!

Alan the Brit
November 11, 2009 3:35 am

BradH (20:18:33) :
“OK, then I don’t understand what Mauna Loa is measuring.”
Well, probably all the CO2 being emitted by the largest known volcano on the planet upon which Keeling et al reside! Always did think that was a bit of a non-starter.
Norm in Calgary (22:45:33) : A gross piece of misreporting, I thought the AGW contribution was 4% not 3%, a massive & whopping 25% larger proprtion – sarc :-)) Anyway, twice a very small number is still a very small number.
I was reading a newspaper artcle the other day by a former BBC weatherman who was saying he couldn’t believe all the hype & nonsense surround Climate Change. He pointed out that all volcanic activity pumps out more CO2 in a single day, than man pumps out over two years! How astute a fellow. We all know that this AGW malarkey is nothing to do with saving the Polar bears, the Penguins, the Whales, the tropical rainforests (only 15,000 years old anyhow), or even the planet. It is everything to do with the impoverishment of the developed west, & the enrichment of the developing world without letting them develop! A sort of, well, glorified dole queue I suppose on a grand scale. Perhaps a few hard winters might turn the scales back towards common sense.

November 11, 2009 3:40 am

Lucy Skywalker (02:03:08) :
Dear Ferdinand, you and I know I’m not happy with your conclusions that the rise is totally due to us – I still prefer oceanic outgassing as per Henry’s Law, and argue for a biosphere that grows to meet the CO2 supply – but I concede there may be a human proportion in the mix.
Hi Lucy, we still differ in opinion here: Segalstad confuses the residence time of a single molecule (the possibility that it is catched out of the atmosphere, whatever its origin), which is about 5 years, with the excess decay time (the time needed to remove an injection of a mass of CO2, whatever the origin), which is about 40 years.
And you confuse Henry’s Law for sweet water with that of seawater, which are completely different: due to its salts content (bi-carbonate), seawater can contain far more CO2, but shows a much different temperature-CO2 partial pressure curve. The global (land+ocean) temperature influence is known: about 4 ppmv/degr.C for short (1-3 years) temperature variations up to 8 ppmv/degr.C for (very) long time frames (like the MWP-LIA-CWP or glacials-interglacials). By far not enough to explain the recent 100+ ppmv increase…

John Good
November 11, 2009 3:46 am

Off subject but I have received this email from HM Government UK re petition for CRU source codes to be made available
Skip to content
The official site of the Prime Minister’s Office Home News Communicate Meet the PM History and Tour Number 10 TV Search Home > CRUsourcecodes – epetition response
Communicate
Ask the PM …from the PM e-Petitions Petition Responses Tuesday 10 November 2009
CRUsourcecodes – epetition response
We received a petition asking:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to force the Climate Research Unit, or other publicly funded organisations to release the source codes used in their computer models.”
Details of Petition:
“The Met Office , the climate research unit and various individuals at numerous academic institutions are refusing to release the source codes used in their climate research models. These are tax payer funded institutions, which are influencing government policy decisions which will affect the day to day lives of us all. With the Prime Minister’s belief in a new age of transparency, it is unsurportable that these publicly funded organisations, are not open to public scrutiny.”
· Read the petition
· Petitions homepage
Read the Government’s response
The Government is strongly committed to the principles of freedom of information, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 specifically implement our international obligations over access to environmental information. The Met Office’s commitment to openness and transparency in the conduct of their operations and to the sharing of information is set out clearly on their website (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/legal/foi.html).
Simple and transparent licences are in place to facilitate the re-use of the Met Office’s meteorological and climate data, and large quantities are freely available for academic and personal use, for example through the UK Climate Impacts Programme and the British Atmospheric Data Centre.
The Met Office’s climate models are configurations based on the Unified Model (UM), the numerical modelling system developed and used by the Met Office to produce all their weather forecasts and climate predictions.
You may be interested to know that the UM, including source code, is available for external use under licence. For general research, the licence is free; the Met Office just asks individuals to submit an abstract describing the research to be undertaken, and to provide an annual report describing the work undertaken, the results achieved and future work plans.
To improve access to their climate models, the Met Office has worked with Reading and Bristol Universities and NERC to develop a low-resolution version which can be run on a PC and is available to all UM licence holders.
Further Information on how to apply for a research licence can be found on the Met Office website.
(http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/working_together/um_collaboration.html)
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Chris Wright
November 11, 2009 3:48 am

“….and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.”
Today’s Daily Telegraph has a report on this. It actually replaces the word ‘complex’ with ‘speculative’.
I quote: “He pointed out that his study relied entirely on empirical data, including historical records extracted from ice samples in the Antarctic, rather than speculative climate change models”.
Well, I guess this is progress, particularly for the Telegraph, whose coverage of climate change is usually one-sided and biased. But of course the same report does make the false claim that *both* poles are melting.
Chris

ben corde
November 11, 2009 3:56 am

Well does any of this matter? What’s so special about the human race anyway. We’re all going to die eventually and the planet is already doomed by the fate of the Sun. Me I’m just looking forward to the next glacial period when we all freeze to death and the global warming mob are silenced for the next millenia.
I know this is not very scientific but really some of you guys ought to lighten up a bit.

Jimmy Haigh
November 11, 2009 4:02 am

The increase in human population since 1850 has also sequestered a fair amount of carbon. Anyone any idea how much?

November 11, 2009 4:04 am

Alan the Brit (03:35:52) :
Well, probably all the CO2 being emitted by the largest known volcano on the planet upon which Keeling et al reside! Always did think that was a bit of a non-starter.
Norm in Calgary (22:45:33) : A gross piece of misreporting, I thought the AGW contribution was 4% not 3%, a massive & whopping 25% larger proprtion – sarc :-)) Anyway, twice a very small number is still a very small number.

Sorry, but if there is an influence of the local volcano (known by wind direction + disturbance of the measurements), these data are not used for averaging. But Mauna Loa is not the only station where CO2 is measured, about 70 places, far from local sources (from near the North Pole to the South Pole) measure about the same CO2 levels, with (mainly in the NH) some seasonal variation and a NH-SH gradient:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.jpg
It seems very difficult to explain the difference between how much original human CO2 still is in the atmosphere (about 6% nowadays) and that near 100% of the increase we measure is caused by humans. I’ll try it again:
You start the day with $100 in your pocket. During the day, you have a lot of exchanges, but in one transaction you received $10. At the end of the day, you find $105 in your pocket as balance. Although little to none of the original $10 bill(s) are left, the total gain you have at the end of the day is thanks to the $10, because without that transaction, you would have had a loss…

Anne van der Bom
November 11, 2009 4:16 am

Ron de Haan (02:53:56)
Do you have an explanation for the 0.7 degrees of warming since pre-industrial times? Since CO2 rose by 35%, according to prof. Lindzen’s paper, that should have been no more than 2 tenths of a degree. What caused the other 0.5 degrees?

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 4:28 am

BradH (20:18:33) :
“Perhaps a few hard winters might turn the scales back towards common sense”.
Absolutely not.
The entire AGW scare is carefully planned and executed.
No room for “perhaps” or “maybe” here but 100% certainty.
The financial crises left the world with 500.000 billion dollar debt and almost caused a total system crash.
The next crash is underway because economic laws tell us that we can’t climb out of a debt pit by lending money at zero % interest rates.
The introduction of Cap&Trade is the next “bubble” which, inflated to the max, has the potential to destroy the entire world economy.
The last few years we heard our world leaders making remarks about world government (Rudd, Sarkozy, Gore, Gorbatchev, Kerry (see youtube) and a few weeks ago the legal blue print for a world government popped up in the concept of the Copenhagen Climate Treaty.
Lord Monckton sounded the alarm bells and informed the public.
See interview Glenn Beck, John Bolton and Lord Monckton on Fox News,
links available at WUWT, including a link to the concept of the Climate Treaty.
According to Monckton the powers of the World Government will include the control over our financial systems, our economies, the free markets and all resources with no mentioning of any democratic control systems.
About the objectives of this World government: roll back of the free world and population control.
Also read http://green-agenda.com, the Club of Rome and Agenda 21 of the United Nations.
I personally regard this scheme as a coup attempt originated in the former USSR.
But as stated, that is my opinion.

artwest
November 11, 2009 4:33 am
dearieme
November 11, 2009 4:38 am

” The ‘mystery’ , here, is why the oceans and biosphere decide to absorb more CO2 just because more is available.” No mystery for the biosphere – more CO2 => more growth to absorb it – which is why commercial growers add CO2 to their greenhouses. For the ocean, no mystery either – Henry’s Law.

Kum Dollison
November 11, 2009 4:43 am

They should have included “temperature.” It makes all the difference. If you go here
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt
You will see that in the very cold (compared to recently) year of 1958 CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere FELL from Aug to Aug. In the cold years of 92′, and 93 they barely rose.
Also, satellites show that vegetation has increased about 6% in the last 15 years, or so.
And, keep in mind that when you cut down a Rainforest Hardwood for furniture you are “sequestering” the CO2 in the lumber. Then, if you plant, say, an oil palm you are uptaking More CO2. The process is probably CO2 “Negative” in many cases.

November 11, 2009 4:54 am

BradH (20:18:33) :
OK, then I don’t understand what Mauna Loa is measuring.
Volcanoes perhaps? Having one source of information is surprising in this day and age?

Michael D Smith
November 11, 2009 4:57 am

This seems completely unsurprising. The greater the CO2 fraction in atmosphere above the ocean fraction, the greater the differential, the greater the absorption rate to the less saturated medium. If anything, I would expect a greater fraction to absorb into the oceans with higher atmospheric CO2 levels, given that it is a several orders of magnitude higher capacity sink. I didn’t even realize that this wasn’t the standard assumption. I’ll have to read up on the previous research to see where it slipped up.

November 11, 2009 5:08 am

4 billion (23:22:59) :
So it seems acidification is not the question, what rammifications is the question.
The only way to answer that question is to show me a graph of ocean PH levels over the last 50 years?

Frank Lansner
November 11, 2009 5:25 am

Related:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/17/the-co2-temperature-link/
Here, from the second figure: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/lansner2.png
you see that it takes more and more temperature to achieve the same CO2-rise/year. This conclusion is strongly supported by the “Bristol-findings”.
Absorbtion of CO2 is increasing, seemingly faster than increase in CO2-emissions.

SandyInDerby
November 11, 2009 5:28 am

philincalifornia (20:53:06) :
Canute, as you imply, was demonstrating to his sycophants that nature is more powerful than any man. Hopefully nature will prove it again to many politicians round the world soon.

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 5:30 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen (02:53:19) :
“The absorption by vegetation is limited, plants grow somewhat faster, but don’t double in carbon sequestration for 2xCO2 levels”.
That is not what is observed.
Higher CO2 levels result in an explosive increase in growth and bio mass.
I have seen this in the commercial growth of a.o. tomato’s where it is common practice to artificially increase the CO2 level in the greenhouses to grow their tomato’s quicker and bigger.
Also read Rereke Whakaaro (03:32:20) :
“We grew two trays of mustard cress, both in sealed containers. One container had normal air passed through it at a fixed rate. The other container had a mixture of air and carbon dioxide passed through it at the same rate (I can’t remember the proportions of air to carbon dioxide).
The result was that the mustard cress in the second container grew higher than the the mustard cress in the first container.
At the end of the experiment we cut the cress from the soil in each tray, and weighed it. The increased weight (biomass) was in the same proportion as the additional carbon dioxide (whatever that was).
I find it gratifying that Dr Knorr has been able to verify our empirical research.
I just just regret not having applied for a patent!”

Squidly
November 11, 2009 5:35 am

Norm in Calgary (22:45:33) :

In other words, sooner or later, depending on nature and NOT AGW, we will reach the magic tipping point of no return whether we do anything or not. And if we did do the maximum (shut down everything) we’d only delay the tipping point by 3% of the time to reach said tipping point.
Do I have that right?

Assuming you believe there is some sort of magical “tipping point”. Never has been in the past. Why would there be one now?

Jimbo
November 11, 2009 5:41 am

Plants rather like C02 according to real world observations.
http://aspenface.mtu.edu/results.htm
“FACE provides a window into the future and allows for experimental testing of CO2/O3 interactions under realistic forest conditions.
Our results suggest that moderate levels of O3 will offset elevated CO2 responses projected for the year 2100.
Our results suggest carbon sequestration under elevated CO2 is being overestimated by modellers who do not consider O3 in areas with periodic episodic O3.
Elevated CO2 delays normal autumn leaf senescence, predisposing some aspen genotypes to winter dieback.
Our preliminary results indicate that aspen and birch insects and diseases may increase under elevated CO2 and O3.”
————–
and so do algae in the oceans that eventually die and sink to the bottom as mentioned earlier.
http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1041
————–
And finally there is a little dispute about the residency time of C02 in the atmosphere.
see image:
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a5e507c9970c-pi
I’m not a scientist but I just thought I would put in my 2 cents worth. I hope these links are useful to the discussion.
Jimbo

November 11, 2009 5:49 am

CO2 is plant fertilizer. Increased plant food causes more rapid plant growth, thus absorbing more CO2. But measurements of the biosphere have been completely ignored by those programming their computer climate models.
Climate alarmists generally assume that the biosphere remains unchanged with increasing CO2. And when they do take plant growth into account, they arrive at exactly the wrong conclusion:

The results run contrary to a significant body of recent research which expects that the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans to absorb CO2 should start to diminish as CO2 emissions increase, letting greenhouse gas levels skyrocket.

Prof Freeman Dyson explained the problem years ago:
“We don’t know how big a fraction of our emissions is absorbed by the land, since we have not measured the increase or decrease of the biomass.”
[Full article here]
This Bristol study shows that the growth of vegetation resulting from additional CO2 has been greatly underestimated, perhaps by a factor of two.

RobP
November 11, 2009 5:55 am

I think people have ended up answering an early question in one comment about why it is important that the ratio of human emmissions to total increase is constant (the AGW scenarios rely on an increasing ratio to provide the amount of warming they say will happen).
However, other questions why this is happeneing have been somewhat glossed over and I would like to take a stab at this.
Without wanting to steal Roger Pielke Snr’s thunder, land use changes are the really big elephant in the room that no-one wants to actually try and calculate. I know it isn’t easy, because there are no generalities and every place is its own anecdote, but until we can put some numbers on this mankind’s impact on CO2 levels is going to be guesswork. Actually, even worse than guesswork: they are going to be made up to fit whatever theory you are trying to push (calculating an assumption to make a model fit, if you prefer).
The nearest thing to a real carbon accounting in land use change came out of Australia a few years ago – I am sure one of our Aussie commenters will be able to refresh my memory on this – I have forgotten the name of the model, but it came from a climate research unit. It was pointed out that relatively small land use changes across the whole continent would make Australia essentially CO2 emmission neutral. This sounds simple (although probably impossible politically, given Australia’s size and heterogeneity), but you only have to look at the levels of re-forestation seen in North America over the last 100 years to see how important land use really is.
North America was opened up by a demand for wood and the eastern parts were virtually logged out by the end of the 19th century. However, since then most of this land has been allowed to re-grow, such that an annual net increase in forest area was recorded for most of the 20th century. The rate has now slowed (or maybe even stopped) because most of the available land has now been re-forested, but for many years in the 20th century the US was a net sink for CO2 (hard as this may seem for many to understand). [I am sorry for not providing references for this – I have mislaid these in one of my many moves – if anyone can refer me back to papers on North American forest cover I would be grateful.]
The other thing we have to consider is that mature forests are actually a pretty poor CO2 sink (although a good carbon storage). When a forest is cut down, regeneration actually provides increased CO2 fixation and the net effect is more down to what happened to the carbon stored in the trees that were cut down: burning or letting the trees rot will return the carbon to the air as CO2 or methane, but building with them keeps the carbon fixed.
An even greater rate of fixation comes from growing crops – corn (maize) and sugar cane are absolutely fabulous fixers of CO2 on a per hectare basis. The issue here is that the CO2 is likely going to be recycled quite quickly as the products are eaten, but given that the worlwide production of grains has increased dramatically (for thirty years at faster that the rate of population increase, although it has now dipped below that for a decade or so), even the temporary fixation of the CO2 may have an effect on atmospheric levels
I am not suggesting that we should re-grow forests everywhere to “soak-up” CO2 (mainly because as an agricultural researcher I like to have CO2 in the air – as do the 6 billion people on the planet who like to eat food), but that until we get serious about measuring land use changes we are going to carry on with “my made up model says that your made up model is wrong”.

Cassanders
November 11, 2009 5:56 am

Let me for the sake of the argument accept that the human CO2 emisions has, and still are increasing exponentially.
Here are the global CO2 data (ppm in the atmosphere) from NOAA (we dont have to clutter the discussion with referring to measurements done in a volcano) since 1980.
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
1980 1.68
1981 1.08
1982 1.00
1983 1.82
1984 1.31
1985 1.63
1986 1.02
1987 2.69
1988 2.21
1989 1.38
1990 1.24
1991 0.82
1992 0.64
1993 1.15
1994 1.68
1995 1.99
1996 1.07
1997 1.97
1998 2.91
1999 1.36
2000 1.24
2001 1.85
2002 2.40
2003 2.22
2004 1.62
2005 2.41
2006 1.77
2007 2.12
2008 1.79
Please observe that the annual increase is given as ppm, NOT percentage.
I’d be very surprised if the annual value for 2009 ends much above 387 ppm , and I expect (guesstimate :-))the annual absolute increase slightly below 2 ppm. Hence the annual incease is in the order of 0.5%
I frankly don’t see much of an exponential increase in the atmosphere since 1980.
Cassanders
In Cod we trust

Cassanders
November 11, 2009 5:57 am

Dang,
commenting myself:
To see the global data , scroll down half a page or so. Check table to the right
Cassanders
In Cod we trust

Kum Dollison
November 11, 2009 5:58 am

The UI Soyface project found that corn, and soybeans shrugged off the elevated O3 levels, and rocked and rolled with the added CO2.
http://soyface.illinois.edu/results/AAAS%202004%20poster%20Leakey.pdf

Anne van der Bom
November 11, 2009 6:02 am

Michael D Smith (04:57:08)
An important sink for CO2 are vegetation and phytoplankton. These are rather hard to catch informula like the absorption of CO2 in water. Therefore this should not be unsurprising I think.

4 billion
November 11, 2009 6:06 am

Geoff Sharp (05:08:05) :
4 billion (23:22:59) :
So it seems acidification is not the question, what rammifications is the question.
The only way to answer that question is to show me a graph of ocean PH levels over the last 50 years?
What is the doubt about Ocean acidification? it is simple chemistry.
CO2 + H2O –> H2CO3
The Oceans are absorbing more CO2, nobody disputes that, as it absorbs CO2 the simple reaction described above occurs, simple chemistry. So it shouldn’t be any surprise.

Anne van der Bom
November 11, 2009 6:07 am

Ron de Haan (05:30:42) :
I have seen this in the commercial growth of a.o. tomato’s where it is common practice to artificially increase the CO2 level in the greenhouses to grow their tomato’s quicker and bigger.
In a greenhouse the other factors that determine plant growth are carefully adjusted to match the higher CO2 level. Temperature is one, light is another. Those greenhouses you speak of mostly have nighttime assimilation lighting and increased temperatures and generous amounts of fertilizer are being applied.
In nature most plants do not have the luxury of being pampered in this way. Whether or not a plant will grow faster due to more CO2 depends on whether there are other factors that form a constraint.

November 11, 2009 6:11 am

Ron de Haan (05:30:42) :
That is not what is observed.
Higher CO2 levels result in an explosive increase in growth and bio mass.
I have seen this in the commercial growth of a.o. tomato’s where it is common practice to artificially increase the CO2 level in the greenhouses to grow their tomato’s quicker and bigger.

If all other necessities (water, fertiliser, minerals, temperature, light) are present in sufficient quantity, the growth may vary with between zero and 100% for 2xCO2, with a few going negative and a few over 100%, depending of the type of species. See:
http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/dry/dry_subject_a.php
In average about 50% growth (by just looking over the table, not calculated!) for 2xCO2.
Greenhouse growers in The Netherlands and other countries use 1,000 ppmv as guideline (more doesn’t add much growth), or about 2.5xCO2.
Thus indeed in general there is more growth, but not 100% more growth for a 100% higher CO2 concentration. The more that CO2 is not the only restricting item in nature: lack of light, low temperatures, lack of sufficient amounts of minerals/fertiliser or water may be limiting growth despite increased CO2 levels…

John Galt
November 11, 2009 6:14 am

Anthropogenic CO2 not increasing? That’s OK — methane is the new CO2.
Out – Global warming
In – Climate Change
Out – CO2 emission
In – Methane emissions (includes cattle flatulence)

DonS.
November 11, 2009 6:14 am

@maksimovic. Thanks for the biology lesson. I can see the movie trailers now: THE MARROW THAT ATE BRISTOL!!!! It’s worse than we thought.

bill
November 11, 2009 6:19 am

Geoff Sharp (04:54:58) :
Volcanoes perhaps? Having one source of information is surprising in this day and age?

Mauna Loa Do not take readings when wind direction can pull in volcanic etc CO2.
There are many different sites, and a couple of different measurement methods – Flask and in situ
The ML readings are then algorithmically shifted to represent the CO2 values on 15th of each month.
“Values above represent monthly concentrations adjusted to represent 2400 hours on the 15th day of each month. ”
Multi site CO2 data here:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/sio-keel.html
Loads of info here:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/by_new/bysubjec.html
enrichment of crops with CO2
http://public.ornl.gov/face/index.shtml
CO2 growth rate:
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_gr_mlo.txt
Plotted here:
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/8276/growthrateco2year.jpg
Growth rate certainly seems to have an upward trend (although stalled for last 5 years)
Other sites data for CO2
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/flask/month/
Here’s a plot of Co2 from a few places, included is CH4 from 1

bill
November 11, 2009 6:20 am
November 11, 2009 6:21 am

4 billion (06:06:24),
You are ignoring the immense buffering capacity of the ocean. Despite past CO2 levels more than twenty times higher than todays — and remaining that high for over a hundred million years — the ocean pH never became acid.

Stacey
November 11, 2009 6:28 am

@ Anne van der bom qusetion to Ron DeHann
“Do you have an explanation for the 0.7 degrees of warming since pre-industrial times? Since CO2 rose by 35%, according to prof. Lindzen’s paper, that should have been no more than 2 tenths of a degree. What caused the other 0.5 degrees?”
Lets assume this 0.7C degree of warming has been obtained by thermometers placed right around the globe over the sea everywhere.
Lets assume the figure is dead accurate.
Lets assume there was no little ice age.
The number is so small as to be meaningless.
The explanation on the above assumptions is natural variability.
If the above assumptions are wrong the rise is again meaningless.
I trust this helps. You will get a better answer from Ron or if you suffer from insomnia you could try our Gav.
Take care 😉

November 11, 2009 6:36 am

Anne van der Bom (04:16:49) : said
“Ron de Haan (02:53:56)
Do you have an explanation for the 0.7 degrees of warming since pre-industrial times? Since CO2 rose by 35%, according to prof. Lindzen’s paper, that should have been no more than 2 tenths of a degree. What caused the other 0.5 degrees?”
The temperature rose according to who? It merely continued its age old cycle of climate summit to climate valleys. Temperatures have oscillated since history began and if you start recording temperatures from the depths of the Little Ice age no one should be surprised when they subsequently rebound.
This continual temperature oscillation is well seen here.
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/invisible-elephants/#more-5984
The only fingerprint man has on climate is the Urban Heat island effect.
tonyb

November 11, 2009 6:38 am

Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.*
[*From George Monbiot’s home page.] Monbiot [doesn’t that mean “moonbat”?] will certainly hate this new Bristol study, which tells WUWT readers something they know already, and tells Monbiot readers something new.
See George crying about it here: click

rbateman
November 11, 2009 6:40 am

John Galt (06:14:17) :
In – Methane emissions (includes cattle flatulence)

Another cheap shot by AGW (now under new marketing). Still a zero-sum game, as the cows simply replace the other animals that browsed, like the Buffalo. Every continent has their browsers, domesticated or otherwise, where there is vegetation. That hasn’t changed since the age of dinosaurs.
The big deal was identified over 150 years ago, when the flatulence problem was associated with political speeches that featured mouths that moved with little substance behind the words spoken… except for the onrush of hot air.
Pick up any newspaper from before 1900 and you’ll rapidly come across such portrayances. So, safe to conclude that the joke’s on the Agenda, which identifies itself as a hot air source that rises in offence.

November 11, 2009 6:45 am

Ferdinand
You know that I think that Callendar carefully selected the (lower) co2 records he wanted, because he wanted to prove his 1938 thesis. He later thought he had got it wrong. (As did Arrhenius to a laerge extent) Keeling picked up on Callendars figures but later admitted the old readings were more accurate than he thought at the time.
The human fingerprint on the total carbon cycle is tiny and should be overwhelmed in the official readings by the vastly greater impact of the natural component. We will never agree on this aspect but its fun arguing 🙂
Best regards
Tonyb

Vincent
November 11, 2009 6:52 am

Another important carbon sink are vegetarians. The number of people becoming vegetarians has increased and this has a high correlation with the increasing sequestration. They consume the vegetables that have sequestered CO2 and the CO2 remains fixed in their bodies.

RR Kampen
November 11, 2009 7:01 am

Re: Ron de Haan (20:38:50) :
This certainly is a bomb right in the core of the AGW Doctrine.

Not yet. The usual models (you may read: the ‘usual suspects’) project absorption capacity decline to become a factor only as of middle of this century. The finding in the article is not surprising at all.

Alexej Buergin
November 11, 2009 7:07 am

Center or centre? So I went to my favorite English newspaper, the Daily Mail, clicked on “travel”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/index.html
and there it is:
“Center Parcs Longleat: where fresh air and pampering are simply spa for the course
Anna Melville-James
Anna Melville-James manages to schedule in a weekend catch-up with friends. But where to go for somewhere fun, relaxing and with everything on your doorstep? Center Parcs of course, a positive utopia of healthy living, where bicycle rides, tree hopping and pampering are all on offer. All she needs to worry about is finding her way around …read”
But then the Hadley C is a name, and English names are never, never pronounced the way they are written (just ask James Prescott Joule or Alec Douglas-Home).

Kum Dollison
November 11, 2009 7:11 am

You might notice that over 18 years CO2 was increasing about 9% in the atmosphere, and Plant life was increasing about 6% by volume.
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/08/surprise-earths-biosphere-is-booming-co2-the-cause/

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 7:32 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen: You’ve done a nice job trying to explain, but I must take issue with you on comments like this:
“The models on the other hand are programmed to show a saturation of the oceans and vegetation. In that case, the airborne fraction would increase.”
Be careful. Models consider that ocean sinks will become less effective over time, but that shows up in the future; this paper does not address the future, nor does it focus on the hints seen in the very recent past.
For the period of time (1850 to now) considered by this paper, the various models with embedded carbon cycles don’t show much of any trend in airborne fraction, either. Nobody expected the oceans to reach saturation in 1980. For example, Le Quéré (an empirical work, not modeling) only found hints of a weakened ocean sink in the Southern ocean (not the total global sink) over the last few years.
So be careful to compare apples to apples, in terms of time frames.
Also, people need to remember that the most recent paper is not simply the last word, just because it’s most recent.
rbateman: Yes, the atmosphere used to have lots of CO2 in it, and it ended up as rocks, coal and oil buried underground. Those processes take more than a couple days.

November 11, 2009 7:39 am

This research was NOT conducted by a railway engineer heading a political pressure group run by the UN, so clearly this is NOT real climate science.
Obviously there is a big fat cheque from the oil companies that have paid to have this non-scientific climate denial published. I hope that the oil companies will be happy when we are all having to breathe liquid lava, the polar bear murdering [snip]!!!!
WOW! This alarmism is really easy to write isn’t it? That hardly took any thought at all!

DaveE
November 11, 2009 7:41 am

Alexej Buergin (07:07:16) :
Center or centre?

Center as in Center Parcs is part of a trade name & is American in origin.
Centre as in town centre or Hadley Centre is correct in that sense.
DaveE.

November 11, 2009 7:45 am

Tim (20:30:12) :
I don’t mean to be dense or downplay the apparent significance of this, but aren’t we still looking at a pretty steadily rising atmospheric CO2 ppm, and isn’t that the causal factor in climate change, as per the global warmers?
I mean, if the warmers are right and increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 drive increasing temperatures, does it matter what proportion the anthropogenic fraction is? Isn’t the simple fact that CO2 ppm is rising enough?
Again, sorry to be dense, but can someone please ’splain it to me?

Tim,
Basically you are correct that there has been a steady rise in CO2, which by all accounts is a trivial gas as far as global warming comes into play ( I know based on what you have heard how can that be the case? ) The truth of the matter is that CO2 in and of itself has very minimal amounts of warming associated with it when compared to the heavy weights water and methane.
What the true culprit in AGW are the feedback effects that will take place because of CO2 ( which are theoretical and MAY occur though to date there is VERY little evidence of this being really probable ).
The reason this article is significant is that one of the hypothesis about why we have not caused huge warming to date ( by triggering massive feedback effects ) is because CO2 has not yet really hit the trigger ( it acts as a catalyst to cause all the trouble ) for the feedback loops to really get themselves amped up.
One of the reasons it is so important to stop emitting CO2 is because the natural ‘sinks’ the ocean and plant life that will dissolve or use the CO2 that is being emitted are about to be saturated, ergo CO2 will stop being a linear addition each year and explode upward, ipso facto, triggering MASSIVE warming through feedback loops.
This is of course a simplified explanation of the entire AGW debate simply illustrating why this report would hold any significance in the debate. The truth of the matter is neither side knows the truth, the science is not settled because to be honest we do not know how the entire system works. CO2 may in fact trigger a feedback effects with water vapor, but again there is no evidence of this to date. It will retain a limited bandwidth of radiative heat content but can only cause warming to a very limited extent. So the truth is you need to simply keep an open mind, search for truth and take explanations like mine as simply one person trying to explain a complex system as best they can. I am a layman when it comes to this having studied others work for years and can only tell you based on all that I have seen I believe CO2 will cause warming but no where near catastrophic levels and I actually think that most of that will be masked by natural rises and falls of temperature anyway. But look through and keep searching. Good hunting.

Alba
November 11, 2009 7:59 am

Alexej Buergin (07:07:16) :
Center or centre? So I went to my favorite English newspaper, the Daily Mail, clicked on “travel”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/index.html
and there it is:
“Center Parcs Longleat: where fresh air and pampering are simply spa for the course
Anna Melville-James
Anna Melville-James manages to schedule in a weekend catch-up with friends. But where to go for somewhere fun, relaxing and with everything on your doorstep? Center Parcs of course, a positive utopia of healthy living, where bicycle rides, tree hopping and pampering are all on offer. All she needs to worry about is finding her way around …read”
But then the Hadley C is a name, and English names are never, never pronounced the way they are written (just ask James Prescott Joule or Alec Douglas-Home).
FYI:
Center Parcs is a Dutch firm. Understandably, the Daily Mail calls it “Center Parcs” (which is the name the firm uses) rather than Centre Parks.
Douglas-Home is not an English name. The Douglas-Homes come from Coldstream in Berwickshire, which is part of Scotland, not England. (And, yes, Scotland is NOT part of England!)
Try “Cholmondeley” instead, if you want a funny English name.
“English names are never, never pronounced the way they are written…” Just how do you think the English pronounce names like Miller, Smith and Brown?
But if you asked a native of Liverpool or Birmingham how he pronounced the name of his city you would probably get an interesting reply.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 8:02 am

RR Kampen: Pretty much. The press release was over the top, so it got people all excited. The actual paper isn’t all that exciting.
If anybody wants to know what the models actually say, have a look at Fig 7.13 in the IPCC FAR, WG1. It takes a couple seconds to figure out what’s going on.
The dotted black box represents the historical range for airborne fraction and ocean fraction. You’ll note that this paper by Knorr agrees with that black box. You’ll also note that most of the models start out in or near that black box (and are consistent with Knorr) at 2000. Two of the models are way off, and obviously need more work; three others are iffy. The models then move to higher airborne fractions by 2100; this paper by Knorr makes no claim about 2100.
Note that the models don’t agree with each other much on the 2100 values. Models with integrated carbon cycles are still a new thing, and clearly need more work. More understanding on the effect of warming and chemistry on the different sinks is needed.

November 11, 2009 8:41 am

Richard111 (00:05:47) :
Google algal blooms. Seems to be an unprecedented rise in ocean algae blooms causing havoc to bird life. I am not a scientist, but I don’t think algae and ocean acid can exist at the same time.

Rich, algae will grow in a very wide range of pH levels. Trust me, I know.
Signed
Mike aka Sonicfrog – Pool and Spa guy for almost 20 years!

NastyWolf
November 11, 2009 8:56 am

I think the most insteresting part of in the graph is the last decade.
If we trust the data, it seems that the annual increase in astmospheric CO2 is actually decreasing. Annual emissions of CO2 on the other hand are growing rapidly.
If this trend continues, I don’t think the proportion of 46% suggested in the study will hold for the future.
Also, the largest annual increase in atmospheric CO2 according to Mauna Loa was in 1998. Surprising?

Yarmy
November 11, 2009 9:03 am

carrot eater (08:02:43) :
The press release was over the top
Aren’t they all? One might expect to see some small trend though (with the big assumption that this paper is correct).
have a look at Fig 7.13 in the IPCC FAR, WG1
As you say, there’s a wide diversity in the models presented (though I note with a little amusement that the Hadley Centre coupled climate-carbon cycle general circulation model is way off :-)). But with only 10 years to compare, it’s hard to draw any real conclusions.

November 11, 2009 9:35 am

The idea that anthropogenic emissions have a long half life in the atmosphere is a fudge factor in the models that makes increasing emissions consistant with rising concentrations. The major sinks that are closest to any source (natural or man made) are the cold relatively pure water droplets in clouds and fog. How long does it take for a large fraction of CO2 to travel a kilometer or two and saturate cold clouds? I expect it’s a matter of days rather than years and is strongly dependent on the amount of condensable water near the sources. This hypothesis is consistant with the observation that background levels with seasonal variations factored out are relatively constant from pole to pole.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 9:48 am

Yarmy: Would I expect to see some small trend? Not necessarily. Keep in mind that Knorr’s work was looking at the long scale, over 1850-now; zoom out that far over the past and I don’t think anybody would expect to see much trend. Zoom in on the last decade, and maybe I’d expect to see some slight hint of a change, I don’t know.
This paper, more than anything, seems to refute Canadell et al, so we’ll see how they respond. I don’t think it has any bearing on the work of Le Quéré, who found uncertain hints of a change in the southern ocean’s effectiveness over the last decade.
The Hadley Centre’s model is an outlier for the 2100 prediction; it’s starting at a reasonable place for 2000. The University of Maryland model is way off even at 2000; I don’t know what’s going on there. Time will tell on this aspect, and presumably the coupled carbon cycle in the models will be improved over time as well.

Thomas J. Arnold.
November 11, 2009 9:55 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen (03:11:41)
Read the links, thought provoking – shall trawl the net as well – thank you Ferdinand.

November 11, 2009 10:05 am

4 billion (06:06:24) : What is the doubt about Ocean acidification? it is simple chemistry. CO2 + H2O –> H2CO3 The Oceans are absorbing more CO2, nobody disputes that, as it absorbs CO2 the simple reaction described above occurs, simple chemistry. So it shouldn’t be any surprise.
Now you were asked to produce a graph to substantiate your hypothesis. Evidence does help. Still, here is the simple chemistry missing from your chemistry:
In the oceans overall, there is always a surplus of calcium ions (Ca++) ready to absorb extra CO2. The little molluscs are everywhere, wrapping up any hint of excess in their shells. Moreover, all the animal and plant life in the oceans need CO2 – again, it is the most fundamental, basic, vital food. Anyone suggesting anything else is a bad scientist. Every bit of CO2 we can get is precious to the biosphere and I hate Al Gore for forcing on people the lie that it is a pollutant.
Earth used to have a HUGE quantity of CO2 in its atmosphere – until the molluscs turned it into limestone, and the trees turned it into coal. But ocean acidification – nah, ask the coelacanths, who may well have been around when CO2 was ten times its present level, four thousand ppm.

November 11, 2009 10:19 am

There are a lot of people missing the point of this paper. What it says is, yes there is statistically more CO2 but that CO2 isn’t building up. It’s being absorbed as fast as we emit it.
The drain is bigger than the faucet.

maksimovich
November 11, 2009 10:29 am

carrot eater (07:32:17)
Le Quéré (an empirical work, not modeling) only found hints of a weakened ocean sink in the Southern ocean (not the total global sink) over the last few years.
But it is incorrect, in as far as there seems to be an asymmetric resilience with the biological pump, eg Marinov et al 2006
: Modelling studies have demonstrated that the nutrient and
carbon cycles in the Southern Ocean play a central role in setting
the air–sea balance of CO2 and global biological production1–8.
Box model studies1–4 first pointed out that an increase in nutrient
utilization in the high latitudes results in a strong decrease in the
atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2 ). This early
research led to two important ideas: high latitude regions are
more important in determining atmospheric pCO2 than low
latitudes, despite their much smaller area, and nutrient utilization
and atmospheric pCO2 are tightly linked. Subsequent general
circulation model simulations show that the Southern Ocean is
the most important high latitude region in controlling preindustrial
atmospheric CO2 because it serves as a lid to a larger
volume of the deep ocean5,6. Other studies point out the crucial
role of the Southern Ocean in the uptake and storage of anthropogenic
carbon dioxide7 and in controlling global biological
production8. Here we probe the system to determine whether
certain regions of the Southern Ocean are more critical than
others for air–sea CO2 balance and the biological export production,
by increasing surface nutrient drawdown in an ocean
general circulation model. We demonstrate that atmospheric
CO2 and global biological export production are controlled by
different regions of the Southern Ocean. The air–sea balance of
carbon dioxide is controlled mainly by the biological pump and
circulation in the Antarctic deep-water formation region,
whereas global export production is controlled mainly by the
biological pump and circulation in the Subantarctic intermediate
and mode water formation region. The existence of this biogeochemical
divide separating the Antarctic from the Subantarctic
suggests that it may be possible for climate change or human
intervention to modify one of these without greatly altering the
other.

November 11, 2009 10:32 am

Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are no more than 8 billion, some say 6 billion tons per year. Even if we accept the larger of the two numbers it is only 4.1 ppm per year.
When you look at the some of the other sources of natural production and compare these numbers to our output it puts our emissions into perspective.
Then if you consider that these natural sources can vary up or down in one day by more than ten times what we are able to produce in a whole year you get even more perspective.http://www.spinonthat.com/CO2.html

David
November 11, 2009 10:36 am

Don’t know if this question was answered already, but I’ll take a shot, maybe someone can correct where I go wrong? Then Tim and I will both learn something. 🙂
“Isn’t the simple fact that CO2 ppm is rising enough?”, Tim asks.
Well, no. The doomsayers predict that we are going to face….doooooommmm! Why? Because nature has had as much CO2 as it can handle. This study says that nature is still eating the same amount of CO2 that it has been, and so, the ppm (parts per million in the atmosphere) of CO2 will continue to rise at the same rate, instead of faster.
DDDOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!
Ok, sorry, I really liked that Fed-Ex commercial.
Do I have the basic points right here?

Sandy
November 11, 2009 10:41 am

Extra nutrients in Southern Ocean take up CO2?
Actually more cold water in southern high latitudes than northern so more CO2 dissolves. Y’know, colder beer is fizzier.

D. King
November 11, 2009 10:47 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen (00:08:18) :
Thanks so much for the link.
As a young engineer I had measured many different systems. What
I have found over time, is that an increase in one element of an open
system, rarely results in a linear increase of that element. In other
words, atmospheric CO2 increases are too linear. I don’t trust them.
In the now infamous words of a former senator, “It requires the
willing suspension of disbelief.” So, like a salmon, I return to this site,
(WUWT), not because of the insightful postings of some of the most
brilliant scientists and engineers; but because I must.
http://climaterealists.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=125
Politics and money and false markets.

November 11, 2009 11:00 am

Fred H. Haynie (09:35:18) :

The idea that anthropogenic emissions have a long half life in the atmosphere is a fudge factor in the models…

Exactly. That fudge factor is used by the IPCC to alarm everyone. But most, if not all peer reviewed papers debunk the IPCC’s claim of long CO2 residence times: [click]
The UN/IPCC’s political appointees are forced to argue long CO2 residence times, because if CO2 only remains in the atmosphere for ten years or so the entire CAGW claim falls apart.
The biosphere craves more CO2, and it will use all we can give it.

TIM CLARK
November 11, 2009 11:05 am

Richard111 (00:05:47) :
Google algal blooms. Seems to be an unprecedented rise in ocean algae blooms causing havoc to bird life. I am not a scientist, but I don’t think algae and ocean acid can exist at the same time.

That’s reverse logic. If you’re hypothesis is increasing CO2 causes algae bloom, then CO2 is beneficially increasing algae in spite of alledged acidification. Your concern should then be the positive or negative consequences of more algae blooms. I don’t know if they are causing havoc to bird life.
Chris Schoneveld (23:08:38) :
I am confused. If the proportion of manmade CO2 remains the same while the total amount of CO2 is rising steadily doesn’t this mean that at the same time natural CO2 must be rising as well to keep that proportion stable? What is then the source of that extra natural CO2?
Anne van der Bom (06:07:49) :
In nature most plants do not have the luxury of being pampered in this way. Whether or not a plant will grow faster due to more CO2 depends on whether there are other factors that form a constraint.
Ferdinand Engelbeen (06:11:35) :
Thus indeed in general there is more growth, but not 100% more growth for a 100% higher CO2 concentration. The more that CO2 is not the only restricting item in nature: lack of light, low temperatures, lack of sufficient amounts of minerals/fertiliser or water may be limiting growth despite increased CO2 levels…

1. Someone stated that 45% of anthropogenic CO2 releases remain in the atsmosphere. I believe the poster confused isotopic analysis with absolute quantity, as the US Department of Energy analysis determined that only 4% of the increased Anthr.. releases remained in the atsmosphere causing the increase to ~ 380 ppm. Therefore, Chris, increasing Anthro.. [pCO2] induces increased plant (or ocean organism) growth, period. But increasing plant growth and subsequent decay returns increased amounts of CO2 back into the atsmosphere. The sequestration of the 96% of mans’ releases is either captured in urban structures, oceanic cycles, long-lived species (trees, shrubs) or in increases in soil organic matter (which is increasing). How much in each is debated, but a .05% increase in carbon sequestered in the soil could account for all of it. Increased soil organic matter also leads to imcreased biomass (sequestration) as numerous beneficial processes are correlated to OM, ie. nutrient availability, water infiltration and retention, reduction in compacted soil root impedance, etc. IMHO, the significance of this study is humans increasing CO2 contributions are still being sequestered at the same proportionate rate. Logically then, more is being sequestered each year. Plant response indicates this will continue in the same fashion at least up to 700ppm.
2. As a soil scientist/plant physiologist, I can’t address ocean sequestration of CO2. But I hypothesize that the general concept of increasing growth in response to increasing CO2, die-off and sequestration of CO2 in oceanic sedimentation would be similar to terrestrial cycles.
3. Under controlled growth chamber experiments and ideal conditions, plant response to increasing [pCO2] is exponential not linear. Increased growth leads to increased sink (larger plants), leading to further increased growth. Sometimes that increases economic yield, sometimes it just increases biomass. So the issue hinges on the afore-mentioned liebig most limiting factor(s) or mitscherlitz response curves to deficient supplied growth factors. Available light never limits growth response in ambient environmental conditions, it only occurs in light impeded greenhouses (or in cloudy environments). In efficient plant species growing in ambient temperatures that do not cause reduced enzymatic efficiency ( 92 F – 98 F roughly for most C3 and C4 plants , respectively) growth is most limited by the genetic ability to translocate photoassimilate to developing sinks. During daylight hours chloroplasts become feedback impaired by the accumulation of photoassimilate both within the chloroplast itself and in cellular starch granules. Under the process known as dark respiration, these metabolites are transported to the sinks. Deprivation of the dark cycle results in a reduction of genetically acheivable growth to plants in ambient conditions. The necessity for supplemental lighting is a result of greenhouse enclosure reflection of total radiation or specific wavelengths. The majority of increased yields historically acheived have been determined to be increased harvest index, translocation efficiency and other genetic improvements. Outside of these, the main constraints to estimations of increased global biomass are water, both absolute and seasonal timeliness, and nitrogen, then phosphorus, etc. Since the improvement in availability of all growth limiting requirements, and therefore in sequestration of increasing amounts of Anthro… supplied CO2 fertilizer is directly proportional to the cost and availability of energy (to mine, to build water storage structures and canals, to transport, etc.), it behooves mankind to continue to develop energy resources, most notably nuclear. And to continue advances in plant genetics and response to environment, so pony up some money for some real research. ;~D

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 11:13 am

Jeff Id: “What it says is, yes there is statistically more CO2 but that CO2 isn’t building up. It’s being absorbed as fast as we emit it.”
I hope I misunderstand you, because this seems like an odd statement. CO2 most definitely is building up in the atmosphere; that’s the thin black line in Figure 1. That line is increasing, meaning CO2 is not being absorbed by the oceans/soil/biosphere as quickly as we emit it.
The paper is simply saying the fraction going into the atmosphere (vs elsewhere) has not changed.

November 11, 2009 11:15 am

Sophistry in politics (10:32:07) :
Then if you consider that these natural sources can vary up or down in one day by more than ten times what we are able to produce in a whole year you get even more perspective.
Be careful, the figures you use from Vienna are local CO2 levels in a town, nothing to do with global levels which don’t change with more than a fraction of a ppmv per day (global average 5 ppmv over the seasons for 1 degr.C change).
And the micro-Schollander method used in Barrow had an accuracy of +/- 150 ppmv (!). It was intended for measuring CO2 levels in exhaled air (at 20,000 ppmv), not for 300 ppmv in ambient air.
It seems that you rely on the work of Ernst Beck (on historical CO2 measurements) and Jaworowski (on ice cores), but both have their problems… See:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html and
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 11:16 am

Lucy Skywalker: “In the oceans overall, there is always a surplus of calcium ions (Ca++) ready to absorb extra CO2. The little molluscs are everywhere, wrapping up any hint of excess in their shells. Moreover, all the animal and plant life in the oceans need CO2 – again, it is the most fundamental, basic, vital food. Anyone suggesting anything else is a bad scientist. Every bit of CO2 we can get is precious to the biosphere and I hate Al Gore for forcing on people the lie that it is a pollutant.”
The above was worth repeating.
Irrefutable.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Cassanders
November 11, 2009 11:26 am

@carrot eater
But as the measured increase (in the atmosphere) is close to linear, and the anthropogenic output (allegedly) is close to exponential, either the natural carbon sinks must increase or the natural output must diminish (or a combination), yes?
Cassanders
In Cod we trust

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 11:39 am

Tim Clark:
“Someone stated that 45% of anthropogenic CO2 releases remain in the atsmosphere. I believe the poster confused”
That somebody was not a poster, it was the author of the paper being discussed here: Knorr. I think you are confusing the airborne lifetime of an individual CO2 molecule with the overall net accumulations of CO2 in the different sinks (air, ocean, bio).
maksimovich: I don’t see how Marinov’s modeling results (2006) show that that Le Quéré’s (2007) work is incorrect, but in any case, I’ve been using very weak language with Le Quéré’s results for a reason. They’re very preliminary results, and have drawn critical responses. Also, my apologies: I see I described Le Quéré’s work as empirical, but it uses models heavily as well.
But in any case, the point is that any evidence for an already weakening ocean sink is weak and preliminary, to the extent that there is any such evidence. So Knorr’s results aren’t all that surprising or earthshaking. There’s no big trend yet; the question is, will there be one in 50 years?

November 11, 2009 11:40 am

carrot eater (11:13:24) :
I was wrong above. Timetochooseagain pointed out that the lower part of the graph is ‘change in co2’ rather than co2 level. My bad.
The paper means the sinks are working harder not that they’re keeping up.

Dr A Burns
November 11, 2009 11:46 am

I find this paper curious in the context that the oceans release and absorb 20 times as much CO2 as man (IPCC quote). The areas of absorption and degassing vary at different times of the year. The result is that the there is about 2% of the CO2 in the atmosphere being derived from fossil fuels. (I do have links somewhere). I have assumed that the recent increasing CO2 concentrations may have been caused by increasing ocean temperatures, producing a net outgassing, rather than by man. Does this paper imply that the increasing CO2 concentrations are definitely a result of man’s activity ?

November 11, 2009 11:55 am

What interests me most is two little blips in the manmade CO2 emissions record. If (as Ferdinand suggests) the CO2 increase really reflects the manmade increase, then it seems to me there should be CO2 decrease blips to match the manmade blips. But they are not there. I have to thank Derek Alker who pointed this out. And this supports my belief that the apparently constant proportion between our emissions and CO2 increase is largely sheer coincidence – that the CO2 increase is due to oceans warming and outgassing – and that the total CO2 turnover is so large that (with the biosphere) small changes can easily be absorbed in the longer term by the biosphere itself expanding or shrinking. Past CO2 levels have only dropped after the temperature had dropped substantially (ice core records). Perhaps dissolving in the oceans is a slower process than outgassing. Perhaps the plant kingdom has evolved to not use more than 50% of any year’s increase, on the grounds that boom-and-bust is not a good longterm overall strategy for the top species.

November 11, 2009 12:09 pm

carrot eater (07:32:17) :
Ferdinand Engelbeen: You’ve done a nice job trying to explain, but I must take issue with you on comments like this:
“The models on the other hand are programmed to show a saturation of the oceans and vegetation. In that case, the airborne fraction would increase.”

I realize that my take on models were influencing my thoughts… In my former working life, I had some experience with models, be it for physical/chemical processes, not for climate. If you don’t know all important ingredients and (inter)actions, then your model goes anywhere except giving the right answer if something happens with which was not incorporated in the model…
But let’s have a thought about the (possible) future: the upper ocean level is in direct contact with the atmosphere and simply follows the CO2 levels of the atmosphere with some delay. Of more importance is the CO2 flow into the deep oceans. The partial pressure difference for the coldest parts of the oceans, where e.g. the deep ocean conveyer belt is sinking (NE Atlantic) is about 220 microatm air-sea surface. This will increase over time, together with the emissions, while the sea surface doesn’t change much in chemical composition, except for absorbing more CO2 under this higher pressure difference. I don’t see any reason why this should reduce in rate.
At the other side of the oceans, mainly in the tropical Pacific, deep ocean water is upwelling after a lot of time (800-1600 years), but during many centuries not different from the current composition. Thus the main source of natural CO2 is relative constant (besides an ocean temperature component), while the sink is increasing in ratio with increasing CO2 emissions.
When does the ratio go down? Normally when higher CO2 levels in the deep ocean return to the surface. Until now, humans have emitted about 350 GtC as CO2. The deep oceans contain some 38,000 GtC as (bi)carbonate. Or the total emissions over the past centuries increased the deep ocean carbon content with less than 0.1%, which may influence CO2 levels in the atmosphere 800 years from now… Thus even if we assume that we will emit ten times more in total quantity this century, that will influence the CO2 levels in the far future with about 3 ppmv over the pre-industrial level…

Bobn
November 11, 2009 12:24 pm

“little blips” in the manmade co2 record aren’t enough to show up in the mauna loa co2 record. The little blips are slight downturns in emissions, which only slightly slow down co2 rise, not enough I believe to show up.

November 11, 2009 12:26 pm

Jeff Id (10:19:35) :
There are a lot of people missing the point of this paper. What it says is, yes there is statistically more CO2 but that CO2 isn’t building up. It’s being absorbed as fast as we emit it.

No the paper doesn’t say that. It says that CO2 is “building up” at a slower rate than expected.
According to the paper, humans emitted 2 Gt of CO2 in 1850 of which ~1Gt was absorbed and ~1Gt remained in the atmosphere. In recent years, human CO2 emissions have risen to ~35 Gt. Intuitively we might expect that the earth would continue to absorb ~1Gt and leave ~34 Gt in the atmosphere. This is not what is happening. Apparently the same proportion (roughly half) is still being absorbed while the other half accumulates in the atmosphere (the actual values are 55% and 45% respectively) . CO2 is still accumulating in the atmosphere – just not as quickly as thought likely.
A quick back of the envelope calculation shows that atmospheric CO2 has been increasing at the rate of ~0.43% per year. If this rate continues indefinitely then the pre-industrial level of 285 ppm will be doubled in another ~89 years.

Rob
November 11, 2009 12:26 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen (06:11:35) :
Greenhouse growers in The Netherlands and other countries use 1,000 ppmv as guideline (more doesn’t add much growth), or about 2.5xCO2.
Thus indeed in general there is more growth, but not 100% more growth for a 100% higher CO2 concentration. Lack of light, low temperatures, lack of sufficient amounts of minerals/fertiliser or water may be limiting growth despite increased CO2 levels…
I suggest you watch a video titled (Global Warming or Global Governance), start about half way through, This section shows plant growth in higher levels of CO2.
Anne van der Bom (04:16:49)
Thermometers only measure the micro system surrounding the thermometer, urban heat island = rise in temperature, check the rural sites, not much of a sudden increase there.
http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/armagh_air_temp2.jpg

November 11, 2009 12:34 pm

Re: Smokey,
My analysis of CO2 isotope data shows that about two thirds of atmospheric CO2 is going through an inorganic cycle and about one third through the biosphere(which includes fossil fuels). http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 12:36 pm

Cassanders: I’m not sure your eyeballing of curves as linear or exponential is a good way to advance. On a short scale, anything can look linear. One should actually do the math. Knorr did so here, and found that the fraction accumulating in the air has been constant over time. I do have some reservations about Knorr’s methods, though.
There is apparently a sharp difference of opinion among the commenters here: some are happy to see that the oceans are continuing to be efficient carbon sinks; others think the oceans are net outgassing, and are thus sources of CO2, not sinks at all. That’s quite the contradiction. I don’t understand why anybody thinks the oceans are net sources.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 12:52 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen: My point was that you shouldn’t say the models say x, when they don’t actually say x. Whatever issues models have, let’s not misreport their results. The details of how temperature, atmospheric CO2, the solubility pump, biological pump, air and ocean circulation patterns will combine to determine the effectiveness of the ocean sink is beyond my competence on the matter, so I’ll not get into that.

Fred
November 11, 2009 1:09 pm

Why are these scientists taking real measurements & collecting empirical data like this??…..they forgot that the ‘science’ was ‘settled’ apparently?…i mean come on what are they trying to pull?

November 11, 2009 1:24 pm

Anne van der Bom (06:07:49)
In a greenhouse the other factors that determine plant growth are carefully adjusted to match the higher CO2 level. Temperature is one, light is another. Those greenhouses you speak of mostly have nighttime assimilation lighting and increased temperatures and generous amounts of fertilizer are being applied. ;-

People should come to “Westland”, its a part South-Holland in the Netherlands, and it is where i live, assimilation lighting requires screens these days to prevent light flooding/leaking out of the greenhouses, yet still a [snip] load of light comes from these greenhouses.
If the circumstances are right (snowdeck and low cloudcover) at night than it is still quite able to screw-up your day and night rythem if you don’t use heavy curtains to keep out the lights.
But then, this tiny overcrowded country is still a large exporter of flowers and the greenstuff(1) we call food.
(1) the other greenstuff grows also very well in these circumstances, i like to quote the former head of the Dutch Secret service on this: “Its still Dutch agriculture at its very best”.

Toto
November 11, 2009 1:29 pm

It is Dr. Romm, Chip
I believe the technical term for ‘doctors’ who claim to know more than they do is ‘quack’.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 1:32 pm

If I’m allowed another comment, I have some questions about this paper.
The caption of Fig 1 says the dotted line refers to a constant AF of 46%. The text says it is 43%. Which is it?
He then goes on to try statistical fits, with terms for data uncertainty and effects of El Nino and volcanoes. In Fig 1, the simple model looks like it fits the way it does because of the big dip around 1990, which presumably is due to Mt. Pinatubo(?). If it weren’t for that big dip, then the fit might have been different. This makes the volcanic term interesting; I wish he had graphically shown the results where the volcanic term is included. I wonder if this is the best way to account for volcanoes.
The main contribution of the paper seems to be that the slight and barely significant trend found in Canadell (2007) is reduced if one allows for uncertainty in the data. That, and he adds in ice core data, which has higher uncertainty but is nice to look at. I’m not sure I’d call that a bombshell.

November 11, 2009 1:45 pm

D. King (10:47:38) :
Ferdinand Engelbeen (00:08:18) :
Thanks so much for the link.
As a young engineer I had measured many different systems. What
I have found over time, is that an increase in one element of an open
system, rarely results in a linear increase of that element. In other
words, atmospheric CO2 increases are too linear. I don’t trust them.

CO2 levels, while many natural processes are far from linear, show a surprisingly linear reaction (about 8 ppmv/k) to temperature over the past 400,000 years (recently expanded to 800,000 years):
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif
That is clear for the current variability around the upgoing trend too (about 4 ppmv/K). Thus CO2 reacts quite linear to temperature.
The reaction of CO2 levels in the atmosphere to the addition of human CO2 is almost as if the whole CO2 cycle acts as a simple first order dynamic process: it is possible to emulate the increase in the atmosphere (and upper oceans), including the d13C changes, with such a behaviour.
The CO2 measurements are what they are, despite what Derek thinks about them. I have responded to his objections on 5-6 blogs, but did miss the one you mention. But see my replies e.g. at:
http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=102&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
But he seems to be unconvincible…

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 1:47 pm

Fred H. Haynie (12:34:28) :
I read and bookmarked your presentation. Thanks.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Kum Dollison
November 11, 2009 1:53 pm

At these temperatures the oceans are, obviously, not net-out gassers. They came close to being net-neutral in 1998 when the CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere reached something like 3.75 ppm (assuming we’ve been putting out about 4 ppm.
It’s obvious the “fraction” changes with temperature.

supercritical
November 11, 2009 1:59 pm

Fred H Haynie,
re your
“My analysis of CO2 isotope data shows that about two thirds of atmospheric CO2 is going through an inorganic cycle and about one third through the biosphere(which includes fossil fuels).”
Just a speculation that there might be a hidden inorganic cycle. Seawater percolates through the hundreds of thousands of midocean hydrothermal vents. As water goes supercrititcal at these extremes of temperature and pressures, maybe the dissolved Co2 and the water in the vents combine to produce methane hydrates.
( PS congratulations on your excellent presentation slides )

November 11, 2009 2:07 pm

4 billion (06:06:24) :
Geoff Sharp (05:08:05) :
The only way to answer that question is to show me a graph of ocean PH levels over the last 50 years?
————————————
What is the doubt about Ocean acidification? it is simple chemistry.
CO2 + H2O –> H2CO3
The Oceans are absorbing more CO2, nobody disputes that, as it absorbs CO2 the simple reaction described above occurs, simple chemistry. So it shouldn’t be any surprise.

Need the graph, not the chemistry lesson. Its a mighty big ocean out there.

geo
November 11, 2009 2:16 pm

Clearly somebody needs to find these dissident scientists and explain to them that *the science is settled* so they should just STOP this new research.
Alas, my great worry with AGW is that when the house of cards finally crumbles that the proponents longest lasting contribution will have been to seriously damage the credibility of science in the public mind for at least two generations afterwards. And that is dangerous and even tragic.
I hope that the forces that got together to knock over the house of cards will make a point of pointing proudly and often at those scientists who weren’t taken in and provided invaluable contributions to the eventual correct result.

Richard M
November 11, 2009 2:16 pm

Let me see if I understand this correctly. We have been absorbing CO2 within natural sinks for decades and now we are absorbing more than ever. Logically one would think that CO2 sinks should be filling up now instead of increasing in capacity.
I see the warmist want to ignore this logical problem. Not surprising. Just think if the CO2 sinks had absorbed exactly as much CO2 30-40 years ago as they do today, the CO2 would have fallen rather than increased.
The only way this could happen is the overall CO2 is governed by feedbacks that keep the amount in the atmosphere relatively stable. Clearly, biomass represents one negative feedback and there are likely many more that we understand no better than temperature feedbacks. Until the models can include these kind of factors they will be of little or no use in global climate studies.

November 11, 2009 2:25 pm

Fred H. Haynie (12:34:28) :
My analysis of CO2 isotope data shows that about two thirds of atmospheric CO2 is going through an inorganic cycle and about one third through the biosphere(which includes fossil fuels). http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf
Indeed, this is roughly right, but the source of the inorganic cycle is largely known: the oceans. These are seasonal (for the mid-latitudes) and permanent sources (for the tropics) and sinks (for the polar oceans). If we take into account the different in/out flows (deduced from oxygen and d13C measurements), the oceans are good for 90 GtC exchange with the atmosphere (with about 2 GtC more sink than source) over a year and the biosphere is good for 50 GtC exchange (with about 1.4 GtC more sink than source). The remainder of the emissions accumulating in the atmosphere…

adrian kerton
November 11, 2009 2:36 pm

I notice our BBC in the UK has somehow overlooked this important research, nothing on their news site. I wonder why?

November 11, 2009 2:42 pm

Fred H. Haynie (12:34:28),
I just finished reading your link. You have a great ability to explain the situation clearly. I learned a lot, and I’m bookmarking it in my CO2 folder. Thanks for posting it.

Dr A Burns
November 11, 2009 2:59 pm

Ferdinand,
Some very interesting comments in your greenworldtrust link. It made me wonder how the “350” mob would react if they knew that CO2 concentrations in depressions in the forest floor at night can reach 1000ppm. Even the ASHREA standard is “no more than 700 ppm above the outdoor air concentration”, with typical office levels in the range of 600-800ppm.
I could appreciate greenies avoiding work by staying out of offices to avoid those dangerous CO2 levels but I wonder how they would react to having to stay out of forests ?

WAG
November 11, 2009 3:01 pm

Carrot Eater is right. No models predict a major decrease in carbon sink absorptivity… YET. While a few studies found a minor increase in the AT in the last couple of years, there was much uncertainty. So this study adds nothing new, makes no claims about future AT, and has no bearing on climate models.
Anyone who believes this study disproves global warming is making the logical fallacy of extrapolating past trends into the future. Like bankers who predicted that housing prices would never decline, the readers of this site are making the illogical extrapolation that just because the AT has not increased YET, it NEVER will.
The studies I reference come from RealClimate, and to preempt the RC bashing, remember:
1. The RealClimate post comes from 2 years ago before the Knorr study was published, so it cannot be a “biased” rebuttal to a skeptic argument.
2. The conclusions of past studies are simply factual claims of what those studies said, so even if RC is biased, that bias would have no affect on the accuracy of these statements. Just because RC says the sky is blue does not mean that it is green.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/is-the-ocean-carbon-sink-sinking/

November 11, 2009 3:09 pm

Fred H. Haynie (12:34:28) :
May I disagree with your take of CO2 in ice cores? For the highest resolution ice cores at Law Dome (2 cores with 1.5 m ice equivalent snow accumulation per year), the average resolution is 8 years over the past 150 years. The third core with a lower accumulation has a 40 year resolution over 1,000 years. No clathrate formation found after relaxation. The CO2 levels in the three ice cores and still open bubbles of firn at closing depth were the same and there is a 20 year overlap (1960-1980 between the ice core / firn data and the South Pole direct measurements. All within the ice core accuracy (1 sigma = 1.2 ppmv). See:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_sp_co2.jpg and
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg
From Etheridge e.a. at:
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1996/95JD03410.shtml
Thus clathrate (de)formation is not a cause of the lower CO2 levels found for centuries ago.
All ice cores with overlapping gas ages, but complete different circumstances (temperature, dust inclusions, accumulation rate) show the same CO2 levels within 5 ppmv. Thus there is little doubt that CO2 levels found in different ice cores represent the true atmosphere of the past, be it increasingly smoothed at decreasing resolution for extending time periods. See:
antarctic_cores_001kyr_large.jpg
Sea surface temperature is NOT the cause of the recent rise. Even over tenthousands of years sustained increases/decreases during glacials-interglacials is only good for 8 ppmv/K change. Thus the global increase of about 1 K since the LIA is only responsible for 8 ppmv in CO2 level, far from the 100+ ppmv measured…

November 11, 2009 3:10 pm
WAG
November 11, 2009 3:15 pm

Lucy Skywalker and others,
There seems to be confusion over the size Man’s contribution to CO2 – people don’t understand how Man can be responsible for all of the increase in CO2, even though our emissions constitute 2-3% of natural emissions. This results from a misunderstanding of a basic concept called “stocks and flows.” (Don’t worry – a study found that even most MIT students don’t get this concept intuitively, so it’s easy to see how people get confused). Here’s the analogy:
Imagine a bathtub in which the faucet is turned on and the drain is open, and water is entering the tub from the faucet at the same rate it is draining out of it. The tub is in equilibrium; water is entering and exiting the tub at the same rate (the “flow”), so the overall level of water in the tub (the “stock”) does not change. This is like the natural carbon cycle – in equilibrium, CO2 enters and exits the biosphere at the same rate, so the overall level in the atmosphere doesn’t change.
Back to the tub – now imagine that you add a second faucet pouring water into the tub, but only 2% as much as the original faucet. Still, because there is now slightly more water entering the tub as draining out of it, the water level slowly increases. This is like the manmade contribution to CO2 emissions: even though ours are only 2-3% of the total, that 2-3% throws the system out of balance.
So anyone who claims that man’s contributions to CO2 are minor is making a basic, if easy to make error in basic quantitative reasoning. Hope this is helpful.

bill
November 11, 2009 3:18 pm
Bart
November 11, 2009 4:04 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen (23:58:01) :
“Despite the fact that many CO2 releases and absorptions in the natural world are quite non-linear, nature as a whole acts and reacts like a simple first order linear process on disturbances, be it temperature or human emissions.”
Allow me to run with that a little. Let the atmospheric level of CO2 be C, and its rate of change Cdot. Our model is:
Cdot = -C/tau + u + delta_u
where tau is the time constant, u is the underlying rate of natural emission, which I will assume is constant, and delta_u is manmade. delta_u has a form which, since 1950, has been more or less linear, but as of today is less than 0.03*u (3% of the natural emission rate, some say it is 1% or less). We may thus bound the current increase via
Cdot <= -C/tau + (1.03)*u
In the steady state, the increase in C should then be <= 3% of its natural level. However, the increase in C has been much greater than that. What are the possibilities?
A) an amplifying positive feedback – but there is no reason such a feedback should have been inactive until the onset of industrialization, the system is still linear, and the steady state proportionality does not change
B) the system responds to the rate of change of delta_u, i.e., has an amplifying zero, as well as the absolute value
Cdot = -C/tau + u + delta_u + K*d/dt(delta_u)
I can't think of any particular physical mechanism for this, but maybe others can. In any case, the contribution from the derivative term is bounded, and the contribution from the (slowly) linearly increasing delta_u is… slowly increasing.
C) the system has an integral term
Cdot = -C/tau – alpha*intg(C) + u + delta_u
with this value of tau actually larger than before, and previously misidentified. In this paradigm, we would merely be observing the overshoot, and the steady state concentration will settle out to a limit even if we keep increasing emissions linearly.
How might an integral term come about? Let's say plant life increases proportional to C:
Pdot = beta*C
for some constant beta. Then, CO2 is partially removed in proportion to how much plant life there is.
Cdot = -C/tau – alpha*P + u + delta_u
Seems reasonable. I'm not claiming in any way this is what is happening. I’m just saying, if you assume you can model CO2 level as a linear system, these are the simplest and most obvious options, and the last one seems the most reasonable. It will be interesting to see if CO2 starts to come down in the future. It almost looks like it is starting to in the plot at the top.

November 11, 2009 4:12 pm

Wag,
The idea that oceans and air have been in some sort of equilibrium that should tend to maintain a semi constant air concentration is a major flaw in the models. The oceans as both sources and sinks are constantly changing their rates of emissions and absorption depending on the rate and direction of SST changes. The absorbtion in clouds and fog moderates the swings in atmospheric concentrations.

Bart
November 11, 2009 4:15 pm

Of course, the problem with the integral feedback is that, without industrialization, C would have gone back to zero. Lucky we started burning stuff when we did!
OK, ok, we can kluge that up a little. Let
Pdot = beta*(C-C_0)
where C_0 is the “natural” level of C.
This is all fun, but the real point I want to make is, if we accept the data as presented, the increase in CO2 levels relative to the increase in emissions does not add up in a linear systems model, unless there are additional factors which, I think, generally would tend to mitigate future buildup.

November 11, 2009 4:19 pm

WAG (15:15:31),
You continue to be unconvincing. It is clear that your mind is made up. But to clarify the difference for others between climate alarmists and scientific skeptics, the following sums up the current situation:
Those pushing the hypothesis claiming that human emitted CO2 will cause catastrophic runaway global warming [AKA: CO2=CAGW] must convincingly demonstrate that hypothesis. So far, they have failed.
Skeptics, on the other hand, are not saying that CO2 has zero effect on temperature, nor are they saying that global warming is not occurring. Yet the alarmists mendaciously try to frame the argument that way.
All that scientific skeptics are saying is: make a convincing case that your CO2=CAGW hypothesis explains observed reality better than the long accepted theory of natural climate variability. But to make a convincing case, transparency and full cooperation is required.
It is the ethical responsibility of those putting forth a new, untested hypothesis to provide strong empirical evidence that withstands falsification. And ‘evidence’ means the raw data and how it was acquired, not the output from programmed computer climate models, or a dozen cherry-picked trees out of literally millions. In order to falsify a hypothesis, those claiming it must fully and openly cooperate with requests for their raw data and methodologies. But they do not.
The fact that the promoters of the CO2=CAGW hypothesis generally refuse to cooperate with skeptical scientists [which is the only honest kind of scientist] makes falsification extremely difficult; methodologies must be reverse engineered, a very painstaking process. In effect, the CO2=CAGW promoters are saying, “Trust us.”
But that is not how the Scientific Method works. Stonewalling requests for information makes the climate alarmists’ case highly suspect. No true scientific skeptic will accept that kind of an answer.
Furthermore, skeptics have nothing to prove. This isn’t a “my idea versus your idea” debate. The believers in the CO2=CAGW hypothesis have the burden of convincing everyone — not just their particular clique — that CO2 will cause CAGW. Climate alarmists will never convince scientific skeptics, unless/until they lay out all of their information transparently, for everyone to see.
But rather than being honest, cooperative, and and upfront about their claims, climate alarmists have been devious, deliberately withholding the information necessary for experimental replication and falsification of their claimed results. By hiding their raw data and/or methodologies, climate alarmists convince everyone else that they are hiding information because it would lead to falsification of their hypothesis.
It may be true that a minor trace gas can cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. But no skeptic is going to be convinced until all the requested information is provided. Until then, the climate alarmists’ case fails.

D. King
November 11, 2009 4:26 pm

WAG (15:15:31) :
Let me see if I got this right.
Rub a dub dub…too much CO2 in the tub.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 4:32 pm

WAG, that link to real climate is actually very helpful to put this paper in context.
In short, this new paper has little importance, because it isn’t saying anything new; it just disputes the finding of Canadell (2007). Nobody thought the AF would have been increasing much over that time period; if anything the models with coupled carbon cycles actually have a slight decrease in AF over that time period.
Press release overkill.

J. Bob
November 11, 2009 4:50 pm

A lot of the comments seem to be revolving around the Mauna Loa CO2 data. Are there any other CO2 time histories to compare Mauna Loa against? It would seem putting so much weight on a sensor so close to a active volcano, might just give some questionable data.

D. King
November 11, 2009 5:17 pm

J. Bob (16:50:19) :
Yes.
You would think the Mauna Loa sensors would be jumping
all over the place.
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.jpg

Richard M
November 11, 2009 5:20 pm

WAG, your bathtub has a few holes 😉 If the amount of CO2 emitted keeps going up faster and faster and the amount sequestered is also going up (just not quite as fast), your drain must be getting bigger and bigger by just enough to keep the CO2 increase almost linear. Until you can explain precisely how that works your argument/analogy doesn’t hold water 😉
Note, if my data is wrong please let me know. The last I saw China’s emissions were going through the roof with additions from many other developing countries.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 5:30 pm

Bart, your little model is ill-posed from the first line. You have a first-order term for carbon leaving the atmosphere, and a zero-order term for carbon naturally coming into the atmosphere. Why? There isn’t any physical meaning to any of that.
I’ll use made up numbers, but let me try to explain the basic dynamics:
Say there is only ocean and atmosphere. In any given year, 100 units of CO2 go from ocean to air, and 100 units of CO2 go from air back to ocean. On net, the amount of carbon in either place is unchanged.
Now, man starts putting 4 units/year of CO2 into the air directly. Now, 102 units of CO2 go from air to ocean, and 100 units of CO2 go from ocean to air. The amount of CO2 in both ocean and air go up by 2 units/year each. In the terms of the Knorr paper, AF = 50%. Yes, it’s insanely simplified, but I don’t know how else to overcome this difficulty people are having with the transfers.
Bart, if you want your model to actually be able to predict these transfers, you’ll pretty much end up writing a pretty complicated gridded global model.

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 5:33 pm

Smokey (16:19:51) :
Please, make this a speech for the US SENATE!

November 11, 2009 6:00 pm

Ferdinand,
I analyzed the same data and got a 0.15k/ppm relationship which is close to your 8ppm/k. Plotting SSTs calculated from isotope depletion data and SSTs from the .15k/ppm relationship shows they track together up until about 4000 years BC. The tracks begin to deviate linearly until about 1800 were the relationship calculated SST rises exponentially to give you a classic hockey stick. The later calculated values are unrealistically high while the isotope data values are in good agreement with measured SSTs.

Bart
November 11, 2009 6:05 pm

carrot eater (17:30:23) :
“…and a zero-order term for carbon naturally coming into the atmosphere. Why? There isn’t any physical meaning to any of that.”
Of course there is:

Natural sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide include volcanic outgassing, the combustion of organic matter, and the respiration processes of living aerobic organisms; man-made sources of carbon dioxide include the burning of fossil fuels for heating, power generation and transport, as well as some industrial processes such as cement making. It is also produced by various microorganisms from fermentation and cellular respiration.

Without it, the CO2 of the atmosphere would soon be depleted. This is all part of the carbon cycle, with which any reader of this website should at least have some passing familiarity.
“Now, man starts putting 4 units/year of CO2 into the air directly. Now, 102 units of CO2 go from air to ocean, and 100 units of CO2 go from ocean to air. The amount of CO2 in both ocean and air go up by 2 units/year each. In the terms of the Knorr paper, AF = 50%. Yes, it’s insanely simplified, but I don’t know how else to overcome this difficulty people are having with the transfers.”
It is not that simple. At all. Not all CO2 goes into the ocean, and the ocean reservoir itself is vast and has its own natural sequestration mechanisms. See here:

CO2 consumed annually by the photosynthesis of land plants give fluxes in the range 10 – 70 times higher than produced by man; photosynthesis by marine plants give fluxes in the range 50 to 250 times higher (Revelle and Suess, 1957)… The oceans to a depth of about 4 km are supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate (Broecker et al., 1979). This would facilitate precipitation of calcium carbonate for any additional input of CO2 through the atmosphere/ocean interface, and thereby oceans will consume any excess CO2 in the atmosphere… Any additional CO2 entering the ocean from the atmosphere will have the potential of precipitating calcium carbonate according to the Principle of le Châtelier (average ocean depth 3.8 km; average calcite saturation depth 4 km). This is why the vast sedimentary CO2 reservoir has been accumulated on the Earth’s surface throughout its history.

And, there are other natural mechanisms for carbon sequestration being discovered all the time.

carrot eater
November 11, 2009 6:22 pm

Bart: Of course it isn’t that simple; I said as much. My comment was meant to show your model was poorly formulated, and to try to explain how huge volumes go around the cycle, without causing accumulation in any one part. If you’re going to go wikipedia, you might as well just stare at the cute carbon cycle there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_cycle-cute_diagram.svg
Staring at that diagram and tracing all the flows will be more beneficial than trying to write your own model from scratch. Yes, there is some uncertainty in some of the numbers on there, but it’s good enough for the purpose here.
You’ve identified various ways carbon enters and leaves the atmosphere. My complaint is that you’ve arbitrarily made the entrance term to be zero order, and the departure term to be first order with respect to the atmospheric concentration. It’s those decisions that have no physical basis, within your simplistic model.

CodeTech
November 11, 2009 6:29 pm

Hilarious!
WAG, do you actually believe your model of a bathtub at 15:15:31 has any place in this discussion? Truthfully, that’s the kind of explanation you’d give a 6 year old. I especially liked the condescending claptrap at the beginning about what “we” don’t “get intuitively”.
Your little tirade fails to take into account that said bathtub is capable of growing and shrinking, there are differing levels of evaporation from the tub depending on its water level, water enters at varying temperatures, and overflowing won’t cause any serious harm because there’s a giant floor drain right beside it.
However, if your understanding of atmospheric gases is that minimal, hey, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. I do, however, recommend an excellent line of books for you written by Dr. Seuss.
Reply: Back down the tone please, this is pushing well over the line. ~ charles the moderator

WAG
November 11, 2009 7:01 pm

Fred – you’re right, the bathtub analogy is a little simplistic. The carbon cycle acts as a dynamic equilibrium – small oscillations around a constant level – which is not captured by a simple analogy. However, the mechanism you’ve proposed does not explain the massive, sustained increase in CO2 unprecedented in the last 400,000 years (and likely 15 million).
Smokey – please explain how you would empirically “test” AGW *without* using a model, considering that the point is to predict what is going to happen in the future? And considering that by the time the earth has warmed enough to have “tested” AGW theory it will be too late to reverse, what should we do in the present in the face of less-than-100% certainty? What, specifically, would you have to see for you to accept AGW?
Also, considering that you demand such a high bar for evidence, I find it a little odd that you dismiss what I’ve said by asserting that it’s “unconvincing.” Dismissing arguments out of hand without engaging them is the sure sign of someone “whose mind is made up.” If you had consulted your Monty Python, you would know that an argument is a series of connected statements meant to establish a proposition; Contradiction is the automatic gainsaying of whatever the other person says.

Please explain why increasing the rate of a flow into a stock does not cause the stock to increase. Also, please explain why a study finding that the AT has not increased yet proves that it NEVER will. I hear AIG is hiring.
Carrot eater – thanks. I’ll be posting that info soon.

Nick Stokes
November 11, 2009 7:09 pm

Bart (18:05:33) That’s a dodgy reference that you have there,

Any additional CO2 entering the ocean from the atmosphere will have the potential of precipitating calcium carbonate according to the Principle of le Châtelier

Quite wrong. CO2 reacts with carbonate ions in solution to produce bicarbonate. By removing the carbonate ions, it makes CaCO3 more apt to dissolve. It is dissolved CO2 that promotes formation of limestone caves.

bill
November 11, 2009 7:14 pm

J. Bob (16:50:19) :
D. King (17:17:55) :
in bill (06:19:36) I wrote
Mauna Loa Do not take readings when wind direction can pull in volcanic etc CO2.
There are many different sites, and a couple of different measurement methods – Flask and in situ
The ML readings are then algorithmically shifted to represent the CO2 values on 15th of each month.
“Values above represent monthly concentrations adjusted to represent 2400 hours on the 15th day of each month. ”
Multi site CO2 data here:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/sio-keel.html
CO2 growth rate:
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_gr_mlo.txt
Plotted here:
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/8276/growthrateco2year.jpg
Growth rate certainly seems to have an upward trend (although stalled for last 5 years)
Other sites data for CO2
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/flask/month/
Here’s a plot of Co2 from a few places, included is CH4
http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/6153/co2manysitesch4.jpg
In this plot from only a couple of years you can see that most of the annual variation happens in the NH. but only at South Pole does a SH annual cycle predominate. The most annual variation occurs around the arctic circle.

D. King
November 11, 2009 7:39 pm

bill (19:14:25) :
Mauna Loa Do not take readings when wind direction can pull in volcanic etc CO2.
As the wind blows?
Please tell me I’m not the only one who has a problem with this.

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2009 7:47 pm

Anne van der Bom (04:16:49) :
Ron de Haan (02:53:56)
“Do you have an explanation for the 0.7 degrees of warming since pre-industrial times? Since CO2 rose by 35%, according to prof. Lindzen’s paper, that should have been no more than 2 tenths of a degree. What caused the other 0.5 degrees?”
Anne, I think that the Urban Heat Island Effect is the only real and measurable Anthropogenic influence on temperatures and all the rest is due to natural cycles.
This is a volcanic planet and despite major volcanic events that screwed up the climate over several years, no tipping points were reached and everything went back to normal.
The bear fact that we are present at this planet despite a number real big volcanic eruptions and huge fluctuations in global temperatures is sufficient reason for me not to worry about a few tenth’s of a degree variation in Global Temperatures we measure today.
And I don’t see any reason to mitigate our CO2 emissions, change our civilization and replace it by a polished up version of communism, because that s what behind this entire theater.
So if you want to live in a society where the President of the USA is granted absolute powers only because a few loons made up a Bill that says we are in a crises if the atmospheric CO2 level reaches 450 ppm, be my guest, but not in my life time.

bill
November 11, 2009 7:58 pm

D. King (19:39:22) :
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html
The observatory is surrounded by many miles of bare lava, without any vegetation or soil. This provides an opportunity to measure “background” air, also called “baseline” air, which we define as having a CO2 mole fraction representative of an upwind fetch of hundreds of km. Nearby emission or removal of CO2 typically produces sharp fluctuations, in space and time, in mole fraction. These fluctuations get smoothed out with time and distance through turbulent mixing and wind shear. A distinguishing characteristic of background air is that CO2 changes only very gradually because the air has been mixed for days, without any significant additions or removals of CO2.
At Mauna Loa we use the following data selection criteria:
The standard deviation of minute averages should be less than 0.30 ppm within a given hour
The hourly average should differ from the preceding hour by less than 0.25 ppm.
Hours that are likely affected by local photosynthesis are indicated by a “U” flag in the hourly data file,
In keeping with the requirement that CO2 in background air should be steady, we apply a general “outlier rejection” step,

CodeTech
November 11, 2009 8:03 pm

ctm – sorry, I withdraw the last sentence. But only that one… 🙂

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 8:05 pm

WAG to Smokey – “Please explain how you would empirically “test” AGW *without* using a model, considering that the point is to predict what is going to happen in the future?”
Well, the AGW alarmists could start, EMPIRICALLY, by presenting real, observable data…that proves (and I mean “prove” in the strict scientific sense) their case.
But they can’t….because the data is either not there, or can be explained within the bounds of natural climate variation.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

J. Bob
November 11, 2009 8:09 pm

In looking at the above graphs noted by Bill, all the graphs, save one in Canada’s NW Terr., border the Pacific. Any others from Europe, Africa or Asia. Just a thought, but one common thread is the loss of plant life (less CO2 absorption) and urban growth (increasing temperatures). Any correlations out there?

B E Brill
November 11, 2009 8:25 pm

If the Bristol paper shows that 55% of anthropogenic emissions (no more, no less) are ALWAYS taken out of the atmosphere by natural processes, then what is the point of issuing carbon credits for man-made sinks?
Any reductions in airborne CO2 brought about by planting trees, soil tillage – or even CCS – will be cancelled out automatically by adjustments in the natural program.

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 8:31 pm

WAG to Smokey “And considering that by the time the earth has warmed enough to have “tested” AGW theory it will be too late to reverse, what should we do in the present in the face of less-than-100% certainty?”
Do you really think your Non Causa Pro Causa goes unnoticed here?
Regardless of that, so what you are saying is, “It doesn’t matter if it is proven, we have to do something NOW, before its too late.”
It is exactly THAT gloom and doom HUSTLING of this pet theory (We call it pseudoscience) on the reasoning world, the same HUSTLING that is poised to cap and trade (and make billionaires out of Gore and his friends) the world back to the Stone Age….it is exactly THAT which makes the “we’ve got to do something now” argument…so reprehensible.
Two separate arguments here.
If the alarmists said they wanted to end AGP (Anthropogenic Global Pollution), I would be *somewhat* on board.
(I mean…who doesn’t want to clean up pollution, right?).
But they don’t stop there. They equate manmade pollution with climate change, which is grossly unproven.
And, contrary to what Lisa Jackson wants to think, CO2 is not a pollutant.
Coal dust is, but CO2 is not.
That is the worst problem here: They have an environmental agenda, but then they tack that environmental agenda to pseudoscience.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 8:42 pm

WAG to Smokey: “What, specifically, would you have to see for you to accept AGW?”
That’s easy: A complete technical, scientific proof of the AGW theory.
Until then….it is a just a theory….and not a strong one at that. In fact, in line with other ideas about natural climate variation, it is a weak, weak, sickly sister.
And in reference to the phrase “accept AGW”:
Indicative of the whole startlingly *evangelical* tone this devastatingly embarrassing chapter of science has taken, no doubt.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

November 11, 2009 8:51 pm

savethesharks (20:31:57),
I thought I had made my point to WAG pretty clear when I pointed out that the alarmist crowd has been deliberately withholding the information necessary for experimental replication and falsification of their claimed results. That is the central problem.
It’s not that I am setting the bar too high like WAG claims. The problem is that the promoters of the hypothesis deliberately refuse to cooperate with requests for the raw data and methodologies they used to arrive at their conclusions.
Until they make their data and methods transparent, and fully cooperate with the requests of other scientists, people will remain skeptical of their conclusions.

DaveE
November 11, 2009 8:52 pm

savethesharks (20:31:57) :

Coal dust is, but CO2 is not.

That’s better!
DaveE.

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 8:58 pm

WAG to Smokey: “Also, considering that you demand such a high bar for evidence, I find it a little odd that you dismiss what I’ve said by asserting that it’s “unconvincing.”
Huh? You are shooting yourself in the foot on that one. Look at what you are saying.
At any rate, glad that you appreciate and observe his high bar of evidence.
It’s the natural place to be for a skeptic.
Perhaps you could learn something.
Wag to Smokey: “Dismissing arguments out of hand without engaging them is the sure sign of someone “whose mind is made up.”
Pot Callingimus Kettle Blackimus Uniterruptedness.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 8:59 pm

WAG to Smokey: “Please explain why increasing the rate of a flow into a stock does not cause the stock to increase.”
Take the Dead Sea, for example. Now I am sure the rate of flow of the Jordan River varies….but it is not sufficient to cause the Dead Sea to fill up and overflow.
Evaporation is a very strong beast.
WAG to Smokey “Also, please explain why a study finding that the AT has not increased yet proves that it NEVER will.”
Huh??? Wha???
WAG to Smokey: “I hear AIG is hiring.”
I’ll bet you are just what they are looking for! 🙂
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Bart
November 11, 2009 8:59 pm

carrot eater (18:22:24) :
“My complaint is that you’ve arbitrarily made the entrance term to be zero order, and the departure term to be first order with respect to the atmospheric concentration.”
In actuality, I made the input “u” a constant, and considered the term “delta_u” to be linear in time. That is why I stated “delta_u has a form which, since 1950, has been more or less linear [in time]”. It was not arbitrary. It was based on the Figure 1 graph in the Knorr paper shown above.
As far as the departure term, that is simply a standard linear feedback. The rate at which carbon leaves is (at least) proportional to the amount in the atmosphere. That is also suggested by Figure 1.
So, I think perhaps you have leapt to some conclusions, and need to think it through a little more carefully.

4 billion
November 11, 2009 9:05 pm

Evidence of increased atmospheric CO2 effecting Marine life
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/320/5874/336

WAG
November 11, 2009 9:34 pm

Savethesharks –
Interesting circular reasoning. Your response to “how do you empirically test AGW” is “show empirical evidence.” Your response to “what would prove global warming” is “proof.”
My point is simple: It is definitionally impossible to empirically prove a future event. Empirical proof means a real-world result that confirms a hypothesis. So in the case of AGW, the basic hypothesis is that continuing to put CO2 into the atmosphere will cause several degrees of warming. Empirical proof of the AGW hypothesis would mean waiting 50-100 years and seeing how much the temperature has increased. Of course, by that time, it would be too late to do anything about it. So the best we can do is make predictions using models based on our best understanding of how the world works. (Although I’m shortchanging the evidence we DO have: here is an unanswerable proof:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming.htm)
Of course, as I’ve said before, all climate skeptic arguments rely on models too, since any alarmist predictions of “economic doom” is based on economic models. These models are based on human behavior, which is much harder to predict than chemistry and physics. Hell, economic models don’t even account for technological change, which is why past analyses of environmental legislation have always overestimated the costs, according to the socialist magazine BusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com/investing/green_business/archives/2009/09/one_potential_b.html
So it’s pretty clear that the economic costs of cap-and-trade are much more uncertain than the science of global warming. But don’t ask me, ask the company with the most to lose from global warming:
http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/11/dont-believe-in-global-warming-ask.html

D. King
November 11, 2009 10:03 pm

WAG (21:34:13) :
So it’s pretty clear that the economic costs of cap-and-trade are much more uncertain than the science of global warming.
These models are based on human behavior, which is much harder to predict than chemistry and physics.

You were saying?

CodeTech
November 11, 2009 10:37 pm

WAG,
PROOF is not difficult. Show a credible link between the recorded rise of CO2 and warming.
Not something modeled, not something based on faulty thermometers with horrid siting. Something CREDIBLE.
See, you’re missing the obvious fact that none of what “your side” has demonstrated is the least bit credible.
That really would convince a lot of “skeptics”, but it will never happen. There is no credible evidence to be shown, it does not exist.
See how easy that is?

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 11:02 pm

WAG: “My point is simple: It is definitionally impossible to empirically prove a future event. Empirical proof means a real-world result that confirms a hypothesis.”
As evidenced in the above quote and otherwise: Circular reasoning is definitely YOUR expertise, my friend, so, I understand why you would want to project it on someone else.
Nice try.
If it is “impossible to empirically prove a future event,”…then why not show forth the evidence of the catastrophic, out-of-control global warming, as ALREADY manifested??
Natural climate variations…including recoveries from the LIA…can not be included into the mix.
Where is your evidence? Hard, scientifically proven evidence based upon real-time observations??
Where is it? Show it? Prove it??
Sorry bud, but the burden of proof is on you….or are you going to avoid the logic here too?
Cue chirping crickets.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 11:07 pm

CodeTech: “See, you’re missing the obvious fact that none of what “your side” has demonstrated is the least bit credible That really would convince a lot of “skeptics”, but it will never happen. There is no credible evidence to be shown, it does not exist.”
The gritty, grimy, but in the end, CRYSTAL CLEAR truth of the matter.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

savethesharks
November 11, 2009 11:13 pm

WAG says: Of course, as I’ve said before, all climate skeptic arguments rely on models too, since any alarmist predictions of “economic doom” is based on economic models. These models are based on human behavior, which is much harder to predict than chemistry and physics. Hell, economic models don’t even account for technological change, which is why past analyses of environmental legislation have always overestimated the costs, according to the socialist magazine.”
Huh????
Does not compute. Dude….you are jumping logic mid-sentence.
All climate skeptic arguments rely on models too, since WHA???
What is the question here?
You are off your rocker on this post.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

tallbloke
November 12, 2009 12:10 am

John Finn (03:30:29) :
The ‘mystery’ , here, is why the oceans and biosphere decide to absorb more CO2 just because more is available.

Because co2 has been at a historically very low level for a long time and the trees can’t get enough of it. The planet has vast capacity to become more verdant, and therefore damper. Win Win.

November 12, 2009 12:49 am

WAG wrote,
“It is definitionally impossible to empirically prove a future event. Empirical proof means a real-world result that confirms a hypothesis. So in the case of AGW, the basic hypothesis is that continuing to put CO2 into the atmosphere will cause several degrees of warming. Empirical proof of the AGW hypothesis would mean waiting 50-100 years and seeing how much the temperature has increased.”
You are perfectly correct there. We cannot empirically confirm a model’s prediction of an event 100 years in the future until that 100 years has passed. We can, however, test the model which makes that prediction in other ways. We can, for example, see whether predictions the model has made in the past for the present have been confirmed. We can also run the model with the starting parameters for some known past time, and see whether the predictions they make track the empirical record. We can also examine the many assumptions upon which the model relies for generating its predictions, and see whether *they* can be verified empirically.
The GCMs available, upon which the IPCC relies for its predictions, have not done well on such tests. They have not, for example, correctly predicted the climate over the last 20 years. When hindcast, they do not predict the MWP or the LIE, which the empirical evidence appears to confirm. The increased frequency and intensity of unusual weather events predicted by the models has not been confirmed either. The correlation between the atmospheric CO2 trend and the temperature trend over the last 100 years is weak. The effects of warming on cloud formation and distribution, which can greatly affect climate sensitivity to CO2, is admitted by the IPCC to be poorly understood. The various assumptions made concerning IR radiative losses, the role and efficiency of various CO2 sinks, the validity of proxies for past temperatures, and numerous others, are challenged by new work on an almost daily basis.
So we don’t have to wait 100 years to evaluate the models. We can evaluate them on the basis of the empirical evidence we have now, and on their performance to date.

JamesG
November 12, 2009 1:47 am

“The Oceans are absorbing more CO2, nobody disputes that,”
This is the nub of the problem; they really should dispute it because it doesn’t matter which numbers you stick into Henry’s law, a warming ocean should be a source of CO2, not a sink. The idea that it is a sink comes merely from simplistic and error-filled IPCC arithmetic:
They calculate the amount we emit (which by the way is about 3% of the biosphere flux) then they add an amount from supposed deforestation (the opposite of physical reality in a greening, warming world) then they subtract a calculated amount for tree absorption. They then compare the result with what is measured in the atmosphere and the remainder, called “the missing sink” is assumed to go into the warming sea. This seaborne fraction is then stuck into more models to calculate – not measure – rising pH levels in the sea. This isn’t science it is just bad arithmetic and worse logic.
The whole numerical exercise is invalidated by the massive error bars and the percentage of man’s input versus natures flux. But besides that, the postulated deforestation is far less than natural reforestation so that figure should subtract, not add. They have consistently underestimated the amount absorbed by vegetation and overestimated the residence time of CO2 which makes the official IPCC numbers used practically meaningless.
If you do the arithmetic properly then you don’t get any “missing sink” at all – which would agree with chemistry and physics, unlike the IPCC conclusions. Yet it’s true – few dispute that the “missing” CO2 goes in the sea. Why? Is it general massive stupidity?

supercritical
November 12, 2009 1:55 am

Re the bathtub analogy,
Personally I find such analogies useful, as they it allows certain types of consequential reasoning chains to be created, like this:
If the water pressure at the plug-hole varies in response to water depth, then a new, higher equilibrium level may emerge.
As Henry’s law is to do with the partial pressure of the gas above the liquid, then an increase in atmosperic CO2 ought to result in a new higher equilibrium.
Given that Henry’s law indicates around 1: 50 ratio for the equilibrium between free vs dissolved C02 in water, then a CO2 rise of say 2 ppm/yr should indicate that a 100ppm equivalent has been dissolved in the oceans.
So, we could conjecture the need to have an actual initial CO2 emission into the atmosphere of 102 ppm/yr, if we measure a 2ppm/yr increase.
So, how does this 102 ppm/yr compare with the equivalent yearly Anthropic emissions?

November 12, 2009 2:14 am

carrot eater (17:30:23) :
Bart, your little model is ill-posed from the first line. You have a first-order term for carbon leaving the atmosphere, and a zero-order term for carbon naturally coming into the atmosphere. Why? There isn’t any physical meaning to any of that.
I’ll use made up numbers, but let me try to explain the basic dynamics:
Say there is only ocean and atmosphere. In any given year, 100 units of CO2 go from ocean to air, and 100 units of CO2 go from air back to ocean. On net, the amount of carbon in either place is unchanged.
Now, man starts putting 4 units/year of CO2 into the air directly. Now, 102 units of CO2 go from air to ocean, and 100 units of CO2 go from ocean to air. The amount of CO2 in both ocean and air go up by 2 units/year each. In the terms of the Knorr paper, AF = 50%. Yes, it’s insanely simplified, but I don’t know how else to overcome this difficulty people are having with the transfers.
Bart, if you want your model to actually be able to predict these transfers, you’ll pretty much end up writing a pretty complicated gridded global model.

This is a good description of the process for those (and there seems to be a lot) who are having difficulty getting their head round the issue.
If I could just make a little amendment we might be able to help clear up another misconception about average CO2 residence time. In his example, Carrot eater states that “the amount of carbon in either place is unchanged” . If we now let the unchanged amount be 500 units then it should be reasonably clear to see that each molecule of CO2 has an average residence time of ~5 years. Many people seem to think that this apparently short time means that CO2 levels will drop very quickly if Anthro-CO2 emissions are reduced. They won’t because the residence time is governed primarily by the absorption and natural emission rates.
Carrot eater is, no doubt, a dyed in the wool warmer ( nobody’s perfect 🙂 ), but it might be worth inviting him or her to do a simple, short post explaining the numbers behind the carbon cycle. There are a lot of percentages being bandied about and most (~93.46%) of them are clearly borne out of confusion.

November 12, 2009 2:44 am

tallbloke (00:10:09) :
John Finn (03:30:29) :

The ‘mystery’ , here, is why the oceans and biosphere decide to absorb more CO2 just because more is available.


Because co2 has been at a historically very low level for a long time and the trees can’t get enough of it. The planet has vast capacity to become more verdant, and therefore damper. Win Win.
Then why didn’t the trees absorb ALL the anthropogenic emissions when emissions were lower.
At the end of the day human emissions are responsible for the atmospheric CO2 increases – particularly over the last 50 years. The fact that concentrations are not rising as much as expected just means that the 2 x pre-industrial CO2 level might not be reached until ~2100 rather than ~2060 or whatever.

bill
November 12, 2009 3:17 am

CodeTech (22:37:00) :
PROOF is not difficult. Show a credible link between the recorded rise of CO2 and warming.
Not something modeled, not something based on faulty thermometers with horrid siting. Something CREDIBLE.
That really would convince a lot of “skeptics”, but it will never happen. There is no credible evidence to be shown, it does not exist.

A truly amazing set of statements
We will not believe AGW without absolute proof.
We know that there is no true record of temperature to present day
You cannot use models
We need provide no proof of GW without the A
Where does that leave humanity.
AGW CANNOT be proven – you have dismissed all evidence.
We must wait to see what happens in 50-100 years.
We will then take action if necessary.
BUT it takes decades to change the climate.
You have postulated that GW is not AGW, but you have no PROOF –
you have no proof of cycles (the temperature record is faulty).
You cannot prove LIA/MWP/RWP etc as this relies on hearsay and temperature records.
You do not know the effect on ALL of ecology of increased CO2.
Unless proof that GW is not AGW, or AGW is true, or there is no GW, we are setting sail on a course with unknown destination.
Is this wise with the world at stake?
Which is the safe option? Is wealth more important than humanity?
Your statements say AGW cannot be proven. So surely it should be up to the sceptics to provide proof that AGW is not happening? Isn’t there too much at stake to tell warmists you must prove AGW whilst saying that this is impossible and we will not believe it anyway?

The Ville
November 12, 2009 3:27 am

hmmm, interesting!

bill
November 12, 2009 3:39 am

JamesG (01:47:08) :
http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/6153/co2manysitesch4.jpg
Take the 1st cycle shown for Barrow:
Min=358.5ppm
Max=375.5ppm
difference = 17ppm
This is similar over the whole record (I have not mathematically checked this)
This represents the absorption of CO2 by flora and fawna.
It does not seem to be linked to sea temperature
At the current growth rate:
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/8276/growthrateco2year.jpg
this is equivalent to about 9 years of increase.
Since this breathing of CO2 has remained at at similar amplitude over the data record (i’ll check this later) There does not seem to have been an increase in flora/fauna absoption unless this is happening in the tropics (no seasons).
Why is the greening of the near-arctic not absorbing more CO2?

November 12, 2009 4:46 am

Bart (16:15:14) :
I have a much simpler model, which covers at least the previous 800,000 years (from ice cores) up to the most recent data:
C(new) = C(old) + 0.55*d(emissions) +4*dT
Where the short term dT factor of 4 ppmv/K must be increased to 8 ppmv/K for (very) long time periods. The factor 0.55 for the emissions is a matter of physics: at one side we have the “baseline” CO2 levels, dictated by the temperature level and a disturbance by adding some extra CO2 to the dynamic equilibrium. The disturbance is removed at a rate of about 38 years (half life time) or 55 years (e-folding time), see the work of Peter Dietze, who has figured it out:
http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
With a constant addition of about 7 GtC/year, a new equilibrium would be reached at about 420 ppmv (+130 ppmv over the 290 ppmv equilibrium at current temperatures). But as we emit with increasing amounts, there is little hint of a new equilibrium and CO2 goes up near linearly.

carrot eater
November 12, 2009 5:04 am

Bart,
Here is the first line of your model.
Cdot = -C/tau + u + delta_u
Just looking at it, one can see already that it will give unphysical results, mainly due to the first term. I’m trying to spare you the trouble of trying to then understand those unphysical results.
The u term is what you’re calling the natural inflow term. You would have this include exchanges from the oceans, soils, vegetation, volcanoes, and whatever else. Because you don’t want to actually write a huge model that physically describes all those things, you’ll cheat and say you already know it’s roughly constant over time, so you put it in as a constant. OK, fine for now, though it will limit the usefulness of the exercise. For one, the natural flows will change slightly as man adds more carbon to the picture, but let’s neglect that for now.
Then you have a delta_u term for man-made contributions. You say it increases linearly over time; as a first approximation, fine. But if that’s what you want it to do, you should do what you say and actually write it as a term that’s linear with time:
man term = (some slope)*t.
I see you wanted to say this term was roughly equal to 0.03 * u, which might be roughly true for now, but if you actually solve your differential equation, you’ll end up with a constant man-made inflow, not one that’s linear with time.
But my biggest problem is with your -C/tau term: this, presumably, is to describe exchanges back to the oceans, soil, vegetation, rocks, and whatever else. If you were being consistent, you should have just made this a constant, just like your natural inflow term u. Instead, you tried to half-way describe the physics of the transfer in there, by saying the outflow was proportional to C, and ended up with something unphysical.
If you still don’t see the issue, then consider your model in the absence of man:
dC/dt = -C/tau + u
You can see that in the absence of man, the amount of carbon in your atmosphere changes over time. That alone should tell you there’s a problem.
For the fun of it, that solves to
C = (Co – u*tau)(exp(-t/tau)) + u*tau. C starts at Co, and then exponentially decays to u*tau. This decay has no physical meaning; it’s just an artifact of how you set up the model, with a constant natural inflow and a non-constant natural outflow.

Ron de Haan
November 12, 2009 5:20 am

bill (03:39:23) :
“Why is the greening of the near-arctic not absorbing more CO2?”
Because of the lower temperatures lead slow growth.

carrot eater
November 12, 2009 5:24 am

JamesG:
“it doesn’t matter which numbers you stick into Henry’s law, a warming ocean should be a source of CO2, not a sink. ”
There are all sorts of issues with this statement. Mainly, you’re ignoring that the partial pressure of CO2 in the air above is increasing at the same time. You’re also treating the ocean as one well-mixed fully saturated body, and then we’ve got the multiple chemical equilibria in the ocean, and biological interactions. You’ll see it isn’t easy to predict a priori whether the oceans will be a net source or sink. You should think things through before you accuse an entire field of being unable to do chemistry or physics.

carrot eater
November 12, 2009 6:28 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen:
In your little model, you have a term “+4*dT”, where dT looks like the change in temperature. I’m guessing you invoked that term to cover the change in atmospheric CO2 levels coming in and out of the ice ages. That’s fine; it’s a statistically fit term, but fine (I’m not at all fine with the non-constant constant, 4 or 8, but that’s for another day). Your 0.55 I’m guessing corresponds to Knorr’s 0.46, the airborne fraction? I’ll assume you’ve taken care of unit conversions as needed.
My question: do you keep that thermal term during the interglacial, meaning, now? You shouldn’t, because that term is for a process that isn’t currently occurring. The thermal term is saying that the land and ocean are net sources, not sinks. But from your comments, I can tell you accept that the ocean is still a sink. So this is an inconsistency.

tallbloke
November 12, 2009 6:52 am

John Finn (02:44:37) :
tallbloke (00:10:09) :
co2 has been at a historically very low level for a long time and the trees can’t get enough of it. The planet has vast capacity to become more verdant, and therefore damper. Win Win.
Then why didn’t the trees absorb ALL the anthropogenic emissions when emissions were lower.

Because it takes time for trees to get fatter and generate bigger appetites.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/5109251/Trees-are-growing-faster-and-could-buy-time-to-halt-global-warming.html
At the end of the day human emissions are responsible for the atmospheric CO2 increases – particularly over the last 50 years.
Only if you assume all else is equal. Which it clearly is not.

supercritical
November 12, 2009 6:56 am

Looking at the Mauna Loa graphs, I have doubt over accepting that a signal of apparent annual fluctuation of atmospheric CO2 is due to vegetation behaviour in the northern hemisphere.
I can understand that greenery eaily takes up CO2 in the growing season, but I can’t see how the greenery then gives up C02 just as easily, in the autum and winter.
Maybe the fluctuations are partly due to our old friend Henry’s law and the arctic ocean. IF ice does not take up CO2, but the cold sea-surface does, then we could see a huge difference in CO2 absorbtion as the artic ocean thaws and ices over.

Richard M
November 12, 2009 7:12 am

WAG: ” Empirical proof of the AGW hypothesis would mean waiting 50-100 years and seeing how much the temperature has increased. Of course, by that time, it would be too late to do anything about it.”
I find this remark typical of AGW alarmists. It’s as if we’ve reached our technological pinnacle and nothing will be learned in the next 100 years. Obviously, this demonstrates less than optimum critical thinking abilities. The truth is we should be able to handle the problems far more easily in 100 years than we can today if we need to. WAG, if you don’t understand this look at technology 100 years in the past.
The real issue here is this typical of most AGW supporters. Are they really this limited in their abilities to think ahead?

M White
November 12, 2009 7:23 am

“Climate change study shows Earth is still absorbing carbon dioxide”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/6538300/Climate-change-study-shows-Earth-is-still-absorbing-carbon-dioxide.html
It’s in the Telegraph

Richard M
November 12, 2009 7:59 am

Here’s a relevant example to my previous post.
What if man had found a rather large asteroid in space early in the 20th century. Using the technology of the time we could predict that the asteroid would impact the Earth in 100 years. The impact would occur in the middle of the North Atlantic creating massive tsunamis that would flood all coastal areas less than 100 feet in elevation.
One approach to this problem would have been to evacuate all coastal areas and use them for specific purposes but no one could live there. This would have been extremely costly to society at the time. We could also have undertaken building massive sea walls along all the coastal regions. Do these approaches sound a little bit like many of the AGW solutions where we MUST act now? Of course, we now know we could have sent space craft developed 40-50 years later and redirected the asteroid at minor costs to society. Not only that but the calculations at that time may have been off by just enough so that the asteroid would have missed Earth altogether and advances in technology could have determined that in due time. Many times a wait and see attitude is far superior to knee-jerk reactions based on limited knowledge.
This example demonstrates that acting now on imprecise knowledge is probably not a good idea for something that won’t be a problem for many decades. The “it will be too late” argument is really very poor.

CodeTech
November 12, 2009 8:18 am

bill, speaking of a truly amazing set of statements… you claim “the world is at stake”, along with other unreasonably alarming and unfounded statements.
The rest of us, however, are not so gullible.
Again, you’ve missed the entire concept of “credible”.
Do you have no understanding of the concept of credibility?

November 12, 2009 8:21 am

The Artic ocean is the big drain in the bath tub model. Every year ice covers the drain and the CO2 level rises. When the ice thaws, the exposed cold Arctic (and diluted) sea water absorbs the CO2 and the level falls. But over the longer time periods, the Arctic ocean has been getting warmer and thus reducing its ability to absorb so the long term change in CO2 levels is rising (independent of anthropogenic emissions). http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf

November 12, 2009 8:34 am

WAG says that skeptics rely on models. That statement is not factual for a true skeptic. Scientific skeptics do not have a belief system; but the believers in catastrophic AGW certainly do. Skeptics simply say, “Convince us.” But rather than cooperate by providing their raw data and methods, climate alarmists withhold the information that they base their conclusions on. Naturally, skeptics are skeptical.
The cooling of the oceans is contrary to the CO2=AGW conjecture. There may be a tiny amount of anthropogenic global warming, but it is insignificant compared with the planet’s natural processes, which produce the overwhelming majority of CO2 emissions.
And even the total emissions of CO2, both natural and by humans, has not been sufficient to overcome the planet’s current cooling, indicating that the IPCC’s climate sensitivity number is grossly exaggerated, as is its claim of CO2 residence time.
If the IPCC used the correct sensitivity number of 0.5 – 1.0, and the CO2 residence time of ten years or less, they would be forced to conclude that blaming CO2 for global warming is incorrect. In fact, there is no empirical evidence showing that an increase in CO2 is anything but beneficial.
The oceans are cooling, not warming, and when the ocean cools, it absorbs CO2: click
There is a direct correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and ocean temperature: click
AGW is so tiny that it can be safely disregarded; if AGW were at all significant, its effect would show up along with the [almost entirely natural] rise in CO2. But it doesn’t. AGW is so insignificant that it can not be independently measured.
It is fascinating to watch climate alarmists trying to blame the entire rise in CO2 on human activities, when even the IPCC and the U.S. Department of Energy state that human activities account for only about 3% of the planet’s total CO2 emissions. The alarmists know this, but they can not publicly admit it. If they did, they would be admitting that human activities are inconsequential to the climate.
WAG says: “Empirical proof of the AGW hypothesis would mean waiting 50-100 years and seeing how much the temperature has increased. Of course, by that time, it would be too late to do anything about it.”
What we’re dealing with here is a typical alarmist whose mind is already made up. Notice how WAG refers to 50 – 100 years in the future: “…seeing how much temperature has increased.” His assumption is that the temperature can only increase; he leaves no room for the possibility that the temperature may decline. That statement is unfortunately typical of the masses of uneducated folks who believe, rather than think.

November 12, 2009 8:56 am

tallbloke (06:52:14) :
John Finn (02:44:37) :

At the end of the day human emissions are responsible for the atmospheric CO2 increases – particularly over the last 50 years.


Only if you assume all else is equal. Which it clearly is not.
Right – so what has changed in the last 50 years which has resulted in an extra ~75ppm (or ~600 billion tons) of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere. Bear in mind that “the trees can’t get enought of it” to use your phrase.

November 12, 2009 9:03 am

carrot eater (06:28:54) :
My question: do you keep that thermal term during the interglacial, meaning, now? You shouldn’t, because that term is for a process that isn’t currently occurring. The thermal term is saying that the land and ocean are net sources, not sinks. But from your comments, I can tell you accept that the ocean is still a sink. So this is an inconsistency.
The dT (indeed difference in temperature) term works independent of the increase caused by the emissions (but causes the variability in absorption rate around the increase), even during interglacials, be it that the accuracy is less than over the full term 420,000 years of Vostok, due to the latter’s huge smoothing. The factor 4 is based on two temperature excursions in the past 60 years: the cooling by the 1992 Pinatubo eruption and the 1998 strong El Niño warming. The (few months) lagged change in CO2 uptake was 3-4 ppmv/K.
Pieter Tans of NOAA added the influence of precipitation to the equation (important for sequestration by vegetation) and found even a better fit for the variability of the uptake. But the temperature influence on CO2 uptake variability in general is short term: only one to a few years, whereafter the temperature returns to previous values. Only a sustained temperature change will give a sustained increase/decrease to a new CO2 level, with an elevated factor for longer periods.
See the second halve of:
http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf
For glacial-interglacial transitions (or even for the MWP-LIA-CWP) other long term changes do count in: changes in ocean flows, land occupation/release by/from glaciers, tree growth line changes,… That makes that the long term CO2/temperature ratio expands to about 8 ppmv/K, see the Vostok record (but also visible in the Law Dome record: ~6 ppmv change for ~0.8 K temperature change MWP-LIA):
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/Vostok_trends.gif
Thus indeed the temperature factor is needed even during interglacials, but that accounts mainly for the short term variability (+/- 1 ppmv) around the trend (+2 ppmv/yr). The about 1 K increase in temperature since the LIA is only good for maximum 8 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv increase we measure today…

November 12, 2009 9:24 am

supercritical (06:56:24) :
Looking at the Mauna Loa graphs, I have doubt over accepting that a signal of apparent annual fluctuation of atmospheric CO2 is due to vegetation behaviour in the northern hemisphere.
It is pretty sure that vegetation is the cause: the NH shows a much higher seasonal amplitude than the SH, where more ocean surface is present. The maximum CO2 levels are in spring of each hemisphere, just before new leaves start to grow and at minimum in late summer, when vegetation growth has reached its maximum. Even more important: the d13C (the 13C/12C) ratio in the atmosphere changes with the growth and decay of vegetation: vegetation growth uses preferentially the smaller 12 carbon, thus enriching the ratio for 13C. See the combined CO2 level / d13C level graphs here (3rd and 4th):
http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page34.htm
The oceans as sink and source are much slower than vegetation changes in the mid-latitudes, the more that the oceans are slower in warming up and cooling down.
Don’t underestimate the force of soil bacteria: if you measure CO2 levels in a hole in the ground, it is easely at 1,000 ppmv and higher. A lot of fallen leaves in autumn are decayed in months to a few years, even in winter months (except at very low temperatures), while no or reduced photosynthesis happens…

P Wilson
November 12, 2009 9:37 am

We’re at al natural high point historically of c02. However, there are resolution problems associated with ice core measurements outlined by here:
http://www.co2web.info/np-m-119.pdf
more work needs to be done on past proxies v present readings, as if the thesis of Jaworowski is correct, then c02 in ice depletes to an equilibrium over time that doesn’t refect its real value at the time it was caught in ice – plus, its a reading from Antarctica which is only a limited geographical area.
Also, ice readings are made by crushing ice and measuring as rapidly as possible in a vacuum – which is dubious as a method, since the gases would *explode*. All indications are that real measurements are higher than ice measurements.
is also illogical to claim that the 3% of CO2 which humans put into the atmosphere accumulates over time to 30%, while the 97% of CO2 which nature adds to the atmosphere does not accumulate and in fact shrinks to 70% of the total.
In truth though, there is no way of measuring what happens to anthropogenic c02, and it becomes pure guesswork. When warm oceans heat cool air, then c02 and water vapour is expelled, yet AAnthropogenic c02 doesn’t fluctuate so easily. The best guess therefore is that the amount of AC02 in the atmosphere is its percentage of the total. It really depends on ocean surface temperatures, although it must be said that decay alone puts 30 times more c02 into the atmosphere than humans produce in a year, whilst oceans exchange c02 with the air 20 times as fast as humans produce it

P Wilson
November 12, 2009 9:39 am

above addressed to John Finn (08:56:48)

bill
November 12, 2009 9:47 am

supercritical (06:56:24) :
Looking at the Mauna Loa graphs, I have doubt over accepting that a signal of apparent annual fluctuation of atmospheric CO2 is due to vegetation behaviour in the northern hemisphere.
I’ve had exactly this discussion here before. To me the drop seems too sharp for vegetation. It seems to be originating at the arctic circle, and is reaching minimum before the ice coverage reaches minimum (it seems out of sync with the ice!). Sary Taukum (centre of a continent) partially shows what I would expect for vegetation – CO2 falls from March to August but rises rather too quickly from August to November.
CodeTech (08:18:18) :
you claim “the world is at stake”, along with other unreasonably alarming and unfounded statements.
OK, apologies, the world is not at stake just many millions of lives – human and animal. The “world” will continue.
Do you have no understanding of the concept of credibility?
Yes- do you?
You say AGW cannot be proved. The data is faulty or missing
You say to warmists must PROVE AGW.
Your 1st statement makes the second impossible.
All I was trying to say is that a lot is at stake – money or lives.
You refuse to accept dangerous (not catastrophic) AGW and ANY “poofs” offered – the only safe option is for you to now prove that AGW will be harmless just so that we know the future is safe for our descendants?

November 12, 2009 9:54 am

Smokey (08:34:49) :
While I agree that the influence of increased CO2 levels on temperature is probably small, as a sceptic one need to be sceptical to every claim, whatever the source and whatever the consequences…
Thus (again…):
If the IPCC used the correct sensitivity number of 0.5 – 1.0, and the CO2 residence time of ten years or less, they would be forced to conclude that blaming CO2 for global warming is incorrect. In fact, there is no empirical evidence showing that an increase in CO2 is anything but beneficial.
The sensitivity indeed is correct for CO2 alone, the rest of the 1.5-4.5 K for 2xCO2, according to the IPCC, is based on far from proven (even disproven) amplifying factors in the models… Here we agree.
The CO2 residence time, there we disagree: the about 5 years residence time has nothing to do with what happens if you add extra CO2 (whatever the source) to the atmosphere. It is the period needed to exchange half of all molecules in the atmosphere with these of the oceans and biosphere. That in itself doesn’t add or abstract any amount of the total amount of CO2 molecules… The real decay is about 40 years (half life), far more than 10 years, but far less than the hundreds of years of the IPCC.
The oceans are cooling, not warming, and when the ocean cools, it absorbs CO2:
Yes, but your graph is for fresh water, seawater acts completely different, because of its salt content and biological life… And you forget the time frame (diffusion of CO2 in water costs a lot of time…).
There is a direct correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and ocean temperature:
Yes, but that is only 4 ppmv/K on short term, or +8 ppmv since the LIA, far from sufficient to explain the 100+ ppmv increase…
Further, with 21 years smoothing over a period of 20 years, like Endersbee did, one can find a correlation between near everything with a trend. But if you expand the graph over the past century, it is clear that the correlation is (near) entirely from the accumulation of the emissions (not smoothed at all!) and the correlation with temperature is even negative for several periods (including the current one if you shrink the smoothing):
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg

November 12, 2009 10:10 am

P Wilson (09:37:49) :
As already meantioned earlier, what Jaworowski says is physically simply impossible and in general the opposite of what he says.
Etheridge in 1996 supplied a detailed investigation of three ice cores at Law Dome, where all objections of Jaworowski were refuted. They used three drilling methods (wet and dry), measured CO2 in firn and ice (no difference at closing depth) and there was an overlap of 20 years with the South Pole measurements. There is no depletion of CO2 in ice cores over 800,000 years (the most recent record) and cracks in the ice core evidently lead to too high levels, never too low. Or how can one measure 180-280 ppmv in ice core bubbles if the outside world contains 380 ppmv?
See further: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html
In the rest of your remarks you are confusing what circulates through the atmosphere (which is a lot) with what is one-way addition. Even if the amount circulating through the atmosphere over the seasons is 1,000 times higher than the human addition, that doesn’t add one molecule, kg or ppmv to the total quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere, as long as as much CO2 is removed as added by nature. In fact more is removed by nature than is added. Thus nature as a whole adds nothing, zero, nada (in quantity!), to the atmosphere…

November 12, 2009 10:12 am

Ferdinand, are you sure you’re not mixing up different posts? For example, I never mentioned a CO2 residence time of 5 years [“…the about 5 years residence time has nothing to do with what happens…”].
I posted this chart of peer reviewed papers, and commented that the CO2 residence time seems to be around 10 years or less — not the 100 years claimed by the IPCC.
And you are saying that this chart only applies to fresh water? Or only to salt water? Are you saying that CO2 is not soluble in one or the other? I’m not trying to argue, I’m just trying to understand your comments.

Bart
November 12, 2009 10:29 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen (04:46:04) :
That is a very incorrect model. It is a straight integration, like a sink with no drain.
Think of it this way. Go to your nearest lavatory and close the drain most of the way, but with a little room for outflow. Turn on the water and allow it to reach a steady state level. Now, bump up the inflow 3% (just tap the knob or lever or whatever you have). Does the sink overflow? No. As the sink fills, the increase in pressure increases the rate of outflow proportional to the amount in the sink. It is a negative feedback, and it will force a new steady state level which is 3% greater (measuring the appropriate parameter) than the old level.
carrot eater (05:04:25) :
“But if that’s what you want it to do, you should do what you say and actually write it as a term that’s linear with time: man term = (some slope)*t.”
What for? I already described its characteristics. It is a functional variable. That you did not recognize it is due to your failure to pay attention to what was written in your rush to judgment.
“I see you wanted to say this term was roughly equal to 0.03 * u, which might be roughly true for now, but if you actually solve your differential equation, you’ll end up with a constant man-made inflow, not one that’s linear with time.”
No, no, no. I said it could be bounded up to the present time by 0.03*u. That means that, whatever its effect, it is less than or equal to what you get by putting in 0.03*u.
“Instead, you tried to half-way describe the physics of the transfer in there, by saying the outflow was proportional to C, and ended up with something unphysical.”
That is the most common linear feedback, and the type of action which is indicated by figure 1. If you were familiar with feedback systems, you would really be nonplussed by your own argument here. I am. See the reply to Ferdinand above.
“For the fun of it, that solves to – C = (Co – u*tau)(exp(-t/tau)) + u*tau – C starts at Co, and then exponentially decays to u*tau.
No…. groan. You are assuming Co is greater than u*tau. In fact, we have no idea what Co is – it is assumed to be in the infinite past. The steady state value of C is u*tau. It has been u*tau for eons. It will always be (in this scenario) u*tau.

carrot eater
November 12, 2009 11:03 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen: Ah, so your temperature term is there to cover the short-term wiggles in the atmosphere’s absorption rate due to volcanoes and El Ninos. I see how you follow Peter Tans’ analysis, and I feel better about it. I’m still curious how you define dT, though – can you define that more clearly? It is T(t) minus what?
Knorr handled the same issue by tossing in terms proportional to the ENSO index and some index of volcanic activity (see his Eqn 1). He didn’t provide graphs to show whether tossing in those parameters helped fit the wiggles.
I’m still a little perturbed by the fact you’re using the same term for very different physical processes, but the fact that you change the constant actually acknowledges that it’s two different terms, active at different times, I think.

CodeTech
November 12, 2009 11:59 am

Amusing, bill.
However, it’s the responsibility of someone crying “wolf” to show there is, in fact, a wolf before expecting the townspeople to come running with pitchforks and torches.
I see no wolf, bill. I see some restless sheep, and rumors of wolves, but… no wolf.

carrot eater
November 12, 2009 12:09 pm

Bart:
“What for? I already described its characteristics. ”
Describing it in words doesn’t help if you don’t write it into your model. If you say the manmade emissions are increasing in time, your model has to reflect that. You wrote the manmade emissions term as a constant, so that’s how the model will treat it. So after you solve your model, don’t expect your results to reflect the fact the emissions rate is increasing over time.
“That is the most common linear feedback, and the type of action which is indicated by figure 1. If you were familiar with feedback systems, you would really be nonplussed by your own argument here.”
I write such equations in my day job. I’m not bothered by the sight of a term like that; I’m bothered if you write a model that doesn’t make any sense. If you were trying to crudely describe, say, transport into and out from the ocean, I could deal with you writing dC/dt = -k(C-C*), for example, where C* would be the concentration at the ocean surface. Assuming the atmosphere is well mixed beyond some boundary layer. Of course, I’d also then need differential equations for the ocean.. and it grows from there.
If you’re happy ignoring the details of the physics and just treating the inflow as a constant, you should do the same for the outflows.
“No…. groan. You are assuming Co is greater than u*tau. In fact, we have no idea what Co is – it is assumed to be in the infinite past. The steady state value of C is u*tau. It has been u*tau for eons. It will always be (in this scenario) u*tau.”
I am not assuming anything; the math works regardless of which is greater. The curve goes up or down, and levels out at u*tau. But that’s irrelevant. Wow, you actually think that movement is corresponding to something physical that happened in the past, at the beginning of the earth? That your inflow into the atmosphere has been a constant since the beginning of the earth? I don’t know what to say. This really should be a sign to you that your model is just unphysical.

Mark.R
November 12, 2009 12:12 pm

US research plane measures gas over Otago (here in new zealand) Measurements from the ground will eventually be able to be compared with satellite data covering huge areas, as well as recordings from the research flights.
The Lauder site is part of the global total carbon column observing network of 14 key sites worldwide, helping scientists better understand the global carbon cycle
The purpose is to find out how the atmosphere is structured, and the distribution of greenhouse gases,” said Harvard professor SThe aircraft was making the second of five trips travelling from pole to pole. Tomorrow it will stop over at Christchurch, then fly a loop over the Southern Ocean before returning to New Zealand .The information will help climate modellers trying to understand Earth’s future climates.
http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/us-research-plane-measures-gas-over-otago-3135601

carrot eater
November 12, 2009 12:21 pm

P Wilson, and many others:
“is also illogical to claim that the 3% of CO2 which humans put into the atmosphere accumulates over time to 30%, while the 97% of CO2 which nature adds to the atmosphere does not accumulate and in fact shrinks to 70% of the total.”
Why is the carbon cycle so difficult to grasp? Yes, there are huge amounts of CO2 that go into the atmosphere naturally. That’s OK, because an equally huge amount of CO2 leaves the atmosphere naturally. On net, they pretty much cancel out. It’s analogous to a dynamic equilibrium.
Smokey: “I posted this chart of peer reviewed papers, and commented that the CO2 residence time seems to be around 10 years or less — not the 100 years claimed by the IPCC.”
You’re comparing apples to oranges. The residence time of an individual molecule is not the same as the persistence of an accumulation in whichever sink.

November 12, 2009 12:35 pm

Smokey (10:12:47) :
Ferdinand, are you sure you’re not mixing up different posts? For example, I never mentioned a CO2 residence time of 5 years [“…the about 5 years residence time has nothing to do with what happens…”].
I posted this chart of peer reviewed papers, and commented that the CO2 residence time seems to be around 10 years or less — not the 100 years claimed by the IPCC.

The 5 years residence time is from one of the papers in the link (based on the 14C decay). But all items listed (5-15 years) are about residence time (see the sidetext: “the time that CO2 resides in the atmosphere before being recycled by the oceans”). Thus that is average recycling time, that doesn’t add or extract any amount of CO2 to/from the atmosphere, it only exchanges a lot of CO2 between atmosphere, biosphere and oceans. Not a single one of these studies is about what is important: How long does it take to reduce an extra amount (thus mass, whatever its origin) of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is important for the greenhouse effect, not how much is exchanged each year… That is what the IPCC means, they talk about a complete different “mass decay” residence time, not a “molecular exchange” residence time…
But note that the IPCC figures are way too high, as Peter Dietze showed: the mass decay half life time for CO2 is about 38 years, far less than the 100 years of the IPCC, but much longer than the about less than 10 years in the list.
And you are saying that this chart only applies to fresh water? Or only to salt water? Are you saying that CO2 is not soluble in one or the other? I’m not trying to argue, I’m just trying to understand your comments.
The CO2 solubility chart applies only to fresh water. Seawater can contain a lot more CO2 that fresh water. Not only temperature but also pH, concentration of salts and biological activity all play a role in the partial presure (difference) of CO2 in seawater compared to the atmosphere. See Feely e.a. at: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml and following pages.
From that source:

In a parcel of seawater with constant chemical composition, pCO2 would increase by a factor of 4 when the water is warmed from polar temperatures of about –1.9°C to equatorial temperatures of about 30°C. On the other hand, the DIC [note: dissolved inorganic carbon] in the surface ocean varies from an average value of 2150 µmol/kg in polar regions to 1850 µmol/kg in the tropics as a result of biological processes. This change should reduce pCO2 by a factor of 4. On a global scale, therefore, the magnitude of the effect of biological drawdown on surface water pCO2 is similar in magnitude to the effect of temperature, but the two effects are often compensating. Accordingly, the distribution of pCO2 in surface waters in space and time, and therefore the oceanic uptake and release of CO2, is governed by a balance between the changes in seawater temperature, net biological utilization of CO2 and the upwelling flux of subsurface waters rich in CO2.

Thus the simple solubility chart of CO2 in fresh water doesn’t apply to what happens in real circumstances for seawater…

supercritical
November 12, 2009 12:49 pm

Ferdinand,
Could you now tell us roughly; at a simple level of circa 1: 50 for fresh water, what is the equivalent for seawater?

P Wilson
November 12, 2009 12:50 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen
jarowowski goes through 15 processes that occur in ancient ice to alter its capture process of real amount, and you only document two. Solubility in water is certainly one of them. Given that proxies exist that show elevated c02 at various timescales across the hemispheres other than in Vostok or the Law dome then there’s still much doubt that ice at 420,000 years old gives the exact measure of aerial co2 at each year or decade over those 420,000 years.
given that there are 1000gts of c02 at ocean surfaces alone and 38,000gts at intermediate and lower depths, then nature can add .. For the Anthropogenic part, that gets lost in the flux. Its like adding 30ml a day to your 1 litre a day drinking water

Bart
November 12, 2009 12:51 pm

“You wrote the manmade emissions term as a constant, so that’s how the model will treat it.”
What??? I wrote it as a functional variable. Just like “C”. Is C a constant in my equations? Nooo, it isn’t. I used words – these little squiggly lines you are staring at, but which apparently make little impression on you – to define what that figure represented.
“I could deal with you writing dC/dt = -k(C-C*), for example, where C* would be the concentration at the ocean surface”
So, subsume the kC* term into the “u” variable. There is no loss of generality. Are you being willfully obtuse?
“I am not assuming anything; the math works regardless of which is greater. The curve goes up or down, and levels out at u*tau.”
No kidding? But, your objection was: “and then exponentially decays to u*tau” You could have as easily said “and then grows to u*tau”. It doesn’t matter. We are talking about steady state behavior.
“But that’s irrelevant.”
No news there.
“Wow, you actually think that movement is corresponding to something physical that happened in the past, at the beginning of the earth? That your inflow into the atmosphere has been a constant since the beginning of the earth? I don’t know what to say. This really should be a sign to you that your model is just unphysical.”
I am trying to be civil, so I am not going to say what I think of this. This is completely irrelevant. I am looking at steady state dynamics and simplifying the model to a level in which general conclusions of typical behavior may be drawn. This argument appears to be over your head. Please do not comment anymore. I’m not going to reply. You are either too… not going to say it… or you are just being argumentative.

P Wilson
November 12, 2009 12:53 pm

addendum. If nature added nothing to the existing c02 levels then the last 420,000 years would be a flat line.. Oceans regulate c02 however, to the nth degree. as far as we know, at the moment, there is precious little AC02 in the atmosphere. It could be 1% or 3%. We just don’t know.

P Wilson
November 12, 2009 1:06 pm

whoops. I forgot to say (in a hurry).. that 30 ml of water does actually does accumulate over time by 3ml per year. whilst the 1 litre you drink doesn’t. that means you’ll reach a tipping point after 10 years, then one will be one for

P Wilson
November 12, 2009 1:16 pm

oh finally: if ice cores are correct, and air contains, or contained a tiny fraction of c02 then during periods when it was noticably warmer than today seem to suggest that c02 has no noticable effect on temperatures, or else ice core measurements understate real c02 by some 500ppm (if we believe c02 is a radiative forcing that alters the climate of the planet)

Mariwarcwm
November 12, 2009 1:16 pm

Is it not true that the warming effect of CO2 is very limited? After 200ppm it is saturated, and a doubling or a trebling wouldn’t produce any significant further warming. It doesn’t matter where it came from, or goes to, or gets taken up by, it cannot cause catastrophic warming.
So what is the fuss about? If CO2 can’t produce warming on an alarming scale it can go on increasing, do its own thing, producing excellent plant food for larger crops, and we will all be better off.