The bombtest curve and its implications for atmospheric carbon dioxide residency time

English: Retrieved from LOC 3a44011. Aerial vi...
Aerial view of atomic bomb test on Bikini Atoll, 1946; showing “mushroom” beginning. Part of Operation Crossroads; alternate angle of Baker explosion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Studies of Carbon 14 in the atmosphere emitted by nuclear tests indicate that the Bern model used by the IPCC is inconsistent with virtually all reported experimental results.

Guest essay by Gösta Pettersson

The Keeling curve establishes that the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has shown a steady long-term increase since 1958. Proponents of the antropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis have attributed the increasing carbon dioxide level to human activities such as combustion of fossil fuels and land-use changes. Opponents of the AGW hypothesis have argued that this would require that the turnover time for atmospheric carbon dioxide is about 100 years, which is inconsistent with a multitude of experimental studies indicating that the turnover time is of the order of 10 years.

Since its constitution in 1988, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has disregarded the empirically determined turnover times, claiming that they lack bearing on the rate at which anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are removed from the atmosphere. Instead, the fourth IPCC assessment report argues that the removal of carbon dioxide emissions is adequately described by the ‘Bern model‘, a carbon cycle model designed by prominent climatologists at the Bern University. The Bern model is based on the presumption that the increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide derive exclusively from anthropogenic emissions. Tuned to fit the Keeling curve, the model prescribes that the relaxation of an emission pulse of carbon dioxide is multiphasic with slow components reflecting slow transfer of carbon dioxide from the oceanic surface to the deep-sea regions. The problem is that empirical observations tell us an entirely different story.

The nuclear weapon tests in the early 1960s have initiated a scientifically ideal tracer experiment describing the kinetics of removal of an excess of airborne carbon dioxide. When the atmospheric bomb tests ceased in 1963, they had raised the air level of C14-carbon dioxide to almost twice its original background value. The relaxation of this pulse of excess C14-carbon dioxide has now been monitored for fifty years. Representative results providing direct experimental records of more than 95% of the relaxation process are shown in Fig.1.

 

image

Figure 1. Relaxation of the excess of airborne C14-carbon dioxide produced by atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons before the tests ceased in 1963

The IPCC has disregarded the bombtest data in Fig. 1 (which refer to the C14/C12 ratio), arguing that “an atmospheric perturbation in the isotopic ratio disappears much faster than the perturbation in the number of C14 atoms”. That argument cannot be followed and certainly is incorrect. Fig. 2 shows the data in Fig. 1 after rescaling and correction for the minor dilution effects caused by the increased atmospheric concentration of C12-carbon dioxide during the examined period of time.

image

Figure 2. The bombtest curve. Experimentally observed relaxation of C14-carbon dioxide (black) compared with model descriptions of the process.

The resulting series of experimental points (black data i Fig. 2) describes the disappearance of “the perturbation in the number of C14 atoms”, is almost indistinguishable from the data in Fig. 1, and will be referred to as the ‘bombtest curve’.

To draw attention to the bombtest curve and its important implications, I have made public a trilogy of strict reaction kinetic analyses addressing the controversial views expressed on the interpretation of the Keeling curve by proponents and opponents of the AGW hypothesis.

(Note: links to all three papers are below also)

Paper 1 in the trilogy clarifies that

a. The bombtest curve provides an empirical record of more than 95% of the relaxation of airborne C14-carbon dioxide. Since kinetic carbon isotope effects are small, the bombtest curve can be taken to be representative for the relaxation of emission pulses of carbon dioxide in general.

b. The relaxation process conforms to a monoexponential relationship (red curve in Fig. 2) and hence can be described in terms of a single relaxation time (turnover time). There is no kinetically valid reason to disregard reported experimental estimates (5–14 years) of this relaxation time.

c. The exponential character of the relaxation implies that the rate of removal of C14 has been proportional to the amount of C14. This means that the observed 95% of the relaxation process have been governed by the atmospheric concentration of C14-carbon dioxide according to the law of mass action, without any detectable contributions from slow oceanic events.

d. The Bern model prescriptions (blue curve in Fig. 2) are inconsistent with the observations that have been made, and gravely underestimate both the rate and the extent of removal of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. On basis of the Bern model predictions, the IPCC states that it takes a few hundreds of years before the first 80% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are removed from the air. The bombtest curve shows that it takes less than 25 years.

Paper 2 in the trilogy uses the kinetic relationships derived from the bombtest curve to calculate how much the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has been affected by emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide since 1850. The results show that only half of the Keeling curve’s longterm trend towards increased carbon dioxide levels originates from anthropogenic emissions.

The Bern model and other carbon cycle models tuned to fit the Keeling curve are routinely used by climate modellers to obtain input estimates of future carbon dioxide levels for postulated emissions scenarios. Paper 2 shows that estimates thus obtained exaggerate man-made contributions to future carbon dioxide levels (and consequent global temperatures) by factors of 3–14 for representative emission scenarios and time periods extending to year 2100 or longer. For empirically supported parameter values, the climate model projections actually provide evidence that global warming due to emissions of fossil carbon dioxide will remain within acceptable limits.

Paper 3 in the trilogy draws attention to the fact that hot water holds less dissolved carbon dioxide than cold water. This means that global warming during the 2000th century by necessity has led to a thermal out-gassing of carbon dioxide from the hydrosphere. Using a kinetic air-ocean model, the strength of this thermal effect can be estimated by analysis of the temperature dependence of the multiannual fluctuations of the Keeling curve and be described in terms of the activation energy for the out-gassing process.

For the empirically estimated parameter values obtained according to Paper 1 and Paper 3, the model shows that thermal out-gassing and anthropogenic emissions have provided approximately equal contributions to the increasing carbon dioxide levels over the examined period 1850–2010. During the last two decades, contributions from thermal out-gassing have been almost 40% larger than those from anthropogenic emissions. This is illustrated by the model data in Fig. 3, which also indicate that the Keeling curve can be quantitatively accounted for in terms of the combined effects of thermal out-gassing and anthropogenic emissions.

image

Figure 3. Variation of the atmospheric carbon dioxide level, as indicated by empirical data (green) and by the model described in Paper 3 (red). Blue and black curves show the contributions provided by thermal out-gassing and emissions, respectively.

The results in Fig. 3 call for a drastic revision of the carbon cycle budget presented by the IPCC. In particular, the extensively discussed ‘missing sink’ (called ‘residual terrestrial sink´ in the fourth IPCC report) can be identified as the hydrosphere; the amount of emissions taken up by the oceans has been gravely underestimated by the IPCC due to neglect of thermal out-gassing. Furthermore, the strength of the thermal out-gassing effect places climate modellers in the delicate situation that they have to know what the future temperatures will be before they can predict them by consideration of the greenhouse effect caused by future carbon dioxide levels.

By supporting the Bern model and similar carbon cycle models, the IPCC and climate modellers have taken the stand that the Keeling curve can be presumed to reflect only anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The results in Paper 1–3 show that this presumption is inconsistent with virtually all reported experimental results that have a direct bearing on the relaxation kinetics of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As long as climate modellers continue to disregard the available empirical information on thermal out-gassing and on the relaxation kinetics of airborne carbon dioxide, their model predictions will remain too biased to provide any inferences of significant scientific or political interest.

References:

Climate Change 2007: IPCC Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis section 10.4 – Changes Associated with Biogeochemical Feedbacks and Ocean Acidification

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-4.html

Climate Change 2007: IPCC Working Group I:  The Physical Science Basis section 2.10.2 Direct Global Warming Potentials

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html

GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES, VOL. 15, NO. 4, PAGES 891–907, DECEMBER 2001 Joos et al. Global warming feedbacks on terrestrial carbon uptake under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emission scenarios

ftp://ftp.elet.polimi.it/users/Giorgio.Guariso/papers/joos01gbc[1]-1.pdf

Click below for a free download of the three papers referenced in the essay as PDF files.

Paper 1 Relaxation kinetics of atmospheric carbon dioxide

Paper 2 Anthropogenic contributions to the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide during the industrial era

Paper 3 Temperature effects on the atmospheric carbon dioxide level

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Gösta Pettersson is a retired professor in biochemistry at the University of Lund (Sweden) and a previous editor of the European Journal of Biochemistry as an expert on reaction kinetics and mathematical modelling. My scientific reasearch has focused on the fixation of carbon dioxide by plants, which has made me familiar with the carbon cycle research carried out by climatologists and others.

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milodonharlani
July 1, 2013 7:55 pm

The Bern Model is clearly false, since not all the increase in CO2 since 1850 is attributable to humans. Natural warming associated with recovery from the LIA must constitute the major fraction of the increase.

Gunga Din
July 1, 2013 7:56 pm

“When the atmospheric bomb tests ceased in 1963, they had raised the air level of C14-carbon dioxide to almost twice its original background value.”
=====================================================================
So if they dig us up in 1,000 years they’ll think we’re all only half our age?
(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Ursus Augustus
July 1, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks for this post Anthony and to the “guest Blogger”.
Not quite a “hasso” moment but getting there.

July 1, 2013 8:01 pm

Corroborates findings of Humlum et al, Frölicher et al, Cho et al, Calder et al, Francey et al, Ahlbeck, Bjornborn, and others that anthropogenic CO2 does not control atmospheric CO2:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/07/swedish-scientist-replicates-dr-murry.html

July 1, 2013 8:07 pm

Natural warming associated with recovery from the LIA must constitute the major fraction of the increase.

And I would expect that if temperatures were to stabilize at today’s levels, it would take about another 700 years for the ocean to reach equilibrium. It takes about 800 years to ventilate the ocean and only a little over 100 years has passed since the end of the LIA.
In other words, outgassing from the oceans will continue for about another 700 years if temperatures were to stabilize. Should we enter a pronounced cooling period akin to the LIA, that would probably reverse or at least greatly slow. Same with the reactivation of muskeg and other boggy sub-arctic regions.

Chris @NJSnowFan
July 1, 2013 8:07 pm

OT AGW Activist already out of their ground hog holes linking climate change to forest fighters deaths.
Knew it would not be long..
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/the-climate-context-behind-the-deadly-arizona-wildfire-16175

July 1, 2013 8:12 pm

The text states: “During the last two decades, contributions from thermal out-gassing have been almost 40% larger than those from anthropogenic emissions.” However, the blue and black curves in Figure 3 indicate a greater contribution from emissions.
Otherwise, fascinating post – will have to read those papers.

July 1, 2013 8:14 pm

Point them to this link:
http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm
Very quiet fire year so far. Least since 2004.

Brian H
July 1, 2013 8:19 pm

800 yr oceanic ventilation reminds me of the 800 yr lag in changed CO2 levels after temperature spikes and dips. Just a co-incidence, of course. ?:-p

July 1, 2013 8:22 pm

Natural warming associated with recovery from the LIA must constitute the major fraction of the increase.
If CO2 caused atmospheric warming is any where near the IPCC claimed amount then that is a powerful century scale positive feedback.
We know that in the last 2 millenia the Earth’s climate hasn’t warmed much beyond its current level. Which means, either the warming effect of CO2 is close to zero, or there is a negative (cooling) feedback triggered at about current temperature levels, probably a cloud albedo effect.

Editor
July 1, 2013 8:24 pm

Dang … another person who conflates residence time (the average time that an individual CO2 molecule remains in the atmosphere) and pulse half-life (the time it takes for a pulse of excess gas injected into the atmosphere to decay to half its original value). NOTE THAT THESE MEASURE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. The author is completely wrong to try to compare these two very different measures of atmospheric CO2.
Residence time” measures how long an individual CO2 molecule remains in the air. This can be estimated in a variety of ways. It is generally agreed that this value is on the order of five to eight years.
Since what the author is discussing is particular individual carbon atoms, he is talking about residence time.
The pulse half-life (or “e-folding time”), on the other hand, is the time constant for the exponential decay of a single pulse of CO2 injected into the atmosphere. This does not measure how long an individual atom stays in the atmosphere. Instead, it’s measuring changes in the overall concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
And this is what is claimed to be estimated by the Bern model. I’m not a big fan of that model, so I’ve run the numbers myself some years ago. I get about forty years for the half-life of the CO2 pulse, which is less than the Bern Model value, but was supported by the subsequent publication of Jacobson. See my post The Bern Model Puzzle for more discussion of these issues.
So sadly, I fear that the central thesis of this study is based on a fundamental misunderstanding. This is the conflation of two very different ideas—residence time (measured by the bomb tests and estimated by carbon cycle calculations) and pulse half-life (estimated from the emissions and atmospheric levels data).
I hate to do this when the author has obviously spent so much time and effort on his post, but it’s just plain wrong.
w.

July 1, 2013 8:29 pm

“The Bern model is based on the _presumption_ that the increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide derive exclusively from anthropogenic emissions.”
Since virtually all warmists cite the recent growth of atmospheric CO2 density as “proof” of AGW (“What else could it be?”), then proof of AGW appears to be based on circular logic. A concept cannot be proven by a presumption of the concept.
“The Keeling curve establishes that the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has shown a steady long-term increase since 1958.”
But 1958 is also the year that Keeling first began his observations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve
Could it be that the Keeling Curve is some kind of observational paradox?

tgmccoy
July 1, 2013 8:34 pm

Chris @NJSnowFan said:
July 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm
“OT AGW Activist already out of their ground hog holes linking climate change to forest fighters deaths.
Knew it would not be long.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/the-climate-context-behind-the-deadly-arizona-wildfire-16175
———————————
Chris-
As a former and hopefully current, Aerial firefighter, This is urinating on brave men’s graves.
How dare they. We do not know all the facts. I hope they catch the return fire they deserve.
Grrr….

cohenite
July 1, 2013 8:36 pm

That’s it; if the increase in CO2 is not due to ACO2 it doesn’t matter whether CO2 is the monster gas which is going to cook the world because humans are not responsible.
Knorr’s work on the AF started this ball rolling, along with Essenhigh, Segalstad, Bob Cormack and Salby.
There are many reasons why AGW is a dud but if humans are not producing the CO2 then it is even more of a dud.
I wish Ferdinand was here.

Nick Stokes
July 1, 2013 8:40 pm

Yet another post refusing to understand the difference between residence time and replacement time. Let Freeman Dyson explain:
Lord May and I have several differences of opinion which remain friendly. But one of our disagreements is a matter of arithmetic and not a matter of opinion. He says that the residence time of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about a century, and I say it is about twelve years.
This discrepancy is easy to resolve. We are talking about different meanings of residence time. I am talking about residence without replacement. My residence time is the time that an average carbon dioxide molecule stays in the atmosphere before being absorbed by a plant. He is talking about residence with replacement. His residence time is the average time that a carbon dioxide molecule and its replacements stay in the atmosphere when, as usually happens, a molecule that is absorbed is replaced by another molecule emitted from another plant.
Another way of describing the difference is in terms of the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. His residence time measures the rate at which the total amount would diminish if we stopped burning fossil fuels. My residence time measures the rate at which the total amount would diminish if we replaced all plants by carbon-eaters which do not reemit the carbon dioxide that they absorb.

Dyson says it is easy to resolve. It is if you want to.
And as to endless claims that all the new CO2 in the air has nothing to do with us – I’m sure Ferdinand Engelbeen will once again try to convey some sense on that. But the basic question – we’ve burnt about 400 Gt Carbon, and put it in the air. There is about 200 Gt more there than there used to be. If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?

July 1, 2013 8:48 pm

Could it be that the Keeling Curve is some kind of observational paradox?

Possibly. We have no idea really what happened with atmospheric CO2 from say 4kya to 3kya when we had a serious drop and recovery of global temperatures. We don’t know what atmospheric CO2 was during the MWP. We don’t know what happened to atmospheric CO2 as we went into the little ice age. It is as if we are seeing a very small portion of a roller coaster ride and attempting to extrapolate from that what the entire ride is like.

Chris @NJSnowFan
July 1, 2013 8:51 pm

OT yet another one. Just sick using fire fighter deaths to promote futer large fires.
@michaelemann just tweeted this an hour ago
“Experts See a New Normal: A Timber Box West, With More Huge Fires”
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/us/experts-see-a-hotter-drier-west-with-more-huge-fires.html?smid=tw-nytimesscience&seid=auto&
My prayers to the families who tlost a loved one
Chris

cohenite
July 1, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi Nick; expanding sinks is the answer and that makes the distinction moot.

July 1, 2013 9:04 pm

There is about 200 Gt more there than there used to be. If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?

I think buried in there are two assumptions that might not be true. The first assumption is that without human emissions, atmospheric CO2 would be stable. I don’t think we know that. There is no doubt that climate has changed during the recovery out of the Little Ice Age. Those changes include the reactivation of what has been permafrost in many areas into summer bogs. This would release much more CO2 in those areas that was released during that event. Same with ocean warming since the end of the LIA which will likely continue for several hundred more years. We don’t know what atmospheric CO2 response was the last time we experienced a cold event anywhere close to the LIA (probably the late bronze age collapse / Greek dark ages period).
The second assumption is that carbon removal from the atmosphere is constant over changing concentrations. That might not be true either. Carbon fertilization of plant life increases the rate at which it is scrubbed out. In the sea, some of that carbon falls to the bottom, on land, some of it is converted to very stable charcoal and is sequestered and overall you end up with more biomass. The delta of biomass would remove a corresponding amount of CO2. We also see much greater density of forestation in many areas than we find naturally without human forest management. Also, there is erosion. With more CO2 dissolved in water, we might see an increase in the production of insoluble carbonates from erosion.
So in summary: we don’t know how much of the increase, if any, is natural due to changes in ocean temperature and bioactivation of tundra and we don’t know how much the increase in CO2 changes the rate at which CO2 is scrubbed. Ice cores can’t give the resolution that we need that far back in time, as far as I know.

Edim
July 1, 2013 9:06 pm

“But the basic question – we’ve burnt about 400 Gt Carbon, and put it in the air. There is about 200 Gt more there than there used to be. If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?”
Not this straw-man again! You said it, in only one year more than half (some years much more) doesn’t stay in the in the atmosphere. The residence with replacement is very short – the atmosphere is in direct contact with world waters.

July 1, 2013 9:07 pm

Nick Stokes says:
“But the basic question – we’ve burnt about 400 Gt Carbon, and put it in the air. There is about 200 Gt more there than there used to be. If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?”
That is not the basic question. The basic question is this:
‘Does the rise in CO2 cause any global harm?’
The clear answer is “No.” There is no scientific evidence of global harm from the increase in CO2. The added CO2 does not cause any measurable global warming. Even if it did, warmth is good; it is cold that kills people, and harms the biosphere.
So the basic question has been answered: The added CO2 is not a problem. Further, even at the maximum projected concentrations, CO2 is not a problem. The “carbon” scare is predicated entirely on the rise in CO2, therefore we have dodged a bullet.
Once the basic question has been answered, we find that there is nothing whatever to worry about. And that is entirely a good thing, no?

July 1, 2013 9:26 pm

This is a graph of estimated Northern Norway temperatures from cores of permafrost. You will clearly see the 8.2ky event and the event at about the time of the late bronze age collapse. We have nothing that gives us the required resolution of atmospheric CO2 before, during, and after those events. This was the most significant cooling period prior to the LIA.
http://nipccreport.org/articles/2012/nov/Lilleorenetal2012.gif
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440312000416

Nick Stokes
July 1, 2013 9:30 pm

Edim says: July 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm
“The residence with replacement is very short – the atmosphere is in direct contact with world waters.”

Yes, there is constant exchange with the ocean. And through the photosynthesis/respiration cycle, as Dyson said. That swaps molecules, but not total mass.
Retail banks exchange huge amounts of money through deposits and withdrawals. But you can’t identify the inflow of deposit funds with profit rate. If a bank raises a billion dollors in shareholder funds, and pays out a billion dollars a week in withdrawals, you don’t expect the funds raised to be gone in a week.

dp
July 1, 2013 9:35 pm

Nick Stokes scribbled – If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?

Better to ask and easier to answer: Where can it have gone? How about because it is a fine fertilizer it went into a still expanding plantae biome? That can also explain a warming pause owing to a global shift in albedo. If you’re half as bright as you would like us to believe you should also be able to think of expanding sinks. How about it is trapped in the accumulating of ice at Antarctica? Or pulled into the CO2-scarce water that is being removed from aquifers and which are not being replenished? Or Trenberth’s missing heat that is plunging unseen to the bottom of the sea – surely as surface water it would be both warm and CO2-rich and that CO2 will precipitate out as clathrates, never again to be seen or a bother.
Give it a try – I cheated and suggested ones we already know about. Who is looking for things we don’t know about? You won’t find them by pissing away your science money on models.

Phil.
July 1, 2013 9:42 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm
Dang … another person who conflates residence time (the average time that an individual CO2 molecule remains in the atmosphere) and pulse half-life (the time it takes for a pulse of excess gas injected into the atmosphere to decay to half its original value). NOTE THAT THESE MEASURE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. The author is completely wrong to try to compare these two very different measures of atmospheric CO2.

Well said Willis you saved me a long post!
One other thing: “Paper 3 in the trilogy draws attention to the fact that hot water holds less dissolved carbon dioxide than cold water.”
This is only true for constant partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere, which we know is not true. In fact the atmospheric pCO2 is increasing faster than Henry’s Law allows so the [CO2] in the ocean increases as well!

July 1, 2013 9:59 pm

Why has the airborne fraction of CO2 [the ratio of observed atmospheric CO2 increase to anthropogenic CO2 emissions] declined over the past 50 years, especially since 2000?
http://ej.iop.org/images/1748-9326/8/1/011006/erl459410f3_online.jpg

milodonharlani
July 1, 2013 10:15 pm

Hockey Schtick says:
July 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm
Why has the airborne fraction of CO2 [the ratio of observed atmospheric CO2 increase to anthropogenic CO2 emissions] declined over the past 50 years, especially since 2000?
http://ej.iop.org/images/1748-9326/8/1/011006/erl459410f3_online.jpg
——————-
An excellent, trenchant question.
I’m sure there are better answers than this, but IMO it might have to do with the greening of the planet through higher plant & other photosynthetic productivity in fields, forests & waters.

Edim
July 1, 2013 10:18 pm

“Why has the airborne fraction of CO2 [the ratio of observed atmospheric CO2 increase to anthropogenic CO2 emissions] declined over the past 50 years, especially since 2000?”
It will decline much more when the cooling really kicks in. The change in atmospheric CO2 is controlled by climatic factors. I hypothesise that it’s the annual (seasonal) temperature cycle that causes the change. The net annual flow of this ‘CO2 pump’ is temperature dependent.

Ian W
July 1, 2013 10:42 pm

It is rare to see Willis and Nick Stokes making the same incorrect argument.
Their erroneous assumption being that the capacity of the natural carbon dioxide sink is static and can only reabsorb carbon dioxide at a particular rate. Yet we have (as dp says:July 1, 2013 at 9:35 pm,) a satellite identified increase in plant life worldwide and a greening of the deserts. Nature is hungry for more carbon dioxide it will be absorbed at an increasing rate with increasing atmospheric abundance.. Worse still, is that rate is unlikely to be identifiable by back of the envelope maths as it will be influenced by the numbers and types of plants that respond to the new increase of carbon dioxide and their growth rates . The presence of plants will also alter the hydrologic cycle and lead to more plants (as we have had described on WUWT). This is not a simple ‘Henry’s Law’ equation.

milodonharlani
July 1, 2013 10:47 pm

Ian W says:
July 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm
——————————-
Science really has little clue as to the nature & extent of carbon sinks on our homeostatic planet. But they are sure to be beyond the ken of activists who try hard not to imagine what they might be, for fear of discovering inconvenient truths.

July 1, 2013 10:54 pm

Thanks willis. Thanks Nick.
There are some good skeptical arguments let me list them
1. C02 warms the planet, but not as much as the consensus thinks.
Opps there is just one.
When skeptics put their shoulder to this stone, they make a difference> See Nic Lewis.
When they make simple mistakes like this post, they waste time and energy on problem that has been solved. See that extra c02.. Its ours. Want to destroy your credibility on the one good argument? make a bunch of mistakes on issues like the one in this post.

July 1, 2013 10:56 pm

I am a long-time admirer of Willis Eschenbach’s work and so I have to explore the argument he has presented. I find that the neither the Bern Model nor Willis’s estimate matches the precision that Bruce Buchholz has achieved. [Bucholz’s paper discussed below.]
Petterssons Figure 2 shows for the Bern Model 50% of concentration reached after about 35 years, the same as Willis estimated. Bucholz estimated 16 years. Pettersson estimated 9 years.
Bucholz: Theory and observations
What Willis discussed is pulse half-life, described in a paper by Bruce A. Buchholz of the Lawrence Livermore Lab. Based on observations, by 2010 the precision in measurement in timing of the bomb pulse was down to about one year.
[For me this clinches Bucholz’s estimate of 14C concentration within a very small margin of error.]
Bruce A. Buchholz, Carbon-14 Bomb Pulse Dating, Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, 2007
URL: https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/356050.pdf. The paper includes several references.
“With a radioactive half-life of 5730 years, the radioactive decay of 14C is minimal within the
time periods of interest in medical forensic cases…”
This means that the background 14C may be ignored for time periods shorter than a human lifetime. This also means that the decay of the 14C in the bomb-pulse may be ignored.
“Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and early 1960s doubled the concentration of 14C/C in the atmosphere (Figure 1) [2]. From the peak in 1963, the level of 14CO2 has decreased with a mean life of about 16 years, not due to radioactive decay, but due to mixing with large marine and terrestrial carbon reservoirs.”
Buchholz estimated 16 years for concentration of bomb 14C/C to reach 50%. This refers to the ratio of 14C to C. Since C is for practical purposes constant, this is equivalent to the concentration of 14C having declined by 50%.
In the paper by Pettersson, the time was estimated empirically to be 9 years. He stated, “There is no kinetically valid reason to disregard reported experimental estimates (5–14 years) of this relaxation time.”
The problem is not mainly one of kinetics, but a problem of estimating the transfer of 14C from the atmosphere to biological sinks. Nevertheless, it is kinetics that enables the 14C to enter a sink. i.e. the physical process must occur for the biological process to occur. If the efficiency of the biological process in capturing the 14C is less than 100%, the estimate based on kinetics alone will overestimate the amount of 14C that enters the sink and will underestimate the time for reducing the concentration to 50%.
I agree with Willis about the methodology: Pettersson’s estimate of 9 years is not correct. Possibly Pettersson could apply a correction base on the efficiency of the carbon sinks, essentially the biological sinks.
However, the 16 year estimate by Bucholz is confirmed by precise observation and measurement.
What we need is for someone to apply the Bucholz estimate to the outgassing hypothesis. The purpose would be to determine if Salby’s CO2 outgassing hypothesis still holds.

Louis Hooffstetter
July 1, 2013 11:13 pm

“Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and early 1960s doubled the concentration of 14C/C in the atmosphere.”
Sorry to be thick, but how did nuclear testing do this?

Edim
July 1, 2013 11:27 pm

“That swaps molecules, but not total mass.”
Nick Stokes, as we emit CO2 into the atmosphere, what’s there to stop the oceans and other world waters from absorbing it? A demon?

Stephen Wilde
July 1, 2013 11:33 pm

Whilst noting the apparent conflation of residence time for individual molecules and pulse half life for a volume of CO2 I don’t see it as fatal to the point the article makes which is that our emissions disappear far faster than the IPCC accepts.
The evidence now seems to show that our emissions get quickly absorbed by an energised biosphere (a sink) locally and regionally and that the main cause of atmospheric changes is sea surfaces subjected to more (or less) sunshine as a result of changing global cloudiness and albedo.
See here:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9508
“Evidence that Oceans not Man control CO2 emissions “

tallbloke
July 1, 2013 11:45 pm

Ian W says:
July 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm
It is rare to see Willis and Nick Stokes making the same incorrect argument.
Their erroneous assumption being that the capacity of the natural carbon dioxide sink is static and can only reabsorb carbon dioxide at a particular rate. Yet we have (as dp says:July 1, 2013 at 9:35 pm,) a satellite identified increase in plant life worldwide and a greening of the deserts. Nature is hungry for more carbon dioxide it will be absorbed at an increasing rate with increasing atmospheric abundance.

And this has been elucidated and discussed many times on WUWT. Yet Willis and Nick never, ever, address this issue and admit it reduces the proportion of airborne co2 attributable to anthropogenic emission vs temperature dependent natural increase.
Despite the evidence that it exists:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/is-the-airborne-co2-fraction-temperature-dependent/

tallbloke
July 1, 2013 11:57 pm

The real point here is not the argument about the residence time vs he e-folding time raised by Nick and Willis. The point is the quality of the match between the Keeling curve and the sum of the quantifications of human emitted co2 and temperature dependent natural increase.
The plain fact is that the combined curve fits the Keeling curve far better than human emissions alone. To get around that fact, the warmista have an unpleasant databending tendency to fudge the data splice between direct atmospheric measurement of co2 levels and the ice core proxies by eliminating the 1940’s co2 atmospheric data hump noted by the late Georg Ernst Beck.

Paul Carter
July 2, 2013 12:04 am

Steven Mosher,
You missed at least one other good sceptical argument:
2. Warming of the planet isn’t necessarily bad.
A large portion of credibility comes from open discussion and honest appraisal. That is exactly what you see in this thread, unlike the closed door shenanigans we see from alarmist ‘science’.

Editor
July 2, 2013 12:05 am

Ian W says:
July 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm

It is rare to see Willis and Nick Stokes making the same incorrect argument.
Their erroneous assumption being that the capacity of the natural carbon dioxide sink is static and can only reabsorb carbon dioxide at a particular rate. Yet we have (as dp says:July 1, 2013 at 9:35 pm,) a satellite identified increase in plant life worldwide and a greening of the deserts. Nature is hungry for more carbon dioxide it will be absorbed at an increasing rate with increasing atmospheric abundance.

Now, Roger Tallbloke claims above that I have “never, ever,” addressed this issue … Roger, either point out where I declined to address this issue, or go away. Your vague uncited and unsubstantiated attacks grow tiresome.
In any case, Ian, you say that I’m assuming that “the natural carbon dioxide sink is static”. Please quote my words where I’ve made that assumption, and what kind of error you think it produces. And if you can’t find anyplace I made that claim, you can accompany tallbloke out the door for all I care.
Guys, the kind of unsubstantiated mudslinging that you are engaging in is reprehensible. If you disagree with something I say, at least have the huevos to quote what it is that has you upset.
Because I certainly don’t recall making any such assumptions, or avoiding this strange issue in the past … why and where would I have claimed that the carbon sinks are static? Nothing on this planet is static.
w.

AndyG55
July 2, 2013 12:14 am

Increased CO2 levels are GOOD !!
Towards 700ppm . 🙂
Let the Earth PROSPER.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 12:24 am

Edim says: July 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm
“Nick Stokes, as we emit CO2 into the atmosphere, what’s there to stop the oceans and other world waters from absorbing it?”

Nothing. That’s where the non-airborne fraction goes, at a limited rate. But the nett flux is into the sea, not out of it. And not into the land biosphere, where the total mass of C, at about 700 Gt, is not that much more than the 400Gt we’ve burnt. And no, not into ice or other imaginative places.

Editor
July 2, 2013 12:26 am

tallbloke says:
July 1, 2013 at 11:57 pm

The real point here is not the argument about the residence time vs he e-folding time raised by Nick and Willis.

That’s not an “argument”, tallbloke. It’s a stupid mistake made by the author of the piece.

The point is the quality of the match between the Keeling curve and the sum of the quantifications of human emitted co2 and temperature dependent natural increase. The plain fact is that the combined curve fits the Keeling curve far better than human emissions alone.

I’ve never seen this argument made before, that the fit is better including the natural increase. It’s an interesting point. However, I don’t think that the dataset is long enough to distinguish such fine details. It’s a problem with gentle curves like the CO2 curve, you need lots of data to distinguish between similar situations.
The “temperature dependent natural increase” in atmospheric CO2 is a doubling of CO2 for every 16 degrees C temperature rise … which is quite small when we’re talking about a temperature rise of half a degree or so per century. If the starting CO2 level is 350 ppmv and the temperature goes up half a degree, the CO2 level only goes up by about 7 ppmv … tiny compared to the total. As a result of this effect being so small, we’d need many more years of data to determine if “the combined curve fits the Keeling curve far better than human emissions alone” as you claim.
So no, I’m not ignoring or avoiding this issue. I hadn’t thought about it, but now that it’s mentioned, it’s a second order effect.

To get around that fact, the warmista have an unpleasant databending tendency to fudge the data splice between direct atmospheric measurement of co2 levels and the ice core proxies by eliminating the 1940′s co2 atmospheric data hump noted by the late Georg Ernst Beck.

Citations or examples of all of this would be very useful. Without them, it’s unclear e.g. what “warmistas” you’re talking about, and exactly where and how they “fudge the data splice”.
w.

July 2, 2013 12:26 am

Add me to the contrarians like Willis and Nick: the basic point of this article is completely wrong. The residence time has nothing to do with the decay time of some injected extra amount of CO2. Two complete different things.
It is like comparing the residence time of capital and goods in a factory (that is the throughput or turnover) with the gain (or loss) of the same capital. While they are remotely connected, the turnover of capital/goods says next to nothing about the gain or loss of that bussiness.
Some discussion about the real excess decay time was already done at the late John Daly’s website by Peter Dietze:
http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

July 2, 2013 12:27 am

There is a degree of correlation between main climate indices and geological data in the N. Atlantic (AMO), N. Pacific (PDO) and the equatorial Pacific (SOI).
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GT-CI.htm
Apparent correlation was reversed during 1950’s and early 1960s, in both the north and equatorial Pacific but there was not such reversal in the N. Atlantic. Apparent correlation was restored after the limitation of the atmospheric tests in 1963.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 12:27 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:05 am
Actually Willis, you’ve just substantiated my point by once again avoiding the substantive issue. I didn’t make n attack on you, I made an observation, which is backed up by your response.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 12:36 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:26 ams.
The “temperature dependent natural increase” in atmospheric CO2 is a doubling of CO2 for every 16 degrees C temperature rise … which is quite small when we’re talking about a temperature rise of half a degree or so per century.

Hi again Willis, and thanks for addressing the substantive point this time.
Henry’s Law (which is what you get your 7ppm from) is not applicable to the situation, since the outgassing of co2 due to the heating of the surface of the planet is a much more complex affair than the uniform increase in T of a body of water in a test tube. Increased sunshine hours on volcagenic soils for example will exponentionally increase the amount of co2 released from their decay.
I don’t think that the dataset is long enough to distinguish such fine details. It’s a problem with gentle curves like the CO2 curve, you need lots of data to distinguish between similar situation
This is true. SO it’s a shame the papers the IPCC prefers chuck away the data inconvenient to their narrative.

Edim
July 2, 2013 12:39 am

Nick, why do you (and others) keep repeating that the net flux is into the sea? Nobody is saying it’s not. The claim is that the change in atmospheric CO2 is controlled by temperature. d(CO2) = C*T. Integrating, any accumulation is proportional to the area under the temperature curve.

Editor
July 2, 2013 12:40 am

tallbloke says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:27 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:05 am
Actually Willis, you’ve just substantiated my point by once again avoiding the substantive issue. I didn’t make n attack on you, I made an observation, which is backed up by your response.

Rog, you said …

And this has been elucidated and discussed many times on WUWT. Yet Willis and Nick never, ever, address this issue …

This is an attack. You have accused me of avoiding some issue. I don’t do that. I take them head on.
Not only that, but I’ve invited you to put up (quote where I avoided the issue) or shut up.
In response, you don’t provide a damn thing to back up your big mouth. Instead, you claim you just made an observation …
Pull the other leg.
w.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 12:46 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:26 am
tallbloke says:
July 1, 2013 at 11:57 pm
The real point here is not the argument about the residence time vs he e-folding time raised by Nick and Willis.
That’s not an “argument”, tallbloke. It’s a stupid mistake made by the author of the piece.

It’s not a mistake (stupid or otherwise) if, as the empirical data indicates, the residence and e-folding times are substantially similar.

Editor
July 2, 2013 12:48 am

tallbloke says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:36 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:26 ams.

The “temperature dependent natural increase” in atmospheric CO2 is a doubling of CO2 for every 16 degrees C temperature rise … which is quite small when we’re talking about a temperature rise of half a degree or so per century.

Hi again Willis, and thanks for addressing the substantive point this time.
Henry’s Law (which is what you get your 7ppm from) is not applicable to the situation, since the outgassing of co2 due to the heating of the surface of the planet is a much more complex affair than the uniform increase in T of a body of water in a test tube. Increased sunshine hours on volcagenic soils for example will exponentionally increase the amount of co2 released from their decay.

I didn’t get that number from Henry’s law, that’s pure fantasy. It’s the conclusion of two separate lines of investigation.
One is observational, involving measuring thousands of samples, as reported by Takahashi et al. I also get the same answer by analyzing the EPICA ice core data, 16°C temperature rise causes a doubling of CO2 in those records as well.
I note that despite attempting to discount my numbers (by foolishly making incorrect assumptions about their origin), you have followed your usual practice and not provided the numbers that you think are better.

I don’t think that the dataset is long enough to distinguish such fine details. It’s a problem with gentle curves like the CO2 curve, you need lots of data to distinguish between similar situation

This is true. SO it’s a shame the papers the IPCC prefers chuck away the data inconvenient to their narrative.

CITATIONS, TALLPERSON, CITATIONS! This is just more vague mud-slinging. What papers? What data?
w.

Edim
July 2, 2013 12:49 am

“Air-sea gas exchange is a physio-chemical process, primarily controlled by the air-sea difference in gas concentrations and the exchange coefficient, which determines how quickly a molecule of gas can move across the ocean-atmosphere boundary. It takes about one year to equilibrate CO2 in the surface ocean with atmospheric CO2…”
One year? I think it’s even shorter.
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Ocean+Carbon+Uptake

bw
July 2, 2013 12:53 am

Look at Fig 2 again. Every 10 years the atmosphere loses 1/2 of the CO2 content. Thats mostly biological. Read the frankpwhite comment, and the Buchholz reference.
This fundamental fact has always been known, see Segalstad, Lindzen and even the IPCC has references that confirm the fact that CO2 does NOT accumulate in the atmosphere. The annual global biological carbon fluxes (sinks and sources) are over 30 times larger than fossil fuel fluxes. The IPCC also shows this simple accounting, that anthropogenic CO2 adds about 3 percent to the “natural” carbon cycles. That means the atmosphere CO2 stream exchanges 1/2 of all CO2 in about 10 years. Since anthropogenic CO2 is 3 percent of the stream, then the 390 ppm CO2 of the atmosphere consists of 12 ppm anthropogenic and 378 ppm “natural” levels. Biological sources and sinks may not be “balanced” due to many factors. It’s obvious that “natural sources” have also increased relative the the sinks to account for the remaining change from 290 to 390. The Bern “model” is not data, it’s conjecture that Houghton spun into the foundation of the IPCC’s claims, and swallowed by the mendacious politicians and media.

Edim
July 2, 2013 12:55 am

It’s the seasonal temperature cycle where it’s at. The exchange coefficient is not the same for seasonal warming (outgasing) and cooling (uptake). Atmospheric CO2 doesn’t return to its starting point after one annual cycle is over.

Editor
July 2, 2013 12:59 am

tallbloke says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:46 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:26 am

tallbloke says:
July 1, 2013 at 11:57 pm

The real point here is not the argument about the residence time vs he e-folding time raised by Nick and Willis.

That’s not an “argument”, tallbloke. It’s a stupid mistake made by the author of the piece.

It’s not a mistake (stupid or otherwise) if, as the empirical data indicates, the residence and e-folding times are substantially similar.

Once again, you engage in argument by assertion, no citations, no references, no math, no logic—just shooting off your mouth and hoping some sucker believes it. I don’t know why I even bother answering.
Steven Mosher and I both say it’s a mistake. I’ve provided references to my own work, and to the work of Jacobson, to show it’s a mistake. Stokes quoted Freeman Dyson making the exact same point, that conflating the two is an error.
So I fear that tallbloke putting his fingers in his ears and saying that “the empirical data indicates, the residence and e-folding times are substantially similar” doesn’t mean a damn thing to me. They’re not “substantially similar”. They’re quite different, as Dyson points out. And I point out. And Jacobson points out.
Now, if you were to cite the “empirical data” and present a logical argument, you might have something. As it is, your strongly held opinion without a scrap of evidence to support it is meaningless.
w.
PS—Even if the residence and e-folding times were “substantially similar”, the author of this piece STILL conflating the two, he thinks they are the same thing—and that’s still a stupid mistake …

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 1:01 am

According to Joos’ description of the Bern model linked by the OP at
http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~joos/model_description/model_description.html
A coupling constant of 6.3 W/m2 is used for the logarithmic relationship between CO2 and radiative forcing. The fraction covered by land is 0.29 and the heat exchange coefficient between land and continent is set to 7.2 W/(m2 K), corresponding to an atmospheric relaxation time of 8 days. The equilibrium response of the model for a given radiative forcing, say for a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 is not modeled but prescribed according to results of atmosphere general circulation models. The ratio of the climate sensitivities over land and ocean is chosen in order to obtain a 30 percent warmer equilibrium response over land than over the sea. As a standard, the global climate sensitivity is set to 2.5 K for an increase in radiative forcing corresponding to a doubling of preindustrial atmospheric CO2 (Delta-T(2xCO2)=2.5 K).
No wonder the result is such a pile of crap.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 1:10 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:59 am
Even if the residence and e-folding times were “substantially similar”, the author of this piece STILL conflating the two, he thinks they are the same thing
On the contrary Willis, the following passage from the OP clearly shows he is fully aware of the difference:
“(IPCC) has disregarded the empirically determined turnover times, claiming that they lack bearing on the rate at which anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are removed from the atmosphere. Instead, the fourth IPCC assessment report argues that the removal of carbon dioxide emissions is adequately described by the ‘Bern model‘, a carbon cycle model designed by prominent climatologists at the Bern University. The Bern model is based on the presumption that the increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide derive exclusively from anthropogenic emissions. Tuned to fit the Keeling curve, the model prescribes that the relaxation of an emission pulse of carbon dioxide is multiphasic with slow components reflecting slow transfer of carbon dioxide from the oceanic surface to the deep-sea regions. The problem is that empirical observations tell us an entirely different story.”
As I pointed out above, the empirical data shows that the e-folding time is substantially similar to the residence time. It’s certainly nowhere near the 100 years or more the skewed Bern model comes up with.
I don’t need to waste my time digging up references to flawed studies to substantiate this point, since this article contains suitable bibliographic references anyway. So quit flannelling and get on with the science.

Hoser
July 2, 2013 1:11 am

Willis, I’ll get to you.
Hoser said:
March 30, 2013 at 9:02 am
The half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 10 years. We happened to perform the experiment by injecting 14C into the atmosphere through nuclear testing [1]. A spike of about 2x the natural concentration of 14C in 1963 has been decreasing since then, back toward normal levels. Quick and dirty analysis of the chart (190% in 1963, 145% in 1973, 122% in 1983, 111-115% in 1993) suggests 10 years is about right, and the 100% level may not be as constant as the chart implies. Too bad we can’t see a clear 14C variation that would likely be due to cosmic ray flux changes.
On the paper, if CO2 is taken up at a higher rate and converted to wood, or falls to the bottom of the ocean as sediment, then NPP-> greater sequestration in absolute quantity would be true. However, would ‘excess’ CO2 be taken up with the same efficiency? In other words, if there were 10% more CO2, would there be 10% more wood or diatom skeletons falling to the ocean floor? If this process is the basis of environmental homeostasis, then you would expect the efficiency to decrease if CO2 falls and increase if CO2 levels rise (negative feedback). Obviously, if CO2 levels fall too far, organisms die and CO2 will subsequently rise. So that part of the story seems likely. Eventually, there would be a level of CO2 too high for many organisms to survive, but that level is unlikely ever to be achieved in the atmosphere.
Regarding CO2 in the atmosphere, let it ride, baby.
1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Radiocarbon_bomb_spike.svg
And now for Willis….
We are measuring a process that is not really the atmosphere is working back toward equilibrium. The CO2 levels are not changing the way the 14C levels are. So what are we seeing?
Generally speaking, the CO2 concentration depends on the rates of CO2 leaving and entering the atmosphere. The rates are the rate constant times the concentration of the gas. As the concentration falls, the rate of CO2 leaving slowly decreases as the concentration falls. The rate the gas leaves is not zero when the CO2 level is at equilibrium. It is balanced by the rate of CO2 entering the atmosphere.
Remember, we are not looking at CO2, but 14CO2.
Because 14CO2 enters a very large reservoir of CO2 when it leaves the atmosphere, the rate of 14CO2 returned from the reservoir is effectively ZERO. However, there is a relatively constant low rate of 14C produced from cosmic rays.
We are not measuring equilibria here. When the rate of 14CO2 loss is measured, it starts from a large spike well above the normal level. Thus, that measured rate is approximately the pure rate of CO2 loss from the atmosphere. 14C is a tracer, with effectively no physicochemical properties different from 12CO2.
The 14C spike is therefore a pretty good single turnover experiment, Wills. The spike is sufficiently large that it is very different from equilibrium conditions and measures exactly what we want. There is no significant backward rate of 14C returning from the large reservoir. The only issue is the much lower approximately constant rate of 14C produced by cosmic rays. However, as mentioned, that rate is very low compared to the measured rate of 14C decrease from the initial spike level, and continuing for about 40 years.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 1:18 am

Edim says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:55 am
It’s the seasonal temperature cycle where it’s at. The exchange coefficient is not the same for seasonal warming (outgasing) and cooling (uptake). Atmospheric CO2 doesn’t return to its starting point after one annual cycle is over.

Exactly, the temperature driven effect is cumulative, just like the effect of longer sunshine hours is on ocean heat content, which is what raises the temperature in the first place. CO2 is largely along for the ride.
The empirical data suggests the anthropogenic contribution to the increase in airborne CO2 is around 50%. Not that it matters much, since CO2 only theoretically causes around 1C of warming per doubling anyway, and the water vapour feedback is nowhere to be seen, except in the model output of CO2 obsessed climatologits.

Hoser
July 2, 2013 1:20 am

Ok, I’m really tired, I’ll try to make sure the point is a bit more clear. The CO2 rate of loss will be proportional to the observed 14CO2 rate of loss. The slope of the curve on a log scale is the rate constant. You can figure out what t1/2 is from there. And if it still doesn’t make sense, I’ll just enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning, and not worry about it.
Willis, sometimes you might try listening instead of defending yourself all the time. It gets silly.

Doug Proctor
July 2, 2013 1:20 am

1. Since much of current CO2 is ocean-derived, there is now a measurable positive feedback, i.e. more CO2 leads to even more CO2.
2. Since we have outgassing, there is no IN-gassing: any apparent change in oceanic pH must have some other reason.
3. Biologic activity, i.e. plancton grow, is well documented in the English Channel and the Antarctic waters to be anti-correlated with CO2 as measured above the water surfaces. We could be seeing biological activity changes as well as thermal changes as responsible for CO2 emissions.
4. The Keeling curve shows the final growth of CO2 in the atmosphere. It has been correlated to emissions; although not causitive, its correlation is not in dispute, so we need not ignore the projection per se.
5. Since we are putting in much faster than the planet is taking out, the residence time becomes moot, except to underscore that the science is not settled. If, however, the oceanic component changes, either from thermal reasons (i.e. the sun isn’t warming as before) or biological ones, the emissions:atmospheric increase will change markedly. The warming by IPCC model will also get out of whack, as anthropogenic input is the only variable, the oceans being sinks of CO2 (and which become more “acidic” as a result).
There is much to considerr in this work, some for and some against CAGW – mostly against. It certainly messes up the narrative, the history and asserted predictability of temperatures.

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 1:26 am

Am I the only one who finds Willis’s emotional and aggressive responses distracting?

alex
July 2, 2013 1:28 am

CO2 cycle is governed by a high-order system of equations.
There is no “single residence time” as it would be in the case of a first order eq.
The shortest lifetime is indeed about 3 years.
The next one is however 100 years or so.
IPCC finds out 7 (!) lifetimes.
This behaivour is usual for linear systems.
Just take the simplest damped oscillator.
d^2x/dt^2 + 2*g*dx/dt + w^2 x = 0.
It has two decay times
the fastest one is
g + sqrt(g^2 – w^2)
but there is also a much slower one
g – sqrt(g^2-w^2).
Which one works depends on the way you excite the oscillator.
When it is an “explosion” you excite the short living mode.
If you gently push the oscillator, it is the slow decaying mode.
The same is with CO2.
A bomb deposition of carbon decays very fast.
The slow pollution decays very slow.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 1:31 am

From Joos description of the Bern model linked by the OP
” results of the Bern model in general agree with results of A/OGCMs.”
This is the usual circular argument which is the hallmark of CO2 obsessed climatologists:
THEY PARAMETERISED THE BERN MODEL WITH THE GCM RESULTS IN THE FIRST PLACE!
“The equilibrium response of the model for a given radiative forcing, say for a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 is not modeled but prescribed according to results of atmosphere general circulation models.”
DOH!

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 1:38 am

I think we are eventually going to find that the primary driver of changes in atmospheric CO2 is the amount of sunshine entering the oceans with a substantial correlation between solar activity, jet stream meridionality or zonality and global cloudiness and albedo.
The areas of highest CO2 concentration are above the sun warmed oceans under the subtropical high pressure cells and we can even see them drift to and fro latitudinally with the seasons.
Simply put, the Earth is sunnier when the sun is active and the additional sunlight drives CO2 from the oceans. I have explained the mechanism for the necessary cloudiness changes previously.
When the sun is inactive there is less sunlight and less CO2 emanating from the oceans.
That has a large effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations for a small change in the amount of sunlight and the ice cores are too coarse a proxy for recording such short term variability as Murry Salby points out.
I suspect that the C13/12 issue is dealt with by decomposing organic material in the oceans being a source of low C!3 CO2 just as is decomposing organic material is on land.

Venter
July 2, 2013 1:39 am

Mosher says
QUOTE
There are some good skeptical arguments let me list them
1. C02 warms the planet, but not as much as the consensus thinks.
Opps there is just one.
UNQUOTE
What he missed is
1.] All other things being equal, CO2 warms the planet. But all other things are not equal. Most sceptics state that.
2.] We don’t understand the behaviour of clouds, aerosols and various other factors influencing the climate. The climate models are pitifully inadequate in these respects.
3.] 73 different Climate models supposedly using the ” same basic physics ” arrive at wildly different values. Averaging those values and calling them model ensemble is pure unadulterated nonsense. An average of a collection of crap remains crap. Model runs are not experiments and model outputs are not data. Mosher should repeat these daily till it sinks into his head.
4.] The honest answer is that we still do not have enough knowledge or information to understand how the climate system works and are barely scratching the surface. So based on the knowledge and the crappy output of the models, it is in no way acceptable to proclaim that the science is settled and advise policymakers to take bad decisions involving billions of dollars and negatively affecting millions of lives.
5.] Not a single instance has been shown by empirical evidence or any other evidence [ except scaremongering stories from rabid CAGW adherents ] that a mild amount of warming causes any harm. The benefits of a moderate amount of warming have been totally ignored.
6.] It is ridiculous to expect people to suffer and die today by making energy expensive with the vague promise that the world could be 0.02 degrees cooler in a 100 years, a claim not matched by any empirical evidence and completely untestable by anyone living today. The proponents can never be held responsible for their actions as they would have long gone. But the suffering today happening to people being denied cheap energy is real and lives are being lost.
Anyone with half a brain reading WUWT knows very well that these points have been enunciated again and again by a lot of sceptics, especially prominent people like Anthony, Willis Eschenbach, Dr.Robert Brown, Lord Moncton etc. For Mosher to blithely state the skeptic position in one line as a certainity, is a willful distortion of the truth. It is a false statement. But that is how he has been behaving and trolling off late, with drive by commentary, snark and hate.

July 2, 2013 1:41 am

@mosher @willis
“Want to destroy your credibility on the one good argument? make a bunch of mistakes on issues like the one in this post”
There are quite a few measures of credibility, including how one responds to criticism. I might add to that, how willing someone is to toss out bald assertions like “destroy” in a comment.
Pettersson’s bio doesn’t strike me as that of a dilettante; maybe he’s aware of the distinction and has a rationale for his treatment of the two effects; maybe he’s wrong.
But certainly it’s worth seeing what the response is.

cohenite
July 2, 2013 1:47 am

“But the nett flux is into the sea, not out of it. And not into the land biosphere, where the total mass of C, at about 700 Gt, is not that much more than the 400Gt we’ve burnt. ”
Key points; are they assumed or do you have non-modelled data?
“A bomb deposition of carbon decays very fast.
The slow pollution decays very slow.”
Interesting point Alex; what physical mechanism would do that?

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 1:48 am

The biological factors shouldn’t be omitted in this debate. There is a strong correlation between fish stocks and the ~60yr oceanic cycles. This is food chain derived. If there are less fish in the warm phases of the ocean cycles then it is because there is less food for the to eat. At the base of the food chain are the plankton.
Less plankton –> less co2 uptake and less ocean bed deposition of carbonaceous shells –> more airborne co2.
Georg Ernst Beck’s data showing the spikes in Airborne CO2 in the 1880’s and 1940’s substantiates the idea that this is an important factor.
If, as my rough calcs indicate, (and given our ignorance of large chunks of the carbon cycle performing detailed ones would be an error of false precision) the human contribution to the rise in CO2 is around 50%, we would expect to see a flatlining of CO2 levels over the next thirty years or so.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 2:01 am

bw says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:53 am
It’s obvious that “natural sources” have also increased relative the the sinks to account for the remaining change from 290 to 390.

And some natural sinks have diminished, such as the plankton effect I note above.

michael hart
July 2, 2013 2:07 am

No, Stephen.

July 2, 2013 2:21 am

The author has, as Willis and other have already mentioned, made the error to equal residence time for individual molecules to decay time of the gas. These are very different things and make the whole argument meaningless.
Since obviously so many people mix these things I have made an analogy which I think can be clarifying.
Imagine a leaky bucket standing under an open tap. The water level is an analogy to the CO2 in the atmosphere. The leakage is the natural sinks and the open tap is the natural sources.
The water level is then held constant at 280 mm (280 ppm), and the stream and leakage has a magnitude that renews all the water in the bucket over a period of nine years.
Each water molecule (CO2 molecule) then has an average residence time of 9 years.
What happens then if we put an extra cup of water in the bucket?
The water level increases and the leakage also increase until the water level has again sunk to the equilibrium level. The pulse half-life is the time it takes before the excess water level is a half of what it was after the cup was poured.
The important point is that there are no connection between the residence time for the water molecules and the time it takes for the water to sink. The latter is dependent of how much the leakage changes in response to a change in the water level; the residence time is dependent on the leakage itself.
The Bern model describes the amount of this change in leakage.
The author here talks about the magnitude of the leakage.

michel
July 2, 2013 2:27 am

“Am I the only one who finds Willis’s emotional and aggressive responses distracting?”
No, it would be much better and more productive to deal with this stuff calmly and in a matter of fact way.

July 2, 2013 2:32 am

Hoser says:
July 2, 2013 at 1:20 am
Ok, I’m really tired, I’ll try to make sure the point is a bit more clear. The CO2 rate of loss will be proportional to the observed 14CO2 rate of loss.
No, complete different mechanisms at work: the reduction of 14C is mainly a matter of exchange rate with the other reservoirs: part goes into the ocean surface, part goes into vegetation and part goes into the deep oceans. The 14C exchange is fast, but two-sided with ocean surface and seasonal vegetation changes, but slower with deep ocean exchanges and longer term vegetation deposits (peat, roots, browncoal, coal). What goes into the deep oceans is the current composition of the atmosphere (plus the isotope fractionation over the air-water border), what comes out is the composition of the deep oceans, which is poorer in 14C.
The dilution of 14C in the atmosphere is mainly a matter of turnover: mostly over the seasons large amounts of CO2 are exchanged: about 50 GtC with the ocean surface and about 60 GtC with vegetation in and out over one cycle. Together with the continuous about 40 GtC exchange between the equatorial and polar waters, that gives some turnover of 150 GtC / 800 GtC or about 20% of all CO2 residing in the atmosphere per year. Or a residence time of ~5 years. As part of the 14C returns next season from the ocean surface and vegetation, the real residence time of 14C is somewhat longer.
The removal of any extra CO2 (whatever the source) is a different matter: That is a matter of CO2 level (= partial pressure of CO2), compared to the equilibrium CO2 level. That level is currently about 110 ppmv (222 GtC) above the equilibrium level for the current temperature. The net result is a removal of some 4-5 GtC/year as CO2 after a full seasonal cycle. That gives an e-fold decay time of 222/4.5 = 49 years or a half life time of ~35 years. Quite a difference with the residence time… Also much shorter than the Bern model, but that is another discussion…
As said before by Willis and others, the residence time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere and the removal of some excess CO2 are two very different things, with hardly any connection between the two.

ROM
July 2, 2013 2:37 am

Just curious as I can find plenty of papers on CO2 and / or atmospheric water vapour but not on the uptake and / or out-gassing of CO2 by atmospheric water vapour if that actually occurs
.
Everybody talks about the out-gassing or absorption of CO2 by the ocean waters as they warm or cool.
But how much CO2 does the atmospheric water vapor bind in the total of all CO2?
The surface reaction area of the clusters of atmospheric water vapour molecules available for CO2 binding is infinitely greater than in an ocean water situation so the amount of CO2 bound up by the atmospheric water vapour might be magnitudes higher per WV volume than in an open ocean with only it’s surface layers exposed to any binding / out-gassing of CO2
Assuming some CO2 is bound to atmospheric water vapour, is this bound CO2 ever actually measured or allowed for?
Does this atmospheric CO2 get released from it’s binding with water vapor molecules as the atmospheric temperatures increase?
As the stratospheric water vapour content has shown a slight apparent decrease over the decades, have the stratosphere’s CO2 levels changed closely in line with the tropospheric CO2 levels or are stratospheric CO2 levels indicating detectable differences between the CO2 uptake mechanisms of the stratosphere and the troposphere?
Are there day / night changes detectable in atmospheric CO2 as the atmosphere warms and cools over every 24 hour cycle?
If so Why?
We know there are seasonal changes in atmospheric CO2 generally attributed to the uptake of CO2 by newly germinated plants and the rapid growth in spring along with the release of CO2 or reduced plant uptake as the season moves into it’s winter phase and plant growth and plant death quite dramatically reduces CO2 uptake.
Or that at least is what we are told.
What if some of those changes were attributable to not only out-gassing of oceans but also due to the release or uptake or the out-gassing of CO2 by the atmospheric water vapour as the atmospheric temperatures change as the season’s change ?

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 2:38 am

The original post is about the faster rate of elimination of human emissions than recognised by the IPCC.
It is clear from the example given that residence time is shorter than suggested for individual molecules and the pulse removal time is faster.
In reality our emissions are not as a pulse, they increase over time but nonetheless the IPCC is wrong.
The data available suggests no observable high levels of CO2 over or downwind of inhabited land areas yet there are such observable high levels over and downwind of sunlit oceans.

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 2:39 am

ROM said:
“also due to the release or uptake or the out-gassing of CO2 by the atmospheric water vapour as the atmospheric temperatures change as the season’s change ?”
Murry Salby also suggests soil moisture on land as a significant player.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 2:44 am

jkanders says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:21 am
The Bern model describes the amount of this change in leakage.
The author here talks about the magnitude of the leakage.

You seem to be ignoring this statement in the OP:
c. The exponential character of the relaxation implies that the rate of removal of C14 has been proportional to the amount of C14. This means that the observed 95% of the relaxation process have been governed by the atmospheric concentration of C14-carbon dioxide according to the law of mass action, without any detectable contributions from slow oceanic events.

michael hart
July 2, 2013 2:51 am

Also worth remembering that while an increase in temperature may push an equilibrium position in one direction, if the system is already significantly displaced away from the current potential equilibrium position, the temperature effect will usually increase the RATE at which the system is changing. That change may be in the opposite direction to that expected for the change in the equilibrium position. This can produce counter-intuitive results even in a simple system.
And then there’s the biology… For good reasons, ~100% of living organisms use carbonic anhydrase to enormously accelerate the H2O/CO2=H2CO3 exchange rate.

July 2, 2013 2:57 am

Tallbloke says:
“The biological factors shouldn’t be omitted in this debate. There is a strong correlation between fish stocks and the ~60yr oceanic cycles. This is food chain derived. If there are less fish in the warm phases of the ocean cycles then it is because there is less food for the(m) to eat. At the base of the food chain are the plankton.”
Are you serious? There is no established relationship between world fish stocks and plankton abundance in a world where all sorts of things, not the least over fishing affecting fish stocks. I can’t for the life me figure out where you got that barmy idea from. And I certainly hope you are not relying on the recent crappy, blatantly warmist Nature paper which claims a massive decline in phytoplankton levels over the last 100 years or so,. That has already been thoroughly discredited. It is astonishing it even got through peer review (says a lot about Nature).
In fact, the increasing lag between SH CO2 levels (lower) and NH CO2 levels (higher) surely indicates that in the the great Southern Ocean at least phytoplankton abundances are increasing (I posted a substantial proof of this on Stockwell’s Niche Modeling some years back). Very ferw seem to have noticed that the contribution of the NH dataset to the mean global mean surface CO2 level has slowly and monotonically increased.
Ironically, on the other hand I do agree with your contention that the curve fit does seem to best indicate a close similarity between the e-folding time and the residence time. As I see it Willis and Nick need to address this basic fact Pettersson and you raise rather than just impose their a priori assumptions about the nature of the so-called e-folding time over the recent historical period. We need to be remember just what an e-folding time is….

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 3:01 am

Hoser says: July 2, 2013 at 1:11 am
“The 14C spike is therefore a pretty good single turnover experiment, Wills. The spike is sufficiently large that it is very different from equilibrium conditions and measures exactly what we want. There is no significant backward rate of 14C returning from the large reservoir.”

And this illustrates the fallacy of the post. Yes, there was virtually no 14C in the ocean, and no backflow. But there was plenty of 12C, and apart from recent anthro, the backflow matched the downflow. Now there is an imbalance, and a nett downflow, but unrelated to the one-way value. Anyone who understands dynamic equilibruium knows this.
Well, almost unrelated. But it provides a lower bound, and that’s why tallbloke’s claim that they are comparable can’t possibly be right. The 5-10yr flux without replacement is, even with anthro burning, almost balanced by the backflow. There is no way that the nett can be comparable to the one-way. Dyson’s quote of century vs decade is typical of what is measured.
There’s a large exchange with the sea. That is dominated by seasonal flux. Every year, temperate oceans vary SST by at least 5°C. Large amounts of C are absorbed on cooling, mixed, and emitted on warming. The re-emitted molecules are different, and this is counted in the residence time, but the near-balance of the process is obligatory.

TerryS
July 2, 2013 3:03 am

You have an atmosphere with different carbon sinks.
You have a bucket with different holes in the bottom.
The atmosphere is being filled with CO2 by multiple sources at different rates.
The bucket is being filled with water by multiple taps at different flow rates.
The amount of water in the bucket (V) will stabilise when the incoming flow rate (F) is the same as the outgoing flow rate. The volume is determined by the half-life (h) or residence time (r) of the water in the bucket. The relationships between F, V, h and r are:
r = V / F
h = r * ln(2)
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will stabilise when the incoming rate is the same as the outgoing rate. It was apparently stable, in the pre-industrial era, at 278ppm or 2173Gt. The IPCC also say the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere from natural sources is 771Gt per year. Putting these values into the above equations give:
r = 2173/771 = 2.82 years
h = 1.95 years
If you add a pulse (P) of water to the bucket you can calculate how much is left after time (t) with the following formula:
P(t) = P * e^(-t/r)
If you add a pulse (P) of CO2 to the atmosphere you can calculate how much is left after time (t) with the following formula (according to the Berne model):
P(t) = P*( 0.14 + 0.13e^(-t/372) + 0.19e^(-t/56) + 0.25e^(-t/17) + 0.21e^(-t/4) + 0.08e^(-t/1.33) )
Curious. It looks like my bucket model of the atmosphere has failed. Never mind, a blowtorch and some pieces of metal (assuming a galvanised bucket) and I can modify the bucket so that it works.
The bucket is now divided into 6 separate sections. The percentage of the whole bucket that each section contains is: 14%, 13%, 19%, 25%, 21% and 8%. The holes in the bottom of the bucket are changed so that the 14% section does not have any holes, the 13% section has enough holes for a residence time of 372 seconds, 19% has 56s, 25% has 17s and so on. If you now add a pulse (P) of water to the bucket you can calculate how much is left after time t with the following equation:
P(t) = P*( 0.14 + 0.13e^(-t/372) + 0.19e^(-t/56) + 0.25e^(-t/17) + 0.21e^(-t/4) + 0.08e^(-t/1.33) )
What this shows is that my bucket is now a perfect physical representation of the Berne model. When it comes to pulses of CO2/water the model and my bucket share the same properties (they must since the equations are the same).
In the same way that the water from one section can not mix with the water from another section, the Berne model does not allow any CO2 mixing. Yet every single atmospheric model starts with the assumption that: “CO2 is a well mixed gas”. The bucket without sections represents an atmosphere where CO2 mixes instantly and the bucket with sections represents one with an infinite mixing time.
Of course the atmosphere with carbon sinks is different than a bucket with holes. The reason is that the holes in the bucket have a infinite capacity for letting water escape and will always be the same size, whereas a carbon sink might have a finite capacity or the absorption rate will change (or have a maximum) due to other factors such as temperature, precipitation, human activity etc.
What this all means is that calculating a half life 1.95 years (using the bucket model with well mixed water) is too simple because the half life will vary, but calculating it using the Berne model is also incorrect because it does not allow for any CO2 mixing.
Finally, if you add a mixing function to the Berne formula by calculating P(t) and then starting the calculation again with P = P(t) (this assumes it takes time t for CO2 to mix) then, with a mixing time somewhere between instant and 4 years you get a residency of between 5 and 14 years and a half life of between 7 and 20 years.

July 2, 2013 3:04 am

Stephen Wilde says:
July 2, 2013 at 1:38 am
The areas of highest CO2 concentration are above the sun warmed oceans under the subtropical high pressure cells and we can even see them drift to and fro latitudinally with the seasons.
Sunlight doesn’t drive CO2 out of the oceans, but temperature does. Henry’s Law shows some 16 microatm/°C increase or decrease with temperature. The difference in partial pressure between the oceans and the atmosphere is what drives CO2 out of the oceans (and into the oceans near the poles). See: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml
I suspect that the C13/12 issue is dealt with by decomposing organic material in the oceans being a source of low C!3 CO2 just as is decomposing organic material is on land.
No, the 13C/12C ratio of the oceans (0 to 1 per mil for deep oceans, 1-5 per mil for ocean surface, is far higher than what is measured in the atmosphere (currently – 8 per mil d13C). The ocean surface is higher than the deep oceans as part of the low 13C from biomass is sinking into the deep.
Thus any substantial increase of the CO2 release by the oceans (either additional or more turnover) would increase the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere, but we see a firm decrease, both in the atmosphere as in the ocean surface, in lockstep with human emissions. See:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 3:24 am

Ferdinand.
Sunlight penetrating water heats up not only water molecules but also biomass within the water. If that biomass is dead material then decomposition will be accelerated and low C13 CO2 will be given off by the decomposing biomass.
That is a separate issue to simple warming of the water molecules or warming of living material such as sponges.
There is a lot of dead and decomposing biomass floating near the surface.
Therefore it is quite possible that additional sunlight (by affecting biomass) will cause far more CO2 emissions than would be expected from the application of Henry’s Law alone.
Furthermore those ‘extra’ emissions, being from decomposing biomass rather than from the water itself would be low in C13 CO2.
The ‘lockstep’ you refer to also correlates with less clouds and more sunshine during a period of more active sun. Therefore it should be possible to check the right answer after a long enough period of quiet sun and increased global cloudiness.

July 2, 2013 3:30 am

tallbloke says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:44 am
You seem to be ignoring this statement in the OP:
c. The exponential character of the relaxation implies that the rate of removal of C14 has been proportional to the amount of C14.
That is true, but has nothing to do with the change in total mass: 14C is in an order of 10^-22 in mass compared to 12C and 13C. Thus the doubling of 14C didn’t change the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere. The removal of 14C therefore is only the result of the exchange rates.
The removal of the extra CO2 from human emissions on the other hand is not a matter of exchange rate, but of changes in partial pressure in the atmosphere, as well as compared to the ocean surface as to vegetation (water in the alveoles). These decay rates are proportional to the increase of CO2 compared to the (temperature controlled) equilibrium level.
Quite different things…

July 2, 2013 3:50 am

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:03 am
I fully agree that the Bern model fails on the real world, be it that it “may” be more or less right if we burn near all available oil, gas and coal… That is, there may be constraints in some of the fast sinks if we have burned 3000-5000 GtC, quite a lot more than the 370 GtC we have burned until today.
The following constraints do happen:
– some 10% of the change in the atmosphere goes into the top oceans with a decay rate of 1-3 years, but there it stops. That has to do with the carbon/buffer chemistry of the oceans. That is the Revelle factor.
– something similar happens in vegetation: while in controlled circumstances a doubling of CO2 gives an average 50% increase in growth rate, the real increase in nature is more around 15%, as other constraints are leading.
– the medium speed uptakes are in the deep oceans and more permanent storage by vegetation. These have half lives of ~40 years. The deep oceans are far from saturated for the moment, thus there is no current limit in uptake, only a limit in exchange speed, but it may come in the (far) future. On the other side, there is absolutely no limit in permanent storage of carbon in vegetation, which still can be seen in the coal layers we use up to today.
As these are the main sinks today and into the far future, they are the leading sinks and the slower sinks play no role at all in the sink rate: the fastest would give the real rate, the slowest only ad a little to the uptake. That is what is seen in reality: there is no decrease in sink ratio (the “airborne fraction”) over time, to the contrary.
Thus, indeed forget the Bern model for the next few hundred years (especially the “constant” term, which is not applicable for relative small releases).

Gene Selkov
July 2, 2013 3:57 am

dp says, about atmospheric CO2: “… Or pulled into the CO2-scarce water that is being removed from aquifers …”
Water in all aquifers I am familiar with is super-saturated with CO2. That is why it is possible to reduce water hardness by boiling it, driving the CO2 off and letting carbonates precipitate. The net effect of groundwater use should be an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere, whether the water is boiled or not.

RCSaumarez
July 2, 2013 3:59 am

@Willis Eschenbach
The assumption behind tracer experiments and I have done many in my time, is that the concentration of tracer is infinesimal compared to the pool, which is clearly the case with bomb induced c14. In this case, provided c14 is handled by the biosphere in a similar manner, the decay curve gives the pool turnover. This has been validated in thousands of experiments and is the be basis for kinetic experiments in metabolism This may be corrected for fluctuating pool size, as has been done here.
I would have to say that your fundamental assumptions are not correct.

Ian W
July 2, 2013 4:37 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:05 am
Ian W says:
July 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm
It is rare to see Willis and Nick Stokes making the same incorrect argument.
Their erroneous assumption being that the capacity of the natural carbon dioxide sink is static and can only reabsorb carbon dioxide at a particular rate. Yet we have (as dp says:July 1, 2013 at 9:35 pm,) a satellite identified increase in plant life worldwide and a greening of the deserts. Nature is hungry for more carbon dioxide it will be absorbed at an increasing rate with increasing atmospheric abundance.
Now, Roger Tallbloke claims above that I have “never, ever,” addressed this issue … Roger, either point out where I declined to address this issue, or go away. Your vague uncited and unsubstantiated attacks grow tiresome.
In any case, Ian, you say that I’m assuming that “the natural carbon dioxide sink is static”. Please quote my words where I’ve made that assumption, and what kind of error you think it produces. And if you can’t find anyplace I made that claim, you can accompany tallbloke out the door for all I care.
Guys, the kind of unsubstantiated mudslinging that you are engaging in is reprehensible. If you disagree with something I say, at least have the huevos to quote what it is that has you upset.
Because I certainly don’t recall making any such assumptions, or avoiding this strange issue in the past … why and where would I have claimed that the carbon sinks are static? Nothing on this planet is static.
w.

Willis, not a straw man… A hidden assumption is not ‘quotable’ . The only way you can come up with a fixed period of time or in your words “the time constant for the exponential decay of a single pulse of CO2 injected into the atmosphere”. Is to have a fixed rate of absorption of carbon dioxide by the climate system. So your reasoning goes the man is really thirsty and put a large glass of cold water in front of him and he can drink that in 10 seconds (residence time) – if a ‘pulse of 10 glasses is put in front of him it will take 10 times as long (the pulse half life) for that water to be drunk. You are making the implicit assumption that the other name a large number of thirsty men will not also swarm the bar and drink the water and regardless of the number of glasses the water in them is drunk in 10 seconds. The free water draws a crowd and the original men are still thirsty so all of them (an unknown and growing number) will drink water in 10 seconds. .
What Roger and I are saying is that the natural biome is ‘thirsty for carbon dioxide. Plants can consume carbon dioxide at rates far faster than humankind can produce it and as they receive more carbon dioxide the number of plants increases at an unknown rate. Rather the implicit assumption from you and Nick Stokes that there is a ‘constant’ that leads to a pulse half life (Nick even tries to provide a fixed constant ‘weight’ for the biome.) . .
Hope that helps 😉

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 4:41 am

TerryS says: July 2, 2013 at 3:03 am
I’ll take up this math, because it illustrates the fallacy. I’m OK down to (but not including)
P(t) = P * e^(-t/r)
But that is wrong in the case of CO2. It’s basically a differential equation:
-dP/dt=P/r.
And -dP/dt is the outflow. It is just the first equation, saying that r=d(Vol)/d(F), or r*dF=dV
That’s reasonable for holes in a bucket; leakage proportional to depth. But it assumes the taps have a fixed flow.
In the air/ocean situation, that just isn’t true. The tap is just the reverse diffusive pathway, and its flux I is also proportional to V (amt of CO2) by Henry’s Law. And you can do the same residence time calc in terms of inflow:
I=V/r.
So dP/dt = dI/dt-dF/dt = V/r-V/r = 0
This is telling you that you just can’t get it this way. The two-way reaction kinetics don’t tell you the pulse decay rate. As FE says, they are different things.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 4:45 am

Oops
dP/dt = dI/dt-dF/dt =1/r dV/dt – 1/r dV/dt = 0

alex
July 2, 2013 4:45 am

cohenite says:
July 2, 2013 at 1:47 am
“But the nett flux is into the sea, not out of it. And not into the land biosphere, where the total mass of C, at about 700 Gt, is not that much more than the 400Gt we’ve burnt. ”
Key points; are they assumed or do you have non-modelled data?
“A bomb deposition of carbon decays very fast.
The slow pollution decays very slow.”
Interesting point Alex; what physical mechanism would do that?
———————
Don’t know whether you a familiar with linear differential equations.
There are eigenmodes.
Each eigenmode has its own decay time.
IPCC calls these eigenmodes in weird terms “partitionings”. Whatever they mean.
http://unfccc.int/resource/brazil/carbon.html
The physics is straightforward.
You have different CO2 uptake channels and each channel has its own equilibration time.
Good in theory.
In practice, one has to measure these times.
Certainly, I don’t bet a penny IPCC does it right.
They also never measure. They “model”.

July 2, 2013 4:46 am

tallbloke says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:44 am
You seem to be ignoring this statement in the OP:
c. The exponential character of the relaxation implies that the rate of removal of C14 has been proportional to the amount of C14. This means that the observed 95% of the relaxation process have been governed by the atmospheric concentration of C14-carbon dioxide according to the law of mass action, without any detectable contributions from slow oceanic events.

No, this is still connected to the magnitude of the leakage. And, of course I mean the total C12 + C14 leakage. The exponential relaxation the author describes here is the amount of C14 atoms compared with the C12 atoms. You will have an exponential decrease in the C14/C12 ratio even if the leakage is constant.

William Astley
July 2, 2013 4:47 am

In reply to:
Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:32 am
William: The residence time of CO2 or C14, and the “e-folding time” of a pulse of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere are different. A C14 pulse in the atmosphere cannot be used to determine the “e-folding time” of a pulse of CO2.
There does however appear to be a puzzle to solve. Could someone please summarize the anomalies and observations? I am still think about Salby’s presentation.
What is the explanation for the missing carbon sinks’ evolution with anthropogenic CO2 emission?
What are your thoughts on ‘Temperature’ effects on the atmospheric carbon dioxide level?
It should be noted that the warmists are suddenly appealing to heat hiding in the deep ocean which requires there to be significantly more mixing of deep ocean water and ocean surface water.
As noted in comment there is a seldom discussed source of ‘fossil’ fuel like C12/C13 in the deep ocean that is released as CH4. The upper ocean is saturated with CH4 which indicates that is a continual excess source of CH4 that is released.
The deep earth’s CH4 emission rate is not controlled by surface planetary temperature, however, what is affecting surface planetary temperature (changes to the solar magnetic cycle) may also be affecting the rate of CH4 release.
There are a host of anomalies concerning the geological evolution of atmospheric CO2 level.
Comments:
1. Source of atmosphere and source of ‘fossil’ fuel. As I have stated before is a set of observations and analysis to support the assertion that there is a large source of CH4 that is released from the deep earth. There are two theories to explain how the planet got light volatile elements after the big splat removed them the majority of the volatile elements from the mantel: 1) the later veneer theory and 2) the deep earth theory. The CH4 that is released from the deep earth is low in C13, similar to ‘fossil’ fuel or lower. I place quotations around the word ‘fossil’ as people need to read Thomas Gold’s Deep Earth Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels so we can have an informed discussion concerning the evolution of the planet’s atmosphere and the explanation as to why 70% of the surface of the planet is covered with H20. The deep earth CH4 that is released disassociates high in the atmosphere and forms CO2 and H20. Plants and reactions in the ocean remove the CO2 which explains the massive deposits of carbon in the sediments.
2. There is no explanation for the reduction in CO2 during the glacial phase. The increased CO2 dissolved in the ocean due to colder temperatures is more than offset by the reduction in the size and efficiency of the biosphere due to the increase in size of the ice sheets and due to reduction in precipitation. Large portions of the rainforest (Amazon) is converted to savanna during the cold dry glacial phase.
3. There is no explanation for why CO2 levels gradually reduced when ice sheets cover the planet. On geological time periods the ice sheets first cover the planet and then gradually atmospheric CO2 is reduced.

July 2, 2013 5:05 am

Another fundamental error in the article:
During the last two decades, contributions from thermal out-gassing have been almost 40% larger than those from anthropogenic emissions.
That is based on a model, which is problematic. While the degassing in the warm pool is increased by warmer temperatures, and the uptake is reduced, in the model, there is no room left for the feedback from the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The increase in temperature increases the pCO2 of the oceans, leading to an increase of pCO2 difference with the atmosphere in the warm pool and a decrease in pCO2 difference with the atmosphere at the cold sink places. As the flux rate is directly proportional to the pCO2 difference (at constant average wind speed), the influx from the oceans increases and the outflux to the oceans decreases, leading to an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The pCO2 of the atmosphere then increases until the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and warm/cold pool is restored and hence the resp. fluxes. That is for seawater at about 16 ppmv/°C change in temperature (Henry’s Law at work).
Paper 3 and Fig. 3 don’t take this feedback into account and thus are fundamentally wrong.

TerryS
July 2, 2013 5:16 am

Re: Nick
The Berne model (not me) uses the following equation for the decay rate of a pulse of CO2:
P(t) = P*( 0.14 + 0.13e^(-t/372) + 0.19e^(-t/56) + 0.25e^(-t/17) + 0.21e^(-t/4) + 0.08e^(-t/1.33) )
Look at the equation closely. All they have done is separate the pulse P into 6 parts and applied the formula P(t) = P * e^(-t/r) to each part with different fractions of P and different values of r (infinity for the 0.14 fraction).
This equation can be exactly replicated with the bucket divided into six parts. Just as the sectioned bucket has no water mixing, the Berne model has no CO2 mixing. Without CO2 mixing the model is wrong.

Bill Illis
July 2, 2013 5:18 am

Whatever math one is using, it better calculate that the rate by which Oceans, Plants and Soils (the natural sinks) are absorbing Carbon out of the atmosphere is increasing. And it will continue increasing until CO2 levels stabilize.
The natural absorption rate is equivalent to 2.0% per year of the excess Carbon in the atmosphere above the equilibrium level (which is about 275 ppm (CO2)).
http://s21.postimg.org/ab6uih3wn/Nat_Absorp_Rate_CO2_1750_2012.png

Lindsay Holland
July 2, 2013 5:20 am

Thanks to all who have contributed to this spirited debate : I’m now better informed on the different issues involved, The posts have highlighted just how many factors have to be considered.

July 2, 2013 5:21 am

RCSaumarez says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:59 am
The assumption behind tracer experiments and I have done many in my time, is that the concentration of tracer is infinesimal compared to the pool, which is clearly the case with bomb induced c14. In this case, provided c14 is handled by the biosphere in a similar manner, the decay curve gives the pool turnover.
14C is handled in a similar matter as 12C or 13C for temperature dependent processes: the bulk of the exchanges are seasonal where temperature changes induce huge CO2 exchanges between air and vegetation and back and countercurrent between air and oceans and back. That is the main cause of the huge turnover and decay of 14C.
The removal of an excess amount of CO2 is hardly temperature dependent, it is mainly differential pressure dependent. The CO2 partial pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans ranges from +350 microatm in the warm pool to -250 microatm in the cold NE Atlantic waters. Temperature has added some 16 microatm to the ocean waters side since the LIA, humans (or any other source for that matter) has added 100 microatm (~100 ppmv) to the atmosphere…
Thus the decay rate of an excess amount of CO2 (whatever the source) is near independent of the residence time and thus of the decay rate of 14C.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 5:32 am

TerryS says: July 2, 2013 at 5:16 am
Presumably the Bern model’s justification is empirical. It’s really just a fit to a (claimed) observed response function. But you are using a mass balance argument to say that the decay is exp(-t/r). Not an observed time constant, but derived theoretically from the bucket equilibrium analogy.
And I’m saying that’s unsound, because the influx and outflow are of the same kind – in the case of ocean, just diffusive pathways. So fixed flux taps and V-varying holes won’t work.
It’s not the claim of exponential decay that bothers me so much, it’s the claim that the time constant is r. The argument for that is wrong. If you disagree, then you should spell it out.

July 2, 2013 5:46 am

There are two contradictory notions expressed above. Notion 1 is that the observed atmospheric increase in CO2 is partly natural. Notion 2 is the rate at which CO2 is absorbed by nature is very rapid. Notion 1 is that nature is a source. Notion 2 is that nature is a sink. Notion 1 is that there is no equilibrium in nature, that if, in the absence of mankind, nature would be increasing atmospheric CO2 by 1 ppm per year or thereabouts. Notion 2 is that in the absence of mankind, nature would quickly absorb lots of CO2.

Latitude
July 2, 2013 5:52 am

Ian W says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:37 am
Plants can consume carbon dioxide at rates far faster than humankind can produce it and as they receive more carbon dioxide the number of plants increases at an unknown rate.
====
Thanks Ian, you are 100% correct
an example of this comes to mind…..People with fresh water planted aquariums..in the house…where CO2 levels can be ~1000 ppm in a closed house in the winter…..and they still have to inject CO2 in the aquariums

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 6:07 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm
Dang … another person who conflates residence time (the average time that an individual CO2 molecule remains in the atmosphere) and pulse half-life (the time it takes for a pulse of excess gas injected into the atmosphere to decay to half its original value)…..
I hate to do this when the author has obviously spent so much time and effort on his post, but it’s just plain wrong.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And that is why it is good to post something like this on WUWT so the diverse group here can vet it and make sure the author got everything correct.
Thanks Willis and thanks Gösta Pettersson.

TerryS
July 2, 2013 6:11 am

Re: Nick
Presumably the Bern model’s justification is empirical. It’s really just a fit to a (claimed) observed response function.
No, it isn’t empirical. It is the models output, not an observed response function.
But you are using a mass balance argument to say that the decay is exp(-t/r).
According to the IPCC everything from Methane to Trifluoroiodomethane except CO2 has this decay.
it’s the claim that the time constant is r. The argument for that is wrong.
That isn’t even part of my argument. Here is what I said in the original comment (bold extra):

Of course the atmosphere with carbon sinks is different than a bucket with holes. The reason is that the holes in the bucket have a infinite capacity for letting water escape and will always be the same size, whereas a carbon sink might have a finite capacity or the absorption rate will change (or have a maximum) due to other factors such as temperature, precipitation, human activity etc.

I say that r is dependant on other factors and can change.
My claim is that the Bern model is incorrect because it does not have CO2 as a well mixed gas.

Alan D McIntire
July 2, 2013 6:12 am

Eschenbach points out that this article is confusing residence time with replacement time.
From a table in “Introduction to Geochemistry”, by Krauskopf, there’s a table listing relative portions of Carbon, exprssed in units of 10^20 g CO2. The book was published in 1967, so atmosphere, and probably plant, portions have increased since then
atmosphere 0.023
living organisms and undecayed organic matter 0.145
oceans and fresh water 1.30
coal, oil, ,etc 0.27
carbonate rocks 670
organic carbon in sedimentary rocks 250
Note that the organic/atmosphere ratio of 0.145/0.023 = 6.3 is close to the estimated residence time of 5 to 8 years.
For an oceans and fresh water/ atmosphere-living organisms/balance-
1.3/0.168 = 7.73, is coincidentally also in that 5 to 8 year range. I suspect that there are chemical reaction rates that cause these ratios and measured residence time to closely match, but I don’t see that relative balances should influence the replacement time- perhaps a chemist or geochemist could answer how to get a theoretical figure for replacement time.

July 2, 2013 6:24 am

William Astley says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:47 am
What is the explanation for the missing carbon sinks’ evolution with anthropogenic CO2 emission?
What are your thoughts on ‘Temperature’ effects on the atmospheric carbon dioxide level?

Because it was a missing sink (not a missing source!), that is not a real problem. In general, where and how large the sinks and sources are is only roughly known. All we know with reasonable accuracy is human emissions and the increase in the atmosphere. The difference is going somewhere in sinks.
One of the sinks is more or less known: the biosphere. That is a net sink for about 1 GtC/year, based on the oxygen balance:
http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
The rest is supposed to go into the (deep) oceans, as many other sinks are quite slow in reaction speed.
What are your thoughts on ‘Temperature’ effects on the atmospheric carbon dioxide level?
Over the seasons to a few years, the change in CO2 vs. temperature is 4-5 ppmv/°C, on very long term (decades to multi-millennia) the change in CO2 vs. temperature is ~8 ppmv/°C. If the oceans where the only source/sink for CO2, the levels would change by about 16 ppmv/°C, but as vegetation reacts the other way out for temperature changes, the average change over long term is ~8 ppmv/°C, as seen in ice cores for the MWP-LIA transition and over the glacial-interglacial transitions and back.
The deep earth CH4 that is released disassociates high in the atmosphere and forms CO2 and H20.
No matter the source of CH4, if solar/temperature is the cause of some extra release, why does the CH4 levels in the previous interglacial only reach 700 ppbv with temperatures 2°C higher than today and why are we now at 1900 ppbv? Including a hockeystick shaped curve seen in ice cores like is the case for CO2, in lockstep with human use of coal and gas? See:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_ch4.jpg
There is no explanation for the reduction in CO2 during the glacial phase.
Not everything is known from the past. All what is known is the quite nice ratio between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and temperature proxies in the ice cores over the past 800 kyears, with a lag of CO2. But even the worst resolution ice cores back in time are good enough to detect a similar increase as the current 100 ppmv over a period 0f 160 years, but there are no such increases detected…

July 2, 2013 6:30 am

I did a similar study of the decay of atmospheric bombtest C14 a few years ago and found an e-folding time of between 5 and 7 years.
The author uses the classic Mauna Loa (MLO) data but Scripps Institute maintain several such records. Someone recently suggested I use the data from American Samoa which is in the indo-pacific warm pool, a zone showing little annual variation since in the tropics.
It is interesting that CO2 from that station follows global SST more closely than the regional SST.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=397
The relationship between SST and rate of change of atmospheric CO2 is clear on both inter-annual and inter-decadal scales.
The basic physical laws tell us that the rate of outgassing is proportional to temperature. This is clearly what is happening.

July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Ferdi says: “Over the seasons to a few years, the change in CO2 vs. temperature is 4-5 ppmv/°C, on very long term (decades to multi-millennia) the change in CO2 vs. temperature is ~8 ppmv/°C. ”
Curious, I found those figures to be the opposite way around. BTW I think you units applicable are ppm/year/kelvin , not ppm/degree since it is an induced rate of change.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=233

ROM
July 2, 2013 6:39 am

After this old layman has read the above comments;
1 / Not many are completely convinced they know where the increase in CO2 is coming from
2 / Not many are completely sure where the CO2 goes to or finishes up
3 / Not many are completely sure how long a molecule of CO2 lasts in the atmosphere
4 / Not many are completely sure what role the oceans play in atmospheric CO2 levels.
5 / Not many are completely sure what role biology plays in atmospheric CO2 levels
6 / Not many are completely sure how fast CO2 is turned over in the atmosphere
7 / Not many are completely sure what are effects of CO2 on the range of global temperatures
8 / Not many are completely sure what were historical and prehistory levels of CO2.
9 / Not many are completely sure how much CO2 varies on a day by day, season by season and location by location basis around the planet.
9 / Not many are completely sure what happens next after Nature, as usual, decides not to follow any of the rules as laid down by the climate alarmists.
Sighh!
It was all so simple just a couple of years ago when we taxpayers and the increasingly reluctant funders of climate alarmist science were categorically assured by those scientific experts standing way up in all their glory on their highest scientific podiums where they loudly and frequently proclaimed to all those ignorant masses way down below them in status, that the “Science was settled”. and they were all going to go to hell in a red hot basket unless they followed those scientific prophet’s exact instructions because if they didn’t stop doing what they were enjoying and “do something”, they would all go blind.
Or something like that!

Gene Selkov
July 2, 2013 6:41 am

Regarding the criticism of the notion of “time constant” and exponential decay expressed by many of us here, just plotting the data on a log scale vs. linear time could settle the issue. If it looks like a straight line, the overall process can be described by a single time constant, whether or not there are variable sinks.
It is hard to believe how a combination of two different exponential functions can look like a single exponent on a raw data plot, but it is easy to see them for what they are on a semi-log plot.

July 2, 2013 6:46 am

eric1skeptic says:
July 2, 2013 at 5:46 am
There are two contradictory notions expressed above.
Agreed. The only solution to the source & sink contradition is that the turnover of all inputs and outputs together increased in lockstep with the increase of human emissions.
That means a more than doubling of all fluxes together over the past 50 years and thus a halving of the residence time. But that isn’t seen in any observation.
If you look at the estimates for the residence time 1960-1985 and 1985-current, it seems that the residence time somewhat increased, certainly not halved.
Further, any extra natural release from the oceans or vegetation would show up in the 13C/12C ratio’s of the atmosphere. The biosphere is a net sink of CO2, preferably of 12CO2, thus increasing the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere. The oceans have way higher 13C/12C ratio’s than the atmosphere, thus should increase the ratio in the atmosphere. But we see a firm decline…

daved46
July 2, 2013 6:47 am

Willis, Nick and others.
I have one problem with the residence vs mass position. Where exactly is the C14 released by the bomb tests now? This shouldn’t be hard to figure out. Is it in tree rings, in the surface or lower waters, or is it in quickly decay-able plant or animal products? Assuming this info is readily available, it should be straightforward to find out where anthropic CO2 goes to. It’s unlikely to be in quickly decay-able material, or the C14 wouldn’t have decreased so much in 50 years. That part which is in longer-lasting material, however, would not necessarily be replaced. And the part in surface waters depends on where this CO2 goes next. If it sinks quickly or gradually, it will also not be replaced, at least not in the time frame we’re dealing with. If it comes back out, and it’s just a dilution effect which has reduced the C14, then we need to question whether the increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is from increased temperature or vice versa.

July 2, 2013 7:13 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 6:36 am
Curious, I found those figures to be the opposite way around. BTW I think you units applicable are ppm/year/kelvin , not ppm/degree since it is an induced rate of change.
That is the fundamental difference in opinion between the above article, Bart and Salby at one side and those involved in carbon cycle research and some skeptics like Willis, Mosher and me on the other side.
The primary change is directly proportional to the change in temperature, but that is rapidely countered by the change of CO2 in the atmosphere, at least for the oceans. Once the temperature is at a new level, CO2 levels follow to a new level too, and that reestablishes the previous oceanic fluxes. No further increase happens.
The reaction of the biosphere is largely an increase of uptake both by an increase in temperature as by the increase in CO2 of the atmosphere, but opposite by (lack of) precipitation which may be a result of the temperature increase.
Thus anyway a sustained increase in temperature compared to a baseline (as Bart and Salby assume) doesn’t lead to a continuous sustained stream of CO2.
Simply compare the time frames: the current increase would mean over 70 ppmv/50 years or average 1.2 ppmv/year for some 0.5°C temperatur increase, but over a glacial-interglacial transition that would mean 0.002 ppmv/year, for a 100 ppmv and 10°C increase over 5000 years.

July 2, 2013 7:15 am

Ferdi says: “Further, any extra natural release from the oceans or vegetation would show up in the 13C/12C ratio’s of the atmosphere. The biosphere is a net sink of CO2, preferably of 12CO2, thus increasing the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere. The oceans have way higher 13C/12C ratio’s than the atmosphere, thus should increase the ratio in the atmosphere. But we see a firm decline…”
Then some of our trivial assumptions about the carbon cycle are wrong. “Way higher ” is how much higher? IIRC it’s not that much numerically. Maybe the lighter C12 also outgasses preferencially. It is afterall the water air interface in plants and plankton membranes that determines the preferential uptake. Why not preferentail release.
Like most science these days it seems it is enough to grab some hypothesis out of the air and spin it as a fundamental law. As long as your results ‘prove’ AGW you get money for next year and social adoration.
Our state of knowledge and data for the carbon cycle are abismal, yet known physical relationships like the temperature dependancy of outgassing a wantonly ignored. Hand waving arguments and assumptions take the fore.

July 2, 2013 7:24 am

“The primary change is directly proportional to the change in temperature”
The rate of outgassing is proportional the deviation from the temperature at which the current concentration would be in equilbrium. d/dt(CO2) proportional to delta T NOT dT/dt.
So as long as the temperature remains elevated and (at the very least) the mixed layer of the world oceans has not re-equilibriated, the outgassing will continue.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=223
That means that at least part of the outgassing of 2ppmv/annum during the current “plateau” is due to the elevated temperature.

July 2, 2013 7:26 am

Venter [July 2, 2013 at 1:39 am] says:
Anyone with half a brain reading WUWT knows very well that these points have been enunciated again and again by a lot of sceptics, especially prominent people like Anthony, Willis Eschenbach, Dr.Robert Brown, Lord Moncton etc. For Mosher to blithely state the skeptic position in one line as a certainity, is a willful distortion of the truth. It is a false statement. But that is how he has been behaving and trolling off late, with drive by commentary, snark and hate.

Mosher and Fuller both have a God-complex, they believe they have been charged with deciding the ways and means of energy generation for future children. In short, they know what’s best for our grandkids and our grandkids’ grandkids.The problem with this megalomania is were it successful and they somehow locked up fossil fuels it would result in the destruction of the environment when all trees and animals are killed for warmth and fuel, and most importantly additional humans, kids and elderly would die freezing to death. I’m not sure if they are members of the population control cult, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
BTW, does anyone have a link to their segment on that WUWT live webcast?

Steven Mosher [July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm] says:
See that extra c02.. Its ours.

Steve, that begs so many questions, I’ll ask anyway even though you already hit and run …
* How much of it is “extra” CO2?
* What “should” the current CO2 ppm be?
* How do you know all that “extra” CO2 is ours?
* How do you know that the extra CO2 isn’t just now being added from a ~800 years lag since the Medieval Warm Period?

July 2, 2013 7:28 am

“So as long as the temperature remains elevated and (at the very least) the mixed layer of the world oceans has not re-equilibriated, the outgassing will continue. ”
That is why any comparison to the change during the last deglaciation is to fundamentally misunderstand the physics. Yet another attempt to think that a linear model means you can regress the system response against the input forcing.
That is sadly too typical of the level of understanding that is required for climate “science”. Climatology is a social science that pretends to be hard science.

July 2, 2013 7:33 am

I’ve written on this as a result of discussion at Lucia’s blackboard recently. Much of it applies to CO2(T,t ) as well as T(forcing,t)
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=399

gymnosperm
July 2, 2013 7:33 am

Willis and Phil,
Surely you will agree that a “pulse” is actually comprised of individual molecules? To observe that a pulse injected into a system (which incidentally operates very FAST with over 200gt cycled annually) will behave differently than the same molecules injected evenly over time is likely true. But before you begin writing all sorts of equations, you might well consider the possibility that the poorly defined term “pulse” is a can of worms. What is it? A sustained release at geological scales of magnitude and time which if human emissions are not yet will surely someday be? A volcano? When I put the pedal to the metal?

July 2, 2013 7:33 am

I’ve used a different approach in estimating the fraction of anthropogenic contribution in the atmosphere. I come to similar conclusions. Click on my name for details.

July 2, 2013 7:46 am

Ferdi says: “Simply compare the time frames: the current increase would mean over 70 ppmv/50 years or average 1.2 ppmv/year for some 0.5°C temperature increase, but over a glacial-interglacial transition that would mean 0.002 ppmv/year, for a 100 ppmv and 10°C increase over 5000 years.”
You implicitly assume that there is not re-equilibration in 800 years. You often post on the CO2 and seem quite well read on it so I assume the subject is not new to you. You have clearly had time to think it all through.
Perhaps you can explain the assumptions:
1) that if we see , for example, 8ppmv/year/K in the recent good quality data, it should be assumed that either this continues unchanged for thousands of years and can be directly refuted by the last de-glaciation
2) if #1 does not work we can abandon d/dt(CO2) temperature relationship and assume almost instantaneous equilibration
3) that the swing between two very different quasi-stable states of the climate : glacial and interglacial is, without further justification, applicable to steady change over a century or so without a change in climate state.
This whole treatment of d/dt(CO2) is simplistic to the point of being farcical.

Pete Brown
July 2, 2013 7:49 am

Freeman Dyson:
“[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.”
“To reach reasonable solutions of the problems [of global warming], all opinions must be heard and all participants must be treated with respect.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson#Global_warming

July 2, 2013 7:54 am

Ferdi says: “The primary change is directly proportional to the change in temperature, but that is rapidely countered by the change of CO2 in the atmosphere, at least for the oceans. Once the temperature is at a new level, CO2 levels follow to a new level too, and that reestablishes the previous oceanic fluxes. No further increase happens.”
The corollary of that is that any increase in atmospheric CO2 not due to temperature will be rapidly absorbed to maintain the current equilibrium state. Until either the sinks or the transfer mechanisms saturate that will be the case. In view of the massive swing both in terms of ppmv and tonnage of ” carbon” , saturation hardly describes the current state the climate.

July 2, 2013 7:59 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 7:24 am
The rate of outgassing is proportional the deviation from the temperature at which the current concentration would be in equilbrium. d/dt(CO2) proportional to delta T NOT dT/dt.
The rate of outgassing only depends on two factors: the partial pressure difference water-air and the mixing speed of water and air, mainly influenced by wind speed. Assuming the latter relative constant, only the partial pressure difference is of interest. Temperature influences the partial pressure of CO2 in seawater, thus there is a direct effect.
The partial pressure of the atmosphere is currently around 400 microatm (~400 ppmv), while the partial pressure of the oceans at the highest temperature is about 750 microatm at equilibrium with the atmosphere. That gives a permanent flux ocean-atmosphere of X GtC/year.
Now the overall temperature of the oceans suddenly increases with 1°C. That makes that the partial pressure in seawater at equilibrium increases with ~16 microatm. That means that X increases:
Xi = X/(750-400)*(766-400) = 1.046 X
The opposite happens at the sink places, where the pressure difference is reduced by increased temperature. As net result, the CO2 levels increase in the atmosphere.
After some time, usually 1-3 years, the CO2 level increased to 416 ppmv. That gives:
Xi = X/(750-400)*(766-416) = 1.000 X
Thus after 1-3 years, the incoming flux (as good as the outgoing flux) is back to what it was before the increased temperature, only the CO2 level in the atmosphere increased as result of the higher ocean temperature, without further increase due to a permanent temperature increase.

ThinkingScientist
July 2, 2013 8:01 am

According to the IPCC FAR (2007) the (approximately in equilibrium) fluxes of carbon in Gt/yr are:
Biosphere Atmosphere 120 Gt/yr +/- 24 Gt/yr
Ocean Atmosphere 91 Gt/yr +/- 18 Gt/yr
Total atmosphere flux is then 211 Gt/yr +/- 42 Gt/yr
Fossil Fuel Emissions 6.4 Gt/yr
Two points to make:
1. The uncertainties on these fluxes are more than 8 times larger than the anthropogenic contribution, but apparently that flux from anthropogenic sources inexorably changes the CO2 content of the atmosphere, even though its only about 3% of the total exchange each year
2. Does anybody think that the biosphere Atmosphere flux, which is the largest of all the stated fluxes, might be temperature dependent in some way? Or that the biosphere, with a huge flux of 120 Gt/yr +/- 24 Gt/yr cannot act as a temperature dependent sink or source, with a relatively quick response time?
Murray Salby anybody?
PS Human respiration is estimated at approximately 1 – 2 Gt/yr!

July 2, 2013 8:03 am

Atmospherically speaking, if we put in enough CO2 to raise the parts per million by five, each year recently, and the PPM goes up by two, each year since the 80’s or something, then what makes you think the CO2 we put in has anything at all to do with the increase? They do not appear to be related in any simple way, if at all. Particularly since, each year, Mother Nature with all her tricks, puts in and takes out, not in any balanced way, enough to raise the PPM, or lower the PPM, 150 PPM? This strains credulity.
Secondly, travelling about in forested areas, this 54-year-old notices that the vegetation is lush, really lush, far more than before. \
What does it all mean?

Martin A
July 2, 2013 8:15 am

Louis Hooffstetter says:
July 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm
“Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and early 1960s doubled the concentration of 14C/C in the atmosphere.”
Sorry to be thick, but how did nuclear testing do this?<em?
Neutrons from the atmospheric nuclear explosions converted nitrogen nuclei to C14 nuclei.

July 2, 2013 8:20 am

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:03 am
“If you add a pulse (P) of water to the bucket you can calculate how much is left after time (t) with the following formula:
P(t) = P * e^(-t/r)”

This is totally misleading
What you calculate there is how much of the water molecules from the pulse that are left. This is a totally different measure from what the Bern Formula calculates.
To explain I’ m going back to the example with pre-industrial levels of 278 ppm or 2173 Gt in the atmosphere and a natural flow of 771 Gt annually:
You correctly states that the residence time, given the above numbers, is 2173/771 = 2.82 years.
But that number has almost no interest. The interesting figure is the depletion time of excess CO2 level, and that depletion time has no connection to the residence time.
To see this you can imagine that you add 100 Gt in one pulse so the level increases from 2173 to 2273 Gt. It is nothing in your figures that tell how long time it will take to half the excess level, i.e. bring it down to 2223 Gt. To do that you must know how much the sinks increase from the natural level of 771 Gt in response to the excess level. As long as you do not have any figures for that you cannot calculate the depletion time of excess CO2.
That is what the Bern formula tells.

July 2, 2013 8:20 am

Ferdi: ” but that is rapidely countered by the change of CO2 in the atmosphere”
Without stating what you mean by “rapidly” that declaration is meaningless.
If found 8ppm/year/K on the inter-annual scale and 4ppm/year/K on inter-decadal scale. That could be the first approximation to the time scale of equilibration. How you arrived at the opposite figures I seem to have missed.
The time to equilibration could also be derived from the “800” year lag if that could be firmed up a bit IIRC it was given as 800+/-500 years. There is likely a need for at least two time constants over that kind of period and the gross assumption that a linear model can still be applied during a non linear transition between two climate states during which CO2 itself is likely to be acting as a significant positive feedback.
In the absence of anything more rigorous I retain my first approximation of 8ppm/a/K and 4ppm/a/K that suggests equilibration of the impulse response would be of the order of a century. To grab a figure I’d say time constant of 20-25 years with large error bars though again a single slab model is insufficient for the long term solution.
Now all that is more to do with thermal mixing and relationship of SST to OHC than it is to do with CO2. Thermal diffusion can be related to gas diffusion and someone at Lucia’s referred me to the Schmidt number, which for CO2 in salt water is about 660. ie CO2 equilibration will be about 600 times faster.
Now if the IPCC insist on ignoring the basic physical laws and seeing all this backwards, that may be explain how they manage to apply a 20 year Bern time constant to CO2 absorption.

July 2, 2013 8:24 am

The other gross error in using de-glaciation to bound the temp CO2 equilibrium response is that it totally ignores air pressure. Was atmospheric pressure the same during the last glacial max. ? Doubt it.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=259

July 2, 2013 8:30 am

Ferdinand,
The biosphere is not a net sink for C12. It is relatively neutral as over time it emits about as much as it consumes thru the process of decay. http://www.bomi.ou.edu/luo/pdf/Differentiation.pdf‎. In Duke Forest (FACE experiment) an increase in atmospheric CO2 taken up by the trees was re-introduced into the atmosphere about ten years later.

July 2, 2013 8:39 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 7:15 am
Then some of our trivial assumptions about the carbon cycle are wrong. “Way higher ” is how much higher? IIRC it’s not that much numerically. Maybe the lighter C12 also outgasses preferencially. It is afterall the water air interface in plants and plankton membranes that determines the preferential uptake. Why not preferentail release.
The d13C level of the deep oceans is 0 to 1 per mil, that of the surface is 1-5 per mil, due to biolife, of which part of organics drop down into the deep. The exchange of CO2 between ocean surface and atmosphere and back gives a drop of ~8 per mil in d13C. That can be seen in coralline sponges and atmospheric measurements (ice cores, firn, direct):
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
The atmosphere was around -6.4 per mil pre-industrial, down to – 8 per mil currently.
The change over a glacial-interglacial transition is about 0.2 per mil. During the whole Holocene, the variability was +/- 0.2 ppmv. Since the start of the industrial revolution, the drop is 1.6 per mil in the atmosphere and 1 per mil in the ocean surface… Doesn’t seems to me that the oceans are the source of the decline of 13C in the atmosphere…

Phil.
July 2, 2013 8:51 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 7:24 am
“The primary change is directly proportional to the change in temperature”
The rate of outgassing is proportional the deviation from the temperature at which the current concentration would be in equilbrium. d/dt(CO2) proportional to delta T NOT dT/dt.
So as long as the temperature remains elevated and (at the very least) the mixed layer of the world oceans has not re-equilibriated, the outgassing will continue.

Not true.
Henry’s Law says that the ratio of pCO2/[CO2] is constant, therefore if we add CO2 to the atmosphere (increase pCO2) [CO2] (the concentration in the ocean) will increase until equilibrium is re-established and both pCO2 and [CO2] are greater than their former values. This is a dynamic equilibrium, at all times there is a flux out and a flux into the atmosphere even though the net flux is zero. The effect of temperature is to change the Henry’s Law coefficient, which as Ferdinand has pointed out results in an increase in pCO2 of ~8ppm/ºC increase in SST. The pCO2 is increasing by between 2 and 3ppm/year, but global SST has only changed over the last 30 years by ~0.07ºC/year (HADISST) which would only account for ~0.5 ppm/yr. The annual fluctuation is around 0.1ªC which accounts for the temperature correlation on individual years, the current temperature modulates the Henry’s Law coefficient and so causes a fluctuation in pCO2 but the overall annual growth in SST is insufficient to account for the annual growth in pCO2.
This is consistent with measurements which show that [CO2] is increasing.

July 2, 2013 8:53 am

Ferdi: “… mainly influenced by wind speed. Assuming the latter relative constant, only the partial pressure difference is of interest.”
Assumptions, assumptions. Not so constant my friend.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=409
The nine cycle is in trade winds is particularly interesting for a number of other reasons.

Phil.
July 2, 2013 9:00 am

Michael Moon says:
July 2, 2013 at 8:03 am
Atmospherically speaking, if we put in enough CO2 to raise the parts per million by five, each year recently, and the PPM goes up by two, each year since the 80′s or something, then what makes you think the CO2 we put in has anything at all to do with the increase? They do not appear to be related in any simple way, if at all. Particularly since, each year, Mother Nature with all her tricks, puts in and takes out, not in any balanced way, enough to raise the PPM, or lower the PPM, 150 PPM? This strains credulity.

And yet ‘Mother Nature’ fails to do so and the pCO2 goes up by approximately the same amount (~50% of human fossil fuel emissions) every year! So based on your logic we could say that the annual growth is not related to ‘Mother Nature’s tricks’.

July 2, 2013 9:14 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:26 am
“The “temperature dependent natural increase” in atmospheric CO2 is a doubling of CO2 for every 16 degrees C temperature rise…If the starting CO2 level is 350 ppmv and the temperature goes up half a degree, the CO2 level only goes up by about 7 ppmv …”
OMG 16 C. Let’s check.
The 20th century SST rise was 0.657 K. (HadSST2)
The CO2 kilogram per liter per Kelvin water solubility ratio is ~` -0.00008 kg per liter per Kelvin
The CO2 absolute mass in the atmosphere at the end of the 20th century was 368.75 ppmv which means 0.036875 x [44.0095/28.97] x 2.8838×10^15 kg
If we would assume the temperature increase and CO2 outgassing only in the upper 100m epipelagic zone of the ocean* then we can calculate the temperature dependent CO2 outgassing in absolute numbers as:
3.611×10^19 liters of water are in the upper 100 meters of ocean x 0.657 x 0.00008 = 1.898×10^15 kg CO2 outgassed.
I note this amount of then airborne CO2 for obvious reasons of well understood physical nature cannot sink back in the ocean/get diluted again until its surface temperature descends.
1.898×10^15 / 2.8838×10^15 = 0.658
-which is quite visibly higher number than 0.5 number which it would be for the atmospheric CO2 content doubling.
If you object that this is in mass not volume then:
1.898×10^15 / 5.148X10^18 [weight of the atmosphere] = 0.0368 mass% = 0.0242 volumetric% = 242 ppm – which is just number to be for idea compared to the 368.75 ppm at the end of the 20th century, nothing else, I don’t claim the 242 ppm from the 368.75 ppm was all outgassed from ocean, because there are carbon sinks – see 2. below.
Here you see:
1. Only the CO2 outgassing from the upper 100m sea surface layer due to the SST rise – by way less than 1K – can be in absolute numbers way higher than is the half of the then atmospheric CO2 content.
2. Part of the outgassed CO2 must have sunk at land, most probably by the higher temperature and by higher CO2 content induced biological sequestration enhancement – simply because the absolute number for theoretically predicted outgassing based on simple physics – although at right order of magnitude – is nevertheless significantly higher, than the actually observed rise of the CO2 content in the atmosphere.
Just btw: The 0.657 K SST rise in the 20th century IS very consistent with the Solanki reconstructed 20th century TSI rise in absolute numbers. See here.
——————————–
*((- mainly TSI change dependent, because water is extremely opaque to the mid-IR 288K spectra and therefore a GHE can’t have more than a negligible effect on the SST rise, moreover most probably more than canceled by the surface evaporation/latent heat transfer up the atmosphere and higher emissivity given by the higher temperature))

July 2, 2013 9:16 am

Ferdi, thanks for all the numbers and the graph: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
I’d seen that before but not really studied it. It seems to show a response to cooling around 1600 and that the later increase was a process that started about 150-200 years before even the dawn of the “human emissions” of industrial era in 1850.
I presume you posted that because you consider it shows AGW dC13 impact but what I see is proof that warming affects the ration in the same way now as it did coming out of the Maunder Min.

July 2, 2013 9:21 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:26 am
sorry, correction of the sentence:
The CO2 absolute mass in the atmosphere at the end of the 20th century was 368.75 ppmv which means 0.00036875 x [44.0095/28.97] x 5.148×10^18 kg [mass of the atmosphere] = 2.8838×10^15 kg CO2 in the atmosphere.

TerryS
July 2, 2013 9:28 am

Re: jkanders
What you calculate there is how much of the water molecules from the pulse that are left. This is a totally different measure from what the Bern Formula calculates.
This is exactly what the Bern Formula calculates. It calculates how much CO2 is left from a pulse of CO2 after a period of time.
According to the Bern Formula if I add 100Gt of CO2 then after 1 year there will be 89.33Gt left and after 2 years there will be 82Gt left.
The problem is that the Berne model does not mix the CO2. At the very start it evenly distributes the 100Gt pulse over the entire planet (or carbon sinks if you prefer) but it then has a molecule of CO2 that it placed above, say, Las Vegas staying above Las Vegas (until captured by a sink) and never getting to see the ocean (or any other place). This behaviour might not have been the way the model was designed to act, but it is the way it actually does act. The reason I know this is because that is what the formula physically represents.
100Gt will increase the ppm by about 13ppm so if you take a starting point of 278ppm, add 100Gt and then abide by the Berne models formula you get the following:
Year 0:
100% of planet has CO2 levels at 291ppm
Year 2:
8% of planet has CO2 levels at 281ppm
21% of planet has CO2 levels at 286ppm
71% of planet slightly below 291ppm
Year 4:
8% of planet at 279ppm
21% of planet at 283
25% of planet at 288
46% of planet slightly below 291ppm
Year 8:
8% of planet at 278ppm
21% of planet at 280ppm
25% of planet at 286ppm
46% between 289 and 291ppm
Year 32:
29% of planet at 278ppm
25% of planet at 280ppm
19% of planet at 285ppm
27% of planet at 290/291ppm
Clearly the above is ridiculous but that is the practical result of the Berne model.

Jimbo
July 2, 2013 9:32 am

For those interested here are some papers out this year on the greening of the biosphere over the past 30 years or so.

Randall J. Donohue et. al. – 31 May, 2013
Abstract
CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments
[1] Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. The role in this greening of the ‘CO2 fertilization’ effect – the enhancement of photosynthesis due to rising CO2 levels – is yet to be established. The direct CO2 effect on vegetation should be most clearly expressed in warm, arid environments where water is the dominant limit to vegetation growth. Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analysed to remove the effect of variations in rainfall, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilisation effect is now a significant land surface process.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract

May 2013
Abstract
A Global Assessment of Long-Term Greening and Browning Trends in Pasture Lands Using the GIMMS LAI3g Dataset
Our results suggest that degradation of pasture lands is not a globally widespread phenomenon and, consistent with much of the terrestrial biosphere, there have been widespread increases in pasture productivity over the last 30 years.
http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/5/5/2492

10 APR 2013
Abstract
Analysis of trends in fused AVHRR and MODIS NDVI data for 1982–2006: Indication for a CO2 fertilization effect in global vegetation
…..The effect of climate variations and CO2 fertilization on the land CO2 sink, as manifested in the RVI, is explored with the Carnegie Ames Stanford Assimilation (CASA) model. Climate (temperature and precipitation) and CO2 fertilization each explain approximately 40% of the observed global trend in NDVI for 1982–2006……
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gbc.20027/abstract

July 2, 2013 9:46 am

Ferdi: “The partial pressure of the atmosphere is currently around 400 microatm (~400 ppmv), while the partial pressure of the oceans at the highest temperature is about 750 microatm at equilibrium with the atmosphere. That gives a permanent flux ocean-atmosphere of X GtC/year.
Now the overall temperature of the oceans suddenly increases with 1°C. That makes that the partial pressure in seawater at equilibrium increases with ~16 microatm. That means that X increases:
Xi = X/(750-400)*(766-400) = 1.046 X”
Thanks again for the numbers. Now that show values where the temperature induced change of 16 is relatively unimportant in the ration. So this explains why out gassing in the tropics is relatively unimportant to global CO2.
It probably goes some way to explaining another thing that surprised me when I first noticed:
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=231
It seems that GLOBAL , well mixed CO2 as reflected at MLO is determined largely by polar atmospheric pressure conditions, with a somewhat variable lag that probably depends upon atm. circulation patterns.
Your example of the hottest water is not the one that is most sensitive to change. Since the North pole is an ocean with large expanses of exposed water for a large part of the year, it seems to be more important than the continental south pole.
Perhaps you could give some numbers that help explain those observations.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 9:46 am

Steve Short says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:57 am
Tallbloke says:
“The biological factors shouldn’t be omitted in this debate. There is a strong correlation between fish stocks and the ~60yr oceanic cycles. This is food chain derived. If there are less fish in the warm phases of the ocean cycles then it is because there is less food for the(m) to eat. At the base of the food chain are the plankton.”
Are you serious? There is no established relationship between world fish stocks and plankton abundance in a world where all sorts of things, not the least over fishing affecting fish stocks. I can’t for the life me figure out where you got that barmy idea from.

Here:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/north-sea-fisheries-makes-a-recovery-cooler-seas-busier-plankton/

mpainter
July 2, 2013 9:47 am

This is a very worthwhile article as it well illustrates that empirically determined metrics of atmospheric CO2 are far superior to the egregiously determined theoretical values which are shown to be just another part of the climate scam. This is the sort of science that unravels the global warming fraud, arguments on the exact particulars notwithstanding.

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 9:55 am

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:03 am
Finally, if you add a mixing function to the Berne formula by calculating P(t) and then starting the calculation again with P = P(t) (this assumes it takes time t for CO2 to mix) then, with a mixing time somewhere between instant and 4 years you get a residency of between 5 and 14 years and a half life of between 7 and 20 years.

Thanks Terry, I think that vindicates my earlier comment that the residence and e-folding times are substantially similar.

Richard M
July 2, 2013 9:55 am

The half life of 14C is 5730 years. So, it hasn’t gone much of anywhere in the last 50 years. What is being discussed is the mixing rate of 14C with all the 12C (and 13C) found in the Earth. It shouldn’t be too hard to understand that the mixing will reduce the amount of 14C in a high concentration medium at a rate consistent with the exchange of carbon in general. In fact, we should be able to compute the increases in 14C in other mediums based on their exchange rates..
Note that mixing is not the same as removing. It is just spreading around the 14C. If our system was in perfect equilibrium we would still see a reduction in 14C in high concentration mediums like our atmosphere, while the atmospheric C would remain constant. Of course, the same can be said for any other sources of C (like our emissions). So, the real answer lies in the various exchange rates between the different mediums. Clearly, burning fossil fuels is adding C from a source that was not participating in these exchanges previously (just like the 14C). And, it should take some time for the other mediums to increase their concentrations to account for this addition. However, the 14C was a one time injection over about 10-15 years. Hence, it provides us with a feeling for what would occur for every 10 years of C added through our emissions. Taking this into account, human C should decrease at the rate approximately 1/5 this value since it has now been at a high rate for 50 years. I think this agrees quite closely with Ferdinand’s value and is based simply on logic assuming all else remains equal.
Also keep in mind this assumes there are no other sources that are increasing the amount of C in the atmosphere. To get a complete picture we would have to understand all of these sources in complete detail. I don’t think that is the case.
Consider now that the atmosphere has had CO2 levels over 1000 ppm for most of the time that biological activities have been similar to today. For some reason the exchange rate between the various mediums maintained that concentration in the atmosphere. What is different these days? Well, that is the big question. One difference might be massive amount of colder sea water at the bottom of the oceans (from a higher albedo planet during ice ages and in ice itself).

July 2, 2013 10:21 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 7:46 am
1) that if we see , for example, 8ppmv/year/K in the recent good quality data, it should be assumed that either this continues unchanged for thousands of years and can be directly refuted by the last de-glaciation
Your calculation of the 8 ppmv/year/K is based on the increase of CO2 over the past 50 years of good data, but that is based on an arbitrary choosen baseline. The only real relationship is the direct relationship between temperature and the rate of change of CO2/year of about 4-5 ppmv/K. That is the variability of the CO2 increase around the trend. But that is largely compensated over the next years to average near zero.
You can’t derive the cause of the trend itself from that variability, but you do assume that the increase in rate of change is temperature related and thus directly the result of the temperature increase, ignoring the other variable that influences the increase: human emissions which are twice the observed increase.
The relationship of 8 ppmv/year/K only holds for the past 50 years, but already deviates a lot if you go back in time to the start of the previous century. Over the past centuries in the depth of the LIA, the backcalculation may already go below zero if the temperature passes the baseline…
if #1 does not work we can abandon d/dt(CO2) temperature relationship and assume almost instantaneous equilibration
There are several sources and sinks at work. The fast responses to temperature are the ocean surface layer and part of the biosphere. These have response rates of 1-3 years and are responsible for the nice match between temperature (changes) and rate of change of CO2. But that only removes and/or releases 10% of the change in the atmosphere. The medium speed responses are in the deep oceans and more permanent storage in the biosphere. The response times there are in the order of 40-50 years, as these exchanges are limited in flux, less in storage.
that the swing between two very different quasi-stable states of the climate : glacial and interglacial is, without further justification, applicable to steady change over a century or so without a change in climate state.
Even in more recent times, the ratio of 8 ppmv/K holds: the transition of the MWP to the LIA shows a dip of ~6 ppmv for a dip of ~0.8 K in temperature with a lag of ~50 years after the cooling started:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg
The resolution of the DSS ice core is ~20 years.
Thus I see no reason why the 4-5 ppmv/K for short variations (seasons to a few years) and the long range (multidecades to multimillennia) of 8 ppmv/K suddenly changes to over 100 ppmv/K over the medium range…

July 2, 2013 10:28 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 9:16 am
I presume you posted that because you consider it shows AGW dC13 impact but what I see is proof that warming affects the ration in the same way now as it did coming out of the Maunder Min.
As the d13C variability during the whole Holocene, including the Holocene “optimum”, the Roman WP, the MWP and all cooling periods inbetween is not more than +/- 0.2 per mil until about 1850 and the decrease since 1850 is about 1.6 per mil, I don’t see how it is possible that the current warm period could be the cause of the decrease…

July 2, 2013 10:29 am

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 9:28 am
This is exactly what the Bern Formula calculates. It calculates how much CO2 is left from a pulse of CO2 after a period of time.
According to the Bern Formula if I add 100Gt of CO2 then after 1 year there will be 89.33Gt left and after 2 years there will be 82Gt left.
The problem is that the Berne model does not mix the CO2.

I think you have misunderstood the Bern Formula TerryS. Where have you got the idea that the model assumes that the CO2 does not mix? The formula is simply superimpose different exponential sink rates, and an assumption of no mixing is not necessary for that.
Can you show me a quote from the IPCC reports which states this?
The other error I think you make is that you mix your formula for residence time based on the ratio between CO2 content in the atmosphere and the annual flow of CO2 in and out of the atmosphere. These measure totally different things.

July 2, 2013 10:41 am

Carbon sinks may increase or decrease with rising CO2 levels. However for now lets assume that carbon sinks remain constant so we can take a single effective “pulse” e-folding time – tau years. Man made emissions of fossil fuels are currently running at 5.5 Gtons per year, and the atmosphere currently contains 750g tons CO2.
Now consider a model where it is simply assumed that once a year a pulse of N0 = 5.5 Gtons of CO2 is added to the atmosphere. This then decays away with a lifetime Tau. Then the accumulation of fossil CO2 in the atmosphere for year n is given by.
CO2(n) = N0( 1 +sum(i=1,n-1) (exp(-n/Tau)))
= N0(1 + e^(-1/tau) + e^(-2/tau) + e^(-3/tau) + ……
Now take n -> ∞ and multiply both sides by exp(1/Tau)
CO2(∞)(exp(1/tau)-1) = N0exp(1/Tau)
CO2(∞) = N0/(1-1/exp(1/Tau))
Now try out some values for Tau :

Tau     Fossil Limit (Gtons)         Fraction of 750 Gtons
5              30.3                  4.0%
7              41.3                  5.5%
10             57.8                 7.75%
14             74.3                10%
50             272.3               36%
100           547.               73%
200           1103             147%

So in the worst case with tau = 200 years and no cuts to carbon emissions – CO2 levels should stabilize at just below 1000 ppm.
Question to Nick Stokes or someone else: What exactly have I got wrong here ?

Joe Born
July 2, 2013 10:50 am

TerryS:
For what it’s worth, yours is the comment I found most appealing.
However, I don’t see why the Bern formula requires the segregation among sub-populations that you infer. To me, the formula is simply the impulse response of a linear system characterized (in the unlikely event that my math is correct) by the following ordinary differential equation:
dr^6/dt^6 + 1.08 dr^5/dt^5 + 0.27 dr^4/dt^4 + 0.016 dr^3/dt^3 + 0.00024 dr^2/dt^2
+ 0.00000053 dr/dt = dg^5/dt^5 + 0.95 dg^4/dt^4 + 0.19 dg^3/dt^3 + 0.0077 dg^2/dt^2
+ 0.000068 dg/dt + 0.000000074 g, where r is concentration and r is emissions–or, maybe, r and g are the differences between those two quantities and some magical quiescent values.
Looking at it in that light–and ignoring the differential equation’s implausibility–I don’t see the Bern formula as necessarily implying the segregation you describe.
On the other hand, despite the heroic efforts of the above disputants to explain why Prof. Pettersson has it wrong, I am unable, superposition being what it is, to see how the Bern formula can be consistent with the phenomenon he observed.

July 2, 2013 10:54 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 9:46 am
Your example of the hottest water is not the one that is most sensitive to change. Since the North pole is an ocean with large expanses of exposed water for a large part of the year, it seems to be more important than the continental south pole
The reaction to temperature changes at the sink places is similar as at the release places, with as difference that in general the temperature change is not that much (the main sinks are at the edge of the ice), but the changes are in the exact place where the sinks are and the area involved. I have no idea what drives the connection between AO and the CO2 rate of change. Probably the AO drives ocean temperature changes and that drives the CO2 rate of change variability… Similar connections can be made between ENSO and ocean temperatures and CO2 rate of change…

TerryS
July 2, 2013 10:55 am

Re: jkanders
I think you have misunderstood the Bern Formula TerryS. Where have you got the idea that the model assumes that the CO2 does not mix?
I got the idea from the Berne formula. The Berne formula represents a system whereby CO2 does not mix. It doesn’t matter what the designers of the Berne model specified (or the IPCC) what matters is what the model actually ends up representing. It represents a system without CO2 mixing. Obviously the IPCC did not specify this but that is what they got.
The other error I think you make is that you mix your formula for residence time based on the ratio between CO2 content in the atmosphere and the annual flow of CO2 in and out of the atmosphere.
No, I don’t. See AR4 2.10.2 footnote 1. There they present a simplified version of the formula with 4 terms instead of 6. They describe the formula as “The decay of a pulse of CO2 with time t”.
If two systems can be represented by the same mathematical formula then they are functionally the same. The bucket with the water divided into sections and never mixing has the same mathematical formula as the Berne model. Therefore the Berne model is representing an atmosphere where CO2 never mixes.

July 2, 2013 11:05 am

Phil,
Mother Nature “fails to do” what? The tonnage of new vegetation/plankton/animalea every year has no direct relationship with the tonnage of rot. The oceans drink or spew CO2 as they will. We search for a formula to deduce the future of a random walk here, no proof it is anything else. Search away…

July 2, 2013 11:07 am

Ferdi: “That makes that the partial pressure in seawater at equilibrium increases with ~16 microatm. That means that X increases:
Xi = X/(750-400)*(766-400) = 1.046 X

After some time, usually 1-3 years, the CO2 level increased to 416 ppmv. That gives:
Xi = X/(750-400)*(766-416) = 1.000 X”
How do you get the 1-3 years here? At current rates 16ppmv will take about 8 years based on the 750 figure for hottest water. A more typical value you make that more. Since the process seems to be dominated by AO we should probably be looking at colder waters.
This needs looking at with some proper numbers but may be a means to apportion the ratio of outgassing and residual aGHG.

Ian W
July 2, 2013 11:18 am

Clive Best says:
July 2, 2013 at 10:41 am
Carbon sinks may increase or decrease with rising CO2 levels. However for now lets assume that carbon sinks remain constant so we can take a single effective “pulse” e-folding time – tau years. Man made emissions of fossil fuels are currently running at 5.5 Gtons per year, and the atmosphere currently contains 750g tons CO2.

So you accept that the carbon dioxide sinks could be variable – but let’s disregard reality and do some maths? Are you a climate modeler by any chance? 😉

July 2, 2013 11:19 am

tumetuestumefaisdubien1 says:
July 2, 2013 at 9:14 am
If we would assume the temperature increase and CO2 outgassing only in the upper 100m epipelagic zone of the ocean* then we can calculate the temperature dependent CO2 outgassing in absolute numbers as:
You make the fundamental omission that outgassing of the oceans increases the CO2 content (= partial pressure) of the atmosphere. An increase of 16 ppmv is sufficient to fully compensate for the increase of 1 K in temperature of the entire ocean. It doesn’t matter how much CO2 the oceans contain, it only matters what the pressure difference between CO2 in the oceans at equilibrium and in the atmosphere is.
Take a few bottles of coke: 0.5, 1 and 1.5 liters. Shake well (with the still closed bottles!). Measure temperature and pressure. For the same fill of coke and at the same temperature, the pressure in the different bottles will be equal (except that the relative loss of CO2 from the smaller amount of liquid is somewhat higher). Thus the total amount of CO2 doesn’t play any role, only pressure is important, which is influenced by concentrations and temperature.

July 2, 2013 11:20 am

Ferdi says: ” I have no idea what drives the connection between AO and the CO2 rate of change”
Err, pressure perhaps? AO in pressure based index. If atmospheric pressure drops , so does 400 ppmv worth of partial pressure. That will affect out-gassing, requiring more ppmv CO2 to maintain the same balance at a lower pressure.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=231
The graph shows AO rose between 1960 and 1995 and has ‘plateaued’ since. So has d/dt(CO2) so has temperature.
Human emissions on the other hand …

July 2, 2013 11:21 am

The biggest mystery is why CO2 levels in the atmosphere are naturally so low. Why have levels been around ~300ppm for the last 3 million years, while higher levels existed in the past ? What mechanism determines the “equilibrium” level for CO2? Does life determine how much CO2 remains in the atmosphere ?
I think one clue to this mystery is the remarkable fact that atmospheric CO2 radiation to space is currently maximised at ~300ppm. Under today’s climate conditions with Tavg ~ 288K maximum cooling of the atmosphere is ensured with 300ppm. This is the second law of thermodynamics at work in the atmosphere. Much below 200ppm and plants will stop growing and CO2 levels rise – so I suspect life really does determine the climate on Earth !
P.S. Humans are also part of life.

Phil.
July 2, 2013 11:22 am

Michael Moon says:
July 2, 2013 at 11:05 am
Phil,
Mother Nature “fails to do” what? The tonnage of new vegetation/plankton/animalea every year has no direct relationship with the tonnage of rot. The oceans drink or spew CO2 as they will. We search for a formula to deduce the future of a random walk here, no proof it is anything else.

Except in your ‘random walk’ it’s always going the same way! Every year sources exceed sinks by about the same amount, where are the years when sinks exceed sources as you’d expect with a random walk? That’s not a random walk!

July 2, 2013 11:28 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 11:07 am
How do you get the 1-3 years here? At current rates 16ppmv will take about 8 years based on the 750 figure for hottest water.
Sorry, I was not clear: the 1-3 years is the half life time for equilibrium between the ocean surface and the atmosphere, not an absolute figure. For huge changes like an instant 1 K increase, that indeed will take more years, for smaller changes that will be shorter as most changes are reversed within the 1-3 years time frame…

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 11:39 am

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 7:15 am
Ferdi says: “Further, any extra natural release from the oceans or vegetation would show up in the 13C/12C ratio’s of the atmosphere. The biosphere is a net sink of CO2, preferably of 12CO2, thus increasing the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere. The oceans have way higher 13C/12C ratio’s than the atmosphere, thus should increase the ratio in the atmosphere. But we see a firm decline…”
Then some of our trivial assumptions about the carbon cycle are wrong….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yes, Take a look at The Trouble With C12 C13 Ratios
And speaking of atom bomb testing….

…Dr. Jaworowski has devoted much of his professional life to the study of the composition of the atmosphere, as part of his work to understand the consequences of radioactive fallout from nuclear-weapons testing and nuclear reactor accidents. After taking numerous ice samples over the course of a dozen field trips to glaciers in six continents, and studying how contaminants travel through ice over time, he came to realize how fraught with error ice-core samples were in reconstructing the atmosphere. The Chernobyl accident, whose contaminants he studied in the 1990s in a Scandinavian glacier, provided the most illumination.
“This ice contained extremely high radioactivity of cesium-137 from the Chernobyl fallout, more than a thousand times higher than that found in any glacier from nuclear-weapons fallout, and more than 100 times higher than found elsewhere from the Chernobyl fallout,” he explained. “This unique contamination of glacier ice revealed how particulate contaminants migrated, and also made sense of other discoveries I made during my other glacier expeditions. It convinced me that ice is not a closed system, suitable for an exact reconstruction of the composition of the past atmosphere.”

Because of the high importance of this realization, in 1994 Dr. Jaworowski, together with a team from the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technics, proposed a research project on the reliability of trace-gas determinations in the polar ice. The prospective sponsors of the research refused to fund it, claiming the research would be “immoral” if it served to undermine the foundations of climate research…. link

Plastics allow migration too which is why soda in an plastic bottle will go flat as it ages.

pochas
July 2, 2013 11:40 am

@Clive Best
This graphic makes it hard for me to believe that tau can be measured in years:
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/ghg/kanshi/co2map/gmapplot_e.html
It comes up displaying wintertime China. Change the month from 12 to 7. The anomalies are now localized and mostly minimal. Rotate the globe to check other northern hemisphere locations. The US is a net sink for CO2 in summer along with other continental areas with active plant life. Kingdom Plantae eagerly devours all of the CO2 we can produce in a matter of days or weeks when they are not dormant.

July 2, 2013 11:57 am

I expected paper #1 from Gösta Pettersson to say something about isotope fractination during absorbtion and outgassing in the oceans, but I can’t seem to find it.
As 14CO2 molecules are heavier and slower than nornal 12CO2 it’s easier captured by the water and more difficult to outgas, therefore one would expect that the overturning of 14CO2 is quicker than normal CO2. The question is if this is quantitatively significant or not.

July 2, 2013 12:02 pm

Phil,
Always? Really? The Earth is old, the Scripps Institute is young. There is a lot of evidence that CO2 has varied in the past. The farther back we look, the more variation it has, as high as 7000 ppm according to some sources. Ice cores represent an average of the concentration in the 80 to several hundred years it took the firn to close up, and there is always some diffusion within even solid ice.
“Always” is a dangerous word, back it up for us?

July 2, 2013 12:03 pm

Author’s paper 1. :
Among proponents of the AGW hypothesis, the ability of the Bern model to simulate the Keeling
curve has lent credence to the model and its ability to predict future levels of airborn carbon dioxide for presumed emission scenarios. The Bern model (or closely related carbon cycle models tuned to the Keeling curve) is routinely used by climate modellers to obtain the carbon dioxide input data they require to arrive at predictions of anthropogenic effects on the future climate.
===
The idea that the Bern model reproduces Keeling curve is frivolous. It is easy to “reproduce” a short section of a cumulative integral like that by any number of models. Whether is truely reflects the system behaviour is better seen by plotting the rate of change.
One thing is clear, feed the continually increasing human emission totals into the Bern model will not produce a plateau after 1995.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=259

July 2, 2013 12:08 pm

Gösta,
Please study carefully the difference between tracer mixing and pulse diffusion uptake.
Bomb test data only measure tracer mixing. Peter Dietze published already in 1997 on the problems with the Bern Model. He found a pulse diffusion half life time of 38 years (e-folding time 55 years).
http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
In the following graph this difference between the Bern Model and a constant rate diffusion (as observed) is shown.
http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2afname.gif

July 2, 2013 12:17 pm

leftturnandre says:
I expected paper #1 from Gösta Pettersson to say something about isotope fractination during absorbtion and outgassing in the oceans, but I can’t seem to find it.
As 14CO2 molecules are heavier and slower than nornal 12CO2 it’s easier captured by the water and more difficult to outgas, therefore one would expect that the overturning of 14CO2 is quicker than normal CO2. The question is if this is quantitatively significant or not.
===
So any out-gassing by the oceans and the massive annual too and fro will deplete the atmospheric dC13 that Ferdinand is telling me must be a sign of anthropogenic CO2. Like I said earlier, some of our assumptions about the carbon cycle seem badly flawed.

July 2, 2013 12:22 pm

“I expected paper #1 from Gösta Pettersson to say something about isotope fractination during absorbtion and outgassing in the oceans, but I can’t seem to find it.”
Did you read paper 1 ?
see Page 7.

July 2, 2013 12:24 pm

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 11:20 am
Ferdi says: ” I have no idea what drives the connection between AO and the CO2 rate of change”
Err, pressure perhaps? AO in pressure based index. If atmospheric pressure drops , so does 400 ppmv worth of partial pressure. That will affect out-gassing, requiring more ppmv CO2 to maintain the same balance at a lower pressure.
As far as I have found some real figures, the Arctic pressure at sealevel seems to change some +/- 20 mbar with the AO, that means a variability of +/- 8 microatm of pCO2 pressure. Not really a huge difference… A few years increase at the current rate will already exceed the variability in uptake.

July 2, 2013 12:27 pm

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 10:55 am
Re: jkanders
I think you have misunderstood the Bern Formula TerryS. Where have you got the idea that the model assumes that the CO2 does not mix?
I got the idea from the Berne formula. The Berne formula represents a system whereby CO2 does not mix.

I look up the formula in AR4 page 213 and I totally disagree that this represents a system where CO2 does not mix.
The formula is:
P(t) = 0.217 + 0.259*e(-t/172.9) + 0.338*e(-t/18.51) + 0.186*e(-t/1.186)
Where t is in years, and P(t) is the pulse.
This formula is not very uncommon or exotic in any way. This is a perfectly normal way of modeling a system with several different sink rates.
In words it says that if you add one unit of CO2 to the atmosphere then:
21,7 % of it will remain there indefinitely
25,9% will have a lifetime of 172.9 years
33.8% will have a lifetime of 18.51 years
18.6% will have a lifetime of 1.186 years
I have not gone further to investigate the justification for each parameter, but one can assume that the long lifetime of 172.9 years represent the sink rate into the deep ocean, the middle lifetime of 18.51 years may represent surface oceans and the low lifetime of 1.186 years to represent the biosphere exchange. However, whether this assumption is correct or not is not important, the important thing is that they represent different sink rates all acting on one mixed content of atmosphere.
You may also use this formula for calculating the depletion of the water level in a bucket with three holes, and the water can mix freely.

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 12:28 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:39 am
….Murry Salby also suggests soil moisture on land as a significant player.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I would agree with him. Think of how limestone caves are formed. link
Too bad the author of that article got the chemistry wrong. (My thesis topic) You get differential dissolving of limestone beds based on the amount of clastic (sand and clay particles) in the limestone. The more clastic the longer the dissolving rate. The amount of surface area available to be dissolved by the H2CO3 determines the rate of reaction. The clastics effectively ‘hide’ or mask some of the limestone and protect it from dissolving. Erosion does not explain the differences in how the different bedding dissolves that is seen in cave formation but differences in dissolving rate do.
This photo sort of shows how the width of the cave changes as the groundwater dissolves its way through different bedding planes.

July 2, 2013 12:31 pm

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm
So any out-gassing by the oceans and the massive annual too and fro will deplete the atmospheric dC13 that Ferdinand is telling me must be a sign of anthropogenic CO2.
Please reread my former comment: the back and forth release of CO2 from the oceans drops the d13C level with about 8 per mil. That is sufficient to maintain the difference between the ocean surface d13C at +1 to +5 per mil and the pre-industrial d13C level in the atmosphere of -6.4 +/- 0.2 per mil. But in no way that can explain the drop of 1.6 per mil since 1850, in lockstep with human emissions…

July 2, 2013 12:36 pm

@Ian W.

Are you a climate modeler by any chance? 😉

Actually no !
I am proposing that if it were still possible to ignore all the doom mongers and simply continue on “business as usual” (thereby improving the lives of nearly everyone on Earth) my simple “maths” says that at worst CO2 levels should stabilize at ~1000ppm for the indefinite future leading to about 2C warming (using latest measurements).
Instead it looks likely we will suffer a much more alarming fate chasing phantoms !

July 2, 2013 12:46 pm

fhhaynie says:
July 2, 2013 at 8:30 am
Ferdinand,
The biosphere is not a net sink for C12.

Yes it is, the earth is greening, thanks to all that extra CO2 in the atmosphere. And it is calculated from the oxygen balance: there is about 1 GtC more CO2 uptake by the whole biosphere than release:
http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

milodonharlani
July 2, 2013 12:55 pm

Richard M says:
July 2, 2013 at 9:55 am
One explanation for lower CO2 levels since the Eocene (down from 1000 ppmv to ~300) has been the putative Azolla Event.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event
But IMO a cooling Earth is sufficient explanation. In other Ice House phases, as during the late Carboniferous & early Permian Periods, CO2 appears to have dropped into the 300s ppmv of dry air.
CACCAs use the AE to argue for lowered CO2 causing Cenozoic cooling, but IMO the lower CO2 is a result of cooling from other “forcings”, such as the arrangement of continents & orbital mechanics. There could of course be feedback effects.

July 2, 2013 12:55 pm

Ferdi says: “Please reread my former comment: the back and forth release of CO2 from the oceans drops the d13C level with about 8 per mil. That is sufficient to maintain the difference between the ocean surface d13C at +1 to +5 per mil and the pre-industrial d13C level in the atmosphere of -6.4 +/- 0.2 per mil. But in no way that can explain the drop of 1.6 per mil since 1850, in lockstep with human emissions…”
Where’s the “lockstep”? I already pointed out that your sponge plot shows dC13 changing well before notable human emissions in both directions and in a manner “in locksetp” with temperature. There is no apparent change in behaviour I can see in that graph.
Unless I missed it you did not reply to that observation.
I’ve pointed out the plateaux in dCO2, temperature and AO since 1995 , none of which are “in lockstep” with human emissions. You ignored that problem too.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 1:15 pm

Clive Best says: July 2, 2013 at 10:41 am
“Man made emissions of fossil fuels are currently running at 5.5 Gtons per year,”

I think that’s way too low. I think it’s over 30 Gtons CO2/year. CDIAC says 32 Gtons in 2008.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 2:02 pm

Nick Stokes says: “I think that’s way too low. I think it’s over 30 Gtons CO2/year.”
Sorry – Looks like you are right. So my numbers need increasing by a factor 6 ! So now – In the worst possible case with tau=200 years and ( impossibly) humans continued to emit 30 G-tons of CO2 every year for the next million years CO2 levels would still stabilize at 5000 ppm – a figure reached in the past.
But more importantly – can you find an error in my maths for how final CO2 levels would eventually stabilize ?

tallbloke
July 2, 2013 1:25 pm

jkanders says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm
The formula is:
P(t) = 0.217 + 0.259*e(-t/172.9) + 0.338*e(-t/18.51) + 0.186*e(-t/1.186)
Where t is in years, and P(t) is the pulse.
This formula is not very uncommon or exotic in any way. This is a perfectly normal way of modeling a system with several different sink rates.
In words it says that if you add one unit of CO2 to the atmosphere then:
21,7 % of it will remain there indefinitely

Does the IPCC make any attempt to justify this dubious parameterisation?

TerryS
July 2, 2013 1:27 pm

Re: jkanders

In words it says that if you add one unit of CO2 to the atmosphere then:
21,7 % of it will remain there indefinitely
25,9% will have a lifetime of 172.9 years
33.8% will have a lifetime of 18.51 years
18.6% will have a lifetime of 1.186 years</blockquote
You have separated the CO2 into 4 different partitions (21.7%, 25.9%, 33.8% and 18.6%) that never mix. That is what the formula represents.

You may also use this formula for calculating the depletion of the water level in a bucket with three holes, and the water can mix freely.

No you may not. In a bucket without partitions where water mixes freely you can calculate the rate (r) with the following:
1/r = 1/∞ + 1/172.9 + 1/18.51 + 1/1.186
r = 1.10
You can use the formula with a bucket that is separated into 4 partitions with water that never mixes between the partitions.

Mark Bofill
July 2, 2013 1:28 pm

Nick,
According to International Energy Statistics you’re correct. The 5.5 Gt figure was in the ballpark of being correct for North America; a bit low. What’s a Gton more or less.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8

TerryS
July 2, 2013 1:32 pm

Mods, could you fix the blockquote in my comment above?
Thanks

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 1:49 pm

TerryS says:uly 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm
“You can use the formula with a bucket that is separated into 4 partitions with water that never mixes between the partitions.”
You can. But it’s your construct, not theirs. All they are doing is representing the response function as a sum of exponentials, which as jk says is a perfectly normal thing to do. It amounts to replacing the inverse Laplace transform by a sampled version. Nothing about mixing.

July 2, 2013 1:57 pm

Greg Goodman says:
July 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Where’s the “lockstep”? I already pointed out that your sponge plot shows dC13 changing well before notable human emissions in both directions and in a manner “in locksetp” with temperature.
During the whole Holocene up to about 1850, the natural variability in atmospheric d13C was not more than +/- 0.2 per mil d13C, probably temperature related. Since 1850 there is a drop of 1.6 per mil, 30 times larger than the natural variability which is human emissions related.
One can show that in another way, assuming relative constant exchanges (turnover) with the deep oceans:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg
The zero GtC exchange line shows the drop in d13C caused by human emissions, if there was no exchange at all with the deep oceans. The 40 GtC/year exchange matches the observed drop, but the early years mismatch may be caused by an unbalance of vegetation CO2 release/uptake.
What happens if most of the increase in the atmosphere was from the oceans? If that increasingly occured since 1960 that would give the following change in d13C:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_increase_290.jpg
I’ve pointed out the plateaux in dCO2, temperature and AO since 1995 , none of which are “in lockstep” with human emissions. You ignored that problem too.
Human emissions are about double the increase in the atmosphere, something that is conveniently ignored in the article and by you. Thus the variability in the increase rate of CO2 in fact is a variability in sink rate, not in source rate. If the e.g. the larger open, but still cold area of the Arctic Ocean removes 0.5 GtC (o.25 ppmv) more CO2 per year into the deep oceans, that would explain the leveling of the increase rate to a near constant (as a result of an increasing sink rate). That is part of the natural variability, which in the past 50 years was within +/- 1 ppmv with as largest influences the 1992 Pinatubo eruption and the 1998 El Niño:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 1:59 pm

ThinkingScientist says: @ July 2, 2013 at 8:01 am
…. 2. Does anybody think that the biosphere Atmosphere flux, which is the largest of all the stated fluxes, might be temperature dependent in some way? Or that the biosphere, with a huge flux of 120 Gt/yr +/- 24 Gt/yr cannot act as a temperature dependent sink or source, with a relatively quick response time?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

WHEAT: The CO2 concentration at 2 m above the crop was found to be fairly constant during the daylight hours on single days or from day-to-day throughout the growing season ranging from about 310 to 320 p.p.m. Nocturnal values were more variable and were between 10 and 200 p.p.m. higher than the daytime values. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002157173900034

CO2 depletion

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) … photosynthesis can be halted when CO2 concentration aproaches 200 ppm… (Morgan 2003) Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and does not easily mix into the greenhouse atmosphere by diffusion… Source

Englebeen admitting CO2 is not uniform and plants are a big factor….

FerdiEgb says:
May 20, 2013 at 3:35 am
Greg Goodman says:
May 20, 2013 at 3:04 am
Another reason to suggest it is drive by out-gassing in colder waters. Tropical SST is more stable and contains less CO2 that colder polar waters.
The seasonal changes are definitely linked to the NH mid to high latitude growth and wane of forests and crops. The 13C/12C seasonal ratio changes are opposite to the CO2 level changes, thus vegetation related, not ocean related. The Ferrel cells bring CO2 from the mid-latitudes to the high North stations, which makes that the change is mostly visible there, but measurements at 1000 m height over the Black Forest (Schauinsland, Germany) did show larger seasonal variations than Barrow, AK, USA.

What is really really interesting is Barrow 1947-1948 data at 420 ppm! (average of 330 samples) It is noted that the Keeling samples (1972 to 2004) are transported from Barrow Alaska to California before they are analysed. http://www.biokurs.de/eike/daten/leiden26607/leiden6e.htm

The true extent to which the ocean bed is dotted with volcanoes has been revealed by researchers who have counted 201,055 underwater cones. This is over 10 times more than have been found before.
The team estimates that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 metres over the sea bed. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218

Volcano Outgasing of CO2. The primary source of carbon/CO2 is outgassing from the Earth’s interior at midocean ridges, hotspot volcanoes, and subduction-related volcanic arcs. http://www.columbia.edu/~vjd1/carbon.htm

New Paper With Stunning Admission By Climate Alarmist Scientists: Actual CO2 Emissions Are Unknown; Please Send Money!
Read here. In an AAAS magazine publication, there is an amazing admission that actual CO2 emissions, human and natural, are unknown. Present CO2 emissions quoted as “truth” are nothing more than back-of-envelope guesstimates. Climate alarmists scientists now admit they have no clue about the quantities of CO2 emissions, nor the sources of all CO2 emissions. At this point, everyone should be questioning the sanity of proceeding with the draconian economic solutions proposed by scientists to curb human CO2 emissions.
http://www.c3headlines.com/2010/06/new-paper-with-stunning-admission-by-climate-alarmist-scientists-actual-co2-emissions-are-unknown-pl.html

New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.
This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/10/bombshell-from-bristol-is-the-airborne-fraction-of-anthropogenic-co2-emissions-increasing-study-says-no/

As another commenter said the take home is the science is in its infancy and making far reaching political decisions that will cripple a country based on ClimAstologists pronouncements is asinine. But I am sure Russia and China will be happy.

Bart
July 2, 2013 2:00 pm

Thanks Greg Goodman for many good posts.
The fundamental mistake Ferdinand and others make is treating the problem as outgassing from the oceans as a static pond.
CO2 rich waters are rising all the time. If you have a temperature rise, then the upper layers outgas. So, you reach a new atmospheric equilibrium. So far, so good, and Ferdinand et al. have no problem with this.
But now, those waters, whose CO2 has been depleted, downwell, and new CO2 rich waters surface. These then outgas, too. And the process repeats.
This produces a pumping action into the atmosphere. The rate of change of CO2 into the atmosphere is thus a continuous rate, which is temperature dependent, and can at least be approximated as an affine function of temperature
dCO2/dt = k*(T – Teq)
That is what we see. It really couldn’t be more obvious.
This is a pumping action. It is relentless, and requires extraordinary sink action to oppose. Thus, a complete accounting of anthropogenic inputs and temperature dependent pumping works out analogously to the model
dCO2_pumped/dt = k*(T – Teq)
dCO2_total/dt = ( dCO2_pumped – CO2_total)/tau + H
where CO2_pumped is being pumped in by ocean dynamics, CO2_total is the total we observe in the atmosphere, tau is a time constant, and H is anthropogenic inputs.
If tau, the e-folding time, is short, then H has no appreciable effect, and CO2_total tracks CO2_pumped. That is what is happening. It is beyond any reasonable doubt. Only a dogmatist can deny it.
Hockey Schtick says:
July 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm
Nice plot! As everyone can see, the anthropogenic input is diverging from the measured atmospheric concentration. This will be the nail in the coffin as the divergence accelerates in the years ahead with the incipient cooling cycle.

Bart
July 2, 2013 2:02 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm
“Thus the variability in the increase rate of CO2 in fact is a variability in sink rate, not in source rate.”
Again with the discredited mass balance argument. Stop it.

July 2, 2013 2:06 pm

“The formula is:
P(t) = 0.217 + 0.259*e(-t/172.9) + 0.338*e(-t/18.51) + 0.186*e(-t/1.186)
Where t is in years, and P(t) is the pulse.
This formula is not very uncommon or exotic in any way.”
Not exotic?
172.69 is the combined synodic period of Uranus and Neptune; 18.6 is the lunar nodal cycle ; 1.186y=433 days is the Chandler Nutation.
It’s pure alchemy I tell you.

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 2:21 pm

Bart said:
“This is a pumping action. It is relentless, and requires extraordinary sink action to oppose”
Thanks Bart. You know I agree with you from previous posts.
Now consider our puny emissions. Easily absorbed locally and regionally by the local biosphere whilst the oceanic pump overwhelms all the sinks.
I previously posted the evidence from recent data and here it is again:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9508&linkbox=true&position=8
Ferdinand really should give up on the mass balance argument because the contortions required to sustain it are becoming so convoluted as to be laughable.
Should we go with Ferdinand or with Murry Salby?
The cold upwelling water from the thermohaline circulation is comparatively rich in CO2 and must release it when warmed by sunlight and if the sunlight is greater in quantity as it was during the late 20th century when the sun was more active, the jets more zonal, the globe less cloudy then of course there will be a net outgassing. It’s all in reverse now though (since about 2000) but we need to wait some time before the data goes into reverse too.

July 2, 2013 2:35 pm

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm
Re: jkanders
You have separated the CO2 into 4 different partitions (21.7%, 25.9%, 33.8% and 18.6%) that never mix. That is what the formula represents.

No, as I see it, it is not the mixing that is the concern; the concern is that each of the sinks is saturated in different times. The CO2 level will of course at any given point in time be more or less the same all over the globe. The level will not decrease faster in some areas as you wrote in your previous post.
But I think the mixing discussion is a sidestep anyway, and I want to go back to the original question. This formula represent the level of the excess amount of CO2 after a pulse is depleted, it does not show the residence time of CO2 molecules which the author of the posting discussed.
The residence time of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere is not a very interesting parameter in modeling the CO2 level since it has no connection to the depletion rate of excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
To elaborate further on that we can use your previous formula for residence time
P(t) = e(-t/r) where r= 2173/771 = 2.81 years
For 5 years this gives P(5) = 17% remaining of the CO2 molecules from the pulse
The Bern formula for 5 years gives P(5)= 73% remaining of the excess CO2 level from the pulse
Both of these can be perfectly right since they measure different things

July 2, 2013 2:38 pm

Bart says “CO2 rich waters are rising all the time. If you have a temperature rise, then the upper layers outgas. So, you reach a new atmospheric equilibrium. So far, so good, and Ferdinand et al. have no problem with this. But now, those waters, whose CO2 has been depleted, downwell, and new CO2 rich waters surface. These then outgas, too. And the process repeats. This produces a pumping action into the atmosphere.”
This has been documented by careful observations in at least 3 published papers demonstrating the oceans act as a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/07/new-paper-finds-ocean-along-n.html
Bart says “Again with the discredited mass balance argument. Stop it.”
Bart explains here why the mass balance argument proves nothing because it involves a single equation with two unknowns, insufficient to determine a unique solution:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/06/climate-scientist-dr-murry-salby.html?showComment=1370978113222#c1094879382476014584

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 2:40 pm

A refinement to the concept occurs to me.
CO2 rich water is coming to the surface from the thermohaline circulation all the time and that circulation takes 1000 to 1500 years.
On that basis the current CO2 level of richness would have been generated in the Dark Ages some 1000 to 1500 years ago rather than in the LIA which only recently ended (around the late 1800s).
So what we have here is a 1000 to 1500 year cycle in the thermohaline circulation affecting the CO2 content of upwelling waters from the thermohaline circulation encountering sunlight variations from a 1000 year solar cycle (think Roman Warm Period to Dark Ages to Mediaeval Warm Period to Little Ice Age to date).
Those solar and oceanic cycles are of different lengths and so out of phase.
What we have currently is likely an unusual scale of variability in atmospheric CO2 due to the CO2 rich waters from the thermohaline circulation (originating in the colder Dark Ages) encountering a high level of sunlight during the recent period of high solar activity.
The higher level of sunlight being due to the solar mechanism I described here and elsewhere previously.
Speculation?
Maybe, but speculation that fits observations should be given attention..
The ice records are too coarse to record any of the shorter term CO2 variations as confirmed by Murry Salby.

Stephen Wilde
July 2, 2013 2:43 pm

I was about to link to the Hockey Schtick article but he beat me to it 🙂

Bart
July 2, 2013 2:50 pm

Hockey Schtick says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm
Sorry for the strong language in your comments. I am very annoyed by the “mass balance” argument, because it seems I never get through, and it is so wrong on such an elementary level.
I’m finding it much easier to keep my cool these days, though, now that the winds are blowing in my direction, and other thoughtful people are coming to the same conclusions. Especially with someone as distinguished as Dr. Salby weighing in, the scales have decidedly begun to tip.

July 2, 2013 2:55 pm

tallbloke says:
Does the IPCC make any attempt to justify this dubious parameterisation?

The AR4 report refer to it as Bern2.5CC in ftp://ftp.elet.polimi.it/users/Giorgio.Guariso/papers/joos01gbc%5B1%5D-1.pdf

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 3:03 pm

clivebest says: July 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm
“But more importantly – can you find an error in my maths for how final CO2 levels would eventually stabilize ?”

No, I think the maths is OK. It’s not too bad to just multiply the emission rate by the residence time.
It’s really a multi-scale issue, though, as the Bern formula shows. A more relevant limit is just the total carbon we could burn.
The problem is, that’s still a lot of CO2, and not too far off. We’ve seen effects already, but there’s much more to come.

Bart
July 2, 2013 3:13 pm

Nick Stokes says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm
“A more relevant limit is just the total carbon we could burn.”
It is almost completely irrelevant.

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 3:14 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 7:13 am
…..The primary change is directly proportional to the change in temperature, but that is rapidely countered by the change of CO2 in the atmosphere, at least for the oceans. Once the temperature is at a new level, CO2 levels follow to a new level too, and that reestablishes the previous oceanic fluxes. No further increase happens.
The reaction of the biosphere is largely an increase of uptake both by an increase in temperature as by the increase in CO2 of the atmosphere, but opposite by (lack of) precipitation which may be a result of the temperature increase.….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
but opposite by (lack of) precipitation which may be a result of the temperature increase.….
HUH?
An increase in temperature leads to an increase in the water cycle. Graphic map: US precipitation trends 1900 to present

….many scientists have been monitoring precipitation trends. That is to say, they have been watching changes in the amount of precipitation falling to Earth. In the last 100 years, precipitation has increased by an average of about 1% over all the land surfaces on Earth. Across the United States, alone, precipitation has increased by an average of about 5% in the last 100 years….
There are many reasons for changes in precipitation. The leading cause is a change in temperature. Many scientists believe an increase in temperature could lead to a more intense water cycle. The rates of evaporation from soils and water, as well as transpiration from plants, could increase. The amount of precipitation could also increase….. [Then it goes into models]
http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/climate/GCremote4.html

From the EPA:

….Generally, warmer surface temperatures lead to an increase in evaporation from the oceans and land, leading to an increase in globally averaged precipitation. However, while some regions can get more precipitation, shifting storm patterns and increased evaporation can cause some areas to experience more severe droughts than they have in the past. Scientific studies also indicate that extreme weather events such as storms, floods, and hurricanes are likely to become more intense. However, because these extremes already vary naturally, it may be difficult over short time periods to distinguish whether changes in their intensity and frequency can be attributed to larger climate trends caused by human influences…
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/precipitation.html

EPA graphs on change in precipitation in the USA and in the worldwide link shows an increase in precipitation.
So with a warmer world with more CO2 and a faster water cycle you have more plant growth. All three (Co2, Temp and precipitation) are increasing at the same time and the plants love it!
This occurred naturally as the earth warmed out of the last Ice Age. See: NORTH AMERICA DURING THE LAST 150,000 YEARS for a description of what conditions were like in North America during glaciation.

milodonharlani
July 2, 2013 3:16 pm

LLNL ran a program in 2005 to see what the effect would be of “business as usual” until all fossil fuels were used up. Some of their assumptions were questionable at best, but they came up with “alarming” climatic consequences (no surprise) from nearly two doublings of CO2 to 1423 ppm from 380 ppm.
http://www.universetoday.com/11066/what-if-we-burn-everything/
The authors guess an eight degree C increase in global temperature, which they consider conservative. Since climate sensitivity is now known to be closer to one degree per doubling than four degrees, this value is clearly too high, even setting aside the logarithmic issue. Two degrees might be more like it, if that.
It’s also doubtful that carbon sinks would in fact behave as weakly in scavenging CO2 as LLNL projected then.

July 2, 2013 3:18 pm

Nick Stokes says:
“The problem is, that’s still a lot of CO2, and not too far off. We’ve seen effects already, but there’s much more to come.”
Nick Stokes is wrong once again. There is not “a lot of CO2”; it is measured in parts per million. There are 209,000 ppm of Oxygen, and 780,000 ppm of Nitrogen. But there are only a few hundred ppm of CO2, with a few ppm added annually. And almost all of the additional CO2 is emitted naturally from the warming oceans [Beer’s Law].
Furthermore, there are NO confirmed, testable, verifiable global effects attributable to human-emitted CO2. Nick Stokes may believe that “there’s much more to come” of his fictitious CO2 ‘effects’, but that is simply a baseless Nick Stokes conjecture. It is his opinion; his unscientific belief, nothing more. And his belief is not corroborated by any testable, verifiable scientific observations.
Nick Stokes is often wrong, folks. But he will never acknowledge that he could ever be mistaken. That is the difference between a scientist, and a religious True Believer.

milodonharlani
July 2, 2013 3:18 pm

PS: They estimate about 300 years to burn up all the buried hydrocarbons, but the worst effects would occur in the 22nd century. In the long run, all climate modellers are dead.

July 2, 2013 3:34 pm

Bart says:
July 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm
CO2 rich waters are rising all the time. If you have a temperature rise, then the upper layers outgas. So, you reach a new atmospheric equilibrium. So far, so good, and Ferdinand et al. have no problem with this.
But now, those waters, whose CO2 has been depleted, downwell, and new CO2 rich waters surface. These then outgas, too. And the process repeats.

What you describe is the Thermohaline Circulation, THC, which is a continuous stream of ocean waters upwelling near the Pacific quator and downwelling in the NE Atlantic.
The continuous upwelling does induce a continuous inflow of CO2 from near the equator and gives a continuous downwelling of CO2 near the poles. When both CO2 fluxes are in equilibrium, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere get flat. If there is a disequilibrium, the levels go up or down. So far so good.
This produces a pumping action into the atmosphere. The rate of change of CO2 into the atmosphere is thus a continuous rate, which is temperature dependent, and can at least be approximated as an affine function of temperature
Here you go wrong by supposing that an increase in temperature (let is assume as well at the upwelling as at the downwelling area’s) permanently increases the inflow of CO2. You don’t take into account that the extra inflow (and reduced outflow) increases the CO2 level in the atmosphere and that increased CO2 level affects the inflows and outflows.
Any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the cause) reduces the inflow of CO2 from the oceans and increases the outflow of CO2 into the oceans.
That happens until the previous (dis)equilibrium in inflows and outflows is restored. That is with an increase of 16 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere for 1 K increase in temperature.
Thus it is impossible that the inflow from the oceans or the outflow into the oceans remains constant for a sustained increase in temperature.
“Thus the variability in the increase rate of CO2 in fact is a variability in sink rate, not in source rate.”
Again with the discredited mass balance argument. Stop it.

I have avoided the mass balance argument as far as possible. But any substantial increase of the natural carbon cycle would be noticed in one or more observations.
– that is not the case for the residence time: no shortening observed.
– that goes the wrong way for the d13C level in the atmosphere if the oceans were the source.
– that is proven wrong for the biosphere, which is a net CO2 absorber.
There simply is no natural source for the increase of CO2 that doesn’t violate one or more observations.
The only source that matches all observations is the continuous release of extra CO2 by humans.

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 3:39 pm

Michael Moon says: @ July 2, 2013 at 8:03 am
….Secondly, travelling about in forested areas, this 54-year-old notices that the vegetation is lush, really lush, far more than before. \
What does it all mean?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The trees are no longer starving for CO2.

Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California.
Abstract
….Here we report on delta13C of Juniperus wood cellulose, and show that glacial and modern trees were operating at similar leaf-intercellular [CO2](ci)/atmospheric [CO2](ca) values. As a result, glacial trees were operating at ci values much closer to the CO2-compensation point for C3 photosynthesis than modern trees, indicating that glacial trees were undergoing carbon starvation. In addition, we modeled relative humidity by using delta18O of cellulose from the same Juniperus specimens and found that glacial humidity was approximately 10% higher than that in modern times, indicating that differences in vapor-pressure deficits did not impose additional constrictions on ci/ca in the past. By scaling ancient ci values to plant growth by using modern relationships, we found evidence that C3 primary productivity was greatly diminished in southern California during the last glacial period.

J. Sperry
July 2, 2013 3:40 pm

“…global warming during the 2000th century…”
Goodness, I had no idea the projections went this far. This is getting way out of hand. (/sarc)

July 2, 2013 3:44 pm

Gail Combs says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm
An increase in temperature leads to an increase in the water cycle. Graphic map: US precipitation trends 1900 to present
Should have been more specific: in general there will be more precipitation for increased temperatures, but in the specific case of an El Niño, which increases worldwide temperatures, large parts of the Amazone forests are dried out and the total biosphere during such a year (1998) is a net source of CO2… But as you know, even the desserts are greening over the years along the borders…

July 2, 2013 3:46 pm

“It’s all in reverse now though (since about 2000) but we need to wait some time before the data goes into reverse too.”
No need to wait , just look at d/dt(CO2), it’s already in a ‘plateau’ just like temperature, Unlike emissions:
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=259
Gösta Pettersson has worked out an accurate exponential impulse response for the system, I suppose we should now deconvolve the Keeling curve with that and see what it looks like. I’ll see if I can get that together.

July 2, 2013 3:52 pm

“Gösta Pettersson has worked out an accurate exponential impulse response for the system,”
nope, she just calculated the dilution ratio of a tracer.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 3:56 pm

dbstealey says: July 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm
“Nick Stokes is wrong once again. There is not “a lot of CO2?; it is measured in parts per million.”

[snip]
So what does all that mean? The 1360 Gton CO2 we have added generates about 1.6 W/m2 in radiative forcing. Not such a lot either, but it accumulates. Both the heat and the CO2 itself.

TerryS
July 2, 2013 4:30 pm

Re: jkanders

No, as I see it, it is not the mixing that is the concern; the concern is that each of the sinks is saturated in different times.

The Bern formula does not represent sinks saturating at different times. If 100Gt pulse is injected then the sink represented by the 18.6% would absorb 18.6Gt and then stop absorbing. If a 10Gt pulse was injected then it would stop absorbing at 1.86Gt. In both cases it would about a decade. so what is its saturation point?

The CO2 level will of course at any given point in time be more or less the same all over the globe. The level will not decrease faster in some areas as you wrote in your previous post.

In the real world this is true. In the world represented by the Bern formula this is false.

For 5 years this gives P(5) = 17% remaining of the CO2 molecules from the pulse
The Bern formula for 5 years gives P(5)= 73% remaining of the excess CO2 level from the pulse
Both of these can be perfectly right since they measure different things

They can both be perfectly wrong, but they can not both be perfectly right. Injecting a pulse of 100Gt would result in 17Gt remaining after five years according to the first formula and 73Gt according to the second. Since 17 does not equal 73 they can not both be right.
Here are 2 scenarios using the Bern model.
Scenario 1:
Year 0: 100Gt pulse of CO2 added to the atmosphere.
Year 5: 73Gt remains
Year 10: 66Gt remains.
Scenario 2:
Year 0: Nothing happens
Year 5: 73Gt pulse of CO2 added to the atmosphere
Year 10: 53Gt remains
In year 5, both scenarios had exactly the same amount of CO2 in the atmosphere but in year 10 Scenario 2 has 20% less CO2. The reason they differ is because in year 5 of scenario 1 the CO2 is no longer well mixed but in Scenario 2, it is well mixed because it has just been added.

July 2, 2013 4:31 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 11:19 am
I’m not completely sure whether I made a fundamental omission. It’s true I tend to see and explain things simple way, and without magic formulas, so please excuse me I completely avoid and circumvent the famous Henry’s law. But correct me if I’m wrong:
Pressure in unconfined atmosphere (the atmosphere is not in a closed bottle of a Coke) means weight of the gas (for partial pressure the particular fraction of the gas mixture weight) above certain area. 1 at pressure means there’s 1 kilogram of the air above one cm2 area, and as you go up to the mountains, for example, the column of the air above gets shorter, less weight above compresses it and so air has lower density and the atmospheric pressure goes down with the altitude.
The partial pressure of a particular gas in the atmosphere then is the fraction of the mass the particular gas has in the column. For example when there’s say 400 ppmv of the CO2 well mixed in the atmosphere it doesn’t mean its partial pressure is 0.0004 at at the point of the atmosphere where it has 1 at pressure, its partial pressure there is 44.0095[CO2 molar weight]/28.97[air molar weight] x 0.0004 = 0.000607 at.
Simmilar it is for partial pressure of a particular gas dissolved in the water, again, it’s mass fraction in the water is equivalent to the relative mass it has in the water.
For instance according to measurements there’s ~0.001328 g of CO2 solved in surface ocean layer 1cm^2 of 16.6 C sea water which weights ~1.026 grams, therefore the partial pressure of the CO2 in the water is 0.00133/1.026 = ~0.00129 at.
As the 16.6 C is considered being the mean sea surface temperature, we can conclude the mean partial pressure of the CO2 in the sea water is 0.000683 at higher than is the partial pressure of the CO2 in the air above and that the partial pressure of the CO2 in the mean temperature sea water is more than twice as high than the CO2 partial pressure in the air. Therefore the CO2 tends to equilibrium and gets released from the ocean and it will continue to get released up until the partial pressure of the CO2 in the then mean temperature sea water will get same as will be the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere. When it will depend on two factors: A -further rise of the SST and/or B – rise of the amospheric CO2 content from whatever source.
I intentionally omited the question of the reacted CO2 in the water, because even without it taken into account it is quite clear the partial pressure of the CO2 in the mean temperature sea water is way higher than the CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere, so the CO2 must still be released from the ocean – all that of course under condition that its mean surface temperature is indeed 16.6 C as NOAA claims. (I don’t really know, because I’ve no means to verify the figure)

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 4:40 pm

clivebest says:
July 2, 2013 at 11:21 am
The biggest mystery is why CO2 levels in the atmosphere are naturally so low. Why have levels been around ~300ppm for the last 3 million years, while higher levels existed in the past ?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Because the data passed through a filter (ice cores) that clipped the peaks.
Until 1985 most studies of CO2 in gas inclusions in pre-industrial ice indicated that CO2 concentrations (up to 2450 ppm) were higher than the current atmospheric level. After 1985, lower pre-industrial CO2 values were reported, and used as evidence for a recent man-made CO2 increase.
http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html
http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2007/06/on_why_co2_is_known_not_to_hav.html#more

Bart
July 2, 2013 4:45 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm
“That happens until the previous (dis)equilibrium in inflows and outflows is restored. That is with an increase of 16 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere for 1 K increase in temperature.”
I think I see now the source of your confusion. It is a temperature dependent pump, in that its output is modulated by temperature. But, temperature is not the only process governing the flow. You are thinking that the upwelling waters have the same CO2 content as the surface waters before they warmed. But, there is no such constraint.
The oceans are not homogenous. This is a transmission flow problem, for a very, very long pipeline subjected to unsteady forcing. When upwelling waters are CO2 enriched beyond the level of surface waters, that CO2 will be pumped into the atmosphere when the waters surface, regardless of the prevailing temperature. Increasing surface temperatures merely speeds up the process or, if they decrease enough, bring it to a halt. Right now, bringing it to a halt would require a drop in global temperatures of about 0.25 degC.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 4:47 pm

TerryS says: July 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm
“The reason they differ is because in year 5 of scenario 1 the CO2 is no longer well mixed “

I think the reason they differ is because in scen 1, by year 5 the sinks are already part-filled. For the ocean, that means a higher [CO2] to try to get CO2 into.

July 2, 2013 4:58 pm

“There are some good skeptical arguments let me list them
1. C02 warms the planet, but not as much as the consensus thinks.
Opps there is just one.”
That little cheap swipe, that is all you got, Mosher? The thosands of professional leeches you are helping to cover for are the joke. Consensus is your team’s nonscientific term: that is your game, not ours.
One thing you give credit to skeptics for, and you still muck that one up. You can’t give credit where is is long due. You insult to all skeptical scientists by your statement and show your true colors.
Anyway, in case you missed it, Venter thoughtfully corrected your childish propaganda:
(There are dozens of skeptic strong points I might add.)
“1.] All other things being equal, CO2 warms the planet. But all other things are not equal. Most sceptics state that.
2.] We don’t understand the behaviour of clouds, aerosols and various other factors influencing the climate. The climate models are pitifully inadequate in these respects.
3.] 73 different Climate models supposedly using the ” same basic physics ” arrive at wildly different values. Averaging those values and calling them model ensemble is pure unadulterated nonsense. An average of a collection of crap remains crap. Model runs are not experiments and model outputs are not data. Mosher should repeat these daily till it sinks into his head.
4.] The honest answer is that we still do not have enough knowledge or information to understand how the climate system works and are barely scratching the surface. So based on the knowledge and the crappy output of the models, it is in no way acceptable to proclaim that the science is settled and advise policymakers to take bad decisions involving billions of dollars and negatively affecting millions of lives.
5.] Not a single instance has been shown by empirical evidence or any other evidence [ except scaremongering stories from rabid CAGW adherents ] that a mild amount of warming causes any harm. The benefits of a moderate amount of warming have been totally ignored.
6.] It is ridiculous to expect people to suffer and die today by making energy expensive with the vague promise that the world could be 0.02 degrees cooler in a 100 years, a claim not matched by any empirical evidence and completely untestable by anyone living today. The proponents can never be held responsible for their actions as they would have long gone. But the suffering today happening to people being denied cheap energy is real and lives are being lost.
Anyone with half a brain reading WUWT knows very well that these points have been enunciated again and again by a lot of sceptics, especially prominent people like Anthony, Willis Eschenbach, Dr.Robert Brown, Lord Moncton etc. For Mosher to blithely state the skeptic position in one line as a certainity, is a willful distortion of the truth….”

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 5:02 pm

Of interest to this discussion from http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html

[RSJ: Anthoni asks,
Reservoir or pipe?
Atmospheric scientists treat the atmosphere as a reservoir, with inputs and outputs, much the way bean-counters treat a company balance sheet. But is it a correct model?
http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid2.htm#pipe
[In science, models are neither correct nor incorrect. A simulation need not emulate reality. Models are successful or not according to their predictive power, and that depends only on their outputs. IPCC uses both a reservoir model and a pipe model at one time. IPCC’s reservoir model is shown in several places. See for example AR4 Figure 7.3, p. 515 at
http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch07.pdf.
[The pipe model is evident from the CO2 slug response equation shown in footnote (a) of AR4 Table 2.14, p. 213 at
http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch02.pdf
[This equation represents 100% of the CO2 being divided into four processes with four separate rates of sequestration, one being infinite. None of these four sequestering processes has access to the CO2 designated for the other three, hence the model represents piping.

[If a modeler pursues a simulation by emulating the real world, but omits a major physical phenomenon, his model is subject to criticism. Then, absent a transcending, successful, non-trivial prediction, science would regard such a model as invalid. That applies to the IPCC climate model, which model temperature feedbacks except for the dominant negative feedback, cloud albedo.
[Anthoni’s solubility curve in grams per liter is an excellent fit to a 36 point solubility table for CO2 in water from the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics in 1953, converted from grams per 100 grams. In later years, the publisher shortened the table to five points and changed the coordinate system to mole fraction (moles of solute to moles of solvent). Henry’s constant given by Zeebe and Wolf-Gladrow 2001, attributed to Weiss (1974), is solubility in moles per kilogram per atmosphere. The original HC&P shows less solubility than the Weiss equation at high temperatures, generally above 40ºC, outside the range of the ZW-G graph, and not very significant to climate. The HC&P data is a best fit to the Weiss equation at about zero salinity (-3.3 with a free intercept and 6.2 with a zero intercept).]

Bart
July 2, 2013 5:37 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm
“The only source that matches all observations is the continuous release of extra CO2 by humans.”
It does not match this observation. It does not match this one.
Your other observations are equivocal. These are not.

TerryS
July 2, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Nick Stokes

I think the reason they differ is because in scen 1, by year 5 the sinks are already part-filled. For the ocean, that means a higher [CO2] to try to get CO2 into.

In that case lets change it from 100Gt to 100 tonnes. Are you trying to tell me that 27 tonnes of CO2 fills up a carbon sink?
The reason they differ is because in scen 1 the atmosphere over the carbon sink represented by the 18.6% term has less CO2 in it whereas in scen 2 the CO2 is evenly distributed.
Lets try Scenario 3
Year 0: 75Gt added
Year 7: 25Gt added
Year 8: 73Gt remains.
Year 13: 64Gt remains
At year 8 the sinks have 27Gt and 73Gt remains in the atmosphere which is the same as year 5 scenario 1. Therefore year 13 should be the same as year 10 scenario 1 but it isn’t, there is 2Gt less. You might argue that 2Gt isn’t much but I can easily get higher values by using more pulses or varying the timings and quantities.

JimF
July 2, 2013 6:21 pm

This is certainly one of the animated and interesting debates in a while. I have no idea who is right. However, from a geologic perspective, the carbon sinks are winning the war. Earth 600 million years ago had ca. 10,000 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, and a lithosphere consisting mainly of volcanic and detrital rocks. Today we have an atmosphere with about 400 ppm CO2 (recently up from something under 200 ppm), and a lithosphere that contains enormous quantities of limestone, limy sediments, shales rich in organic matter, oil and gas deposits, and coal and lignite deposits. Little of the CO2 so sequestered is ever going back into the atmosphere. The low end of the range of CO2 content in atmosphere represents a true danger – diminution and death of plant life. I come down on the side of “carbon emitters” rather than “carbon sinks”.

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 6:26 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says: @ July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Bart says: @ July 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm
CO2 rich waters are rising all the time…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
What I see that is missing in the Warmists discussions about Global Warming is TIME. Whether it is the flat earth model with no day/night for TSI, CO2 absorption and emission of a photon or in this case Englebeen refuting Bart.
The water Bart is talking about absorbed CO2 800 to 1500 years ago and therefore it’s release of CO2 at the equator has absolutely nothing to do with what is happening to water in the Arctic now. The CO2 absorbed by that water will not show up for another 800 to 1500 years.
In all cases in this shell game the pea under the pod is TIME.

July 2, 2013 6:34 pm

Hans Erren says:
“Gösta Pettersson has worked out an accurate exponential impulse response for the system,”
nope, she just calculated the dilution ratio of a tracer.
An exponential decay with a time constant of 14 years is not a “ratio” , what do you mean?

ferdberple
July 2, 2013 6:40 pm

The shaky assumptions:
1) CO2 was in equilibrium prior to human emissions
2) The increase in CO2 is due to fossil fuel burning
Human emissions are 4% of the total. The net increase in CO2 each year is 2% of the total. Do we know the natural sinks and sources to such a high precision? Doesn’t a small error in the assumptions pretty much throw the calculations out the window?
The satellites tell us that CO2 is released in the tropics and absorbed at higher latitudes. This is opposite to the notion that humans burning fossil fuels are the cause of the increase, because fossil fuels are primarily consumed at higher latitudes with minimal use in the tropics.
This would tend to indicate that we really have a poor understanding of what is causing the increase in CO2, and that the assumption that it is caused by the combustion of fossil fuels is not proven.

July 2, 2013 6:43 pm

Jim F says:
“This is certainly one of the animated and interesting debates in a while. I have no idea who is right… I come down on the side of ‘carbon emitters’ rather than ‘carbon sinks’.”
Jim F is correct. Nick Stokes says: “The problem is, that’s still a lot of CO2, and not too far off. We’ve seen effects already, but there’s much more to come.”
The “carbon emitters” are doing something that is very beneficial for the biosphere, without any down side. There is much scientific evidence to support that view. But there is no testable, verifiable scientific evidence supporting the failed conjecture that more CO2 is a problem of any kind.
CO2 has been much higher [up to 20X higher] in the past, which has caused no problems. As it is now, the CO2 concentration will not double from current levels, therefore the risk, if any, is infinitesimal. However, we know that the benefits of more CO2 are very substantial.
Those who demonize “carbon” are operating on faith and dogma, not on rational science. They have that right, of course. But they need to use their beliefs without begging for public funds, and without proselytizing. That is where skeptics draw the line. Sience? Good. Religious ‘science’? Not good. Not at all.

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 6:45 pm

JimF says: @ July 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm
…..The low end of the range of CO2 content in atmosphere represents a true danger – diminution and death of plant life. I come down on the side of “carbon emitters” rather than “carbon sinks”.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yes the CO2 spewing Coal Plants and SUV are real heroes, just ask the nearest tree.

July 2, 2013 7:21 pm

Funny all the tree-huggers haven’t “sensed” that yet.

Gail Combs
July 2, 2013 7:34 pm

Bart says:
July 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm
“The only source that matches all observations is the continuous release of extra CO2 by humans.”
It does not match this observation. It does not match this one.
Your other observations are equivocal. These are not.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
In looking at a year’s worth of Global maps of CO2 concentrations link, the oceans and biosphere seem to have a major impact on the CO2 levels.
What I would like to know is why there is high CO2 in Russia north of Moscow every year in December.
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/ghg/kanshi/co2map/co2pmapplot_e.html
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/ghg/kanshi/co2map/co2pmapplot_e.html
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/ghg/kanshi/co2map/co2pmapplot_e.html
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/ghg/kanshi/co2map/co2pmapplot_e.html
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/ghg/kanshi/co2map/co2pmapplot_e.html

July 2, 2013 7:56 pm

“What I would like to know is why there is high CO2 in Russia north of Moscow every year in December.”
Doesn’t water reject gases as it freezes?

July 2, 2013 8:04 pm

Have a look at 2005, the colour mapping is “cooler” and the hot spots stand out nicely. Moscow , New York and China. Nuff said?

Joe Born
July 2, 2013 8:29 pm

TerryS:
Although your initial comment seemed compelling at first, I have now been able to explain to myself what the folks above meant when they said that the residence time is a different animal from the Bern formula time constants. Just in case it helps any other layman out there who had the same difficulty I did, I’ll set forth what I think they meant.
Suppose that at steady state CO_{2} molecules are flowing into and out of the atmosphere at equal rates \phi_{in}=\phi_{out}=\phi_{ss} to keep the CO_{2} in the atmosphere at a level V_{ss}. Under this regime e^{-\phi_{ss}t/V_{ss}} of the molecules that were in the atmosphere at time t=0 remain at time t: the mean residence time is V_{ss} /\phi_{ss}.
But let’s change the scenario and add a slug \Delta V of CO_{2} instantaneously at time t=0^+. We assume that the added concentration causes \phi_{out} to change to
\displaystyle  \phi_{out} = \phi_{ss} + \sum\limits_{i}\frac{a_i\Delta V}{\tau_i}e^{-t/\tau_i},
where
\displaystyle  \sum\limits_{i}a_i = 1
so that the CO$_{2}$ amount obeys the Bern formula:
\displaystyle  V = V_{ss}+ \sum\limits_{i}a_i\Delta V e^{-t/\tau_i}.
Now, instead of a constant average residence time $V_{ss} /\phi_{ss}$, the residence-time average changes with time:
\displaystyle  \frac{V_{ss}+ \sum\limits_{i} a_i \Delta V e^{-t/\tau_i}}{\phi_{ss} + \sum\limits_{i}\frac{a_i\Delta V_i}{\tau_i}e^{-t/\tau_i}}
Putting numbers to those equations with the Bern numbers for the as and \taus demonstrates what the folks meant above by saying that the residence time is a different animal from the Bern-formula time constants. If V_{ss} = 10, \phi_{ss} = 1, and \Delta V = 1, the mean steady-state residence time is 10, changing after the \Delta V disturbance only a little, to between 9.7 and 10.4 according to the Bern formula. But, if \phi_{ss} is 5 instead of 1 to make the mean steady-state residence time 2 instead of 10, the Bern formula yields a residence time between 2.03 and 2.14–with the same time constants.

mike g
July 2, 2013 8:31 pm

Nick Stokes says:
And as to endless claims that all the new CO2 in the air has nothing to do with us – I’m sure Ferdinand Engelbeen will once again try to convey some sense on that. But the basic question – we’ve burnt about 400 Gt Carbon, and put it in the air. There is about 200 Gt more there than there used to be. If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?
This seems to confirm that it doesn’t stick around very long. If it’s true that we’ve emitted 400 Gt(the bulk of that in more recent years) and only increased the amount by 200 Gt.

July 2, 2013 9:45 pm

” If it isn’t ours, but came from the sea or wherever, then where did ours go?”
Into the ocean and biosphere. Some of molecules that went into the ocean came out again to satisfy the outgassing. It’s assumed to be a linear system so you just work separately and add the results.
If there was no temperature rise, all but the last few percent of emissions eventually get absorbed, on the same basis as the C14 curve. If SST rises without any GHG emissions, whatever out-gassing required to restore equilibrium will happen. The net result is a linear superposition of the two effects.
I had this same discussion a few days ago elsewhere and someone said “it can’t be a sink and a source, you have to choose”.
Well, as explained it can. The net result is a linear superposition of the two effects.

July 2, 2013 9:51 pm

BTW , I did a deconvolution of MLO with the 14y exponential and just looks a little rougher, nothing like the emissions data. I also did it with 2.6 (the shortest part of Bern model) and it got a bit rougher still … and looked even less like emissions.

gymnosperm
July 2, 2013 10:41 pm

” While they are remotely connected, the turnover of capital/goods says next to nothing about the gain or loss of that bussiness.”
Ferdinand, we love you, but this betrays a lack of business experience. The Carbon cycle has a huge (200gt) volume and it is a very profitable business. It feeds the biosphere. It is the World Bank for Carbon cash flow.
Couple things barely touched on; 14C is the heaviest and least likely isotope to be biologically absorbed. This should mean that it has the LONGEST residence time in the atmosphere. The oceans are supersaturated with 13 and 14C because these isotopes are biologically rejected both on land and preferentially washed in and in the oceans themselves where there is vast and unquantified biological activity
Ocean down welling uptake will vary with atmospheric isotopic composition at the edge of the ice near the poles. Upwelling outgassing along mid latitude and subtropical continental margins and along the ITC in the open oceans will return that isotopic signal to the atmosphere nearly a millennium later.
In a weird economic sense the isotopic skew of outgassing acts like the control of interest rates by the Federal Reserve. Spewing 12C is quantitative easing. Spewing 14C is like 18% interest.

Nick Stokes
July 2, 2013 10:50 pm

mike g says: July 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm
“This seems to confirm that it doesn’t stick around very long. If it’s true that we’ve emitted 400 Gt(the bulk of that in more recent years) and only increased the amount by 200 Gt.”

This is described as the airborne fraction. As emissions have risen, it works out that about half of each increment appears to go into the ocean, half stays in the air. Of course, this is total net change. This is in a period of steady rise; whar would happen if the rise slowed hasn’t really been tested.

philincalifornia
July 2, 2013 11:03 pm

Joe Born says:
July 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm
But let’s change the scenario and add a slug of CO2 instantaneously at time …… etc etc …….
———————————————–
Do we know of any planets where that actually happens ?

Stephen Wilde
July 3, 2013 1:32 am

“Bart says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm”
I agree with that assessment of Ferdinand’s confusion.
Tried to tell him something similar ages ago but it didn’t sink in.

Lars Silen: Reflex och spegling
July 3, 2013 1:41 am

There seems to be a general assumption that the mechanism for CO2 outgassing from the oceans is symmetric to the mechanism of CO2 being absorbed into the oceans. This assumtion implicitely means that this process only happens at the surface of the oceans, but is it really that simple?
Outgassing from the oceans is clearly a function of the temperature of the ocean and the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and possibly to some extent a function of wind speed which increases/decreases the effective water surface area.
Absorption of CO2 back into the oceans is clearly symmetric to outgassing on the simplest level. On the other hand there are probably an additional and probably fairly important additional mechanism for extracting CO2 out of the atmosphere (I intentionally leave the biosphere out). It seems obvious to me that rain is a very efficient CO2 pump extracting CO2 from air. Why? The surface area of water drops in for example a thunder storm is extremely high and this is combined with a fairly long residence time of water drops at temperatures close to freezing even in tropical areas (dT=30K or more).
Does anybody have any interesting links to airplane measurements of CO2 inside rain clouds? I think the expected CO2 concentrations should be clearly lower than in the bulk of the atmosphere.
Are there measurements of CO2 concentration at surface levels in warm/cold areas of the earth? I expect the CO2 concentration should increase in tropical areas close to the surface during/after a thunder storm because CO2 was extracted from higher layers of the atmosphere and deposited on the ground where at least parts of the CO2 is released when the water heats up.
In cold areas the effect is probably weaker and a larger proportion of the CO2 ends up back in the ocean.

July 3, 2013 2:20 am

TerryS says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm
They can both be perfectly wrong, but they can not both be perfectly right. Injecting a pulse of 100Gt would result in 17Gt remaining after five years according to the first formula and 73Gt according to the second. Since 17 does not equal 73 they can not both be right.

They can, because they measure different things. That is what all the objections to this posting are about. The 17 is the amount of CO2 molecules left from the pulse. The 73 is the excess of water.

Here are 2 scenarios using the Bern model.
Scenario 1:
Year 0: 100Gt pulse of CO2 added to the atmosphere.
Year 5: 73Gt remains
Year 10: 66Gt remains.
Scenario 2:
Year 0: Nothing happens
Year 5: 73Gt pulse of CO2 added to the atmosphere
Year 10: 53Gt remains
In year 5, both scenarios had exactly the same amount of CO2 in the atmosphere but in year 10 Scenario 2 has 20% less CO2. The reason they differ is because in year 5 of scenario 1 the CO2 is no longer well mixed but in Scenario 2, it is well mixed because it has just been added.

I see that you have a good working analogy with your bucket with four chambers. Your model behaves as the formula, good job, but so do another with mixed gases which I will describe below:
Imagine a leaky bucket under an open tap. The bucket has four holes, one in the bottom and three just above the equilibrium level. The stream from the tap represents the natural CO2 sources and is constant. The leakage from the hole in the bottom represents natural sinks and is equal the natural sources.
All the dynamics caused by pouring a pulse of extra water in the bucket is explained by the three holes just above the equilibrium level. That means that the leakage from hole in the bottom in this model is independent of the water level.
I remind again of the Bern formula:

The formula is:
P(t) = 0.217 + 0.259*e(-t/172.9) + 0.338*e(-t/18.51) + 0.186*e(-t/1.186)
Where t is in years, and P(t) is the pulse.
In words it says that if you add one unit of CO2 to the atmosphere then:
21.7 % of it will remain there indefinitely
25.9% will have a lifetime of 172.9 years
33.8% will have a lifetime of 18.51 years
18.6% will have a lifetime of 1.186 years

Each of the holes is connected to a closed tank on the outside of the bucket. The tank connected to the big hole representing lifetime of 1.186 years fill up after 18,6% of the pulse has drained.
The tank connected to the medium hole representing lifetime of 18.51 years fill up after 33.8% of the pulse has drained.
The tank connected to the smallest hole representing lifetime of 172.9 years fill up after 25.9% of the pulse has drained.
Observe that while this is going on the leakage from the hole in the bottom and the pouring from the tap, continues as before. That is the reason that the amount of molecules from the pulse is down to 17% after 5 years, but the amount of excess water is 73% of the pulse.
So to your objection about the saturation point. The answer is that in this model the saturation point is proportional to the pulse level, but it is fixed to the excess CO2 level measured in ppm. Ten times larger pulse gives ten times higher excess ppm level and ten times higher saturation point. The analogy to this is more like a very high leaky cylinder with small holes connected to small tanks all the way from the first equilibrium level and upwards to infinity.
So to the two scenarios above. Why does scenario 2 give less CO2 after 10 years although they had the same CO2 level in year 5? The answer is that in scenario 1, the tanks connected to the biggest holes have already filled up in year 5, so it only leaks through the smaller holes.

July 3, 2013 2:30 am

iopb

. The 17 is the amount of CO2 molecules left from the pulse. The 73 is the excess of water.

Should be the: “The 17 is the amount of CO2 molecules left from the pulse. The 73 is the excess of CO2 level from the pulse”

Joe Born
July 3, 2013 2:41 am

philincalifornia: “Do we know of any planets where that actually happens ?”
If you’ll grant me some leeway on “instantaneous,” I’m guessing earth. I assume small slugs of CO2 are are frequently added in period of time that are minuscule compared with the Bern time constants. I did it myself when I let blocks of dry ice sublime.
In any event, the Bern formula tells what would happen if such an instantaneous impulse were to occur, and what I (think I) showed is that its time constants are consistent with a wide range of residence times.

July 3, 2013 2:55 am

tumetuestumefaisdubien1 says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm
its partial pressure there is 44.0095[CO2 molar weight]/28.97[air molar weight] x 0.0004 = 0.000607 at
You ar confusing partial pressure for a mass ratio with ppmv, which is already a volume ratio and thus = partial pressure. For 400 ppmv and 1 atm that is thus near 400 microatm, be it a few % less as the ppmv is expressed in dry air. Thus one need to take into account the % water vapour.
there’s ~0.001328 g of CO2 solved in surface ocean layer 1cm^2 of 16.6 C sea water which weights ~1.026 grams, therefore the partial pressure of the CO2 in the water is 0.00133/1.026 = ~0.00129 at.
Not right. Most of the dissolved CO2 is in the form of bicarbonates and carbonates. These play not the slightest role in the pressure of the remaining (less than 1%) free CO2 in seawater. What is done is measuring CO2 in the air in close contact with seawater, either by bubbling air through the water or spraying seawater in air. That gives the equilibrium CO2 levels at the temperature of the mixture. That is used to calculate the fluxes between oceans and atmosphere, as the flux is directly proportional to the partial pressure difference between (equilibrium) CO2 in seawater and in the atmosphere.
the partial pressure of the CO2 in the mean temperature sea water is more than twice as high than the CO2 partial pressure in the air.
No, the partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans in average is 7 microatm less than in the atmosphere, see:
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml
That is based on several million direct measurements of CO2 partial pressure measurements in the oceans by regular cruises, commercial seaships, buoys and a few fixed stations.

July 3, 2013 3:18 am

Gail Combs says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm
Because the data passed through a filter (ice cores) that clipped the peaks.
Filtering clips peaks and drops alike. Thus IF there were huge peaks at all, there were huge drops alike. But as we already see low average values of around 180 ppmv, that would mean starvation of a lot of plants…
Further, your first link shows the error from the late Jaworowski: the so called erronic shift of 83 years to splice the ice core record and the Mauna Loa data together. Jaworoski used the ice age column in the data table of Neftel, not the gas age column. Anybody remotely knowable of ice cores knows that the average gas age in the enclosed bubbles is (much) youger than the surrounding ice, simply because the pores remain open to the atmosphere for years after the snow was deposed…
About Glassman, it is near impossible to have a discussion with him, as for every argument he buries you with relevant and irrelevant answers, so that it costs you weeks just to unravel what is relevant and what not… I did give up reacting there…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
July 3, 2013 4:13 am

A question to Ferdinand Engelbeen :-
– Can you or anyone else explain why “natural” CO2 levels in the atmosphere are currently 200-280 ppm (depending on the state of glaciation). Why for example are they not 2000 ppm or 20 ppm ?
– The build up of O2 through photosynthesis is limited to ~18% by the spontaneous combustion of forests. Is it not likely that photosynthesis also forces a lower limit for CO2 because much below ~280 photosynthesis slows down and stops ?
– Is there a natural upper limit for CO2 levels ? I suspect that there must be, because volcanic activity was orders of magnitude greater in the past yet CO2 levels have always been (relatively) low. As CO2 levels rise so too does the rate of photosynthesis. More plant growth pumps more CO2 into the ground speeding up rock weathering thereby lowering CO2 levels.

Jim Turner
July 3, 2013 5:13 am

Things seem to have calmed down, so I feel safe to emerge from under my log…
I would like to introduce a point that does not seem to have been mentioned yet, possibly because it is irrelevant, but here goes. The Mauna Loa CO2 data shows a slow steady increase in atmospheric CO2 when averaged over the long term, but in fact there is a seasonal fluctuation that is quite spectacular – the actual rate of change of CO2 concentration is always much greater than the smoothed line – either positive or negative. I assume that industrial CO2 production is fairly non-seasonal, so these rapid changes are natural – biological and physical processes. The thing that really strikes me is the slope – the atmospheric CO2 concentration is capable of much faster change than we see long term. I am particularly interested in the down slope, how does CO2 disappear from the atmosphere so quickly? Does this in any way inform about the nature of the sinks?