Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013 – but there's still no warming

While CO2 has increased to “record” levels, the pause in global temperature continues.

Via AP: Figures released Tuesday by a United Nations advisory body reveal that 2013 saw new recorded highs for both carbon dioxide and methane, as well as the largest year-over-year rise in carbon dioxide since 1984, reflecting continuing worldwide emissions from human sources but also the possibility that natural sinks (oceans and vegetation) are near their capacity for absorbing the excess. From the Washington Post’s account: The latest figures from the World Meteorological Organization’s monitoring network are considered particularly significant because they reflect not only the amount of carbon pumped into the air by humans, but also the complex interaction between man-made gases and the natural world.

Here is the press release:

Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans

Carbon Dioxide Concentration Surges

Geneva, 9 September 2014 (WMO) – The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide.  This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that between 1990 and 2013 there was a 34% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.

In 2013, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 142% of the pre-industrial era (1750), and of methane and nitrous oxide 253% and 121% respectively.

The observations from WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network showed that CO2 levels increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984. Preliminary data indicated that this was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth’s biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions.

UN_GHG_2013

The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations – and not emissions – of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans. About a quarter of the total emissions are taken up by the oceans and another quarter by the biosphere, reducing in this way the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The ocean cushions the increase in CO2 that would otherwise occur in the atmosphere, but with far-reaching impacts. The current rate of ocean acidification appears unprecedented at least over the last 300 million years, according to an analysis in the report.

“We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years. We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board,” he said. “We are running out of time.”

“Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for many hundreds of years and in the ocean for even longer. Past, present and future CO2 emissions will have a cumulative impact on both global warming and ocean acidification. The laws of physics are non-negotiable,” said Mr Jarraud.

“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin provides a scientific base for decision-making. We have the knowledge and we have the tools for action to try keep temperature increases within 2°C to give our planet a chance and to give our children and grandchildren a future. Pleading ignorance can no longer be an excuse for not acting,” said Mr Jarraud.

“The inclusion of a section on ocean acidification in this issue of WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin is appropriate and needed. It is high time the ocean, as the primary driver of the planet’s climate and attenuator of climate change, becomesa central part of climate change discussions,” said Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

“If global warming is not a strong enough reason to cut CO2 emissions, ocean acidification should be, since its effects are already being felt and will increase for many decades to come. I echo WMO Secretary General Jarraud’s concern – we ARE running out of time,” she said.

 

Atmospheric Concentrations

Carbon dioxide accounted for 80% of the 34% increase in radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases from 1990 to 2013, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index.

On the global scale, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396.0 parts per million in 2013. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million, which is the largest annual increase for the period 1984-2013. Concentrations of CO2 are subject to seasonal and regional fluctuations. At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016.

Methane is the second most important long-lived greenhouse gas. Approximately 40% of methane is emitted into the atmosphere by natural sources (e.g., wetlands and termites), and about 60 % comes from human activities like cattle breeding, rice agriculture, fossil fuel exploitation, landfills and biomass burning. Atmospheric methane reached a new high of about 1824 parts per billion (ppb) in 2013, due to increased emissions from anthropogenic sources. Since 2007, atmospheric methane has been increasing again after a temporary period of leveling-off.

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

Nitrous oxide is emitted into the atmosphere from both natural (about 60%) and anthropogenic sources (approximately 40%), including oceans, soil, biomass burning, fertilizer use, and various industrial processes. Its atmospheric concentration in 2013 was about 325.9 parts per billion. Its impact on climate, over a 100-year period, is 298 times greater than equal emissions of carbon dioxide. It also plays an important role in the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer which protects us from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Ocean Acidification:

For the first time, this Bulletin contains a section on ocean acidification prepared in collaboration with the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The ocean currently absorbs one-fourth of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, reducing the increase in atmospheric CO2 that would otherwise occur because of fossil fuel combustion. Enhanced ocean CO2 uptake alters the marine carbonate system and lead to increasing acidity. The ocean’s acidity increase is already measurable as oceans take up about 4 kilogrammes of CO2 per day per person.

The current rate of ocean acidification appears unprecedented at least over the last 300 million years, based on proxy-data from paleo archives. In the future, acidification will continue to accelerate at least until mid-century, based on projections from Earth system models.

The potential consequences of ocean acidification on marine organisms are complex. A major concern is the response of calcifying organisms, such as corals, algae, mollusks and some plankton, because their ability to build shell or skeletal material (via calcification) depends on the abundance of carbonate ion. For many organisms, calcification declines with increased acidification. Other impacts of acidification include reduced survival, development, and growth rates as well as changes in physiological functions and reduced biodiversity.

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

But despite all this, there is still no warming in the lower troposphere:

clip_image002.jpgand no warming at the surface:

19_years_pauseNOTE: (added) Some people saw the green line in the figure above as a trend line. It is not. It is a comparison line to show the similarity of global temperatures 19 years apart in relation to McKittrick’s paper on the pause. It simply shows the “plateau” of temperatures has not changed much since then. To see more about the pause in trends, this essay will be informative.

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Most of these WMO claims debunked…
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/09/debunking-latest-un-climate-propaganda.html
although they did get it right about “It is high time the ocean, as the primary driver of the planet’s climate and attenuator of climate change, becomes a central part of climate change discussions”

I have noticed that the CO2 – level has been on 399,14 for a long time on this page; http://wattsupwiththat.com/widget/
And what do you know, the link to the source for the update has been broken. Earlier this year it was reported that the CO2 level had crossed the 400 ppmv. roof set to be castrastious. That was also reported in a article with the headline; “The sky is falling!” Now, however, the link is gone, the level is sinking, but reportedly is increasing – are we witnessing more data tampering?

George Lawson

I agree, it was a long time ago that the 400ppm was forecast as being a danger level that was ‘imminent’. With all the data tampering by so called climate scientists in the past, it surely must be a distinct possibility that these data have also been made to suit the warmist cause. ‘. Is there any possibility that an independent check on the atmospheric pollution can be made to either agree or disprove these figures?

Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant!!
This link; ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/data/trace_gases/co2/flask/surface/co2_mlo_surface-flask_1_ccgg_event.txt
is the raw-data from MLO. As we can see, at the beginning of last year, the level was over 400 ppmv. several times. But on the last reading on 31. of December it was down to 323,17 ppmv. That alone should tell everybody, human can not be responsible. Because 1. The CO2 emissions we put out in the atmosphere is the biggest source of CO2, right!? And 2. It doesn’t go away, it stays there for years. So how do the alarmists explaine the difference of 24% (77 ppmv) in one year?

David A

I particularly like the pure alarmist drivel of throwing in the acid ocean lines. As more and more people comprehend that CO2 is net beneficial, by a long ways, they must hype the pathetic acid ocean claims, or other modeled scares, all failing to manifest in real world observations. From your link…
2. Claim: “The current rate of ocean acidification appears unprecedented at least over the last 300 million years”
There is no good long-term observational data showing a trend of decreased pH at any location on earth, much less the entire ocean. The best continuous long-term record of observed pH is from the Monterey Bay Aquarium from 1996-present, which shows no trend:
The claim of “unprecedented” pH is from dicey proxy studies that are not accurate enough to detect a tiny 0.1 pH change allegedly since the start of the industrial revolution. Even direct measurements with the best pH meters available today are generally uncertain to ± 0.2 pH units. All claims about anthropogenic ‘acidification’ are from models, not observations, which are debunked here by Professor of geochemistry Dr. Tom Segalstad.”
———————————————————————————–
Indeed, just as the proxy climate studies are meaningless about anything less then 100 to 200 year periods, and so say nothing about decadal trends, (and have a host of other problems) these proxy studies are essentially meaningless. It really is failed models, and bad science all the way down.

David A,
Good post. The “acidification” scare is having a hard time getting traction, for the reasons you cite. The only reason it is mentioned is because the label sounds scary to ignorant people who know nothing about the oceans’ immense buffering capacity.
When CO2 rises from 3 parts in 10,000 to 4 parts in 10,000, over a century and a half, that is hardly going to change the oceans’ pH. CO2 is only a tiny trace gas. The ocean doesn’t even know it’s there.

phlogiston

Following dbstealey’s remarks, I recently made a back-of-envelope calculation that it all the CO2 in the atmosphere instantly dissolved in the ocean, it would increase the concentration of CO2 in the ocean by about 1 ppm.

I did a calculation a while back that based on deep ocean temps and volume it could store (iirc) about 2,000 times the entire carbon cycle (~700 GTon).

Elliott M. Althouse

Until the pH of the ocean is less than 7.0 which is not going to happen, “acidification” is a misnomer with nefarious intentions.

There is about a 1 pH swing along the pacific coast between upwelling and other surface seawater. There is about a 1 pH swing at Vancouver and at Elkhorn Slough on Monterey Bay between summer highs and winter lows because both are biologically driven estuaries.
There is a 3 pH swing in Florida Bay from the Everglades mangrove fringe in winter to Key West in summer–a distance of 60 miles. Caused by freshwater seawater mixing, seagrass photosynthesis difference between summer and winter insolation, and summer evaporation increasing salinity in these shallows.
AR5 impossible high CO2 RCP8.5 means ocean pH would decline between 0.15 and 0.2 because of the enormous buffering in the alkaline system. IPCC AR5 estimate.
The supposed threat of ocean ‘acidification’ is pure alarmism. The coral and oyster ‘science’ supporting the alarm is wrong to the point of possible scientific misconduct. There is a whole exposé chapter on this in the forthcoming book.

Pamela Gray

I wonder if there is a way to determine whether or not any of this CO2 is from the Medieval Warming Period? The oceanic CO2 cycle is anywhere from 500 to 1000 years between sink from to release back to the atmosphere. Just about now we should be experiencing lots of released CO2 that is anything but of recent origin.

robin evans

Right on!! For decades we have been told of abyssal currents which take a thousand years or so to transport cold water from carbon sink areas (near the poles) – carbon solution being more effective in cold water during ice ages, such as the LIA – to upwell and release their ancestral CO2. The timing is aboutt right for this LIA ancestral CO2 to re-emerge. A more significant source for increasing atmospheric CO2 than anthropogenic “carbon” emissions?????

Peter Yates

I don’t know if there is a way to determine which period the CO2 comes from, but ….
The gap between a change of [average global] temperature and a change in [global] CO2 levels is said to be about an average of 800 years. … About 800 years ago the Earth was in the last stages of the Medieval Warm Period (about AD 950 to 1250) — as shown in this graph :-
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0133edf988be970b-pi
There appears to be a correlation between the increasing temperatures in about AD 950, and the increasing CO2 levels that started about the year 1750.. (950 plus 800 years), .. at least in the Arctic areas.
If there is any truth in this correlation, CO2 levels should begin to *decrease in the next decades – until about the year 2050 .. (1250 plus 800 years).
Yes, I know, this all seems to be too neat and tidy. .. Maybe it could be an example of Ockham’s razor!

Chris Wright

It would be fantastic if this were true, but there may be a serious problem. The previous warm period was about a thousand years before the MWP, during the Roman period. If there were no corresponding CO2 increase around 1000 AD, then the theory is probably wrong.
Is there any evidence of a CO2 increase roughly 800 years after the Roman period – and, for that matter, roughly 800 years after the Minoan Warm Period?
Chris

latecommer2014

That has been my POV for a decade. Since CO2 follows temperature in all studies at all time scales. If this is true, and I haven’t seen data that it’s not, what else could we expect but the release of this gas from past warming or cooling. This is one of the IPCC’s forbidden territories.

JaneHM

According to Mauna Loa (NOAA) August 2014 CO2 397.01 ppm August 2013 CO2 395.15 ppm. That’s an annual rate of increase of 1.86 ppm. Why did the rate of increase DECREASE so much last month?

David A

Thanks Jane, I thought so as well. Indeed, I thought months ago they were already claiming 400 ppm. 1/2 year later and I find out we are about 18 months away from the wholly beneficial 400 ppm CO2 we need.

Peter Yates

The 400 ppm reading was *only at Mauna Loa earlier this year. See the graph on this page :-
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
The *global average readings have still not reached 400 ppm. As shown here :-
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.html#global

There is a substantial seasonal component to MLO CO2. It peaks in late NH winter and minimums in later summer–I.e. now. It did touch 400 ppm in March, before photosynthesis kicked in to reduce it. The rate of concentration increase will start to rise again in October.
The plant food thing.

Bart

Because the rate of change of CO2 is affinely related to temperatures, and temperatures are starting their cyclic decline.

Ian Schumacher

Causation is not correlation! Oh wait … 😉

Brian H

Interesting point. There is no causation without correlation!

R James

Interesting distinction between human and natural causes. I would have thought thought humans were very natural. We actually belong on the earth as much as plants do. We’re a consequence of natural development. I’ll keep an eye out for unnatural humans.

Brian H

Gaia sez humans are tasked with returning CO2 levels to the plant comfort zone. About 2,000 ppm should do it.

James, you need a CO2 detector; unnatural humans do not exhale CO2.

Nylo

Why, oh why, does this “record increase” of CO2 get published now when it is a known fact since May 2013, nearly a year and a half ago?
A new season has come, and the new increase in CO2 levels, October2013-May2014, is below 2ppm, so actually lower than what has been normal so far in the XXI century. Why are they talking about the 2013 season as if it was the latest data?

Nylo

Sorry, I meant May 2013 – May 2014

nielszoo

That’s easy. The warmists are being caught out and they need… OH Look, Squirrel.

SIGINT EX

PV = nRT !
(y)

Eve

Gee, Only went 4 nights total in the summer of 2013 in Canada without a comforter. Same as for 2012 and 2011. But I went 3 nights without a comforter this summer of 2014. Without A/C. I use a comforter only 1 or 2 nights in the winter in the Bahamas. Without heat.

At less than 1% of the resonating molecules, CO2, CH4, and stragglers are insignificant in the greenhouse effect. Hello? Don’t trust the satellites. Trust the spatially biased, corrupt, and much adjusted surface temperature record.

latecommer2014

Again no mention of the elephant in the parlor….water vapor. How did methane move to number two after CO2? How long before humans , who also breath out water vapor, get tagged for this as well?

Reuters is now reporting that methane has reached *gasp* 1824 parts per billion! [ppb]. And nitrous oxide is 325.9 ppb! Wow. Those are some big numbers!
Not very long ago, methane was being reported in parts per million [ppm]. That would make it 1.8 ppm. And nitrous oxide would be only 0.9 ppm.
But 1,824 and 325.9 ppb sounds much scarier. So that’s what they’re using now; ppb, instead of the usual ppm. Spin, spin, spin.

cnxtim

Damn those pesky satellites and their increasing numbers with irrefutable readings – they just aren’t playing the game the way it could be played with BoM “adjusted” readings…

Of course the CO2 level keeps going up, the figure is produced using UN data by the IPCC. In the FAQ section of the 2001 Report they answer the question “How does the IPCC produce its Inventory Guidelines?” regarding provenance of annual CO2 measures, as follows.
“Utilizing IPCC procedures, nominated experts from around the world draft the reports that are then extensively reviewed twice before approval by the IPCC.”

I would love to see a chart with the major temp series and CO2 since 2000…

Jack
Here is (extended) CET to 2013 showing temperature and co2 levels to 1538
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/clip_image002_thumb8.jpg?w=614&h=373
It is taken from my short article here;
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/
tonyb

S.Meyer

I saw this press release in the news today and cringed. No numbers, no error bars, no graphs, no statistics, nothing at all to put these statements in perspective. It seems to me that the annual increase of CO2 varies between 1 and 3 ppm, so unless the annual increase stays around 3 ppm for several years I don’t buy it. And the biosphere is no longer capable of absorbing as much CO2 as before? Really? Says who and based on what?

jorgekafkazar

My guess is that the CO2 graph (b) error bars are huge. The rate is derived by differentiation of the ppm curve, an inherently error-prone process.

londo

Methane long lived? Isn’t methane converted to CO2 in about a decade?

londo,
Less than a decade. Methane is converted to CO2 and H2O. It is a non-problem.

Non Nomen

And vice-versa:
>>Natural gas production from CO2 and hydrogen ready for the market
An innovative method for storing electricity from renewable energy sources is now finished for the market with a fourth patent application. The method based on micro-organisms of the Austrian Krajete GmbH allows the highly efficient and clean conversion of harmful CO2 emissions and hydrogen in – storable – methane. Here, a natural metabolic process known as archaea is used, the absence of oxygen pure methane – produced – ie natural gas. The clean solution of the Austrian innovation leader offers the power storage and resource-efficient ways of producing biofuels and for cheap purification of biogas or waste gas. <<
Cont'd…
Translation by google, published 29.04.2013 in German here:
http://www.umweltdialog.de/de/wirtschaft/energie/archiv/2013-04-29_Erdgasproduktion-aus-CO2-und-Wasserstoff-marktreif.php
I don't quite understand why these Geneva scaremongers are kicking up such a fuss on completely natural things that will come and go as they always did.

Dr. Strangelove

“Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for many hundreds of years and in the ocean for even longer. Past, present and future CO2 emissions will have a cumulative impact on both global warming and ocean acidification. The laws of physics are non-negotiable,” said Mr Jarraud.
Where did you learn science? CO2 residence time is only 4 years. Even the warmists at Skeptical Science admit that. If you know college chemistry, you can easily compute that anthropogenic CO2 cannot acidify the ocean. You were not paying attention to your chemistry teacher. Acids and bases are taught in chemistry class, not in physics.
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin provides a scientific base for decision-making. We have the knowledge and we have the tools for action to try keep temperature increases within 2°C to give our planet a chance and to give our children and grandchildren a future. Pleading ignorance can no longer be an excuse for not acting,” said Mr Jarraud.
Your ignorance can no longer be an excuse to spread your stupidity. Emit more CO2 to give our planet a chance to warm because it stopped warming since 1997. We couldn’t warm it even if try so hard.

Residence time of CO2 is about 5 years, but that says next to nothing for the e-fold decay time of some extra injection of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Residence time is how long a CO2 molecule of whatever origin in average remains in the atmosphere before being exchanged with a molecule from another reservoir. That is thus molecule swapping and doesn’t change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with the oceans and the biosphere each year in and out over the seasons.
What counts is the difference between ins and outs: that is what changes the CO2 mass in the atmosphere. Currently that is ~4.5 GtC/year (2.15 ppmv/year), while humans emit ~9 GtC/year (4.5 ppmv/year) at a CO2 pressure in the atmosphere about 110 ppmv over the temperature driven equilibrium. See:
http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
That gives a e-fold decay rate of slightly over 50 years, much longer than residence time, but much shorter than the IPCC’s decay time, as that is based on the Bern model, which includes a saturation of the deep oceans, for which is not the slightest indication (yet)…

Ian W

It doesn’t matter. There has been no validation that there is any effect on actual atmospheric temperatures by increasing atmospheric CO2. Other immediate feedbacks with far greater effects would appear to nullify what impact there is – such as a very very small change in the hydrologic cycle or an associated slight increase in albedo. Indeed there is more evidence to the contrary indicating that CO2 has no impact on actual atmospheric temperatures, such as the stasis in measured tropospheric temperatures over the last 15 years.
What has been validated beyond doubt is the beneficial effect on plants and plant growth and thus the biosphere as a whole of increase in atmospheric CO2.

Dr. Strangelove

The 55-year CO2 lifetime is a mathematical derivation. Its physical relevance is trivial. The choice of 290 ppm as baseline is arbitrary. It assumes equilibrium level. But atmospheric CO2 is not constant. It is always changing whether above or below 290 ppm. This pre-industrial level is just a number. Any other number will do. You can do the calculation using 250, 300, 320, 350, 380 or whatever ppm.

The 290 ppmv is based on the 800,000 years record of CO2 vs, temperature in ice cores, or 8 ppmv/K over that time span. There are other proxies and direct measurements which show between 4 ppmv/K and up to 17 ppmv/K for ocean surface temperature changes, vegetation in general a higher sink at higher temperatures. Thus the 8 ppmv/K in equilibrium is not far off.
Not that it matters much, as the effect indeed is minimal, but one shouldn’t mix residence time with the e-fold decay rate which are completely different and largely unrelated factors…

Dr. Strangelove

Ice cores do not show constant 290 ppm. It is varying by 100 ppm. Since ocean CO2 absorption is also varying. All that confirm my point that there is nothing special about picking one particular number for ppm and another another particular number for ppm/K. They are all arbitrary. The curve is a quadratic equation or higher order polynomial. The slope is not constant. It is constantly changing depending on the points selected.
No mixing of residence time and decay rate. The former is physical. The latter is mathematical. Scientists are interested in physics. Mathematicians in the mathematics.

Dr. Strangelove
September 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm
Ice cores do not show constant 290 ppm.
Indeed, but they do show a quite constant ratio between CO2 levels and temperature (proxy) over the past 800,000 years of ~8 ppmv/K. For the current temperature the pre-industrial CO2 level was 290 ppmv, not the current 400 ppmv. It is that pressure difference which pushes more CO2 into the oceans and vegetation.
The 290 ppmv is not an arbitrary number, but the equilibrium level of CO2 in the atmosphere vs. oceans (and vegetation) for the current temperature per Henry’s law. That is as physical as the residence time, the difference is that the residence time is (seasonal and continuous) temperature driven and the e-fold decay rate is pressure (difference) driven.

Mark

How is “residence time” actually measured?

Hardly measured, more estimates than measurements…
There is a whole list of estimates, based on different observations, see:
http://jennifermarohasy.com/2009/09/why-i-am-an-anthropogenic-global-warming-sceptic-part-3/
Where the IPCC’s estimate is wrongly projected, as that is not their estimate for the residence time, but decay rate for an excess amount of CO2 in the atmosphere above equilibrium.
That is followed by a lot of discussion, with the same arguments as today…

robin evans

Some-one observed that if the concentration of all atmospheric gases were plotted on a graph as high as a 10 story building. carbon dioxide would be represented by the thickness of the linoleum on the ground floor.

Another way to look at the rise in CO2: that beneficial trace gas has increased over the past 150 years, from 3 parts in 10,000, to only 4 parts in 10,000 now.
Also, CO2 levels have been more than sixteen times (16X) higher in the past, with no ill effects, and causing no runaway global warming. In addition, CO2 levels have been much higher than now in the depths of some of the great Ice Ages. There is no correlation between rising CO2 and subsequent temperature rises. Every short-term coincidental rise in both has quickly broken down.
The current small rise in CO2 is hardly frightening. But it is the basis for the “carbon” scare.

SAMURAI

Since global warming trends have crashed and burned for the past 18 years, I see the warmunists moving away from scaring the masses with ocean acidification…
With the PDO entering a 30-yr cool cycle in 2005, AMO’s 30-yr warm ocean cycle winding down and switching to a 30-yr cool cycle from around 2020, and the sun in an apparent weakening cycle, there is an excellent chance global temps could fall for the next 20~30+ years. Accordingly, the warmunists have to find another dead horse to beat to death, and ocean acidification fits the bill…
Too bad that ocean pH has only dropped around 0.05 pH since 1750 to 8.1, but heh, you gotta scare the masses with something to keep the research grant money flowing….
This stupid CAGW swindle is in its death spiral. In about 5 years, the discrepancies between projected catastrophes and reality will be so great, it will be laughed into obscurity. Public support for this scam is quickly waning and approaching a point of singularity, when the whole thing just implodes upon itself….
If I may paraphrase Winston Churchill:
“Never in the field of human conflict has so much money been wasted by so few for so little benefit for no reason.”

Ben M.

You realize pH is on a log-scale, don’t you? So if pH of oceans has fallen from 8.25 to 8.14, that means there are 30% more hydrogen ions in the water, i.e., it is 30% more acidic. Why don’t you ask the coral reefs how they’re doing?

tty

Well since the pH scale wasn’t even invented until 1909 I have always wondered how they did those measurements back in 1750. Measuring pH with a precision of 0.01 is very difficult even today (yes, I know there are plenty of pH-meters that show two decimals in the window, but just try to calibrate them at that level….)
And as for coral reefs, You know of course that the pH level around a reef changes up to 1.0 units per day due to the photosynthetic activity of the symbiotic algae in corals?

I did. So did famed coral expert Dr. Walter Stark at Milne Bay, Papau New Guinea in 2010, where because of naturally seeping volcanic CO2 there are places where the pH is as low as 7.8. The corals were still doing fine. You need to study this more carefully, rather than just drink the coolaid.

Further to your point about corals. There have been severe bleaching events. Where cyanide has not been used to hunt tropical fish (the Pacific) most are related to water pollution, especially sediment runoff. The decomposition of organic matter produces trace hydrogen sulfide which has a coral L50 of 30 ppb! More toxic than cyanide via the same oxygen metabolism. So it is careless land use, not ‘acidification’ that is the problem. As said upthread, the Fabricus studies from Australia border on scientific misconduct because they included Milne Bay seep transects with 163ppm H2S at Dobu Island.
You might find my forthcoming book educational, as this is exposed in detail using information from the papers own supplemental information.

Robert Austin

No need to have to ask, though coral is not noted for having the power of speech. The coral reefs are thriving where they are not being threatened by pollution, excess sediment and man’s upsetting of the ecosystem by over exploitation of the resource. Hypothetical decreased alkalinity by a miniscule to unmeasurable level is simply ludicrous as a factor in coral degradation.

Bart

No, it is 22% less acidic. The change is 22% of the initial value.

Gentle Tramp

You can easily find lots of fossil coral reefs in sediments of the jurassic era, when there was at least 500% more CO2 in the atmosphere than today. What about the alleged dangerous Ocean “Acidification” then?

Ben M,
The coral reefs are doing just fine. There is occasional bleaching, which is reversed the following year. It is completely natural, and it has nothing to do with the rise in atmospheric CO2 — from 3 parts in ten thousand, to only 4 parts in ten thousand — over a century and a half.
Think, boy! Don’t let the alarmist clique lead you by the nose. They have ulterior motives in trying to scare you.

SAMURAI

Yes, Ben, I’m well aware pH is logarithmic…
I’m also aware that the average ocean pH over the past 500 million years has been around 7.6… I’m also aware that the average pH level of a typical municipal aquarium varies from 7.8~8.2 during a typical year… I’m also aware that there was approximately 10 TIMES more carbon dissolved in the oceans 500 million years ago and the ocean were STILL alkaline and corals and shellfish thrived; entire mountain ranges are made from the remains of shellfish that died 100’s of millions ago, when pH was around 7.6…
Oceans are now at the highest alkaline levels in 4.5 billion years, so an excellent case could be made the oceans are too alkaline–not too acidic….
The Earth is certainly still starved of CO2. During the last glaciation, CO2 levels fell to 170ppm, which is just 20ppm away from photosynthesis shutting down and all life on Earth going extinct….
Don’t fall for the silly notion of some mythical “Golidlocks” level of: ocean pH, atmospheric CO2 concentration, average global temp, polar ice level, etc. The Earth’s chemistry and climate are ALWAYS in a state of flux. The idea that man can miraculously create some Climate Utopia by taxing air and building wind/solar farms is the height of hubris, conceit and stupidity.
Societies should continue reducing REAL pollutants like: O3, CO, SO2, NOx, Pb, VOC, dioxins, etc. Since 1980, the levels of these REAL pollutants have been cut dramatically:
http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html
Let’s stop wasting money on cutting CO2 and deal with reality for a change.

Ocean acidification my foot.
They want ALL the water.

Mark

Assuming that the 1750 numbers were measured wouldn’t it be quite amazing for instruments from the mid 18th century would agree to within 0.05 units with those from the early 21st.
IIRC these figures are actually derived from “proxies” so comparisons with actual measurements are likely to be “apples and oranges”.

Given that water vapor accounts for upwards of 75% of forcing in computer models due to a 2-3X amplification of the textbook greenhouse effect of CO2, is their 34% jump in forcing claim real or merely a presumption? No required plot of humidity is offered. I guess they don’t want the public to figure out that all alarm is merely a highly speculative parameter hidden in their code. If they admitted that, they couldn’t encourage slandering skeptics as greenhouse effect deniers.

Correction: a 3X amplification of the greenhouse effect by water vapor gives that vapor 66% of the forcing, not 75%.

Greg

“We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
Well he is at odds with the IPCC’s conclusions then, or has not bothered to read SREX 2013 or AR5.
Speaking as WMO Secretary-General the “we” is presumably WMO. If he is unable to keep up he should resign.
Unfortunately WMO is another political arm of the UN pushing for world government, not the advancement of science.

Greg Goodman

The laws of physics are non-negotiable,”

said Mr Jarraud.
They are for IPCC modellers.
In 1992 Lacis et al established by basic physics and observational data that the scaling of volcanic forcing was about atmospheric optical density ( AOD ) x 30.
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1992/1992_Lacis_etal_1.pdf
By 2002 they had redefined it to be AOD x 21 , in order to the data in better agree with model output.
http://apollo.eas.gatech.edu/yhw/publications/hansen_etal_2002.pdf
Analysis of satellite data from Mt Pinatubo shows that their earlier, physics based estimation was much nearer.
http://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/tropical-feedback_resp-fcos.png?w=843
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=884
The reason this was “renegotiated” is because it implies strong negative tropical feedbacks to radiative forcing. The implications for AGW hypothesis are obvious.
Rather than change the models to fit the data , they “renegotiated” the volcanic forcing, changing the data to fit their models.

Greg Goodman

“At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016.”
How many times are they going to play the same card? It was “symbolic” the first time we crossed it, is going to be symbolic every time the annual cycle pops us above and below the magic number?
Perhaps WUWT should be make a big splash each time the annual variation takes us BELOW the “symbolic 400 parts per million threshold”.

Peter Yates

The “first time we crossed it” was *only at Mauna Loa. .. It wasn’t the *global readings.

What happened to the CO2 is a well mix gas thingy?
Mauna Loa, (the volcano vent) is a good place to read CO2 I was told.
And why isn’t temperature going up the same everywhere because of this well mixed gas?

Greg Goodman

WMO:

Preliminary data indicated that this was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth’s biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions.

I recently showed the close match between the annual cycle of CO2 and Arctic ice coverage:
http://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/co2_nh_ice_area_2001.png?w=800
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=996
Perhaps this years increase in atm CO2 is also due to the rapid increase ice area.
I also suggested that the recent warm spike in high northern latitude SST “anomalies” may be due to the heat dumped into the ocean by water freezing into ice. ( Latent heat of fusion. )
One thing seems clear, with “warmest evah” SST anomalies and highest atmospheric CO2 in 300 million years Arctic ice area and volume are making an “unprecedented” recovery.
Look like the control knob just fell off the climate.

Hardly surprising that there’s a close correlation between CO2 measured on the shore of the arctic ocean in the NWT and arctic sea-ice area. Why did you feel the need to multiply the [CO2] by 0.444?

So, if I understand this correctly, temperatures have risen for a bit, then stopped, CO2, meanwhile has also risen, but has continued to do so for a bit after temperature rises stopped.
Where we ALL came in on the CO2 / Temperature correlation was “CO2 rises lag behind temperature rises, don’t cause them”. This would appear to be a very pleasant confirmation…

Presumably they (re)announced the 2013 figure because the 2014 one isn’t so supportive of their aims. But is anyone listening any more? The media dutifully parrot the press releases but who cares? It’s just background noise to most people, who accept the AGW line but have given up worrying about it.

mikewaite

I have a question about ocean acidification, or rather ocean alkalinity . Why is the ocean pH >8.0 when pure water in equilibrium with an atmosphere containing CO2 has a pH of 5.5-5.7. The neutral alkaline and alkaline earth salts (Na, K, Mg , Cl, SO4, PO4 etc) are not going to change the pH .
The only type of mechanism that would give rise to an excess of OH(-) is something like the hydrolysis of orthosilicate anions :
SiO3(–) + H2O = SiO2 + 2 OH(-) and similarly with aluminate anions .
Now that equilibrium shifts to the right with acidification and the presence of alkaline earth salts ( it is the basis of the K2SiO3/Ba(NO3)2 reaction used to cement phosphor particles with silica to the glass surface of cathode ray tube screens). So silicate anions probably have a small lifetime in the ocean and a corresponding low soluble silica content on analysis. However if that process has been going on for 4 billion years I suppose that it might produce an alkaline solution .
I tried asking Google , but it responded with a million papers , most of which involved global warming so I
gave up. I thought if anyone knows it will be you guys .

johnmarshall

The ocean waters are an ionic solution. Extra CO2 will continue in a reaction producing bi-carbonate which raises pH. This important reaction actually provides more building blocks for molusc growth and the extra food. Molusc species love extra CO2.

Sulfate and chloride salts of Ca, Mg, K, Na are about neutral or slightly acidic, but (bi)carbonates of the same anions are quite alkaline, because H2CO3 is a weak acid. The large amount of these salts in seawater make that the oceans are slightly alkaline at pH around 8.0. And that they are (weak) buffers against further pH drops with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
Pure water contains no buffering salts and there CO2 dissolves to form H2CO3 that dissociates into HCO3- + H+ and further to CO3– and another H+, thus is slightly acid, which prevents further uptake of CO2. That makes that the solubility of CO2 in fresh water (rain) is quite low, but in seawater a factor ~10 higher than in fresh water.
Much of the fresh supply of Ca and Mg bicarbonates in seawater comes from dissolving carbonate rocks by the slightly acidic rainwater. On the other side, new rocks/sediments are formed by corals and carbonate bearing plankton…

phlogiston

So where this is all going to lead is that CO2 is beneficial to the ocean biosphere as well as the land surface biosphere.

tty

Simplified answer: because there is a lot of carbonate and alkali metal ions in seawater.
Solutions of salts from of a strong acid and a strong base are close to neutral, solutions of salts from a weak acid and a strong base are alkaline while solutions of a strong acid and a weak base are acid.
Almost all bases (cations) in seawater are strong (alkali metals: K, Na, Mg). There are a lot of anions from strong acid (mostly sulphate and chloride ions), but there is also a significant amount of carbonate ions (from carbonic acid – which is a very weak acid).
So the salts in solution in the sea are either strong base + strong acid (=close to neutral) or strong base + weak acid (= alkaline).
Salt lakes, which tend to contain proportionally more carbonate ions than seawater can have pH up to 11-12 and are known as “alkali lakes” or “soda lakes”.
As a geologist told me once “oceans consists of an alkaline liquid in an alkaline container”

The pH of a saturated solution of CaHCO3 solution is 8.3. How does one prepare a solution one might ask since CaHCO3 is not a stable solid? Simple, bubble CO2 gas into a solution of finely powdered CaCO3. The CaCO3 dissolves fairly quickly. Once all of the CaCO3 just disappears, the pH of the resulting solution is…. wait for it…… 8.3. Imagine that.

Oops should be Ca(HCO3)2

Peter Yates

The “record” readings were *only at Mauna Loa earlier this year. The *global readings have still not reached 400 ppm. .. Links are in this previous comment above :-
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/09/study-shows-record-high-increases-for-atmospheric-co2-in-2013-but-theres-still-no-warming/#comment-1732506

It is all them beer drinkers! They burp one and pass the other out the other end. They are coming for your beer!

euanmearns

Anthony, your graphic posting ap is great! How is it done? A curious thing about Earth and CO2 is that 50% always gets sequestered no matter how much we emit. The big exceptions are big el Nino years.
http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/sequesterd_emissions_percent.png

euanmearns

And at risk of being branded a spammer 😉 There is far too much focus on CO2. It is “The Methane Time Bomb” that ought to scare us most. According to NOAA this accounts for 20% of climate forcing. Go figure…
http://euanmearns.com/the-methane-time-bomb/
http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/barrow_methane_100ppmscale.png

tty

During the last interglacial arctic temperatures were 5-10 degrees (Celsius) warmer than today, forest extended to the arctic coast and the Arctic ocean was almost certainly ice-free in summer. Did the time bomb explode then? No.

euanmearns

I think perhaps you ought to read the article and familiarise yourself with satire 🙂 Unless of course this is a double bluff?

johnmarshall

Overhyped rubbish. Current CO2 levels are so low as to be nearly off the bottom of the historic CO2 level graph. Average levels over the last 500Ma are 2500ppmv with no problems with ocean acidification. In fact higher levels produced a thriving community of moluscs as shown in the fossil record.

MarkW

Increases could be the result of CO2 sinks reaching capacity.
Or more likely, it’s the result of increasing economic activity as the world slowly recovers from a world wide recession.

Solomon Green

“Atmospheric Concentrations”
“Methane… Approximately 40% of methane is emitted into the atmosphere by natural sources …, and about 60 % comes from human activities…”
“Nitrous oxide is emitted into the atmosphere from both natural (about 60%) and anthropogenic sources (approximately 40%)…”
But I looked in vain for a similar statement as to the proportions of “Carbon dioxide” emitted by natural sources and by human activities. Is that still in contention?

Solomon Green
I think what you want to know is that nature emits more than 30 molecules of CO2 for each CO2 molecule emitted from human activities.
Richard

And absorbs about 30.5 for a net year-on-year increase of ~0.5 molecules/molecule emitted by human activities.

Phil.
You are improving. You said something that was not plain wrong.
To continue the improvement, next time try to also say something relevant to the question that was asked.
Richard

David A

Phil says..
And absorbs about 30.5 for a net year-on-year increase of ~0.5 molecules/molecule emitted by human activities.
=========================
Yea, as now world food production has increased about 15% vs a 280 ppm world. And on the same amount of water!!! Double yea. And no increase in droughts hurricanes etc etc etc. Verily verily yea yea yea!
+

euanmearns

I would assert yes. The atomic bomb 14C data cannot be used the way it has been to deduce a super fast sequestration of CO2 that then calls on net natural flux to make up the rest of CO2 rise.

Let me make an obvious prediction predicated on the prediction that the Earth has recently begun to cool and assuming that some appreciable level of cooling (0.1-0.3 degree C) takes place over the next several years.
Atmospheric CO2 is going to spike hard in the coming years. And before it stops spiking it will likely attain an annual contribution level appreciably larger than the then-current anthropogenic emission.
The baseline increase of 2ppm/year has become 3ppm/year. Soon it will be >4ppm/year.

Bart

To the contrary, the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 will decline with declining temperatures. The rate of change of atmospheric CO2 is essentially an affine function of temperature.

Nope. The tallest spikes occur at the temp turn points.

Bart

I directed you to a graph which showed otherwise, and you answered with an assertion.

The problem is not rising CO2 or changing ocean pH. The problem is that the UN recommended solution involves economic suicide for the world, which in real terms will result in significantly more death and hardship for human beings than the worst case projected harm from Global Warming.
Why cannot the UN come up with a solution that will raise the standard of living for the peoples of the earth, rather than a plan that leads to bankruptcy? Isn’t that the real problem?
If Climate Scientists are so smart, why cannot they come up with a plan that works? So far, not a single country that has tried the Climate Science Prescription has been able to reduce CO2 emissions in a meaningful way.
Along with an economic meltdown, the US reduced emissions (from a very high level) by switching from Coal to Natural Gas via fracking, and by moving manufacturing and millions of jobs to China, but nowhere is that a recommended solution.
100 thousand abandoned buildings and homes in Detroit is not the sort of global solution that the world needs right now.

As I’ve said before:
The only solutions will give the pols more tax money to spend or make billionaires out of millionaires on the exchanges.
And neither one reduces the earth’s temperature.
How are these solutions?

knr

‘The inclusion of a section on ocean acidification in this issue of WMO’s’
That fact they used acidification rather the more accurate but less scary less alkaline shows that its yet another science by press release special whose value is not in facts but in impact .

No, ‘acidification’ is the correct term for adding H+ ions to a solution.

BearCub

How can it be a record high CO2 level when it was 10 X higher than today’s level during the last major ice age? I guess this reported increase is what is know as “grabing at straws”.

How can it be a record high CO2 level when it was 10 X higher than today’s level during the last major ice age?
You appear to be the one ‘grabbing at straws’, this statement isn’t remotely true!

mjc

What is the actual ‘certainty’ of the ice core CO2 levels?
Based on research I’m doing for a book I’m working on, CO2 levels HAD to be above 800 ppm (and possibly much higher) in the past 12,000 yrs, otherwise, the growth rates of the plants would not have been high enough to support the depth of the topsoils or the size of the forests at the start of recent history. So, it doesn’t really matter if it’s 2x, 5x or 10x…it was higher than now, in the last 20,000 yrs.

mjc
September 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm
mjc, ice cores CO2 levels are real, be it averaged over a decade (Law Dome) to 600 years (Vostok). The individual measurements over one ice core don’t differ more than 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) for the same part of one ice core and not more than 5 ppmv between different ice cores for the same average gas age of the enclosed bubbles.
There is some theoretical migration possible, based on CO2 accumulation in the neighborhood of remelt layers of relative “warm” ice cores, but that doesn’t affect the much colder inland ice cores like Vostok and Dome C where there is no measurable migration over 420 and 800 kyears.
What may be underestimated is that the local CO2 levels over land are in average higher than in the bulk of the atmosphere, due to the decay of fallen leaves and other crop parts. But that is in the order of 40-50 ppmv above background, not hundreds of ppmv.
The problem is that ice cores have no good equivalent in other proxies and the overlap between ice cores and direct measurements in the atmosphere is only about 20 years…

Katherine

Not the last major ice age. But BearCub might have been thinking of the dip during the Ordovician when CO2 was over 4000 ppm.
http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/global-temp-co2-over-geological-time1.jpg

Hawkward

“We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
We do?
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years. We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board,” he said. “We are running out of time.”
How long have we been running out of time now? When exactly will we be out of time?

Neo

I’ve never quite gotten the whole link between “sustainability” and Gorebal Warming, at least the way it is often sold. I mean, “sustainability” still generates too much CO2, so Gorebal Warming would continue, at a reduced pace perhaps, but it would continue.
The more obvious link between the two is that Gorebal Warming is a ruse to deal with “peak oil” (the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline), when all those “sustainability” options will be all that is left.
Originally, it was expected that “peak oil” would occur in the year 2000. Now it is expected some time after 2020 thanks in large part to “fracking.” With the emergence of tar sands, it will probably be even later. Which certainly explains my “environmentals” (and their “sustainability” investor friends) hate both fracking and tar sands.

Bad Apple

Anything published by a group with “World” and “Organization” in their title about climate cannot be taken seriously. Any group calling themselves a world organization has only one goal; promote themselves and propagate the idea that you must conform to their way of thinking.

The stoppage of global warming after 1998 during the continued increase of global CO2 atmospheric concentration shows, to me, that global CO2 atmospheric concentration does not control global temperatures.
What a failed thermostat control!

Edim

“The observations from WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network showed that CO2 levels increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984.”
Nonsense, the record growth was in 1998.
MLO
year ppm/yr
1984 1.36
1985 1.25
1986 1.48
1987 2.29
1988 2.13
1989 1.32
1990 1.19
1991 0.99
1992 0.48
1993 1.40
1994 1.91
1995 1.99
1996 1.25
1997 1.91
1998 2.93
1999 0.93
2000 1.62
2001 1.58
2002 2.53
2003 2.29
2004 1.56
2005 2.52
2006 1.76
2007 2.22
2008 1.60
2009 1.89
2010 2.44
2011 1.84
2012 2.66
2013 2.05
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png
The average for 2011-2013 is 2.2 ppm/year
GLOBAL
Year ppm/yr Unc.
1984 1.25 0.11
1985 1.64 0.08
1986 1.03 0.14
1987 2.71 0.09
1988 2.24 0.09
1989 1.36 0.09
1990 1.17 0.08
1991 0.79 0.09
1992 0.67 0.10
1993 1.22 0.07
1994 1.69 0.12
1995 1.94 0.11
1996 1.07 0.07
1997 1.97 0.07
1998 2.84 0.10
1999 1.34 0.07
2000 1.25 0.10
2001 1.80 0.10
2002 2.38 0.07
2003 2.24 0.10
2004 1.61 0.05
2005 2.43 0.07
2006 1.74 0.06
2007 2.09 0.07
2008 1.77 0.05
2009 1.69 0.10
2010 2.41 0.06
2011 1.71 0.09
2012 2.40 0.09
2013 2.54 0.09
The average for 2011-2013 is 2.2 ppm/year
Since the annual change correlates with global temperatures, it should decrease with the upcoming cooling. Human emissions are still increasing (~2% per year lately) and are at ~10 GtC/year in 2013 (‘fossil’ fuels and cement, without land use). That’s ~4.7 ppmv of atmospheric CO2.
So, the natural CO2 uptake is not reduced – it’s increasing in average, which means that the airborne fraction is decreasing. The trend will continue, assuming human emissions keep increasing ‘steadily’. I predict that the average growth in this decade will be significantly lower than in the last (~2 ppm/year).

Upcoming cooling? Remains to be seen. Anyway, such a cooling is good for maximum a few ppmv in the first year(s), but is overruled by human emissions within 2-3 years. There is a lot of natural variability in the rate of change over the decades, as can be seen in the growth rate at Mauna Loa. That shows that the 1990-2000 increase rate was below 1980-1990. Nothing unusual, just a question of volcanic events (1992 Pinatubo) and an increase in uptake by vegetation since ~1990.

Bart

It’s already been more than a decade since temperatures stagnated, and so did the rate of change of CO2. There is no evidence that this effect has been “overruled” by human emissions. Indeed, human emissions are accelerating, while atmospheric concentration is not. And, has not, for as long as the temperature plateau has been observable.

Frans Franken

@ Ferdinand Engelbeen on September 10, 2014 at 3:42 am
Are you sure the numbers you give in your comment are correct?
At 400 ppmv CO2 and an average residence time of 5 years, the exchange rate of CO2 must be 400/5 = 80 ppmv/year instead of the 2.15 you mention.
Or, at 400 ppmv CO2 and an exchange rate of 2.15 ppmv/year, the average residence time of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere would be 400/2.15 = 186 years.
Similarly, the average residence time of H2O molecules in the atmosphere can be calculated straight forward as:
(slightly less than) 26 mm precitable water column / 2.6 mm average precipitation per day ~9-10 days

Frans, the difference between residence time and e-fold decay is similar as the difference between turnover of capital (and goods) in a factory over a year and the gain (or loss) of that capital after a year of the same factory.
Thus while the residence time of water in the atmosphere indeed is 9-10 days, that says next to nothing if the total amount of water in the atmosphere increased or decreased over time. The same for the residence time of CO2: the within a year changes are about 90 GtC between oceans and atmosphere and 60/120 GtC between the biosphere and the atmosphere. That are huge exchanges, but the net result is an increase of only ~4.5 GtC/year, where humans emit ~9 GtC/year.
Most of the CO2 exchanges between atmosphere and the other reservoirs are temperature driven: over the seasons and between the upwelling in the tropics and the downwelling near the poles. The net loss of ~4.5 GtC/year is pressure driven: for the current temperature, the historical equilibrium was ~290 ppmv. We are now ~110 ppmv above that equilibrium. That reduces the CO2 output of the oceans near the equator and pushes more CO2 into the cold polar waters (and leaf alveoli). But that is not enough to remove the full human contribution.

Ian L. McQueen

Slightly OT: Can anyone say whether the ocean waters are saturated with CO2?
Ian M

Saturated is not the right word. Henry’s law required that the partial pressures of gasses dissolved innwater equilibrate to those in the atmosphere. For the ocean mixed layer this takes a matter of days. LeChatelliers principal says colder water contains more dissolved gas. As the oceans warm in interglacials, CO2 rises. The current ice core evidence is about an 800 year lag. So we can infer that Henry ‘equilibrium’ would take about that long for the entire ocean at depth.
So with rising anthropogenic CO2, it is safe to say this ‘equilibrium’ is far from having been reached.
So No, the oceans are not yet ‘saturated’.

tty

“The current ice core evidence is about an 800 year lag.”
It’s not that simple. That 800 year lag only applies to the warming phase of interglacials, during the cooling phase the lag is much larger, on the order of 5,000 years, and this large lag means that temperatures and CO2 trends can even go in opposite directions.

Alx

I find it facinating that we distinguish between natural souces and man-made sources. Since I feel fairly confident to say that humanity is not man-made but has spawned on earth as part of nature, isn’t it obvious that humanity and everything in it produces a natural resource? Is it a backasswards God-complex narcissism, that places us outside of nature?

Solomon Green September 10, 2014 at 5:14 am
“Atmospheric Concentrations”
“Methane… Approximately 40% of methane is emitted into the atmosphere by natural sources …, and about 60 % comes from human activities…”
“Nitrous oxide is emitted into the atmosphere from both natural (about 60%) and anthropogenic sources (approximately 40%)…”
But I looked in vain for a similar statement as to the proportions of “Carbon dioxide” emitted by natural sources and by human activities. Is that still in contention?

richardscourtney September 10, 2014 at 7:08 am
Phil.
You are improving. You said something that was not plain wrong.
To continue the improvement, next time try to also say something relevant to the question that was asked.

I did indeed richard, as usual what I said was correct and also relevant to the question asked. The question referred to the net emission into the atmosphere of CH4 and N2O, your answer was incomplete as it failed to take account of the absorption from the atmosphere to the biosphere and oceans. In fact the oceans and biosphere are net sinks of CO2 as I pointed out in my answer, approximately equal to half the amount added to the atmosphere by human activity.

Phil.
Please don’t try to be clever: you never succeed.
I gave a complete answer to the question that was asked.
The question mentioned the relative proportions of anthropogenic and natural sources for methane and nitrous oxide, and it asked the proportions of anthropogenic and natural sources for CO2.
If my complete answer to the question were incomplete then your addition must have also been incomplete. This is because your addition was about sequestration of CO2 but it said nothing about sequestration of methane and nitrous oxide.
Richard

The question quoted the net values for N2O and CH4 therefore the answer should give like information, you failed to do so as always.

Phil.
I am saddened that you failed to head my advice that you should not try to be clever because you never succeed. Your response is to do it again.
Instead of admitting you were wrong or merely doing nothing you wrote

The question quoted the net values for N2O and CH4 therefore the answer should give like information, you failed to do so as always.

No, Phil. I gave a complete answer to the question. which did NOT quote net values.
The question stated – and you copied it stating – emissions and made no mention of sequestration when it said.

“Methane… Approximately 40% of methane is emitted into the atmosphere by natural sources …, and about 60 % comes from human activities…”
“Nitrous oxide is emitted into the atmosphere from both natural (about 60%) and anthropogenic sources (approximately 40%)…”

Phil., In am trying to help you. Your attempts to seem clever always backfire. Just stop it.
Richard

DD More

In 2013, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 142% of the pre-industrial era (1750), and of methane and nitrous oxide 253% and 121% respectively.
If in 2013 CO2, CH4 and N2O were ( in ppm ) 396, 1.824, & 0.326 = 398.15 total ppm
Reading 1995 (graph above) were ( in ppm ) 360, 1.75 , & 0.312 = 362.062 total ppm
percentages of total atmosphere 2013 (remember water vapor is not included in above ppm)
398.15 / 1,040,000.00 = 0.0383% to 398.15 / 1,010,000.00 = 0.03942%
percentages of total atmosphere 1995
362.062 / 1,040,000.00 = 0.0348% to 362.062 / 1,010,000.00 = 0.0358%
So the rest of the atmosphere has changed (at 4% humidity) 99.9617% from 99.9652% = 0.0035%
That is the real change.

Robert Austin September 10, 2014 at 10:06 am
No need to have to ask, though coral is not noted for having the power of speech. The coral reefs are thriving where they are not being threatened by pollution, excess sediment and man’s upsetting of the ecosystem by over exploitation of the resource. Hypothetical decreased alkalinity by a miniscule to unmeasurable level is simply ludicrous as a factor in coral degradation.

You are misusing the term ‘alkalinity’ here, it does not mean what you appear to think it means, the correct term is ‘acidification’. The alkalinity of seawater is the sum of all access proton acceptors present, and this is what buffers the changes in ocean pH.

No.. The correct chemistry term is neutralization. When I add an acid to an alkaline buffer, I’m neutralizing it via titration.

No, it’s only ‘neutralization’ when you add exactly enough acid to balance the bases (i.e. to pH 7), ‘acidification’ is adding acid to a solution thereby reducing its pH, not necessarily to pH 7.

Nope. That’s still neutralization in a titration.

Frans Franken

@ Ferdinand Engelbeen
Having read Pieter Dietze’s excerpt at your reference http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
I understand now that the 2.15 ppmv/year you mentioned is not the total CO2 exchange rate but the unbalance between CO2 entering and leaving the atmosphere, and of course that atmospheric CO2 is currently not in equilibrium (contrary to H2O).

Indeed…
The remarkable point is that the 55 years e-fold decay rate for the excess CO2 in the atmosphere of Peter Dietze’s calculation in 1997 did not change much over the past 17 years: It is even a little smaller, just over 50 years with the current CO2 pressure in the atmosphere. Less if one includes land use changes (which add to the human emissions).
That is partly by the increase in uptake by the biosphere (the earth is greening…) and no saturation of the deep oceans (contrary to the WMO claims). That means trouble for the IPCC’s Bern model and good news for all plants on earth…