Settled science? The IPCC’s premature consensus is demonstrated by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

From the start, Richard Lindzen, former professor of meteorology at MIT, said about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis: The consensus was reached before the research had even begun. The IPCC virtually ignored evidence that showed the hypothesis wrong, including failed predictions. Instead of revisiting their science, they moved the goal posts from global warming to climate change and recently climate disruption. Mainstream media have aided and abetted them with misleading and often completely scientifically incorrect stories. These are usually a reflection of their political bias.

A recent example appeared from the BBC, triggered by more evidence that contradicts the hypothesis, that human produced CO2 is almost the sole cause of global warming. The egregious example is the BBC report on the first images from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2). See also Anthony Watts’ report from the AGU.

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Figure 1

 

Preliminary evidence essentially exonerates humans as the source of CO2. That is a narrative unacceptable to the IPCC and all their media supporters. As a result the BBC, whose lack of journalistic integrity and political bias, was exposed in the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), are obliged to spin the evidence. One comment in the article says,

It is possible to see spikes, too, on the eastern seaboard of the US and over China. These probably include the additional emissions of CO2 that come from industrialisation.

This misinformation is contradicted by the lower than average levels over the UK and Europe. Another comment on Figure 1 says,

Also apparent are the higher concentrations over South America and southern Africa. These are likely the result of biomass burning in these regions.

This misinformation is a contradiction because the area of southern Africa is mostly grasslands and desert. How does that generate “biomass burning”? Figure 2 shows a map of the climate zones of Africa, ironically, it appears in an article pleading for financial help to deal with climate change.

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Figure 2

The claim that South American levels are due to forest burning is ridiculous. At any given time, only a small area of the forest is being burned. It was higher in the past because countries like Brazil were encouraged to provide tax incentives to farmers to clear land, with help from the World Bank. The idea was that a country must have a solid agricultural base for a viable economy. The practice was stopped when the environmental finger of rainforest destruction was pointed.

In 2006 a report exposed another misconception about sources and concentrations of atmospheric gases, especially so-called greenhouse gases. Frank Keppler of the Max Planck Institute determined that the rainforests were a very large source of methane. Keppler,

“…was surprised when he saw signs of methane being emitted by plants he was examining in normal air. “If we were following the textbook, we would have ignored it as a mistake,” he says.”

This is not surprising, given the structure and process of a tropical rainforest. They are an illusion because the soils that sustain them are among the most unfertile in the world. People wonder why agriculture doesn’t flourish, it is because of the poor soils. Many projects have failed with this illusion.

People are familiar with deciduous and evergreen trees. The former have leaves that grow and are discarded with the seasons. Evergreens have needles that remain attached year round but are ready to begin photosynthesizing quickly, thus maximizing the short growing season. Trees in the tropical rainforest are what I call deciduous evergreens. They always have leaves but are constantly shedding and replacing them. This means the leaf litter is constantly supplied to the surface but very rapidly rots, and the tree quickly takes up the nutrients. Laterite soils underlie the rain forest.

Laterite soils are reddish subsoils found in tropical regions that are formed by the rock layer breaking down and leaching through the soil. They are rich in minerals such as iron oxides and aluminum, and most don’t support plant life or vegetation well because they dry hard and compact, and lack organic matter. Laterite deposits can be a few inches or hundreds of feet thick and are normally horizontal. When very wet, laterite soils can be cut into bricks for building.

The important soil formation factors are high temperatures and constant rainfall that literally washes out most minerals essential for plant growth. The various shades of red depend on the percentage of iron.

When the vegetation is removed the soils bake iron hard. They are also very difficult to plow because of quartz particles that wear out a steel plow very quickly. Several schemes failed over the years because they ignored the physical realities of tropical soils. The first major one was Fordlandia, an attempt during the Second World War to grow rubber in the Amazon rainforest. Rubber, a crucial wartime resource, was no longer available from Malaya. They transferred the rubber plants back to South America but farmed it without care to the soil conditions. Look at the inappropriate formal row cultivation in Figure 3.

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Figure 3.

After World War II, the drive for increased agricultural production, centered on production of vegetable oil. In Britain they created the Groundnut Scheme in East Africa. Groundnut is the English term for peanut. It was also a disaster, as a 1981 article titled, “The East African Groundnut Scheme: Lessons of a Large-Scale Agricultural Failure” explains.

Another scheme built on lateritic soils without care to their limits, was the 1967 brainchild of shipping billionaire known as the Jari Project. He built a massive processing plant (Figure 4) in Japan and had it towed to Brazil to process a fast growing tree (Gmelina) for pulp and paper. The project staggered along for some years but ultimately failed.

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Figure 4

I am aware that there were other factors involved in the failure, but the common denominator and primary factor was the limitations of the tropical soil.

The few people that survive in the tropical rainforest know the limitations of the soils. They developed slash and burn agriculture in which a small are is cleared and the vegetation burned to provide briefly a higher level of nutrients sufficient to grow crops for one or two years. The area is then abandoned back the rainforest.

Methane (CH4) was targeted before CO2 in the environmentalists rush to blame humans for every change detected. Much of the focus was the role of cattle that received attention from Jeremy Rifkin’s fantastical book and campaign titled “Beyond Beef”. He effectively blames cattle for all the failures of civilization.

The problem was that methane was a minute fraction of the atmosphere and greenhouse gases. Methane is 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases and only 0.36% of the total greenhouse gases. Like CO2 they have inflated the warming potential by claiming it is 20 times more effective than CO2. Despite this, it can’t be very important because in an article about methane “leaking” from the sea floor, Andrew Weaver, Lead Author and contributor on computer modelling for four of the IPCC Reports said,

“[Methane] was not considered in any of the predictions at all.”

That didn’t stop the journalist from fear mongering.

“But one thing is certain: The fact it hasn’t been factored into previous global warming predictions means forecasts even as recent as the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are too conservative.”

 

A disturbing remark, but not as intended. If it isn’t factored in, then it indicates all previous estimates of greenhouse effects are wrong and the effect of other variables including CO2 are overestimated.

Other sources were blamed before cows, each tied to some human cause. A 1982 Science paper argued that termite numbers were increasing commensurate with clearing of forest and bush. Disclosure of a calculation error in the numbers pushed the termites aside. Increasing beaver populations briefly became the target. Expanding wetlands resulted from reduced trapping and the consequent population explosion. Thawing permafrost is raised occasionally as a source of increased methane, but a study by Georg Delisle rejects the alarmism.

He studied time periods from the last 10,000 years when the global temperature was warmer than today for several thousand years by as much as 6°C. Ice cores that had been extracted from Antarctica and Greenland provide exact information about the composition of the atmosphere during the these warm periods. His conclusion: ‘The ice cores from both Greenland and Antarctica provide no indication of any elevated release of greenhouse gases at any time even though back then a deep thawing of the permafrost when compared to today would have been the case.’  This was clear to see on the poster he used for his presentation. Obviously CO2 and methane are much more stable in the ground also when it thaws (sic).

Reports of methane bubbling up in the Arctic Ocean triggered a new spate of articles. Most stories are alarmist.

Far more of the greenhouse gas methane is seeping from seabed deposits in the Arctic shelf into the atmosphere than previously thought.”

Some reports take a reasoned view. A New Scientist article says,

The trouble is, nobody knows if the Arctic emissions are new, or indeed anything to do with global warming.”

The reality is they don’t know how much there is.

“Estimates of how much is out there are vague. There could be anywhere between 500 to 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon in the hydrates and another 7.5 to 400 gigatonnes in the permafrost.”

Another problem that likely influenced decisions to ignore methane was the IPCC chart depicting global levels over time (Figure 5).

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Figure 5

This underscores their failed projections shown in Figure 6 from Assessment report 5 (AR5).

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It’s not surprising because all greenhouse gas numbers are very crude estimates for each source. The only table, to my knowledge, that pulls together the various “source” estimates, was produced by Dr. Dietrich Koelle for 2010 data.

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The error range of two natural sources, Ocean outgassing (tropical areas) and Ground bacteria, rotting and decay, exceed the total human contribution. The latter supposedly includes what goes on at the surface under the tropical rainforest. It is a vast natural composting process producing nutrients to sustain the vegetation.

The satellite data is only a surprise to the IPCC supporters, because it completely contradicts their assumptions and narrative. Once again, as it has from the start, the evidence contradicts the consensus assigned to the IPCC hypothesis. Instead of acting in a scientifically appropriate manner and re-examining their science, they misinterpret and mislead through a compliant, politically biased messenger, the mainstream media.

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366 thoughts on “Settled science? The IPCC’s premature consensus is demonstrated by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory

  1. It’s interesting that there seem to be large areas of ocean that exhale CO2. No surprise, but very interesting.

    • Notice also that it is very high over the land masses in the lee of the trade winds. Maybe accelerated outgassing from much warmer and moisture laden air. That it is very low over dry and arid areas and over the equator where winds are low and localized.

    • It is estimated that 80% of the Earth’s volcanos are on ocean floors, in association with sea bed ridges, where new tectonic plate material is formed, and subduction zones where one tectonic plate dives under another. As with any volcano, these volcanos emit CO2, but into water which is both very cold and under great pressure, so it can hold a LOT of CO2. Decades (? centuries ) later this water comes to the surface, ( see the Atlantic conveyor belt,) where it becomes warmer and under less pressure and so releases CO2. In addition, global temperatures increased by 0.7C over the 20th century. This would cause CO2 to be released by the oceans, and, since the oceans cover 7/10ths of the Earth’s surface to an average depth of 4kms, this would be a LOT of CO2.

      • It is estimated that 80% of the Earth’s volcanos are on ocean floors,

        That may well be the best guess but a guesstimate is not observation. What is evident (again) is that the actual evidence does not support the CAGW meme that is driving policy. (“Coal trains of death”. “The war on coal”. “Carbon pollution”. etc.)
        If Man was on trial for the crime of CAGW the jury’s only possible evidence based verdict would be “Not Guilty”.

      • Jim Davidson

        Good in theory but the CO2 and temperature just don’t line up well. So whether it comes from the oceans (I too think it does) or not doesn’t explain the temperature changes. Human or ocean output still cannot be distinguished from the other natural variations, however induced. Generally the evidence is stacking up more in favour of a water vapour/cloud mediated temperature than a CO2-mediated one. And certainly not methane – not so far anyway.

      • Gunga Din says —

        If Man was on trial for the crime of CAGW the jury’s only possible evidence based verdict would be “Not Guilty”.

        I say —

        If Mann was on trial for the crime of CAGW the jury’s only possible evidence based verdict would be “Guilty”.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Most of the dissolved CO2 in the oceans comes from the undersea volcanoes where CO2 dissolves in the cold water to be exsolved when that water comes to the surface and warms.

    • On the upper right of figure 1 is a large area of higher CO2 concentrations that is roughly the size of China but smack dab in the middle of nowhere southeast of Kamchatka in the Pacific Ocean. There is a similar area north of New Zealand.

      These large area of CO2 do not appear to be the result industrial activity or burning, as the only land is small, widely scattered volcanic atolls in a very large ocean.

      • Indeed. Considering that human population is accountable (at leas to the Global Warmers) for (majority) of CO2 as result of industries, cars, power plants etc, one would be completely wrong in pointing to the most dense populated places in the world. Europe, US, notably India are showing low CO2 concentrations. We need to admit that we do not understand a single thing of this phenoma, nothing at all……. let alone be able to predict CO2 figures for future and how to lower it. But it is political…… not scientific at all.Instead of buying short sleeve shirts for when Global warming arrives, we better buy thermo undies for the cold!

    • There must be something wrong with their satellite. Everybody knows that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere.

      The sterility of tropical rain forest soils, is not a new revelation. The Brazil sugar cane madness for ethanol, has been roundly criticized for the same reason. After you clear the rain forest, nothing grows on the land, and the moisture patterns all shift as well; as in the snows of Kilimanjaro.

      There’s gotta be a sound biological reason for bromeliads, and the like, that decide it is better to grow up in trees, than in the lousy surface soils.

      But this first look at the CO2 scourge is sure illuminating.

  2. I have been saying ALL ALONG that there is no actual proof that Increases in CO2 levels are not directly attributable to human activity. Even here, on WUWT, with regulars, I have been shot down.

    To me this is a bit of exoneration.

    To believe that we have a handle on all of the complexity of climate and atmospheric activity is demonstrably arrogant. We don’t. We’re only at the infancy of even examining it. Those who have repeatedly and smugly asserted the sources, sinks, and role of CO2 are understood are plain wrong.

    • CodeTech, I agree and used to be quite confident that the rise in CO2 was due to outgassing of the Oceans following the 800 year lag from the MWP.

      But I’ve shifted position. The isotope evidence does indicate to me that the rise is more probably due to fossil fuel burning.

      No, that isn’t proven but – on balance – the rise seems to me to be more likely attributable in large part to fossil fuel burning.
      However, has anyone ever said that all the CO2 rise was manmade? I certainly haven’t.

      • Yeah, until we start looking into the isotope argument and find it is based on various assumptions and guesses, as well as an avoidance of some of the inconvenient pieces of data. Then the human contribution aspect doesn’t look quite that strong.

      • The carbon in volcanic CO2 is the same isotope as ‘fossil fuel’ burning. So you need to rebalance your assumptions.

      • MCourteney, 1:00 pm : Isotope evidence as proof of fossil fuel burning? Maybe. Or it could be that we have cleared forests for farmland, lumber, cities and grass land and planted species that have a preference for one isotope over another (C3 versus C4 plants?). And given that 99.8% of the oxygen is 016, so what we are measuring is a variation in 0.2% of the total and we don’t even know if more O18 is associated with warmer or colder periods:
        https://web.viu.ca/earle/geol-412/oxygen%20Isotope%20fractionation.pdf

        Further, as per the first sentence, croplands and grasses have a higher preference for 016 than forests. And why did the flora and fauna that produced fossil fuels have more 018 in the first place? Even Wikipedia shows a significant 018 variation with time. It also varies from the equator to the poles (natural fractionation)

        After reading paper after paper, the only conclusion I can come to, along with much of the “Climate Debate” is that we are still in the early data gathering stage and it is too soon to draw solid conclusions. How good are our measurements anyway? Ice cores show the opposite of ocean sediments. Different appetites for different isotopes or location or environment or … ?

        Of course, the continents were in a different place so maybe the difference in 018 in fossil fuels is because the plants were near the equator but then 018 varies with moisture and temperature and … ?

        Some here may know, but my engineering background just lets me read all the different papers and draw no conclusions given there seems to be diverse opinions. Interesting all the same.

      • Wayne Delbeke, the difference is in the carbon isotopes, not in the oxygen isotopes. Plants prefer 12CO2 above 13CO2, which makes that the 13C/12C ratio in current and fossil plants (coal) is lower than in the atmosphere. That is expressed as per mil δ13C. Mass spectrometers are used to measure the difference. For oceans and carbonate rock, the per mil is around zero. The atmosphere is currently around -8 per mil, but was around -6.4 per mil in pre-industrial times. C3 plants are around -24 per mil and C4 plants around -15 per mil. Fossil fuels range between -24 per mil for coal to -40 per mil (and lower) for natural gas and oil is in between. Rotting plants and fossil fuel burning are in average around -24 to -28 per mil, but as the oxygen balance shows, vegetation is a net absorber of CO2 and preferential of 12CO2, thus leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere, thus not the cause of the 13C/12C decline… That humans are the cause is quite clear as one sees the increase of CO2 (about halve the human emissions) and the decline in δ13C:

        and

      • Ferdinand
        Your analysis falls apart. You say plants prefer C12 to C13 but coal is plants.
        Therefore, no difference between decaying plants and burning coal w/respect to CO2 isotopes. Decaying plants many times coal as CO2 source.

      • mpainter, it is possible to know the difference between recent and fossil CO2 plant emissions: fossil CO2 is completely depleted in 14C, while recent plant decay has its own 14C level, depending of its age. That can be used to trace e.g. the source of [soot] on ice.
        The other way is the oxygen balance: each fossil fuel uses oxygen in ratio to its composition and fuel efficiency. As the quantities and efficiencies are more or less known, the net balance of the whole biosphere can be calculated: if more oxygen is used than from fossil fuel burning, then the biosphere releases more CO2. If it is reverse, then the biosphere is a net absorber of CO2. The latter is the case:
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
        and more recent:
        http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

      • Okay…..Please answer me this…..Since the beginning of the industrial age there has been an increase of roughly 35 to 40% in the amounts of CO2 that are present in the atmosphere. Now, my question…..What has been the percentage increase in the aggregated global greenhouse effect that can be attributed to what many people appear to think could be considered a large increase in ambient CO2?

        This is still speculative even using the best data and information that I have been able to find using internet searches: It appears to me that the amount of global greenhouse effect that can be attributed to water vapor and water droplets (clouds, fog) is so close to 100% of the total of aggregated global greenhouse effect that what is in reality such a miniscue increase in atmospheric CO2 would likely result in a temperature increase that would be so small as to be unmeasurable with any degree of confidence even using the best available technologies and measurement techniques???? And what would happen if CO2 was doubled???? Well, at least mathematically, when you double nothing you still have nothing. Just how badly have I gone adrift?????

      • Ferdinand
        C14 issues are separate and aside from the issue. Why do you introduce the topic?
        Your assertions concerning O2 are based on a dubious proxy. Nature does not distinguish between anthropogenic CO2 and natural, I’m afraid.

      • It is also possible for fossil fuel CO2 emmissions to change the composition of atmospheric CO2 without changing the total. Always more questions than answers.

      • Interesting information Ferdinand; thank you very much; but it begs a question.

        Just what it the 12C / 13C ratio in carbon that is known to not be biological in any way, such as from volcanic origins or other not biotic rock sources. ??

        That would be nice to know, and of course some idea of the variability of that ratio from place to place.

        There must have been a carbon isotope ratio, long before there was even a single biological organism.

        Can we detect carbon isotope ratios in the sun for example or is the sun not yet able to make carbon ??

      • Joseph Murphy, that is theoretically possible, but in that case, the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere wouldn’t change, as the sinks are rapidly expanding to remove all extra CO2.
        There is a pure theoretical possibility, if the in/out circulation of CO2 from the oceans increased enormously over time, dwarfing the human input, with as result a build up of CO2 pressure despite the rapid reaction of the sinks. But there is no sign of such an increase of the CO2 throughput in the atmosphere in not one observation (14C decline, 13C/12C ratio decline), to the contrary: the residence time of any CO2 molecule in the atmosphere slightly increased over time, which points to a rather stable throughput in an increasing mass of CO2…

      • george e. smith,
        Out of my memory: deep oceans are at around zero per mil δ13C, ocean surface (due to biolife) at +1 to +5 per mil. Carbonate rock around zero per mil (was mostly sediment of the oceans). One type of carbonate rock, Pee Dee Belemnite, was used as the zero standard for δ13C measurements. Nowadays replaced by an official zero level (Vienna PDB).
        Most carbonate rock is formed by biolife, but in contrast to the internal organics, the shells (of coccoliths) have the same δ13C ratio as the surrounding ocean waters.
        Subduction volcanoes are around zero per mil (as that is mainly recycled carbonate rock). Deep magma volcanoes are somewhat lower around -4 per mil.
        Thus one can say that the bulk of inorganic carbon has a near zero per mil δ13C level, while organic carbon has much lower δ13C levels and the atmosphere is in between.

      • ThomasJK,
        You have not gone adrift. The GHE is not quantifiable because it depends on water vapor, just as you have observed,and that varies aaround the globe. The late warming trend circa 1980-97 has been shown to due to increased insolation, that due to reduced cloud albedo, as shown by the data from cloud records.
        There is no evidence whatsoever that CO2 has caused warming.

    • There’s only one place where volcanic CO2 has been fully captured: Lake Nyos. If Nyos is typical, total volcanic CO2 emissions are at least an order of magnitude greater than claimed.

      • Ferdinand, in addition to the open questions about the isotope ratios (the answers to which are not quite as clear-cut as you represent), keep in mind that the fact a “human” signal is present in the atmosphere does not mean that the human emissions are the cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2. Particularly when the human quantity is swamped by both natural sources and sinks.

        Are there some interesting pieces of data that might hint at a human factor? Sure. However, we are nowhere near a “but for human emissions” level of knowledge or certainty.

      • climatereflections, as all observations show that humans are the cause and every alternative explanation fails one or more observations, I am quite sure that humans are the cause of the increase…
        Vegetation is a proven sink for CO2. The oceans can’t be the cause, as the 13C/12C ratio is too high and the increased atmospheric CO2 pressure should depress the release and increase the uptake. Warming oceans are not the cause as that gives not more than 8 ppmv/K and the increase is over 110 ppmv above equilibrium…

      • Ferdinand, it sounds like you have looked into the issue quite a bit, and I respect your opinion. However, I can’t shake the nagging doubts.

        For one, I haven’t seen good atmospheric CO2 data that would properly reflect the decrease in human emissions during periods of significant economic contraction. Maybe that data is out there, but I haven’t seen it. Unless such a signal is clear and unambiguous and is always there when it should be, then we cannot say human activity is the driver of changes in atmospheric CO2 levels — at least not without resorting to ad hoc explanations and special pleadings for why the signal is not there in particular instances.

        Second, your reply again focused on the fact that the isotope ratio has increased over time. That might — assuming for purposes of discussion that there is no other possible source for the particular isotope in question than human burning of fossil fuels (a questionable assumption, but let’s go with it for a moment) — that might tell us that the increase in the isotope ratio is due to human activity. But it does not tell us that the increase in atmospheric CO2 generally is due to human activity and that “but for the human activity” atmospheric CO2 levels would not have increased. These are logically distinct conclusions and should be carefully separated. Unfortunately, I regularly see them conflated by people who argue that human activity is the cause of increased atmospheric CO2 generally.

      • climatereflections, nothing is 100% proof of the human contribution, but the fact that the increase in the atmosphere is lower than the human emissions is already a sufficient indication: all natural in/outs of CO2 together form a net sink for CO2, already at least 55 years long. No matter if that is mainly/only in the oceans, rock weathering or vegetation, nature is a net sink and its contribution to the increase in the atmosphere is negative, no matter if the seasonal and continuous exchange between atmosphere and the other reservoirs is 10 GtC in and out within a year or 100 GtC or 1000 GtC. At the end of a full seasonal cycle, nature has absorbed more CO2 than released…

        The point is that human emissions are not part of the natural cycle. They are additional. The only way they can be removed is by increased partial pressure, which suppresses the release of CO2 from the (warmer) tropical oceans and increases the CO2 uptake by the cold polar oceans and in plant alveoli.
        That is what happened over the past 160 years, of which the past 55 years were monitored with high accuracy.

        I had a lot of discussion about this point with Bart and others, as IF the sinks react immediately on any change in concentration, the extra CO2 from humans wouldn’t make a difference. But the reaction of the sinks is not that fast, except for the ocean surface layer (the “mixed” layer) which is in close contact with the atmosphere. The ocean surface-atmosphere exchange is very fast (1-3 years half life time), but a 100% change in the atmosphere only adds 10% extra CO2 (mainly in form of -bi-carbonates) to the total carbon in that layer, due to the Revelle/buffer factor of chemical equilibriums.

        The real decay rate of the extra CO2 above equilibrium is slightly over 50 years or a half life time of ~40 years. Much longer than the 5 years some skeptics use (which is the residence time, nothing to do with the decay rate) and much shorter than the hundreds of years as said by the IPCC, because that is based on the Bern model, which includes a huge factor for the saturation of the deep oceans, for which is not the slightest sign today… See more at my page:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html

      • “the fact that the increase in the atmosphere is lower than the human emissions is already a sufficient indication”

        The long ago discredited “mass balance” argument once again. You really must get some new material, Ferdinand.

  3. The claim of burning in Africa seemed spurious from the outset. S. America, I guess it is possible, but seems unlikely from the central part of the continent.

    • the very large band of higher CO2 concentrations that pretty much circles the globe just south of the equator, an area which lack industry, puts a lie to IPCC beliefs that fossil fuel burning is the major source of CO2.

      the southern hemisphere lacks both land (vegetation burning) and industry (fossil fuel burning). something else must be the source of the excess CO2.

      • That is only if CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are centered around CO2 outgassing/production. The satellite data is not necessarily telling us the source just its current location. The first thing that popped into my head is the plastic concentration in the pacific. Not the source, just the location.

  4. When will they ever learn that empiri is real – corrected values and/or computer models not.
    When will they ever learn that Consensus is a political term not existing in Theories of Science
    When will they ever learn that Humans aren’t the centre of Universe….

    • Learn?…you don’t think they know this?
      I am far more cynical than you, if that’s the case. “They” know this. If they every chose to actually admit/embrace it, it would be the end of their own (and many other) careers, along with ending their “15 minutes of fame”.

      • Not quite. Go look at the JPL NASA site for OCO-2 under the “Science” tab and read through the Measurement, Validation, Calibration pages. It’s still models because there are too many layers of stuff they’ve got to remove from and account for in the data before they can shove it into the model with the land side data that creates the output.

      • saw that then and they are completely out to lunch. But totally unapologetic how can this be.

        75% of O2 is generated by sea base photosynthesis can this possibly be validated by this satellite.

    • I had another look at the animation and it’s better than you might think if you only looked at the opening image. It’s highly seasonal and the high northern hemisphere CO2 levels fade out in May/June, and by Sept/Oct it looks a lot closer to the CO2 map for the same period. I guess they knew that before releasing the animation. The real test of the animation will come when more satellite data is released.

    • elmer,
      maybe the co2 emissions maps and the computer modelled simulation you present are showing two different things. The top map shows emissions from the surface. You video show swirls and dispersals.

      NASA – November 17, 2014
      RELEASE
      NASA Computer Model Provides a New Portrait of Carbon Dioxide

      [image-50] An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.

      Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. ………..

      Despite carbon dioxide’s significance, much remains unknown about the pathways it takes from emission source to the atmosphere or carbon reservoirs such as oceans and forests. Combined with satellite observations such as those from NASA’s recently launched OCO-2, computer models will help scientists better understand the processes that drive carbon dioxide concentrations.
      http://www.nasa.gov/press/goddard/2014/november/nasa-computer-model-provides-a-new-portrait-of-carbon-dioxide/

      As you can see from the last sentence, a better understanding has been shown by that satellite image, as NASA have suggested.

      The science is not settled on the ‘well mixed gas’ co2.

      • If CO2 is not well-mixed then taking readings from the side of a Hawaiian volcano seems to be somewhat ill-advised.

      • That was tongue in cheek. I put the phrase inside an apostrophes.

        There is much in Lindzen’s statement: “The consensus was reached before the research had even begun.”

    • BIG up tick to you Elmer! Where exactly is all the scary bright red CO2 which NASA showed us, swirling like a fire-storm of death? It doesn’t look like anything that on this new satellite measurement system! I look forward to seeing the NH summer data next year…

    • The sattelite data doesn’t show above 60N where all the red is in the NASA video. In the winter, all of the Arctic would be off the scale on a short term sattelite map. The Arctic isn’t a source of this big plume. That CO2 is being delivered in the upper atmosphere from the southern tropics. It is interesting to see the few dark blue spots in the southern ocean that possibly indicate strong sinks of upwelling cold waters. Time will tell if they will be able to calculate emission and sink rates for specific areas from their mass of accumulated data.

    • If you make apples to apples comparison and take a look at the model output for October, they match pretty well. For other months, we’ll need to wait till the satellite spends a bit longer time in orbit.

    • First off, this seems to be spring in the northern hemisphere whereas the new animation is set in late fall. Second, we are looking at colors. You would want both color transforms matched before jumping out the window.

    • Elmer, you are looking at two complete different things: the animation is over a full year, that is over all seasons, the OCO-2 satellite data are over 1.5 month only, That is in Austral spring, when oceans start to warm up and release more CO2 in the SH. One need to look at the total CO2 movements over a full year. looking at 1.5 month of data where the bulk of the CO2 movements are seasonal is only fooling oneself, as Tim Ball frequently does…

      • That is in Austral spring, when oceans start to warm up and release more CO2 in the SH.
        ——————-

        YUP, … and that occurs each and every Austral spring after the September 23rd Autumnal equinox …. which is “proof-positive” defined by the “saw tooth” pattern of the Keeling Curve Graph.

        There is nothing else in the natural world that can explain that steady and consistent bi-yearly cycling of atmospheric CO2 ppm ….. other than the changing of the equinoxes.

        Nothing, nada, zilch, zero.

    • The image at top is extraordinarily different from the still on the YouTube display. But I wondered about this, as I recalled that the animation varied tremendously during the year.

      Compare that to this much closer image from the animation, grabbed from near the beginning of the period studied by the OCO in the top figure:

      A month later, the picture is entirely different, and more like the one displayed in your comment.

      A few things occur to me:
      • The annual variation, at least as they’ve modeled it, creates a huge variation in appearance.
      • Despite this, the scale shows that this “huge” variation is only spanning a range of about 1.5%, or about 6 ppm, for most of the planet, though their color scale is badly chosen.
      • Previous studies suggested disparities in distribution of up to 5% across the hemispheres.
      • We should probably not get too hung up on this report, as it seems to “prove” little and is evidently reasonably consistent with their modeling of 2006.

      ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • Wow I’ll take it.

      So no wonder the Aussies are saying nyet to kyotonomics.

      I knew NZ was a carbon sink; not source; but I thought the Aussies were a coals to Newcastle source.

  5. Tim, you need a comma to separate the BBC’s “… lack of journalistic integrity[,] and political bias…”

      • Or really fix it: “As a result the BBC, whose political bias and lack of journalistic integrity [no comma] were exposed…”

  6. I live in Central South America basically there are no fires its ALWAYS wet/HUMID. It has probably one the highest rainfalls in the world and probably the most fertile soil anywhere with extremely lush very green vegetation. Its a pleasure to behold in contrast to the cold grey miserable skies most of the “civilized” world lives in. So yes the Co2 map above is very correct we would expect to see high C02 where there is high Oxygen production DUH as Bart Simpson would say. We are in fact providing you guys in North America and the rest of the rotten world (just joking) with 80% of the worlds oxygen production so be nice to us LOL. We may decide to cut back LOL.

    • Eliza – did you bother to read this thread or what in effect ‘actually’ is happening in the new satellite data……the reverse is true. Methane and hence CO2 emissions are overpowering the neutralising effect of the rainforest – the modelled sequence posted by Elmer is therefore not supported by the latest information from the satellite. Contrary to alarmist reasoning the tropical rainforests are a major net contributor of CO2 and therefore not cleaning up the NH act as previously assumed

      • Termite and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Facts:
        • Termites produce more Carbon Dioxide (CO2) each year than all living things combined.
        • Scientists have calculated that termites alone produce ten times as much carbon dioxide as all the fossil fuels burned in the whole world in a year.
        • Scientists estimate that, worldwide, termites may release over 150 million tons of methane gas into the atmosphere annually. In our lower atmosphere this methane then reacts to form carbon dioxide and ozone.
        • It is estimated that for every human on Earth there may be 1000 pounds of termites.

    • Mainly algae produce oxygen at the mouth of the Amazon River, where the waters are rich in organic materials brough by water.

      • I do not know what you mean with organic materials, but oxygen comes from photolysis of water.

        Also, the energy and reducing power obtained during photolysis is used to fix and reduce CO2. Algae are autotrophic, they use CO2 as a source of carbon, not organic materials.

      • “The investigators hypothesize that large tropical river plumes with low N: P ratios provide an ideal niche for diatom-diazotroph assemblages (DDAs). They suggest that the ability of these organisms to fix N2 within the surface ocean is responsible for significant C export in the Amazon River plume. Their previous observations in the Amazon River plume helped reveal that blooms comprised of the endosymbiotic N2-fixing cyanobacterium Richelia and its diatom hosts (e.g. Hemiaulus) were a significant source of new production and carbon export. The previous work focused largely on the sensitivity of DDAs to external forcing from dust and riverine inputs, so the ecology of these organisms and the fate of their new production were largely unstudied. It is now known that DDAs are responsible for a significant amount of CO2 drawdown in the Amazon River plume, and floating sediment traps at 200 m measured 4x higher mass fluxes beneath the plume than outside the plume. This led the researchers to hypothesize that this greater export is due either to aggregation and sinking of DDAs themselves or to grazing of DDAs by zooplankton.”
        http://dornsife.usc.edu/labs/capone/anacondas

      • CONCLUSIONS

        The presence on the Continental Shelf of waters from the Amazon River is indicated by low salinity levels, together with high levels of nutrients and total particulate material. On the other hand, the presence of the oceanic waters is significant during the falling of discharge period.

        During this period no large variations were observed in pH levels, the belt was always alkaline, and the dissolved oxygen values characterize the area as a saturated to supersaturated environment. Of the nitrogen cycle phases, dissolved organic nitrogen predominates, followed by total particulate nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium and nitrite, in that order, both for the euphotic and for the aphotic layers. The figures for nitrate and ammonium indicate a non-impacted area, and the anomalous negative values of the inorganic dissolved nitrogen in a large area of the Amazon Continental Shelf show that there is more removal than addition of this nitrogenated form.

        The data for chlorophyll a in the eutrophic area indicate that there is sufficient nitrogen to withstand productivity in this area, though with DIN removal processes are faster than those of regeneration or mineralization.

        Simulation results obtained with the bidimensional analytical approach MAAC-2D model confirmed that the main geophysical processes contributing to the horizontal distribution of nutrients in the Amazonian shelfis the temporal changes in continental rivers discharges associated to seasonal variability of NBC and tradewinds. During periods of transition between high and low discharges high phosphate and nitrate concentrations are present in the northern part of coastal area once nutrients are transported northwestward by a strongest NBC, while during the high discharge period phosphate and nitrate concentrates on the central and southern parts of the Amazonian shelf, as a result of the spreading of Amazon freshwater outflow.
        http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0001-37652008000400011

  7. That map is very telling and no real surprise.

    I always thought the most dangerous human induced co2 emissions comes from activists breathing out at UN ‘save the world’ cermons.

  8. [Methane]…….. “But one thing is certain: The fact it hasn’t been factored into previous global warming predictions means forecasts even as recent as the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are too conservative.”

    But the planet has factored it in. No surface warming for over 18 years.

  9. This will not alter the course of Paris 2015.

    AR5 is already in, and even if there are some papers, published next year, on the preliminary findings of OCO-2. these papers will not be reviewed by the politicians that come together to decide how the world should be screwed.

    If no progress is made at Paris 2015, which seems probable, then this data may be relevant for AR6. However, a long time ago, I suggested that there would not be an AR6. The divergence problem between models and relaity, and the inconvenience that Climate Sensitivity must be towards the low end of the spectrum will be too embarassing for the IPCC to acknowledge. It will simply cease to function, and probably a new cause celebre will be found with much the same political ends.

    Pity that the developed world will by then have been saddled with high energy costs, unreliable energy and inefficient industry.

    • “Pity that the developed Western Democratic world will by then have been saddled with high energy costs, unreliable energy and inefficient industry.”
      ——————-
      Fixed.

  10. This continues to demonstrate the lack of science practiced in the ‘climate community’. They have formulated their theory (more like a law in their minds), and then search for evidence that supports them. When evidence doesn’t support them, they spew excuses or they simply change the data.

    • Richard, I agree, going out and taking actual observations is horrible science. Models all the way down is the only way to go.

  11. Can you give a reference for the table cited, attributed to Dr. Dietrich Koelle? I’ve tried Googling Koelle, and see a Dietrich Koelle associated with spaceflight research – same person? Anyhow, would like a lit. citation so I can track it down.
    -Jerry

  12. I thought there was evidence for human impact on atmospheric CO2 levels via carbon isotopes. Is this not the case?

  13. The satellite data is another nail in the coffin of AGW. There is not the faintest whiff of NH industrial CO2 shown by the NASA image.
    B Gates now has real cause to wet himself-
    his cherished CAGW is now belly up.

    • The CO2 emission from industry is not seasonal, but continuous. If this image does not show it, then why should we imagine that future data will? I’m skeptical that NH manmade CO2 will ever be detected by this
      Satellite unless they figure out a way to FIX it, as I feel assured that will be done if it can be, like ARGO, like satellite altimetry (sea level), and whatever. As I say, I’m skeptical. I have a profound skepticism about the product of all these fine scientists who are sniffing around for AGW signs.

    • mpainter, look again at China. Also parts of Japan and Malaysia. Eastern seaboard of the US, the parts of the West Coast where the big cities are.

      • The US Eastern seaboard, where manufacturing used to be until we closed most of it down and sent it off to the Orient.

      • jorgekafkazar,

        Which on the face of it would tend to explain why the concentration over China is so much larger. They do have the “advantage” of having ~4.3 times more population, but their per capita CO2 emissions are about 50% ours (as of 2011): http://sagacommodities.com/files/custom/2011%20CO2%20emissions%20per%20capita.png

        Interesting to note their per capita emissions have quadrupled since 1990, while we’ve reduced by what, 15% or so?

      • Samuel C Cogar,

        Not always. I’ve seen some recent papers on Dubai, where human activities tend to increase, not decrease, albedo meaning they tend to warm more slowly than the surrounding undisturbed desert. Not meant as a rebuttal, more a point of interest. The main UHI effect is measurement bias and microclimate changes. The macroclimate effects are negligible as urban and semi-urban areas represent such a fractional percentage of the surface.

      • UHI are where temp. readings come from, and airports, all greatly disproportionately represented in the record. This is one reason why hadcrut, giss, and others run hotter than satellites.

      • mpainter,

        UHI are where temp. readings come from, and airports, all greatly disproportionately represented in the record.

        You’d think someone would have thought about that by now and done something to identify and correct any biases.

        This is one reason why hadcrut, giss, and others run hotter than satellites.

        Does your analysis take into account that the lower troposphere is not trending at the same rate as other layers higher up?

        http://www.remss.com/measurements/upper-air-temperature

        TLT 0.122 K/decade
        TMT 0.077 K/decade
        TTS 0.010 K/decade
        TLS -0.273 K/decade

      • For more accurate GM temps, rely on satellite. The others have been tampered with., especially the CRU product from EAU, the dishonesty of Phil Jones being well-documented in the climate gate emails.
        Hansen and Schmidt’s egregious bias toward fabrication is also well documented.

  14. As I pointed out in the other thread, they have only just begun the process of calibration, they have only done so against two (that’s 2) ground stations, and they themselves didn’t claim any level of accuracy, they said the results were “promising”. So WAY to early to be drawing any conclusions from this data.

    That said, the assumption in the discussion seems to be that CO2 should be higher over industrialized areas. That seems logical to me, but I would certainly not assume it to be true without testing it, and for good reason. Consider the prevailing wind, and suppose it blows from a heavy agricultural area to an industrial area. A corn crop for example can easily exhaust the CO2 at ground level to the point where it can’t grow anymore until wind brings in surrounding air that hasn’t been exhausted, or caused mixing with higher elevation air. So suppose for a moment that the prevailing wind comes from an area of low CO2 concentration and then travels over an industrialized area where CO2 production is high, but only high enough to replaced the deficit being supplied by the prevailing wind. In that instance, we’d have a situation where CO2 levels are absolutely being elevated by human activity, but the industrialized area would show “normal” perhaps even “below normal” levels of CO2, leading to erroneous conclusions about industrial areas producing CO2.

    The opposite could also be true. Consider an ocean expelling CO2 due to cold water being warmed, and the prevailing wind blowing it across a nearby desert. Everyone looks at the high CO2 level over the desert and starts wondering about fires or termites… I start wondering about prevailing winds and what other processes in the vicinity might be adding to local effects.

    Its just a lot more complicated issues than looking at a map of uncalibrated results and trying to draw conclusions about where the CO2 is and where it came from.

    • davidmhoffer

      You are right that it is far too early to draw any firm conclussions.

      One will need at least 12 months of data, on a fortnightly or monthly basis, before we have any idea as to the annual CO2 cycle.

      The scale is only 15ppm from highs to low, so we are only talking about small variations, and the source of these small variations is yet to be scientifically ascertained.

      That said, the more detailed data that is collected, the more likely that the ‘theory’ will be undermined, not least because it will suggest that there are scientific uncertainties, and that not everything is known and understood.

      This data brings with it dangers for the cult warmists..

      • I understand what you are saying, however this is a data stream and therefore conclusions can be made from it. We may not be able to conclude the amount of CO2 in any location but as a comparison with other areas it should be accurate – it just hasnt been calibrated to match other data sets .

        It still shows very precisely where the concentrations of CO2 are and where they are not. That is what is surprising as the conditions in the tropical rainforests do not alter particularly significantly so why are the plumes over the rainforests and not the industrial N hemisphere with its currently dormant photosynthesis. That is going to take some explaining.

        I also would have thought that it would be known if any major eruptions were happening on the ocean floor to cause a massive CO2 plume out in the ocean – especially such broadly circular ones – a volcanic plume would be a narrow band at that scale. Much more likely this is outgassing plumes caused by ocean current overturning

      • Same point that I have been trying to make. Where are the CO2 emissions of the NH industrial/transport/ power generation etc. etc.

      • mwh

        I understand your point as to why can’t we see high concentrations of manmade CO2 over the industrial heartlands of the developed world.

        However, manmade CO2 emissions only account for about 3% of the total CO2. In other words manmade emissions are dwarfed by the CO2 emissions from natural sources so without extremely fine resolution, we are unlikely to readily see manmade emissions showing up.

        This is particularly so since manmade emissions are made up of many activities, eg. car transport, ship transport, air transport, industrialisation, crop burning etc. Each of these would have a different geographical ‘hot spot’ but one is then only talking of say 40% of 3% which would be just 1.2% of annual global CO2 emissions from all sources, or 20% of 3%, or 10% of 3% etc such that each ‘hot spot’ is only a miniscule proportion of total CO2 emissions being measured.

        I do not know how sensitive the measurements are, and the results have yet to be properly callibrated and compared with some proper base line over some proper period.

        My own take is that this data will tell us more about the carbon cycle, the carbon sinks and turn over etc.

      • MWH, Tim Ball is jumping to conclusions on 1.5 months of data. That has not the slightest interest for knowing what happens over a full year, that is over a full seasonal cycle. Indeed human emissions are ~10 GtC/year as CO2, while natural emissions are ~90 GtC in and out of the oceans and ~60 GtC out and in the biosphere (countercurrent of each other). That is about 7% of natural emissions. But what I never see from Tim Ball and other “skeptics” is the amount of natural sinks. Here the latest estimates (in = into the atmosphere):

        Oceans:
        90 GtC in, 93.5 GtC out of which:
        50 GtC in, 50.5 GtC out for the ocean surface (seasonal)
        40 GtC in, 43,5 GtC out for the deep oceans (permanently between equator and poles and back via the deep)
        Biosphere (land and sea plants, bacteria, insects, animals):
        60 GtC in, 61 GtC out
        Humans (fossil fuel use):
        10 GtC in, 0 GtC out

        The total balance over the past 55 years is that humans are the sole contributors to the increase and nature is a net absorber over the full period:

        Natural variability in sink capacity is +/- 1 ppmv (2.1 GtC) around the trend, that is less than halve the current human yearly emissions.

      • F Engelbeen if what you said was true then the Mauna Loa CO2 graph would be far more exponential (upwardly curving) than it is, the almost total lack of increasing rate after such recent increases in man made emissions would mean that natural sinks are increasing as well and containing the worst of the rise. The insistence that the increase is purely manmade just doesnt stack up with manmade output increases and the Mauna Loa CO2 graph being virtually linear

      • mwh, human emissions, sink rate and increase in the atmosphere are all three going up slightly quadratic. That makes that total emissions and increase in the atmosphere have a near perfect ratio over the past 111 years:

        I don’t know of any natural source that will mimic human emissions in such a perfect way and exact timing…

        The positive point is that the sink rate still is in ratio with the increase in the atmosphere (within the large natural variability), which shows that the deep oceans and/or plants are not saturating in their CO2 uptake, rejecting the Bern model of the IPCC which implies such a saturation…

    • Good points. We live at 5000 ft near the Bighorn Mountains and summer brings smoke from forest fires. It does not take many hours of a change of wind direction to change the smoke content of the air and it is very visible. The usual prevailing winds from the north also send most of our mosquitoes to Colorado. One could assume, I would think, the same behaviour for CO2 concentrations.

    • David, the issue is net emissions, not regional variations. If corn farming absorbs all the CO2 emitted by regionally adjoining industrial activity, then the net emission approximates zero.

      If industrial CO2 emissions are being absorbed by agriculture, the global atmospheric CO2 increase is from a source other than industrial emissions.

    • Davidhoffer,
      I suggest that you look into the data of the Japanese JAXA satellite. Seems to show no NH net CO2.

      “Looks promising” they told Holdren. They don’t have much wriggle room, do they? Not with JAXA as a check.

    • not sure I agree. The maximum concentration should be at the source. Prevailing winds would only distribute and reduce the concentration, no?

      • The maximum change should be at the source. Until you know what the baseline is, you cannot tell if a particular region is going up or going down, let alone why. So we have a snapshot in time that is not calibrated and lacks year over year data, so has no baseline.

        If someone showed up with satellite temps over a three month period that were poorly calibrated to just two land based stations and concluded that some areas are warmer than average and some less with this kind og granularity on a global scale, we’d be in hysterics.

  15. one more time….
    Drought causes elevated CO2 levels…
    The congo has been in a drought….
    The rainy season is usually Oct – May…
    The rainy season was late…this was Oct 1 – Nov 11

  16. Re The C02 map above:for the highly uneducated amongst us (joke). Try opening a bottle of coke left outside the fridge at room temperature in the tropics (26C) and then compare it with one opened from your fridge (at 4C). Hear the fizzzz and see the bubbkles in the hot one?. So yes the map above is totally correct. In warm areas you would EXPECTto see much higher atmospheric C02.

  17. OT but I totally support Tim Ball he has been complete correct about his assertions everywhere he has published about the AGW scam. I applaud this site’s effort to support this wonderful person and his efforts.

    • Thanks, Eliza. Tim signed your check just this morning and I dropped it in the mail.
      [Just kidding. John]

  18. “Preliminary evidence essentially exonerates humans as the source of CO2”
    No Tim Ball it doesn’t. I am sure you are familiar with the “CO2 rug”graph that has been around for more than a decade.

      • Hans published the seasonal graph at the other discussion on WUWT. Here the graph again:

        Looking at 1.5 months of data doesn’t say anything about the total contribution over a full seasonal cycle…

      • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen: December 22, 2014 at 2:00 am
        ——————–

        And just why is the above graph so far outta kilter …. and with a 20 ppm yearly CO2 fluctuation between the North and South Pole?

      • Wow Ferdinand,

        I have been wondering where and why NASA/NOAA disappeared that three D CO2 cycle map.

        Nobody has yet explained to me why the largest amplitude cycle of CO2 variation on earth is at the north pole, where there are no trees or grass to engage in biological exchange with the atmosphere.

        I have an original uncolored version of thet map which I got off some NOAA web site, but when I started asking questions about it, they disappeared it.

        For one thing the roughly 18-20 ppm cyclic amplitude at the north pole, puts the lie to the claim that CO2 persists in the atmosphere for 200 years.

        That extra 20 ppm vanishes in about 5 months, and leads to about a 2.5 year decay time constant, if 280 ppm is presumed to be the natural baseline level that CO2 is trying to decay to.

        How very clever to plot that 3-D graph rising to the right, instead of declining to the right.

        It gives the illusion of a growing amount of CO2. Well it is growing, but not as depicted in that distorted 3-D.

        Clearly something is removing CO2 very rapidly at the north pole, and it isn’t trees or cornfields.

        I have posited that it happens during the arctic ice melt, when the CO2 deficient ice melts to yield open water that is deficient in CO2 due to the segregation coefficient between liquid water, and solid water. Henry’s Law then sees to it that the ocean devours all that excess atmospheric CO2 at more than three times the Mauna Loa rate, as it returns to a normal ocean water CO2 level.

        Come the fall ice minimum, when the refreeze starts, and that ocean water freezing, will again disgorge tons of CO2 as well as NaCl rejected from the solid state at the freezing interface, and in the case of the CO2, then rejected by the ocean, into the atmosphere, as the Henry’s Law limit is exceeded, by the CO2 expelled from the ice.

        But that is my opinion of course and not to be depended on.

        A Scripps CO2 expert said that was all bunk, but couldn’t explain why the fastest CO2 atmosphere exchange occurs where there are no trees or grass or cornfields.

        Yes I know there is all that biology going on under the water; and none of that EVER happens around Antarctica, where the oceans are biologically dead, and the atmospheric CO2 never changes, as depicted in that 3-D plot.

        Notice that there is almost no significant cyclic CO2 variation south of the equator, including all the southern ocean. So much for ocean biological cycles.

      • Samuel C Cogar, repeated seasonal fluctuation doesn’t say anything about a trend over longer periods.
        It takes 20-25 years of data to (statistically) know the few mm trend of sea level change within the meters of waves and tides and storm fluctuations. It takes only 2-3 years of data to see the trend in CO2 change above the average seasonal variations…
        And indeed, while the trends are more or less the same at near the North Pole and the South Pole, the SH lags the NH with 1-2 years. Which proves that the main source of the CO2 increase is in the NH:

      • george e. smith,

        The main seasonal changes are in the extratropical vegetation where a lot of trees restart to grow in spring and shed their leaves in fall. That can be seen in the opposite movement of CO2 levels and δ13C levels. The highest amplitude is near ground above the polar circle (Barrow), but the same amplitude can be found at 1000 m height in Schauinsland, southern Germany, midst the Black Forest. Most of the amplitude changes in Barrow is imported from more southerly latitudes by the Ferrel cells which circulate from the mid latitudes at height to the North and back near sealevel…
        Again, the amplitude is dominated by vegetation growth and wane (including in the oceans), but that is not the cause of the trend, neither of the speed with which the extra CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. The seasonal processes are fast, temperature dependent processes which are hardly influenced by the increased CO2 pressure (pCO2) in the atmosphere. The removal of CO2 (in oceans and more permanent organics) is a pressure dependent process, which is hardly influenced by temperature…

  19. Coloration be damned, Figure 1 has a range of only 15 ppm with most of the differences about half of that.
    So what’s the big deal?

  20. It’s been known since at least 2011 that most global CO2 emissions arise from the equatorial tropics plus East Asia. Chiefio blogged about this, discussing the global CO2 measurements from the Japanese JAXA satellite.

    The truly ironical twist was that North America and Europe were net CO2 absorbers, mostly because of their intense agriculture. So, it seems that the industrialized world is absorbing CO2 and the non-industrial world is emitting it. The charming confusion of the JAXA spokesman describing this unexpected result is touching.

    Chiefio went on to an entertainingly droll conclusion, ala the fatuous morality of the IPCC and its fellow-righteous, that the under-developed nations obviously owed climate reparations to the industrialized countries, for their purported crime of GHG-induced climate change.

      • Look at the individual months, Bill. Taking 2013 as typical, January 2013, the NH Winter, shows predominant CO2 emissions in north Equatorial Africa, China, and, surprisingly, around Pakistan. Industrialized North America and Western Europe are lower emitters than the former areas. The same holds true in January 2014, except possibly the disparity is greater.

        In July 2013, the NH Summer, the greater emitters were sub-equatorial Africa and the South American rain forest. Once again, North America and Europe are lesser emitters. The same looks to be true after checking months in the other available years. The JAXA page display shows similar results.

        June 2013 is interesting, in that North America has emissions now equivalent to northern non-industrial equatorial Africa, except that the NA heavier emission areas extend well up into the Canadian Arctic. Likewise the Siberian Arctic looks to be a high CO2 emitter. These last clearly cannot be due to industrial activity.

        May 2014, the latest monthly chart, shows southern US and northern Mexico with approximately equivalent emissions to northern Africa. In the American south, CO2 emissions appear higher in southern Alabama and Louisiana (bayou country) than around Galveston/Houston (oil refinery country).

        High emissions also extend right across northern Europe, and through the sparsely industrialized sub-Arctic Russia, all the way East through Japan. Alaska and the Canadian Arctic again have some strong emission areas. Some of that should clearly be industrial, but some seems very unlikely to be so.

        All of this leads one to wonder whether the emissions that do occur in industrial areas can be due only to industry and transport. That is, even around urban regions, might there be globally significant ecological sources of CO2?

        For our Australian cousins, by the way, it appears you folks are never a serious global source of CO2 emissions, no matter what the time of year. You slackers! :-)

    • If politicians were being sensible, as soon as repariation is concenred, the developed world ought to tell the developing world that there will be no financial reparation from developed world to developing world since the developed world are carbon neutral or a carbon sink, and it is the developng world that are the net CO2 emitters.

      Of course, we do not live in a sensible world so even though the industrial developed world are not net CO2 producers, tehy will still end up paying compensation to those who are net CO2 producers.

      That is the crazy world of the UN.

      • Now I wasa thinking, is not the industrial developed world a “sequester” and “transporter” of zillions of tons of CO2, each and every year?

        Now, fer instance, consider the San Joaquin Valley in California or the upper Midwest in Iowa and Nebraska, ….. which sequesters zillions of tons of CO2 in the agricultural products (vegetables, beef, corn, etc.) that they produce and then transports those products to the urban areas all across America …. where that sequestered CO2 is either re-sequestered or outgassed back into the atmosphere.

        So, CAGW wise, shouldn’t those agricultural locales be both “temperature & CO2 poor” compared to those urban areas?

  21. The African hotspot of CO2, as shown here, is over a “moist subhumid” area. I suspect this is seasonal. CO2 globally tends to peak globally when most land areas are experiencing spring, due to warming temperatures accelerating decay of dead vegetable matter. So, it seems natural to me that subhumid southern Africa would have a CO2 spike in its springtime. I would like to see the color coded CO2 map progress over a whole year, as vegetated areas that have seasons alternate between being net CO2 sources and net CO2 sinks. The “CO2 rug” graph shows strong seasonal variations by latitude, with the northern and southern hemispheres taking turns at being net sources and net sinks, and the land-rich northern hemisphere varying more by season.

    Meanwhile, the amount of CO2 generated by fossil fuel burning is well known, and greater than what the atmosphere gained – nature as a whole has been a net sink of CO2, not a net source.

    • “… nature as a whole has been a net sink of CO2, not a net source.”
      ———————–
      That may be the single most important point in the entire worldwide discussion about CO2.

      • Now talking about “net sinks”, …..

        I have yet to see any estimations as to how many gigatons of calcium carbonate that is being per se, permanently sequestered each year in the oceans, lakes and rivers of the world via shell-forming invertebrates, etc., etc. To wit:

        Calcium carbonate is essentially insoluble in sea surface waters today. Shells of dead calcareous plankton sinking to deeper waters are practically unaltered until reaching the lysocline where the solubility increases dramatically.
        Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate_compensation_depth

      • I haven’t seen that, either and am not sure that we have any idea. Some wag here at WUWT recently remarked that mankind’s true purpose must be to reintroduce sequestered carbon into the biosphere. It’s no secret that CO2 atm/v was over 8,000 ppm during the age(s) of megafauna and had dwindled to around 300ppm before we came along. Woe be to life on the planet if CO2 atm/v fell to 200 ppm.

        Recent discoveries hint that sources for volcanic release of CO2 may be other than mere subducted limestone and that the deep mantle may contain enormous amounts of C/CO2.

  22. Just to try to put things in perspective, the range of that NASA map is 15.5 parts per million or about 4% of total CO2. Never mind the instrumental accuracy, are we not looking at another case of inappropriate precision?

    • David Chappell, 4% does not strike me as unrealistic precision. The mission target is +/- 1 ppm accuracy, with calibration/validation to be done against ground based instruments.

      • The bigger issue is the BS coloring of the map in Fig. 1. C’mom, using red to depict the most CO2, and blue the least is simply to subliminally sway the uninformed to think the difference is huge and that it is hotter in those spots due to CO2. As I posted up thread and David repeated, the entire range of the map is only 15.5 ppm with most of the differences only about half that. So I ask again, what’s the big deal?

      • Tom in Florida,

        If they had set dark blue to 0 ppm and red to 400 ppm, how well do you think you’d be able to see anything except red?

      • Perhaps they should set up some special stations to measure DWLWIR and temperature under these ‘hot spots’, and if these are seasonal only, as some suggest, throughout the year there should be changes to DWLWIR and temperature that perhaps we can begin to link with the CO2 concentrations.

      • Brandon Gates
        December 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm
        “If they had set dark blue to 0 ppm and red to 400 ppm, how well do you think you’d be able to see anything except red?”

        You still miss the point. The depiction of such a small variation with such a large change in color scheme is deceitful. My suggestion would be to take the median of 387 – 402, make that a medium blue and adjust the lower amount to a slightly lighter blue and the higher amount to a slightly darker blue. Then you would have a more meaningful depiction without the fake alarmism.

      • Mr Gates, I didn’t say unrealistic, I said inappropriate. The target may well be +/-1ppm (though that immediately degrades the value of the colour scheme selected) but what is the spatial and temporal precision? Is it like the temperature fudges, one reading per 1200km square?

      • David Chappell,

        Mr Gates, I didn’t say unrealistic, I said inappropriate. The target may well be +/-1ppm (though that immediately degrades the value of the colour scheme selected) …

        I really don’t understand how the choice of scaling — which is all about range of observed values — has anything to do with precision of the values within the range.

        … what is the spatial and temporal precision?

        I gather from my readings that temporal resolution is about 16 days (233 orbits @99 minutes) to obtain global coverage. With mission life expected to be 730 days, the math says we’d get 45 “complete” global snapshots.

        Each spectral sounding captures 3 km^2 of surface, and the instrument is capable of nabbing 72,000 of them per sunside orbit. That implies the spacecraft will take one sounding every 0.3 linear km of travel (with ~9x oversampling) so that’s an approximate latitudinal resolution.

        At the equator, longitudinal resolution is no nearly as impressive at 172 km. Multiply by 0.6 = 106 km * 0.3 km = 32 km^2. In perfect conditions. If my math is not horribly wrong. [1]

        Is it like the temperature fudges, one reading per 1200km square?

        Much better, or worse depending on how you look at it. There are far more ground-based temperature monitoring stations than CO2 observing installations so in that sense it’s a vast improvement. But as with all remote sensing solutions, conditions are not always perfect etc., etc., so the final product will be the result of many models and interpolations.

        —————————

        [1] Calcs:

        40,075 km – circumference of Earth
        20,038 km – 1/2 circumference of Earth

        20,038 km / 72,000 observations = 0.278 km between observations

        40,075 km / 233 equator crossings = 172 km between crossings

      • Tom in Florida,

        The depiction of such a small variation with such a large change in color scheme is deceitful.

        Oh good grief. There are good arguments to not use a rainbow color scheme for heat maps because the luminance changes can trick the eye into finding significance where none exists. In this case, that’s going to happen in the yellows and other “light” colors. But so long as there’s a legend clearly showing what colors map to which values “deceit” is an inappropriately strong term to use.

      • “…so the final product will be the result of many models and interpolations.”

        No need to say more.

      • David Chappell,

        No need to say more.

        Ahhh, the climate contrarian’s favorite out. I’m curious, do you reject any and all science which uses statistical and physical modeling and/or other methods of infilling data? Or do you only stop thinking and reading when you observe those sorts of standard tools are applied to climate research?

      • Of course, any model employed by climateerz will produce the required resultz. Mustn’t let the faithful off the hook, you see. The movement needs bolstering, you see.

  23. Policy based evidence manufacturing?
    The ironies abound, for every aspect of climate for which we are told we lack measurements and certain doom must there for await..
    When the devices to measure that unknown is finally produced, at less than government speed, the actual data seems to deflate the narrative.

    I guess they should have stuck with Treemometers.

  24. Sorry folks but I am not sure this means anything. The data shows CO2 concentrations highest in the southern hemisphere tropics/temperate zone but the data was taken during the southern hemisphere spring when temperatures are warming at the fastest rate. If the same plot was taken 6 months later would it show the greatest CO2 levels in the northern hemisphere tropics/temperate zone? Then again, remember that only 5% of the total CO2 emission is down to fossil fuel use so 95% is natural. Would you expect a plot of CO2 levels to highlight the 5% or the 95%? I am very much a sceptic and I think there are excellent reasons to seriously question whether human use of fossil fuel is really the driver of CO2 concentration changes but we must remain as objective as possible else we fall into the same problem of bias as the warmists.

    • Michael Hammer, it doesn’t mean what Dr. Ball argues it does. In fact he doesn’t really argue it, he just says these observations refute the IPCC before oddly switching over to a long and dubiously relevant discussion of methane which takes up the bulk of his post. It’s been well-known for quite some time that natural CO2 fluxes dwarf the anthropogenic contribution, but one must always keep in mind that in equilibrium, half of those natural fluxes would be absorption.

      There are no surprises here, just good scientists following up on previous research and looking for higher resolution, better quality data.

    • Where is the CO2 from the much maligned NH industrial emissions? The power plants, cement burners, iron& steel, etc., etc. Where?

      • mpainter, buy a CO2 meter. Place it near the tailpipe of a running automobile and leave it for a few minutes. Take it to to another location away from any obvious vehicle exhausts and let it sit for the same amount of time. Report back with your results.

      • We are talking about a satellite, are we not?
        Go read the post, Gates. Do you see any anthropogenic CO2? Nice image, wrong message for the alarmists eh , Gates.

      • mpainter,

        Go read the post, Gates. Do you see any anthropogenic CO2?

        Ah, your third charming trick: repeating the same question after it’s already been answered. See again China perhaps?

        Nice image, wrong message for the alarmists eh , Gates.

        If you want to couch it in those terms, the IPCC kicked that own goal a while ago:

        Natural fluxes out: 210 GtC/year. Anthro fluxes out: 6.4 GtC/year. [reviews the OCO-2 plot] Where’s the discrepancy again?

      • Well, Gates
        I see that you prefer cartoons to satellite data.

        What should be done with the Greenpeace creeps who vandalized Nazca? Your fellow global warmers?

      • mpainter,

        Once again, you dodge the question I posed. Is there something in that cartoon which disrupts your narrative?

        For the record, Greenpeace should make restitution. If they don’t offer it voluntarily I support legal action forcing them to do so.

  25. The first odd thing I saw with this graphic was that it appeared to contradict the Mauna Loa inspired global average CO2 level as 400 ppm. If the tropics were serious producers, and the Antarctic, either non-producers or absorbers, I would have expected the tropics to be pumping out much more than 402.5 ppm to get the global average to 400. (I’m aware of the seasonal variation of CO2; my point still stands even if November’s was 398 ppm).

    Looks like a 12-month study of global CO2 is going to say Mauna Loa is too high, despite all the corroborating stations elsewhere in the world. Or that the 12-month, satellite record will have to be “adjusted” to reflect the “truth”. And will have to be every year of measurement.

    Which says the satellite doesn’t “measure” anything, it calculates from some non-perfected, infinitely adjustable (for “good reasons”) equation.

    Nothing is certain, nothing is settled in CAGW. Except ideology.

    • You definitely have to look at a full year, not the 1.5 month of current OCO-2 data. The seasonal variation at Mauna Loa is +/- 4 ppmv, at ground level (Barrow) it is +/- 8 ppmv. In the SH it is less than +/- 1 ppmv. Besides that, oceans in the tropics are permanent sources of CO2 and the cold polar waters are permanent sinks, which return their CO2 via the deep oceans back to the tropical upwelling zones, some 1000 years later…

      • In reply to Ferdinand Engelbeen –

        oceans in the tropics are permanent sources of CO2 and the cold polar waters are permanent sinks, which return their CO2 via the deep oceans back to the tropical upwelling zones, some 1000 years later…

        Odd that there is light blue over the tropical oceans. Odd the major source of CO2 appears to be in the southern hemisphere overland. I support your assertion that more data is required, however, the surface CO2 data that is available does not appear to strongly support the assertion that the majority of the recent CO2 rise is anthropogenic.

        As Salby’s notes the only CO2 ’emission’ which we are sure of is anthropogenic. If Salby’s assertion is correct – Salby asserts that the majority of the recent CO2 rise is non-anthropogenic – then there is a major source of low C13 CO2 which we are not aware of and the planet absorbs/uses more CO2 than estimated.

      • William, I was in London where Dr. Salby did give his speech in the parliament. The few pertinent questions I had still remain unanswered. Main points:
        – If the oceans warm up, the equilibrium gets 8 ppmv/°C higher. That is all. Higher temperatures on land tend to decrease CO2 levels, but over the long run, oceans are dominant.
        Dr. Salby integrates the temperature increase over time. That can’t be right, as any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere will push more CO2 into the oceans (Henry’s law).
        – He assumes that there is a huge migration of CO2 in ice cores to explain the low levels over the past 800,000 years. But the (theoretical) migration in “warm” coastal ice cores is very low and in inland negligible. Moreover, if there was migration, that implies that the CO2 levels during glacial periods would be negative…

    • Doug – I would have expected the tropics to be pumping out much more than 402.5 ppm to get the global average to 400.

      Might be that the ppm include water vapor, not the ‘dry air’ as reported by Mauna Loa. See

      400 CO2 ppm / 104000 w/ water vapor included = 384 real air CO2 ppm

    • In reply to:
      Ferdinand Engelbeen

      William, I was in London where Dr. Salby did give his speech in the parliament. The few pertinent questions I had still remain unanswered. Main points:
      Dr. Salby integrates the temperature increase over time. That can’t be right, as any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere will push more CO2 into the oceans (Henry’s law).

      Ferdinand,
      It appears you have not listened to Salby’s presentation, as your comment ignores Salby’s findings. Whether you were or were not in London is irrelevant.

      You certainly have not thought about what is the solution to Salby’s observational paradox. A paradox is by definition an observational that cannot be explained by the standard ‘theory’. (Paradoxes are not change by those who ignore them. For example the IPCC ‘scientists’ are ignoring the fact that the planet has stopped warming.)

      In the case of this problem ‘What is the primary reason for the increase in atmospheric CO2’, the theory is the majority of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

      Salby found atmospheric CO2 changes as the integral of planetary temperature. Atmospheric CO2 does not changes in direct relationship with anthropogenic CO2 emission. That is an observational fact not a theory. You must I assume be aware that the mysterious CO2 sink increases to sequester more and more CO2. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have increased 40%. yet year by year atmospheric CO2 continues to increase roughly as the integral of temperature.

      Salby’s finding is not theoretical, it is an observational fact, that must be explained. The sinks and sources of CO2, except for the anthropogenic sources and sinks are not known. As Salby notes correctly in the paleo past planetary temperature rises and then CO2 increases. That is an observational fact also.

      As I have noted before the source of the earth’s oceans and CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere is from core released CH4 (The late Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Thomas Gold, in his book ‘Deep Hot biosphere The myth of Fossil fuels’ provides roughly 40 observations to support that assertion. For example he discusses the fact that there is coal seam that in the Canadian province of New Brunswick that runs vertically cut through sedimentary layers of different time periods.) The core released CH4 is deficient in C13 which explains why the C13/C12 ratio in sediments does not increase with geological time.

      The solution to the Salby’s observational paradox is the cause of the recent temperature increase (P.S. the cause of the recent temperature increase is not CO2. If the cause of the recent temperature increase was anthropogenic CO2 emissions there would not be a secession of warming, no warming, zilch warming, for 17 years.) is also causing an increase in low C13, CH4. The CH4 is converted to CO2 by it appears biological processes which explains the massive amount of CO2 emissions overland in the Southern hemisphere.

      • William, I have listened to Dr. Salby’s lecture in Germany and reacted on its publication at WUWT here:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/21/nzclimate-truth-newsletter-no-313/#comment-1346717
        It is because I had a lot of questions about his hypothesis that I travelled to London. Unfortunately the question time was limited (and he evaded the questions) and I was not properly dressed (no tie!) to follow the organization and Dr. Salby into the catacombs of the Parliament…

        Salby found atmospheric CO2 changes as the integral of planetary temperature.

        One can integrate any trend and compare it to any other trend: there is always a high correlation, but not necessarily a causation…
        Think about it: with an arbitrary offset it is easy to match the small rise in temperature with the rise in CO2. But that implies that at a constant temperature, as we have in the past 14/18 years, there will be a constant addition of CO2 due to the temperature difference with the offset. That violates Henry’s law of CO2 solubility in seawater: as the pCO2 in the atmosphere increases, less CO2 is released from the (warm) oceans and more is pushed in the (cold) oceans (and land vegetation), thus reducing the increase until a new equilibrium is reached:

        As Salby notes correctly in the paleo past planetary temperature rises and then CO2 increases.

        Yes, but what Dr. Salby didn’t notice is that there is no continuous growth after a temperature rise: the rise and drop of CO2 is not more than 8 ppmv/K NOT 8 ppmv/K/time as his integral implies.
        During the previous interglacial temperatures were higher than in this interglacial, but CO2 levels remained 270-290 ppmv for thousands of years. Today we are at 400 ppmv at a lower temperature…

        As I have noted before the source of the earth’s oceans and CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere is from core released CH4

        It may be historically so, but if you can explain why the CO2 in the atmosphere starts to increase and the 13C/12C ratio to decrease in exact timing and ratio to the human use of fossil fuels, you may have a point. I don’t see how the deep magma release of CH4 and CO2 would know when to increase over time and where on earth the human emissions would hide while the natural releases are not hiding…

        The CH4 is converted to CO2 by it appears biological processes which explains the massive amount of CO2 emissions overland in the Southern hemisphere.

        Most of the CH4 is oxidized to CO2 by OH radicals in the upper troposphere. The CO2 emissions overland in the SH are only seasonal, the satellite only shows a few weeks of data in Austral spring. Over a full year, the main increase starts in the NH, the SH lags the NH…

  26. Don’t get too excited just yet.
    Even the most ardent warmists accept that natural sources of CO2 are way larger than fossil-burning sources of CO2, and as all the natural sources will have a large seasonal component the sort of map the new measurements produce doesn’t prove anything at all.
    Warmist arguments – accepted by the majority of serious sceptics – that increases in atmospheric CO2 are down to fossil fuel burning rely on (1) the mass-balance argument – which I find very unconvincing- and (2) the carbon isotope ratio changes, which seem to me much more solid, although not quite clinching, perhaps.
    Hold your fire for now.
    But we can expect, over a couple of years, perhaps, some really exciting and perhaps surprising revelations from the new data.

    • mothcatcher,

      Even the most ardent warmists accept that natural sources of CO2 are way larger than fossil-burning sources of CO2, and as all the natural sources will have a large seasonal component the sort of map the new measurements produce doesn’t prove anything at all.

      Why wouldn’t “ardent warmists” accept that natural CO2 fluxes are larger than anthropogenic?

      • Brandon –
        Not quite sure of your point here – I agree they do! But you are right – the more trivial anthropogenic sources are, relative to natural, the tougher it may be to sell the idea. Is that what you are getting at?

      • mothcatcher, I understand why it’s counterintuitive at first blush. What unties it is to realize those large natural fluxes were happening before we industrialized, and tended toward an equilibrium. Our emissions, though a fraction of the natural outputs, are simply changing the equilibrium point. For the past million years or so of the current icehouse Earth regime, CO2 has never gone above about 300 ppmv; we’re currently flirting with 400. Those observations alone are difficult to chalk up to coincidence, never mind all the further research which has been done to confirm that yes, our activities really are causing the net rise.

      • the vast majority of people I talk to, on hearing that fossil fuel burning is only 4% of the total CO2 created each year simply don’t believe it. they have repeated been told that CO2 is going to destroy the world, so it is inconceivable to them that our production is only a small percentage of the total.

        they quite naturally assume that the 4% number cannot be true, because common sense tells them that you will not get a catastrophic change in the climate by emissions that are a small fraction of the total.

        otherwise global climate would fluctuate greatly with even small changes in vegetation, and land use changes would significantly outweigh fossil fuel burning as a source of CO2. After all, humans currently use 40% of the land for cities and agriculture, up from only 4% 150 years go.

        Therefore, land use change would significantly outweigh fossil fuel burning as a CO2 source, given that the natural CO2 fluxes are 96% of the total.

      • Moth catcher:
        What Gates is trying to say is that naturally emitted CO2 does not cause one to wet his britches.

      • Brandon Gates, you say,

        …those large natural fluxes were happening before we industrialized, and tended toward an equilibrium. Our emissions, though a fraction of the natural outputs, are simply changing the equilibrium point.

        That makes no sense.
        It assumes that natural fluxes are constant (!).

        1) If there was a lightning strike that lit a forest fire in Indonesia… the CO2 emissions would have spiked and thus moved the equilibrium point.
        2) If a couple or maybe three volcanoes occurred in the same half decade then… the same.
        3) If the MWP actually occurred and the ice-cores are accurate then the CO2 equilibrium would have moved 800 years later… so how small can the impact of man be to still be distinguished in the movement of the equilibrium?

        What makes industrialisation important? It has to be the significance of the CO2 emissions.
        But if the anthropogenic CO2 is so small relative to everything else then they aren’t very likely to be significant.

        Natural fluxes aren’t constant (anymore than anthropogenic fluxes). But natural fluxes (and hence their changes) dwarf the anthropogenic fluxes.

      • For the past million years or so of the current icehouse Earth regime, CO2 has never gone above about 300 ppmv; we’re currently flirting with 400. Those observations alone are difficult to chalk up to coincidence, never mind all the further research which has been done to confirm that yes, our activities really are causing the net rise.
        ==============
        that is illogical. low CO2 is consistent with low temperature during the ice ages. when temps warmed up, CO2 followed as would be expected.

        in the past 150 years, humans have converted more than 1/3 of the plants land surface to cities and agriculture. Given that natural fluxes are 25 times greater than human fossil fuel burning, and the land covers 3/10 of the globe, land use could account for 1/3 of 3/10 of 25 = potentially 2.5 times the impact of burning fossil fuel.

        In other words, if our land use changes increased natural release of CO2 by 1/5, and reduced CO2 absorption by 1/5, on only that fraction of the land surface that we have converted, that would equal all the CO2 from fossil fuel burning.

      • Brandon
        You’re attributing to me views that I don’t hold. Right now, I buy the idea that human activity has generated the additional CO2. However, I don’t think it’s a shoo-in and I’m still listening out for good alternative descriptions of what’s happening. The previous long period of CO2 stability is good evidence, but wholly circumstantial.

      • MCourtney,

        It assumes that natural fluxes are constant (!).

        “Tending toward equilibrium” implies that the system got out of equilibrium to begin with, which further implies non-constant fluxes: http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/graphs/ice-cores/vostok-ice-core-petit-web.gif

        I know practically every wiggle in Petit et al. 1999 from the raw data, so I’m quite in touch with the fact that CO2 fluxes and levels are anything but constant.

        1) If there was a lightning strike that lit a forest fire in Indonesia… the CO2 emissions would have spiked and thus moved the equilibrium point.

        True. Indonesians set things on fire themselves quite a bit as well. Look at Sumatra for starters. You’ll see some smudges in the neighborhood of Java as well.

        2) If a couple or maybe three volcanoes occurred in the same half decade then… the same.

        It takes a really big series of volcanic eruptions to make a dent. The vast majority of CO2 flux is from biological activity.

        3) If the MWP actually occurred and the ice-cores are accurate then the CO2 equilibrium would have moved 800 years later… so how small can the impact of man be to still be distinguished in the movement of the equilibrium?

        The MWP was cooler than the Eemian interglacial. Compare the CO2 levels between the two.

        But if the anthropogenic CO2 is so small relative to everything else then they aren’t very likely to be significant.

        300 ppm to 400 ppm is a 33% increase.

      • mothcatcher,

        You’re attributing to me views that I don’t hold.

        That wasn’t my intent, apologies. The general theme of this thread is extreme skepticism that humans are causing most of the observed CO2 rise, and you unfortunately caught some splash in my return fire.

      • ferdberple,

        that is illogical.

        It’s perfectly logical. And for a first approximation, the math is even easier than what you’ve done below.

        low CO2 is consistent with low temperature during the ice ages. when temps warmed up, CO2 followed as would be expected.

        Yes I know. Here’s this chart again: http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/graphs/ice-cores/vostok-ice-core-petit-web.gif

        Look all the way over to the top right and tell me if anything looks out of place to you.

        in the past 150 years, humans have converted more than 1/3 of the plants land surface to cities and agriculture. Given that natural fluxes are 25 times greater than human fossil fuel burning, and the land covers 3/10 of the globe, land use could account for 1/3 of 3/10 of 25 = potentially 2.5 times the impact of burning fossil fuel.

        Agriculture offsets much of that difference because corn fixes CO2 just like any photosynthetic organism. I don’t have the estimates handy for the net, but I don’t see that it’s material to the discussion at this point. CO2 in the atmosphere by our doing is still CO2 in the atmosphere. The radiative effects are still the same.

      • Brandon Gates, thank you for responding to me.

        “Tending toward equilibrium” implies that the system got out of equilibrium to begin with, which further implies non-constant fluxes…”

        OK, agreed. And that is my point. Non-constant fluxes existed before man acted.

        1) Yes. Man simulates nature. But it has been natural, as well. And so the results have been naturally caused, as well. Man wasn’t created 6000 years ago so it wasn’t a new thing. AGW is a meh.

        2) OK. That is true. But as the world is not that new it is still worth mentioning. Yes, that is true within current observations (you are right!) The vast majority of CO2 flux is from biological activity.
        But volcanism could still dominate. And over geological time – if a dangerous or newsworthy event could happen – it would.

        3) The MWP was comparable to now. And it was still 800 years ago. So, I think you should reconsider your objection. (Note: I don’t doubt that man’s influence is probably the cause of the increase in CO2 concentration).

        Finally, 300ppm to 400pmm is more than the rise in CO2 and it [is still] purely of academic interest… unless you can show that that potency matters.
        0.0003 to 0.0004 = meh.

        MEH, Shout I. Unless you can show potency.

        And that is what I am asking for you to provide, Brandon Gates.

      • MCourtney,

        But volcanism could still dominate. And over geological time – if a dangerous or newsworthy event could happen – it would.

        If you’re talking about a Lake Toba magnitude event, or the Yellowstone Caldera going up perhaps. The aerosol cooling effect would probably be the bigger problem, however.

        3) The MWP was comparable to now. And it was still 800 years ago. So, I think you should reconsider your objection.

        Depending on which reconstruction you look at, the MWP was still cooler than the Holocene maximum. Try matching up Marcott 2013 for the Holocene max and Moberg 2005 for the MWP.

        (Note: I don’t doubt that man’s influence is probably the cause of the increase in CO2 concentration).

        It’s difficult for me to see that from the arguments you’ve presented, but I’m content to take your word for it.

        MEH, Shout I. Unless you can show potency.

        And that is what I am asking for you to provide, Brandon Gates.

        We could start with Milankovich’s orbital parameters not being able to fully explain the Vostok ice core temperature records: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1C2T0pQeiaSTEVkSjV1LUZVZ3c

      • The above stated “CO2 equilibrium” ……. is no more than a “weazelworded” way of stating “average CO2 ppm”.

        And everyone should realize that ALL calculated “averages” are non-physical quantity numerical values that simply represents the mean or “central” value of a specific set of numbers or “number set”.

        All calculated “averages” are in equilibrium to their respective “number sets”, …. thus it is said “average” that is in equilibrium, … not the CO2 ppm quantity represented by the “number set”.

        Duh, iffen a farmer calculated the average weight of all the potatoes he had stored in ten (10) different potato bins …… he surely wouldn’t be claiming that he had a “potato equilibrium“, … would he?

      • Samuel C Cougar,

        The above stated “CO2 equilibrium” ……. is no more than a “weazelworded” way of stating “average CO2 ppm”.

        No. Equilibrium and average are two distinctly different concepts.

        And everyone should realize that ALL calculated “averages” are non-physical quantity numerical values that simply represents the mean or “central” value of a specific set of numbers or “number set”.

        True an average is a non-physical quantity but that doesn’t make them non-useful. There are cases when taking an average is the ONLY measurement option. A single good-old-fashioned alcohol bulb thermometer is a good example. Any single temperature measuring instrument is taking “instantaneous” averages.

        All calculated “averages” are in equilibrium to their respective “number sets”, …. thus it is said “average” that is in equilibrium, … not the CO2 ppm quantity represented by the “number set”.

        What is “ppm” if not akin to an average, hmm? Both involve dividing one numerical value by another to arive at some per unit quantity.

        Duh, iffen a farmer calculated the average weight of all the potatoes he had stored in ten (10) different potato bins …… he surely wouldn’t be claiming that he had a “potato equilibrium“, … would he?

        Of course not. As you’ve framed the question, it’s not one of equilibrium. If you’d like to discuss the market demand for potatoes per unit time relative to the rate the farmer is able to supply them, the the market clearing price of potatoes is determined by an equilibrium function somewhat more appropriate to the concept I’m actually writing about.

      • @ Brandon Gates: December 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

        What is “ppm” if not akin to an average, hmm?
        ——————

        “ppm” is parts per million …. and “NO”, ppm is not akin to an average.

        Brandon, getta clue, an “average” is a snap-shot-in-time abstract numerical value whose sole purpose is that of reference data or information.

        HA, an average is akin to ….. the square root of -1.

    • Typo (need sleep)
      “Finally, 300ppm to 400pmm is more than the rise in CO2 and it si till purely of academic interest”
      Should be,
      !Finally, 300ppm to 400pmm is more than the rise in CO2 and it is [still] purely of academic interest”.

      [8<)..mod]

    • Good points.

      Do you know of any CO2 data that shows the significant decrease in human CO2 production during economic recessions (of which we have had two or three in the past century)? Mauna Loa, last I saw, didn’t seem to capture those changes.

    • @ Brandon Gates: December 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

      No. Equilibrium and average are two distinctly different concepts.
      ——————

      You really need to familiarize yourself with the concept of “weazelwording”.

      • Samuel C Cogar,

        “ppm” is parts per million …. and “NO”, ppm is not akin to an average.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average

        In colloquial language average usually refers to the sum of a list of numbers divided by the size of the list, in other words the arithmetic mean. However, the word “average” can be used to refer to the median, the mode, or some other central or typical value.

        So the average of {1,2,3} = 1 + 2 + 3 / 3 = 2. ppm is the measurement of one thing divided by the measure of some other thing which contains it. Nearly the same arithmetic operation. Akin, not alike. Yes, I’m being pedantic.

        Brandon, getta clue, an “average” is a snap-shot-in-time abstract numerical value whose sole purpose is that of reference data or information.

        It doesn’t have to be a snapshot at a single point in time, means can be taken over a range of time.

        HA, an average is akin to ….. the square root of -1.

        Now you’re just creating imaginary abstractions …

        You really need to familiarize yourself with the concept of “weazelwording”.

        A 2009 study of Wikipedia found that most weasel words in it could be divided into three categories:

        1. Numerically vague expressions (e.g. “some people”, “experts”, “many”)
        2. Use of the passive voice to avoid specifying an authority (e.g. “it is said”)
        3. Adverbs that weaken (e.g. “often”, “probably”)

        “Most weasel words” being a delightful irony …

        Regardless, when I say “average” I generally mean “mean”. [giggle] When I talk about equilibrium in this context, I’m referring to this concept:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_equilibrium

        A dynamic equilibrium exists once a reversible reaction ceases to change its ratio of reactants/products, but substances move between the chemicals at an equal rate, meaning there is no net change. It is a particular example of a system in a steady state.

        The system we’re interested in being so large, taking averages is pretty much a necessity.

        Now, you can continue to invent nefarious equivocations on my part and I’ll just continue making really bad puns. Or you can accept my clarifying comments and we can get on with the actual discussion. Your choice; I’ll enjoy myself either way.

      • @ Brandon Gates: December 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

        Brandon, an “average” is an abstract numerical number (digit(s)) that is mathematically calculated to derive the mean numerical value of a specific entity (number set) and which is oftentimes expressed as a percentage (%) of said entity.

        And in actuality it matters not a twit what you use that calculated “average” for, it still only applies to the specific “number set” that was used for said calculation.

        Here, Brandon, pick whichever calculated CO2 ppm “dot” average on this graphic that “turns-your-crank” ….. and then explain to me how it defines, explains or infers an “equilibrium” to anything other than itself.

        And I specifically stated “weazelwording”, …not “weasel word”. Thus your Wikii definition of “weasel word”, to wit:

        1. Numerically vague expressions (e.g. “some people”, “experts”, “many”)

        Defines the fact that “equilibrium” was the weasel word that was used by or stipulated by the “weazelwording” weazelworder in the cited statement being discussed.

        So cease with your “weazelwording” in your futile attempt to justify your commentary about the value and/or use of “averages”.

      • Samuel C Cogar,

        Brandon, an “average” is an abstract numerical number (digit(s)) that is mathematically calculated to derive the mean numerical value of a specific entity (number set) and which is oftentimes expressed as a percentage (%) of said entity.

        Yeah, just like ppm. Like I said, they’re akin to each other.

        Here, Brandon, pick whichever calculated CO2 ppm “dot” average on this graphic that “turns-your-crank” ….. and then explain to me how it defines, explains or infers an “equilibrium” to anything other than itself.

        No one of those dots define, explain or infer an equilibrium. They’re just individual estimates of how much CO2 was floating around the Mauna Loa Observatory per unit volume of atmosphere on a particular hour/day/week. Yes, on average.

        No one dot says anything about how those CO2s got there, only that they were there. When I write “equilibrium” I mean “equilibrium”. Go read the definition again.

        Defines the fact that “equilibrium” was the weasel word that was used by or stipulated by the “weazelwording” weazelworder in the cited statement being discussed.

        My head is spinning, all without the benefit of any eggnog. Woe is me.

        So cease with your “weazelwording” in your futile attempt to justify your commentary about the value and/or use of “averages”.

        Hey man, averages are your red herring here, not mine. Your unwillingness (or inability) to understand the difference between taking an average and a physical equilibrium process would be your issue, not mine.

  27. It is very hard to draw conclusions from this CO2 chart. Springtime in the SH should show reduced CO2 there as plant growth surges drawing CO2 from the atmosphere, and fall in the NH should show increased concentrations as leaves fall and begin to rot.

    No one has yet suggested a mechanism by which only around half of human emissions enters the atmosphere, year after year. The graphic with annual emissions totals is revealing because, as Dr. Ball points out, human emissions are less than the annual variability of natural sources.

    There is no way Mother Nature could vary as much as she does, and yet take up half of our emissions every year. Something else must be happening. The chemistry of the oceans is immensely complex, and appears to me to be the most likely driver of atmospheric CO2.

      • Good grief mpainter, you’re asking questions which were generally answered near the middle of the last century: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide.png

        Look especially at the inset at the bottom right showing the seasonal cycles. Note that the low part of the cycle corresponds with the NH autumn season, specifically the month of October. Look at the image at the top of this post. Notice that the time period covered is all of October and the first week of November.

      • mpainter, human emissions are ~4 ppmv/year or ~0.01 ppmv/day, far below the detection limit of the satellite, except when concentrated in smaller areas (towns) and if the satellite can concentrate on these “hot spots” (which it can). So maybe it can give some answers, but I fear that it will need more accurate instruments to get the human component…

      • mpainter,

        Anthro-CO2 are seasonal, do you say?

        No, you’re just up to your usual trick of inventing an argument you wish to refute instead of dealing with the actual argument being made.

      • Ferdinand, we both agree that anthropogenic CO2 is of such little consequence, compared with natural sources, that the new carbon sniffing satellite smells none at all.
        So why does B Gates wet himself over CO2? Can you answer that?

      • mpainter,

        At issue here is not my alleged lack of potty training, but where the increase from 300ish to 400ish ppmv CO2 concentration has come from. Sort of pointless to talk about anthropogenic CO2 effects when the anthropogenic part itself is under dispute. Do try to stick to the subject.

      • Can you imagine the consternation in the White House when they realized that their CO2 sniffing satellite showed no anthropogenic CO2 emissions?
        I’ll wager Holdren was on the phone within the hour.
        I can imagine what he said: “What kind of satellite is this?”

      • mpainter,

        Can you imagine the consternation in the White House when they realized that their CO2 sniffing satellite showed no anthropogenic CO2 emissions?

        It would likely be on par with my consternation that you think we need satellites to figure out that this graph isn’t sheer coincidence:

      • This satellite will take a heavy load off the minds of the gullible, weak minded types; that is, the ones who are susceptible to the climate alarmism that one sees peddled everywhere. Now, they can be shown that anthropogenic CO2 is so inconsequential as to be undetectable by the latest carbon sniffer. Thus truth, as revealed by the progress of science, makes the world a better place for all.

      • mpainter,

        This satellite will take a heavy load off the minds of the gullible, weak minded types; that is, the ones who are susceptible to the climate alarmism that one sees peddled everywhere.

        It appears to be working far better and more immediately than you yourself realize.

  28. “A recent example appeared from the BBC, triggered by more evidence that contradicts the hypothesis, that human produced CO2 is almost the sole cause of global warming. ”

    Don’t get me wrong- I totally agree with what Tim Bal says- but am missing the link as to why the fact that C02 concentration varies across continents/oceans contradicts the IPCC hypothesis. How are the IPCC results dependent on C02 being constant? Like temperature, I’ve always assumed C02 concentrations varied, and it was just the “change” the average change that was being measured Just as I think it’s nonsensical to make climate predictions on a world (as opposed to local) averages- it seems crazy to base predictions on an average increase in C02. However, I’m having a hard time explaining to my layperson friends, how the fact that it varies across continents nullifies the IPCC hypothesis. Can anyone help explain this in layman’s terms?

    • Louise Nicholas

      You ask

      How are the IPCC results dependent on C02 being constant? Like temperature, I’ve always assumed C02 concentrations varied, and it was just the “change” the average change that was being measured Just as I think it’s nonsensical to make climate predictions on a world (as opposed to local) averages- it seems crazy to base predictions on an average increase in C02. However, I’m having a hard time explaining to my layperson friends, how the fact that it varies across continents nullifies the IPCC hypothesis. Can anyone help explain this in layman’s terms?

      I will try, and I draw your attention to the above discussion between M Courtney and Brandon Gates which has already addressed it.

      My explanation is as follows.
      1.
      Atmospheric CO2 concentration is asserted (e.g. by the IPCC) as having been stable at 300 ppmv prior to the industrial revolution, but has risen to ~400 ppmv since the industrial revolution. This assertion of stability prior to the industrial revolution is supported by ice core data but is refuted by stomata data.
      2.
      The anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) carbon dioxide (CO2) emission (aCO2) is at most only 4% of the natural CO2 emission (nCO2).
      3.
      But if a rise in emission of only 4% causes a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration from 300 to 400 ppmv then such changes in nCO2 cannot have happened naturally if atmospheric CO2 concentration was stable at 300 ppmv prior to the industrial revolution.
      4.
      The aCO2 is emitted from specific localities (i.e. industrialised regions) and is asserted to have caused the 300 to 400 ppmv rise.
      5.
      The atmospheric CO2 concentration must be very constant at every location for the asserted stability prior to the industrial revolution to be possible: otherwise, the natural variation in sources of nCO2 would have induced rises (or falls) similar to those of the 300 to 400 ppmv rise said to have been caused by the localised aCO2.
      6.
      The OCO2 data shows the atmospheric CO2 concentration varies between locations. Also, throughout each year the atmospheric CO2 concentration is known to vary by much more than the total aCO2 of each year at every location (e.g. see the Mauna Loa data).
      7.
      Point 7 refutes the requirement of Point 6.

      I hope that helps.

      Richard

      • Richard, we have been there before…

        1. ice core CO2 data are direct measurements of a mixture averaged over the resolution period. The latter varies between ~10 years over the past 150 years and ~560 years over the past 800 kyears, The repeatability of ice core measurements is better than 1.3 ppmv (1 sigma).
        Stomata data are proxies and have a lot of problems…
        2. It is near 7%, but still one-way while 93% is two-way with more sink than source, that is zero contribution from the natural cycle over the past 55 years.
        3. Depends of the time frame: temperature gives fast changes (2-3 years) in vegetation uptake/decay, but the influence on permanent storage in vegetation and the deep oceans is much slower: a half life time of ~40 years for any excess CO2 pressure in the atmosphere. That is too slow to capture all human emissions in short time but fast enough to follow the temperature changes during glacial-interglacial transitions which need ~5000 years.
        4. Agreed.
        5. There are large variability’s in the first few hundred meters over land (the main problem for stomata data), that is less than 5% of the atmosphere by weight. In 95% of the atmosphere (including at ground level in -ice- deserts) CO2 levels are between +/- 2% of full scale. As some 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with CO2 of other reservoirs over the seasons, that is quite well mixed.
        6. Again: OCO-2 shows a scale of +/- 8 ppmv for a seasonal in/out of ~80 ppmv CO2. Seasonal cycles level off after a full cycle. The global seasonal cycle is +/- 5 ppmv, the total increase is 110 ppmv where humans have emitted over 200 ppmv of CO2…
        7. The seasonal CO2 variability at Antarctica is less than 1 ppmv. With a resolution of ~20 years over the past 1000 years, it is possible to detect a one-year peak of 40 ppmv or a 20 year long increase of 2 ppmv. Even the ice cores with the worst resolution would detect the current 110 ppmv increase in the past 160 years in the full 800,000 years record.

      • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen: December 22, 2014 at 2:51 am

        Iffen Keeling had not moved his CO2 testing facility to atop Mauna Loa in 1958 and started recording fairly accurate atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities …… then those persons involved in calculating, estimating and/or guesstimating the quantity CO2 associated with the various post-1958 CO2 sources and sinks …. and/or …. those persons involved in calculating, estimating and/or guesstimating the quantity of CO2 associated with the various pre-1958 CO2 proxy sources and sinks ….. would not have a factually accepted “baseline” to adjust their claimed results to ….. and thus all the aforesaid persons would be claiming their “CO2 quantities” are the actually accurate ones.

      • Richard:

        Yes, Ferdinand, the data indicates the values at the sample site. This is true of all the CO2 proxy data including the ice core data.

        The difference is that the ice core data are no “proxy” data, they are real, measured CO2 levels, be it from a mix of several years, while the stomata data are proxies with all the problems involved (how does temperature and/or drought change the stomata index/density?)..

        But the main difference is that the stomata data reflect only local CO2 data, affected by local CO2 changes over time, while ice core data represent the CO2 changes in 95% of the atmosphere…

        That the stomata (index) data reflect the local average CO2 level of the previous growing season is a detail to inform Samuel. I don’t make a point of that.

        I hammer the point that the stomata data indicate response to atmospheric CO2 concentration in the region(s) where emission and sequestration occur.

        Yes and that makes that their value is questionable: either you need stomata data from every square meter on earth to calculate the average global CO2 level, or you take some distance of the mess which happens in the 5% of the atmosphere where the largest exchanges are happening. And simply measure at a place distant from any local disturbances, which the South Pole is…

        I still wonder why people who do (rightfully) reject any temperature data from the middle of towns or other UHI places insist to accept CO2 data from equally contaminated places, while a single series from a remote place gives you all the historical information you need…

      • Ferdinand

        I said I had made my final contribution to this sub-thread, but I cannot allow these outrageous assertions from you to stand. You say to me

        Richard:

        Yes, Ferdinand, the data indicates the values at the sample site. This is true of all the CO2 proxy data including the ice core data.

        The difference is that the ice core data are no “proxy” data, they are real, measured CO2 levels, be it from a mix of several years, while the stomata data are proxies with all the problems involved (how does temperature and/or drought change the stomata index/density?)..

        But the main difference is that the stomata data reflect only local CO2 data, affected by local CO2 changes over time, while ice core data represent the CO2 changes in 95% of the atmosphere…

        The ice core data are ” real, measured CO2 levels” IN THE ICE CORES. They are proxy data for the CO2 levels in past atmospheres because they have been modified by a variety of processes and factors (including the “mix of several years” which you mention).

        It is simply true that a sample indicates the conditions at the sample site and this is true for both stomata and ice core data.

        Let us make the mistake of assuming you are right that “ice core data represent the CO2 changes in 95% of the atmosphere”, then that stresses the importance of the stomata data which you refuse to consider. As I keep telling you, the stomata data indicate CO2 in regions where CO2 emission and CO2 sequestration occur.

        Richard

    • Ferdinand

      You rightly say, “we have been there before…”.
      Yes, many times including several on WUWT. I see no reason to iterate it all again so if anybody wants to see our disputes then they can use the WUWT Search facility.

      The point is that you and some others pretend ice cores are sample bottles for air but they are not, and you malign the stomata data because it refutes what you want to be true. Some other people champion the stomata data and malign the ice core data because that suites what they want to be true.

      In reality, the ice core and stomata data are each useful proxies.
      In this case the stomata data are very useful proxies for the very reasons you say they should be ignored.
      You say

      There are large variability’s in the first few hundred meters over land (the main problem for stomata data), that is less than 5% of the atmosphere by weight. In 95% of the atmosphere (including at ground level in -ice- deserts) CO2 levels are between +/- 2% of full scale. As some 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with CO2 of other reservoirs over the seasons, that is quite well mixed.

      The stomata respond to the “large variability’s in the first few hundred meters over land”. That is NOT a “problem for stomata data”: it enables the stomata to provide useful information about the variability.

      As I said,

      1.
      Atmospheric CO2 concentration is asserted (e.g. by the IPCC) as having been stable at 300 ppmv prior to the industrial revolution, but has risen to ~400 ppmv since the industrial revolution. This assertion of stability prior to the industrial revolution is supported by ice core data but is refuted by stomata data.

      It is refuted BECAUSE – as you say – “There are large variability’s in the first few hundred meters over land” and that is the region where CO2 is emitted and sequestered. The emission affects the concentration and the concentration affects the sequestration. The stomata data indicate response to atmospheric CO2 concentration in the region(s) where emission and sequestration occur.

      Richard

      • Ferdinand really detests the stomata proxies simply because they are the most accurate of all the CO2 proxies.

        And in my learned opinion … the stomata does not, per se, respond to the “large (CO2) variability’s in the first few hundred meters over land”.

        In actuality, me thinks the leaves of the plants respond to the “average CO2 ppm” at the near-surface level that said leaves are situated at.

        The stomata in the leaves of the plant have to function consistently and reliably during the extent of the growing season (4 to 6 months) …… therefore the leaf produces the optimum number of stomata to do so …. and therefore the large variability in the near-surface CO2 ppm be damned.

        “Survival of the fittest” also applies to plants.

      • Samuel C Cogar

        It is good to agree with you for a change.

        Yes, I agree with you when you say

        In actuality, me thinks the leaves of the plants respond to the “average CO2 ppm” at the near-surface level that said leaves are situated at.

        However, that average is affected by the variability and – in the context of this thread – the variability is very important. As I said

        The emission affects the concentration and the concentration affects the sequestration. The stomata data indicate response to atmospheric CO2 concentration in the region(s) where emission and sequestration occur.

        Richard

      • Richard:

        it enables the stomata to provide useful information about the variability.

        It enables the stomata to provide useful information about the local</b. variability of where the leaves did grow (mainly based on the average of the previous growing season). Even when there was hardly any variability in the bulk of the atmosphere… The local variability does change from year to year and century to century, because of changes in land use in the main wind direction: from marshes to crops, from grassland to forests and from sea to land, not to forget the growing industry and traffic in recent centuries…
        Even the main wind direction may have changed between warm and cold periods and back (MWP-LIA-current).
        Thus while ice cores provide real CO2 measurements, be it averaged over the period of resolution, the stomata data are proxies, of which the absolute CO2 level should be taken with a grain of salt.
        If the average of the stomata data over the same time frame as the resolution in ice cores differ from the ice core data, then the stomata data are certainly wrong…

      • Samuel C Cogar:

        The number of stomata doesn’t change during the growing seasons, its density is determined by the average CO2 level over the previous growing season (implemented in the new knobs). Indeed at the height where the plants grow.
        The main problem, as explained to Richard, is that one can determine the local bias over the past century, compared to ice cores and direct measurements, but there is no way to know the changes in local bias over the previous centuries due to (huge) changes in land use and type of crops grown…

        And indeed, even if stomata are the best of the proxies (which I doubt) they still are proxies, while ice core measurements are direct measurements of (averaged) ancient CO2 levels…

      • Ferdinand

        This will be my last post in this sub-thread. I answered the requests for clarification from Louise Nicholas and your responses do not show any error in my clarifications.

        You attempt to distract from the usefulness of stomata data by making two nit-picks.

        You say

        The number of stomata doesn’t change during the growing seasons, its density is determined by the average CO2 level over the previous growing season (implemented in the new knobs). Indeed at the height where the plants grow.

        Well, gast my flabber!
        You say to ignore the stomata data because it is displaced in time by one single, solitary year!
        No, Ferdinand, your assertion is NOT a reason to reject the stomata data.

        And you say

        It enables the stomata to provide useful information about the local</b. variability of where the leaves did grow (mainly based on the average of the previous growing season). Even when there was hardly any variability in the bulk of the atmosphere… The local variability does change from year to year and century to century, because of changes in land use in the main wind direction: from marshes to crops, from grassland to forests and from sea to land, not to forget the growing industry and traffic in recent centuries…

        Yes, Ferdinand, the data indicates the values at the sample site. This is true of all the CO2 proxy data including the ice core data. If that were a reason to reject the stomata data then the same rejection criterion should apply to the ice core data.

        Importantly, I yet again repeat the point you are ignoring; viz.

        “There are large variability’s in the first few hundred meters over land” and that is the region where CO2 is emitted and sequestered. The emission affects the concentration and the concentration affects the sequestration. The stomata data indicate response to atmospheric CO2 concentration in the region(s) where emission and sequestration occur.

        I hammer the point that the stomata data indicate response to atmospheric CO2 concentration in the region(s) where emission and sequestration occur.

        Richard

      • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen: December 23, 2014 at 6:43 am

        Thus while ice cores provide real CO2 measurements, be it averaged over the period of resolution, the stomata data are proxies, of which the absolute CO2 level should be taken with a grain of salt.
        ——————-

        OH GOOD GRIEF, … Ferdinand, …. the leaves of the plants respond directly to the average variability of the atmospheric CO2 ppm ……. whereas the per se “yearly” snowpack that created those ice cores didn’t respond to anything other that the weight of the per se “yearly” snowpacks that accumulated over top of them.

        And given the fact that no one has a clue what the weather conditions were when each one (1) of said snowpacks “trapped” its quantity of CO2 molecules …… then no one has a clue what the average variability of the atmospheric CO2 ppm was at the time of said “trapping”.

        Ells bells, they don’t even know if said snowpacks were created by wind-blown snow, …. extremely light snowfall over several weeks ….. or extremely heavy snowfall over 1 or 2 days, ….. all three (3) of said which will have a drastic direct effect on the availability of CO2 molecules in the at-surface atmosphere subject to being trapped by said snowfall.

        Plant stomata numbers are a direct correlation to the average variability of the atmospheric CO2 ppm.

        Ice core proxies are ……. proxies.

        And to quote a wise person, to wit: “everyone seems to have forgotten that proxies are not data, they are presumptions based on guesses.

      • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen: December 23, 2014 at 6:54 am

        …. while ice core measurements are direct measurements of (averaged) ancient CO2 levels…
        ——————-

        Ferdinand, …. you know very well that was an oxymoronic statement.

        Direct measurements and averaged measurements are directly contrary claims.

        And quit trying to teach me a lesson in/on Botany. I done passed that College course with a pretty good Grade many years ago, back in 61’ I think it was.

  29. Be still my beating heart, wow, we have Dr Tim talking about dirt and not long ago rgb stating his assertion that goats make deserts.
    I have, for a little while now, reasoned that deserts are actually like rainforests in that they are self-sustaining – possibly the only place in Climate Science where positive feedback is alive and working. Which comes first in a rainforest, is it the forest (trees) or the rain. You don’t get one without the other. Chicken/egg situation. Likewise a desert, the heat creates the dryness and the dryness creates the heat – effectively via the paucity of water.
    Anyway (and does anyone on this planet actually get their hands dirty any more), I have data. Not a lot, but some.
    My data came from my garden, a small patch of greenery (meadow grass mostly) amongst a very large patch of greenery and maybe 10 miles downwind from the city of Carlisle (Pop ~100,000 and famous for its biscuit and tyre factories, one of each) and maybe 50 miles downwind from Sellafield nuclear facility.
    My experiment was to take a handheld CO2 meter, place it on a brick and put a heavy black plastic bucket over the top of it – on the lawn in my garden. Do not hand-hold CO2 meters, they read garbage if you do.

    So, I switch on the meter, place it on my outdoor picnic bench and let it stabilise to whatever reading it wants to settle on. I note that reading and put it under the bucket for exactly 5 minutes. Remove it from the bucket, note the reading and put it back on the bench in the open air. Try hard not to breathe on it and leave it, typically for 10 minutes to a stable reading. Note the reading, put back under the bucket for 5 mins and repeat until bored or it starts raining. Usually the latter round here.
    OK?
    The readings I got from an experiment on an afternoon in late July, temperature about 16 deg C, were as follows:
    398….457
    401….436
    400….440
    402….513
    403….444
    401….441
    404….418
    The low readings are from the bench, in the open air and the high readings after 5 minutes under the black plastic bucket on the grass lawn in my garden. All are parts per million as indicated by my CO2 meter. This was one consecutive set of readings, 5 mins under the bucket and 10 minutes in the fresh air. The meter was not switched off for the duration nor in any way recalibrated. (It has a setting to do that if you want – it normalises to 400ppm) I held my breath as I moved it, quickly, from one to the other.
    Now everyone, go do some sums. Take the diameter of the bucket as 60cm and its depth as 35cm, near as sod it straight sided.
    How much CO2 is coming out of each unit area of ground per unit time?
    Its an interesting answer if you do it as tonnes per year per hectare then maybe, just to scare yourself, multiply it by the area of farmland on Planet Earth, circa 10% of its total.
    Also, this was ground that has never (not in 25 years anyway) had any artificial or otherwise fertiliser applied. Considering that around here, typical applications of fertiliser cause a 4 or 5 fold increase in crop yield and that fertiliser acts primarily on the soil bacteria and it is they producing the CO2 How might you adjust your answer? I really haven’t a clue, that’s another experiment to run sometime, when I’ve got time.
    and it not raining.

    • There’s a figure you may need, the density of CO2, which I understand to be 1.92 grams per litre at STP
      Here’s another shorter run I did, actually at 2 in the morning in October, temp= 7 deg C
      441…490
      433….488
      423….487
      419….472
      Same everything as above.

      • For the sake of this thread and for that matter the comparisons being made with seasonal readings, isnt taking photsynthesis out of the equation by placing a black plastic bucket over your lawn (or doing it at night) slightly affecting the resultant CO2 if you take out the one factor removing it!! Your conclusions are only measuring dark CO2. Plants produce CO2 at night

      • Nice to see this. The problem is that CO2 is not well mixed in the first few hundred meters over land. It is better mixed with high wind speed but even better: measure CO2 far away of huge sources and sinks. That includes vegetation and human activity. That is why they measure “background” CO2 on mountain tops, Antarctica and on islands or coastal where the wind is mainly from the seaside…
        If you measure over land, one can find enormous levels of CO2 at night under inversion (no wind) and much lower levels during the day. Here for a few summer days at Giessen (SW Germany, semi-rural) and the same days at Mauna Loa, Barrow and the South Pole (all raw data):

    • That’s the boundry layer. Local wind changes will change those readings. Higher wind will lower the readings due to mixing. You need to get at least 100 meters above the surface to get close to real atmosphere CO2 concentrations.
      On a calm day you should see higher CO2 near the surface.

      • It was from ebay, direct from China. Mine cost me ~£70. You can pay what you like for one but you’re never gonna get Mauna Loa accuracy. I don’t trust mine in any way to give an absolute value, but for measuring differences/trends between locations/times, if you’re careful (Do Not Breathe on the thing), its something, a start point for further thought/investigation.

  30. The range on the graph is very narrow, 387 to 402, despite the wide range in color scheme. Besides, how is biomass burning (farmers burning their fields, or grasslands to prepare for planting) not considered human activity?

    • Right, Barry,
      Those slash and burn miscreants owe me indemnification for all that CO2 that have polluted my air with, here in the heart of heavily populated, heavily industrialized US, which is shown above to be innocent of CO2 crimes.So pay up, miscreant subsistence farmer.

  31. GOOD ARTICLE! Interesting, and I learned a bit about soil and weather, and politics and psychology, and atmosphere, and more. Gad I hate that red clay soil when it is wet, like grease under my tires.

  32. I wouldn’t be too quick with conclusions here. The satellite picture appears to agree rather well with NASA’s CO2 model of which a video was posted not very long ago here.

    Move the slider to October and if you take different color coding into account you’ll see pretty much the same picture. So no surprise here, rainforests appear to be hosts of highest CO2 concentrations on the planet this time of year. But if the model is right, they won’t keep it very long. And in as little as three months it might be alarmists shouting “it’s worse than we thought” over output of the same satellite.

    • Kasuha, I’m pretty sure the different color scale is what has been throwing people comparing the two. The satellites are not intended to say anything about “it’s worse than we thought” by my reading; we simply want better understanding of the geographical locations of sources and sinks.

      I do fully expect to have to eat these words in the future … the law of large numbers dictates at least one prominent researcher will eventually find something alarming in these data.

    • How on earth you come to that conclusion even with the colour coding is a complete mystery. In your October graph the bias is still massively in the NH whereas the new data shows a hugely greater bias to the Southern Hemisphere regions. This is a huge shift of CO2 concentration

      • mwh, go to 2:23 in the video, which corresponds to 10/11/2006. Of course the proper way to do this would be to grab the model output and average it over 10/1-11/11 then match that to observations.

        You ought to be happy that NASA has finally listened to you and gone out and done “real” science by taking actual observations. There’s just no pleasing some people, is there.

      • Come on Brandon that snapshot is showing some trends in the right direction but run the sequence either side or just stick on that single day and it does not show the greater levels over the southern tropics that the new imagery does. The amounts are not precise but the distribution should be even without calibration. this is unexpected and I look forward to this source of Data building a more thorough picture of what is going on. It would appear from this early preview that CO2 is more sensitive to temperature not temperature more sensitive to CO2. However a few years of these actual readings instead of models will put an awful lot of this argument to rest and should help to decide whether CO2 should be such a large contributor to forcings/feedbacks in temperature predictive models

      • mwh,

        Come on Brandon that snapshot is showing some trends in the right direction but run the sequence either side or just stick on that single day and it does not show the greater levels over the southern tropics that the new imagery does.

        I don’t doubt even a “perfect” model run over a short period of time would not match up well with observational data over a similar period of time. Imperfect model, hello? Chaotic system, yes?

        The proper analysis is not eyballing images with different color scaling, but grabbing actual data over (at least) several annual cycles and crunching numbers.

        Bonus points if the comparison is 2014 observational data with 2014 model output instead of 2014 to 2006 ….

        The amounts are not precise but the distribution should be even without calibration.

        Ok, what do small sample sizes tend to do to distributions?

        this is unexpected and I look forward to this source of Data building a more thorough picture of what is going on.

        Well I certainly hope so too. We probably will find something truly unexpected … in fact I hope we do! That makes the experiment ever that much more worth doing.

        It would appear from this early preview that CO2 is more sensitive to temperature not temperature more sensitive to CO2.

        Over short periods of time, CO2 is unarguably more responsive to temperature than the other way around. This is NO surprise whatsoever.

        However a few years of these actual readings instead of models will put an awful lot of this argument to rest and should help to decide whether CO2 should be such a large contributor to forcings/feedbacks in temperature predictive models

        Thus far my understanding of this mission is not to quantify CO2 forcing effects but sources and sinks. Not just geographical locations, but the CO2 fluxes. That might make some difference in a radiative physics model in some GCM somewhere, but I don’t think that’s the main thing they’re after here. This seems to be mostly about better understanding the carbon cycle, which is key to guessing what might happen with atmospheric concentrations under various forward-looking emissions scenarios.

    • Kasuha:

      Well, I looked at the NASA CO2 model you provided, went to October, and contrary to your claim, it is *very* different than what the Orbiting Carbon Observatory saw in October. I’m not sure why you would make this clearly inaccurate assertion.

  33. Tim Ball says –

    “As a result the BBC, whose lack of journalistic integrity and political bias, was exposed in the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), are obliged to spin the evidence.”

    ***it would be be fun to be a fly on the wall at this “off the record” indoctrination session! (scroll down below the Jeff Goodell/Rolling Stone article for the following):

    20 Dec: South China Morning Post: Climate change: How to bring China on board
    by Mark Footer
    That’s where the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) comes in. Founded in 2007, the Shanghai-based non-profit organisation facilitates what it calls “programmatic collaboration, rather than clean energy ‘shuttle diplomacy’ between China and the US”.
    Last year saw the birth of JUCCCE’s China Gateway programme, the aim of which is to bring together Western “convenors” and Chinese counterparts in “salons”: meetings in convivial surroundings that build circles of trust in which progress on a range of bilateral issues can be made…
    “There was this widely held belief that China screwed everything up in Copenhagen [at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference],” says
    Peggy Liu, founder and chairwoman of JUCCCE, at the Slow Life Symposium, an annual informal get-together of the environmentally minded organised by eco-resort operator Soneva Group and held this year (see page 22) at the Soneva Fushi resort, in the Maldives…
    We decided to focus on people who are on the world stage, who can magnify what they learn about China to the outside world, who are advisers to advisers of principals of nations,” says Liu, naming Greg Barker, the British minister of state for climate change, and
    Nick Mabey, once a senior adviser to the British prime minister, as members of the programme.
    Liu speaks with a passion many potential convenors must find hard to resist and she mentions she has just recruited one of the other symposium participants, David Monsma. Executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Programme, Monsma advises on, among other things, responsible Chinese investment in Africa…
    ***”We brought in another group right before the Summer Davos, in Beijing, with a couple of BBC Radio folks. This was off the record . there is a huge push from the Chinese partners [which include the Chinese Academy of Governance and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development] to do this because they feel China has risen much faster than they were prepared for and no one has trained them to speak to Western press, Western people. Most of them can’t travel; government officials’ passports are now being confiscated. So they would like to learn how to speak to a BBC Radio journalist…
    http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1664632/behind-scenes-historic-us-china-climate-pact

  34. Yep, according to the CO2 map poor undeveloped East Timor is a hot spot and heavily industrialised Java isn’t so much.
    Has anyone ruled out fish farts as a source of greenhouse gasses? It’s surely worth a few million and a peer review or two.

  35. I somehow wondered why this project was going to provide anything useful at all. I assume that the results as graphed are not surface concentrations but average tropospheric concentrations. If so, how does that help? If one is trying to pinpoint a source, the measure needs to be for the lower troposphere. I suspect what we are seeing are the spring blooms in the Southern Hemisphere – noticeably missing in Australia due to the aridity, but present in Indonesia and Papua to the North. Personally I think the jury is out – not on humanity’s guilt. I never believed that, but on what this is actually showing. Could be that this is a white elephant because we will never really know what we are looking at.

  36. For those interested in the claims that CO2 stable isotope ratios are evidence for anthro-CO2 as cause of global increase, there are doubts:
    http://tinyurl.com/lvb846l
    Quite a few people are working on C12/C13 ratio within the atmosphere. See also global biogeochemical carbon cycle. The short answer is that the CO2 increase since industrialization is mostly natural, with a small amount of fossil fuel increase. Since atmosphere CO2 has a fairly rapid exchange of CO2 to and from permanent sources and sinks, the amount of anthro-CO2 in the atmosphere is about 15 to 25 ppm out of the total of 400 ppm. CO2 never “accumulates” in the atmosphere, from any source. It’s all a matter of long term sources and sinks. See also the atomic bomb CO2 decay rates.

    • Quite right. The notion that anthro-CO2 would “accumulate” and displace natural sources is absurd, but you hear it a lot.

    • bw, the story by Chiefio is completely wrong: both C3 and C4 plants have a lower δ13C ratio than the atmosphere and all fossil fuels are (much) lower. Oceans (including the isotopic shift at the sea-air border) , volcanoes and carbonate rocks are all higher than the atmosphere.
      Thus if the δ13C level drops, that excludes oceans, volcanoes and rock weathering as cause. Rests the difference between plant decay and human emissions.
      Based on the oxygen use balance, the biosphere as a whole produces more oxygen than it uses. Thus the biosphere is a net sink for CO2 (~1 GtC/year) not a source and all δ13C decline is from human emissions.

  37. It seems Ball doesn’t really understand the difference between naturally and unnaturally occurring CO2 emissions, as well as the balance of CO2 inputs and outputs. Another embarrassing post for whats up.

      • Too many. Okay, first two paras make no sense and say nothing. Then Ball says “Preliminary evidence essentially exonerates humans as the source of CO2.”

        Wow. The project tells us where [CO2] is high and where it’s lower. Natural sources are expected to be seasonally variable and mask human emmissions. So the data says nothing about humans. We put a little bit extra CO2 into the air each year, forcing the average higher each year. The Hawaii record also shows this each year, the ups and downs of the yearly pattern are always more dramatic than the yearly increase. Same thing.

        So why do you let Ball blabber on about this, are you just unthinking sheep? It’s an embarrassment to your site.

      • trafamadore says:

        …first two paras make no sense…

        OK, fair enough. You can’t understand. Not surprising.

        And:

        …why do you let Ball blabber on about this, are you just unthinking sheep? It’s an embarrassment to your site.

        You show no respect… but you want to be respected?

        Doesn’t work like that.

      • It certainly seems as if Ball is presenting the concept of biomass burning in South America and southern Africa as if it is a ridiculous “guess” without any research into these events. So…either “wrong”, “ignorant”, or “deceptive”. It would certainly be helpful if Ball would counter the actual research into biomass burning rather than waving his hands in a belittling fashion: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/4859/2014/acp-14-4859-2014.pdf

      • trafamadore December 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm
        Too many. Okay, first two paras make no sense and say nothing. Then Ball says “Preliminary evidence essentially exonerates humans as the source of CO2.”
        Wow. The project tells us where [CO2] is high and where it’s lower.
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Well, this project does exonerate humans as the source of additional CO2 because it doesn’t show elevated levels that correspond to the industrial centres of the world. Of course, this is poorly calibrated and very preliminary data.

        Oh wait, that’s what he said. Preliminary.

        You can’t rely on seasonal variability in this particular argument because human emissions are very concentrated, and hence would show as elevated levels in comparison to the immediately adjacent land, no matter the seasonal swing being low or high.

        That said, I wouldn’t agree that humans are having no impact on CO2 levels. But as written, Dr. Ball is not wrong in this case.

      • trafamadofe sez:

        Wow. db apparently is a sheepie. Who would have known.

        LOLOL!! traf has completely run out of arguments! Now he’s at the name-calling stage of his desperate alarmist deflection. Who would have known?

        Well, I would have known, for one: our boy traf hasn’t had a decent argument since he first showed up here. It must really suck to have Planet Earth herself debunking his religion-based Belief system.

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

        Next: I agree w/hoffer: we are having an effect on global T.

        But it is such a minuscule effect that it can’t even be measured! That is a fact anyone can observe: where are the measurements? There are none.

        But if the alarmist crowd ever admitted that publicly, they would be admitting that they have basically lost the CAGW/AGW debate. So they stick with their rhetorical tactic of ‘say anything’ — anything except for that.

      • Natural sources are expected to be seasonally variable and mask human emmissions.

        Well Traf, let’s examine that notion and see if the back of the envelope math makes sense.

        Human contribution to net CO2 in the atmosphere is commonly estimated at about 2 ppm per year. The scale on this graph only shows a range of 15.5 ppm, so 2 ought to stick out like a sore thumb. But then again, this is a snapshot that is averaged over a number of weeks, which would tend to smear out the human activity signature. Or would it?

        Only about 30% of the earth’s surface is land, and that’s where the vase majority of human activity takes place. So, for human activity to drive an extra 2 ppm over the earth as a whole, we’d need to see 9 and 1/3 ppm over land (above normal background). Well on a scale whose range is only 15.5 ppm, 9.33 ought to show up pretty plainly. But wait, its worse than that.

        According to a World Bank report in 2009:

        Another interesting perspective was given by a new global map of European Commission’s Joint Research Center which was published in the World Bank’s World Development report in 2009.[3] According to the report, 95% of world’s population is concentrated on just 10% of world’s land surface.

        http://www.quora.com/What-percentage-of-the-worlds-land-is-populated-by-humans

        So by extension, 95% of the effect should be originating on just 10% of the land surface. In order to arrive at an average of 9.33 ppm as an average over the land mass, we’d need, with 95% constrained to just 10% of land area, elevated CO2 levels over heavily populated and industrial centres centres of about 90 ppm higher than background ought to be visible. Since the scale only has a spread of 15.5 ppm in the first place, this would be readings that are off the chart in the industrialized centres of the world, and by substantially more than the range of the graph in the first place.

        Trying to excuse the preliminary results because it the NH is in fall season also makes little sense. That’s when the industrial population centres of the earth in the NH ramp up CO2 because of need to heat buildings, efficiency of combusion engine drops, producing more CO2 per mile, and so on. So the theory hasn’t a leg to ystand on in this study.

        My own theory being theory being that the results are not yet properly calibrated, and so no conclusions can be drawn from them. But if someone wants to, the logical conclusion based on this data and manner of its presentation does not support the notion that he earh’s increase in CO2 is from human activity.

      • A perfectly fine label; he disrespected Dr. Ball. The question is, how much reading did you have to do to find that? It wasn’t even applied to you. And aren’t you the same jamoke who dances in the street when you think WUWT’s traffic has taken a dip? [It hasn’t, you know. You were educated on that.]

  38. The Catholics are responsible, or the Jews, certainly not us red-bloodied twice-born Republicans. Hey, did you notice it is getting warmer?

  39. I see several recurring themes here. Two are whether rain forests are net absorbers or emitters of gases, and the same thing for the African Savannah. From our basic ecology class we remember this: Once any ecosystem becomes fully mature and attains the status of a “climax community”, it does not change any further. That means no added or reduced biomass, no source or sink for gases, or anything else for that matter. To sum it up, there is no change of anything over time. So we can say dX/dt = 0, always, at least on an annual basis. This is where X = anything you want, annualized.
    So we can say for the African savanna, CO2 production by termites must be offset by biomass production. The same can be said for the tropical rain forests. They can not be net sources or sinks of anything, unless you set them on fire. But if you did that, the forest would not be a climax community anymore. None of this is magic, just mass balance.
    It will be interesting to see how the mass balance for various regions dominated by climax communities works out after the satellite has been up for a year.

    • Pssst…little secret…there are NO CLIMAX COMMUNITIES.

      The environment is DYNAMIC and if it wasn’t, it would be dead. Climax community is just another over simplification.

  40. Biomass burning tends to be associated with fires. Strangely enough the Aqua and Terra mapping of fires during October pretty much overlaps the strongest CO2 emissions in the OCO map.

  41. Why send up a satellite that passes over head every day to get ‘dynamic’ data, and then release an image which is an aggregate of six weeks data?

    I’ll grant that it may be preliminary information, but treating it this way just doesn’t seem logical captain.

    • michael hart,

      If you look close, you can see circular blotchy areas in the image which look to me like artifacts from the process of producing a composite image from multiples. I don’t think it takes 6 weeks to get full global coverage in the polar orbit they’re using, but I’m inferring that the aggregates are needed to get a reasonable sample size so as to whittle down uncertainty.

  42. Could someone please ring up NASA OCO-2 and let them know there is a lot of volcanic activity on Iceland right now, which other people might want to see?

      • Very interesting blotch on the volcanic CO2 plume, yes indeed. This will have to be “fixed”.
        Let’s see, scratch, scratch.

      • In fact, scanning the black border of the image shows this “blotch” is not seen elsewhere in the image. Have the data redactors been practicing their arts here?

      • Zeke, njsnowfan, mpainter,

        The OCO-2 instrument relies on reflected sunlight to take its spectral soundings. The latitudes you guys are interested in is in perpetual darkness this time of year. The only data redactor here is the axial tilt of the Earth.

      • Zeke,

        Every four or five hours of sunlight can help, in scientific observations. Esp. when taking world averages.

        And every instant, pretty much exactly 50% of the planet is sunlit, obliquities and surface features aside.

        OCO-2 is clearly picking up the signal of the volcanic source of CO2, as it moves south.

        Which is entirely not unexpected as it has been known for some time that CO2 concentrations peak in the SH between Sep-Oct and bottom out in the NH during the same time period.

        Volcanism does contribute to hemispheric cooling. It tends to amplify the cooling trend.

        Sulfur dioxide aerosol does that.

      • mpainter,

        Did I? I thought the argument here is that NASA is trying to hide CO2 from volcanoes. Pretty clever those rocket boys to send up a CO2 sniffer which can only reliably see the stuff in relatively clear sky conditions with ample sunlight, innit? How they’re going to hide mountains blowing their lids closer to the equator is anyone’s guess, but I’m sure you guys will figure out something:

  43. “Africa is mostly grasslands and desert. How does that generate “biomass burning”?”

    Wouldn’t dung qualify as biomass?

  44. It is summer in the southern hemisphere, so an alternative explanation to the idea that farmers are burning fields is…plants exhale co2 at night.

    There could be some algal blooms in the ocean contributing co2, since they photosythesize.

    The whole point is that NASA and all of the scientific establishments are attempting to generate a public panic over gases that are part of enormous, natural cycles. Human contributions are negligible. Carbon dioxide is part of the cycle of seasonal vegetation, animal respiration, creation of rich humus, and volcanism.

    Methane is also part of the natural cycle – many studies show that the ultraviolet in sunlight causes plants to emit methane. The sun is a variable star in the UV and EUV spectrum. Who knows how much methane there is on the planet, and where.

    ref search:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=methane+emissions+from+plants+ultraviolet+light&client=opera&biw=1241&bih=600&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=0JmXVLvsOM21oQS4pIKwAw&ved=0CAUQ_AUoAA&dpr=1.1
    pick your own source

  45. Can anyone clarify a few facts?

    Based upon what I’ve read, the IPCC wanted a “consensus” on climate change’s causes, before the causes were scientifically established. True or false?

    Prior to the IPCC’s call for a consensus, the claim that human C02 was causing climate warming was voiced by very few scientists. True or false.

    James Hansen was one of these few scientists. True or false.

    James Hansen got all his physics degrees at U Iowa. He never got into bachelor’s or PhD physics programs at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Caltech, Berkeley, Chicago, Cornell, or Columbia or any other schools with Nobel Laureates in physics. True or false.

    Michael Mann took 5 years to earn a bachelor’s at Berkeley graduating at age 23, when most students got through in 4 years and prodigies were graduating at age 19-21. True or false.

    Michael Mann earned “honors” at Berkeley, one step above “undistinguished” when some of his classmates graduated with “Highest Honors” and “High Honors.” True or false.

    Others in Michael Mann’s graduating class went on to graduate studies at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Caltech, Berkeley, Chicago, Cornell and Columbia. True or false.

    When Michael Mann went to Yale-Physics, the department’s faculty at that time had won ZERO Nobel Prizes, and had only four National Academy of Sciences-Physics Section members. True of false.

    Michael Mann took 9 years to get his PhD, compared to 3-4 years for the “superlative students”, 5-6 years for “average” students. True or false.

    Michael Mann jumped on tree rings from a small set of bristleecone pines in the White Mountains. To verify their import, he studied tree rings from bristlecone pines 80 miles away, and then studied bristlecone pine tree rings 250 miles away in Eastern Nevada (Great Basin Nat’l Park) which had 3000+ year old tree rings, to corroborate or rebut. He studied these tree other bristlecone rings, because he was honestly looking for evidence of human-caused global warming. He also examined other old tree-rings, as in Sequoia and redwood tree rings, to dig deep back into history, more than 1000 years. True or false.

    Upon the IPCC’s call to create a consensus that humans caused global warming, a lot of third-rate university faculty who had no careers ahead of them doing first-rate science, because they didn’t have first-rate intellects, jumped on the bait, especially because no bait was being offered to perform research to provide countervailing evidence, arguments and conclusions. True or false.

  46. That graph is for October and 1/3 of November, only. In the southern hemisphere Oct/Nov is springtime. The oceans, lakes & rivers are warming, and when they warm they outgas CO2 (and other dissolved gasses). So in Oct/Nov the southern hemisphere shows slightly higher levels of CO2 than the northern hemisphere. Six months earlier or later the opposite is true. That’s why there’s an annual 6-7 ppmv zig-zag in Mauna Loa CO2 readings. How is any of this surprising?

    To call that “evidence [which] essentially exonerates humans as the source of CO2” is absurd, unless by “the source” Dr. Ball means “the only source,” in which case it’s a strawman, because nobody claims that.

    That statement is wrong on another level, too. The word “exonerates” implies a crime or a problem, i.e., that CO2 is a problem. It’s not. Saying there’s too much CO2 is like saying there’re too many flowers.

    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    -position statement signed by over 30,000 American scientists

  47. Folks

    There is a lot of discussion about why can’t we see high concentrations of manmade CO2 over the industrial heartlands of the developed world.

    But is not the point, that manmade CO2 emissions only account for about 3% of the total CO2. Ijn other words manmade emissions are dwarfed by the CO2 emissions from natural sources so without extremely fine resolution, we are unlikely to readily see manmade emissions showing up.

    This is particularly so since manmade emissions are made up of many activities, eg. car transport, ship transport, air transport, industrialisation, crop burning etc. Each of these would have a different geographical ‘hot spot’ but one is then only talking of say 40% of 3%, or 20% of 3%, or 10% of 3% etc such that each ‘hot spot’ is only a miniscule proportion of total CO2 emissions being measured. .

    • Richard Verney
      That is exactly the point. Anthropogenic CO2 is so inconsequential that it cannot be detected by this satellite.
      It is a tool for the skeptics in countering the propaganda hype of the alarmists.
      We point to the image and say “Show where the AGCO2 is coming from” and they can’t.
      In fact, the AGCO2 contribution may be far less than the presently given figure of ~3%, in view of the information provided by this satellite image.

      • mpainter: wrong reasoning. It is not because it is only 7% or 3% or 0.3% of the natural cycle that it can’t cause the increase. The point is that the human addition is not part of the cycle, it is additional. As the natural cycle only absorbs halve of the yearly emissions (in quantity, not the original molecules), the other halve adds to the increase, which therefore is (near) 100% caused by the human emissions…

      • Ferdinand,
        Do you exclude anthropogenic CO2 from the carbon cycle?
        I would consider this approach as mistaken. The carbon cycle does not distinguish between natural and manmade sources but you do.

        You can hardly maintain that the carbon cycle is well understood, or that we know with certitude the amount of CO2 released in nature. To assume otherwise is error, IMO.

      • Mpainter, the amounts of CO2 circulating through the various reservoirs are roughly known, be it not exactly, based on O2 (vegetation) and δ13C changes (both oceans and vegetation). That is not the point. What is exactly known is the human contribution (10 +1/-0,5 GtC/year) and the increase in the atmosphere (5 GtC/year and +/- 2 GtC/year natural variability with an accuracy of +/- 0.4 GtC of the measurements).

        Thus the net contribution of the full seasonal cycle is exactly known and that is all what is needed: it doesn’t make any difference if there is going 100 GtC natural CO2 in and 105 GtC out in 2014, or 200 GtC in and 205 GtC out. Or that the distribution of the 5 GtC sink was 90% in the oceans or 90% in vegetation. Or that the oceans were a net source of 10 GtC/year and vegetation a net sink of 15 GtC/year or reverse… That is only of academic interest.

        All what counts is the 5 GtC extra sink capacity, which means that there is zero contribution from nature as a whole to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere… already 55 years for sure.

    • Take a look at the CO2 data for Grifton, NC. http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/wdcgg/pub/data/current/co2/event/itn435n00.noaa.as.fl.co2.2006.ev.dat. NC probably has one of the highest population densities of coal fired power plants in the nation, yet most of the time the CO2 concentration closely tracks global background levels for time of year and latitude. I observe peaks only when the wind is coming from the SW (where a 15W power plant is in Kinston, 7Km upwind). Local sinks must be strong enough to rapidly bring down the concentration to background levels. I suspect the strongest local sinks are cold water clouds followed by vegitation and moist soil.

  48. Ian W said: “The carbon in volcanic CO2 is the same isotope as ‘fossil fuel’ burning. So you need to rebalance your assumptions.”

    Not so. Magmatic, volcanic and fossil fuels are well depleted of C14 because they are old enough to have lost virtually all of their C14 by decay to nitrogen.

    Clark & Fritz (1997) have documented that there is no volcanic emission of 14C.

    Clark, I., & Fritz, P., 1997, Environmental Isotopes in Hydrogeology, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton
    http://library.dmr.go.th/library/TextBooks/2984.pdf

    C13 is stable and less depleted during photosynthesis in marine and C4 plants, such as corn (maize) compared with C3 plants (wheat etc).

  49. One interesting question that I have yet to see answered is why have the volume iof carbon sinks increased over the past 50 or so years?

    This is an important question since if oceans are warming, they are out gasing more and more CO2 so their capacity as a sink is probably getting less and less, not more and more.

    One part explanation is that of farming in the developed world. That the developed world’s increase in agriculture has permitted more and more crops to be grown annually and these crops are taking up ever more amounts of CO2.

    One often talks about farming on an industrial scale. And this expression is interesting, because there is a deep truth in it. In the developed world, we can only have farming on an industrial scale, because of industry and the industrial revolution. They go hand in hand.

    It may well be the case that the industrialisation of the developed world has not resulted in much in the way of increased net CO2, since such CO2 emiisions resulting from industrialisation have largely been taken up by the increase in agricultural productivity and the ever amounts of crops that we are growing annually.

    Accordingly, it may be that we in the developed world are largely carbon neutral. Would that not be ironic.

    If we were to scale back our industry, we would eventually be forced to scale back our farming since farming today is energy intensive, and without the ready availability of energy, farming will inevitably be adversely affected.

    • The explanation is that carbon uptake is a function of atmospheric CO2 levels; the higher the atm. CO2, the higher the uptake as plants take advantage of the atmospheric CO2 “fertility”.

      • Thanks. I am aware that that is one mechanism put forward, but I do not consider that we properly understand the carbo cycle and the carbon sinks.

        What was the size of the Carbon Sink when Mauna Loa figures first came on line? What is the size of the Carbon Sink today? Precisely why and how has it changed?

        We know that atmospheric CO2 concentrations is not rising as fast as the estimated manmade emissions which means that the volume of carbon sink is increasing faster than the rate of manmade emissions. Every year it is able to absorb an additional 1 to 2ppm of CO2 otherwise we would be seeing (if our estimates of manmade CO2 emissions is correct) an increase in CO2 of ~3.5 to ~4ppm annually rather than a little under 2 ppm annually .

        But if global temperatures have been increasing these past 150 or so years then ocean CO2 out gasing must have also correspondingly increased, so carbon sinks have to .absorb not only all the additional ocean out gassing but also approximately 50% of the manmade emissions.

        I accept that the planet has been greening, certainly these past 20 or so years, notwithstanding the increase in manmade deforestation that has taken place, but do we know that that accounts for all the additional carbon sink capacity.

        I do not think that we really know with enough acuracy precisely what is happening and why. Perhaps this new data source will provide us with better understanding.

      • carbon sinks were about 0.5 ppmv/year (1 GtC/year) in 1959 increasing to about 2.5 ppmv/year (5 GtC/year) in 2012, still around 50% of human emissions. The sink rate is directly proportional to the atmospheric pressure of CO2 (where ppmv ~ μatm) minus the equilibrium pressure for the current temperature which is modulated by the 2-3 years response of (tropical) vegetation to temperature (and drought) as result of mainly ENSO:

        where the red line is the calculated airborne fraction taking into account the difference between pCO2(air) and equilibrium pCO2 for the actual temperature (about 8 ppmv/°C).

        The distribution of sinks is currently about:
        – 1 GtC/year in the biosphere (based on the oxygen use balance)
        – 0.5 GtC/year in the ocean surface layer (due to buffer saturation)
        – 3.5 GtC/year in the deep oceans (the balance as all other sinks are too small or too slow)

        The deep oceans are the main sink and the oceans as a whole are net sinks, not sources. If they were the main source, the 13C/12C of the atmosphere would go up, while we see a firm drop…

      • I agree with Richard Verney that our understanding of the carbon cycle is imperfect. This satellite image gives me to understand that natural carbon sources are far underestimated and that anthropogenic CO2 is much smaller, proportionately.

    • Sea water near ice will always be a strong sink. Phytoplankton blumes make them even stronger sinks. In the Arctic, the area of that sink changes with the seasons. CO2 builds up as the sink is being covered with ice and decreases as the ice melts and phytoplankton comes to life. It reaches it’s minimum for the year in September when the ice is a minimum. In contrast. the cold circumpolar current around Antarctica is never covered. It just shifts northward.

  50. Preliminary evidence essentially exonerates humans as the source of CO2.

    This is a surprising, unsupported, statement which would benefit from some elaboration, but, after making it, the author chooses to ramble on about something else.
    These CO2 distributions are not new, are seasonal, and should not come as a surprise to informed people. Many previous studies which have reported similar results and some are referenced by commenters here.

    The really disappointing thing is how many people who don’t understand appear willing to latch on to this unsupported statement a refutation of AGW; it isn’t.

    However, I do thank Ferdinand Engelbeen for his informative comments which prove that it is still possible to learn something in spite of everything and that makes this site useful.

  51. Here is Hansen on the settled science. He says that the decline in co2 airborne fraction is caused by the burning of coal!

    31 March 2013
    [Dr. James Hansen – Co-written by Pushker Kharecha and Makiko Sato]

    An interesting point, however, is the failure of the observed increases in atmospheric CO2 to increase as rapidly as the fossil fuel source has increased. This fact is contrary to suggestions that terrestrial and ocean carbon sinks are tending to saturate as CO2 emissions continue.

    An informative presentation of CO2 observations is the ratio of annual CO2 increase in the air
    divided by annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions, the “airborne fraction” (Fig. 3, right scale). This airborne fraction, clearly, is not increasing. Thus the net ocean plus terrestrial sink for carbon emissions has increased by a factor of 3 to 4 since 1958, accommodating the emissions increase by that factor.

    Remarkably, the airborne fraction has declined since 2000. The seven-year running mean had
    remained close to 60 percent up to 2000, except for the period affected by Pinatubo. The airborne fraction is affected by factors other than the efficiency of carbon sinks, most notably by changes in the rate of fossil fuel emissions. However, the change of emission rate in 2000 from 1.5 percent/year to 3.1 percent/year (Fig. 1), other things being equal, would have caused a sharp increase of the airborne fraction (because a rapid source increase provides less time for carbon to be moved downward out of the ocean’s upper layers). A decrease in land use emissions during the past decade might contribute a partial explanation for the decrease of the airborne fraction, but something more than land use change seems to be occurring.

    We suggest that the surge of fossil fuel use, mainly coal, since 2000 is a basic cause of the large
    increase of carbon uptake by the combined terrestrial and ocean carbon sinks
    ……….
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/doubling-down-on-our-faustian-bargain_b_2989535.html

  52. This thing is bugging me, this satellite.
    What exactly is it trying to do? OK it makes pretty pictures of the CO2 in atmospheric column between itself and the ground, but what use is that. Taking my conjecture (even for a split second) that a lot of CO2 is coming from farmer induced soil erosion, how do you tell that apart from power stations, houses, factories or road traffic. The thing has not got the resolution to see that, not least because people tend to live, work, generate/use power where their food resource is.
    And then, I have just driven into town in my little truck. in the current weather conditions, within a couple of hours the CO2 it emitted (Gawd how I’m coming to hate that word) will be most of the way to Norway and if it gets up a-height near the jet-stream it could be over Moscow in a similar time. What does a satellite seeing that tell you, its only adding confusion.
    We need CO2 meters, on the ground, local and in weather stations. Period.
    Another thing. If I understand GHG theory in any small way, wouldn’t locally high concentrations of CO2 be causing locally elevated (atmospheric) temperatures? Doesn’t the CO2 thermalise upwelling radiation?
    So, where is the temperature map to overlay the CO2 map. It would surely be proof positive of the CO2 induced greenhouse effect. yes/no

    • There are a lot of stations on ground level, including tall towers, which measure the CO2 gradient between ground and several hundred meters height. These can be used to calculate CO2 fluxes over a large area. See:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2141884/
      CO2 has some (physical based) absorption of near IR waves, which causes about 0.9°C warming, all other things being equal (which never is), But that is over the full 70 km air column. If the near-ground CO2 levels are elevated, but the rest of the bulk atmosphere isn’t, that has very little effect on temperature. Based on Modtran (absorbance) calculations, even if the first 1000 meters is increased to 1000 ppmv, that only gives some theoretical 0.1°C extra warming…

  53. Suppose human emissions of CO2 are all sequestered in the surrounding regions by enhanced plant growth thus increasing the natural land based sinks. That would explain why there are no plumes of CO2 downwind of human population centres.

    At the same time, more sunlight into the oceans (as a result of solar variations) is causing reduced oceanic absorption beneath the subtropical high pressure cells where sunlight is at its strongest. That would explain why there are plumes of CO2 downwind of such sun warmed ocean surfaces.

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/evidence-that-oceans-not-man-control-co2-emissions/

    That also deals with the mass balance argument because the enhanced land based sinks balance our emissions leaving the reduced power of the ocean sinks to permit all or most of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2.

    Since that artificially enhanced (by humans) biomass activity reduces C13 there is your explanation for falling C13 amounts rather than the proposed reduction in C13 from our burning of fossil fuels.

    One could still say that the fall in C13 is caused by us but the benefit we get in exchange is a human induced greening of the local and regional environments.

    • The mass balance refutes the complete uptake of all human emissions by plants: human emissions are about 10 GtC/year, the net uptake by the biosphere is 1 GtC/year and mostly in the warm seasons. Moreover as plants prefer 12CO2 over 13CO2, the extra uptake will increase the 13C/12C ratio, not decrease it…

      • That extra uptake of total CO2 will result in greater 13CO2 depleted emissions from decaying leaf litter a few years later, which is not accounted for in your mass balance. These plumes indicate these emission rates are greater than the rates the canopy leaves are absorbing.

      • Ferdinand, you said above:

        ” both C3 and C4 plants have a lower δ13C ratio than the atmosphere and all fossil fuels are (much) lower.”

        Fossil fuels produce much more 12C relative to 13C than the biosphere and plants prefer to take up the 12C so plants are going to mop up our emissions as a priority are they not?

        The net uptake of the whole biosphere is not representative of local and regional CO2 exchanges since our biosphere is relatively starved of CO2 compared to previous CO2 rich epochs. I see no problem with the local and regional sinks absorbing our emissions as fast as we produce them without having much effect on the global net balances since our emissions are trivial compared to the global carbon cycle.

        A global net uptake of 1Gt/year is not necessarily inconsistent with our gross 10Gt/year being absorbed locally or regionally by the biosphere because the global exchange is so much larger.

        You can’t mix up global net and local gross numbers in such a vast and complex system of carbon exchange.

        If enhanced plant growth locally and regionally is preventing our emissions from altering the 12C/13C ratio by absorbing 12C in priority for 13C then we must look elsewhere for the global fall in 13C relative to 12C.

        What about biological activity in the oceans affecting the isotope ratio?

        What is the isotope ratio for the CO2 absorbed by, and released by, organic material in the oceans?

      • Ferdinand rejects the notion that an anthropogenic CO2 reduction would only be reflected proportionately in overall CO2 growth, that is ~3%. There are other factors that we are unaware of or unaccounted for. For example, artificial nitrogen fertilizer increases soil bacteria by a prodigious amount.
        The use of this has increased manifold over the decades. I am sure there are others.

      • fhhaynie, the plant decay emissions come after the extra CO2 uptake by plants, thus the net balance of 1 GtC/year extra uptake by the biosphere gives more 12CO2 uptake by the plants and thus relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere is left. The problem with the satellite data is that they are only for 1.5 month, thus you see only a small part of a season where the same emitting surface (forest or ocean) can be a net absorber if you look at a full seasonal cycle…

      • Stephen Wilde, plants use preferentially 12CO2, but that is in ratio to the supply of the moment: plants near volcanic vents show a higher 13C/12C ratio than the same plants further away. That is used to calculate the average ratio between CO2 from the volcano and that of the rest of the atmosphere.
        The 13C/12C ratio in plant leaves in general follow the ratio in the bulk of the atmosphere, but I suppose that plants growing just near a huge human emission spot will show lower ratio’s. For most plants during the day and sufficient wind speed, the atmosphere around plants is quite identical to the bulk of the atmosphere, so human CO2 is readily mixed in. Stack exhausts are in general warmer, thus industrial emissions spread fast into the higher layers of the atmosphere…

        About oceans: CO2 in the deep oceans is around zero per mil δ13C. In the surface layer it is +1 to +5 per mil, due to bio life where some of the low-13C organics drop out of the surface layer and sink into the deep oceans. It is the combination of high δ13C in the surface layer and a drop of average -8 per mil δ13C in CO2 circulating between the atmosphere and the (deep) oceans which made that the pre-industrial level in the atmosphere maintained a level of around -6.4 +/- 0.2 per mil δ13C over the whole Holocene. Since the use of fossil fuels, the drop is 1.6 per mil in complete ratio to human emissions. I don’t see how any natural cause (equivalent to burning 1/3rd of all land vegetation) can do that…

  54. Funny how the Climatist gang desperately want and need for man to be responsible for the increase in CO2, which to them is an evil, polluting gas, while for Climate Realists, it would also be nice to know that we are responsible, but for the opposite reason; which is that the increase in CO2 has been nothing but a boon to the biosphere, and to mankind. They irrationally want to blame man, while we rationally would like for man to take at least some of the credit for the increase. Irony.

  55. The range in that map is ~15 ppm CO2. That’s roughly the amplitude in the annual atmospheric CO2 cycle in northern latitudes. The monthly change in atmospheric CO2, even at MLO is at the ~2 ppm/month and greater during summer decline. The human emissions are around 37 Gt CO2 annually (2014) and that’s 4.7 ppm/year or 0.4 ppm/month. The net flux of 2 ppm/month is 5 times the human input of 0.4 ppm/month. Even if the human emissions were the only significant factor affecting the atmospheric CO2 and its change, it couldn’t be seen in that image of averaged CO2 1 Oct to 11 Nov.

      • We would see plumes of net CO2 flux (increased CO2 concentrations). At the monthly resolution the local human flux is much smaller than the net flux (~0.4 ppm/month compared to 2 and more ppm/month). A bit more orange in already yellow-orange, but still overwhelmed by the net (natural + human) fluxes.

  56. One of the interesting issues when you have media oligarchies due to economies of scale precluding almost all new entrants, society then has to ask: ‘How important is the Freedom of the Press, when so often they misuse that freedom not to inform and educate, but to misinform and endanger?’

    We all have the freedom simply to switch off, not to buy papers, to try and find alternative sources. But for the vast majority, they have neither the time nor energy to do all that. They need reliable sources if they are to function properly as citizens. They have kids to feed, bathe and clothe. They have all the daily tasks to finish. They have 10 hr work days and children taxi driver jobs to do. They want their news sources to be trustworthy and, as far as possible accurate.

    Today in the UK, we are seeing that Saturn on nations, North Korea, cited by the Daily Telegraph (a front organisation for third rate CIA/MI6 moles) for the second day in a row being about to launch pre-emptive war strikes on the USA.

    Have you ever read anything more ridiculous in your life?? North Korea is a domesticated pussy cat and the USA is the world’s most voracious piranha. All cats who want to live a long life don’t jump into the pool with the piranha.

    But we the public are expected to swallow this tripe.

    Russia is also announced as being ‘in full scale meltdown’ as it funds one of its smaller banks £343m. That’s under half a billion.

    Remind me, how much was it we in the UK, a much smaller country, pumped into our failed banks?? That would be £50bn – about 150 times as much. Yet we were ‘responsible government preserving our AAA status’ (well, for a while anyway).

    More tripe. Come back and tell me when they’ve pumped in £25bn. Then I’ll sit up and take notice.

  57. Regardless of the message, every single ‘climate’ graph now has to be taken with a pinch of salt due to endless manipulations according to the motivation/s of the body presenting said data.
    A sad state of affairs.

    • Exactly.

      And they are at it again with sea water temps, as Bob notes in his next post Quick Look at the DATA for the New NOAA Sea Surface Temperature Dataset

      Almost all data sets have become horribly corrupted by endless adjustments all in the supposed guise of homogenisation.

  58. Clearly, human CO2 emissions are to blame for the 18+-year Halt in the warming:

    We were warming up nicely before, then boom, it stopped. If we want more warming, which human history shows is entirely beneficial, we need to spend multi-$trillions to get our “carbon” emissions under control.
    Or, we could just adapt.
    Tough choice.

  59. So the excess emissions (of 13CO2 depleted CO2) that is observed in this month and a half period were probably absorbed by the canopy several years earlier and are responding to seasonal temperature changes.

    • Depends of where and how much: here the average CO2 and δ13C seasonal movements at Barrow and Mauna Loa:

      The opposite CO2 and δ13C changes prove that the (extra-tropical) NH forests are dominant.

      The CO2 and δ13C seasonal movements in the SH are much smaller as there is relative less vegetation and more ocean in the SH.

      • Those differences are more closely related to the changing areas of the cold ocean sinks than they are to Arctic forest activity. Both are temperature dependant which is time and latitude dependent.

  60. Maybe it’s a silly question to be asking, but, …… how can you have this, to wit:

    average atmospheric CO2 concentrations – 1 October to 11 November

    When you also got this, to wit:

    Global wind patterns

    42 days of winds and the CO2 is still all bunched up in the atmosphere above its sources.

  61. How much does all the natural CO2 vents in that part of Africa figure into things? I’ve yet to see their contribution of CO2 acknowledged in any of the literature I’ve seen. Yet, the continent is pretty much pockmarked with them.

  62. Many thanks for posting Murry Salby’s talk and also thanks to Ferdinand Engelbeen for his thoughtful input. Between the two we have a point and counterpoint analysis of carbon isotopes.

  63. In reply to:
    richard verney

    One interesting question that I have yet to see answered is why have the volume of carbon sinks increased over the past 50 or so years?
    This is an important question since if oceans are warming, they are out gasing more and more CO2 so their capacity as a sink is probably getting less and less, not more and more.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen

    …carbon sinks were about 0.5 ppmv/year (1 GtC/year) in 1959 increasing to about 2.5 ppmv/year (5 GtC/year) in 2012, still around 50% of human emissions. The sink rate is directly proportional to the atmospheric pressure of CO2 (where ppmv ~ μatm) minus the equilibrium pressure for the current temperature which is modulated by the 2-3 years response of (tropical) vegetation to temperature (and drought) as result of mainly ENSO:

    The distribution of sinks is currently about:
    – 1 GtC/year in the biosphere (based on the oxygen use balance)
    – 0.5 GtC/year in the ocean surface layer (due to buffer saturation)
    – 3.5 GtC/year in the deep oceans (the balance as all other sinks are too small or too slow)

    William:
    There is no current explanation as to why the sink of CO2 would increase by a factor of 5 from 0.5 ppm/year to 2.5 ppm/year. The IPCC had predicted that the CO2 sink would decrease with increasing temperature and increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, not increase by a factor of 5.

    It should be noted there is a mysterious CO2 sink that is not known. All non-anthropogenic sinks and sources are estimated rather than measured.

    Salby found atmospheric CO2 changes as the integral of planetary temperature. Atmospheric CO2 does not changes in direct relationship with anthropogenic CO2 emission. That is an observational fact not a theory. You must I assume be aware that the mysterious CO2 sink increases to sequester more and more CO2. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have increased 40%. yet year by year atmospheric CO2 continues to increase roughly as the integral of temperature.

    Salby’s finding is not theoretical, it is an observational fact, that must be explained. As Salby notes correctly in the paleo past planetary temperature rises and then CO2 increases. That is an observational fact also.

    As I have noted before the source of the earth’s oceans is from core released CH4 (The late Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Thomas Gold, in his book ‘Deep Hot biosphere The myth of Fossil fuels’ provides roughly 40 observations to support that assertion). The core released CH4 is deficient in C13 which explains why the C13/C12 ratio in sediments does not increase with geological time.

    The solution to the Salby’s observational paradox is the cause of the recent temperature increase (P.S. the cause of the recent temperature increase is not CO2. If the cause of the recent temperature increase was anthropogenic CO2 emissions there would not be a secession of warming, no warming, zilch warming, for 17 years.) is also causing an increase in low C13, CH4. The CH4 is converted to CO2 by it appears biological processes which explains the massive amount of CO2 emissions overland in the Southern hemisphere.

  64. The crucial question is what degree of forcing results from the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The IPCC offers a wide window. The alarmist gravitate to the high end and the luke warmers to the low end. Even Anthony Watts agrees increased CO2 levels produce warmer temperatures, albeit low enough to be manageable.

    Why can’t scientists come up with a more precise answer? And I mean a scientific non ideologically driven answer.

    • @ alarmfreebutconcerned

      Because it is actually impossible for anyone to accurately measure the amount of “warming” that individual atmospheric gasses contribute to the measured temperature of any specific locale within the atmosphere, ……. specifically because the earths atmosphere is an “open system” ….. and generally because the thermal energy passing through the atmosphere is also being transferred “back n’ forth” between the gas molecule therein.

      Also, it is impossible for anyone to measure the warming effect of the lesser quantity of gas (CO2) in a mixture of two different gases when the quantity of the greater (100X) volume of gas (H2O vapor) is constantly changing from hour to hour and/or day to day.

  65. William Astley

    There is no current explanation as to why the sink of CO2 would increase by a factor of 5 from 0.5 ppm/year to 2.5 ppm/year. The IPCC had predicted that the CO2 sink would decrease with increasing temperature and increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, not increase by a factor of 5.

    The IPCC is right, but the influence of temperature in the period 1959-2014 on CO2 levels is not more than 4 ppmv CO2 increase (0.5°C increase * 8 ppmv/°C). That is all.
    On the other side, for the current temperature the equilibrium between oceans and atmosphere would be around 295 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere.

    In 1959 CO2 levels in the atmosphere were 315 ppmv in 2014 they are 395 ppmv.
    A difference in pCO2 of 20 μatm in 1959 and 100 μatm in 2014. Or a factor 5 in CO2 pressure difference between atmosphere and average oceans over 55 years.
    As the release and uptake of CO2 by the oceans is directly proportional to the CO2 partial pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans (or reverse), the factor 5 increase in sink capacity is what can be expected…

    It should be noted there is a mysterious CO2 sink that is not known. All non-anthropogenic sinks and sources are estimated rather than measured.

    There is much more known about CO2 sinks (the “missing sink” is an old story) than you expect: increase of CO2 uptake by plants is measured via the oxygen balance. The increase of CO2 in the ocean surface is measured at several fixed places, buoys and regular research ships cruises (and can be directly calculated from the Revelle/buffer factor). In the deep oceans more sporadic, but even there the increase is monitored at the sink places…

  66. “Riding the global cycles
    Diatoms fix as much carbon dioxide as all the rainforests of the world combined, and they may very well have been the main architects of our current, moderately cool climate situation. The rise of the diatoms began in a much warmer climate than ours, with no ice caps on the poles. The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was much higher than today. In the Cretaceous, around 100 million years ago, when diatoms began to become widespread and developed great diversity, the carbon dioxide level was fivefold higher than today, and oxygen was lower. Remarkably, diatoms managed to thrive and expand during a period of extreme climate change, and they also seem to have come through the mass extinction that saw off the dinosaurs without too many problems. The opening of the Drake Passage around 40 million years ago, which created the continent of Antarctica, was particularly beneficial for the diatoms because they began to proliferate dramatically in the cold turbulent waters of the Southern Ocean.

    As diatoms evolved thicker and denser cell walls and spread across the oceans, it became more likely that dead diatoms might sink to the ocean floor and thus sequester their carbon.”
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982212008664

  67. It’s so easy to pole holes in some of these assumptions that it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Where are the fires? Can’t be Africa and South America because ( fill in blank excuse) ….

    Rather than think, why not just look it up? NASA Web Fire Mapper Applet Use can even the custom date range to match the dates and time from the study in question.

    Of course that means having to admit your preconceived notions are incorrect and the scientists are right. Can’t have that. Better to remain ignorant of the truth. (sic)

  68. How much does this latest satellite announcement agree with the Japanese GOSAT which was launched in 2009. Does it confirm the Japanese results or not. Also, was GOSAT taken notice of in the IPCC statements.

    Also, how can South Africa which is the major industrial emitter in Southern Africa not show up as a CO2 hotspot on this picture but it is adjacent to the general area of the hotspot. South Africa is at the foot of the continent but is not part of the hotspot shown. This is despite the fact that veld burning occurs there too and also large scale commercial farming with the largest inputs of inorganic fertiliser on the continent. Not too mention every other aspect of industrial commercial farming. None of which things exist on any comparable scale in the hotspot areas. Yet it is not part of the hotspot but these countries are.

  69. I wonder if it would not appropriate to expand the analysis about the “pre-combustion” CO2 emissions during the extraction of natural gas from wells.
    The attached 2011 Study from the Cornell University is also useful when considering the CH4 conversion factor to account it in term of CO2eq.

    Finally, it might seems that the swithing from coal to natural gas produce no advantage at all in term of CO2 emissions and focalizing the attention on this speculation might help to redress dismantling this erroneous theory.
    When considering the hydrocarbons extraction: Crude oil and natural gas, it would seems logical to account for all: “Venting, Flaring and Methane Fugitive Emissions and convert same using the shorter factor (20 years, instead of the 100 years time frame (as the IPCC as always suggested) wether it is really an urgent “problem” to address.

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