Three scenarios for the future of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory

Guest essay by Ronald D Voisin

Global Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, as recorded by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Carbon dioxide concentrations are highest above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. Preliminary analysis of the African data shows the high levels there are largely driven by the burning of savannas and forests. Elevated carbon dioxide can also be seen above industrialized Northern Hemisphere regions in China, Europe and North America. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Global Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, as recorded by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Carbon dioxide concentrations are highest above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. Preliminary analysis of the African data shows the high levels there are largely driven by the burning of savannas and forests. Elevated carbon dioxide can also be seen above industrialized Northern Hemisphere regions in China, Europe and North America.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A Cynical Engineer: There are three scenarios for the future of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory:

1) NASA will continue to report transparent scientific results that will quickly and stunningly turn CAGW upside down. We will all realize that global CO2 emissions are not at all as taught, preached or predicted. That human emission to global atmospheric CO2 concentration is and always has been a small single-digit contribution. That if we shut human CO2 emission down completely tomorrow little would happen to the future trajectory of global CO2 concentration. And indeed, had we humans never industrialized, little would be different about that trajectory over the past 60 years right up to today.

2) NASA will homogenize the data with such effort as to make the original data set unrecognizable. There will be lots of hand waving and we’ll endure continued lame explanations such as in the caption that was released with this initial data set.

3) The OCO instrument will suffer a premature and catastrophic failure.

When the first versions of the OCO were being launched I thought to myself: Great, let’s cut to the chase scene, grab the crucial data, and get this AGW malarkey over with quickly. But then scenario 3) happened…twice.

Scenario 2) has been observed from more organizations and more times than can be counted.

Scenario 1) requires so much crow eating by so many organizations and over so short a period of time as to be entirely politically unacceptable even as it is scientifically accurate. I doubt it can be allowed to happen.

And just what would NASA have us believe about this first OCO product:

a) That shortly before this last October 1st, industrial production shut down in the Ohio Valley, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. That as of October 1st, U.S. industrial production has been concentrated in the lush Appalachian Slopes of the Carolinas, Georgia and Northern Florida.

b) That farming activities may account for the CO2 plumes over the lush forests of South America and South-Central Africa. While Australian industrial activity may have pushed it’s CO2 output upwind into the lush forests of Malaysia.

c) That the oceans are net absorbers of anthropogenic CO2 contrary to this most recent observation.

Or…is there a different explanation from what NASA seems to believe? Like:

Insect and microbial emissions, each at 10X all anthropogenic emission, dominate in these lush forested areas while the historically mildly warming oceans are also net CO2 contributors. And, anthropogenic emission is essentially irrelevant to atmospheric CO2 concentration at an approximately 2% contribution to the natural flux.


About the Author

Ronald D Voisin is a retired engineer. He spent 27 years in the Semiconductor Lithography Equipment industry mostly in California’s Silicon Valley. Since retiring in 2007, he has made a hobby of studying climate change. Ron received a BSEE degree from the Univ. of Michigan – Ann Arbor in 1978 and has held various management positions at both established semiconductor equipment companies and start-ups he helped initiate. Ron has authored/co-authored 31 patent applications, 27 of which have issued.

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311 thoughts on “Three scenarios for the future of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory

    • Sadly, yes. How about an engineer’s perspective on the instrumentation aboard OCO? Capabilities and limitations? Comparison to other similar ground-based instrumentation?

      • his scenarios do not include the null hypothesis, which I consider to be most likely. What does he have to say about the Keeling curve? He’s setting WUWT for embarrassment.

    • The man has a theory and has made testable predictions. I say wait and see what the observations show.

    • The debate has never been about the science. We know this because we know the science as collected and distributed by taxpayer funded agenda alarmists is tortured, obfuscated, homogenized, distorted, modeled, and useless. Even the Pope agrees that science doesn’t matter. It is a religion alarmists can believe in.

      Now let’s get back to solving the real problem which is purely political.

    • Like the notion that scientists would conspire to block publications and ruin the careers of their peers? Like the notion that they would conspire to “hide the decline” in the proxy measurements they use to project temperature measurements back in time? Or, cherry pick data from a small number of compliant proxies? Or, fiddle with the pH measurements from the oceans? Or “adjust” temperatures to make them colder in the past, and extrapolate measurements over uncovered areas in complete violation of sampling theorems to make recent global estimates hotter?

      That kind of tin-foil-hat brigade cynicism?

      Look, it’s paranoia to imagine conspiracies where no evidence exists. It is another thing entirely to stick your head in the sand when there are clear and unambiguous evidences of ongoing conspiratorial behaviour.

      • “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

        One of the best tricks that is pulled these days is to claim that anyone who does not believe the “official explanation” is a “conspiracy theorist”. Since the definition of conspiracy is 2 or more people planning something illegal, wrongful, or subversive; there must be a lot of conspiracies going on at any given time.

      • Paraphrase: It is impossible to convince a man of something with evidence, no matter how strong, when his paycheck depends on believing the opposite.

    • Wouldn’t throw out cynicism out so quickly. Cynicism like sarcasm can be exceptional at revealing painful truths.

      As far as tin-foil hat,it is the climate alarmists who in their paranoid delusions create entities like the “climate science legal defense fund” used exclusively to persecute others.

      Now did you have anything to say about the 3 scenarios presented or was it a typical climate tactic of marginalizing critics and pretending the boat isn’t sinking?

      • My comments on the 3 scenarios:

        (1) I am excited to see there’s an instrument which could prove that this scenario is reality. Likewise, it may also add considerable weight to the AGW theory and mean that many of us here at WUWT have got it wrong.

        (2) I fear that this will be the claim from entrenched sceptics if the numbers don’t support their case. I would be surprised if Eschenbach and McIntyre don’t sink their teeth into the data and report on just how mangled it is.

        (3) Tin-foil-hat, black-helicopters-coming-to-get-me, moon-landing-hoax Lewandowsky fodder.

      • “I am excited to see..” Start by diverting blood back to your brain. The areas of high concentrations of CO2 do not back up AGW and it is not getting anyone at WUWT thinking that they’re wrong. Stop the propaganda please.

        That chart shows clearly that high concentrations of CO2 come down from high altitudes with the air that provides the kinetic energy for the trade winds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_wind#mediaviewer/File:Map_prevailing_winds_on_earth.png

        The pockets are bounded by high ranges. The area in China of high concentrations is well south of Beijing because the trade winds blow a few hundred kilometres south of Beijing into the plains surrounded by the high lands of central and western china. http://np.china-embassy.org/eng/ChinaABC/dl/W020041027375429228697.jpg

        The African pocket of high concentrations is the middle (Zaire, Zambia, Botswana and Eastern Angola) surrounded by the mountains of the coastal areas and in the Congo. http://www.vhinkle.com/africa/S_Africa_phy.jpg

        The South American pocket is in the Amazon Basin, weaker in the highlands of Bolivia and higher again in the valleys of northern Argentina. http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/sanewlnd.gif

        Australia’s Great dividing Range is pitiful in the tropics (and barely anything to write home about in the subtropics. You can park your car just short of the summit of the highest mountain in Aus) while the trade winds blow from the south east towards the East Indies.

        The eastern US has small mountain ranges but the trade winds swirl as they meet the westerlies of the temperate zone, which could also explain the pockets of high concentrations in the south Indian and South Pacific.

        About an hour of research, O’Tool. You should try it.

    • They will be releasing detailed data tomorrow – maybe they will also provide an updated map.

      The map will look different with the new data as the period of the first map from October 1 to November 11, is the only time of year one will see higher concentrations in the southern hemisphere. This is just a seasonal pattern that goes away by mid-November..

      http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/

    • Bull. Read his article and then read NASA’s caption to NASA’s very own satellite produced illustration. Grab, secure, and then employ every shred of reasoning ability that exists in your mind and answer, as truthfully as you dare, whether or not Voisin’s description makes more sense as to what’s going on in an illustration (that’s not just subtly whispering, but instead, outright screaming to you) then NASA’s preordained, pathetic, and politically motivated (keep the funding coming) explanation for that same illustration – one they, themselves produced. If Voisin’s wearing a tinfoil hat it’s one constructed of pure gold.

      • 169 comments already, and I haven’t read them all, so apologies to anyone who has said this already:

        Ronald D Voisin’s analysis is incorrect. If you look at the graph of CO2 concentration against time, you will see that the seasonal variation dominates in the short term. Only over a period of several years is the growth in CO2 concentration apparent. So it is not at all surprising that short term local factors dominate the CO2 pattern at any one point in time. This does not in any way disprove that fossil fuel usage has been the major driver of CO2 concentration over the last few decades.

      • It certainly doesn’t support it. Human inputs are small, but concentrated in specific regions. And, those specific regions should show something in the way of hotspots, either at or near the sites. Yet, what do we see?

    • Unlike NOAA’s claim that burning brush or forests along with non-industrial region’s secret industries?

      NOAA has proposed a ridiculous scenario in spite of observational evidence; indicating NOAA’s scientific failure and a total lack of moral compass.

      Now Ronald D Voisin has proposed three additional paths forward.

      Do you have a legitimate suggestion for a fourth, fifth or other sequential path forward for NOAA?

      You will need to take off your aluminum-foil helmet Dermot-o-illogical; your skin on your head needs access to air and your ears can utilize the incoming sounds.

      • Well my main reticence in accepting the CO2 story (I do believe it’s a GHG), is the often cited assertion that CO2 is well mixed in earth’s atmosphere. The three-D graph of CO2 over a number of years from pole to pole proves that is total nonsense.

        Now yes I do expect there to be an altitude gradient. But the ML data, and the 3-D graph, show that CO2 can vary rapidly (18-20 ppm in 5 months at the north pole), and that it isn’t mixed at all north-south.

        The former puts the lie to a 200 year “residence” time in the atmosphere.

        Both CO2 and H2O are PERMANENT components of the atmosphere; but it is like American football.

        One CO2 or H2O molecule runs off the field, for the next play, and a different one runs on to replace it. Who cares how fast they get on and off. Both are there all the time, and all such molecules know exactly the same plays, so they all do the same thing.

        But I too will watch with interest as this new instrument starts to tell its story.

        g

      • george e. smith,

        Well my main reticence in accepting the CO2 story (I do believe it’s a GHG), is the often cited assertion that CO2 is well mixed in earth’s atmosphere. The three-D graph of CO2 over a number of years from pole to pole proves that is total nonsense.

        It constantly amazes me how the overly literal-minded confuse imprecise comparative terminology with quantitative, absolutely falsifiable ones.

        Now yes I do expect there to be an altitude gradient. But the ML data, and the 3-D graph, show that CO2 can vary rapidly (18-20 ppm in 5 months at the north pole), and that it isn’t mixed at all north-south.

        Compare CO2’s altitude profile to water vapor, and reconsider your argument.

        The former puts the lie to a 200 year “residence” time in the atmosphere.

        ????

        Do let me know when it starts snowing dry ice. Oh wait, we’ll be dead if that happens.

        Both CO2 and H2O are PERMANENT components of the atmosphere; but it is like American football.

        One CO2 or H2O molecule runs off the field, for the next play, and a different one runs on to replace it. Who cares how fast they get on and off. Both are there all the time, and all such molecules know exactly the same plays, so they all do the same thing.

        Well yes, even we silly warmists understand the fungible quality of GHG molecules. Those of us who are football fans also understand that more than 22 CO2 molecules are allowed on the field at any one time — the only limit being the difference between the rate we can desequester them from ancient rock strata and the rate the biosphere can soak them back up.

        But I too will watch with interest as this new instrument starts to tell its story.

        I’d tell you to prepare to be disappointed, but if this and similar threads on WUWT are any indication, y’all can make obvious data tell any non-obvious fiction you wish by simply ignoring most of it. When that fails, there’s always gambit (2): declare fraud via homogenization and continue believing you know more than anyone despite the very dearth of scientific transparency and integrity you’re nattering on about.

      • Brandon Gates says “It constantly amazes me how the overly literal-minded confuse imprecise comparative terminology with quantitative, absolutely falsifiable ones.” in reply to a statement that did not show lack of understanding due to taking the meaning of a phrase to be literal.

        It was just a cut-and-paste job of denials that the term Green House Effect is a good example of how poorly thought out all of this AGW is. Apparently, this makes Brandon clever.

      • Robert B,

        Brandon Gates says “It constantly amazes me how the overly literal-minded confuse imprecise comparative terminology with quantitative, absolutely falsifiable ones.” in reply to a statement that did not show lack of understanding due to taking the meaning of a phrase to be literal.

        George used the word “proves” which indicates a strength of certainty I generally reserve for pure mathematics and logic, not for non-trivial empirical science. I get it your tastes may vary, which is my point. Until one of you ponies up a quantifiable definition of “well-mixed” or cops to it being a qualitatively relative term, this discussion will remain an argument over semantics.

        It was just a cut-and-paste job of denials that the term Green House Effect is a good example of how poorly thought out all of this AGW is. Apparently, this makes Brandon clever.

        Not clever enough to parse the word salad of the first sentence. The vague armwaving about “poorly thought out” was a nice touch, however.

      • Well now, B. Gates
        How do you like the new orbiting carbon sniffer. I’ll bet that it really takes a load off your mind , knowing that anthropogenic CO2 is so inconsequential that it can’t even be detected by this ultra-sensitive and ultra -sophisticated instrument.
        “The truth shall make you free” (or at least keep your britches dry).

      • Get a dictionary, Brandon. Who do you think you are? Samuel Johnson? Am I’m not clever enough to parse a word salad or I don’t care to read the mind of an idiot?

        “evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth. ” or do you think that you could get away with being caught holding a smoking gun with ‘the word “proves” I generally reserve for pure mathematics and logic, not for non-trivial empirical science’?

        The truth Brandon is that you can only parrot what you think is witty writing. I know because I read another defender of ‘the science’ spit that gibberish out as well.

      • Robert B,

        Who do you think you are? Samuel Johnson?

        lol. Couple of years back someone called me a regular Hemingway. Ticked me off a bit ‘coz I was going for more of a Kerouac on the road sort of vibe with quite a few shades of Orwellian down and out in Paris and London. But he was quite knackered at the time and did at least have the decency to share the bottle with me.

        Am I’m not clever enough to parse a word salad or I don’t care to read the mind of an idiot?

        Yes.

        “evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth. ” or do you think that you could get away with being caught holding a smoking gun with ‘the word “proves” I generally reserve for pure mathematics and logic, not for non-trivial empirical science’?

        Oh I think I get it — you calling me a plagiarist. Well … you wouldn’t be the first.

        The truth Brandon is that you can only parrot what you think is witty writing. I know because I read another defender of ‘the science’ spit that gibberish out as well.

        Some say I’m David Appell’s sock puppet which amuses me since he’s quite a bit more harsh than I am. Even when I’m at my most cranky.

      • No answer from Gates.
        Let me guess – ” The new, fine, orbiting carbon sniffer stinks. It does not show any anthropogenic carbon, not a whiff”

      • mpainter,

        It will be interesting to see this time next year how the annual integrated OCO-2 plot compares to SCIAMACHY:

      • mpainter, here’s a better one:

        Let me double-check … is that CO2 … yes, that’s CO2. And check out China, wot hey?

    • DERMOT:

      Depends on which debate your talking about… you need to be more specific.

      This type of post is just fine for the political debate. Although Mr Voisin (the author of the post) may have missed a few other possible scenarios, his guesses are reasonable and are based on past experience … not on hopes, dreams, and paranoia.

      Your comment is offensive to those of us that wear the tin-foil-hat for the right reasons (and by the way, cynicism does not play into any of the reasons for wearing the hat)

    • Funny…they tell us that C02 is a well mixed gas. The above map clearly shows it’s not.

      They also tell us that volcanoes (both above the ground and beneath the ocean) don’t affect CO2 levels at all…but the DARKEST red areas on that map are almost perfectly….strangely… centered over actively erupting volcanoes on the surface, or submarine volcanoes erupting or producing seismic activity during Oct of 2014.

      Along with all the caveats Mr. Voisin listed, it’s just raw, unadulterated, observational commentary with a personal prediction of what he believes to be, and most people here would agree, the three most likely scenarios to follow.

      • Look at the map again.
        Can’t you see the % difference between the highest and lowest concentrations?
        Are we going to start arguing that CO2 is not well mixed? So what if they discover a hot spot somewhere.
        Same old stuff again and again. Magnify small differences as much as you can by playing around with the scale.

      • Its 15 ppm and the global average is reported to 0.1ppm based on readings from one site. Did you not notice how well the small differences in the derivative of CO2 concentration correlate with global temperature?

      • If 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere each year is exchanged with the oceans and the biosphere and the measured change less than 2% of full scale in the atmosphere, then I call that well mixed.

        It is know from after a few years that the measurements at the South Pole and Mauna Loa started some 55 years ago, that there is a seasonal component in the CO2 levels, mainly in the NH. That it is caused by NH extra-tropical vegetation, as the CO2 and δ13C changes are opposite to each other and mainly in the NH:

        With a throughput of ~150 GtC as CO2 passing the atmosphere over the seasons, it is difficult to see the 10 GtC/year contribution of humans, even if concentrated in some areas. One need to wait for a full year of data to know the real sinks and source of CO2…

    • Dermot, Had to come back on this one as sometimes it pays to throw a stone in the water: 252 comments and counting and all, pro or con, a great read (well most of them) with some interesting links.

  1. You know when you start going into the realm of conspiracy there is something not quite righ about the articles why not just compare these observations to the models released last month by NASA re:mixing?

    The tone of this article doesn’t do WIWT justice, IMHO.

    • You’re right about the tone.

      I think its better to wait for more OCO results. They are going to be interesting. For example the German electricity is 74% fossil, but in December there is no sunshine around and too little wind so the amount of coal alone probably exceeds 50%. Shall we see that in the OCO images? Or is it that China dominates? Guesses?

      • Hugh, if the comment “anthropogenic emission is essentially irrelevant to atmospheric CO2 concentration at an approximately 2% contribution to the natural flux” proves to be the case we will not seeing much change. Background noise?

      • Newsel, most of the natural flux is bi-directional, even slightly more output from the atmosphere than input. Human emissions are double that. Thus if the satellite is worth its money, after a full year of data, one should see the human contribution besides the continuous natural sources (the oceans near the equator) and continuous natural sinks (the oceans near the poles).

    • Andy, one can be forgiven for “the tone” given East Anglia et al and the OTT fervor of some AGW die-hards. Let’s hope the “calibration” of the OCO product is a transparent process as from first glance it does appear to provide a valuable look at both naturally occurring CO2 sources and other sources of CO2.

    • What conspiracy theory? He made a prediction based on their current and past behavior of NASA. No “conspiracy” necessary, just a little cynicism… Sit back and wait to see if it is correct, then begin your whine if it is not.

      Mark

      • Disagree. He didn’t make a prediction based on past and current behavior of NASA. He’s stating what NASA is doing in the here and now. It’s right there in the caption to the image. NASA’s explanation to the image is indisputably based on a preordained conclusion, and not what their very own image clearly screams out to the world. There’s virtually no prediction involved since a prediction is an expectation of a future behavior. This behavior isn’t really in the future. It’s right here, right now, right in front of us

      • Here’s my favorite example of NASA behavior:

        DR. FEYNMAN: Mr. Mulloy, when you use a math model, do you have any idea of how accurate it is?

        MR. MULLOY: We did not just use the math model. What we did was build a math model that was correlated to test. There was a test fixture that was built to empirically determine the maximum erosion that could occur while filling the annulus between the putty and the primary O-ring and the annulus between the primary and the secondary O-ring.

        Then Thiokol’s, Dr. Salita’s math model was shown to correlate very well with that, and I guess I can’t put a percentage accuracy on that. But the fact that the math model correlated pretty well with the test results gave us some confidence in that and the fact that the test demonstrated that there was a significant margin that was tolerable in terms of the amount of erosion, given the dimensional tolerance.

        [1515] DR. FEYNMAN: I think that the math model determined how the constants were determined and a line was put through the previous data on a somewhat similar material. And the line that was put through deviated. It doesn’t always give the same answer. You took an average rather than the maximum, so that there were factors of 2 above and factors of 2 below on the original data. If you would have known that, you could have appreciated that what this thing predicted could easily be a factor of 2 below the right answer, because in fact it didn’t even fit with the data on which it was constructed.

        You weren’t aware of that?

        MR. MULLOY: No, sir. I was not aware of that.

    • Nobody said there was a conspiracy. When a new president enters the White House and changes policies and sets political direction for the executive office, is that a conspiracy too? Politics have always provided direction and funding to science, and then used the results of science, especially in national security. In our current times, politics determines the direction and then influences the results. That is new (since the dark ages at least) and is disturbing.

      This behavior is evident in this caption. “Preliminary analysis of the African data shows the high levels there are largely driven by the burning of savannas and forests.” That certainly is apologist speculation. Better to not have a caption with silly speculation, or to simply state we do not understand how CO2 disburses through our atmosphere at this time. Making up stupid stuff is what politicians do not scientists.

      So given that, not sure why the “tone” of the article is more concerning than the behavior shown by NASA concerning climate.

  2. The range of CO2 concentrations from OCO seem reasonable. There image caption, however, is very incomplete. In this image, virtually all the CO2 at and south of the Equator is associated with biomass smoke. They (and we) can easily verify this using MODIS imagery, NASA’s own black carbon forecasts and the Navy’s NAAPS aerosol forecasts at http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/aerosol/ (scroll down to second pane. Select the World column and click on Archive. Select October 2014 and pick any day.)

    • Not sure I buy the biomass burning explanation That would mean the entire continent of South America is on fire.

      • @MattN Look back at the OCO image. All of South America is not on fire. Very significant burning occurs in Brazil, especially from August to October. As posted here before, I’ve made many atmospheric measurements in Brazil for NASA (GSFC) during the peak of the burning season. The smoke was so bad during my second trip that my right lung was sore for several weeks. The owner of the remote hotel I stayed at had to be hospitalized for respiratory distress. Planes could not land at the tiny airport. From 32,000 feet, smoke could be seen in all directions for hours. At night, the fire lines could be seen.

      • @fmims: But isn’t the burning in eastern Brazil, but the CO2 is in the wet western part of the country?

      • @rogerknights The burning is across Brazil, both tropical forests and savannah. Central and western Brazil are major centers of burning, as I learned firsthand making smoke, UV and many other measurements around Cuiba and Alta Floresta.

        @Latitude Where is your source for drought in Brazil causing more CO2 than the massive biomass burning there?

  3. The instrument has but one purpose: to confirm AWG/CO2 relationship.
    It is unlikely to be used for anything else.

    • Considering that CO2 had already failed to prove itself a major driver of climate by the time OCO was finally implemented, it’s future will either be as an expensive curiosity, or a priceless tool of propaganda and control.

    • I agree. Scenario #3 seems sadly possible given the early OCO2 data and the amount of money involved in the CO2-AGW scam.

  4. The next step is for them to remove the contribution from “natural sources” and ONLY publish that result as the man-made contribution. This leaves plenty of room for massaging the numbers to create whatever message you should desire.

  5. Wonderful posting. It is my contention that the abandonment of rationality, which was necessary to facilitate a move by intellectuals away from Classical Liberalism, has finally been exposed to have polluted the sciences but that nobody other than a few of us skeptics are paying attention. It is clear that when there is a choice between a convenient narrative and inconvenient facts most people would choose the former and ignore the latter.

    • And this is different from the entire history of the human species exactly how? Our brains are greedy pattern matching predictive engines. By greedy pattern matching I mean that our brains perceptually extract fluffy sheep from patterns in the clouds and the face of Jesus in burnt toast, not just that stoves are very likely hot and rocks, when dropped, fall. By predictive engines I mean that they automatically observe a rock falling three times and infer the rule “rocks fall”, or find a four leaf clover on the day they win the lottery, and infer the rule “four leaf clovers are capable of rearranging the entire future history of the Universe so that my subjective experience of life is improved by random occurrences”.

      Sadly, this isn’t the abandonment of rationality, because rationality has precisely the same basis — one simply adds the skeptical contribution, which is the observation that because our brains are greedy pattern matching engines, and because making inferences on the basis of observations is a named logical fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc), we need to doubt our perceptions and easy inferences and subject them to a rigorous process of statistical analysis to form a semi-quantitative basis for plausible degree of belief.

      This is what differentiates the gravity rule from the four leaf clover rule. Gravitation appears to be extremely consistent. If I drop 1000 rocks, 1000 rocks will fall down. Furthermore, they will fall down in a way that is quantitatively remarkably similar, so much so that we can infer additional rules for gravitation besides “fall down” (as opposed to sideways or up). The rule can be extended to an even broader context and observed to be a special case to a still more general law of gravitation by noting that there is a compelling quantitative relationship between the way an apple falls near the surface of the Earth and the way the Moon is swung in an orbit. Eventually we come to consider the probability that this collection of observations and a rule that can consistently and apparently infallibly explain them is correct to be a number approaching (but never quite reaching) unity, we consider gravity to be “true” in the Boole-Laplace probability algebra, where T/F are replaced by P(T)/(1 – P(T)). The fact that gravitation fits semi-consistently into a still larger set of rules with a very similar quantitative and consistent basis makes us believe it all the more, until it forms an accepted part of the “most likely correct” scientific worldview, subject to revision or correction as more observations accrue but the best we can do right now, given the data and a firm commitment to doubt all inferred rules and reluctantly believe most that which we can doubt the least (in a quantitative sense).

      The four leaf clover rule doesn’t fare so well. For one thing, almost nobody has had good luck in association with the discovery of four leaf clovers — not that many people have found four leaf clovers as they are moderately rare. The rule itself is in fact a cultural anecdote, not something most of us have any basis for empirical analysis for, aside from the obvious “luck” of finding a four leaf clover itself.

      Investigating this rule, I have trained myself to find four leaf clovers. Seriously. There’s a trick to it — standing high above a field of thick clover and letting your eye roam without letting it focus down, a zen practice of allowing the different symmetry of the leaves be the thing that attracts eye focus. If you look at each clover one at a time you will only very very rarely find one, but if you let your brain drift while doing a wide-access symmetry-breaking scan, you can often find one in as little as a minute of looking, if there is one to be found. At this point I’ve found maybe a few dozen four leaf clovers over the years — I often find one or two in that first explosion of clover in my yard in the spring or when walking in a field of clover on a farm. I have carefully awaited undeserved “luck” — random factors in the Universe colluding to improve my personal satisfaction in some way resolvable from the general noise of luck good and bad (whatever that “means” in a subjective analysis) and can report that four leaf clovers do not, in fact, appear to cause the hypothesized violations of the laws of probability that the null hypothesis that they do nothing at all is nowhere near being rejected by the observations. Since it is difficult to imagine a causal pathway consistent with my other best beliefs in things like gravitation and electrodynamics, which don’t leave a lot of room for four leaf clovers producing lottery winning tickets in my possession (when I don’t even buy lottery tickets, so I’d have to be “lucky” enough to find one already bought, so to speak, before I could win) I feel pretty confident in assigning a probability that this hypothesis is in fact true (given the evidence and my prior beliefs) that is good friends with zero — lots and lots of zeros after the decimal before the first nonzero digit in a decimal representation of the probability, a very large negative number in a log representation (suggested by Jaynes as more suitable for problems of this sort, where “false” is then -infinity and “true” is zero, and the number in question more or less counts the zeros between the decimal and the first nonzero digit).

      This example, by the way, pretty much completely explicates the rational process of quantitative, evidence based reasoning. Global warming provides a near-infinite number of opportunities for both the use and abuse of this process. Use when we associate observations of increasing carbon dioxide in association with a systematically increasing average global temperature plus a quantitative knowledge of the laws of electrodynamics and quantum theory that predict that the increase in CO_2 will produce an increase in average global temperature in the dynamic equilibrium of the planet, all things being equal (so that it is the hypothesis one needs to falsify). The data, in this case, in no conceivable sense falsifies the hypothesis, on the contrary, it rather suggests that it could easily be true and given its coincidence with a credible explanatory physics based theory, I’d conclude that it is probably true. Abuse when Hurricane Sandy is attributed to anthropogenic global climate change, when people try to fit linear trends to cherrypicked timeseries and extrapolate them for good or for evil, and so on.

      In other worlds, rationality is bent this way and that in part because the data is ambiguous, the effects are marginal (within the bounds of believable natural variation and noise) so that one cannot reject the hypothesis that all or part of the variation is due to natural causes on the basis of the data alone, one needs the Bayesian prior of “the physics” to make the argument that CO2 is driving observed warming probable and not just plausible, and and the underlying actual physics is that of a nonlinear chaotic coupled fluid system where naive linear stability analysis is not terribly reliable and where our ability to do meaningful quantitative computations is almost nonexistent. The proper basis for belief is actually the much simpler computations that just ignore the complexity, note the excellent agreement with a simple model, and grant it the status of a “weak truth”, that is, a hypothesis that is more likely true than not, but where there are some serious alternative null hypotheses that also cannot really be rejected on the basis of the data, in part because the data we have sucks outside of a mere 30 to 50 year window.

      rgb

      • What happened to pass/fail falsification of the null? Which jot of evidence was predicted to fall outside the probable bounds of natural variation, and did so? More importantly, which such jots failed to do so?

      • Brian H,

        The null hypothesis being “humans didn’t diddit”, all falsification of it allows one to claim is “we don’t know why it happened.” Thing about this experiment is that there isn’t just one or a few simple jots, and as rgb point out the effect we’re attempting to isolate is subtle to the point of being marginal over short periods of time. If we had 1,000 years of the same quality data as we do over the past 50 years things would be far more clear cut. We don’t have that.

      • Sorry BG, you are STILL wrong. The Null Hypothesis does not mention Man. Period. Your double negative only negated your knowledge, not the objection. I noted it that is why I said you were WRONG as the Null does not mention Man. You did.

        Case close due to a RIF problem with BG.

      • Yer both too dim to get my rhetorical questions. ;) RG, you’re agreeing with their thrust: not only are all the data compatible with the null (H0), falsifying it would require a major exception to it. Then to support any particular alternative (H1, H2, etc) there would have to be shown to be no data points refuting that. Yet there are many.

        A pet peeve, btw, is that the 90 & 95% ‘confidence levels’ so often cited are 1-2 sigma tests, suitable for considering speculations as possible testable hypotheses. They then must propose rigorous pass-fail tests, generally requiring 5-6 sigma validation (in the physical sciences), because confirmation bias and the whole zoo of potential errors are so potent. Nothing in Climate Pseudo-science even acknowledges these standards, much less comes close to meeting them.

        THEN to be treated as a Theory, it must survive EVERY such challenge anyone can propose. A century or two of that may graduate it to Law status.

        H0 rulez.

      • philjourdan,

        Sorry BG, you are STILL wrong. The Null Hypothesis does not mention Man.

        Sorry PJ, your logic circuits are still busted. I’ll stipulate that the Official, Set In Stone AGW Null Hypothesis (TM) is: Natural variability explains all observed temperature trends.

        Now, unless you wish to invoke Acts of Diety [1] as a third causal mechanism, it is a perfectly logical equivalent statement for me to rewrite the null as Human activity does not explain any observed temperature trends.

        ——————

        [1] Which, as an agnostic, is nominally acceptable to me with the one important caveat that God’s existence does not appear to me to be empirically falsifiable, therefore needn’t be considered by default when hypothesis testing.

      • The null hypothesis being “humans didn’t diddit”,

        Such a liar BG. Especially when your ignorance remains on display for ALL time. Try to get a better copywriter.

      • Brian H,

        … not only are all the data compatible with the null (H0), falsifying it would require a major exception to it.

        So you say, but without showing any of your work.

        Then to support any particular alternative (H1, H2, etc) there would have to be shown to be no data points refuting that.

        Wow. Do you NOT know the difference between inference and deduction? Go (re)read Popper, Gossett, Pearson, Neyman, Fischer for starters. Or ponder Bayes factors if you don’t like the frequentists’ Kool-Aid.

        Yet there are many.

        A sample or two would be nice.

        A pet peeve, btw, is that the 90 & 95% ‘confidence levels’ so often cited are 1-2 sigma tests, suitable for considering speculations as possible testable hypotheses. They then must propose rigorous pass-fail tests, generally requiring 5-6 sigma validation (in the physical sciences), because confirmation bias and the whole zoo of potential errors are so potent. Nothing in Climate Pseudo-science even acknowledges these standards, much less comes close to meeting them.

        Bzzzt. Even a 5-6 sigma validation will have some outliers. Your standard above is “NO data points”. 100% confidence, or infinity sigma.

        Keep in mind, among your zoo of potential errors are the observational uncertainties themselves. Six-sigma error bars on HADCRUT4 just might allow us to claim that temperatures haven’t changed at all. Or was that your point?

        THEN to be treated as a Theory, it must survive EVERY such challenge anyone can propose. A century or two of that may graduate it to Law status.

        That’s cute. First we confuse empirical science with logical proofs, then we say we won’t be able to elevate the hypothesis of “That train might hit us if we keep standing here” until some time after we think the thing will have already flattened us.

        Darwin was right.

      • Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk. You are a regular Bob Hope there BG.

        The subject is – what is the Null Hypothesis. And the answer is???

        Again, once you FIND the answer, you will realize WHY you lied.

        Try to stay on subject. You are wearing out the goal posts with all these moves.

      • Pop quiz, Gates:
        If you decrease cloud coverage, will the globe warm, or will it cool (Hint: insolation will increase)?

  6. That darn Sun. It appears that the CO2 concentrations follow the Sun. That is, the Sun goes south and winter turns to spring to summer and CO2 “goes up”.

    NASA must find a way to stop the Sun from moving. First, move the Sun over Antarctica to add more tropical land mass to the Planet.

      • Hmmm, I do not think that this Lagrange L1 is what you think it is. If you put the sun at L1, it would not be L1 as the orbits might change, you think? Not to mention the fact that the Earth and moon together would suddenly find themselves deep inside of the sun.

        It does make for an interesting global warming hypothesis, though, I have to admit. Contemplating the effect of dumping a planet sized bolus of cold dense matter “suddenly” a few hundred thousand kilometers from the center of the sun (at about R/3 if R is its radius, IIRC) is an amusing conceit. Obviously it would transiently cool its surroundings while it heated and compressed, and in the short run it would experience an enormous upward impulse (I think) because I’m guessing that — at that radius — its density would still be less than the density of the surrounding solar matter. This could create a shockwave that propagated nearly instantly to the surface and cause a massive surface explosion, a gamma ray burst in a specific direction, and the reaction would propagate downwards as well to create a transient overpressure at the core.

        That transient overpressure is what would make the sun very interesting indeed. As long as it lasted, fusion would proceed more efficiently and the core would briefly superheat. I think this would produce an outgoing shock wave, a core expansion that dropped fusion slightly below its average, a backfalling/recompression, and that the whole sun would reverberate with a series of outgoing bursts of “sound” and light, where the former would very quickly make it to the surface and the latter would take 100,000 or so years to reach the surface. But that might well oversimplify or neglect or ignore too much physics. I’d just as soon not find out:-)

        rgb

  7. I am so relieved by this map – I was sooo afraid Ft. McMurray’s oilsand operations would have a bright red dot and would have to shut down. Instead we find that the forests of Labrador (east-south-east of Hudson’s Bay) are the worst Canadian culprits. Let’s just burn ’em down and get rid of all that CO2 pollution.

  8. It just confrims the JAXA findings, if they start falsifying the data it may be possible to pick it up, but you can guarantee that it will require “Quality Control Adjustments” just like all the other data sets.

    • Maybe polar night prevents winter measurements.

      Maybe they wanted to hide a secret military base at Antarctica manned by little green aliens. ;})

    • Wading through what’s on NASA’s OCO-2 site there are some huge limitations in how it works. Supposedly it can be calibrated to accurately calculate only the absorption from atmospheric CO2 from ground reflected sunlight. Considering the huge range of materials on the surface of the planet, I’m not real confident that it works and I imagine the lower SI at the poles may be out of guessing range for the “data.”

      • @nielszoo Both ground and sky staring instruments usually look at the ratios of the signal through an absorption band and one or more nearby non-absorbing bands. This tends to zero out differences caused by various sky conditions and earth surfaces. It works well enough for me to have found errors in various NASA and NOAA satellites resulting from calibration drifts. Maybe OCO CO2 data will eventually drift, too. But the data now being produced looks quite reasonable.

      • The satellite is in a polar orbit, so it’s going over those high latitudes. It might have something to do with calibration, as the tropopause is lower in the polar regions. Also, the Mercator projection of the map would greatly distort the apparent extent of polar CO2, so they might have just trimmed it off.

    • Probably because the satellite is not in a polar orbit. I don’t know where they launched it from, but, you can’t always reach anywhere from everywhere.

      Maybe they plan to move the satellite to a different orbit, once they know it is behaving ok.

      Roy Spencer probably knows what they can do as regards getting near polar orbits.

      Because of the axis tilt, relative to the orbital plane of earth, you cannot maintain a stable orbit going over both poles all year long.

      And its height is not so great, so it doesn’t have a long slant range to look further south or north, than its orbital path.

      Dr Roy, would know about that too.

  9. Reblogged this on Sierra Foothill Commentary and commented:
    What to do when the data does not fit the anthropogenic climate change narrative? It is going to be a real challenge for the liberal/progressive CA Democrats who have been using the threat of AGW as justification for wealth distribution. See my two recent posts on CA Governor Brown/CARB and Pope Francis on wealth distribution justification.

  10. I dealt with this a while ago here:

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

    CO2 comes out of sun warmed oceans beneath the sub tropical high pressure cells where sunshine is most persistent. The winds then slow down over land masses so the CO2 concentration builds up and is absorbed by the regional vegetation which is why there are no plumes downwind of South America and South Africa.

    The so called isotope ratio argument must be wrong but as yet we do not know enough about the carbon cycle to be able to ascertain why it is wrong.

    • Text written by Professor. Walter Jensen Chemol project and adapted Marlene
      Rau and Andrew Brown.

      “Carbon dioxide (CO2 relative molecular weight: 44.01) is a colorless,
      odorless and non-flammable gas. Its density is 1.977 g / l (at
      0 ° C) and the melting point of -57 ° C (at a pressure of 5185 bar).
      The solubility of carbon dioxide increases with the pressure of 100 parts of water
      dissolved 171 parts of carbon dioxide at 0 ° C, 119 at 10 ° C, 88 at 20 ° C,
      75.7 at 25 ° C and 27 at 60 ° C. For example, 1 liter of CO2 dissolved in 1 liter of water (in
      room temperature) at a pressure of 1 bar (normal pressure
      air); 2 liters of CO2 at 2 bars; 3 l at 3 bar, and in 4 l at 4 bar. solution
      water is slightly acidic because 0.1% of dissolved carbon dioxide molecules
      reacts with water.”

  11. I think the problem will be that they will end up trying to force a square peg into a round hole – that they will not modify their assumptions to fit the data, but rather modify the data to fit their assumptions, and account that which disagrees as error due to unknown, or speculative, causes.

    It is almost always possible to do this. Just as it was possible to hang on to the Earth-centric universe for a very long time using epicycles. Just as it is possible to make that square peg fit, if you pound hard enough.

    I have seen the saying credited variously to Bohr, Gauss, and Planck, but science progresses one funeral at a time. Do not expect any groundbreaking epiphanies until the major players with vested interests have moved on from the scene.

    • Well since the whole gig started with the little bang, then every place is the center of the universe, including earth.

      • Well, the classic heuristic exercise is to imagine the stars and galaxies painted on the skin of an inflating balloon. The center of a balloon is not located on its skin. You need another dimension to get to it.

  12. Hugh asked:

    “What is the red spot at sea near Iceland? Volcanism? Mistake?”

    Accumulation of CO2 given off by the Gulf Stream where the winds slow down on encountering the Greenland/Iceland land masses.

    The areas of higher CO2 along the east coast of the USA are from the Gulf of Mexico.

    The red area off the east coast of China would be where the wind flow from the Indian Ocean to the south west becomes blocked and slowed by contact with Pacific air masses.

    • I was wondering the same thing. The red spot at the North of the data looks to be right on top of Greenland – not near Iceland. If winds are the mechanism, why don’t we see enhanced CO2 levels on either coast of Australia?

      Maybe the Greenlanders are burning their extensive forests? /sarc

      • Well it could be there near Greenland and Iceland because wind brought it there, so it would be a puff of smoke, but then it is a rather intense puff of smoke far away from anything we know that can be smoked.

        I don’t see how sea could leak CO2 there, unless there is some major volcanic activity which should be detected in other ways as well.

      • Those sneaky Warmists have lit the forests on fire to melt Greenland’s ice sheets and glaciers… since Nature doesn’t seem to be playing along with the catastrophic ice loss meme.

    • so much for a “well mixed gas” … turns out depending on one Hawaiian CO2 observatory next to an active volcano may not have been the wisest decision …

      • @Rainer Bensch

        KaiserDerden suggests, “turns out depending on one Hawaiian CO2 observatory next to an active volcano may not have been the wisest decision”

        Rainer Bensch asks, “Did you look at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html and found something to criticize? What exactly do they wrong?”

        That article seem reasonable enough except it never addresses KaiserDerden’s concern. It says,”In 1957 Dave Keeling, who was the first to make accurate measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere, chose the site high up on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano because he wanted to measure CO2 in air masses that would be representative of much of the Northern Hemisphere, and, hopefully, the globe.”

        That’s the only mention of the volcano, aside from saying, “The observatory is surrounded by many miles of bare lava, without any vegetation or soil.”

        Yeah, but how many miles is it from the (presumably) gas-belching vents of the volcano, and does it make any difference? Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauna_Loa) says that the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory “also maintains two gas detectors at Mokuʻāweoweo, Mauna Loa’s summit caldera, as well as a publicly accessible live webcam…”. The webcam page (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cams/panorama.php?cam=MLcam) says: “Thermal webcams record heat rather than light and get better views through volcanic gas.”

        To answer part of my own question, the Wikipedia article on the CO2 Observatory (not the Volcano Observatory — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauna_Loa_Observatory) states that “The primary observing site is located at the 3397 m (11,141 ft) level on Mauna Loa’s north slope ( 19°32′10″N 155°34′34″W Coordinates: 19°32′10″N 155°34′34″W) about 5 km north of the summit Mokuaweoweo.” So the CO2 is measured three miles away from where they need thermal webcams to see through the volcanic gas, right? But, as they say, it is surrounded by many miles of bare lava.

        See, I don’t know if they did anything wrong exactly or even grossly, but, based on that article, would anyone? Setting aside the confident prose of “How we measure background CO2 levels on Mauna Loa”, what is it about that article that makes critical attention to the CO2 observatory siting inappropriate? Can anyone cite a source that actually does address the siting issue?

      • Sorry Kaiser, CO2 is measured at a lot of places. Mauna Loa was not even the first, as the South Pole was one year earlier, but that has a gap of a few years. Mauna Loa is the longest series with continuous measurements:
        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/

        I find it sad that even such a basic knowledge lack in several comments. Like that the seasonal changes are 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere in and out from/to other reservoirs (oceans, vegetation). The change in the atmosphere is only 2% over the seasons. With other words, CO2 is damned well mixed.

        Any change in quantity of any gas in the atmosphere is not instantly dispersed all over the earth, that needs time. The SH lags the NH, which points to the fact that the main source of extra CO2 (and 13C/12C ratio decline) is in the NH, where 90% of the human emissions are…

      • RalphB,

        Have a look at how they measure at Mauna Loa:
        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

        Most of the time there are trade winds at the station, which are square on the track to the volcanic vents. If the wind blows from the vents. that is seen in the data as a lot of noise (average +4 ppmv). These data are flagged and not used for daily to yearly averages. The same for upwind conditions (mainly in the afternoon) from the valley: slightly depleted (- 4 ppmv) due to vegetation. These too are not used for averages.
        It makes very little (less than 0.1 ppmv) difference if you include or exclude the outliers. Here plots of the raw data, including outliers, from Mauna Loa and the South Pole together with the “cleaned” averages:

      • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen

        You’re right Ferdinand, I missed this sentence:

        “At night the flow is often downslope, bringing background air. However, that air is sometimes contaminated by CO2 emissions from the crater of Mauna Loa. As the air meanders down the slope that situation is characterized by high variability of the CO2 mole fraction.”

        So if they excise the noise from both the valley (CO2 absorber) and the summit (CO2 producer) which they identify by its high variability and stick to the steady signals, they should get good data — unless there is a steady background level of seeping CO2 or some such which I gather is not volcano-like at all.

        Thanks for answering my question.

    • Why post ad hominem attacks… especially, since you offer no commentary to counter the author’s assertions?

      Steven,
      You’ve been traveling this path all too often, of late and it has become a de facto diminution of any relevant commentary which you may have to offer.
      Snap out of it.

  13. 3) Equipment failure is indeed always possible. I wouldn’t be cynical about it — there may be people with vested interests at play, but there are way too many people involved to suspect that anyone is actually going to try to sabotage the hardware deliberately. Equipment miscalibration is similarly a real possibility, but one has to say that each and every one of those hot spots could easily and trivially be verified by ground sampling, so eventually, given more than one way to measure things, one would expect reasonable consistency.

    2) is, IIRC, prohibited by law. I’m pretty sure that NASA is constrained by law to make the raw data publicly accessible. At least, the congressman’s aide I talked to when he contacted me over this very issue said that it is. Maybe he’s wrong but I doubt it. They may well ALSO make cooked data, like GISSTEMP, available, but the raw data will be there as well.

    Given that this is NOT a circumstance where they can “cook” away reality with the easy possibility of direct sampling sensitive to far greater accuracy/precision than the differences visible above, I personally think that even any significant cooking is unlikely. They’d get called on it pretty quickly. Besides, you are being excessively cynical about the appeal of an unexpected and astonishing result in science.

    1) Which is the final argument for scenario 1. The people who are measuring the CO_2 are not the ones who will be eating crow. They’ll be feeding it to the people who made egregious claims about CO_2 and the entire carbon cycle, if it turns out that those claims are indeed egregious, and becoming quite famous in the process. If Gore gets a Nobel prize for publicizing a future climate disaster, imagine the rewards for somebody that proves conclusively that disaster or not, it is not our fault and beyond our control.

    Bear in mind, science being what it is, there is a possibility that they are not, even with a single month of data in from a new instrument. What is pictured above is basically a single snapshot over a single short time frame of an ongoing process which is known to have a significant seasonal variation and a hemispheric imbalance. Who knows how the phase we happen to be looking at will compare to the final annualized averages? Perhaps in six months, those seasonale orangy-reds will all turn blue but the industrial zones will remain a mild yellow-orange. Perhaps not.

    That’s why making observations is so lovely. You might believe one thing. Somebody else might believe something else. Over time, however, a good piece of measurement apparatus will lead to a convergence in belief by adding actual evidence, so that “opinions” no longer are important, evidence-supported facts are.

    In the end this isn’t about politics or belief, it is about reality. Climate scientists are not climate scientologists, they are not climate masons, they are not climate illuminati. Even if some climate scientists are less than objective, there are plenty who are, and you cannot fool the scientific process itself indefinitely, especially when there are multiple ways to measure the same thing, or where one thing constrains something else. That’s why UAH/RSS is so important — it is no longer credible for global averages to increase without bound at a substantially different rate than UAH/RSS LTT does. It is why having satellites AND tidal gauges is good for measuring SLR — one might, briefly, increase much faster or slower than the other, but if one diverges from the other, it simply proves that one or both measurement are incorrect and that science has to labor to find the error and explain the difference.

    So I have to say I not only expect 1, I’m surprised that anybody actually doubts it. CERES data has the same issue — people would have loved for it to be a smoking gun proving CO_2-driven warming, but so far it looks more like it is using nearly smokeless powder. ARGO remains to be seen.

    I’m not particularly cynical except about the parts of climate science that are DIVORCED from measurement, not the empirical parts. In particular the models.

    rgb

    • Rarely, if ever, do I read an rgb comment without feeling just a little more sanguine about the scientific enterprise. Not to go all kumbaya, but it really is nice to have a good solid dose of pure reason, backed by specialist knowledge, into a conversation now and again. Would there more of it everywhere.

      • RGB is correct scientifically. The problem is in the political advertising. As an example, over the holiday I told a relative that Artic Sea Ice was recovering, Antarctic SI was setting records, Global Sea Ice was about one million square K above average, NH snow coverage was near record highs, Hurricanes Tornadoes and droughts were not increasing, etc. All of this is available on National and International data bases. She, and most of the general pubic have NEVER heard of this. The politicians ignore all contrary facts, the media ignores all contrary facts, My relative, convinced by the media/political narrative, told me I was depressing her, as she got up to leave. (I din not even have the chance to ask her why did good news (the world is not about to end) depress her.

    • Dr. Brown,

      Most of the orange/red is along the equator where its always summer, sort of. Why would you expect seasonal changes there?

    • 2) is, IIRC, prohibited by law. I’m pretty sure that NASA is constrained by law to make the raw data publicly accessible. At least, the congressman’s aide I talked to when he contacted me over this very issue said that it is. Maybe he’s wrong but I doubt it. They may well ALSO make cooked data, like GISSTEMP, available, but the raw data will be there as well.

      They didn’t seem to publish water vapor measurements they had collected for years.

      The Satellite Data
      The NASA water vapor project (NVAP) uses multiple satellite sensors to create a standard climate dataset to measure long-term variability of global water vapor.
      NASA recently released the Heritage NVAP data which gives water vapor measurement from 1988 to 2001 on a 1 degree by 1 degree grid, in three vertical layers.1 The NVAP-M project, which is not yet available, extends the analysis to 2009 and gives five vertical layers.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/06/nasa-satellite-data-shows-a-decline-in-water-vapor/

      Had this data been ‘made available’ at the time, the whole water vapor multiplier theory with higher temperatures would have been bunked years ago.

    • Equipment failure is indeed always possible.
      Or maladjusted instruments, looking at spectral lines of something else. West and Central Europe is highly industrialised and densely populated, and yet only noticeable concentration of the CO2 is above the Balkan peninsula (the area I know well), the least industrialised with relatively low density of population.

      • Expanding further on the above: Only noticeable concentration in Europe is to the east of the Adriatic. Here dominant are westerly winds, it could be CO2 from Italian industry, but the Adriatic itself appears to be free. So what else could be source of CO2?
        This area is tectonically active:“Italy sits at the boundary between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates where the small Adriatic plate (marked by red dotted line) is being deformed”

        East boundary of the plate is rising, and could be that the CO2 is seeping from the Earth’s interior. This also could be case to east of the Andes, Indonesia, parts of the Pacific and even south of Greenland (Reykjanes ridge) but perhaps not so for the southern Africa.

      • I don’t “expect”, and having lived in the subtropics, it is not exactly “always summer”. They have seasons, but they are more likely to be acquainted with the shifting of the atmospheric circulation patterns as NH/SH summer winter change places, making for rainier or drier, slightly cooler or slightly warmer. There is also the natural “seasonal” variation associated with human agriculture. If much of the CO_2 is indeed being produced by burning off of farmland (where I’m not saying that it is, mind you) then it might well peak at the times of year that local farmers traditionally burn off their fields, which is probably not uniformly distributed by month.

        But in the end, I don’t expect. The whole point of making the observation is that after it is made, I will know. Before, we are all just guessing, and it looks like we won’t have to wait terribly long, as these things go, to have a much better/smoother picture. Even a single year of data will smooth out a lot of the roughness and we may find that the sources and sinks are much BETTER resolved, where transient sources are smoothed out, where source/sinks that switch roles over the year average out, and so on.

        So far it is interesting, but I expect a lot of the structure visible to be transient.

        What will be REALLY interesting is to see how this changes over time. Will we see some parts of the world emit a purely non-anthropogenic burst of CO2 whose net quantity exceeds all human contributions in a distinctly non-annual pattern, perhaps indicative of sea floor vulcanism or something else we haven’t thought of? What will directly sampling the major source points this highlights indicate regarding e.g. isotopic concentration? It will likely take a decade for this to mature as a data source, but it is already, as I think we all agree, very interesting.

        I just wouldn’t prematurely jump to any conclusions and argue that this proves/disproves/global/anthropogenic/natural/carbon dioxide/aerosol/forced/unforced/climate/change/catatstrophe due to the atmospheric radiative effect. So far, it does nothing at all. Let’s wait and let the data itself tell us what it is consistent with, once we have enough to be able to draw some reasonably reliable conclusions. And even then, one is really going to have to make a quantitative argument, not just wave one’s hands.

      • RGB: I don’t “expect”
        …But in the end, I don’t expect. The whole point of making the observation is that after it is made, I will know.
        …So far it is interesting, but I expect a lot of the structure visible to be transient.

        Aw, c’mon, you did that deliberately, right?
        ;-)

        MJS ;-)

    • rgb,

      I think there is another outcome to scenario 1.

      This is a young project and the people running and communicating are the scientists involved. If they become too prominent in the discussions and are seen to be feeding crow to the established campaigners on a regular basis they will have a PR person put in to be fed and regurgitate the “only a proper scientist can interpret these results and they support our case.” Politicians and the media will lap that up and the data will become irrelevant because all they see it the press release. The cost of keeping your job for the scientists will be to keep to the party line.

      This is conspiracy theory but I don’t think it is unfounded in view of the SPM shenanigans.

      That’s my pessimistic opinion.

      My optimistic opinion is that the more real measurements that are fed into the mix the better, so kudos for those who got this project up there.

      Just my 2pennorth

    • rgbatduke

      You say

      If Gore gets a Nobel prize for publicizing a future climate disaster, imagine the rewards for somebody that proves conclusively that disaster or not, it is not our fault and beyond our control.

      I don’t need to “imagine” because I know: the “rewards” would be nothing except perhaps the sack.

      People are often forgiven for being wrong and rarely forgiven for being right.

      There are immense personal, political and financial investments in the scare of “future climate disaster”. The investors are slowly retreating because the scare is fading away. But it is naive to suppose the investors will thank any destroyer of the scare before they have managed to withdraw from their investments.

      The above scenarios are predicated on the assumption that investors in the scare will protect their investments.

      And I don’t think it is possible to prove “conclusively” that something will not happen when it has not yet happened.

      Richard

    • rgb,

      if it turns out that those claims are indeed egregious

      I fear that the writer in this case is the one who will eat crow. The OCO-2 data are just from 5 weeks, that is in the middle of the SH spring when CO2 levels in the SH are slightly higher than in the NH. The rest of the year the NH levels are higher. The problem is that the satellite needs to gather lots of changing data: the 90 GtC as CO2 that goes in and out the oceans (partly continuous between equator and poles, partly seasonal) and the 60 GtC as CO2 that goes out and in vegetation over the seasons (countercurrent to the oceans). Opposite for the NH and the SH.

      Thus one need a full year (and probably several years) of data to find the 10 GtC human emissions back in the bulk of exchanges, even if the human emissions are rather concentrated…

  14. Scenerio 4) Nasa will use this base line as data point zero and run the numerical model simulators that will produce high CO2 concentrations in the future only in the northern hemisphere and fail to report the simulator results as model estimates instead of actual measurements.

  15. “If winds are the mechanism, why don’t we see enhanced CO2 levels on either coast of Australia? ”

    The descending air beneath the high pressure cell over the dry Australian interior must push the winds northward towards Indonesia which is where the CO2 concentrations increase again.

    High pressure over oceans does cause CO2 emnission but high pressure over land masses does not.

  16. I would like to see the concentrations during June/July/August.


    The decline during the NH summer months is mind-blowing – it’s more than 2 ppm/month at MLO and ~10 ppm in only one month (one of the summer months) at northern latitudes. I really don’t think it’s the growth of land plants in NH. It’s related to the oceans/ice annual cycles. I also think that it’s the annual CO2 cycle itself which causes the annual change and therefore the longterm accumulation in atmospheric CO2.

    • On the Antarctic coast you are lucky to get a 3 ppm annual CO2 cycle, peaking at the end of winter (August). This would appear to indicate that the dramatic changes seen in the NH are indeed from terrestrial plants. The slight cycle in the southern hemisphere would probably be from oceanic algae and the relatively small areas of terrestrial plants. As the peak is at the end of winter outgassing of CO2 from warmer oceans is not a cause.

      Yes, the Antarctic shows the same rate of CO2 rise as Mauna Loa with much smaller annual bumps.

  17. I really believe articles like this should not be allowed past WUWT QA.
    As I wrote before, NASA OCO measurements (for October) match nicely NASA CO2 model (for October).

    This model has been thoroughly criticized here on WUWT just for being a model but it shows one important thing – tropical rainforests keep elevated CO2 concentrations but they rarely share it with the rest of the world – what is produced overnight gets consumed over the day. That’s not true for industrial sources which are very weak on this map but lacking corresponding sinks for major part of the year they build up large amount of CO2 over Norhtern hemisphere over winter and it then takes photosynthesis most of the spring and well into the summer to get them down – with October being by chance just the month where the accumulated CO2 is fully consumed and did not start building up yet.
    One month of observations, especially if it happens to be the most favorable month for our cause, is way too early for conclusions. Let’s wait till we see at least one full year. This one month tells us very little. If anything, it supports validity of the here so criticised NASA model.

    • I do not know how you can look at your video in and around October, and see that it looks anything like the OCO-2 plot above. The video is very top-heavy, with most activity in the North. The OCO-2 result the exact opposite.

      • This is a standard case of ‘the data doesn’t agree with the model, so the data must be wrong’ syndrome.

        There are two additional things to note here:

        1. The color scale exaggeration – the change between bright warning yellow and dangerously deep purple is only 4 ppmv, 383 to 387.

        2. The Mercator map projection hugely overstates the area of the polar region, and consequently the amount of bright red.

        Eye candy.

      • The OCO-2 data are only for October and halve of November when CO2 levels in the SH are slightly higher, as the NH forests suck a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Most seasonal changes are in the NH and the main source of extra CO2 is also in the NH, as the NH CO2 levels lead the SH levels with 1-2 years.

    • I believe your willful ignorance should not get past WUWT QA but it does so we all get the opportunity to revel in it …

    • The expansion of the forests in the Eastern USA over the past 60 years since farming became passé absorbs a large amount of the CO produced in the USA – not USA production specifically, I mean in terms of overall numbers. That is a ‘corresponding sink’ nearby and there would be better ‘evidence’ of it if such a source-sink mechanism were viable. But wait, is this a viable explanation for the absence of industrial CO2 production – that it is being absorbed locally?

      The drop in NH summer CO2 concentration is FAR greater than can be accounted for by growing crops and trees. The drop is not caused by ‘photosynthesis’ – the CO2 is absorbed by water. The ‘photosynthesis’ conclusion can only be sustained by not calculating and appreciating the change in CO2 mass involved. The claim has an order of magnitude problem. The photosynthesis sink is an AGW just-so story. I have heard it repeated since I was young. I have also seen it written that the rise in winter is ’caused by industrialised nations heating their homes with fossil fuels’. Also an order of magnitude bunkum.

      The measurements contradict CAGW and are contradicted by the model.

      The CO2 flux is obviously larger than has been assumed and much more rapid than fossil emission-photosynthesis models. The rise over the past 100 years may be entirely from ocean warming or deep waters rising. Some might be attributable to people, but if it was, the rate of increase should be rising to match our increasing emissions. The emission rate is up, the global rate of rise is flat. The temperature is flat in spite of the rise.

      CAGW rests on the wobbly legs of a manufactured consensus about a manufactured crisis represented in the outputs of manufactured models.

      • Some might be attributable to people, but if it was, the rate of increase should be rising to match our increasing emissions. The emission rate is up, the global rate of rise is flat.

        I assume there exists already scientific papers which shed light on how the athmospheric CO2 releases and yearly average ppm number match to each other?

        Can we have a short review of literature, please? This is one of the most common sceptic statements, never seen it as equations, statistics and measurements.

      • Bart, I think that you are going to cop that with any choice of mean, offset and scaling you can fit any squiggly line to any other. It’ll be a little more verbose but just as irrelevant.

      • The bottom line is, if one posits that atmospheric CO2 appeared to be tracking emissions proportionately in the past, it is no longer doing so. Emissions are currently accelerating. Atmospheric concentration is not, and has not been since the temperature rise halted.

        One then has to start handwaving, and hypothesizing that sinks have expanded for some unknown reason and, in a staggering coincidence, right at the same time temperatures entered a lull.

        Or, one can simply realize that the rate of change of CO2 is affinely related to temperature anomaly, and this explains both its previous rise and its current stasis, with anthropogenic emissions up to the current time playing no significant role. If one understands that this is typical behaviour for a closed loop feedback system, which sharply attenuates the impact of outside disturbances, one realizes that there is really nothing remarkable about this. It is natural. It is usual. It is, in fact, what one should have suspected from the very beginning.

      • Robert B,

        I have years of discussion about this topic with Bart to no avail… There is a match between the variability of the temperature derivative and CO2 derivative (with a lag) as temperature (and drought, ENSO) changes have a direct, temporarily effect on (mainly tropical) forests. That can be seen in the opposite changes of CO2 and δ13C. That levels off after a few years. The trend in the CO2 rate of change is NOT caused by vegetation, as vegetation is a net sink for CO2 (as proven via the oxygen balance).

        Thus the trend has a different origin than the variability. As human emissions increase slightly quadratic over time, at double the trend of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is quite obvious that the increase is caused by humans…
        The increase in the atmosphere still is widely within the calculated result of a simple linear absorption caused by the difference in CO2 pressure between atmosphere and oceans for the current temperature of the oceans:

    • Kasuha, no matter how hard you cry it’s still a model. Make believe. It’s about belief and you are a believer.

  18. Am I looking at a different map? Where is the red stuff over northern Australia, “eastern” Brazil and Europe?

    • It must be that the winds took the red stuff to Greenland, China and Amazon.

      Ok, must be realised this is a short period of time and regional patterns are heavily time dependents.

  19. Japan is shortly going to launch GOSAT 2 which is doing the same job as OCO. GOSAT, the first version, produced the same results as OCO. GOSAT also does an urban heat analysis which focuses on major cities in the world. However it does not alter that Japan was the first to show the unexpected source of CO2 was in the areas now also mentioned in OCO. There has been no attempt to discredit or sabotage GOSAT.

  20. This guy needs to find a new hobby (maybe lithography). With anthropogenic CO2 emissions only 2% of the total, one would not expect their signal to be very strong at any given time (relative to “background”). Also note the color scale, while extreme blue to red, is only 387-402 ppm. And besides, as Kasuha points out, what really matters is the accumulation of CO2 over time, i.e., increasing from 300 to 400 ppm.

    • he made no claims about seeing anthropogenic CO2 … maybe its you who needs a new religion/hobby … and maybe you should wait until global CO2 is actually measured before claiming its at 400 … that number comes from a single location which as this satellite is showing could easily be nothing like the global average … well mixed my a** …

      • No, but he made the following claim:
        That if we shut human CO2 emission down completely tomorrow little would happen to the future trajectory of global CO2 concentration.

        which is complete nonsense based on 1.5 month of data. The human contribution is ~5 ppmv/year of which about halve (as mass) accumulates in the atmosphere. That is some 0.2 ppmv/month. And the accuracy of the satellite is?

    • I’m sure that will be the official line. But, it is tantamount to saying, we spent hundreds of millions to launch a satellite which provides no useful information.

      • We spent hundreds of millions for a satellite that proves that anthropogenic CO2 is undetectable against the backdrop of higher emissions from natural sources.
        Meanwhile, in the Whitehouse, Holdren is chewing nails and spitting screws.

    • SO , Barry…those eevil humans moved some CO2 around in the system…and therefore the system is out of balence… and Guam is going to tip over ??

  21. I remember when the first ARGO data was coming in. We knew that the goal was to cackle with glee as ARGO “proved” the warming was in the oceans, but somehow the actual data was released first, and it showed something completely opposite of what they expected. That was certainly covered up in a hurry…

    Also, ARGO buoys tend to get snagged in currents, which exist because of temperature variations… which makes ARGO data immediately suspect. They are certainly measuring something, but probably not what most people think they are measuring.

    • Concerns about currents/stagnant waters and the associated temperature variations and the non-representative data due to non-representative spacing can be discounted … don’t worry about it … if the raw data needs it, then it can be handled short term with data adjustment/normalization and handled long term with the routine (re)calibration of the equipment.

      Don’t worry … they know what they are doing.

      Don’t worry …

      You are getting sleepy …

      Don’t worry….

  22. This one month of OCO observations tells us a great deal about the accuracy/error of Contemporary Orthodox Climatology and the relative presence of Atmospheric Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide.

  23. One way the data from the satellite can be used is to turn it upside down a-la-Tiljander. Invert the scale. Then the forests will be ‘net absorbers’ of CO2 and the industrial areas big net producers.

  24. Voisin:

    A Cynical Engineer: There are three scenarios for the future of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory:

    The initial release of ‘public’ OCO-2 data isn’t scheduled until tomorrow (30-Dec-2014), with more to follow in March. So it’s a bit premature (and perhaps immature) to be so cynical at this stage, IMHO.

    It would be hard to cover up the OCO-2 findings. Especially since the spectrometers on board the OCO-2 are also deployed around the world as part of the TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observation Network).

    In fact the units on the ground are probably more accurate than the units in the spacecraft because they can measure CO2 directly by looking at the Sun. The OCO-2 instruments are obviously more ‘mobile’, but must rely on reflected sunlight to make their measurements.

    We’ve told that the preliminary calibrations show the space-borne units are functioning as designed. So why not just go with that and hope the mission succeeds in mapping the true sources and sinks of man-made CO2.

    • Not quite “preliminary calibrations” when

      “The OCO-2 team is currently developing techniques that will verify the observations of column averaged dry air mole fraction (Xco2) acquired from space.”

      Kinda tough to do a preliminary calibration when you don’t yet know how to do it.

      • Apparently you interpreted “currently developing techniques” as “don’t know how to do it”. You are simply misinformed about this.

        The calibration scheme was developed years ago and essentially involves comparing measurements of XCO2 on selected TCCON sites with OCO-2 measurements. TCCON and OCO-2 both use the same kind spectal bands and create the same formatted output files. The major difference is that TCCON instruments can measure XCO2 in direct sunlight, whereas OCO-2 must catch it on the rebound, in reflected sunlight. (Some TCCON data is already available for download at the OCO-2 website)

        So, a preliminary calibration plot was shown at the press conference on the 18th, showing that the absolute OCO-2 measurements are close to the TCCON values. (More important is the relative sensitivity for detecting the faint gradients). Here’s the plot, which I grabbed from a screen capture while listening to the press conference:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/20/agu14-nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory-shows-surprising-co2-emissions-in-southern-hemisphere/#comment-1818439

      • Wonderful, then they should update their site with the current information. I copied that from NASA today along with their spectroscopic requirements doc and validation plan doc that I guess are also not current. I didn’t see any validations to the data anywhere. My biggest concern is the variability in reflected light. Matching up to the TCCON site is “easy” as they have a lot of data on its reflected spectra and a presence on the ground at that point. How are they manipulating those offsets for the massive range of actual dynamic ground reflection conditions on the planet is the crux here. Those are not set values and change significantly over very short time periods, hours in some cases.

      • My biggest concern is the variability in reflected light. Matching up to the TCCON site is “easy” as they have a lot of data on its reflected spectra and a presence on the ground at that point.

        You seem to be missing the point here. The TCCON sites are selected as targets because the XCO2 ‘ground truth’ can be obtained by the TCCON instrument and used to validate OCO-2 measurements of the same target.

        So OCO-2 selects a TCCON target, say Edwards AFB, and computes the XCO2 for that target, using only the reflected sunlight from that target. This is compared to the XCO2 estimate made on the ground by the TCCON instrument.

        So your comment about ‘easy TCCON matching’ does not apply because it’s ‘blind’ validation, in the sense that OCO-2 has no access to the TCCON’s data during the calibration. (OCO-2 peaking at the TCCON data to optimize its estimate would be ‘cheating’).

        Yes, the variability of reflected light seems like a great complicating factor. But if you recall the comments made during the press conference, the sunlight reflected from the ground seems to be scattered somewhat uniformly, so turned out not as formidable as feared. Light reflected from water surface, however, is different. At short-wave IR freqs, water appears to be black, except at glint angles. Hence “glint mode” maneuvers must be performed.

        So it’s a kind of Rube Goldberg nightmare. But it appears to work! Real science is happening here. I think. :-|

  25. “That human emission to global atmospheric CO2 concentration is and always has been a small single-digit contribution. That if we shut human CO2 emission down completely tomorrow little would happen to the future trajectory of global CO2 concentration.”

    The “single-digit contribution” to CO2 is fairly widely accepted, but the “little would happen to the future trajectory” may not be too obvious. Consider the Law Dome record of CO2 going back 1,000 years.

    Why has CO2 increased so rapidly since 1850? If it is the current warming driving CO2, then why wasn’t CO2 higher in the Medieval Warming Period? Or is the record wrong? Anyone?

    • Plant stomata reveal far greater variations in atmospheric CO2 than do the ice cores.The ice cores probably do not reflect natural CO2 variations adequately.

      It is likely that solar variations affecting global cloudiness and the amount of sunshine entering the oceans also cause large changes in atmospheric CO2 by influencing the CO2 balance between oceans and air.

      • Plant stomata data are proxies with their own problems, ice core data are quiet accurate (1.2 ppmv – sigma) direct measurements of CO2 in the bubbles, be it averaged over a longer period. The period of averaging depends of the snow accumulation rate, which rules the time that the snow/firn pores are open until closing depth. For high accumulation rates like Law Dome that is 10-20 years, for Vostok that is ~600 years.

        Law Dome has an overlap of 20 years (1960-1980) with the direct atmospheric data of the South Pole for the same average gas age in the ice bubbles:

    • The ice core data is wrong – at least when applied to the whole world (a well-mixed gas).

      We know that because we actually measured atmospheric CO2 concentration by chemical methods in the 19th century. See this article about it. It has a chart.

      We also have a good idea why the ice cores are smoothed. It turns out that ice is not permanently one phase (solid). Vibrations from the wind cause micro-fractures throughout the ice. These are very short-lived but whilst they are there they rub and cause a melt water surface to form. If this is near a bubble it smooths the CO2 spike as CO2 dissolves in the liquid phase (which was CO2 free).
      Remember that the ice cores last years. Eventually everything gets smoothed out – except the most recent bubbles.

      • I agree this may be correct, but if it gets smoothed out at 280 ppm, I do not want to see the 160 ppm world to balance or smooth the current 400 ppm world! (I would think the earth would have left a record of most all plant and animal life dying.

        Or is it possible that it does not just smooth out, but diminishes?

      • MCourtney,

        Sorry, but the data compiled by the late Ernst Beck are mostly unreliable: taken at places with huge local sinks and sources (mainly sources). If you look at the measurements of the samples taken over the oceans or coastal with wind from the sea, the data are around the ice core CO2 levels of that time. See further:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

        I don’t know where your ice core story comes from (the late Jaworowski?). What you say is physically impossible. If there are cracks in the ice, these often are filled with drilling fluid, which contains huge amounts of CO2 and then they detect huge differences in short distance of the samples. If there are cracks to the atmosphere without contamination, there would be migration from the outside (380 ppmv and beyond) to the inside (180-300 ppmv) not reverse.
        If the cracks are inside near the bubbles, then all CO2 is detected as the grating technique crushes the ice under vacuum, which is low enough to suck out all surface water on the ice. Or they use the sublimation technique which recovers all CO2, wherever it hides (even out of clathrates).

        There is no difference in CO2 level (there is for O2!) from ice cores that were measured after one year (relaxation) or 20 years later…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen, all the measurements of CO2 are imperfect. Why discard those from the 19th Century because they are regional? Why not discard the ice cores and Mauna Loa too? The measurements were made with good precision at the time. They shouldn’t be discarded without specific reasons for each measurement. They are an inconvenient fact.

        As for the ice core smoothing – how can you doubt that it is true in the real world? Ice does shatter and reform rapidly. Not in a secure storage facility but in the messy real world with real winds.

        Good point that there should be some migration into the ice cores from the surface. That would disprove the ice core smoothing if the higher (more recent) ice cores were lower in CO2 than the deeper ice cores. The fact that that is not the case is good supporting evidence for the weakness of ice cores in recording atmospheric CO2.

        In my opinion, CO2 will be being smoothed out and so lowered in measured concentration and less varying than it was originally. But I can’t see it being able to escape out of the ice entirely.

        Sorry, I can’t remember where I read the paper on ice transitioning to water on internal fractures that almost immediately reseal. I have been looking. It was a chemistry paper not a climate thing, if I remember correctly.

      • M Courtney,

        Some of the historical data were of good quality (+/- 10 ppmv), some were of no quality (+/- 150 ppmv).
        The main problem was not the quality of the equipment but where was measured and the length of the measurements series.
        In 5% of the atmosphere, that is in the first few hundred meters over land, there are huge CO2 sources and sinks at work, which may give hundreds of ppmv’s difference over the course of a day. Combined with sporadic measurements (3 samples a day), that gives a complete false picture of even the local CO2 levels.
        In 95% of the atmosphere, that is over all oceans and over a few hundred meters over land, one can measure the same CO2 levels within +/- 2% of full scale from near the North Pole to the South Pole (the latter included). That includes the huge seasonal changes, mainly in the NH.
        Thus if you measure CO2 anywhere at Antarctica or at far north Barrow, the CO2 levels will be within 8 ppmv of each other at any time of the year. If you average the data over a year, Barrow leads the South Pole CO2 with ~4 ppmv, as most of human emissions are in the NH.

        If you measure in the middle of a forest (as was done for some historical series), you may find 550 ppmv at night (respiration) and 250 ppmv during the day (photosynthesis). Such data can’t be used to know what the average CO2 level in the bulk of the atmosphere was at the time of sampling…

        About ice cores, have a look at:
        http://courses.washington.edu/proxies/GHG.pdf

      • Sorry,

        What Dr. Salby told is physical nonsense: if CO2 migrates in ice with a factor 10 over 100,000 years, as he says, then that would be the case for every 100,000 years (interglacial) back in time. The longest ice core dating is 800,000 year back in time. The oldest ice would have been exposed to 10^8 more CO2 than measured if Dr. Salby was right…

  26. Scenario 4, Oopes never mind.
    As more accurate real world data has completely devastated the consensus orthodoxy(What ever that actually is), we can safely conclude that earlier speculations of Catastrophic Climate Caused by Mankind were incorrect and can now return to observational data based science , given the extreme embarrassment caused this agency by having fallen for policy based data manufacturing.
    The introduction of actual measurements to compare to the modelled speculation does provide a golden opportunity for real scientists to back away from the activists.
    As in sorry gentlemen I trusted your judgement but the real world shows you to be completely out to lunch.

  27. This is the sort of thing that gives climate skeptics a bad name.

    Voisin writes “That human emission to global atmospheric CO2 concentration is and always has been a small single-digit contribution.” That is not even wrong. If one interprets to mean that annual emissions, expressed in ppm, add single digit amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere then yes, that is true. But so what? The emissions largely accumulate year after year.

    Then “That if we shut human CO2 emission down completely tomorrow little would happen to the future trajectory of global CO2 concentration.” Again, we have to guess at what he means. If he means that CO2 will stay nearly constant on a human time scale, then yes, after a small initial drop it will. But so what? If he means that CO2 will keep increasing as it has been, then he is out to lunch. From where will that CO2 magically appear?

    Then “And indeed, had we humans never industrialized, little would be different about that trajectory over the past 60 years right up to today.” Absolute nonsense. From where has the CO2 in the atmosphere come? And to where has all the CO2 from burning fossil fuels gone?

    Is Voisin the clown who thinks that climate is controlled by a gigantic nuclear reactor at the earth’s core? I couldn’t figure out how to search for that.

    • “The emissions largely accumulate year after year.”

      So I second how well the athmospheric ppm can be explained in terms of human emissions? Can you measure the human emissions by sniffing air at Mauna Loa and does that match statistics on coal, gas and oil use, our major fossil fuels?

      • “The emissions largely accumulate year after year” is a statement of faith. Mike’s queries constitute argumentum ad ignorantiam – “I can’t think of any other way it could happen” is not scientific proof.

      • The increase in atmospheric CO2 tracks well with anthropogenic emissions. About 40% of the emissions have remained in the atmosphere, the rest have been taken up by the biosphere and oceans. Carbon isotope data and atmospheric oxygen data support that.

        If the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is not from anthropogenic emissions, then where has it come from? And where have the anthropogenic emissions gone?

      • Bart is as usual looking at the variability in the rate of change of CO2 (in the tropical forests), which is caused by temperature changes. But the trend is not caused by temperature see before…

    • “…gives climate skeptics a bad name…”

      So many commenters here today that are making this claim. Most of them are not skeptics, but the blind and deaf CAGW faithful.

      Which makes the ‘skeptics getting a bad name’ claim fallacious. Skeptics are doing what comes normal to science, i.e. scrutinize and question data, analysis, possibilities, conclusions and assumptions.

      Ronald D Voisin describes himself as a cynical engineer. CAGW claims, taxes, false research and conclusions provides massive encouragement for adherents to the scientific method to be cynical. Especially those occupations where falsehoods or failures bring deadly repercussions.

      What these occupations have in common are strict adherence to solid evidential proofs prior to committing effort. A practice thoroughly bankrupt in ‘the team’s’ climate science. NOAA just happens to be home to a number of members of ‘the team’. Lord knows how the adherents to the scientific method survive that environment.

      Here’s hoping that the operators of the CO2 observatory and data storage are true scientists.

      • “Skeptics are doing what comes normal to science, i.e. scrutinize and question data, analysis, possibilities, conclusions and assumptions.”

        But Voisin is not doing any of those things; he is just spouting nonsense.

      • “Mike M. December 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        But Voisin is not doing any of those things; he is just spouting nonsense.”

        If you don’t understand the science, ask questions, otherwise your pitiful accusations lack clarity and direction.

    • The increase in atmospheric CO2 tracks well with anthropogenic emissions.

      Can I get some mathematics? To me it looks like other non-seasonal effects are huge, and worse, the usual layman graphics I see does not try to

      a) be accurate, they smooth out incertainty and do not make it visible
      b) don’t compare emissions with ppm
      c) don’t compare modelled cumulative co2 with athmospheric co2
      d) never expose the model used to calculate co2 air time
      e) or something else

      The 40 percent claim is usually mixed with expectation value of the same anthropogenic co2 in air at a given time, which is low compared to human total influence, if the 40% holds well.

      Oh yeah, I could read wikipedia, though it is so-and-so with people writing it paid by oil industry :>

      Bart posted a graph, which poorly addresses a c d and maybe e, but its the best here so far.

      • You can integrate the WFT plots I showed to get the accumulated CO2. E.g., here. But, that is hardly surprising, since the information contained in the derivative is the same as that contained in the function itself, modulo an integration constant.

        It is a key point, however, that the temperature relationship does match with the derivative. Ask anyone who presents you a plot of accumulated emissions compared to atmospheric concentration which shows a superficial match to show the numerical derivative of the two. You will find they no longer match very well at all, particularly since temperatures stopped increasing.

        The act of integrating, or accumulating, smooths out the information at higher frequencies, so matching those curves hides that fundamental mismatch from our eyes, and we see only a comparison between what are effectively two low order polynomial, almost linear with only slight curvature, functions. Matching such functions affinely is not a very unlikely or remarkable thing. If they have the same sign of slight curvature, then you can match them fairly well using a 1st order least squares fit of one curve against the other. The match is really just a coin toss – the odds of both of them having the same sign curvature, a 50/50 proposition.

        Matching the derivative, in almost every detail like the temperature data does, is a much less likely chance occurrence.

      • “…Oh yeah, I could read wikipedia, though it is so-and-so with people writing it paid by oil industry :>…”

        You have a funny idea of what constitutes the ‘oil industry’… Connolly’s methane and CO2 greenhouse gas contributions?

      • You can integrate the temperature plot, which has no physical meaning at all, as any increase in temperature has a finite effect on the CO2 increase in the atmosphere. Historically 8 ppmv/K, short term (seasons, 2-3 years) 4-5 ppmv/K that is all. The temperature effect is a matter of pCO2 change of the oceans:

    • Is Voisin the clown who thinks that climate is controlled by a gigantic nuclear reactor at the earth’s core? I couldn’t figure out how to search for that.

      No, you’re thinking of Joe Olson, one of the founding father dragonslayers. If you want to kill neurons and end the day slightly stupider than you began it, by all means visit here:

      http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/

      and buy his silly book.

      I personally really dislike the tendency for people to jump right onto the ad hominem bandwagon and refer to somebody that they obviously do not know as a “clown”. Olson I’ve communicated with extensively (and ditto many of the other slayers) and I feel well-qualified to dub them clowns. But Voisin? He simply is republishing some NASA data, with commentary. I find the data interesting. Who wouldn’t? His expressed fears are not exactly groundless, but are probably exaggerated. And yes, it is far too early to conclude much of anything at all from it.

      • Well, I only called the nuclear-reactor-at-the-earth’s-core a clown. The description only applies to Voisin if he was that guy.

  28. This map and the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution to total atmospheric CO2 content is very minor underscore the findings of Murry Salby that have been effectively prohibited from being published.

  29. Ronald D Voisin is a retired engineer.

    And good luck to him in his retirement, from where, as a suggestion, he should resist the temptation to write opinion pieces which have absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever.

    We can put numbers on global CO2 emissions from the key contributing sectors and estimate the response of planetary systems to those emissions. The net increase in atmospheric concentration fits pretty well. Given the step change in concentration since the industrial revolution cf the previous million years or so, it would need a spectacular new explanation as to where the extra CO2 came from if not us.

    Two recurring themes of ideological scepticism are (a) that CO2 has a very minor role in global temperature and (b) that humans cannot be responsible for changing the climate/global environment.

    The first denies the natural GH effect and cannot explain the ice ages.

    The second is an almost religious view along the lines of “the Earth is so big … how could we humans possibly ….”.

    Ronald D Voisin goes even further into anti-science with his claim that

    “had we humans never industrialized, little would be different about that (CO2) trajectory over the past 60 years right up to today.”

    • “The net increase in atmospheric concentration fits pretty well.”

      It fits poorly, and better fits with other variables are available. See comment above.

      • Bart, your graph has serious problems

        Looks like your relationship breaks down between 2002 and 2007

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:2001/mean:12/derivative/to:2007/plot/uah/from:2001/scale:0.22/offset:0.14/to:2007

        Seems more like CO2 is leading T in that time period
        Similarly

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/to:1983/plot/uah/from:1979/scale:0.22/offset:0.14/to:1983

        Doesn’t show T leading CO2 much…..It’s a toss-up which one is following which
        ..
        Here’s another interval where it looks more like CO2 leading T
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1991/mean:12/derivative/to:1995/plot/uah/from:1991/scale:0.22/offset:0.14/to:1995
        ..
        ..
        Do you have a better graph that shows actual causation instead of weak correlations?

      • This is piffle, David. The data are not perfect, and the actual relationship is assuredly more complex than can actually be expressed using these bulk, averaged measurements. As real world data sets go, this is a really good match, with a strong signal-to-noise ratio. Step away from the trees, and look at the forest.

        There is no lead or lag. The series are essentially coincident, with the relationship, to a high degree of fidelity within the modern era since 1958, described by the differential equation

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – Teq)

        where k is a sensitivity parameter in ppmv//K/unit-of-time, and Teq is the equilibrium temperature anomaly at the beginning of the record. This is basically a first order Taylor series expansion of whatever the true relationship is.

        The lag comes about when you integrate the rate of CO2 to get accumulated CO2. Integration always inserts a 90 degree phase lag. Thus, the swings in accumulated CO2 always lag the swings in temperature anomaly. A 90 degree phase lag is a quarter of a cycle. In the plots dbstealey has shown you, you can clearly see the quarter cycle lag between cycles of temperature anomaly and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Integration also impacts amplitude with a -20 dB/decade rolloff, and this match is also clearly evident in the data.

        There really is no doubt about it. A skilled and experienced analyst in signal processing would see the relationship immediately. I am just waiting for everyone else to catch up.

      • Everyone except for a few with able minds and eyes open. And, of course, Dr. Murry Salby, the only truly qualified climate scientist in the whole bunch, it seems.

      • BTW, David, in case the above was too wordy, note that the plots you are directing to are of the derivative of CO2. You may have missed that detail, or you may not know calculus. If you do not know the concept of a derivative, you really should not be commenting at all.

      • You explained the “lag”…now could you explain the leading as shown in the links I provided?

        Additionally, can you explain why the relationship sometimes works, and at other times does not?

      • I understand the derivative, however, one thing you should be aware of that makes your analysis very questionalble.

        You really should be using absolute temperatures and not anomalies….because the following relationship obscures the the values of T you are using in your relationships. It will be very difficult for you to explain how the proportionality constant accounts for the use of anomaly data instead of absolute temps in physical terms.
        ..

      • Now Bart…..
        ..
        Over the course of the past decade or so, dCO2/dt has been about 2 ppm/yr

        Over the course of the past decade or so T – Teq has been essentially zero….

        Pretty hard to find any “k” that will work in that situation.

      • It always works, David. There is no lead. You are plotting the derivative. When you integrate the signal, there will necessarily be a 90 deg phase lag which is much larger than any insignificant phantom lead due to noise that you may find.

      • The CO2 data are averaged over a year, and so yearly fluctuations are zeroed out. The temperature anomalies are the residuals after yearly fluctuations have been removed. We are looking for the long term relationship here, and it is evident that we have found it.

        No, T – Teq is not nearly zero over the last decade. In the plot I gave you here, the relationship with the UAH tropospheric data is

        dCO2/dt := 0.22*T + 0.14 = 0.22*(T – (-0.64))

        so Teq := -0.64 and k := 0.22. The temperatures are, of course, relative to the baseline for the data set.

      • David, I am beginning to wonder if I am conversing with a bot. It works all the time, precisely as I have described above. If you are not able to see this, then I do not think I can help you any further.

      • Canceling out the yearly cycles is not acceptable

        CO2 has a yearly vegetative cycle clearly evident here….
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:2009

        What is utterly facinating is that if you examine the yearly cycle you will find that CO2 levels drop from yyyy.4 until yyyy.8 each year, every year.

        Additionally global temperatures are higher from yyyy.4 until yyyy.8 ( reference: https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/clip_image0041.jpg) when CO2 is dropping, and conversley from yyyy.8 thru yyyy+1.4 CO2 is rising when temperatures are globally colder.

        Do you explain this with photosynthesis?

      • Bart, I provided you with three distinct intervals from your chart where I’ve shown you it doesn’t work. Why are you not able to provide an explanation for these discrepancies?

      • “Canceling out the yearly cycles is not acceptable…”

        Says who? It most certainly is acceptable, even strongly advisable, if you want to ferret out the long term relationship. Is it your claim that the yearly cycles are caused by the burning of fossil fuels? Really?

        Why are you throwing out these red herrings? Do you truly not understand? Are you completely unfamiliar with modeling and filtering concepts? If so, why are we having this discussion?

        “Why are you not able to provide an explanation for these discrepancies?”

        I did. You apparently did not understand it. A) the derivative of CO2 does not have to lag temperatures, the accumulation does. And, it does, by fully 90 degrees of phase. B) the leads you are pointing to are phantoms of noisy data, which are in any case utterly insignificant compared to that 90 degree phase lag which will be introduced when you integrate the signal.

        Honestly, I do not mind questions. But, your critique is utterly pointless and trivial. Let’s give it a rest, shall we?

      • “RSS shows it’s negative.”

        No, it does not. That is not T – Teq, and the slope doesn’t come into play anywhere. The relationship is exactly what you see here. You are trying to tell me this plot does not exist. I do not know how to respond to that, except perhaps to suggest you check that you took your meds today.

        I cannot help you, David. Good day.

      • ” Is it your claim that the yearly cycles are caused by the burning of fossil fuels?”

        No, I never said that. If you think I said that, please post the link to the comment where I did so.

        “Why are you throwing out these red herrings?”
        ..
        Asking you why your chart does not adhere to your relationship is not a “red herring” It is simply asking you to explain why your relationship does not work all the time.

        ” the derivative of CO2 does not have to lag temperatures, the accumulation does.” …..tell me Mr Calculus…………is dCO2/dt the derivative (as in your chart) or is the “accumulation” something else. Being obscure doesn’t explain your relationship. You said that dCO2/dt = k * (T – Teq)…..nowhere in that equation is there an “accumulation”

        Secondly Mr Calculus…..could you please put in a trigonometric function into your relationship so that the mathematical types can derive you “phase angle?” You can’t get a “phase angel” from dCO2/dt = k* (T – Teq)

        ” phantoms of noisy data,” …..https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/29/three-scenarios-for-the-future-of-nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory/#comment-1824340

        See my “Do you have a better graph…..” question.

        Give it a rest? You post a shoddy chart, I critique it, and you want to give it a rest? No, it’s your “theory” and if you can’t defend it, I suggest you stop trying to sell it with shoddy data.
        ..

      • OK…”check your meds”…..wow……I figured you’d resort to something childish like that.

        Sorry to punch holes in your theory, if you can’t explain why it falls apart in the three time frames I posted, good luck trying to get it past peer review.

      • The only holes you have punched is in your reputation. It is clear you have no clue what you are talking about. But hey! At least WUWT lets you demonstrate your ignorance.

      • “No, it does not. That is not T ”

        Actually, yes it is T over the course of a decade. You yourself said, “We are looking for the long term relationship here,”

        The trend line for the RSS data most certainly is how you look at the data over a long period of time to determine relationships.

      • Give it up, David. You’re not qualified to understand the argument, and I cannot provide a minimal four year degree level of education for you here.

      • Mr Bart and Mr philjourdan

        It is quite understandable why you are attempting to sell the dCO2/dt = k* (T – Teq) relationship. Transparent in fact. However there is a choice one makes when dealing with this very issue.
        ..
        Here is the choice.
        ..
        A) Bart says…….Integrating the derivative of CO2 generates a 90 degree phase lag of an between cycles of temperature anomaly never shown in the graph, which when we are looking for long term relationships is embedded in the phantoms of noisy data.

        or

        B) Humans put the CO2 into the atmosphere with fossil fuel combustion, cement manufacture and land use changes.

        I like how the Occam razor works in this situation.

        Bart, you need to stop “torturing the data”

      • Sorry davey, I am not selling anything. I merely pointed out that your request had been answered and it was only your ignorance that prevents you from seeing that. Clearly you have no clue what you are talking about, but like your finger paints, you figured you could make nonsensical shapes with numbers.

        So keep me out of your strawmen. Should you ever be able to understand what Bart has posted, we can possibly have an intelligent discussion. But I am not counting on it.

      • No torture, David. Just common, well accepted practices and well understood signal processing concepts. Very well understood. As in, elementary. As in, why-are-we-even-having-such-a-conversation flat-out basic.

        Occam’s razor very firmly comes down on my side, especially when the usual suspects start positing all kinds of way-out explanations for why the sinks appear, under the human attribution conjecture, to be gaining in strength. They’re not, actually. They just never had any trouble shrugging off human inputs before, and they don’t have any now.

        But, even simple things seem complicated to those without the proper experience or training. Keep watching, and see what happens.

      • Finally
        ..
        Examine the raw data
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:2010.7/to:2012.4

        Starting in August (2010.7) dCO2/dt is positive and stays positive until the beginning of May (2011.4)

        This is known as “winter” where absolute global temperatures drops (reference https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/clip_image0041.jpg )

        From May (2011.4) until the following August (2011.7) CO2 drops. This is known as “summer” where absolute global T is rising.
        ..
        Using temperature anomalies masks what is happening in mother nature. When you can express dCO2/dt in absolute T instead of anomalies, you’ll be on track to explaining what is really going on.

      • David, I have had years of discussion with Bart…

        It doesn’t help, whatever argument you use, what observation that proves that he is wrong, he doesn’t move one bit. His whole theory is based on the formula:
        dCO2/dt = k*(T – Teq)
        which leads to a continuous stream of CO2 into the atmosphere, even with a flat temperature, as he bases his Teq on an arbitrary value to match the increase, no matter the (increased) CO2 pressure in the atmosphere from such a continuous input stream.

        That violates Henry’s law and near all other observations of what happens in the atmosphere and the ocean surface…
        dCO2/dt is not temperature dependent (it is dT/dt dependent), CO2 is slightly temperature dependent and largely (current) pressure dependent. The effect of temperature is not more than 8 ppmv/K, as is supported by 800,000 years of ice core records, including high resolution over the MWP-LIA cooling. The warming since the LIA is good for not more than 6 ppmv. That is all.

        The current CO2 pressure is 110 μatm (~ppmv) above the temperature controlled equilibrium. That pushes ~1 GtC/year extra in land plants, ~0.5 GtC/year in the ocean surface and ~3.5 GtC/year in the deep oceans. Humans add ~10 GtC/year to the atmosphere. The difference is what causes the increase in the atmosphere.

    • Please provide the valid science, repeatable experimental procedures and data that proves that atmospheric CO2 is causing the (currently flat-lined) warming of the planet.
      Please provide the valid science, repeatable experimental procedures and data that proves that mankind has the ability to change the climate and that the ~3% increase in CO2 attributed to mankind is the mechanism.
      Please provide the valid science, repeatable experimental procedures and data that proves that increasing taxes on “carbon” has the ability to change the climate.

      • nielszoo

        While I have no problem with the rest of your questions the
        and that the ~3% increase in CO2 attributed to mankind

        The 3% is not the increase in CO2, that is the part of human emissions in the total throughput of CO2 which is BTW nowadays near 7% (10 GtC/year vs. 150 GtC natural in/out).

        The 30% increase in CO2 is near fully attributable to human emissions, as only halve of the addition (as mass, not original molecules) is removed by the natural carbon cycle. Thus nature cycles a lot of CO2 in and out over the seasons, but the net balance over the past 55 years is more sink than source:

        As there is no sign of an increased circulation of CO2 through the atmosphere (to the contrary), near all of the increase in the atmosphere is from the human contribution, and a tiny bit (~6 ppmv) from the ocean warming since the LIA.

    • Voisin makes a sophisticated analysis of the dilemma faced by NASA scientists. Unless this new satellite can somehow be rigged into “detecting” anthropogenic CO2, the whole CAGW alarmist machine falters. Abbott will have to go back to shrilling about acid rain.

      • “sophisticated analysis” ?!

        Voisin produced a similar piece of sophisticated analysis earlier this year, published on WUWT where he postulated (actually invented out of thin air) that a nuclear reactor at the Earth’s core was responsible for climate change and that this would be shown by correlating plate movements with temperature – but – as he admitted, there was no evidence – yet – to support such a link.

        All very entertaining – along the same lines as Erich von Däniken. His theory that aliens brought civilisation and technology to humans was based at least partly on the (entirely wrong) view that ancient peoples were incapable of building pyramids and other large scale structures. Voisin cannot bring himself to accept the real cause of increasing CO2 – humans – so invents another explanation.

        Also, mpainter, can you remind me when I mentioned acid rain on WUWT ? Or anywhere else in connection with climate change ? My memory must be failing as I cannot ever recall doing so.

      • Acid rain was the favorite bugaboo of alarmist types before CO2, do you not remember, James? You are an alarmist, hence I assume that the acid rain hype was no stranger to you.

        Ronald Voisin makes a shrewd analysis of the delimma that NASA faces. The post is a comment on the alarmist policies of the current administration and the choices they now face concerning this new satellite which can detect no anthropogenic CO2, thus exposing before the world the hollowness of the CO2 alarmism.

        Now, James Abbott, let’s see if you can ad hominen that.

      • mpainter, Voisin’s view is based on 1.5 month of data over an earth which shows huge CO2 exchanges in different regions of the earth in and out over a full year.

        It is like declaring that the surface is not warming, because the temperature data in the same months as the above CO2 data show an overall cooling of the earth…

        Wait with this sort of expectations of “dilemma’s” until after a full year (or two-three) of data are in…

  30. I have huge reservations about the data coming from this system, especially since its stated mission is to find Mann-made sources and sinks of CO2. The massive number of layers and dependencies in the final data output (if/when they actually get real data) belies the purported accuracy. The recent track record of NASA and NOAA when it comes to CAGW is not much of a confidence builder when so many different measurements, models and adjustments will be applied to create the data products they promise. From the OCO-2 site: Science Validation Plan and OCO-2 Spectroscopic Needs.

  31. Grab OCO-2 data as soon as they are available and put them into a versioning system like GitHub to see how they are changing over time in a retrospective manner.

    Any way to automate it?

    Unfortunately NASA is still clueless how to manage information properly with current toolsets. Let’s help them.

  32. A word about the site and posts

    I saw this early in the thread:

    Andy Mac (@AndyMeanie)
    December 29, 2014 at 9:14 am

    You know when you start going into the realm of conspiracy there is something not quite righ about the articles why not just compare these observations to the models released last month by NASA re:mixing?

    The tone of this article doesn’t do WUWT justice, IMHO.

    Every so often I see some concern-troll tell us that WUWT.com or Mr. Watts are going to be sullied by some comment or some post that the troll does not like. I call Bull-crap.

    I did not see A. Watts claim that he personally approved every word in Mr. Voisin’s article. All I saw was this site give some space to an interesting article that I enjoyed reading. There is room here for articles that don’t necessarily toe some imaginary PC line that all skeptics are supposed to honor like Roman Catholics do the Pope.

    As an aside, I see some have claimed that the law will force NASA to publish the unadulterated raw data. Sure; and the constitution demands a declaration of war by congress before the US attacks another country. How has that worked out?

    • markstoval
      December 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm
      ”Every so often I see some concern-troll tell us that WUWT.com or Mr. Watts are going to be sullied by some comment or some post that the troll does not like. I call Bull-crap.”
      ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

      As do I. However it is entertaining to watch those who have spent years calling sceptics “holocaust deniers”, “anti-science”, “big oil shills” and “flatearthers” suddenly expressing faux concern about sceptics “looking bad”. It is also very telling.

      Just what would known CO2 alarmists be trying to herd sceptics toward with their threats that people will appear as “nutters”, “conspiracy theorists” and “the tin-foil hat brigade”? The answer is simple – GoreBull Warbling believers are now fighting a desperate rear-guard action. They seek to delay the collapse of their hoax by keeping sceptics on the straight and narrow “CO2 causes warming, but less than we thought” path. They crave a soft landing for their hoax.

      Ronald is bang on target when he suggests that his scenario 1 –
      ”requires so much crow eating by so many organisations and over so short a period of time as to be entirely politically unacceptable even as it is scientifically accurate. I doubt it can be allowed to happen.”

      It’s bad enough that it can be shown CO2 variations have little to do with humans. Imagine having to admit that there is no net atmospheric radiative GHE at all, and that AGW is actually a physical impossibility? The horror! AGW believers will try anything to delay the inevitable.

      • It’s bad enough that it can be shown CO2 variations have little to do with humans.

        With respect, Sir,

        I think it is rather tiresome to see this kind of argument. Now if it can he shown, please answer my pledge above and show how badly athmospheric CO2 rise during the, say, last 50 years, can be explained in terms of human emissions induced increase in the athmosphere. Use the existing science.

        Show using scientific papers, with no original research added. Cover the literature to debunk any counterarguments. I’d be frankly greatful.

        The co2 varies intra-annually, right, the amount of original anthropogenic co2 in athmosphere is low, yes, but these do not disprove human influence. Not near. I’m sceptic there.

        About the author. Watts decides, Watts takes the blame for publishing. What I am to complain.

      • Konrad, I am as skeptical as anybody else here about the effects (mostly beneficial) of more CO2 in the atmosphere, but this kind of articles doesn’t any good to the reputation of WUWT as scientific website.

        Voisins view is based on 1.5 month of CO2 satellite data. Everybody with a little knowledge of the CO2 fluxes over the seasons can tell you that these changes are huge. In one direction in one season, in opposite direction in another season.
        It is than only stupid to conclude anything from 1.5 months of data, including a future conspiracy from NASA to hide the data from the general public then followed by a horde of “me too” people which call themselves “skeptics” (except if they like what is said)…

        Only after at least a full year of data, one may able to conclude something from the data…

  33. Where can I buy a tinfoil hat? Silence from Ferdinand? The fundamental point that this data contradicts everything we think we know about CO2 stands. It speaks to a far greater role for microbial respiration, particularly in the oceans…

  34. NASA in its press releases always announces exactly what it will observe before a mission.

    In the case of OCO-2, along with the other instruments ECOSTRESS and CATS, it will observe how particulates and emissions from human activity directly cause weather/droughts/floods/what have you. They promise to link current weather and climate events with farming and industry. NASA has already stated this.

    This approach will shrink the time scale away from 30 year trends, which has not been too successful for them.

    Since the stated goals of this suite of instruments is to link climate with human land use and emissions directly and in short time scales, then why would anyone assume it is cynical to say that they will seek to fulfill their mission?

  35. Voisin says: “And just what would NASA have us believe about this first OCO product:

    a) That shortly before this last October 1st, industrial production shut down in the Ohio Valley, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. That as of October 1st, U.S. industrial production has been concentrated in the lush Appalachian Slopes of the Carolinas, Georgia and Northern Florida.

    b) That farming activities may account for the CO2 plumes over the lush forests of South America and South-Central Africa. While Australian industrial activity may have pushed it’s CO2 output upwind into the lush forests of Malaysia.”

    This articulates the general sentiment of many readers on the last OCO-2 thread. There has since been more discussion of the CO2 emissions of natural processes in decomposition.

    This is also interesting:
    Volcanism in Iceland and the Aleutians are visible.
    The eastern area of China appears to be a subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest.
    The evergreen forests in Washington are showing well, even in winter.

    • What industrial processes? Ibuki shows some very slight colouration around the South East corner where the majority of industrial processing occurs. Mainly Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong.

  36. I copied this paragraph directly from NASA’s very own website.

    ‘Preliminary analysis shows these signals are largely driven by the seasonal burning of savannas and forests,” said OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist Annmarie Eldering, of JPL. The team is comparing these measurements with data from other satellites to clarify how much of the observed concentration is likely due to biomass burning.’

    Wow. In the first of a two sentence paragraph the source states, “…analysis shows…signals are largely driven by…burning…”, and in the next, and remaining sentence, and concerning the exact same issue, states, “…is comparing…data from other satellites to clarify how much…is likely due to…burning.” Clearly, these people don’t know the difference between a fact and a supposition. Either that, or they simply don’t care. What is one’s bet: the former or the latter?

    Voisin’s attitude is clearly justified.

  37. mpainter

    You say

    “Acid rain was the favorite bugaboo of alarmist types before CO2, do you not remember, James? You are an alarmist, hence I assume that the acid rain hype was no stranger to you.”

    Two points there:

    Acid rain was/is real. So how is it an “alarmist” issue ? The pH of rain can be measured and in central Europe for example, acid rain from heavy industry emissions was directly linked to damage to forests.

    Second, I am not an alarmist, but a realist – I am interested in the science and reject the ideological positions taken by those who are “convinced” they are right.

    You say

    “Ronald Voisin makes a shrewd analysis of the delimma that NASA faces. The post is a comment on the alarmist policies of the current administration and the choices they now face concerning this new satellite which can detect no anthropogenic CO2, thus exposing before the world the hollowness of the CO2 alarmism.”

    Two points there are well:

    Firstly, if Voison is “shrewd” then (as per his nuclear reactor “theory”) we may as well all give up on science and just make any old thing up.

    Secondly, if the satellite really cannot detect any CO2 from human activities, then it needs a bit of tune up – human society is currently pumping out about 40,000,000,000 tonnes per annum.

    Or are you going to say that’s all a lie and what really comes out of all those factories, homes, cars, ships and planes is not CO2 ?

    • “Acid rain was/is real. So how is it an “alarmist” issue ? The pH of rain can be measured and in central Europe for example, acid rain from heavy industry emissions was directly linked to damage to forests.”

      Apparently acid rain was actually caused by Phytoplankton blooms.

      See post https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/23/touchy-feely-science-one-chart-suggests-theres-a-phraud-in-omitting-ocean-acidification-data-in-congressional-testimony/#comment-1820722

      Had not much to do with heavy industry emissions.
      Thank god for real scientists.

    • I don’t require a whole lot of convincing that releasing highly reactive compounds inimical to life into the atmosphere is a bad idea. And so, while I might be persuaded that the acid rain and ozone hole scares could have been overwrought, I doubt I could be persuaded that we should just have continued business as usual.

      Carbon dioxide is, however, a wholly different matter. It is not only not inimical to life, it is sine qua non for life to exist on this planet. If we could have any impact on it, I would advocate arresting the long term decline and pumping it back up to optimum levels. Sadly, however, the data indicate plainly that we have little to no influence on the atmospheric abundance of this essential, life-giving gaseous compound.

      • I have read some of the arguments between skeptic Ferdinand and other WUWT skeptics regarding the human contribution to the increase in CO2. Both sides argue well, and with less snark then most debates between those of disparate perspectives. Ferdinand side is easier to argue, as the broad facts (the correlation of the increase in average CO2 in conjunction with human emissions is there) support it.

        However the process is to complicated for me to choose to make the effort necessary for a personal opinion for a simple reason. The increase is net beneficial, and the predictions of harm are all failing, and that is easy to demonstrate.

        The above being said, I would still like an answer to this query. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/29/three-scenarios-for-the-future-of-nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory/#comment-1824858

      • I do not have a link right now, but long term historical graphs of CO2, for whatever they are worth, show that CO2 was much higher in the long, long ago, and has been in a long term decline since then. I’m glad to see it going up right now. Going the other way would be bad.

        This is the fundamental silliness of the whole debate. The AGW panic fails on every count. We aren’t influencing CO2 levels appreciably, CO2 levels do not appreciably affect temperatures on the Earth in its present climate state, and even if those points were not true, a warmer world with higher CO2 concentration would be a boon to life on the planet.

    • James Abbott
      Your problem is ignorance. Read the link furnished below by Yirgach.
      Richard Courtney knows whereof he speaks. Acid rain was/ is a typical environmental bugaboo. It was phytoplankton, not industrial smokestacks.

    • James Abbott
      The new, grand, orbiting CO2 sniffer can’t get the faintest whiff of anthropogenic CO2. So why are you still frightened?

  38. Whenever a post delivers a solid blow to the Gullibles’ cause, their screaming and whining here increase by an order of magnitude. They remind me of:

    Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch!
    King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
    Black Knight: No, it isn’t!
    King Arthur: Well, what’s that then? (points at arm, on ground)
    Black Knight: I’ve had worse.

    The more Black Knight denial here, the better the post.

    • Except in one case jorge, when there is a post about the lack of harm from CO2, the failed predictions of the alarmists, then you only hear crickets from the alarmists. They simply do not have a case for the “C” in CAGW. (Hell, the G and the W are also MIA, but they will argue endlessly over that.)

  39. Why would anyone want to measure CO2 at this time….other than to get more data to disprove the theory

    The theory was a sight increase in CO2 would cause a tipping point…and we would have run away global humidity

    We passed that tipping point years ago…..temperatures flat lined..CO2 continued to rise ~2ppm/year…humidity stayed the same

  40. I vote that OCO will unfortunately suffer a catastrophic failure. The data is inconvenient and does not match the models.

  41. Senior NASA administrators are political chameleons. They will change sides to protect their jobs. As the Obama administration is crashing and burning, they will start to move to a neutral position.

    The bigger issue is the planet has started to cool. If I understand the mechanisms there will be significant unequivocal cooling in time to influence the presidential election.

    The scientific question which is not resolved is what percentage of the increase in atmospheric CO2 was due to anthropogenic emission and what percentage was due to natural sources.

    Note ‘natural’ gas (CH4) is very, very, deficient in C13 (the fossil theory cannot explain that deficiency). Deep earth CH4 emissions (and volcanic eruptions and earthquakes also increase when the solar magnetic cycle increases) increase when the solar magnetic cycle is active. There are microbes in the earth that consume CH4 producing CO2 in regions where there is a large and steady release of CH4. As noted in the Humlum et al paper, it appears the major source of the CO2 increase is in the southern hemisphere rather than the northern hemisphere. (P.S. If you are interested in the deep earth CH4 hypothesis and the hundred or so observations that support that hypothesis read the late Nobel prize winning astrophysicist Thomas Gold’s book ‘The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels’).

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/Carbon_dioxide_Humlum_et_al.pdf

    The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature

    Thus, summing up for the analysis of the NCDC data, changes in atmospheric CO2 is lagging 9.5-12 months behind changes in surface air temperatures calculated for the two main types of planetary surface, land and ocean, respectively. The strongest correlation (0.45) between atmospheric CO2 and NCDC temperature is found in relation to ocean surface air temperatures, suggesting a rather strong coupling from changes in ocean temperature to changes in atmospheric CO2. ….

    …. The correlation coefficient is considerably higher (0.56) for the Southern Hemisphere than for the Northern Hemisphere (0.26), indicating the association between changes in hemispherical temperature and changes in global atmospheric CO2 to be especially strong for the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, both analyses suggest a mainly Southern Hemisphere origin of observed DIFF12 changes for atmospheric CO2.

    ….Summing up, our analysis suggests that changes in atmospheric CO2 appear to occur largely independently of changes in anthropogene emissions. A similar conclusion was reached by Bacastow (1976), suggesting a coupling between atmospheric CO2 and the Southern Oscillation. However, by this we have not demonstrated that CO2 released by burning fossil fuels is without influence on the amount of atmospheric CO2, but merely that the effect is small compared to the effect of other processes. Our previous analyzes suggest that such other more important effects are related to temperature, and with ocean surface temperature near or south of the Equator pointing itself out as being of special importance for changes in the global amount of atmospheric CO2.

    • OK, yeah, right, it’s a mistake to look at one month only, it all makes sense if you look at all months of the year.

      Thanks for the link from Bill Illis.

      But .. I’m still confused. Here is the CO2 map for December 2013:

      http://data.gosat.nies.go.jp/GosatBrowseImage/browseImage/fts_l2_swir_co2_gallery_en_image.html?image=56

      So .. Let me try to get my head around this one. During Dec 2013 with North America in the grip of the frigid polar vortex and power station output in America and Europe at a maximum – during that month, by far the biggest global source of CO2 was … North Africa and the Sahara desert?

      Now does that fit in with the CAGW narrative?

  42. Well, today is 30 December and, as promised, NASA has released some initial OCO-2 data for public access:
    Here is the OCO-2 Home Page, with a link to the data. (Note the wallpaper)
    http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/

    For those who have patiently waited for this release (including me) there will be some disappointment, because this initial release only includes the Level 1 data, mainly the raw spectral response readings. The Level 2, full physics, with XCO2 calculations won’t be released until March 2015.

    Ok, I guess we’ll have to wait some more to see the XCO2 data. In the meantime, here is an algorithmic description of how the spectral lines are detected and extracted from the background noise:
    http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCO-2/documentation/oco-2/OCO-2%20L1B%20ATBD_prelaunch.pdf

    • NASA are masters of obfustication.
      One is swamped by irrelevant detail while the important images and data are well hidden.

  43. Comment on caption: If that much of Africa and South America (?) are on fire, we should be getting more serious cooling down, I should think. As for the “concentrations” over industrial Europe and N.A., that is a stretch! They must have just fallen over when they saw the lack of this concentration they were expecting. Industrialization isn’t seasonal, either. They’ve already opted for #2 – probably could have written the caption before the data. Oh and look at where Hawaii is in the well mixed global CO2 stew. I’ts in an oceanic CO2 sink. WUWT

    • … Africa and South America are on fire,…
      Gary, why do you make it sound so alarming? The mean CO2 concentration is 395ppm and the total global variance around that mean is ±7ppm (about ± 2%). That’s not going to set anything on fire.

      These CO2 “plumes” are actually very weak gradients. So the colormaps have been exaggerated a lot to make them discernible.

  44. Great article, Ron. I like how the industry and fires in the Central Pacific Ocean are cranking out all that CO2.
    The best, Steve.

  45. All the usual bollocks from the usual suspects.

    But let’s not forget what the computer models predicted that OCO would find:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/18/who-needs-an-orbiting-carbon-observatory-when-you-can-model-of-carbon-dioxide/

    Now, please, look at the top image where R Viosin shows us what OCO ACTUALLY MEASURED.

    And still these people take themselves seriously. O yes it’s all about altitude and wind, look how clever I am Google searching all these mountains and wind names. But no – it’s all about forest burning. Then why were’nt altitude, winds and forest burning in the computer model?

    It’s time to call time on all the utter BS about CO2. Look at the modelled CO2. Look at the measured CO2. The difference tells you all you need to know about climate modelling.

  46. High CO2 over forest regions is nothing to do with burning. It’s from the forest ecosystems themselves.

  47. While on one hand it’s gratifying to see CAGW falsified, on the other hand it’s disappointing and a cause for concern that human industrial civilisation is not able to increase atmospheric CO2. The Pleistocene has already seen dangerously low <200 ppm CO2 levels.

    CO2 starvation is a much bigger threat than avert weak CO2 warming effect. The eventual extinction of the biosphere is predicted to be caused by CO2 extinction and not necessarily heat as the sun goes red-giant:

    https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/file/index/docid/297542/filename/bg-3-85-2006.pdf

  48. More proof of my 1st Anti AGW theorem as I have said much earlier in a WUWT comment:
    There is no such thing as Global Climate — due to a number of factors including the balance of land and sea — There are at the least an Independent Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere with nearly fully independent climates

    And the corollaries:
    1) The annual sawtooth oscillation in the Hawaii CO2 data is Northern Hemisphere Temperate growing season driven
    2) Jim Hansen, “John don’t call me I smoke-a-lot of Pot_Holder-n” and “Michael don’t call me” KinderMann or I’ll sue your socks off” must be spinning in their common intellectual grave
    2a) ditto for the creators of the website “350 or I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue”
    3) Algore keeps clipping his Solyndria Bond coupons
    4) Obama keeps rhetorically “fiddlin and diddlin” with the ball at midcourt wondering what happened to PotHoldern’s $5.00 gasoline — meanwhile while we enjoy gasoline prices back around $2.00/gallon and the price of Orange Juice — Not from Concentrate at the supermarket drops
    5) All in All — a Good way to start the New Year as we prepare for the Rhetorical Apocalyptic onslaught prologue to Paris

  49. I would like to see this product repeated for all ~1.5 month periods for a full year, and a version of this product averaged over a complete year. Forested areas that have seasons will probably show up as alternating between net sources and net sinks of CO2 depending on the season.

  50. My 2nd Anti-AGW Theorem:
    The system is far more complicated than we think it is at any given period of time:

    Corollary: Since for a model to be anything other than the proverbial GIGO*1 generator the model has to include physics / chemistry and sometimes biology which will only be discovered in the future

    Since many of the “Unknown at any given period of time processes” have non-linear effects on certain system variables — the usual caveat well but the effect is small doesn’t work

    Moral of the story about the models — they will be intrinsically wrong no matter how much we spend on the computing and sophistication of the modeling

    Let’s collect the best data we can with the best instruments we can possibly build now and return to the discussion of is there a human contribution to any warming in about 100 years or so — meanwhile the Sun may resolve the issue for us and we might wish that we could raise the CO2 and that it would have the beneficial effect of warding off the Glacial Chill

  51. If the well-mixed average global CO2 level is just about 400 now, that is about “orange” on the map, so most of it should be there or redder… lotta blues and greens and yellows, instead.

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