The Disparity Between IPCC Science Reports, Summary For Policymakers and Reality, Requires a Political Science Solution

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report was the most influential in establishing global warming as a serious threat demanding political action. It contained the infamous hockey stick that Richard Muller identified as, “the poster-child of the global warming community.” However, the Report also achieved another distinction, unknown to the media, public and politicians. Disconnect between the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) and the Science Report Of Working Group I reached an extreme. Dr. Christopher Essex pointed out, in his excellent presentation for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) that the 2001 Science report says,

“In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

That statement alone disqualifies the IPCC work as the basis for public policy. If it is not enough, consider that the data used for the blade of the stick claimed it was very likely (90–99% chance) that temperature

Increased by 0.6±0.2°C over the 20th century; land areas warmed more than the oceans.

That is a ±33% error factor. Would a media outlet use results from a political poll with such an error range?

The IPCC ignored these limitations and pursued their self-assigned role.

Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report provides a policy-relevant, but not policy-prescriptive, synthesis and integration of information contained within the Third Assessment Report and also draws upon all previously approved and accepted IPCC reports that address a broad range of key policy-relevant questions. For this reason it will be especially useful for policymakers and researchers, and as a main or supplementary student textbook for courses in environmental studies, meteorology, climatology, biology, ecology, and atmospheric chemistry.

In case the policymakers are unsure about the validity of their work, they indicate it is good enough for university textbooks. (Faint praise?)

So much of the so-called science the IPCC created was to amplify the threat of human produced CO2 to global warming. The political mandate was the ultimate arbiter of what and how an issue was included. Most people involved with the IPCC likely didn’t know what was going on. They saw funding and career opportunities, either as bureaucrats or academics. Most were graduates of the emerging “environmental science” programs and ideology with its, “humans are the problem so save the planet at all costs”, mentality. For a few, these were secondary to the real objective of using climate and CO2 specifically, as a vehicle for a political agenda. It is likely most people involved in the IPCC process never read any of the Reports, especially the SPM. If they had, why didn’t they protest about the distortions and contradictions? They easily marginalized the few that quit the IPCC because of what was going on. But then, I never heard of an IPCC person protesting the major scientific errors in Al Gore’s movie or the contradictions between their sea level claims. Apparently, this seems like an academic and bureaucratic example, of just following orders.

An early IPCC claim was that even if humans stopped all CO2 production immediately, the warming impact would continue for 100 years; the theoretical “residency time” for a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere. It was designed to increase the pressure for immediate political action. This seems like a specious point, considering the massive limitations identified by Essex, but it is more important because the public understand it. The IPCC know the public won’t understand the science, but they will recoil at the idea that the damage will last 100 years.

The IPCC based the number 100 on a “bottleneck” proposed in a 1959 paper by Bolin and Erickson. As the 2007 Working Group I Report notes,

A more sluggish ocean circulation and increased density stratification, both expected in a warmer climate, would slow down the vertical transport of carbon, alkalinity and nutrients, and the replenishment of the ocean surface with water that has not yet been in contact with anthropogenic CO2. This narrowing of the ‘bottleneck’ for anthropogenic CO2 invasion into the ocean would provide a significant positive feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (Bolin and Eriksson, 1959).

Bolin was, with John Houghton, the first Co-Chair of the IPCC. It appears reasonable to appoint experts to the IPCC, but as the Wegman Report identified in Recommendation 1 it is unwise.

Especially when massive amounts of public monies and human lives are at stake, academic work should have a more intense level of scrutiny and review. It is especially the case that authors of policy-related documents like the IPCC report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, should not be the same people as those that constructed the academic papers.

The 100-year claim was challenged early, as Marohasy explains.

IF carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels only stayed in the atmosphere a few years, say five years, then there may not be quite the urgency currently associated with anthropogenic global warming.    Indeed, it might be argued that the problem of elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could be easily reversed as soon as alternative fuel sources where found and/or just before a tipping point was reached.

 

Marohasy presented a 2009 paper by Robert Essenhigh showing that the actual residency time is between 5 and 15 years. Many others have since confirmed the value at between 6 and 7 years.

IPCC Assessment Report 5 (AR5), in a section discussing “What Happens to the Carbon Dioxide After It Is Emitted Into The Atmosphere?”, says,

Before the Industrial Era, the global carbon cycle was roughly balanced. This can be inferred from ice core measurements, which show a near constant atmospheric concentration of CO2 over the last several thousand years prior to the Industrial Era.

This is false. The Ice Core plot for Antarctica shows considerable variation of approximately 150 ppm (Figure 1). But the variation is greater because a 70-year smoothing curve is applied. Compare a 2000-year period of smoothed ice core record against a stomata record (Figure 2).

clip_image002

Figure 1

clip_image004

Figure 2

Both the average atmospheric level and variability are distinctly different.

AR5 then claims,

Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, however, have disturbed that equilibrium.

The certainty of this statement is unwarranted because it is virtually impossible to substantiate and likely wrong because the estimates of natural production are very crude. Error of estimates for two natural sources, ground bacteria/rotting vegetation and oceans exceed human annual production. That figure is also suspect because the IPCC produce it. In the FAQ section of the 2007 Report they answer the question “How does the IPCC produce its Inventory Guidelines?” as follows.

Utilizing IPCC procedures, nominated experts from around the world draft the reports that are then extensively reviewed twice before approval by the IPCC.

Tom Quirk concludes in “Sources and Sinks of Carbon Dioxide” that

The constancy of seasonal variations in CO2 and the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted. This implies that natural variability of the climate is the prime cause of increasing CO2, not the emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels.

Mike MacCracken, whose Ph.D., dissertation involved producing an early climate model, has been involved in the IPCC from its inception. Figure 3 shows him in a photo from the 1985 IPCC formation meeting in Villach Austria, and though retired, he continues to defend the science.

clip_image006

Figure 3 (“Tom” is Wigley).

In a recent email to a climate group, MacCracken invoked the “bottleneck” when he wrote,

“However, a good fraction of each year’s CO2 increment lasts for many centuries…”

In an attempt to support the “bottleneck” claim we learn this from SkepticalScience.

Dissolution of CO2 into the oceans is fast but the problem is that the top of the ocean is “getting full” and the bottleneck is thus the transfer of carbon from surface waters to the deep ocean.

There is no evidence that the surface waters are “getting full”. It is just another assumption that supports the narrative. At best we only have computer model estimates of input and output of all gases, including CO2. The general failure of the iron filings ocean seeding program to increase absorption rates indicates that we don’t know.

SkepticalScience (SS) modify the pure 100-year claim as follows.

“Individual carbon dioxide molecules have a short life time of around 5 years in the atmosphere. However, when they leave the atmosphere, they’re simply swapping places with carbon dioxide in the ocean. The final amount of extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere stays there on a time scale of centuries.

The argument here is that it may not be the same CO2 molecule that humans produced. This replaces the initial claim that they could identify the CO2 from burning fossil fuel. 
It argues that in a series of “boxes” containing CO2, additions are offset by displacement of others. What a surprise! SS provides the AR4 definition.

“Turnover time (T) (also called global atmospheric lifetime) is the ratio of the mass M of a reservoir (e.g., a gaseous compound in the atmosphere) and the total rate of removal S from the reservoir: T = M / S. For each removal process, separate turnover times can be defined. In soil carbon biology, this is referred to as Mean Residence Time.”

SS interprets that as follows,

“It is true that an individual molecule of CO2 has a short residence time in the atmosphere. However, in most cases when a molecule of CO2 leaves the atmosphere it is simply swapping places with one in the ocean. Thus, the warming potential of CO2 has very little to do with the residence time of CO2.”“What really governs the warming potential is how long the extra CO2 remains in the atmosphere.”

So, it is not the human CO2 per se that causes the warming. It simply overloads the natural capacity to absorb. This assumes, incorrectly, that we know what that is, which is very unlikely with a natural range of atmospheric CO2 from ~250 to 7000 ppm over the millennia. The 2007 IPCC identifies some of the problems.

Unfortunately, the total surface heat and water fluxes (see Supplementary Material, Figure S8.14) are not well observed.

For models to simulate accurately the seasonally varying pattern of precipitation, they must correctly simulate a number of processes (e.g., evapotranspiration, condensation, transport) that are difficult to evaluate at a global scale.

It is also very likely that the current increase is entirely natural. It certainly is within the error range of any of the IPCC numbers. It also ignores the fact that in every single record of any duration for any period, temperature increases before CO2.

IPCC speculations differ depending on the objective. The macro speculations are wrong as Essex and others explain, but they are too complex for the public and by default establish scientific credibility. Some micro speculations are obscure, such as the claim that CO2 is evenly distributed, but necessary to make their computer models work. Others, like the 100-year ‘residency time’ claim, are politically necessary to support demands for immediate action. Ideally, the latter extend the threat to the children and the grandchildren.

The only ‘residence time’ of importance is how long the IPCC can stay in business and continue to push their totally discredited AGW hypothesis.

Advertisements

155 thoughts on “The Disparity Between IPCC Science Reports, Summary For Policymakers and Reality, Requires a Political Science Solution

  1. Quite right. What is the justification for the 100 years residence time? It’s basic to the theory and never shown empirically.
    A volcano or Indonesian forest fire should allow such calibration.
    But we just hear about plucking fingers in the air.

    • I also wonder if Bolin lived in the real world where the tropics are the engine of the atmosphere with the towering Cb daily building to great heights. No ”stratification” there.

    • Marohasy presented a 2009 paper by Robert Essenhigh showing that the actual residency time is between 5 and 15 years.

      Even if the residency time is, say, five years, quoting Nick Stokes, ‘there is the time constant for the total CO2 conc to return to equilibrium after a perturbation.’
      What matters is not how long individual CO2 molecule resides in the athmosphere, but how long it takes for the extra CO2 fluxes to stop influencing the CO2 content.

      • Look at the fluctuations over the course of a year and between hemispheres. The idea that the tiny amount of human-generated CO2 that is lost in the noise of natural variation and that can be calculated but not effectively observed could on average (a quantity that exists nowhere in the world) bump things up enough to cause runaway heating, is ludicrous.

      • GuarionexSandioval,
        can you not realise that RT and the time it takes for the amount of extra CO2 to disappear from the athmosphere are totally different numbers? The RT is influenced by this yearly huge CO2 exchange between air and plants/sea surface. The back to ~280 ppm time – given that all else remains approximately the same – is much longer because it depends on the CO2 concentration and the total amount in upwelling and downwelling seawaters.
        The sinks are different. Plants are mostly just inhaling and exhaling, so they provide a yearly sink, deep seas provide more like 1000-year storage. Come to think about it, carbon sequestering in sea would work in the sense that the carbon would be away from the athmosphere for a long time and be released gradually, if ever.
        It would be OK to be skeptic on this but the thing is that the residency time is a really weak argument on its own.

  2. The only ‘residence time’ of importance is how long the IPCC can stay in business and continue to push their totally discredited AGW hypothesis.

    Agreed. To date there are still no measurements of AGW.
    Strange that, after many decades of searching, by thousands of climate scientists…

    • Hello db,
      Thanks for the very interesting plot. I hate the term, but this is a “game changer” and I would like to include it in my presentations. First, do you have a reference? Second, the studies are all rather old, do you know of anything more recent than 1990?
      Cheers,
      SLL

    • dbstealy,
      The IPCC is talking about the excess decay time, you are talking about residence time. These two have nothing to do with each other. Even if the residence time doubled or halved, that would not change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, as long as the CO2 inputs equal the CO2 outputs.
      Only the difference between inputs and outputs does change the amounts in the atmosphere, independent of the residence time…

      • Ferdinand.
        The problem with what you say is simple.
        No matter what, the natural lag time of CO2 towards temps it means that no matter what, for as long as nature concerned, the amount of CO2 emission it does not matter , the length of time does.
        According to paleo climate data the CO2 EMISSION SPIKE CAN BE OF ANY MAGNITUDE, BUT NEVER THE LESS THE NATURAL THRESHOLD IT CONSIST IN THE LENGTH OF TIME.
        Whatever emission in whatever manner or cause, according to the indisputable lag time, at about 400 years average, any CO2 emission mean not much unless it continues to be beyond the ~200 years mark.
        We at the moment are at a ~170 years mark, still inside the natural means and pattern, no matter what.
        That is what the power of nature propagates, regardless of you or me acknowledge it or not.
        It does not matter, whether we or aliens or asteroids or whatever your imagination may come up with , the nature simply says and states that it has room for any amount of co2 emissions for as long as not a continuation beyond 200-250 years continuation.
        That what the lag time means, no unprecedented CO2 emissions, before the time reached for such assumption to be made, We are at about 3 decades to early to make that assumption.
        According to nature, any CO2 emission up to now, no matter how intriguing it may seem to us, are still inside the natural pattern and natural tolerance, not at all unprecedented. Yes, very strange but that is how nature is.
        You see the lag time of CO2 to temps is at a factor of 3-4 at the very least bigger than any time residence or whatever of CO2 in atmosphere, you can not change this, and its implication.
        cheers

      • Whiten,
        The solubility of CO2 in water is directly influenced by temperature. But the temperature of the oceans doesn’t change at once, that depends of where: the ocean surface is in rapid equilibrium with the atmosphere, both in temperature (a lag of a few months) and in CO2 levels. The deep oceans need lots of time to change their temperature: thousands of years. Thus while the earth’s surface is warming, the CO2 from the deep oceans is released many hundreds of years later and recaptured when the earth’s surface is cooling many thousands of years later.
        Thus your lag time is for the natural CO2 release / uptake following a temperature change. Not the reverse.
        Humans are emitting some 9 GtC/year as CO2. The net uptake by the biosphere is ~1 GtC/year, the net uptake by the ocean surface is ~0.5 GtC/year (and then is in equilibrium with the atmospheric increase) and the deep oceans do take ~3 GtC/year. The difference, some 4.5 GtC/year, remains in the atmosphere. Not the original molecules, but the quantity. There is no lag at all in the uptake, but the uptake has a limited capacity, which is currently about halve the human emissions at the 110 μatm extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere…
        The difference? Seasonal to multi-millennia processes from the pre-industrial past (and current times for seasonal to 2-3 years variations) are all temperature dependent. The current increase of CO2 and its decay rate is mainly pressure dependent and near independent of temperature…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen (replying to dbstealy)

        The IPCC is talking about the excess decay time, you are talking about residence time. These two have nothing to do with each other. Even if the residence time doubled or halved, that would not change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, as long as the CO2 inputs equal the CO2 outputs.

        Oh come on!
        This is a simple one element removal-addition problem into a single (assumed!) well-mixed pot at very, very slow rates!
        The nuclear engineering calculations for neutron absorption addition (external sources), neutron generation (from fast fission internal sources) , from delayed fission (of previous neutron absorptions), from element decay against poison addition (from immediate fission sources) of up to 8 different poisons – each decaying at different rates, each being generated at different rates, each absorbing neutrons at different rates and at different places proportional to the different fluxes over time and positions, each poison changing to new poisons at different rates – has been solved since the late 1940’s.
        What the bloody problem is there establishing a credible absorption/generation equations, establishing CO2 lifetime rates at each concentration, and finding acceptable removal rates and generation rates for each different year?
        Do you somehow think the rates themselves are supposed to be constant over time? The rates are proportional to concentration, sizes and positions of the sources, and and sizes and positions of the sinks. These change over time. So, the rates of sinks and the rates of sources change over time.
        Live with it. Determine what they are. THEN, do a half-life analysis. Don’t START with a bunch of guesses and “facts” about half-life assumptions, and then try to figure out final concentrations.

      • RAC,
        The residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere has nothing to do with the decay rate of some extra injection of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        There is a lot of exchange of CO2 molecules between the atmosphere and the other reservoirs: oceans and vegetation. That is about 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere which is exchanged each year with CO2 from the oceans or vegetation. But still that is exchange, not removal.
        We are not talking about the decay rate of the bomb tests 14C spike (which is a mix of residence time and removal rate), but about the average time that any CO2 molecule (natural or human) in the atmosphere is captured by the oceans or vegetation. That average is slightly over 5 years. That doesn’t change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere one gram or one ton at the end of a year, if as much CO2 is coming back in one season as was captured in another season.
        Your fission rates are real decay rates, for each reaction different, but the original atoms are definitively removed from the reactor. That is what the IPCC tries to tell with their Bern model: each type of CO2 sink (ocean surface, deep oceans, vegetation, rock weathering,…) has its own pressure (difference) related sink rate and saturation, which can be discussed, but that has nothing to do with the above residence time.
        The point is that the Bern model can be simplified to one equation which is the sum of all individual sink rates, as the overall process looks like a simple first order process without any sign of saturation. That makes thing very easy: we know the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere and we know the extra uptake by nature, which results in a e-fold sink rate of ~50 years. That may change from year to year because of the fast but limited influence of temperature variability on the sink rate (which variability is only halve the human emissions), but the average sink rate didn’t change much over the past decades, despite the IPCC expectations of a saturation of the deep oceans sink. Thus no need for a year by year re-evaluation: you only are frustrating yourself with the noise around the trend…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen
        February 23, 2015 at 11:51 am
        You say:
        “Thus your lag time is for the natural CO2 release / uptake following a temperature change. Not the reverse.”
        ———–
        Hello Ferdinand.
        First is not my lag time so to speak..:-)
        Is a natural lag time of CO2 emissions towards temperatures.
        And actually when you closely look at it is completely the reverse of what you say. Is the “lag” that means emissions fail and do not follow temp change for a very considerable time, actually the reverse of what you suggest above. That is what lag means.
        Second, it is indisputable also, from the lag and other paleo climate data, that natural tipping points of temp do happen always prior to natural CO2 tipping points, thus why and how the natural lag of CO2 possible to be observed.
        Generally ignoring this leads to hypotheses like yours that put the cart in the front of the horse in a very arbitrary way without any regard to natural observations.
        You see, if I am not misunderstanding you, your explanation tries to accommodate the man’s possible impact on climate by even postponing further in the future the breaking of the natural temp tipping point, far further in the future than the official AGW hypothesis have it.
        What you say is in the line that even if we don’t see now any effect of man in climate we will see when these CO2 emissions coming back with a vengeance, so to speak.
        But if no any problem for the climate and atmosphere to deal with this assumed “problem” without being changing in accordance with the man’s will now, why then should it be different in the future, the far away future, when CO2 surfacing again!
        You see, Guy Callendar had a similar accommodation of his man’s influence in climate hypothesis by postponing both the CO2 tipping point and the temp tipping point at about 2K years in the future.
        Basically still his hypothesis in its main merit simply claimed a very mild man effect and influence in climate, because it could not be otherwise when such postponing considered.
        Differently from you the basics of AGW try to deal with it by associating temps with CO2 emissions, warming with CO2 emissions.
        At the first stage they put the horse first, the 0.8C famous warming and then the CO2 emissions, the cart.
        By claiming the 0.8 C warming as unprecedented, by default the Anthropogenic CO2 emissions become somehow considered as unprecedented.
        But at the second stage in principle they default to putting the cart in front of the horse, by concluding that temp tipping point will be after the CO2 emission tipping point, otherwise that hypothesis makes no sense at all.
        At the moment, apart from the plateau, the very unprecedented 0.8C warming has being shown and proven as not unprecedented at all. We have a warming which happens to be there without any change in the atmospheric processes and mechanisms, without any observable change in them to make this warming as unprecedented and not natural, and there literally is no any man’s influence or effect measurable.
        That is why sometimes lately there is a push to shovel by other different angles as the one you are trying from.
        Observations are one thing, hypothesis are another.
        No matter how clever or good a hypothesis is, it is required that it does not contradict or jeopardize, the basic meaning of the observations.
        Thanks for your reply.
        cheers

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ February 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm
        “The residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere has nothing to do with the decay rate of some extra injection of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
        This is not a general truth. The residence time and the decay time are not necessarily the same, but if sinks are aggressive, they necessarily converge to one another.
        Sinks are very active, as is evidenced by the fact that CO2 concentration is determined by a temperature modulated process and humans have little impact. Thus, the residence time and the decay time must be fairly close to one another.

      • Whiten,
        I don’t believe that more CO2 has much impact on temperature, but I am pretty sure that human emissions are the cause of the current increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        The ice cores have a resolution of 10 to 600 years, but even the worst resolution ice core would detect the 110 ppmv rise in 160 years as we see today. Thus the current rise is unprecedented in the past (at least) 800,000 years. There were no excursions of more than 2 ppmv in ice cores with a resolution of 10 years over the past 150 years or a resolution of 20 years over the past 1000 years.
        Thus the ~800 years lag between a natural increase of temperature and the following increase in CO2 doesn’t play any role in the current increase of CO2: the historical CO2/T ratio was 8 ppmv/°C. That can be seen in the MWP-LIA transition: ~6 ppmv drop for a ~0.8°C drop in temperature with ~50 years lag. The current temperature is probably equal to less than the MWP temperature, thus good for not more than 6 ppmv increase, lagged or not lagged, doesn’t make a lot of difference in 110 ppmv increase (while humans have emitted ~200 ppmv CO2)…

      • Bart,
        The residence time is largely (seasonal) temperature driven while the decay rate for any excess CO2 above the dynamic equilibrium is largely pressure driven.
        The CO2 fluxes over the seasons are app. 150 GtC in and out within a year for an average 1°C global temperature change be it that most of the fluxes are countercurrent with temperature. The net resulting flux is ~10 GtC as measured in the atmosphere. Despite the small net seasonal variability, the huge in/out fluxes make that the residence time for any CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is quite short: about 5 years.
        Near all of this is pure exchange: what goes out mostly all comes back within the same year.
        The net CO2 sink rate is about 4.5 GtC/year for 110 μatm pressure increase above equilibrium. That makes that the e-fold decay rate for any excess CO2 above the equilibrium is quite long: over 50 years.
        Quite a difference in fluxes, quite a difference between residence time and decay rate…
        Your theory is entirely based on the variability in rate of change, which is largely temperature driven. But the net flux in and out caused by the temperature variability is not more than +/- 2 GtC for a few tenths of a °C, or 4-5 ppmv/°C, while human emissions are ~9 GtC/year and the increase in the atmosphere is ~4.5 GtC/year. The natural variability in sink rate doesn’t prove anything about the longer term sink rates or the cause of the increase in the atmosphere, as that are completely independent processes…

  3. No, a “political science solution” or Realpolitik by any other name is not what is required. The “Lukewarmer” way is a scientific dead end.
    What is required is to get the science right.
    The question is not residence time of CO2. The question is not how much negative feedbacks reduce sensitivity to CO2 radiative forcing. Both those questions assume that there is a net atmospheric radiative GHE and play right into the alarmists hands. What many so desperately want now is the “soft landing” for the hoax.
    The correct questions are –
    Will adding radiative gases to the atmosphere reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability?
    Will the oceans freeze without DWLWIR from the atmosphere?
    Can incident LWIR slow the cooling rate of water that is free to evaporatively cool?
    How hot would our oceans get without cooling by our radiatively cooled atmosphere?
    Are the oceans a “near blackbody as climastrologists claim or are they really an extreme SW selective surface.
    Given 1 bar pressure, is the net effect of our radiativly cooled atmosphere warming or cooling of the oceans?
    What sceptics need is not a political solution, but a scientific solution. The correct answer, “AGW due to CO2 is a physical impossibility” is going to be far more effective than any other approach to end this inane hoax. Sceptics just need to grow spines and above all ask themselves why they believe CO2 causes “some” warming. Why do you believe? Which of the above “correct questions” do you not know the answer to? Why would you believe CO2 causes warming if you do not know? Why?

    • Konrad:
      “What is required is to get the science right”.
      No.
      Lots of people have the science right. What is required is for the MSM to report it and the politicians to believe it and act on it.
      Don’t hold your breath.

      • I am not holding my breath! Science will not do it, MSM will not do it, politicians will not believe such and Dr. Ball will not do it.
        Only Mother Nature can do the convincing, then the politicians will start listening.
        We are beginning to see that the measurements of “global annual temperature averages” are lower than model(s) predictions. We are also beginning to see that while CO2 concentration has continued to increase during the past 20 years there is no corresponding increases in temperature, as predicted by the models.
        So, if Mother persists, we will be starting to calculate and plot “anomalies” (I hate this word) between actual measurements and model predictions and this will do the convincing. It will take some time. How long I don’t know but I just hope that Mother does not start cooling.
        The media is suddenly waking up a bit due to Mother deciding to cool and snow over the northeast region of the USA.
        Maybe people will finally decide on their own that “global annual temperature averages” have no meaning. Nobody lives in the “global region”. Mother has stimulated the people living in the northeast region of the USA. All over the news. I just hope Mother does not overreach or perhaps only a little.

    • Konrad, “Can incident LWIR slow the cooling rate of water that is free to evaporatively cool?
      How hot would our oceans get without cooling by our radiatively cooled atmosphere?”
      The answer is often in the question so you need to be more precise in your question.
      First, the radiatively cooled atmosphere does not cool the ocean. The ocean cools primarily by evaporation and then by radiation. The presence of an atmosphere slows both methods of cooling, therefore the atmosphere warms the ocean.
      Incident LWIR increases the rate that the oceans evaporate, and that also cools the atmosphere, via the Ideal Gas Law or Boyle’s law, through expansion.
      The atmospheres contribution (except for clouds) is a net warming of the ocean. Without an atmosphere the oceans would quickly boil away and the world would be a very cold dead place.

    • I think an even simpler argument is that the earth’s atmosphere is not in radiative equilibruim due to convection with the result that any heating of the surface by the radiative properties of CO2 is swamped by the cooling due to moving air. A simple back of the envelope calculation gives a heat flux of 1 KW/m^2 for a parcel of air at STP that is 1 K warmer than its surroundings and moving at 1 m/s, walking speed. The convection that creates the atmospheric lapse rate is about 5 m/s.

  4. The only ‘residence time’ of importance is how long the IPCC can stay in business and continue to push their totally discredited AGW hypothesis.
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha !

  5. Thanks, Dr. Ball.
    “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive and requires the application of new methods of model diagnosis, but such statistical information is essential.”
    I’m quoting from the IPCC – Third Assessment Report (TAR) 2001 – 14.2.2 Predictability in a Chaotic System. At http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-14.pdf
    The IPCC recognized that “the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”, but they postulated that “the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions”.
    So, when the “ensembles of model solutions” failed to predict last century’s observed amount of global warming and the subsequent stoppage after 1998, even while using adjusted temperatures from thermometers, the IPCC models failed.
    The IPCC should explain this, correct their models, apologize, and leave us alone.

  6. In his February 9, 2015, presentation to the Houston Geological Society, Dr. Barry Lefer, climate scientist at the University of Houston, stated that climate represents the collective changes in rainfall, temperature, snowfall,, ice-cover, and so forth over a longer period averaging 30 years. This is a well-known standard definition.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-2-0bkJumA&feature=youtube_gdata_player)
    However, that definition raises some fundamental questions about global warming. The so-called warm period began around 1980 and was highlighted between 1988 and 1989 by Dr. James Hansen. The Kyoto Treaty was signed in 1992 (but not ratified by the US amongst others). IPCC reports started being released also in 1992.
    If validation of climate change requires 30 years from inception, two questions can be raised:
    1). Why did the Kyoto Treaty get completed 12 years after the first observation of a climate warming trend and three to four years after Dr. James Hansen first called attention to it (which is 18 years earlier than the definition of climate demands)?
    2). Shouldn’t the UN IPCC have waited until thirty years (i.e. 2010) after warming trends were discovered (i.e. 1980) to begin issuing reports? (again, this 18 years earlier than the definition of climate demands)?
    It appears that the Kyoto Treaty and the Pre-2010 IPCC reports may have been premature.

    • The Kyoto Treaty was signed in 1992 (but not ratified by the US amongst others). IPCC reports started being released also in 1992.
      I don’t think so.
      The Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted at the third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 3) in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997. In accordance with Article 24, it was open for signature from 16 March 1998 to 15 March 1999 at United Nations Headquarters, New York. By that date the Protocol had received 84 signatures.
      http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/items/2613.php

  7. Dr. Ball: Best use of the term “residence time” evah! “…The only ‘residence time’ of importance is how long the IPCC can stay in business and continue to push their totally discredited AGW hypothesis….” One fervently hopes that a Republican administration elected in 2016 will cut ALL funding to – at least – this part of the UN (all would suit me). And, completely revise the way science is funded in the US. Time to pull the plug on the scam and the scammers. If some can be sent to prison, all the better.

  8. How is it possible that their proposed “bottleneck” is able to slow the transfer of carbon dioxide from surface waters to the deep ocean and speed up the transfer of heat to the deep oceans at the same time? That sure seems like a contradiction to me. Wouldn’t “a more sluggish ocean circulation and increased density stratification” slow the transfer of everything from the surface to the deep ocean, including heat?

    • You peeked behind the curtain. The residence time of CO2 was experimentally verified with the Carbon-14 radioactive tracers injected into the atmosphere from the atomic testing in the 1950s and 60s. You have posited that Carbon Sin® is capable of speeding up ocean circulation for sequestering heat and at the same time is capable of slowing down ocean circulation to make IPCC CO2 residence time pencil out. The explanation for two mutually exclusive events existing at the same time was experimentally verified some years ago with a cat. Technical details are here:
      http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/113/the-story-of-schroedingers-cat-an-epic-poem

      • Neil, the 2nd poem you linked to has the following line:
        “The act of observing disturbs the observed”
        Is that why climate scientists prefer models to actual observations? Perhaps the very act of collecting and observing temperature data is disturbing the climate. It may be that if we stopped collecting weather data and trusted the models explicitly, the climate would begin to match the models’ predictions. But then we would never be able to know for sure. 🙂
        I have a feeling that alarmists would be very happy with such an arrangement. They have already made it clear that there’s no longer room in science for the falsification of popular theories, especially if the popularity can be claimed to approach 97%.

      • Responding from the standpoint of climate being aggregate weather, the quantum phenomena in the ballad refer to the unimaginably small, not something as “large” as weather. I would like to think that a climate scientist would never say that waving a thermometer would disturb a hurricane or corking up the connection in a stilling well would change sea level. But then again, when I read that climate scientists believe models create latent sea level out of nothing, nothing surprises me.

    • I have not (myself) seen any Really Good Examination of whether or not the current rise in the CO2 level is caused by temperatures rising 800 years ago, and the CO2 is mostly coming out of the oceans. It is mentioned from time to time but how do we know conclusively it is not from the MWP?
      – Crispin, in frigging cold Waterloo where schools are open today because the wind chill is only -34C

      • Crispin, if the upwelling waters were from the Medieval times and the Medieval period was warmer than today, the downwelling waters would be slightly higher in CO2 than today (according to the solubility of CO2 in seawater about 8 μatm more pCO2 at downwelling), assuming that the sinking waters near the ice edge of the polar ice still were as cold as today (and didn’t warm up with the rest of the surface).
        Further assuming no/little mixing with the rest of the deep oceans, the upwelling waters thus may have 8 μatm more CO2 pressure when released at the atmosphere.
        With 4 ppmv increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, the extra influx at the upwelling zone is halved and the outflux at the sink zone is increased with the other halve. Thus with halve the influence of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere in Medieval times, the modern times have restored the (dynamic) equilibrium, be it at a higher throughput (and thus shorter residence time).
        But there is no shortening of the residence time observed:
        If you take the residence time estimates of dbstealy and sort them in two groups on date of publication, the oldest group has in average a shorter residence time than the youngest group. That points to a rather stable throughput in an increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Something that refutes the theory of Bart and others about more CO2 upwelling…

      • No, Ferdinand. It is a symmetric process. The upwelling CO2 necessarily would diffuse into the surface waters, and they would increase in pCO2 until they matched the pCO2 of that era. For comparable temperatures, the pCO2 of the atmosphere would also increase to the level of that era.

      • Bart,
        You still don’t rake into account that besides ocean CO2 sources, there are ocean CO2 sinks too. If the ocean upwelling waters have increased their CO2 content or the temperature increased at the surface, that leads to an initial increase in influx, which increases the CO2 in the atmosphere. If there were no sinks, the atmospheric pCO2 would increase to a new equilibrium with the upwelling waters, thus a pCO2 increase equal to the pCO2 increase of the upwelling waters.
        But there are ocean sinks which equally react to changes of pCO2 in the atmosphere: any increase of pCO2(atm) increases the outflux. The net result is that any disturbance of any influx (oceans, vegetation, volcanoes…) is met with a halving of the influence in pCO2 and an increase or decrease of the fluxes back to a dynamical equilibrium between influxes and outfluxes, be it that may cost a lot of years…

  9. What appears to be left out of the discussion on the ocean-atmosphere exchange of CO2 is that of the ocean biota, from phytoplankton and corals to crustaceans who consume large quantities of the dissolved ocean carbon from the CO2 as food. Trying to calculate how much is nigh impossible, but if half the calculated annual CO2 produced by humans and terrestrial creatures is consumed by surface vegetation and ocean creatures (add sea-weeds and the like) then the calculations of CO2 exchange and life times is meaningless.
    If one adds volcanic sources of CO2, as shown to exist in the CO2 satellite data one can see that the planet is coping very well.
    Another thought, could not geothermal heat be also warming the ocean bottoms, rather than being of hidden ‘solar’ origin?

    • I should perhaps add a post script – I know there is plenty of carbon in the ocean to start with but it is being consumed and being replaced, without a ‘bottleneck’ slowing the process.

    • The oceanic crust is around the same thickness as ocean water, namely 5 km, whereas continental crust is generally around 20-40 km thick. One of the main sensations of descending 1-2 km underground in a mine is the heat and the 4km deep gold mines in South Africa use refrigeration to cool rocks sufficiently to enable temporary access to miners. This heat is not solar but clearly derived from Earths’ mantle.
      Have there been any comprehensive studies of the temperature of the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic, Southern and Arctic ocean floors away from the mid-ocean ridges where very high temperatures prevail? Has anyone counted the number of submarine volcanic vents in the oceans which cover some 70% of Earth’s surface? Submarine volcanic eruption can exceed 100 cubic kilometers but little is known about them: very much a case of out-of-sight and out-of-mind.
      In all of human history, nobody has ever penetrated the Moho with a drill hole and why not? There is talk of sending humans to Mars but not even a peep about a much less challenging technical effort to test the Moho which separate our oceanic and continental crust from the hot mantle.

  10. Residency time is the biggest fraud in the whole greenhouse concept. It is also contradicted in the statement that “a molecule of CO2 is simply swapped with one in the Ocean”. That statement is true, but it invalidates the whole basis for greenhouse calculation. If it is accepted that the ratio of molecules in the atmoshere is what is important rather than how long each individual molecule remains there, then water vapour is once again 6 times more absorbent than CO2 and in 20 times the quantity in the atmosphere. Which makes the entire greenhouse component of CO2 less than 1% of the 33C claimed effect.
    It also makes a mockery of the concept of “super greehouse gasses” such as hydrofluorocarbons. The whole notion of any trace gass being 10,000 plus times more “greenhousy” should have been labeled absurd long ago anyway!

    • wickedwenchfan, this is not a quibble, I just checked to see what the numbers are.
      At sea level H2O in the atmosphere is about 10,000 ppm, and overall in the atmosphere, it is 4000 ppm.
      I think the ‘6 times’ is a reasonable number for relative forcing H2O : CO2.
      4000/400 x 6 = 60 times the GHG effect, water vapour relative to CO2.
      I can’t trace the ‘1%’ source number but it would have to consider CFC’s and methane and black carbon particles and so on. 1% seems high as a fraction of the whole. Given that BC is about 3 times the effect of CO2, it is a small value.
      With the theoretical atmospheres of CO2 always showing a large temperature effect from the first 20 ppm, it pays to remember that that is in an atmosphere without water vapour – not a real example, in other words. Without any CO2 at all and no GHG’s except water on a frozen planet, there would still be sublimation of the ice to create water vapour in the atmosphere – lots of it. That means there is a lower limit on the temperature of the earth in the ‘absence of an atmosphere’ because no matter what, there would always be an atmosphere of water vapour and it is a heck of a good green house gas. Adding a little CO2 to a saturated absorption band isn’t going to add much.
      No wonder the CO2 is rising so quickly and the temperature isn’t responding at all. I think I need to find out what the temperature would be without any CO2 at all, just the rest. what is the equilibrium concentration of water vapour on snowball earth? Maybe that can’t be answered before finding out why there was a snowball in the first place. Because later there wasn’t.

  11. You blokes are a mob of wimps. The latest Royal Society and National Academy of Science report states that we could stop all human Co2 emissions today and there wouldn’t be a reduction in co2 levels or temp for thousands of years. See point 20 here—
    https://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/question-20/ And Kevin Trenberth is listed as one of the scientists writing this report. So PLEASE EXPLAIN? I mean claiming 5 years or 20 years or 100 years proves you’re just dipping your toe into this mystery. SARC.

    • Neville, as you may notice further on, I do disagree with Dr. Ball on a lot of points, as he confuses residence time and excess decay rates. But that doesn’t imply that the IPCC is right with their “thousands of years”. The current half life time for the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is ~40 years. That is measured. There is no measurable increase in decay rate over the past near 20 years, even a slight decrease. That means that the current 110 ppmv extra will get 55 ppmv after 40 years, 28 ppmv after 80 years, 14 ppmv after 120 years,… after ceasing all emissions.
      The long decay rates of the IPCC are based on a saturation of the deep ocean sinks, for which is not the slightest indication. One can calculate the distribution of all human emissions over the past 160 years (about 370 GtC) into the deep oceans (about 37000 GtC). When that is again in equilibrium with the atmosphere, the residual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere gets 1% or about 3 ppmv…

      • The current half life time for the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is ~40 years. That is measured. There is no measurable increase in decay rate over the past near 20 years, even a slight decrease.

        Measured by whom, where, how and when? At least in physics, chemistry and biology:
        1) ‘Half-life’ and ‘decay’ don’t mean the same.
        2) Was this measured with a scintillator, a mass spectrometer, over a petridish or somehow differently?
        3) What was the sample size and duration of the study/studies?
        4) How were the results treated to establish the conclusion?
        Modern scientific method and metrology respecting disciplines define study scope and design protocols to reduce measurement errors due to (un)known and/or (un)controllable variables. Surely meteorology and climatology don’t make an exception to this, right?

      • Any attempt to calculate the residency time of CO2 in the atmosphere is akin to one attempting to calculate the residency time of the daily commuters passing through Grand Central Station, NYC.

      • Jaakko, simple math will do.
        Based on ice cores and ocean chemistry (both in laboratories and direct measurements in the oceans), the equilibrium CO2 level between oceans and atmosphere for the current equilibrium would be around 290 ppmv.
        We are currently at around 400 ppmv in the atmosphere. That is 110 ppmv above equilibrium. The past 55 years of accurate CO2 measurements and reasonable accurate estimates from human emissions show that the net sink rate by nature is quite linear in ratio to the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere.
        Even when a lot of the underlying processes may be highly non-linear, the earth as a whole reacts like a simple first order process for the ratio between CO2 and temperature.
        For a linear process, the e-fold decay rate is initial excess / removal. Both are known and the e-fold rate didn’t change much in the past decades, see:
        http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

    • The latest Royal Society and National Academy of Science report states that we could stop all human Co2 emissions today and there wouldn’t be a reduction in co2 levels or temp for thousands of years.
      As anyone who reads that link will see you have ‘misquoted’ them and you are completely wrong.

      • Phil read their quote again. Here’s some of it, now tell me where I’m wrong?
        “20. If emissions of greenhouse gases were stopped, would the climate return to the conditions of 200 years ago?
        No. Even if emissions of greenhouse gases were to suddenly stop, Earth’s surface temperature would not cool and return to the level in the pre-industrial era for thousands of years.
        fig9-small
        Figure 9. If global emissions were to suddenly stop, it would take a long time for surface air temperatures and the ocean to begin to cool, because the excess CO2 in the atmosphere would remain there for a long time and would continue to exert a warming effect. Model projections show how atmospheric CO2 concentration (a), surface air temperature (b), and ocean thermal expansion (c) would respond following a scenario of business-as-usual emissions ceasing in 2300 (red), a scenario of aggressive emission reductions, falling close to zero 50 years from now (orange), and two intermediate emissions scenarios (green and blue). The small downward tick in temperature at 2300 is caused by the elimination of emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, including methane. Source: Zickfeld et al., 2013 (larger version)
        If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels due to its very slow transfer to the deep ocean and ultimate burial in ocean sediments. Surface temperatures would stay elevated for at least a thousand years, implying extremely long-term commitment to a warmer planet due to past and current emissions, and sea level would likely continue to rise for many centuries even after temperature stopped increasing (see Figure 9). Significant cooling would be required to reverse melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, which formed during past cold climates. The current CO2-induced “

      • Neville,
        The “thousands of years” is based on the Bern model, which implies a slowdown of the deep ocean sinks, which is mainly by the THC (thermohaline circulation) which sinks the cold, salty waters of the NE Atlantic and return them to the surface many centuries later in the equatorial Pacific.
        But there is not the slightest indication that the THC or the sink rate in general is decreasing. To the contrary, there is a slight increase in sink rate as vegetation turned from a slight source of CO2 (before 1990) to a slight sink since then.
        The calculated half life time from the current excess amount of CO2 is ~40 years. That means that after stopping all emissions, the 110 ppmv extra would be 55 ppmv after 40 years, 28 ppmv after 80 years, 14 ppmv after 120 years,… Without any sign of slowdown.
        Ultimately, a new equilibrium between deep ocean CO2 and atmospheric CO2 would be reached at a 1% higher level in the deep oceans and the atmosphere for all human CO2 emissions up to date: 3 ppmv higher than pre-industrial. That is all…

    • Trenberth was the scientist who proclaimed a few years ago that the severe cyclones would increase in strength due to “global warming”. In reality the number and total strength (areas*wind speed*duration) halved in the past years…
      Not a very good track record of predictions…
      Solomon was one of the authors of the ozone hole – CFC link, but there is something wrong with the proposed chemistry (too slow to explain the hole)…

      • (too slow to explain the hole)…

        DUH, something that has been there forever ….. doesn’t require a new explanation.
        Especially given the fact that said “hole” once encompassed the entire atmosphere surrounding the earth.

  12. It is a sad thing that what was once called Climatology, a discipline of applied physics, is now Climate Science, a discipline of Creationism — the Young Earth — Man created the Earth, Atmosphere, Sun, Galaxy and all therein — Man at the Center of Creation — The Anthropocene, a religion.

  13. I am amazed at the ability of IPCC to come to a consensus on the present state of scientific knowledge or opinion on climate change .
    I have just looked up the number of journals relevant to climate change and modelling from the book “Climate Change Modelling Primer” (McGuffie and Henderson – Sellers) to get some idea of the most prominent journals . At least 12 are listed in the bibliography and I am sure there are more . Given , say , 12 issues a year , 30 papers per issue , and allowing 7 years since the IPCC 2007 , then that is at least 30,000 papers of which , 20%? are relevant to GHG , climate change and modelling . So 6000 papers to be analysed for Paris 2015.
    You have all seen how detailed those papers can be , and how much controversy each can arouse on this site , so how did the IPCC committee organise their deliberations and arrive at a summary?
    Perhaps the deliberations next time could be televised for a global audience , since they in the end will be paying for the exercise and its proposed actions. Who could object to that?

    • PS . As an illustration of the magnitude of the task , take a “much commented” article from Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics” ( an open access journal) , a review of of recent advances in understanding sea ice change by Doscher et al
      :http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/13571/2014/acp-14-13571-2014.pdf
      This is 30 pages of densely argued observations and theory . Perhaps persons of distinction of the IPCC committee like Mann and Jones can speed read it , extract the essentials and convey them to the rest around the table before their coffee gets cold , but I think that many would take much longer to digest and debate just this one paper . – and there may be thousands more to get through .

      • mikewaite

        PS . As an illustration of the magnitude of the task , take a “much commented” article from Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics” ( an open access journal) , a review of of recent advances in understanding sea ice change by Doscher et al
        :http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/13571/2014/acp-14-13571-2014.pdf
        This is 30 pages of densely argued observations and theory . Perhaps persons of distinction of the IPCC committee like Mann and Jones can speed read it , extract the essentials and convey them to the rest around the table before their coffee gets cold , but I think that many would take much longer to digest and debate just this one paper . – and there may be thousands more to get through .

        Nah.
        Of the 30 pages, the last 9 were a list of references. So you only have to read the first 21. And the abstract and conclusion repeat them selves, so you can ignore page 21 as well. (And I had already read most of the references (or their abstracts, or their summaries elsewhere), so I didn’t have to download all of those.) Regardless, I started reading it at 11:15, and finished at 11:34. But that did include two stops to refill my coffee cup, so others may be a bit faster.
        Now, I did find 32 specific technical points or measurements or “extrapolations” where I disagreed with with the broad strokes of the writers in either detail or implications. Writing those disagreements up would take several good evening’s work.
        Thank you for the paper. Three good details were found that I need to look into further: Winds (atmospheric movement of heat) from the Arctic LAND onto the Arctic ice surface (from 60-70 north (land surfaces newly-greened by today’s CO2 levels) to 70-80 north (the Arctic sea ice areas) were responsible for most of the Arctic’s heat balance.
        Their cloud feedback (LW, SW, albedo feedback) was interesting – but incomplete as well.
        The water circulation changes and background data was useful. I’ve got to think about the reported changes in sea ice movement.
        Overall. Simplistic, incomplete, misleading. Exaggerated.
        When you read the details of the internal paragraphs, negative feedbacks and uncertainly dominate every projection of the arctic into the future. But these were, of course, ignored in the conclusions and abstract – as usual.
        There were no new experiments reported that were useful. Nice comparison of the traces of the only two ships reported which drifted across the Arctic sea ice.
        Cloud and albedo changes and feedbacks contradicted what the Antarctic writers report for the same conditions of sea ice and open water: Open water gets much more cloud coverage than sea ice, clouds over sea ice increase the albedo of sea ice significantly, melt ponds albedo at low solar elevation angles in the artic mean there is almost NO “excess” heat energy absorbed at low sun angles, increased LW heat loss from the open ocean as mentioned in one sentence, but increased evaporation, convection, and conduction losses from the open ocean are ignored.
        Bottom line?
        The Royal Society in December 2014 contradicted the entire “message” of this paper (no doubt prepared specifically for the 2015 Paris CAGE conference to force economic disaster on the world) when it concluded that there is no year-to-year “feedback” of Arctic sea ice fromone melt season to the next year’s sea ice area.
        There were no surprises in LW or SW calc’s. The sea ice albedo calc’s were incomplete and misleading – as you would expect. Arctic amplification due to the melting sea ice was repeated some 16 times, but never calculated.
        Massive (25% to 35%) increases in Antarctic sea ice expansion since 1992 was ignored. As you would expect.

  14. Dr. Ball,
    We have been there before, but there are so many errors in what you wrote that I even don’t know where to begin…
    To have a head start: the residence time has nothing to do with the decay time for an excess injection of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    The formula for residence time is:
    Amount in the atmosphere / throughput (or input or output):
    800 GtC / 150 GtC/year = ~5 years
    The formula for e-fold decay time is:
    Surplus above equilibrium / net sink rate:
    110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = ~51 years or a half life time of ~40 years.
    It is the same difference as between the turnover of capital in a factory or bank and the gain or loss of that capital or bank at the end of the year. Very little to nothing to do with each other. Even if the turnover triples or halves, that can give more gain or more loss or even turn a loss in a gain or reverse…
    That doesn’t mean that the IPCC is right: the very long decay rates are based on the Bern model, which implies a saturation of the sinks into the deep oceans, for which is not the slightest indication and there is no saturation of plant growth at all: more CO2 in the atmosphere gives more uptake by plants. But using the residence time by skeptics to “prove” that any extra CO2 is fast captured is equally wrong.
    Then the ice core CO2 levels and variability against stomata data; ice cores show the real, global CO2 level averaged over the resolution time. The resolution time depends of the snow accumulation rate at the site where the core is drilled. The resolution varies from less than a decade for the past 150 years (Law Dome, coastal) to 600 years for the past 42,000 years (Vostok, high altitude inland) and 560 years for the past 800,000 years (Dome C, high altitude inland). Thus the CO2 data are averaged, but that doesn’t change the average over the period of resolution.
    Stomata data are proxies derived from plants growing over land in an atmosphere with highly variable CO2 levels. That gives a local bias which can be calibrated over the past century against direct measurements and ice cores. But there is not the slightest guarantee that the local bias didn’t change over the centuries. Thus the higher local variability may give an indication of more global variability, but if the average CO2 level over the resolution period of the ice cores differs, then the stomata data are certainly wrong.
    Then the estimates of natural CO2 production: that has very little to do with the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere per year:
    Increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural emissions – natural sinks
    4.5 GtC = 9 GtC + X GtC – Y GtC
    Increase in the atmosphere/year = 9 GtC – 4.5 GtC = 4.5 GtC
    No matter what X and Y were or how much any individual natural influx or outflux of CO2 changed in any year.
    I know Bart doesn’t agree, as a theoretical 4-fold increase in natural circulation and a very fast reaction of the sinks could have the same effect, but there is not the slightest indication that the residence time decreased a 4-fold over time (as would be the case if the throughput increased), to the contrary.
    Of course there is some natural variability in the sink rate, but that is quite modest: about half the current human emissions:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg
    note that it is a variability in net natural sink rate, not source rate!
    Then Tom Quirk: the lack of time delays between the hemispheres
    Tom Quirk used a method to detect “delays” which doesn’t make a difference between 12 months, 24 months, 36 months leads or lags… If you plot the yearly averages of CO2:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_trends_1995_2004.jpg
    and δ13C:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/d13c_trends.jpg
    It is very clear that there is an extra source of low-13C in the NH. As the biosphere is a net sink for low-13C CO2, that is not the cause of the δ13C decline. Human emissions are for 90% in the NH…
    Then There is no evidence that the surface waters are “getting full”.
    Sorry Dr. Ball, if you had even the slightest notice of carbonate chemistry, you should know that the oceans are a buffer for CO2, but every buffer can get saturated. The saturation of slightly basic ocean water is about 10 times higher than for fresh water, but still any change in the ocean surface waters is only 10% of the change in the atmosphere: 100% increase in the atmosphere gives a 100% increase of free CO2 in the oceans (per Henry’s law), but free CO2 is only 1% of all CO2 in the ocean surface, the rest are bicarbonates and carbonates. The total increase thus is 10% after all equilibrium reactions are settled. That is the Revelle/buffer factor.
    The Revelle factor is measured at a lot of ocean surface places. So is the increase of total inorganic carbon (DIC).
    It is also very likely that the current increase is entirely natural.
    And the extra CO2 caused by human emissions just disappears in space? Sorry, but no carbon can be destroyed or made from nothing (at least not chemically). If humans emit twice the increase in the atmosphere, the natural cause must have increased a fourfold in the past 55 years, completely in lockstep with human emissions. You may believe that, but I think that is just wishful thinking…

    • Many thanks for providing a needed sanity check.
      I assume that you have expanded on most of that comment in your series of which this is the fourth installment. I commend it to the attention of all. Without having re-read all of it, I don’t recall your having explained the following.
      “Stomata data are proxies derived from plants growing over land in an atmosphere with highly variable CO2 levels. That gives a local bias which can be calibrated over the past century against direct measurements and ice cores. But there is not the slightest guarantee that the local bias didn’t change over the centuries. Thus the higher local variability may give an indication of more global variability, but if the average CO2 level over the resolution period of the ice cores differs, then the stomata data are certainly wrong.”
      As to that I believe my fellow lurkers would find a further explanation here.
      I for one greatly appreciate the patience with which you respond when the rest of us get in over our heads.

      • Joe Born, thanks for you comment…
        The main problem for stomata data is that the local CO2 levels can change over time, depending of land use changes over the centuries in the main wind direction. One of the main spots used for stomata data in The Netherlands has seen a tremendous change in landscape over the centuries: sea and marches, polders, agriculture, then forests (for the coal mines), industry and traffic all in the past 1000 years. Even the main wind direction may have changed over the centuries, e.g. between the MWP and the LIA and back to the current warm period…
        Have a look at the monthly averaged data from Giessen (SW Germany), semi rural, where there is a continuous sampling of CO2, compared to Mauna Loa (Antarctica has even less seasonal variability):
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/giessen_mlo_monthly.jpg
        The number of stomata are formed in the new leaves based on the average CO2 level over the previous growing season (according to Tom van Hoof, stomata specialist in The Netherlands).
        Thus while stomata data have a better resolution than ice cores, their variability and especially the absolute levels should be taken with a grain of salt…

      • Thank you for your response, and sorry I caused it; I had intended by somehow failed to include this link to a previous occasion in which you had addressed that issue.
        But, then, you’re accustomed to being forced to repeat yourself.
        Thanks again.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen February 23, 2015 at 9:37 am

        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/giessen_mlo_monthly.jpg
        The number of stomata are formed in the new leaves based on the average CO2 level over the previous growing season (according to Tom van Hoof, stomata specialist in The Netherlands).
        Thus while stomata data have a better resolution than ice cores, their variability and especially the absolute levels should be taken with a grain of salt…

        Unless you can present a ….. Stomata Proxy Count for the same exact locale and the same exact 160 months since 1.1995 ….. that is plotted on the above cited graph of CO2 ……. then your above commentary on this subject is highly questionable to say the least.
        Prove your claim that …… “stomata numbers ‘track’ the average CO2 level over the previous 160 months growing seasons”.
        Iffen Tom van Hoof produced such a “160 month stomata-CO2” graph then present it for our inspection.

      • Samuel,
        Here the calibration curve for oak leaves from St. Odiliënberg, South Netherlands, not the same place as Giessen (Germany) but quite similar semi-rural:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/stomata.jpg
        That shows the troubles with stomata data: if you measure a stomata index of 7%, the CO2 levels can be between 320-360 ppmv, or reverse: if the real average was around 320 ppmv, the stomata index is between 7% and 11%, or near the full calibration scale. That is for the period of calibration (the CO2 levels are from high resolution ice cores, firn and direct measurements). What about outside the calibration period?
        Compare that with the repeatability of ice core measurements for the same part of the core: 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) or maximum 5 ppmv for different ice cores for the same average gas age for ice cores with extreme differences in temperature and accumulation rate…

      • Samuel,
        I think that one isn’t a junk scientist because he believes in one or another proxy. The point is that every method that tries to reproduce the past has its own strengths and weaknesses.
        For ice cores, the accuracy and reproducibility are excellent, but the resolution is average to poor.
        For stomata data, the accuracy and reproducibility are poor, but the resolution is excellent to good.
        Thus if the stomata data are recalibrated for the past periods against ice cores over the same period, they may give more insight in the local variability of CO2 levels. But still local variability, not necessary global variability…
        What says that about me? Nothing, besides that I try to filter out what is reasonable and what not…

    • Sorry Dr. Ball, if you had even the slightest notice of carbonate chemistry, …

      When I was a pup, you couldn’t get any kind of science degree without at least some chemistry. Ferdinand’s statement is no better than a gratuitous insult and thus merits no respect.

      … but free CO2 is only 1% of all CO2 in the ocean surface, the rest are bicarbonates and carbonates.

      Either the bicarbonates and carbonates don’t matter or Ferdinand has to explain why they do. Why, for instance, does a bottle of soda stay fizzy forever. (The free CO2 doesn’t magically transform into carbonates and bicarbonates in the bottle.)

      • Commiebob, I have a B.Sc. degree in chemistry. Even if I was never involved in ocean chemistry and most of my analytical chemistry knowledge is from many years ago, that still is sufficient to know that the oceans are a weak buffer for CO2 and that the surface is in fast equilibrium with the atmosphere, as the exchange rate between atmosphere and ocean surface (the “mixed” layer) is quite rapid (less than a year half life time).
        CO2 in water reacts to form carbonic acid, that is in equilibrium with bicarbonate ions + hydrogen ions and that is in equilibrium with carbonate ions and again hydrogen ions. The equilibrium between the three forms of carbon (free CO2 and carbonic acid lumped together) thus depends of the H+ concentration, the pH.
        The solubility of CO2 in fresh water at 0.0004 bar pressure in the atmosphere is a few mg/l. In fresh water, 99% is free CO2/carbonic acid, 1% is bicarbonate, virtually no carbonate. The pH is slightly acid.
        The solubility of CO2 in seawater is about 10 times higher, as part of the CO2 is moving into bicarbonates and carbonates: only 1% still is free CO2, 90% is bicarbonate and 9% is carbonate. The pH is slightly alkaline.
        Your soda is saturated with 6-7 bar of CO2 to push a few grams of CO2 into the soda, that is over 10,000 times the atmospheric pressure of CO2… Again it is near all free CO2, especially for fruit drinks where stronger acids (citric acid) or cola’s where a very strong acid (phosphoric acid) is added.
        Thus it is the pH which gives the distribution between CO2, bicarbonates and carbonates in water. Does that matter for the saturation? Yes, if CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the solubility of CO2 in fresh water simply follows the atmosphere, but still is minimal. For the ocean surface, the solubility of CO2 is a lot higher, but stops at a 10% change in total carbon (CO2 + bicarbonate + carbonate), compared to the atmosphere.
        See further the Bjerrum plot, which gives the relative ratio between the carbon species in water, depending of the pH:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjerrum_plot
        Some more chemistry about CO2 in seawater:
        http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/courses/OCN623/Spring2012/CO2pH.pdf
        and if you like, here the equations behind the Revelle/buffer factor of seawater:
        http://www.eng.warwick.ac.uk/staff/gpk/Teaching-undergrad/es427/Exam%200405%20Revision/Ocean-chemistry.pdf

    • The formula for e-fold decay time is:
      Surplus above equilibrium / net sink rate:
      110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = ~51 years or a half life time of ~40 years.

      Which one (1) of the following years/decades was the aforesaid “atmospheric CO2 equilibrium” determined ….. and who authorized the making of that “choice”?
      year ——————— CO2 ppm – % increase — increase/decade year
      Decade end 1940 – ____ 300 ppm est.
      Decade end 1950 – ____ 310 ppm – 3.3% (avg 1.0 ppm/year)
      Decade end 1960 – ____ 316 ppm – 1.9% (avg 0.6 ppm/year)
      Decade end 1970 – ____ 325 ppm – 2.8% (avg 0.9 ppm/year)
      Decade end 1980 – ____ 338 ppm – 4.0% (avg 1.3 ppm/year)
      Decade end 1990 – ____ 354 ppm – 4.7% (avg 1.6 ppm/year)
      Decade end 2000 – ____ 369 ppm – 4.2% (avg 1.5 ppm/year)
      Decade end 2010 – ____ 389 ppm – 5.4% (avg 2.0 ppm/year)
      Year end _ 2014 – ____ 398 ppm – 2.3% (avg 2.2 ppm/year)
      Total 64 years – +98 ppm – 32.7% (avg 1.5 ppm/year)
      Is science fiction better than no fiction?

      • The equilibrium between CO2 and temperature over the past 800,000 years didn’t change much: about 8 ppmv/K. For the current average temperature, the equilibrium is about 290 ppmv in the atmosphere. That can be measured in laboratories and direct measurements in the oceans…

      • It would be useful to overlay decadal manmade CO2 emissions. That would show that the change in CO2 levels does not statistically correlate with manmade emissions pf CO2.

      • Richard, see here:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_cur.jpg
        If you look at the rate of change per year, or even per decade, you are correlating a lot of noise caused by temperature variations. But that are temperature driven processes in (mainly tropical) vegetation, while the up going trend is not from vegetation, as vegetation is a net, increasing absorber of CO2 over the past decades. In this case, correlation is of the cause of the variability, not of the cause of the trend…

      • @ richard verney February 23, 2015 at 10:27 pm

        It would be useful to overlay decadal manmade CO2 emissions.

        Richard, given these factual statistics, to wit:
        Increases in World Population & Atmospheric CO2 by Decade
        year — world popul. – % incr. — Dec CO2 ppm – % incr. — avg increase/year
        1940 – 2,300,000,000 est. ___ ____ 300 ppm est.
        1950 – 2,556,000,053 – 11.1% ____ 310 ppm – 3.3% —— 1.0 ppm/year
        1960 – 3,039,451,023 – 18.9% ____ 316 ppm – 1.9% —— 0.6 ppm/year
        1970 – 3,706,618,163 – 21.9% ____ 325 ppm – 2.8% —— 0.9 ppm/year
        1980 – 4,453,831,714 – 20.1% ____ 338 ppm – 4.0% —– 1.3 ppm/year
        1990 – 5,278,639,789 – 18.5% ____ 354 ppm – 4.7% —– 1.6 ppm/year
        2000 – 6,082,966,429 – 15.2% ____ 369 ppm – 4.2% —– 1.5 ppm/year
        2010 – 6,809,972,000 – 11.9% ____ 389 ppm – 5.4% —– 2.0 ppm/year
        2012 – 7,057,075,000 – 3.62% ____ 394 ppm – 1.3% —– 2.5 ppm/year
        Based on the above statistics, to wit:
        Fact #1 – In 70 years – world population increased 207% – CO2 increased 31.3%
        Fact #2 – Atmospheric CO2 has been steadily and consistently increasing at a rate of 1 to 2 ppm per year for the past 70 years as per Mauna Loa records, …… whereas human generated CO2 releases have been increasing exponentially every year for the past 70 years.
        Richard, iffen the world’s population has been increasing exponentially during the past 70 years …. then human emissions of CO2 has been increasing exponentially during the past 70 years …… therefore this graph presented by Ferdinand, in respect to the aforesaid, is bogus, to wit:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_cur.jpg
        Simply because …. exponential increases in CO2 emissions DO NOT translate to linear increases in CO2 emissions …. as is portrayed on his cited graph.
        And iffen one includes the accumulated totals of human emitted CO2 over the past 70 years, …… based on their “claimed residency time” in the atmosphere, ….. then any said claims in reference to said cited graph is surely highly questionable if not utterly bogus. Said cited graph should portray a distinct “upward curve” that reflects the aforesaid increases.
        People who mix in apples, oranges and rutabagas, stir them all together and then claim they are serving potato salad, ……. simply irritate me.

      • Samuel,
        Both human emissions and increase in the atmosphere is slightly quadratic, the net result is that the “airborne fraction” remains fairly constant with the emissions. See here for the accumulated emissions and the increase in the atmosphere:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
        There may be some remote correlation with the increased population, but the trend is directly related to the global emissions…

      • Ferdinand, was that lime flavored Jell-O you had nailed to the wall for your above graph?
        By the way, it looked more pediatric than triradic to me. But iffen you want to claim its quasiradic, that’s ok with me.

    • The extra CO2 from human emissions is a small fraction of the natural flow. It disappears into the same place the natural flows disappear.
      “If humans emit twice the increase in the atmosphere, the natural cause must have increased a fourfold in the past 55 years, completely in lockstep with human emissions. You may believe that, but I think that is just wishful thinking…”
      This shows your underappreciation of feedback systems and how they operate. In a feedback system, the flow automatically adjusts to be just what it needs to be to satisfy the boundary conditions.
      For example, if you set your home thermostat to 21C, then the temperature is going to stay at 21C, no matter if you light a candle somewhere or turn on a stove eye or put in a hard workout. If you adjust the thermostat upwards in increments of 0.1C every hour, then 10 hours later, it will be 22C. There is nothing remarkable about the fact that the input heat is exactly what is needed to raise the level 1C – the number dialed into the thermostat governs it.
      There is a governor for CO2 in the atmosphere, too. And, the boundary conditions with the interfaces to oceans and land determine the level which is “dialed in”.

      • Bart,
        You know a lot more about the theory behind feedbacks than me, but I doubt that you have much experience with real life feedbacks.
        Most natural inputs and outputs are temperature driven: seasonal changes (150 GtC in and out in a few months, 5 ppmv for 1°C temperature change), short living disturbances like Pinatubo and El Niño (2-3 GtC in or out over 2-3 years or 4-5 ppmv/°C) and very long changes (MWP-LIA, ice ages – interglacials, over many decades to many millennia at 8 ppmv/°C).
        Some release processes are not temperature driven: volcanoes and human emissions.
        Neither for vegetation nor for the oceans is there any reason to absorb any extra human (or volcanic) CO2 if the (seasonal or 2-3 years) temperature didn’t change: the main sink processes are temperature driven, especially the huge in/out fluxes over the seasons. Only if the atmospheric CO2 pressure increases beyond the temperature change, then some extra CO2 will be taken away by the oceans and vegetation. Thus you need extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere first, before extra CO2 can get in the sinks.
        That can be from extra ocean upwelling, for which is not the slightest indication (to the contrary) or from humans (other sources are too slow or too small or have the wrong 13C/12C ratio). In the first case, temperature plays a very minor role, in the second case, no role at all. In both cases, the sink rate doesn’t follow the source rate, or there wouldn’t be an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        Your example is not what your theory says: your theory says that if you increase the thermostat’s setpoint with 1°C, that the heating goes on indefinitely without stopping at the new temperature, thus no feedback from the increased temperature to the thermostat/burner…
        What you always seems to forget is that the feedback in the real world is from the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere: that suppresses the influx from the oceans, whatever the temperature increase or influx increase and increases the outflux into the oceans and vegetation, whatever the cause of the increase…

      • A more appropriate analogy would be to increase the insulation in your home and maintain the same heat input to the home, then the temperature will go up until the losses balance the input.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ February 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm
        “…but I doubt that you have much experience with real life feedbacks.”
        Oh, believe me… If I didn’t, you would know it. The catastrophes would make international news.
        Phil. @ February 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm
        “A more appropriate analogy would be to increase the insulation in your home and maintain the same heat input to the home, then the temperature will go up until the losses balance the input.”
        I can’t make my wife seem to understand the concept of a thermostat, either. She can’t get it out of her head that turning it up higher doesn’t make it get warmer, faster. And, then she just has to turn it back down again. I’ve given up trying to explain.

  15. The IPCC is not pursuing “their self-assigned role”.
    The IPCC was established to support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UNFCCC has the explicitly stated objective to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. The IPCC has no role and no right to question the founding UNFCCC assumption.
    Perhaps if people understood better that it’s job is to find evidence supporting the preconceptions of the UNFCCC they would stop thinking that it’s meant to be impartial. It duty-bound to stretch the utmost limits of partiality. It is an advocate for its client.
    You don’t expect the opposing lawyer to defend your case nor even to be fair to you, and if you did you would get what you deserve. Stop being offended that that the IPCC does its job. Draw attention to it. People are lazy but they aren’t stupid; they will understand.

    • Even it is bogus?
      Their mission is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.
      100ppm increase in CO2 and no increase in temp. and the northern climes (Canada) are experiencing the coldest winter in recorded history.
      Go talk to the sun. Get a life.

  16. It’s always been a political issue, not a “science” issue. There’s a long list of poltical issues in the enviro world folks use to further their agendas ranging from Silent Spring, to Alar to — well, just about everything the modern enviro “movements” push out of their groups.
    Combating them takes a different approach with most “skeptics” loath, afraid or not willing to expend the energy to engage them in their arena. Nearly all the political classes are OK with more political control (doh?) which is why, after 6 decades of truly horrible “enviro science”, they’re still winning. Travel around, count the windmills; look at the shuttered coal facillities; etc.
    Only when their failures are spectacular from their killing of anilmals (birds for example), frozen corpses, starvation and general misery will the political class lose their fascination with the power of controlling, taxing and distribution of basic energy. Something like the scenes from the movies where the villagers light torches and storm the castle.

    • “Only when their failures are spectacular […] will the political class lose their fascination with the power of controlling, taxing and distribution of basic energy.”
      That’s funny. They won’t lose their fascination; they will assume they haven’t been doing it hard enough.

  17. The first quote in your article, from the 2001 IPCC report, has been taken out of context, and completely misrepresents the intention of the writer. Here is the same sentence, with the following sentence added: “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.”

    • SteveB

      “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.”

      OK. So which models are correct? Do we “evolve out” the 21 that have failed the past 30 years? If so, why are they wrong?
      The 2 that are almost right. Why are they different? If only 2 out of 23 are “almost right” (in truth, even these 2 of 23 are only 5% “almost right”, why should we believe you?
      When only 2 of 23 are within 5% of predicting actual trends over 18 years of flat global average temperatures, why is the “average” of the remaining wrong ones any more reliable than reading tea leaves?

      • What the IPCC report was trying to say is that they have to use ensembles to make predictions. By leaving out that second sentence, the quote was misunderstood.
        Of course I agree with you that the ensemble predictions have failed so far, and are unlikely to be of any value. The disagreement between the models and the data are significant, and I think fundamental. But that doesn’t mean that one should take one of the IPCC quotes out of context. We should operate on a higher level.

  18. Assuming the top of the ocean is “getting full” when the level of atmospheric CO2 is 400 ppm, I would suppose that the historical data would show an immediate upturn in atmospheric CO2 every time the level was rising and went higher than 400 ppm.
    Does the historical data show that?

    • This one is for Ferdinand no doubt he has the data as he notes:
      “Sorry Dr. Ball, if you had even the slightest notice of carbonate chemistry, you should know that the oceans are a buffer for CO2, but every buffer can get saturated.”
      And the answer is?

      • If the oceans can get saturated, it won’t be at current or projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
        CO2 has been up to ≈20X higher in the geologic past, without the oceans saturating. That’s ≈8,000 ppm. Now it’s at only ≈400 ppm.
        There are other things to worry about, such as aliens attaking from Mars, or zombies. Those would be more likely than the oceans saturating due to atmospheric CO2.

      • Newsel,
        See above
        The main point is that the ocean surface is in fast chemical equilibrium with the atmosphere, at about 10% of the atmospheric change. That is a lot more CO2 than for fresh water, but still limited in capacity.
        The ocean surface layer is estimated at ~1000 GtC, the atmosphere at ~800 GtC. The 30% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere thus has increased the carbon content of the ocean surface layer with 3% or ~30 GtC. That is all.
        The total buffer capacity of the ocean surface still is not used, but the equilibrium with the current increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is followed quite fast, with a delay of 1-3 years.
        The main buffer capacity of the oceans is in the deep oceans, where most of the carbon resides. But the problem is the limited exchange between the atmosphere and the deep oceans. Thus it takes time to remove any excess CO2 above the dynamic equilibrium out of the atmosphere… For vegetation, the extra storage in more permanent carbon (roots, peat, humus, -brown-coal) is even slower…

      • Thus it takes time to remove any excess CO2 above the dynamic equilibrium out of the atmosphere…

        So, ….. “dynamic equilibriums” are really not dynamic simply because “it takes time” to get them fired up to get them going.
        I see, …. I see”, ……. said the blind man.
        And iffen there is no excess CO2 in the atmosphere above said “dynamic equilibrium” then there will be no rainfall, …… right?

      • Samuel,
        Dynamic equilibrium, according to Wiki (sometimes reliable, except for things climate related):
        A dynamic equilibrium exists once a reversible reaction ceases to change its ratio of reactants/products, but substances move between the chemicals at an equal rate, meaning there is no net change. It is a particular example of a system in a steady state.
        Thus while still lots of CO2 is exchanged between the atmosphere and other reservoirs, the levels in the atmosphere don’t change anymore beyond some natural variability. If the levels are above the temperature controlled equilibrium, it takes time to remove the extra CO2 and reach again a new dynamic equilibrium at the same level as before or a new level, depending of the source and quantities involved.

  19. I’ve said on numerous occasions, the only way to expose this climate change fraud and deception is through the legal system … testing the evidence of the IPCC and its scientific spokesmen who are fuelling this deception and fraud. Failing that, it requires an official inquiry such as the calling of a Royal Commission like those held in say the UK, Australia and New Zealand, or a in the US, a Congressional Hearing in which the IPCC can be held to account for its work, and where the counter evidence of the sceptic scientific community may be considered.

  20. “Economic Systems: The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man’s stewardship of the environment. But we know that’s not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.
    At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
    “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.”
    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021015-738779-climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism.htm

  21. It’s a shame to see all the resources that have been wasted on the diversion of ‘carbon pollution instead of honest exploration of the entire, complex climate system and it’s relationship to the heliospheric environment. This macro-focus on selected feedbacks has produced little empirical science or remedial benefit, and it is obvious to the unbiased thinker that a greater perspective of our climate system must be achieved before we can quantify the existence and magnitude of anthropological forcing.

  22. A more sluggish ocean circulation and increased density stratification, both expected in a warmer climate, would slow down the vertical transport of carbon, alkalinity and nutrients, and the replenishment of the ocean surface with water that has not yet been in contact with anthropogenic CO2. This narrowing of the ‘bottleneck’ for anthropogenic CO2 invasion into the ocean would provide a significant positive feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (Bolin and Eriksson, 1959).
    Isn’t that opposite to the recent hypothesis that the “missing heat” has been transported to deep ocean?

    • The heat can get there, but the CO2 can not, is apparently the CAGW claim. I would think many factors can contribute to the ability of the claimed surface water CO2 bottleneck to change. I doubt that the system is linear at all concentrations. At any rate there is no evidence of dangerous acidification” of the oceans, and the longer the CO2 stays in the atmosphere, the better for plants, forests, and crops. The C in all CAGW claims is once again MIA.

  23. The Disparity Between IPCC Science Reports, Summary For Policymakers and Reality, Requires a Political Science Solution

    I think the disparity was the “political science solution”.

  24. “That is a ±33% error factor. Would a media outlet use results from a political poll with such an error range?”
    I’m ROFL, remembering the botched polls before the last BC provincial election.
    I’m always suspicious of error bands, but I have not studied how they are calculated.
    I haven’t heard a credible explanation for the botch, my guesses include that people don’t give straight answers and a significant proportion of the population is not included (those who have only a cellular phone, those usually aren’t listed, in the US over 25%, Canada not as high but increasing).
    Your context is different but ….

  25. Friends:
    I commend the above rational and factual essay from Tim Ball.
    The article has engendered much discussion but the debate has ignored what I consider to be the most important statement in the article, and it says

    Tom Quirk concludes in “Sources and Sinks of Carbon Dioxide” that

    The constancy of seasonal variations in CO2 and the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted. This implies that natural variability of the climate is the prime cause of increasing CO2, not the emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels.

    Yes! And we made the same observation in one of our 2005 papers
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )
    Salby has said the same.
    The arguments in the above discussion reprise arguments repeatedly made on WUWT and elsewhere. I most recently summarised them on WUWT and I ask that people note the reprise says “If the sinks don’t fill then the anthropogenic overload hypothesis is falsified”. That reprise ishere and says
    There are three main categories of opinion as to the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. I itemise each of them.
    1. The anthropogenic overload hypothesis.
    Many people (e.g. Ferdinand Engelbeen, the IPCC, Robert Brown, Willis Eschenbach) observe the annual emission of CO2 from human activities (i.e. the anthropogenic CO2 emission) is greater than the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration and say this suggests the anthropogenic emission is overloading the system such as to cause the rise. For convenience I am calling this the anthropogenic overload hypothesis.
    The three main problems with this hypothesis are:
    (a) the anthropogenic CO2 emission is only ~2% of the total (i.e. natural and anthropogenic) emission each year and few natural processes are significantly overloaded by such a small change as 2%. This is especially important because the anthropogenic emission is locally emitted and natural local emissions vary by more than this. This local variation is clearly demonstrated by the preliminary OCO2 data for atmospheric CO2 concentration plotted here and here where the anthropogenic emission from e.g. Europe is not discernible.
    (b) In some years, almost all of the anthropogenic CO2 emission seems to be absorbed into the sinks for CO2, and in other years almost none seems to be absorbed. The overloading should exist or not and not be intermittent. Supporters of the hypothesis smooth the data to obtain an apparent fit between the anthropogenic emission and the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
    (c) Importantly, the observed dynamics of the system are not as would be expected by overloading of the sinks for CO2. This is the data for atmospheric CO2 concentration as recorded at Mauna Loa. The annual rise is the residual of the seasonal variation each year. The seasonal variation has a clear ‘saw tooth’ form: it rises rapidly and almost linearly then falls rapidly and almost linearly. There is no reduced rate of fall as the sinks for CO2 fill and, clearly, they do not fill prior to the rapid transition to seasonal rise in atmospheric CO2. Other CO2 measurement sites show the same effect. If the sinks don’t fill then the anthropogenic overload hypothesis is falsified.
    The only rational opposition to this conclusion I have seen was provided by Robert Brown in a WUWT post. I have failed to find that post so cannot link to it and will explain my understanding of the opposition anticipating that Robert Brown will correct me if my understanding is wrong. He points out that electrical circuits can provide similar ‘saw tooth’ signals by use of components such as capacitors which can switch from being electrical absorbers and emitters (as some mechanisms in the carbon cycle switch from being absorbers to emitters with the seasons). Hence, an analogue computer model of the carbon cycle could probably emulate the Mauna Loa data. Perhaps so, but it is hard to equate such switching with the anthropogenic overload hypothesis.
    2. The disturbed equilibrium hypothesis.
    Some people (e.g. me, Arthur Rorsch) think the carbon cycle is constantly moving towards an equilibrium which it never achieves and something has altered the equilibrium state with the result of the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
    In this hypothesis, the cause of the rise is the cause of the changed equilibrium to the carbon cycle. The human emissions of CO2 may have caused the changed equilibrium or e.g. temperature rise in past decades may have changed the equilibrium. Some processes of the carbon cycle system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to the new equilibrium.
    And the observed dynamics of the carbon cycle fit with this.
    The seasonal variation in atmospheric CO2 is provided by effects of processes with rapid (i.e. hours, days, weeks, months) rate contents responding to the changing seasons
    while
    the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 is provided by effects of processes with long (i.e. years, decades, centuries) rate contents responding to altered temperature or anthropogenic emission or etc..
    Using this hypothesis, the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration can be modelled as having an entirely natural cause, an entirely anthropogenic cause, or some combination of natural and anthropogenic causes.
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )
    Each of the six models in this paper matches the available empirical data without use of any ‘fiddle-factor’ such as the ‘5-year smoothing’ the IPCC uses to get its model to agree with the empirical data.
    So, if one of the six models of this paper is adopted then there is a 5:1 probability that the choice is wrong. And other models are probably also possible. And the six models each give a different indication of future atmospheric CO2 concentration for the same future anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide.
    Data that fits all the possible causes is not evidence for the true cause. Data that only fits the true cause would be evidence of the true cause. But the above findings demonstrate that there is no data that only fits either an anthropogenic or a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Hence, the only factual statements that can be made on the true cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration are
    (i) the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration may have an anthropogenic cause, or a natural cause, or some combination of anthropogenic and natural causes,
    but
    (ii) there is no evidence that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a mostly anthropogenic cause or a mostly natural cause.
    3. The temperature response hypothesis.
    Other people (e.g. Bart) say the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration can be explained as being a result of temperature change. And the clear relationship of CO2 and temperature over short times is said to support this hypothesis.
    It can be hoped that he OCO2 data will indicate the evolution of atmospheric CO2 concentration across the planet with the seasons. If so, then it may be capable of resolving which – if any – of the three above hypotheses is correct.
    Richard

    • Richard,
      Your “most important statement in the article” was completely refuted times ago: there is a huge delay of CO2 increase and δ13C decrease between the SH and the NH: 6 months with altitude and 12 months between the hemispheres. See my response here
      The source of the extra CO2 clearly is in the NH and has a low 13C/12C ratio that are verifiable facts.
      1.a) The current human emissions are already 6% of the natural emissions and still increasing. What some skeptics always seem to forget is that there are also natural sinks and that there are hardly any human sinks. Thus while humans provide 6% of the total emissions, humans provide 0% of the total sinks, except for their part in the increase in the atmosphere, which is about 100%. That makes that humans are responsible for 6% of total emissions and 3% of total sinks…
      b) There is a temperature caused variability in the natural sink rate, mainly caused by the influence of temperature (El Niño) on tropical vegetation. That doesn’t say anything about the cause of the trend, as the trend is definitively NOT caused by vegetation. Trend and variability are from different processes, independent of each other.
      c) Same problem as for b) for your reasoning: the seasonal changes are dominated by the influence of temperature on the extra-tropical NH forests, but the trend is NOT caused by vegetation: vegetation is a net sink for CO2. Moreover the extra sink caused by the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is about 1 GtC/year in vegetation and 3.5 GtC in/out the oceans. The seasonal change is ~60 GtC back and forth within a year in vegetation and opposite ~50 GtC in and out the oceans. The net result is what can be seen at Mauna Loa and other stations. Hard to detect the extra flux caused by humans. That is derived from oxygen and δ13C measurements, not from CO2 fluxes.
      Moreover, while seasonal changes are caused by temperature changes, the influence of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is pressure related, thus independent of the seasonal or long(er) term temperature changes. The extra uptake is in direct ratio to the extra pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere above equilibrium for the current temperature.
      2. But the above findings demonstrate that there is no data that only fits either an anthropogenic or a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
      Sorry Richard, there is only one variant of the 6 theoretical possibilities that fits all observations: human emissions. All other variants fail one or more observations thus are falsified.
      Extra ocean emissions fail the mass balance, the measured increase of DIC in the oceans, the pH decrease and the decrease of the 13C/12C ratio both in the atmosphere and the ocean surface.
      Extra emissions from vegetation fail the increase of CO2 uptake by the biosphere as derived from the oxygen balance. The earth is greening.
      Other possible sources (volcanoes, rock weathering,…) are either too small, too slow and/or have the wrong δ13C level.
      3. The temperature response hypothesis.
      Which is already falsified: the short term CO2 rate of change response to temperature is entirely a response by vegetation, as the opposite CO2 and δ13C changes show. The longer term trend is NOT caused by vegetation, that is a different process, independent of vegetation and hardly or not influenced by temperature…

      • Ferdinand
        Please don’t ‘nit pick’.
        The issue is whether all CO2 emissions (both ‘natural’ and anthropogenic) can be sequestered locally to their sources.
        I, Quirk, Salby, and the preliminary OCO2 data suggest that all CO2 emissions (both ‘natural’ and anthropogenic) ARE sequestered locally to their sources. It remains to be seen if annual OCO2 data will confirm or refute this suggestion.
        If the suggestion is right then the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT overloading the ability of CO2 sinks to sequester all the CO2.
        Richard

      • Richard, if all human emissions were sequestered locally, there wouldn’t be a drop of 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere in direct ratio to the emissions.
        If the estimates of the continuous CO2 throughput from/to the deep oceans via the atmosphere are right (about 40 GtC/year based on the 14C bomb tests spike decay), then there is hardly any local uptake of human emissions, except for the distribution over all reservoirs.

    • Ferdinand
      To dispute is not – of itself – to refute.
      There is not sufficient data to refute any of the three hypotheses I stated, but the balance of evidence strongly suggests that the one you favour is wrong.
      As I said

      It can be hoped that the OCO2 data will indicate the evolution of atmospheric CO2 concentration across the planet with the seasons. If so, then it may be capable of resolving which – if any – of the three above hypotheses is correct.

      I am willing to wait a year for that information. You choose to shout that your ideas are right despite the contra-evidence.
      Richard

      • Ferdinand
        I am adding this separate post because I genuinely desire your explanation of the fact that, as I said,

        (a) the anthropogenic CO2 emission is only ~2% of the total (i.e. natural and anthropogenic) emission each year and few natural processes are significantly overloaded by such a small change as 2%. This is especially important because the anthropogenic emission is locally emitted and natural local emissions vary by more than this. This local variation is clearly demonstrated by the preliminary OCO2 data for atmospheric CO2 concentration plotted here and here where the anthropogenic emission from e.g. Europe is not discernible.

        Please explain how that preliminary finding concerning atmospheric CO2 concentration over Europe is equated in your mind with your assertion that

        {My} “most important statement in the article” was completely refuted times ago

        Richard

      • Richard,
        The OCO-2 satellite measures total CO2 column.
        Humans emit ~10 GtC/year. Even when that is one-way additional, that is spread over a year or about 0.01 ppmv/day. It will be a hell of a job for the satellite to detect these differences, even if most of the emissions are concentrated in smaller parts of land and even when the satellites have the ability to concentrate over smaller areas for as long as seven minutes. Further, the satellite measures continuously around midday to obtain the maximum response, but that means also that land already heated up and there is more wind and turbulence which mixes ground emissions into the bulk of the atmosphere.
        The main point of my objection was the following sentence:
        the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted.
        It is very clear that this is not the case: there is a huge lag of the SH behind the NH, as well as in CO2 levels as in δ13C levels. That is what the data say. It is there that Tom Quirk was completely wrong (he used a method that didn’t make a difference in leads or lags by multiples of a year) and Dr. Ball just copied that wrong statement.
        Last but not least:
        But the above findings demonstrate that there is no data that only fits either an anthropogenic or a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
        As demonstrated many times, the anthropogenic emissions fit all known observations.
        What you are doing is looking at some particular processes which are temperature driven (seasonal, 2-3 years). The uptake of any extra CO2 from the atmosphere is practically independent of temperature, it is pressure driven. There is no temperature driven process that can explain a 110 ppmv rise (and a drop of 1.6 per mil δ13C) in only 160 years, without violating one or more observations…

      • Ferdinand
        Sincere thanks for your reply.
        You say

        The OCO-2 satellite measures total CO2 column.
        Humans emit ~10 GtC/year. Even when that is one-way additional, that is spread over a year or about 0.01 ppmv/day. It will be a hell of a job for the satellite to detect these differences, even if most of the emissions are concentrated in smaller parts of land and even when the satellites have the ability to concentrate over smaller areas for as long as seven minutes. Further, the satellite measures continuously around midday to obtain the maximum response, but that means also that land already heated up and there is more wind and turbulence which mixes ground emissions into the bulk of the atmosphere.

        Sorry, but that does not wash. It seems you are claiming the air over Europe is conveyed to “the bulk of the atmosphere” (e.g. to Southern Africa where atmospheric CO2 concentration is high) within the hours of each day.
        I will attempt to address the matter again in a more clear fashion.
        You claim the sinks for CO2 are overloaded by the addition of anthropogenic CO2. Specifically, you say that local sequestration cannot remove all the locally emitted CO2 both natural and anthropogenic and, therefore, an amount of CO2 equivalent to a proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 accumulates in the air..
        However
        1. Europe has HIGH anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
        But
        2. Europe has a LOW atmospheric CO2 concentration.
        Please explain how these two facts coexist when – as you claim – the anthropogenic emission is overloading the system.
        Richard

      • Richard,
        I have no idea why the European CO2 concentration of humans and industry is not visible in the satellite data, while the US East coast and China are visible, but again India is not. Better ask the NASA for that discrepancy. Just wait and see for the data after a full year, as the background regional and seasonal variability should level out…
        I still doubt that the satellite accuracy is good enough to detect the human contribution. But that doesn’t prove that the human contribution is too small to be the cause of the increase over a full year…

      • Ferdinand
        Thankyou for your additional response.
        You now say

        I have no idea why the European CO2 concentration of humans and industry is not visible in the satellite data, while the US East coast and China are visible, but again India is not. Better ask the NASA for that discrepancy. Just wait and see for the data after a full year, as the background regional and seasonal variability should level out…
        I still doubt that the satellite accuracy is good enough to detect the human contribution. But that doesn’t prove that the human contribution is too small to be the cause of the increase over a full year…

        It pleases me that you now say you are willing to wait a year for an annual indication of the OCO2 data.
        However, the satellite accuracy does NOT need to be “good enough to detect the human contribution” for it to falsify your overload hypothesis. The satellite data only needs to indicate that the anthropogenic emission is not overloading the CO2 sinks.
        As I and others have repeatedly pointed out and Tim Ball’s article quotes Tom Quirk as saying

        The constancy of seasonal variations in CO2 and the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted. This implies that natural variability of the climate is the prime cause of increasing CO2, not the emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels.

        And the low atmospheric CO2 concentration over Europe (indicated by the OCO2 satellite’s preliminary data) suggests that Europe’s local anthropogenic CO2 emission is completely sequestered locally.
        This is a “discrepancy” of the observation with your hypothesis.
        Thus, the “discrepancy” contradicts your hypothesis and, therefore, refutes your assertion that

        there is only one variant of the 6 theoretical possibilities that fits all observations: human emissions.

        I repeat that I am pleased you now say you are willing to wait to obtain a year’s OCO2 data before making deductions from the data. The preliminary OCO2 data indicates that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is not overloading the sequestration abilities of the sinks, but it is only preliminary. I again repeat the conclusion of my first post in this sub-thread.

        It can be hoped that the OCO2 data will indicate the evolution of atmospheric CO2 concentration across the planet with the seasons. If so, then it may be capable of resolving which – if any – of the three above hypotheses is correct.

        Richard

      • Richard,
        I don’t know why you still insist that Tom Quirk was right by saying that there is a “the lack of time delays between the hemispheres”, because the time delay between the hemispheres is VERY clear in both the CO2 and δ13C data.
        That proves beyond doubt that the extra source of CO2 is in the NH and that the extra source of CO2 has a low 13C/12C ratio. (Not) by coincidence that is where 90% of the low-13C human emissions are.
        Further, if the satellite can’t detect the very small local human emissions, it can’t prove or disprove that human emissions are the cause of the increase.
        It doesn’t matter if human emissions are 0.1% or 1% or 10% of the total carbon circulation, it only matters that human emissions are one-way addition and that the natural carbon circulation didn’t change over time (as the slight increase in residence time shows). All increase then is from the small addition…

    • @ richardscourtney February 23, 2015 at 10:46 pm
      Richard, the aforesaid “temperature response hypothesis” is the only logical explanation for the “steady and consistent” bi-yearly cycling of atmospheric CO2 as defined by measurements conducted at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, between 1958 and 2014 ….. and which are consistent with the only “steady and consistent” natural cycle associated with the natural world, ….. the seasonal Equinox cycle.
      So, unless one can define and explain a different “natural cycle” that gives reason and cause for the aforesaid …… “steady and consistent” bi-yearly cycling of atmospheric CO2, ….. then they are just spinning-their-wheels without any foreseeable hope of proving their conjecture.
      And the aforesaid short-term “bi-yearly CO2 cycling” should not be confused or associated with the long-term Interglacial warming/cooling cycles that result in yearly increases/decreases in atmospheric CO2.
      Iffen the global surface temperatures continue with their “pause”, or begin to decrease, …. then the atmospheric CO2 will, sooner or later, begin to respond accordingly.

      • Samuel,
        The bi-yearly CO2 cycle has a global amplitude of ~5 ppmv for a global temperature change of ~1°C. Mainly extra-tropical vegetation driven.
        The change over ice ages and interglacials was about 8 ppmv/°C over many thousands of years. Mainly (deep) ocean temperature driven.
        The current change is ~110 ppmv for a change of ~0.8°C over only 160 years, while humans have emitted over 200 ppmv CO2 in the same period.
        Thus the influence of temperature on CO2 levels suddenly increased a 20-fold in the natural emissions increased (a 4-fold in the past 55 years) in complete lockstep with human emissions, but human emissions simply disappeared?

      • Shur nuff, Ferdinand, …. the Flying Spaghetti Monster just confirmed to me what you stated above.
        And he was mighty impressed with your “disappearing act” concerning human emissions.
        Why he even told me that he “should have thought of that”.
        Now that was a compliment you can be proud of.

    • “Other people (e.g. Bart) say the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration can be explained as being a result of temperature change.”
      Not quite. I say the rise is the result of a temperature modulated process. I do not have a firm position on what that process is, though I have at least two candidates. But, the bottom line is that the temperature relationship explains the curvature in the CO2 plot and, as human inputs would induce a curvature of their own, it is not possible that they are contributing significantly.

      • Ferd (2/24/ 3:18am): “3. The temperature response hypothesis … is already falsified: the short term CO2 rate of change response to temperature is entirely a response by vegetation, as the opposite CO2 and δ13C changes show.”
        Janice: Oh, Ferdinand — 1. Dr. Salby’s “hypothesis” has NOT been falsified; and 2. AGW’s conjecture about CO2 driving temperature is so ephemeral that it is not even susceptible to BEING falsified. So far, the null hypothesis, i.e., that human CO2 does nothing to cause climate shifts has MOST DEFINITELY NOT BEEN FALSIFIED.
        ******************************
        Bart (2/24/1:43pm): “… the temperature relationship explains the curvature in the CO2 plot and, as human inputs would induce a curvature of their own, it is not possible that they are contributing significantly.”
        Yes, indeed, Bart! #(:)) And Dr. Murry Salby agrees with you:
        Dr. Murry Salby (Hamburg lecture, April, 2013) —
        {With times in video linked below}
        {10:32} 1. Native (natural) emission of CO2 depends strongly on temperature.
        {10:58} 2. Net CO2 emission has .63 correlation with temperature.
        {11:35} 3. CO2 evolves like the integral of temperature, i.e., it is proportional to the cumulative net emission of CO2 from all sources and sinks.
        {13:52} 4. Temp. and CO2 evolve coherently on all times scales longer than 2 years.
        {14:03} 5. CO2 lags temp. by a quarter cycle (i.e., in quadrature, using cosine and sine, lags by 90 degrees).
        {35:41} 6. AGWers claim that human CO2 dilutes atmospheric Carbon 13; for this to be true, native sources of CO2 must NOT dilute C13: ({36:34} Native Source of CO2 – 150 (96%) gigatons/yr — Human CO2 – 5 (4%) gtons/yr; {37:01} Native Sinks Approximately* Balance Native Sources – net CO2.
        Note: *Approximately = even a small imbalance can overwhelm any human CO2
        {37:34} 7. Since many native sources also involve Carbon 13, leaner than in the atmosphere, “ALL BETS ARE OFF.”
        {39:14} 8. CO2 is conserved in the atmosphere, it is homogenized, i.e., evenly distributed, over long time periods (as observed, for land levels only, via satellites).
        {39:40} 9. Big CO2 sources are not in industrialized nor highly populated regions (they are in Amazon basin, tropical Africa, and SE Asia).
        {41:20} 10. Observed deviations of global mean (natural) CO2 deviate widely, sometimes more than 100% from year to year, decade to decade – they are INcoherent with human CO2 emission rate, i.e, net global natural emission evolves independently of human emission.
        {42:35} 11. Observed global (land or ocean measurements) CO2 emission has strong sensitivity (.93 correlation {43:41}) to surface properties (mostly temperature, c = .8, and also soil moisture), i.e., increase in either increases CO2 native emissions.
        {44:28} 12. C13 has strong coherence with temp. and soil moisture, but inversely, temp. up => C13 down.
        {45:15} 13. Opposite changes of C13 and CO2 are the same ones seen in the ice proxy.
        {45:22} 14. Satellite record shows that the emissions are clearly NOT human, unless human emissions cause volcanic eruptions and El Nino.
        {52:25} 15. IPCC Claimed in 2007: “All of the increases {in CO2 concentration since pre-industrial times} are caused by human activity.” Given the observed sensitivity of native emission of CO2 and C13,
        the IPCC’s claim is IMPOSSIBLE.

        Dr. Murry Salby, Hamburg, April, 2013 (youtube)

      • Bart
        Thankyou for posting that clarification.
        I apologise if my summary failed to accurately report your view. Any distortion was not intended.
        Richard

      • Janice,
        We have been there before: Dr. Salby is certainly wrong on several points, especially his CO2 migration through ice cores, which implies negative CO2 levels during glacials and enormous CO2 levels during peaks in the past.
        Salby never responded to criticisms, thus my objections still are open…

      • Janice,
        Ok, I’ll bite.
        Point by point:
        I do largely agree with your point 2 about the (small) influence of CO2 on temperature.
        I do agree and disagree on following points by Salby:
        1. Yes.
        2. Yes, but that is only for the variability around the trend, not for the trend
        3. Nonsense. While the integral of the natural variability is zero to slightly negative, the slope in CO2 is not caused by temperature.
        4. Yes, 5 ppmv/°C seasonal, 4-5 ppmv/°C over 2-3 years, 8 ppmv/°C over multi-millennia. NOT ppmv/°C/year.
        5. Yes, for the variability, not for the increase over the past 160 years.
        6. No, the only other source of low-13C CO2, vegetation, is a proven sink for CO2, thus not the cause of the 13C decline in the atmosphere.
        7. Nonsense: oceans, carbonate deposits, volcanoes,… all have a higher 13C/12C ratio than the atmosphere.
        8. Yes, but the current increase is a lot higher than the historical dynamic equilibrium.
        9. Yes, but big sinks are near the poles. Both level off each other, be it that the sinks are slightly larger than the sources. The contribution of all natural sinks and sources today is negative at about halve the human emissions. Seems that many skeptics always look at sources, but forget to take into account the sinks…
        10. No, the variability in sink rate varies widely, but that is only +/- 1 ppmv from year to year, while human emissions are 4.5 ppmv/year and the increase in the atmosphere is ~2 ppmv/year and the trend is already 110 ppmv.
        11. The natural variability is a variability in sink rate, not in source rate (it may be a local source, but globally nature still was always a net sink over the past 55 years). The correlation is only about the variability, not the trend.
        12. Yes, and that proves that the short term variability (mainly from tropical vegetation) and the longer term trend are from different processes: vegetation is a net, increasing sink for CO2 since ~1990.
        13. Yes, but that can be from vegetation or from burning fossil fuels. There was little change in the 13C/12C ratio over the past 800,000 years (a few tenths per mil δ13C) but suddenly there is a drop of 1.6 per mil δ13C over the past 160 years in lockstep with human emissions…
        14. Satellites until now were not accurate enough to detect human emissions, maybe the OCO-2 satellite can do the job.
        15. No, all the observations point to human emissions. All alternative explanations fail one or more observations…

      • @ Janice Moore February 24, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        {42:35} 11. Observed global (land or ocean measurements) CO2 emission has strong sensitivity (.93 correlation {43:41}) to surface properties (mostly temperature, c = .8, and also soil moisture), i.e., increase in either increases CO2 native emissions.

        Janet M, thank you for posting the above because it is that simple scientific FACT that negates the “junk science” claim that …. “the rotting and/or decaying of biomass in the Northern Hemisphere during the fall and winter months from the end of September thru to mid-May of each calendar year …. is directly responsible for the bi-yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 as is defined on the Keeling Curve Graph”.
        Microbial decomposition of biomass begins to decrease ….. if the moisture content of the biomass decreases and completely stops if the biomass is void of moisture …. and/or ….. if the temperature of the biomass decreases below 60F ….. and pretty much slows to a halt as the temperature decreases to 40F ….. and completely stops when the biomass freezes at 32F.
        And most everyone in the civilized world is aware of the above facts because, to wit:

        United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety
        Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food),
        moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, ….. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” …..
        A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.

        Mother Nature also employees the use of “refrigeration” to prevent biomass decomposition ….. but us humans refer to it as “wintertime”.

      • OOPS, that last part should read as follows:

        United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety
        Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, ….. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” …..
        A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.

        Mother Nature also employees the use of “refrigeration” to prevent biomass decomposition ….. but us humans refer to it as “wintertime”.

      • Sam Cogar! #(:)) — You’re welcome. Thanks for saying so.
        ******************************
        FERDINAND!!! #(X\)
        Okay.
        Dear Ferdinand,
        1. Your tenacity and sincerity are to be admired.
        2. However…. (!)
        That a man of your obvious integrity supports his assertions with SO MUCH:
        — unsupported generalization (e.g., about natural CO2 sources being a net sink THUS — WE — KNOW that human CO2 is the source of any increase);
        — asserted with far higher confidence (usually) than warranted by the facts (e.g., the oceans buffering properties); while
        — glossing over or COMPLETELY IGNORING powerful refutations, often dismissing them with essentially nothing more than, “That’s just not true;”
        is troublesome.
        You have clearly closed your mind to letting in the opposing view. Why?
        Why is your goal, with THIS issue, not pure, objective, science?
        Why is your goal to argue as hard as you can for AGW?
        What are you REALLY arguing against? Against capitalism and consumption? Against the coal industry? There is some deep emotional reason that fuels an otherwise honest, intelligent, man’s irrational behavior (here, arguing using such often spurious methods/assertions).
        Well, anyway, Mr. Englebeen. I argue as strongly as I do not against you as a person, but on behalf of the facts. I have compassion in my heart for you. Something is driving you, giving you great energy, to keep on arguing for AGW.
        And whatever it is matters to you very much (you may not even be consciously aware of it anymore; it may be that painful of a matter).
        Thank you for always being so polite and respectful to me. That isn’t how I am ALWAYS addressed, heh.
        Sincerely yours,
        Janice

      • Janice,
        My only aim is to have the science right: I will react as good on mistakes/impossibilities made by skeptics as mistakes/impossibilities made by warmistas…
        Basic is that humans emit about twice the amount of CO2 as is measured as increase in the atmosphere. At least that is the case since accurate CO2 measurements at the South Pole and Mauna Loa started 55 years ago.
        Further, all known observations fit the theory that the human emissions are the cause of the increase in the atmosphere.
        Everybody can come with a new theory to explain that the increase in the atmosphere is not from human emissions. But to challenge the mainstream “consensus” of human emissions as cause, that should be based on extremely good, solid arguments, which explains ALL observations and also explains what happens with the surplus of human CO2 emissions.
        Until now I only have seen alternative theories which fail one or more observations, or even all observations and a lot of hand waving about the faith of human emissions if “something natural” was the cause of the increase. Human emissions seems to disappear in space without leaving a trace, while the “alternative” mimics human emissions at exactly the same timing and (slightly quadratic) increase ratio…
        Sorry, but I don’t have seen any proof that whatever natural cause can mimic human emissions: neither volcanoes, oceans or vegetation show such a nice, smooth increase over time and also violate other observations if they were the cause of the increase…
        As always… best regards,
        Ferdinand

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen February 25, 2015 at 1:21 pm

        Further, all known observations fit the theory that the human emissions are the cause of the increase in the atmosphere

        The past 57 years of Mauna Loa monthly CO2 observations as stated here @ ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt
        DO NOT FIT YOUR THEORY about human CO2 emissions ….. and thus the reason you avert your eyes and mind to the Mauna Loa observations.
        There is no human CO2 “signature” anywhere within the Mauna Loa observations and there never has been.
        Furthermore, there is an explicit bi-yearly Equinox CO2 “signature” within the Mauna Loa observations that has remained steady and consistent each and every year for the past 57 years.
        To wit:

        Knowing the extent of your ignorance is knowledge.
        Claiming your ignorance is knowledge is religion.

      • Janice
        I, too, have been in long dispute with Ferdinand about the carbon cycle but do not accept your view that he is arguing “for AGW”.
        He has invested much of his time and effort into study of the carbon cycle and has committed himself to one interpretation. As you say, it is frustrating that he promotes his interpretation by making “unsupported generalization” and ignores “powerful refutations”, but I don’t see that as his attempt to promote AGW: I see it as his fervour to promote his interpretation of the carbon cycle.
        The actual behaviour of the carbon cycle remains unresolved while available data remains inadequate to reject all except one interpretation. Until then, fervent adherence to individual interpretations is inevitable by individuals who have invested much time and effort to obtaining those interpretations. And it is such fervour in support of different interpretations which drives all science forward.
        I have personal reason for wanting as early a resolution of the carbon cycle matter as possible, but I recognise we must wait until at least the first complete year of OCO2 data is acquired. The truth will out for those with patience and ability to wait.
        Richard

      • Samuel,
        The past 57 years of Mauna Loa monthly CO2 observations as stated here…
        …DO NOT FIT YOUR THEORY about human CO2 emissions

        If humans emit twice the amount of CO2 directly into the atmosphere than is observed in the trend at Mauna Loa, then how on earth does that prove that humans are NOT responsible for the increase? The seasonal variability hardly changes with extra CO2 in the atmosphere – human or not, but some more CO2 will be captured by vegetation and oceans: about halve the human emissions in mass (not the original molecules).
        According to your reasoning, human emissions simply disappear (to where?) and “something natural” simply follows the human emissions in exact ratio and timing over the past 55+ years?
        You may believe that, but I don’t think so, based on a lot of information about mass balance, 13C/12C decline, 14C bomb spike decline, Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater with temperature, the oxygen balance and decay rate calculations…

      • You may believe that, but I don’t think so, based on a lot of information about mass balance,

        Ferdinand,
        The only per said “mass balance” in existence in the universe is the one (1) that exists only in your imagination.
        The Bible believers have their “God of Creation” …. and you have your “Mass Balance” thingy.
        But the natural world responds dynamically to “cause and effect” …. and it matters not one (1) twit what you think it should be doing.
        Claiming your ignorance is knowledge is religion.

  26. Skpetical Science to me appears to not understand the reason given as to why the oceans cannot effectively absorb anthropogenic CO2. The biological process of CO2 sequestration is a totally different thing from the Revelle Factor which is a ‘chemical buffer’ that inhibits the absorption of anthropogenic CO2 through changes in the partitioning ratio of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The Revelle Factor operates alongside and independently of the sequestration process Skeptial Science is talking about. According to the Revelle Factor when the ocean absorbs anthropogenic CO2, it decreases pH and CO32, and it the relationship between CO32 and CO2(aq) that effectively determines the Revelle Factor. By my understanding the Revelle Factor relates essentially to the rate at which CO2 may be absorbed by the surface ocean at equilibrium whereas Henry’s law relates to the proportional amount of CO2 that ends up being absorbed by the entire oceans at equilibrium. My issue with the Revelle Factor is, well, I have a few issues. The resistance from the surface ocean to absorb anthropogenic CO2 from the changes in the DIC ratio should apply to natural CO2 as well. But it does not. Also the value of the Revelle Factor we are told is 10 meaning the surface ocean can only absorb 10% of anthropogenic CO2 upon equilibrium while ignoring sequestration from the surface ocean to the deep ocean. This implies that if sequestration from the surface ocean to the deep ocean suddenly ceased and the current ratio of DIC stayed as it is now in the surface ocean, CO2 from all sources would just continue to accumulate in the surface ocean until the partitioning ratio between the atmosphere and oceans were 10:1 respectively, in violation of Henry’s law, which implies that water should contain more CO2 than air upon equilibrium (approximately 50 times as much) at the current surface temperature. As Tom Segalstad points out, the “buffer factor would give about 10 times higher CO2 concentration in air verses water”. There is no logical basis for the Revelle Factor, although the tenuous BATS time-series is often given as ‘evidence’, and assuming the measurements are even an accurate representation of global DIC and pH, it ignores other possibilities such as changes in eutrophication/degradation which can have the same affect. The fast-equilibria of Henry’s law still holds in my view, and the oceans are probably absorbing practically all anthropogenic CO2 in accordance with the 1:50 partitioning ratio at the average surface temperature of 15C. Plus, I think the increase in CO2 is likely temperature-driven too.

  27. Richard,
    You are confusing several items:
    – Henry’s law is for the solubility of CO2 in water: that is quite fixed for fresh water and for seawater: at a certain temperature the ratio between CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 (free, gas) in water is fixed. The point is that Henry’s law is only for free CO2 in water, not for bicarbonate and carbonate. Thus whatever the change in the atmosphere or what was its cause, a 50% change in the atmosphere will give a 50% change of free CO2 in water, no matter if that is fresh water or seawater.
    – The Revelle/buffer factor is how much total carbon (free CO2 + bicarbonate + carbonate) gets dissolved in water when the CO2 level in the atmosphere increases.
    For fresh water that makes hardly any difference: in fresh water 99% is free CO2, only 1% is bicarbonate.
    For seawater that makes a difference: about ten times more CO2 is dissolved than in fresh water, but that is mainly as bicarbonate (90%), 9% is carbonate and only 1% is free CO2.
    – The Revelle/buffer factor is as good for natural as for human CO2. If there was a CO2 increase from volcanoes (under or above sea), the extra CO2 would be absorbed in the same way and extra in the deep oceans, as these are undersatured in CO2 for the temperature and pressure in the deep…
    – The Revelle/buffer factor is for the current level of carbon in the ocean surface, that is not the same factor as 160 years ago or over 50 years. As the buffer capacity gets exhausted, the Revelle factor will get lower. The factor is about the reaction to a change in the atmosphere, not the absolute levels…
    – The ocean surface and the atmosphere are in close contact with each other and the exchange of CO2 is very fast. The equilibrium is reached in a few years for a constant CO2 level in the atmosphere: about 1000 GtC in the ocean surface and about 800 GtC in the atmosphere. Thus the ratio is about 10:8, but that doesn’t play much role, it is the resulting pCO2 difference between oceans and atmosphere which gives a CO2 flux into the oceans or from the oceans. No matter if the quantities are 50:1 or 1:50…
    – The 50:1 from the deep oceans is what matters on long term when a new equilibrium is reached between CO2 in the deep oceans and the atmosphere, but that will need a lot of time, as there is only a limited exchange between deep oceans and atmosphere…

    • Ferdinand, not a scientist just an engineer but your contention that ocean CO2 buffering capacity is exhausted is, based on the historical data, a long, long reach. Go back to when CO2 was 8000ppm. What happened? Well here we are. Or are we all just a figment of our imaginations?

      • Newsel,
        The 8000 ppmv was a long time ago. Most of the 8000 ppmv of the Cretaceous period you can find back in the white cliffs of Dover and a lot of other places as carbonate deposits. Together with the carbonate deposits, the ocean’s buffer capacity decreased to what it is now.
        That is not exhausted, certainly not for the deep oceans, but it makes that the ocean surface layer is in rapid equilibrium with the changes in the atmosphere at about 10% of the change.

Comments are closed.