Recovering Whales, Ocean Acidification, and Climate Horror Stories

Part 3 of Jim Steele’s Presentation to the Life Members of the International Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Jim is the author of “Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmental Journey to Climate Skepticism

In part 3, I discuss how the rise of the petroleum industry, as well as increased ocean upwelling after the Little Ice Age, saved many whale species from extinction. I also illustrate how the increase in upwelling is the major cause of reports of ocean acidification as well as climate horror stories that misinterpret natural events

 

Part 1 and 2 are here

 

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68 thoughts on “Recovering Whales, Ocean Acidification, and Climate Horror Stories

    • Actually, were the explanation to make good predictions, it would satisfy Occam’s razor. It is a very simple hypothesis. CO2 causes everything bad.

      • All I know is whenever I see “Occam’s Razor” used anywhere i stop reading. Its not a law or a scientific anything its a catch phrase.

    • You miss the point of Occam’s razor.
      Every real-world phenomenon is the sum of all the causes operating upon it.
      if both CO2 influences and upwelling influences are acting, then both are acting. The effect is the result of the interaction pf the effects from each of the causes.

    • In medieval times evil spirits were the simple parsimonious explanation for all adverse events such as crop failures. Arguing against this convenient catch-all also contravened Occam’s razor.
      What about the AGW explanation for the lag of CO2 changes behind past temperature changes? “First something else changes temperature then CO2 muscles in and amplifies the change by positive feedback, even when temperatures reverse to cooling but CO2 continues to remain high for a few centuries”. What happened to Occam’s razor there?

  1. While I can’t find the article Ruiner och fossil (English “Ruins and Fossils”) in the English version of nr 10 2014, the Swedish edition has an artikel with undertitle Lethal Algae (Swedish Dödliga alger) Reads as follows: Det finns vittnesbörd om masstrandningar av valar ända sedan Aristoteles tif men orsaken är fortfarande ett mysterium.
    a quick translation using Google Translate:
    “There are testimonies of mass strandings of whales ever since Aristotle but the cause is still a mystery”
    That’s the way it is and “always” been. Humans haven’t solved that puzzle – one thing is for sure: It can’t be blamed on Human production of CO2. No matter that it’s theoretical possible that CO2 in mikro environment might cause local higher temperature….
    The new faith of IPCC: Humans are Universe’s centre

    • Hi Bart. A few notes. First, your link doesn’t work, so I have no idea where it leads. Second, ENSO has a strong impact on upwelling, not only along the equatorial Pacific, but also along the shores. It is well understood that ENSO can change the rate at which carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere. We’ve discussed that on a number of threads. Also see Feely et al 1997:
      http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel1868/text.shtml
      However, I do not believe anyone blogging here at WUWT would agree that the increase in atmospheric CO2 was “…not substantially affected by human release of latent CO2 locked away in fossil fuels.” There is simply too much evidence to the contrary.
      Cheers.

      • Corrected link here.
        There is no evidence to the contrary. There is only narrative – presumptions of speculative relationships like the oxygen isotope ratio which can have many causes. The plot above shows that, to a very high degree of fidelity
        dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)
        where k is an affine sensitivity parameter, and To is an equilibrium temperature level. This could be (and very likely is) a first order approximation to the actual dynamics which holds in the modern era 1958-present.
        With the appropriately chosen values of k and To for that modern era, and the initial starting level, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1958 can be reconstructed to high fidelity. Human inputs are essentially superfluous.
        Even better agreement can be obtained with the more accurate satellite record, here and here.
        The matches aren’t perfect – nothing in this world is. But, given the bulk measures – the relationship should reasonably be between weighted averages across the globe rather than straight averages – the level of correspondence is striking.
        The value of k chosen to match the variation also matches the long term slope in the rate of change, and so that slope is accounted for. Human inputs also have a slope in the emissions rate. Hence, there is very little room to add them in.
        This is a typical response dynamic for a feedback regulation system, which drives the system to track an equilibrium state, while severely attenuating disturbances which would tend to perturb it from that equilibrium state. The equilibrium state for CO2 has been shifting higher due to rising temperatures in the modern era, and that is the level the system is tracking.

      • Suggested investigation: how affine is the relationship between accumulated emissions and atmospheric concentration? If you plot them out, you will find that it has been diverging of late, as temperatures have halted their upward climb.
        http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n488/Bartemis/CO2_zps330ee8fa.jpg
        The rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere has leveled off, and atmospheric concentration is increasing at most linearly. Meanwhile, emissions have continued climbing upward, and cumulative emissions have positive upward curvature. I.e., the do not match on an affine similarity basis.
        You will find in the literature that even the mainstream has recognized this divergence, and is speculating that sink activity has increased. That is an epicyclic conjecture, adding complexity where none is needed. Occam’s razor says the alternative explanation which fits the data, that it was never about human additions in the first place, but was an outcome of temperature modulated forcing from some other quarter, is the preferred one.

      • Bob,
        The “divergence” between yearly human emissions and increase rate in the atmosphere is hardly of influence:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em4.jpg
        where the red line is the residual CO2 increase rate for the increase in the atmosphere and the temperature change of that year, still largely within natural variability.
        Bart’s plot gives a false impression of huge divergence by using different scales and an offset for emissions and CO2 increase…
        Further, the long term ratio still is remarkably constant:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1960_cur.jpg
        That is because human emissions, increase in the atmosphere and sink rate all increased slightly quadratic over time:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
        It would be a hell of a coincidence if the ocean upwelling would have increased a 4-fold since 1960, completely synchronized with human emissions… Temperature anyway doesn’t do that well.

      • Ferdinand’s chart is a bit of legerdemain, which only shows how robust least squares fitting is. Not exactly news.
        But, he cannot mask that emissions are accelerating, while concentration is rising only linearly since the “pause” began. His claim that ocean upwelling had to increase 4-fold is standard Englebeen numerology, with no theoretical backing.

      • Bart,
        If the physical behavior of CO2, whatever its origin is the same (with a slight difference for the different isotopes) then an increase of a 4-fold in the CO2 rate of change in emissions, atmosphere and sinks can only be caused by a 4-fold increase of the ocean emissions, if the human emissions are not responsible for the increase and the oceans are the driving force…
        And still there is no sign, none at all, that shows an increased upwelling from the oceans at any rate, let it be in lockstep with human emissions, to the contrary…

      • Of course, the human emissions are not caused by the oceans… But as these increased a 4-fold since 1960 and both increase rate in the atmosphere and the net sink rate also increased a 4-fold, the driving force for that are the human emissions.
        Only in the case that the ocean emissions increased a 4-fold too, these emissions would dwarf the human emissions and cause a 4-fold increase rate in the atmosphere and in the sink rate.
        But there is not the slightest indication that the ocean emissions increased at all…

      • Your ‘four-fold” line is gibberish. You are once again using circular reasoning based on what you want the outcome to be.

      • Bart,
        We have been there before, but here again the reasoning behind the 4-fold increase:
        increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural releases – natural sinks
        in 1960:
        0.5 ppmv/year = 1 ppmv/year + X – Y
        X – Y = -0.5 ppmv/year
        in 2010:
        2 ppmv/year = 4 ppmv/year + X1 – Y1
        X1 – Y1 = -2 ppmv/year
        The only way the 4-fold difference in net sink rate can be performed is by a 4-fold increase in atmospheric – ocean pressure difference, no matter the decay rate of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.
        If the response time is long enough (currently observed at around 50 years e-fold time), then human emissions are fully responsible.
        If the response time is very short, as you expect, then the natural emissions must have increased a 4-fold to give the 4-fold increase in net sink rate for the same resistance of the sinks (which the oceans have: the release and uptake of CO2 is directly in ratio to the pressure difference between atmosphere and ocean surface)…
        The partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans for the temperature increase of ~0.5°C since 1960 gives an increase of pCO2(oceans) of 2-8 μatm according to the literature, or ~4 μatm according to the history in ice cores.
        The partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1960 increased from 315 to 385 ppmv (~μatm).
        The pressure difference between atmosphere and ocean surface increased from ~20 μatm in 1960 to ~85 μatm in 2000, against the baseline of 295 ppmv in 1960 and 399 ppmv in 2000 for the resp. temperatures.
        That is the 4-fold increase in driving force for the increased net uptake. If the oceans are the cause, you need a 4-fold increase in releases and sinks for which is not the slightest observation…

      • No, Ferdinand. This is a circular argument based on an implicit static assumption. You keep trying to apply algebra to a calculus problem, and it does not work.I have tried to explain before too many times to count. No point in doing it again.

    • Bart,
      I too could not get your link to work.
      To increase CO2 partial pressure from 280 to 400 ppmv would require a temperature increase of about 10 degrees C; much greater than the increase sine the little ice age.
      We have burned a whole lot of fossil fuels, producing a great deal of CO2. If the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere came from the ocean, then what happened to the CO2 from fossil fuel burning?
      Mike M.

      • No, it is an integral relationship, at least in the modern era, as described above. The sensitivity is not in ppmv/degC. It is in ppmv/unit-of-time/degC.
        The CO2 from fossil fuel burning was absorbed into the much greater natural flows of the carbon cycle.

      • Mike, I have discussed that with Bart a number of times to no avail. Bart is over focused on the lag of the CO2 variability after the temperature variability and extrapolates that to the total increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. But the variability is largely caused by the reaction of the (tropical) forests to the temperature increase / droughts caused by El Niño. That is visible if you plot temperature, CO2 and δ13C together.
        If the oceans are the cause of any change in rate of change, then the δ13C and CO2 levels would go up and down in parallel, while if vegetation is the cause, both go in opposite directions:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_dco2_d13C_mlo.jpg
        On the other side, the longer term increase in CO2 is NOT caused by vegetation, as vegetation is a net absorber of CO2 (currently ~1 GtC/year while humans emit ~9 GtC/year). See:
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short and
        http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
        Thus the short term reactions and the longer term increase are completely independent processes, where the short term variability for a large part is certainly caused by the short term temperature variability, but there is no reason to expect that the longer term increase is caused by the small increase in temperature: the integral of the temperature rate of change is near zero and the variability of CO2 around the trend is not more than +/- 1 ppmv, while the increase is currently about 2 ppmv/year and human emissions are around 4.5 ppmv/year:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg
        Moreover, an increase of CO2 from the oceans violates about all known observations:
        – it violates Henry’s law: the change in equilibrium for seawater is between 4-17 ppmv/K (NOT per year), historically ~8 ppmv/K over the past 800,000 years (with “speeds” of 0.0016 ppmv/K/year!). Bart’s formula expects a constant increase of CO2 for a constant offset in temperature, but any increase in pCO2 of the atmosphere reduces the CO2 input from the deep oceans upwelling and increases the output back into the deep, until a new equilibrium is reached:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/upwelling_incr.jpg
        – it violates the observations of downwelling and upwelling by Feely e.a., where the oceans are net sinks of ~2.2 GtC/year (1995 – currently increased to about 3.5 GtC/year):
        http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml
        – it violates the observations of the δ13C trend: if the (deep) oceans were the cause, the δ13C level in the atmosphere would increase, but we see a firm decrease both in the atmosphere and the ocean surface layer.
        – it violates the observed small increase in residence time: If the oceans were the cause, the overturning should have increased a 4-fold (decreasing the residence time a 4-fold), to match the 4-fold increase in human emissions, the 4-fold increase rate in the atmosphere and the 4-fold increasing sink rate.
        – it violates the observed constant sink rate of the 14C level from the 1960’s nuclear bomb test peak: if the upwelling increased, the 14C level would sink faster over time.
        Thus while Bart’s formula is mathematically possible, it is not based on any known observation, to the contrary…

      • Ferdinand misses the trees for the forest. Speculations on what could happen are trumped by observations which show what is happening.

      • Bart,
        CO2 rate of change, δ13C changes, 14C concentration changes, ocean pCO2 measurements are observations and turnover estimates are also based on observations, while your “match” is a simple calculation: just curve fitting by matching two straight lines with an arbitrary offset and factor, not based on any physical process or observation.

      • Looking into the physical process is precisely why I posted here, Ferdinand. And, again, these other “evidences” you provide are not compelling – there are alternative potential explanations. There is no alternative for what you disdain as “curve fitting”. There is no way to get this relationship without a temperature dependent process driving both the trend and the variability in CO2. Human inputs are manifestly not temperature dependent. Therefore, they are not the culprit.

      • Bart,
        The essential error you have made from the beginning on is that you expect that the variability around the trend and the trend itself are caused by the same, temperature dependent process. That is proven wrong: the variability is certainly temperature driven and caused by the reaction of (tropical) forests on temperature variations, while the slope is not caused by the reaction of vegetation: to the contrary, vegetation is a proven, increasing sink for CO2.
        That is as solid as any observation can be.
        Thus there is no compelling reason to expect that the trend is caused by a temperature dependent process and if it was, there is no reason at all that the trend and the variability have the same response factor. Thus your exercise is pure curve fitting which is not even that good:
        1960-1975 shows a cooling trend while the CO2 rate of change gets higher, 1976-1999 shows increasing temperatures with a flat CO2 rate of change trend and 2000-now is both flat…

      • I am replying to myself since I see no way to reply to the replies.
        When I saw Bart’s reply, I realized that he is indifferent to such minor matters as conservation of mass and chemical equilibrium. So I decided to ignore it.
        But I have to congratulate Ferdinand on his excellent summary of the science. I know enough of it to see that he has it right, though not enough to have given such a thorough summary myself.
        Mike M.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ November 8, 2014 at 1:45 am
        “That is proven wrong”
        No, Ferdinand, that is incorrect. There is no phase distortion. There is only one dominating process.
        “Thus there is no compelling reason to expect that the trend is caused by a temperature dependent process…”
        Except for the observations, which is every reason. Mxing graphs with improper scaling to try to convince yourself that what you plainly see here is not really there is the height of sticking your head in the sand.
        Mike M. @ November 8, 2014 at 9:41 am
        Another person taken in by the phony “mass balance” argument. This is a naive argument for a static system, not a dynamic feedback cycle.

      • Ferdinand,
        You treat the earth’s dynamic system as it were a lab vessel, the same mistake made by those who imagine to calculate a “climate sensitivity”.
        In fact, what would happen if anthropogenic CO 2 were ceased? CO2 increase would continue, reduced only by the proportionate amount represented by anthropogenic CO2.You assume otherwise, but that assumption is unsustainable.

      • The key mistake Ferdinand, and others, make is that they implicitly assume that the sinks do not respond to anthropogenic forcing. In their world, they have natural inflows N, natural sinks S, and anthropogenic inputs A, and observed increase R balancing like so
        R = N + A – S
        They say
        R – A is less than zero, therefore N – S is less than zero, therefore nature is a net sink.
        But, that is a completely naive viewpoint, because the sinks respond to both N and to A, i.e., S is a function of N and A. In functional form S = S(N,A).
        Therefore, N – S = N – S(N,A), and this is not a net sink of natural forcing alone. What we would need to evaluate in order to proclaim nature a net sink is the quantity N – S(N,0).
        N – S(N,A) less than zero does NOT imply that N – S(N,0) is less than zero. To prove N – S(N,0) less than zero, you would have to cease anthropogenic forcing altogether, wait for the transient response to settle out, and then evaluate N – S(N,0). The diagnosis of nature as a net sink requires one eliminate the anthropogenic influence entirely.
        And, that is the fundamental flaw in the “mass balance” argument.
        For example, the sinks must treat N and A equally, so suppose S = k*(N + A). Then
        R = (1-k)*(N+A)
        It is observed that the rise is about 1/2 of A. But, if k is greater than 1/2, then the rise cannot be due to A alone. If k is near unity, then the rise is almost entirely from N.
        That is what the question comes down to – the power of the sink activity. If sinks are very powerful (k near unity), then the observed rise has to be from natural sources. The data indicate that the sinks are powerful, and that the rise is from natural sources.
        It’s really not even a close question. There is no doubt about it. Current levels of human forcing have negligible impact on atmospheric CO2 levels. The data show it beyond any reasonable doubt. I’m just waiting for everyone else to come up to speed.

      • Bart:
        No, Ferdinand, that is incorrect. There is no phase distortion. There is only one dominating process.
        Bart, it is proven beyond doubt that two different processes are at work: forests reacting in short term as net source on short term temperature increase, but reacting as net sink over longer term. The short term processes are dominated by forests, while the longer term processes are dominated by the oceans.
        And there is no phase distortion if two independent processes have largely different reaction times, which is the case for forests (and ocean surface): 1-3 years at one side and human emissions on the other side with slowly increasing sink rates at decay rates of 50 years and more in the deep oceans. Here a complete lack of phase distortion for the sum of two independent processes: a sinusoid with increasing frequencies and a simple slope, added before integration:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/matlab_sin_t_co2_slope.jpg
        Mxing graphs with improper scaling to try to convince yourself
        If you do use an offset and scale to match the slopes you do in fact add a positive slope which doesn’t exist in several parts of the original trend of temperature, while by plotting the original trend you see where the problems with your theory are: negative temperature 1960-1975, positive slope in rate of change of CO2… Who is fooling himself here?

      • Just watching but,

        it is proven beyond doubt that two different processes are at work: forests reacting in short term as net source on short term temperature increase, but reacting as net sink over longer term. The short term processes are dominated by forests, while the longer term processes are dominated by the oceans.

        Excluded middle?
        A change in nutrients in the ocean could greatly affect the biological absorption of CO2.
        Is it really so constant?

      • M. Courtney:
        This recent paper, no surprise, attributes too large a role to CO2 in climate, but the basic research behind it does show the importance of Ice Age dust-borne iron in fertilizing phytoplankton. Dry conditions of cold intervals produce more dust, hence more plankton bloom, leading to draw down of CO2, in a minor feedback effect:
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6177/1347

      • Thanks milodonharlani, but I ain’t getting into this.
        I just thought that FE’s EITHER/OR argument was more dumbed down than his usual standard.
        He has been more sophisticated in the past and I feared the lack of stimulus from my father may have been detrimental. Tried to help but.. I ain’t my father.
        So I am Out.

      • mpainter
        I don’t think of the CO2 cycles as static system, to the contrary. No matter if you see the oceans as static or dynamic: in both cases the increase in the atmosphere from a warming ocean is not more than ~8 ppmv/K as any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere will suppress the CO2 influx from the tropical upwelling and increase the CO2 outflux near the poles into the deep oceans. Any CO2 increase in the atmosphere from whatever origin will do the same: the dynamic equilibrium is disturbed and the system tried to restore the equilibrium.
        In fact, what would happen if anthropogenic CO2 were ceased? CO2 increase would continue, reduced only by the proportionate amount represented by anthropogenic CO2.
        You make the same mistake as Bart by assuming that the sinks react immediately on the CO2 inputs. But the sinks don’t react on CO2 inputs, they react on temperature (mainly seasonal and partly continuous between tropics and poles) and on the increased pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        The seasonal and year by year fluxes are largely temperature driven and largely in balance with a natural variability of +/- 1 ppmv around the trend.
        The CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere increased a 4-fold in the atmosphere since 1960 and is directly responsible for a 4-fold increase in net uptake which, by coincidence, is about halve the 4-fold increase in human emissions.
        If for any reason human emissions stabilized over time, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere would go asymptotic towards a new equilibrium level in the atmosphere, where sink rates are equal to emissions.
        If all human emissions ceased today, the pCO2 in the atmosphere still being the same, the first year the CO2 levels would drop with ~2 ppmv, giving a long-term e-fold decay time of slightly over 50 years (~40 years half life time). See:
        http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
        That factor didn’t change much since Peter Dietze wrote that 17 years ago, which means that the sink rate in the deep oceans still is about the same and no saturation of the deep oceans is in sight…

      • M Courtney
        Excluded middle?
        A change in nutrients in the ocean could greatly affect the biological absorption of CO2.
        Is it really so constant?

        It is not constant, but the net contribution of all bio life (land and sea plants, bacteria, molds, insects, animals) can be deduced from the oxygen balance: if more oxygen is used than caused by fossil fuel burning, then the biosphere as a whole is a net emitter of CO2, if less oxygen is used, then the biosphere is a net absorber of CO2 and preferentially of 12CO2. The latter is the case: the earth is greening, nowadays taking ~1 GtC/year (0.5 ppmv/year) CO2 out of the atmosphere.
        Specific for the short-term variability in rate of change of CO2 is the presence of an El Niño: less/no upwelling near the equator, less nutrients, less bio life and more release of CO2 from the oceans there, extended to the tropical forests, which get warmer and dryer and therefore less CO2 uptake and more release from the soils…
        See:
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
        and more recent:
        http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
        have a look at their figure 7 (last page in color), which shows how much CO2 is sequestered on land (vegetation) and how much by the oceans, especially during the 1998 El Niño.

      • Ferdinand,
        It seems obvious that sinks react continually on CO2. I’m not sure that I see your point. By the way, how much CO2 is removed by rain, annually, do you know?

      • Mpainter:
        It seems obvious that sinks react continually on CO2. I’m not sure that I see your point. By the way, how much CO2 is removed by rain, annually, do you know?
        The essence is that sinks react on total CO2 in the atmosphere above the dynamic equilibrium, not on momentary inputs of CO2 emissions (natural or human). To increase the sink fluxes, one need to have an increased pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans or there is no driving force for higher output fluxes.
        Thus if human emissions stop, that only makes that the momentary input in the atmosphere is reduced by about 3%, but the sinks only react on the pressure difference in the atmosphere which remains more or less the same for the first year. That makes that the fluxes are 97% in, 98,5% out, or a net loss of 1.5% of the throughput in the atmosphere in the first year. That in contrast to a 97% remaining increase if the sinks directly react on the inputs…
        Rain doesn’t have a measurable influence, as the solubility of CO2 in fresh water is very low. I have once calculated the changes: where the clouds are formed, one need 400 m3 of air to form 1 liter of drops from all water vapor contained in that air. The amount of CO2 absorbed from 400 m3 air is negligible.
        If that 1 liter water falls on the ground over 1 m3 (1 mm rain) and is totally evaporated (thus doesn’t flow into rivers) it increases the adjacent 1 m3 air with 1 ppmv, if there is no wind at all…

      • Bart:
        because the sinks respond to both N and to A, i.e., S is a function of N and A. In functional form S = S(N,A).
        That is the fundamental error you make: sinks don’t respond directly to the inputs, they respond to the increased pressure in the atmosphere caused by the inputs, no matter if that is by N or A or both.
        Most natural releases are temperature dependent: seasonal to a few years changes are dominated by the reaction of vegetation on temperature changes. Longer term changes are dominated by (deep) ocean temperatures.
        The CO2 release from the oceans is in direct ratio to the CO2 partial pressure difference between ocean surface and atmosphere. If the oceans warm up, there is more release due to the increase of pCO2 in warmer waters, mainly at the upwelling zones in the tropics.
        The uptake by the oceans also is temperature dependent: warmer temperatures around the poles give less uptake as the pCO2 of the ocean surface increases, reducing the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface. Opposite for decreasing temperatures.
        The overall change in pCO2 of the oceans is 4-17 μatm/K in the literature, while the historical global change is ~8 μatm/K.
        If for any reason the pCO2 in the atmosphere increases, the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans increases, where the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans at the upwelling zones reduces and at the sink zones increases: the influx is reduced, the outflux increases, to restore the (temperature controlled) equilibrium between the atmosphere and the oceans. Thus the real sink flux is dependent of the actual overall pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans:
        S = f(pCO2[atm]-pCO2[oceans])
        where pCO2[oceans] was ~290 μatm pre-industrial and
        ΔpCO2[oceans] = f(T-To) at around 8 μatm/K
        According to a few million measurements over the oceans over a few decades, the area weighted average pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans is currently ~7 μatm, thus pushing more CO2 into the oceans than they release. See:
        http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml
        The small overall difference is because the ocean surface is rapidly exchanging CO2 (1-3 years) with the atmosphere and already saturated at 10% of the change in the atmosphere.
        The largest pCO2 differences are in the upwelling and downwelling zones, where the exchanges with the deep oceans occur.
        That the above formula fits reality can be seen in the 4-fold increase of the net uptake by the oceans (and partly vegetation) over the past 55 years as result of a 4-fold increase of the pCO2 level in the atmosphere against the temperature caused pCO2[ocean] change over the same period.
        In conclusion: whatever caused the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, that leads to more uptake by the oceans (and vegetation) in direct ratio to the atmospheric increase, with little impact from temperature on the sink rate. The current sink rate at the current 110 ppmv above equilibrium gives a net sink of ~2.15 ppmv/year or an e-fold decay rate of slightly over 50 years or a half life time of ~40 years.
        That is independent of the input fluxes or the origin of the influxes…
        Thus if the human emissions would reduce to halve of what they are today, the CO2 levels would stay where they are. If the human emissions ceased completely, the extra CO2 in the atmosphere would decline to the pre-industrial equilibrium with a half life time of ~40 years.
        That is much faster and lower than the IPCC’s (Bern) model, which assumes that the deep oceans get saturated with CO2, for which is not the slightest sign…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen November 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm
        No doubt, many processes are at work. The question is, which are most important influencing the upward trend. There is no doubt that there is a single, dominant process involved in that, and it is modulated by temperature, because there is no phase distortion which would necessarily arise from the removal of the effect of the trend in temperature which, by an astounding coincidence (this is what is known as sarcasm – it is quite obviously not just a random coincidence) fits the CO2 data with the same scale factor as is needed to fit the variation.
        Phase distortion is a property of the transfer function of a linear (or linearized) process. A process which involves integration necessarily introduces a 90 degree phase lag into the output. What we see in the data is a 90 degree phase response across the board for the entire observable frequency band. That response uniquely identifies integration as being the dominant response over the time interval of interest. And, that is why we see such a good fit with the response defined by
        dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)
        It has amplitude response of -20 dB/decade, and phase lag of 90 degrees – classic integration dynamic. That is what we see in the data, with no adulteration. No ifs, ands, or buts.This is the dominant process influencing the rise.
        Ferdinand Engelbeen November 9, 2014 at 8:53 am
        I make no mistakes. There is no problem with assuming a gain k such as I did – k can be operator theoretic, in which case it acts in linear fashion upon the inputs. The important factor is the dc gain of the operator. If it is near unity, then the anthropogenic input cannot be responsible for the rise.
        You are getting wrapped up in details which are diverting you from fundamental truths. As I stated above, you cannot see the forest for the trees.

      • “A process which involves integration necessarily introduces a 90 degree phase lag into the output.”
        And, vice-versa. It is an if-and-only-if condition. A 90 deg phase lag indicates integration and integration introduces a 90 deg phase lag.

      • Bart:
        A process which involves integration necessarily introduces a 90 degree phase lag into the output.
        Completely right for the short term (seasonal and 1-3 years) variability, but there is no “phase lag” in the near straight slope of the CO2 rate of change. The “period” – if there is one – of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is at least 600 years. More important: there is no phase lag in the variability of temperature and the variability of the CO2 rate of change. Thus there is no need to integrate temperature, as it is the derivative of the temperature variations which gives the derivative of CO2 rate of change variations with a 90 degree phase lag, not temperature itself.
        There is zero to a very small negative slope in the derivative of temperature and integrating the derivative of temperature has near zero to a negative influence on the slope of the CO2 rate of change. Temperature variations are largely responsible for the variability around the slope in CO2 rate of change but are not responsible for the slope.
        You are getting wrapped up in details which are diverting you from fundamental truths.
        The fundamental truth is that sinks respond to an increased pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere, not to any momentary input. If the sinks were extremely fast reacting, then there wasn’t even an increase in the atmosphere or you need an extreme large increase of natural CO2 emissions for which is not the slightest indication…
        Bart, I have shown you that the slope of the CO2 rate of change and the variability around the slope have nothing to do with each other, because they are caused by different processes. I have shown you that any extra natural release violates about all known observations, while the human input fits all observations.
        All what you have shown is curve fitting based on an arbitrary factor and offset, without any physical basis and without any support by any observation.
        I think that any reader by now has made his/hers mind up. All arguments are -again- on the table…

      • There is a spread of frequencies all the way down to the lowest observable frequency. If you had high pass removal of the trend, it would leave an observable phase distortion. No question about it. There is none observable.
        The rest of that paragraph is gibberish.
        “The fundamental truth is that sinks respond to an increased pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere, not to any momentary input.”
        Doesn’t matter. I explained why. Ultimately, the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is itself dependent on the inputs N + A. So, the sinks respond to N+A filtered through the dynamic response. All that matters is the dc gain of that response.
        “…for which is not the slightest indication…
        There is. That is what produces the slope.
        “I have shown you that…”
        No, you have not shown anything. You have made assertions with no proof. You have provided interpretations of other observations which do not have unique explanations.
        This is not proof. This is just stamping your feet, and insisting you are right.
        “All what you have shown is curve fitting…”
        A curve fit which does have a unique explanation.
        As I say, it isn’t even a close call. I can tell you right now where CO2 is going to go under declining temperatures. There is already a marked divergence with emissions. There is no divergence with the temperature model. The handwriting is on the wall. Sooner or later, you are going to have to capitulate.

      • Bart:
        If you had high pass removal of the trend, it would leave an observable phase distortion.
        There is no phase distortion if the slope and the variability are caused by different processes. I have shown you what happens if you add a slope to three different frequencies before integration: no phase distortion at all for any frequency, only a reduction in amplitude for the higher frequencies.
        The latter is an interesting point, as you insist that slope and amplitude have the same factor, thus they are from the same process. But that is by manipulating a little, like you did in the case of using different scales and an offset for human emissions and CO2 rate of change in the atmosphere:
        Your recent graph gives a very nice fit of variability and slope, but that is by using a 24 month running average for the CO2 rate of change. If you use the mostly used 12 month running average, the amplitude of the CO2 rate of change increases. To match the temperature variability with the increased amplitude of the CO2 variability you need to increase the temperature factor, but then the slope also increases…
        Again an indication that it is just curve fitting and that slope and variability have nothing to do with each other: they are from different, independent processes, where the variability is temperature dependent and the slope is not temperature dependent.
        BTW, human emissions have no detectable frequency…
        This is not proof. This is just stamping your feet, and insisting you are right.
        Of course if you reject all observations because they don’t fit your theory, without giving any alternative explanation why the observations are wrong, then your theory can’t ever be rejected… Even if no observation on earth does support your theory, which is only based on curve fitting which always works within broad borders by using the right factor and offset (and filtering)…

      • “There is no phase distortion if the slope and the variability are caused by different processes.”
        You are not addressing anything relevant. There is a slope in the temperature. That has to cause a proportional effect in dCO2/dt, just like every other temperature component does, unless it is high pass filtered out by some exotic, natural process. That filtering operation would necessarily leave a visible phase distortion. There is none.
        “…If you use the mostly used 12 month running average…”
        You completely misunderstand the process, but there is no point in explaining it yet again. If you want 12 month averages, here are twelve month averages. Perfect fit, with the most accurate measurements that exist.
        “…without giving any alternative explanation why the observations are wrong…”
        I never said the observations were wrong. I said your interpretation of them is wrong. There are many possible explanations for, e.g., the dC12/dC13 ratio. Yours is just one of many possible. It is not compelling evidence.
        But, there is no way the match of temperatures with the rate of change of CO2 allows significant human influence. There is no alternative explanation. It is compelling and conclusive.

  2. I like asking “acidification” catastrophists, why, as most rivers are often quite acid as they flow into the ocean,
    the ocean pH is still decidedly alkaline. 🙂

  3. Brilliant, dr. Steele. Through this presentation You reveal how the CO2 agenda is pushed to make Scientific mumbo-jumbo stories about species migration and extinction. When other environmental factors are the cause, CO2 is blamed. Very very good. I think I will use some of this when educating kids in School, about the Scientific Method and how to do and not do Research.

  4. We really needed this. I have been very upset about all the migration / extinction stories and the researcher’s blaming it all on CO2. You show us how this has come into play, and that most of it is bogous.

  5. Water ejected from black smokers on the ocean ridge system, 53000miles ling, produce a pH of 4,5 or lower. Much of this is upwelled over time.

  6. Jim,
    I noticed that the Yosemite temperature data – similar to Tahoe City temperature data in previous sections – shows minimum temperatures that are higher than maximum in the modern era.
    This doesn’t make sense to anyone who actually looks closely at the graph (it doesn’t to me) – and probably should be talked about.

  7. I recall a time when the blue whale was considered close to extinction, with numbers possibly below what was needed for population maintenance. Today the numbers are at least in the tens of thousands, possibly the high tens of thousands. Should the recovery be attributed to protective regulations, a decline of hunting, or a change in the climate? Or a combination.

  8. Dr. Steele, I’m now quoting from your article “Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is The Better Climate Change Indicator” to close my article on “Time series of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Extent”. I’m also linking to your original.
    Thanks for your clear, fact-based words.

  9. What will CACA advocates say when the five year average of Arctic sea ice minimum extent for 2013-17 is greater than for 2008-12 & maybe 2004-07 (both lustra ending in record low years, thanks to storms)? Without August cyclones in 2015, 2016 & 2017, that’s liable to be the case.

  10. Very interesting presentation Dr. Steele. As a member of the IEEE, I know that engineers are pretty good at detecting when a scientific story doesn’t smell right, the scare stories about CO2 by warmist alarmists have a really bad smell. I can see you are passionate about your work, and you have a great story to tell. I will share it with others whenever I have the chance. Thank you!

  11. BTW “The Birds” was written by Daphne du Maurier in 1953. This was the inspiration for the Hitchcock movie – possibly the event described in the talk was additional motivation.

  12. There is not one person on earth that can point out a location where the oceans are turning acidic due to atmospheric O2 enrichment. Not to put too fine a point on it … ocean acidification is just plain bullshit!

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