This is seriously fluxed up

From Yale University  pick which one is the true message of this press release:

1. The title of the press release: US rivers and streams saturated with carbon.

2. The pointless statistic: Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon.

3. The title of the paper: Significant Efflux of Carbon Dioxide from Streams and Rivers in the United States.

4. The caveat: The researchers note in the paper that currently it is impossible to determine exactly how to include this flux in regional carbon budgets, because the influence of human activity on the release of CO2 into streams and rivers is still unknown.

Who writes these things?

US rivers and streams saturated with carbon

New Haven, Conn.— Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon, according to Yale researchers in Nature Geoscience. Their findings could change the way scientists model the movement of carbon between land, water and the atmosphere.

“These rivers breathe a lot of carbon,” said David Butman, a doctoral student and co-author of a study with Pete Raymond, professor of ecosystem ecology, both at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “They are a source of CO2, just like we breathe CO2 and like smokestacks emit CO2, and this has never been systematically estimated from a region as large as the United States.”

The researchers assert that a significant amount of carbon contained in land, which first is absorbed by plants and forests through the air, is leaking into streams and rivers and then released into the atmosphere before reaching coastal waterways.

“What we are able to show is that there is a source of atmospheric CO2 from streams and rivers, and that it is significant enough for terrestrial modelers to take note of it,” said Butman.

They analyzed samples taken by the United States Geological Survey from over 4,000 rivers and streams throughout the United States, and incorporated highly detailed geospatial data to model the flux of carbon dioxide from water. This release of carbon, said Butman, is the same as a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline.

The paper, titled “Significant Efflux of Carbon Dioxide from Streams and Rivers in the United States,” also indicates that as the climate heats up there will be more rain and snow, and that an increase in precipitation will result in even more terrestrial carbon flowing into rivers and streams and being released into the atmosphere.

“This would mean that any estimate between carbon uptake in the biosphere and carbon being released through respiration in the biosphere will be even less likely to balance and must include the carbon in streams and rivers,” he said.

The researchers note in the paper that currently it is impossible to determine exactly how to include this flux in regional carbon budgets, because the influence of human activity on the release of CO2 into streams and rivers is still unknown.

###

The research was funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the United States Geological Survey and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

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114 thoughts on “This is seriously fluxed up

  1. So if we find that X releases carbon dioxide that’s bad, and if we find that X absorbs and then releases carbon dioxide that’s still bad, and if we find that X doesn’t absorb or release carbon dioxide, that’s bad too because it makes it harder to determine where the carbon dioxide is coming from and going to? OK, I think I’ve mastered that now.
    I’m ready for my grant, Mr. Flannery!

  2. Big numbers usually scare people. But this has no effect on me, since I’ve never been to the moon in a car. 3.4 million trips may just be the equivalent of a trip to the local grocery store and back. These Yale tennis-shoed college boys need to come up with a better Halloween story than that if they’re going to scare their idea of the average Joe. They need to dumb it down, maybe something simple like “We’re all going to die in three days”.

  3. Oh my good gracious. Cover all the bases why don’t you. Look! Look! We found what may be a tipping point which could be significant, and might make things worse than the may already be! The model might get us some more dole! Yeah buddy!
    Smuggled into the phony sobriety of the usual smoke-and-mirrors science we have come to revile….

  4. Rivers are “saturated” with Carbon, yet releasing Carbon into the atmosphere… Yet they still stay saturated? I can see how CO2 is created (from other things), but carbon is created?
    This seems to fail elementary chemistry
    — and I mean 5th grade science class.
    So how will the EPA deal with this fluvial polluter of our atmosphere?

  5. “These rivers breathe [out] a lot of carbon,” said David Butman
    “They are a source of CO2, just like we breathe [out] CO2…”
    ++++++++
    Is there a car that runs on CO2? I am pretty sure that is the claim.

  6. “and that it is significant enough for terrestrial modelers to take note of it,”
    Terrestrial modelers? Sounds like they are talking about some kind of demi-gods?

  7. Well, since the models do not currently account for this, as inferred from the story, then we can count on the blame for mankind to be lessened, right?

  8. . . so let me get this straight: CO2 from the land gets into the air ( . .though they don’t say how . . ), gets absorbed by plants, then somehow ‘leaks’ into the streams, then goes BACK to the atmosphere . . .
    . . so, HOW, with this all being a NATURAL PROCESS, is it a problem? Are they somehow trying to blame it on humans . . .?
    Ya just have to say “MAJOR FAIL”.

  9. OK, so dead leaves etc. decompose in streams and CO2 goes into the water, and is subsequently released to the air. As opposed to leaves decomposing on the ground, upon which CO2 is released to the air. What is the significant difference? And why would more precipitation make a significant change in the net carbon flux?

  10. So the amount of co2 in US streams and rivers is the same as a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline. The whole world burns around 30 billion gallons a year, the US around 10 billion a year. So if all the co2 from cars were going into the rivers of the US, would be one quarter of the total co2 the US burns, cars, trucks, factories…Right there we’re limited to not more than 25% anthropogenic co2 from oil into the rivers. Of course, much of that 10 billion barrels of co2 goes into the air, so the 25% anthro is significantly less, of co2 from “cars” going to the moon. Although I didn’t figure the gas mileage for the typical car going to the moon.

  11. Wow cold water at the head waters taking in CO2 that adds to the nutrition of the ecosysten as it flows and naturaly warms as it goes down stream untill it releases some back in natural cycle. Did they realy think it would not take on and give off CO2? Is it a net gain or loss? A lot of organics in that there water better check it for other GHG intake and out put. What about sesonal changes? Need to do a critter count they must be overpopulating the stream beds causing the CO2 problem. The Population Bomb was true but it was not people.
    Should I laugh or cry about all they lack in knowledge about natural cycles in a stream river …..

  12. Martin Clauss says:
    October 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    Are they somehow trying to blame it on humans . . .?
    Given point number 4 the caveat…
    Sure looks like it.

  13. “the influence of human activity on the release of CO2 into streams and rivers is still unknown”
    Aren’t they supposedly able to chemically distinguish between anthro and natural co2?
    Maybe they need a grant to back over the “over 4,000 rivers and streams throughout the United States, and incorporate” “highly detailed geospatial data to model the flux of carbon dioxide from water” to include the percentage of anthro and natural co2 found in the samples.

  14. “This release of carbon, said Butman, is the same as a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline.”
    I think I saw that car once; passed me on an LA freeway like I was standing still.
    Oh wait, I was.

  15. So what was the CO2 efflux prior to European colonization? My bet is that for large parts of the US especially the Mississippi Basin it was higher. (Those midwest soils were coal black for a reason.) Soil waterlogging was more widespread -prior to the loss of the prairies and draining agriculture land -which promoted high organic carbon soil content, beavers dammed most tributaries creating large organic sediment traps. 100s of millions of prairie dogs mobilized enormous amounts of soil. Anadromous fish transferred tons of of CNP from the ocean back into freshwater streams. And low temperature fire regimes must have created massive stores of organic carbon in the grasslands.There must have also been an enormous pulse of CO2 during the 18th and 19th centuries when the virgin soils were first put to the plow.
    A degree or so increase in temperature and a few inches of rain compared to the above- not impressed.

  16. Did you know that one of the first things they do in purifying water, is to remove the DISSOLVED ORGANIC SOLIDS !!!! This happens naturally when water is properly oxygenated, and the bugs and critters can eat the DOS and thus release CO2.
    Its part of how things work !!! Its part of the carbon cycle, always has been, and unless these morons try to stop it and kill us all.. it always will be.
    These guys seriously need to go back to school !!!.. To learn, NOT to teach !!

  17. Can someone tell me at what fresh water temperature during the course of the rivers journey from the cold mountain source to the warmer estuary, does the effect change from absorbing co2 to expelling it? What is the sea water equivalent temperature?
    tonyb

  18. “US rivers and streams saturated with carbon”
    You mean, all I need is some flavour and I have a fizzy drink?!
    Or do I just dip my hand in and pull diamonds out?
    Or if I dip my finger can I do a charcoal etch?
    (In other words: what brain damaged nonsense.)

  19. So perfectly natural out-respirations of the carbon-cycle are now being treated as pollution? What else do they mean when they equate it to burning gasoline (CO2 from which is regularly called pollution these days)? Breathing in good, breathing out bad. Incredible.

  20. AndyG55 says:
    October 17, 2011 at 11:41 pm
    These guys seriously need to go back to school !!!
    No way, they need to get jobs. We need a few thousand miles of ditch diggin right now.

  21. Gary Hladik says:
    October 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm
    “This release of carbon, said Butman, is the same as a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline.”
    “I think I saw that car once; passed me on an LA freeway like I was standing still.”
    I once had a car that burned more than that in oil a day. It got around 10 billion gallons of oil an hour.

  22. Crispin in Waterloo said:
    “Is there a car that runs on CO2? I am pretty sure that is the claim.”
    Why yes, and not only that, there are CO2-powered cars that you can fly to the moon!

  23. Absurdities never end with these momo’s…..

    “Photosynthesis and respiration are essentially the opposite of one another. Photosynthesis removes CO2 from the atmosphere and replaces it with O2. Respiration takes O2 from the atmosphere and replaces it with CO2. However, these processes are not in balance. Not all organic matter is oxidized. Some is buried in sedimentary rocks. The result is that over geologic time, there has been more oxygen put into the atmosphere and carbon dioxide removed by photosynthesis than the reverse.”

    The quote above is from a Columbia University study that is still obtainable from the universities website.
    This crap about it ‘is significant enough for terrestrial modelers to take note of it’.. is like a turkey flapping its wings and thinking its going to fly south for the winter, but instead just alerts the hunter to its location so it can be shot!

  24. Let’s see – 3.5 million trips at about 500,000 miles per round trip, divided by 40 billion gallons = 44 mpg (and that includes getting to escape velocity!). Not bad. Those trips to the moon must all be in Priuses.

  25. Fixed it;
    Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon, according to Yale researchers in Nature Geoscience. Their findings could change the way motorists drive to the moon for family holidays.

  26. “The researchers assert that a significant amount of carbon contained in land, which first is absorbed by plants and forests through the air, is leaking into streams and rivers…”
    LEAKING!!! Its worse than the Exxon Valdez! Whole watersheds must be covered with the stuff. We’ll need volunteers to get out there and scrub the carbon off fish and pelicans.
    I’m shocked that we haven’t all died of carbon poisoning. Seems like every living thing must be contaminated with it. Is there nothing the EPA can do to save us?

  27. A fascinatingly weird concept here. These waterways release “… enough carbon to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon …” Really? Given that this “carbon” is in the form of the harmless, beneficial trace gas carbon dioxide, do we infer that they’ve found some way of using carbon dioxide as a fuel? An eager world awaits the details. Indefinitely, I’m guessing.

  28. Yale obviously ought to stick with Arts/Law…..
    Their science department seems to be severely lacking.

  29. There have been many new measuring systems invented by the AGW crowd, but this one takes the cake. A lunar equivalent CO2 car trip to the moon as measured by volumetric river discharge CO2 out gassing. This will be phased in as a new S.I. unit of measure as a carbonlunatic or a CL for short. They pay these people for scientific investigation and we get this nonsense.

  30. Colder water holds more CO2.
    Rainfall warms as it falls from the sky and flows towards the oceans. Hence it will (nearly) always be fully saturated with CO2 and will be releasing it throughout the journey from sky to sea.
    Why the need to suggest that it is only at saturation because we have injected extra CO2 into it ?
    This reminds me of a comment by Murry Salby when he mentioned soil moisture on land. If I read it right his data may suggest that CO2 release from soil moisture, indeed all water on or in land, makes a significant contribution to environmental CO2 release or uptake.
    Thus a slightly warmer global troposphere from, say, solar or oceanic effects would result in lower CO2 absorption capability not only for water near the ocean surface but also for all water on or in the continental land masses.
    I think some serious reworking of the carbon cycle is in order before we start blaming human activity for atmospheric CO2 changes.

  31. Great story, and kudos to you doing this in your later years. It reminds me of my (apparently) misspent youth when I used to hitch around Europe when I could not afford the plane fare to go and lie on tropical beaches. (I have since discovered Australia, where you can do both without needing to fly). I discovered three main points:
    1. Carrying a motorbike helmet gets you many easy lifts in the UK, but none at all in Europe.
    2. Talking to caffeine-fuelled truckers in their own language is the best way to learn it. They really do not care that you cannot talk well – they just want to talk! I learnt French quite well that way.
    3. Hitching without a shirt will get you picked up by gay truckers wanting some action. You may get a free shower out of it, however. (Being a guy, obviously. For girls it will be different, I suspect!)
    I had a great deal of fun, met a great many good people, and had almost no scary moments, apart from one where a guy threatened to rape me. That was when I discovered that motorbike helmets could be used as a decent weapon, although I suspect I was not in real danger.
    I now have children, and my question to you is, would you recommend your 19-year-old daughter hitches anywhere like this? It is a problem for me because I do not want to encourage my children to hitch, despite it working so well for me. In Australia it is (I believe) illegal, although that never stopped me. Seems daft for a country with almost only one road – Highway 1 (the longest national highway in the world).

  32. @wayne Job says:
    October 18, 2011 at 1:41 am
    “There have been many new measuring systems invented by the AGW crowd, but this one takes the cake. A lunar equivalent CO2 car trip to the moon as measured by volumetric river discharge CO2 out gassing. This will be phased in as a new S.I. unit of measure as a carbonlunatic or a CL for short. They pay these people for scientific investigation and we get this nonsense.”
    =======================================================
    Would you kindly do a favor for this old Luddite and convert that new-fangled SI unit, the CL, into good ol’ every day units like Olympic swimming pools or Houston Astrodomes or Lake Eries?
    Thanks in advance ;o)

  33. “…releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon…”
    Where can I get one of these cars that runs on carbon (or CO2) and can go to the moon?

  34. Despite their total lack of knowledge of the natural variability of the carbon flux on anything less than a millennial scale (routinely evidenced by studies like this), the warmists are certain that the ~100 ppmv rise in atmospheric [CO2] over the last 150 years is entirely anthropogenic.
    And their certainty is based on three things:
    1) The fact that Antarctic ice cores incapable of resolving sub-centennial CO2 shifts don’t contain the sub-centennial CO2 shifts seen in the Antarctic ice cores capable of resolving sub-centennial CO2 shifts. Plant stomata data showing those preindustrial shifts are simply FUD.
    2) The d13C depletion measured instrumentally and in the same Antarctic ice cores don’t contain the prominent d13C maximum during the LIA that is common in carbonate sediments. Those carbonate sediments are just FUD.
    3) A “simple accounting” of anthropogenic carbon emissions… Less whatever has to be subtracted out to fit the narrative. Any criticism of the Warmist “fuzzy math” is more FUD,

  35. Gary Hladik says:
    October 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm
    “This release of carbon, said Butman, is the same as a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline.”
    I think I saw that car once; passed me on an LA freeway like I was standing still.
    Oh wait, I was.
    That’s some motor! Do you know the manufacturer’s name, designer, production techniques, & how many engines did it have replaced to consume 40 billion gallons of fuel? Perhaps they were US gallons, slightly smaller than UK’s Imperial gallons, so not so much wear & tear! 🙂
    Now, I read somewhere that H2O + CO2 = basic sugars = life on Earth, etc, etc! Now this life started off as microbes in shallow seas or Primordial Soup back in the…………………………………………………………………………….., many millions of years later, eventually, this mamalian Ape dropped down from the trees in which it resided, in Central Africa, & for whatever reason, stood upright, (possibly because Al gore told him to, he likes telling people how to run their lives it seems, even back then when he invented the interweb thingy!), anyway this Ape evetually developed hand skills & learned to use tools he (or she) made from the elements around him (or her), helping to improve his lot in life, turning ever so slowly into a Homonid then into a Human Being then into Modern Man, culminating in the great (& not so great) civilizations of recent history & up to today’s healthier, better, safer (relatively) modern lifestyles! Wow, what a wonderful story of achievement, triumph over adversity! Now why do they want to change all that? There are probably 21 reasons on the Agenda why that is I expect. I do love a good interglacial. Now, to “complete” my research studies into this, I will need a grant of several millions, (salary, pension, exotic holidays, whoops I mean field studies, business class flights to catch with free champagne & Goats’ cheese salads & all that, staff to pay, salaries to pay, pensions to pay, etc)! Sarc off! 🙂

  36. Ah, but yes, it is asserted to be very evil that the rivers and streams breath CO2 into the atmosphere, it be better if it came from the soil doing the breathing right away. One can also assert that more rain and more snow is truly bad…way to go Texas for drought-ing up to save the planet from all that evil wet CO2.

  37. US rivers and streams saturated with carbon.
    How odd. I’ve scraped enough carbon off Caterpillar piston jugs to know that carbon isn’t water soluble.

  38. Interesting.
    Rivers and streams. Hmmmm … what about lakes and ponds?
    Might be relevant if the U.S. was involved in some international carbon trading scheme. Just think of all the fun that could be had with resolving the carbon levels in the Great Lakes and apportioning shares with Canada or the Rio Grande and Mexico. Staffing levels at the EPA would soar.
    Or the impact on carbon markets in the event of major flooding. Or a drought.
    Oh well … let us now turn out attention to matters of much more serious import, such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  39. I did sediment oxygen demand (SOD) studis in the 80’s. There is a background SOD for a typical reach of a water body. Human activities do increase thisw SOD. The main reason of course is that man is just as natural as a polar bear, and the increased numbers of a species has an effect. Most of the impact in the 1980’s was not from increased CO2 from burning fossil fuels but from the rich organic loading from our farms and waste systems. In fact, because CO2 is well mixed, the amount should be easily estimated by rainfall analysis. The real issue is the implication that the earth’s biomass is adjusting to CO2. Hardly a unique conclusion since life on earth is carbon based.

  40. I guess what this study wants to tell us is that if we just manage to dry out 3/4 of all rivers we can offset all the carbon dioxide emitted by humanity. Based on the precautionary principle I guess that’s the way to go then.

  41. I take it they’d prefer the streams weren’t CO2-saturated, and didn’t give it off into the atmosphere? The entire carbon cycle of life on the planet must halt, in order to suppress atmospheric CO2 because it might warm things up a little?
    The bind moggles.

  42. The “super congress” is looking for ideas on where to cut Congressional overspending. I suggest a budget cut for this kind of “research” would do no harm.

  43. @ AlGored, “I’m shocked that we haven’t all died of carbon poisoning. Seems like every living thing must be contaminated with it. Is there nothing the EPA can do to save us?”
    It’s true. Scientists have discovered that all life is contaminated with carbon now. It is worse than we thought. Personally, I always thought that all life was ‘based on’ carbon, but I was wrong. They have changed ‘based on’ with ‘contaminated by’. For our own good, of course.

  44. The article proves that human generated CO2 remains insignificant as can be demonstrated by comparing it to all the CO2 released just by rivers and streams. Thanks Yale!

  45. The EPA just notified me that showers are a major indoor pollutant and are now banned. The excessive heating of the water increases the release of co2 reducing indoor air quality. Next stop Niagara Falls!

  46. Perhaps for their next project they might study the shocking amount of that more dangerous greenhouse gas, water vapor, that is emitted by streams and rivers as they travel the landscape.
    Water vapor from lakes, streams and rivers probably does affect climate.

  47. Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon, according to Yale researchers in Nature Geoscience.

    Is that supported in the Supplementary Information? Setting aside the inconvenient truths that there (1) are no service stations (2) no O2 stations, necessary for most of the trip, (3) no Howard Johnsons, (4) no speed limit except c, and (5) no road; most of the trip will be uphill. Gas mileage going uphill really sucks and should be accounted for in their calculations. Note that unlike JFK, they seem to have ignored the return trip.
    They also ignored the time factor. It took me about 10 years to reach 238,000 miles on my Saturn SL2 car (it’s a little over 300,000 now) and not much closer to the Moon (and maybe planet Saturn) than it was when I bought it.
    Of course, the car doesn’t do vertical hills well. I really need multi-level spiral bridge around the equator with exits for LEO, geosynch orbits, and other interesting intermediate destinations.
    Lessee, 3.4 million trips, 100,000 per day, one car every 2.38 miles, yeah, a two lane road should suffice. Probably would be a toll road.

  48. “The research was funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the United States Geological Survey and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.”
    I strongly suspect the research was funded by the American Taxpayer and not by NASA, nor the NSF nor the USGS. Since when did any of these institutions generate any profit by which they could fund anything?

  49. President Obama gave a speech about carbon pollution of our air and streams, so it must be true. Now we need to fund the science to show it is so.
    This is much how science worked in the Soviet Union, isn’t it? Under the USSR, the best minds went into the hard sciences because the social sciences were entirely corrupted for the political goals of the state. Psychology, sociology, etc., were all dedicated to showing the superiority of the socialism, the state and the new Soviet man. Math and engineering could not be corrupted in this way.

  50. In Virginia, several years ago crushed limestone was dumped, by helicopter, into some mountain stream headwaters to lower the PH content of the water to combat acid rain effects on the trout populations. Carbon applied by man to help the fish. I believe this was done to streams that originated in soils/rock that were not of limestone origin. I think the Saint Mary’s River was one place and others were in the Shennedoah National Park. Long ago (15-20 years) so this may need to be verified before repeating it.

  51. Go on. Admit it, That sometimes in your ‘darker moments’, you wish that all this Catastrophic Climate Armageddon would actually come true and happen.
    Doncha think that? Yeah? You do don’t you?
    Yeah. Thought so.
    Really bad and horrible. All that heat, and cold, and drought, and wind, and ozone, oh gawd the ozone and just everything REALLY bad..
    Then it might rid the world of some Spectacularly Stupid, Dumb and Mind Numbingly Tedious People.
    But of course, they’re all ‘somebody’s babies’ and its bad to think thoughts like that.

  52. “Tom Davidson says:
    October 18, 2011 at 2:42 am
    “…releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon…”
    Where can I get one of these cars that runs on carbon (or CO2) and can go to the moon?”
    The study was funded by NASA using money saved by Obama cancelling the space shuttle. After all why bother with a space program if you can just drive there?
    Taxpayer money for space research has been diverted to CO2 hype for years. Hansen and all work for NASA at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Since Earth is in space, by studying the Earth they are studying space.
    Look at all the money they’ve saved along the way. In line with Obama’s plans, instead of studying space with rockets, they are doing it all with computer models, which are much more accurate and a whole lot less prone to failures than rockets.
    This research is then use to create green jobs, studying ways to stop all the CO2 that threatens life on the planet. This will then create billions of jobs to feed and clothe the planet.

  53. I must say, it seems we actually never noticed – we actually are already dead.
    The earth echo system is so fragile and bound to positive feedbacks it must have already been destroyed, but we did not notice.
    It surely could not handled the atmospheric composition of thousands of ppm (as it did some millions of years ago) and survived, hasn’t it?
    /SARC

  54. “fluxed up” /// I like that.
    You might also try “fodeu” … ecotretas would approve 🙂

  55. What is a carbon budget? A budget by definition is a plan for allocating resources, time and money. Selling it did not work so now it is a budget.

  56. The paper, titled “Significant Efflux of Carbon Dioxide from Streams and Rivers in the United States,” also indicates that as the climate heats up there will be more rain and snow, and that an increase in precipitation will result in even more terrestrial carbon flowing into rivers and streams and being released into the atmosphere.
    It seems that with this statement they have inadvertently shown that atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rather than being the driver.

  57. Thermostellar device could destroy the Earth.
    To date no body has proven the feasibility of a thermostellar device.

  58. ferd berple says:
    October 18, 2011 at 5:58 am
    “The research was funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the United States Geological Survey and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.”
    “I strongly suspect the research was funded by the American Taxpayer and not by NASA, nor the NSF nor the USGS. Since when did any of these institutions generate any profit by which they could fund anything?”
    Climate science is awash in taxpayer-funded Climate Ca$h, as shown here..
    These press releases are merely a result of the authors attempting to make a name for themselves so they can stay employed at their academic institutions. Please remember these colossal wastes of money when our politicians try to convince us that we are “not paying our fair share”…
    (PS – I’m sure NASA, NSF, and the USGS (that is, the taxpayers) picked up most all of the tab for this, and Yale merely paid for the paper clips and coffee).

  59. Its amazing that these old style carbon scare reports are still being published in journals. You’d think it was still 2009.
    This is what happens every year in the preceding couple of months before the annual climate summit. More and more of these types of scare reports will appear as the Durban climate summit nears. But once the summit is over, all becomes quiet for a few months. Its like clockwork.

  60. ‘Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon’
    How wonderful that they have developed an engine to run on carbon. Problem solved. except that they have not yet built any motorways to the moon. Perhaps that’s their next project!

  61. During world war 2 there was a comedian (whose name escapes me just for the moment) on radio whose monologue invariably began, “The day war broke out, my Missus said to me, ‘well what are you going to do about it?’ I said ‘do about it’ what the Dickens do you expect me to do about it?
    Come on you lot in the U.S., what are you going to do about it?

  62. Can we use this – isn’t it clear evidence that the AGW carbon side models are wrong, and that the human induced “carbon” content is even less significant?

  63. Pete in Cumbria UK says:
    October 18, 2011 at 6:11 am
    Go on. Admit it, That sometimes in your ‘darker moments’, you wish that all this Catastrophic Climate Armageddon would actually come true and happen.
    Doncha think that? Yeah? You do don’t you?
    Yeah. Thought so.
    Really bad and horrible. All that heat, and cold, and drought, and wind, and ozone, oh gawd the ozone and just everything REALLY bad..
    Then it might rid the world of some Spectacularly Stupid, Dumb and Mind Numbingly Tedious People.
    But of course, they’re all ‘somebody’s babies’ and its bad to think thoughts like that.

    I think you meant to post this on one of the AGW doomsday blogs, didn’t you?

  64. Olen says:
    October 18, 2011 at 6:59 am
    What is a carbon budget? A budget by definition is a plan for allocating resources, time and money. Selling it did not work so now it is a budget.

    A carbon budget is when you use up you’re ‘fair share’ of resources and have to report to the human recycling center to see what vital nutrients can be harvested from your body.
    ~More Soylent Green!

  65. Even worse, the rivers and streams are all full of hydrogen and oxygen. Enough to fuel millions of cars.

  66. I think we need to do a sustainability study on these so-called “rivers and streams”. If it turns out they can’t meet acceptable guidelines, we’ll have to have them stopped up, obviously.
    (& what the heck are they “riv[v]ing” anyway? Stream is already a verb, so that’s cool, yeah?)

  67. After having gone through the recent 2010 greenhouse gas filing for Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) – natural gas suppliers, I’m hoping the US EPA will allow LDCs to bubble discharges from their pipeline blowdowns directly into nearby waterways. Given that an anthro-maligned carbon budget for said waterways has not been determined or benchmarked appropriately, what are a few tons more of naturally occurring carbon…? Also, this small allowance would compensate the pain and suffering of the many businesses forced to use the US EPA’s nifty electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT) – http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html .

  68. ShrNfr says:
    October 18, 2011 at 8:31 am
    Even worse, the rivers and streams are all full of hydrogen and oxygen. Enough to fuel millions of cars.
    Yes, and if we remove it, we can stop catastrophic floods. It’s a win win.

  69. This would mean that any estimate between carbon uptake in the biosphere and carbon being released through respiration in the biosphere will be even less likely to balance and must include the carbon in streams and rivers,

    They just fantasize we won’t take notice that net primary production keeps going UP. Every year you can see the NH hungrily sucking the CO2 right out of the atmosphere during the NH summer. Look at the negative slope of the curve here:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_trend_mlo.png
    Imagine if you took away all of the CO2 sources like these rivers, termites, soil microbes, the ocean, humans, etc. – consider how quickly CO2 would be completely sucked away? In only a few short years there would be insufficient CO2 for plants to survive (under 150ppm?) = TRUE DEATH OF THE PLANET.
    I. E. Pete Raymond, THANK GOD we have an ample and continuous supply of CO2 from multiple sources or we’d all be dead.

  70. “also indicates that as the climate heats up there will be more rain and snow, and that an increase in precipitation will result in even more terrestrial carbon flowing into rivers and streams”
    …and the forests will grow more robustly and suck up all this carbon (remember the recent post on the Wisconsin forest plot greater-than-we-thought-growth when a tent of high CO2 over the plot was maintained over 10 years .

  71. “Ric Werme says:
    October 18, 2011 at 5:34 am
    Gas mileage going uphill really sucks and should be accounted for in their calculations. Note that unlike JFK, they seem to have ignored the return trip.”
    The return trip is mostly “downhill”. So no fuel is required past 43,495 miles from the moon.
    “At a point 43,495 miles from the Moon, lunar gravity exerted a force equal
    to the gravity of the Earth, then some 200,000 miles distant.” – Wernher von Braun (Time Magazine, July 25, 1969.)

  72. Since they are talking about the release of CO2, no one is going to the Moon on this. CO2 is NOT a fuel, fools!
    Let’s see, Plants suck CO2 from the air, incorporate the carbon into organic chemicals, the chemicals enter the soil and wash into the streams, and then organisms metabolize the organics and release the carbon as CO2. Gee, let’s call this the CARBON CYCLE! What a great idea, or do they ALREADY TEACH THIS IN GRADE SCHOOL?
    How do these scientists get to keep their jobs?

  73. Ken Harvey says:
    October 18, 2011 at 7:59 am
    ‘During world war 2 there was a comedian (whose name escapes me just for the moment) on radio whose monologue invariably began, “The day war broke out, my Missus said to me, ‘well what are you going to do about it?’ I said ‘do about it’ what the Dickens do you expect me to do about it?’
    His name was Sandy Powell

  74. And lets not forget the natural processes of streams and rivers releasing tonns of methane into the atmospher.
    As a fresh water ecologist, I damn near fell out of my chair when I read this. I love how they apply lefty spin to well understood processes and claim its a new discovery. Just another mechinism to remind the public that man is evil.
    BTW, warmer water streams produce more CO2 because of the increased rate of kariote metabolism. The soda fizz effect that is always discounted is a straw man.

  75. oh my heavens.
    I suspect this carbonated water is even now dissolving the limestone beneath our feet.
    Creating huge voids in the earth, something never before seen.

  76. Seems like a lot of folks here are drinking heavily from the scarcasim / cynical fountain today. A lot of grumpy farts. Almost sounding a bit like the elitist asses we so dislike.
    Yes, it is a poorly written press release. But rather than showing how superior we all are, why not look at what this might actually tell us? (Granted, it might not tell us anything.)
    From a 2004 Seattle Times article I got a figure of 375 million gallons of gas per day consumed in the US. My eyesight is not what it once was so all the zeros on the little screen calulator start running together, but I got 106 days worth of consumption out of 40 billion gallons. So what this release tells me is that natural CO2 releases into the athmosphere “just” from rivers and lakes. In other words, it could very well mean that models predicting the impact of anthropogenic CO2 which do not take into account significant natural sources are flawed.

  77. I was distracted and just noticed I failed to complete a sentence. I meant to say that CO2 releases into the athmosphere “just” from US rivers and lakes may be equal to 1/3 of the total produced in the US by vehicles.

  78. “US rivers and streams saturated with carbon.”
    Those of us not blessed with a Yale “education” learn to call those fish, when we were 2 years old or so.

  79. Todd says: Those of us not blessed with a Yale “education” learn to call those fish, when we were 2 years old or so.

    OMG! – a carbon … life-form!
    There’s a Halloween joke in here somewhere, maybe Josh can dig it up?

  80. “”””” New Haven, Conn.— Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon, according to Yale researchers in Nature Geoscience. Their findings could change the way scientists model the movement of carbon between land, water and the atmosphere. “””””
    And evidently the way we drive. I’m ready to take one of those driving trips to the moon in my car. So how long does it take to get my engine modified to run on atmospheric carbon. How neat is that, to be able to get both the working fluid (air) and the fuel (carbon) out of the atmosphere at the same time.
    I don’t quite understand the part of the trip, where your car leaves the ground, nor the part where your fuel intake isn’t in the atmosphere any longer; but then I’m new at this car trip to the moon thing.

  81. Looks like I added one zero too many. 40 billion gallons equals almost 3 years worth of US gasoline consumption.
    So if I understand it correctly, in the US alone the amount of natural CO2 (or carbon, the press release isn’t clear as to the form) produced by rivers and lakes exceeds that from auto & truck transportation by a factor of three. If we start looking at the rest of the world’s freshwater bodies – places considerably less wedded to the automobile, the ratio could easily be greater than 3 to 1.
    Carbon limiting measures start to sound like lose weight fast promotions – the kind where you get 20% or more weight reduction – by the simple expedient of cutting off an arm or leg.

  82. I hope he can tell the difference between CaCo3 (X Cation+ Cox), and Co2 Carbon that is being carried by streams into the oceans. And then again he may not want to.

  83. I think the suggestion is that the amount of CO2 being released by rivers and streams is much the same as the amount that would be released by burning the quantity of fossil fuels required to power 3.4 million motor vehicle trips to the moon.
    So, if that rate of release from rivers and streams is natural (due to reduced CO2 absorption capacity as rainfall warms en route from sky to oceans) then it follows that those rivers and streams are as evil as human beings.

  84. timg56 says:
    October 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    Looks like I added one zero too many. 40 billion gallons equals almost 3 years worth of US gasoline consumption.
    ========================================
    You were right the first time.
    Annual consumption of gasoline in the US is around 125 billion gallons (down from 150 billion a couple of years ago).

  85. timg56 says:
    “Seems like a lot of folks here are drinking heavily from the scarcasim / cynical fountain today… Yes, it is a poorly written press release. But rather than showing how superior we all are, why not look at what this might actually tell us? (Granted, it might not tell us anything.)”
    In response, I offer up a quote from the 1992 movie “Pure Country” delivered by the character of Ernest Tucker:
    “The funny thing about that little white speck on the top of chicken s***. That little white speck is chicken s*** too.”
    Upon first hearing these words, I needed several moments to figure out what Ernest actually meant. However, I believe the movie’s quote fits quite nicely here. You can look at the paper’s content in any manner you want – even tease out an enlightening fact, but rest assured, the final result will be the same – it’s crap (a/k/a statistically insignificant).
    “We do not suggest that the out-gassing of CO2 from streams and rivers offsets this estimated sink…”, “…[I]t is not yet possible to determine the impact of global change on CO2 flux despite many pieces of evidence which demonstrate watershed level disturbances on CO2 evasion 8,44.”, and “ …[A]lthough evasion rates are high, how freshwater out-gassing impacts global or regional carbon budgets and is influenced by global change still needs to be determined.” – http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1294.html . http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/ngeo1294-s1.pdf .
    Given that these irrelevant conclusions were funded using taxpayer monies and in light of the nation’s record debt spending, the paper… is… crap (i.e., irrelevant to the on-going discussion other than for the authors to assert they’ve published a paper on climate change).

  86. Glenn says:
    October 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm
    “We’re all going to die in three days”.
    The problem is that the Rubes figure out something’s wrong sometime on the 5th day or so.

  87. Ahh yes, the layman’s equivalent units, always handy when conveying science to unwitting plebs:
    Olympic sized swimming pools
    Library of Congresses
    Superbowl stadiums
    Car trips to moon

  88. silly wabbit, everyone knows that your car can’t make any CO2 on the way to the moon and back,
    it’s a vacuum out there

  89. Please consider that what you are seeing here is the beginning stages of the shift from climate change to the Nitrogen Cascade. Nitrogen- the other cycle- has been warming up for the last five years to replace climate should it falter in the late innings. Everything CO2 was meant to achieve can be accomplished by nitrogen -perhaps better. What is troubling is that EPA has all the regulatory authority it needs– as demonstrated by the order to the States draining to Chesapeake Bay to reduce nitrogen loadings by 25%. And EPA is proposing a 45% reduction for the States draining into the Mississippi basin.. Think CO2 controls were bad– try to use fossil fuels, eat meat or live where you want when a 45% nitrogen is mandated and adjudicated by a model. The only thing that has changed is the molecule.
    Just as climate needed to get rid of the MWP so does Nitrogen need to get rid of the fact that for 6000 years before European colonization many of our waters, soil and air was richer in reactive N than today. And why this paper needs to say CO2 increasing as C and N are tied together. Fire suppression has fundamentally changed chemistry, nitrogen fixation, waterlogging and as a result the productivity of our waters. Fire prior to suppression also made for some poor quality air using EPAs standards. Prior to European colonization our air had higher NOx, NOy, ground level ozone, and particulates. The 45% reduction for the Mississippi basin can only be “justified” by claiming we are emitting nitrogen in quantities never seen before. To accomplish this- the science that nitrogen and its team mate carbon were higher than today- must go the way of the MWP. We like to talk about what happened to early climate dissenters– however no-one is paying any attention to what is happening to soil scientists right now.
    The recent report to EPA from the Scientific Advisory Board “Reactive Nitrogen in the United States; an Analysis of Inputs, Flows, Consequences, and Management Options” is a good place to start.

    • Concerning the Nitrogen Cascade,
      wikipedia:

      The Nitrogen Fix is a 1980 science fiction novel by Hal Clement. The plot revolves around a nomadic family in a future where all oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere has combined with nitrogen, so the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen with traces of water, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, and the seas are very dilute nitric acid.

      The crisis in the novel is the imminent “flipping” of the atmosphere into a poisonous O2 dominated state …

  90. The title of the press release: US rivers and streams saturated with carbon.
    So are the Oceans, so we’re all gonna die! Of eating too much food made of whatever is “breathing” in there under continuously “saturated” conditions with increased “leakage” in of that evil “carbon”? I don’t get it.

  91. Eyal Porat says:
    October 18, 2011 at 6:29 am
    I must say, it seems we actually never noticed – we actually are already dead.
    The earth echo system is so fragile and bound to positive feedbacks

    Waall, I dunno about the “earth echo system”, but the Climate Science echo chamber seems to be reasonably robust. However, the combination of “positive feedback” generating deafening squeals and disruptive baffles and large holes being punched in the walls by those darn Wrecker skeptics and empirical scientists is causing severe disorientation for the occupants.

  92. In a sane science, this study would have simply noted that the natural cycling of CO2 into and out of streams is of such-and-such a magnitude, and that this is possibly a significant constituent of the way in which it moves through the ecosphere.

  93. “Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon.”
    See, this is what ticks me off about the world. why don’t we have cars that go to the moon? We’ve got enough fuel to send millions of them up there, just in our rivers! Please sign my offline petition to get mooncars built.
    thanks in advance.

  94. philincalifornia,
    Thanks.
    Not the first time I got the correct answer on the initial go around and then changed it.
    Tom Murphy,
    I doubt I put any more value on the study than you do. I just wonder at times if all the snarkyness adds any value.

  95. From Yale University, pick which one is the true message of this press release:
    1. The title of the press release: ‘US rivers and streams saturated with carbon’.

  96. As a Californian who has to deal with the insanity, I’m glad to see the photo caption includes identifying the Chairman of the Resources board as a “woman.” Some might think the problem is this might be to distinguish her from a man. In fact, I think it is an attempt to include the insane thing as a part of the human race.

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