Missing the big picture on CO2

From the University of Exeter, this press release below and not a peep in it about the El Niño earlier this year that would have helped to degassify CO2 from the warmer portions of the Pacific ocean. But hey, its got a connection to UEA, so we know it’s quality work, right?

Global CO2 emissions back on the rise in 2010

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the main contributor to global warming – show no sign of abating and may reach record levels in 2010, according to a study led by the University of Exeter (UK).

The study, which also involved the University of East Anglia (UK) and other global institutions, is part of the annual carbon budget update by the Global Carbon Project.

In a paper published today in Nature Geoscience, the authors found that despite the major financial crisis that hit the world last year, global CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuel in 2009 were only 1.3 per cent below the record 2008 figures. This is less than half the drop predicted a year ago.

The global financial crisis severely affected western economies, leading to large reductions in CO2 emissions. For example, UK emissions were 8.6% lower in 2009 than in 2008. Similar figures apply to USA, Japan, France, Germany, and most other industrialised nations.

However, emerging economies had a strong economic performance despite the financial crisis, and recorded substantial increases in CO2 emissions (e.g. China +8 per cent, India +6.2 per cent).

Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, lead author of the research, said: “The 2009 drop in CO2 emissions is less than half that anticipated a year ago. This is because the drop in world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was less than anticipated and the carbon intensity of world GDP, which is the amount of CO2 released per unit of GDP, improved by only 0.7 per cent in 2009 – well below its long-term average of 1.7% per year.”

The poor improvements in carbon intensity were caused by an increased share of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions produced by emerging economies with a relatively high carbon intensity, and an increasing reliance on coal.

The study projects that if economic growth proceeds as expected, global fossil fuel emissions will increase by more than 3% in 2010, approaching the high emissions growth rates observed through 2000 to 2008.

The study also found that global CO2 emissions from deforestation have decreased by over 25% since 2000 compared to the 1990s, mainly because of reduced CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation.

“For the first time, forest expansion in temperate latitudes has overcompensated deforestation emissions and caused a small net sink of CO2 outside the tropics”, says Professor Corinne Le Quéré, from the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey, and author of the study. “We could be seeing the first signs of net CO2 sequestration in the forest sector outside the tropics”, she adds.

###

Editors’ notes

The Global Carbon Project

The Global Carbon Project was formed to assist the international science community to establish a common, mutually agreed knowledge base supporting policy debate and action to slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The project is working towards this through a shared partnership between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and Diversitas. This partnership constitutes the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP).

More information available at: http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget

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168 thoughts on “Missing the big picture on CO2

  1. “….Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the main contributor to global warming [yeah… show me the evidence] – show no sign of abating and may reach record levels in 2010, according to a study led by the University of Exeter (UK)….”
    This is excellent news — I’ve just put in this year’s tomatoes.

  2. “the authors found that despite the major financial crisis that hit the world last year, global CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuel in 2009 were only 1.3 per cent below the record 2008 figures.”
    Did the Chinese stop building new coal fired power stations in 2009 as a mark of respect for the faltering of the western economies? I must have missed the news.

  3. They never tire demonizing CO2. At current 390+ parts per million (ppm), even if we say it is now 400 ppm, do the math: 400 / 1,000,000 = 0.04 percent. Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all gases in the atmosphere. Such a minuscule part plays a monster effect in their mind, because they have a monster plan of big time carbon robbery and taxation.

  4. A point made in another article on this report.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/carbon-emissions-set-to-be-highest-in-history-2140291.html
    The UK decreased CO2 emissions “by 5 per cent between 1992 and 2004. But if you calculate it in terms of what has been consumed in the UK then you have an increase of 12 per cent for the same years. It’s an important difference and it’s all due to shipping the industries to Asia.”
    So much for our reductions. Another shell game.

  5. Exeter is a hotbed for CAGW alarmistas, both the UK Met Office and Hadley Centre are based there.
    So I think it’s safe to take anything coming out of the University of Exeter with a large dollop of skepticism.

  6. And here’s the same from the BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11799073 – “Carbon emissions fell in 2009 due to the recession – but not by as much as predicted, suggesting the fast upward trend will soon be resumed.”
    The real meaning of such a statement is that the warmists simply haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. They are so intent on perpetuating the AGW nonsense that they continue to extrapolate figures and invent trends in data using the bad maths and statistics that are an integral parts of the warmist dogma.

  7. Every morning one of my rituals is to have a look at what has been happening on the climate scene during my nocturnal slumber. Every morning I hope to find that sanity, accuracy or maybe even a slither of complete science has been achieved. Every morning I am disappointed, and then I recall the infamous words of the late Stephen Schneider,…”To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have….each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” I would add that in this report, lying by omission is just that – lying.

  8. CO2 does NOT drive climate! Our emission of CO2 is but 3% of the global annual CO2 atmospheric budget all the rest-97% is from natural emitters. The hypothesis of greenhouse warming does not stand up to serious scrutiny so will eventually be shown to be false.
    The University of Exeter has connections with the Hadley Center which is down the road. The connection with CRU at the UEA is through Hadley Center.

  9. Well, according to those in the know, yet another dollop of Global Warming is going to blanket the UK towards the end of this week, earlier than last winter. Gas prices rising, electricity prices rising (artificially to subsidise renewables), oil prices rising, the riots are just around the corner folks, when the public sector workers (among others) go on strike to protest against cuts & they can’t afford to turn their heating on to stay warm! All this in a world awash with oil, coal, & gas reserves let alone those alreadi in production. All we need now is for the Arabs to cut oil production & we will all freeze to a halt. Ah, bring back the 1970s, roaring inflation, almost daily strikes, black outs, three day weeks, that “Dunkirk” spirit, such fun days they were (not)!

  10. John Marshall says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:27 am
    CO2 does NOT drive climate! Our emission of CO2 is but 3% of the global annual CO2 atmospheric budget all the rest-97% is from natural emitters. The hypothesis of greenhouse warming does not stand up to serious scrutiny so will eventually be shown to be false.
    The University of Exeter has connections with the Hadley Center which is down the road. The connection with CRU at the UEA is through Hadley Center
    ———————————————-
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.

  11. The authors note “This is less than half the drop predicted a year ago.”
    But do they then admit that their prediction was wrong? No shame shows.

  12. Nonoy Oplas says:
    November 22, 2010 at 12:49 am
    They never tire demonizing CO2. At current 390+ parts per million (ppm), even if we say it is now 400 ppm, do the math: 400 / 1,000,000 = 0.04 percent. Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all gases in the atmosphere. Such a minuscule part plays a monster effect in their mind, because they have a monster plan of big time carbon robbery and taxation.
    ————————–
    320–530 ppm of H2S leads to pulmonary edema with the possibility of death. That’s only a tiny percentage but it’ll have a big effect on your life!
    An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.

  13. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    “Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.”
    Yes that may or may not be true, personally I think not where humans are concerned, but it is really just like saying that there is less CO2 in the atmosphere today than there was 800,001 years ago! Meaningless! Also if this type of thing is going to be quoted, can we please have a definitive figure other than those of 650,000 years, 750,000 years, & 800,000 years, as qioted by many, someone needs to make their mind up which it is, just for the sake consistency, & not for dramatic effect. I could also add to the example that there is less CO2 in our atmosphere today than there has been for over 500,000,000 years!

  14. “The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). ”
    I’ve never understood this argument. A very common side-effect of a good year for any particular agricultural product is that it is also a good year for pests. As any idiot knows, the limiting factors in the population growth for almost all animals is food supply, and there are lots of examples of massive plagues of animals (rats, mice, lemmings, locusts, etc) which are only limited by food supply. When this supply collapses, so do the populations.
    So why do you assume this doesn’t apply to plants? The limiting supplies for vegetation include CO2, which commercial growers have known for a long time. Increase CO2 and you increase growth, keeping other factors constant.
    What possible logic is there in assuming that if CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase, (whether due to humans or not) that the amount consumed by vegetation remains constant? It’s simply daft.

  15. “Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the main contributor to global warming – ”
    Nothing starting with the facts, eh warmistas?
    “may reach record levels in 2010”
    may explain why my lawn Down Under is coming through the back door.

  16. Hey SteveE,
    “320–530 ppm of H2S leads to pulmonary edema with the possibility of death. That’s only a tiny percentage but it’ll have a big effect on your life!”
    H2S in not CO2.

  17. ———————
    SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:18 am
    320–530 ppm of H2S leads to pulmonary edema with the possibility of death. That’s only a tiny percentage but it’ll have a big effect on your life!
    ———————
    CO2 limit in submarines is 8,000 ppm – 72 times more than the “anthropogenic” portion of CO2 in the atmosphere. You are breathing out 40,000 ppm. Where is the problem with 390 ppm?
    ———————
    An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.
    ———————
    Not confirmed by satellite data.
    http://climate4you.com/images/OLR%20versus%20CO2%20Global.gif
    IR freely escapes despite CO2 increasing. Quoting climate4you:
    “Climate models predict that when the amount of atmospheric CO2 increases the natural greenhouse effect will be enhanced, so less less radiation leaves the earth to space, thereby leading to global warming. From this decreasing OLR should be expected as the amount of atmospheric CO2 increases, in contrast to the development since the CO2-concentration passed c. 360 ppm. The diagram above thereby suggests a more complicated association, where the theoretical effect of CO2 on OLR apparently is subordinate to one or several other factors.”
    Maybe the reason is, that CO2 in 200 years increased from three to four molecules per 10,000 other molecules in the air. This is pretty thin blanket.

  18. As I said in my link post, this is just an additional round of pre Cancum media stuffing. We’ve had Al Gore, now its these guys turn to fill up the column inches.
    I must admit though the degree of factual ‘vagueness’ in this particular report is something to behold, a right rush job I think. The really sad thing is it is all going to do absolutely squat for the real environment and real people.

  19. re Roger Carr (1:02AM) “Forbidden”:
    After you follow the link, put your cursor in the address bar and press Enter.
    /dr.bill

  20. Nonoy Oplas says:
    November 22, 2010 at 12:49 am

    They never tire demonizing CO2. At current 390+ parts per million (ppm), even if we say it is now 400 ppm, do the math: 400 / 1,000,000 = 0.04 percent. Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all gases in the atmosphere. Such a minuscule part plays a monster effect in their mind, because they have a monster plan of big time carbon robbery and taxation.

    Actually, less than half of one tenth of 1 percent of all gases. Never has so much been dramatised over so little…..

  21. I know, weather isn’t climate but what about the irrefutable consensus among the AGW establishment that CO2 and only CO2 is responsible for the warming of our atmosphere? And if this is true, why do they have to fiddle with our temperature data sets and lie between their teeth about, well … everything?
    EUROPE http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp4.html
    ALASKA USA http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp2.html
    EAST ASIA http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp5.html
    In fact, warm anomalies have become scarce on all the wxmaps including the SH.
    This entirely defies the AGW clams.

  22. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the main contributor to global warming – show no sign of abating and may reach record levels in 2010, according to a study led by the University of Exeter (UK)….”
    lets repeat the salient facts
    c02 is the MAIN contributor to global warming. RECORD levels in 2010
    The obvious implication is that 2010 was indisputably the hottest year in recorded history

  23. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:18 am

    320–530 ppm of H2S leads to pulmonary edema with the possibility of death. That’s only a tiny percentage but it’ll have a big effect on your life!
    What has that got to do with CO2? Can you really not tell the difference between H2S and CO2? back to school, matey.
    CO2 is not even noticeable until about to 10,000 ppm. That’s right, 10,000, or more than 25 times the current concentration, and one we will never, ever reach, even if we burn ALL the oil, coal and gas in the world right now.

    An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.

    Links please? (and ones we can actually believe in, not watermelon echo-chambers)

  24. Juraj V. says: (November 22, 2010 at 2:00 am) Roger, since it passed through eagle eyes of moderators, not THAT bad. Google “o rly owl” 🙂
    Ah… Got it, Juraj. I wonder why that was forbidden? (And thank, bl57~mod.)

  25. The emerging twin terror of climate change awkwardness is ocean acidification. Not many people realise that the top few hundred m of the ocean is where a lot of the study is, with catastrophic changes in pH from 8.1 to 7.9 or so.
    It is often left unsaid that over 90% of the volume of the oceans is already below this figure,
    See http://www.geoffstuff.com/image008.jpg which I took from http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/OceanAcidification.htm (Thank you)
    Therefore, one might expect that upwelling as well as CO2 should be considered when making noises about ocean acidification.

  26. SteveE says: November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.

    Not part of the biosphere are we?

  27. Juraj V. says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:45 am
    Juraj and others…
    Not confirmed by satellite data.
    http://climate4you.com/images/OLR%20versus%20CO2%20Global.gif
    Yes, confirmed by satellite data:
    http://www.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/news/newsmar01.html
    CO2 and methane have absorbed more outgoing radiation.
    But as your graph shows (and also the “earth shine” project shows), the total outgoing radiation is far more variable than what the changes in GHGs give. Probably due to changes in cloud cover, which are far more important for climate than the changes in GHGs…
    The same for more backradiation (measured in Europe): most is from increased water vapour and clouds, not from CO2.

  28. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    John Marshall says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:27 am
    CO2 does NOT drive climate! Our emission of CO2 is but 3% of the global annual CO2 atmospheric budget all the rest-97% is from natural emitters. The hypothesis of greenhouse warming does not stand up to serious scrutiny so will eventually be shown to be false.
    The University of Exeter has connections with the Hadley Center which is down the road. The connection with CRU at the UEA is through Hadley Center
    ———————————————-
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.

    Someone does not understand Henry’s Law.
    You may notice clouds – although not many AGW proponents are good at clouds…
    All those water droplets in clouds are very cold pure water with a surface area that exceeds the oceans and CO2 will rapidly dissolve in them. Therefore they wash CO2 from the atmosphere extremely efficiently like an industrial scrubber. When the droplets reach the surface as rain if the solute gets warmer then CO2 may outgas again in accordance with Henry’s Law.
    The higher the vapor pressure of CO2 the more will dissolve. This is basic physical chemistry. There is no ‘natural balance’ by nature or Gaia – there is a standard gas law balance based on vapor pressure and temperature.

  29. “R. de Haan says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:58 am”
    It’s worse than that. It’s ONLY those CO2 emissions from human activity and burning fossil fuels. Just that ~3% of the total annual volume, which is claimed to be driving driving climate distruption. The other ~97% it totally natural and is in “balance”.
    /sarc

  30. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:32 am
    With El Nino in 2010 certainly, more heat evaporates and so more cloud cover and more rain.
    Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, said: “We have seen rapid warming recently, but it is an example of natural variation that is associated with changes in the Pacific rather than climate change.”
    It could be said that El Nino is only a weather event

  31. Hide the decline! It’s a travesty!
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/graphs/HadCET_graph_ylybars_uptodate.gif
    Hoist by their own petard despite manipulating the data base in 1992 to the extent that it correlates poorly with the sites used from 1772.
    Apart from a risible article last week in the Daily Telegraph by that arch idiot Geoffrey Lean and some crap in the Independent, the silence surrounding the imminent bunfight in Cancun is deafening. It would appear that part at least of the UK MSM are reconsidering their position, or at least accepting the incongruity of trumpeting the AGW nonsense just as for the third year running bitter cold and snow sidles down throughout the country from a self evidently freezing Arctic.
    This is one travesty that is in great danger of becoming a norm.

  32. Global Frigging Warming
    “All we need now is to switch off the heating of all the MPs who still believe in global warming and we might start seeing some sense – impossible though that might seem. Better still, strip them naked, couple them up in a chain gang and have them paraded round Parliament Square, chanting “global warming is nigh”, until they drop from hypothermia or exhaustion, whichever comes sooner”.
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/11/global-frigging-warming.html

  33. The reality is that most of the world will continue to increase consumption of fossil fuels, the USA, Canada, will not be duped into following the lead of the EU into self imposed bankruptcy.
    As the global temperatures continue to drop for most of the next 30 years, while the total global release of CO2 doubles, the stances of those blatantly name calling the realists will fade as self embarrassment is the best mouth closer of shouting fanatics.
    The big buck has been passed on to “Ocean acidification” didn’t you watch the transfer of connection to CO2 / power plant shut down as televised on CSPAN from: STATEMENT TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    Hearing on “Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, the Response”

  34. JER0ME says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:05 am
    SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:18 am
    320–530 ppm of H2S leads to pulmonary edema with the possibility of death. That’s only a tiny percentage but it’ll have a big effect on your life!
    What has that got to do with CO2? Can you really not tell the difference between H2S and CO2? back to school, matey.
    CO2 is not even noticeable until about to 10,000 ppm. That’s right, 10,000, or more than 25 times the current concentration, and one we will never, ever reach, even if we burn ALL the oil, coal and gas in the world right now.
    An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.
    Links please? (and ones we can actually believe in, not watermelon echo-chambers)
    ——————–
    WRT H2S please read the context it was mentioned in, it was in response to a comment that CO2 is a tiny fraction of the atmosphere and can’t possible have an effect. I was using H2S as an example of something that in tiny fractions can have a massive effect on life.
    And here’s a couple of links for you:
    http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf
    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

  35. If the oceans get wamer how can they absorb more co2 – don’t they have to get colder to hold more carbon dioxide? my soft drinks certainly do. So how does that work with the acidification theory?

  36. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:18 am
    “Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2”
    Well… good! That means the satellites are working because it is well known the CO2 in the atmosphere has increased.
    The thing not mentioned is what happened (increase, decrease, stayed the same) at wavelengths NOT associated with CO2.
    Here’s the deal. When CO2 absorbs longwave in its narrow absorption band it gets a bit warmer (excited). In its excitement it bumps into neighboring atoms and molecules which are most likely to be nitrogen (70% of the atmosphere), oxygen (21%) and so forth. When it bumps into one of those it transfers some of its excitement to them (the bumped warms up, the bumper cools down). Those other molecules then radiate the extra energy in a broad (called continuous) spectrum.
    So you see, while the long wave radiation in CO2 absorption bands must decrease at top of atmosphere when there is more CO2 the long wave radiation outside its absorption bands must increase. Total radiation remains the same.
    If you already knew that, Steve, then you’re lying by omission because you clearly wanted to imply that the total radiation escaping to space has a measured decrease which is emphatically not the case. If you did not know that then please write it down and don’t forget to mention it next time. Energy coming in equals energy going out. Since extra CO2 doesn’t change the energy coming in it will not change the energy going out. What it does is it raises the temperature somewhere in the column of air (models predict high in the troposphere) and when the temperature rises it causes radiation to escape faster into space which maintains the balance between energy in and energy out. This is how insulators work. CO2 is an insulator. Write that down too. Insulators do not trap energy or add energy. Insulators slow down the transport of energy which causes temparature to rise on the hot side of the insulator. The temperature rise accelerates the rate of energy transfer through the insulator and restores balance. If this did not occur the earth would quickly burn up and blow away. Fortunately the laws of thermodynamics don’t work that way and there’s no violation of those laws.
    Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the modest rise to a higher equilibrium temperature caused by increased CO2 isn’t matched by a corresponding decrease in equilibrium temperature caused by something else. CO2 doesn’t exist in a metaphorical vacuum. It is one (small) component in a much larger system. For instance if downwelling longwave from CO2 rises then it must necessarily increase the evaporation rate of water at the surface. If the evaporation rate increases it increases the amount of heat (latent in this case) carried upward by rising water vapor. This heat is then released when a cloud forms. So the “extra” downwelling radiation in this case is quickly transported back up and released high in the air by way of a faster water cycle where the energy that increases the water cycle speed is caused by CO2. So it won’t raise surface temperature at all because the energy carried off by the water vapor is LATENT where latent in this case means it won’t register on a thermometer. You may want to google “latent heat of vaporization” if you don’t understand how you can have increased energy without increased temperature. It’s related to phase change from, in this case, liquid to gas.
    Moreover, when that cloud forms far removed the surface it is extremely reflective of short wave radation (from the sun) which then cools the surface underneath by shading it and sending the sun’s energy straight back out into the frigid void of space before it ever reaches the surface. As well, the CO2 between the bottom of the cloud and the surface now acts as insulator in the other direction insulating the ground against the heat released by the condensing water vapor.
    Where CO2 is very very important to keeping our world warm is when the air is very very dry. The only way to dry the air is to freeze the water vapor out of it and freeze the surface so evaporation can’t replenish it. When that happens there is no negative feedback happening anymore and our good friend and insulator, CO2, helps warm things up enough so the frozen surface melts, evaporation and cloud formation resume, and we’re back in our comfort zone where life can flourish.
    Let me know what part or parts of that you don’t understand.

  37. It’s just weird no one wants to talk nuclear power. It’s as if the CO2 worship religion forbids real answers, and just wants your money. really weird.
    If CO2 is your God, shouldn’t nuclear power be our God?
    Or is de-develop the USA the real goal of these goof balls.

  38. Robert says: November 22, 2010 at 1:19 am
    The real meaning of such a statement is that the warmists simply haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. They are so intent on perpetuating the AGW nonsense that they continue to extrapolate figures and invent trends in data using the bad maths and statistics that are an integral parts of the warmist dogma.

    So Robert, are you suggesting that people will continue burning less fuels and will continue producing less CO2? You are predicting the warmist are wrong? Perhaps you are predicting a continued global recession and the Chinese and Indians cutting back on their economic development?
    I am not saying warmist are right about all their other conclusions, I’m just saying you do yourself no favors by taking a position against a statement that is almost certainly true –> that people will keep burning more and more fuels as long as those fuels are readily available and that this will continue to raise CO2 levels for at least a few more decades.

  39. “This is because the drop in world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was less than anticipated….”
    Heh, they were alarmists towards the global economy, too! It wasn’t as bad as they thought?

  40. Roger 3.55 commented on the CEt figures
    The latest CET figures (the oldest dataset in the world) shows a curious thing-that, as claimed, temperatures have been plummeting over the past few years. (h/t Roger)
    This from the 1772 CET record (the preferred measure of Hadley) shows anomalies up to this month;
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/graphs/HadCET_graph_ylybars_uptodate.gif
    However we also have the much older CET records (also maintained by Hadley but curiously underused) which enables us to take a further step back in time to 1660.
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2_1.htm
    The changeability of our climate from the earliest days should be self evident by eyeballing the charts. We have ample contemporary evidence as well. For example anyone browsing the diary of Samuel Pepys for January 1660/61-the year the Royal Society was established- would read;
    “It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.”
    Over one hundred years later- after the renewal of one of the most savage episides of the Little Ice Age- we have this comment from America.
    “The temperature of the winter season, in northern latitudes, has suffered a material change, and become warmer in modern, than it was in ancient times. … Indeed I know not whether any person, in this age, has ever questioned the fact.” —Noah Webster, 1758-1843 (founder- Websters dictionary)
    Here is just a snapshot of evidence of the constantly changing climate the world experiences, without any input from man.
    First we need to put any increase in temperatures into context by remembering that the much cited Arrhenius actually backtracked in another later paper, that oddly never seems to get quoted.
    Arrhenius originally estimated that halving of CO2 would decrease temperatures by 4 – 5 °C (Celsius) and a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5 – 6 °C[4]. In his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 °C (including water vapour feedback: 2.1 °C).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius
    Modern estimates factor in highly imaginative and wholly unsubstantiated feedbacks to attain even higher temperatures. Rationally, doubling conventional pre industrial Co2 concentration may cause up to .5C temperature increase (but what concentration level are we doubling from and from what temperature base?)
    It is an inconvenient truth that we have been this way before with temperatures, even in the little Ice Age.
    http://www.blackwellpublishing.com:443/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/9780631222736/higgit.pdf
    (Page 8)
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=u-sOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=olive+trees+england+middle+ages&source=bl&ots=WTPpDWDyWH&sig=WXhrKVnyRESur0RPFsuqutmllJs&hl=en&ei=YQPCSs-pF4mw4Qad87iLCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=onepage&q=olive%20trees%20england%20middle%20ages&f=false
    By Hubert Lamb, page 12 and 13 about 1730’s
    Defining climate trend as a 30-yr trend one can plot the CET trends for a sliding 30-yr window:
    http://www.leif.org/research/CET1.png
    The following, condensed from the records of the Hudson Bay Company, demonstrate that climate change is not a new phenomena.
    “Over the fifteen years between 1720 and 1735, the first snowfall of the year moved from the first week of September to the last. Also, the late 1700s were turbulent years. They were extremely cold but annual snow cover would vary from ‘extreme depth to no cover’. For instance, November 10th 1767 only one snowfall that quickly thawed had been recorded. June 6, 1791 many feet of snow in the post’s gardens. The entry for July 14, 1798 reads ‘…53 degrees colder today than it was yesterday.”
    The current warming is clearly not unprecedented. Such swings occur regularly
    This comes from the extensive weather records of Thomas Jefferson; (the warm weather of the early 1700’s has given way to intense cold then another period of warmth)
    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JEFFERSON/ch07.html
    “A change in our climate however is taking place very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory even of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep. They do not often lie, below the mountains, more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely a week. They are remembered to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of long continuance. The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now. This change has produced an unfortunate fluctuation between heat and cold, in the spring of the year, which is very fatal to fruits. From the year 1741 to 1769, an interval of twenty-eight years, there was no instance of fruit killed by the frost in the neighbourhood of Monticello. An intense cold, produced by constant snows, kept the buds locked up till the sun could obtain, in the spring of the year, so fixed an ascendancy as to dissolve those snows, and protect the buds, during their development, from every danger of returning cold. The accumulated snows of the winter remaining to be dissolved all together in the spring, produced those over flowings of our rivers, so frequent then, and so rare now. “
    (from observation 1772 to 1779)
    Coming back towards the modern era (H/t Richard)
    This is what a farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of the local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.
    “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change”
    It then goes on to say;
    “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
    and also;
    “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”
    Ample evidence of the changeability of our climate and there is very much more. That we seem to be back to the 1730’s values according to the Hadley graphs is curious as it was followed by other periods of intense cold. Is history going to repeat itself?
    It would be a more constructive debate if we could all agree that AGW is being used as the rationale to demand a step change in mans habits, rather than that it has any merit as a proper scientific concept as it continually ignores current and past evidence of climate change.
    Changing our ways is a good debate in itself-it clouds the issues to have a non existent sword of Damocles hanging over us.
    tonyb

  41. Nonoy Oplas says:
    November 22, 2010 at 12:49 am

    At current 390+ parts per million (ppm), even if we say it is now 400 ppm, do the math: 400 / 1,000,000 = 0.04 percent. Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all gases in the atmosphere. Such a minuscule part plays a monster effect in their mind….

    I’m getting tired of this argument, please look into the effects of visiting a place with CO at 400 ppm. Also, look in to the effect of the first 100 ppm of of CO2. Feel free to argue the IR window is saturated and that leads to the logarithmic response of CO2, but please don’t claim is 400 ppm of something is always negligable.

  42. The faint cheering you are hearing while reading this report is from the vegetation all around the world! 🙂
    Bill

  43. P Wilson says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:51 am
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:32 am
    With El Nino in 2010 certainly, more heat evaporates and so more cloud cover and more rain.
    Indeed, but as the higher ocean temperatures emit more CO2, that enhances the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere as result of the emissions. Thus the opposite of what Ian W expects from more clouds/rain…

  44. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.

    Gee, SteveE. I’d never heard that before. Thanks for bringing it up.

  45. ‘…Decreased by 1.3% – and will start to rise again…’
    SPECULATION..!
    The thing that gets me time and time again – is that none of these people has read Kyoto. That called for a reduction in greenhouse gases expressed as CO2 EQUIVALENT – NOT necessarily CO2 itself. For a start, all us out here in Realityland know perfectly well that the biggest greenhouse gas of the lot is water vapour – which of course is completely ignored by the climate brigade, and the politicos because you can’t tax it…
    All of this is coincidental anyway – because the whole ‘religion’ is now aimed at ‘wealth distribution’ (watch for the tone of communiques from Cancun) and has got precious little to do with climate change, let alone CO2…

  46. Richard Holle says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:09 am
    As the global temperatures continue to drop for most of the next 30 years, while the total global release of CO2 doubles, the stances of those blatantly name calling the realists will fade as self embarrassment is the best mouth closer of shouting fanatics.

    The vast majority of those fanatics will never suffer “self-embarassment,” because they irrationally deny and refuse to heed any information that may conflict with their chosen belief and infinite faith in the AGW religion.

  47. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:18 am
    “…..An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2…..”
    __________________________________________________________
    As Anthony states “missing the big picture”
    1. Nature has been taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and burying since plants evolved. This is backed up by
    1A. Coal Deposits
    1B. Hydrates in the oceans
    1C. Higher CO2 measurements, “in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm” http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html
    2. Plants reaction to the reduction in CO2 has been the evolution of a type of plant that can withstand lower levels of CO2. This new group of plants evolved several million years ago specifically to cope with lower levels of CO2. They developed a type of photosynthesis called C4 which permits greater water efficiency and the ability to photosynthize at greatly reduced CO2 levels. Just do a Wiki on ‘C4 photosynthesis’. An even better adaption called CAM was evolved by plants like cacti seen living in arid areas.
    What this means is as CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels – below 200 ppm – will cease to grow or produce. Below 200 pm CO2 trees starve. This is from a site that has been removed since it refutes the Ice Core data: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/implementing-co2.html
    The stomata research also totally destroys the ice core data and thereby the entire IPCC assessment reports. http://www.pnas.org/content/99/19/12011.full.pdf
    http://www.bio.uu.nl/~palaeo/people/Rike/index.html
    Speaking of carbon dioxide as plant food there is something else often missing in discussions of CO2 concentration. That is CO2 and its relation to altitude. Humans have trouble breathing near the top of Mount Everest even though the “concentration” of oxygen in parts per million is the same as at sea level. This is because the total density of the air is less so the actual amount of oxygen available per cubic meter is also less. The same holds true for carbon dioxide. Air density at 1000 meters altitude is about ninety percent of its sea level value, and crops grown at that altitude have access to ninety percent of the CO2 at sea level despite the fact that the “concentration” as usually given is the same. Half of the land surface of the earth is about 840 meters above sea level, and the absolute concentration of CO2 there is therefore about ninety percent less.
    There is also the response of plants to CO2. Growth and water use is much better at CO2 levels about 1000ppm as seen in commercial greenhouses.
    Then there is the fact that adding more CO2 past a certain point has little effect because all the available IR at the specific wavelengths has been absorbed.
    CO2 absorption bands vs Earth’s transmission bands
    CO2 is Logarithmic Explained
    CO2 Bands Saturated, CO2 Cannot Cause any more Global Warming
    Rapid atmospheric changes are well known from past reconstructions:
    See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC129389/pdf/pq1902012011.pdf
    & http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Late_Holocene_CO2_3000-4300_BP_Jessen_etal_2005.pdf

  48. So a reduction of purchased fuels at the pump did not put much of a dent in the rise, therefor one must contemplate the cause is elsewhere. Real scientists would have owned up to this and wrote a paper suggesting further research is necessary to examine this paradox. You can’t have it both ways. Either stick to your belief that purchased fuel is a proxy for CO2, one that must be verified by actual CO2 measurement, or it is not a proxy because it does not match actual CO2 measurements.
    Might I suggest both El Nino gassing and the fact that human population increase continues unabated and uncannily matches the rise in CO2.
    Here’s an idea. Turn every inner city empty space into food production. With all that CO2 about, the crop should be quite impressive.

  49. Here in Alabama, USA, we have had an unusually but not record breaking warm Fall. That being said looking at the INSO maps it would appear that we might also be in store for a rather cool if not cold winter. As I look at the below “normal” SST;s for the eastern N. Pacific and the cooling Western N Atlantic and a cooling Gulf of Mexico, I wonder if we might be in for an even cold winter in the southern USA. I remember as a child in the S. E. USA there were plenty of cold temps and -0f was not an oddity. That would roughly corelate to the same time frame in relation to the PDO we are currently enjoying now. That being said it became colder until the late 1970’s. considering the complete approximately 60 year cycle of the PDO we might need to prepare for the deepening cold effect of the climate for the next 20 to 30 years depending on when you start counting from. Perhaps the cooling SST’s will have some effect on the CO2 levels to help out the warmist. For me natural fertilizer is a good thing as it is free. Bring on the CO2 my garden thanks you.
    Bill Derryberry

  50. Juraj V. says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:45 am
    “…But as your graph shows (and also the “earth shine” project shows), the total outgoing radiation is far more variable than what the changes in GHGs give. Probably due to changes in cloud cover, which are far more important for climate than the changes in GHGs…
    The same for more backradiation (measured in Europe): most is from increased water vapour and clouds, not from CO2.”

    ______________________________________________________________
    AHHhhh yes WATER the ten ton elephant in the room that is always ignored by the IPCC et al.

  51. Well, the guys in charge are right about something. There’s a correlation between economic hardship and a decrease in CO2 emissions. I recommend we completely wreck our economies to save the world!

  52. The closed system of human “human” production, and human food production is a myth. Both food production and fuel production/purchase follows a well-known up and down path, neither matching each other. The ONLY match that is highly correlated is human population growth with CO2 growth. This match trumps everything else you can throw at it.
    That said, I don’t think the rise in CO2 is any match for weather pattern variation.

  53. Mother earth needs more CO2 to increase vegetation, to augment life, in order to compensate for the proliferation of some CAGW “viruses” who menace her immune system.

  54. Darren Parker says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:49 am
    “If the oceans get wamer how can they absorb more co2 – don’t they have to get colder to hold more carbon dioxide? my soft drinks certainly do. So how does that work with the acidification theory?”
    _____________________________________________________
    Darren, Since when has science and logic had anything to do with the propaganda used to stampede the sheeple into fear so they willingly accept being fleeced yet again?

  55. Steve Keohane says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:23 am
    SteveE says: November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.
    Not part of the biosphere are we?
    ————————
    CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels aren’t, no.
    Did you honestly think they were?

  56. To SteveE:
    H2S ain’t CO2. You are comparing apples and oranges. You argument is basically the same as this: “Because oranges are high in vitamin C, apples can prevent scurvy.” It doesn’t make sense. And neither does your argument. You can’t compare two distinct things and claim the effects are the same.

  57. Tim Folkerts says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:03 am
    “…..So Robert, are you suggesting that people will continue burning less fuels and will continue producing less CO2? You are predicting the warmist are wrong? Perhaps you are predicting a continued global recession and the Chinese and Indians cutting back on their economic development?
    I am not saying warmist are right about all their other conclusions, I’m just saying you do yourself no favors by taking a position against a statement that is almost certainly true –> that people will keep burning more and more fuels as long as those fuels are readily available and that this will continue to raise CO2 levels for at least a few more decades.”

    __________________________________________________________
    Almost certainly true???
    It depends on whether or not regulations shut down the use of the mini and micro nuclear power plants. I for one would love to see one of these in my community. They are also small enough to power ships and possibly trains and thereby cutting transport costs significantly.
    A nuclear plant in your garden???
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/emergingtech/a-micro-nuclear-reactor-in-your-garden/1089
    http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news-toshiba-micro-nuclear-12.17b.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/nov/09/miniature-nuclear-reactors-los-alamos

  58. (SarcOn)One day, much to the horror of many, the Pathetic Greenies are going to come to the logical “End of the Line” conclusion. It may actually be sooner than even I would have thought possible since the West is crumbling and disintegrating faster than anyone could have expected. NOTE: The latest proof is the recent abbamanation of the ObamaNation, invasive body cavity searches for everyone (newborns and up, to include corpses) by TSA ‘Blue Shirt’ Stormtrooper Thugs beginning the day before Thanksgiving in anticipation of the Christmas Holiday travel period and continuing indefinitely thereafter. Ohhhhhhh… yes, that “End of the Line” item — They’re going to finally realize that they can’t convince even a simple Chicago Majority (one more little graveyard ‘vote’ than the other side has) and they’re going to Gas the Planet a’la Sadam to reduce the worthless, lazy, ignorant surplus population– as Dicken’s might say. I have a feeling they may even adopt some of the Talaban’s techniques of friendly persuasion. (SarcOff)

  59. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.
    =======================================================
    So, you’re trying to say that this “natural absorptions” is at a fixed rate and can’t change.
    Who in this world told you that, and, more important, why did you believe it?

  60. “Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the main contributor to global warming …”
    Putting aside water vapor, we will do our best to move the conversation to something that we hope to use to destroy the liberty and prosperity of western countries and of the United States in particular. And besides, who wants to write grant proposals to study water vapor? Better ride the CO2 horse for all its worth.

  61. I was watching a National Geographic documentary about effects of super continents on rainfall. I listened in amazement when it described current co2 levels as being extremely low by paleological standards. Not only that, but it went further and suggested that trees were struggling to cope with these low levels, whereas grasses that evolved to deal with it, were becoming the dominant vegetation. They even let slip that future erosion will sequester even more co2.
    The climate change censor must have been asleep to let that faux pas slip through.

  62. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:51 am
    P Wilson says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:51 am
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:32 am
    With El Nino in 2010 certainly, more heat evaporates and so more cloud cover and more rain.
    Indeed, but as the higher ocean temperatures emit more CO2, that enhances the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere as result of the emissions. Thus the opposite of what Ian W expects from more clouds/rain…

    You miss the point,
    There is a balance based on the rate of CO2 dissolving in water in the clouds and being washed out of the atmosphere to the surface and the vapor pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    Claims that there is somehow a ‘natural balance’ that knows that only 97% of CO2 is to be dissolved and that the ‘anthropogenic’ CO2 is being kept out of solution are illogical.
    Henry’s Law applies. This also means that the relatively monotonic rise in CO2 is far more likely to be due to ocean temperature increases reducing solubility than to anthropogenic output. Otherwise the CO2 records would show drops at times like 1973 when there were drops in fossil fuel usage rather than a steady and continual climb.

  63. SteveE says on November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am

    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.

    That’s an interesting assertion. How does “nature” distinguish between human emitted CO2 and “naturally” emitted CO2? How does “nature” handle the variability in “naturally” emitted CO2 but cannot handle the increase in human emitted CO2?
    I think you are simply another wanking troll.

  64. I can’t believe this. These are scientists!!!
    This is just more proof that a substantial amount of CO2 is natural. We actually have a period where industrial production goes down, and CO2 levels go much higher than before the recession hit, and we have a record El Nino. It’s pretty clear this rise is due solely to El Nino.
    The crass stupidity of these people, and we fund them with tax payers money to come out with garbage like that.
    I despair I really do.

  65. When science is only sharing that which is mutually agreeable and theory is treated as proven fact, then what is being accomplished. How can science progress and prove its worth?
    How comforting it must be to only communicate with a narrow comfortable view, excluding objectivity and all other ideas. And how degrading that is to their profession and trust.
    As long as the money keeps rolling in, who cares.
    Global warming is the golden idol that represents the power of the unproven truth. People should be careful what they worship.

  66. Before worrying about CO2 rise continuing ‘unabated,’ remember that the total rise from the 1945 level (when CO2 emissions began to ‘soar’) is only 0.008% change in the atmosphere! Taken with the physics of CO2 that tell us doubling the atmospheric content of CO2 is only capable of producing less than 0.1 degree rise (recall that water vapor makes up 95% of greenhouse gases and there is no evidence that it is rising). Why are we not worrying far more about global population increasing by more than 50% in the next 40 years and again thereafter? Where is the food and energy going to come from to feed and care for that many more people?

  67. D. Patterson says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:52 am
    “….The vast majority of those fanatics will never suffer “self-embarassment,” because they irrationally deny and refuse to heed any information that may conflict with their chosen belief and infinite faith in the AGW religion.”
    _____________________________________________________________
    Like many cults predicting an eminent doom when the doom saying is shown to be false believers leave the cult in droves. However the core people, who were in it for the power and money, and never believed the hype to begin with just move on to another doom scenario.
    We saw that as the 1970’s “the Ice Age is coming” leaders switched to “Global Warming” and are now setting up the switch to “Ocean Acidification” It is ALWAYS about power and money. Any good that comes from the cult is incidental.
    “The urge to save humanity is always a false face for the desire to rule it” — H.L. Mencken.

  68. SteveE
    Good grief. H2S is a poison. Let me repeat: POISON.
    CO2 is a natural trace gas necessary for plant life. That is, it is NOT POISON.
    I’d wager if H2S was a byproduct of fossil fuel burning, there would be wide agreement on doing something about it. CO2…not so much. Apples vs. Oranges Cyanide comparisons do little to advance the discussion.

  69. Pascvaks says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:40 am
    I think they have scared nobody but themselves !!
    They are so silly that they didn’t realize it was their own Armageddon they were forecasting LOL!

  70. Now that we have established that GDP is proportional to CO3 production, who would like to do a study on the reverse relationship? Surely a enforcing a reduction in CO2 emissions would reduce the GDP. Or isn’t there any grant money for that conclusion?

  71. So, as Ocean temp drops we may see a slowing if not a drop in CO2-as absorption
    increases, then what? I personally predict a revitalization of “NEW ICE AGE!!!”
    When Al Gore starts investing in Parkas and Sorels we’ll know…

  72. Gail Combs says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:56 am
    Below 200 pm CO2 trees starve. This is from a site that has been removed since it refutes the Ice Core data: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/implementing-co2.html
    The stomata research also totally destroys the ice core data and thereby the entire IPCC assessment reports. http://www.pnas.org/content/99/19/12011.full.pdf
    http://www.bio.uu.nl/~palaeo/people/Rike/index.html

    Not necessarely: Stomata data are proxies and by definition react on CO2 levels over land, which are higher at night/low wind speed. In the afternoon the warming near-earth layers show a better mix with the overlying (background CO2) air. That means that even at 180 ppmv “background” CO2 in the ice cores, trees might have survived as they had at least a few hours of sufficient CO2 in the morning light.
    The difference between the average and variability of stomata CO2 reconstructions and direct measurements in ice cores (some 20-30 ppmv) is partly due to changes in local/regional CO2 levels over land (temperature, wind direction, changes in plant types,…) together with temperature, the resolution (far better for stomata) and the accuracy (far worse for stomata +/- 10 ppmv). Thus not directly “destroying” the ice core CO2 data…

  73. “However, emerging economies had a strong economic performance despite the financial crisis, and recorded substantial increases in CO2 emissions (e.g. China +8 per cent, India +6.2 per cent).”
    Here’s the part they didn’t mention:
    World Data Centre for Grennhouse Gases
    http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/cgi-bin/wdcgg/catalogue.cgi
    Ground Stations: 326
    Ground Stations monitoring CO2: China (4); India (1); (USA NOAA 25 of 28)
    “Using the synchronized dataset, the WDCGG calculates monthly means, long-term trends and growth rates for each latitudinal band. Subsequently, the global mean and other global statistics are calculated using latitudinal values weighted according to area. NOAA also publishes global mean mole fractions using their own observation network, which is also part of the GAW network. The difference between the NOAA and WDCGG global mean mole fractions from 1983 to 2006 averaged 0.33±0.31 ppm, primarily because different stations are used in each analysis.”
    — source: http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/wdcgg/products/documents/gaw184.pdf

  74. This is a fascinating thread. I am looking forward to SteveE’s point by point response to Dave Springer. I though Dave’s reply was devastating to Steve’s position. Steve’s reply must be in the que as I write this, cuz I haven’t seen it yet.

  75. DCC
    I just love your cavalier disregard for CO2 emissions by your use of the new term CO3; which would actually tie up less carbon per tonne. Personally I try to produce as much CO2 as I can because it is good for tomatoes.
    PS
    Catalytic converters on cars produce some H2S which is evident from the bad eggs smell. H2S becomes lethally toxic when the smell changes to sweet.

  76. Darren Parker says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:49 am
    If the oceans get wamer how can they absorb more co2 – don’t they have to get colder to hold more carbon dioxide? my soft drinks certainly do. So how does that work with the acidification theory?”
    It is a combination of higher pressure and higher temperature. The solubility of CO2 in seawater changes with about 16 ppmv/°C in balance, but oceans are slow emitters/absorbers and at the other side vegetation absorbs more CO2 at higher temperatures. The overall balance is about 8 ppmv/°C over the past 800,000 years.
    That also means that as we emit some 4 ppmv/year nowadays, any sudden increase in temperature of 1°C would be overruled in only two years, and nature would be a net absorber again. That is what is happening today: humans emit 4 ppmv/year, nature (oceans + vegetation) absorbs about 2 ppmv/year, the difference can be measured as an increase in the atmosphere…

  77. latitude says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:44 am
    So, you’re trying to say that this “natural absorptions” is at a fixed rate and can’t change.
    The natural absorptions are roughly in ratio with the difference between the current CO2 level and the “normal” pre-industrial CO2 level at current (ocean) temperatures which was about 290 ppmv. The year-by-year absorption rate increased together with the increase of the emissions, but is influenced by changes in (mainly ocean) temperature: about 4 ppmv/°C short term, 8 ppmv/°C (very) long term. That can be seen in the 1992 Pinatubo colder period (-0.6°C): less CO2 increase and the 1998 El Niño (+0.4°C). But in average, the increase measured in the atmosphere follows the emissions at about 55%:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg
    So it is quite sure that humans are the cause of the increase. If that has dire consequences is of a complete different order.

  78. “The Global Carbon Project was formed to assist the international science community to establish a common, mutually agreed knowledge base supporting policy debate and action to slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
    Huh, so these guy admit to being propagandists. I guess they need groups like this to keep everyone on message. Good thing the rest of us have reality to keep us on message.

  79. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:29 am
    Steve Keohane says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:23 am
    SteveE says: November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.
    Not part of the biosphere are we?
    ————————
    CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels aren’t, no.
    Did you honestly think they were?
    ————————-
    Steve coal is made from vegetation right. So yes I think it is(was) part of the biosphere. If you think oil is made from old sea shells etc then yes it is(was) also part of the biosphere.
    But that has nothing to do with whether CO2 can increase the temperature of the ground. Please provide your proof (not a link) as to how CO2 can heat the ground.

  80. So, you’re trying to say that this “natural absorptions” is at a fixed rate and can’t change.
    Who in this world told you that, and, more important, why did you believe it?

    I don’t think anyone (at least any credible scientist) said CO2 absorption is at a fixed rate. Nature DOES adjust. The question is how quickly.
    Since
    1) people have produced copious amounts of CO2 in recent decades, and
    2) CO2 levels have been rising in recent decades
    it is clear that plants and/or the oceans and/or the rest of the biosphere are NOT absorbing the extra CO2 as quickly as it is being added.
    Certainly a new balance will indeed be reached, but empirically that has not happened yet. (And it doesn’t help that people are clearing forests, which means fewer plants to absorb the CO2.)

  81. Ian W says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:59 am
    You miss the point,
    There is a balance based on the rate of CO2 dissolving in water in the clouds and being washed out of the atmosphere to the surface and the vapor pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Agreed here, it was not sure what you meant by CO2 and rain, but at last that is only circulating…
    Claims that there is somehow a ‘natural balance’ that knows that only 97% of CO2 is to be dissolved and that the ‘anthropogenic’ CO2 is being kept out of solution are illogical.
    I don’t think that anybody means that: nature makes no differentiation between anthro and natural CO2, except for the small differences in 12C/13C ratio. But that is not the point here. What is important is that there was a 800,000 years balance between temperature and CO2 levels, which is changed by the human emissions. We are now 100 ppmv above the “normal” 290 ppmv at the current temperature. No matter how much CO2 is exchanged over the seasons, the net balance nowadays is some 4 GtC more sink than source of CO2 by nature, while humans emit some 8 GtC/year as CO2. That means that the 3% extra is responsible for the increase and the circulating 97% only removes some CO2 (thus it slows the increase).
    Henry’s Law applies. This also means that the relatively monotonic rise in CO2 is far more likely to be due to ocean temperature increases reducing solubility than to anthropogenic output. Otherwise the CO2 records would show drops at times like 1973 when there were drops in fossil fuel usage rather than a steady and continual climb.
    Disagree here: Henry’s Law shows only 16 ppmv/°C for ocean waters. Far from the 100 ppmv increase we see with some 0.7°C increase in temperature… There is a very good ratio between accumulated emissions and accumulation in the atmosphere and a far less good between temperature and CO2 increase:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg

  82. John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 8:22 am
    Ground Stations: 326
    Ground Stations monitoring CO2: China (4); India (1); (USA NOAA 25 of 28)

    Emissions are not based on local/regional CO2 monitoring, they are based on fossil fuel sales and the estimated combustion efficiency. Even then, China figures may be somewhat underestimated…

  83. With all due respect, “Colin from Mission B.C.”, you completely missed the point.
    “Good grief. H2S is a poison. Let me repeat: POISON.”
    The analogy being offered had nothing to due with how poisonous the two chemicals might be.
    The dialog was basically:
    Mr. X: “CO2 is important.”
    Mr. Y: “CO2 can’t make a noticeable difference. It is less than 0.1 of the atmosphere. How could such a small component be important?”
    Mr. X:”Lots of things that show up in small amounts have a big effect. For example, 0.1% of a poison can easily be fatal.”
    There are lots of other examples that could have been used.
    * vitamin are less that 0.1% of your diet, but they keep you alive.
    * dopants are less than 0.1% of the atoms in a semiconductor, but they make our electronic devices possible.
    * local police make up less than 0.1% of the population, but they make a big impact on crime.
    None of this proves that CO2 is indeed important, but it does prove that “small amounts can be important.” Discussing the actual importance is the next step, but dismissing CO2 as “tiny therefore not important” is a lost argument.

  84. Dave Springer: Where CO2 is very very important to keeping our world warm is when the air is very very dry. The only way to dry the air is to freeze the water vapor out of it and freeze the surface so evaporation can’t replenish it. When that happens there is no negative feedback happening anymore and our good friend and insulator, CO2, helps warm things up enough so the frozen surface melts, evaporation and cloud formation resume, and we’re back in our comfort zone where life can flourish.
    If CO2 role in the energy exchange is best expressed in the arctic areas – why, after all of the billions spent, are those areas the least measured (therefore the associated datum is extrapolated more and is of lower confidence) or ignored completely?

  85. Not a chance that’s even close to correct. With paleo records showing as much as 7000 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere we can be fairly certain that present emission levels were easily exceeded in the past.
    But to give them the benefit of the doubt; I am sure it is true that 2010 will exceed 2009; since 2009 exceeded 2008, and 2008 exceeded 2007, and 2007 exceeded 2006, and 2006 exceeded 2005……… and 1960 exceeded 1959 and 1959 exceeded 1958; and then before that we don’t really know.
    But when is the USA going to get credits for its agricultural (including forestry) carbon sink; which purportedly more than offests all of our emissions. (from peer reviewed literature)

  86. “”””” Tim Folkerts says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:30 am
    With all due respect, “Colin from Mission B.C.”, you completely missed the point.
    “Good grief. H2S is a poison. Let me repeat: POISON.” “””””
    So is Oxygen; it’s just that the fatal dosage is higher.

  87. Dave Springer says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:58 am
    Here’s the deal. When CO2 absorbs longwave in its narrow absorption band it gets a bit warmer (excited). In its excitement it bumps into neighboring atoms and molecules which are most likely to be nitrogen (70% of the atmosphere), oxygen (21%) and so forth. When it bumps into one of those it transfers some of its excitement to them (the bumped warms up, the bumper cools down). Those other molecules then radiate the extra energy in a broad (called continuous) spectrum.

    No they don’t and you have been told this many times so it appears that you are the one who is lying not SteveE.
    Wade says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:33 am
    To SteveE:
    H2S ain’t CO2. You are comparing apples and oranges. You argument is basically the same as this: “Because oranges are high in vitamin C, apples can prevent scurvy.” It doesn’t make sense. And neither does your argument. You can’t compare two distinct things and claim the effects are the same.

    Good so perhaps we can see the end of the nonsense about a 400ppm gas being able to have a noticeable effect that is spouted by Mr Oplas and others.

  88. “”””” Gail Combs says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:23 am
    Darren Parker says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:49 am
    “If the oceans get wamer how can they absorb more co2 – don’t they have to get colder to hold more carbon dioxide? my soft drinks certainly do. So how does that work with the acidification theory?”
    _____________________________________________________
    Darren, Since when has science and logic had anything to do with the propaganda used to stampede the sheeple into fear so they willingly accept being fleeced yet again? “””””
    Well it is well known that the solubility of CO2 in water is higher if the water Temperature is lower; than it is if the Temperature is higher.
    So that means that the solubility of CO2 in the ocean is higher in the cooler depths than it is in the warmer surface waters.
    Consequently one would expect that CO2 in the warmer water woul tend to diffuse to deeper cooler water, and that would deplete the surface of dissolved CO2. So Henry’s law would dictate that more atmospheric CO2 should continue to dissolve in the ocean, and get pumped to deeper colder waters.
    I’m not a chemist; so I will let the chemists calculate the diffusion rate, and the continuous dissolution rate for a steady state condition of a given ocean Temperature profile, and a static atmosphere above it. Yes I know that isn’t a real situation but it is at least as good as their climate cloud models.

  89. Tim Folkerts says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:30 am
    “None of this proves that CO2 is indeed important, but it does prove that “small amounts can be important.” Discussing the actual importance is the next step, but dismissing CO2 as “tiny therefore not important” is a lost argument.”
    ========================================================
    Unless one considers the alleged mechanism of CO2 causing warmth, in which case, we’re back to considering the prevalence of CO2 in our atmosphere…..ie, 400 ppm of which basically one bandwidth 15, and then emitted multi-directional. In which case, it is perfectly reasonable to start laughing hysterically at such proposition.

  90. Tim Folkerts,
    Digoxin adult does is 300 ug / day. For a 90 Kg adult, this is 3.3 parts PER BILLION.
    As you say, “small amounts can be important”, for which I’m thankful as it resolved a serious heart problem I had some years ago.
    The silly argument that “CO2 is a trace gas” is bonkers.

  91. I don’t have time to read all 101 responses, unfortunately, so this may have been brought up already, but couldn’t this also mean that the method used to estimate emissions is faulty?

  92. Look at that nasty, evil ocean in the picture, outgassing all that evil co2 to the atmosphere, someone should just get rid of it now, before it destroys the climate!!!

  93. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:09 am
    John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 8:22 am
    Ground Stations: 326
    Ground Stations monitoring CO2: China (4); India (1); (USA NOAA 25 of 28)
    Emissions are not based on local/regional CO2 monitoring, they are based on fossil fuel sales and the estimated combustion efficiency. Even then, China figures may be somewhat underestimated…
    ========
    Ferdinand,
    We’re paying for CO2 Ground Station monitoring we don’t bother to use?
    Here’s a more accurate Ground Station count — 326 apparently relates to all measurable CO2 source types.
    World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases
    http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/cgi-bin/wdcgg/statistics.cgi
    This site is maintained by the Japan Meteorological Agency in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization.
    Stationary Ground Stations Monitoring CO2: 174
    Northern Hemisphere: 147 (106 have reported data in the last 360days)
    Southern Hemisphere: 27 Stations (25 have reported data in the last 360days)
    NOAA/GMD represent 88 of the 131 Stations Reporting Data in the last 360days; http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/cgi-bin/wdcgg/catalogue.cgi
    It turns out that NOAA operates CO2 monitoring in the South China Sea so, assuming someone bothered to use real data, the estimate for China could be from 11 stations and India from 1. Its probably worth pointing out, frequency of test measurement varies for each station.
    NOAA:
    South China Sea 03N: 1
    South China Sea 06N: 1
    South China Sea 09N: 1
    South China Sea 12N: 1
    South China Sea 15N: 1
    South China Sea 18N: 1
    South China Sea 21N: 1
    Southern Hemisphere Ground Stations
    Argentina: 2
    Australia: 7 (note: 3 entries for Cape Grim — 1 hasn’t updated data in the last 360days)
    Brazil: 2
    Chile: 1
    Indonesia: 1
    Kenya: 1
    Namibia: 1
    New Zealand: 2 (both in the same location)
    Pacific Ocean 05S: 1
    Pacific Ocean 10S: 1
    Pacific Ocean 15S: 1
    Pacific Ocean 20S: 1
    Pacific Ocean 25S: 1
    Pacific Ocean 30S: 1
    Pacific Ocean 35S: 1
    Peru: 1 (hasn’t updated data in the last 360days)
    Seychelles: 1
    South Africa: 1

  94. Correction to my previous post:
    Here’s a more accurate Ground Station count — 326 relates to Total Monitoring of any type(s) of Greenhouse Gas.
    Total Monitoring any type of Greenhouse Gas = 326
    Category:
    283 Stationary: 208 reporting data within the last 365 days
    34 Mobile (Ship): 24 reporting data within the last 365 days
    7 Mobile (Aircraft): 5 reporting data within the last 365 days
    2 Ice Core: 0 reporting data within the last 365 days
    Total Monitoring CO2 = 195
    Category:
    174 Stationary: 125 reporting data within the last 365 days
    17 Mobile (Ship): 9 reporting data within the last 365 days
    4 Mobile (Aircraft): 1 reporting data within the last 365 days
    0 Ice Core

  95. “[U]ntil about 1960, most scientists dismissed the hot-house / greenhouse effect as implausible for the cause of ice ages as Milutin Milankovitch had presented a mechanism using orbital changes of the earth (Milankovitch cycles). Nowadays, the accepted explanation is that orbital forcing sets the timing for ice ages with CO2 acting as an essential amplifying feedback.” WIKI
    Nobody seems concerned with Ice Ages anymore; why, I don’t know as we haven’t determined what causes them unequivocally.
    As far as carbonic acid accumulation is concerned I believe we are being seriously misled by an obviously contaminated Mauna Loa gauge; the curve looks exactly like the dust encrusted layer that covers my 39 year-old clock/cum bowling trophy.
    Dumb place to put a CO2 gauge in the first place, right next to an active volcano, no less.
    The actual level is what the trees and grasses can’t hold and are just about that important; who wants to climb artificial trees and mow the dust anyway?
    I liked that simplicity brought in to the whole discussion by the statement of Henry’s Law; science isn’t necessarially better the more arcane it becomes.
    Speaking of arcana…
    Did you know that in 1970 there were only three residents of Cancun and their job was to tend the Coconut Palms; now the drug cartels number in the hundreds and the tourists blithely saunter past them on the playa.
    Loved the o rly nonsense; and ain’t that owl just about the ugliest thing you ever saw?Whew!
    Philanthropy is back in vogue, Buffet, Gates, Turner…; when their bucks give out I’ll put a couple bills on my boss’s Visa card. Redistribution, my ass! Just more feckless, reckless printing and spending of fiat money; saw where Ireland had to be loaned a few billions Euros to get it through the Holidays, like to know where mine is, how about your share?
    Cheers everyone, hit the back of the coat closet and turn the old T-stat down.

  96. Let’s just set this straight. Just because a gas represents a small contituent of a total doesn’t mean it’s effect is proportionally small – I know many toxic gases that kill at 4 ppb (parts per billion). However, this doesn’t prove that a NON-TOXIC gas should be an EPA regulated hazard. The entire article is contrary, admitting a decline in CO2 for 2009 while predicting a huge increase in 2010. So far as I can tell, few of the predictions of the AGW clan have thus far come close to validation. The best I can see is that if CO2 produce by mankind is a factor in global warming, it is a logrithimic function and not as catastrophic as originally claimed.

  97. GCP Vision
    “The central vision of the GCP is to develop comprehensive, policy-relevant understanding of the global carbon cycle, encompassing its natural and human dimension and their interactions.”
    “Achieving this vision will require coordination by the international scientific community across all relevant disciplines and regions, and application of a large number of available resources and techniques. At present, no single international research programme provides this framework. The GCP was created to fill this gap and provide overall coordination to address highly interdisciplinary and complex problems of the carbon–climate–human system.”
    NO THANKS, you’ve already shown you can’t manage the Science. Move along, there’s no funding here to see.

  98. Steveta,
    Might I be so bold as to inquire what sort of heart condition you were being treated for?
    I have congestive failure with about 50% recovery rate but I take carvedilol and amlodipine beta-blocker and calcium blocker for hypertension(Completely controlled at 105/65 on average; I have recurring Jumpin’ Jiminy heart rythym from time to time and swelling of the ankles; maybe I’ll talk to my Cardiologist.

  99. John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 10:58 am
    Ferdinand,
    We’re paying for CO2 Ground Station monitoring we don’t bother to use?

    Ground stations over land are used for monitoring the natural + anthro CO2 fluxes, mainly to have a better understanding of the carbon cycle. Some are measuring locally under and above the canopea to follow the photosynthesis of vegetation. Some tall towers measure at different heights, which shows the fluxes over a large area. See e.g. a few weeks of measurements at the Cabauw tall tower in mid Netherlands:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/cabauw_day_week.jpg
    The aim in all cases is to know where and what the main sources and sinks are over land over the seasons.
    This can not be used for emissions, as these are small compared to the natural flows and the daily variability of these are huge too. The inventories of carbon sales are much easier to obtain, as these are/were part of the financial departments of governments (taxes!). Maybe somewhat underestimated, because of under the counter sales…
    What nature absorbs is the difference between the emissions (estimated from sales) with a reasonable accuracy, currently some 8 GtC/year (4 ppmv/year) with some -0.5 +1 GtC error margin, and background CO2 increase measured at 10 baseline stations, currently some 4 GtC/year (2 ppmv/year) +/-0.2 GtC error margin.
    Thus anyway, the emissions are about twice the increase in the atmosphere, which is fairly sure, even including the error margins.
    How much is absorbed where in nature is far more difficult to exactly know. There are some rough estimates about the partitioning between oceans and vegetation, but with quite large error margins. That is where the regional CO2 measurements are of help, besides ships surveys and buoys over the oceans. See the carbon tracker for some places and trends:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/

  100. John from Ca.
    I read a while back (can’t remember where) that all CO2 stations have there readings reconciled with the master gauge at Mauna Loa, any truth to that?

  101. Ken Roberts says:
    November 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm
    As far as carbonic acid accumulation is concerned I believe we are being seriously misled by an obviously contaminated Mauna Loa gauge; the curve looks exactly like the dust encrusted layer that covers my 39 year-old clock/cum bowling trophy.
    Dumb place to put a CO2 gauge in the first place, right next to an active volcano, no less.

    Mauna Loa is not the only place where CO2 is monitored, the South Pole even was first. Currently there are 10 NOAA “baseline” stations measuring CO2 from near the North Pole (Alert, NW Territories, Canada) to the South Pole. Some 70 others from different organisations in different countries measure “background” CO2, as far as possible from local contamination.
    Local contamination at Mauna Loa is small (+4 ppmv with downslope wind from the volcano, -4 ppmv from photosynthesis by valley vegetation with upslope wind in the afternoon), recognised in the data flow, marked (“flagged”) as contaminated and not used for daily, monthly and yearly averages. The yearly averages of the 10 baseline stations don’t differ more than 5 ppmv from each other, most of the difference is from a NH-SH lag (most emissions are in the NH):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends.jpg

  102. Re: CO2 is a trace gas so small increases are … not interesting.
    According to the above, many plants have difficulties at 200ppm. Studies have shown the Earth greening up due to CO2 (and links to show such have appeared several times on WUWT.) So with ~200ppm addition (200 to 400ppm) of a “trace gas” we go (if you’re a plant) from “I’m starving here…” to “Ok, we’re doing good.” Agriculture seems to work at 280ish.
    Greenhouses go to 1,000 ppm (according to above comment,) which is 5x the “I’m getting really hungry here” level, but which is still only 0.1% of the air composition.
    Therefore increases in trace gases, even small ones, can be pretty important. Whether it has anything to do with warming (after all the complicated feedbacks) is another argument entirely.

  103. Dave Springer says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:58 am
    “Let me know what part or parts of that you don’t understand.”
    How about instead I let you know some of the parts I think YOU don’t understand.
    “Here’s the deal. When CO2 absorbs longwave in its narrow absorption band it gets a bit warmer (excited). In its excitement it bumps into neighboring atoms and molecules which are most likely to be nitrogen (70% of the atmosphere), oxygen (21%) and so forth. When it bumps into one of those it transfers some of its excitement to them (the bumped warms up, the bumper cools down). Those other molecules then radiate the extra energy in a broad (called continuous) spectrum.”
    No. N2 and O2 are basically transparent to IR. From fundamental thermodynamics, this also means that they basically do not emit IR. When the CO2 bumps into N2 or O2, it can transfer some energy, but the N2 & O2 will not emit any appreciable IR. Only molecules with 3+ atoms will work due to the quantized nature of the energies. So CO2 will radiate pretty well. So will H2O, O3 and CH4 – all the greenhouse gases.
    Read the wiki page on emissivity. Read a good thermodynamics text. Read a Quantum Mechanics text on the quantization of rotational and vibrational energy of polyatomic molecules.
    “Energy coming in equals energy going out. Since extra CO2 doesn’t change the energy coming in it will not change the energy going out. What it does is it raises the temperature somewhere in the column of air.”
    In these two sentences you are contradicting yourself. Anytime you are raising the temperature of a “system” (like that column of air), then by definition you have more energy in than out.
    You should also be careful about defining your “system” – exactly what subset of the universe are you talking about. Defining your system is critical before going into an analysis of energy. You might want to write that down.
    And extra CO2 DOES change the energy going in – where I am choosing as my system the whole atmosphere. If CO2 concentrations suddenly doubled, then it would absorb more IR (both upwelling from the surface and downwelling from the sun. Ah Ha! More energy in than energy out! Of course, eventually other factors would change – like the warmer atmosphere emitting more outward IR (some into space and some to the ground causing more warming of that system). A new equilibrium would be reached where the temperature was constant (at a higher temperature, averaged over a long period like a year) and energy in = energy out once again.
    “This is how insulators work. CO2 is an insulator. Write that down too. Insulators do not trap energy or add energy. Insulators slow down the transport of energy which causes temparature to rise on the hot side of the insulator.”
    Several things are wrong/misleading here!
    Insulators do not “cause temperatures to rise on the hot side”. This is different from your more correct claim that they “slow down the transport of energy”. Insulators simply slow down the cooling of the hot side. The temperature can only rise if there is some OTHER input of energy that is greater than the loss thru the insulator.
    Furthermore, CO2 is NOT simply an insulator. Traditional insulation works primarily by limiting conduction and convection, not radiation. The only form of energy transport important to/from the earth as a whole is radiation, so the insulator analogy falls a bit flat. What CO2 does is ABSORB IR energy (which I suppose could be considered an extreme case of “slow down the transport”).
    Finally – which is the “hot side”? The sun is hotter than the earth (so the “insulation” makes the hot sun hotter by your definition above??); the earth is hotter than space (the “insulation” does serve to keep the earth hotter, so you got that right, even if the reasoning is a bit wrong.)
    “For instance if downwelling longwave from CO2 rises then it must necessarily increase the evaporation rate of water at the surface.”
    I’ve been thru the evaporation arguments before. The evaporation rate will indeed increase (because the surface temperature rises). The rate will only stay elevated as long as the surface stays warmer than it had been. The temperature can’t hold even (and certainly can’t cool the water lower than it was before). No matter how much latent heat “doesn’t register on a thermometer”, the actual rise in temperature required to cause an increased evaporation rate WILL register on a thermometer. The temperature will rise LESS due to this extra evaporation than it would without the extra evaporation, but claiming “it won’t raise surface temperature at all” is simply wrong.
    “Moreover, when that cloud forms far removed the surface it is extremely reflective of short wave radation (from the sun) which then cools the surface underneath by shading it and sending the sun’s energy straight back out into the frigid void of space before it ever reaches the surface.”
    Here I agree! The clouds are a big factor and one that cannot be settled with simple thermodynamics. They completely change the equations and would have a cooling affect. I will leave the details of clouds and all the associated feedback for someone else to worry about.

  104. Ken and Ferdinand,
    The topic of CO2 measurement has been an eye-opener for me in relation to where I think climate science is truly failing.
    Antarctic Ice Core measurements set side-by-side with Greenland measurements in the same time frame are, IMO, flawed. Atmospheric mixing requires time and as NASA pointed out to Anthony related to the AIRS calibration:
    “Models, which ingest surface fluxes from known sources, have long predicted a smooth (small) variation with latitude, with steadily diminishing CO2 as you move farther South. We have a “two-planet” planet – land in the Northern Hemisphere and ocean in the Southern Hemisphere. Synoptic weather in the NH can be seen to control the distribution of CO2 in the free troposphere. The SH large-scale action is mostly zonal.” — http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/31/a-encouraging-response-on-satellite-co2-measurement-from-the-airs-team/
    The idea of “Global” in the same timeframe without due-diligence to regional impacts may pass the “Climate”test but seriously falls flat when considered in terms of daily, weekly, and monthly measurements from Ground Stations all over the world.
    IMO, the smoothing that is presented in the Mauna Loa trends is a man-made byproduct of the results one would expect to see from an Island downwind of SA and in the midst of ENSO patterns.

  105. Ken Roberts says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    John from Ca.
    I read a while back (can’t remember where) that all CO2 stations have there readings reconciled with the master gauge at Mauna Loa, any truth to that?
    ========
    Based solely on my readings so far, there are several routine adjustments to Ground Station Mauna Loa measurements but I haven’t seen anything to indicate the “adjustments” of the longest running CO2 record is modeled to back-test or project Global patterns so it’s highly unlikely the records “calibrate” must of anything.
    The problem appears to be, someone decided it was a “good idea” to adjust Mauna Loa records to align with a “global” view and thus corrupted the data trends and Science.

  106. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm
    How much is absorbed where in nature is far more difficult to exactly know. There are some rough estimates about the partitioning between oceans and vegetation, but with quite large error margins. That is where the regional CO2 measurements are of help, besides ships surveys and buoys over the oceans. See the carbon tracker for some places and trends:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/
    =========
    Sorry to pick out a single paragraph but this one hits the nail on the head for me.
    As I previously posted, NOAA “picks and chooses” stations yet represents a fraction of the “whole”. Do you see a difference between this NOAA practice and the “Cherry Picking” we all point to as “The Problem” in Climate Science?

  107. John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    Ken and Ferdinand,
    The topic of CO2 measurement has been an eye-opener for me in relation to where I think climate science is truly failing.
    Antarctic Ice Core measurements set side-by-side with Greenland measurements in the same time frame are, IMO, flawed. Atmospheric mixing requires time and as NASA pointed out to Anthony related to the AIRS calibration:

    Indeed, CO2 needs some time to mix through the atmosphere over the globe: days to weeks for the same latitude/altitude band, weeks to months for different altitudes and latitudes in the same hemisphere and some 14 months between the hemispheres, as the ITCZ hinders the exchange of air masses between the hemispheres.
    Besides that there are the seasonal influences dominated by vegetation: CO2 maximum in fall-winter-early spring, a fast decrease when leaves are formed in spring and further in summer and early fall. More in the NH summer than in the Austral summer (more ocean, less vegetation).
    But that is not very relevant for climate, as that is by definition the average weather over a period of some 30 years. As the resolution of the emission inventories is once a year, then the yearly averages of the CO2 levels are fine enough to calculate the difference in increase, thus what nature absorbed that year.
    Even so the difference in yearly average trends between the different stations is minimal (less than 5 ppmv between the NH and SH stations). That makes hardly a difference in radiation absorption, and -as far as of influence – in climate. Even the seasonal differences in the NH atmosphere, like some. +/- 8 ppmv at Barrow, are of little importance, as presence and absence of sunlight makes differences of some 50°C between winter and summer there.
    The “smoothing” seen at Mauna Loa can be found in 95% of the atmosphere: everywhere from sealevel to 12 km height over the oceans and above a few hundreds of meters over land…

  108. Yes, CO2 keeps marching ever upward.
    Yet, temperature cycles happen about every 60 years (ocean oscillations), 200 years (deVries cycles), and 1470-years (The Least Common Denominator between Gleissberg and deVries cycles) without caring what the CO2 concentration is.
    All the above cycles are reinforcing and heading for the Grand Solar Minimum in 2030, and no amount of CO2 increase will spare us from the bone-chilling cold we will be forced to endure for the next few decades.

  109. John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm
    Sorry to pick out a single paragraph but this one hits the nail on the head for me.
    As I previously posted, NOAA “picks and chooses” stations yet represents a fraction of the “whole”. Do you see a difference between this NOAA practice and the “Cherry Picking” we all point to as “The Problem” in Climate Science?

    Contrary to temperature stations, it hardly make a difference if you take one station like Mauna Loa or Barrow or the South Pole for CO2 trends, or the average of the 10 NOAA baseline stations or the average of all 70 background stations managed by different organisations. See the trends of the different stations at the Carbon Tracker. Mostly the Mauna Loa trend is used for convinience, as that is the longest continuous record. NOAA was not the initiator, it was C.D. Keeling at Scripps who started the measurements at the South Pole and later at Mauna Loa. Only several decades later NOAA took over as the leading organisation, but Scripps still takes their own (flask) samples. Difference with NOAA: less than 0.2 ppmv.

  110. Steve E says,
    “… CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.”
    Then the world, the northern hemisphere especially, should have a straight rise in temperature as more CO2 is emitted there everyday. What explains for the rapid cooling this year and the previous years?

  111. “””” Phil. says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:58 am
    Dave Springer says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:58 am
    Here’s the deal. When CO2 absorbs longwave in its narrow absorption band it gets a bit warmer (excited). In its excitement it bumps into neighboring atoms and molecules which are most likely to be nitrogen (70% of the atmosphere), oxygen (21%) and so forth. When it bumps into one of those it transfers some of its excitement to them (the bumped warms up, the bumper cools down). Those other molecules then radiate the extra energy in a broad (called continuous) spectrum.
    No they don’t and you have been told this many times so it appears that you are the one who is lying not SteveE.
    Wade says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:33 am
    ………………….
    Good so perhaps we can see the end of the nonsense about a 400ppm gas being able to have a noticeable effect that is spouted by Mr Oplas and others. “””””
    Well my Handbook of Silicon Semiconductor Data gives the atomic density of silicon as 5.00 x 10^ 22 atoms per cc, and 4.42 x 10^22 for Germanium.
    The range of impurity dopings in silicon semiconductor devices can be anywhere from about 10^10 up to 10^20 impurity atoms per cc; but numbers in the 10^16 to 10^18 range are most common in actual devices. Numbers in the 1o^19 range and above are only used for contacts in “Ohmic Contact” areas needed to connect to metal layers.
    So even at 10^19 in a contact, the dopant concentration is only one part in 5,000, and in active junction layers, it might be only one part in 5 million.
    So this computer based forum wouldn’t even exist, if impurity levels of 400 ppm couldn’t have any physical effect.
    As Tom Vonk pointed out in a couple of guest posts; in a region of Local Thermal Equilibrium, the various species of gases in the atmosphere; and in MY atmosphere I like to have 78% of Nitrogen instead of 70%; it makes for less room for pollutants; interchange kinetic energy back and forth among themselves and among species; so there is no net transfer of energy from one species to another.
    That is for the stated condition of LTE.
    When long wave IR photons come wafting around in the 13.5 to 16.5 micron wavelength range (and some others that are barely present); they upset the LTE condition when they are captured by a molecules of CO2; and that raises the Temperature of the CO2 molecule (which is the time mean kinetic energy of any single molecule). Since the CO2 is only a trace gas; the higher Temperature molecule is most likely to collide with an N2 molecule (78%) or an O2 molecule (21%) or an Ar molecule (1%); but it also could collide with an H2O molecules which far outnumbers the CO2, and may be more prevalent than the Ar.
    Such repeated collisions are going to result in the additional KE being spread around, until the LTE condition is re-established; so theat LWIR radiant energy is going to heat the atmosphere; at least in the sense of raising its Temperature.
    In the process; the atmosphere retains NO information as to who it was who brought additional energy to the atmosphere. The air can’t tell, whether it was heated by solar spectrum energy in the 750 nm to 4.0 micron region mostly or 500-700nm captured by ozone in the stratosphere or upper troposphere; or whether it was LWIR from the surface; or even from other parts of the atmosphere itself.
    And if you study the derivation of the Raleigh-Jeans’, and Planck’s Black Body radiation laws; you will find that those derivations make no assumptions as to the nature of the particles that make up the atmosphere; they are simply particles with a certain number of degrees of freedom among which to distribute energy.
    The main difference between Raleigh-Jeans’ derivation , and that of Planck, is that the earlier workers assumed that the energy assigned to each degree of freedom could have any continuous value; while Planck simply required that the energy be some integral multiple of a fixed energy.
    Nowhere in either derivation does any sort of energy level structure come into play; since that would be a property of atoms or molecules.
    So where you get the idea that a gas can’t radiate a continuous thermal spectrum of LWIR is beyond me.
    Perhaps you can cite references to some graphs of measured atmospheric emission line spectra; showing those spectra to be simply line spectra with no continuous spectrum component.
    The spectra of the radiation from the atmosphere seen from satellites, shows a continuous BB like spoectrum with some holes in it; noticeably the CO2 15 micron hole and the narrower 9.6 micron Ozone hole. The ozone hole is narrower, because the ozone layer is at high altitude; where the Temperature, and Density are much lower than at the surface; so Doppler and Pressure broadening of the spectra is much less than for CO2.
    According to Trenberth only 40 W/m^2 is emitted from the surface to outer space, in the so called atmospehric window in the 8-10 micron range. So the extra-terrestrial LWIR spectrum would hardly be a BB like spectrum, if it is emitted from the atmosphere rather than the surface; and is not a continuous thermal BB like continuum.
    If it BB like (thermal continuum) it is either emitted from the surface; and hence must be much more than 40 W/m^2; or it must be emitted from the atmosphere from all levels thereof too.

  112. tonyb says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:08 am
    =========================================================
    Very informative and interesting post tonyb, I appreciate it. Never realized before what shills for big oil Daniel Webster and Thomas Jefferson were 🙂
    Your post, along with oakwood’s post of Trofim’s translation of Russian history presented in the Guardian back in August makes a very nice historical account of naturally occurring cyclical weather patterns, i.e. climate.
    oakwood’s comments here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/14/pielke-sr-on-heat-wave-in-russia/ at August 14, 2010 at 1:32 am
    ========================================================
    It’s accounts such as the above that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that current temps and conditions are cyclical. And to those who would still say, “yes, but we’re making them worse than they would have been” well there is of course no way to prove that but I’ve gotta say things were pretty bad before too, and in my book (pretty bad + 1) = (pretty bad) to any significant degree (pun intended? you decide).

  113. Ken Roberts says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    John from Ca.
    I read a while back (can’t remember where) that all CO2 stations have there readings reconciled with the master gauge at Mauna Loa, any truth to that?

    You have probably read that at the pages of Dr. Glassman. He had the impression that the data of other stations than Mauna Loa were calibrated to match the Mauna Loa data. That impression was based on a few sentences in the files of flask CO2 data, where a polynomial curve is plotted through the (bi-weekly) data to give a smoothed sight. The curve includes an “offset”, which is the difference with the previous year. Dr. Glassman interpreted that as an adjustment to match the Mauna Loa data. That isn’t right, as there is no curve fitting for continuous measurements at the same spot (except if one – and only one – month is missing, due to too low number of valid daily averages) and the continuous sampling and flask sampling data are within 0.2 ppmv in average.
    ========
    John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    Based solely on my readings so far, there are several routine adjustments to Ground Station Mauna Loa measurements but I haven’t seen anything to indicate the “adjustments” of the longest running CO2 record is modeled to back-test or project Global patterns so it’s highly unlikely the records “calibrate” must of anything.
    The problem appears to be, someone decided it was a “good idea” to adjust Mauna Loa records to align with a “global” view and thus corrupted the data trends and Science.

    As far as I know, no data are adjusted to obtain a “global” view, data only are adjusted if something went wrong with the calbration gases after months of use. Calibration gases are calibrated at one central place and equipment all over the world is intercalibrated with the same calibration gases. See the procedures at Mauna Loa (and many other stations) at:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

  114. “”””” Thermal energy is a direct result of the movements of atoms and molecules in matter. Since atoms and molecules are composed of charged particles, i.e. protons and electrons, their movements result in the emission of electromagnetic radiation, which carries energy away from the material. “””””
    For what it is worth the above is cited directly from Wikipedia. If that is false; then blame wiki; not me.
    Last time I checked, N2, O2, Ar, do NOT lose all their electric charges; when they become gaseous rather than liquid or solid.

  115. (Somewhat off topic)
    Ken Roberts, (1:01 pm) it was an arrhythmia – digoxin used initially to control and slow the heart, and stopped once it was stable. Then beta-blockers and something else I don’t recall for a couple of years, then just ACE inhibitors to maintain steady pressure, and it’s all fine.

  116. Ferdinand,
    Thanks for the thoughtful response.
    You’re presenting an interesting and compelling perspective for the concept but don’t you agree the proof is in the details? The proofs are the important aspect to understanding a climate system that’s currently undefined by science.
    The idea of smoothing data before there is a point to doing so is the problem I have with the current approach.
    Example: Science doesn’t fully understand what triggers an ENSO event and is unlikely to ever make the discovery if all the data is “manipulated” before analysis.
    Climate Science freely admits it fails to understand the system as a whole yet routinely presumes to predict its outcome.
    I simply can’t buy into a flawed methodology that eliminates observation and yet assumes insight.

  117. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 8:15 am
    ” …Not necessarely: Stomata data are proxies…”
    _________________________________________________________
    Even if the stomata data does not destroy the Ice Core data the presence of C3 plants (trees) certainly does and that leaves the stomata data left owning the field.
    “…The CO2 concentration found in air bubble and in secondary air cavities of deep Vostok and Bryd cores range from 178 and 296 ppm…
    According to Barnola et al (1987) the level of CO2 in the global atmosphere during many tens of thousands of years spanning 30,000 to110,000 BP were below 200ppm. If this qwere true then the growth of C3 plants should be limited at the global scale because their net Photosynthesis is depressed as CO2 concentration in air decreases to less than about 250ubar (less than about 250ppmv)(McKay et al 1991) This would lead to the extinction of C3plant species . This has however not been recorded by paleobotanists (Manum 1991).”
    http://www.co2web.info/stoten92.pdf
    This is what I was trying to point out but this quote does a much better job of it.

  118. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:06 am
    Ian W says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:59 am
    “…I don’t think that anybody means that: nature makes no differentiation between anthro and natural CO2, except for the small differences in 12C/13C ratio. But that is not the point here. What is important is that there was a 800,000 years balance between temperature and CO2 levels, which is changed by the human emissions….”
    ___________________________________________________________
    AHHhh so that is the fallacy! I have always wondered.
    You make the assumption that the amount of Carbon has remained constant until evil mankind has changed it by liberating the poor chained carbon molecules in coal, peat and oil.
    Unfortunately that is not true because you are not dealing with a closed cycle. Carbon has been sequestered by the formation of lignite, coal, Erosion of silicate rocks, whereby carbonates are formed and silica is liberated, precipitation of calcium carbonate and hydrates in the ocean, oil (maybe) and methane captured in the permafrost. This has reduced the bio-available carbon over the millenium.
    Since nature has been permanently removing carbon from the carbon life cycle, earth has been gradually headed toward an CO2 starved atmosphere from the point of view of plants. The evolution of the C2 plants are one result. Slowed plant growth another.
    If the historic 280 ppm is a true number we were darn close to seeing the extinction of C3 plants (trees) “… because their net photosynthesis is depressed as the CO2 concentration in the air decreases to less than about 250…” http://www.co2web.info/stoten92.pdf
    This is direct observation:
    “…Plant photosynthetic activity can reduce the CO2 within the plant canopy to between 200 and 250 ppm… I observed a 50 ppm drop in within a tomato plant canopy just a few minutes after direct sunlight at dawn entered a green house (Harper et al 1979)” Source
    I think CO2 starved plants was the actual looming catastrophe, narrowly escaped, not Global Warming.

  119. The reason that the fast natural exchanges of CO2 between the atmosphere & the ocean mixed layer & biosphere are not important relative to the human emissions from fossil fuels is these fast exchanges are within a subsystem…and they just determine the equilibration within that subsystem, whereas the human emissions are taking carbon long locked away from this subsystem and adding it back in.
    What happens when we burn fossil fuels is that the rapid exchanges mean that the new carbon added to the atmosphere is rapidly partitioned between the atmosphere, ocean mixed layer, and biosphere. As a result, about half of that added to the atmosphere is removed from the atmosphere fairly rapidly, but the rest will stay around for a long time.
    Dave Springer says:

    If the evaporation rate increases it increases the amount of heat (latent in this case) carried upward by rising water vapor. This heat is then released when a cloud forms. So the “extra” downwelling radiation in this case is quickly transported back up and released high in the air by way of a faster water cycle where the energy that increases the water cycle speed is caused by CO2. So it won’t raise surface temperature at all because the energy carried off by the water vapor is LATENT where latent in this case means it won’t register on a thermometer. You may want to google “latent heat of vaporization” if you don’t understand how you can have increased energy without increased temperature. It’s related to phase change from, in this case, liquid to gas.

    But, what you are proposing is just a mechanism of the redistribution of heat within the troposphere. The important rate-limiting process is the emission of this radiation back out into space. What you are describing is essentially just the physics of what is called the “lapse rate feedback”, a negative feedback included in all of the climate models. What this feedback asserts is that, as a result of the processes that you describe, the upper troposphere warms more than the surface, so the surface does not have to warm as much as it otherwise would in order for radiative balance to be restored (via the increase in outgoing radiation due to the Steffan-Boltzmann Law).
    Interestingly, a lot of skeptics like to claim that the satellite and radiosonde data does not support the idea that the warming is greater in the upper troposphere of the tropics (where most of the effect is expected to occur) than at the surface, although in reality there are too many issues with the data to conclude this is really the case. At any rate, your argument, taken to its logical conclusion, would argue that in fact the models underestimate the degree to which the upper troposphere warms relative to the surface…and therefore that the satellite and radiosonde data suggesting otherwise are even more unreliable than has been imagined. Perhaps you can go argue with John Christy and David Douglass and that whole crowd about this.

    Let me know what part or parts of that you don’t understand.

    The part that I have trouble understanding is how someone could actually think that several paragraphs of half-correct qualitative description of how the atmosphere works trumps millions of man-hours of calculations by scientists of how it actually works and how large the various effects discussed actually are. But, hey, I guess I just don’t always appreciate the true brilliance of random people on the internet.

  120. I’m putting out a fricken “Help wanted, greenhouse gasses please apply” add!
    My holiday break will be spent desparately trying to keep pipes from freezing solid!
    “Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around -13. Wind chill values as low as -20. West wind between 5 and 9 mph.
    Wednesday: Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 9. Wind chill values as low as -22. Light southwest wind.
    Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around -2. South wind between 3 and 6 mph.”
    etc, etc, %$@# etc!

  121. SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.
    ——————————————-
    Lol and you think that the ocean and vegetation cannot compensate for our measly addition as well? How little faith you have in the system. Fortunately for us the Earth has proven quite adaptable.

  122. Anthony,
    Can you explain how your comment on El Nino relates to the discussion of fossil fuel emissions? I do understand that atmospheric CO2 is sensitive to tropical temperatures, but isn’t the focus of this study fossil & cement?

  123. John from CA says:
    November 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    Ferdinand,
    Thanks for the thoughtful response.
    You’re presenting an interesting and compelling perspective for the concept but don’t you agree the proof is in the details? The proofs are the important aspect to understanding a climate system that’s currently undefined by science.
    The idea of smoothing data before there is a point to doing so is the problem I have with the current approach.

    I agree that climate science still is in its infancy and needs far more good data before the main interactions are known with sufficient detail…
    But CO2 data really are the best we can get, under rigorous quality control, where test gases and equipment are calibrated and intercalibrated, comparable to the tests done for clinical trials. We only can hope that one day the same rigorous quality control would be implemented for temperature readings all over the world…
    Except for intermittent flask sampling, no smoothing is done on the CO2 data. Measurements which are clearly contaminated by local sources and sinks are not used for averaging, but including or excluding these data doesn’t change the average or trend. But as we are interested in background data, not in the local contamination (wich is btw measured for other purposes, like an overview of volcanic CO2 releases), only CO2 levels deemed “background” are used for averaging and trending. Even so, the raw hourly averages still are available (on line for four of the baseline stations: ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/ ) and on simple request, I even obtained the 10-second raw voltage readings of a few days to check the calculations.
    Here a comparison of raw hourly, and “selected” daily and monthly data from Mauna Loa and the South Pole:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_mlo_spo_raw_select_2008.jpg
    Makes hardly a difference if you include or exclude the local outliers (but watch the scale!)…

  124. pkatt says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm
    SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.
    ——————————————-
    Lol and you think that the ocean and vegetation cannot compensate for our measly addition as well? How little faith you have in the system. Fortunately for us the Earth has proven quite adaptable.
    —————————–
    As CO2 levels are rising by about 15 million tons a year it would appear not…

  125. Gail Combs says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm
    According to Barnola et al (1987) the level of CO2 in the global atmosphere during many tens of thousands of years spanning 30,000 to110,000 BP were below 200ppm. If this were true then the growth of C3 plants should be limited at the global scale because their net Photosynthesis is depressed as CO2 concentration in air decreases to less than about 250ubar (less than about 250ppmv)(McKay et al 1991) This would lead to the extinction of C3plant species . This has however not been recorded by paleobotanists (Manum 1991).” http://www.co2web.info/stoten92.pdf
    This is what I was trying to point out but this quote does a much better job of it.

    Ah, Jaworowski again. Sorry, not a very reliable source of information. Too much of what he says is wrong, even the opposite of what he alleges. See my take on Jaworowski:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html
    Further, indeed C3 plants (most trees) have difficulties going below 200 ppmv and C4 plants (grasses, grains, rice) slowly evolved during the last millions of years. But even with a background CO2 level of below 200 ppmv (measured at the South Pole via ice cores), the night/morning levels of CO2 over land may reach much higher levels (thanks to soil bacteria), good for several hours of photosynthesis even for C3 plants. Here a few days of CO2 measurements at Giessen, mid-west Germany, compared to the same days at Mauna Loa, Barrow and the South Pole:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/giessen_background.jpg
    CO2 levels at Giessen increase enormously at night (little wind, inversion layer) and drop rapidely below background in daylight. With background levels at 280 ppmv, that would give a similar increase at night, but less drop in daylight as the photosynthesis gets limited by the lower CO2 levels.
    And it seems that the absolute minimum for (C3?) photosynthesis is at 90 ppmv:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v193/n4815/abs/193587a0.html
    That is the minimum level for photosynthesis. The balance for growth vs decay (respiration at night) will be higher.

  126. Gail Combs says:
    November 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm
    AHHhh so that is the fallacy! I have always wondered.
    You make the assumption that the amount of Carbon has remained constant until evil mankind has changed it by liberating the poor chained carbon molecules in coal, peat and oil.
    Unfortunately that is not true because you are not dealing with a closed cycle. Carbon has been sequestered by the formation of lignite, coal, Erosion of silicate rocks, whereby carbonates are formed and silica is liberated, precipitation of calcium carbonate and hydrates in the ocean, oil (maybe) and methane captured in the permafrost. This has reduced the bio-available carbon over the millenium.

    I didn’t make any assumption that CO2 levels were constant. The observation made in the Vostok ice core (and recently the Dome C ice core) is that there was a dynamic equilibrium between temperature and CO2 levels, surprisingly linear over the past 800,000 years. Only since about 1850, the equilibrium is disturbed and CO2 levels increased at a rate of about 55% of the emissions. That is confirmed in all Antarctic ice cores with quite different rates of accumulation, inclusion of salts (coastal and inland) and average temperature. The best reolution ice cores (Law Dome, 8 years averaging) even have an overlap of some 20 years with the South Pole direct measurements.
    Thus including all known and unknown natural processes, there was a dynamic equilibrium where temperature dictated the CO2 levels, until around 1850. As temperature probably increased some 0.7°C since then, that would increase the CO2 levels with some 6 ppmv (a similar drop is measured in the third Law Dome ice core for the MWP-LIA drop in temperature), but we see an increase of about 100 ppmv, while humans have emitted some 200 ppmv CO2 in the same period.

  127. mkelly says:
    November 22, 2010 at 8:59 am
    SteveE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 6:29 am
    Steve Keohane says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:23 am
    SteveE says: November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am
    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.
    Not part of the biosphere are we?
    ————————
    CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels aren’t, no.
    Did you honestly think they were?
    ————————-
    Steve coal is made from vegetation right. So yes I think it is(was) part of the biosphere. If you think oil is made from old sea shells etc then yes it is(was) also part of the biosphere.
    But that has nothing to do with whether CO2 can increase the temperature of the ground. Please provide your proof (not a link) as to how CO2 can heat the ground.
    —————————————-
    Coal and oil whilst organic in origin aren’t part of the biosphere, they formed 10’s sometimes 100’s of millions of years ago and were effectively locked away. Humans are release all this carbon back into the system over a few 100 years, not the millions of years that it would have naturally returned to the atmosphere.
    CO2 doesn’t directly heat the ground and if that’s what you thought was the explanation for global warming then perhaps that’s why you don’t understand the concept. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so is acting like an insulator in the atmosphere, trapping heat that arrives from the sun, or at least slowing down it’s escape.
    Like if you were to wear a thick coat on a sunny day, you’d heat up, not because you were generating more heat from your body, but because the heat escaping does so at a slower rate.
    Obviosly it’s a lot more complex than that and with positive feed back loops from water vapour etc, and my analogue isn’t very accurate, but you seemed to need a simple explantaion.

  128. Don Easterbrook says: November 22, 2010 at 7:27 am
    Taken with the physics of CO2 that tell us doubling the atmospheric content of CO2 is only capable of producing less than 0.1 degree rise… Why are we not worrying far more about global population increasing by more than 50% in the next 40 years and again thereafter? Where is the food and energy going to come from to feed and care for that many more people?
    Hi Don. Doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels is anticipated to produce a likely temperature rise of 2C to 4C (see http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf). By 2050 I suspect the wheels will begin to come off for many poorer nations for exactly the reasons you cite. AGW has the distinct potential to exacerbate the situation depending on how high climate sensitivity is and how long it takes temperature increases to be realised.

  129. Ammonite says:
    November 23, 2010 at 2:50 am
    Hi Don. Doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels is anticipated to produce a likely temperature rise of 2C to 4C (see http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf). By 2050 I suspect the wheels will begin to come off for many poorer nations for exactly the reasons you cite. AGW has the distinct potential to exacerbate the situation depending on how high climate sensitivity is and how long it takes temperature increases to be realised.
    Well that is what the climate models say. But there are a lot of problems with this:
    – Based on the real absorption lines, a doubling of CO2 would increase ground temperatures with about 0.9°C. With water vapour feedback 1.3°C. That is all.
    – Clouds are invariably seen as positive feedbacks in all models, contrary to what cloud specialists estimate. No model has cloud feedbacks right, while it still has the largest influence on the range of projections.
    – The “heat in the pipeline”, as measured in the increase of heat content of the oceans disappeared within a few years, probably to changes in cloud cover.
    – No model is capable to represent any natural variability (ENSO, PDO, NAO), while much of the current warming / standstill is the result of such natural variability.
    – All models show a warming for the past decade, which is not seen at all.
    Further, any global temperature increase will have most effect near the poles, not directly the poorest countries. The temperature increase around the equator will be far more moderate, as heat is dissipated rapidely towards the poles.

  130. Alan the Brit says:

    Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.”
    Yes that may or may not be true, personally I think not where humans are concerned, but it is really just like saying that there is less CO2 in the atmosphere today than there was 800,001 years ago!

    No. It is not like saying that. It is saying that there is definitively less CO2 in the atmosphere over the entire period for which we have ice core data. However, it is likely actually true for the last few million years; it is just that we don’t have the accurate high-resolution ice core data to say so definitively.

    Also if this type of thing is going to be quoted, can we please have a definitive figure other than those of 650,000 years, 750,000 years, & 800,000 years, as qioted by many, someone needs to make their mind up which it is, just for the sake consistency, & not for dramatic effect.

    They have extended back the ice core record over the years. I know it goes back at least 650,000 years…and it may well now go back the 800,000 years.

    I could also add to the example that there is less CO2 in our atmosphere today than there has been for over 500,000,000 years!

    But, you would be wrong if you claimed this. But, being British, perhaps it’s a language issue. 😉 If someone says “there is less CO2 in our atmosphere today than there has been for over 500,000,000 years!” that would mean it has not been lower over that entire period, which is incorrect. You could say, “There is less CO2 in our atmosphere today than there was 500,000,000 years ago” but that is a very different statement.

  131. If you think that the increasing human population somehow matches CO2 absorbing food production (IE your contention this is a closed system), show it. If you say it, link to the statistics and kindly provide correlation co-efficients as well as error bars. The statistics are readily available for both.
    So typical. Often, people who have a full plate of food think everyone does. But here is the reality: more babies are born without a full plate of food than babies with one. How do I know this? Poverty stricken countries have higher birth rates. Where is the closed system balance?
    Here is just one source of several related to this statistic that will start you on the road to reality. Human population growth is not a closed CO2 system.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_fertility_rate

  132. Here is another link demonstrating the complex nature between food production, population, and income per capita. Human population can and does increase while food production decreases. The fact that some countries produce more food than they need does not mean that countries that do not produce enough food for its people have the money to buy this overabundance. The US may very well be a closed CO2 system. But Africa is most definitely not.
    http://info.k4health.org/pr/m13/m13chap1_2.shtml

  133. The fact that currently CO2 seasonally decreases but then grows again ever so slightly more than before means that something that emits CO2 is growing faster than the other thing that absorbs it. The best match for this is none other than population growth. Current food production is always slightly behind this growth and now does not feed every new mouth. Therefore it is my belief that the simplest CO2 explanation, and one that matches the even distribution of this staircase, is hyper-population growth versus food production. This was not the case prior to the 60’s. It is a recent phenomenon that matches quite well the Mauna Loa staircase and ice core CO2 levels.

  134. If we use La Nina/El Nino ENSO affects on precipitation (which would of course assume that clouds are involved), cold oceans decrease cloud formation and mean less precipitation. Warm oceans increase cloud formation and mean more precipitation. So tell me where the drought people keep talking about enters into this relationship. World drought due to warmer oceans appears to be a myth not substantiated by science.

  135. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:47 am
    Here a comparison of raw hourly, and “selected” daily and monthly data from Mauna Loa and the South Pole:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_mlo_spo_raw_select_2008.jpg
    ========
    Thank You for the chart, explanation, and candor!!!
    The chart clearly shows the hourly and daily spikes one would expect to find in a location like MLO. The comparison to SPO is great, shows a far less chaotic SPO pattern and clearly shows the difference between the 2 locations.
    IMO, the smoothed station trend charts fail to adequately express deviations one would expect to find and the “Global” chart trends and conclusions are highly suspect because they are to generalized (imply a global state rather then presenting a dynamic reflection of the climate system).
    Fun thought, it would be interesting to see a comparison of Ground Station readings in the Pacific upwelling regions like the Gulf of Alaska and the Sea of Okhotsk used to help model carbon discharge during seasonal ENSO conditions. If the ocean sequesters CO2 for hundreds of years, what percentage of pre-industrial CO2 vs manmade are we seeing at various locations?

  136. Pamela Gray says:
    November 23, 2010 at 7:36 am
    The fact that currently CO2 seasonally decreases but then grows again ever so slightly more than before means that something that emits CO2 is growing faster than the other thing that absorbs it.
    ————————–
    Could that thing that emits CO2 be humans burning fossil fuels instead?
    Additional confirmation that rising CO2 levels are due to human activity comes from examining the ratio of carbon isotopes (eg carbon atoms with differing numbers of neutrons) found in the atmosphere. Carbon 12 has 6 neutrons, carbon 13 has 7 neutrons. Plants have a lower C13/C12 ratio than in the atmosphere. If rising atmospheric CO2 comes from fossil fuels, the C13/C12 should be falling. Indeed this is what is occurring (see link below) . The C13/C12 ratio correlates with the trend in global emissions.
    http://www.bgc.mpg.de/service/iso_gas_lab/publications/PG_WB_IJMS.pdf

  137. Pamela Gray says:
    November 23, 2010 at 7:36 am
    The fact that currently CO2 seasonally decreases but then grows again ever so slightly more than before means that something that emits CO2 is growing faster than the other thing that absorbs it. The best match for this is none other than population growth. Current food production is always slightly behind this growth and now does not feed every new mouth. Therefore it is my belief that the simplest CO2 explanation, and one that matches the even distribution of this staircase, is hyper-population growth versus food production. This was not the case prior to the 60′s. It is a recent phenomenon that matches quite well the Mauna Loa staircase and ice core CO2 levels.
    I suppose that the best match between population growth and CO2 levels is that more people and growing industrialisation simply use more fossil fuels…
    Agriculture, besides land use change, doesn’t add to the CO2 releases, as what is used as fodder/food and was CO2 captured from the atmosphere a few months to a few years before. Thus only circulating through the biosphere. It is the difference in more permanent carbon sequestering between a natural environment and agricultural use (or deforestation against reforestation) of a piece of land that adds to (or subtracts from) the total CO2 mass in the atmosphere.
    BTW, I had not the impression that malnourishment is increasing (at least not in %), thanks to the green revolution in agricuture, at least not if we don’t use valuable land for biofuels…

  138. “”””” Joel Shore says:
    November 23, 2010 at 5:42 am
    Alan the Brit says:
    ………………………..
    Also if this type of thing is going to be quoted, can we please have a definitive figure other than those of 650,000 years, 750,000 years, & 800,000 years, as qioted by many, someone needs to make their mind up which it is, just for the sake consistency, & not for dramatic effect.
    ………………………….
    They have extended back the ice core record over the years. I know it goes back at least 650,000 years…and it may well now go back the 800,000 years. “””””
    Joel, I believe your number of 650,000 years relates to the so-called “Dome-C” location; and that is also the time scale plotted in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” (pp16-17), which I assume derives from the Dome-C data.
    Vostok as you know is cut off at around 450,000 or 470,000 years, and they can’t really go any deeper without cutting into the liquid Vostok Lake there which they want to avoid at all costs; because that would contaminate the lake. I think they are only a handfull of metres from the lake.
    I’m not aware of any numbers going to 800,000 years; but maybe there are such data. But it is kind of irrelevent isn’t it (as regards what has happened since). Yes maybe if they can go back beyond 650,000 years they might obtain “history ” of some previously unknown events. I’m sure that’s of interest to some fields of science; but not to modern climate events.
    There is a lot of question as to how the apparent Temperature and CO2 data obtained from the ice samples relate to real global conditions way back then; and also on how that data may “age” over time. I believe that Dr Steven Piper of Scripps Inst of Oceanography (La Jolla CA) has determiend some sort of CO2 diffusion rates in ice; but I haven’t seen that information. He’s a CO2 expert; and not necessarily from climate interests; but he has told me he works with other CO2 folks at Scripps; who are climate people.
    So what we have in the ice core data may be debateable; but it’s a whole lot better than having nothing; and I don’t think anybody believes it is just noise. But whether it is the 450,000 yrs From Vostok or 650,000 years from Dome-C it’s of no consequence , since they tend to replicate results for times that overlap (although not all ice cores do over the last few thousand years).

  139. John from CA says:
    November 23, 2010 at 8:07 am
    The chart clearly shows the hourly and daily spikes one would expect to find in a location like MLO. The comparison to SPO is great, shows a far less chaotic SPO pattern and clearly shows the difference between the 2 locations.
    But as I warned, look at the scale! If one plots everything on full scale, that gives quite a difference:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_raw_select_2008_fullscale.jpg
    In this case Samoa (south of the equator) quite similar to the South Pole.
    IMO, the smoothed station trend charts fail to adequately express deviations one would expect to find and the “Global” chart trends and conclusions are highly suspect because they are to generalized (imply a global state rather then presenting a dynamic reflection of the climate system).
    There are two important short term items in the “selected” trends: the seasonal variation (mainly in the NH) and the year by year increase (result of the emissions, but modulated by temperature). In addition, the raw hourly trends show more local variability, which differs from place to place: less at the South Pole (only some mechanical problems due to the harsh conditions) more at Mauna Loa (volcanic vents and depletion by vegetation under upwind conditions). These have no connection at all with anything global and are rightfully discarded for the global trend. But even if you include them, that doesn’t change the average or trend with more than 0.1 ppmv. The variability of local outliers is about +/-4 ppmv, the seasonal variability at MLO is of the same order (+/-1 ppmv in the SH), but the trend over the past 50+ years is about +60 ppmv. Or some 30% more CO2 since the measurements at the South Pole and Mauna Loa started. As nature as a whole is a net sink for CO2 (45% of the emissions as mass are absorbed in the oceans and vegetation), the increase is fully attributable to the emissions.
    Fun thought, it would be interesting to see a comparison of Ground Station readings in the Pacific upwelling regions like the Gulf of Alaska and the Sea of Okhotsk used to help model carbon discharge during seasonal ENSO conditions. If the ocean sequesters CO2 for hundreds of years, what percentage of pre-industrial CO2 vs manmade are we seeing at various locations?
    I don’t think that the Gulf of Alaska or the Sea of Okhotsk are such upwelling places, as these are cold and mainly absorb part of the CO2 increase, see the transfer maps, based on the measured (by seaships) pCO2 difference between air and oceans at:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/images/fig03.jpg
    But in general, while the exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean’s surface layer is relative rapid (1.5 years half life time), the atmospheric mixing is much faster (days to weeks for every latitude band at sealevel). Thus you will not see much difference between Barrow or La Jolla pier or Mauna Loa… Have a look at the time series of Cold Bay, Alaska (at the edge of the Gulf of Alaska), Tae-ahn Peninsula, Republic of Korea or Shemya Island, Alaska as nearest to the Sea of Okhotsk, hardly any diifference with Mauna Loa:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/
    How much original anthro CO2 still resides at different places can be seen in the 13C/12C ratio, as fossil fuel is quite depleted in 13C. There is more lag for the 13C decline than for total CO2 between the hemispheres, which points -again- to the main source of extra CO2 in the NH:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg

  140. George E. Smith says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:02 am
    Here are the Dome C CO2 data, back to 800,000 years, compared with the Vostok data:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Co2-temperature-plot.svg
    The investigation of CO2 diffusion was based on remelt layers of the Siple Dome. These show a broadening of the smoothing of the CO2 data from about 60 years to 120 years in the deeper layers (if the assumptions are right). That may be true for the Siple Dome (which is relative warmer at average -16°C), but is less relevant for the Vostok and Dome C ice cores which are much colder (at -40°C). Around -32°C there is no liquid water present anymore at the ice-air interface, even less between the ice crystals. Except for salt inclusions.
    For Vostok (and as it seems for Dome C too), if there was much migration, the ratio between temperature changes and CO2 changes should be reduced for every period of 100,000 years back in time. That is not the case.

  141. Steve E
    I know your a pillock but try this. Go to a desert somewhere on earth, there are a few to chose from. Leave your pullovers and overcoats behind. Sit on the ground at midday and stay there ’til midnight. Now, the temp at midday will be <30°C and at midnight -20°C that's the Gobi. The CO² has not kept you warm. Now go to england in mid summer and feel 30°C and wait to midnight and you will feel 20°C. England is covered by wet air. You see, CO² warms nothing, water warms everything.
    I know this is simplistic but I felt it needed to be. 🙂

  142. Steve E, loved, loved, loved the article on the measurement of CO2 ratios. Thanks so much. We should have been measuring this ratio from the 50’s on and at several sites. Why? CO2 is not well mixed in the atmosphere. I highly doubt that the ratio is. I still have to go with the null hypothesis, that CO2 increase has to do with the human population explosion. However, I would also admit that combustion muddies the water.
    Just to remind you where my beliefs lay about greenhouse gasses, I am typing this while layered up in long johns, pj’s and a wool bathrobe. Yes, this cold is weather related (negative AO sending cold air South), but weather pattern variations can last longer than a few days and cares not one wit about CO2 warming, swatting it away like some tiny insect.

  143. stephen richards says:
    November 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm
    Steve E
    I know your a pillock but try this. Go to a desert somewhere on earth, there are a few to chose from. Leave your pullovers and overcoats behind. Sit on the ground at midday and stay there ’til midnight. Now, the temp at midday will be <30°C and at midnight -20°C that's the Gobi. The CO² has not kept you warm. Now go to england in mid summer and feel 30°C and wait to midnight and you will feel 20°C. England is covered by wet air. You see, CO² warms nothing, water warms everything.
    I know this is simplistic but I felt it needed to be. 🙂
    —————————-
    Well done!
    You'll have noticed in my comment that I mentioned it's more complex and involves water so I'm glad you brought it up!
    Now what controls the amount of water vapour that's in the atmosphere?
    The level of water vapour in the atmosphere is a function of temperature. Water vapour is brought into the atmosphere via evaporation, so if you increase the temperature, even slightly, you increase the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, which in turn increases the temperature further.
    Water vapour is the dominant positive feedback in our climate system and amplifies any warming caused by changes in atmospheric CO2. This positive feedback is why climate is so sensitive to CO2 warming.
    Simples!

  144. Pamela Gray says:
    November 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm
    Steve E, loved, loved, loved the article on the measurement of CO2 ratios. Thanks so much. We should have been measuring this ratio from the 50′s on and at several sites. Why? CO2 is not well mixed in the atmosphere. I highly doubt that the ratio is. I still have to go with the null hypothesis, that CO2 increase has to do with the human population explosion. However, I would also admit that combustion muddies the water.
    Just to remind you where my beliefs lay about greenhouse gasses, I am typing this while layered up in long johns, pj’s and a wool bathrobe. Yes, this cold is weather related (negative AO sending cold air South), but weather pattern variations can last longer than a few days and cares not one wit about CO2 warming, swatting it away like some tiny insect.
    ———————-
    No problem about the article, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀
    You seemed have missed part of it though as the samples taken in figure 9 date back to the 1700’s and are taken from ice cores in Antartica and also modern samples from Mauna Loa. All show a downward trend in carbon isotope ratio which is pretty conclusive that the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is from the burning of fossil fuels, although the amount that’s used is related to population growth as you rightly state.

  145. Two measuring sites, no matter how often sampled, would be laughed out of Science 101. Hell, I had 6 subjects in my study, sampled 1000’s of times, and still got questioned about such a small subject number. There is plenty of evidence that CO2 is not well mixed in the atmosphere, and can lead to spurious conclusions about CO2 in the rest of the world. For example, both sites you mention have two things in common, encroaching human population. More CO2 from humans and more CO2 from their use of combustion. The two go hand in hand. That we have made our lives more comfortable and are living longer because of it, shows up in the ratio. But nonetheless, without population decrease, we will not see a decrease in CO2.
    Yes, greenhouse gasses warm the atmosphere, but clearly this warmth is within the standard deviation of weather pattern variations caused by natural ongoing oceanic and atmospheric events. So I’m not worried. The population explosion will continue and we will still be shivering in Wallowa County.

  146. Pamela Gray says:
    November 24, 2010 at 6:30 am
    Two measuring sites, no matter how often sampled, would be laughed out of Science 101. Hell, I had 6 subjects in my study, sampled 1000′s of times, and still got questioned about such a small subject number. There is plenty of evidence that CO2 is not well mixed in the atmosphere, and can lead to spurious conclusions about CO2 in the rest of the world.
    Pamela, there are currently 10 “baseline” stations which monitor CO2 on places which are deemed “background” with little disturbance of local/regional sources and sinks monitored by NOAA and some 70 others from different organisations in different countries. All measuring CO2 with minimum disturbance. Mauna Loa (and other stations) measures samples every 10 seconds, some 8 million per year. That, together with ships surveys, buoys and in-flight measurements show that the levels of CO2 only differ with less than 5 ppmv (1.2% of the full scale) in 95% of the atmosphere for yearly averages. During a year, one sees a variability of average +/- 5 ppmv over the seasons, more in the NH, less in the SH (less vegetation). And there is a NH-SH lag of over a year. I (and many with me) call that “well mixed”. Well mixed doesn’t mean that at every point on earth at every moment one would measure exactly the same CO2 levels: that can only be true if there were no sources and sinks at work, but as there are huge sources and sinks at work over the seasons, the changes needs some time to reach all parts of the globe.
    Where CO2 is not well mixed is near ground (less than a few hundred meters) over land (less than 5% of the total atmosphere), because soil bacteria (and plants at night) produce CO2 and near all human emissions are over land, while plants in daylight absorb CO2. That means that CO2 sources and sinks are mostly at small distance of each other and have a huge influence on measurements, depending on light, wind speed, inversion,… Even there, some 400 stations measure CO2 levels and fluxes at different heights over land to have a better idea of details in the carbon cycle.

  147. “”””” Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:02 am
    Here are the Dome C CO2 data, back to 800,000 years, compared with the Vostok data:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Co2-temperature-plot.svg
    The investigation of CO2 diffusion was based on remelt layers of the Siple Dome. “””””
    Thanks for that link Ferdinand. So it appears that we do have core data going back 800 kyrs now. But as I queried, it seems like nothing important or untoward happened between 800 k and 650 k yrs ago.
    It is interesting that the ice cores show only 280 ppm max for today’s CO2 ; well below the Mauna Loa 390.

  148. George E. Smith says:
    November 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm
    It is interesting that the ice cores show only 280 ppm max for today’s CO2 ; well below the Mauna Loa 390.
    That is because Vostok and Dome C have very little precipitation (a few mm ice equivalent per year). The result is that a lot of layers (thus years) are needed to compress the snow into ice, that makes that the youngest closed ice is already several hundreds of years old with a resolution of about 560 years. Thus largely missing the increase over the last 150 years. The advantage is that one has layers of ice with enclosed air back to some 800,000 years at a similar depth where other cores with higher accumulation (Law Dome 1.5 meter ice equivalent) only go back 150 years, but with a much better resolution (8 years).
    But that doesn’t matter much, as several ice cores with different accumulation rates overlap each other for several periods in time, be it many more for recent times than back in history. See the plot of several ice cores for the past 1,000 years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/antarctic_cores_001kyr_large.jpg
    The Law Dome ice cores even have an overlap of some 20 years with the direct measurements at the South Pole.

  149. For Ferdinand Engelbeen.
    Ferdinand;, I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to any of these ice core graphs, because I’ve long been convinced that CO2 levels in the atmosphere really don’t matter a whole lot in the scheme of things.
    Oh I accept that CO2 is a GHG and can absorb some parts of the roughly 288 K thermal radiation spectrum emitted from the earth surface or even other atmosphere layers. I also accept that CO2 in the atmosphere has been rising at least sicne 1957/8. I also accept that some of this CO2 rise is from human activities; which I assume are a combination of fossil fuels burning,and also global deforestation which would reduce plant uptake of CO2 (although old growth forests ought to be carbon neutral).
    I even accept that such GHG absorptions of LWIR radiation from the surface will warm the atmosphere; but in no way distinguishable from atmospheric heating due to H2O absorption of near IR solar spectrum radiation.
    So I’m not going to die on any undefensable hills of little importance.
    But looking at these various ice core graphs; and trying to learn how thes ice layers are laid down; and where the water comes from and where the atmosphere comes from and where the CO2 comes from; I am quite skeptical that we have any basis for believing that the composition of the entrapped air and CO2 in ice core layers, is an accurate rendition of the actual atmospheric composition at ANY point in time; either forward or aft of the snow deposition.
    I can’t say that I have ever seen any good peer reviewed journal papers that justify saying, that what we observe in the ice inclusions is in any way a true representation of what the atmospheric composition was globally at some time epoch that is somehow linked to the time of laydown of the snow.
    It is something I would certainly like to learn more about; but in the overall scheme of things; I doubt that it is of much importance (other than idle curiosity) because in the end; I think that water and the clouds, are in total negative feedback control of earth’s Temperature range; and there’s little if anything we could do to change that either up or down; even if we wanted to.
    And perish the thought that we could; because we would then have world wars trying to decide who gets to dial in the set point on the thermostat.
    I thank you for your wealth of information as to this ice stuff.

  150. “Tim Folkerts says:
    Here I agree! The clouds are a big factor and one that cannot be settled with simple thermodynamics. They completely change the equations and would have a cooling affect. I will leave the details of clouds and all the associated feedback for someone else to worry about.”
    and that Tim says it all. The big factors in actual climate change, as opposed to measurements/predictions of small fractions of a degree of temperature change in the atmosphere, depend primarily on water vapor and the formation/dissipation of clouds, plus such things as ocean circulation and a number of other factors that aren’t even identified yet. All the climate models and all the disaster scenarios are based on the ‘supposition’ that a small increase in lower level air/surface temperatures will cause an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere greatly magnifying the total temperature increase. Due to the complexity of water vapor/cloud interactions in the atmosphere and the supposed connection between CO2 and water vapor no one really knows what is going on there. And more importantly, the major players working off our tax money don’t seem to be interested in doing the field work necessary to work out the actual mechanisms in play.
    Somewhere around here Willis Eschenbach has an excellent article on what can be observed from current satellite data about how the daily development of clouds over the tropics seems to work. At least someone is asking some questions.

  151. George E. Smith says:
    November 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm
    But looking at these various ice core graphs; and trying to learn how thes ice layers are laid down; and where the water comes from and where the atmosphere comes from and where the CO2 comes from; I am quite skeptical that we have any basis for believing that the composition of the entrapped air and CO2 in ice core layers, is an accurate rendition of the actual atmospheric composition at ANY point in time; either forward or aft of the snow deposition.
    I don’t think that we differ in opinion about the real impact of increasing levels of CO2: In my opinion even a doubling would have little impact, as clouds are a negative feedback (while all current GCM’s include clouds as a positive feedback!), thus a doubling of CO2 would have only moderate (and thus globally positive) effects.
    My interest in CO2 levels and ice cores is more like that while skeptic about the effects, defending the undefendable is weakening one’s strong position on points where the “consensus” is very weak.
    The ice cores were studied by many, but especially Etheridge e.a. in 1996: he drilled three ice cores at Law Dome with different drilling techniques (wet and dry), measured the firn composition top down until where there was a mix of still open and already closed air bubbles: both had the same CO2 level, although completely different ways of sampling were used. Here some overview of the results by Etheridge:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_overlap.jpg
    Later work with finer measurements show a slight depletion of the smallest molecules (not CO2) at closing time, but that is not relevant for ancient CO2 levels.
    The same for the origin of the increase of CO2:
    As humans have emitted about twice the amount of CO2 as is measured as increase, there is little doubt that humans are the cause of the increase: nature as a whole is a net sink for CO2. That is confirmed by every observation: d13C (atmosphere + oceans) and d14C changes, DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon in the oceans surface) and oxygen use (which shows that the biosphere is a net CO2 sink). See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html
    Any alternative explanation (like ocean degassing) is contradicted by one or more observations (the d13C level of CO2 released from ocean waters is higher than of the atmosphere, but we observe a decrease).
    Further, water isotopic composition of the ice layers depends of the seawater temperature at the source and where (icy) clouds are formed. There is a quite good insight of todays isotopic changes, but still discussion on how that changed during colder periods. But in general, coastal ice cores (Siple, Law Dome) reflect near coast seawater temperatures, while inland high-altitude ice (Vostok, Dome C) reflects long range SH ocean temperatures. But still a proxy, thus less reliable than direct measurements.
    The origin of CO2 levels measured in ice cores is no problem at all, even not in current times, as the yearly average from near the North Pole (Barrow, Alert) to the South Pole doesn’t differ with more than 5 ppmv, while the increase is about 2 ppmv/year. The high accumulation ice cores (Law Dome) have a resolution of about 8 years. Back in time, the resolution is about 600 years (Vostok, Dome C), but a 100 ppmv transition between an ice age and an intergracial needs some 5,000 years…

  152. Ferdinand, you are wrong about CO2 mixing. It is not well mixed in the atmosphere no matter the height above the ground. CO2 is heavy and is easily precipitated out of rainy areas (could be why the tropics are not inundated with the stuff). You can clearly see CO2 accumulating in the jet stream paths as these are areas with strong enough up-lift and tracking within an airflow to keep CO2 circulating.
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/image_gallery/gases/

  153. Pamela Gray says:
    November 26, 2010 at 8:59 am
    Ferdinand, you are wrong about CO2 mixing. It is not well mixed in the atmosphere no matter the height above the ground. CO2 is heavy and is easily precipitated out of rainy areas (could be why the tropics are not inundated with the stuff). You can clearly see CO2 accumulating in the jet stream paths as these are areas with strong enough up-lift and tracking within an airflow to keep CO2 circulating.
    There is very little difference between the air layers from near sea level over the oceans to the upper troposphere and even in the lower stratosphere. The differences are in the order of +/-4 ppmv, just look at the scale of the different pictures, here for July 2009: 382-389 ppmv to show the full range of colors:
    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA12339_modest.jpg
    Some 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with CO2 from the oceans and biosphere over the seasons. Despite such huge exchanges, the variability in CO2 levels is only 2% over the full range. I call that well mixed…
    Further, only when huge amounts of CO2 are released or taken away (exhausts, fires, photosynthesis), that can be measured near the sources. At some distance and with sufficient wind, CO2 is readily mixed and stays mixed, as long as there are no sinks which capture CO2. Even very heavy molecules like chlorine, CFC’s etc. mix with the rest of the atmosphere and some can reach the stratosphere before being destroyed (for CFC’s even at the wrong place…). That is because all molecules in a gas are moving around randomly, colliding with each other and even quite heavier particles (than relative light CO2) are moved around without reaching the ground. See:
    http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/brownian.htm
    Further, I don’t know of any measurements which show that rain removes huge quantities of CO2 from the higher atmosphere. Measurements at Mauna Loa (3,400 m) and at sealevel (Cape Kumakahi) in Hawaii shows similar CO2 levels, while Mauna Loa in general is above the clouds/rain and Kumakahi at sealevel has its frequent tropical showers in the wet season…
    You can plot the data yourself:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/index.php
    See also the nice movie where satellite measurements are compared to the Mauna Loa data:
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/news_archive/2010-03-30-CO2-Movie/

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