NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory shows potential tectonically-induced CO2 input from the ocean?

Guest essay by Martin Hovland, Geophysiscist and Professor Emeritus, Center for Geobiology, University of Bergen, Norway

The newly released satellite OCO2-data indicates that there is CO2 input in tectonically active oceanic areas. This becomes evident by pairing seafloor topography and tectonic data with the recently published OCO2-results. Thus, in the released OCO2 dataset, showing the average atmospheric concentration of CO2 over a period of about 6 weeks late in 2014, there are three curious, relatively week, but distinct CO2-hotspots over oceanic regions:

1) The Timor CO2-hotspot

2) the Fiji CO2-hotspot, and

3) the Emperor CO2-hotspot, see Fig. 1.

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Fig. 1 Portions of the initial published OCO2 data, showing the locations of the three CO2-hotspots discussed herein. TH=Timor CO2-hotspot; FH=Fiji CO2-hotspot; EH=Emperor CO2-hotspot. They are all apparently associated with tectonically active processes on the underlying seafloor.

Using the Smithsonian Volcano database, it is seen that these CO2-hotspots occur above seafloor features which are suspected to issue CO2, CH4 and occasionally large amounts of heat (especially for FH and EH). Here, it can be seen that the TH occurs over a deep-water accretionary subduction wedge. This is a collision zone, where huge amounts of oceanic sediments pile up before they sink into and are swallowed up beneath the island masses to the north (Fig. 2). In such settings, it is well-known that continuous seepage of methane occurs out of the seafloor. Therefore, it is here speculated that the underwater and aerial oxidation of this excess methane gas provides the regional CO2-anomaly detected by OCO2.

The seafloor beneath the FH is also highly tectonized (Fig. 3), but in a completely different fashion to that of the TH. At Fiji, there are both colliding plates and rifting zones. The whole region is highly contorted and there are lots of seepage, both hot vents and cold, methane-dominated vents. Transmittal of methane and CO2 to the atmosphere is likely also here.

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Fig. 2 The seafloor beneath the Timor CO2-hotspot (TH, in Fig. 1) proves to consist of a typical accretionary subduction wedge, where methane and other gases seep out of the seafloor. The red circles show active volcanoes. (Source: http://volcano.si.edu/search.gmap.cfm)

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Fig. 3 The seafloor beneath the Fiji CO2-hotspot (FH, in Fig. 1) consists of both subduction and rifting zones, where methane and other gases seep out of the seafloor. The red circles show active volcanoes. (Source: http://volcano.si.edu/search.gmap.cfm)

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Fig. 4 The seafloor beneath the Emperor CO2-hotspot (EH, in Fig. 1) is highly tectonized, including possible rifting. The red circles show active volcanoes. (Source: http://volcano.si.edu/search.gmap.cfm).

Because of the highly tectonized seafloor also underlying the Emperor CO2-hotspot, it is speculated that there is excess CO2 given off by the ocean also in this area. The effect of excess heat and gases seeping out of the seafloor hotspots, was illustrated already in 1988, in Fig. 10.4, by Hovland and Judd (in the book: “Seabed Pockmarks and Seepages: Impact on Geology, Biology and the Marine Environment”). A modified version of this conceptual idea is provided in Fig. 5.

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Fig. 5 The original text to this conceptual drawing is: “Could there be a link between mantle convection and local ocean surface warming and hence atmospheric convection? A burst of mantle convection at a deep-ocean spreading centre would lead to an increased hydrothermal convection, which could lead to a sudden increase in local deep-water warming and upwelling. In turn, this could lead to local accumulation of warm surface water and a temperature gradient that would cause atmospheric convection. T.P.=Tropopause.” (Hovland and Judd, 1988). In the current context, this illustration is also relevant for gases originating on the seafloor and most probably feeding into the above atmospheric column.

306 thoughts on “NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory shows potential tectonically-induced CO2 input from the ocean?

  1. It’s odd that the lowest CO2 levels over land are found – in that month at least – over Siberia, India, Nigeria and the UK.

  2. It’s biological.

    It’s geological.

    And if you a squealing leftardulent AGW foamer, it’s diabolical.

    But then, adding radiative gases to the atmosphere was never going to reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability. The petulant sobbing of the climate bitches was always a certainty.

  3. No surprise there, as I wrote few days ago:
    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.
    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.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/29/three-scenarios-for-the-future-of-nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory/#comment-1824391

  4. Large CO2 emissions from non anthropogenic sources? Irrelevant, no even harmful to The Green Course, so shhushh.

    • Tax the Teutons! Eh…Tectons..tectonic plates, I mean :-) And if that won’t help, build huge subsea volcano-diapers to catch the offending gas.

      • An oil company in California has constructed a “tent” over a natural offshore seep to collect oil and gas that would otherwise escape into the environment.

  5. Lieber Herr Frey, bitte übersetzen. Zu Ihren Vorschlägen äußere ich mich noch separat. Muss sie mir erstmal ansehen Mit besten Grüßen bin ich Ihr Michael Limburg

    >

      • He said (more or less):
        “Dear Mr. Frey, please translate. To your suggestions I express myself yet separately. Do they see me first Best regards, I am Yours, Michael Limburg”

      • Well that was a useful contribution. I’ll remember that one, next time I have an interview, and don’t know what to say…..

  6. Observational data, who’d a thought?

    Nobody thought of sea floor spreading ridges before someone actually observed and mapped them.

    • Bruce Heezan, Marie Tharp and a bunch of grad and post doc students at Lamont Doherty. By the way, I believe they had to work mostly off campus on this.

    • If you could go back in time to say 1970 I suggest you Google such common terms as:
      Coronal Mass Ejections
      Black Smokers

      Where will we be in 2040 when we’re rewriting the textbooks concerning what we know about the Earth and the Sun yet again

      Today the Wikipedia article says:
      “Lake Nyos is one of only three lakes in the world known to be saturated with carbon dioxide—the others are Lake Monoun, also in Cameroon, and Lake Kivu in Democratic Republic of Congo. A magma chamber beneath the region is an abundant source of carbon dioxide, which seeps up through the lake bed, charging the waters of Lake Nyos with an estimated 90 million tonnes of CO2”

  7. Now what we need (if Prof Hovland can oblige) is confirmation that the latest zero increase in global temperatures coincides with a ‘quiet spell’ in these ocean floor emissions.

    • There is no ”quiet spell” they emit CO2 all the time as do the seamounts which are extinct volcanoes.

      • What proof do you have of this? Is the ocean floor and tectonic activity truly uniformly constant through all time with no variations for all locations? Would not earthquakes and volcanoes occur as predictable clockwork if that was the case? I would love to see the data, if anyone has ever bothered to look.

      • ferdberple, that would be ridiculous.
        No-one would take Climatology seriously if they did that.

    • Firstly, the arrow of causality is from temperatures to atmospheric concentration. The relationship can be clearly seen here to be of the form

      dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

      where CO2 is atmospheric CO2 concentration, k is a sensitivity parameter in ppmv/K/unit-of-time, T is the global mean temperature anomaly, and T0 is a baseline temperature anomaly.

      What the observations show is that, when T leveled off, so did dCO2/dt, the rate of change of CO2. Meanwhile, the rate of human emissions has kept increasing.

      If human emissions were the major driver behind atmospheric CO2 concentration, atmospheric concentration would be accelerating. Instead, it has decelerated to a fairly constant rate with fairly constant temperatures, in line with the differential equation above.

      Let me repeat that: If human emissions were the major driver behind atmospheric CO2 concentration, atmospheric concentration would be accelerating. It is not.

      A quiet spell in emissions from the ocean floor is not necessary to match observations, just steady outgassing to the atmosphere. The outgassing was accelerating when temperatures were increasing, but has slowed to a steady pace with the plateau in temperatures.

      • GISS is actually not too bad. HADCRUT4SH is excellent.

        These temperature sets measure different things. They require different constants for the match, and some match better than others. If you argue that one of them failing to match perfectly invalidates the model, then you have argued that the temperature sets themselves do not match, and are therefore all invalid.

        The best, most recent, highest accuracy measurements with the most extensive coverage are the satellite measurements, and they agree best with the model, too.

      • The problem with that is that the IPCC has stated numerous times that they can tell the difference between naturally occurring co2 and Antro co2 by the ratio of isotopes in co2. Unless of course that was also something they made up. Thereby, being able to tell how much humans were adding to the atmosphere. Now you are still trotting out that formula as if it were true? I disagree with the straight line formula on that and retention rates. (see the current conversation about the 8,000 year ice core from Volstok)

      • So Bart, how do you alter your dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) to account for the difference in HADCRUT4 global an dHADCRUT4 SH data?

      • Bart…..
        Your original chart uses a scale factor of .22, and an offset of .14
        Your GISS chart uses a scale factor of .28 and offset of 0.03
        Your HADCRUT4-SH chart uses a scale factor of .22 and offset of .10

        What is your theoretical explanation for having to use different scaling factors and offsets?
        Seems to me you are altering the display of the data to fit your “theory”

      • rishrac @ January 2, 2015 at 11:54 am

        The formula is empirically true, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Isotope ratios do not have a unique explanation – they’re just handwaving to give a false sense of rigor. See “snow job” in your dictionary.

        David Socrates @January 2, 2015 at 11:59 am

        “So Bart, how do you alter your dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) to account for the difference in HADCRUT4 global an dHADCRUT4 SH data?”

        How do you alter HADCRUT4SH to account for the difference with HADCRUT4? Obviously, that is a nonsensical question. Yet, that is what you are asking.

        David Socrates @ January 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm

        Why are GISS and HADCRUT4 different? You are asking for a shoe that fits both size 6 and size 12. I am sorry, I do not have any in stock, and do not know where else you could find them.

        I’m sure you must have some intelligent questions somewhere in your noggin. I wish I could see just one.

        rishrac @ January 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        I just haven’t updated it. Do your own chart. Human emissions have only accelerated further, and CO2 is still chugging along at essentially constant rate coincident with temperatures.

      • You do need to plot it as the data detrended. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/detrend:0.05/offset:-0.15/plot/rss/detrend:0.2/scale:0.3

        This is the difference between the line of best fit for each, scaled to be plotted over the same range. Nothing arbitrary, like David has done.

        Its not a perfect fit but it we are talking about different estimates of global temperature anomalies that don’t line up perfectly and the derivative for the globe from single measurements on a volcano.

        I notice Ferdinand puts up this plot http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_dco2_d13C_mlo.jpg
        to show that it is not vegetation. The derivative of the global concentration of carbon13? Surely there is no place in science for that? It would be from the warm equatorial seas anyway.

      • Bart, you have another big big problem

        About 175,000 years ago, global temps were 2-3 degrees C higher than they are today.
        Yet, we don’t see a spike in CO2 175,000 years ago
        ..

      • Robert B, and Bart

        When you can cook up a relationshipe for dCO2/dt that uses absolute temperatures instead of anomalies, then you might have a chance of establishing a relationship that can be grounded in the chemistry/physics of CO2 The slope of CO2 is significantly dependent on seasonal effects which you have glossed over by using the “mean’ function in WFT

      • Folks, I think the “Crux of the Biscuit” here is that CO2 and greenhouse gasses have done about as much as they can do from an “observation vs. theory” perspective. Where they come from is subsequently a rather moot point

      • David Socrates @ January 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

        I have no problems. This is the old fallacy of extrapolating a local model beyond the confines of its application. What we know is what has been happening in the modern era since 1958. As this is the era in which most of the CO2 rise is recorded, it is all we need to have to conclude that the observed modern rise is not significantly due to humans.

        The relationship is quite grounded. I really wish you had something substantive to offer, but you just keep picking at nits.

        Robert B @ January 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm

        Detrending is unnecessary. The fit with the slope is just fine. Moreover, that is the reason that the observation disqualifies anthropogenic forcing as a significant contributor. With the slope in the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 explained by the temperature relationship, there is no significant room left for anthropogenic influences, as these also have a slope.

      • David, are you suggesting that I arbitrarily chose 12 month smoothing to cook the data? That I wasn’t aware that the cycle of seasons is over 12 months (ref: Sesame Street , 1975)?

        The difference between data and line of best fit does not change if you use anomalies or absolute temperature. That is why I suggested it to Bart. Then, supposedly, nobody could claim arbitrary choices resulted in a good fit.

        “About 175,000 years ago, global temps were 2-3 degrees C higher than they are today.” Did you miss the AGW shattering evidence at 275K BP?

        Dawtgtomis, I’m not sure why where it comes from needs to be ignored. Can you enlighten me? (excuse me if it comes out narky but I really don’t get it).

      • If your “model” is constrained by the time frame it is applied to, it is useless.

        The implicit assumption of your “model” is that atmospheric levels of CO2 are determined by temperature.
        The graph I posted destroys the assumption your “model” is based on, destroying your “model”

      • “The difference between data and line of best fit does not change if you use anomalies or absolute temperature.:

        Please show me a fit using absolute temperature.

      • David, you really have no idea what you are talking about. Henceforth, I am going to limit my responses to you to errors which are not patently obvious.

      • Robert B, I apologize for butting in, it’s just that I don’t see a direct correlation between CO2 increases and global temperature during the ‘pause’. If the greenhouse effect has played it’s hand and then somehow been trumped, then the sources of CO2 become less important to the search for the real causes of climate change.

      • Dawtgtomis, don’t apologise for butting in. I’m fine with that. Using the analogy of an accelerator pedal (gas pedal), if you press down slowly then you see a correlation between how far you pressed down and the speed of the car. If you pump the pedal, the correlation with speed will be poor but the derivative will go up and down with the pedal.

        The cycle of CO2 through the atmosphere and oceans is complex because of the equilibrium with hydrogen carbonate at different temperatures is not straight forward but there is no reason to expect it to reach equilibrium within a few years.

        For David (and Bart), if the distance you push the pedal down is measured in km and the velocity varies from 80km/h to 100 km/h, the former will look like its 0 and there is no correlation. You will need to offset and scale the data to see the correlation. While obvious, Bart, you still need to explain it to some people.


      • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has no distinguishing features to show what its
        source was. Elevated carbon dioxide over a region could have a natural cause —
        for example, a drought that reduces plant growth — or a human cause”

        I didn’t publish that statement, NASA did on the mission of this satellite.

        @ Bart.. you may believe that formula is true but it isn’t, it is wrong. The models over the last 18 years that depend on that formula have proven it so. Not only did the models fail, but the temps are out of the level where if co2 were stopped all together in 2002, the temps are below that level CO2 is not the driving force for temperature control of a planet. If it was, in the face of rising co2 levels, temperatures had to have risen, they didn’t. .

      • rishrac – you appear not to be following the discussion.

        I am not arguing that CO2 controls temperature. I am arguing that temperature controls CO2. That is most assuredly not what any model from establishment climate science has been claiming for the last 18 years, or any other time of which I am aware. The formula is not their formula. It is, for all intents and purposes, a 180 degree reversal of their assumed dynamic.

        More precisely, a temperature modulated process is controlling CO2. Outgassing of upwelling CO2 from undersea volcanic sources is most definitely a candidate for such a process. In fact, that scenario fits the data very well.

        On the flip side, this dynamic means that any significant warming from CO2 in the present climate state is quite impossible, because that would constitute an unstable, positive feedback loop, and such a dynamic would have rendered the Earth uninhabitable long ago. This does not imply that the so-called Greenhouse Effect does not exist. It merely says that, in the present state of the Earth’s climate, there are powerful countervailing dynamics which render it, at worst, effectively null.

  8. Looks like the alarmists are being hoisted on their own satellite.

      • Don’t you mean homogenise the data and add a little smoothing and hey presto there is the ‘correct’ answer. Just look at their chicanery regarding sea surface and land temps as they try to with the model failures.

    • They will not change their tune. They said from the outset that it does not matter if the science is true. It is only what people BELIEVE to be true.

  9. It is interesting that NASA released the dramatic model simulation a short time before OCO data was released, particularly as they seem to be somewhat contradictory. As someone who is colour blind it would have been useful if they could have utilised the same colour chart on both, but alas they are worlds apart, which makes it even harder for me to read properly.

    So, despite the explaination for the model being out of sync with the observations, it seems nature is far more real vent in CO₂ production than man.

    • Is there a web page somewhere which “translates” graphics for those who are color blind? Doesn’t seem too difficult.

    • It is painfully obvious that you great unwashed fools are not familar with “FINAGLES FACTOR”.
      Is anyone out there that is aware of this valuable scientific factor??

    • Weren’t we told that volcanic CO2 is not significant?

      Yes, we were. We were also told that the measurement for underground volcanic CO2 was based on seven volcanoes, but that there were over 3,000 volcanoes present. I don’t have a link, but I copied it, and it’s somewhere.

      • Your 3,000 may be of old or simple data sources. Try this –
        Hillier & Watts (2007) surveyed 201,055 submarine volcanoes estimating that a total of 3,477,403 submarine volcanoes exist worldwide. According to the observations of Batiza (1982), we may infer that at least 4% of seamounts are active volcanoes. We can expect a higher percentage in the case of the count taken by Hillier & Watts (2007) because it includes smaller, younger seamounts; a higher proportion of which will be active. Nevertheless, in the spirit of caution and based on our minimum inference of 4% seamount activity from Batiza’s observations, I estimate 139,096 active submarine volcanoes worldwide. If we are to assume, in the absence of other emission figures for mid oceanic plate volcanoes, that Kilauea is a typical mid oceanic plate volcano with a typical mid oceanic emission of 870 KtCpa (Kerrick, 2001), then we might estimate a total submarine volcanogenic CO2 output of 121 GtCpa. Even if we assume, as Kerrick (2001) and Gerlach (1991) did, that we’ve only noticed the most significant outgassing and curb our estimate accordingly, we still have 24.2 GtCpa of submarine volcanic origin.

        If guesses of this order are anywhere near the ballpark, then we can take it that either what has been absorbing all this extra CO2 is not absorbing as much or there has been some variation to volcanic output over the past 500 years or so. Both are normal assumptions given the variable state of the natural environment, and considering that vegetation consumed something on the order of 38GtCpa more in 1850 than today (see my Deforestation article for the quick and dirty calculation), it is hardly surprising that we were missing a large natural CO2 source in the carbon budget. The other possibility is that both Werner et al (2000: approx. 38 KtCpa) and Werner & Brantley (2003: approx. 4000 KtCpa) are correct, which could imply that volcanogenic CO2 emissions are increasing. This certainly would explain steadily rising CO2 observed at stations in regions most affected by volcanic emissions, it could partly explain the recent increase in ocean acidification discussed by Archer (2009, pp. 114-124), and further it would explain the more intense Spring melting centred on the Pacific Coast of Antarctica and along the Gakkel Ridge under the Arctic ice cap.

        http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

    • Lake Nyos blew the whistle (unfortunately at the cost of thousands of lives) on another big Warmist lie. Analyses of the underlying vent and estimates of its flow rate reveal that it is a major source of CO₂. If the Lake Nyos vent is at all typical, estimates of total volcanic CO₂ are too low by one or two orders of magnitude.

      This is an area where I expect extreme and immediate push-back (i.e., new, more frequent, and bigger lies) from the climate pseudoscience establishment. They need a week or two to think up some more lies, build some phony models, and, most important of all, perform some stunning character assassination. And, no doubt, flail about in journalistic circles with threats of “the big cutoff.”

      • Sounds like a conspiracy by the Volcanologists to get some of the AGW dollar flow by “proving” that all the CO2 coming out of the volcanos is recycled recent plant material

        And then there was Gold and the CH4 coming out of fractured igneous rock in Sweden

  10. It’s interesting that southern central Africa is “screwed” again for emissions given there is vast expanses of forrest, grasslands, savana, billions of roaming animals, a few hundred million humans and, relatively, little industrialisation.

    • Perhaps they will have to pay us instead. After all that’s the way this played out politically didn’t it? Larger producers of co2 pay the smaller? And what happen to the isotope ratios? I was pounded by the fact they could tell man made as opposed to natural co2. And now all of a sudden they can’t tell?

      • As long as the time for most of the C-14 to decay is exceeded [half life of about 6k years] — say for a few hundred k years — then our burning fossil fuels is indistinguishable from the “Earth Burping”

      • I let some of the CAGW go on about things sometimes. NASA says regarding this mission of this satellite is that they can’t tell where the co2 comes from. I have a direct quote on that. And to confirm that statement, they wouldn’t have spent the money for this mission if they could tell.

      • Wrong isotope
        Not C-14….

        The ratio is between the two stable isotopes, namely C13 and C12

      • Why do both of these maps lop off 20% of the map area to show the CO2 scale? When do you think we’ll see the entire mapped area clearly?

  11. I am glad to see that the oceanic contributions to the heat and CO2 cycles and to oceanic currents are finally beginning to get recognition in ‘expert’ circles. Ever since the discovery of hydrothermal vents this contribution has been known, but lack of *empirical data* has prevented quantifying their effects, and thus they get completely omitted from the models.

    • This is all fascinating stuff. I wondered about the ocean floor contribution from a heat perspective when there were some hot spots coinciding with tectonic plate activity. If the research resources had been devoted to looking at possible natural causes for the last 30 years rather than trying to prove the AGW hypothesis we might know more about this mystery. But better late than never.

  12. Could you please provide a link to the OCO2 info? The first graphic provided of the CO2 concentrations from NASA does not have a link to the original info. But the subsequent images of the seafloor volcanic activity has links back to their origin. I would like to also compare to other regions not viewed in the original graphic, most of North America and half of South America are not visible. Since the USA seems to be always portrayed as the evil emitter of CO2, it would be interesting to see how the US compares to the rest of the globe. Is there a data set to go along with the graphics from NASA?

  13. So, the Team’s “settled science” does not include the heat from tectonic plate movement nor the CO2 released from the movement. This on top of lack of understanding of clouds and the effect of water in general on a “water world”. Hmmmmm.

    I guess they don’t need real world data to cry “Doomed! Doomed as doomed can be!” (and it can’t be natural darn it — must be anthropogenic)

  14. I live in England and I want my CO2 back. We were told by the UK Met that we should expect a Madeira like climate in the not too distant future…come on please please give our CO2 back.

  15. This data is a real show-stopper. Of note:

    – biggest concentrations over South Africa, South America and South East Asia;

    – most anthropic emission in NH, most CO2 in SH;

    -Almost nothing over Europe or Middle East despite huge petro industry and gas burn-off;

    – Some tropical oceans emit more CO2 than Europe and USA;

    – CO2 elevated at seabed volcanic hot-spots

    All of this must seriously question the significance of anthropogenic emissions.

    What is the response of the climate establishment? – so far only embarrassed nonsensical mumbling.

    • On top of the study that identified geothermal hotspots under the West Antarctica peninsula glaciers by a study earlier this year which was linked to some of the melting, this is very, very interesting.

    • It’s totally amazing that you can look at six weeks of data and come to all those conclusions. The same sort of thing happens if I look out my window, see the snow falling, and as a result I determine the new ice age is upon us.

      I can’t wait to see what you’ll conclude when you have 12 weeks of data.

      • What is your conclusion about higher CO2 release over the South Atlantic Ocean than over the industrial heartlands of USA and Europe? At any time of the year? (hiding behind a calendar won’t help you).

      • Phlogiston, it is known for decades that there is a continuous stream of CO2 from upwelling places near the equator and the sink places near the poles (~40 GtC/year in and out).
        It is know for decades that there is a huge seasonal component in the CO2 levels at any place on earth, both on land (~60 GtC in and out within a year) and over the oceans (~50 GtC out/in, opposite to the vegetation stream).
        Human emissions are currently ~10 GtC/year. After one or more full years it may be possible to show the contribution by humans.

        But it is near impossible to conclude anything from 6 weeks of data midst of changing seasons (monsoon, ITCZ position).

        If undersea volcanic spots have much contribution remains to be seen: if CO2 is released at 2000 m depth (over 200 bar pressure) how much CO2 is immediately dissolved in the deep oceans without ever reaching the surface (except distributed over lost more (bi)carbonate? How much may reach the surface? Or are the red spots just upwelling spots where CO2 rich cold waters reach the warm surface?

      • Why wait for more data? It apparently takes the ring pattern from just a single tree to “conclusively” demonstrate CAGW.

      • David,
        I’m not jumping to any conclusions either.
        I’m waiting for the data to to be adjusted.
        I can’t wait to see what conclusions will be drawn then….

    • They mumble something about needing four or five years of data to draw any conclusion.
      As if the NH anthropogenic CO2 will make a belated appearance.

  16. I blame Oxygen, the stuff that makes steel rust, that makes poor old carbon become a pollutant, that anti-oxidants fight, the stuff that makes water heavy. Lets stop Oxygen taking over out atmosphere now.

  17. Double, Double Toil and Bubble.

    10 December 2011
    Liquid CO2 On The Ocean Bottom
    …..To me it’s a pretty obvious question to ask that if we KNOW the volcanic cycle is highly variable (at least on land) and we KNOW that CO2 comes from these volcanic related vents on the ocean floor, and we KNOW that the quantity of CO2 cycled by nature is vastly more than the amount we produce: Why in the heck is anyone not of the opinion that CO2 is largely prone to fluctuations from natural volcanic cycles? How could anyone ever justify asserting the human component matters, even a tiny bit, as it’s going to be well inside the natural variation of these volcanic sources…..
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/liquid-co2-on-the-ocean-bottom/
    ========
    October 2, 2014
    From the National Science Foundation- Press Release 14-133
    New map uncovers thousands of unseen seamounts on ocean floor
    Mysteries of the deep come alive as satellite data bring new clues into focus; results offer foundation for new version of Google’s ocean maps
    …..Most seamounts were once active volcanoes, and so are usually found near tectonically active plate boundaries, mid-ocean ridges and subducting zones……
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/02/one-wonders-how-many-of-these-newly-found-thousands-of-volcanic-seamounts-are-producing-co2-that-bubble-into-the-ocean/

  18. Shouldn’t there be a correlation between atmospheric CO2 ‘concentrations’ and Ocean pH/pOH?
    Looking at the following I can’t see that.

    • That map displays sampling locations, not pH. I don’t see how you can come to any sort of conclusion by using that for comparison.

      • And Willis’ pH map won’t work either, because it displays absolute pH per location, not pH “change”. The assertion isn’t that the ocean is “more acid” because the ocean is overall rather basic everywhere (although it is stated so carelessly as to give that impression) it is that it is becoming less basic. But “less” requires a reference and comparison over time, and this is a static figure.

        However, there is little evidence in this figure that there is a correlation between areas where the ocean is “least basic” and comparatively high atmospheric CO_2. Indeed, the patch offshore of China, Japan, and Korea is one of the MOST basic visible in his map, and yet China is an active CO_2 source and as noted in the top article, the ocean itself appears to be a moderate source of CO_2 there, likely from upwelling/warming waters driven by tectonic activity at the bottom.

        OTOH, places where the pH is comparatively low (more “acidic”) are the coldest and lowest CO_2 regions, far from any sort of production one can imagine, around the coasts of the Arctic ocean and Antarctica. In fact the whole pH map is puzzling — the least basic ocean is almost all in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere, while the NH Atlantic and Pacific are almost all basic. If there is any sort of correlation, it is with temperature. Where the waters are colder, more CO_2 in solution, less basic? Where they are warmer (which doesn’t have to be very warm!) it quickly leaves solution and they remain quite basic? Or perhaps this is biological activity — half life of free CO_2 that is quite low due to ocean organisms eating/using the CO_2? It would really help if a rather huge fraction of the ocean, especially nearly the ENTIRE ocean in the critical ENSO region, were not “basically” unsampled.

        One day, maybe, somebody in NOAA and/or NASA will actually take a look at these maps and start to systematically fill in the holes. There are several serious problems with climate science, but one of the MOST serious of them is the lack of high quality data that is anything but enormously sparse on a global basis. This encourages one of the second major problems: taking the decent data we have on the sparse set of samples we have and extrapolating according to some presumed model across vast unknown/unsampled regions, and then using the model result as if it were data in OTHER models. This is, perhaps, allowable (with large error estimates that reflect the high degree of uncertainty in the process while exploring the system and building hypotheses, but it is completely insufficient to provide well-founded conclusions. To really improve our understanding of the climate, we need less modelling and more measurements, especially measurements that systematically fill in the gaps in our past measurements and errors in our measurement methodology.

        rgb

      • rgb,

        You are right that there is an enormous lack of good data for a lot of climate related items. But I have a few remarks about the pH measurements:

        Until begin 1980’s glass electrodes were used for pH measurements. Due to their inaccuracy (+/- 0.1 pH unit) and the sparsely sampling, it is impossible to make any conclusion from the data about a theoretical pH drop of about 0.05 unit in the period 1850-1984.

        Neither can any local CO2 plume of a few ppmv in the atmosphere be measured as a pH change in the local parts of the oceans, as a 110 ppmv change in the atmosphere is needed to give a ~0.1 pH unit change in the oceans…

        Since 1984 other methods were used: colorimetric direct measurements and calculated: if several measurements were done, one can calculate the pH of any oceanic place based on TA (total alkalinity), DIC (total carbon), temperature and salinity. That gives a lot better results than direct pH measurements by glass electrodes. That is done since a few decades at several fixed places on earth:
        http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/27-1_bates.pdf
        and by regular ships measurements at the same spots, here below Japan:
        http://www.data.jma.go.jp/kaiyou/english/oa/oceanacidification_en.html
        The theoretical reduction in pH is confirmed by direct and calculated measurements in the past 30 years…

        One can back calculate the curve of the pH reduction until 1850 (or even during an ice age), by taking into account the CO2 levels in the atmosphere over time. That -theoretical- curve of a few hundredths of a pH unit is largely within the huge local variability of pH measurements caused by latitude and season (temperature, bio-life)…

      • Ferdinand,

        In other words, pH measurements are smaller than the error bars, so we really cannot say whether pH is changing or not.

        Further, even if there is a change of 0.05, is that something to worry about? Oceans have changed much more than that, and we’re all still here.

    • The reactions presented as proof of falling pH do not include the bicarbonate part of the cycle that increases pH. So no there will be no connection.

      • I would have thought that there would be a marked change in pH/pOH around any natural source of CO2 especially as I would guess it exists in more than just trace amounts?

      • No. There is simply too little CO2 in the atmosphere to influence the ocean one way or the other.

        If the atmosphere was pure 100% CO2 there would still be more CO2 in the oceans.

  19. Certain researchers and CAGW advocates may just ignore this evidence, as they often do any with empirical evidence that’s contrary to their agendas. I hardly ever read how human’s paltry 3% contribution to the 0.04% total atmospheric CO2 can have any effect and since it’s highly doubtful that CO2 has any significant effect on global temps anyway……….

    But, the obsessed aren’t interested in those matters. Studying this for the sake of learning about the carbon cycle and what the primary contributors are is fine, but I doubt this satellite was built and launched just to study the carbon cycle and find out our paltry addition is even less significant. The gravy train rolls on and on…..

  20. Oh, just wait till the data has been properly adjusted, smoothed, renormalised, modelled – then we’ll see that it’s those nasty old Humans emitting toxic, evil CO2, and all that comes from volcanoes is kittens and rose petals. The Eco-taleban will then trumpet the proper data and maps with big red splodges over “The West”.

  21. If I remember correctly, termites emit more CO2 than the whole mankind.So, as there seems to be “some” emissions from Africa, could it be that it is not just a vulcanic thing…

  22. As pointed out before in recent WUWT posts, NASA’s diagram shows a vast colour spectrum differentiation – but of only 15.5 ppm* (between dark blue and dark red). As this is such an infinitely microscopic amount, maybe we should avoid making any early assumptions. I think someone remarked that the whole map may as well be coloured orange.

    *For ‘Village Idiot’ (if you’re still about), enter 1M into your calculator (that’s a one and six zeros) then divide by 15.5. Answer: 1/64,516th of the atmosphere. Not a lot then.

  23. …The newly released satellite OCO2-data indicates that there is CO2 input in tectonically active oceanic areas. …

    This is a Major Issue! We must legislate against earthquakes immediately!

    I propose an Earthquake Tax on all white middle class families living in western countries – the funds to be spent on creating an international committee under the auspices of the UN, which will be tasked with presenting the scientific evidence about how western life-styles are contributing to increased tectonic activity.

    Do we have any more well-connected railway engineers looking for a job?

  24. Willis post earlier this week about PH levels doesn’t indicate low PH levels at these co2 spots, so if this is correct co2 is not a cause of ocean acidification.

    • No, because of the bicarbonate continuation of the reaction increases pH. This is a well known part of Oceanography ocean chemistry documented in text books.
      Waters pumped from the divergent ocean ridges is at a pH of around 4.5 but soon reduces to the surface norm.

  25. What is the pH over these areas? The CO2 distribution also underscores that the old pH data set, flawed as it is, is superior to arrogantly naive models based on supposed knowledge of what is happening out there! Trolls and skeptics alike shredded the thread on old pH data and favored the models. Ferd Engelbeem, whom I respect immensely, too, should take note that what he knows about CO2’s real story on earth should not be engraved in granite yet. Dig out the old data, sort it and see if its valuable, don’t go on about glass electrodes and other peripheral indictments of the data. I’ve actually seen similar types of sneering at Sir Isaac Newton by Luddites.

  26. Why would you expect to be able to see Man’s miniscule addition to all the other sources of CO2?
    If CO2 is increasing by 10% per year and it is supposedely all our contribution then how would you see 10% spread out all over the Industrialised nations after subtracting all the Burning etc that goes on in the non industrialised nations?

  27. Martin Hovland – thanks for a very interesting post. Would you be able to calculate the quantities involved, so as to establish whether the volcanic sources really are a possible cause of the observed pattern? You say the hotspots are relatively weak, but given the relatively slow(?) rate of conversion of methane into CO2, and the relatively quick movement and mixing of the atmosphere, the rate of creation of CO2 at the three places would have to be quite substantial??

  28. Not sure if it’s sarc or not.

    seems evident .
    the burning of fossil fuels causes increased volcanic activity .
    However , Small eruptions now cause a small drop in temperature .

  29. Where is the European hotspot, and the USA hotspot, and the Australian hotspot?
    I thought those industrial areas were the places where all the extra CO2 was/is coming from…

    Based on this new info/data, what is the cause of the rise in CO2 to 400 ppm in the last century?

    • “Where is the European hotspot, and the USA hotspot, and the Australian hotspot?”

      I realize you’re being ironic, but it’s worth exploring the question. They were assumed, then the voodoo “science” that is economics wove fantastic equations that calculated just how massive the emissions were and how either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system was required; and all based on a single datapoint (Mauna Loa).

      Real data has a nasty habit of blowing up highly theoretical models like that one.

    • Based on surface station measurements, the European hotspot should show up in December, January, and February when nearly all the Arctic sinks are frozen. Many European sites report monthly averages during these months that exceed 400 ppm. The Arctic is not a source, The high CO2 measurements there during these months is being delivered from the tropics in the upper atmosphere.

    • Based on this new info/data, what is the cause of the rise in CO2 to 400 ppm in the last century?

      The 8-ball says “Too early to tell, try again later”. That’s because a lot of the CO2 is in play in a dynamical oscillation between sources and sinks around a slowly varying (and possibly anthropogenically influenced) dynamical equilibrium, with plants and soils absorbing it and giving it up on a diurnal cycle and seasonal cycle and ocean turnover cycle. Then there is “new” CO_2 being dumped into this oscillator, and “old” CO2 being damped out of this oscillator. Not so easy to attribute or determine what fractions are going where, but there is little doubt that humans have contributed additional CO_2 to add to the system by burning large amounts of carbon. What is at issue is to what extent this extra source is buffered by the sources and sinks in play, and just how long it takes for the extra carbon added to effectively be “sequestered” in the sinks. That, in turn, requires us to have a far better understanding of the biosphere and geosphere than we have, although I think there are those that pretend otherwise.

      But data helps! Bring on more data!

      rgb

    • It’s mostly caused by humanity. The volcanic emissions have random variations, but human emissions are increasing steadily. Given the shape of the Mauna Loa curve about half of what is put out by humanity stays in the atmosphere. I suppose we could argue the natural emissions have increased concentration in the past, but the issue always comes down to the debate over what exactly does CO2 do to temperature.

      My opinion is that CO2 causes a greenhouse effect, the question in my mind remains over exactly how strong it can be. I suspect it’s not as strong as the IPCC says. I also believe we are running out of fossil fuels anyway. This makes this whole argument a bit useless. Neither India nor China will cut emissions, what other countries do is inconsequential, and if we need to fix the problem it sure looks like geoengineering to sequester carbon in the ocean is more practical. In 20 years oil will be much more expensive and the whole issue will disappear on its own. It’s bs.

      • Were 500 years listening to what is right or wrong . End of game

        Live in peace with delicate wind turbines. Molded with special epoxy resins catalyzed with special hardeners . With special combinations of rare earths…..

      • @Fernando

        “delicate wind turbines?” What if the Chinese decide they are not going to put up with this level of pollution and degradation just to create wind turbines for us? Scroll down and look at what our thirst for rare earth turbine magnets has done to a lake and the local people beside where the rare earths are processed.

        Don’t think that just anyone can make rare earths. The process is four-fold from the ore to the end. The fourth stage can only be done by people who know the art of it. The US was #1 in 1984 until Clinton killed off the business in the early 90s by refusing to protect the industry and subsidize it. Now we have to buy most of our rare earths from China because we’ve lost the technology. Your view and understanding of wind turbines is romantic and naive.

      • “The volcanic emissions have random variations, but human emissions are increasing steadily.”

        A) You don’t know how random or systematic they are

        B) “Random” does not mean zero mean, or even rapidly varying. Such randomness is only a subset of all possible random processes.

        “Given the shape of the Mauna Loa curve about half of what is put out by humanity stays in the atmosphere.”

        It does not follow. If sinks are very active, and by the observations they are, then they can take out anything humans attempt to put in quite rapidly. What is left is then necessarily a result of natural forces attempting to equilibrate.

        You are basically reiterating the horrifically flawed “mass balance” argument, which many of the naive and inexperienced proffer, and which is an attempt to use algebra to solve a calculus problem.

      • I dont see the mass balance to be that horrific. It sure makes sense to me. We are the latecomer in the emissions picture, therefore I don’t have a problem attributing the increase to humanity. I’m not into playing shell games with gas molecules.

        I also saw the comment that I didn’t know about the level emissions from volcanic sources. That’s true. So what? We know they are variable (I don’t see Siberian traps being formed, therefore it’s safe to say we have a hell of a lot of variability).

      • Bart – The mass-balance calculation would be absolutely relevant if we could do one. Its problem is not of algebra vs calculus, but with lack of data. We don’t know enough about the sources and sinks of CO2 and how they behave, in order to do a meaningful mass-balance calc. And BTW I doubt that Earth can distinguish between a man-made CO2 molecule and a natural one, so the argument about sinks taking out man-made CO2 and “what is left” is, um, dubious.

      • The “mass balance” argument is really stupid. It goes like this: the change C in atmospheric concentration is equal to the anthropogenic inputs A and natural inputs N, minus the natural sinks S:

        C = A + N – S

        We observe that accumulated C is approximately 1/2 of A

        C = 0.5*A = A + N – S

        implying

        N – S = -0.5*A

        This is negative, therefore N is less than S, and nature is a net sink, QED.

        Gee, that was easy. Rather too easy, in fact. Here is the problem: this is a dynamic system. Although S represents natural sinks, those sinks are elastic, and they expand in response to forcing from both N and from A. In this sense, the sinks are not wholly natural, as a portion of them would not exist if it were not for the anthropogenic forcing A. Thus, we can say that

        S = resp(A) + resp(N)

        where “resp” designates the dynamic response to A and to N.

        Thus, we have

        N – resp(N) = resp(A) – 0.5*A

        Nature is only truly a net sink if the two sides to this equation are negative. However, there is no guarantee that is the case. The sinks can be very active, such that resp(A) is very nearly all of A, leading to

        N – resp(N) := 0.5*A

        which is greater than zero, and nature becomes a net source.

        All of this is really elementary in the realm of feedback systems. It is a very untutored perspective which leads to acceptance of the pseudo-mass balance argument.

      • Mike – it is calculus because the response of the sinks depends on the magnitude of forcing, and thus requires solution of dynamic equations.

        There is nothing “dubious” about taking out the portion due to anthropogenic forcing. It is not an argument that the sinks treat the sources differently. It is, rather, and argument that the anthropogenic sources are known and finite, while the natural forcing is largely unknown.

        Thus, if the sinks are powerful enough, they can take out equally large proportions of human and natural production. Beyond a particular proportion, anthropogenic sources can no longer explain the amount by which observed CO2 has risen, but natural sources, being unknown, can assume whatever quantity is needed to make up the difference.

      • Bart there is an error in your logic

        You define C as ….. ” change C in atmospheric concentration :

        Then you say A, N and S are inputs….

        You therefore cannot equate a “change” to the sum of inputs and outputs.

      • Addendum……

        Units analysis

        The “change” in atmospheric concentration is in units of ppmv
        The inputs A, N and S, are in gigatons

        You cannot equate ppmv to gigatons.

      • Vaunted. You are right about the windmills. Nuclear power could fulfill our energy needs, but it does not appear likely the public would embrace that option, so it is rather moot.

      • Bart – I thought you were referring to the mass balance concept and saying it was flawed, when you were it seems referring to a particular stupid mass balance argument. I was referring to a full and proper mass balance, which can’t be done because we don’t know how everything works, and saying that if we could do it it would be valuable. In such a calculation, nothing would “take out” anything else, there would be have to be enough understanding to start with of the various sources and sinks and various behaviours, and we would then add further understanding. As climate science stands right now, it ain’t gonna happen.

      • Mike – you seem to be trying to argue an academic point. If you want to run that way, OK. I gave the “mass balance” argument as it is commonly proffered, as it is provided on the SkS site and elsewhere. My intent was simply to show why it is a dumb argument. And, it is. Just plain dumber than rocks.

    • Philip,

      As rgb already said, that is 6 weeks of data while there is a huge seasonal component in the CO2 levels. Please wait a year and look at the average result over all seasons…

      • Ferdinand,
        Seasonal component? Anthropogenic CO2 is seasonal? Best rethink that one.
        There is no reason to imagine that more data will change the picture in regard to that.

      • It will change. Anthropogenic contribution does change in some areas, and natural contribution changes a lot. Therefore we need a lot of data to try to understand what goes on. It should also impact climate models and the way they estimate greenhouse effect. That science is in its infancy, a lot more data will eventually help.

      • Fernando:
        It is not a question of more data. Anthropogenic CO2 is NOT seasonal.It does does not show now, nor will it show come spring, summer, or fall nor in one, two, or five years. Repeat, anthropogenic CO2 is a NO-SHOW and never will.
        Anthropogenic CO2 is too insignificant to register against the background of natural sources.

  30. The globalised CO2 concentration is supposed to be 399-400 parts per million & the levels of highest concentrations (red) are only 2.5 parts per million higher. The green tones are half way between 387 & 402.5 ppm, so if it’s a linear scale the CO2 concentration over the UK is 394.75 ppm, by my reckoning.

    What’s the problem? The answer must be statistics, more statistics & damn lies. Bring out the tumbrils. Allons enfants de la patrie.

    • Guys get your pitchforks and scythes ready!!!
      (I also know couple of windows in Paris good for defenestrations.)

      If this geological CO2 source theory proves to be right we should be ready for a small revolution.

      Allons enfants de la patrie!!!!

    • And why are there areas in deep blue , corresponding to the bottom of the displayed range and significantly below the seasonal minima on the Mauna Low CO2 graph provided by Brandon Gates in a post below this .
      Do the results reveal oceanic regions of CO2 sequestration or are they just temporary statistical “blips” ( as our politicians assure us whenever we fall into another massive monthly deficit)? Too early to say I suppose.

  31. Just a suggestion here: we are looking at these as though they were sources. What if there are processes that reconcentrate the co2 which overwhelm the signal from the sources?

    It’s a pretty small range of concentrations so it wouldn’t take much.

    Except for china of course. ;)

  32. This will give Monckton something to crow about. Neither side gave his speculation on the importance of undersea CO2 much credit.

    • rogerknights

      You say

      This will give Monckton something to crow about. Neither side gave his speculation on the importance of undersea CO2 much credit.

      Say what!?

      For more than a decade I have repeatedly argued in many places including on WUWT that undersea volcanism could be the entire cause of the observed recent rise in atmospheric CO2 as measured e.g. at Mauna Loa. The possible cause is dissolved sulphur and not direct CO2 emission.

      This is a link to one explanation of the matter I have provided on WUWT, although it needed me to publish this correction to a typographical error.

      I wrote
      But the calculated pH change is an equilibrium effect. Almost all the CO2 is in the deep ocean. If the CO2 upwelling from deep ocean reduces surface layer pH (e.g. because it contains sulphur or nutrients from undersea volcanism) …

      But I intended to write
      But the calculated pH change is an equilibrium effect. Almost all the CO2 is in the deep ocean. If the water upwelling from deep ocean reduces surface layer pH (e.g. because it contains sulphur or nutrients from undersea volcanism)

      Richard

      • Richard,

        What you expect is contradicted by the observations:

        – a lowering of the pH by stronger acids expels CO2 out of the ocean surface, which should be reflected in a decrease of total inorganic carbon (DIC) and results in an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        – an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere results in an increase of DIC in the ocean surface and a lowering of the pH.

        What is observed is an increase in DIC at all ocean points where DIC is measured in the same season over many years (DIC is much easier and more accurate to measure than pH). Thus the net CO2 flux was from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse.

      • Ferdinand

        You say

        What is observed is an increase in DIC at all ocean points where DIC is measured in the same season over many years (DIC is much easier and more accurate to measure than pH). Thus the net CO2 flux was from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse.

        Please show the data for DIC changes at the regions notated TH, FH and EH in the above article which are the subject of this thread.

        And a reduction to “net CO2 flux” “into the oceans” would raise atmospheric CO2 concentration if – and they would not be – all other things were unchanged.

        Richard

    • mpainter

      You say to me

      There is a new volcano budding on the sea floor just off of Hawaii.

      Yes, the Hawaiian islands result from a series of volcanoes and the next is forming below the sea near the Big Island.

      But Hawaii is a bit extreme: the ocean turns yellow as a result of the sulphur released from the lava stream flowing into the sea from Kilauea.

      Richard

  33. Typo Patrol notes: “relatively week”.
    Egregious comment: Lacking accurate data on the amount of “natural” CO2 emissions, how is it possible to accurately determine the persistence of CO2 in the atmosphere? Assuming we “know” how much atmospheric carbon dioxide is anthropogenic (because we know how much fuel is burned), then if another significant source of atmospheric CO2 is discovered, that would seem to imply less heating/less persistence due to human activity than the models assume, n’est-ce pas?

  34. The drought in South America and Africa show up very clear (drought causes CO2 to rise)…

    …There’s a caveat for Indonesia though….Indonesia produced over 5 million tons of cement that year and it’s the darkest red right over the cement plants

  35. As many of you know, there is an excellent database of atmospheric CO2 and its δ13C content available online thanks to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and its CO2 program (http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/atmospheric_co2.html). The CO2 data are summarised here: http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/images/graphics_gallery/original/co2_sta_records.pdf and all the data can be downloaded and analysed. (Station code names are as follows: PTB = Point Barrow, LJO = La Jolla, MLO = Mauna Loa Observatory, CHR = Christmas Island, SAM = Samoa, and SPO = South Pole.) Other than the differences in the impact of the seasonal cycle, these data show a remarkably consistent pattern in long term CO2 growth (i.e. it is well-mixed) from north to south, with only minor offsets between stations.

    We hear (including here on WUWT) that these increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 are due entirely, or almost entirely, to anthropogenic emissions and the steadily decreasing values of δ13C in atmospheric CO2 (currently around -8 per mil) are “consistent with” the increase in CO2 being from anthropogenic sources (having a δ13C of circa -28 per mil).

    However, if I apply the so-called Keeling equation to the Scripps data that have been adjusted to remove the seasonal cycle, and hence reflect only the underlying long term trend of increasing CO2 levels, I get an average δ13C of the incremental CO2 of -13 per mil as shown by the intercept values in these example plots for the South Pole (where only a small adjustment is required to remove the impact of the seasonal cycle) and for Point Barrow:

    In addition, the data also appear to indicate that the average δ13C content of the incremental CO2 is not changing with time, given the lack of any apparent long term curvature trend in the data.

    So my question is: how is this consistent with all (or even most) of the increase in CO2 concentrations being from anthropogenic sources … or … what have I done wrong in the analysis?

    • The point is that the human (low 13C and zero 14C) is distributed over the other reservoirs. Much is returned by rotting vegetation and seasonal exchanges with the ocean surface over the next years, but none is returned from the deep oceans (not until over ~1000 years). Thus while 13C-poor CO2 goes into the deep oceans near the poles, 13C rich CO2 comes back into the atmosphere from the deep oceans at the upwelling zones near the equator…
      Same story for the 14C isotope.
      The “dilution” of the human “fingerprint” can be used to estimate the deep ocean – atmosphere exchanges:

      which gives some 40 GtC/year exchange rate. That was confirmed by the 14C decrease from the 1950’s atmospheric nuclear tests.
      The discrepancy in the earlier years is probably from vegetation, which was a slight source of low 13C before 1990, since then a slight sink…

    • Jim Ross

      You ask

      So my question is: how is this consistent with all (or even most) of the increase in CO2 concentrations being from anthropogenic sources … or … what have I done wrong in the analysis?

      There is nothing “wrong” in your analysis which – as you say – indicates that δ13C is NOT “consistent with all (or even most) of the increase in CO2 concentrations being from anthropogenic sources”. Everybody who assesses the isotope data reaches the same conclusion as you.

      However, the analysis of isotope changes is not conclusive evidence for a natural cause of the increase in CO2 concentrations because (as e.g. Ferdinand Engelbeen says) the isotope ratio changes may have been diluted.

      Simply, the isotope changes suggest a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration but this suggestion may be misleading.

      Richard

      • Richard

        Thanks very much for your response (and Ferdinand too). I can see that the isotope ratio of the CO2 growth is not consistent with natural sources alone and that dilution is the most likely cause. But this would suggest that a substantial portion of the increase in CO2 concentration that we see in the atmosphere is not anthropogenic, wouldn’t it? Also, I find explanations that require variations in isotope ratio with latitude a bit hard to swallow, since the data show the same average ratio over time (-13 per mil) at Barrow and the South Pole (as well as at Mauna Loa). The fact that there does not appear to be any change in this average isotope ratio over time seems a bit odd too, since it would presumably require a consistent proportional mixing between anthropogenic and natural sources regardless of the increasing level of anthropogenic emissions. Call me suspicious!

        Jim

      • Jim Ross

        I don’t think I have anything to add except to say that we seem to have similar opinions.

        Let us be grateful for the new satellite because – at last – we can hope to obtain CO2 data obtained from around the globe by means of consistent equipment and method.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        Yes, indeed, I am very interested in seeing further data from the satellite. As a geophysicist myself, I find the gist of the original post of great interest. I guess I am a little disappointed (as a beginner) that the incredible dataset already available at Scripps is largely ignored (or has not been reviewed) by many of the commenters. I do appreciate your comments and, like you, I look forward to the next installment.

        Jim

  36. EH and FH are certainly interesting as they’re not near significant land masses or population centers. TH is another matter entirely as the Lesser Sundas contain a notably dense urban area in Jakarta, and significant agricultural activity — which includes much field burning — throughout Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, etcwa. There are of course a number of active surface volcanoes throughout Indonesia’s archipelago, with Kelut and especially Merapi on Java being the two most boisterous out of about 130 total active. And this time of year, one decade on, who can miss the similar blotch of CO2 hovering over northwest Sumatra in the Aceh region of late tectonic fame?

    Thing is, this region has been tectonically active for a very long time even in geological terms. For at least the past million years it, and other worldwide tectonically active regions, have not managed to produce enough CO2 to raise atmospheric concentrations above 300 ppmv. And yet uncritical respondents to Dr. Hovland’s essay — someone who really should know better — would have themselves and others believe that the Pacific Ring of Fire suddenly woke up at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and caused a significant portion of the measured 33% increase since then.

    Anyone tempted to write “Tambora” or “Krakatau” might first wish to look at the even denser blotch over mainland China. Lotsa volcanoes there you say? Ok, what about sub-Saharan Africa? What is it with Brazil?

    You’re still not buying the agricultural burning argument?

    https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/firemap/?x=0&y=0&z=2&g=g&v=2&r=0&i=n&l=ad,ct&s=2014-10-01&e=2014-11-11

    The attentive reader will note the date range is exactly the same as that of the OCO-2 plot in this post. Those with incurable tunnel vision, well, who knows what might sneak in through the periphery.

    • Brandon Gates

      You assert

      Thing is, this region has been tectonically active for a very long time even in geological terms. For at least the past million years it, and other worldwide tectonically active regions, have not managed to produce enough CO2 to raise atmospheric concentrations above 300 ppmv.

      The stomata data refute your unfounded assertion which – I assume – is based on misunderstanding of ice core data.

      Richard

      • richardscourtney,

        The stomata data refute your unfounded assertion which – I assume – is based on misunderstanding of ice core data.

        Ok, for starters, show me a CO2 proxy reconstruction for the Holocene you trust. Or we can just go with the instrumental CO2 record. For the “volcanoes is wot dunnit” argument to be not unfounded, I’ll be needing to see some peer-reviewed literature showing a comparable uptick in such activity. As in, not just pretty maps of the Sunda Trench showing hotspots that have been there since before we were even a species. Quantified estimates based on observation are needed here. And they’d better be really good because the bleedin’ obvious source of the observed increase comes down to the basic grade school chemistry regarding the reaction products of hydrocarbon combustion.

        Holy cow you lot do enjoy clutching at straws.

    • Brandon

      How do you explain higher CO2 measurement over the South Atlantic Ocean than over USA or Europe? Europe has almost the lowest level on earth.

      • Need to look at the data for several years before reaching conclusions. It could be something as simple as the water warming up as summer hits the warmest months (January and February are relatively warmest). On the other hand I could be completely off the mark.

      • Phologiston,

        Flux out of the oceans is estimated at 70.6 GtC/yr, human contributions are an order of magnitude less at 6.4:

        http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/sio117/ipcc_figs/IPCC_7.3small.bmp

        Considering also that land sources constitute 119.6 GtC/yr and some of that must waft over the oceans it would be folly to ingore it. So we have the planet itself pushing out ~30x as much CO2 per annum as we do. Given that these are annual mean figures, it’s not too big a stretch to realize that observed seasonal fluctuations over the major natural sinks/sources will easily dominate regional CO2 concentrations and effectively mask human output except in regions with extremely high human population densities and industrial activities. Like East Asia.

        Anyone already familiar with the several-years’ old cartoon I posted would not be surprised or confused by 6-weeks of direct satellite observational data. Thus far these data are entirely consistent with expectations.

      • Slight math fail, I neglected to tack on the 22.2 GtC/yr oceanic flux marked by the red arrow, indicating the estimated increased output since preindustrial times.

      • Make that 20, not 22.2. I might want to drink more coffee, or just stop posting for today …..

      • I’ve put this elsewhere but it beats repeating:

        There is NO seasonal component to anthropogenic CO2. No sense in speculating that this will show up in later data.

      • mpainter,

        There is NO seasonal component to anthropogenic CO2.

        There is, however, a seasonal component to overall flux as this image makes abundantly clear:

        Notice that the swing is just shy of 10 ppmv. Review the image Dr. Hovland provided at the top of his post, and notice that the range of the color scale is 15.5 ppmv, or 55% greater than the expected annual range. Now go to the carbon budget cartoon and note that natural CO2 fluxes are 33 times greater than anthropogenic.

        Nobody who is numerate, sane, honest and actually familiar with the data would expect to see anything much more than 1 in 33 pixels on the CO2 map showing up as a clear anthropogenic flux except maybe where people are crammed into the real estate like sardines. Nor would such a thinking and well-informed person jump to conclusions based on 6 weeks of data knowing darn well that there are regional and global fluctuations on the orders of tens of CO2 ppmv on a seasonal basis, all dominated by natural sinks and sources, which aren’t represented in that plot.

        Finally, anyone with even a passing familiarity with historical CO2 proxy data and geology would read this post and the comment thread, look at the following chart courtesy of Ferdinand Engelbeen and say, “That’s a lotta’ darn volcanoes, you’d think someone would have noticed!”:

        But most people of average intelligence and a healthy amount of intellectual honesty would notice the similar shape of these curves to what’s showing up in the CO2 records, and being rational would say to themselves, “Self, I think we have the obvious answer.”:

        YMMV.

        No sense in speculating that this will show up in later data.

        It’s in the data we’ve already GOT, there’s no need to speculate. The map you’re beating senseless here does not, will not ever, show you what it is you’re looking for as you are interpreting it. From prior work already done, nobody with proper understanding is expecting or predicting OCO-2 to show red only over Houston and green over the central Pacific.

      • Brandon

        Thanks, in a way I’m relieved by your explanation. So anthropogenic input even though a small fraction of natural fluxes, can elevate atmospheric CO2. The Pleistocene has experienced periods of CO2 starvation, and the evolution of C4 plants attests to low CO2 stress. And you will be familiar with the paper by Franck predicting eventual biosphere extinction by CO2 starvation due to geological weathering. Thus our survival and the health of the biosphere may well depend on our ability to maintain a life- supporting CO2 level. Indeed it is already clear that the health and vitality of the photosphere is currently being boosted by increasing atmospheric CO2.

        However if the small relative flux of anthropogenic CO2 was so well known and these satellite results so “expected” then why was the simulated CO2 levels in this German study:

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

        So totally at odds with the OCO results. We’re these predictions simulated but not “expected”?

      • B Gates.
        Then we agree that anthropogenic CO2 does not vary seasonally and that the grand, orbiting carbon detector (that our wonderful gummint has so thoughtfully provided) cannot detect anthropogenic CO2 above the background of natural CO2.
        “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

      • Phlogiston,

        So anthropogenic input even though a small fraction of natural fluxes, can elevate atmospheric CO2.

        Not exactly breaking news but yes.

        The Pleistocene has experienced periods of CO2 starvation, and the evolution of C4 plants attests to low CO2 stress.

        I assume the ones that weren’t in the freeze zones when insolation dropped at high northern latitudes, followed by CO2 down to 180 ppmv.

        And you will be familiar with the paper by Franck predicting eventual biosphere extinction by CO2 starvation due to geological weathering.

        Never read it. Sounds somewhat alarmist.

        Thus our survival and the health of the biosphere may well depend on our ability to maintain a life- supporting CO2 level.

        On what sort of time frame come these dire predictions of doom?

        Indeed it is already clear that the health and vitality of the photosphere is currently being boosted by increasing atmospheric CO2.

        Some like it hot, no doubt about it.

        However if the small relative flux of anthropogenic CO2 was so well known and these satellite results so “expected” then why was the simulated CO2 levels in this German study so totally at odds with the OCO results. We’re these predictions simulated but not “expected”?

        All models are always wrong. Best practice is to go out and measure. Why are you setting me up to deliver YOUR lines for you? I mean, I’m happy to fill in the blanks with sound scientific practice, but it seems an odd rhetorical strategy for you to just lay them out there like that.

      • mpainter,

        Then we agree that anthropogenic CO2 does not vary seasonally …

        I haven’t looked, but actually I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a seasonal variability. Cooling, heating and whatnot. It’s just not terribly important for purposes of this conversation.

        … and that the grand, orbiting carbon detector (that our wonderful gummint has so thoughtfully provided) cannot detect anthropogenic CO2 above the background of natural CO2.

        We definitely don’t agree on that. I don’t know what that bird is going to be capable of doing, I wouldn’t make decisions on the first data release and I’m content to wait and see before making a fool out of myself blathering on and on about stuff I don’t know much about.

        What I do know is we didn’t need that sat to tell us that human activity is responsible for the rise of CO2, that’s been in the literature for decades. This mission, as I presently understand it, is more about understanding sources and sinks so that we can better estimate the effects of future increases. You know, real world data to feed the models and/or validate them. Otherwise known as good science.

    • “For at least the past million years it, and other worldwide tectonically active regions, have not managed to produce enough CO2 to raise atmospheric concentrations above 300 ppmv.”

      Who says this is a stationary process?

      • Bart, I never said stationary, but if you guys are trying to explain the Keeling curve with volcanoes it sure as heckfire is pretty regular and well above the baseline volcanic activity prior to the 19th century. Our resident geologist has gone dark on us so, well, I guess it’s up to you guys to pick up the slack.

      • You are implicitly relying on stationarity to imply that you believe it should not be influential now as, you assert, it was not influential before.

        I find your childish games tiresome, Brandon.

      • Bart,

        You are implicitly relying on stationarity to imply that you believe it should not be influential now as, you assert, it was not influential before.

        Nope. Try dealing with the words I write, not the ones you want me to be writing. This is the signal we’re looking at:

        Your end of the argument is to provide evidence that volcanoes are responsible for the rise from 280 to nearly 400 ppmv in a period of about 200 years. Or conversely provide evidence that the CO2 record is not accurate and is more consistent with some measurable volcanic activity. Either way, you need to pony up the evidence linking volcanic activity to CO2 levels.

        I find your childish games tiresome, Brandon.

        I think your playground perspective goes a long way toward explaining why neither you, nor richardscourtney, nor mpainter have been able to provide a lick of additional evidence that what comes out the tailpipe of my car is not more responsible for CO2 levels than undersea vents.

    • Brandon Gates

      You reply to my accurate statement that your assertion is wrong by saying

      Ok, for starters, show me a CO2 proxy reconstruction for the Holocene you trust. Or we can just go with the instrumental CO2 record. For the “volcanoes is wot dunnit” argument to be not unfounded, I’ll be needing to see some peer-reviewed literature showing a comparable uptick in such activity.

      OK. That response fails to mention the fact that YOUR ASSERTION IS PLAIN WRONG but attempts to change the subject to two other – and irrelevant – matters.

      Holy cow you warmunists do enjoy clutching at straws when shown to be wrong.

      Richard

      • richardscourtney, That word “assertion” you keep using, I do not think it means what you think it means. Come on now, pony up the true CO2 level from pre-industrial times, and show me the tectonic research required to explain any rise in CO2 since then.

      • Brandon Gates

        I see you are still arm-waving in attempt to avoid admitting your untrue assertion was not true and is not true.

        I recap.

        At January 2, 2015 at 6:56 am I replied to you saying in total

        Brandon Gates

        You assert

        Thing is, this region has been tectonically active for a very long time even in geological terms. For at least the past million years it, and other worldwide tectonically active regions, have not managed to produce enough CO2 to raise atmospheric concentrations above 300 ppmv.

        The stomata data refute your unfounded assertion which – I assume – is based on misunderstanding of ice core data.

        Richard

        At January 2, 2015 at 8:06 am you replied by saying in total

        richardscourtney,

        The stomata data refute your unfounded assertion which – I assume – is based on misunderstanding of ice core data.

        Ok, for starters, show me a CO2 proxy reconstruction for the Holocene you trust. Or we can just go with the instrumental CO2 record. For the “volcanoes is wot dunnit” argument to be not unfounded, I’ll be needing to see some peer-reviewed literature showing a comparable uptick in such activity. As in, not just pretty maps of the Sunda Trench showing hotspots that have been there since before we were even a species. Quantified estimates based on observation are needed here. And they’d better be really good because the bleedin’ obvious source of the observed increase comes down to the basic grade school chemistry regarding the reaction products of hydrocarbon combustion.

        Holy cow you lot do enjoy clutching at straws.

        That daft attempt at evasion was accompanied by your snowing this sub-thread by much irrelevant – although correct – data which you copied & pasted from elsewhere.

        Your method of evading admitting your error may work elsewhere, but here on WUWT we are familiar with spotting it because another professional troll (who posts as Phil.) has been using the same method for years on WUWT.

        You made an untrue assertion. Admit it and we can move on.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney, I know that when you start using the word daft that you’re pretty much out of anything substantive to say. Thanks once again for demonstrating that you think your own failure to support your own arguments is anyone’s fault but your very own. Ta.

      • Brandon Gates

        Your daft assertion was wrong and is wrong.
        As I said, it is refuted by the stomata data.

        Your evasions, your insults, your irrelevant twaddle, and your bluster demonstrate to all that you know your daft assertion was wrong and is wrong.

        Admit your error and we can move on.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney,

        Don’t tell me I’m in error, show me where I’m in error. Do that and we can move on.

      • Brandon Gates

        Excuse! Excuses!
        You wrongly asserted

        For at least the past million years it, and other worldwide tectonically active regions, have not managed to produce enough CO2 to raise atmospheric concentrations above 300 ppmv.

        I replied

        The stomata data refute your unfounded assertion which – I assume – is based on misunderstanding of ice core data.

        Following your posting an incredible amount of absolute bollocks which attempted to pretend your assertion is not plain wrong, you now say

        Don’t tell me I’m in error, show me where I’m in error. Do that and we can move on.

        OK. I will accept that you are as ignorant as you now claim to be because your claim concurs with your failure to yet demonstrate you know and understand anything about climate change.

        As introduction to the subject, I suggest you read this WUWT article, then search for papers on stomata as proxies by Wagner.

        In the link I have provided please note the graph which compares atmospheric CO2 concentration over the period from 1800AD to 2009AD as indicated by Law Dome ice core, stomata data, and direct chemical analyses (as collated by Beck).

        That graph alone indicates your assertion is wrong for the reason I stated.

        Now, you could claim that you were saying the high CO2 indications were from something other than volcanism, but nobody knows what caused the high indications so that would be merely a compounding of your error.

        Admit your error and we can move on.

        Richard

      • Brandon:

        “Assertion” means baseless opinion; something you assert to be a fact, but which is usually highly debatable. Your gang depends on assertions to support your arguments. See the problem?

        And re: rising CO2, you seem to be operating under the mistaken belief that more CO2 is a bad thing. That’s just another baseless assumption. By all the available evidence, more CO2 is a net benefit to the biosphere. There is no observed downside.

        If the alarmist crowd would accept that one fact, and the lack of any global harm resulting from more of that beneficial trace gas, we would all be on the same page.

        But you cannot agree to that, for one simple reason: if you did, your entire ‘carbon’ scare would have taken about 4 – 5 torpedoes; it would go down fast.

        Since your overly sensitive egos are the real reason you argue, and not due to any observed evidence, skeptics will never be able to change your minds. Enough time will have to pass for the True Believers in CAGW to die out, leaving a more rational group of scientists to point out that CO2 is entirely harmless, at current and projected concentrations.

        You cannot accept that. But where is your evidence of any global harm?

      • richardscourtney,

        Thank you for the citation, see that wasn’t hard at all. Here’s Wagner et al. (1999): http://www.sciencemag.org/content/284/5422/1971.full

        Abstract

        The inverse relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and stomatal frequency in tree leaves provides an accurate method for detecting and quantifying century-scale carbon dioxide fluctuations. Stomatal frequency signatures of fossil birch leaves reflect an abrupt carbon dioxide increase at the beginning of the Holocene. A succeeding carbon dioxide decline matches the Preboreal Oscillation, a 150-year cooling pulse that occurred about 300 years after the onset of the Holocene. In contrast to conventional ice core estimates of 270 to 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv), the stomatal frequency signal suggests that early Holocene carbon dioxide concentrations were well above 300 ppmv.

        The concluding paragraph of the paper reads: Our results falsify the concept of relatively stabilized Holocene CO2 concentrations of 270 to 280 ppmv until the industrial revolution. SI-based CO2 reconstructions may even suggest that, during the early Holocene, atmospheric CO2concentrations that were >300 ppmv could have been the rule rather than the exception (23).

        Could have been the rule, not definitely were the rule. Quite confident that there were deviations above 300 ppmv during the Holocene as shown by the proxy method, not confident that those elevated concentrations were stable at that level.

        Now a later paper, Wagner et al. (2002): http://www.pnas.org/content/99/19/12011.full Essentially the same conclusions as the 1999 work, but with this interesting passage: Our CO2 reconstructions reflect rapid changes with a significantly greater magnitude than the smooth and modest atmospheric CO2 decline to values 260 ppmv inferred from the low-resolution Taylor Dome ice-core record (Fig. 2). The data also confirm the regular occurrence of early Holocene atmospheric CO2 concentrations well above 300 ppmv, unknown from Antarctic ice cores but common in leaf-based time series (9, 14). These apparent controversies between leaf-based and ice-based CO2 data have not been resolved yet (ref. 35; see text at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/286/5446/1815.full). It should be noted that early Holocene records from Greenland ice cores have repeatedly indicated rapidly fluctuating CO2 levels including values 300 ppmv (36, 37). At present, the Antarctic record is usually considered to be reliable, so that discrepancies are ascribed to CO2 enrichment within the Greenland ice (38, 39). However, there is evidence that in polar ice also postdepositional CO2 depletion could occur, but underlying chemical processes of this potential source of error have not yet been investigated in detail (38, 39)

        Following the link to ref. 35, we read: Ice-core CO2 measurements are direct measurements on air that has been enclosed in bubbles. The occurrence of artefacts in earlier ice core records mainly from Greenland drill sites [enrichment of CO2 due to chemical reactions in the ice; depletion of CO2 due to fractionation during clathrate formation (5)] can be avoided by careful sample selection. In the Taylor Dome ice core we found no indications of chemical reactions producing additional CO2, and no clathrates occur (3). This record clearly shows that an atmospheric CO2 concentration from 260 to 280 ppmv was the rule during the preindustrial Holocene, including the early Holocene. We do not want to question the SI method, but we notice that there is a fundamental discrepancy between the record of Wagner et al. and the stomata density–based CO2 record of Beerlinget al. (6), who report largely scattering proxy CO2 values from 225 to 310 ppmv between 9940 and 960014C-yr.

        Wagner et al. claim that the concept of relatively stable Holocene CO2 concentrations of 270 to 280 ppmv until the Industrial Revolution is falsified by their results. We believe that this conclusion is not justified.

        Suddenly this is not sounding so cut and dried as you would have us believe, and Wagner himself says as much. But he’s not done: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Holocene_CO2_stomata_Wagner_etal_2004.pdf

        Abstract

        The majority ofthe stomatal frequency-based estimates ofCO2 for the Holocene do not support the widely accepted concept of comparably stable CO2 concentrations throughout the past 11,500 years. To address the critique that these stomatal frequency variations result from local environmental change or methodological insufficiencies, multiple stomatal frequency records were compared for three climatic key periods during the Holocene, namely the Preboreal oscillation, the 8.2 kyr cooling event and the Little Ice Age. The highly comparable fluctuations in the palaeo-atmospheric CO2 records, which were obtained from different continents and plant species (deciduous angiosperms as well as conifers) using varying calibration approaches, provide strong evidence for the integrity of leaf-based CO2 quantification.

        Skipping down to the conclusion:

        3.Conclusions

        The successful replication of stomatal frequency records in terms of timing and duration in the seven compared records provides strong evidence for the integrity of the leaf-based proxy for atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The general coherence ofthe reconstructed amplitudes ofatmospheric CO2 fluctuations corroborates the assumption that a wide range of terrestrial plants shows a common response to this environmental factor independent of geographical setting, habitat conditions or taxonomy. The agreement between stomatal frequency records from the Atlantic realm and sites located in the Pacific Northwest ofthe USA indicates that the observed stomatal parameter shifts are not restricted to the circum North Atlantic sector, but are at least Northern Hemispheric in nature. The demonstrated ability of stomatal frequency analysis to generate independent but highly comparable proxy records clearly meets the requirements for a palaeo-proxy in the field of global atmospheric CO2 dynamics.

        Gone is the language in the 1999 paper about falsification of a relatively stable Holocene, replaced with “we think our results are robust enough to show that stomatal frequencies are useful CO2 proxies.” I also can’t help but note that all these papers read like a treemometer study in terms of language and general modeling technique, so I’m a little surprised that, I don’t know, directly measuring CO2 trapped in ice core bubbles isn’t considered the more reliable technique.

        It is interesting research however, I thank you for pointing me toward it.

        Now, for sake of argument let’s assume Wagner is correct. He does not mention volcanoes as causal, but talks about meltwater pulses and other things. I’m still looking for some geology work which shows CO2 levels at present being driven by volcanic activity. Even better would be for some significant portion of the Holocene. This is the intitial issue I’ve raised, and while all this other stuff is interesting, it still does not directly address the main question I have been asking.

      • dbstealey,

        “Assertion” means baseless opinion; something you assert to be a fact, but which is usually highly debatable.

        Plant leaf stomatal frequency vs. ice core analysis for CO2 is a point of debate. That is why I asked for and insisted that Richard provide citations.

        And re: rising CO2, you seem to be operating under the mistaken belief that more CO2 is a bad thing.

        I’m asking you guys to substantiate your controversial musings that undersea volcanic vents have caused the significant rises in CO2 we’ve seen since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Suddenly, you are trying to change the subject. One wonders why that might be the case.

      • Brandon Gates

        You write to dbstealey

        Plant leaf stomatal frequency vs. ice core analysis for CO2 is a point of debate. That is why I asked for and insisted that Richard provide citations.

        NO! HOW DARE YOU!
        You “insisted” on no such thing. As anybody can see, you went to extremes to avoid the issue of the stomata data which I raised, and I proffered the information and fed it to you when – eventually – I forced you to consider the issue.

        There is no “debate” – none, zilch, nada – that the stomata data provide indications of past values of atmospheric CO2 concentration greater than the 300 ppmv which you wrongly asserted did not exist. There is “debate” about reasons for the differences between the ice core proxies and stomata proxies .

        You made an untrue assertion. Your assertion having been shown to be wrong, you still try to bluster because you cannot bring yourself to admit your error and to learn. That indicates you really are a sad act.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney,

        NO! HOW DARE YOU!

        Ok, there’s that tender spot …

        There is no “debate” – none, zilch, nada – that the stomata data provide indications of past values of atmospheric CO2 concentration greater than the 300 ppmv which you wrongly asserted did not exist.

        No “debate”? Ok sure, “controversy” is more like it. And I requote from above, straight from the horse’s mouth: http://www.pnas.org/content/99/19/12011.full

        These apparent controversies between leaf-based and ice-based CO2 data have not been resolved yet (ref. 35; see text at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/286/5446/1815.full).

        Second link goes to the peer-reviewed rebuttal which basically says, “Wagner’s approach isn’t something we think is complete bunk, but falsification of Holocene CO2 stability is a mite bit too strong a word.”

        You made an untrue assertion. Your assertion having been shown to be wrong, you still try to bluster because you cannot bring yourself to admit your error and to learn. That indicates you really are a sad act.

        I’d be cranky too having painted myself into such a corner. What’s the next move? Wait for it to dry and wander off pretending it didn’t happen, build a stone wall, or come clean that this isn’t such a clear cut issue as you would have me believe?

      • Brandon Gates

        Yes, I do have a “tender spot” at trolls telling blatant lies.

        You lied that you had “insisted” I provide references when – in reality – you went to extremes to avoid the subject and I proffered references although you had not asked for any.

        There are two possible reasons for your having tried to avoid the issue; viz.
        you had never heard of the stomata data
        or
        you knew I was right that the stomata data refuted your untrue assertion.

        Personally, I think you had never heard of the stomata data because your many posts have yet to demonstrate you know and understand anything about climate change. However, I accept the possibility that you were trying to avoid your assertion about past atmospheric CO2 concentration being revealed as a lie.

        Now, having been shown to have lied about your “insisting” on references, you try to deflect from your lies by providing quotes out of context as a method to misrepresent the data issues.

        Clearly, I was incorrect when I suggested you are a sad act; I should have said you are a sad and a nasty act.

        Apologise for your lies and we can move on.

        Richard

  37. Since most skeptics believe that the dramatic rise from 300 ppm to 400 ppm of CO2 in the last 100 years has caused no dramatic global warming, no increase in droughts, no decrease in global sea ice, no significant decrease in global land ice, no significant sea level rise, no decrease in fall/winter snow cover extent, no significant change in ocean pH, no increase in cyclonic activity/energy, no increase in extreme weather events, etc.

    What then is your/their hypothesis/theory as to what might change due to this CO2 increase? Is there something measurable and alarming which will be caused by this dramatic increase in CO2 concentration? – Something that can really alarm us? Any good theories from you scientists?

    (We do know that it helps plants grow – does that have any down side?)

    • I do wonder about the droughts. That sure seems like it’s grabbed out of thin air. A warmer surface implies more rain. Now you have to argue it’s quite selective in where it falls. Once I have seen precipitation data taken for real by a party I can trust we can discuss the issue and what we ought to do about it.

    • Is there something measurable and alarming which will be caused by this dramatic increase in CO2 concentration?
      ==============
      a lot of democratic politicians lost office because of the lack of it.

    • If there indeed was no increase in any probable disaster, why do people who call themselves “skeptics” don’t accept the obvious evidence that humans are responsible for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere?
      Including drawing firm conclusions from plots of 6 weeks of CO2 data, while one need 1-3 full years before a human signal can be filtered out of the huge seasonal noise?

      It is like looking at one week of tidal data after full moon and conclude that the sea level is dramatically falling…

      • Because it was once “obvious” that the planets moved in circles about the Earth, or that “bad air” caused disease, or a host of other mistaken beliefs.

        Because, when you look deeper into the data, it becomes quickly apparent that the “obvious” answer is wrong.

      • Ferdinand, there are degrees of skepticism. What happens is that we have a huge war going on, and there’s a lot of garbage flying to smear skepticism. There seems to be a nearly religious and dogmatic approach by some (for example the SKS site) to carry on a heavy smear against anybody who dares deviate from the accepted revelations brought to humanity by Saint Michael, Saint James, Saint Christiana, and the prophets who run the IPCC, may Ban Ki Moon bless them.

      • Yes, Ferdinand,
        I for one suspect that your desire to “filter” out the “human signal” will lead to more data fabrication.
        We have all of the data we need to reach the obvious conclusion.
        However much you might hope, anthropogenic CO2 cannot be detected by this satellite.

      • Ferdinand,

        Most skeptics do accept that human activity is the cause of rising CO2.

        But until verifiable evidence of global harm from that rise is presented, it is simply a non-event.

        CO2 is a tiny trace gas at 300 ppm — and it is a tiny trace gas at 400 ppm. Neither concentration has caused any global harm.

        So what’s the problem?

  38. As a long time climate skeptic from Bergen, Norway, it’s a god damn pleassure to see real science being done around these parts. Because the bigger narrative is doom science funding, and climate change intervowen with political correctness, enought to make any healty human puke.

    • Bergen is one of the prettiest towns in the world. If I had to pick a place to invade and take over it would be near the top of my list. As the new Bergen overlord I would move into that spectacular castle, and from there look over my fleet, anchored at the foot of the cliff.

      • No army could invade this place. The viking secret is that we agrue all the time but band together when som foreigner comes along. The movie 13th warrior http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120657/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 is a fictional movie based on a real arab writer that followed the vikings around on their invading trips, amazed by that very sentiment. Now that is bullshit in daily life but really good when you need it.

  39. For those who still believe that hydrocarbons are fossils, read “The Deep, Hot Biosphere” by
    Thomas Gold to help you understand the source of the massive amount of CO2 rising from these
    hot zones.

    I also agree with richardscoourtney. Ice core readings of CH4 are useless. stomata data is a
    much better indicator.

    • Stomata data are proxies, ice core data are direct atmospheric measurements, be it from a mix of several (10-600) years, depending of the snow accumulation rate.
      Stomata data are calibrated against ice cores…

      Ice core data thus may miss the fast changes in CO2, which may be captured by stomata data, but averaged data doesn’t change the average over the period of resolution. If stomata data show a different average CO2 level over the same time frame, then the stomata data are certainly wrong…

      • Ice core data are proxies – they do not contain thermometers, for example. Very little is known about a diffusion over millennia. I agree with you, they are still extremely useful,

    • I consider Thomas Gold a crank. Hydrocarbons WE produce are fossil fuels. I laughed my behind off when I read his proposal to go look for oil at Syljan (warning: I worked in the oil business for almost four decades).

      • Fernando — current state-of-the-art in “Birth of the Solar System Modelling” doesn’t allow for water or methane in the inner solar system — hence all of our carbon, hydrogen and lot of our oxygen is presumed to come from asteroid collisions and cometary impacts after the earth had formed

        If that is the case why can’t we have a carbon – rich relatively large body impact igneous rock on the earth’s surface leading to:

        1) fracturing and pulverization of both th the igneous earth rock and the astro rock
        2) injecting carbon-rich material deep into the earth’s crust
        3) bacteria? presumably processing the material leading to a deposit of CH4 and CO2
        4) seepage through the shattered rock leads to these gases becoming dissolved in ground water
        5) several reports of “Burning water” in wells in Sweden

        I think something like the above was part of the “Gold” geo-model for Methane

      • Fernado…..

        How does Gold account for the bio-markers in petroleum ?

        Specifically pristane, phytane, steranes, triterpanes and porphyrin.

  40. None, NONE, of this would be surprising to a person grounded in Plate Tectonics, Seafloor Spreading, or Subduction. This, the most ignored or misunderstood aspect of the carbon cycle, dealing in amounts that make mankind’s contribution less than trivial. And to sit and watch as the alarmist buffoons flail away at reason and sanity, while millions of black smokers inject all manner of nutrients into the oceans, as vast tracts of formerly marine limestones get converted to marble, or as carbonatite lava sloshes out of East African Rift volcanoes… It is all one can do to quietly facepalm as yet another plebe with zero life experience and even less knowledge of earth history utters another tome on how some bug or lichen or sea slug is going bye-bye because of global warming caused by virtually zero CO₂.

    NASA is going to have a cow and an aneurism over this orbiting theory-wrecking eye in the sky.

    • +1… They wouldn’t have launched this thing if they knew. Something was wrong with the numbers. They supposedly could tell which co2 was which by the ratio of co2 isotopes. It’d be a surprise if the co2 being released in the oceans has the same or near ratio balance as fossil fuel. Now NASA says with they can’t tell which co2 is which, natural or man made. I think if the earth is releasing more co2, we need to know why, and not more conjecture by the AGW crowd. By the same crowd of people, tropical forests are thriving, taking up much more, 30% more. In fact it surpasses all of the northern forests combined. Which they thought was the reverse.

      BTW, somebody in NASA isn’t going to have a cow … LOL. prior to this particular argument, the LIA and MWP were big topics. Some people went out and drilled in a lake in China, and off the coast of Peru. I don’t recall of them, however it was AGW position that both the LIA and MWP were local and not world wide. In every single drill it confirmed not only those two events but others as well. CAGW should have died a slow death then. It is zombie like and has acquired a life of its own through belief. Those 2 events are close enough and documented that the comparison of the hockey stick chart, showing the relation of co2 with temperature couldn’t possibly be right.

  41. Thanks, Dr. Hovland. Your input is appreciated.
    It seems like the Earth is a natural source of additional CO2 too. What is there left for us carbon-based creatures?

  42. While I’ve always suspected that scientists were down playing the role of volcanoes in CO2 emissions based on terrestrial examples, let’s wait for a little more data from NASA before we get too excited about this. If the CO2 hot spots over the volcanic hot spots persist through a year with the seasonal changes in the pattern of the photosynthesis and respiration, it would be stronger evidence of a stationary source. Right now, they could just be “clouds” that rode the wind in to their current locations.

    The excess CO2 from the hot spots should be pretty apparent in the surface waters if this theory is correct. I don’t know if any one has looked systematically, but it should also be apparent in the long term surface pH data that Willis is playing with.

    If volcanoes are spewing CO2 into bottom water, it could be a long time, and very far away from the the site of the emissions that the water actually interacts with the atmosphere and gives up it’s CO2

    Not wanting to burst anyone’s bubble but we already knew that annual human emission are only 5-10% of the flux that occurs between the atmosphere and the oceans and atmosphere, it’s not a great shock that other natural sources show up as strong or stronger than fossil fuels.

  43. Hey, now, what is all this new speculation all about?? You know the ‘science is already settled’, so why the renewed debate??

    /sarc

  44. Had OCO2 data even remotely connected CO2 and industry, there would be no “Too early to tell.” “We need to wait and see.” “We need more data.” Is there any doubt that even a tenuous connection would morph into absolute certainty blaring from every headline and the lips of every talking head across the galaxy?

    http://www.writerbeat.com/articles/3713-CO2-Feedback-Loop

    • “The highest chlorophyll concentrations, where tiny surface-dwelling ocean plants are thriving, are in cold polar waters or in places where ocean currents bring cold water to the surface, such as around the equator and along the shores of continents. It is not the cold water itself that stimulates the phytoplankton. Instead, the cool temperatures are often a sign that the water has welled up to the surface from deeper in the ocean, carrying nutrients that have built up over time. In polar waters, nutrients accumulate in surface waters during the dark winter months when plants can’t grow. When sunlight returns in the spring and summer, the plants flourish in high concentrations.”
      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=MY1DMM_CHLORA

    • Thanks for all the positive comments and facts! On the map produced by the OCO-satellite, there are two other blobs worth noticing: 1) the deep blue one in the southern ocean, and 2) the bright red blob, just SW of Iceland in the north Atlantic.
      Area 1) is due to cold seawater that sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere, thus making this location into an oceanic ‘sink’, or ‘sponge’, that soaks up the carbon dioxide gas that occurs in the air above the sea surface. You see, cold water has a higher solubility index for CO2, than warm water. There are undoubtably several other such ‘Blue CO2-Holes’ occurring in southern an northern open water areas. So, let’s hope that one day we get treated with a transpolar circulating satellite by NASA, so that we can see these important CO2-sponges.
      Area 2) is an anomaly, which is probably caused by ongoing volcanic activity onshore Iceland. However, it could actually also be due to underwater volcanic activity along the Røykjanes Ridge, which is the part of the Mid Atlantic aridge (rifting ridge) that goes onshore Iceland. But, i think this option is doubtful.
      The largest CO2-sink on our planet is suspected to be located over the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, at around 66 – 75 degrees north.

  45. Let us assume that outside of urban concentrations of fossil-fuel and slash-and-burn agriculture, we are happy with the status of CO2 in the atmosphere:

    We take the total (which I have yet to see quantified, though the data is clearly good enough to do so even if we say it is only a short-term number), isolate the f-f and s-a-b amounts, and remove those two. We will then see what the difference is and what would happen if we reduced fossil-fuel usage in the concentrated areas and slash-and-burn methods elsewhere.

    The result would probably say we can’t do it without shutting down the global civilization in terms even the eco-green understand.

    And what is the problem with slash-and-burn anyway? Things grow again, using the CO2 that was created in the burn. It is a zero-sum activity.

  46. how about the west coast of north america? LA with its smog shows nothing, while the baja and especially the pacific north west shows a concentration of CO2.

  47. So, who’s going to tell the Morlocks to cut down on production or install CO2 scrubbers seeing as wind and solar ain’t an option?

  48. Looks like those of us who kept asking about the volcanic emissions from the sea floor were correct in assuming it factored in a whole lot more than some believed.

    AGAIN, one more time, the land volcano data that is always referred to as the gold standard when this comes up, is estimated, completely outdated, and sloppily put together in the first place. What we know about the number of active sea mounts is miniscule because we have only mapped a fraction of the ocean floors.

  49. Is the carbon satellite observatory capable of differentiation between “atmospheric” carbon and other than atmospheric carbon? Any suggestion of a source for how the satellite functions?

    • the aborption spectra of a molecule or atom is determined by electron shell energy bands. OCO2’s spectrometers measure IR absorption bands characterictic of CO2 and O2. So nuclear (isotope fraction information) composition is not possible. Mass spectrometers and neutron bombardment-backscatter are used in practice to determine isotopic presence in a sample.

      • Joelobryan,

        Thank you for that. Wondering how the system could differentiate from a pool of CO2 in the atmosphere vs. a pool of CO2 underwater having been recently emitted from a sink. Your level of scientific understanding is much past that of mine so any sharing is greatly appreciated by me and I presume others.

      • Db,

        Thank you for that correction.

        Do you have any understanding of if the satellite system differentiates (or can even sense) the CO2 being emitted from it’s source (see I’m learning) under water?

      • But, a sink can draw heavy concentration around it. Think of rainwater running downhill and pooling up around a drain.

      • Bart – no a sink cannot draw a heavy concentration around it. In your example, if the sink was not there the concentration would be greater.

      • the aborption spectra of a molecule or atom is determined by electron shell energy bands.
        Not in the IR which is the wavelength range used on the satellite, that measures the vibrational and rotational emissions which are not due to electronic transitions. These wavelengths do depend on isotopic composition so in principle it is possible to differentiate between isotopologues, whether the satellite has the resolution to do so I don’t know. For example C(13)O(16)2 has a strong band at ~2040 cm-1 whereas C(12)O(16)2 has a strong band at ~2080 cm-1.

      • Bart January 2, 2015 at 11:29 am
        But, a sink can draw heavy concentration around it. Think of rainwater running downhill and pooling up around a drain.

        Not in the gas phase in the atmosphere Bart, diffusion and turbulence works to smooth out concentration gradients, there is no realistic mechanism to concentrate gaseous components in the atmosphere. You get high concentrations near sources and lower concentrations near sinks.

      • An assertion based on assumed characteristics. You do have a tendency to imagine how you think things should be, and then proclaim it as truth.

  50. If those CO2 hotspots are indeed tectonically derived, that makes the prediction that they will persist in magnitude regardless of season. And then only that wind patterns drive their plume directionality.

  51. For me it was the SE Europe and its tectonic plates that was the ‘smoking gun’. Industrialised Europe, UK, Germany, France, Italy … nothing
    Balkan peninsula least populated, least developed, least industrialised with excess of CO2 !

    The red lines indicate boundaries between different tectonic plates which are outlined by the repeated occurrence of earthquakes (white dots)
    So it is not volcanoes as much as the certain tectonic plates fault lines.
    I first commented on tectonics on 29 Dec “This also could be case to east of the Andes, Indonesia, parts of the Pacific and even south of Greenland -Reykjanes ridge”, nice to be even if a just few days ahead of the distinguished geophysiscist and professor Hovland

  52. Here’s one for those who like to calculate. If I remember correctly mid-ocean spreading ridges, of which there are 80,000 km produce mid-ocean ridge basalt aka MORB, which if I recall correctly contains 0.8% CO2 by weight. Now imagine that along the entire ridge system the amount of spreading is a mere few centimeters along a several kilometers of depth to the mantle source of MORB and pretty soon your talking big numbers.

    Also, since it’s in the news Iceland is having a nice eruption and there is lots of talk about all the SO2 being released there, but on average MORB has double the amount to CO2 vs SO2. Anyway, this is interesting, and I am looking forward to a few years of data from this satellite.

  53. Near the center of Figure 5, in faint blue text, are the words, “Excess T, CO2, CH4.” The last two are well-known chemical compounds, but what does “T” stand for? Temperature? Thermal? At what point does temperature or heat become excessive? Is it “excess” heat if it comes from volcanic activity but not if it comes from other sources like the sun?

  54. “Cities cover a tiny fraction (50% of the population and 70-90% of economic activity.”

    (from http://landcoverchange.com/gallery_post/global_mapping/ which is consistent with what I have read elsewhere)

    Hence a large fraction of the added fossil CO2 should be coming, continuously, from a tiny fraction of the area. If (IF) this amounts to at least 3ppm per year, then allowing for a ~100 fold concentration over urban areas, and the color scale on the map, I would expect to clearly see this in the OCO data.

    I don’t see it. Why not?

  55. I know nothing about the subject but if I were to guess, it looks more like the distribution of smoke.

  56. There is more that we don’t know about the floor of the oceans and beneath them than what we do know.

    The biggest problems don’t come from not knowing, but from creating speculative theories, then building models based on those theories.

    Then scientists, using these assumptions and models build a stronger and stronger case to provide the proof, as they interpret data with confirmation bias.

    This has snowballed into an unshakeable, widely held view that carbon dioxide is pollution and the increase in atmospheric CO2 is from humans burning fossil fuels…….especially coal, crude oil and natural gas.

    This data is in the early stages of being obtained and interpreted but it sure as heck doesn’t show humans using coal, crude oil and natural gas……the intended targets for imposing expensive regulations, as having the effect on atmospheric CO2 levels as those with that agenda are basing it entirely on.

    In the last 15 years, we’ve learned numerous things that are either exaggerated or flat out dead wrong with this theory(human’s burning fossil fuels causing X amount of warming, climate change and extreme weather) and I’m hard pressed to find anything that has been confirmed.

    The earth clearly has experienced around 1 degree of beneficial warming over the past 100 years. The planet has also clearly experienced a very beneficial increase in CO2 levels from 280 ppm to 400 ppm during that time.

    How it happened, how it is effecting climate and life on this planet and where we are headed, reads more like some sort of fairy(ScaryTale) tale, turning CO2, a very beneficial gas into pollution and humans as selfish monsters that emit this pollution because they don’t care as much about life and future generations.

    How arrogant these people are to constantly accuse me, an environmentalist(and meteorologist for 32 years) of not caring as much as them about our awesome planet…………even coming up with special names “Denier” and “Flat Earther” to make it clear that they are scientifically smarter/better than others that are skeptical of many of their views.

    Empirical data and observational data can be interpreted in biased fashion for quite some time………..years, even decades but in the end, it levels the playing field and authentic science will not be denied.

  57. Quite why anyone is thinking this data will show anything about anthropogenic sources of CO2 is beyond me. Not only is the anthropogenic contribution dwarfed by non-anthropogenic flux, but CO2 is pretty well mixed in the upper atmosphere and anthropogenic sources will be included in warm gas releases anyway.

    This has got nothing to do with whether the increase in CO2 is anthropogenic or not – that is a different argument that is not affected by this data whatsoever.

    Just look at the range of the concentration shown on the figure – none of these bears any relation to CO2 from anthropogenic sources which – at point of release – are probably thousands of times higher. Our exhaled breath is around 4% CO2 – 40,000 ppm.

    The data here may show some sources, but anthropogenic emissions are just not big enough (within the overall flux) to show up at this resolution.

    • As I asked above, I think they should be if we are contributing to a ~3% or more annual rise (based on emissions) in global CO2 concentrations from <1% of the global area. A back of the envelope calculation shows the scale of our emissions should be visible. Something doesn't add up.

  58. I think I like this satellite.
    Is this not the same type satellite who’s first launch was destroyed in the boost phase? Now we, perhaps, know why it was destroyed.
    This is ground shaking data , real data, for the “cause”. to chew on.
    Many CAGW troopers might be forced to rethink their CAGW scare,

    • Might be a server glitch- check again Monday. That happened on the SolarSoft Latest Events page a few weeks ago.

  59. Shaken soda can syndrone?

    Is CO2 evenly distributed by depth in varied oceanic environments, or can it be stratified and under pressure?

  60. David Socrates (January 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm)
    Fernado…..
    How does Gold account for the bio-markers in petroleum ?
    Specifically pristane, phytane, steranes, triterpanes and porphyrin.

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

    Thats easy.

    1) “One may read, in almost every textbook published in the English language purporting to deal with the subject of petroleum geology, diverse claims made that the presence of certain molecules found in natural petroleum constitute “evidence,” or even “proof,” that the petroleum evolved from biological matter. Such molecules, claimed as evidence of a biological connection, include such as porphyrins, isoprenoids, pristane, phytane, cholestane, terpines, and clorins. Closer investigations have proven such claims to be groundless. Pristane and phytane are simply branched alkanes of the isoprenoid class. Cholestane, C27H48, is a true, highly-reduced hydrocarbon, but is not to be confused with the oxidized, biotic, molecule cholesterol. Cholestane and cholesterol have similar geometric structures, and share similar carbon skeletons; there the similarity ends. Cholestane is a constituent of natural petroleum; cholesterol is not. Significantly, the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis produces isoprenoids, including phytane and pristine.” – J.F. Kenney
    http://www.gasresources.net/disposal-bio-claims.htm/

    2) hydrocarbons are a source of both energy & carbon for microbes that infest the planet from pole to pole (from the surface to the deepest holes we’ve drilled in the crust). So whenever you find hydrocarbons there’s a good chance you’ll find real, unambiguous “biological markers”. e.g.:
    http://martinhovland.weebly.com/

    3) “Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is a mysterious place. Its thick atmosphere is rich in organic compounds. Some of them would be [interpreted by the naive as] signs of life if they were on our planet.
    http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/SEM696HHZTD_0.html

    When you say “biological marker” you are just citing scripture: but it ain’t necessarily so.

    • That’s one of the problems with the chemistry of life. When you think you’ve got it sussed, it turns round and bites you in the butt. I’ve still got a lot to learn about life (almost given up), but it’s taught me a lot about chemistry.

    • Another biological marker of petroleum is that it shares with all organic matter the “left-handed” rotation of polarized light. Synthetic oils (as from coal) do not show this characteristic.
      Have organisms ever been demonstrated to exist at, say, 5000 psi and 180°F? as in some petroleum reservoirs.

  61. There can be little doubt that during the Cretaceous tectonic activity was contributing far more CO2 to both the atmosphere and the oceans than it is (at least until recently) today.

    Where “tectonic” activity produces CO2 it also produces heat. When that happens subaqueously the enthalpy will also drive more CO2 out of the water. Tough to separate.

    Honestly, what I see from the preliminary OCO is CO2 following the ITCZ. Over the oceans that brings vertical insolation and upwelling of cold nutrient and CO2 laden water by Ekman transport due to the trade winds. Until Ferdinand can convince me otherwise, I see no way to separate the biological from the Henry’s Law effects with the data at hand.

    A possible control is over land where there is no upwelling, yet the respiratory effect seems amplified.

    It must be remembered that the trade winds are always easterlies, and the seeming “tail” coming out of the Amazon in a westerly fashion is definitely not a wind effect from burning. It is a dogpile of warm water similar to the Pacific warm pool.

  62. Sorry folks, but OCO2 is going out of business soon.
    Its observations of reality do not match the prevailing dogma.
    So don’t be surprised if OCO2 will be shut down in the very near future.

    • But, there’s an analogy up-thread that likens the CO2 effect during the pause to mashing the accelerator of a ’68 Austin Alegro and waiting for the car to go fast! /Sarc

  63. I remember pointing this out to one in the late sixties and being told to go and fix your FF ing washing machines or whatever FF ing engineers do and leave the clever stuff to us. Informally of course.
    Many years later I got a similar response when I pointed out to one that their computer models failed an absolutely bottom end engineering requirement that all sources of the main variable were documented with certified accuracy data. This had to include biological and geological info where I could find none recorded at all.

  64. For all the folks out there that buy into the CAGW religion, if anybody offers you candy to get in their car, don’t do it.

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