It’s always something: crops to blame for increased annual variation of CO2

co2_data_mlo[1]From the University of Wisconsin-Madison
@UWMadScience

Crops play a major role in the annual CO2 cycle increase

MADISON, Wis. — Each year, the planet balances its budget. The carbon dioxide absorbed by plants in the spring and summer as they convert solar energy into food is released back to the atmosphere in autumn and winter. Levels of the greenhouse gas fall, only to rise again.

But the budget has gotten bigger. Over the last five decades, the magnitude of this rise and fall has grown nearly 50 percent in the Northern Hemisphere, as the amount of the greenhouse gas taken in and released has increased. Now, new research shows that humans and their crops have a lot to do with it, highlighting the profound impact people have on the Earth’s atmosphere.

In a study published Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Nature, scientists at Boston University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and McGill University show that a steep rise in the productivity of crops grown for food accounts for as much as 25 percent of the increase in this carbon dioxide (CO2) seasonality.

It’s not that crops are adding more CO2 to the atmosphere; rather, if crops are like a sponge for CO2, the sponge has simply gotten bigger and can hold and release more of the gas.

With global food productivity expected to double over the next 50 years, the researchers say the findings should be used to improve climate models and better understand the atmospheric CO2 buffering capacity of ecosystems, particularly as climate change may continue to perturb the greenhouse gas budget.

“This is another piece of evidence suggesting that when we (humans) do things at a large scale, we have the ability to greatly influence the composition of the atmosphere,” says UW-Madison’s Chris Kucharik, a co-author of the study and professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Department of Agronomy and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Since the 1960s in the Northern Hemisphere, maize (corn), wheat, rice and soybeans have seen a 240 percent spike in production, particularly concentrated in the midwestern U.S. and in Northern China, the study found.

But until this point, scientists missed the connection between crops and the CO2 seasonality increase.

“Global climate models don’t represent the important details of agroecosystems and their management very well,” says Kucharik.

It was fall 2013 when the study’s lead authors at Boston University approached the UW-Madison scientist and asked him to lend his agricultural land management, carbon cycling and agricultural technology expertise to their examination of the cycle.

Kucharik helped the team determine how the amount of carbon absorbed by the leaves, stems, roots and food-portion of crops may have changed over time. He helped ensure the methodology the team used properly represented agricultural lands and the management practices that drive changes in the carbon balance.

The study found that, while the area of farmed land has not significantly increased, the production efficiency of that land has. Intensive agricultural management over the last 50 years has had a profound impact.

Kucharik attributes this to improvements in plant breeding, post-World War II fertilization innovations, irrigation and other human-powered technologies.

“You get more bang for your buck, more crop per drop,” he says.

Cropland makes up just six percent of the vegetated, or green, area of the Northern Hemisphere and yet, it is a dominant contributor to the 50 percent increase in the CO2 seasonality cycle. This, despite the fact that forests and grasslands have also been more productive as the planet has warmed and growing seasons have lengthened.

“That’s a very large, significant contribution, and 2/3 of that contribution is attributed to corn,” says Kucharik. “Corn once again is king, this time demonstrating its strong influence on the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2.”

Earlier work at UW-Madison enabled the research team to make the necessary calculations to incorporate agriculture into the new modeling approach, Kucharik says.

“The person that led the charge was Navin Ramankutty at SAGE (the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment), in Jon Foley’s group in the late ’90s and early 2000s,” says Kucharik. “Those first global maps of agricultural land use over time came out of SAGE and the Nelson Institute.”

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104 thoughts on “It’s always something: crops to blame for increased annual variation of CO2

    • No, they very well have realized this and are attempting to now come after your food next, dirty co2 spewing plants, with peer reviewed papers. I cannot believe others cannot see what they are attempting each day, to make a small cut on your very society each day.

      • Any farmer knows that increases in yields do not have to mean more plant matter. More seeds per plant is more common than more or taller plants per acre. Add in the genetic tinkering to try and breed shorter crops with larger seed heads, rather than wasting all its available resources growing tall, and I suspect they didn’t do their homework. I would venture that most yield increases do not come with increased plant matter volume. Exceptions would of course be agriculture where the whole plant is the product such as hay land.

  1. Which, given the vast amount of corn going into biofuels, is another unintended consequence of the Global Warming crowd?

    • Thanks for saying that. Here is their wall of shame and duplicitous behaviour.

      Abstract
      Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt
      …Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop–based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a “biofuel carbon debt” by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels
      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5867/1235.short

      • Since they have no shame, I am pretty sure thay have no wall of shame. So it is a good thing one is maintained here on Watts…must be getting pretty full.

  2. ‘Kucharik attributes this to improvements in plant breeding, post-World War II fertilization innovations, irrigation and other human-powered technologies.

    “You get more bang for your buck, more crop per drop,” he says.

    Cropland makes up just six percent of the vegetated, or green, area of the Northern Hemisphere and yet, it is a dominant contributor to the 50 percent increase in the CO2 seasonality cycle. This, despite the fact that forests and grasslands have also been more productive as the planet has warmed and growing seasons have lengthened.”

    They missed the perfect opportunity to discuss the most relevant item…………..photosynthesis:

    Sunshine +H2O +CO2 = Food/Sugars +O2

    Increasing use of CO2 by plants is obviously a powerful contribution and is being used as atmospheric fertilizer as proven by hundreds of studies. Such a profoundly positive contribution from CO2 in the real world to crop yields/world food production, vegetative growth/health and our booming biosphere just won’t sink in with many scientists.

    • That inspires a secondary thought.
      As we breed crops that create more sugars are we upping the rate of photosynthesis per plant e.g. per unit of area?

      • Hmmmm.
        And might those extra sugars contribute to – in the ‘advanced world’, at least – greater obesity, greater diabetes rates, etc.
        Intrigued rather than embattled . . . . . . .

        Auto

  3. Just to check, I downloaded the latest Scripps data on CO2 from Mauna Loa and graphed the monthly seasonal variations. Sure enough, there was an unbelievably regular increase, from just under 3 ppm to about 3.4 ppm over 56 years.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75831381/CO2%20increase%20in%20seasonal%20variation.pptx

    But how much is attributable to cropland (6% of global land area), livestock grazing area, and other (think the greening of the Sahel)? Just due to global greening (itself due to increased atmospheric CO2), one might expect an increase in seasonal variation. I’m not convinced they can pin this all on crops.

    • They are trying to pin it on crops but human population has doubled, and more, in the last 50 years and we all breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Shucks! It’s our fault again.

    • Another contributor would be the increasing ocean-atmosphere CO2 exchange. The ocean area differs between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere and by corresponding hemisphere elements when stratified by latitude. The annual variation in atmospheric carbon dioxide should be expected to increase with the increase in the average increase in atmospheric CO2.

      • The increase in seasonal amplitude is definitely not from the oceans: if it were the oceans, the δ13C would go up with increasing CO2 (the 13C/12C ratio of the oceans is higher than of the atmosphere), while if it is from vegetation, the δ13C will go down with increasing CO2. The latter is the case:

        As this research shows that the amplitude increase is for 25% from fast growing crops like corn (which for 100% of the leaves/stems are used for feed, the seeds for feed/food and bio-ethanol, thus CO2 returning mainly in the year following the growth), the other 75% comes from the increase in area and growth of forests in the NH, thanks to more CO2 and increased temperatures…

      • I would guess that the ocean actually reduces (dampens) the variability as atmospheric concentrations rise.

        I’m guessing that the ocean is the majority of the increasing carbon sink. Upper oceans are kept at higher pH by the plant growth, probably keeping the ocean surface CO2 concentration below equalibrium with atmospheric CO2 most of the time. Animal life makes up much more of the biomass of the ocean relative to plants and the bio matterial ends up in the ocean depth for quite a while before it finds it’s way back to the surface.

        I’m curious, how do northern and southern concentrations compare? Is the SH properly represented in global concentration estimates? What does disolved CO2 at ocean surface look like seasonally and by hemisphere?

  4. With global food productivity expected to double over the next 50 years…

    Quick – somebody tell Paul Ehrlich. I want to see him have an aneurysm.

    • He’s already had one I would think, since faced with how much productivity has already increased since the short time he was considered relevant.

  5. Maybe I’ve missed something, but it seems odd that all these crops would have any more or less an impact than the vegetation that would be growing there if the fields were never cultivated to begin with (agricultural processes aside).

    • Young plants grow more rapidly than older, established ones. A corn field cycles more CO2 than the prairie grass which preceded it would have.

      • In northern climates, say anywhere with regular snow, most plant have adapted a cycle of lose each winter. Think leaves from trees and grass browning off above ground and re growing from roots in spring. So the old / young issue would be irrelevant to much of our farmed land. I can see were irrigation could cause much more co2 uptake in plant growth, the vast majority of farming around the world isn’t irrigated. And much of our fertilization is to offset the nutrients we remove from the land in the seed produced. So leaving the natural plants to break down again would provide just as good natural growth fertilization.

      • I’m not so sure about that. I recall mature trees (though depending on species) actually take in more CO2 than young, they require more energy and their growth, while less noticable due to smaller relative size change, is actually substantial. I imagine that is true for other plants.

    • They are also usually at higher density than a wild field (due to fertilizing and irrigation). SO there are more of them and hence the allegation of greater impact.

  6. These people exhaust me. Let’s hope they’ve used global warming as an excuse to fund some other covert, USEFUL research. Lord knows they can make up whatever data for publication.

  7. It certainly makes sense that if you devote more area to crops, and if the crops grow more because of increased atmospheric CO2 — no sensible person would deny this — then in the NH summer, there will be a greater amount of CO2 in crops than in the air, vs. what would have happened if there weren’t more crops and more CO2. Common sense, really.

    One implication may be quite positive from the viewpoint of an “alarmist.” The more CO2 is in plants, the less is in the air and thus cannot cause warming during that time. So in a way, increasing amounts of CO2 is “rented” by plants during the summer and thus can cause warming for only about 5 to 6 months of the year, (when the plants have died off for the season) not the whole year. If you double crop with alfalfa, maybe not more than a month or two.

  8. With so much co-varience between different types of vegitation, I suspect that they are finding statisitcal significances with proxies. Also, I suspect that phytoplankton blumes in the Arctic are the major sinks and their decay in the tropics are the major sources.

  9. “the researchers say the findings should be used to improve climate models and better understand the atmospheric CO2 buffering capacity of ecosystems, particularly as climate change may continue to perturb the greenhouse gas budget.”

    There it is, the call for more money. I knew it was in there somewhere, it always is.

    • Their new study will reinforce the fact that the only way to fix the planet’s “perturbed” unicorn greenhouse gas budget will be to lower the number of people on the planet.

  10. With global food productivity expected to double over the next 50 years

    So, despite all the disasters that will supposedly befall us in the next 50 years from climate change, food production is expected to double over the next 50 years? Are the climate disasters like floods, droughts, and hurricanes and regional climate shifts north and south somehow programmed to divert themselves around crops and livestock?

    The CAGW meme contradicts itself just by talking about itself.

    • Oh yes, good comment. They do pick and choose the CO2 story of the day.

      So, in 50 years CO2 should be near 500 PPM. Simply due to the additional CO2 in the atmosphere, the land and water we currently use to grow food, will supply 15 to 20% of that 50% increased food production.
      Of the total food production 50 years from now, about 35 to 40% of it will come simply from increasing CO2 from 280 to 500 PPM.

      However, do we really expect human population to double in the next fifty years?

      • David A,

        However, do we really expect human population to double in the next fifty years?

        No, more like 30% to 9 billion. As undevoped nations become more devloped, it’s a reasonable expectation that food demand will increase at a faster rate than population — people who are more well off tend to eat more in general, and also tend to eat more meat. So according to this source (citing the UN): https://www.populationinstitute.org/resources/populationonline/issue/1/8/ the numbers work out to 70% increase worldwide, 100% in developing countries. Reading between the lines it seems some of that percentage increase includes bumping up production to adequately address present levels of hunger.

    • . . . . and not to put fires out with CO2 extinguishers
      . . . . and not to cremate people
      . . . . and not to use coolant gas when welding
      . . . . and not to decaffeinate coffee
      . . . . and

  11. Why the focus on crops and cropland? isn’t 80 percent of the planet’s surface made of seawater? And doesn’t that seawater support photosynthesis in huge numbers of blue green algae? Arent these algae the real ‘lungs’ of Earth?

    • Yes you are right about ocean ‘crops’. The main claims are, frankly, unbelievable. Crop production isn’t nearly massive enough to pull the entire atmosphere down 5 or 6 ppm in 5 months.

      Worse for that argument, the drop and recovery are not well timed to the crop mass increase. So what is really going on? I have written here before that ice and snow expelled CO2. Ice traps water underneath preventing it absorbing more CO2 as the temperature drops. NH oceans cool massively as the winter progresses. In summer they warm.

      Water, ice, ocean plants and all the snow in Buffalo have an effect on the spike in CO2. Crops? Not much. The timing is wrong.

  12. “””””…..But until this point, scientists missed the connection between crops and the CO2 seasonality increase……”””””

    Suggestion to “scientists”.

    Don’t assume that YOUR ignorance is shared by everybody else.

    YOU couldn’t figure that out, does not mean we didn’t figure it out eons ago.

    But then, basic problem solving is not taught in schools any more, so some of YOU scientists, are severely handicapped in that area.

    Take up knitting instead.

  13. Since the 1960s in the Northern Hemisphere, maize (corn), wheat, rice and soybeans have seen a 240 percent spike in production, particularly concentrated in the midwestern U.S. and in Northern China, the study found.

    Can we improve the situation by ending biofuels from crops?

    Abstract
    Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt
    …Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop–based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a “biofuel carbon debt” by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels…
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5867/1235.short

  14. Hey, I like this!
    If their sponge theory is right, that means:

    Less CO2 in summer = less warming, maybe even cooling, in summer
    More CO2 in winter = more warming in winter
    50% increase in food production in 50 years will make the above more pronounced.

    Hands up all you people who think that 50% more food, summers about the same or a bit cooler, and winters that are bit warmer is a bad thing. C’mon, hands up… Gotte be one out there….

  15. Here’s another WFT but timescales are so large the keeling curve is making it very messy for eye balling a quick answer.
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1958/every:12/to:1983/detrend:27/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1958.5/every:12/to:1983/detrend:27/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1983/every:12/detrend:54/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1983.5/every:12/detrend:54/normalise

    I don’t agree with their findings.
    However, this would be easier to do and more clear using a spreadsheet.

  16. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, also known as The Berkeley of the Midwest is located in the city of Madison aka People’s Republik of Madistan (unfortunately it is the capitol of Wisconsin)

    Most Wisconsinites consider Madison as 78 sq. miles surrounded by reality. The rest of the 65,420 sq miles is good place to live and getting better with the last two elections. Luckily most of the students at U of W don’t know how to vote.

    earwig42 from Northwest Wi.

  17. I’m still waiting for someone to prove (not model) that the rising atmospheric CO2 was causally linked to the 20th Century’s temperature rise.

  18. But until this point, scientists missed the connection between crops and the CO2 seasonality increase.

    Am I missing something or are “scientists” really missing up?

    Missing links, missing heat, missing hot spots, missing data, missing replicativity (ok I made that word up, sry), missing dark matter, missing light matter, missing higgs’ mate, bosun, and especially, missing string.

  19. So- it sounds to me like the crops soak up co2 in the spring when we would like the greenhouse effect to reduce. In the fall the co2 ts put back when we would like some warming!
    Perfect !!

  20. The head post says:

    But the budget has gotten bigger. Over the last five decades, the magnitude of this rise and fall has grown nearly 50 percent in the Northern Hemisphere, as the amount of the greenhouse gas taken in and released has increased.

    That’s arrant nonsense, you can see that just by looking at the graph … at least I can. In any case I ran the numbers. Since 1958, the peak-to-valley range has gone from 5.8 to 6.7 ppmv, which is an increase of 11 percent. Interesting … but far from 50%.

    w.

  21. Thos damned crops! Its crop pollution we have 97% proof of now. Lysenko was right they haven’t evolved at all and can’t. They still hates us just like when we was vegatabes too. We should solve the crop problem once and for all. They are the ultimate source of all that coal and gas too. Crops must be evil. Gaia hates crops!

  22. Good question, Andyj. I used R to identify all of the peaks and all of the valleys. Then I subtracted the following valley from each peak. As you point out, they vary a lot. I ran a trendline through them and took the first and last values.

    w.

    • Thank you for the reply. I’ve since grabbed all minimums and maximums off WFT and simply subtracted for the difference in a spreadsheet to show as a simple line graph. There are no trends to see. ok, no. There is a slight rise in the middle years but it is broad across the whole graph.

      However, (of course) if plotted against CO2 increases, the ratio of the changes are shrinking. :-D

  23. When the article is about climate and humans, I stop reading any research that is focused on showing that a climate related negative event is caused by a human event. It is FAR more the case that it all goes the other way around. A human related negative event is caused by a climate related event.

    • Agreed. Every episode of NOVA or Nature on PBS links the cause of the latest disaster to MMCC. You are correct that they have it backwards.

      • The latest Nature on PBS show was about the arctic, but somehow, though the show was brand new, it was unable to show the last 2 years of the extent of the arctic sea ice. Meanwhile the following show on PBS, NOVA, was able to provide the most up to date information about the comet landing, including the battery failure due to selecting the wrong spot to land.

  24. Who knew that human food crops were the only vegetation on earth that varied. They must have found evidence and proved that naturally occurring vegetation has never varied. Lets not be silly here, not over the 5 billion years of earth’s history but of course just over the 200,000 years of Homosapien existence.

    It is safe to conclude then that in the last 200,000 years of Homosapien existence we have had a profound impact on the climate and it is only now with super computers running in parallel were we able to make the connection: being alive means affecting your environment. I mean, again, who knew…

    It is also pretty safe to conclude once we get enough super-computers running in parallel, there will not be much use to having humanity on the planet at all. Just watch the Terminator movies, Arnold spells it all out.

  25. “Global climate models don’t represent the important details… “

    Kucharik could have left it at this and been 100% correct instead of finding yet another torturous route to blaming humans for Nature.

  26. A mature forest will release CO2 in the same way as an annual crop. Some people believe that planting trees will store away CO2 for ever, but in actual fact, once the forest is mature, dying trees and other associated plant life will return their CO2 to the atmosphere in exactly the same way as do crops.

    Because of this somewhat obvious fact, the total gross amount of CO2 take from the atmosphere by a mature forest, can only ever be close to zero.

    So is the answer to grow trees instead of crops? I think not.

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

  27. YAWN. So, the fluctuation has increased. The 50% is not apparent in the graph presented, and do we care? NO.

    • We might care.

      If CO2 varies a lot that indicates that it has a relatively short residence time in the atmosphere.

      That’s a problem for the CAGW crowd. They claim that we must quit emitting CO2 right now because the warming we have now is irreversible because the CO2 concentration won’t go down for hundreds of years.

      If CO2 has a short residence time, the temperature would go down soon after we quit emitting CO2. That’s no good for them because they want us to quit emitting CO2 right now.

      There’s more evidence that CO2 has short residence: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/21/on-co2-residence-times-the-chicken-or-the-egg/

      • Residence time and the decay time of an extra CO2 injection have nothing to do with each other.

        Residence time is how long an individual CO2 molecule in average resides in the atmosphere before being captured by other reservoirs (mainly vegetation and oceans). That has zero effect on some extra CO2 above equilibrium as long as the CO2 inputs and outputs are equal.

        Currently the extra input [into the atmosphere] is ~9 GtC/year by humans, the extra output [loss from the atmosphere] is ~4.5 GtC/year in oceans and vegetation with as net effect an increase of ~4.5 GtC/year (2+ ppmv/year) [in the atmosphere].
        The decay time for the ~110 ppmv above equilibrium is over 50 years or a half life time of ~40 years.

        Compare the residence time with the throughput (turnover) of capital and goods of a factory with the gain (or loss) that the invested capital gives. Mainly the latter is what is important for the shareholders…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen
        November 21, 2014 at 3:23 am

        Residence time and the decay time of an extra CO2 injection have nothing to do with each other.

        In a linear system they do.

        I realize that nothing in the physical world is truly linear but we treat many things that way because, otherwise they would be intractable.

        You have to either present an alternative model or admit that you have no basis for saying what you did.

      • commiebob, different processes at work: the seasonal in/outs are the main cause of the huge throughput and thus the short residence time: that is about 60 GtC in/out the biomass and 50 GtC in/out the ocean surface, directly seasonal temperature driven. Besides that some 40 GtC/year is flowing through the atmosphere from the warm tropical upwelling zones to the cold polar sink zones and back via the deep oceans, again temperature (difference) driven. All together 150 GtC exchange for 800 GtC in the atmosphere or a residence time for any CO2 molecule of slightly over 5 years.

        In pre-industrial times, temperature was about the sole driver and we see a quite fixed equilibrium (and a lag) between temperature and CO2 levels of about 8 ppmv/°C. The current level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 110 ppmv (~μatm) above that historical equilibrium. That is what pushes more CO2 into the oceans (and vegetation). That is currently 4.5 GtC/year or about halve what humans emit (as mass, not the same molecules).

        Thus the residence time is completely temperature driven, while the decay rate for the excess CO2 above equilibrium is near completely pressure driven.

  28. “…particularly as climate change may continue to perturb the greenhouse gas budget.”
    …and climate change politics will continue to perturb OUR gas budgets!

  29. Whoops, they forgot to show how an increased CO2 cycle is bad. Must have been an oversight. I mean, we did it, so it must be bad, right? Right?

  30. There is no mention of the fact that the life cycle follows temperature. In Spring and Summer, temperature rises and life forms flourish, soaking up CO2 ie CO2 concentration goes down. In Autumn and Winter, temperature falls and life forms die and decay with a release of CO2 ie CO2 concentration goes up. This is the complete reverse of the unproven IPCC claim that CO2 causes temperature rise.
    Even more damning is the fact that the IPCC claim is false as shown by the Antarctic. Here satellite lower tropospheric temperature across the polar region, 60 deg S to 85 deg S, has shown a decrease of 0.014 deg C per century for the 36 years of satellite recording:
    see http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt
    In that time frame the CO2 concentration has risen 17.7% according to NOAA data:
    see http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/wdcgg/pub/data/current/co2/monthly/spo789s00.noaa.as.fl.co2.nl.mo.dat
    This is unambiguous proof that increased atmospheric CO2 concentration does not cause warming of the Earth’s surface. The IPCC claim is false!

  31. Had lots of fun and caffeine over this.

    This will be tough to visualise.
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1958.25/every:12/trend/detrend:83.1/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1958.75/every:12/trend/detrend:83.1/normalise

    A list of CO2 peaks and troughs levelled by detrending. Then normalised.
    The autumn high starts top left of the window. So the variances are going down! by one part (-0.5 – +0.5) =~1.. across the average CO2 value..assume 360?.. Say minus 0.3% for simplicity.

    Cross multiply -0.3% with +50% and we get 167. (I think)
    The Author is >150X in error. Sounds about right. lol

    If this is broken, you can get to keep both pieces if you want. :)

  32. So let me make sure I got it. CO2 has a logarithmic response to density and saturation with respect to a greenhouse reaction, but the plant food creates a response like a big sucking sound as things propagate from such?

    Clouds seem like a small problem for the GCM’s to deal with…

  33. One would expect the CO2 induced growth rate increase in deciduous plants, trees, and shrubs in nature, would contribute to the annual flux as well. Al though I hardly think such a small flux has any meaning or practical application. The steady increase however appears to be highly beneficial.

    • I agree. Nice. But now north of my area this fabulous autumn picture has changed to 5 feet of snow.
      Interestingly there is absolutely NOTHING in the news media about maybe this is due to global warming.
      Nothing. They are all reporting the unusual cold, the unusual snow (not that this has not happened before) but not a word about GLOBAL WARMING or CLIMATE CHANGE.
      Now change the situation to a very dry or warm summer and we get climate change on the news.
      Interesting.

  34. I am preparing an application for a federal grant to compare the merits and drawbacks of two plans to eliminate annual CO2 variation. They are simply to either push Asia and Australia southeast far enough to balance out the landmass coverage of the NH and SH – OR – do away with seasons altogether by straightening earth’s axis of rotation to become normal to its solar orbital plane. (I figure that if the Ivanpah project can get a $500 million federal grant to bail out an idea that already failed then I should have no problem getting a measly $5 million grant to study ideas that haven’t even yet been considered let alone attempted.)

  35. > crops to blame for increased annual variation of CO2

    There is no ‘blame’ involved. Nor this thing is ‘profound impact’.

  36. MADISON, Wis. — Each year, the planet balances its budget. The carbon dioxide absorbed by plants in the spring and summer as they convert solar energy into food is released back to the atmosphere in autumn and winter. Levels of the greenhouse gas fall, only to rise again.
    ————————

    The above claimed release of CO2 is in direct violation of my coined ….. Refrigerator/Freezer Law of Natural Biomass Microbial Decomposition.

    And the aforesaid Law is supported and/or confirmed by USDA Food Storage and Preservation Guidelines ….. which all Public Health Departments adhere too and enforce.

    The fact is that the majority of all microbial decomposition of dead biomass occurs in the spring and early summer when temperatures and moisture levels are the most favorable for said microbial decomposition.

    The primary purpose for owning a refrigerator is NOT for keeping the beer cold or to make ice cubes for mixed drinks.

    • Tell us, where does this CO2 come from? After all, only water and certain water borne trace elements come up the roots.

  37. It wasn’t very long ago when alarmists swore up and down that green vegetation and human population increase was a biologic even trade. The ONLY evil was fossil fuel. But…we now have an oil glut cuz no one is driving much any more. Sooooooo. What do we blame now? The goal post appears to have been moved. The cheese is no longer around the next corner. The light at the end of the tunnel has dimmed once again. The meaning of the words have changed/morphed/assimilated. It’s the VEGGIES!!!!!!!

  38. I can’t for the life of me understand why and increase in the annual concentration is considered a bad thing. Basically, the biosphere is taking deeper breaths. How is that bad?

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