A study: The temperature rise has caused the CO2 Increase, not the other way around

Guest post by Lon Hocker

A commonly seen graph illustrating what is claimed to be a causal correlation between CO2 and temperature, with CO2 as the cause. (Image courtesy Zfacts.com)

Abstract

Differentiating the CO2 measurements over the last thirty years produces a pattern that matches the temperature anomaly measured by satellites in extreme detail.    That this correlation includes El Niño years, and shows that the temperature rise is causing the rise in CO2, rather than the other way around.  The simple equation that connects the satellite and Mauna Loa data is shown to have a straight forward physical explanation.

Introduction

The last few decades has shown a heated debate on the topic of whether the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is causing rising temperatures.  Many complex models have been made that seem to confirm the idea that anthropological CO2 is responsible for the temperature increase that has been observed.  The debate has long since jumped the boundary between science and politics and has produced a large amount of questionable research.

“Consensus View”

Many people claim that anthropological CO2 is the cause of global warming.  Satellite temperature data, http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt, and Mauna Loa CO2 measurements, ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt, are well accepted and freely available to all researchers.  Figure 1 shows a plot of the Ocean Temperature Anomaly from the satellite data shows a general rising trend.  Shown along with the temperature data is a simple linear model showing the temperature rise as a linear function of CO2 concentration.   This shown linear model is:

Temperature Anomaly =  (CO2 -350)/180

No attempt has been made to optimize this model.  Although it follows the general trend of the temperature data, it follows none of the details of the temperature anomaly curve.  No amount of averaging or modification of the coefficients of the model would help it follow the details of the temperature anomaly.

Figure 1:  Ocean Temperature Anomaly and linear CO2 model

Derivative approach

An alternate approach that does show these details is that the temperature anomaly is correlated with the rate of increase of CO2.  I discovered this independently and roughly simultaneously with Michael Beenstock and Yaniv Reingewertz http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/beenstock/Nature_Paper091209.pdf.

Applying this model to the Mauna Loa data not only shows the overall trend, but also matches the many El Niño events that have occurred while satellite data has been available.  The Figure 2, shows the derivative model along with the observed Ocean Temperature Anomaly.  The model is simply

Temperature Anomaly = (CO2(n+6) – CO2(n-6))/(12*0.22) – 0.58

where ‘n’ is the month.  Using the n+6 and n=6 values (CO2 levels six months before and six months after) cancels out the annual variations of CO2 levels that is seen in the Mauna Loa data, and provides some limited averaging of the data.

The two coefficients, (0.22 and 0.58) were chosen to optimize the fit.  However, the constant 0.58 (degrees Celsius) corresponds to the offset needed to bring the temperature anomaly to the value generally accepted to be the temperature in the mid 1800’s when the temperature was considered to be relatively constant.  The second coefficient also has a physical basis, and will be discussed later.

Figure 2:  Ocean Temperature Anomaly and derivative CO2 model

There is a strong correlation between the measured anomaly and the Derivative model.  It shows the strong El Niño of 1997-1998 very clearly, and also shows the other El Niño events during the plotted time period about as well as the satellite data does.

Discussion

El Niño events have been recognized from at least 1902, so it would seem inappropriate to claim that they are caused by the increase of CO2.  Given the very strong correlation between the temperature anomaly and the rate of increase of CO2, and the inability to justify an increase of CO2 causing El Niño, it seems unavoidable that the causality is opposite from that which has been offered by the IPCC.  The temperature increase is causing the change in the increase of CO2.

It is important to emphasize that this simple model only uses the raw Mauna Loa CO2 data for its input.  The output of this model compares directly with the satellite data.  Both of these data sets are readily available on the internet, and the calculations are trivially done on a spreadsheet.

Considering this reversed causality, it is appropriate to use the derivative model to predict the CO2 level given the temperature anomaly.  The plot below shows the CO2 level calculated by using the same model.  The CO2 level by summing the monthly CO2 level changes caused by the temperature anomaly.

Month(n) CO2 = Month(n-1) CO2 + 0.22*(Month(n) Anomaly + 0.58)

Figure 3: Modeled CO2 vs Observed CO2 over Time

Not surprisingly the model tracks the CO2 level well, though it does not show the annual variation.  That it does not track the annual variations isn’t particularly surprising, since the ocean temperature anomaly is averaged over all the oceans, and the Mauna Loa observations are made at a single location.  Careful inspection of the plot shows that it tracks the small inflections of the CO2 measurements.

The Mauna Loa data actually goes back to 1958, so one can use the model to calculate the temperature anomaly back before satellite data was available.  The plot below shows the calculated temperature anomaly back to 1960, and may represent the most accurate available temperature measurement data set in the period between 1960 and 1978.

Figure 4: Calculated Temperature Anomaly from MLO CO2 data

Precise temperature measurements are not available in the time period before Satellite data.  However, El Niño data is available at http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml making it possible  to show the correlation between the calculated temperatures and the and El Niño strength.  Note that the correlation between temperature anomaly and El Niño strength is strong throughout the time span covered.

Figure 5: Calculated Temp CO2 from CO2 and ENSO data

An Explanation for this Model

The second free parameter used to match the CO2 concentration and temperature anomaly,  0.22 ppm per month per degree C of temperature anomaly, has a clear physical basis.  A warmer ocean can hold less CO2, so increasing temperatures will release CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere.

The Atmosphere contains 720 billion tons of CO2 (http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/slides/climate/carbon_res_flux.gif), the ocean 36,000 billion tons of CO2.  Raising the temperature of the ocean one degree reduces the solubility of CO2 in the ocean by about 4% (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gases-solubility-water-d_1148.html)

solubility diagram - carbon dioxide - CO2 - in water at different  temperatures

Figure 6: Solubility of CO2 in water (While CO2 solubility in seawater is slightly different than in pure H2O shown above in Figure 6, it gives us a reasonably close fit.)

This releases about 1440 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. This release would roughly triple the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

We have seen what appears to be about a 0.8 degree temperature rise of the atmosphere in the last century and a half, but nowhere near the factor of three temperature rise.  There is a delay due to the rate of heat transfer to the ocean and the mixing of the ocean.  This has been studied in detail by NOAA, http://www.oco.noaa.gov/index.jsp?show_page=page_roc.jsp&nav=universal,  and they estimate that it would take 230 years for an atmospheric temperature change to cause a 63% temperature change if the ocean were rapidly mixed.

Using this we can make a back of the envelope calculation of the second parameter in the equation.  This value will be approximately the amount of CO2 released per unit temperature rise (760 ppm/C)) divided by the mixing time (230 years). Using these values gives a value of 0.275 ppm /C/month instead of the observed 0.22 ppm/C/month, but not out of line considering that we are modeling a very complex transfer with a single time constant, and ignoring the mixing time of the ocean.

Conclusion

Using two well accepted data sets, a simple model can be used to show that the rise in CO2 is a result of the temperature anomaly, not the other way around.  This is the exact opposite of the IPCC model that claims that rising CO2 causes the temperature anomaly.

We offer no explanation for why global temperatures are changing now or have changed in the past, but it seems abundantly clear that the recent temperature rise is not caused by the rise in CO2 levels.

================================================

Lon Hocker describes himself as: “Undergrad physics at Princeton.  Graduate School MIT.  PhD under Ali Javan the inventor of the gas laser.  Retired president of Onset Computer Corp., which I started over 30 years ago.  Live in Hawaii and am in a band that includes two of the folks who work at MLO (Mauna Loa Observatory)!”

Data and calcs available on request

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Curiousgeorge
June 9, 2010 12:44 pm

Response of a warmist worm to this paper: http://images.clipartof.com/thumbnails/35089.jpg

Quinn the Eskimo
June 9, 2010 12:45 pm

Along similar lines is The Acquittal of CO2, by Jeffrey A. Glassman, http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html.
The Abstract:

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the product of oceanic respiration due to the well‑known but under‑appreciated solubility pump. Carbon dioxide rises out of warm ocean waters where it is added to the atmosphere. There it is mixed with residual and accidental CO2, and circulated, to be absorbed into the sink of the cold ocean waters. Next the thermohaline circulation carries the CO2‑rich sea water deep into the ocean. A millennium later it appears at the surface in warm waters, saturated by lower pressure and higher temperature, to be exhausted back into the atmosphere.
Throughout the past 420 millennia, comprising four interglacial periods, the Vostok record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is imprinted with, and fully characterized by, the physics of the solubility of CO2 in water, along with the lag in the deep ocean circulation. Notwithstanding that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide has neither caused nor amplified global temperature increases. Increased carbon dioxide has been an effect of global warming, not a cause. Technically, carbon dioxide is a lagging proxy for ocean temperatures. When global temperature, and along with it, ocean temperature rises, the physics of solubility causes atmospheric CO2 to increase. If increases in carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, could have in turn raised global temperatures, the positive feedback would have been catastrophic. While the conditions for such a catastrophe were present in the Vostok record from natural causes, the runaway event did not occur. Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere.

glacierman
June 9, 2010 12:46 pm

Looking at the graph – Modeled CO2 vs. Time – comparing measured CO2 to Model predictions – any reasonable, scientificly trained person would have to believe that CO2 controls the temperature of the seasons to believe CO2 controls global temperature rises.
Use some common sense Warmers.

Jim G
June 9, 2010 12:51 pm

The first rule of regression analysis, or any other correlation method, is to beware of implied cause and effect. Many dependent variables can be correlated to many independent variables but cause and effect should not be implied. The stock market’s swings with the length of women’s skirts was a classic used many years ago. Another rule is to beware of exogenous variables. The hypothesis that increase in co2 is caused by temperature increase is just as viable as the AGW hypothesis but also just as subject to potential effects of other variables. I love this site for its lack of “lemming instinct” and challenge of the conventional wisdoms of the day. However, I think we many times are picking at flycrap in trying to disprove what has never been scientifically proven in the first place.

kwik
June 9, 2010 12:55 pm

Good grief, Lon! I hope you are’nt dependent on AGW grants.
You would be out of a job before you know it!
Very elegant to think of the derivate, I must say. Well done!

June 9, 2010 12:56 pm

This is one of the first things an undergraduate geology student learns (a warmer ocean has lower CO2 solubility.) That is why limestone reefs form in the tropics.
Some climate “scientists” could avoid embarrassing themselves by learning some basic science – before getting their PhD
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limestone

Calcite can be either dissolved by groundwater or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations. Calcite exhibits an unusual characteristic called retrograde solubility in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases.

Sylvain
June 9, 2010 12:57 pm

I made quickly a similar calculation with woodfortree.org
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/derivative/from:1979/normalise/plot/uah/from:1960/normalise
the result is astonishing

Greg
June 9, 2010 12:57 pm

For this to be true, the proxy CO2 records that show it almost perfectly flat for the last 1000 years have to be wrong.
Obviously possible, but without addressing it, you have a pretty weak presentation.

June 9, 2010 1:10 pm

Make data and calculations available online please! Let’s follow the practices we want from others.

Bart
June 9, 2010 1:10 pm

Wow. Someone tell Willis.

Keith G
June 9, 2010 1:14 pm

Lon, this is very well done. However, I am simply stunned that this has never been done before. There have been numerous posts here and debates on RealClimate about the fact that CO2 rise/fall lags temperature rise/fall. You’d think that explaining the CO2 variation would be one of the key products of MLO. So what do they say?

PJB
June 9, 2010 1:15 pm

Regarding ocean acidification, if the rising temperature is providing less CO2 for the same “amount” of ocean water, should the ocean pH not be rising?

Expat in France
June 9, 2010 1:17 pm

Just as we suspected all along, but what will it take to convince those who wear the blinkers? Especially as for a variety of reasons it doesn’t suit them to know…

Alex
June 9, 2010 1:23 pm

What one can invent with a simple spreadsheet and two Mauna Loa friends!

Malaga View
June 9, 2010 1:23 pm

Looks like good science to me… and makes good sense too!!!
Thank you!

June 9, 2010 1:23 pm

Dear Lon Hocker,
A confirmation of your argument in this article is evidenced by the paleobiological register. In this graph I eliminated the temperature line for the correlation between the mass fraction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the area of continents flooded is seen clearer. You can see the expansion of the oceans happens many years before any increase of the mass fraction of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere:
http://www.biocab.org/SL_and_CO2.jpg

beatk
June 9, 2010 1:26 pm

I seem to recall that on a geologic timescale CO2 lags temperature by about 600-800 years. How can this be reconciled with the about 6 months lag found in this study?

kim
June 9, 2010 1:27 pm

Do you mean ‘nowhere near the factor of three rise of CO2 concentration’ in the second to last paragraph before the Conclusion?
=============

Enneagram
June 9, 2010 1:29 pm

An inconvenient paper. Congratulations!

Olli
June 9, 2010 1:29 pm

If this was true how do we explain that the CO2 levels in ice core data are almost totally flat before 1850. (you’d think same process would have applier during e.g. MWP)
1) global temperature variation has been very small (and current warmins IS unprecedented) – not likely
2) ice core CO2 data can not be trusted – not likely
3) this mode breaks down prior to 1850

Peter Miller
June 9, 2010 1:30 pm

Anthony
This is one of the few times I disagree with you.
Your hypothesis is dependent on the oceans being saturated with carbon dioxide – the current level is circa 90ppm, a very long way from saturation level at current global temperatures.
REPLY: You might look at who wrote it before disagreeing with me. – Anthony

Steve from Rockwood
June 9, 2010 1:35 pm

At first glance this would appear to be a brilliant discussion. I can’t get over Figure 2. And he plays in a band. Nice work.

richard telford
June 9, 2010 1:43 pm

Well this post get one thing right, almost. There is a relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and El Niño. Congratulations for finding this relationship over 30 years after it was first described by Bacastow in Nature. If your research had extended to reading this paper, you would have learnt that the main driver is not the ocean, but vegetation dynamics.
Your model captures the short term variability, but cannot explain the trend (because your analysis removed the trend!). The short term variability is interesting, but it is the trend is of most concern.
And how does your model account for the changing carbon isotopic ratio (the Seuss effect); the decline atmospheric in O2 concentrations; that the ocean is undersaturated in CO2, so is absorbing not emitting CO2. Simple – it cannot.
El Niño events have been recognized from at least 1902, so it would seem inappropriate to claim that they are caused by the increase of CO2.
This is a strawman. Nobody is claiming that El Nino is caused by the increase in CO2, indeed, there is evidence for El Niño throughout the Holocene (Rodbell et al. 1999 – Science)

noaaprogrammer
June 9, 2010 1:47 pm

So…what does Willis Eschenbach think of this?

Andrew W
June 9, 2010 1:50 pm

From Wiki: “Henry’s law is used to quantify the solubility of gases in solvents. The solubility of a gas in a solvent is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas above the solvent. ”
Over the last 150 years the partial pressure of CO2 has risen by about 35%, so CO2 is moving into the oceans, not out of them.

Enneagram
June 9, 2010 1:50 pm

The guys who believe that CO2 causes Global Warming do not use to drink gasified beverages but just one, in these original 6 flavors which do not contain any CO2 whatsoever:
Cherry, Grape, Lemon-Lime, Orange, Berry, Strawberry.
Same flavors found in their ideology too.
That’s the problem!

D. Cohen
June 9, 2010 1:53 pm

Your article makes a very good point, but in retrospect the same argument can be made based on the annual variation of the CO2 data. No one (that I know of) argues that the annual CO2 variation is due to anything but the annual temperature cycle, therefore we already know that — for the annual CO2 cycle — changes in temperature cause changes in CO2 concentration. From that data alone we should expect multiyear temperature changes (like El Nino events) also to cause changes in the CO2 concentration.

Espen
June 9, 2010 1:55 pm

Olli: The problem with ice core data is that the resolution is very low – the CO2 values one gets are like a several hundred year long moving average. But if you look closely at the graph presented here recently, you may at least see a very faint trace of the LIA.

kagiso
June 9, 2010 1:55 pm

The Vostok ice core data is freely available online for both CO2 and reconstructed temperature:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok_data.html
It is visually obvious that temp leads CO2, it should be relatively trivial to extend your analysis back 400 thousand years.

Enneagram
June 9, 2010 1:56 pm

stevengoddard says:
Interesting point, as any carbonate increases its solubility in its “mother liquor” H2CO3, carbonic acid. The warmer the water the lesser CO2 content, the higher the pH, the lesser calcite solubility.

Lokki
June 9, 2010 1:57 pm

What I like about this site is that papers are presented, and are subjected to criticism.
We get a hypothesis and then that hypothesis is subjected to analysis by the group mind from various perspectives.
If only we had a word to describe this kind of analytical approach to trying to discern the truth. 🙂

June 9, 2010 1:57 pm

Not as elegant as E=MC^2 perhaps, but if confirmed, just as great a breakthrough for humankind.

Scott
June 9, 2010 2:07 pm

Peter Miller says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm
I’d agree…since the oceans are well below saturated, the oceans aren’t a likely driving force. There are plenty of other natural sources of CO2 that have temperature-related equilibria that AREN’T the oceans…anyone have thoughts on this?
Also, what is the warmist argument to the oceans being below saturation with respect to CO2? Doesn’t this imply that CO2 concentrations used to be far higher?
-Scott

Quinn the Eskimo
June 9, 2010 2:08 pm

Kagiso, have a look at Glassman’s article. He did, in 2006, the analysis on the Vostok records that you recommend, with the conclusion stated in the abstract above.

June 9, 2010 2:09 pm

I cannot see the logic of this. It claims there is a close correlation of temperature with rate of CO2 increase. Then it jumps to saying that the CO2 increase must be caused by the temperature. Why? Why not temp rise caused by rate of CO2 increase? Youdon’t change the causality by just rearranging the terms in the correlation equation.
The sea water chemistry is very bad. There is a large volume of dissolved CO2 equivalent, mainly as bicarbonate. But only about 1% is free CO2. Just using water solubility curves and relating them to total CO2 is quite wrong.

glacierman
June 9, 2010 2:14 pm

Greg Said: “For this to be true, the proxy CO2 records that show it almost perfectly flat for the last 1000 years have to be wrong.
Obviously possible, but without addressing it, you have a pretty weak presentation.”
What makes you think the proxies are as accurate as measured values? What makes you think proxies are accurate at all? A physical relationship can be demonstrated, but when the comparisons are run against actual measurements, they diverge from measured values and no one has provided a reasonable explanation, just arm waving to this point.

June 9, 2010 2:23 pm

D.Cohen
“No one (that I know of) argues that the annual CO2 variation is due to anything but the annual temperature cycle, therefore we already know that — for the annual CO2 cycle — changes in temperature cause changes in CO2 concentration.”
Surely it’s much more the biological uptake during the growing seasons?
As there is far more land vegetation in the nothern hemisphere the seasonal fluctuations are not cancelled out by the southern hemisphere.

Enneagram
June 9, 2010 2:26 pm

That’s nonsense, with due respect. Laws apply everywhere. You can check what this post presents by just buying a carbonated beverage and holding it in your hand before opening it, the warmer the bottle the more CO2 gas will go out when opened. The other way is simply impossible: to increase the temperature of the solution while increasing at the same time CO2 solubility, unless you increase pressure.

Les Johnson
June 9, 2010 2:29 pm

Lon: Good job. This is nearly identical to something I was trying to do with Lucia.
Instead of using coefficients, though, I found a good match by shifting the CO2 rate of change by 3-12 months, with the best correlation at 6 months.
This is the CORREL function in Excel, using CRUT3 data, from 1998.
CORREL 1998-99 raw 0.834
CORREL 1998-99 12 mon MA 0.937
CORREL 1998-99 24 MA 0.994
This is CRUT3 data, from 1960:
CORREL all data (raw) 0.426
CORREL 12 mon MA 0.634
CORREL 24 mon MA 0.699
This is UAH data, from 1998 to present.
CORREL 1998-99 raw 0.887
CORREL 1998-99 12 mon MA 0.986
CORREL 1998-99 24 MA 0.989
This is UAH data, from 1980 to present.
CORREL all data (raw) 0.463
CORREL 12 mon MA 0.678
CORREL 24 mon MA 0.674

Enneagram
June 9, 2010 2:29 pm

Nick Stokes:
As an oriental philosopher would say: “You can’t fart unless you eat first”

Bart
June 9, 2010 2:36 pm

Nick Stokes says:
June 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm
“Then it jumps to saying that the CO2 increase must be caused by the temperature. Why?”
FTA:

El Niño events have been recognized from at least 1902, so it would seem inappropriate to claim that they are caused by the increase of CO2. Given the very strong correlation between the temperature anomaly and the rate of increase of CO2, and the inability to justify an increase of CO2 causing El Niño, it seems unavoidable that the causality is opposite from that which has been offered by the IPCC. The temperature increase is causing the change in the increase of CO2.

There are several comments of this nature. I advise people to read the article through before going off half-cocked.

June 9, 2010 2:38 pm

Some related graphs: showing temperature as a functon of CO2 change per year
Sylvain (12:57) thanks for that wood-for-trees graph link
The ocean does not have to be saturated to affect the rate of absorption of CO2

Keith in Hastings UK
June 9, 2010 2:38 pm

Meantime the warmist gravy train & call to penal action keeps going, with no apparent regard for new thought such as the above. See the new UN climate chief’s remarks just reported:
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10276225.stm
here in UK, it lokks as if the “climate change” budget/action plan is to be spared even the desparate deep budget cuts the Govt have promised to cut the deficit.
So: keep blogging etc – perhaps there is just a political decadal oscillation…..

Alan Siddons
June 9, 2010 2:48 pm

One minor correction.
“The Atmosphere contains 720 billion tons of CO2”
No, at the present concentration that figure would be around 831 billion metric tons. And that’s in CARBON weight. In CO2 weight it’s 3044 Gt. Same applies to the ocean figures. This doesn’t detract from Hocker’s basic idea, though. By my own rough estimate, a 0.5% release of CO2 from the oceans since around 1850 would closely mimic the reported trend. If Ernst Beck is correct, however, there’s really no trend at all.

Bart
June 9, 2010 2:49 pm

Andrew W @ June 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Henry’s law assumes constant temperature.

Spector
June 9, 2010 2:50 pm

I believe the abnormal ‘bump’ in the temperature anomaly you see in data between 1939 and 1946 is attributed data gathered from ships not using the usual shipping lanes during World War II.

Anne van der Bom
June 9, 2010 2:55 pm

glacierman says:
“Looking at the graph – Modeled CO2 vs. Time – comparing measured CO2 to Model predictions – any reasonable, scientificly trained person would have to believe that CO2 controls the temperature of the seasons to believe CO2 controls global temperature rises.
Use some common sense Warmers.”
Any reasonable, scientifically trained person would have done some thinking before saying such a thing.
The seasonal variation of CO2 levels result in a forcing in the order of tens of mW/m². The difference in average solar radiation between summer and winter runs in the hundreds of W/m² (depending on the latitude). That is a difference of four orders of magnitude. Methinks someone else than the warmers must use some common sense.

BobN
June 9, 2010 2:58 pm

Lon – Your analysis fails to consider one simple over-riding factor – We can reasonably estimate the amount of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere over at least the last half-century based on the known usage of petroleum/coal/etc.. (Hopefully, no one will argue that the burning of fossil fuels does not cause CO2 emissions). Based on the amount of CO2 emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations should actually greater than what has occured. The oceans are absorbing CO2, not releasing it.
Anthony – I am what one might call a “lukewarmer” and think that Pielke Sr probably has the best summary of man’s influence on climate (in short, CO2 is but one of several anthropogenic forcings and the emphasis on CO2 only is inappropriate). I also am very skeptical of the gloom and doom predictions of many that advocate that global warming of a few degress will be catastrophic. I check your site nearly daily since I often find interesting and informative information here. Also, I think the work you have done with the surfacestations project and the questions you have raised regarding the development of the various global temperature indices are very important. I also know that you want to present a wide variety of viewpoints and ideas. That being said, I wish you would use a little more discretion or prescreening before posting guest posts with what are clearly flawed analyses. It really affects your credibility on the stuff you discuss which is good.

Editor
June 9, 2010 3:03 pm

That temperature rise precedes any Co2 rise can be traced back to 1660.
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a7c87805970b-pi
Tonyb

June 9, 2010 3:07 pm

Its interesting that the residual flux in CO2 is so closely related to temperatures, but not that unexpected.
However, this analysis explicitly detrends a smoothed CO2 curve, and in doing so obscures the fact that the resulting year-to-year variation is orders of magnitude smaller than the rise in overall CO2 concentrations for the period in question.
Specifically, the temperature-induced variability of CO2 concentrations is about 0.5 ppm. The change in CO2 concentrations from 1960-present is about 70 ppm.

June 9, 2010 3:08 pm

There’s a basic flaw in this argument. Taking the differential and then subtracting out the constant term basically leaves you with fluctuations around a linear trend. The trend itself has been removed, and it’s far larger than the fluctuations. What you’ve shown is that the fluctuations around the rate of linear increase of CO2 correlate with the fluctuations in the temperature anomaly. That is interesting, but it doesn’t justify your conclusion.

P.F.
June 9, 2010 3:09 pm

D. Cohen says: June 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm “No one (that I know of) argues that the annual CO2 variation is due to anything but the annual temperature cycle”
Philip Foster beat me to it. The Co2 variation has everything to do with botanical seasonality. As the plants with the strongest CO2 uptake (grasses) and others are covered in snow or are otherwise outside the growing season, CO2 levels rise. As spring kicks into gear, the botanical growth takes the CO2 in.
I suppose one could say that the botanical seasonality is driven by temperatures, but is not a good connection to say temperature causes changes in CO2 concentration. (If it did, higher temps would cause lower CO2 concentrations.

June 9, 2010 3:09 pm

To supplement my prior comment, interested observers can see the actual data here:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/esrl-co2/mean:12/from:1979/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/mean:12

bubbagyro
June 9, 2010 3:11 pm

beatk says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm
You are talking very large CO2 differences during geological time, differences measured in thousands of ppm. Today, the differences are only a few tens of a ppm. The 600-800 years lag in the past represents the peak after thousands of years gradual increases.

Andrew W
June 9, 2010 3:12 pm

Bart, the increased capacity of the oceans to dissolve CO2 as a result of the increased atmospheric CO2 partial pressure overwhelms the 4% (using Lon Hocker’s figure) reduction in solubility from the temperature rise.

Gary Hladik
June 9, 2010 3:14 pm

Peter Miller says (June 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm): “Your hypothesis is dependent on the oceans being saturated with carbon dioxide – the current level is circa 90ppm, a very long way from saturation level at current global temperatures.”
That was the first thing I thought of. Then I wondered if just the near-surface layer of the ocean (mixing more-or-less rapidly with the atmosphere) could be CO2-saturated,
only mixing with deeper layers on longer time scales.
I have no idea if this is even reasonable–just speculating.

Derek B
June 9, 2010 3:15 pm

Richard Telford points out several awkward problems with this idea. Here’s another: we can calculate how much CO2 human industry emits, and it’s rather more than is being accumulated in the atmosphere. There’s only one place the excess can be going, and that’s into the oceans.
Consider a model that says the CO2 level is the sum of anthropogenic emissions, following some relatively smooth monotically increasing curve, plus a variable delta driven by temperature. The second may be smaller in absolute value but exhibit significant year on year fluctuations. If you take the derivative you will see, wow, a really close fit to the year by year temperature changes.
Try a model that encompasses both directions of causality and then tune the parameters for best fit.

June 9, 2010 3:16 pm

Sorry, that should have been 0.1 ppm vs. 70 ppm. Had a normalize still stuck in there :-p
The actual data (in ppms for both measures) is here: http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/esrl-co2/mean:12/derivative/from:1979/plot/uah/from:1960/normalise

John Finn
June 9, 2010 3:21 pm

Has anyone actually checked these equations out. The whole thing looks like total drivel to me – but perhaps I’m not readin it right. Take this, for example:
Month(n) CO2 = Month(n-1) CO2 + 0.22*(Month(n) Anomaly + 0.58)
It seems to me that, providing the anomaly for month(n) is greater than -0.58, then the CO2 concentration will always be greater than in the previous month. Similarly if it’s below -0.58 the latest CO2 concentration will always nbe less than the previous month. You can see that if we re-arrange the equation, i.e.
Month(n) CO2 – Month(n-1) CO2 = 0.22*(Month(n) Anomaly + 0.58)
Take a hypothetical situation, i.e. Jan anomaly =+0.5; Feb anomaly= -0.5
After Jan CO2 goes up by 0.24 ppm (it doesn’t seem to matter what the Dec anomaly is)
After Feb CO2 goes up by 0.02 ppm (but temps have dropped by one degree)
I’ve just had my 3rd brandy so I’ll need to look at this again, but there appears to be a problem using differencing as a function of the anomaly. Basically a given anomaly will give the same CO2 rise regardless of the background CO2 levels.

Jim G
June 9, 2010 3:24 pm

No one can prove this theory any more than the warmistas can prove theirs. Implied cause and effect is implicit in both cases and too many other variables are in play in both. Picking at fly crap, as I said above. Where are the knowledgable statisticians? Actually the real value of this analysis may be that it shows exactly why the Global Warmers are also without a proven theory.

Larry Fields
June 9, 2010 3:30 pm

Nice job of curve-fitting for the intermediate term, Lon. It beats the hell out of the IPCC models. But to rephrase an old saying: Curve-fitting does not establish causation. (Hat-tip to Jim G.) Moreover there’s room for improvement in the proposed mechanism, as pointed out by Andrew W.

Leonard Weinstein
June 9, 2010 3:34 pm

BobN,
I am also a mild “lukewarmer” (very mild), but I disagree in principal with your basic point on the oceans. The problem with your comment on the oceans absorbing CO2 is that you completely leave out biology. The oceans almost surely do absorb CO2 when cooled and emit when warmed, but then plankton growth in the oceans, and land based growth also take in more or less CO2 depending on temperature, rain, and mineral movement (upwelling currents and river drainage). Changes in ocean currents may also be major causes of absorption or emission. We do not presently know enough to make positive statements on the net result. Even the quoted pH changes are probably misleading for these reasons. I agree the points of this paper are not without question, but I look at all views with an open mind until I have more data to come down on a specific position.

tallbloke
June 9, 2010 3:36 pm

Bart says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm
Wow. Someone tell Willis.

3…. 2… 1…..

Xi Chin
June 9, 2010 3:37 pm

You cannot use the CO2 level in 6 months from now as a predictor of current temperature anomaly.
I know why you did it, you thought that it is the best way to get the rate of change of CO2. But in this case, since you are doing temporal predictions, it is incorrect to do this. You need to use the backward differential only and make sure that you do not pollute the predictor with future information.
I.e.
x = [CO2(now) – Co2(i months ago)] / i
vs
y = Temperature Anomaly Now
Forget about using a linear model too. You are looking for E(y|x) i.e. expectation of temperature anomaly conditioned on the change in CO2. you can use x-y plot and overlay a patameter free Kernel estimator on the data to show the relationship.
If you get a strong relationship, which I think you will, then you will have pretty much proven that Co2 drives temperature and not vice-verse. And that, that is a very, very interesting result. Congratulations 🙂
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_density_estimation
Please redo the work using the backwards differential. Please plot E(y|x).
PS Using the n+6 Co2 data for the x value of the month n {x,y} datapoint is horrendus, because it always leaves you open to the possiblity that the response is already in the independent variable. I have looked at many, many, different types of signals similar to this one. Look, to cut a long story short, just try it and you will see what I am saying.

Al Gored
June 9, 2010 3:41 pm

BobN says:
June 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm
“I wish you would use a little more discretion or prescreening before posting guest posts with what are clearly flawed analyses. It really affects your credibility on the stuff you discuss which is good.”
I disagree Bob. This site is educational. The open peer review which this article has received by the very knowledgeable commenters here allows people like me to learn more about the basics and how to spot potential errors.
Thus I learn as much or more from the comments as from the articles here.
If this article had been published in a journal your comment would be more valid. And far more obviously questionable papers than this have indeed passed supposed peer
review and been published in supposed scientific journals – which is why so many of them, not to mention the peer review process, have lost so much credibility.

RW
June 9, 2010 3:43 pm

So then.
1. Where did all the fossil fuel CO2 go?
2. Why has the 13C content of atmospheric CO2 been dropping since about 1750, after hundreds of thousands of years of relative stability?
3. Why should the current warm period have caused CO2 concentrations to rise to >385ppm, when previous warm periods in the last several hundred thousand years only ever saw them reach 300ppm?

Steve in SC
June 9, 2010 3:50 pm

I recommend that you retake your last Thermodynamics course (if any).

crosspatch
June 9, 2010 3:51 pm

“Using these values gives a value of 0.275 ppm /C/month instead of the observed 0.22 ppm/C/month”
One should also note that the more CO2 one puts into the atmosphere, the greater the rate at which it is removed. Many factors would cause this but the primary ones being the increased uptake from biomass (mainly in the oceans) and subsequent sequestration from being buried by various processes (falls to the bottom of the ocean, turned to charcoal in a fire and buried, dissolves in rain then reacting with rocks creating insoluble carbonates that are washed into the ocean, deposited as minerals in caves, etc.)
The more CO2 you place into the atmosphere, the more efficiently nature removes it. So seeing that X amount of CO2 is released but finding only X-y amount in the atmosphere would be consistent with the notion that the amount removed per month increased by y.

DirkH
June 9, 2010 3:52 pm

Richard Telford:
The trend for CO2 is removed via the derivative. A trend for the temperature anomaly is *NOT* removed because Lon takes it as it is. In Figure 2, the derivative of the CO2 level (trend removed) and the anomaly (including its weak trend) look like they correlate very well.
For me, this results in the obvious conclusion that the trend in CO2 level is not having an effect on the temperature anomaly. Is there a flaw in my logic? If so, please point it out.

John Finn
June 9, 2010 3:59 pm

Gerard Harbison says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm
There’s a basic flaw in this argument. Taking the differential and then subtracting out the constant term basically leaves you with fluctuations around a linear trend. The trend itself has been removed, and it’s far larger than the fluctuations. What you’ve shown is that the fluctuations around the rate of linear increase of CO2 correlate with the fluctuations in the temperature anomaly. That is interesting, but it doesn’t justify your conclusion.

That’s it. Gerald has phrased his post better than I did earlier but it amounts to pretty much the same thing. I think Zeke (above) has also made a similar point. This ‘study’ simply shows what we already knew, i.e. CO2 levels rise a bit more in warmer years and a bit less in colder years.
The only reason the ‘model’ appears to work is due to the fact that both CO2 and temperatures have been rising in the last few decades. If temperatures started to fall the model would break down.

June 9, 2010 4:01 pm

If I may add, no where in your observed relationship is there an anthropogenic factor. That’s two strikes on AGW.

DirkH
June 9, 2010 4:01 pm

Lon, you should label the red and blue lines in Figure 2 clearer, i suggest
Blue: Measured temperature anomaly
Red: Derivative of CO2 level
and drop the caption,
“Measured and Derived Anomalies” just confuses people, i would reserve the word “anomaly” for the measured temperature anomaly.
I think your result is highly significant, it surely has stirred up a storm of belittling comments from certain people – they fear it.

Richard S Courtney
June 9, 2010 4:07 pm

Friends:
Several of the above comments seem to suggest that the ocean surface layer must be near to saturation for the exchange rate of CO2 between air and ocean to be affected by temperature. That suggestion is a misunderstanding because it assumes the exchange rate is governed by the existence of an equilibrium state.
The rate constant for the exchange is affected by the water temperature and the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2. Seasonal variations occur to both the temperature and the partial pressure, so the oceans emit CO2 during warming months and sequester CO2 during cooling months. A change to ocean temperature (e.g. as a result of ENSO) could be expected to affect the rate constant for exchange of CO2 between air and ocean whether or not the system is near to the equilibrium state (that it never achieves).
Richard

tallbloke
June 9, 2010 4:09 pm

John Finn says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm
I’ve just had my 3rd brandy

Good move. I reckon you’ll need a bit of cushioning when you realise the implications fully. Good to see you can envisage co2 levels falling though. 😉

Friar
June 9, 2010 4:16 pm

BobN says “I wish you would use a little more discretion or prescreening before posting guest posts with what are clearly flawed analyses. It really affects your credibility on the stuff you discuss which is good.”
Steady on!
Even if it is wrong, how can it affect “your credibility” (meaning AW)?
If it is “clearly wrong” then by all means take it apart! But please….. no screening! That’s just censoring by another name and I find that approach quite tiresome. It is typical of certain other sites which shall remain nameless.
I found the propositions put by the author to be interesting. I do not necessarily require that they be correct. If the moderator were to ‘screen’ such an article, I would be deprived of something to think about.

Honest ABE
June 9, 2010 4:18 pm

Well, as others have pointed out – where are the emissions going if not the ocean? Deserts? Biomass?
Also, how does this reconcile with isotopic evidence? Perhaps deep ocean CO2 has a similar signature to fossil fuels due to age (I don’t know).
I’m not entirely convinced that most of the CO2 increases we’ve seen are due to fossil fuel emissions, but your theory is not persuading me at this point.

June 9, 2010 4:20 pm

Gerard Harbison says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm
There’s a basic flaw in this argument. Taking the differential and then subtracting out the constant term basically leaves you with fluctuations around a linear trend. The trend itself has been removed…What you’ve shown is that the fluctuations around the rate of linear increase of CO2 correlate with the fluctuations in the temperature anomaly.

I agree. Very interesting though.

June 9, 2010 4:25 pm

It is true that warming temperatures increases CO2 emissions from the ocean. It is also true that burning fossil fuels increases temperature.
A little bit of both going on.

jakers
June 9, 2010 4:27 pm

Reconciliation with Ernst-Georg Beck (http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=4302) would have us negate the LIA…

June 9, 2010 4:30 pm

The next thing to consider is that the half life of a carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere is five years. Effectively carbon dioxide is in equilibrium with the oceans, or the top layer of the oceans, with a lag of only a few years. My calculations say that the top layer that the atmosphere is in equilibrium with is 100 metres thick on average. The bulk of the 100 ppm increase over the last 100 years is the anthropogenic contribution. That top layer should not be considered to be a sink. It is furiously degassing and absorbing CO2. Longer term, the deep ocean sink will have an effect. There is fifty times as much CO2 in the oceans as the atmosphere, so if we double the atmospheric concentration, in the long term it will increase the oceanic concentration by 4%. That in turn means that atmospheric concentration will be 4% above the pre-industrial level. Some future generations will watch the atmospheric CO2 concentration fall year by year and weep for the declining agricultural productivity.

June 9, 2010 4:31 pm

John Finn says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

You’re right – and no starting CO2 was given. But I tried reproducing Fig 5. With smoothing you might get a correlation like that shown from 1980 on, but it breaks down completely before 1980 (where the graph starts).
A problem with reproducing was that there doesn’t seem to be any indication of what “Ocean Temperature Anomaly” was used. I presume he meant SST, and I used HADSST2.

Dr A Burns
June 9, 2010 4:32 pm

>> Greg says:
>>June 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm
>>For this to be true, the proxy CO2 records that show it almost perfectly flat for the >>last 1000 years have to be wrong.
Yes, they are wrong. You are probably referring only to ice core records. Read the comments here on the ridiculous assumption that air bubbles in ice cores are a closed system.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/07/some-people-claim-that-theres-a-human-to-blame/#more-20260

June 9, 2010 4:48 pm

My thanks for you all for the lively discussion. The data is available at the references I cited, and the equations I use are shown, so all are invited, and indeed urged, to redo the calculations.
I won’t attempt to teach anyone algebra. There is no background slope to the CO2 record or temperature record that I have subtracted out.
I am not wed to the theory I present, but will strongly defend figure 2. You can see this same correlation using the smoothed (annual variation removed) data, also available from NOAA. I used the raw data, and the +6, -6 months to eliminate the annual variation so nobody would think I had messed with the raw data.
I do not claim that the curve fit determines causation. The correlation, however, is so strong, it’s hard to understand how they cannot be directly related. Also, it’s hard for me to imagine a mechanism where the CO2 rise could cause the El Nino events. This leaves temperature causing the rise in CO2. Other explanations would be welcome as long as they fit the data.
I agree that it is strange that we see the CO2 concentrations so flat in the ice records, when we know there have been relatively large temperature changes. This begs the question of how reliable we feel these ice records are. If my model is correct, the medieval warm period would have had much larger CO2 concentrations than are observed in the ice record.
One can’t help but imagine that indeed the CO2 concentration might have been larger, and that meant that crops would have benefited from both higher temperatures and more CO2. During that period the world population supposedly doubled, and after the warm period it actually dropped, perhaps dropping CO2 concentrations as well as lower temperatures lead to dramatically less successful crops.
In summary, I invite all to redo the calculations and come up with explanations for the unexpected results I found.
Thanks again for your responses.

Dave Springer
June 9, 2010 4:48 pm

Peter Miller says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Anthony
This is one of the few times I disagree with you.
Your hypothesis is dependent on the oceans being saturated with carbon dioxide – the current level is circa 90ppm, a very long way from saturation level at current global temperatures.

And your hypothesis is dependent on no mixing of surface water with deep water. As I pointed out in other threads the vast majority of the ocean lies below the thermocline at a temperature of about 4 degrees C and thousands of atmospheres pressure.
For instance, the mid-ocean ridge system is the largest volcanic feature on the earth encircling it like the seams on a baseball. As most of us know volcanoes release a lot of CO2. At the pressure depth of the ridge the water can hold far more dissolved CO2 than surface waters. There you get plumes of CO2-rich water that generally stays below the thermocline until something like the oceanic conveyor belt brings it to the surface where it is far from equilibrium with the CO2 partial pressure of the atmosphere. There it outgasses. The warmer the surface water the more it outgasses before equilibrium is reached. So there you a have a lovely mechanism for rising CO2 due to warming of ocean surface layer.
As I said in another thread the biosphere is like a thin warm layer of scum floating on the top of a bucket of icewater. We’re at the mercy of the rate of mixing between the warm surface layer (including the atmosphere) and the deep ocean. A little less mixing and we get warmer. A little more mixing and we get colder. Too much mixing and (I suspect) we exit our ~20,000 year interglacial period and the average atmospheric temperature becomes that of the deep ocean for the next 100,000 years or so. The deep ocean temp below the thermocline represents the average global temperature over timeframes long enough to ecompass a full glacial/interglacial cycle. There’s nothing else that can explain why the deep ocean is so cold.

June 9, 2010 4:54 pm

Bart June 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm
No, my question stands. The “reasons” given there are
1. There’s a strong correlation (but that says nothing about causality), and
2. “the inability to justify…” which is just arm-waving (“I just can’t believe it could be CO2”).
As Zeke and others have pointed out, the real flaw is that this all relates to fluctuations only, not the main trend. I don’t necessarily dispute that CO2 fluctuations could be caused by ocean temp variations. I’d just like to see a proper argument.

Joel Shore
June 9, 2010 5:01 pm

Enneagram says:

The other way is simply impossible: to increase the temperature of the solution while increasing at the same time CO2 solubility, unless you increase pressure.

Almost right…except that what matters is the ***partial*** pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere…which has increased by close to 40% from the pre-industrial levels, which is why the net flow of CO2 has been from the atmosphere into the mixed layer of the ocean, despite the increase in temperature.

June 9, 2010 5:01 pm

Sorry, I didn’t do a good job of addressing Peter Hodges and other’s concerns that I seem to be subtracting a linear component. Please look at figure 3, and the equation directly above it. It models the CO2 concentration versus time by using the temperature anomaly (plus the offset to bring it back to about 1850 when temperatures appeared to be relatively constant. This equation is exactly the same one used for Figure 2, only inverted.
Thanks for looking at this carefully. Remember, the whole analysis is based on two very well accepted data sets.

R Shearer
June 9, 2010 5:01 pm

Fantasic analysis!
It would be interesting to apply the same approach to other gases, some of natural, manmade and both origins (DMS, Freons, perfluorocarbons, SO2, CH4, N2O, etc.). The chemistry and concentration of CO2 is unique, but there certainly would be additional insight to be gained.

Jimbo
June 9, 2010 5:11 pm

I would have to agree with the sentiments of several others expressed here. I’m a luke warmer, but this analysis seems pretty poor, and probably acts to lower the credibility of the good stuff that is more often posted here.
Leaving the harder mathematical stuff for others more competant than myself to dissect, I’d like to revisit a point others have already made, that hasn’t been convincingly countered i.e.
If this analysis is correct, then there was almost certainly no MWP, and current warming is unprecedented.
The assertions that the ice cores are only averages at resolutions of several hundred years only applied well back in the record. The MWP is only a thousand years ago, so decadal resolution should be possible. Similarly, another answer is that you can see a faint sign of higher CO2 in the Vostok core. Why should it be faint? If the MWP was equal to or warmer than now, why would it not show similar levels of CO2 to now?
I think that the case for a MWP of similar or greater warmth to the present has been well made, and that the Hockey Stick is broken. Consequently, I think this analysis is bunk.

Steve from Rockwood
June 9, 2010 5:15 pm

Regardless of the science, it will be interesting to see what alternate explanations are given for such an incredible correlation between temperature and CO2 (Figure 2). This is not arm waving. Then to match El Nino (temperature only) events prior to the 1950s that confirm the high correlation (temperature and CO2) is brilliant. So if temperature is not driving CO2 out of the oceans, then why is the correlation between temperature and CO2 change so strong? Great post Lon Hocker!

Dave Springer
June 9, 2010 5:16 pm

Liquid CO2 droplets emitted by arc volcano at 1600 meters deep.
NOAA Research 2007 Outstanding Scientific Paper Awards
“Submarine venting of liquid carbon dioxide on a Mariana Arc volcano”

It’s worse than I thought. I never would have imagined that underwaters volcanoes could emit so much CO2 that it forms at the triple point. I guess you really do learn something new every day! Unless of course you’re a CAGW apologist and then you don’t learn a damn thing after your graduate school indoctrination into the dogmatics of the loony left is completed.

janama
June 9, 2010 5:19 pm

I just think it’s appropriate that the founder of a company that produces weather stations ( http://www.onsetcomp.com/products/weather_stations ) should present his new theory on WUWT.

Jim D
June 9, 2010 5:26 pm

My interpretation. CO2 is pumped by man into the atmosphere at a fairly constant rate (constant compared to ocean temperature anomalies at least). As shown, in warm-ocean years, CO2 in the atmosphere increases more quickly than in cold-ocean years. Could this not just be explained by the fact that a warmer ocean has a reduced uptake rate of CO2?

June 9, 2010 5:32 pm

Joel Shore says @5:01 pm [ … ]
Joel, the central fact is that rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature — at all time scales.
I have some charts. Would you like to see them?☺

Phil.
June 9, 2010 5:35 pm

peterhodges says:
June 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm
Gerard Harbison says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm
“There’s a basic flaw in this argument. Taking the differential and then subtracting out the constant term basically leaves you with fluctuations around a linear trend. The trend itself has been removed…What you’ve shown is that the fluctuations around the rate of linear increase of CO2 correlate with the fluctuations in the temperature anomaly.”
I agree. Very interesting though.

Quite, the OP has the process backwards too.
An excess of CO2 is released into the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel combustion, this excess is partially absorbed into the biosphere and oceans. The concentration of CO2 in the ocean depends on the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere so by increasing pCO2 you would expect a compensating absorption by the ocean. This process is temperature dependent however so if the temperature of the ocean is raised then less is absorbed and so more remains in the atmosphere. This relationship holds no matter how the temperature is raised and so finding it says nothing about whether there is GHG forcing. Under present conditions the direction of flow is CO2 into the ocean, with an approximately constant fraction of annual anthropogenic production being removed each year.

June 9, 2010 5:37 pm

Jimbo, this isn’t complicated math. Give it a try. Excel isn’t all that hard to use, though I admit I had a bunch of learning to go though to write this. Remember I’m just using well accepted data, and high school math. Contrary to some assertions, I don’t believe I am leaving out any linear terms.
Thanks for looking at it, and hope you can keep an open mind once you have duplicated the results.

Spector
June 9, 2010 5:41 pm

If we assume the ocean is the primary source of the temperature induced CO2 variation, then, I believe, we need estimates global sea volume temperature anomalies over time in order to calculate the actual amount of CO2 that might be released as a result of a general temperature increase at the surface. Lacking this data, all we may have is a correlation open to several interpretations. I do not expect it to be easy to obtain this data unless such estimates are already being made as a matter of routine.

Michael D Smith
June 9, 2010 5:42 pm

Nice analysis… I did a similar one and got (not surprisingly) a very similar chart. There is virtually no lag in the reaction of dCO2 to atmospheric temps.
http://home.comcast.net/~naturalclimate/CO2_growth_vs_Temp.pdf
While the above does use moving averages, they are centered on the month in which they occur.
No correlation there, huh…!
It’s interesting to me that CO2 is so smart, that when it does change (caused by who knows what), it INSTANTLY changes the global temperature! Who’d a thunk it. It would make an interesting theory for someone to work on though. But someone has probably already thought of that. Yep.

Charles Wilson
June 9, 2010 5:47 pm

This has the same problem CO2 causing -> temp, has …. carbon build-up PER YEAR quintupled from the 1950s to 1988 — then in 1988, suddenly leveled out at around 2 ppm/ year:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CO2_increase_rate.png
At first Glance you may think this seems to keep increasing, BUT:
1. Your eyes are drawn to the 1998 peak — after 1988 the DISPERSION is much greater — up: yes, but DOWN, also.
2. The last couple years are missing: both are well below 2ppm/year
— just cover the right half of the graph with your hand, and then the Left:
— left is a consistant increase,
— Right is Grossly dispersed — like a Rorschach test.
Now I was reading an Alaskan News sheet talking of Squid increasing their Range from Mexico to Southern Alaskan fisheries when I realized: THIS COULD BE IT !
Squid have no bones.
Bony fish sequester Carbon (bones are Calcium CARBONATE) for 250 million years on average (the IPCC tells its researchers to ignore bones: the carbon in bones returns to the Air Very fast because fish bones dissolve in Water ! — sure: ask any Geologist: fish bones dissolve: in RAIN – – AFTER they accumulate into rock, and the Sea Bottom rises up into a Mountain Range, and then: erosion wears it down. In 250 million years. ).
More Squid, Jellyfish, etc. mean CO2 RETURNS TO THE AIR, rather than being BURIED. The BALANCE is distorted.
Further, the “top” of any food chain gets hit hard by LEAD. Most “Squishy Fishies” are smaller & more Tropical. The CO2 ACCELLERATION agrees with the high-lead period in Greenland Ice.
Plus, at the end of the Last Ice Age, more Trees grew, so CO2 went into the Trees & should have DROPPED, thus, something MORE IMPORTANT outeweighed THAT — I figure: the Sea got more BONELESS fish = MORE CO2 — which makes sense as the increased temperature EXPANDED the Tropics. But that is a dozen Degrees (F) in the Northern Hemisphere — not just TENTHS of a degree. Today’s CO2 rise is mainly Over-fishing and/or LEAD opening a “niche” & the Squishy Fishies filling it … e.g. ever hear of the recent Tropical Jellyfish “Plague” ? —
The Jellyfish trend was reversed in New Zealand by establishing No-fishing zones so young bony fish can grow up — I think we can REVERSE CO2 growth & ALSO restore lost fisheries with the Same method applied Globally. What ? – – you don’t think a Green Plan should HELP an Industry ?
>> “Bones” also explains the 100-year & 5.4 year “residence time” for CO2 — they are both MEASURED, how can Either be wrong ? — but IF fish patterns account for 94.6% of the CO2 rise, we can reconcile both Measures (ie, CO2 acts Like it had a 100-year residence, but the decline in added Radioactives in the Test ban era — a 19% decline per year = 5.4 years, has been Re-done in Recent times, leading to the same 5.4: So: … the Seas’ absorbtion of CO2 has not changed at all, despite the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increasing much. If CO2’s rise was 100% from Industry the CO2 Emissions increase of 50% since the mid 1980s, means it should exceed 3 ppm/year by now — but it never has even REACHED 3. The 5.4 rate is thus input, the 100 is input minus output. An increase in Industrial CO2 of 50% still increases CO2 — but just that part, ie.e a 2.5% increase in the CO2 increase rate — too small to notice.
Note “Bones” also explains the post-1500 DROP in CO2
— as caused by the 1500 A.D. Stewart Island Meteor’s tidal wave that reached 2200 feet at New Zealand & 850 at Australia = Kill the Fishermen, & Bony Fish recover, thus CO2 drops (the AGW idea that Columbus killed all the Indians is from a Legit Study: Dobyns’ idea that 95% of Indians perished in plagues over 285 years was not relevant : Primitive Agriculture limits population so, as Parish records proved in Peru, — plagues DID kill many people, many times, but no LOSS was permanent — population always recovered – – until people began starving again: population varying roughly a factor of 2, locally).
Here is a source for Particle accumulation rates in the Greenland Ice: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/34/12140.figures-only
Note the PARTICULATES peak pre-1920 from home-heat with Coal: this explains the 1922 Low Sea Ice (when the 60-year cycle would have PEAKed the ice around 1920) see VERY near the END of the fascinating Skeptical compilation of charts: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Arctic.htm

jorgekafkazar
June 9, 2010 5:51 pm

Peter Miller says: “…Your hypothesis is dependent on the oceans being saturated with carbon dioxide – the current level is circa 90 ppm, a very long way from saturation level at current global temperatures.”
(1) You’ve assumed the oceans are isothermal, Peter. (2) Did you assume salt water?

David Alan Evans
June 9, 2010 5:52 pm

For those talking of ocean acidification.
What is the PH of concentrated carbonic acid like… I dunno, maybe sparkling mineral water?
DaveE.

R. de Haan
June 9, 2010 5:56 pm

The Total Emissivity of Carbon Dioxide and it’s effect on the Tropospheric Temperature by Dr. Nasif S. Nahle, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet
“By applying generally accepted algorithms on radiative heat transfer, verified through experimentation by Hottel, Leckner(1) and other contemporary scientists and engineers(2)(3)(4), I demonstrate that carbon dioxide molecules do not possess the thermal properties to be able to cause global warming or climate change here on Earth”. Download the PDF at:
http://climaterealists.com/?id=5847

AndrewS
June 9, 2010 6:00 pm

This spreadsheet model sure puts predictive skills of two dozen super-expensive super-computer models to shame. WOW!
Andrew.

June 9, 2010 6:06 pm

I wonder how this derivative analysis works on the geological record. Does anyone know more about this?
On the one hand, there is the observed lag of CO2 levels on Temperature [Idso, S.B. 1988] – but has anyone analysed this data by rate of change of Temp?
Also, I recall Lindzen commenting (following his Heartlands 2010 talk) that when the milankovitch cycles were first matched with the ice core temp proxy, the match was actually not very good. Then (a student of his?) tried a derivative of temp (rate of change) and the correlation was much better.

June 9, 2010 6:09 pm

Sorry for being slow on the uptake for you folks that figured that there is a linear term missing in the analysis. In figure 3 there is a missing CONSTANT. That is the starting value of the CO2 concentration to make it fit the Mauna Loa Data. The theory, as you folks noted, deals with the derivative of the CO2 level, so that that constant is nowhere to be seen in figure 2, and is irrelevant to the analysis.
As others have noted, the interesting thing is that after the correlation between the rate of increase of CO2 and the temperature anomaly have been accounted for, there is absolutely no room for a linear relationship between the CO2 level and the temperature anomaly in the residual. The rate of increase of CO2 accounts for ALL of the temperature anomaly!
Now we need to figure what is really causing the temperature anomaly…
Thanks for your patience.

June 9, 2010 6:15 pm

The strong CO2 peak in 1997/8 in Fig 2 may not come from the ocean. According to Wiki:

“Forest fires in Indonesia in 1997 were estimated to have released between 0.81 and 2.57 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is between 13-40% of the annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.”

Ian W
June 9, 2010 6:17 pm

Peter Miller says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Anthony
This is one of the few times I disagree with you.
Your hypothesis is dependent on the oceans being saturated with carbon dioxide – the current level is circa 90ppm, a very long way from saturation level at current global temperatures

Peter – it is not a hypothesis – it is Henry’s Law – one of the accepted laws of physical chemistry. A ‘Gas Law’
Andrew W says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm
From Wiki: “Henry’s law is used to quantify the solubility of gases in solvents. The solubility of a gas in a solvent is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas above the solvent. ”
Over the last 150 years the partial pressure of CO2 has risen by about 35%, so CO2 is moving into the oceans, not out of them.
.
Andrew, you appear to have misquoted the law from Wikipedia (note my bold highlights):
In chemistry, Henry’s law is one of the gas laws, formulated by William Henry in 1803. It states that:
At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas dissolved in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.
An equivalent way of stating the law is that the solubility of a gas in a liquid at a particular temperature is proportional to the pressure of that gas above the liquid. Henry’s law has since been shown to apply for a wide range of dilute solutions, not merely those of gases.

Henry’s law means that there will be a standard ratio of atmospheric CO2 to dissolved CO2 in the oceans dependent on vapor pressure and temperature.
It should be remembered that it is not only the ocean surface that absorb CO2 it is also the water droplets in clouds. The surface area of these droplets is huge possibly more than the oceans, they are pure water and are very cold so these droplets will ‘scrub’ CO2 out of the atmosphere very rapidly. Then they fall as rain to the surface with the dissolved CO2.
Finally
John Finn says:…….
That’s it. Gerald has phrased his post better than I did earlier but it amounts to pretty much the same thing. I think Zeke (above) has also made a similar point. This ‘study’ simply shows what we already knew, i.e. CO2 levels rise a bit more in warmer years and a bit less in colder years.
The only reason the ‘model’ appears to work is due to the fact that both CO2 and temperatures have been rising in the last few decades. If temperatures started to fall the model would break down.

But there is a large drop in atmospheric CO2 after the El Nino peaks and in the La Ninas- so cold temperatures show reduction in CO2. Hardly the time when there would be less fossil fuel usage.

June 9, 2010 6:20 pm

This lost credibility IMO with “I discovered this independently and roughly simultaneously with Michael Beenstock and Yaniv Reingewertz ”
First, he doesn’t cite any evidence that the discovered this “simultaneously”, not a claim to be made lightly. Second, Beenstock and Reingwertz are economists — and their paper is unpublished (so far as I can tell). Several blogs say its in Nature, but does not appear in their archives (e.g., EURreferendum, 13 February 2010).

Bart
June 9, 2010 6:26 pm

Nick Stokes says:
June 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm
No, my question stands. The “reasons” given there are…
No, the reason given is that the CO2 tracks the El Nino events, and El Nino is NOT caused by CO2.
As Zeke and others have pointed out, the real flaw is that this all relates to fluctuations only, not the main trend.
Not so. FTA:

Applying this model to the Mauna Loa data not only shows the overall trend, but also matches the many El Niño events that have occurred while satellite data has been available. The Figure 2, shows the derivative model along with the observed Ocean Temperature Anomaly.

See Figure 2 for reference.

Les Johnson
June 9, 2010 6:32 pm

Lon: I agree with some of the other posters.
I get a good correlation (>0.9), when I used delta CO2 over 3 to 12 months previous, with the best match at 6 months previous. This was with both UAH and CRUT3 data. The best fit is after 1998, but there is still a good correlation going back to 1960, using CRUT3 (>0.6).
Either temperature is going back in time to affect CO2, or the rate of CO2 change affects temperature.
If you would like to see my calculations, please send me an e-mail, and I will send my Excel sheets.

old construction worker
June 9, 2010 6:38 pm

WAY OFF TOPIC
Forgive me I know this is way off topic, but I am compelled to past this on.
So if this does not post, so be it. Please past it on.
YES, THEY WALK AMONG US
Why our country is in trouble????
A DC airport ticket agent offers some examples of why our country is in trouble!
1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman (Carol Shea-Porter) ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)
2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman’s (Moore) staffer (Howard Bauleke), who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ‘’I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.’’
Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, ‘’Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.’’
His response — click.
3. A senior Vermont Congressman (Bernie Sanders) called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that’s not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.
He replied, ‘Don’t lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!’’ (OMG)
4. I got a call from a lawmaker’s wife (Landra Reid) who asked, ‘’Is it possible to see England from Canada?’’
I said, ‘’No.’’
She said, ‘’But they look so close on the map.’’ (OMG, again!)
5. An aide for a cabinet member (Janet Napolitano) once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ‘’I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.’’ (Aghhhh)
6. An Illinois Congresswoman (Jan Schakowsky) called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m.
I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn’t understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.
7. A New York lawmaker, (Jerrold Nadler) called and asked, ‘’Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?’’ I said, ‘No, why do you ask?’
He replied, ‘’Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said ‘FAT’, and I’m overweight. I think that’s very rude!’’
After putting him on hold for a minute, I looked into it. (I was dying laughing.) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, Ca. Is (FAT – Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage.
8. An aide for Senator John Kerry (Lindsay Ross) called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, ‘’Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?’’
9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman, Bobby Bright (D) from AL who asked, ‘’How do I know which plane to get on?’’
I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ‘’I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.’’
10. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) called and said, ‘’I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?’’
I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane.
She said, ‘’Yeah, whatever, smarty!’’
11. Mary Landrieu (D) LA Senator called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa. ‘Oh, no I don’t. I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.’’
I double checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa. When I told her this she said, ‘’Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!’’
12. A New Jersey Congressman (John Adler) called to make reservations, ‘’I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York .’’
I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ‘’Are you sure that’s the name of the town?’’
‘Yes, what flights do you have?’’ replied the man.
After some searching, I came back with, ‘’I’m sorry, sir, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a ‘Rhino’ anywhere.”
‘’The man retorted, ‘’Oh, don’t be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!’’
So I scoured a map of the State of New York and finally offered, ‘’You don’t mean Buffalo , do you?’’
The reply? ‘’Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.’’
Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it’s in!
Could anyone be this DUMB?

Bart
June 9, 2010 6:39 pm

Jimbo says:
June 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm
“Leaving the harder mathematical stuff for others … If this analysis is correct, then there was almost certainly no MWP, and current warming is unprecedented.”
Translation: “I really don’t understand any of it, but I have absolute faith in the ice core extrapolations.”
I think your faith is misguided.

stas peterson
June 9, 2010 6:39 pm

Peter Miller,
You ask a profound question. Maybe it would direct you to read the papers of Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, a noted ice core specialist whose constant criticism is about misuses of Vostok ice core proxies, without pressure corrections. His critiques are frequently ignored, since they do not provide support to AGW.
Under comparatively very modest pressures, as occurs in compressed ice, CO2 in ice cores forms hydrates that reduce the CO2 in ice core bubbles to a uniform low figure.
This low figure is then mistakenly assumed tobe the “pre-industrial” and “natural” level of CO2 in the atmosphere, before Man destroyed his environment. In comparison, we have been measuring atmospheric constituents since scientists started studing gases about the time of Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Priestly.
Georg Beck has retrieved quite extensive laboratory experiments conducted by impressive teams of scientists over long periods of the 18th and 19th century. One thing is glaringly obvious. Their laboratory measurements do NOT agree with the imputed ice core proxies dated to those eras when the pressure of overbearing ice has forced the CO2 into hydrates, even as they correlate atmospheric CO2 changes cotermiminus to the Tambora and Krakatoa massive volcanic eruptions.
What are you going to believe? Lab measurements, or ice core proxies, or perhaps chicken entrails?

Joel Shore
June 9, 2010 6:44 pm

Regardless of the science, it will be interesting to see what alternate explanations are given for such an incredible correlation between temperature and CO2 (Figure 2). This is not arm waving. Then to match El Nino (temperature only) events prior to the 1950s that confirm the high correlation (temperature and CO2) is brilliant. So if temperature is not driving CO2 out of the oceans, then why is the correlation between temperature and CO2 change so strong? Great post Lon Hocker!

I don’t think there is any argument about whether temperature fluctuations such as those due to ENSO drive changes in atmospheric CO2 levels (which, although rather small, are large on the scale that CO2 levels rise in one year). This has been known for a long time. This is the carbon cycle feedback to rising temperatures. However, as Willis has been explaining in this thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/07/some-people-claim-that-theres-a-human-to-blame/ , it is way too small to explain the rise of CO2 since the beginning of the industrial revolution, besides contradicting a wealth of empirical data and understanding of the carbon cycle that tells us without a doubt that the rise in CO2 is anthropogenic.

Anu
June 9, 2010 6:47 pm

A study: The carrying of umbrellas has caused H2O Falling, not the other way around
Guest post by Lloyd Christmas
http://tinyurl.com/346y7jx

kramer
June 9, 2010 6:50 pm

I’m a bit skeptical of this article because if you go back and look at ice core data of temp and CO2, you don’t see about a 120 ppm swing in CO2 for a swings of about 12C. We haven’t had nowhere near a 12c swing in temp over the last 150 years. Plus, there is the 800 year lag in CO2 from temperature changes.

Bart
June 9, 2010 6:50 pm

Jim D says:
June 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm
“Could this not just be explained by the fact that a warmer ocean has a reduced uptake rate of CO2?”
Since nature is always generating CO2 at 24X the rate of anthropogenic input, any reduction in uptake means an immediate increase in airborne concentration, with the extra build-up from natural far outpacing that from anthropogenic.

June 9, 2010 6:51 pm

As Richard Telford pointed out above, the observation of correlation of annual CO2 change with El Nino goes back to Bacastow. It’s discussed in this 2001 paper from the Hadley Centre. Here’s their diagram, corresponding pretty much to Fig 2 here. It shows Nino-3 index (dashed) and annual change in CO2 (solid).

June 9, 2010 6:51 pm

Nick Stokes says:
I cannot see the logic of this. It claims there is a close correlation of temperature with rate of CO2 increase. Then it jumps to saying that the CO2 increase must be caused by the temperature. Why? Why not temp rise caused by rate of CO2 increase? You don’t change the causality by just rearranging the terms in the correlation equation.

Fair enough. You propose a mechanism – any mechanism! – by which the rate of change of CO2 can cause the instantaneous temperature value. Not saying you can’t do it, just that it sounds as non-physical as anything could be. But whatever, if that is the case, you are saying (along with climate realists) that the IPCC’s claimed physical mechanisms are totally wrong, since they depend on amount, not derivative.

R Shearer
June 9, 2010 6:54 pm

Prior to the 1980’s, ice core analyses routinely showed CO2 levels at 2-3 times higher than today. The analytical method was basically “adjusted” to precisely give an average of ~280 ppm, and this became the “standard.” I agree that the precision of the new method is better, but accuracy is another question of concern.

wayne
June 9, 2010 7:08 pm

Jim D @June 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm:
Yes, exactly. That is the differential relation whether there is staturation or not. You are seeing through fog. There are an infinite number of related curves to the one above of saturated water, not sea water, but the same laws apply. That is why Lon points out the differential nature of his analysis. Lon might have to have his parameters adjusted slightly by more exact measurements of staturation but it doesn’t take away from what he is presenting above.

Bart
June 9, 2010 7:24 pm

Nick Stokes says:
June 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm
‘… which is between 13-40% of the annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.”’
Which means it is between 0.05% and 1.6% of natural emissions. Try again.

Joel Shore
June 9, 2010 7:33 pm

Ron House says:

But whatever, if that is the case, you are saying (along with climate realists) that the IPCC’s claimed physical mechanisms are totally wrong, since they depend on amount, not derivative.

Really? Interesting since this interannual variability is discussed in Section 7.3.2.4.1 of the IPCC AR4 WG1 report http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm :

7.3.2.4.1 Interannual changes in global fluxes
The atmospheric CO2 growth rate exhibits large interannual variations (see Figure 3.3, the TAR and http://lgmacweb.env.uea.ac.uk/lequere/co2/carbon_budget). The variability of fossil fuel emissions and the estimated variability in net ocean uptake
are too small to account for this signal, which must be caused by year-to-year fluctuations in land-atmosphere fluxes. Over the past two decades, higher than decadal-mean CO2 growth rates occurred in 1983, 1987, 1994 to 1995, 1997 to 1998 and 2002 to 2003. During such episodes, the net uptake of anthropogenic CO2 (sum of land and ocean sinks) is temporarily weakened. Conversely, small growth rates occurred in 1981, 1992 to 1993 and 1996 to 1997, associated with enhanced uptake. Generally, high CO2 growth rates correspond to El Niño climate conditions, and low growth rates to La Niña (Bacastow and Keeling, 1981; Lintner, 2002). However, two episodes of CO2 growth rate variations during the past two decades did not refl ect such an El Niño forcing. In 1992 to 1993, a marked reduction in growth rate occurred, coincident with the cooling and radiation anomaly caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991. In 2002 to 2003, an increase in growth rate occurred, larger
than expected based on the very weak El Niño event (Jones and Cox, 2005). It coincided with droughts in Europe (Ciais et al., 2005b), in North America (Breshears et al., 2005) and in Asian Russia (IFFN, 2003)…

The Lintner reference, by the way, is available here: http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~ben/PUBLICATIONS/Lintner_CO2_2002.pdf . In the introduction, it notes:

The interannual variability that is present in atmospheric CO2 is largely attributed to the El Nin˜o/Southern Oscillation. Correlations between CO2 growth rates and the
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) were first investigated over twenty years ago [Bacastow, 1976]. Since that time, the ENSO phenomenon has been studied extensively, both theoretically and experimentally. It is now understood that, as a component of the climate system, atmospheric CO2 responds to ENSO forcings. Analyses of CO2 growth rates show anomalously positive accumulation of CO2 following the initiation of ENSO warm events, as various components of the terrestrial biosphere respond to ENSO-induced temperature, precipitation, and insolation perturbations [Keeling et al., 1995].

The Keeling et al. paper is available here: http://hydrology.lsu.edu/courses/papers/Keeling_etal_Nature1995.pdf See, particularly, Figure 2.
Wheel, meet your latest re-inventor.

Editor
June 9, 2010 7:35 pm

Couple of points:
1. Cause-and-correlation. We are early in an analysis period. Don’t ignore a theory that cannot explain everything – but equally, DON’T believe a good theory if it cannot explain all the (good) data available.
If good data doesn’t fit, the theory – no matter how well accepted it is by “a consensus of experts” – is dead wrong in those instances. Note that EVERY scientific advance was preceeded by an outsider presenting a new theory (maybe an incomplete one) that contradicted the “expert’s” current theories. (Note also that a good theory may work under many cases (Newton’s Laws work fine under most cases – they are not wrong except under high speeds near light. But they are incomplete.) The AGW’s favorite greenhouse gas theory of global warming isn’t wrong. It is merely incomplete and worth less when describing this particle planet’s global climate variations.)
When the continental shelves were fit together in the early 1920’s – and found to match very closely – did we know cause yet?
Did Maxwell’s equations – linking derivatives of magnetic field and light fields together in a good theoretically sound basis – come before or after light and magnetic waves were being used?
When a solid piece of pitchblende caused photographic plates to be exposed in a dark room, did we know that radiation even existed? (Much less the reason it existed and how matter disintegrates into smaller, more higher energy particles without chemical changes?)
Note also that NO AGW alarmist has been able to tell us why the ENSO/LA Nina/North Atlantic oceans periodically change temperatures, even though changes in those patterns explain every recent change in temperatures.
Maybe. I still have grave doubts that the global temperature graph presented is accurate. Use a earlier (pre-Hansen corruption) of the data that shows true 1890-1970 temperatures, and you may need to revise the theory.
2. That said: We need to account for biological feedback on CO2 absorption. If every green plant and algae and underwater biologic is growing 8 to 27 faster and larger and stronger now with the higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere, what does that change in the yearly and monthly absorption rates? Will that increased absorption get saturated in the next 50 – 100 years?
3. The ENSO affects limited ocean areas – very large areas, but not (as I uderstand) the central pacific is greatly affected, but north and south Pacific are not changed as much, the Indian Ocean little, and the North Atlantic and South Atlantic are not afecetd. What happens to the equations (to the analysis) if water temeratures are broken out by area of ocean and extent of change? Will that increase, or decrease the relationship? The warm mid-pacific, near-equatorial waters most affected by
4. In recent times (the past 2400 years) we have seen three proven rises (Roman, Medieval, and Modern warming periods) and two known falls (Dark Ages and LIA.) What do the recent ice samples and other proxies reveal for CO2? How much of today’s CO2 levels merely be the result of the longer term rise from the LIA – PLUS a contribution from industrial activity?
5. Recently, we have better tracking (and good predictions for the near future!) from correlations of both solar/gravity/cyclical solar system positions to temperature changes, AND ENSO/La Nina roles to global ocean temperature changes and CO2.
May I suggest that the three are related more closely than either author expects?

June 9, 2010 7:38 pm

kim says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm
Do you mean ‘nowhere near the factor of three rise of CO2 concentration’ in the second to last paragraph before the Conclusion?
=============
You are exactly right. Thanks for catching that! Sorry for being so late responding.

Joel Shore
June 9, 2010 7:44 pm

kramer says:

I’m a bit skeptical of this article because if you go back and look at ice core data of temp and CO2, you don’t see about a 120 ppm swing in CO2 for a swings of about 12C. We haven’t had nowhere near a 12c swing in temp over the last 150 years. Plus, there is the 800 year lag in CO2 from temperature changes.

I agree with your basic points here but just have one small correction: the swings of ~12 C in temperature seen in the ice core records reflect the larger variations that occur in the polar regions and are understood to correspond to global temperature swings of only about half that amount (i.e., around 6 C).

Bart
June 9, 2010 7:52 pm

John Finn says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm
“The only reason the ‘model’ appears to work is due to the fact that both CO2 and temperatures have been rising in the last few decades. If temperatures started to fall the model would break down.”
That could definitely be said of some reconstructions which share no fine details except for a superficial trend, e.g., comparisons of absolute CO2 with temperature anomaly. However, the level of fine correlation here is compelling.
Almost all of the objections I have read here rely on the ice core reconstructions for refutation. This is putting an awful lot of faith in an artifact which, by its very nature, cannot be validated against actual measurements in the distant past. I saw one citation of the isotopic ratio – but this, again, is based on a hypothesis which cannot be directly verified.
Some people seem to think the 0.58 degree offset is significant. But, in fact, this is merely an artifact of the baseline chosen for the temperature anomaly. All it means is that, with a proper baseline chosen, CO2 level is well represented as a scaled and low pass filtered version of temperature. The inverse of this relationship, temperature sensitivity to CO2 being represented by a high pass response, is a type of dynamic rarely observed in nature.

BQuartero
June 9, 2010 7:53 pm

Good story, but as a few readers (e.g. Richard Telford @1:43)pointed out, the reasoning that ENSO events have been recognized since 1902 and thus are not caused by CO2 is pretty weak. Much stronger is the argument, not proposed in the article, but much more valid , that ENSO events are essentially a release of latently built up heat over many years, released intermittently with 3-5 year intervals (at least in the last 50 years). Since the tight correlation presented does not show these preceding heat build-up years, it is a fair conclusion that CO2 follows the T, which was something we already knew from other lines of evidence (Ice core data). In between all the comments more errors and mistakes have been introduced that might need some correction. (Steven Goddard @ 12:56) Reefs are not formed in the tropics due to lower CO2 solubility. They are formed in the tropics because most reef building organisms really like that warm water. Cold water limestones are also possible and have been documented (south of Australia) but are just not as dominant and pretty as the tropical reefs and associated carbonate sands. Secondly (BobN @2:58) the ocean is not the only Carbon sink. Vegetation (all vegetation, including algae in the ocean) is the other big one. The discrepancy between the annual increase in CO2 and the “human output” has been a constant difficulty within the climate science. A satelite was launched recently to search for the missing CO2; the deployment failed, so we are still in the dark. With oceans being undersaturated and the Global CO2 cycle being some 40 times larger than the total human output it still is a bit of a conundrum (the annual uptake of CO2 by oceans alone is more than 10 times the annual human CO2 production) why not all CO2 is cycled through, except of course if one accepts that a warmer ocean takes up less than a colder one, or , for that matter, out-gasses at the same time. Lastly, (back to Richard), the Isotope signature has been identified dating back to late 1700 early 1800, where lower isotopes (biogenic CO2) almost immediately showed up in properly dated cored reef sections, well before any global warming has been identified; in effect , early 1800 still saw glacial expansion en very cold weather. The isotope signature reflects the onset of coal burning, and illustrates the rapid and immediate uptake of CO2 by oceans. It also is nothing more than a signature, like a drop of ink in a large aquarium, cycled through, with an annual addition for as long as we burn fossil fuels. It says nothing about increased CO2 concentrations. Just like water is cycled endlessly. If we could put a signature on water molecules, we would notice an increased signature as well, since we cycle an awful lot of water (and much more now than 150 years ago); and just like CO2 there is generally (certainly potentially) more water vapor in the air during warm times than cold times (one of the dreaded feedbackloops).

June 9, 2010 7:53 pm

Xi Chin says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm
and
Les Johnson says:
June 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Thanks for your input. You are no doubt leading us in the right direction. There are a lot of folks posting here that understand parts of this vastly better than I do, and I am thrilled by the insights that have been shown. Feel free to work on this any way you like and carry concept forward! I just wanted to escape the apparently incorrect hypothesis that the temperature anomaly is linearly related to the CO2 concentration.

June 9, 2010 7:54 pm

Bart,
“No, the reason given is that the CO2 tracks the El Nino events, and El Nino is NOT caused by CO2.”
But El Nino isn’t caused by temperature either. It still doesn’t show CO2 dependence on temperature. It could be El Nino bringing CO2-rich water to the surface.
“Applying this model to the Mauna Loa data not only shows the overall trend…”
No, it doesn’t. The trend is determined by the constants 0.58 and 0.22, which are obtained by fitting. To see this, you can go to Fig 3 and add the curve found by setting the temp anomaly to zero, just keeping the constants. You get a straight line which fits the CO2 data about as well as the red curve. With no temperature info at all.

Wren
June 9, 2010 7:55 pm

“Using two well accepted data sets, a simple model can be used to show that the rise in CO2 is a result of the temperature anomaly, not the other way around.”
——–
Sounds like a “chickens make eggs, but eggs don’t make chickens” argument.

Jim D
June 9, 2010 8:03 pm

I think my previous post was not understood, but Phil makes the same point independently.
Conventional wisdom is that the atmospheric CO2 is rising quite steadily, especially since the start of the industrial age. However the carbon budget shows that only about half of man’s input is seen as CO2 in the atmosphere, and the rest goes into the ocean and biosphere. (I don’t know why the posting ignores these basic facts about the carbon budget which give the direction of the CO2 flow).
Now, what I say is that this fraction of a half is modulated by the ocean temperature being slightly less when the ocean is warmer. This means atmospheric CO2 would rise faster when the ocean is warmer and more slowly when it is cooler. This is exactly what is seen, but the mechanism is much more mundane and conventional. However, it is impressive that such a signal was seen even if their explanation is wrong.

Bart
June 9, 2010 8:24 pm

Xi Chin says:
June 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm
“You need to use the backward differential only and make sure that you do not pollute the predictor with future information.”
He did it right to get a zero group delay, exp(j*w*T/2)-exp(-j*w*T/2) = 2*cos(w*T), i.e., the response is real. Do a backwards one, and the group delay is T/2.
BobN says:
June 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm
“Based on the amount of CO2 emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations should actually greater than what has occurred. The oceans are absorbing CO2, not releasing it.”
What that proves is that we are dealing with a feedback system in which the sinks expand or contract with the sources after a particular lag time, regulating the overall level and decreasing the sensitivity, in the normal way feedback loops do. What changes the output level significantly in such a system is NOT increasing the input, because that is what the feedback reacts against, but changing the equilibrium position, which in this case is quite apparently directly sensitive to temperature.
“I wish you would use a little more discretion or prescreening before posting guest posts with what are clearly flawed analyses.”
Clearly, you are not familiar with feedback systems, which is about par for most AGW believers. It is so annoying when they are so smug in their ignorance.

JK
June 9, 2010 8:24 pm

R Shearer says:
June 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Prior to the 1980′s, ice core analyses (sic) routinely showed CO2 levels at 2-3 times higher than today.
A reference or link would be very interesting. Or as they say, “Sources!”.

Phil.
June 9, 2010 8:28 pm

Bart says:
June 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm
Jim D says:
June 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm
“Could this not just be explained by the fact that a warmer ocean has a reduced uptake rate of CO2?”
Since nature is always generating CO2 at 24X the rate of anthropogenic input, any reduction in uptake means an immediate increase in airborne concentration, with the extra build-up from natural far outpacing that from anthropogenic.

Total rubbish, the anthropogenic CO2 is added to the atmosphere at ~twice the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 so nature is a net sink of ~half the anthropogenic input!

Bart
June 9, 2010 8:29 pm

Nick Stokes says:
June 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm
“But El Nino isn’t caused by temperature either.”
But, it causes large temperature swings, which then causes CO2 swings.
“The trend is determined by the constants 0.58 and 0.22, which are obtained by fitting.”
And, the fitting determines those constants by minimizing the error between the calculated and measured data, so they are not just random and arbitrary.

Dr A Burns
June 9, 2010 8:31 pm

>> BobN says:
>>June 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm
>>… The oceans are absorbing CO2, not releasing it.
This is incorrect. The oceans release about 20 times as much CO2 as man. They absorb a similar amount. Different areas of the ocean are absorbing and outgassing at different times of the year.

Marge
June 9, 2010 8:32 pm

old construction worker says: “Could anyone be this DUMB?”
June 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm
Well I once knew a man…………
http://www.snopes.com/travel/trap/congress.asp

JK
June 9, 2010 8:36 pm

So I don’t understand why the derived anomaly only goes back to 1980. There are measured values much further back, and Beck has a graph going quite far back. It would be nice to see the derived anomaly for this.

June 9, 2010 8:39 pm

Lon Hocker says:
I agree that it is strange that we see the CO2 concentrations so flat in the ice records, when we know there have been relatively large temperature changes. This begs the question of how reliable we feel these ice records are. If my model is correct, the medieval warm period would have had much larger CO2 concentrations than are observed in the ice record.

This is not necessary. On the time scale you model, and for the accuracy available, the “0.58” could easily be an approximation for a slowly varying function of other parameters, which only shows significant influence on a century or longer timescale. Thus the observed following of temperature by CO2 in the ice record could hold over a long timescale, whilst fluctuations around it on a timescale of a few decades could be modeled by your equation, but with a different constant term in different epochs. But the clear goodness of fit of your equation on the short term more or less demolishes the IPCC model.

June 9, 2010 8:41 pm

While I’m fascinated with the discussion, and constantly learn more about analysing scientific reports just by watching you guys, I haven’t anywhere near the expertise to comment on the science or math.
But urban legends are a horse of a different kettle of fish. And I’m afraid Old Construction Worker has just passed along one of the classics. Snopes lists this one as going back at least to 1998 at which the foolish people were merely “a man,” “a woman,” “another man,” and so on (Trip Witless).
Snopes. It won’t help solve the debate on global warming, but it can sure help avoid spreading misinformation of other types.

June 9, 2010 8:48 pm

Jimbo says:
I would have to agree with the sentiments of several others expressed here. I’m a luke warmer, but this analysis seems pretty poor, and probably acts to lower the credibility of the good stuff that is more often posted here.

Why is it that there is a ‘push’ from certain quarters to talk about the “credibility” of the site and to try to suppress articles, if only by making Anthony self-censor?
I am calling astroturf on some of the comments on this post. I hope and believe that Anthony won’t be influenced by this strategy.

If this analysis is correct, then there was almost certainly no MWP, and current warming is unprecedented.

See my previous post for why this does not follow.

Jimbo
June 9, 2010 8:54 pm

Bart says:
“Leaving the harder mathematical stuff for others … If this analysis is correct, then there was almost certainly no MWP, and current warming is unprecedented.”
Translation: “I really don’t understand any of it, but I have absolute faith in the ice core extrapolations.”
1) No translation was needed, and your translation was pretty dumb. I said what I mean. I have a fairly good idea of what is being claimed, but recognise that there are others here more confident on what is actually being shown e.g. Zeke. But that wasn’t the core of what I was saying in any case.
2) What exactly are the ice cores allegedly “Extrapolating?”. They cover the entire period I am talking about (MWP till present). They may well be imperfect records of CO2, but I don’t see how they extrapolate anything.
3) Ice cores aside, I’m not aware of anything like studies of stomata etc. which put CO2 content at any period in the last 2000 years up around 350 – 400ppm (correct me if I’m wrong). Do you know of anyone indicating that CO2 levels were near current levels during the MWP?
4) If there is no good evidence that CO2 levels during the MWP were comparable to now, then one of two things is true. Either the MWP did not exist, or this model is wrong.
Faith doesn’t enter into it. My money is on there being a MWP. Obviously, if there is reasonable evidence that CO2 levels were comparably high during the MWP, then it would strengthen the case for this model.

Bart
June 9, 2010 9:04 pm

Ron House says:
June 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm
“On the time scale you model, and for the accuracy available, the “0.58″ could easily be an approximation for a slowly varying function of other parameters, which only shows significant influence on a century or longer timescale.”
Or, it could simply mean that the arbitrary baseline used for the temperature anomaly is… wait for it… arbitrary. Are you listening, Nick?

Geoff Sherrington
June 9, 2010 9:06 pm

Nick Stokes says: “The sea water chemistry is very bad. There is a large volume of dissolved CO2 equivalent, mainly as bicarbonate. But only about 1% is free CO2. Just using water solubility curves and relating them to total CO2 is quite wrong.”
Heavens, we agree again, almost fully.
I’m playing around with cyclicities of noble gases, especially argon, but it is oversaturated and only helpful in some respects, like seasonal outgassing at various ocean latitudes.
BTW, there is some interesting interaction by biomass effects at http://www.seafriends.org.nz/
but the terminology is not consistent with mine and I’m having to translate it a little. It does however, do what I have been looking for for years, namely simply titration ocean water with CO2 to see how the pH changes. Some surprising results have set me thinking.
Mechanisms have to dominate over math correlations in the long run; but the math can be useful in early stages to point to where the mechanisms need attention; then they are needed for final confirmation and error/confidence analysis.

Jimbo
June 9, 2010 9:07 pm

Ron House,
I think you need to re-read my post. My position is that there was a MWP, and that the current warming is not unprecedented. That is why I think this model is wrong. There are multiple lines of evidence for the MWP, not the least of which is the great pains some climate researchers took to hide it.
I am not aware of anything indicating comparably high levels of CO2 during the MWP. If there were, we can be quite confident that warmists would have jumped on it to “prove” that CO2 causes global warming. They couldn’t find such evidence, so instead they had to make the MWP disappear.
I am following the golden rule of when the observations don’t fit the model, then it is the model that needs correcting. A bit more thought before calling “Astroturf” might be in order.

AnonyMoose
June 9, 2010 9:10 pm

old construction worker’s list of political travel bloopers is false. Some may be old stories reattributed to politicians.

Dave F
June 9, 2010 9:10 pm

Ok, so here is a thought. You would expect that the r^2 in a regression between CO2 and temp would be high either way in either argument of causality. What other evidence can be looked at in terms of causality?
If the oceans are absorbing as much CO2 as possible in these higher temperatures, which is the argument presented with the lowering of PH values, then it would mean CO2 is being stuffed into the oceans faster as the temperature rises. And so the r^2 between PH value and atmospheric CO2 will be high, while r is negative.
If temperature is releasing CO2, then CO2 would be accumulating at the surface of the ocean doing its best to pop out and release into the atmosphere. The value of r^2 is again expected to be solid, with a negative r.
But what about deep water CO2 saturation? That should go up if CO2 is causing temperature, and down if temperature releases the CO2. Right?

Holt
June 9, 2010 9:12 pm

Great article and one that restores my faith in the scientific community. There is also the factor of hysteresis to consider as the seasons change from warm to cold and vice versa. This would stymie attempts at an exact fit of temperature trend and anomaly trend.

Don Shaw
June 9, 2010 9:19 pm

Dave Springer says:
June 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm
“And your hypothesis is dependent on no mixing of surface water with deep water. As I pointed out in other threads the vast majority of the ocean lies below the thermocline at a temperature of about 4 degrees C and thousands of atmospheres pressure. ”
“The deep ocean temp below the thermocline represents the average global temperature over timeframes long enough to ecompass a full glacial/interglacial cycle. There’s nothing else that can explain why the deep ocean is so cold.”
Dave, Thanks for posting the above information, I found it very interesting and thought provoking. It makes me wonder if and how the implications of this vast amount of cold water in the deep oceans has been taken into account in the various computer models and AGW claims. Obviously the system is much more complex than many would have us believe, especially considering your explanation of how the water got so cold.

June 9, 2010 9:21 pm

[D. Cohen says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Your article makes a very good point, but in retrospect the same argument can be made based on the annual variation of the CO2 data. No one (that I know of) argues that the annual CO2 variation is due to anything but the annual temperature cycle, therefore we already know that — for the annual CO2 cycle — changes in temperature cause changes in CO2 concentration. From that data alone we should expect multiyear temperature changes (like El Nino events) also to cause changes in the CO2 concentration.]
The variation in co2 annualy is from the respiration of the plants on earth. During winter the plants do dormant and our co2 increases much faster. During summer plants are absorbing co2 bringing down the concentration temporarily.

John Whitman
June 9, 2010 9:25 pm

Lon Hocker,
I enjoyed your post very much.
The causality you infer, that SST temp changes drive the rate of change of CO2 concentrations, appears to me to be reasonable. What an elegantly simple agrument.
Perhaps some of the econometricians reading this post can help you with putting the equations in proper formal statistical format. [VS – where are you?]
Anthony – you are wonderful in posting this stuff!!
John

June 9, 2010 9:30 pm

I would think Lon would know that the 6 month variation is due to plant respiration and not temperature variation. The whole thing easily falls on its face. The temperatire lags co2 increases. We are a half a degree behind the co2 increase now.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in_6_easy_steps/

Bart
June 9, 2010 9:38 pm

Jimbo says:
June 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm
“What exactly are the ice cores allegedly “Extrapolating?”. They cover the entire period I am talking about (MWP till present). They may well be imperfect records of CO2, but I don’t see how they extrapolate anything. “
Dictionary.com: ex·trap·o·late (ĭk-strāp’ə-lāt’) v. tr. 1. To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information. 2. Mathematics: To estimate (a value of a variable outside a known range) from values within a known range by assuming that the estimated value follows logically from the known values.
Ice cores are evaluated by doing #1 based on models for diffusion rates and other reactions. You do #2 by assuming that the bandwidth of stored information is greater than it is, so that you can see fine details like peaks and canyons which, realistically, you cannot.
“Do you know of anyone indicating that CO2 levels were near current levels during the MWP?”
Sure, if that is what floats your boat. If you have issues with it, don’t nag me. I don’t believe any of this crap can be reliably estimated after centuries have passed in the first place.
“If there is no good evidence that CO2 levels during the MWP were comparable to now, then one of two things is true. Either the MWP did not exist, or this model is wrong.”
Major non sequitur. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You have to have good evidence that CO2 levels during the MWP were NOT comparable to today, to make such an either/or proposition. And, you have to make sure whatever you define as “comparable” is an appropriate measure based on the dynamics involved.

Bart
June 9, 2010 9:39 pm

Jeff Green says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm
“I would think Lon would know that the 6 month variation is due to plant respiration and not temperature variation.”
What does that have to do with anything? His differences are over 12 months.

June 9, 2010 9:42 pm

Jeff Green says:
“The temperatire (sic) lags co2 increases.”
No, it doesn’t. You have it exactly backwards. On every time scale, CO2 rises follow temperature rises, and CO2 declines follow temperature declines. On every time scale, from months to millennia. CO2 is a function of temperature changes, not vice-versa.
Also, please do not link to realclimate; they are no more credible than Michael Mann. Thanx.

Bart
June 9, 2010 9:45 pm

Phil. says:
June 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm
“Total rubbish, the anthropogenic CO2 is added to the atmosphere at ~twice the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 so nature is a net sink of ~half the anthropogenic input!”
Complete garbage. Anthropogenic input is currently running at about 4% of natural input. The IPCC says so. Argue your “point”, whatever it is, with them.

Jim D
June 9, 2010 9:48 pm

Believe me, you do not want this to be true. Think about it.
Warmer ocean -> more CO2 -> warmer atmosphere -> warmer ocean -> more CO2 -> runaway greenhouse effect.

Editor
June 9, 2010 9:51 pm

noaaprogrammer says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm

So…what does Willis Eschenbach think of this?

I think that at the scale we are talking about (a change of ~ 100 ppmv in the last 50 years) claiming that the causation runs in the direction of “temperature causes CO2” is as nonsensical as claiming “CO2 causes temperature”.
Both of them run aground on the same reef – since 1959 the CO2 rise has been steady and monotonic, while the temperature has risen and fallen in fits and starts.
In fact that’s a bigger problem for the claimed causation in this direction (temperature causes CO2) than in the opposite direction. In the opposite direction, you can always fake it by claiming confounding factors, known or unknown, are keeping the rise in CO2 from causing a corresponding rise in temperature.
But going in the direction claimed here (temperature causes CO2), there is little wiggle room. There is no statistically significant warming since 1995 … but CO2 has continued to rise. This is bad news for the AGW crowd, they’re tap dancing as fast as they can to explain that.
But it’s much worse for this hypothesis. Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the temperature isn’t rising?
Me, I say neither one is true at the scale we are talking about here.
Finally, the ice-age to interglacial change shows clearly that CO2 does rise as a result of temperature, but only at a rate of about 10 ppmv for each 1°C change in temperature. So for the post-1959 temperature rise (about 0.7°C), that would only give us about a 7 ppmv change in CO2, far from the 100 ppmv change that we have observed. The numbers just don’t support his claims.
Another lovely theory mired down in inconvenient observations …

Bart
June 9, 2010 10:04 pm

Jim D says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:48 pm
Warmer ocean -> more CO2. Period.
Willis Eschenbach says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm
“There is no statistically significant warming since 1995 … but CO2 has continued to rise. “
You are stuck in your old paradigm. In this model, the temperature anomaly is proportional to the yearly difference in CO2. So, CO2 can rise linearly without indicating a rise in temperature. To be associated with a rise in temperature, it has to rise superlinearly. See Figure 2 in the article and the equation before it. He’s already done the calculations for you.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
June 9, 2010 10:05 pm

….speaking of hockey sticks….
http://www.chicagotribune.com/

John Whitman
June 9, 2010 10:06 pm

Jim D says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:48 pm
Believe me, you do not want this to be true. Think about it.
Warmer ocean -> more CO2 -> warmer atmosphere -> warmer ocean -> more CO2 -> runaway greenhouse effect.

Jim D,
1) Truth is truth. It cannot be moral, i.e. good or bad. If Lon’s post is true, it will advance knowledge . . . .
2) Please demonstrate the existence of “runaway greenhouse effect”. I think this does not exist except in minds of some people. Please show us proof of it, since you claim it exists.
John

Steve Fitzpatrick
June 9, 2010 10:09 pm

The interaction of the ocean and its dissolved CO2 with atmospheric CO2 is mainly through the “thermohaline” circulation, where very cold water (~0C to ~4C) at high latitudes that has absorbed CO2 out of the atmosphere sinks (due to it’s high density) to the abyss. CO2 is continuously removed from the atmosphere wherever very cold water is sinking. This cold water flows in deep ocean currents until upwelling at lower latitudes, where it warms at the surface and releases CO2 to the atmosphere. The overall circulation is primarily driven by ocean currents that are powered by dominant winds (like easterly trade winds in the tropics and westerlies in the temperate regions). Ocean currents carry warmer surface water (relatively low in CO2) water northward and southward, where it cools and absorbs CO2 before sinking to the deep. Because of the enormous volume of the deep ocean (compared to the thin surface layer), water that sinks at high latitude does not typically surface via upwelling for (on average) about 1,000 years. The thermohaline circulation runs continuously, so CO2 is constantly being released from the ocean at low latitudes and absorbed at high latitudes.
The influence of ocean surface temperature on short term variation in atmospheric CO2 is due to release or absorption of CO2 from relatively warm surface water (that is, warmer than the deep ocean). The surface layer where this short term absoptions/desorption takes place is quite thin… on the order of 100 meters deep. The underlying cold water (with much higher CO2 concentration) does not warm, nor does it communicate with the atmosphere, so it contributes nothing to the short-term temperature driven change in CO2. The short term effect of ocean surface temperature changes on atmospheric CO2 is well known, and has been estimated at somewhere between 3 and 5 PPM for a 1C change in average ocean surface temperature.
The response of atmospheric CO2 to surface temperature changes has nothing to do with temperature changes in the deep ocean. There has been virtually no change in the deep ocean temperature for as long as temperatures have been measured. Nor would we expect any change: only very cold water reaches the deep ocean via the thermohaline circulation.
It is clearly not correct that the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 has been caused by a warming ocean. The warming has been limited to a very thin surface layer, and that thin layer has warmed by < 1C; the total CO2 that could out-gas from this thin layer due to a <1C rise is far too low to increase atmospheric CO2 by more than several PPM. Rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere causes a net absorption of CO2 by the ocean, not a net release, because at higher atmospheric CO2 level the volume of CO2 absorbed by cold water increases, while at the same time, the volume of CO2 released by upwelling water (as it warms) is reduced. The quantity of CO2 released to the air during warming of upwelling water is less because the equilibrium concentration of CO2 in the ocean surface (at any temperature) must be higher when the atmospheric concentration is higher; the warming water does release CO2, but not as much as it would have release were the concentration of CO2 in the air lower.
The net is that the thermohaline circulation "buries" much more CO2 in the deep than it releases from upwelling surface waters. When considered over multi-year periods, the ocean is currently a large net absorber of CO2, not a source of CO2, and will remain a net absorber for a very long time. Short term ocean surface temperature variations will of course continue to cause small variation in atmospheric CO2, but the long term term trend is for the ocean to remove a large volume of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Oakden Wolf
June 9, 2010 10:17 pm

The problem with your comment on the oceans absorbing CO2 is that you completely leave out biology. The oceans almost surely do absorb CO2 when cooled and emit when warmed, but then plankton growth in the oceans, and land based growth also take in more or less CO2 depending on temperature, rain, and mineral movement (upwelling currents and river drainage). Changes in ocean currents may also be major causes of absorption or emission.

All of these factors are well known and understood by oceanographers, Mr. Weinstein. Plankton blooms draw down atmospheric pCO2; this has been measured numerous times, particularly recently during open ocean iron fertilization experiments. Deep ocean processes remineralize organic carbon, such that ocean upwelling zones where the water warms at the surface (such as the world’s largest upwelling zone, the equatorial upwelling zone) are areas where CO2 is released. But more CO2 is absorbed in cold and windy oceanic regions. NOAA has done exemplary work in this area. Also note that measurable oceanic pH decrease (much of that done by NOAA) indicates net absorption of CO2 by the oceans. The oceans are not releasing CO2 due to warming. Hocker’s premise is flawed and his analysis produces erroneous conclusions (as several other commenters have already noted).

John Whitman
June 9, 2010 10:20 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm
But it’s much worse for this hypothesis. Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the temperature isn’t rising?

Willis,
Nice you see you here. : )
I think that the causation Lon appears to be showing is SST to the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 concentration in time. It is not with the levels of CO2 concentration.
John

Phil.
June 9, 2010 10:23 pm

Bart says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm
Phil. says:
June 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm
“Total rubbish, the anthropogenic CO2 is added to the atmosphere at ~twice the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 so nature is a net sink of ~half the anthropogenic input!”
Complete garbage. Anthropogenic input is currently running at about 4% of natural input. The IPCC says so. Argue your “point”, whatever it is, with them.

Actually since you’re the one posting it here I’ll argue it with you! Try doing a mass balance, the rate of increase in atmospheric [CO2] is ~half the rate of emission of CO2 from fossil fuel sources. Check out Willis’s graph if you like:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/emissions_sequestered_airborne.jpg

June 9, 2010 10:24 pm

Thanks, Willis for the comment. Don’t forget I was writing that the temperature anomaly is related to the rate of increase of CO2. No temperature anomaly increase means that the rate of increase is constant, which it seems to be.

Dave F
June 9, 2010 11:13 pm

Dave F says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm
Ok, so here is a thought. You would expect that the r^2 in a regression between CO2 and temp would be high either way in either argument of causality. What other evidence can be looked at in terms of causality?
If the oceans are absorbing as much CO2 as possible in these higher temperatures, which is the argument presented with the lowering of PH values, then it would mean CO2 is being stuffed into the oceans faster as the temperature rises. And so the r^2 between PH value and atmospheric CO2 will be high, while r is negative.
If temperature is releasing CO2, then CO2 would be accumulating at the surface of the ocean doing its best to pop out and release into the atmosphere. The value of r^2 is again expected to be solid, with a negative r.
But what about deep water CO2 saturation? That should go up if CO2 is causing temperature, and down if temperature releases the CO2. Right?
======================================================
In light of the above I offer:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1138679v1

Paul
June 9, 2010 11:23 pm

And how does your model account for the changing carbon isotopic ratio (the Seuss effect); the decline atmospheric in O2 concentrations; that the ocean is undersaturated in CO2, so is absorbing not emitting CO2. Simple – it cannot.

The isotope ratio is not evidence for CO2 driving temperature and against temperature driving CO2. The isotope ratio reflects there are is some level of emission taking place from fossil fuels–not a disputed matter. That is completely independent of what determines the atmospheric concentration.
Saturation is irrelevant in this context. Read up on Henry’s law. There is a gas:dissolved-gas equilibrium based on the partial pressure and the dissolved concentration.

Espen
June 9, 2010 11:52 pm

Willis: Both of them run aground on the same reef – since 1959 the CO2 rise has been steady and monotonic, while the temperature has risen and fallen in fits and starts.
But if the idea presented in this article were right (personally I’m not convinced), this is not a valid argument, because, given the CO2->temperature formula presented above, CO2 will rise as long as the temperature anomaly is above -0.58. If the anomaly drops below that, the formula says that we should see CO2 levels dropping. I don’t think I want that to happen 😉

John Finn
June 10, 2010 12:32 am

Lon Hocker says:
June 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm
Thanks, Willis for the comment. Don’t forget I was writing that the temperature anomaly is related to the rate of increase of CO2. No temperature anomaly increase means that the rate of increase is constant, which it seems to be.

Can we just look at that last statement and think about what it implies
No temperature anomaly increase means that the rate of increase is constant, which it seems to be.
Lon seems to be saying that if there was a plateau in temperatures for 5, 10, 15 years, say, we would still have a CONSTANT CO2 INCREASE each month. In fact even if we had negative anomlaies for 5,10, 15 years we would, according to the model, still have a monthly increase in CO2.
Lon
Can I ask you to use your model to calculate the CO2 level for month N where N= 240 (20 years) in the following case.
1. A Dalton-type minimum has occurred and temperatures have declined at the rate of 0.3 deg per decade (0.0025 deg per month)
2. Assume CO2 concentrations at month (N=0) are 390 ppm
3. Assume temp anomaly at Month(N=0) is +0.5 so that anomaly at Month(N=1) is 0.4975
Cheers

RW
June 10, 2010 12:48 am

“There is no statistically significant warming since 1995 … but CO2 has continued to rise.”
In the current climate regime, statistical significance in the warming trend since 15 years ago is unlikely. I watch, amused, as the year cherry-picked to deny that global warming is happening shifts forward. 1998 or 2002 are more common now than 1995. In 2020, you will no doubt be saying “there is no statistically significant warming since 2005”.
“This is bad news for the AGW crowd, they’re tap dancing as fast as they can to explain that.”
Not really.

John Finn
June 10, 2010 12:52 am

Espen says:
June 9, 2010 at 11:52 pm
Willis: Both of them run aground on the same reef – since 1959 the CO2 rise has been steady and monotonic, while the temperature has risen and fallen in fits and starts.
But if the idea presented in this article were right (personally I’m not convinced), this is not a valid argument, because, given the CO2->temperature formula presented above, CO2 will rise as long as the temperature anomaly is above -0.58. If the anomaly drops below that, the formula says that we should see CO2 levels dropping. I don’t think I want that to happen 😉

Quite. The model says that CO2 levels will continueto rise beyond their current level (390 ppm) even if tempratures drop by ~1 deg. According to the model, if temperature anomalies dropped to -0.58 for the next 20 years CO2 levels would stay at 390 ppm. It’s nonsense.
Lon’s used the difference (in CO2) as a function of the anomaly. If he’d also used the month to month anomaly difference then the model might have some merit.Unfortunately it wouldn’t have fitted the data because whe n the anomaly went down the calculated CO2 level would fall (e.g. 2007 to 2008).

June 10, 2010 12:58 am

This theory will be confirmed, if the CO2 growth rate goes down, even became negative with cooling oceans. Up to now, there is slight hint of this – the rate of CO2 rise has stabilized despite increased emissions, as the SST reached plateau in recent years.
http://climate4you.com/images/CO2%20MaunaLoa%20Last12months-previous12monthsGrowthRateSince1958.gif
It will also prove, that ice core CO2 data are over smoothed by diffusion and alternative stomata data are much more realistic.

jcrabb
June 10, 2010 1:03 am

The rise in atmospheric CO2 has been proven to be from fossil fuels due to increased amounts of the C12 isotope.

John Finn
June 10, 2010 1:08 am

Ian W says:
Finally
John Finn says:…….
That’s it. Gerald has phrased his post better than I did earlier but it amounts to pretty much the same thing. I think Zeke (above) has also made a similar point. This ‘study’ simply shows what we already knew, i.e. CO2 levels rise a bit more in warmer years and a bit less in colder years.
The only reason the ‘model’ appears to work is due to the fact that both CO2 and temperatures have been rising in the last few decades. If temperatures started to fall the model would break down.

But there is a large drop in atmospheric CO2 after the El Nino peaks and in the La Ninas- so cold temperatures show reduction in CO2. Hardly the time when there would be less fossil fuel usage.
The model says the CO2 level would NEVER go down unless the anomaly dropped to below -0.58. We could have a drop i temperatures of 1 deg but, according to the model, CO2 would carry on rising.
Is it me that’s going mad or everyone else?

AlanG
June 10, 2010 1:32 am

Lon, you seem to be contradicting yourself in the paragraph after Figure 3 when you say That it does not track the annual variations isn’t particularly surprising, since the ocean temperature anomaly is averaged over all the oceans, and the Mauna Loa observations are made at a single location.
Surely, the lack of annual variation in the model is because you are using -6 month and +6 months values which cancel out the annual variations of CO2 levels – or have I missed something?

jimbo
June 10, 2010 1:44 am

Bart says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm
“Dictionary.com: ex·trap·o·late (ĭk-strāp’ə-lāt’) v. tr. 1. To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information. 2. Mathematics: To estimate (a value of a variable outside a known range) from values within a known range by assuming that the estimated value follows logically from the known values.
Ice cores are evaluated by doing #1 based on models for diffusion rates and other reactions. You do #2 by assuming that the bandwidth of stored information is greater than it is, so that you can see fine details like peaks and canyons which, realistically, you cannot.”
Nice one. By the way you’ve chosen to interpret defn 1, I think taking virtually any scientific measurement would be extrapolation. Are you telling me there is no model assumed when you measure temperature with a thermometer? Maybe you should think about what it is you’re actually observing in that case.
Your application of defn 2 is actually closer to describing interpolation. Torture the language enough and it can mean anything you want. You obviously don’t know how the term extrapolation is generally used either in economics or science. Here’s a hint: concentrate on the words projection & forecast.
“Sure, if that is what floats your boat. If you have issues with it, don’t nag me. I don’t believe any of this crap can be reliably estimated after centuries have passed in the first place.”
The link you gave re stomata shows one tiny bump to about 310ppm during the whole period 900 – 1300 A.D. But I won’t nag you about this crap, since nobody can ever hope to know anything about the state of atmospheric CO2 before about 1850 in your view.
“Major non sequitur. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence….”
Well blow me down, you actually have a point. I did not state my case well there and took a short cut. In a response to another poster I made clear that I think the warmists have every incentive to show a high CO2 level during the MWP, as it would strongly support their case and be a hell of a lot easier than all the trouble they went to to hide the MWP. So I think it would have been established, possibly even faked by people of Mann’s ilk, if it plausibly could have been. But you’re right, absence of evidence ….

John Finn
June 10, 2010 1:44 am

I think I’d better clarify my position.
The model in Lon Hocker’s post may actually model observations reasonably well. However, it does not show that CO2 rise in temperature dependant. It simply shows that temperature can moderate (or amplify) the CO2 rise. This is something we knew anyway. The rate of rise is greater during El Nino than La Nina, for example. But the CO2 level never falls – it carries on rising.
The model tells us that CO2 will carry on rising as long as the temperature anomaly remains above -0.58 deg. If the model is correct, it implies that -0.58 is the point when temperature exactly balances the effect of human CO2 emissions, i.e. we will have some sort of equilibrium.
The model most certainly does not tell us that CO2 levels are dependant on temperature as it’s easy o show that even though temperatures fall (even by a lot) – CO2 levels continue to rise.
So , although I think the model is wrong anyway, it does demonstrate at least that there is a steady background increase in CO2 levels and that the short -term fluctuations (not the trend) around the underlying trend are driven by temperature.

John Finn
June 10, 2010 1:56 am

Smokey says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm
Jeff Green says:
“The temperatire (sic) lags co2 increases.”
No, it doesn’t. You have it exactly backwards. On every time scale, CO2 rises follow temperature rises, and CO2 declines follow temperature declines. On every time scale, from months to millennia. CO2 is a function of temperature changes, not vice-versa.
Also, please do not link to realclimate; they are no more credible than Michael Mann. Thanx.

2 interesting statements in you post, i.e.
CO2 rises follow temperature rises,
CO2 is a function of temperature changes, not vice-versa

So why haven’t we seen CO2 fall when temperatures have fallen over the last 50 years. The model in the post above is looking at CO2 variation over months. Why wasn’t there a fall between 2007 and 2008 or between 1998 and 1999/2000/2001 or throughout thwe 1950s/1960s. The model in this post will NOT show a drop in CO2 unless the temperature anomaly goes below -0.58. Do you agree with this?

Mel I.
June 10, 2010 2:16 am

Since I have been reading for some time, now seems like a good time to join the conversation. Lon Hocker has done an interesting piece of work.
But, as a retired research engineer, every statistian I ever worked with beat into me that “correlation does not imply causation.” Thus the headline is not really justified by the work. That said, you can’t have causation without correlation. So maybe he is on to something.
If I understand correctly, Lon Hocker is trying to say
delta(CO2)/delta(t) = f(SSTavg).
Where SSTavg is the average sea surface temp over the period delta(t)
and using Tn (the midpoint temp of the interval) as the average.
Therefore it is okay to use n-6 and n+6 for CO2. However using the midpoint temp for the average may not always be the best estimate for the average. Best to calculate it over delta(t).
However, those that advocate AGW are saying this:
T= f(CO2)
Which is not the same equation. Proving the former relationship does not disprove the latter.
It appears to me that Hocker has shown that short term changes in CO2 are probably caused by sea surface temperatures. I wonder if the ups and downs in CO2 from his eqation were summed over the last hundred years if it would give us the current CO2 level?

Spector
June 10, 2010 2:59 am

RE: Willis Eschenbach: (June 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm) “But it’s much worse for this hypothesis. Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the temperature isn’t rising?”
That might be ‘explained’ by continued deep-ocean warming in progress.
I have previously noticed that it is possible to ‘force-fit’ the SST data since 1880 to the smoothed CO2 data by application of a monthly compounded, three-stage cascaded low-pass filter where each stage has an identical time constant on the order of 25 to 30 years and independent initial values on the order of -0.2.
Of course, this does not prove anything without actual data on the average undersea ocean temperature profile changes over this time period. This armchair ad hock model, unsupported by any theory, seems to suggest that CO2 levels would eventually rise to over 600 ppm if sea-surface temperatures remained at their current levels.

Anne van der Bom
June 10, 2010 3:34 am

I have a question that the regulars her at WUWT certainly can answer.
Since the general opinion here is that the temperature rise is a byproduct of so-called “adjustments” to the instrumental record, how the CO2 level reacting to these adjustments? So am I to conclude from this article that the temperature is really rising?

John Finn
June 10, 2010 3:35 am

John Whitman says:
June 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm
Willis,
Nice you see you here. : )
I think that the causation Lon appears to be showing is SST to the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 concentration in time. It is not with the levels of CO2 concentration.

Yes he is – but it’s nonsense since it takes no account of the change in SST. SST could have dropped 10 degrees but Lon’s model will still show a rise in CO2 providing the temperature anomaly is greater than -0.58. Examples:
Example 1: Jan anomaly 0.5 ; Feb anomaly 0.5 (no temp change)
FebCO2 – JanCO2 = 0.22(0.5 + 0.58) = 0.24 i.e. no temp change -> CO2 rises .
Example 2: Jan anomaly 0.5 ; Feb anomaly 0.0 (temp drops 0.5 deg )
FebCO2 – JanCO2 = 0.22(0.0 + 0.58) = 0.13 i.e. temp down by 0.5 deg -> CO2 still rises
Example 3: Jan anomaly 0.5 ; Feb anomaly -0.5 (temp drops 1 deg )
FebCO2 – JanCO2 = 0.22(0.5 + 0.58) = 0.02 i.e. temp down by 1 deg -> CO2 still rises
It is only when the anomaly drops to -0.58 that there will be no rise. If this model does simulate true conditions then it is simply saying that when anomalies drop as low as -0.58 the coldness of the oceans will offset the CO2 from human emissions.
Notes:
In example 1 (if model is correct) even if there is no change in temperature for the next 10 years CO2 will increase by 29 ppm.
In example 2 (if model is correct) even if temperature anomalies fall and remain at 0.0 for the next 10 years CO2 will increase by 15 ppm.
In example 3 (if model is correct) even if temperature anomalies fall and remain at -0.5 for the next 10 years CO2 will increase by 2 ppm.

BillD
June 10, 2010 3:51 am

How much confusion do we get by ignoring known facts–such as the rate of fossil fuel combustion and the direct relationship between CO2 and photosynthesis? If we don’t understand that the basic monotonous upward trend in atmospheric CO2 is due to fossil fuel consumption, it’s difficult to have a discussion about newer and more controversial topics related to climate. Perhaps small scale fluctuations in CO2 can be related to ENSO etc, but the overall trend is due to burning fossil fuels and the main annual signal is due to seasonal changes in photosynthesis.

June 10, 2010 4:07 am

Argument that oceans are not saturated with CO2 and therefore can not release it when the surface warmed is unsupported by fact, that each El Nino, La Nina or major volcanic eruption is pretty much visible in the growth rate – so some degassing must be happening.
http://climate4you.com/images/CO2%20MaunaLoa%20Last12months-previous12monthsGrowthRateSince1958.gif
The growth rate itself looks much like the temperature record.

Xi Chin
June 10, 2010 4:24 am

90% of the battle in this type of analysis is getting the correct data in the correct format from the raw data files. I am struggling to acheive this from the data files linked to.
Could somebody please post a table with three columns of data:
column 1: Date
column 2: Temperature anomaly measured on Date
column 3: Co2 concentration measured on Date

Spector
June 10, 2010 4:28 am

RE:Anne van der Bom: (June 10, 2010 at 3:34 am) “So am I to conclude from this article that the temperature is really rising?”
If you look at the scale on the left side of the chart at the top of this article you will only see an indicated average global temperature increase of about 1.2 degrees F since 1880.

Paul Vaughan
June 10, 2010 4:39 am

ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS:
The word “vegetation” has only been used 4 times above. This thread is a disaster.

Steve from Rockwood
June 10, 2010 4:49 am

Joel Shore says:
“I don’t think there is any argument about whether temperature fluctuations such as those due to ENSO drive changes in atmospheric CO2 levels (which, although rather small, are large on the scale that CO2 levels rise in one year). This has been known for a long time. This is the carbon cycle feedback to rising temperatures. However, as Willis has been explaining in this thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/07/some-people-claim-that-theres-a-human-to-blame/ , it is way too small to explain the rise of CO2 since the beginning of the industrial revolution, besides contradicting a wealth of empirical data and understanding of the carbon cycle that tells us without a doubt that the rise in CO2 is anthropogenic.”
Joel, I have a problem with the first Figure in Willis’ thread. CO2 levels stay constant for almost 1,000 years and then suddenly shoot up in 1850? No way. If you believe in a correlation between temperature and CO2 you have to agree that graph doesn’t make sense. Are there other contributions to the CO2 rise other than oceans? Sure, probably. But you can’t dismiss the incredible correlation between temp and CO2 from Figure 2. We can argue whether it is all due to ocean warming – I don’t know. But when comparing Hocker’s Figure 2 with Willis’ Figure 1, I’ll stick with Figure 2 thanks. The low levels of CO2 pre industrialization as determined by ice cores are clearly wrong.

michael hammer
June 10, 2010 5:01 am

I note that most of the insightful comments in this thread are critical but, while I admit I have not thought this through in detail I wonder if we don’t dismiss it too quickly. Remember that what is being plotted is the first derivative of CO2 concentration. The fact that there is very little lag is in no way incompatible with a time constant of 600 to 800 years for ocean warming or with a 600 to 800 year lag between CO2 and temperature. If the lag is a single time constant then what it does is simply to change the gain of the first derivative which is the 0.22 factor in this article. I note that the 0.22 factor was calculated by assuming a long time constant for ocean heating.
With regard to the questionable temperature record, I note this uses the satellite record not the land based record and I thought the satellite record was generally accepted as reliable.
Willis’s comment that this theory is shot down by the fact that the temperature since 1998 has not risen while CO2 has is also not as damming as it seems. Remember the article plots the derivative of CO2 versus temperature, if the temperature remains static the apparent correlation implies the derivative should also remain static but that does not mean the derivative is zero. It simply means the rate of change of CO2 is constant so it could well be continuing to rise.
I must admit the implications of what is shown seem to be almost too simplistic to be true but then I have seen situations where a breakthough seems too obvious and simplistic to possibly be true, yet is. To me two things seem to be significant. Firstly that the tracking seems to hold for all but about 1 of the dozen or so peaks and troughs over a period of 50 years (back to 1958) (the one where the tracking does not hold could well be significant I admit). The number of peaks and troughs for which the correlation holds strikes me as more significant than the time period. Its easy to show correlation over a long period where both traces show a simple rising or falling trend but to track multiple complex rises and falls as well as this seems to strikes me as significant, it’s a lot for it to be just co-incidental. If its not coincidental then it is reasonable to ask what causes the correlation. I don’t find it acceptable to say its far fetched so it can be dismissed. Real world obervations require an explanation. If the correlation is not direct eg: due to plant growth rates, is this significant in itself? There are precendents where entire theories have been disproven from a single tiny observational anomaly. It may be irrelevant but I think it deserves a bit more thought before being dismissed.

michael hammer
June 10, 2010 5:39 am

Just looking a bit further at fig 2 and fig 4 for the time from 1987 to 1992. In figure 2 the tracking between the two seems to be very close yet in fig 4 this stands out as the greatest tracking departure. I realise that fig 2 is temperature while fig 4 is enso so presumably enso does not correlate well to temperature over this period. If so what the data shows is that the derivative of CO2 tracks temperature not enso. Am I missing something here?
I note the -0.58 in the equation which suggests a constant positive derivative for CO2 in the absence of any change in temperature ie: a steady rise. That also needs consideration. Maybe the 0.58 is caused by human emissions and it is only the departures from this constant rise that are correlated to short term temperature.
I also note that the comment has been made that the oceans are nowhere near saturation so the original premise is false. I would have thought that what was important was whether or not the ocean concentration was in equilibrium with the atmospheric level but then maybe thats what was being implied by the comment. If the ocean concentration is far below equilibrium then one would have to assume it will rise with time. If that is the case it implies that any rise in CO2 is due to human emissions is a transient phenomenon. Say we go on burning fossil fuels for another 50 years before we find an alternative, as soon as we stop, the CO2 level would start to fall quite quickly as the oceans move closer to equilibrium with the atmosphere. If we keep burning fossil fuel at a constant rate, the disparity from equilibrium will increase until the rate of rise in ocean uptake (driven by higher atmospheric levels of CO2) matches human emissions at which point CO2 levels would plateau. Yet I don’t hear any such comments from AGW advocates, quite the contrary. They claim CO2 will continue to rise and even if we stop releasing CO2 the excess will hang around for a very long time. That seems to me a paradox as well. Further, why are ocean levels not at least at the equilibrium level for 280 ppm atmospheric concentration. After all the AGW advocates claim atmospheric CO2 has been at 280 ppm for millenia or more?
It strikes me there is more here than meets the eye. It begins to look as though we need to have a closer look at the numbers. I would urge the author to try and develop a more quantitative analysis. Do the rates of change appear plausible and do the absolute values seem reasonable? Are they consistent with longer term data from other sources?

June 10, 2010 5:46 am

Spector says:
June 10, 2010 at 2:59 am
RE: Willis Eschenbach: (June 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm) “But it’s much worse for this hypothesis. Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the temperature isn’t rising?”
That might be ‘explained’ by continued deep-ocean warming in progress.

I think this unlikely at the moment.
Steric Sea level rise has stopped for some time. My calcs estimate that when the sunspot number is under 40/month the oceans emit rather than absorb energy.
The current O|HC measurements showing ocean heat content falling or static in nearly all major ocean basins would tend to support this.
A better answer might be that CO2 always lags behind temperature. And that sea surface temps have been high recently as energy has headed upwards from the deep during the solar minimum, so outgassing will also be a factor.
I read this morning that human emissions of co2 fell 1.1% last year…

June 10, 2010 5:52 am

I knew this, I already figured that out for myself, without any calculations. This is where Al Gore made his biggest mistake: the CO2 increases in the pre-historic past past lagged the warming. The net effect of the CO2 is probably close to zero influence on global warming. For those interested how I know that the CO2 is probably cooling as much as warming, here is something that I wrote some time ago, which might interest you guys.
here is the famous paper that confirms to me that CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine:
http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec
they measured this radiation as it bounced back to earth from the moon. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um.
This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):
http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf
There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.
So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-15 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine) but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine). This cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine. The way from the bottom to the top is the same as from top to the bottom. So, my question is: how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2? How was the experiment done to determine this and where are the test results? (I am afraid that simple heat retention testing might not work here, we have to use real sunshine and real earthshine to determine the effect in W/m3 [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours). I am also doubtful of the analysis of the spectral data, as some of the UV absorptions of CO2 have only been discovered recently. Also, I think the actual heat caused by the sun’s IR at 4-5 maybe underestimated, e.g. the radiation of the sun between 4 and 5 maybe only 1% but how many watts/m2 does it cause? Here in Africa you can not stand in the sun for longer than 10 minutes, just because of the heat of the sun on your skin.
Anyway, with so much at stake, surely, you actually have to come up with some empirical testing? You cannot rely on calculations only.What the IPCC did is weighting (comparing global warming & concentrations of CO2 and other gases with that of 1750 =pre-industrial). That was working from the wrong end. What a jokers.
Personnally, I could find no proper results from actual experiments!
If this research has not been done, why don’t we just sue the oil companies to do this?? It is their product afterall.
I am going to state it here quite categorically again that if no one has got these results, then how do we know for sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Maybe the cooling properties are (more or less) equal to the warming properties.
We know that Svante Arrhenius’ formula has long been proven wrong. If it had been right earth should have been a lot warmer. So I am asking: what is the correct formula? If people are still convinced that CO2 causes warming, then surely anyone must ask yourself the same question as I have been asking??
I think it also very important that the experiments must be conducted in the relevant concentration range, i.e. 0.03% – 0.06%. You cannot use 100% CO2 in a test, and present that to me as a test result. Any good chemist knows that different concentration ranges in solutions may give different results in properties. In any case, those people who presented those 100% CO2 tests and results to their pupils used a simple globe lamp (representing the sun) and totally forgot about the cooling properties of CO2 (like I am claiming above here)

Joel Shore
June 10, 2010 6:22 am

Steve from Rockwood says:

Joel, I have a problem with the first Figure in Willis’ thread. CO2 levels stay constant for almost 1,000 years and then suddenly shoot up in 1850? No way. If you believe in a correlation between temperature and CO2 you have to agree that graph doesn’t make sense.

What Hocker’s fit shows is that a temperature change of 0.5 C in a year produces about a 1.3 ppm change in CO2 in the atmosphere. Such CO2 fluctuations are too small to see in the ice core records of CO2. Hocker wants to believe that such a temperature change would change the differential rate between CO2 absorption and outgassing forever. (So, if you initially have the CO2 at a constant rate and then raise it by 0.5 C and keep it constant at the new level, the CO2 levels just keep rising by 1.3 ppm per year.) However, there is no reason to believe that this is the case and every reason to believe that the temperature change just causes a short term effect. (In fact, the ice core data flatly contradicts his notion.)

tallbloke
June 10, 2010 6:26 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm
But it’s much worse for this hypothesis. Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the temperature isn’t rising?

I read this morning that human co2 emissions fell last year by 1.1%
Since you believe the increase in airbourne co2 is due to human emissions, you have a similar question to answer.
Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the human emissions are falling?

Basil
Editor
June 10, 2010 6:29 am

Wow, it has been a while since we’ve had a discussion grow this fast. I’ve read about a third of the posts, and skimmed the rest. I have to say that I’m surprised there is so much reaction here as if this is something new. The relationship demonstrated here — a lag on the order of a few months between the rate of increase in global temperature and the rate of increase in CO2 has been known for at least 20 years. Last year, Jeffrey Park (frequent Mann coauthor) published an article in GRL claiming that the lag had increased from 5 months to 15 months, and that this is evidence of increasing saturation of the ocean ability as a carbon sink. I’ve been sitting on some research, thinking to write up something for WUWT about this, and haven’t had the time. For now, I’ll just put up a few links to images of cross-correlations between the rate of change in CO2 and temperature:
All years:
http://i47.tinypic.com/2d1lrnn.jpg
Last 15 years:
http://i47.tinypic.com/2m5i8o8.jpg
Last 10 years:
http://i50.tinypic.com/2w2er8j.jpg
For all years, the cross correlations peak at a lag of 7 months. For the last 15 years, the cross correlations show roughly the same structure. But for the last 10 years, there is a big shift with the lag now out at 17-23 months, roughly an extra year of lag. What’s up with that, I wonder? More, maybe, when I have the time. But if anyone wants to speculate now, please do so.
Not to take away from what Lon has done, but a lag of a few months between temperature change, and change in the rate of growth in CO2, is not news. Anyone who wishes to research this, say in Google Scholar, should be sure to include the term “interannual” in their search, as this is term that the literature uses to discuss this phenomenon.

Basil
Editor
June 10, 2010 6:41 am

Paul Vaughan says:
June 10, 2010 at 4:39 am
ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS:
The word “vegetation” has only been used 4 times above. This thread is a disaster.

Well, until I used it, the word “interannual” was only used four times too, all in Joel’s post at 7:33PM. I’m often finding myself at odds with Joel, but here he is right to call attention to this.
I just finished teaching an ecology class for the Spring quarter, and several times mentioned this phenomenon. We might have slightly different reasons for thinking this thread is a disaster, but really, are that many of the regular readers unaware of this? One of the few things Gore gets right in An Inconvenient Truth is the explanation for the sawtooth pattern in the Mauna Loa data.

Paul Vaughan
June 10, 2010 7:29 am

Re: Basil
I think you’ll find that HadSST has simply fallen out-of-phase with interannual LOD, GLAAM, PWP, & SOI a few times during the bounces since the big El Nino (& bear in mind the leverage of big events in cross-correlation). It’s just some spatiotemporal turbulence. It might be fruitful to investigate the seasonality by geographic location. Also, bear in mind the lack of stratospheric eruptions in recent years.

Bart
June 10, 2010 7:32 am

BillD says:
June 10, 2010 at 3:51 am
“If we don’t understand that the basic monotonous upward trend in atmospheric CO2 is due to fossil fuel consumption, it’s difficult to have a discussion about newer and more controversial topics related to climate.”
This is a fundamental problem with people’s thinking. They do not understand that the existence of an equilibrium in the first place implies feedback, and feedback nullifies any projections of this sort.
Think of this situation – and I use it only because it is the most familiar feedback loop in most people’s lives which can be easily understood. The fact that it has to do with temperature is only incidental.
You are in your house with the air conditioning on and set to 65 degF. You start to feel cold, so you bring out a space heater, but no matter how high you set the heater, the temperature only rises to maybe 66 degF. Yet, you do some calculations, and find you have put in enough heat to warm the house by 10 degF. How can this be?
Then, you remember you set the thermostat for the air conditioning to 65 degF. So, you dial it to 70 degF and, mirabile dictu, it gets warmer.
Now, try to keep up with the analogy. Our anthropogenic emissions are like the space heater. No matter how much we crank up the volume, we will never get the ambient concentration up to the level we would get with a straight accumulation. But, global temperatures are like the thermostat in the house, they change the set level of the feedback loop. So, temperatures very strongly and directly modulate CO2 concentration.

Xi Chin
June 10, 2010 7:45 am

Well I downloaded that data in the end.
Define:
Co2(n) = Co2 at month n
T(n) = Temperature anomaly at month n
x = Co2(n) – Co2(n-12) / Co2(n-12) = % annual change in Co2
y = T(n+1) = next month’s temperature anomaly
x is alway positive and lies between 0.1% to 1.1%. x generally increases as the years roll by, i.e. the distribution of x shifts with time. y increases as the years roll by too. Both variables are not stationary, their probability density shits gradually with time.
A simple x-y plot shows that the next month’s temperature anomaly was predictable (to some extent) by knowing the history of Co2. In general, when there was a large increase in Co2, the temperature anomaly in the next month would be higher. When the Co2 increase was smaller (closer to 0.1%), the temperature anomaly for the next month was generally smaller or negative.
If the data is split into two periods the results are qualitiatively similar apart from shifts along both axes because both variables have generally higher values in the later period. Additionally, the later period has a higher response.
Conclusion: If this month’s co2 is high relative to 12 months ago (i.e. closer to 1.1% than to 0.1%), then this is an indication that the temperature anomaly next month is more likely be higher than usual compared to lower than usual, and vice versa.
That does not mean that Co2 causes temperature changes though. It just means that co2 is an indicator which can indicate what next months temperature might be. For, coincident with when there was a large increase in co2, during the period n-12 to n, the mean temperature anomaly happened (in general) to be higher. And when there was a smaller increase in Co2, there had also been a lower temperature anomaly over that previous 12 months.
It so happens too that the planet is a heat capacitor, so when there has been a period of warmth for 12 months we can expect the next month to be warmer than usual. I.e. there is a high autocorrelation in the temperature.
I.e. an even better predictor of the temperature anomaly next month, is the temperature over the previous 12 months.
Causation is more difficult than correlation.
The thing is though, when we look at “temperature anomalies” and “temperature changes”, the numbers we are examaning are absolutely tiny. I mean, 1 degree here or there. Are you kidding me? I am supposed to worry about 1 degree celcius here or there? Compared to natural changes that we know occurred, the numbers are tiny. Compared to the diurnal changes, the numbers are tiny. Compared to the seasonal changes the numbers are tiny. Compared to the glacial cycles, the numbers are tiny. It is a red herring really, to worry about it.
Additionally, high Co2 is good for life on the planet. We need more Co2 to support our increasing population’s food needs. Milder winters would also be helpful here. So again, I don’t know why there would be any fuss about either a Co2 increase or a temperature increase. They are both positive things. Which is just as well since all of the whiners and whingers keep saying that both of them seem to be going up a bit! Good. I hope they both do. It is good for humanity. It is good for life.

Craig Loehle
June 10, 2010 7:48 am

1) It is possible that el nino events influence vegetation, including plankton, and thus the CO2 levels of the atmosphere, and not a temperature of water effect. This is the same reason the even larger annual fluctuations at mona loa are visible. One might be able to tell this effect by examining C isotopes since plants have a distinct signature of uptake.
2) Why don’t ice cores show CO2 fluctuations? Because it takes hundreds of years for the snow to become ice dense enough to permanently trap gases (if ever) so gas is diffusing up and down, homogenizing the concentration. An alternate method based on stomatal density on leaves clearly shows historical fluctuations in CO2, not perfectly flat.

Paul Vaughan
June 10, 2010 7:50 am

Re: Basil
The lack of understanding of “interannual” in this thread is so far beyond a pure disgrace that I didn’t even bother commenting.
We agree on both counts. Indeed, my choice of the words “disaster” & “absolutely hilarious” stemmed from the abysmal “interannual” naivety.
IF regulars like you, I, & a few others did not speak up here and call a spade a spade, WUWT would suffer in reputation simply for running this hopeless article.

Frank White
June 10, 2010 8:06 am

“Why should the current warm period have caused CO2 concentrations to rise to >385ppm, when previous warm periods in the last several hundred thousand years only ever saw them reach 300ppm?”
The CO2 concentrations in ice cores are implicitly averaged over 1000 years or more because of the low temporal resolution. Studies of peat bogs have shown centennial and decadal averages much higher than the millennial averages. We would expect that decadal averages of CO2 could be much higher. This means that previous warm periods may have reached much higher that 300 ppm over short periods like 100 years or 50 years and the uncertainties in the ice-core record may be as large as 25%.
We may not be are comparing the same things when we compare the Mauna Loa data to the ice core data. This seems similar to splicing the instrumental temperature record onto the temperature estimates from the proxy record.
OK, it’s an interesting academic exercise, but the result may not be something you would want to use to decide on global policy for fossil fuel use, especially when the bill might be in the order of trillions of dollars.

June 10, 2010 8:19 am

BQuartero
One of the reasons why reefs building organisms thrive in the tropics is because the chemistry of the tropics is suitable for building reefs – due to the lower CO2 solubility at higher temperatures. People are hysterical over the idea that pH might drop 0.01, when in fact temperature has a much stronger effect on solubility.

Niels A Nielsen
June 10, 2010 8:20 am

tallbloke says:
June 10, 2010 at 5:46 am
>>Since you believe the increase in airbourne co2 is due to human emissions, you have a similar question to answer.
>>Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the human emissions are falling?
That’s simple: Because human emissions cause airborne CO2 to rise.

Tenuc
June 10, 2010 8:29 am

Dave Springer says:
June 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm
“We’re at the mercy of the rate of mixing between the warm surface layer (including the atmosphere) and the deep ocean. A little less mixing and we get warmer. A little more mixing and we get colder. Too much mixing and (I suspect) we exit our ~20,000 year interglacial period and the average atmospheric temperature becomes that of the deep ocean for the next 100,000 years or so. The deep ocean temp below the thermocline represents the average global temperature over timeframes long enough to ecompass a full glacial/interglacial cycle. There’s nothing else that can explain why the deep ocean is so cold.”
Agreed! This will also cause a big change to CO2 levels as the colder surface water has the capacity to absorb more CO2. It would be useful to understand more about what climatic conditions effect the ongoing mixing rate, or if change could be triggered by a black swan event, such as a deep ocean super-volcano erupting.

Jim G
June 10, 2010 8:32 am

Implied causality and multiple exogenous variables. We are beating a mosquito to death with a sledge hammer here. Reminds me of the AGW crowd.

Paul Vaughan
June 10, 2010 8:42 am

Re: Basil
and further to this
Also: CO2′ has been more tightly coupled with NAM (AO & NAO) since the big El Nino. (This dovetails with some of Bob Tisdale’s observations.)

Joel Shore
June 10, 2010 8:48 am

tallbloke says:
I read this morning that human co2 emissions fell last year by 1.1%
Since you believe the increase in airbourne co2 is due to human emissions, you have a similar question to answer.
Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the human emissions are falling?
Because the increase in CO2 above the pre-industrial levels is due to the CUMULATIVE emissions. If human CO2 emissions fall by 1.1%, then that would mean that, all else being equal, the RATE OF INCREASE of CO2 would drop by 1.1%, not the atmospheric level itself. As this thread has rediscovered, the interannual variability in the rate of increase of CO2 is much greater than 1.1%, so it would be hopeless to be able to detect such a small change.

Bart
June 10, 2010 8:55 am

Paul Vaughan says:
June 10, 2010 at 8:42 am
‘Also: CO2′ has been more tightly coupled with NAM (AO & NAO) since the big El Nino. (This dovetails with some of Bob Tisdale’s observations.)’
You guys are wearing blinders. What happens in the small also happens in the large. One of the most egregious errors introduced by the AGW crowd is when they arbitrarily decouple dynamic systems, creating discontinuous models of systems which must be continuously variable to have an internally consistent physical basis.

Frank White
June 10, 2010 9:06 am

Gerard Harbison says: June 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm
“There’s a basic flaw in this argument. Taking the differential and then subtracting out the constant term basically leaves you with fluctuations around a linear trend.”
This is exactly what statisticians do when testing for autocorrelation and stationarity. Otherwise, they can end up making clever statements based on spurious correlations. (Granger and Engle got a Nobel prize for work in this field. See: Granger and Newbold, Spurious regressions in econometrics, Journal of Econometrics 2, 111—120, 1974.)
Random walks can look like trends with noise. To test, “differencing” is followed by tests of autocorrelation of Y with itself lagged. (Not “differentiation”.) If the coefficient of “differenced-Y-lagged” is equal to unity, there is a “unit root”, which incidates that the apparent trend may be a random walk with drift.
Two series that appear to be random walks may nevertheless be co-integrated. Imagine a man and his dog both drunk staggering home from a pub, the dog on an very elastic leash. The distance between the two will vary, but their paths will be correlated so they both end up at home. Depending on the lag-lead relationship, we can infer that one of the drunks leads the other one home, probably the dog leads the man. This would show “Granger causality”. There is extensive literature on this subject.
Global temperates may or may not be a random walk. The coefficient has been estimated as nearly unity and the error bars might well include unity. This arguable, but is not the critical issue. The critical issue is whether or not global temperature is cointegrated with GHG, mainly CO2 and if so, can we infer Granger causality.
There may or may not be flaws in the argument in the paper presented here, but we should expect that statisical techniques that have been around for 20 years or so would have been applied.
That’s what Beenstock and Reingewertz were attempting. (See the comment near the top of this page with the URL.) By the way the word “Nature” appears in connection with the Beenstock and Reingewertz paper, but I could not find the paper using Google Scholar. Has it been published?

June 10, 2010 9:21 am

Niels A Nielsen says:
June 10, 2010 at 8:20 am
tallbloke says:
June 10, 2010 at 5:46 am
>>Since you believe the increase in airbourne co2 is due to human emissions, you have a similar question to answer.
>>Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the human emissions are falling?
That’s simple: Because human emissions cause airborne CO2 to rise.

I cannot understand… Why the concern on increases of CO2? It’s good for life. Take this assertion from a biologist who exhales ca. 88 g of carbon dioxide 11 times each minute.

Bob from the UK
June 10, 2010 9:35 am

Very interesting article. A lot of comments along the lines of linear AGW component to the CO2 increases, which one could conclude would mean CO2 couldn’t go negative.
I had a closer look at the Mauna Loa data: April 1970 328.14 – April 1971 327.78…the only month in the history of the record where there was an annual decrease in CO2 (hey it is possible).
…but look at this, wouldn’t be possible now would it, 40 years no couldn’t be…but hang on 2008 was cold was it not? and behold:
April 2007 386.26 – April 2008 386.71
It was damn nearly negative. Of course it was one month, but the temperature plunge was also short lived, so kind of , matches. Just imagine if the temps had stayed down for the whole year, now that would be interesting!!
If the sea temperatures do plunge next year, we might be in for some interesting CO2 readings.

Bart
June 10, 2010 9:42 am

Frank White says:
June 10, 2010 at 9:06 am
Quite good, yes. However, random walk is an idealized construct. Systems which have a correlation time must longer than the data record, and are driven by processes with wider bandwidth than the Nyquist rate, are indistinguishable from random walk.
All: I am not saying this model is “truth”. It is, however, clear that it is an approximation of truth. A more complete model for CO2, which is mathematically rigorous and consistent based on very few assumptions, is
Cdot = (Co – C)/tau + adot + F[T]
where “C” is the atmospheric concentration, Cdot is its time rate of change, Co is a local equilibrium level, tau is a time constant, adot is the rate at which we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere (about 4% of Co/tau), and F[T] is a linear operator acting on temperature T. What the analysis in the above article shows is that F[T] is effectively a very low bandwidth, low pass filter of T. We can rewrite this equation as
Cdot = (Co+tau*F[t] – C)/tau + adot
which can be subsumed into a new operator C1[T] such that
Cdot = (C1[T] – C)/tau + adot
Which says that C will track a temperature dependent equilibrium value C1[T] with a small offset due to adot.
This is how it is. I know I will be attacked, and stupid people, who don’t know sensitivity from complementary sensitivity or a pole from a zero, who have never designed a feedback loop and seen it incorporated into and perform flawlessly in real products in the real world, and wouldn’t know a differential equation from a quadratic equation, will make stupid comments to the effect that I am stupid. Fine. Have at it. But, ultimately, you will learn that I am right.

Phil.
June 10, 2010 10:15 am

Bart says:
June 10, 2010 at 9:42 am
Cdot = (C1[T] – C)/tau + adot
Which says that C will track a temperature dependent equilibrium value C1[T] with a small offset due to adot.

The annual value for Cdot is ≅adot/2
so adot/2 = (C1[T] – C)/tau + adot
-adot/2 = (C1[T] – C)/tau
C=C1[T]+tau⋅adot/2
Why do you assume that tau⋅adot/2 is small relative to C1[T]?

Bart
June 10, 2010 10:15 am

June 10, 2010 at 9:42 am
In the above, I should have used T-To, where “To” is the equilibrium temperature at which Co is the equilibrium CO2, in all places. I had thought just to subsume the effect into the constant Co but, since I made the explicit claim that adot is currently about 4% of Co/tau, I have to decouple Co from it. So, we should have
Cdot = (Co – C)/tau + adot + F[T-To]
and the last equation should read
Cdot = (C1[T-T0] – C)/tau + adot
where C1[T-To] is the output of an affine operator on T-To.

Bart
June 10, 2010 10:43 am

Phil. says:
June 10, 2010 at 10:15 am
“Why do you assume that tau⋅adot/2 is small relative to C1[T]?”
It’s not an assumption, it’s based on IPCC data. Not including the temperature dependent term, the difeq is
Cdot = (Co – C)/tau + adot
adot is currently about 4% of Co/tau, but has been smaller in general over the last century. We can bound it’s effect up to the present time by the difeq
Bdot = (1.04*Co-B)/tau
and up to the present time, C .lt. B .lte. 1.04*Co.
Note to all: I am not a climate scientist. The arguments against this from climate scientists tend to be on their turf, and add up to arguments from ignorance, i.e., if I cannot cite a source and a sink specifically, then I must be wrong.
But, the mathematics tell me I am right, in the same way that Paul Dirac knew antimatter existed before it was ever observed, or the way Einstein knew General Relativity was correct before the bending of starlight was ever observed. Mathematics is a very powerful tool, which allows us to see truth beyond our fallible and limited human intuition.
If you do not know how the requirements of my equation can be satisfied, you need to keep looking until you find out, because I am supremely confident it describes truth. I would suggest many of you need to quit treating some of the data which has been collected, e.g. from ice cores, as unassailable, and estimated quantities with error bars as large as the values themselves as certain.

Xi Chin
June 10, 2010 10:43 am

In my previous post, I of course meant to say “their probability density shifts”, but unfortunately did not hit the f key…

m4cph1sto
June 10, 2010 10:49 am

It’s well-known that temperature changes cause CO2 changes. This is undisputed except by the most uninformed AGW fanatics (and Al Gore). This paper is using the derivative (rate of change) of CO2, but the simple model’s results are actually from the change in the rate of change, not the rate of change itself. In reality what we have is a “baseline” increase in CO2 from human emissions that is essentially linear, and on top of that another, smaller signal that is the result of the changing solubility of CO2 in the oceans as temperatures change. Unless I’m mistaken (which is possible), this paper verifies a well-known phenomenon that, to my knowledge, has not previously been verified on a global scale. However, the results do not show that the large roughly-linear increase in CO2 in recent years is caused by changing temperatures. Rather, it shows that the small fluctuations in that linear trend are caused by changing temperatures.

June 10, 2010 11:01 am

okki says:
June 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm
What I like about this site is that papers are presented, and are subjected to criticism.
We get a hypothesis and then that hypothesis is subjected to analysis by the group mind from various perspectives.
If only we had a word to describe this kind of analytical approach to trying to discern the truth.
I thought that we had – the scientific method!

Paul Vaughan
June 10, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Bart
You’ll have to clarify (unless you really have been sucked in by this article).

Bart
June 10, 2010 11:16 am

m4cph1sto says:
June 10, 2010 at 10:49 am
“This paper is using the derivative (rate of change) of CO2, but the simple model’s results are actually from the change in the rate of change, not the rate of change itself.”
No, the initial equation relates temperature anomaly, which is effectively a low bandwidth differential, to the differential of CO2. The result is that CO2 is effectively represented by a very low bandwidth filtered and scaled version of the temperature relative to a particular baseline.
“Rather, it shows that the small fluctuations in that linear trend are caused by changing temperatures.”
And, the way in which it causes those small fluctuations must smoothly transition into the way it causes large fluctuations. You cannot just arbitrarily draw a line between the small and the large domains with satisfying smooth continuity conditions.

Bart
June 10, 2010 11:16 am

You cannot just arbitrarily draw a line between the small and the large domains without satisfying smooth continuity conditions.

June 10, 2010 11:32 am

Bart and Phil: Glad there some folks here that actually can do math. Thanks to the folks at Mauna Loa and the satellite folks, we have real data to work with. Please expand this model and get rid of my simplifying assumptions.
m4cph1sto: Very interesting proposition. There is certainly plenty of good data to use. Please let us know how well your model fits the data.
To anybody still looking at this thread: The key point is CO2 levels and the temperature anomaly seem related, but not in a simple linear way. If we can carefully study data we are sure we can believe in, maybe we can actually understand what is going on.
Thanks for your participation.

Niels A Nielsen
June 10, 2010 11:46 am

Nasif: “I cannot understand… Why the concern on increases of CO2? It’s good for life. Take this assertion from a biologist who exhales ca. 88 g of carbon dioxide 11 times each minute.”
Why do you think I’m concerned about the CO2 increase?
I am not a biologist but I doubt that you exhale 1 kg of CO2 each minute.

June 10, 2010 12:08 pm

Nasif Nahle says:
June 10, 2010 at 9:21 am
Take this assertion from a biologist who exhales ca. 88 g of carbon dioxide 11 times each minute.
more like 0.04 gram 11 times each minute, or ~2000 times as little…
So that biologist must do a lot of heavy breathing…

George E. Smith
June 10, 2010 12:09 pm

Well I plan to print out a hard copy of Lon’s paper; if only to have access to the “data” he presents; but right off the bat, I have some serious problems with his exposition; and parts of his thesis.
I’m not averse to his primary claim that the Temperature change might be causing the CO2 change; I can buy that. We are just 800 years AFTER the Mediaeval Warm period; and as AlGore points out in his book; “An Inconvenient Truth.” and other data sources show; the long term ice core history tends to show that CO2 changes cause the Temperature to change 800 years before the CO2 changes that cause it. One might say that the Temperature guesses that it had better change to preact to an expected CO2 change 800 years down the road.
So the mediaeval Warm period temperature increase; could have been caused by the CO2 increases we are seeing now.
But as to Lon’s assertion that it is the rate of change of CO2 that causes the The Temperature to change 800 years earlier; will I can’t buy that.
I was never a PhD undergrad student; just took some undergrad Batchelor’s course as Mike pointed out once. But one thing I remember from my Physics/Maths Undergrad Radio-Physics course; specifically the Electronics portion; is that “DIFFERENTIATORS ARE NOISY.”
The derivative of ANY data set matching ANY mathematical function, is noiser than the raw data itself. So if the data itself doesn’t fit any well behaved function; and we are told it is a logarithmic function; not a linear one as Lon claims; then it is for sure that the derivative of that data won’t.
Then there’s that pesky propagation delay problem. How do you determine exactly what time offset to use between the Temperature data, and the CO2 data IN WHATEVER DIRECTION YOU BELIEVE IN to get it to fit.
I should point out (shouldn’t need to) that somone once “FITTED” the value of one of the fundamental constants of Physics : the fine structure constant; alpha = e^2/(2hc.epsilon nought) = 1.0973731534 E7 m^-1 +/- 1.2 E-9 to a completely fictitious mathematical “formula” with an error less than 2/3 the value of the error band of the then best known experimental value (mid 1960s). Everybody then jumped to the conclusion that the formula had to be correct; because you couldn’t get such a close match by just ******* around with numbers. The theory of that formula had absolutely no observable input from the Physical Universe; but it simply had to be correct. A computer search uncovered about ten more completely fictitious mathematical “formulae” of the same generic form; that also fell within the error band of the best experimental measured value; and one of those was more than twice as accurate, as the original one that started all the ruckus. Then an astute mathematician described a multi-dimensional lattice space; where each of the parameters in this generic formula was one of the dimensions; and the radius of this multidimensional “sphere” was the value of (1/alpha); and the complete set of lattice points that fell within a multidimensional shell with inner and outer radii of 1/alpha +/- the error band of the best experimental value; was a solution of that generic form that satisfied the criterion; and then he derived the complete set; which consisted of about 12 equally fictitious mathematical formulae; all unrelated to any physical universe.
So please don’t try to convince me that correlation even vaguely implies causation whether known or unknown.
Then there is an additional problem with this CO2 data thing. All the books and papers and protagonists, keep on insisting that CO2 is “WELL MIXED” in the atmosphere. Well one glance at the NOAA three dimensional global Pole to Pole variation in atmospheric CO2 over about a ten year period, is quite enough to convince me that there is simply no way that atmospheric CO2 can be well mixed; given that the annual cyclic CO2 variation at Mauna Loa is about 6 ppm peak to peak, with about a 5 month fall time and a seven month rise time; BUT, at the north pole this same cyclic vartiation is 18 ppm peak to peak; not 6ppm; and at the south pole it is only about 1 ppm, instead of 6 or 18 ppm; and moreover at the south pole it is reversed in phase from the north pole.
So CO2 is not mixing from pole to pole, and whatever natural processes add or remove CO2 from the atmosphere, they can remove 18 ppm of CO2 from the atmosphere in as little as 5 months; and if the global excess over the stable base condition of perhaps 280 ppm is at present about 110 ppm excess, then at the north pole, that 110 excess ppm could be removed in as little as 110/18 x 5 months; which is about 2.5 years. Now that is the starting removal rate; so the 2.5 years is the time constant of that process so 99% could be removed in 5 times constants, or under 13 years 9if the process continued without interruption.
So much for a 200 year lifetime or residence time or whatever they want to call it. But even with susch rapid change possible; it still isn’t even vaguly well mixed to maintain that pole to pole asymmetry; so wherever CO2 is released locally it isn’t going to spread pole to pole in any great hurry.
Besides all of that; Mother Gaia does not do Statistical Mathematics; she uses real time data in real time; and obeys all the laws of Physics. We should do what Gaia does; not look for pseudo ancient astrological soup recipes to homogenise inadeuqately sampled data.
Well that’s my opinion any way. But I am going to make a copy of his paper.
Rereading Lon’s Bio, I see I had it a bit wrong; seems like Hawaii is a good pace to settle; might run into barefootgirl on a beach somewhere.

Spector
June 10, 2010 12:12 pm

RE tallbloke: (June 10, 2010 at 5:46 am ) “A better answer might be that CO2 always lags behind temperature. And that sea surface temps have been high recently as energy has headed upwards from the deep during the solar minimum, so outgassing will also be a factor.”
Perhaps this lag is due to the heating or cooling of a deep CO2-rich region in the ocean where there may be a multi-decadal thermal time delay relative to the surface. If available, it might be interesting to see a graph of measured depths of the tropical ocean thermocline over the years.

Bart
June 10, 2010 12:23 pm

George E. Smith says:
June 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm
“DIFFERENTIATORS ARE NOISY.”
Not inherently, but they amplify high frequencies (the response rises approximately proportional to frequency in the range well below the Nyquist rate), so if your input has high frequency noise in it, you will tend to amplify it. So, the first question is, how much high frequency noise is there in the signal?
In most electronics, there is almost always high frequency noise, which is why we generally low pass filter things like tachometer signals. Lon has effectively done this to some degree by taking his differential over a year’s time and dividing by 12, which produces a scaled average of the 12 monthly differentials.

June 10, 2010 1:07 pm

Niels A Nielsen says:
June 10, 2010 at 11:46 am
Nasif: “I cannot understand… Why the concern on increases of CO2? It’s good for life. Take this assertion from a biologist who exhales ca. 88 g of carbon dioxide 11 times each minute.”
Why do you think I’m concerned about the CO2 increase?
I am not a biologist but I doubt that you exhale 1 kg of CO2 each minute.

Sorry… It appeared that I was addressing my post to you, but not; actually, I used your post as a standing platform; I sincerely apologize.
Regarding my assertion, it’s true… I exhale ~2 moles of carbon dioxide 11 times per minute. Making the conversion, it gives ~88 g each time I exhale. In terms of percentages, I exhale a volume of air containing 5% of CO2, which means 50000 ppmV.
The trick consists in omitting the volume of mixed air that I exhale in each breathing movement and applying pure mathematics.

Quinn the Eskimo
June 10, 2010 1:09 pm

George E. Smith –
If you’ve not done so already I think you’ll find the Glassman paper I cited in post #2 on this thread to be profitable reading on the points you just made, as well as many others that have come up in this thread.
Bart, the same.
Apart from showing that the pattern of temperature and CO2 in the Vostok record reflects the solubility of CO2 in water according to Henry’s Law, it also extensively discusses and refutes the IPCC assertions that CO2 is well-mixed, and that oceanic uptake of CO2 is constrained and causes anthropogenic CO2 to accumulate, among other things. These are huge problems for the IPCC view, which doesn’t do Henry’s Law.
Glassman has responded to 171 comments, which further illuminate the points under discussion.
Best regards,

Xi Chin
June 10, 2010 1:16 pm

Can anyone comment my percieved insignificance of 1 degree celcius of warming? I just can’t see why there would be such a big hoo ha about such a small change. Am I wrong to view this as an insignificant change?

June 10, 2010 1:41 pm

Now, I exhale approximately 0.006 m3 of mixed air during one breathing movement. This gives a real molecular mass of carbon dioxide of 0.012 moles during each exhalation. It means about 0.53 g in each exhalation, which gives ~3.1 metric tons per year. We have to put special attention to these small things when we are investigating volumes of CO2 forming part of any medium.
Following with the same example on my respiration, if I don’t take into account the volume of air in my lungs, I would conclude that the partial pressure of the carbon dioxide in my lungs would be 0.05 atm m, which is a subatmospheric pressure that makes possible the respiration. However, given the small sample of mixed air in my lungs, the real partial pressure of carbon dioxide in my lungs is 0.0003 atm m. It happens because my lungs expand when I lower my diaphragm, so the concentration of CO2 into my lungs diminishes.

glacierman
June 10, 2010 1:42 pm

Anne van der Bom
Solar radiation differences are the driver you say? Thanks for getting my point without realizing it.

George E. Smith
June 10, 2010 1:49 pm

“”” Bart says:
June 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm
George E. Smith says:
June 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm
“DIFFERENTIATORS ARE NOISY.”
Not inherently, “””
Well pedantically true; since arguably a “differentiator” is a mathematical operation on a mathematical function. Practical differentiators (as in electronic) aren’t very accurate differentiators anyway.
So perhaps I should have said the the OUTPUT of differentiators; with noisy data inputs is even noisier outputs.
But then you knew that.
In any case, I can’t even imagine a data stream that is any more noisy than what purports to be the CO2 composition of the earth’s atmosphere; to the extent; that the available directly measured data is incapable of showing whether the CO2-Temperature relationship fits a straight line T=m.CO2 + c or a curve T = T0 + m.log(CO2 + c) make up your own; as Stephen Schneider did.
Peronally, I think it can be fitted to the form:- y = exp (-1/x^2) to as good a fit as to either of the above. Remember that the standard IPCC error acceptance limit seems to be +/- 50%; which gives the obligatory 3:1 ratio of predicted ; excuse me, projected future values; to IPCC concensus satisfaction. And I am sure my form can equally well be fitted to the differential of the CO2 also; with the same hogwash factor. My form can also likely be equally well fitted for any possible propagation delay; either forwards or backwards. I haven’t tried fitting the numbers in the Manhattan telephone directory to the mean global Temperature; but I’ll bet somebody can; to at least as good a fit as the global CO2.

tallbloke
June 10, 2010 2:08 pm

Spector says:
June 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm
RE tallbloke: (June 10, 2010 at 5:46 am ) “A better answer might be that CO2 always lags behind temperature. And that sea surface temps have been high recently as energy has headed upwards from the deep during the solar minimum, so outgassing will also be a factor.”
Perhaps this lag is due to the heating or cooling of a deep CO2-rich region in the ocean where there may be a multi-decadal thermal time delay relative to the surface. If available, it might be interesting to see a graph of measured depths of the tropical ocean thermocline over the years.

So far as i know, the tropical thermocline where a mot of the solar absorption takes place is fairly consistent at around 30-35 metres. Of more interest is the higher latitude areas where it varies a lot, both in location and time. In the winter off Newfoundland, it can be as deep as 1200m.

Joel Shore
June 10, 2010 2:09 pm

Bart says:

But, the mathematics tell me I am right, in the same way that Paul Dirac knew antimatter existed before it was ever observed, or the way Einstein knew General Relativity was correct before the bending of starlight was ever observed. Mathematics is a very powerful tool, which allows us to see truth beyond our fallible and limited human intuition.

So, you compare yourself to Paul Dirac AND Albert Einstein in one sentence?!?! I am sure you are a smart guy, Bart, but you don’t lack humility…It continually amazes me how many people around here seem so confident that they are the next Einstein, Galileo, or whatnot, rather than just one of the thousands of people who languish in relative obscurity because their “paradigm-breaking” scientific discovery turned out to be just plain wrong.
As for mathematics, it is indeed a powerful tool but it is only a tool. You still need to put the correct physics into the mathematical equations to get a result that actually pertains to the real world. And, the physics that you are missing is the fact that the atmosphere, mixed layer of the oceans, and biosphere + soils form a subsystem that has rapid exchange of carbon between the different components but only slow exchange of carbon with the deep ocean. The slug of carbon from our fossil fuel burning introduces new carbon into this subsystem and, while any such slug quite rapidly equilibrates between the different components of the subsystem, it does not rapidly disappear from this subsystem. The temperature and other changes are capable of changing the balance of the carbon between the different components of the subsystem a little bit…and this is the aspect of interannual variability in the atmospheric CO2 increase that Lon has rediscovered here, although it has been well known for more than 30 years, as I documented in this post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-406435 .

June 10, 2010 2:13 pm

Nasif Nahle says:
June 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm
Regarding my assertion, it’s true… I exhale ~2 moles of carbon dioxide 11 times per minute. Making the conversion, it gives ~88 g each time I exhale.
No you don’t.
Try again.

Jay Cech
June 10, 2010 2:27 pm

Murkowski resolution fails, 47 to 53
Lisa Murkowski’s resolution blocking the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon failed in the Senate today, 47 to 53. Six Democrats crossed over: Mark Pryor, Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Jay Rockefeller, Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu. Some people were surprised that Bayh crossed, but I’m not. He’s retiring, but his votes will reflect on Brad Ellsworth, who’s running to replace him, so he’s going to stick with the state’s most important interests. Zero Republicans voted against Murkowski.
So the good news, I guess, is that Murkowski’s resolution went down. The bad news is that in a 60-vote Senate, it’s hard to imagine a climate bill, or even a mere energy bill that does something about coal-fired plants, getting through.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/murkowski_resolution_fails_47-.html

Phil.
June 10, 2010 2:32 pm

Nasif Nahle says:
June 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm
Niels A Nielsen says:
June 10, 2010 at 11:46 am
Nasif: “I cannot understand… Why the concern on increases of CO2? It’s good for life. Take this assertion from a biologist who exhales ca. 88 g of carbon dioxide 11 times each minute.”
‘Why do you think I’m concerned about the CO2 increase?
I am not a biologist but I doubt that you exhale 1 kg of CO2 each minute.
“Regarding my assertion, it’s true… I exhale ~2 moles of carbon dioxide 11 times per minute. Making the conversion, it gives ~88 g each time I exhale. In terms of percentages, I exhale a volume of air containing 5% of CO2, which means 50000 ppmV.”

So 1 mole occupies 22.4 l which gives about 50l CO2/breath if that’s 5% I make it 5,000l/breath. Apparently we’re conversing with a whale, how do you manage the keyboard?

tallbloke
June 10, 2010 2:35 pm

This plot shows the lag of co2 behind temperature on the short timescale
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1997/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/offset:-362.3/detrend:26/scale:0.3/mean:12
And we know co2 lags 800 years behind temperature on the long timescale.
So what makes the warmists think co2 leads temperature on any time scale in between?

DirkH
June 10, 2010 2:57 pm

Lon, a thought about the difference operator you use on the CO2: By subtracting 2 values at a distance of 12 months, you get a kind of comb filter when you analyse the spectral response. It would be interesting to run the CO2 time series through a better high pass filter – a phase-neutral one with a clearly defined steepness, for instance. I have no idea where this could lead and i haven’t bothered to read the papers cited by the people who think your post is irrelevant (was that polite? hope so. I wanted to avoid a word ending with -ists or starting with astro-) but usually climatological papers are weak on the spectral considerations so it might be uncovered ground.

Jim G
June 10, 2010 3:09 pm

Fitting curves to time series data or using multivariate analysis to fit cuves to dependent and independent variables does not prove cause and effect. The most ellegant equations, be they linear, curve fitting, first differential or second differential still do not prove cause and effect. The premise that warming temperatures may be causing more CO2 is at least as valid as the premise that CO2 is causing temperature change. Neither is provable. Knowing how to use statistical methods is not the same as knowing PROPER use of those methods and interpreting the meaning of the results. My guess is that any comprehensive attempt at a multivariate regression analysis of all of the potential independent variables that could potentially be causal to temperature change would show high multicolinearity and at the same time those independent varialbles would not, of course, be predictable into the future at any rate. Predicting, or even explaining, climate change is, at least at this time, a fools errand. You only need to look at the non-science that has been used by the proponents of AGW to see this. But I have enjoyed reading about this issue and watching the sledgehammer swing at the mosquito.

John Finn
June 10, 2010 3:45 pm

tallbloke says:
June 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm
This plot shows the lag of co2 behind temperature on the short timescale
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1997/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/offset:-362.3/detrend:26/scale:0.3/mean:12

Why have you detrended the CO2 data? All this does is show that the short term fluctuations are driven by temperature. But we know this. There have been several posts on this. CO2 rises. How much it rises depends on ocean conditions (mainly). But it still rises because we are burning fossil fuels. The underlying trend which you’ve removed shows this.
And we know co2 lags 800 years behind temperature on the long timescale.
We know that this was true following the ice ages. But the warming periods after ice ages lasted for thpousands of years, It was a long drawn out process. The CO2 peak occurred ~800 years after the temperature peak.
So what makes the warmists think co2 leads temperature on any time scale in between?
Because this time the CO2 rise is not due to natural factors. The ice core data shows that this recent rise is unprecedented over the past several thousand years.
On the general point of this post. The model that has been developed is flawed. Consider, for example, hat happens if you have a monthly temperature anomaly of -0.5 deg for the next 100 years… or 1000 years. If Lon Hocker wants to develop a model that predicts CO2 change he needs to include a term for the anthropogenic CO2 contribution and another one for the decay. A simple model equation might take the following form
delta_CO2 = alpha*anthro_CO2 + beta*deltaT + gamma*total_CO2
where alpha =~0.5 (i.e. the proportion of human emitted CO2 which is retained in the atmpshere)
and gamma < 0
I'm sure someone can do much better than this and there may be other variables that need to be considered but at least it seems to make sense.

Onion
June 10, 2010 3:54 pm

“So what makes the warmists think co2 leads temperature on any time scale in between?”
Because co2 is a greenhouse gas. It causes warming.

June 10, 2010 4:12 pm

Please, read my post at
Nasif Nahle says:
June 10, 2010 at 1:41 pm

June 10, 2010 4:21 pm

DirkH says:
June 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm
“Lon, a thought about the difference operator you use on the CO2: By subtracting 2 values at a distance of 12 months, you get a kind of comb filter when you analyse the spectral response. It would be interesting to run the CO2 time series through a better high pass filter – a phase-neutral one with a clearly defined steepness, for instance. I have no idea where this could lead and i haven’t bothered to read the papers cited by the people who think your post is irrelevant (was that polite? hope so. I wanted to avoid a word ending with -ists or starting with astro-) but usually climatological papers are weak on the spectral considerations so it might be uncovered ground.”
Dirk, I tried several filters on the smoothed Mauna Loa data, and they all acted pretty much the same. I chose this one for the paper so I could use the unsmoothed data, and keep the filter as simple as possible. The data is easy to get. Pop it into a spreadsheet and see what happens when you use different filtering.
The goal here was to move folks beyond the mindless: CO2 is trending up, and temperature seems to be doing it too, so clearly we are seeing the greenhouse effect. We have real data, and can do a lot better than the IPCC if we keep an open mind.

June 10, 2010 4:30 pm

Onion says:
June 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm
“So what makes the warmists think co2 leads temperature on any time scale in between?”
Because co2 is a greenhouse gas. It causes warming.

But… How much? Almost zero warming:
I = ECO2 (σ) (T)4 / π (Leckner, B. 1971, Pages 37-44)

BillD
June 10, 2010 5:02 pm

Joel Shore says:
June 10, 2010 at 8:48 am
tallbloke says:
I read this morning that human co2 emissions fell last year by 1.1%
Since you believe the increase in airbourne co2 is due to human emissions, you have a similar question to answer.
Why is the CO2 continuing to rise, if the human emissions are falling?
Because the increase in CO2 above the pre-industrial levels is due to the CUMULATIVE emissions. If human CO2 emissions fall by 1.1%, then that would mean that, all else being equal, the RATE OF INCREASE of CO2 would drop by 1.1%, not the atmospheric level itself. As this thread has rediscovered, the interannual variability in the rate of increase of CO2 is much greater than 1.1%, so it would be hopeless to be able to detect such a small change.
Just in case Joel’s reasoning is not clear: What we are looking at is the effect of a 1% drop in CO2 emissions by humans. Let’s assume that I am adding $100,000 to your bank account each year and you are spending 50K each year. Money is accumulating in your account. Now if deposits are reduced by 1% to $99,000 year wouldn’t we still expect the bank account to increase? In this example the CO2 content of the atmosphre is the bank account total. It will take much more that a 1% drop in deposits to make the account balance go down.

June 10, 2010 8:53 pm

Nasif Nahle says:
June 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm
Please, read my post at
is nonsense. You exhale about 0.04 gram, not 88 gram. When in a hole, stop digging.

Jim D
June 10, 2010 9:04 pm

I won’t repeat my posts of 5:26pm and 8:03pm, but they explain this result by putting the CO2 derivative on the left of the equals and the ocean T anomaly on the right (as the cause). It is a simple idea that fits. That ocean T modulates the CO2 derivative is not surprising, and fits what we know about the dependence of net CO2 flux into the ocean on its temperature. Here is an equation
dCO2/dt = A – B(T)
A is the source (mostly fossil fuel burning), B is the sink, which is a function of T. Let’s say it is a linear function of T: B(T)=b1 – b2*T’ where b1 and b2 are positive constants. The sign for b2 represents that the sink is less effective for warmer temperatures, and T’ is temperature with another constant removed.
So we have
dCO2/dt = A – b1 +b2*T’
This is essentially the same formula as in the posting, just rearranged, and it is what you get when the CO2 sink is temperature-dependent, and there is a constant source. For the actual atmosphere B is about half of A, and the b2 term is much smaller than b1, so B weakly depends on T.

Jim D
June 10, 2010 9:19 pm

The response to my 9:48pm posting about runaway greenhouse yesterday seemed to suggest (a) they thought I advocated a runaway greenhouse, (b) they dispute more CO2 leads to warmer atmosphere. (a) No, this was the logical conclusion if indeed the ocean produces CO2 in response to warming, which it doesn’t since it is a sink. You can get a runaway greenhouse if your feedback loop forces CO2 to increase, but the real CO2 increase is not part of the loop, being determined by independent sources. (b) CO2 increases have a radiative effect leading to a warmer atmosphere, even if only a little as advocated by Lindzen and Spencer, or more as advocated by IPCC, they all agree there is some.

Spector
June 10, 2010 9:56 pm

RE: tallbloke: (June 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm) “So far as i know, the tropical thermocline where a mot of the solar absorption takes place is fairly consistent at around 30-35 metres. Of more interest is the higher latitude areas where it varies a lot, both in location and time. In the winter off Newfoundland, it can be as deep as 1200m.”
I was using the term ‘thermocline’ for the upper surface of the deep cold-water zone or the hypolimnion. I would expect to see a delayed increase of the depth of this CO2-rich region as the oceans warms. We really need to show just how much CO2 that the observed 1.2 deg F warming can actually force out of the ocean.

Larry Fields
June 10, 2010 9:56 pm

Lon,
After raining on your parade earlier, it occurred to me that you could weaken your hypothesis a bit in order to bypass the Henry’s-Law pitfall that Andrew W mentioned. You could simply say that higher SSTs decrease the RATE at which elevated tropospheric CO2 passes in seawater. That would make sense on a qualitative level.
On a quantitative level, there’s an obvious experiment that’s begging to be performed. Is anyone game for getting their hands dirty?